Sunday, June 28, 2015

Victory, NYSUT and UFT Style

One of the great things about being a teacher union leader is you always win. You win when there are 22 components in Danielson and you fight back Bloomberg's call for only seven. You win again when there are 22 and you negotiate it down to 8 (almost exactly what Bloomberg wanted).

You win when there's a transfer plan that allows teachers to go where they wish. You also win when you give up that plan and teachers can go nowhere without the OK of a principal. You not only win when you get a junk science evaluation system, but you also get to dump the sitting President of NYSUT because he helped you win that.

This year Governor Cuomo, whose popularity is at an all-time low, pushed through a revision of the APPR, expressly designed because too few teachers were getting low ratings. UFT President Michael Mulgrew sent an email thanking the Assembly for that. Why? Because, of course, it was a victory. Everything is a victory. We always win. Those who criticize junk science, like me, like Carol Burris and a large percentage of NY principals, like Diane Ravitch, are cranks, Chicken Little, shouting the sky is falling. Why?

Because this year fewer people were rated poorly than under the old system. Of course, under the old system, you were not necessarily bound for 3020a after two years of crap ratings. Furthermore, under the old system, it was on the DOE to prove you were unfit. Under the new system, if a member of the UFT rat squad says so, the burden of proof is on you, the teacher.

Now that UFT has dumped the former President of NYSUT, the new one has adopted the UFT good news policy. Here's an excerpt from a Karen Magee email:

We beat back the education tax credit that would have been a giveaway to rich supporters of private schools, stopped the push to make the tax cap permanent, and made progress on testing and transparency.

Now this isn't the first time we "beat back" the tax credit. It likely will not be the last time it rears its ugly head, and it's far from time to rest on our laurels. And Ms. Magee omits the fact that we're sending private schools 250 million bucks. And while the tax cap isn't permanent, it isn't gone either.

Note that this is not about what we achieved. It's about what we didn't lose yet. It's like when your friend tells you about all the things he's done for you. Remember when you were walking down the stairs and I didn't push you? Remember when we went out for coffee and I didn't put poison in your latte? Remember when we were walking by that semi-frozen lake and I didn't toss you in?

Just forget about all the broken promises in the leaflet above. So what if they utterly failed to oppose Cuomo when he was actually running for election? Who cares if Karen Magee and her Unity BFFs have not only failed to oppose Common Core, but spoken forcefully for it at AFT?  What does it matter if they not only failed to do anything against APPR, but also labeled its new steroid-laced draconian iteration a legislative victory? They still haven't joined that Fort Orange Club. Maybe next week they won't join it again

It will be another grand victory.

Related: A local union leader stands up to the nonsense. 
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