Monday, February 06, 2017

UFT Executive Board, February 6, 2017

Secretary Howard Schoor welcomes us

Open Mike:

Jerry Fronhoffer, retired from Aviation—reports or organization, with teachers, students and professors—on homeless crisis. 105K children in shelters or doubled up with friends or neighbors. Many are enrolled in public schools. Effects both immediate and longterm. 40K foreclosures in NYC right now. Many 2-3 grade levels behind. Absenteeism, lateness common. Evaluation is useless.

But can be solved—all we need is political will. We have the money to build. The money is there. 1.2 billion a year given to condo owners and developers. We’re spending 1.6 billion a year on homeless shelters. With that money we can build at no additional cost, 57K new housing units to cover 90% of our homeless. Public housing has bad name, but many living there work every day.

Let’s pass a resolution at the DA that states what is needed. Let’s
send a message.

Schoor—email us and we will send you a copy of a resolution we’ve already passed.

Approval of minutes—approved.

President’s Report—6:10 Mulgrew is not here.

Staff Director’s report—LeRoy Barr—

Was resolution regarding immigration—proposed we collect lesson plans—we looked up AFT lessons on that which already exist. We have included that in your folders.

Middle school conference was held, thanks to Rich Mantel. We have an event 2/11 with 4 hours of CTLE. Black history film series started, was great discussion. Will be more, 13, and Rising from the Rails. African Heritage Dinner Dance last Friday. Evelyn de Jesus honored. Lobby day March 14th. Ex Board the 27th DA this Wednesday.


Carmen Alvarez answers ICT question from weeks ago—Discusses various percentages of special ed. complaints.

Mulgrew arrives—-6:20, interrupts report from Alvarez

Says he’s happy about energy with DeVos, thinks VP will have deciding vote, but glad country knows who she is. Now we have credibility, will see where it goes, will keep pressure on, NY Senators fantastic.

Now are locals countrywide who have adopted Public School Pride campaign.  We have to show people we can use this. It’s in Houston, Cleveland, St. Louis. Lot of energy toward Valentine’s Day to show love for public schools. Bumper stickers soon.

Wants to thank people who worked on mayoral endorsement.

Mulgrew leaves6:25

Alvarez continues—tells us which districts had most violations.

Mike SchirtzerMORE—Last week JHS 145 spoke—Can we have an update?

Rich Mantel—going to school to meet with staff and help organize. Will do all we can to support.

Ellie Engler—Story he told was compelling. We knew this was kind of a setup. Brought to highest level at DOE, supposed to give us an answer. We have found some shady stuff going on at Success Academy, we are checking, and we are prepared to bring it up at Tweed. We are buying sweatshirts for schools supporting them

Tricia Filomena—March 20th replacing which date?


Arthur GoldsteinMORE  We had our MOSL committee meeting today and I was pretty surprised at how it went. As an ESL teacher, my score is linked to a test that changes each year and does not appear to test the language acquisition it’s my job to promote. Why are we supposed to make the course level irrevocable MOSL decision independent of the teacher level with no current knowledge of what choices or mandates will be available for teacher level decisions? Wouldn’t if make more sense if we knew what both factors were at the time of the first choice? Wouldn’t that help us to make the best possible decisions for our members? Won’t this system cause conflict among members who may prefer not to teach courses that terminate in state exams, and who may find it advantageous to be judged by broader measures?

Schoor—Regents are tied to eval, we can’t change.

Jackie Bennett—Teacher level and school level have always been made separately. We want schools to clearly make those choices. We want teachers to pay more attention. We are doing this midyear. If we absolutely wanted to we could release all rules at same time. But if we want to address questions, they would take more time and discussion. We would prefer to thoroughly discuss those rather than just do it. Discussions ongoing for your sake and for whole system. We advocate for best we can.

Group and single measures have always been case. We want lower stakes. If we wanted to continue that it would continue. Across state common decision is to go for matrix that takes away higher stake.

Reports from districts

Dave Kazansky—Labor seder March 28th.

Rich Mantel—4th annual middle school conference—260 people, workshops, 3 ctle hours.
May 6 UFT 5K Coney Island.

Anthony Harmon—Thanks for African Heritage event, over 300. Feb. 18 Black and Puerto Rican legislative weekend. March 16, 7th annual faith based breakfast.

Pat Crispino—principal removed from Harlem Ren—can’t hurt people anymore

Arthur GoldsteinMORE--I report that UFT came to our school and Christine Rowland offered PD, that it was very well received, and that our members are all very happy to get two hours of CTLE credit.

Janella Hinds—Thursday, hosting a college and career fair for HS students around city. Fliers available at DA.

Wendy Walker Wilson—Thanks to everyone who contributed to Helen Dowdy Scholarship. Raised over 5K.

Legislative report—Paul Egan—Finished YTD at COPE, cards coming in, 71 from Lewis. Constitutional Convention is serious. We will have 250K increase in COPE from last year. First preference on Lobby Day buses to COPE contributors.

Jonathan HalabiNew Action—IDC big in NYC. Are we looking at how we relate to 6 state senators asking for our endorsement>

Egan—IDC is breakaway, yet all run on Democratic line. Some are well-accepted members of Democratic committees. 32 elected Democrats but GOP in charge. This was answer to dysfunction. They will claim results for constituencies. May be buffer. We at least have dialogue. Will we run people against them? No one will run against Jefff Klein or Diane Savino. May be some places people step up, but not because of IDC. Depends on what they do over next 2 years.

Endorsement—Manhattan committee endorsed 7 candidates for seat vacated by Inez Dickens in city council. Recommends Bill Perkins to that seat.
Speaker says Perkins spoke against colocations, is active in district. Staunch supporter of UFT.


Janella Hinds—Moves resolution in support of juvenile justice reform. NY treats all youth offenders as adults after 16. HS students get caught in this. We have young people in justice system with hardened adult criminals. NYS should do better. We know this costs them opportunities.

Ashraya GuptaMORE—moves to amend—Whereas, police presence in our schools as well as punitive zero tolerance discipline policies have contributed to the disproportionate, criminalization of students of color,

Resolved, UFT will support the work of community partners like Dignity in Schools Campaign to encourage DOE to increase staffing for and provision of restorative practices in our schools.

Dignity in Schools is national coalition of parents students, educators, working against school push out. Want increase in counselors and fewer police in schools.

Kuljit AhluwaliaNew Action—first whereas could be misconstrued—there is youthful offender status in NY.

Schoor—How would you change that.

Kuljit Ahluwalia—Not all teenagers are treated as adults. Should say some, not all, because that’s legally correct.

Hinds—Youthful offender is after arrest, but initially they are treated as adults. Will take out all.

LeRoy Barr—Against amendments.  Safety agents are NYPD. If we don’t want police presence is problem, but we work closely with police dept. in training. We don’t want to live in an armed camp, but we aren’t saying we don’t want any safety agent presence. We need to use options, as in metal detectors. Sometimes they are needed, sometimes not. We want safety agents to have different relations with our students.

Second point—We’ve worked with this group, and they don’t necessarily believe in suspensions or classroom removals. We think the power should be in hands of teacher. We think there should be suspensions where necessary. Should be last resort, but a resort nonethelesss.

Not in favor of armed camps or police disrespect. Want presence, training.

Jonathan HalabiNew Action—Heartened by main motion. Glad Cuomo was pushed. Likely this will happen. Intrigued by questions about restorative justice. Discipline code changed, good to reduce suspensions, but we shouldn’t say no you can’t do it anymore. Would like to continue discussion and come up with something to increase training.

Gregg Lundahl—Has problem anytime program brought up I don’t know about, but would like to look at it. DOE did major number on our school, were no consequences for any infraction. Got to point where we were no longer in control. School erupted in violence. We did need police. We tried and did get that school back. I don’t want to say we believe all police are not productive for students.

Carmen Alvarez—Supports initial resolution. We have to understand behavioral literacy. Not about one program over other. How do you create school that understands all behavior. We have used things that worked. Supports Jonathan’s idea that we provide framework of how to move forward.

Marcus McArthurMORE—Supports amendments. Supports debate. It’s OK for us to acknowledge complexity of issues. More guns than citizens in USA and we know about violence. We understand it can spill over. Remember that often times progress we want to see requires imagination and different way to deal. I support restorative justice because it’s a solution. Shows promise in moving away from punitive discipline. OK if we challenge our members on issues. We understand we want authority, or may need it. Sometimes we can be wrong, though, and we need to be brought along.

Sterling Roberson—Speaking for resolution. Cannot say there is magic bullet. Union has history of holding DOE accountable. We have lobbied for expansion of counselors. We have provided training in prevention. Conversation must be broader. We have discussed discipline, and intervention, mediation. We appreciate amendments but our scope has to be wider. We need more services.

Stuart Kaplan—calls question.

Amendments fail.

Main resolution—passes

Mayoral committee report—LeRoy Barr—recommends endorsement, discusses committee process, recommends endorsement of Bill de Blasio.

Things are not perfect, but remember what it used to be like. As bad as things seem, we know it’s not as bad as it used to be. We have a lot of work to do. Is the mayor someone we can work with, or is someone out there who wants to move the other way? I say we need to stick with someone who’s made a commitment to improve things.

Dolores ?—very much in favor. There are things he’s already done to show he is the choice. Personally, universal pre-K important. Voiced concern against charters. Stopped school closings. Also we know political climate. Must know that here someone can support UFT positions. Asks you endorse.

Antoinette Offucio—Many same points, but when Bloomberg left we had no contracts. De Blasio made contracts with 98% of unions. Made fair contracts. Helped with evaluation system. Now we need pro-union Democrat. Refuses to drop city as sanctuary.

Marcus McArthurMORE—Also in favor. Echoes points made. De Blasio campaigned as progressive, tried to deliver. Taxing rich, affordable housing, reforming stop and frisk. City needs this right now. Ally of public ed. against charters. We need to hold him to fire to continue that fight. He’s the person who can help with things like family leave. This is opportunity to organize and engage members. Going forward we need to engage members in discussion of these issues and involve more people, raise awareness of what members think and what our priorities are. We need to organize and rally people. We need to make sure these people speak to our issues. We didn’t hear much about ed. in last presidential campaign. Now we can have that discussion.

Resolution in favor of endorsing de Blasio—passes unanimously.

We are adjourned.
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