Sunday, May 29, 2016
Many people think Sanders is finished and Hillary has the nomination in the bag. I don't think so. Trump must agree because he's changed his mind about debating Sanders http://www.nydailynews.com/news/election/sanders-fries-chicken-donald-trump-10m-debate-flip-flop-article-1.2652416. A debate with Trump in which Bernie did well, would tremendously help Bernie's chances. As I've said before, if it's Trump vs. Hillary, Trump wins. If it's Sanders vs. Trump, Sanders wins. I believe Trump knows this and isn't giving Bernie that opportunity.
Saturday, May 28, 2016
The inevitable has happened! I was reelected once again. Never fear, Mike is here! I am working hard to increase Teacher's Choice, (this year we may include toilet paper and bulletproof vests as reimbursable items).
I am also securing your right to become an ATR after finishing your first decade of teaching. The city is broke (ignore all those lies about a six billion dollar surplus) and you may have to cough up a little extra cash to see a doctor - nothing more than a $50 co-pay. Also don't worry, our wonderful evaluation system is still in effect - so your job is as secure as our fabulous mayor's! In closing, I want to say I love the environment and look forward to passing many motions on climate change with the newly elected malcontents. I may even have vegan buffets!
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Friday, May 13, 2016
The generation growing up with the current devices need time away from them to become educated and civilized. By civilized, I mean being able to hold a conversation, with eye contact and some modicum of civility. There are more devices on the horizon, that will totally immerse people into their own worlds - virtual reality - https://www.oculus.com/en-us/blog/ . This isn't the cartoonish VR of the 1980s. A brave new world that has arrived.
Saturday, May 7, 2016
How was your experience as a teacher under the mantle of Sir Michael Bloomberg http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11143702/Michael-Bloomberg-knighted-by-the-Queen-just-dont-call-him-Sir-Mike.html ? Mine went from wonderful to abysmal after the 2005 contract, in which we got a big raise for selling our seniority rights. Then came the hundreds of school closings. Then, the replacement of veteran teachers with totally inexperienced white kids from the mid-west. Then, leadership academy principals indoctrinated with a business management approach to school leadership. Then, the ATR pool for teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, and APs that were too highly paid and couldn't be molded into a sniveling bureaucrats.
Bloomberg is gone! Fantastic, Mulgrew regained his voice and gave DeBlasio a big check before the contract. Not a bribe, because we got the worst contract in the history of the UFT. It was more or less a house warming gift. I don't have a problem with it. We all had big hopes for Bill. A smiling mayor and a humanitarian. Two years later, not only hasn't anything changed, everything has become progressively worse. That's not what I expected when I heard him toot his horn claiming to be progressive. Students have cellphones in schools and classes, restorative justice has allowed criminal behavior to go unchecked, principals who have no business running schools (according to Chancellor Farina) are still in charge, principals who have made unethical choices for their staffs and students are unchallenged, teachers are evaluated in an insane manner, and veteran teachers who are overwhelmingly middle-aged and people of color are still languishing in the ATR pool. The last contract gave them second tier status and was announced with UFT President Mulgrew as a beneficial way to help these teachers find a career outside of education- the implication being ATRs are unsuitable for actual teaching. Mulgrew says things are great with DeBlasio. What do you think?
Mayoral control of the schools end in June. A monarchical system that started with Sir Mike, that is simply terrible. It's also being used as a political manipulative tool by both parties. We live in a democracy. Schools are not businesses, they are social institutions. All constituancies should have a voice in the decision making of education - parents, teachers, neighbors, taxpayers, students and the mayor. No one person should have sole control of the schools, bring back the Board of Education.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
It's come to my attention there will be voting going on this week. I totally forgot about it and you should feel free to do the same. We here at 52 have your best interests in mind. I gave you a great contract, a wonderful evaluation system, an increase in teachers choice and the ability to be turned into an ATR at any moment. Being an ATR is really the second best job in system, after mine, as ATRs have their entire borough to teach. Who else can reach so many young minds? I've worked hard with our new mayor to get a meaningful discipline system in place and hopefully metal detectors will come out soon. We all know we have the best behaved students in the world- why penalize them with rules and regulations? Also, thank goodness, there are no more vocational schools. All students will be sent to college. That youngster next to you may be taking out your heart one day. What a fabulous time we live in! Ignore the grumblings of the malcontents, who invade my buffets like a swarm of locusts, eating my quail and caviar like it grows on trees. Look to the retirees as an example. Leave the voting to them. They are older and understand the intricacies of complicated union matters. In closing, I hope you realize how lucky you are to still have a job.