Tuesday, January 10, 2017
I've noticed a lot of indignation concerning the new observations for NYC teachers that require 4 instead of the defaulted 2 observations that many districts are using. This was agreed upon by the UFT. Many are rightly upset that there was no input from the membership at large or at least an open discussion. As our paid and elected representatives, the UFT is within its rights to do what they preceive is best for us. I believe as the political climate is in such flux, (and the UFT/AFT have made so many teacher shattering mistakes), that it would have been in their best interest to make the appearance of inclusivity. That said, I believe they made the right choice. If an administrator loves or hates you, he or she can make or break you very easily with one or two observations. It's a moot point if you're favored, but if you're not, then the items that you have been targeted for and are allegedly remiss in, have to be rectified. The more observations you have, the more chances you have to prove yourself and the more difficult it becomes for that administrator - especially if he or she has a large staff. I would argue it should be more than four, especially for those who are targeted and want a fighting chance.
There has of late been many small snippets of unfavorable news stories on the UFT, Mayor deBlasio, and schools.http://nypost.com/2017/01/08/teachers-union-president-wed-staffer-following-sex-scandal/ http://nypost.com/2017/01/09/boom-times-for-the-teachers-union-even-as-more-schools-fail/ Some of them are salacious and paint the UFT and Mulgrew in a very unfavorable light. We have to see them for what they are - an attempt to get you to stop supporting the UFT - when the time comes that dues become optional. Don't fall for it. I don't have much respect for Mulgrew and I have none whatsoever for Weingarten, but I will never opt out of paying dues. Just like the teachers that voted for Trump, it would be harakiri. That said, the UFT has to change if it is to survive. Matters of great import to the rank and file should not be decided, in what oft times appears a flip of a coin. When such a matter is decided upon, there should a consensus - a full explanation of all ramifications and informational letters and/or meetings of explanations.
I also want to say we need to support Mayor deBlasio. I have major problems with many of his educational policies - but he is a stop gap for what Trump will shortly be sending our way. I don't believe deBlasio is fully aware of many of the problems with our schools and the people ruining them. He needs to clean house. This would go along way in quelling the dissention and disenfranchisement many of us feel.