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Friday, August 2, 2013

UFT to NYC Educator: Support Bill Thompson For Mayor...or Else

If you are a UFT member, you have no choices.


From NYC Educator:

Friday, August 02, 2013

In Which I Am Courted by the UFT

For the past few days I've been getting phone calls and emails from union reps. Apparently it is essential that I get my butt over to UFT HQ and make phone calls for Bill Thompson. They'll give me Chinese food and a Bill Thompson t-shirt.

This is probably because when Tony Avella and Grace Meng ran, I not only showed up, but also dragged a bunch of people with me. I was very excited about supporting both of them, and I was happy when both of them won. With Thompson, it was a matter of looking at all the possibilities and deeming him the only one who was remotely viable, particularly with Wiener looming, and his victory likely to enable yet another Republican mayor.

But now, with Carlos Danger hanging in Wiener's shadows (and no, that was not a pun), Bill de Blasio is resurgent. I'd always preferred de Blasio to Thompson, particularly since he didn't tell the Daily News he opposed teachers getting the pattern raise virtually all other city employees got in the last round of bargaining. Thompson did say that, unfortunately.

To further muddy the waters, this week de Blasio, having been abandoned by the UFT, his erstwhile supporter, is making noises about how he, not having our endorsement, can better negotiate with us. You might say he is a fair-weather friend, as was Thompson. Or you might say the UFT was premature in offering its endorsement. But Thompson has also flip-flopped on stop and frisk, so you might see a lot of support he'd otherwise have received going to de Blasio.

I declined to work for Thompson. The UFT rep told me if I didn't show, I'd have no right to complain about the consequences. Apparently, he felt that statement would persuade me whatever happens in the next mayoral election would be entirely in my hands. It did not. He then started to tell me how intelligent I am, and how I therefore must understand this.

He continued to tell me that this selection was the most democratic process ever. It's true Thompson was popular in every borough but Queens, which had the good sense to support John Liu, my first choice. But it's also true UFT leadership, in the form of the Executive Board, made a recommendation to the DA. It's further true that virtually everyone in the DA signed a loyalty oath to agree with whatever they're told to agree with. 

If that's democracy, then most teachers support mayoral control, value-added methods, being itinerant ATRs, school closures, and getting fired based on test scores likely to be as flawed as previous test scores.

He asked me if I thought the UFT would endorse a candidate who opposed getting teachers the raise all other city employees got. Given the UFT's previous positions, I was at a loss to answer. This is the same guy who got in front of my staff and promised that the union was very smart, and that the evaluation system would come with the contract and raise for which they'd been waiting years. 

In a real democracy, people say whatever they like, and vote freely without facing the (gasp!) possibility of being shut out from future AFT and NYSUT conventions at fancy hotels. It may be good if Thompson is elected, depending on which Thompson takes the oath. I would probably go and make calls for him if de Blasio were not resurgent. But right now I'm not all that enthused. And if the UFT wants reasons, they need only look at the 82% of teachers who don't bother to vote in union elections.

I vote every chance I get. But I do understand cynicism, and I don't like veiled threats, shallow flattery, empty promises, or being bullied or browbeaten to do things for which I have limited enthusiasm. This is particularly true about people who've sorely disappointed me in the past.

PS 29 Principal is In Trouble

Teachers and parents call for removal of College Point principal at PS 29

State Sen. Tony Avella and staffers rallied to urge the city to replace Principal Jennifer Jones-Rogers. Opponents claim the principal harasses and humiliates teachers.

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 Parent Marisol Chavez and her son Lukas Chavez, 9, call for the removal of Principal Jennifer Jones-Rogers from Public School 29 in College Point. Staff and teachers said that she bullies them.

Angry teachers and parents are demanding the city fire a College Point principal they claim harasses and humiliates staffers.

About two dozen people — including teachers and state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) — rallied outside Public School 29 Thursday to complain that Principal Jennifer Jones-Rogers is so abusive that 25 of 45 teachers have left or been forced out since she took the helm in 2010.

“She is very abusive to staff and students,” said a teacher who declined to give her name due to fear of retribution. “She scolds you in front of people and publicly humiliates you.”

The teacher said staffers who get on the principal’s bad side are subject to increased classroom observations and are often written up for minor violations.

And struggling students are wrongly placed in special education classes, teachers said. The goal is to boost the school’s coffers — and test scores.

Parent Marisol Chavez, 42, of College Point, said Jones—Rogers told her that her son was going to be placed in a class for struggling students last year — but the fourth-grader was instead enrolled in special ed.

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) joined the parents and teachers in calling for the principal’s firing.
“I was very upset,” she said. “I felt betrayed.”

Jones-Rogers and the Department of Education did not immediately comment.

The school received a B grade on its last city report card. But PS 29 received a C mark from parents, teachers and students on the environment of the school.

Teachers also complained that PS 29’s library was turned into a drama room — and many classes are using outdated curriculums and don’t have textbooks.

“We find old textbooks are make a million photocopies,” said one staffer, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution. “Children are not reading and writing on grade level.”

Second-grade teacher Stephanie Flunory gave her principal a failing grade:

“She has created a learning and working environment that is detrimental to all,” said Flunory. “We deserve better leadership.”

Anthony Weiner's Barbara Morgan - From the DOE to Eva Moscowitz To Anthony, Quite a Job History

Anthony Weiner and Barbara Morgan

NYC Supervisor: Barbara Morgan is getting what she deserves
I said "Ms. Morgan you work for the DOE what the hell are you doing here defending [Moskwitz]?! She steals money from our public schools by opening non-unionized charter schools which profit off our kids." ... NYC Principal

This just in from a school principal in response to our Weiner press chief Barbara 
Morgan post (Unflappable Weiner Press Spokesperson Barbara Morgan Flaps)
 I was happy to see her get her comeuppance. She is an arrogant, mouthpiece for the neo-liberal deformers (and perverts) she represents.
She got upset that they say she had a thin resume? She never did anything of substance but talk the party line whatever the marching orders – Klein, Cerf, Weiner...

I met her at a rally against Moskowitz. 

I asked Moskowitz:

"How do you justify paying yourself half a million dollars a year to run 3 schools when I am a principal and don't make that and when my sup't has dozens of schools and only makes 170,000?" 

Eva just made a bored annoyed face and then Barbara Morgan who was observing everything runs over, jumps in and says "I will answer that!! She does not take a pension like you and the sup't so it is just another way of looking at compensation." 

I asked her "Why are you answering for her? Who are you?"

She says "I am Barbara Morgan. I work for the DOE Press Office." 

That really pissed me off as I was there as part of a Community Rally AGAINST the unwanted $ucce$$ Charter vultures.

I said "Ms. Morgan you work for the DOE what the hell are you doing here defending her?! She steals money from our public schools by opening non unionized charter schools which profit off our kids."

Look at this crowd-

FROM THIS COMMUNITY, not the twenty folks bussed in from harlem by Eva Moskowitz - 


The parents are against it, the unions are against it and most importantly the CEC is against it. 

I asked Ms Moskowitz a question and you jump to her defense. 

Why would you do that as a n employee of the DOE? Are you here as an apologist for $UCCE$$ ? If so it shows a serious bias in favor of Charter schools over Public Schools which we have been alleging all along. You should be speaking up for me as a NYC PUBLIC SCHOOL principal not this corporate raider/privateer.

Ms Moskowitz walked off during this exchange as she knew full well the City was merely holding the Mandated Community hearing and that the City's decision was predetermined... 

When she was gone Ms Morgan changed faces and says "well I understand that you are a union Rep and I respect that. I am from New Jersey and have a brother who is in a union"...

Two-faced foul-mouthed hypocrite. I don't wish ill on people. Life is too short. But when her brother can't get work or medical benefits he can thank soul-less empty-vessel spokespeople like his sister.

Posted by Norm @ ed notes online at 3:04 PM 
1 comment:
I had a VERY bizarre encounter with Barbara Morgan the day before the Carlos Danger story broke.

Anthony Weiner was loitering at our local subway station exit. I live around the corner, I thought I'd take a look. There was Anthony hanging outside of the main Carroll Street subway entrance as neighborhood folks were coming home at rush hour. It was not my intention to engage him but merely to observe. Thus, I planted myself on the corner about twenty feet away to watch.

There was essentially no interest in his presence by the folks leaving the subway during (an admittedly unbearably hot) late afternoon.

I was trying to be as unobtrusive as possible (I swear), when I was tapped on the shoulder by Barbara Morgan who called me by name - based on her recognizing me from her days with the NYC DoE. After briefly explaining she was working for Weiner, she immediately changed the subject and engaged in a spirited defense of the DoE and Chris Christie (as well as, naturally, an attack on Leonie) with no further mention of her current employer who (like I said) was just twenty feet away. I responded that in my personal experience with the DoE, I had little confidence in the Mayor's ever acting in good faith citing Bloomberg's "blowing up" of the original Teacher Evaluation agreement between Tweed and the UFT.

Morgan denied that, contrary to Ernie Logan and Commissioner King, there ever had been a 'deal'. Although she acknowledged that she herself had neither participated in nor was present at the negotiations, she cited as authority an unidentified person who had "actually been in the room" - unlike Logan or King. She then immediately told me this was "off the record" - even as I pointed out to her that this was Walcott's public version of what had transpired. She than threatened that she would "get" me if I ever disclosed this inexplicably confidential information.

At this point, I was desperately trying to exit the discussion (so help me) to no avail. In fact, she would not end the conversation until another Weiner staffer informed her that the candidate was leaving.

All in all, this was one of the strangest encounters I have ever had with a paid political staffer (in close proximity to the candidate no less). Indeed, the only thing close that I can think of was when former DC 37 Political Action Director Norm Adler lost his subsequent job with Shelly Silver after he tried to punch out a newspaper reporter several decades ago. In Norm's defense, though, the bastard had it coming.

Just thought I could add to the gossip.