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Saturday, May 17, 2014

UFT Members: Cancel COPE Contributions, NOW

VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET-How To Cancel Your COPE Contributions From Your Paychecks.


 Did you read the ATR article in the NY Teacher this month?
           What a surprise!... neither did I.

Time and again, the UFT ignores, and fails to address the disturbing issues that ATRs are faced with every day.   I refuse to pay extra money (COPE) to a union who does not support the interests of those who need it most.  
This NY Times article is a prime example of how our union leader fails to acknowledge the ATRs and sell a contract that will destroy them with expedited 3020a hearings.
           WE need to spread the word that Mulgrew 's proposed CONTRACT IS A SHAM. 

The tentative agreement between the city and the United Federation of Teachers, of which I am president, is a good deal for the students, schools and communities we serve, in addition to the teachers themselves.
It gives educators more time for professional work, training and parent engagement; it will foster idea-sharing by allowing accomplished teachers to remain teaching while extending their reach to help others.
And a new program will give educators in collaborative school communities a greater voice in decision-making and give the school an opportunity to try ideas outside the confines of the contract and Department of Education regulations.
This agreement also addresses two critical priorities for our members: making the teacher evaluation system simpler and fairer and reducing unnecessary paperwork that takes us away from our students.
It also obligates the department to provide educators in core subjects with appropriate curriculum, something which we have long fought for. In terms of treating teachers as the professionals they are, it offers a fair set of wage increases over the life of the contract.
Our previous mayor tried to make it impossible for the next administration to give educators the raises they deserve. Mayor Bloomberg failed to set aside money in the budget to pay teachers the two 4 percent raises for 2009 and 2010 that other city workers received. He also purposely drained the city’s entire labor reserve fund. Over the five long years Bloomberg refused to negotiate, the cost of paying out those raises ballooned.
By agreeing to stretch out these retroactive payments and raises, we made our members whole and at the same time won significant raises in the contract’s later years.
After years of fighting off bad ideas from so-called “education reformers,” we have, in this contract, turned the tables by enabling teacher-led innovations in our schools.
Working in partnership with Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Farina, we now have the opportunity to rebuild our city’s school system with educators – not bureaucrats or consultants – in the driver’s seat.
Our agreement is the product of a shared belief that it is our school communities that must be the agents of change.

Carmen Farina Has Little To Say About The Report on NYS Schools as The Most Segregated In the USA

Carmen Farina

FARINA Responds Broadly On School Segregation, With Few Hints At a Stand

Chancellor Carmen Fariña responded broadly to concerns that the city’s schools were too segregated, a theme that’s picked up steam as Saturday’s 60th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education ruling has neared.
A statement from Fariña didn’t directly address some of the issues sparked by the milestone, including whether districts are doing enough to mix schools with students based on their socioeconomic status. Nor did it respond to State Education Commissioner John King’s remarks this week that the city school system fosters segregation through selective school admissions and rigid neighborhood enrollment zones.
Fariña did say that she was ”disappointed with the findings” in a recent report finding New York State to have the most segregated schools in the country. And she said the Department of Education supported “integrated, culturally-rich environments” for children to learn.
But she offered few hints about what her position is on the issues raised by King and whether there are any plans to address them.
Here’s the complete statement:
“As we mark the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown vs. the Board of Education ruling, we are disappointed with the findings of the recent UCLA report on segregation in our schools. With a multicultural student body that is 40% Latino, 29% black, 15% Asian, and 15% white, we celebrate the incredible diversity in our schools, and support integrated, culturally-rich environments in which all of our students learn from one another and grow together. We recognize that for our students to achieve success, we must close the achievement gap, not just for high school graduation but for entry into college and careers. This is what we at the Department of Education are committed to delivering.”
UFT President Mike Mulgrew, NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio, NYC Chancellor Carmen Farina

New analysis shows New York state has the country’s most segregated schools

New York’s schools are the nation’s most segregated, largely due to school segregation in New York City, according to a new analysis of federal education data that rekindles the longstanding debate over whether creating school diversity should be an explicit goal of the city’s school system.
Though 60 percent of white and Asian students in New York City in 2010-11 attended schools that the researchers call “multiracial,” only 25 percent of black and Latino students did, according to the report from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA.

The report also shows that between 1989 and 2010, the percentage of black and Latino students attending “intensely segregated” schools increased. In 2010-11, 85 percent of the city’s black students attended schools where white students made up 10 percent or less of the student population, up from 78 percent in the 1989-90 school year. Latino students also attended those intensely segregated schools in greater numbers than before: three quarters of them did in 2010-11, up from 66 percent in 1989-90.
While the report includes new data from the 2010-11 school year, its findings about the makeup of city schools aren’t new. Two years ago, the New York Times found that more than half of city schools are 90 percent black or Hispanic—the “intensely segregated” threshold. And another recent Civil Rights Project analysis showed that New York City was one of themost segregated cities for black students.
Researcher Gary Orfield said the numbers illustrate how desegregation has receded as an explicit goal of school districts and city governments. He also took special aim at New York City’s school choice policies as “exacerbating racial isolation.”
“If you don’t have an intention to create diverse schools, they rarely happen,” Orfield said.
Other experts have said that it’s more important to improve the quality of individual schools than to ensure each school has a racial and or socioeconomic mix. The Department of Education’s efforts to boost student performance under Mayor Bloomberg centered on creating new schools, improving other schools individually, and giving students and parents more choices about which schools to attend.
More recently, Chancellor Carmen Fariña indicated that she was supportive of individual schools’ efforts to draw students from different areas to create more diverse schools, like is happening at P.S. 133, but she hasn’t talked about larger enrollment policy changes. De Blasio has also said little about whether he want to see changes to enrollment policies, though he has expressed concern about the relative homogeneity of the city’s nine specialized high schools.
Expanding early education and lengthening the middle school day have been the primary engines he has said the city is using to address the socioeconomic and racial achievement gap.
“When students can integrate the experiences of others into their own personal development, we celebrate. We believe in diverse classrooms in which students interact and grow through personal relationships with those of different backgrounds,” Department of Education spokesman Devon Puglia said in response to the report.
The racial makeup of the city schools has also changed over the period examined in the report. White students make up just 14 percent of the city’s students overall, down from 25 percent in 1989-90, and black students now make up almost 30 percent, down from almost 37 percent. Meanwhile, the proportion of Latino students has jumped significantly, from 29 percent to 40 percent, as has the proportion of Asian students, from almost 9 percent to 15 percent of students.
In Brooklyn’s District 13, a task force has been developing ways for schools to maintain diversity as those proportions change in neighborhoods like Fort Greene. Using weighted student lotteries that would give preference to certain students is a form of “controlled choice,” which the report’s authors say is necessary to make the city’s choice system more equitable.
There are a number of challenges to those efforts, though. One is that they are more easily accomplished in districts like 13, with a racial and socioeconomic mix that doesn’t exist in some parts of the city. The Civil Rights Project’s report notes that white students make up 10 percent or less of students in 19 of the city’s 32 school districts. (That includes District 13, though its residential population is more mixed.)
The report also attributes some of the increase in segregation to the city’s charter schools, many of which often operate in low-income neighborhoods that are among the city’s least diverse. But charter advocates point out that those schools were created explicitly to serve low-income students and are often bound to accept students from specific geographic areas.
“Talk about damned if you do and damned if you don’t,” said James Merriman, CEO of the New York City Charter School Center. He said that charter schools that open in mixed-income neighborhoods are often accused of “abandoning their mission” to serve students in low-income areas.
“And when they do serve children in low income areas — neighborhoods which are historically segregated and which have district lines that charters must honor and that were drawn in some instances precisely to segregate,” he added, “they are accused of being too narrow in focus.”

NY State Education Commissioner Praises NYC Chancellor Carmen Farina For Her Support of Professional Development on Common Core

John King touts Fariña’s focus on teacher training

John King, visiting Brooklyn's Pathways in Technology Early College High School in 2012
A couple days after reprising his criticism of New York City’s enrollment policies, State Education Commissioner John King had nicer things to say about school system’s new boss, Chancellor Carmen Fariña.
Fariña’s efforts for boost professional development for teachers earned praise from King, who said the extra training was a missing piece from implementation of the Common Core learning standards.
“I’ve been pleased that Chancellor Fariña has expressed a strong commitment to, not only the Common Core, but the professional development for teachers that will help to ensure its success,” King said today on the Brian Lehrer Show.
In her first five months on the job, Fariña has revived the Department of Education’s office of professional development and launched a program that encourages principals to share best practices at their respective schools. And next year the city plans to give teachers more training time during the school day, which King had repeatedly advocated for in recent months.
The remarks were King’s latest in a spate of public appearances leading up to Saturday’s 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown vs. Board of Education decision. He mostly stayed on message about what he thought was needed to end persistent educational inequalities, including a need to raise learning standards through the Common Core.
Critics have argued King has moved too quickly by basing high-stakes tests on the standards. This week, King likened the criticism to rejecting values that were enshrined in the 1954 Supreme Court case, which ruled that educational segregation was unconstitutional and compelled public schools to integrate along race and other demographic lines.
Brian Lehrer pushed back against that comparison on Friday, saying that some of the same groups that have criticized the state’s Common Core policies have a long history of civil rights activism.
“Are you saying that opponents of the Common Core approach, which includes some real campaigners for social justice, are racist?” Lehrer asked.
“I’m saying that the notion that there are some kids who just can’t be prepared for success after high school is wrong and inconsistent with American values,” King responded, referring to low number of black and Latino students who graduate ill-prepared for college-level coursework.
Lehrer also asked King to clarify his criticism of New York City’s enrollment policies, which the commissioner singled out in a speech on Thursday. In the speech, King said district and neighborhood zoning lines had created stark racial and socioeconomic disparities between schools situated just a few blocks away.
Lehrer pointed out research that found a large part of the reason New York City’s school system is so segregated is because of charter schools, which predominantly serve low-income black and Hispanic students.
King, a former managing director of Uncommon Charter Schools, said it was “a legitimate concern,” but played down the sector’s role because it serves “a very small percentage of students.” He also said their commitment to serve students living in low-income neighborhoods should be shared by more schools.
One caller identified herself as a parent from P.S. 282 in Park Slope, a elementary school that serves a large share of low-income students and is often seen as an example of disparities caused the city’s enrollment policies.
Instead of integration policies, the parent wanted to talk about the Common Core. She said the real problem is the curriculum that many low-income schools in New York City were using to adopt the standards.
Common Core criticism, she said, is “really against the very poor Common Core curriculum that was pushed by the DOE on schools and primarily taken by poorer schools.”
King reiterated a need for schools to do more professional development for teachers so that they’re aligning their lessons to the standards, which require students to read more non-fiction text and refer to it often in their work.
And King said the state could also be doing more to support districts.
“We’ve got to highlight examples of great practice [and] try to help people replicate those,” he said.

The UFT Bargains Away 3020-a Procedural Due Process: The Cases of Helen Hickey and Rachel Cohn (Court of Appeals, 2011)

From Betsy Combier:

In light of the fact that teachers are now voting on a new contract, perhaps a review of the cases of Helen Hickey and Rachel Cohn is timely. The UFT bargained away important procedural due process rights available under Education Law 3020-a. See below, the Court of Appeals ruled that:

"...with respect to the placement of written materials in tenured teachers' files, that petitioners' union was well aware that, by adopting the CBA provision, it was agreeing to substitute that procedure for other due process procedures that had previously been in place. Therefore, there was ample basis to conclude that the union knowingly waived the procedural rights granted in section 3020-a in that limited arena."


"Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it."
-- Edmund Burke
In the Matter of Helen Hickey, Appellant, v New York City Department of Education, Respondent. In the Matter of Rachel Cohn, Appellant, v Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York et al., Respondents.

No. 101, No.102


17 N.Y.3d 729; 952 N.E.2d 993; 929 N.Y.S.2d 1; 2011 N.Y. LEXIS 1339; 2011 NY Slip Op 4541

April 28, 2011, Argued
June 2, 2011, Decided

PRIOR HISTORY: Appeal, in the first above-entitled proceeding, by permission of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the First Judicial Department, from an order of that Court, entered June 3, 2010. The Appellate Division (1) reversed, on the law, a judgment of the Supreme Court, New York County (Sheila Abdus-Salaam, J.), entered in a proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78, which had directed expungement of a letter from petitioner's personnel file, (2) denied the petition, and (3) dismissed the proceeding. The following question was certified by the Appellate Division: "Was the order of this Court, which reversed the [judgment] of the Supreme Court, properly made?"

Appeal, in the second above-entitled proceeding, by permission of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the First Judicial Department, from an order of that Court, entered June 3, 2010. The Appellate Division (1) reversed, on the law, a judgment of the Supreme Court, New York County (Carol R. Edmead, J.; op 2009 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4104, 2009 NY Slip Op 30090[U]), entered in a proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78, which had directed expungement of a disciplinary letter from petitioner's personnel file, (2) denied the petition, and (3) dismissed the proceeding. The following question was certified by the Appellate Division: "Was the order of this Court, which reversed the [judgment] of the Supreme Court, properly made?"

Matter of Hickey v New York City Dept. of Educ., 74 AD3d 458, 903 NYS2d 362, 2010 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4619 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep't, 2010), affirmed. 
Matter of Cohn v Board of Educ. of the City School Dist. of the City of N.Y., 74 AD3d 457, 901 NYS2d 640, 2010 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4624 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep't, 2010), affirmed. 

DISPOSITION: In Each Case: Order affirmed, with costs, and certified question not answered upon the ground that it is unnecessary, in a memorandum.

CORE TERMS: teacher, disciplinary, personnel files, collective bargaining agreement, written reprimands, tenured teachers', placement, waived, reprimand, written materials, significantly different, rights granted, school district, incompatible, discipline, negotiated, federation, alternate, knowingly, signature, expunged, agreeing, replace, purview, ample, arena


Schools -- Teachers -- Waiver of Statutory Dispute Resolution Procedure

Petitioner teachers were not entitled to have "letters of reprimand" expunged from their personnel files on the ground that respondent board of education failed to follow the disciplinary procedures set forth in Education Law § 3020-a, since petitioners' union waived those procedures and agreed to replace them with alternate disciplinary procedures contained in a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) as authorized by Education Law § 3020 (4) (a). The broad CBA provision clearly encompassed written reprimands, and the disciplinary letters at issue fell within its purview. Comparison of the statute and the CBA provision revealed that the procedure in the CBA was significantly different than, and incompatible with, the procedure in section 3020-a, meaning that the parties to the contract could not have intended both procedures to simultaneously apply. Their history of collective bargaining indicated, with respect to the placement of written materials in tenured teachers' files, that petitioners' union was well aware that, by adopting the CBA provision, it was agreeing to substitute that procedure for other due process procedures that had previously been in place. Therefore, there was ample basis to conclude that the union knowingly waived the procedural rights granted in section 3020-a in that limited arena.

COUNSEL: Richard M. Krinsky, Brooklyn, for appellant in the first above-entitled proceeding.

Sherry B. Bokser, New York City, Richard E. Casagrande, Ariana A. Gambella and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP, for appellant in the second above-entitled proceeding.

Michael A. CardozoCorporation Counsel, New York City (Dona B. Morris and Francis F. Caputo of counsel), for respondents in the first and second above-entitled proceedings.

JUDGES: Chief Judge Lippman and Judges Ciparick, Graffeo, Read, Smith, Pigott and Jones concur.