It's teacher hunting season!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Michael Mulgrew and the present city and state emergency

Yes, it is time to appropriate language of the late 1970s/ early 1980s Cold Warriors:

We are suffering from a "present danger," "present emergency."

Let us get it straight, despite appointed United Federation of Teacher's (UFT) Michael Mulgrew' occasionally blustery delivery, Mulgrew's leadership has not been "genius."

William Thompson was far from the ideal candidate. But he is not engaged in a holy war against the teaching profession that Bloomberg/Klein have.

We are enduring a crisis, one that would look different had Mulgrew had taken a proactive position immediately from his entry into his job.
Except for the lawsuit that --for immediate period-- has saved 19 schools threatened with closure, Mulgrew's posture has been an inheritance of the Randi Weingarten posture for the union, which has been the beaten wife syndrome: don't raise your voice, don't speak out, don't oppose, just oppose the beatings, just hope that they don't get worse.

The UFT leadership needs an aggressive, broad ranging campaign that not only addresses city power forces and Albany (New York State legislature and governor), but also directly engages the public. We bloggers have all addressed the outrages of the city. We should also address the misguided path of the New York State government which will force draconian cuts upon the schools.

We need more than the cute animated TV advertisements for the UFT. We need the UFT to use its hundreds of officials to transform into a grassroot network that would go to the public on weekends or evening rush hours and inform the public of the terrible consequences of the planned cuts in funds from the state, the terrible consequences from laying off 8,500 teachers, the discriminatory inequity of the charter schools, the factual distortion of the small schools record.

Mulgrew has never spoken in this direction. James Eterno and the other activists of the Independent Community of Educators (ICE) and Teachers for a Just Contract (TJC) have already practiced much of this suggested strategy: speaking at public fora, walking at evening picket lines at schools under threat of closure.

75% failed to vote in the last UFT election. Don't let this happen. Download this ICE-TJC flier on voting.

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