It's teacher hunting season!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Can You Afford Not to Join the State of the Union [UFT] March 10 Meeting?

The United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew made a historic capitulation to the city, ceding the ground on evaluations, instead of challenging the flawed thinking behind them. This catastrophe sell-out will mean that Mayor Michael Bloomberg will realize his dream of eliminating half the teaching force. Members looking at Mulgrew's agreement with Mayor Michael Bloomberg are scratching their heads, asking questions, like who will decide who will be among the 13 percent of unsatisfactory ratings that get appealed? Unity clique cronies?
The UFT under the Unity caucus has pursued flawed strategies of agitating via court cases, instead of mobilizing its members or educating the public as to the realities behind education policy controversies. The UFT leadership has not countered the ideological yellow journalism or the privatizing objectives that it serves; instead it has conceded the agenda, and at times has incorporated the ideology. The result: the members are isolated, without leadership on arguments versus the ideological trends. And especially in the past two weeks, with no outlet for regular expression or action, the members are likely demoralized.

Members can act and can avoid dejection. Teachers of different viewpoints are uniting to save the union and save the profession. For, the UFT's capitulation actions jeopardize the viability of teaching as a profession beyond a two to three year stint after college.

A new blog has gone live at Check it out for regular updates and info on the State of the Union conference, photos from Fightback Friday, and beyond.
But do not merely read blogs, liking something on facebook or signing an online petition. ACT!!! Do not mourn; act to change the union: organize and mobilize.

As EdNotes online astutely wrote Monday,
*The UFT/Unity leadership's prime directive is to hold onto power at any cost.
*Understanding this basic fact is crucial for any potential opposition.
*If there were a real opposition force within the UFT to challenge Unity, the UFT would not be taking the positions it has.

The progressives' prime task ahead is to say NO to these dictates.



MARCH 10: 10 AM - 4 PM
Address: Graduate Center for Workers Education, 25 Broadway, New York, NY
1 or R trains to Rector Street, or 4 or 5 trains to Bowling Green

On February 4, over 200 people attended State of the Union – Part 1, featuring 15 workshops focusing on issues facing the UFT in the age of ed deform.

That was only the beginning.

Join us on March 10 to help plan the next steps in moving our union forward, and unite those who came together on February 4th into a common organization.

As the UFT and NYSUT agree to an evaluation system that requires 40% of evaluations to be based on state or local high stakes tests, mandates unannounced observations, and allows for an independent appeal on only 13% of first time ineffective ratings, it becomes even more urgent to discuss how we can build a movement in our union to fight for an alternative to the concessionary approach.

We are asking for a $5-$10 contribution at the door to pay for expenses incurred for this event.

Childcare available upon email request before Thursday 3/8:

For more info, find the State of the Union-Part 2 on Facebook or email

Flyer for distribution at your school: email

Here are some questions that will be discussed:

What should the organizing priorities of union activists be right now?
What are some basic points of unity that bring us together?
What strategies and tactics can achieve the change we want to see?
What is a union caucus?
How could one be democratically structured to include the diverse political and pedagogical views among our membership?
How can our rank and file chapters be more organized?

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