Archive for July, 2013

Coping with the new teacher evaluation

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the June 2013 UFT Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: Leaflet 2013 June

Coping with the new teacher evaluation

The system is here, like it or not. We are immediately faced with complexities: school-based committee to choose local measures, organizing 30 hours of PD next year, advising members on observation options, teaching members about professional conferences, domains, components, artifacts. Soon we will need to learn about how ratings are calculated, how test scores trump all, and the consequences for Ineffective Ratings, and, critically, for Developing Ratings.

Our Chapter Leaders need concrete information so we can properly participate in implementation, and assist our members. We need to know what to do if our principals don’t adhere to the rules. We need a central hotline for questions.

There will be time to point fingers. There will be time to write puff pieces. That time is not now. Now is the time to figure out how to protect our members and their rights.


Resolution on UFT Elections

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the May 2013 UFT Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: Leaflet 2013 June

Resolution on UFT Elections

Only 18% of our in-service members voted this Spring. We should all be concerned. At the June 3, 2013 exec board meeting New Action introduced a resolution to form a committee to study this and make recommendations. It was amended, and passed, and is before you today:

WHEREAS, in the recently concluded UFT citywide election the total in-service vote dropped by a total vote of 11,434 which represents a decrease of 12% from the 2004 election; and

WHEREAS, the UFT made several efforts to increase membership involvement in the election, including Robo calls and emails to members for the first time, District Representatives working with CL’s to increase the vote; be it

RESOLVED, that the Election Committee conduct a study of the reasons affecting low voter participation and issue a report to the President, Executive Board and Delegate Assembly with recommendations.

… and an amendment

The original resolution called for a new committee with equal representation for the three caucuses that participated in the election. The amended resolution calls instead for the election committee to do the work, since that body already exists. But the election committee only has one member from New Action, and one from MORE. Issues of fairness and representation should lead us to amend the resolved to read:

Election Committee, expanded to include at least 2 members of each caucus, conduct….


Post-Victory Demonstrations

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the May 2013 UFT Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: Leaflet 2013 May

Post-Victory Demonstrations

UFT and CTU election results in New York City and Chicago gave landslide victories to Michael Mulgrew and Karen Lewis. Mulgrew won with nearly 86% of the vote. Lewis won with 80%. The reelected Ms. Lewis called for three days of demonstrations against 54 closing schools. Those demonstrations have been all over the news, capturing our imaginations. Our own President called for support for a MLC demonstration demanding contracts for New York City public employees.

New Action/UFT has called for actions at the school level before the end of school. In fact, we have been calling for “Days of Solidarity” to be held at schools on an ongoing basis. The extremely low turnout in our own UFT election (18% of active members voted) proves to us that our membership must be mobilized, involved and this can only be accomplished by activating the base—our rank and file. While we call for all-out support for the June 12 rally, New Action calls for regular mobilizations at our 1,700 schools. Until that happens we will continue to witness increasing demoralization and increasing detachment from seeing our union as a relevant, invigorating, active force.


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July 2013