Regents Fight over Details – Ratings based on test scores must go!

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the March 2015 UFT Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: May 2015 Leaflet

The Board of Regents is discussing implementation of the new NYS law on evaluation. Merryl Tisch, Chancellor of the Board, and Cuomo’s co-author of this anti-teacher legislation, is being forced by the other Regents to backpedal on many details.

New Action supports attempts to lessen the impact of this bad system.

But using student test scores to rate teachers is plain wrong. At last month’s Delegate Assembly we amended the leadership’s resolution to drop UFT support of test scores to rate teachers.

Now we need to lead a fight to dump the law.


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    Harris L.

    What in God’s name took you so long to convince your Unity partners to do something so obviously necessary and important?

    • jd2718

      You are confusing running together in an election 3 years ago (which we did) with jointly deciding policy (which we don’t).

      We’ve opposed Unity on testing for years.

      We understand that at least one MORE representative mocked us for making the amendment (which, while years late, passed at the DA) instead of opposing the resolution in toto (which would have felt good, and accomplished nothing)

      • Avatar
        Harris L.

        I have always believed that what happens in DAs is all “sound and fury signifying nothing” because no teacher I ever worked with even knew there was such a thing as a delegate assembly or that things called “resos” were brought before it to be adopted, mocked, passed, revised or rejected. DAs and “resos” have absolutely no meaning for real teachers and, when I was a member of MORE (which I no longer am) I marveled at the time and energy that was put into preparing for battle in a DA over things that mattered in principle but which generally affected no real teacher working in Soundview, Canarsie or Washington Heights. I heard all the arguments about the possibility that a UNITY CL might somehow be “persuaded” about the rightfulness of MORE or God on a particular issue or that the presence of opposition members of the DA had an osmotic effect on the doings or not-doings of the UFT

        You’ll have to excuse a person, even one who has some knowledge about the internal dynamics and machinations of internal UNITY politics, for not immediately grasping the fine distinction between “running together” and “deciding policy.” I understand it technically, of course, but it makes little difference beyond semantics. NA made a deal, it got some seats on the Executive Board and is occasionally allowed to change a few words in a resolution.

        I know I can read the NA manifesto and the UNITY manifesto and the MORE manifesto and the Solidarity manifesto to try to understand the points where each differs from the other, but “running together” does imply, to any of the few teachers who care and the fewer who actually vote, that NA doesn’t have any real problem with UNITY and the way that it has turned the UFT and DA into some version of the Soviet Politboro.

        Your response actually reeks of cynicism to me: look folks, it was convenient for us to “run with” UNITY but we don’t really believe any of the policy that the caucus we “run with” espouses.

  • jd2718

    To most teachers who are just trying to get by much of this probably does seem esoteric, irrelevant. But there is a minority, a significant minority, who have decided that things must change. And to those teachers, these teachers, DAs and Exec Boards and resolutions are important. And these differences in approach and style seem important.

    We work (worked) with people who have decades trying to move our union… and in the short run it can take on the look of repeatedly banging heads into doors… But in the longer view, there have been changes. The same union that led a strike against community control of schools almost 40 years led a march against stop and frisk 3 years ago. It was opposition that moved the UFT from a pro war to anti-war stance in Viet Nam. Some of the people in my caucus (and probably some in your former caucus) were part of that. My caucus initiated the grassroots campaign that led the UFT to divest from apartheid South Africa.

    Today the UFT leadership is caught up in school reform, deep. And it looks like nothing anybody does can move them. But some of us fight, anyhow. And we probably look nutty or fringe-y. So be it. And we spend a lot of time figuring out how to best effect change, given that the cards are stacked against us. And New Action chose a different path than your former caucus, but it was a conscious choice, given forces and conditions going into the election, how best to move things forward.

    What took us so long to move them? Idk. I’m still amazed that they let that pass. And cynical? No, just a different approach.

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