Posts Tagged 'Bill De Blasio'

New Action Proposals and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision for NYC Schools

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the September 2015 UFT Citywide Chapter Leaders Meeting).
For a printable version click: Leaflet 2015 September

In his first day back to school remarks “Equity and Excellence” Major Bill de Blasio laid out two goals for our schools and school children. First was to increase the graduation rate, which stands at 68.4%. Second was to make sure those graduates have the skills to make it to the next level. His initiative to provide free, full-day pre-kindergarten is already a major accomplishment. His commitment to work with educators and not against them is a great advance over his predecessor, Mayor Bloomberg.

He laid out six measures 1) giving educators the preparation and support they need to teach Common Core standards; 2) for teachers to work collaboratively with one another; 3) for schools to be safe and supported; 4) to make parents welcome and to open lines of communication; 5) to have school leaders with a strong vision and to open to feedback from the school community; and 6) to develop a sense of real trust throughout the school community. New Action applauds many of these goals, with the obvious exception of Common Core.

New Action would add several points to the Mayor’s list. Reduce class size. Remove the threat of being rated ineffective due to standardized test scores (See Sherri Lederman of Long Island). On trust the Mayor and Chancellor must do much more – administrators need to act collaboratively with staff – not just give feedback. Too many administrators still go after outspoken staff members, rate them unfairly, and target veteran teachers. Administrators should be held accountable for training probationers, and arbitrary discontinuances should be questioned. Schools in New York have become the most segregated in the nation – the Mayor needs to address issues of diversity. The City must also correct the sharp decline of teachers of color in NYC. We welcome much of Mayor de Blasio’s vision and sincerely hope he is receptive of several of New Action’s suggestions.

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Congratulations, after a long year

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

Congratulations to Reelected and Newly Elected Chapter Leaders!

What a big responsibility! Chapter Leaders are the backbone of our union. Take a deep breath, recharge over the summer, and let’s work together to build a stronger union and a better school system next year!

A long 2014 – 2015

This was Year 2 of the new evaluation system. In December Merryl Tisch recommended horrible changes – Cuomo took them, and tried to force them through the State budget. We tried to stop some, but he got his way on too much. We will see more changes to the evaluation system coming soon.

This year the opt-out movement became a union issue in New York State. NYSUT took a strong stance. The Delegate Assembly rejected a strong resolution, but eventually adopted an opt-out stance.

Year Two of the de Blasio and Fariña administration continued to produce friendliness at the top, but without positive change reaching the schools. We need to let them know we expect better for 2015 – 2016.

CONTRACT RATIFIED- WE CANNOT WAIT FOUR MORE YEARS!

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the June 2014 Delegate Assembly).
For a printable version click: June 2014 Leaflet Front and back

Over 90,000 UFT members voted on the new contract proposal. 77% approved it. However, there are issues in the schools not addressed by the contract. And while the new de Blasio administration’s tone is a refreshing, we have not seen change filter down to the schools.

We should work with de Blasio and Fariña to address

NOW:

  • End FSF – Stop Discriminating Against Experienced Educators
  • End Quotas and Arbitrary Rules for Extension of Probation
  • Fire the Lawyers – 200 is 200 too many

SOON:

  • Repair our Grievance Machinery
  • Review Arbitrary Discontinuances
  • Modify the Behavior of 300+ Abusive and/or Incompetent Administrators

NYC Elections

(from the New Action leaflet distributed at the September 2013 Citywide Chapter Leaders Meeting).
For a printable version click: NA/UFT Leaflet 2013 September

ELECTIONS

A few days ago New Yorkers massively repudiated Bloomberg’s legacy. New Action would have supported De Blasio, Liu or Thompson. And these anti-Bloomberg candidates won the overwhelming majority of votes. Now we need to secure victory in the general election.

After twelve years of Michael Bloomberg, Joel Klein, and then after Bloomberg won his third term Cathie Black and Dennis Walcott, students, teachers, parents, communities all look forward to a new day.

We expect things to change. We expect a new attitude at the Department of Education. We expect an up to date contract. And we need a chancellor who is an educator – and who is student/parent/teacher friendly.