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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:51 PM

Who’s Hurting NY’s Kids? Cuomo's Attack on Collective Bargaining

“Do not punish our schoolchildren for the obstructionism of the U.F.T.,”

These were the words of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, referring to Governor Cuomo’s decision to cut hundreds of millions of dollars of funding to New York schools because the city and its teachers union, United Federation of Teachers (UFT), failed to come to an agreement on teacher evaluations by the arbitrary January 17 deadline imposed by the governor.

Bloomberg is insinuating, of course, that the teachers (or their union) have caused schools to be penalized and, consequently, for children to be harmed, but it was the governor who imposed the arbitrary deadline and who holds the purse strings. It is Cuomo who is holding the students hostage until their teachers and their bosses come to an agreement. And it is their bosses in the Department of Education and Mayor Bloomberg himself who have made unreasonable demands on teachers and risked failing to meet the governor’s deadline by doing so.

There is an uglier story here, one that is being replayed across the country. New York state has been trying (and succeeding) in imposing changes to teacher evaluations so that they are based on student test scores and the UFT, like many unions (including UTLA in Los Angeles and CTU in Chicago) has been willing to accept it, even though student test scores are an unreliable measure of teaching ability (see here and here) that can result in good teachers receiving bad evaluations and bad ones slipping through the cracks. The sticking point between UFT and Mayor Bloomberg was Bloomberg’s refusal to let the deal expire at the end of 2015, even though most other state school districts had only 1-year deals (see Labor Notes).

Bottom line:

UFT is sabotaging kids by accepting any level of student test scores in their evaluations
Bloomberg is sabotaging them by making absurd demands on the teachers that are well beyond the already absurd demands being place on them by other New York districts
Cuomo is not only holding the schools hostage until the teachers buckle, but he is also shredding the teachers’ contract and undermining their right and their ability to collectively bargain with their employer, which happens to be the city of New York, not the state of New York

Modern School

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Reply Who’s Hurting NY’s Kids? Cuomo's Attack on Collective Bargaining (Original post)
Modern School Feb 2013 OP
Smarmie Doofus Feb 2013 #1
Modern School Feb 2013 #3
msongs Feb 2013 #2

Response to Modern School (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:59 PM

1. The fuss about evals is a smokescreen. They are looking for cheap labor. Period.


TPTB will use any excuse to break w. seniority and end teaching-as-career.

The public ed wars are but a skirmish in what's really a larger class war. A painful skirmish... for those who are caught up in it ( a matter of life and death for teachers, really) but ,in the grand scheme of things , merely just one theater of a much wider war.

K and R

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 09:29 PM

3. True, but there's more

Cheap labor by firing veterans
Break the union by making it easier to fire anyone
Deskill the profession (e.g., testing and test prep rather than actual teaching) to break the union and bring in cheaper, less trained labor
More money to test and textbook publishers for all the tests and related new curriculum
Further Atomize education to make kids more compliant, docile and willing to accept tedious, mindless, low paid work

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Response to Modern School (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:23 AM

2. NY dems need to quit electing closet republicans nt

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