Friday, May 27, 2016

MORE/New Action Win HS Seats on UFT Executive Board; Jia Far Ahead of Francesco

BREAKING NEWS: The ICEUFT blog reported that the seven MORE/New Action candidates for the executive board exceeded the votes for all if the Unity Caucus candidates.
For the presidential race, these figures are available: Michael Mulgrew (Unity), 39,176; Jia Lee (MORE/New Action), 10,743; Francesco Portelos (Solidarity), 1,456. This was the first time that an opposition caucus presidential candidate had broken 10,000 since 2001. And Lee's vote was 7.4 times the vote for Portelos. This is testimony to the growth of a caucus that is building at the school level, district by district, and a group that mainly organizes via online projects.
The high school vote was certainly a vindication for MORE-New Action over Solidarity. Coming into the vote, Solidarity looked ready to play the spoiler. It didn't field candidates for the at large executive board seats, but it did field many candidates at the high school level, creating the potential for a three-way split, helping Unity. Yet, MORE beat Unity and Solidarity across the board at the high school level.
In terms of turnout, perennially a problem for the UFT, which occurs by mail, instead of in the school (as happens in the Chicago Teachers Union), turnout improved for all the school division levels, including the functional sections. And compared to the last election, this time the number of active teachers voting exceeded the number of retirees voting, in contrast to what happened in 2013.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

How You Should Cast Your Ballot and Why You Should Vote for the MORE and New Action slate

Here are images of how you should cast your ballot. First, here's the one page view, presenting how you should cast your ballot.
Here's how the process in a few practical steps. Find the envelope indicating that it contains the official UFT ballot. Check off the ballot box that is marked for the MORE/New Action slate. Put the ballot in the envelope, and then put that envelope into the final envelope.
Still needing guidance? Here are some FAQs from the MORE Caucus UFT website.

When you vote for Michael Mulgrew and the Unity slate you are voting for the evaluations based on high stakes and Value Added Modeling, or VAM (rebuked by a judge last week in the Shari Lederman case). Furthermore, remember that Mulgrew has consistently supported Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his ill-minded policies. (Mulgrew took his support so far that in 2014 he threatened to defund the Working Families Party if it endorsed Zephyr Teachout for governor over Cuomo).
A major negative development under Mulgrew's tenure has been the change to the new evaluation system used at the city level. The evaluations have increased in number and have followed the absurd Danielson model. Mulgrew endorsed every worsening step of the evaluation Advance Evaluation system. He even asked for the DOE to evaluate teachers along more areas than even the DOE first sought in the negotiations.

And remember that Cuomo has supported the regressive education reform forces that led New York State education: John King and Merryl Tisch. And remember that Cuomo failed to listen to parents and educators that Common Core was an inherently flawed set of standards. (See this analysis of how Mulgrew endorsed Cuomo's New York State-level evaluation dictates.) Yet, Mulgrew has aggressively supported the standards, at one union function, threatening violence to anyone who dared to take them away. Mulgrew perpetuated the fiction that teachers had a role in writing the standards, when the truth is that no K through 12 educator wrote them.

Locally, Mulgrew has continued the Unity tradition of liking for a friendly mayoral candidate, and then failing to criticize the mistakes of that politician's policies once they are in office. Witness his continued support for mayor Bill DeBlasio whose chancellor Carmen Farina has proven to be no better than Bloomberg's chancellors. He has not challenged the DOE administration to part from the Bloomberg ways, and he has ignored the continuing problem of charter school encroachment on community schools and other district schools. By contrast, Jia Lee and the MORE caucus have challenged the administration on this enduring problem.