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UFT Endorses Bill Thompson

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Yesterday the New York City teacher's union endorsed Democrat Bill Thompson for mayor. Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers in New York, talks about the endorsement, how education issues will figure into the mayoral race, and the Bloomberg education legacy.

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Michael Mulgrew
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Comments [21]

Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Does anyone here remember the big hullabaloo about John Liu's biography when he was first running for Comptroller? Apparently, he had lied about his past. Unless that issue is resolved, it is enough to make me NOT vote for him.

Jun. 20 2013 11:21 AM
Guy from NYC

I second Neill from 10471's observation below.
I've never been impressed with Anna Sale, but it's obvious she doesn't think about her language very carefully. "Bosses" is incredibly biasing word for a reporter to use.

Jun. 20 2013 11:17 AM

ladyjay, 10:41:
"If you don't like employee unions, then you shoud have the same distain for corporate representation as well."

Oh, believe me, I most certainly do.

Jun. 20 2013 10:59 AM

I'm pro-worker and anti-corporation on principle but I don't have a very favorable impression of the UFT.

Jun. 20 2013 10:51 AM
g from staten island

We need a Mayor who will negotiate a fair contract.
We need a Mayor who wants a hardworking AND healthy workforce. "Health benefits" need to include time for your staff to be able to sleep enough, go to the gym and have a family life. You cannot require so much paperwork from teachers (that must be done after hours), that the teacher hasn't enough time for the above basic needs. Just because the contract doesn't say you work after hours, there is no way to meet the requirements of the teacher evaluations without giving most of your life to the requirements.

When the UFT negotiates its next contract it will be able to reopen the process of the (new) teacher evaluation system. It should not accept any appeal process of annual U-ratings that goes to the chancellors office--its a biased sham hearing and wastes everyone's time. All appeals should be heard by a neutral body--not just 13% that the Union can challenge (under the new system) claiming that the rating was based on harassment or discrimination. Or, else, ALL denied appeals should be eligible for arbitration. A system that essentially requires a teacher to go to court (Article 78 proceeding)to appeal a denial from the (biased) hearing, punishes the teacher again, due to the cost of having to hire an attorney . The newer evaluation system (imposed by the NYS Dep't of Education) allows for 150 hearing Arbitration slots for teachers for to challenge a U-rating on the grounds that the rules were not followed either in the evaluation or the appeals process. All U-ratings need arbitration. The new evaluations procedures are so time consuming for the principal and other administrators, that I anticipate the principal and administrators will follow the procedures for the teachers that they want to U-rate, and skimp on the procedures for other teachers--just as they have done under the current system. Who is going to force the administrators to follow ALL procedures for All teachers- or U- rate the principal?

Jun. 20 2013 10:44 AM
Geo from NYC

Seems to me there is a connection between Bloomberg's closing of so many schools and his rush to close public Libraries. I would say both policies represent theft of public property.

Jun. 20 2013 10:44 AM
Tim from NYC

I agree with both sides on various issues related to this topic. In the real working world whether you like it or not your only as good as the last task you completed, not what you did before that. While I agree that education should not be focused on passing a test solely, the fact is is that it is an incredibly important part of education that goes beyond what grade you get but how one performs under pressure. America needs to study the educational systems of other countries and get off the ethnocentric view point that ours is the best. Not one of these mayoral hopefuls has anything enlightening to say other then re-hashed talking points. Not a huge fan Of Bloomie but at least he took it on and changed things, improve on it.

Jun. 20 2013 10:42 AM
Leah from Bronx

I am a former NYCDOE teacher, and I can't claim any respect for Mr. Mulgrew. I'm also a strong union supporter, but his intelligence and values are seriously in question. To me, Mr. Mulgrew represents the worst elements of self-serving, incompetent, and apathetic educators that plague our schools, and his endorsement of a candidate is almost enough for me to write that candidate off entirely .

Jun. 20 2013 10:42 AM

I"m no fan of employee unions but I laugh when people complain about how bad unions are. Well, big corporations have representation as well - trade groups, lobbyists and hordes of corporate lawyers. If you don't like employee unions, then you shoud have the same distain for corporate representation as well.

Jun. 20 2013 10:41 AM
Guy from NYC

Those filled with irrelevant hatred and dedicated to union bashing and teacher bashing don't seem top have anything constructive to add to this debate and I wonder why the call screeners can't see that.

This bashing is in part whipped up by a few rich guys (Gates, etc.) and the reform organizations they fund. As usual in America, these unaccountable, immensely wealthy actors are not seen as "special interests." I'd like to hear what this guy has to say about the pernicious influence of private, unelected education consultancies in this administration and whether that will continue if the union has anything to say about it.

Jun. 20 2013 10:40 AM
antonio from baySide

My girlfriend and I talked about this. They are pretty shrewd, seems straight outta 'The Power Broker.'

I would have thought the influx of such a diverse population in Queens alone, they would have gone for Liu...
go Liu!

Jun. 20 2013 10:38 AM
Amy from Manhattan

So far I've only heard Mr. Mulgrew compare Mr. Thompson to Mayor Bloomberg--who isn't running. What I want to know is how he compares to the other candidates who *are* running.

Jun. 20 2013 10:36 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Well said David. It's amazing how certain posters here, go out their way to bash the most underrated profession in society.

Are there bad teachers? Of course there is. Do I think that the UTF has the best interest of its students' education at heart? Absolutely not, it's not their mission.

The UFT's mission is to ostensibly look out for the best interests of teachers, when in fact - it's to mainly lookout for themselves.

Because of poor parenting and environment, many kids barely have a shot at a good education, before they even walk through the door in the morning.

Jun. 20 2013 10:33 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Please discuss how in- or effective he was as head of the Board of Ed.

Jun. 20 2013 10:31 AM
Bobby G from East Village

Michael Mulgrew hasn't gotten the message that the era of militant unionism is over. Instead of spending millions of UFT dollars on TV commercials demonizing Mayor Bloomberg and looking for a mayoral candidate that he thinks he can roll, the UFT should take a position of cooperation to promote the interest of educating our kids and balancing the needs and limits of teachers and the taxpayers.

Jun. 20 2013 10:30 AM
Bob from SI

Why should teachers be guaranteed in their 401k a 7% return by the state legislature.
Why do teachers get credit for pension vesting while on child care leave?

Jun. 20 2013 10:28 AM

David from Fairfield - You nailed it perfectly!

Jun. 20 2013 10:13 AM
David from Fairfield CT

I’m well aware that we are living in the Age of Teacher Bashing. However, I’m not going to partake in that fallacy today. What ail our schools today is multifaceted and teaching is only one component of this three legged stool. As an objective observer, I would place teaching as about 33.3% of a child’s education. The other 66.6% are good parenting and an environment conducive to intellectual pursuit. My family’s personal story illustrates this. As sons and daughters of borderline illiterate immigrant parents growing up in the Bronx during the 1980s at the height of the crack epidemic, many outside observers viewed our future in very bleak terms. Yet my parents produced a lawyer, a doctor, a scientist and a civil engineer and not once had to bail any of us out of jail. So how did they do it? Well, they started out by instilling a sense of pride, hard work, striving for success, self-discipline, patient, respect, and yes, shame in failure. They also created an environment that was devoted exclusively to learning above everything else. Even though they could not help us with our homework pass 5th grade, they used part of their meager salaries (one a nurse’s aid the other cleaned buildings) to get us access to tutoring and the materials we needed to ensure success in school. With this support failure was not an option. We all knew by age 5 that going to college was not optional. It was expected!
With this type of support all we needed were for the teachers to guide us down the right path. The teachers were not our parents and they never could be. However, they had students who came to school to learn so they teach. They taught us algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, history, literature, science because they had willing participants and that was their main jab. It’s because of our teachers why we are where we are today. But most importantly, it is also because of our parents and the environment they raised us in. This fact seems to be lost in the debate over education today.

Jun. 20 2013 09:32 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

LOL, not union "bosses"?
BALONEY !!!!!!!!

Bloomberg News and the NY POST reported 2 weeks ago that Randi Weingarten and the national union (AFT) has used these local unions to threaten financial ruin on firms that allow their employees to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Manhattan Institute? Their crimes at the Manhattan Institute??....
....Simply recommending that public unions switch FUTURE hires to defined contribution pension plans (like the rest of the country) instead of the Cadillac defined benefit plans that are no longer sustainable and are bankrupting taxpayers.
UNION THUGS??? YOU BET!! Nothing has changed, pal.....and it ain't "all about the kids."

Jun. 20 2013 08:03 AM
john from office

The UFT should be ashamed. They forgot that they are there to teach not insure employment for criminals, rapist, idiots, and teachers who can bearly speak the English language. I have met teachers in the City who speak in slang to their students. In the 60's and 70's the public school teachers I had were well educated people who went out of their way to speak quality American English to a class of hispanic kids. Unfortunatly part of the problem is the dumbing down of teachers and the change in race and class in the teaching profession.

The teacher who raped a special education student remains on the payroll, thanks to union rules.

Jun. 20 2013 08:03 AM
Neill from 10471

At e very end of is report, Anna Sail asks whether members will follow the advice of the "union bosses." The use of that term is pejorative and harks back to the days of union corruption. in e case of the UFT, the endorsement was made by a roughly 1,000 member Delegate Assembly, not some cigar-smoking gangsters. "Boss" should not be used casually. Better to phrase the legitimate question as whether union members would follow the advice of their unions.

Jun. 20 2013 07:18 AM

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