I am very happy that the UFT won its arbitration case against the NYCDOE over the turnaround firings.
Still, I feel unsettled.
We have seen the UFT "win" rulings over school closures before, then fail to follow up their "victories" by ensuring that the schools the NYCDOE had targeted for closure are given the support they need.
Ultimately this is only a UFT "victory" if the union leadership decides to a) force the DOE to provide the appropriate support and resources needed for staff and students at these schools and b) fights the NYCDOE every step of the way if and when they try and sabotage these schools and the teachers working in them.
One final thing: this is still a "loss" if the UFT agrees to a system-wide teacher evaluation system that enshrines dozens of "local assessments" all throughout the year as part of the "local" portion of the Cuomo evaluation system.
Remember, the reason Bloomberg targeted these schools in the first place was because the UFT wouldn't give him everything he wanted on the evaluation system late last calendar year.
If the UFT decides to cave on that fight and allows the NYCDOE to put some onerous and odious evaluation system that requires dozens of "local assessments" into place on top of the new state tests that are coming as part of the Common Core jive, then this will be a short-lived UFT "victory," since many of the teachers at these schools will end up fired with "I" ratings in a couple of years.
As will many of the rest of us.
That's what this fight has always been about and I wish I could say that I have confidence that the UFT leadership isn't about to win this battle over the turnaround firings and still lose the entire war over the evaluations.
But eleven years as a UFT member has taught me to never underestimate the UFT's ability to sell members down the river and pull defeat from the jaws of victory - time after time after time.