Vincent W. from the Movement of Rank and File Educators rose from the room on the 19th floor (Delegate meetings are held on the 2nd floor of UFT HQ while overflow Delegates and visitors can watch on video from a room on the 19th floor) to shoot down the resolution.
Vincent's main argument is that the whole evaluation system is flawed. He pointed out to "Brother Barr" that he taught for thirteen years without the Common Core and did just fine. He then asked the UFT why their resolution did not go far enough to oppose the entire teacher evaluation system based on high stakes testing and Common Core. He closed by stating that the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) had a petition for a moratorium on the whole evaluation system. He received enthusiastic applause from more than a few Delegates.
His speech was followed by a Unity Delegate moving to close debate. The resolution carried in my opinion only because members of the ruling Unity Caucus sign a paper saying they will support the decisions of the caucus in union and public forums (the so called Unity loyalty oath). However, there was little enthusiasm for the resolution and some real dissent in the hall.
The positions of the two parties within the UFT were crystal clear at the DA: Unity-New Action support Common Core State Standards and the new teacher evaluation system so long as we have proper materials. MORE and the vast majority of the UFT members oppose Common Core, high stakes testing, Danielson observations and the entire new evaluation system and want teachers to be evaluated based on a solid research backed system that is voted on by teachers.
Clear positions between the parties.
Unity/New Action support APPR ADVANCE and Danielson.
MORE opposes APPR ADVANCE and Danielson.
The empty resolution calling for a moratorium against high stakes testing they passed yesterday is meant to make it look like they're doing something about all the problems teachers are having across the system.
But of course the resolution does nothing to address those problems, indeed, has no shot of happening under the current powers that be at NYSED and the Board of Regents.
Make no mistake, though - that they felt the need to pass the resolution means they know there are major issues with the evaluation system and they're having a difficult time threading the needle between doing the usual sell-out thing to Cuomo and Obama that they do and showing the rank and file that they're trying to protect them.
The reality is, they can't do both.
So they're continuing on with the evaluation sell-out while trying to make it look like they're doing something to mitigate the problems.
This will not fool most rank and file teachers.
Because nothing will change at the school level as a result of this resolution.
In the past, the Unity/New Action people have been able to jive and mislead over contract agreements and the like because the consequences of their sell-outs were not clear to the vast majority of teachers at the time of the sell-out (think 2005, for example.)
But the consequences of the UFT signing on Race to the Top and agreeing to have teachers evaluated by test scores and an observation rubric with 22 different competencies is quite clear to everybody and all the jive and lies (or empty resolutions) in the world will not fool people into thinking the UFT is really helping to mitigate this mess.
Unity/New Action own this crap.
An empty resolution calling for a brief moratorium against high stakes testing does not change that very simple fact.