Past actions and policies of groups and individuals are often pretty good indications of future actions and policies, so I think it's a good idea to take a look at just how recently UFT President Michael Mulgrew and the UFT leadership were showing support for Common Core, APPR and NYSED Commissioner John King.
Let's start with Common Core.
Here's a post I wrote back on August 22, 2013 -a little more than five months ago:
Mulgrew "Frightened" By Opposition To Common CoreFrom Gotham Schools:
The opposition has alarmed many who say they continue to support the idea behind the standards, which is to teach students to think more deeply and critically, even as they have criticized the state’s implementation.
“This debate about whether Common Core is good or bad … is what frightens me,” United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew, another panelist, said this morning.
Why should a debate over Common Core frighten you, Mike?
Oh, right - I remember now.
You head the UFT, an organization which eschews debate, shuts down opposition within the ranks and otherwise works to quell anything and anybody that isn't AFT- and UFT-leadership approved.
Well, get ready for a frightful year, Mikey.
Because as teachers start to deal with Common Core lessons on top of the Danielson framework on top of 4-6 observations a year on top of evals tied to state test scores on top of evals tied to city tests and/or other locally-selected measures of teacher effectiveness, there's going to be a lot of debate within the UFT rank-and-file over the Common Core, the new Common Core tests, Danielson, APPR and all the other reforms you and your boss, Randi Weingarten, helped bring about for NYC teachers.
There is a lot of anger out there already.
Wait until the ---- hits the fan this year for many teachers in many schools and see how much more anger there is.
And a lot of that is going to get directed at you, Mikey.
After all, APPR and Common Core are your babies.
You were, God help us all, in at the conception of both.
Mulgrew was following the lead of many in the education reform movement in dealing with CCSS critics and opponents, marginalizing them as something to be "feared" and disdained.
It's that sort of statement - made just a little over five months ago - that led me to ask if a Mulgrew-controlled NYSUY would look to turn the clock back on yesterday's withdrawal of support for CCSS by the NYSUT.
Later, we'll revisit two other oldies but goodies regarding Mulgrew and his reforminess - his continued support for APPR and his happiness over John King getting tapped as the "independent arbitrator" to negotiate the APPR impasse between the UFT and the DOE back during Bloomberg's last year.
The truth is, Iannuzzi and the NYSUT leadership were involved in a lot of collaboration over the years too, but with the state union finally taking some hard stands that many rank-and-file members have been calling for, at least we're seeing a change at the state level.
Here in NYC, Mulgrew and the UFT continue to blame every problem on Bloomberg and rarely if ever mention the contributions from the SED and John King, the Regents and Merryl Tisch or Governor Cuomo in the CCSS/APPR/Endless Testing mess.
If Mulgrew and the UFT take control of NYSUT, it's reasonable to ask if they'll bring the same "moderation" in policy back to the state union.