Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Why Would Michael Mulgrew Get So Violent In His Support Of Common Core?

As has been around on the blogs for awhile and surfaced in the Daily News this past week, UFT President Michael Mulgrew told AFT Convention attendees he will "punch in the face" and "push into the dirt" anyone who takes Common Core from him:

Some people have asked why Mulgrew was so animated in his speech in support of Common Core and so violent in his language describing what he would like to do to anyone who opposes Common Core.

We can't get into Mulgrew's brain and find out exactly what brought about the violent imagery in that speech, but we do know that Mulgrew and his family have stood to gain from support for education reforms in the past.

For example, the NY Post reported the following in April of 2013:

The sister of teachers-union president Michael Mulgrew is under investigation for failing to disclose she managed a company that raked in $39.6 million in public-school contracts while she was on an 11-year child-care leave from her city teaching job, The Post has learned.

Kathleen Mulgrew-Daretany, 40, was an English teacher at Lafayette HS in Brooklyn for less than five years with a $56,707 salary. She left in 2001 on maternity and child-care leave, but was allowed to remain on the Department of Education employment rolls.

She finally resigned in 2012, but the DOE rehired her this year as a $75,828-a-year “program officer.”

During her leave, Mulgrew-Daretany worked as chief operating officer for Brienza’s Academic Advantage, a Brooklyn-based company that sells teacher-training seminars and student tutoring. She is listed as COO in a Brienza’s organizational chart filed with the DOE. She left “last year,” a company official said.

DOE payments to Brienza’s rose from $5,109 in 2002 to $10.9 million in 2012, when the city received No Child Left Behind funds for after-school tutoring, officials said.

City employees are barred from holding second jobs with companies that do business with the city unless they get approval from their agency head and a waiver from the Conflict of Interest Board.
“She was required to request a conflict-of-interest clearance, but she did not seek one,’’ said DOE spokeswoman Connie Pankratz. She said Mulgrew-Daretany’s work for the vendor “was not disclosed to us.”

Pankratz said the DOE discovered the “potential conflict of interest” only after The Post asked about Mulgrew-Daretany’s work history last week. It has referred the matter to Schools Investigator Richard Condon and the conflict board, she said.

Mulgrew-Daretany, who lives in Staten Island like her union-leader brother, hung up when reached by The Post on Friday.

The possible violation came to light the same week Mike Mulgrew won a second full term as president of the United Federation of Teachers, a post he has held since 2009. Union members re-elected him with 84 percent of the vote.

The DOE grants employees child-care leaves up to the August after a kid’s fourth birthday. Mulgrew-Daretany extended her leave because she gave birth again.

She did not collect a salary or benefits during the leave. “It’s an entitlement,” Pankratz said. “You’re guaranteed that your job will still be there when you return.”

Mulgrew-Daretany’s new DOE job, which she started in January, is funded by a grant to study how schools help students prepare for college and careers, officials said.

How she got a higher-paying management position after an 11-year absence was not explained. The DOE could not say Friday whether she listed Brienza’s on her résumé.

Betsy Combier, a paralegal and blogger, said she wasn’t surprised at Mulgrew-Daretany’s cushy deal. “At the DOE, it’s not what you know, but who you know,” she said.

 The NY Post followed that April 2013 report up with this story in December 2013:

The sister of teachers-union President Michael Mulgrew was wrist-slapped Monday for operating a booming tutoring company that was awarded $40 million in work from the city while she was employed as a public-school teacher.

The overlapping gigs got Kathleen Mulgrew-Daretany a warning letter from the city Conflicts of Interest Board, after it determined that her work for Brienza’s Academic Advantage violated city conflict-of-interest rules.

While Mulgrew-Daretany was technically on an extended unpaid maternity leave from 2001 through 2012, she was still barred as a city employee from working at a firm that conducts business with the city.

Mulgrew-Daretany served as COO of the firm from 2008 to 2012, at which point she resigned from her teaching gig.

She then left Brienza’s in 2012, but the city Department of Education rehired her. She is currently an “associate education officer” with a $75,825 salary, officials said.

Officials launched a probe following inquiries by The Post about Mulgrew-Daretany’s employment.
Brienza, which also trains teachers, has raked in nearly $40 million from its work for the Department of Education since 2002.

A message left for Mulgrew-Daretany, who formerly taught at Lafayette HS in Brooklyn, wasn’t returned Monday. A UFT spokesman declined to comment.

I wrote the following on December 24, 2013 after Mulgrew's sister was slapped on the wrist for the conflict of interest:

Just how did a company that barely had any business with the city start to rake in millions of dollars after UFT President Mike Mulgrew's sister became it's COO while she was on leave from her teaching position with the DOE?

At the same time Mulgrew's sister's company is raking in the bucks, the UFT is caving left and right on teacher evaluations tied to test scores, Danielson, Common Core and all those other swell education reforms that have been used as bludgeons against teachers and schools.

Sure, maybe these two things are just coincidental, the UFT cave-in's would have happened without the Mulgrew-Daretany company raking in millions in DOE contracts.

But surely were you or I to become a COO of some tutoring company start-up, we would not rake in $40 million over our first ten years in the business.

The whole thing stinks and is just another example of how our political and union elites are nothing more than WWE wrestlers, putting on a show for us in the public ("Them's Fighting words!") while behind the scenes it's all one big pig trough of corruption and cronyism. 

Mulgrew's sister isn't the only member of the Mulgrew Family to get a pass from the DOE - Mulgrew also got one:

A lawsuit filed by a disgruntled teacher claims the powerful head of New York City's teachers union was caught having sex with a teacher in a high school wood shop. 

Andrew Ostrowsky says the United Federation of Teachers covered up the scandal to protect Mike Mulgrew, who became president in 2009, and that the union traded key concessions with New York schools officials in order to keep the alleged misconduct quiet. 

The lawsuit further claims that the teacher allegedly having sex with Mr Mulgrew, Emma Camacho-Mendez, was rewarded with a cushy union job paying her $22,000 a year, in addition to her $85,000 teaching salary.

The New York Post reports that former teachers at William E Grady High School in Brooklyn had also heard the rumors about Mr Mulgrew's tryst on a drafting table with Ms Camacho-Mendez in 2005. 

According to the lawsuit, a janitor discovered the pair having sex. New York school officials used that knowledge to 'extort' concessions from the union in exchange for the the city's silence on the matter.

In April 2013 I wrote the following about the Grady woodshed story:

Now this is the sort of tabloid story that, if Mulgrew were an ordinary teacher at, say James Madison High School, and this showed up in the papers, he would have been immediately pulled from the classroom, placed in a rubber room and maybe even fired.

Just another example of how there are two codes of justice - one for the elites and one for the rest of us.

Michael Mulgrew received the elite, kid glove treatment while the two teachers from James Madison High School received the treatment the rest of us get:

Guilty as charged unless you can prove your innocence.

I don't know if there's a connection between Mulgrew's hostility toward CCSS critics and opponents and the special treatment he and his sister received at the hands of the DOE over the Grady woodshed allegations and the conflict of interest problems.

But Mulgrew's hostility toward CCSS critics and opponents, the violent imagery he uses to describe what he wants to do to them, is disconcerting at best, disturbing at worst.

It's like he has something to lose personally if the AFT's support of Common Core goes away.

The Grady woodshed allegations and the conflict of interest issues his sister had are two examples of how Mulgrew and his family may have potentially profited from or been helped by their
support of education reform in the past - they reek of quid pro quo deals between Mulgrew and the DOE.

His violent support of Common Core has the same kind of reek around it.

And remember, the Grady woodshed allegations and the conflicts of interest in the Mulgrew Family are just two example that we know of - want to bet there are more under the cover of darkness?


  1. Is he a crook?


    Is he a incompetent slob, whose fake tough guy persona is directed against teachers, rather than their enemies?

    Without a shadow of a doubt.

    1. I would argue that he's highly competent and making sure his gravy train never derails.

      But I agree with the rest of your comment, Michael.

    2. He may be able to keep his gravy train on the rails, but I suspect not.

      I have little beyond what we already know about him - not very appetizing, at all - to base this on, but my sense is that, at some point in the future, this guy is going down: the crude and coarse persona, the macho buffoonery, the bullying of the membership, the skeletons in the closet, the clear contempt with which he's held by elected officials (after all, Bloomberg scammed him in 2009, and Cuomo uses him as an errand boy)... all suggest to me that he is not likely to complete another term as UFT President.

  2. Outstanding reporting. Keep up the good work. It appears Mulgrew is very hypocritical. He is a strong a strong supporter of Common Core but has not been in the classroom for years. As far as I know he has NEVER delivered instruction based on the Common Core If he were required to do this my guess would be his rating would not be effective. The same holds true for Randi. How can he defend these standards in a threatening way and yet never used it in the classroom. He needs to be subject to what he negotiates. His apparent fling (if true) with a married woman in his shop class shows how morally corrupt Mulgrew is.

  3. I hope something gives. Mulgrew let the city off the hook on the 4% and 4%. The raises and lump sum payments are back ended to eternity. Mulgrew was slick about this calling it retro pay but not in writing. Doesn't the membership realize they could get screwed out of thousands of dollars the way the contract is written? I hope the members wake up in the fall when they get their rating.

  4. I did not believe Mulgrew when he said the reason for the back ended raises was to retain teachers. I truly believe the closer you follow Mulgrew the more you distrust him. Unfortunately most of the membership is apathetic and does not follow our union closely. If most members did we would have new leadership. How long is it going to take the members to wake up and see that the union is not working with us. All the members have to do is look back on this past school year (and the ones before that too) to see that the working conditions are atrocious. Keep up the fantastic job on your blog and make sure the union and political leadership of New York City is held just as accountable as teachers (or even more so).

  5. The good thing about all of this is that it exposes Mulgrew as the bully that he is and not a guy who acts with regard for his members, the students they teach, or the communities they serve. I think the veil is really starting to be lifted on these "leaders" of ours and more members are seeing them for what they are. Along those lines you can see Karen Magee, the NYSUT President, shilling for the Common Core later in that same video after running this spring as being "against Common Core." The time for MORE at the city level and an opposition caucus at the state and national levels to organize and bring real unionism to our membership is rapidly approaching.

  6. Klonsky's video of Mussolini with Mulgarten's voice dubbed in is priceless. If you haven't seen it, run.

  7. I don’t support violence in any form. But I do understand why this guy got so angry. People are mostly stand against Common Core and I understand them as I am one of them. So, it makes him violently angry. At least, this is how I see this situation. I can’t wait for everyone to come to one suitable solution: if we implement CC, please, let’s make this change as smooth as possible. If we don’t, then let’s figure out how to improve our education system then.
    Ali with EssayOnlineStore Company

  8. Probably there are some of the major points discussed quite in detail and it will almost be too helping for the advocates to reply with regards to the same.