Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, June 26, 2015

NYSUT DeclaresThe 2015 Legislative Session A Win, Says Lots More Wins To Come Next Time

From the "What drugs are these people on?" file:

The state’s largest teachers union said in a statement Friday that while there were “significant advances” for educators this session, they’ll be back next year for more.

The bill to end this year’s legislative session included several reforms to the state’s education policy coupled with rent regulations, property tax relief, and more.

Under the new law, test questions will be disclosed and available for teachers, though there have been conflicting reports as to whether they’re allowed to discuss it with colleagues and administrators.

A committee will also be tasked with reviewing curriculum, including the Common Core learning standards. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said yesterday they’ll be looking at whether state exams are age-appropriate and if the timeline of those tests is effective.


NYSUT chalks all of these changes of up as a win for this session, but says they’re committed to easing the burden on teachers and students that comes with state-mandated policies.

“The battle for the future of public education is far from over,” NYSUT said in a statement. “In concert with parents, NYSUT will continue to oppose over-testing, press for fair evaluations and redouble our efforts to provide students and educators, from pre-k through post-grad, with the tools they need to excel.”

The final deal did not include a delay for the development of a new teacher evaluation system, meaning districts who are not able to meet the requirements by the November deadline will have to apply for a waiver.

Lawmakers also ended up ditching a proposed $100 million for struggling schools as part of the deal, an idea pitched by Governor Cuomo earlier this month. Yonkers Public Schools will still receive $25 million in aid, but the remaining $75 million was left out.

But the governor did secure more aid for private and parochial schools. The Education Investment Tax Credit (or Parental Choice in Education Act) was not included, but $250 million will go to non-public schools to cover mandates from the state.

If this year's legislative session was a win with "significant advances," I'd hate to see what a loss looks like.

Let's review:

New evaluation system imposed by the governor meant to find more teachers "ineffective" and "developing" - Cuomo said the last one wasn't getting enough of those ratings.

Under the new system, test scores count for about 50% of a teacher's rating.

There is no delay on the new evaluation system deadline - it must be in place by November.

Teachers can now talk about the Common Core tests - but only after they have already been released to the public. 

NYSED has to put together a rubber stamp committee to review the Common Core standards - since the new NYSED commissioner is a huge fan, you can bet they won't find much wrong with them.

Cuomo had promised $100 million for "struggling" public schools north of NYC but instead came in with $250 million for private and parochial schools.

The charter cap was raised and charter schools can now save 15% of their slots for family members of employees and/or employees of the charter management organizations.

And of course none of the new evaluation changes count for charter schools - the new system only counts for public schools.

These are the "significant advances" NYSUT touts today.

Whatever they're smoking, it must be strong stuff because they're delusional about the "significant advances" and "wins" this session.

As usual, everything in AFT/UFT/NYSUT-land is a "win."

But this year was no win - it was a rout.


  1. i got 2 calls from the uft tonight, 212 number. I wonder if anyone else did or what these calls may be in reference to?

    1. Probably a victory lap, robocalling to let you know how the legislative session scraped the skies it was so good...

  2. I've now had enough. This is more outrageous than Cuomo's actions against us and our profession (those were ALL predictable and he broadcast his intentions pretty clearly). This is exactly why we have lost and will continue to lose. The white-blood cells against the Cuomo's and the reformers have always been, at bottom, the unions...most specifically NYSUT. For the last many years, the fight they have put up has been so abysmal, half-assed, half-baked, behind the curve, intellectually shallow, and ethically bankrupt that we can now be labeled, without stretching things, a profession and union in decline. Historically bad stuff. Now this. Here is why this is so angering....let me try to be very clear:


    That NYSUT could proclaim this legislative session a success is so far beyond insulting to membership that, in my eyes, it marks a moment where significant action must be taken. At this point, and from here forward, NYSUT is actually part of the problem. Membership has to openly revolt. Not reform. REVOLT.
    Within the past year I have seen teachers physically, emotionally, and psychologically damaged as a result of our professions' political losses. I have seen some of the most competent and gifted teachers talk openly about leaving the profession that they have dedicated their lives to. I have seen my colleagues and friends begin the process of accepting a much altered and probably deminished financial and professional future for themselves and their families. I have seen the stress of the current and future insane evaluation systems bring people to breaking points. I have seen a profession in the throes of almost daily psychological trauma. AND OUR UNION LEADERSHIP DECIDED TO LABEL THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION, AND THEREBY THIS PAST YEAR A FUCKING SUCCESS!!!! THAT IS MORE INSULTING THAN ANYTHING OUR GOVERNOR HAS EVER SAID....AND BASICALLY ALL HE DOES IS INSULT TEACHERS!

    So, what to do??? Ideas anyone?? That this isn't angering people to the point of real political action against NYSUT is troubling.
    I suggest we start with contacting is all the contact info:
    Write/Call/etc. and tell them how deeply insulting their words are. Tell them that they have lost our trust. Tell them that they are now part of the problem. If HUGE AMOUNTS of people do this, maybe something can start to happen...I don't know. I have no faith in it, but my anger is at the boiling point. This is too much. I stopped VOTE COPE this year, but more needs to be done to register our displeasure. No...out wild-assed insult from those WE PAY to represent us.

  3. NYSUT continues to deny reality; it continues to be completely ineffective in representing our interests; it continues to contribute money to the campaigns of state legislators that vote against us; it continues to deny that the changes contained in the 15/16 budget to APPR and tenure are devastating; it continues to ignore that over-testing is leading to a parent driven revolt; it cannot face the fact that the ruling leaders have completely failed those of us in the classroom.

  4. Solutions? NYSUT will not change. They are fully controlled by Weingarten, Mulgrew, and UNITY, and don't let anyone tell you differently.

    But we can start with...

    A. Joining the Stronger Together teachers' state caucus. It is everything NYSUT should be.

    B. Spread the name "Bernie Sanders" far and wide. There is a major reason the main stream media is avoiding him. He is for everything the corporate/money interests, including education, are against.

    C. Continue to push the name Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu. Though the next gubernatorial election is far off. She seems the best supporter of public education. Other candidates will come in, play nice with public ed, then continue the slow privatization of it.

  5. QUESTION: When will the UFT and the DOE decide on how NYC observations will be conducted? (My understanding is there is a minimum of two observations. One by the principal and one by the "outside evaluator") Who will do the announced observation and who will do the unannounced observation? I am literally the only teacher at my school who is aware that this change is coming. These two observations can literally make or break a teacher come November.