Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Oldie But Goodie: Mulgrew "Frightened" By Opposition To Common Core

There's some debate back and forth on both the Twitter and here at Perdido Street School over why a Mike Mulgrew/UFT-controlled NYSUT might turn the clock back on yesterday's NYSUT declaration of no confidence in NYSED Commissioner John King and withdrawal of support of the Common Core State Standards.

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 Core

From 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.


  1. I think the average person outside of the UFT has no clue who Mulgrew is and what he represents. They don't understand UFT's Unity Caucus and the undemocratic nature of the way the UFT is structured. Most small locals found throughout the state are far more democratic, so people have no clue that Mulgrew doesn't actually represent the views of rank and file members. Appreciate you bringing these posts back up. You have always done a great job exposing him for what he is.

    Iannuzzi hasn't been anything wonderful over his term as NYSUT President either... and I don't spend much time tooting his horn because there isn't much to write home about, up until the last week or two. But given the choice between Iannuzzi, no longer behlden to Unity, or a Mulgrew backed slate, I will take Iannuzzi every time.

  2. The more "frightened" Mulgrew is, the more likely he's feeling a change in the direction of the political winds, and hopefully the better for rank and file teachers, for whom his leadership has been a disaster: uncritically accepting RttT, APPR, VAM and Danielson, while we're been working without a contract for almost five years.

    What a disgrace the man is...

  3. You're so correct in that the public mostly has no idea of the UFTs confederacy with the corporatists. If you read the nonsense in the Post or DN here, you'd think the teachers unions are kicking ass...well...that's not the case of course.

    Projecting this press propoganda , and Free Press collapse into the disquieting, to understate it all.

  4. There had to be some deal between Unity and Cuomo...and with Hillary running, Randi needs to be on the "in" with all Democrats. It's all about Randi and we are pawns in her game plan. If Unity controls the AFT vote, we are screwed.