Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, November 2, 2014

How Randi Weingarten And Other Union Leaders Help Andrew Cuomo Bring The "Death Penalty" To New York's Public School System

Last year, Andrew Cuomo promised to bring the "death penalty" to "failing schools."

This year, Andrew Cuomo has called the public school system a "monopoly" which he plans to "break" in his second term.

Cuomo doesn't seem to like teachers any more than he seems to like public schools.

Cuomo has promoted a punitive teacher evaluation system that superintendents in the Lower Hudson Valley have said is a disaster that needs to be changed as soon as possible as one of the best in the nation.

Last month, Cuomo said that teacher evaluation system needs to be revised because too many teachers are being rated "effective" or "highly effective" with it.

Last week, a highly-respected 17 year teaching veteran filed suit against the NYSED commissioner after she was rated "ineffective" in this system as a result of her students' test scores - even though her students' test scores were high in comparison with other students' scores around the state.

Last week, Cuomo promised to make the teacher evaluation system that rated a highly respected teacher "ineffective" even more punitive by adding "real sanctions" to it.

Last week, AFT President Randi Weingarten defended Cuomo's "monopoly" comments by saying they were "campaign rhetoric."

Cuomo made these comments twice - he doubled down after the Daily News first reported them - so the comments seem less like "campaign rhetoric," more like campaign promises.

Yet Randi was running interference for Cuomo even as she was also mounting a symbolic battle against TIME Magazine over a cover they ran about teacher tenure.

This wasn't the first time Randi Weingarten helped out her buddy Andy during the election cycle.

Back in the spring, Weingarten, along with UFT President Michael Mulgrew, engineered a putsch within the NYSUT to toss out the old NYSUT leadership when it started to show guts and take on Cuomo over issues and replace them with a more Cuomo-compliant leadership.

Also last spring, union leaders put pressure on the Working Families Party to endorse Andrew Cuomo over Fordham President Zephyr Teachout when they threatened the party with dissolution and financial ruin if Teachout were given the party's ballot line.

You can be sure the UFT was not part of that pressure on WFP without Weingarten's okay.

This September, when internal polling showed Teachout's running mate, Tim Wu, with a real shot to beat Cuomo's banker lobbyist running mate, Kathy Hochul, in the primary, Weingarten joined NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio in making robocalls for Cuomo's running mate, Hochul.

Hochul won her primary - Wu said the momentum in the campaign turned against him when the robocalls started.

This morning on Twitter, Randi Weingarten defended her defense of Andrew Cuomo's comments, saying she had criticized him and what more could she be expected to do?

Well, what she has done is quite clear - and quite helpful to Andrew Cuomo.

To reiterate:

She helped engineer a putsch against the old NYSUT leadership and helped install a new, Cuomo-compliant leadership at NYSUT.

She helped other union leaders push for a Working Families Party endorsement for Andrew Cuomo, a huge thing that meant Cuomo wouldn't have to worry about a third party candidate from the left during the general election (and multiple polls had shown Cuomo losing a lot of support if that happened.)

She made robocalls for Cuomo's bank lobbyist running mate when it looked like she might lose and helped the bankster lobbyist win her primary.

And now she defends Cuomo's plan to "break" public schools by calling the comments (which he made twice) "campaign rhetoric."

As I noted above, Cuomo has promised to bring the "death penalty" to schools he considers "failing" - and from comments he made this week, he seems to think the entire public school system around the state is failing.

When Cuomo "breaks" the school system, when he takes a sledgehammer to the public schools and gives them the "death penalty," that sledgehammer will have the fingerprints of AFT President Randi Weingarten on it.


  1. Randi is loyal to Bill Gates, Andrew Cuomo, and Barack Obama.
    Most of all, she is loyal to US$$$$$$.

    1. I think it's more than the cash, although that certainly helps. Randi likes living the comfortable life that her AFT salary and perks give her. But it's also about the attention she gets and the "power" she thinks she has.

  2. You are 100% right of course but other than voting Green on Tuesday and telling others to do the same, what else would you suggest we do?

    1. Starve Cuomo of as many votes as possible, continue to mount challenges from the left, and work as hard as we can to discredit DLCers like Cuomo and Clinton.

  3. The sledgehammer will not do too much harm to people at the top of the union - Cuomo et al needs them to manage the membership - and Unity is very competent at that - in contrast to the incompetent Unity like leadership in Chicago that fell apart, allowing CORE to take over. That is a lesson for them all. Keep Unity strong and in power. The major impact on Unity here will be the leakage of kids to charters and the loss of UFT members which some estimate to be 10,000 over the next decade, which will force the UFT to cut some of those plum staff positions - but look to Cuomo and diBlasio to supplement those staff plums with programs that allow the union to choose their people. That is the grease that keeps things humming.

    1. Prescient as always, Norm. The sell-out never seems to affect the patronage at 52 Broadway or AFT headquarters.