Saturday, April 22, 2017
Our Union Leadership Ignores Vindictive Principals.
Over the last three plus years since Mayor Bill de Blasio took over as Mayor, our union leadership has played nice with the progressive Mayor. When he selected the anti-veteran educator, the disappointing Carmen Farina as Chancellor, our union President Michael (don't call me Mikey) Mulgrew said there was a new tone at Tweed. Of course, it was the same old song at the schools with frozen budgets, a "gotcha system" and the punitive Danielson Rubric in place. Worse, was the continuation of the Bloomberg policy of protecting abusive principals while going after teachers.
Remember Carmen Farina was Deputy Chancellor for Joel Klein and her claim to fame was to remove most of her veteran teachers when she was a Principal at PS 6 in Manhattan. The new Chancellor showed her true colors by retaining 80% of the Bloomberg policymakers in place rather than clean house. Moreover, when she outmaneuvered our hapless UFT leadership in the 2014 contract, she targeted veteran ATRs for termination and veteran teachers in the teacher evaluation system. She even told new teachers to stay away from those complaining veteran teachers in the teacher's room.This is the person that our UFT President was having a love affair with.
One thing that didn't change with the new Mayor and Chancellor was the union leadership's failure to go after the many terrible principals running the schools. Be it Monika Garg (trust factor 0%) of CPE1, Namita Dwarka of William Cullen Bryant High School (trust factor of 28%), or Eujin Iael Kim (trust factor 39%) of PS 169. Instead of organizing protests against these terrible principals, our union leadership lamely claims that they don't go after fellow union members. Of course, it didn't stop them from joining demonstrations against the police, also fellow union members. Instead, the union leadership claim they quietly put pressure on the DOE to replace and remove these principals. However, few members believe them and the only principals that have been removed are those subject to media scrutiny and student protests like that at Townsend Harris High School.
At least under Randi Weingarten, you had the Principals In Need Of Improvement (PINI) articles in the New York Teacher newspaper and occasional protests at schools with especially terrible school leaders. However, under Michael Mulgrew there are no union directed or supported protests or articles about the many principals that shouldn't be running their school. In fact, the actions of our union leadership suggests that they care little about the members who are subject to these principals actions. How else can one explain their inaction in the CPE1 saga or the Townsend Harris situation?
The lack of union action against these vindictive principals puts the staff, especially veteran teachers, in peril. Yet our uncaring union leadership allows these principals to run roughshod over their staff with nary a peep from the union. Do I believe our union leadership is quietly working behind the scene to get the DOE to remove these terrible principals? Well, if you believe in Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, and the Tooth fairy then you would believe the union leadership is working on doing just that. However, if you don't believe in fairy tales then the truth is our union leadership is not doing their job in advocating for the members by not confronting the DOE and the vindictive principals that are abusing their positions at the various schools they lead.