Alarm bells are ringing. Cuomo and his hedge fund backers are out to destroy public education and the union of teachers that protect it. NYSUT Officers need our help to fight. Perhaps that’s because for the last year, we were the only ones fighting.
The current leadership started off in the right direction. They opposed Common Core, APPR, high-stakes tests, Cuomo, and King.
Soon after they were elected, Cuomo signed Karen, Andy P., and friends’ double pensions. It has been downhill ever since.
During the summer of 2014, the very officers that were elected to oppose Common Core took the stage and declared their love of the standards. The UFT’s Mulgrew even threatened to punch those in the face that opposed “his” standards. Not exactly what we were expecting.
Later that summer, a NYSUT spokesperson made the bizarre claim that state tests seemed fair and developmentally appropriate. We have been screaming for years that these test are designed for students to fail. How did they not relay our message?
Things appeared to be better in the fall. We applauded the officers non-endorsement of Cuomo, but they dropped the ball by failing to back a candidate of our own. They also dismissed Cuomo’s threats against teachers as election rhetoric. Unfortunately, the worst was yet to come when Randi Weingarten put out a robocall supporting Cuomo’s Lt. Gov Hochul and by default- Cuomo.
Cuomo won the election and declared war on public school teachers and their union. He even went so far as to say the union was protecting teachers convicted of sexually abusing students. NYSUT officers made few attempts to correct this potentially damaging lie. No NY teacher who has ever been convicted of such a heinous crime has been allowed to keep their job.
We have been inundated with questionable magazine covers. AFT’s latest cover is offering to restore the promise of charters at a time when charters are looking to rob public schools of funding and credibility. NYSUT’s United Magazine cover declared Cuomo has no respect for “You and Your Profession”, leaving some to question why not a more united “Us and Our Profession”?
To date, the only resistance offered by these officers has been a $1 million dollar ad dedicated to funding, a twitter campaign #inviteCuomo, a video (that did a good job identifing problems, but failed to suggest dynamic solutions) and two sparsely attended rallies-one on New Year’s Eve and another in the middle of a school day. We applauded their 2nd opt out fact sheet. It was only sent out after an all out assault on their first lackluster attempt.
It is clear that the NYSUT officers need our help. They have put our union in a difficult position. They held the door open an allowed an all out assault by testing companies, corrupt politicians, and others seeking to destroy OUR profession.
It is time for local unions to shut the door and remove the cretins from public education before they are allowed to do any more damage to our children!
If these NYSUT officers are willing to help OUR cause, we are more than willing to meet them with open arms.