Cuomo and Union Elites Meet Secretly- Now What?

These meetings apparently aren’t as secret as the ones that secured double pensions for NYSUT officers, however the NY Daily News reported yesterday that NYSUT’s Karen Magee and the UFT’s Michael “Take my Common Core and I’ll punch you in the face!” Mulgrew have quietly met with aides for Governor Cuomo recently.

Via the Daily News…

Shortly after unveiling ads last week attacking Gov. Cuomo’s education plans, the heads of the city and state teacher unions met with aides to the governor, the Daily News has learned.

City teachers union President Michael Mulgrew and New York State United Teachers President Karen Magee attended the meeting on Friday at the state Capitol.

Sources say the unions during the meeting may have agreed to temporarily pull their attack ads, leaving some insiders to question whether the sides are trying to hammer out some type of agreement on how to move forward.


Today the New York Post reported that the unions are not, in fact, pulling the ads…

The union leaders said the talks were not unusual and insisted they were not pulling back on their TV ads and social-media outreach attacking the governor’s proposals to strengthen teacher evaluations, streamline disciplinary hearings and expand charter schools.

“We talk to elected officials all the time,” said UFT spokeswoman Alison Gendar. “We . . . are engaged in the largest grass-roots campaign in recent memory to empower teachers and to protect our students.”

NYSUT rep Carl Korn added its campaign is “accelerating.”

Over at the Perdido Street School blog, Reality-Based Educator has several good posts up already on this topic.  Be sure to head on over and check them out.

Norm Scott of Ed Notes Online warns that a sellout is coming

Sources say the unions during the meeting may have agreed to temporarily pull their attack ads…
This goes into the category of Mulgrew “threatening” to go to court to enforce the CFE lawsuit over state funding that was “won” 10 years ago. Threatening. Why not wait another 10 years to go to court?
Cuomo puts outrageous demands on the table and the unions put nothing on the table. So they negotiate from where Cuomo started and even if they split the baby — 4 year tenure instead of 5? 35% based on eval instead of 50%? It is  – as Fearless Forecaster often says — a LOSS.

There is a lot to process here.  One publication says the ads may be pulled as part of a deal.  Another publication quotes a NYSUT spokesperson saying that the campaign against Cuomo is being accelerated.  I don’t honestly believe that the ad campaign is being pulled.  I think that even NYSUT and UFT officials know they can’t do that.  They have to at least continue to give the appearance that they are fighting for their members.  Pulling the ads now would be virtually impossible for them to do.  Particularly since it is certain that doing so would only ramp up the anti-Cuomo actions that are being planned and carried out around the state by the rank and file NYSUT members.  Nothing would make NYSUT leadership look as out of touch with the rank and file as calling off a fight while it’s dues paying members ratchet up the intensity of theirs.  Cuomo surely knows this too.

What I think will ultimately happen is that NYSUT will continue to run it’s ads and use it’s #InviteCuomo and #AllKidsNeed hashtags while behind closed doors our surrender is negotiated.  We will end up with an APPR agreement that continues to erode tenure and is worse than what we currently have.  Because it will be somewhat less damaging than the one Cuomo proposed in his budget NYSUT and the UFT will claim “victory!”  Of course a “victory” in which every teacher, student, and community in the state loses out on will ring as the hollowest of “victories.”

This all may very well end up as what  Arthur Goldstein heard a few weeks back.  That an APPR deal was likely done and that it would either raise test scores to 40% of teacher evaluations or give the entire state the awful deal that the city teachers have dealt with for the past couple of years.  Arthur also outlined the likely spin coming from NYSUT and the UFT, that by holding Cuomo off of 50% this is some how a “victory” for our teachers. Via NYC Educator

I don’t have a lot of time right now, but several sources I trust tell me there is already a deal in place for a new APPR plan. They think it will either be a 40% junk science plan, or that it may be a statewide model based on the NYC plan. The NYC plan, while we in NYC don’t much like it, is a better one than those in a few upstate cities that were poorly negotiated. It is not nearly as good as those many small locals came up with.

An agreement could actually still be made to make an NYC-style evaluation statewide, which Mulgrew alluded to at the last DA, or 40% statewide junk science. In either of these scenarios, UFT/ NYSUT could argue that Cuomo wanted 50% and we kept it down to 40.

All of this makes one thing crystal clear.  The one and only weapon left to fight back corporate education deform in New York State is the refusal movement.  Here in Comsewogue last year, where we had in excess of 60% of our students who refused to take the grades 3-8 assessments, very few teachers received growth scores from the state because not enough of their students took the exams.  The message is simple.  If you deprive the APPR machine of the data it needs, the entire evaluation scheme breaks.  It is the last remaining weapon at our disposal and it is the one thing that every New York State teacher should be picking up.

1 Comments on “Cuomo and Union Elites Meet Secretly- Now What?”

  1. Pingback: NYSUT’s Favorite Local President | The official website of the PJSTA

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