Commentary on the UFT Bogus "It's DOE Mismanagement" Campaign and Tonight's PR PEP Rally

    UPDATED (see last paragraphs): 11am.

    It ain't over 'till its over could be the theme of tonight's PEP meeting at Brooklyn Tech, which will be covered live by NY1. People pretty much assume that with the mayor controlling the majority of PEP votes and even some borough reps joining in, there is no way to reverse the vote. Thus I find it interesting that the UFT, the enablers of mayoral control, is urging people to go to the meeting to protest (respectfully).

    Then what? The UFT will tell people you put up a good fight but there is nothing we can do. And they are right - from their capabilities. But as our rally on Jan. 21 at Bloomberg's house (ignored by the UFT) indicated, there are people who will not give up the fight. And groups like GEM and CAPE are leading the way.

    Yesterday, the Bronx UFT held another poorly organized event at the Bronx courthouse. The had less people than we had at Bloomberg's. How pathetic. Tonight there will be a big turnout, not because of the UFT but because teachers, parents and students at 20 closing schools see it as their last chance to effect a change. Maybe the pressure will cause a few Bloomberg PEP members to waver a bit. But I doubt it. They have no interest in children.

    The UFT will make hay of the photo-op and claim: "See, we tried" before folding up its tent. Oh, we will see more events for PR purposes. There is an election to get through and they have to make sure no ICE-TJC candidates slip through onto the executive board to raise sticky questions.

    In this video of my speech at the Jamaica HS closing school hearing on Jan. 7, I address the issues of privatization and discuss how the UFT claims that the closing schools are a result of mismanagement is bogus. In fact, BloomKlein and the privatizers are very adept at managing the undermining of public education. The true mismanager is the UFT, which has been their handmaiden.

    Could tonight's PEP vote to endorse the closing of the schools and to extend the PAVE charter school be pretty much a fait accompli if the UFT had used every ounce of its energy to stop mayoral control in its tracks? I don't only mean the renewal this summer, but the original implementation back in 2002. Could they close schools so easily and dump the teachers out (the real reason for the closings) if the 2005 contract had not ended the seniority system? Could they undermine the public schools so easily if the UFT had taken a firm stand opposing charters and had not in fact opened its own charters in public school buildings?

    I make the point in the speech that this privatization movement is occurring in urban centers all over the nation. Does anyone believe the UFT is not aware of this? Certainly they are. As far back as the day Weingarten came out for mayoral control in May 2001, I put an article by George Schmidt on the Chicago debacle on the table of every single UFT Executive Board member at the meeting that night. Ed Notes from that point on and ICE beginning with its formation in Nov. 2003 and GEM from its formation last year have consistently pointed to this national attack. But the UFT chooses to intentionally keep the membership uninformed and tries to make it look like it is Joel Klein's mismanagement and not part of a national movement by the privatizers.

    What can be their motives to intentionally mislead the membership? I have my ideas, but I'll leave it to the readers to come up with your own ideas.



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Commentary on the UFT Bogus "It's DOE Mismanagement" Campaign and Tonight's PR PEP Rally


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