SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: The Best Argument Ever Against Francesco Portelos and UFT Solidarity

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Best Argument Ever Against Francesco Portelos and UFT Solidarity

It is not very often, I would say extremely rare if at all (maybe I had done it once or twice), that
someone left a comment on a post and I made a blog post of it.

It's happening today. Today, on the blog post, "The False Prophecy of UFT Solidarity and Francesco Portelos," left such a lucid, well thought out raison d'être why under any circumstances Portelos and UFT Solidarity should not, and cannot, win the upcoming UFT election, it left The Crack Team in tears which all culminated in a manly and emotional group hug.

The jumping of the UFT Solidarity ship, except for the few ardent, hardcore, mindless drones, will be epic following the UFT elections.

The following has been slightly altered, though not a word was changed.

Any vote for Francisco Portelos is at best a wasted vote since he is unable to gather the momentum to win any election. There is however, a worse case scenario for casting any vote his way. 

Portelos has demonstrated an inability to provide a vision other than one rooted in anger and confrontation. He draws support and resonates with some of the most disgruntled and psychologically unbalanced individuals. As these people serve his ego of being their champion he has created dissonance with those you do not support him through internet attacks of defamation and disparagement laying a large swath of collateral damage. 

 In fact, I would argue that the individuals damaged by his tactics represent a larger population than those he served. Furthermore, Portelos has alienated parents, administrators, and moderate educators with his tweets,blogs and verbalizations. He is the perfect fodder for the growing anti-union sentiment than exist today. He will create a self destructive energy that is counter productive to any sustainable UFT message.

Think of Portelos this way. He is blinded by his anger and ego like a raging bull. And as he charges the red cape in all his fury he has failed to see the sword in the Matadors other hand.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thank you for your consideration of my post and its prominent display in your blog. I would also like to add another very concerning item that UFT members should consider.

Portelos is skilled with digital bullying. He has and will continue to use any available information to find those individuals not agreeing with the "offer no quarter" strategy to the point he has provided IP addresses to individuals who were attacking the legitimately elected Union Officials of the school as a way to intimidate and bully them for not supporting a lost cause of those few he supported (which would have wasted the memberships money on legal bills) as explained to the Union by their attorney.

He does not believe in or honor democracy when it does not serve his purpose. If you vote for him you are putting your own members in harms way. That is not Democracy but rather Dictatorship. I would argue Evil Dictatorship at that.

Anonymous said...

A lot of people really have it in for Portellos. I am well read in the blogosphere. I am aware of his attacks on fellow teachers as well as his threats to sue them. However, I think you underestimate his followers. Yes, Solidarity folks are angy. They are angry at everything that has been thrown at them from the DOE for the past decade. Although Solidarity can't win, at least they seem like the only caucus that is trying to make a hardcore push to restore rights to our profession. I am not a fan of their tactics or temperment but I do give them credit for being very open about where they stand and what they would like to accomplish. Anyway, just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

It is fine to make a statement, but what you really need is change. Portelos can not do that for you. His tactics have no strategic vision and in my estimation will backfire and make things worse. That fact is already a conversation in other blogs. You can not rely on antagonism. You must articulate a vision.

"Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat"
-Sun Tzu-

Betsy Combier said...

Francesco's pattern and practice is to make up some terrible deed by the person who is the target of his or anyone else's dislike, then justify his lie by putting the lie out on whatever website or blog will take it and post it, in the hope that someone will say he stopped the person and therefore is a great advocate.
This technique in my opinion is improper and sounds like blackmail and/or extortion rather than advocacy.

Anonymous said...

What an astounding comment from well read in blogosphere anonomous 8AM - you are aware of Porty's attacks on fellow teachers who don't agree with him yet seem to excuse his actions against fellow union members. How do you restore rights to a profession when the very guy you are supporting engages in bullying antics that take away rights? How pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Anno 8am here. I do not excuse or condone his actions at all. As mentioned in my post, I am not a fan of his tactics or temperament. All I was saying is that Solidarity's union platform is 100% in tune with what many teachers are looking for in the UFT. They want a militant stance against the DOE. Teachers are looking for a Pat Lynch type of union leader that will pull no punches in negotiations. Once again, as I mentioned in my post, I DO NOT agree with the way Solidarity conducts their business but their platform is something that I agree with. As much as I like their platform, I will not be voting for them due to the actions that they commit against their fellow union members. A solid platform of beliefs is one thing, but suing fellow teachers and going on email witch hunts negates how I would otherwise vote for Solidarity. It is a shame that they operate in such a way as I do in fact like their stance. So, call me pathetic or call me what you will but I hope this clarifies my stance.

Anonymous said...

Anno8 makes an important point. While Portelos may resonate with many members his tactics are too distasteful and his strategy is nonexistent. Additionally, as seen with Anno232's reaction (I am betting Anno232 was a Portelos target once) Portelos creates such a wave of anger that there is a ripple effect of anger onto undeserving targets. He is a merchant of anger and the collateral damage he creates is an important reason as to why he is ultimately a destructive force to the UFT.

Anonymous said...

Former colleagues at his school saw the horror unfold in the war between an awful administration and Portelos. People outside the school applauded his fight against the administration and the DOE. What these people are not aware of is his assaults against any colleagues he saw as not willing to line up with him. As people now know if you are not with him you are against him and that makes you a target even if you just don't want to be involved. He became as guilty as the administration in creating a climate of fear and division in the school which at one point was fairly united against an incompetent administration. Some were more afraid of the administration and others were more afraid of what he would do to them including dragging them into court. A cyberbully and a bully if he didn't get what he wanted. Talk to some of the former colleagues who remain anonymous due to fear of what he would do. A leader brings people together not divides them. For too long excuses were made for his behavior due to being damaged by the actions of the DOE and administration.

Anonymous said...

To anon who says: "All I was saying is that Solidarity's union platform is 100% in tune with what many teachers are looking for in the UFT. They want a militant stance against the DOE. Teachers are looking for a Pat Lynch type of union leader that will pull no punches in negotiations."

You think most teachers are looking for Pat Lynch? Maybe in your world. Do you see that in the last 12 years there was a massive turnover of the teaching staff? Your picture of a teacher is very different from the reality in many schools, especially the elementary schools. Check the demographics of schools in Manhattan and the Bronx and in wide areas of Brooklyn. I would bet you are from Queens or Staten Island or Queens. There is a rest of the city. The mostly younger teachers would be horrified at a Patrick Lynch. The only hope to challenge Unity is to get to these people. See how many will be running with Solidarity and compare that to the people running with MORE and see the future. MORE is not in this for the short game which is a dead end. Think strategically man. The Patrick Lynch fans will never do very much and even if Solidarity captures a good slice of that vote they cannot win and then they do what for the next 3 years waiting for the next election? Ranting and raving forever? Half of those voters will be retired by then. If you want to beat Unity one day you have to capture these people who are making this a career. People in early or mid-career, not people dying to leave and praying for retirement. Appealing to this crowd is a dead end.

Anonymous said...

Anno1025 makes great points and presents a great initial strategy. This is a long haul issue and MORE needs to plan for that. In order to get the Solidarity votes try to understand the Portelos appeal as well as his weaknesses. To understand him and his support base I present the following:

http://www.highconflictinstitute.com/who-are-high-conflict-people

Find the Solidarity people in the margins and where you can develop a common vision with them and MORE. Illustrate who Portelos is at the core but do so respectfully. They don't know that they are negative advocates. To call them out harshly only encourages them to retrench. Do it in his camp, in his tweets/blogs/etc.

It is OK that they know what you are doing. Be upfront.

Anonymous said...

Anno 8:00 back here yet again. As a matter of fact, I am a Bronx elementary teacher. I have been teaching for over 15 years for the DOE. Once again, I said that I AM NOT voting for Solidarity. However, I stand by my statement that many teachers are in fact looking for a Pat Lynch type of union leader who will pull no punches in negotiations with the DOE. Pat was recently re-elected by a large margin of votes from the PBA and he has the trust of his members who know that he has them in his best interest. Take a look at the protests that he staged in front of the arbitrators house recently. He stirs up the pot and that is what is most needed right now, especially with the looming Supreme Court case that is about to drop an anvil on all public sector unions. However, I agree that the key is to get young teachers involved. I personally got the majority of my staff at my school to vote for Julie C. in the last UFT election. I also have news for you: not all young teachers are clueless. They are pissed at what is happening to them from the DOE and how little the UFT actually helps them on a day to day basis. If the Solidarity folks toned down their attacks on fellow teachers and stopped being so controlling, they could be a respectable force to be reckoned with. As for me, I am going to vote for Jia and the MORE ticket and will be spreading the word to my fellow teachers.

Anonymous said...

Solidarity can not tone down with Portelos at the helm. If they did they couldn't be trusted with him as he violated too many people and shown too much self absorption. Start the dialogue with Solidarity members willing without Portelos and create a sustainable proactive vision.

Anonymous said...

What Solidarity members? Every one of them pledge allegiance before engaging in dialogue. Imagine if his highness discovered they were talking without his consent. Dolls with pins would show up on their windshields. They admire someone who inspires fear - that is what they say they want - HIS FIERCENESS - except that they don't care if his fellow teachers are more afraid than the UFT or DOE who laugh out loud at the mention of his name.

Anonymous said...

Portelos's lack of impulse control, low emotional intelligence and petulance coupled with his overuse of guerrilla tactics creates an image of Solidarity as tantrumming children. It de-professionalizes the broader UFT message and yes makes him and his group a laughing stock, albeit a dangerous one.

Jia presents a more assertive professional image so if civil disobedience becomes necessary it would be used more judiciously and have a greater impact. You might not convert Portelos's core support as they probably get a rush from being the bully's minions, but those in the margin can still be saved.

Anonymous said...

I have actually witnessed people go to Portelos only to realize the error of their ways with time and experience. There are other accounts in the blogosphere of defectors from the Solidarity group. The number will grow with a focused comparison between Portelos and Jia. There is still time before the election. Moreover, the election is a secret ballot. Portelos will only get the results and will not know who to blame. Unless of course, if he only gets one vote.

Anonymous said...

I just read on Facebook that Portelos challenged Mulgrew and Jia to a debate. According to the post, neither Mulgrew or MORE responded to participate in the debate. Anybody have any thoughts or insights on this?

Anonymous said...

The desire to create a forum to espouse powerful promises to people desperate for change and identify a target of blame is required to embark upon a campaign of intimidation and organized discrimination.

While that sounds alike like Portelos it is actually an historical description of Hitler. I think Mulgrew and Jia have learned more from history class than Portelos and Solidarity.

Bronx Teacher said...

Seventeen comments and Goodwin's Law has kicked in with regards to Portelos. Hey I've been guilty of it on these pages as well, but I would rather not anyone go that route with Portelos. Now, on the other hand comparing Portelos to Trump is much more accurate and a hell of a lot funnier.

But if we are to compare Portelos to anyone I think a fair comparison would be Charles Manson, of course without any of the residual violence. Basically UFT Solidarity is the Portelos Family.

Think about it. A vast majority, as well as most ardent, of Portelos Family members are female as were the membership of the Manson Family. Without naming names we can probably pinpoint which Portelos Family members are the equivalent to Squeaky Fromme, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houten.

Not to forget the male members, but there is a Tex Watson amongst the Portelos Family.

But what is need is for some to emerge from the Portelos Family and be today's Linda Kasabian.

Anonymous said...

I pity Portelos....he is absolutely pathetic and should honestly consider leaving the field of education......it is no longer his focus if it ever was. I would never waste a vote on him or his caucus.

Anonymous said...

Hitler, Manson or Trump? The only real difference is how far they took the persecution and how much damage they were able to achieve. Is that Goodwin's Law?

As Frued said... Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Anonymous said...

Portelos is not a threat to either Jia or Mulgrew. He blusters about and splinters away a few votes. When his distraction is over the UFT can get on to the real business. It is too bad that Solidarity supporters are willing to waste their voice thinking Portelos can deliver or is even truly interested in helping them. And it is unfortunate that he was able to violate the rights and sensibilities of so many people along the way.

QueensSpedTeach said...

If he is not a threat then they should debate him and prove it.

Anonymous said...

Even if you don't like Portelos, I think that a debate would be an awesome sight. The debate would bring up the cold facts of what is currently wrong with the way Unity has been running things. It would also give Jia a chance to share the MORE platform and possibly swing over some voters.

David Suker said...

Why not attach a name to your anonymous posts? That's the height of hypocrisy.

David Suker

Anonymous said...

Francesco Portelos does not stand a chance in any election. That is not at issue here. What is at issue is how long the UFT membership will tolerate the Portelos brand of purposeful misinformation, bombastic rhetoric, and divisive actions for his self promotion. Sure he won a few skirmishes (i.e., Linda Hill) that he can place in his trophy case but he was way too willing to sacrifice other teachers for that gain. DOE at its core is too well defended for a Portelos style battle of attrition and no one deserves to be his sacrificial lamb. In fact, the UFT message will require parents (what parent would want their child in a class of angry Portelosites?) and taxpayers (Portelos tactics fuel the anti-union sentiments in them) to break through the current state. The UFT needs greater coalitions than just itself (Portelos's divisive tactics make consensus building impossible and he has already created irreparable damage) in order to restore the faith in the most honorable of professions. Celebrate the quiet professionals that work tirelessly each day for the city's children and hand Portelos a humiliating defeat. Then he will be removed from the dialogue for good and the debates can take place with the real candidates.

Anonymous said...

I don't think David Sulker has been reading about Francesco Portelos and his reputation for using character assassinations. I do not think the anoymous posts are hipocrisy as much as self-preservation.

Anonymous said...

To David: Most peopole do not attach a name to their anno blog comments. It is not the height of hypocricy. Secondly, in this day and age where everyone has an agenda and the means to personally attack others and cause damage to their careers, it is best to post as anno. Lastly, if you might think I am a Solidarity stooge or secret plant, you are wrong. I posted up three times on this link and mentioned that I am not voting for Solidarity. No need for the paranoia. The blog world is where people can all share opnions even if they differ.

Anonymous said...

Solidarity and Portelos are not running against Mulgrew and Unity but against MORE where Porty felt he was cast out and wants revenge. Everyone knows Mulgrew will not debate. So what this is about is to try find ways to steal votes from MORE which is the only way Solidarity can look legitimate. Jia Lee is running against Mulgrew not Portelos and she will debate Mulgrew if he ever comes out from behind his wall. In 2013 MORE challenged Mulgrew to a debate and never had a response. It seems MORE is not going to waste time chasing a phantom debate. Solidarity, if it wants a debate, should first get Mulgrew to agree. I believe there is an election committee with all caucuses represented. Did Solidarity raise the issue there which is a proper venue? It was a staged event. MORE has made clear it will never respond to any message from Solidarity due to the major breaches in trust on the part of Porty when it did so.

Solidarity and MORE are also not on the ballot until they get petitions signed and handed in in about 6 weeks. The process of recruiting candidates and getting their petitions signed forces a caucus to get itself organized for a campaign. MORE and Solidarity should focus on getting on the ballot.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anno850. I learned so much from your post today. Portelos is running against MORE based upon a personal vendetta (no surprise here). Therefore, the more people learn about the Portelos self destruction factor the greater the likelihood of having them choose MORE as the legitimate change agent who has the best chance to compete against Unity.

Anonymous said...

Would it not be helpful, in this regard, if Jia would accept Solidarity's invitation to debate?
>>>The number will grow with a focused comparison between Portelos and Jia.>>>>
I can't figure that one out at all. If Portelos is so horrible, so evil, so manipulative, so lacking in substance, so egotistical... why on EARTH.... wouldn't MORE ( and Unity , for that matter ) be eager to take the stage and expose him?
Something's not adding up here.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. Did Portelos want to debate Jia or Mulgrew? You give yourself away with this comment. This is all about Portelos against MORE instead of Unity. The people in Solidarity are allowing themselves to be used in the Porty vendetta because he couldn't get his way in MORE. Unity and Mulgrew are an afterthought. Porty will pull votes from the general opposition pool. If he gets enough to keep MORE off the Executive Board in the high schools he can be responsible for giving Unity even more control. But I can tell you that will make him very happy and will be the victory he hungers for. Anyone who votes Solidarity if they are a high school teacher is casting a vote for Unity.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I never thought about it that way. So people caught up in the Portelos spell of anger are not just wasting a vote, they are actually voting for the opposition to the change Portelos tries to promise them? That is pretty much the description of self-destruction.

Anonymous said...

When I am teaching a class of especially rambunctious students, I never accept the challenge of debate with the most disruptive one. I find planned ignoring works much better for me to get my instructional points across to as much of the rest of the class as I can.

Portelos wants (actually is desperate for) the debate. He is becoming inconsequential and that is the most difficult blow to his ego. He doesn't desire to stand on a stage next to Jia.

Anonymous said...

Other than the high schools a vote for Porty doesn't amount to much. He might siphon enough high school votes to give Unity entire control of the executive board but he and Solidarity clones will find a way to blame MORE for something or other. Of course with even Solidarity types giving up on claiming they can win what do they do after the election? If they pull enough votes to look viable maybe they can keep hope alive until the next election which since most of them are keyboard warriors should not be very hard.

Bronx Teacher said...

Just in case some have missed it, but I have resurrected my Internet radio show and Jia will be the first guest this Thursday night at 9:30 PM. Listen live here;

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/nyceducationhour/2016/02/05/jia-lee-more-caucus-cadidate-for-uft-president

Anonymous said...

I too have watched Francesco Portelos try to destroy a school while feeding his ego. Just recently a small group of teachers disillusioned with the administration enlisted Mr. Portelos for help. The result was an internet disparagement of administration, all teacher aides, untenured teachers, brand new hires and any teacher being successful with kids. Today only one of those teachers remains and this teacher is shunned by nearly every other staff member as they watch over their shoulder wondering if the teacher is going to take a statement out of context to ruin a career.

Jai Lee should not debate Francesco Portelos to expose his character flaws as suggested earlier (he does that fine all by himself). It is precisely because of those character flaws that she should avoid him.

Nothing can be gained from inviting Francesco Portelos into a dialogue.

I look forward to your radio show.

Anonymous said...

Know for sure that once Friedrich would go the wrong way Francesco Portelos' constituency will bail on the UFT en masse.
Hence, an actual fringe benefit of an anti-union decision.

Anonymous said...

Easy for you to say. They terminated your ass.
Muzzled, yes, but at least I've still got a pension-building job.

Anonymous said...

People are getting pretty sick of Portelos' and Solidarity's tactics. An ATR that was at my school last month said that his people sent political messages through DOE email.
Needless to say, he was not all comfortable with that.

Anonymous said...

7:22 again

ATRs have enough issues not to have to worry about repercussions from his ATRA cult thru DOE mail.

Anonymous said...

Bluster against enemies? Threats of suits against critics? Strirring the flock against critics?
We've got Porty as President of the USA. What a horror.