Monday, February 20, 2017

Without Jia Lee Stronger Together is Weaker Apart (UPDATED 2/22/17)

UPDATED 2/22/17: The views expressed in this blog post are mine and mine alone. At no time did anyone from MORE or any other union member ask me nor attempt to coerce me into writing this blog post. 

One more thing. The kitten on the left represents ALL teacher union members across New York State.

The beginning of this month we shared on these pages that NYSUT VP Andy Palotta will be running for NYSUT president as the Unity candidate against  Michael Lillis, presidential candidate for the Stronger Together caucus.

Recently, both Arthur Goldstein on his NYC Educator Blog and James Eterno on ICEUFT Blog have both queried why ST does not have any UFT members on their slate.

Arthur writes;
"When I realized that Stronger Together was running four people against five, I saw an instant solution to my problem, which is that they have no UFT representation whatsoever. They could run Jia Lee, who bravely faced an uphill battle against Michael Mulgrew last year. They could run James Eterno, who got the majority of high school votes for High School Vice President, but who isn't VP because UFT Unity rigged elections....
And James;
"I'm not happy that ST didn't agree to support any of us UFT dissidents for NYSUT office, particularly since some of us joined ST when it formed back in 2014. Arthur Goldstein (Chapter Leader Francis Lewis High School in Queens) ran for Executive VP back then against Pallotta."
Now while I have the utmost of respect for both Arthur and James I have to agree with Arthur and truly believe that MORE UFT presidential candidate Jia Lee should have been on the slate for ST. Mind you that the ST slate only has four candidates whilst normally there are five.

Why is Jia not on the slate? 

Jia not only has a great reputation throughout NYC, but across the state and nationwide. Jia has testified before the United States Senate, has close ties with the anti-establishment locals, close relationships with New York State legislators, Badass Teachers, and just as importantly, received 20% of the vote in the 2016 UFT elections. No small feat when going against the entrenched machine of Unity. And let's not forget what Jia has brought to not only the Opt-Out Movement in NYC, but just about everywhere.

Yes, unseating and winning the NYSUT elections is a tall order for anyone not backed by Unity. The 2017 RA is on Unity's home turf at the Hilton in Manhattan and we all know how anyone associated with Unity will vote. But why not give those who are against Unity an outside chance?

There are some indisputable facts in the upcoming election that we must heed. NYC, Yonkers, Albany and Rochester will vote Unity. That's a given. On the other hand Buffalo, Long Island, and the North Country will and should be behind ST and even more so if Jia were a part of the slate. The Southern Tier will probably be split between Unity and ST, as well as the Hudson Valley. With Jia ST will without a doubt give Unity a run for it's money. Without Jia it'll be another Unity triumph for sure.

But let's say that ST does pull it off. Then what? Without NYC representation the doors will be slammed shut in Albany and Washington DC. There will be no clout. Nada. Bupkus.

MORE in the previous election lifted ST. Where is the reciprocity from ST? Arthur however brings up an interesting question in his blog post which bears a ponder;
"Could their (ST) negative relationship with a single MORE member have led them to stereotype us?" (Hmmmm, could this be someone who does not play and work well with others?)
Whatever the reason ST did not choose a UFT member, let alone Jia, not only it is ST's loss but more importantly, and much, much worse, but a major setback for the teachers and students of New York State.


Friday, February 10, 2017

Bible Study and Mocking Students at Success Academy 1 in Harlem

Updated February 11, 2017 10:45 AM EST:
We mistakenly left the name out of SA 1 Principal Danique Loving as one of the three yenta teachers. What is updated is in red.

Earlier this afternoon The Crack Team got some compelling news from an impeccable, above reproach source concerning, how shall we say, irregularities about Success Academy that left The Crack Team just aghast and sickened.

As many of us already know, Success Academies decided yesterday that Eva's ego comes first and that their students were forced to attend school braving blizzard conditions during the children's commute to school. What better way to open a few seats and to ensure that those who do not meet Eva's demonic standards don't return. At Success, if a few struggling students get killed or maimed being in a blizzard the attitude must be "so be it." Talk about Creaming.

So back to the compelling news that came to The Crack Team. The source informed The Crack Team that at Harlem's Success Academy 1 yesterday, some students were involved in what can be called "Bible study."

The source shared that three SA teachers staff members including SA 1 principal Danique Loving  were yapping it up early this morning at about 7:15 AM, sharing what they had done yesterday when one of the teachers shared, whilst smiling and almost bragging, that some students were sitting through the readings of Bible verses during the snowy school day.

Now ordinarily we here at SBSB have no problem how one wants to conduct their religious beliefs as long as said beliefs don't infringe on anyone else's belief or non-beliefs of religion and/or deities. However, children, especially those at the near underworld fortress like Success Academy, are a captive audience and have no recourse other than to be force fed religious beliefs of someone else. Moreover, Success Academy is funded with public monies paid by John and Jane Q. Public and is therefore a public school, though a public school that limits access to the public, and falls under the US Constitution's Establishment Clause. But this is Eva. Rules and laws are meant for someone else. Never her.

But this violation, though egregious, pales in comparison to the what else the three SA yenta's were cackling about.

Apparently these three just principal Danique Loving, while the other two listened and laughed, all African-American, decided that their time at 7:15 AM was better spent mocking and deriding a young boys first name. A young boy who is a native of Africa.

How dare these "teachers" principal Danique Loving mock anyone's name! How dare these "educators" think that they are so above it all that the only way they can make themselves feel bigger and more important is to mock a defenseless child! How dare these "people" for one minute think that they are educators!

Can you imagine the shit storm that would incur if this happened at a REAL NYC public school and Eva found out about this? Oy Gevalt!

We here at SBSB immediately call for a proper investigation into these dreadful and unprofessional allegations by an independent investigator post haste. No stone should be unturned into the lack of professionalism by these three SA teachers and whomever decided to turn a snowy NYC day into Bible study.

We here at SBSB also call for the removal of SA 1 principal Danique Loving for turning a blind eye to what has transpired for mocking a students heritage and ethnic background!

The behavior at Success Academy 1 is appalling and must not be tolerated. Looking the other way is akin to accepting such behavior.
Danique Loving
Danique Loving

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

We Have Whitney Tilson to Thank for Betsy DeVos

So it is official. Betsy DeVos is the new Secretary of Education. God help us all.

I'm not shocked. Out with Duncan/King in with DeVos. It's all the same. Except the crazy God stuff that DeVos bring as well as her hatred of the LGBTQ community.

There are so many people to blame. Public education and the teaching profession have been under attack for 15 years now. Too many ignorant rich people and politicians have been doing everything they can to delegitimize us. Tell a lie enough it becomes truth.

One person I am going to put this is on is our old friend Whitney Tilson. Why Whitney? Simple, Whitney is whining about DeVos' nomination as well as Trump (YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW!)

Yeah, I know, I know. There are so many others to toss the blame at for DeVos, but Whitney just gets under everyone's skin.

Whitney was born with a silver spoon stuck up his ass and it will continue to be there for the rest of his life.

Whitney like DeVos has never attended a public school. Whitney like DeVos never sent his children to public school. Whitney like DeVos donates money to do what he can to destroy public education.

How dare Whitney complain about DeVos. Read this post from April 2010, (Of all the blog posts I've written about Whitney this stands out the most to me) almost seven years ago, in which I wrote about how Whitney completely disparaged a public school which is co-located with a charter. Whitney without any context, without any other information decided to see what he wanted to see. And lie about it as well. Kind of like our current president.

Whitney has spent years delegitimizing teachers. teachers unions, public schools, and worse, the families and communities of the NYC public schools.

Whitney can just delegitimize without offering any real solutions or worse, getting his hands actually dirty and seeing what is really happening.

Whitney just believes that everyone can just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and live in the kind of fantasy life he is safely ensconced in.

But when Whitney is whining and kvetching has he ever experienced what children and families of the South Bronx, in particular District 7, go through daily?

Whitney is Trump. Whitney is DeVos.

Whitney has no right to complain about either.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

BREAKING NEWS!! Another Challenger for NYSUT President

Last week Arthur Goldstein shared on his blog how the Stronger Together caucus Michael Lillis to run for NYSUT president whilst at the same time trying to make a deal with Unity.

Arthur is not please with ST because ST is not only keeping the UFT out but, refusing to include MORE. Arthur writes;
"My best guess right now is that Stronger Together doesn't wish to be mixed up with weirdos like us in MORE, because we are pretty much one of the last bastions of vibrant resistance to top-down unionism. Being mixed up with us would hurt ST's chances of a deal with Mulgrew, who didn't send us Christmas cards this year."
But there are more (no pun intended) machinations happening within NYSUT this year.

The Crack Team has learned from an extremely reliable source NYSUT that Andy Palotta, NYSUT's executive vice-president will be throwing his hat in to be the next NYSUT president.

Now you may ask, what about Karen Magee? The Crack Team's source shared that Unity has never been happy with Karen because she has not been "the puppet" they had wanted.

At press time we here at SBSB do not know if Karen is running for president. Some have said she is, while some sources have shared with The Crack Team she is not.

If she is not running, it is entirely plausible that she is being forced out, told not to run by Unity. Unity holds the cards.

Our source also shared with The Crack Team that along with Unity, the Yonkers Federation of Teachers will vote en masse for Palotta but the key to stop this so-called coronation is votes from Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse. This can be difficult.

The NYSUT RA this year is being held in Manhattan. Whom does this favor? The UFT and Yonkers. Not too far to travel for either delegation. And basically free. No reason to shell out big bucks for travel and Manhattan hotels.

We here at SBSB are sure this is going to get much more interesting.