SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: The UFT Let's Go of Balls Yet Again

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The UFT Let's Go of Balls Yet Again

Let me get this straight. Teachers are to report to their buildings on September 8. On September 16, teachers go home and all 1 million students start online. This of course and many other surprises were shared with us in a very personal email by UFT Presidenté Mike

Mulgrew. Blended learning starts September 21.

The teachers that report (And at press time neither Mulgrew nor the personal letter mentions if teachers with accommodations must report to buildings ) on September 8 which is 4 business, or school days away. Will all teachers go into the buildings already tested for COVID? Should they? Many colleges won't allow anyone in dorms before students are tested and the results come back.

Some schools have 300 staff members. Some have more, some have a lot less. Would any of the upper crust of the UFT go to a party with that many people? But yet it is safe for teachers and other staff? How do we know that? I'm sure that the DOE will have a report for each school, but how do we know it is honest and accurate? What this sounds like is that teachers once again with be the canaries in the cage and if a few die so be it and the DOE but save a few bucks.

What will be done for the 3 days of of total remote learning? How was 3 days selected? Is this an arbitrary number? Then to sow confusion even more, the "blended learning," will begin September 21. How? With whom?

Oh yeah, I have been hearing that the 6 days teachers are in the school buildings there will be intense PD on blended learning. I'm sure the DOE will go to the files of, "Making It Up as We Go Along." Where will such PD be done in a school building? Who can actually give the PD?

The UFT announcement said...

...The city has also agreed to a robust program of repeated random sampling and COVID-19 testing of adults and students present in schools. This new testing program is one of the major pieces that medical experts told us we needed. A blind representative sample, composed of 10% to 20% of all students and adults from every school, will be selected each month for COVID-19 testing.

OK, this is all well and shitty. But what about September 8. Nothing against my fellow teachers but how do we know there won't be any teachers who have COVID? Shouldn't all teachers be tested before they return on September 8? What about staff that is already in the buildings today? Have they been tested?If not, why haven't they?

There is plenty of time to get every single DOE employee tested in time for September 8. The UFT and DOE could've announced a joint plan to send staff for FREE to City MD or any hospital, etc... for testing and have the results back by Tuesday.

But only testing 10-20% of students and adults? Explain what this means? I am not a statistician, but how can there be accuracy of any infections, symptomatic or asymptomatic? Is the plan still for parents to take their children's temperature each and every morning? The same parents who send their kids to school with green snot running out of their noses? The same parents who send their kids to school with a 102 degree fever?

I know I've been saying that school would not open up on September 10. But this agreement is like putting lipstick on Bill De Blasio. It's still sucks. The UFT had the mayor and the DOE by the balls and they let go.

My son goes to Ithaca College, and I trusted their plan more than I did the DOE's. Classes were to begin online this week with students moving in over the course of September. Eventually, all students would be on campus by October 5 when in person, hybrid, and remote classes would begin. Students when the come to campus would be tested and isolated in their dorm room for 24 hours. If and when their roommate shows, the same for the roommate however they would be isolated in a hotel room for 24 hours. Dorms were to be restricted to only those that live in that dorm. It wasn't a perfect plan, but it had more thought put into it and I believe those who put it together were genuine. The mayor and DOE can't get their heads together to save their lives. And now it seems the UFT capitulated.

What should the UFT have agreed to?

A completely independent authority should have tested the buildings.

All data for each school, be it cleanliness, PPE stock, etc... should be posted daily on each schools DOE webpage.

Planning and PD for blended and/or remote learning should have begun in March, but at the very least the first two week of September.

All students and staff must be tested before their first day in a building.

Total remote learning beginning No later than September 28 and no earlier than September 21.

Starting October 5, bring students back in a scaffolded manner every two weeks. First grades Pre-3 to 1st, 2nd to 4th, 5th to 6th, 7th to 8th, and lastly all high school students. This would have been safe and with much, much less chaos. But I keep getting this feeling that DeB and Carranza are trying to placate the parents of the UWS and Brooklyn.

As for the UFT. Dang, you had them by the balls. You really did. The UFT should have gone to court first. I am not a lawyer, but I do not see how the DOE would have prevailed in court. A strike is messy. With a strike, especially now, it would be difficult to keep others united and from crossing the picket line. But that is a story for another blog post.

I don't know if Solidarity's cause of seeking injunctive relief is moot now. That's a question better left for super lawyer Bryan Glass. I'd like to see it go forward. However, it might create a shit storm. One can't hep but question the timing of the announcement today and the fact Solidarity filed today.

Word of advice to the UFT. Next time you have a mayor and/or the chancellor by the proverbial scrotal sac, don't let go. In fact, hold them and give a good squeeze every now and then to let those whose scrotum you're holding that you are still there and mean business.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps with delayed opening...this will give more time to go remote fully. Long Island and some Westchester districts are being nuttier with their plans.. they will be in school already with potential catastrophes

And btw most suburban districts have shitty ventilation and you can not open windows but they are sending kids back

Pete Zucker said...

Hopefully with the delayed start it’ll get more parents to see the light. Mulgrew mentioned yesterday that Judy over 40% have opted out. Let’s hope by Sept 21 those numbers are at least 60%

Anonymous said...

This was a deal not made by teachers. It was done behind our backs. This is a disgrace. Mulgrew sold us out. It is a shitty deal.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone, who isn’t on the UFT’s tit, happy with Mulgrew? The UFT is supposed to be a union, not some type of dystopian dictatorship with a horny bald despot.

Anonymous said...

Westchester districts have much more insane plans for their teachers right now.

Pete Zucker said...

@6:44 Just listing the cities in Westchester.

Mt Vernon: Instruction begins Sept 10. Remote learning entire month, hybrid come October

New Rochelle: Classes begin Sept 10 Through at least September. Officials will then consider hybrid

Peekskill: School begins September 3 all virtual through Sept 18 Hybrid begins Sept 18 Hybrid begins September 21. All virtual option available

Rye: School begins Sept 8 with hybrid and all remote opetion

White Plains: All remote begins Sept 10. hybrid begins Sept 21

Yonkers: All virtual beginning Sept 8 through at least October.

Rye seems to be the outlier. I wonder why?

Anonymous said...

Most everyone in westchester is working from buildings even if remote. Very few accommodations and those given are moved within buildings or given extra PPE vs being allowed to work from home. Apparently parents demand to see full parking lots of teacher cars.

Exception is new Rochelle, where I understand the district’s internet bandwidth is insufficient to support everyone teaching online from building so teachers can work from home.

Hybrid in a lot of these districts is CRAZY— teaching at home kids and in person kids at the same time and also being required to record and post recordings for kids who don’t show up remotely “on time”.