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Why treating teachers like professionals terrifies the tabloids

The proposed new teachers’ contract takes landmark steps toward recognizing the expertise of teachers and giving them more of a voice in decision making in their schools and classrooms. For proof that the contract empowers educators, look no further than yesterday’s editorial in the Daily News, which stomps its feet over Mayor de Blasio’s “generosity to the UFT” and “collaboration with the teachers union.”

That editorial joins a chorus of criticism about our proposed contract in the tabloids, which reached its most absurd in the New York Post op-ed that described the agreement as “Satanic.”

Evidently, the idea of a mayor who works collaboratively with teachers, treating them like professionals, is terrifying to the tabloids. The Daily News editorial objects to the proposed contract on the grounds that it gives more job-placement opportunities to ATRs and enables teachers to spend time on training, parent engagement, and, heaven forbid, grading tests.

The Daily News is disappointed that the contract bases teacher evaluations on more than test scores: “As long as a principal likes the way teachers conduct their classes, they will be presumed to get an ‘effective’ rating.” The paper also complains that the contract makes teachers the peer “validators” who review the fairness of teacher ratings.

Read the full editorial here.

Teachers know what is best for their students. All they need is the respect, support and tools to act on that knowledge. That is what this proposed contract offers.



  • 1 Trudat
    · May 21, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    You are joking? This contract is a slap in the face to the teaching profession. Forget the loss of due process for teachers who are only looked over for regular teaching positions due to their seniority and cost of their salary – the idea that we will still be waiting for all of the money owed to us after the contract expires and maybe a new mayor is running the city is absolutely absurd! VOTE NO!

  • 2 Phyllis C.Murray
    · May 22, 2014 at 7:57 am

    The improvements in our UFT members’ benefits, salaries, and working condition were won in the past…one strike at a time. Today, our recent contract is the result of the tireless efforts of our leaders who helped hammer out a fair and equitable contract after incalculable hours of negotiation with our current Mayor. Ron Issac spoke out in The Chief. He is correct. This contract is monumental because it is “built on common sense, enlightened analysis, and mutual responsiblity.” Hopefully, the reign of error in city government is over.Phyllis C. Murray

  • 3 Phyllis C.Murray
    · May 22, 2014 at 8:11 am

    When we look to the legacy of the former Mayor of New York City, we must ask him some basic questions about how the most vulnerable citizens were treated in New York City. And I ask you Mr.Mayor, when I was hungry did you give me something to eat? When I was thirsty did you give me something to drink? When I was homeless, did you give me a place to stay? Mr. Mayor, the food pantries are empty. People are living on the streets of New York City, in cardboard boxes, on church steps along Fifth Avenue, in subways, hallways, and cars. Our mentally ill who do not receive treatment, roam the streets also. And like garbage, they were swept away in time for the Republican Convention.

    Mr. Mayor, our poorest school communities are collecting food and coats to help the poor, disenfranchised, citizens which are warehoused in city shelters: Shelters( like our schools) that are desperately in need of repair.Our teachers are making Christmas a little brighter for their needy students. Yet our teachers have not had a salary increase since 2009.

    GREAT LEADERS are not great leaders because they have made the rich richer.They are great leaders because they were able to improve the human condition for the needy and not the greedy.

    Today, New York City has become” a tale of two cities” once the policy of benign neglect was put into effect. Prime New York City real estate is now in the hands of the rich. Many of whom are tax exempt or receive corporate welfare. Charter Schools are also a tax free operation which in many cases have disrupted and uprooted the largest school system in the nation. New York City is a very sad place. Safety for the rich and poor:/ visitor or resident is too often compromised.

    So the next time a politician asks, “How am I doing?” We must ask the same questions: When I was thirsty did you give me something to driink? When I was hungry, did you give me something to eat? When I was a stranger, did you invite me in? If you don’t know they answer, ask a teacher! Phyllis C. Murray

  • 4 Camille LoParrino
    · May 22, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Hmmm interesting report but, as usual, an inaccurate analysis of ATR school situation. Thank you, Mayor, for going beyond opinion.

  • 5 chaz
    · May 25, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    This contract is a disgrace, years of deferred raises, doesn’t reduce class size, or the termination process for ineffective teachers, and diminishes “due process rights” for ATRs. How anybody can say this is a great contract must be on drugs or work for the union..

  • 6 Patti
    · May 25, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Rome wasn’t built in a day and our education system didn’t get to this point in a day either. All City Municipalities have contracts to negotiate and money us tight. This contact might not be everything to everyone but it does begin to put the word professional back into the DOE. If ratified, we’ll finally have a voice which hasn’t been heard for so long, that no one understands that it can be done. I for one hope that he contract goes through so that we can continue to undo the past.

  • 7 Peter Zucker
    · May 26, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    All that needs to be said is right here;

    UFT Rank and File Needs Gene Hackman http://www.southbronxschool.com/2014/05/uft-rank-and-file-needs-gene-hackman.html

  • 8 UFT Update May 23 2014 | IS 49 Chapter of UFT
    · May 30, 2014 at 9:10 am

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