UFT News & Updates for October 31, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you everyone who attended last week’s UFT meeting.  It was gratifying to have a major part of the ENYFA school staff coming in before school to participate.  We had a good discussion on the city’s plans to dramatically increase building co-locations during the next several years.  In order to wrap up within twenty minutes we needed to postpone one of the points on the agenda (CTLE hours), so I’m including some information on that topic below.

School Delegate Election

Nominations for school delegate will be closed at the end of the day on Friday, November 1.  Submit the name of a candidate (it could be yourself) to Mr. Oliver at ioliver@enyfa.net.  He is the chairperson of the Election Committee.  Please be aware that elected delegates are expected to attend the monthly UFT Delegate Assemblies which are held at 52 Broadway in downtown Manhattan and begin around 4:15 PM.  The dates for the upcoming delegate assemblies will be November 20, December 11, January 15, February 12, March 18, April 22, May 13 and June 17.  Our school UFT Election Committee will decide on a date for the voting.

Save the Date

For probationary teachers, the next tenure workshop will be on December 12 at 4 PM.  I don’t yet have a link for registration.

CTLE Hours

Starting in July 2016, professionally certified teachers and Level III certified paraprofessionals have a five-year time period during which they are required to accumulate a total of 100 professional development hours.  The sessions you attend for CTLE hours must be provided by a state-approved provider.  ENYFA educators who are affected by this requirement should note that the Algebra for All and AP training sessions can count toward the requirement.  Be sure to keep proof of your attendance.

Here is a current list of CTLE providers and their websites.

The UFT is also a state-approved provider.  Workshops are being held at the UFT Brooklyn borough offices (335 Adams Street) this weekend on the following topics:

●       ELL’s in the Mathematics Classroom

●       High-Impact Literacy Strategies

●       ICT Co-Teaching Models.

There are morning and afternoon sessions on each of these topics.  Each session will set you back $30.  Register here.

Election Day Professional Development

Last week I distributed a form for the new leave time that is allowed by city for voting in elections.  I regret that it caused some confusion.  Mr. Hornik felt that a document coming from DCAS was somewhat dubious for use in the school.

Here is what I understand from talking with members.  Most ENYFA educators do not need leave time from their work day in order to vote.   There are some, however, particularly teachers who commute from Nassau or Suffolk counties and who have been assigned to PD sites that need to take extra time to get to.  They could use some extra time to get to the polls.   Please inform me of any requests for leave time that are denied and I will plan to raise it at the next UFT consultation with the principal.  I have leave time forms if you need one.  The time must be requested two days beforehand.

Free Curriculum Fair this Saturday

There is another event for educators this weekend.  It does not provide CTLE hours but the organizers are including lunch (for a donation) and it may be refreshing change having been organized mostly by teachers (rather than the commercial vendors who are playing an increasing large role in NYC DOE professional development).  It is sponsored by the MORE caucus of the UFT, and it is advertised thusly:

“The morning session will feature a curriculum fair with curriculum and information from students’ groups, educators, community organizations, Community Education Councils (CECs), museums, cultural institutions, and book publishers.

“The evening session is a town hall and features CEC members, students and educators who will share in break outs what is going on in their districts and the social justice work they are involved with. Our goal is to build relationships, discuss the issues in our schools, and learn about how our organizations can work together.”


Tentative Agreement in the CTU Strike

The CTU strike is continuing today but there is a tentative agreement.  The deal must still be ratified by the membership and one remaining sticking point is the union’s demand that all ten of the instructional days lost during the walkout be made up.

The strike was disturbing for many since the union’s demands such as enforceable caps on class sizes were issues that Mayor Lori Lightfoot had herself campaigned for.  The city’s lack of funding for support staff and services was a bigger issue than teacher salaries.  According to the CTU president Jessie Sharkey, the tentative agreement “will move us closer to ensuring that our most vulnerable students receive the instruction, resources and wraparound services they need to thrive… This contract will put a nurse in every school, a social worker in every school and provide a real solution for thousands of homeless students in Chicago.”

The strike received national media attention, with candidates for the Democratic Party nomination for president, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden all supporting the teachers.  Chance the Rapper made a notable appearance on Saturday Night Live last weekend wearing a CTU t-shirt.

Here’s an article that focused on the experiences of a high school teacher during the strike.


Further Reading:  The NAEP Results Aren’t Good News

This week’s major education story is the release of results of the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP).  Yesterday’s news articles reflected reactions across the political spectrum: a nasty bit of school-bashing by Ed Secretary Betty DeVos but also those who wonder why a decade of intense emphasis on math and reading hasn’t moved the needle at all.

USA Today:  Despite Common Core and More Testing, Reading and Math Scores Have Not Budged in a Decade

NY Times:  Reading Scores on National Exam Decline in Half the States

Principals Rally at City Hall Yesterday

School administrators have been working without a contract since April.  The principals’ union is fighting for better school funding, limits on excessive paperwork and more latitude in decision-making.

There has never been a principals’ strike in New York City but I’m sure many will agree that our own admins would be missed if they went on strike.  They both work very hard and deserve a fair deal from the city!

Good & Welfare

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Thanks for reading!

Mr. Lawhead


 This is OUR building!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.