Parents should be aware, the battle to educate NYC’s children always effect teachers directly or indirectly. They seem always to be the escape goat. Read the below letter addressed to NYC’s mayor in the continued defense of teachers.
Dear Mayor Bloomberg
Your comments comparing the United Federation of Teachers to the National Rifle Association were not only insulting to the tens of thousands of hard-working New York City teachers who have dedicated their lives to helping children, but also reprehensible considering the recent tragedy in Newtown and the teachers who lost their lives protecting students.
At a time when we need to work together to strengthen our schools, you only do further damage to our schools and the communities that rely on them by resorting to the same divisive tactics that have crippled our national political system.
As you and your staff plan your next counterproductive attack against teachers, remember who it is you are attacking:
• It was UFT members who answered the city’s appeal for volunteers as Hurricane Sandy barreled toward New York City and flocked to hurricane shelters to help evacuees and then provided solace and support to displaced students as they returned to school.
• It was the UFT that launched massive relief efforts in the days after Sandy, sending thousands of volunteers to the hardest-hit neighborhoods, where they distributed food and supplies, helped families clear out their waterlogged houses and went door to door in city housing projects to assist the old and vulnerable.
• It was the UFT and the Teachers' Retirement System that added infrastructure as an investment class, making up to $1 billion available for investment in the city’s recovery from the hurricane.
• It was the UFT that launched, together with business, community and elected partners, a community schools initiative that will provide schools with the wraparound services that support learning and strengthen families.
• It was the UFT that has taken the lead in fighting the scourge of bullying in our schools, including sponsoring an anti-bullying helpline for students.
• And it is the UFT that year in and year out has worked with education advocates, elected officials, community members, businesses and clergy to battle in Albany and at City Hall for adequate education funding.
These are just a few recent examples of the many, many projects and initiatives the UFT and its dedicated members undertake on behalf of the city and our fellow New Yorkers every day.
Vilifying teachers and their union isn’t going to help us move education forward. It’s time to end the smokescreens and do the hard work of reaching an agreement on a teacher evaluation system that supports teachers and makes them better classroom instructors.
You owe the teachers of this city an apology, and you owe the students and their parents your commitment to negotiating in good faith with the UFT.