Monday, January 30, 2012

More Teachers Union Ads to Come? AFT’s New York City Local Targets Michael Bloomberg

The unions in CT and NYC are running ads, trying to influence the reform negotiations.  Here's RiShawn Biddle's take:

Yesterday, Dropout Nation analyzed how the National Education Association's Connecticut affiliate was taking a defensive move against school reformers with its two-week commercial buy touting its legislative agenda — and how it reflected the next trend for teachers' unions in their effort to preserve the privileges from which they derive their declining influence. Today, the American Federation of Teachers' notoriously bellicose New York City local (whose boss, Michael Mulgrew, is angling to one day succeed predecessor — and current national president — Randi Weingarten) rolled out its own ad buy. Targeting the school reform record of Big Apple Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is now looking to burnish his success in overhauling what was once the toxic waste dump of American public education with a push for a series of new initiatives such as $20,000 bonuses for teachers rated highly-effective on evaluations, the AFT is proclaiming that the mayor still "doesn't get" that his efforts aren't appreciated by the union. The commercials compliment a series of full-page ads being placed by the union in the Daily  News that are supposed to be open letters rallying against the mayor's efforts, including his push to use value-added analysis of student test score data in teacher evaluations.

This campaign isn't just aimed at Bloomberg and attempting to appeal to Big Apple residents…

…This play is also likely an attempt to shape the big election facing the Big Apple next year: Who will succeed Bloomberg as mayor, and thus, boss of the nation's largest — and most reform-minded — school system. With the reformers such as state Board of Regents Chairman Meryl Tisch and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn likely to run for the job — and AFT allies such as city Comptroller John Liu either struggling with political scandals or lack of strong political backers — the AFT must also work hard to reshape the political game on the ground in order to stave off what would likely be another decade of strong reform efforts. Given that the AFT's string of recent public relations disasters in New York City — including the failed lawsuit it filed along with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to shut down expansion of charter schools — Mulgrew has to garner some sort of victory. Especially if he wants to succeed the (until-recently) more politically-masterfulWeingarten.


More Teachers Union Ads to Come? AFT's New York City Local Targets Michael Bloomberg

January 24, 2012 No Comments by RiShawn Biddle

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