Lew Leone is the vice president and general manager of WNYW-FOX 5. He is taking to the airwaves with his thoughts on current affairs. It's called "Lew's View." The views expressed are not necessarily those of the station or its employees.
All of the mayoral hopefuls have been falling over themselves to win this critically important endorsement from the teachers union.
The union is a very powerful, very organized and very effective political machine.
It is also poised to spend millions to deliver its man to city hall.
I can't tell you what Bill Thompson promised to the union but I can tell you what they are looking for from the next mayor.
The union wants:
• 4 years of retroactive wages
• stopping charter school development
• moratorium on closing failing schools
• delay the rollout of common core curriculum
• softening recently imposed teacher evaluation plan
The union would also like to end mayoral control of the schools but I can't believe Thompson would ever promise that.
What's at stake here for New York City school children? Well under Mayor Bloomberg the schools have improved but there is still a long way to go.
I would argue that the mayor would have made even more progress if the UFT had not resisted every single effort to reform schools.
The UFT, a.k.a. Keeper of the Status Quo, wants to go back in time and rollback reforms which have improved results. That would be a disaster for children, parents and New York City.
I have received some of feedback that I am anti-teacher. That could not be further from the truth. An effective teacher in a classroom is the single most important factor to ensuring a successful learning experience for children. And I have great respect for and admiration of teachers. I am however against public sector unions that work for the taxpayers and the main purpose of the union becomes to play kingmaker, act as a political entity, work against the best interests of students, and resist efforts to reform.
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