Sunday, January 23, 2011

Report from the January 19 Delegate Assembly by Larry Orloff (retired)

UESF COPE organizer Ken Tray spoke of the necessity to join COPE and donate money for the continuing electoral struggles.

Candidates for CTA made presentations: for President only Dean Vogel is running. He has no website, but can be reached at “” There were three candidates for Vice President: Gail Mendez at “, Eric Heins at “” and A. J. Duffy at “

Delegates passed a resolution which calls on UESF and the Labor Council to endorse and build support for a March 19 antiwar Day of Action and March.

Demands are 1) End US involvement in War Everywhere, 2) Fund Jobs, Healthcare and Eduction, not Militarism, 3) Stop the War on Working People by demonstrating solidarity with Local 2 workers and others targeted by the attacks on pensions, organizing rights and contracts.

The resolution mentions the more than $1 trillion the US spent for war in 2011. An amendment to also mention the US supplied “$30 billion for the Israeli government which implements polices that oppress the Palestinian people” was voted down.

Paras voted 358 to 12 to join Social Security. The Board of Education endorsed it also.

There will be a Para meeting at 4:15 on Jan 26. Feb 12 and March 12 are conference days for special education paras (attendance at one of those will be paid) A total of 12 paras were laid off this school year

The 2011-12 School Year will start for teachers on August 10, 2011 and for students on August 15. Winter Recess will start on December 17 and include Jan 2. Spring Recess will fall exactly half-way between the start and end of second semester and won’t be linked to Easter.

It was decided to sprinkle next year’s four furlough days throughout the second semester (since the first semester is already shorter) so they won’t overly impact paras and substitute paychecks. So far the proposal is the Friday before and the Monday after Easter Sunday, the last day of school (which would have been on a Monday) and one other day to be determined.

Middle School counselors received training on the procedure to notify teachers about disciplined students who are transferred into their classes.

Child development has hit a roadblock in regard to arbitrarily changed hours and changed administrators and their responsibilities which makes it hard to plan.

Kaiser costs will increase by 5%. Blue Shield will hold steady (but watch out for next year’s increase).

Representatives from TAPP and HDC spoke to the Delegates who passed a resolution called “Solidarity with TAPP and HDC Employees Right to Organize.” TAPP is Teen Age Pregnant and Parenting Project. HDC is Hilltop Developmental Center.

COMMENTS: Gail Mendez told me that not all unions invite the candidates to speak. I think it is useful to hear from them, but I really object to the amount of time and effort UESF puts into the electoral process. Delegates passed a resolution supporting the March 19 march which calls on UESF to organize for it, but NO time is spent discussing how to do that. Pres. Kelly even said they are waiting around for others to come to us with proposals. This is an outrageous lack of leadership.

The electoral process is stacked against us. We can’t compete with big business to get access to politicians when they and their lobbyists write the laws, entertain the politicians, and fund their campaigns.

The alternative is to build a militant, mass, multi-racial movement of workers, parents, and students, so that politicians will come to us.

In a side note, CTA Presidential candidate Dean Vogel said that 70% of the voters from last election’s exit poll had a favorable view of the teachers union. It is big business’ intention to reverse that with propaganda like Waiting for Superman so they can destroy teachers unions, privatize education and lower teachers salaries and benefits. Read Diane Ravitch’s book The Death and Life of the Great American School System for details and join EDU’s book group to discuss it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hello EDU members and supporters,

Pleas join us at the next EDU meeting Thursday 1/13/2011
Our next EDU meeting will be held in the 1st Floor conference room at
the Main Library ( 100 Larkin St) from 4:30-6:30. Unfortunately, the
main library does not allow refreshments so you might want to grab a
snack en route. Hope to see you there. :D

1/25 SF Forum-Visions of Reform: Curriculum, Unions, Evaluations & the Future of Public Schools
images-1Visions of Reform: Curriculum, Unions, Evaluations & the Future of Public Schools
Tuesday, January 25th, 6:00-8:00pm, Mission High School, Little Theater (4th floor) 3750 18th Street, San Francisco, CA
Get the 411! Teachers 4 Social Justice and Educators for a Democratic Union (EDU)host this public education forum. The national spotlight has transformed teachers and their unions from superheroes to villains. This 411 presents a different reality and a different vision. We'll not only critique the national narrative around school struggles, but clarify a vision of reform for our classrooms, unions and legislatures. We'll have some of the freshest and most thoughtful thinkers, teachers and activists in Bay Area discussing what real education looks like and needs. Speakers include:
  • Rick Ayers: Adjunct Professor, University of San Francisco, Teacher Education, Rick is also co-editor of the series Between Teacher and Text (Teachers College Press) and of the book Zero Tolerance: Resisting the drive for punishment, A handbook for parents, students, educators and citizens (2001, New Press).
  • Adrienne Johnstone: 4th/5th grade teacher, SFUSD; Union Activist and leader of Educators for a Democratic Union
  • Patrick Camangian: High School Teacher; Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco, a leader in Critical pedagogy and transformative teaching in urban schools
  • Anthony Cody: a coach/mentor for Oakland science teachers, a blogger for Education Week, and an organizer for the July Save Our Schools march in Washington, DC