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Op-eds & Letters to the Editor
This section archives columns, opinion pieces, and letters written by UFT members and officers and published in various newspapers and websites.
Op-Eds | November 18, 2013
As Mayor Bloomberg leaves office, it's become apparent that the city has consistently had more money available than the Mayor has maintained. Rather than be fair to city employees, the Bloomberg administration has repeatedly chosen to spend public resources on tax breaks for developers or for consultant contracts on failed or overpriced projects.
Letters to the editor | November 6, 2013
Letter to the Staten Island Advance from UFT member Susan Adams Westerleigh.
Op-Eds | September 19, 2013
Ask what makes a great teacher, and you will get a long list of “must-haves”: intelligence, dedication, knowledge of the subject matter, a keen sense of humor. But anyone who has spent any time in the classroom knows that those ingredients mean very little without the essential spark — a desire to make a difference in children’s lives.
Op-Eds | September 4, 2013
The recent dramatic drop in student scores after the state introduced new tests based on the rigorous Common Core learning standards is a clear demonstration that — after a decade of Mayor Bloomberg's obsession with data, test prep and proclamations of his strategy’s success — our school system needs a new direction.
Op-Eds | August 8, 2013
While lower test scores largely result from more difficult tests, they fly in the face of Mayor Bloomberg’s constant assertions that everything in our schools was getting better, thanks to his leadership.
Op-Eds | June 24, 2013
Mayor Bloomberg claims that times are so tough, there isn’t enough money in the city budget to give city workers, including teachers, the retroactive pay raise they are owed. The truth is that — thanks in part to a strong local economy — the city has generated huge budget surpluses every year.
Op-Eds | April 30, 2013
Letters to the editor | March 6, 2013
The United Federation of Teachers and parent groups, including the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council, have a long history of working together on behalf of New York City’s schools.
Op-Eds | January 24, 2013
Does Mayor Bloomberg really want a new teacher evaluation system? Is it going to be possible to put such a system in place before Gov. Cuomo’s deadline of Sept. 1? The mayor’s recent actions make me pessimistic.
Op-Eds | July 22, 2012
While the fight over closing schools may be hotter than the weather this summer, the evidence shows that this is not a strategy that works to help all New York City kids get the education they deserve.
Letters to the editor | January 13, 2012
Letter to the New York Daily News from UFT member Michael Friedman.
Letters to the editor | January 11, 2012
Letter to the New York Daily News from UFT retiree Vincent Gaglione.
Letters to the editor | January 11, 2012
Letter to the New York Daily News from UFT member Guy Nevirs.
Op-Eds | January 8, 2012
Despite numerous negotiating sessions, the UFT has been unable to reach an agreement with the Department of Education (DOE) on key points of a new teacher evaluation system. We are seeking an agreement that meets the spirit of the teacher evaluation legislation in two important ways.
Op-Eds | October 26, 2011
Pity the poor millionaires. Hedge fund magnate John Paulson — who reportedly made $5 billion personally last year — reacted recently to Occupy Wall Street protesters by talking about how much the top 1% of New York City families pay in income taxes. What he didn't talk about was how the same 1% made nearly half (44%) of all the income in the city, or that when all state and local taxes are taken into account, the richest taxpayers in fact pay a lower percentage of their total income in taxes than do people in the middle.
Letters to the editor | October 17, 2011
Letter to the New York Daily News from UFT Treasurer Mel Aaronson.
Op-Eds | August 25, 2011
This Saturday, thousands of New York City teachers will be in Washington, D.C., with the parents, community groups and clergy with whom we work so closely, our friends in the civil rights movement, elected leaders from the City Council and state Legislature and tens of thousands of others from across the nation for a historic march for jobs and justice on the eve of the unveiling of the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Editor's Note: This event was later canceled due to Hurricane Irene.
Letters to the editor | June 22, 2011
Letter to the New York Times from UFT member Bonnie Geld.
Op-Eds | September 1, 2010
The instructional strategy of the New York City public school system — prepping children for a now-discredited series of state tests — has failed. Particularly now that the state has won nearly $700 million in new federal funds in the Race to the Top competition, we need to be honest about that failure, so we can finally focus on strategies that will make a difference for our kids.
Op-Eds | May 19, 2010
Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein have made layoffs — currently estimated at more than 4,000 teachers — the centerpiece of their attempt to balance the city's budget. But even as we work with legislators in Albany to find resources that would limit the damage to schools caused by the state's very serious budget problems, Bloomberg and Klein are choosing to ignore a time-tested, effective method for saving hundreds of millions of dollars while still keeping class sizes reasonable: a retirement incentive.