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 | 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

Most teachers are supportive of Common Core, a national movement designed to foster the critical thinking and depth of knowledge many American students now lack. Yet New York State’s rush to implement the new standards, along with the Bloomberg administration’s obsession with high-stakes testing and its failure to provide a curriculum to help children meet this new challenge, have helped foster the growing opposition.

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.

Op-Eds | April 16, 2010

Rubber rooms, where New York City teachers can sit for years while being investigated or while going through a hearing process, don't work for anyone. They don't work for schools, students or teachers.

Op-Eds | January 18, 2010

As New York finalizes its application for the federal Race to the Top program, a proposal to end the cap on the number of charter schools has been promoted as key to our success in getting these new federal funds. But promoters of this proposal are ignoring two other critical issues: The small role that charter schools play in the Race to the Top application, and the fact that city charters are not serving a representative sample of our neediest students.

Op-Eds | December 20, 2009

UFT President Michael Mulgrew, in an op-ed piece published in the Daily News on Dec. 20, said it was time for the DOE to help, rather than close, struggling schools. "The truth is," he wrote, "that the students in these schools are poised to become the latest victims of a failed educational strategy — one that ignores the possibility of strengthening schools, closes them on the basis of mysterious and ever-changing criteria and shuffles thousands of our neediest students from one struggling institution to another."

Op-Eds | June 29, 2009

The New York State Senate's failure to act on the issue of school governance in New York City is cause for great concern for parents, students and those of us at the UFT.

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