Charter Association CEO Sends Letter to NYSUT and UFT

Posted by on 02 / 11 / 2015 0 Reactions

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The Northeast Charter Schools Network CEO Kyle Rosenkrans today sent a letter to UFT President Michael Mulgrew and NYSUT President Karen Magee.
 
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Contact: Jessica Mokhiber, 518-573-0516, jmokhiber@necharters.org
 
Charter Association CEO Sends Letter to NYSUT and UFT
 
Albany, NY – The Northeast Charter Schools Network CEO Kyle Rosenkrans today sent a letter to UFT President Michael Mulgrew and NYSUT President Karen Magee. The letter is below.
 
 
February 11, 2015
 
Michael Mulgrew
President
United Federation of Teachers
52 Broadway
New York, NY 10004
mmulgrew@uft.org
 
Karen Magee
President
New York State United Teachers
800 Troy Schenectady Road
Latham, NY 12110
magee@nysutmail.org
 
 
Dear Michael and Karen,
 
We see you’ve been busy lately.
 
You’ve been holding emergency meetings in every corner of New York State telling your members there’s a “crisis” and preparing them for “battle”.
 
Really?
 
Let’s be clear. This is a distraction from the real crisis - the one affecting our state’s public school children.
 
The real crisis is the number of kids who aren’t able to read and write.
 
The real crisis is the number children who don’t have a grasp on basic math.
 
Only one-third of students in grades 3-8 scored at the proficient level in English Language Arts and math. One-third. In some cities, those scores are in the single digits.
 
Did you hold emergency meetings when these abysmal test scores were released? Was there an emergency meeting we missed to figure out why barely three in four students graduate high school on time?  How about an emergency meeting to improve the number of kids who are college and career ready? Because right now that’s barely four in ten kids. Let’s not forget the achievement gap that exists between students of color and white students. That’s another reason to hold an emergency meeting.
 
The “battle” you’re waging isn’t in defense of these children. But it should be.
 
The “war” you’re fighting? That’s an insult to every soldier, cop, and firefighter who knows what real war is.
 
You’re fighting Governor Cuomo tooth and nail because he wants a teacher evaluation system. He wants to make it easier to remove people who can’t do the job – and you’re rallying your members against him. And we get why. You're paid to protect the jobs of your members.  You represent teachers, not kids.
 
The Governor wants to expand access to great schools and you call that war.
 
You say that what the Governor is doing to education is criminal.
 
We think what’s criminal is that thousands of children are stuck in struggling schools.
 
You’re fighting families who want options. Most kids who attend a charter school in New York come from low-income families of color who can’t afford to move into a better school district. They can’t afford to send their kids to private schools. If they didn’t have a choice, their kids wouldn’t have a chance.
 
You’re also fighting your own members. Schools like Family Life Academy Charter School, The Charter School for Applied Technologies, Charter School for Educational Excellence, and UFT Charter School – named for the same union that represents it – are just a handful of the unionized charter schools in New York. These are public schools that want their teachers and their students to succeed – and you’re vilifying them.
 
Governor Cuomo is trying to help teachers do well and be treated as professionals so that they can educate children to the best of their ability.
 
The governor and the majority of our state’s charter schools are leading, innovating, and pushing for access to better schools for more kids. That’s not war. It’s rescue.
 
We know something else you could do -- you could teach a class on hyperbole and distraction.
 
Your time and energy would be better used trying to change outcomes for our children.  If you spent a fraction of the time you’ve spent fighting on finding solutions to the real crisis, we’re betting our schools would improve.
 
Sincerely,
 
Kyle Rosenkrans
Northeast Charter Schools Network CEO

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