Getting New York City’s schools fully reopened is a huge challenge, United Federation of Teachers boss MIke Mulgrew suggests in the Daily News, because “as many as one-third of parents” are “either on the fence or opposed to sending their kids back” until they’re sure it’s safe.
What shameless chutzpah. That tells you that at least two-thirds aren’t worried, and another good chunk are just uncertain. More important, the main voice suggesting that there’s any reason for fear is the UFT and its allied teacher unions — who’ve opposed reopening for the most venal of reasons, long after science and the experience of reopened schools across the nation and the world prove it’s perfectly safe for kids and adults.
Heck, the UFT’s parent union, the American Federation of Teachers, used its pull with the White House to force the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue reopening guidelines far more cautious than the CDC scientists had wanted, literally writing key passages of the final statement, as The Post reported.
That news has prompted union leaders to rush to obscure the truth, with AFT boss Randi Weingarten complaining that “critics have scapegoated teachers and vilified their unions because of the school closures” and pretending teachers were blamed for “problems outside their control.”
No one’s vilifying the unions: They’re just recognizing them for the villains they are.
Mulgrew blames the city for failing to make parents confident, when the main blame Mayor Bill de Blasio deserves is for foolishly agreeing to the UFT’s insane rules for re-closing schools on the basis of just a couple of positive tests.
And for granting teachers medical exemptions without real scrutiny. As a result, 28 percent of city teachers, and up to 40 percent in some schools, don’t have to show even when their school reopens. That left many parents opting out of “Zoom in a classroom” where social-distancing rules and medical exemptions resulted in at-home teachers providing instruction remotely.
Mulgrew & Co. also launched a scare campaign, alleging for example that schools didn’t have enough air circulation to keep kids and staff safe — when all the data show that younger kids don’t get or transmit the virus in any meaningful amount.
From September 2020 to March 2021, 33,565 New Yorkers exchanged their NY driver’s licenses for Florida ones. The main reason: to prove Sunshine State residency so their kids could attend in-person school. In all, Gotham’s public-school enrollment is down 4 percent because families shifted to schools the UFT couldn’t close.
The UFT’s power has kept spending on city public schools soaring for years now, even as enrollment declines and most of the kids never achieve grade-level proficiency in English and math. But the last year has taught the public the union’s true nature, overcoming all its pretenses of being “for the children.”
Now a reckoning looms — and Mulgrew & Co. are desperately scrambling to pull the wool back over parents’ eyes. Don’t let them get away with it.
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