Mayor de Blasio this week left town for what sure looks like a political payoff — zipping down to Washington for a reelection fundraiser hosted by American Federation of Teachers chief Randi Weingarten. The AFT is the parent of the city United Federation of Teachers. And the fete came just 10 days after the mayor gutted the last shreds of teacher accountability in the city.
Just before Christmas, Team de Blasio joined the UFT and the principals union to announce a new system for teacher evaluation that relies entirely on “soft” measures. The deal even aims to escape the state mandate for review by independent outside evaluators. Déjà vu time: Back in 2014, the AFT gave $350, 000 to de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York.
The next month, he gave the UFT a generous new contract that also reduced classroom instruction time. City Hall still won’t say if the mayor or his staff solicited that donation while contract talks were under way. Next time the mayor or the teachers union claims to put “the children” first, feel free to laugh bitterly.