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UFT's new TV ad buy takes aim at Bloomberg's schools record

The United Federation of Teachers is turning up the heat on Mayor Bloomberg with a new television ad marking mayoral control’s double-digit birthday.

In a separate ad appearing in print today, the union is also continuing its appeal to parents in the ongoing fight over teacher evaluations.

The 30-second television ad, which comes as the union is locked in stalemate with the city over new evaluations, targets Bloomberg’s education track record months before mayoral control’s 10th anniversary. From the ad:

Ten years as Mayor, and Mike Bloomberg still doesn’t get it.

Cathie Black. Fudged education test scores. Closing schools. Parents shut out of the process.

And just last month, Bloomberg said in a perfect world he’d cut the number of teachers in half, doubling class size.

The ad alludes to but does not mention the teacher evaluation fight, for which the union has been pilloried by Bloomberg and other politicians and in the press. The ad concludes:

Mayor Bloomberg, let’s be honest: If you really want to do right by our kids, you’ll work with teachers and parents and stop playing politics with our schools.

Union officials said the ad would start airing today on New York-area TV stations and continue to repeat until Jan. 30. According to the union, the ad buy is estimated to reach more than 8 million viewers multiple times each during programs as varied as “Inside City Hall,” “Top Chef,” Knicks games, and “Jeopardy!”

UPDATE: A full-page “Open Letter to New York City’s Parents” that the union placed as an ad in today’s New York Daily News tackles the evaluations issue head on. The letter, which is not the first that the union has paid to run in recent weeks, urges Bloomberg to “look around the country — and around the world” to understand that teacher evaluations should be used to help teachers improve.

The letter to parents is below.

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