After a week of charter school advocates highlighting the public school system’s failures, the United Federation of Teachers is offering a rosier view in a new television ad.
The 30-second ad, which begins running on Monday, features students, parents and teachers talking about their excitement as the school year gets underway. “My teacher is helping me read more books,” a student says in the spot, which the UFT said would cost $1.4 million to run between Oct. 6 and Oct. 17.
The message stands in stark contrast to the one that charter school advocates have recently been hammering home, culminating with a large rally last Thursday. The charter school parent organizing group Families for Excellent Schools spent nearly $500,000 on ads in the days leading up to the rally to draw attention to the city’s low-performing schools, which Mayor Bill de Basio has been criticized for being slow to address.
The union often launches ad campaigns in the fall as the school year begins, during election season, and in the lead-up to the start of the legislative session in January. In recent years, the union has mostly attacked Mayor Bloomberg’s education policies, which included closing schools and growing the number of charter schools.
This year, there is no enemy in City Hall, but the union still sees public schools as being “under attack,” according to an email sent by the UFT on Sunday.
Below is the ad: