That’s one of the five times that de Blasio or schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña referred to changes included in the proposed teachers union contract as “reform” —six, if you count de Blasio’s foray into Spanish—during a visit to P.S. 69 in Queens today. There, they talked up the new time allotted for parent engagement and a new program that will allow some schools to bypass contract restrictions.
The event’s press release adds nine more “reforms,” bringing today’s total to 15. City Hall’s new zeal for the term now stands in contrast to United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew, who told Chalkbeat on Friday that he was done trying to brand his brand of change as reform, since the word is often used only to refer to those who support charter schools and fewer job protections for teachers.
“I thought about it for the last couple of days, and I thought, you know what, I’m not going to call it education reform,” Mulgrew said. “What we’re doing is innovation.”
That’s a quick 180 for Mulgrew, who hailed the contract as showing that the city was “truly in the educational reform mode” when details were first released—and who came under fire for saying the union was at “war with the reformers” in a closed-door meeting of union delegates last week.