Teachers Union Chief Gets Tepid Response to “One District” Speech, Criticism of This Blog

Written By: Deprecated User

F.U.S.E. President Marty Daly got a cool reception Tuesday when addressing a gathering of teachers and administrators at the annual Superintendent’s Conference at New Rochelle High School. Each year the District officials, School Board members, teachers and other district personnel are required to meet at the New Rochelle High School auditorium for what is officially the first day back at school. Daly was participating in a panel presentation which included Superintendent Richard Organisciak, School Board President Cindy Babcock Deutsch, and ALMS Principals Williams Evans, speaking in his capacity as the President of the Administrators and Supervisors Union.

In what appeared to be a departure from his prepared remarks, Mr. Daly acknowledged the recent controversy spawned by this blog and a recent Journal News article about that controversy. He characterized this blog as a discussion about “a divide between the north side and south side schools” and ended his remarks by claiming to speak for all in attendance, stating “As we all know there is [no divide]. There is just one City School District of New Rochelle.” His remarks were greeted with what some described as an uncomfortable silence. As Daly continued to peer around the jam-packed silent auditorium, looking for support, there was a feeble smattering of applause. Most teachers remained silent. Some shrugged their shoulders while others were seen mouthing the words “no”.

Readers will recall it was Daly who went on the attack shortly after the Journal News story ran last month, using the comments section to question of the rights of parents to make critical comments about the District online or in the press.

The same article sparked strong, defensive responses from the Co-President of the PTA, the Superintendent of Schools and the Mayor, among others. In a Journal News Op-Ed, Mayor Bramson condemned those who see a north-south divide in New Rochelle, accused the newspaper of “playing with fire” for reporting on the controversy and defended the District by noting that he attended the public schools in New Rochelle and is sending his own children to the public schools in New Rochelle. Bramson failed to mention that he grew up in the North End of New Rochelle, attended the “advantaged” North End schools and lives there now so his children will also be attending these same schools. As a result, some have accused Bramson of being both disingenuous and hypocritical at the same time: defending the District against claims of problems in the South End schools by stating he is sending his own kids to public schools while hiding the fact that the schools his children will attend are not the same South End schools at the heart of the controversy.

2 thoughts on “Teachers Union Chief Gets Tepid Response to “One District” Speech, Criticism of This Blog”

  1. … an uncomfortable silence.
    From an e-mail received from 4u2consider:

    … an uncomfortable silence.

    If this is truly the way the comment was greeted then it is very disheartening to hear that the actual people who work for and spend most of their days at our schools, were not cheering. If I am to assume that the sources are accurate, then it is pretty much proof positive that there is a divide. Not only a divide, but a workforce that sounds like it is afraid for their jobs if they should utter any agreement with the people who bring up the possibility that a divide may actually exist. It saddens me to think that this is getting closer and closer to being proven to be true. My youngest child attends Trinity school and for many years there has been a feeling by many parents that our south-end schools are the step-children of a school district that pays much more attention to it’s north-end family. I know the district has argued that this is not the case and that the curriculum is equal throughout all the schools. Yes, maybe the curriculum is similar but the perception is that we are treated very differently. And sometimes, perception is reality.

    After twelve years of being a parent of children who are attending or have attended Trinity Elementary School and Isaac E. Young Middle School, it pains me to paint our schools in a negative light because there are many positives. At both schools, we’ve experienced many professional and caring teachers. It’s rarely about the teachers. We’ve also met many warm and wonderful parents, who care so much about their children’s education.

    Whether or not the school district believes this divide to be real or imaged is insignificant. What it needs to start to believe is how the surrounding community sees it and how the south-end schools are perceived by those in it and by those not in it. This blog is not something that should have come as a surprise and having this much feedback is like getting free market research. A lot of smart corporations surf their employees blogs to gain valuable information on how to improve their productivity. I hope the school district (and parents) will take advantage of this vehicle of communication.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  2. union representatives comments
    it seems as if mr daly has assumed several roles not associated with open collective bargaining. a while back the journal news reported that he attended a district presentation and question and answer session on the school budget where he actually responded to a question from an audience member inquiring why the district could not more vigorously bargain for some give back on the part of union members viz their health and welfare benefits. this year we learn that he is the head of the PTA in New Rochelle. His current remarks are anything but facilitative; he seems to have taken on a spokesman role for the district. Net, net this is behavior that would be challenged in private industry as being an unfair practice as it seems to clearly mitigate against the board’s role in serving as a bargaining agent for the people who elected them and who expect the best outcomes possible to guard against excessive tax increases to promote a school budget.

    Now I know Mr Daly to be an honorable man and a fine advocate for his constituents. But,I also know that FUSE operates under a “softer” set of State requirements than an enterprise covered by the collective bargaining dictates of the Fair Labor Standards Act. If what I have reported is true, there is no acceptable collective bargaining in this situation and voters deserve better.

    We can expect the pressures of state mandates, previously negotiated contractual provisions and see and even acknowledge that discretionary expense management areas are somewhat lean in the district. we can also accept the fact that the board is not made up of experience business people and has less than a desirable competency base in expense management and financial planning. You only need to reflect on the current infrastructure, crowded schools that are unable to grow, and the apparent absence of any known long range planning for growth and expansion. that is a shared lack of foresight from both the administration and the district and requires immediate corrective action if new rochelle builds properly for the future and segments its student base so that all students wherever they reside and whatever their competency levels, can grow and develop. the administration must both accept and understand that there is a direct relationship between an excellent school district and residential growth and we seem to be experiencing issues in a number of areas.

    carlos sanchez for one has opened the gates and it is time for all citizens to band together to come up with answers — and I mean all citizens not the usual suspects who seem to be involved in the entire decision making process. I am warren gross and I have ideas and the dedication to the city and its youth to lend my years of business experience to the tasks at hand. Who else will bend the blog “rules of anonymity” and step up in a positive manner to join in this effort. And will the city fathers and the school district put aside their parochial interests, stop overvaluing their educrat credentials and understand that many of us have both considerable business experience and a common will to move the city and district forward.

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