Michael Mulgrew defends Common Core: ‘You sick people need to deal with us and the children that we teach’
Teachers union honcho Michael Mulgrew unleashed a venomous screed directed at anyone who would dare threaten his beloved Common Core agenda.
“If someone takes something from me, I’m going to grab it right back out of their cold, twisted, sick hands and say it is mine! You do not take what is mine!” the head of the United Federation of Teachers shouted in a speech at a convention last month in Los Angeles.
The rant was posted Thursday to the Ed Notes Online blog.
“And I’m going to punch you in the face and push you in the dirt because this is the teachers’!” added Mulgrew.
“These are our tools and you sick people need to deal with us and the children that we teach. Thank you very much!”
The remarks came during a heated debate on a resolution regarding the American Federation of Teachers’ continued support of Common Core despite the union’s disappointment in how it was rolled out nationwide.
“I’ve heard the stories about how Eli Broad, Bill Gates, Joel Klein and a flying saucer full of Martians designed these things to brainwash us all,” said Mulgrew, mocking critics who deride Common Core as being imposed by billionaires and corporate bigwigs.
The bellicose tone spooked at least one audience member who asked to remain anonymous to avoid Mulgrew’s wrath.
“It was scary,” said the source. “People were saying that he shouldn’t be around children.”
Teachers union spokesman Dick Riley didn’t back down from Mulgrew’s comments.
“In the context of the resolution, the meaning is clear (as was the resulting applause),” he wrote.
But the Staten Island native’s fighting words left other teachers feeling insulted.
Arthur Goldstein, the UFT chapter leader of Francis Lewis High School in Queens, said Mulgrew’s pugilistic tone was nothing new.
“When Mulgrew gets up there and does his Hulk Hogan routine and says he’s going to punch people for taking away Common Core. … It’s insulting,” he said.
Mulgrew has been an outspoken critic of the implementation of the national education standards in the city, but is also a supporter of the standards.
The Common Core, which is supported by a wide range of organizations across the corporate and political spectrum, has been adopted by 45 states and Washington, D.C.
The standards seek to move classroom instruction away from rote memorization, break down distinctions between academic subjects and raise the bar of student achievement.
Meanwhile, 115 school staffers who don’t have permanent assignments accepted buyouts under the terms of the new teachers union contract.
The members of the so-called “absent teacher reserve” got a severance pay-out averaging about $16,000 per person to leave their jobs, as part of a one-time offer, Education Department officials said Thursday. The buyouts cost $1.8 million.