Eric Adams turns teachers union request days into new ones

Adams’ focus on placing kids in school individually—even in the face of teacher union protests—is a clear example of how the former Brooklyn borough president is giving the nation’s largest city a distinct brand of leadership. How will you present for the next four years.

The request from the United Federation of Teachers came as coronavirus cases across the country – including in New York City – have risen dramatically in recent weeks with the spread of Omicron editions. In a statement to its members on Sunday, President Michael Mulgrew said the union asked Adams to move to distance learning temporarily to reduce staffing challenges caused by positive Covid-19 cases, but the mayor refused. Felt “strongly” that schools needed to stay open. Wave.

“We advised the new mayor that it would be safest to temporarily allow our school system to go remote until we are able to address the staffing challenges that each school faces,” he wrote. “However, he feels strongly that schools need to remain open.”

Adams remained in his position on Monday.

“We are staying open,” the mayor said.

“We’re not sending a vague message about what’s going to happen from day to day,” Adams continued. “I’m going to tell you what’s going to happen day by day, we’re going to be open.”

Mulgrew said in an interview with CNN that the union wants to avoid a scenario where there are high student attendance rates combined with fewer staff, resulting in lower-than-normal teacher rates for students.

“The point was we wanted to make sure each school had the appropriate staff to stay safe,” he said. “The last scenario we want is a school being forced to make a decision about combining classes together.”

Adams’ administration said 1.5 million test kits were distributed to the New York City Department of Education over the weekend, hoping that increased surveillance would keep schools safely open. It also announced a new Covid Command Center specifically for education issues, something that will allow teachers to quickly escalate issues – such as staffing – as children go back to school.

The decision to be in-person for New York City schools sets it apart from many other large school districts. In cities from Atlanta to Cleveland to New Jersey, school districts have moved online for at least a few days in January, in hopes the delay will help them resolve a litany of issues caused by Covid.

But the choice is not without risk. Covid cases in New York have risen over the past few weeks, a number not seen since the start of the pandemic in 2020 – a surprising statistic given that New York City was the initial epicenter for the spread of the virus in the United States.

However, Adams has argued that the city needs to prioritize testing and vaccinations and not “walled up in Covid.”

“When a mayor has swagger, the city floods,” Adams said Monday. “We’ve allowed people to bring us down so much that all we did was wallow in Covid – that’s all we did – and we no longer believe that this is a city of swagger, it is a city of resilience… .we’re gonna survive.”

The politics of education has become a focal point during the pandemic, with decisions to close and reopen schools, virtual learning and education as flashpoints in debates to keep students and staff safe.

New York City in particular became a hotbed of this debate, with former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s final years in office being defined by his fight against Covid and his handling of schools during the pandemic.

After closing schools during the initial wave of the virus, de Blasio set a policy that if the city reached a certain positivity rate, schools would again move to distance learning. This happened in November 2020, setting off a wave of protests from parents and other groups who wanted to persuade Meyer to reverse. New York City schools will not fully reopen until September 2021, a reality that has become a central debate during de Blasio’s race to succeed.

Adams’ campaign offered hope for both teachers who were anxious to return to the classroom and parents who were eager to get their children back to schools. But his campaign took an aggressive approach of not letting the virus – now that vaccines are widely available – dominate life in New York City.

Adams said shortly after being sworn in as mayor over the weekend, “We’ve gone through two years of constant crisis, and it insults our nature as New Yorkers. The crisis tells us it’s in charge. It’s in charge.” is under control.” , “This will be our New Year’s resolution: We will not be controlled by the crisis.”

The decision to keep schools open and to decline the teachers union’s call limits the clearly busy first 72 hours as mayor – a frantic pace that matches Adams’ call for his first 100 days, which received To be defined by “stuff done.”

Adams, a former captain of the New York Police Department, has used public transportation in the first days of his administration — and called 911 to report two men fighting while waiting for the subway — and the city to go to work. Bike ride on Sunday.

“It’s not going to be a city of chaos,” Adams said in a speech to police the same day that one of his officers was shot while sleeping in his car. “It’s not going to be a city of violence.”

The mayor also drafted a snow response plan for the coming winter storm and an executive order continuing the vaccine mandate for city workers and private sector workers in New York, considering expanding the need to include booster shots. signed on.


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