New York Teachers’ Leader Raises Eyebrows with Common Core Rant

President of New York’s United Federation of Teachers Michael Mulgrew went on an unsettling rant against critics of the Common Core Standards Initiative during a convention in Los Angeles last month — and it was caught on video.

Eric Owens of the Daily Caller writes that the aggressive outburst was part of a debate, which called on all 1.4 million members of the American Federation of Teachers to continue their support of the Common Core standards.

While it seems some people enjoyed his speech, others were left frightened.

“It was scary,” a member of the audience who wished to remain anonymous told the Daily News. “People were saying that he shouldn’t be around children.”

According to Molly Wharton for The National Review, Mulgrew threated the “sick people” who want to take the standards and tests away from teachers.

“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!” he threatened. “You do not take what is mine!”

The pinnacle of the outlandish speech came when Mulgrew roared that he would “punch you in the face and push you in the dirt” if you oppose Common Core, reports Bob Fredericks for the New York Post.

Charles Sahm leads the education initiative at the Manhattan Institute. He agrees with the message that Mulgrew was trying to relate but feels it could have had a better delivery, reports Liz Dahlem for Fox News.

“New Yorkers do have a temper sometimes but when you’re speaking at a national conference representing your union, I think you have to be a little more measured. There is an issue that Michael Mulgrew and the AFT raised in this conference that is a legitimate issue: there needs to be more input from teachers… more training for teachers in implementing the Common Core,” he said. “And that’s happening here in New York City.”

The UFT has yet to comment on Mulgrew’s outburst in LA, this is perhaps because they are busy defending Tenure Laws on the behalf of New York City teachers.

The UFT was asked to act as defendant in a NYC lawsuit which challenges job protection for teachers, reports CBS News. They quickly filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit, which claims that the tenure laws violate children’s right to a good education.

AFT President, Randi Weingarten said the case “stoops to pitting students against their teachers.”

There are valid arguments on both sides of the case, as noted by Mayor Bill de Blasio. The tenure system when done correctly can ensure good teachers stay in the school system but also recognizes that every career has people who should not continue that path.