How Howard Wolfson learned to loathe the U.F.T.

how-howard-wolfson-learned-loathe-uft
Briefing: Wolfson. (Azi Paybarah via flickr)
Tweet Share on Facebook Share on Tumblr Print

Howard Wolfson, a son of public-school teachers who is now a top aide to Michael Bloomberg, said recently in an email to Capital that he used to be "pretty reflexively" supportive of the United Federation of Teachers.  

He was also, for several years, a paid adviser to the U.F.T.

Now, as a spokesman for Bloomberg's education policies, he's one of the union's harshest critics.

Randi Weingarten, the former head of the U.F.T., told The New York Times, of Wolfson, "It’s very sad to me that he would have done this 180 and walk away from his roots."

MORE ON CAPITAL

ADVERTISEMENT

Wolfson says his reorientation is simply a function of what he's seen since going to work for the mayor: "They've basically obstructed every positive thing we've tried to do," he said.

Those things Wolfson was referring to include performance-based raises, weakened seniority protections, increased reliance on standardized tests and teacher evaluations, restructuring of low-performing schools and expansion of charter schools.

Quote

"You’ve been in the paper a lot talking about the speaker. You should quiet down before someone starts playing games with you." — Deborah Glick

Recommended

Bill Thompson's campaign's declined to comment on fund-raiser Jacob Brach, who has a checkered background. [David Halbfinger]

Mayor Bloomberg defended the NYPD's English-only policy. [Jennifer Fermino]

The Brooklyn district attorney's office is at the center of another lawsuit from a man who said he spent time in jail for a crime he didn't commit. [Selim Algar]

Governor Andrew Cuomo's Tenant Protection Unit is looking at a landlord accused of pushing out tenants from rent-regulated apartments. [Daniel Beekman]

One editorial page rejects Bloomberg and Kelly's concerns and strongly defends the creation of an inspector general's office for the NYPD. [New York Times]

From Capital

Robert Gates: "If we were reading everybody's mail, we would know where the hell [Edward Snowden] is going." [Reid Pillifant]

The Daily News hired writer Justin Rocket Silverman. [Joe Pompeo]

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said Edward Snowden's leaks are "criminal." [Reid Pillifant]

"At 4:30 am on Saturday morning, Albany finally gave New York City something it had been requesting for ten years: a few speed cameras." [Dana Rubinstein]

The media's British invasion, reconsidered. [Joe Pompeo]

Democrats Jim Gennaro, Peter Koo and Peter Vallone Jr. voted against forcing a vote on two police-oversight bills. [Azi Paybarah]

Video: Robert Morgenthau recalls someone trying to sell drugs to Mayor Abe Beame. [Azi Paybarah]

Video: Ray Kelly: "Take heart al-Qaeda wannabes…" [Azi Paybarah]

Events

"Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is in New York City."

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's campaign schedule is "EMBARGOED UNTIL DATE AND TIME OF EVENT."

10 a.m. New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott speaks at the New Dorp High School graduation ceremony, at New Dorp High School, 465 New Dorp Lane, Staten Island. @NYCschools #NewDorp

11 a.m. City Council Speaker Chrisitne Quinn joins Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Councilwoman Jessica Lappin and others calling on congress to pass legislation to regulate deceptive advertising by crisis pregnancy centers, in the Red Room of City Hall. @ChriscQuinn @RepMaloney @JessLappin

Noon. Walcott announces annual summer meals for children 18 years and younger, at M.S. 131 Dr. Sun Yat Sen, 100 Hester Street, Manhattan. @NYCschools #SummerMeals

Noon. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, State Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Jeff Klein and New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan discuss the passage of speed camera legislation, at P.S. 81, Robert J. Christen School, 5550 Riverdale Avenue at West 256th Street. @MikeBlomberg @JeffKleinNY @NYC_DOT

4 p.m. Walcott speaks at Queens High School for Information Research and Technology graduation ceremony, at the athletic field of the Far Rockaway Educational Campus, 8-21 Bay 25th Street, Queens. @NYCschools

5 p.m. The New York Sate Conservative Party hosts its annual dinner, at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, 811 Seventh Avenue.

7 p.m. On "The Road to City Hall:" The Wise Guys segment with Eliot Spitzer, Al D'Amato and guest Gifford Miller. Also, a debate about public safety with Councilman Jumaane Williams and Captains Union President Roy Richter. [NY1] @RoadToCityHall @EliotSpitzer @AlDamatoNY @JumaaneWilliams #StopAndFrisk #IGnow #CSA

7:15 p.m. Candidates attend the Our City, Our Homes Mayoral Forum on Affordable Neighborhoods, at Calvary-St. George Episcopal Church, 4 Rutherford Place (East Third Avenue between 16th & 17th Streets) Manhattan. @DeBlasioNYC @AnthonyWeiner @BillThompsonNYC #OurCity

2013

Anthony Weiner said he is "a disrupter" in the mayoral race. [Henry Goldman and Esme Deprez]

"Woman Who Leaked Anthony Weiner's Sex Chats Would Still Vote For Him" [Joe Coscarelli]

A union representing 25,000 CUNY faculty members voted so overwhelmingly to endorse Bill de Blasio for mayor, no official tally was taken. [David Chen]

"It’s very sad to me that he would have done this 180 and walk away from his roots," American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said of Howard Wolfson. [Javier Hernandez]

Campbell Brown: "Bill Thompson must now answer a simple question: Will he stand with the UFT on this issue, or fight to protect children in our public schools?" [Daily News]

City Hall

Bloomberg: "What are you going to say at the next eulogy you have to give after these bills are passed when the family is 100 percent convinced that had you not passed this bill, their child would still be alive?" [Rocco Parascandola and Erin Durkin]

Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan joined the chorus criticizing the two police oversight bills. [Jillian Jorgensen]

One editorial board backs Bloomberg in opposing the inspector general and racial profiling bills. [amNewYork]

The majority of the City Council ignored the warnings from Bloomberg and Ray Kelly. [J. David Goodman]

The mayor of Rockford, Illinois quit Bloomberg's "Mayor's Against Illegal Guns" coalition because of its focus on banning assault weapons. [Edward McClelland]

City Hall defended sending a public employee to Nevada to lobby for a gun control bill there. [Tara Palmeri]

Pedestrian maps, you are almost here. [Matt Flegenheimer]

Former deputy mayor and CitiBank executive Ed Skyler lives across the street from a CitiBike station in Soho, which some residents want relocated. [Candice Giove and Elizabeth Hagen]

Rudy Crew was named head of Medgar Evers College. [Ariel Kaminer]

An editorial page picks up on the Manhattan Institute's complaint about the city's budget growing faster than the rate of inflation. [New York Post]

Two sanitation workers retired after they were fined $2,000 for taking a $10 tip. [Lisa Colangelo and Jennifer Fermino]

Albany

An amendment to strengthen border security passed the Senate overwhelmingly yesterday, a positive sign for those pushing an immigration reform bill. [Ashley Parker]

President Obama will roll out his ambitious plan to combat climate change today at Georgetown University. [Darren Goode]

The Supreme Court will hear a case on Obama's recess appointments. [Adam Liptak]

Justice Sameul Alito's "middle-school antics" include scoffing and rolling his eyes while other justices are reading their decisions. [Dana Milbank]

More on Nassau County D.A. Kathleen Rice's report upholding the verdict against Jesse Friedman, whose sex abuse case was featured in "Capturing the Friedmans." [Peter Applebome]

Front Pages