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Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:50 am, Thu Sep 4, 2014.

Teachers union sues to keep lesson plans away from principals

Seeking to achieve in court what it could not get in arbitration, the United Federation of Teachers last week filed a lawsuit asking a judge to rule that teachers do not have to show their lesson plans to school administrators.

The suit, filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, grows out of an arbitrator’s ruling in May that while all teachers must create lesson plans, what they contain will be left up to them, according to multiple published reports. The arbitrator refused a union bid to also rule that principals and other supervisors would not even get to review the plans, prompting the suit.

Union President Michael Mulgrew was quoted in the New York Post as saying that not forcing teachers to show their lesson plans would reduce the paperwork they have to file.

The city Department of Education said such a rule would diminish teachers’ professionalism, the Post reported.

Published reports also quoted Mymoena Davids of the NYC Parents Union as calling the idea “outrageous” and asking, “How is a principal supposed to ensure students are receiving a high-quality education?”

Davids’ group recently filed one of two lawsuits seeking to overturn teachers’ tenure and other job protections that she says deny students their constitutional right to a sound basic education [see separate story in this week’s Back to School/Fall Guide special section].

Racial divide in poll on mayor, Sharpton, NYPD

With race relations in the news following the deaths of Eric Garner in Staten Island and Michael Brown in Missouri at the hands of police, Quinnipiac University’s Polling Institute on Tuesday released a new survey showing ethnic divides in New Yorkers’ opinions of Mayor de Blasio, the Rev. Al Sharpton and, to a lesser extent, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.

Fifty percent of respondents approve of how de Blasio is handling his job as mayor, while 32 percent do not, the poll said. Among whites, his approval rating was 36-45, among blacks it was 65-15 and among Hispanics it was 55-27. In Queens, for all ethnic groups, it was 39-34.

Respondents were evenly divided, 46-46, on how the mayor is handling crime. His ratings on the issue were 39-52 among whites, 58-34 among blacks and 45-46 among Hispanics. In Queens, for all groups, it was 38-55.

Bratton’s approval rating was 48-35; and 58-28 among whites, 41-43 among blacks and 43-41 among Hispanics. In Queens it was 48-33.

Sharpton’s rating was 40-44; and 25-66 among whites, 72-17 among blacks and 36-35 among Hispanics. In Queens it was 38-43.

Asked if Sharpton should have been seated with Bratton at a recent news conference, 24 percent said yes, 35 percent said no and 41 percent had no opinion or did not answer. Among whites, the numbers were 14-55-29, among blacks 40-16-44 and among Hispanics 20-22-58. In Queens they were 23-38-42.

The poll, which also touched on other city issues, is posted at quinnipiac.edu.

Mayor gets slapped by both left and right

Mayor de Blasio took some heat from liberal- and conservative-leaning organizations alike on Tuesday. First the Sergeants Benevolent Association took out a full-page ad in some daily newspapers claiming the mayor’s policies are driving an increase in crime and warning the Democratic National Committee that it should not choose New York for its 2016 convention for that reason.

Then activists who want horse-drawn carriages removed from the streets of Manhattan protested outside Gracie Mansion to complain that the mayor has not fulfilled his campaign pledge to ban the industry.

Pope hope at Citi Field

Pope Francis has been invited to visit New York during a trip to the United States next year, and Public Advocate Letitia James hopes he’ll stop by Citi Field, the Daily News reported Sunday. The Mets agreed, the paper said. Pope John Paul II said Mass at Shea Stadium in 1979 and at Aqueduct Race Track in 1995.

— compiled by Peter C. Mastrosimone

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