UFT, Quinn, electeds demands apology from Bloomberg for NRA remark
A group of city leaders joined the teachers union at City Hall Monday to push the mayor to apologize for comparing the organization to the NRA.
Potential mayoral candidates City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and City Comptroller John Liu were among the 100 elected officials who signed the United Federation of Teacher's letter that chastised Mayor Michael Bloomberg for likening them to the NRA during his radio show Friday.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew said the analogy was uncalled for not only because of the recent Newtown, Conn. massacre, which put the NRA in the spotlight, but also because it made city teachers look bad.
"The demonizing of teachers by this mayor has reached a new low," he said.
During his radio show, where he talked about the ongoing teacher evaluation debate, Bloomberg said that, like the gun lobbying group, the teachers' union is out of touch with its own members about the issue.
"Teachers want to work with the best, and most of them are not in sympathy with the union," the mayor said.
Despite the backlash, the mayor's office said Bloomberg stands by his comments.
"The union is a special interest group focused on advancing its agenda whether it's in the public interest or not. Their refusal to agree to a fair evaluation deal is just the latest example of this," Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson said in a statement.
Teachers and other elected officials aren't taking no for an answer.
Quinn said she completely disagrees with the mayor's remarks because it now creates a distraction that hinders students' academics.
"In order to fix our schools and really improve education for 1.1 million students, we need to lower the rhetoric, stop pointing fingers and focus on getting results for our kids," she said in a statement.