What a way not to show independence: Mayoral wannabe Andrew Yang just withdrew his spot-on criticism of the United Federation of Teachers because … UFT boss Mike Mulgrew told him to blame Mayor Bill de Blasio instead.
“I do believe that the UFT has been a significant reason why our schools have been slow to open,” Yang told Politico New York last month. But he walked that back at a UFT-hosted forum Wednesday, with a sad and stage-managed mea culpa.
Mulgrew himself asked Yang if he stood by his comments to Politico, and the candidate explained that he’s frustrated by the issue, but credited the UFT boss with enlightening him.
“Mike, you and I had a productive conversation afterwards,” he said. “Where you conveyed to me that it’s been a failure of leadership on the part of the mayor. That teachers need a partner who is committed to reopening schools in a responsible way that protects teachers and makes everyone feel safe and secure.”
Mulgrew has threatened lawsuits and illegal strikes to block reopenings, and bulldozed the mayor into agreeing to absurd rules to get a UFT signoff on even tiny steps forward. He just this week blasted de Blasio’s vow to relax the city’s two-case school closure rule. Last month, he condemned new CDC recommendations to cut in-school social distancing from 6 feet to 3 feet.
And all across the nation, schools have stayed closed only where teacher unions are over-powerful. De Blasio and his minions certainly bumble plenty — but the evidence is overwhelming that Yang was right the first time.
And the “Math Guy” surely knows it, he just didn’t have the guts to stick to his guns.