Around the UFT

The president visits: PS 197 and IS 381, Brooklyn

Miller Photography

Grabbing a coffee for the meeting are (from left) Ismeta Music, a paraprofessional at PS 197, with her teacher colleagues Kerri Little and Lisa DeChirico. More photos >>

Miller Photography

Mulgrew speaks to the group.

Miller Photography

Staff at the two schools take in the information.

At an early-morning visit to PS 197 and IS 381 — two schools that share a building in Midwood, Brooklyn — on Dec. 6, UFT President Michael Mulgrew revealed to educators that a new education funding increase was being discussed in Albany. It was announced in the press later that day [see story on page 3], a result of an agreement between the governor and state Legislature to raise taxes on the very rich, while lowering taxes on working and middle-class New Yorkers. Another topic that came up during the wide-ranging meeting was the frustration educators were feeling with the Special Education Student Information System (SESIS), a computer system that instead of making life easier for teachers — as computers should — actually makes educators’ jobs harder. Mulgrew praised the community learning center model that has transformed struggling schools in Cincinnati, Ohio. He explained that parents, teachers and business leaders in each community there work as partners with their local schools; the results have been phenomenal, with high academic achievement and an influx of students back into the local schools.

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