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In his Jan. 21 State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo embraced the corporate reform agenda for education with a vengeance. He called for raising the cap on charter schools, extending tenure from three to five years, putting struggling schools into “receivership” and basing half a teacher’s evaluation on student test scores.
The Moral Mondays movement came to New York State on Jan. 12 as about 1,000 students, parents, advocates and union leaders from New York City and across the state converged on the state Capitol to demand fair and equitable funding for public schools.
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced on Jan. 22 the end of the 55 school networks created by the Bloomberg administration and the introduction of a new structure that gives greater oversight and responsibility to superintendents.
Two New York City public school teachers testified before a U.S. Senate committee on how testing and accountability should be redefined in the federal law that provides funding for K–12 education nationwide.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew asked delegates at the Delegate Assembly on Jan. 14 to encourage their colleagues to use social media to show how Governor Cuomo’s proposals on education would be destructive to public schools, educators and students.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña on Jan. 7 announced the lifting of the ban on cellphones in city schools. Going forward, the Department of Education will allow schools to develop cellphone policies tailored to their individual needs.
Lawyers for the UFT and NYSUT vigorously defended due the process rights for teachers and made a forceful case in state Supreme Court on Jan. 16 for the dismissal of two lawsuits that attack those rights.
Charter school operators in New York have staked out an ambitious political agenda for 2015, powered by millions of dollars donated to elected officials and invested in substantial TV ad campaigns. The funding has come from conservative groups organized by hedge- fund investors ferociously opposed to public education and teacher unions.
The many schools hurt by the recent critical shortage of licensed secretaries now have relief with the hiring of 353 school secretaries.
For the most part, school secretaries love their jobs. But at the UFT’s annual Secretaries Seminar on Saturday, it sure was fun for them to act out frustrating and infuriating scenarios and learn ways to communicate and cope.
Members should be aware of two approaching deadlines for Teacher’s Choice, which come earlier this year than in previous years.
The DOE hired 5,473 new teachers in the 2013-14 school year, the highest number in four years, after hiring plummeted to less than half that number in the 2008-09 school year. In the first three months of the current school year, hiring had already topped 3,750.
Newly named model and master teachers met at the Teacher Leadership Academy’s Conversation Café on Jan. 21 at union headquarters to discuss the impact they are having in their schools.
Three members at PROSE schools addressed delegates about the changes at their schools at the Jan. 14 Delegate Assembly.
The MyLibraryNYC program, a partnership of the city's three public library systems, delivers class sets of the same book and collections of age-appropriate books on a single topic — all for free — to 550 participating schools in all five boroughs.
New York City’s child care providers have overwhelmingly ratified a $43 million agreement with the state Office of Children and Family Services that will feature valuable health benefits as well as grant money to enhance their skills and better equip their programs. “It’s an historic contract that will greatly improve the lives of our members and of the children we serve,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew.
The UFT on Dec. 18 blasted a letter from the Cuomo administration to state Education Commissioner John King that intimated that the governor was going to use the power he has in the budgetary process to try to ram through changes to education policy that charter school advocates and corporate education reform groups have been pushing for years.
Christmas came early this year for 127 homeless children as they arrived for a holiday party thrown by the UFT and the Coalition for the Homeless at union headquarters on Saturday, Dec. 13.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew on Dec. 9 called for closing tax loopholes that benefit non-resident owners of luxury properties to raise revenue to bring class sizes in kindergarten through Grade 3 down to no more than 15 children.
The training at the heart of the Institute for Understanding Behavior — therapeutic crisis intervention — has been prescribed in the settlement of a lawsuit that challenged the practice of sending disruptive children to hospital emergency rooms.