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Topics in the News:
education law and policy
National education and labor news | January 31, 2013 >>
A new movement is developing around the grievance that schools labeled “turnaround” and schools targeted for closure house more students of color than those left alone. As such, critics charge, these policies systematically violate Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits race-based discrimination in federally funded programs.
Press releases | January 22, 2013 >>
In response to the mayor’s most recent attempt to point the finger at the union for the breakdown of evaluation talks, UFT President Michael Mulgrew observed, “Most people would be embarrassed that the state’s highest education official has directly contradicted their statements about a new teacher evaluation system, but not the mayor.”
California won’t be joining the 33 states that have already received a federal waiver from meeting No Child Left Behind math and English language competency goals. The state will lose funding as a result. The sticking point: the state’s unwillingness to evaluate teachers based in part on how well their students do on standardized tests.
National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre’s stance that schools are safer when teachers are armed was slammed by the leaders of both national teachers unions as itself dangerous and unsafe. “Guns have no place in our schools. Period,” read a joint statement from the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.
Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino wants to change state law so school systems can accelerate efforts to overhaul low-achieving schools with what he called “fewer roadblocks from teachers unions.”
Philadelphia schools head William R. Hite Jr. plans to close some 40 schools — one in six of the city’s total — by June, affecting 17,000 students and 1,100 teachers. Hite cited both poor academic records and building deterioration in his decision.
News stories | January 17, 2013 >>
Seeing the upcoming mayor’s race as an opportunity to make some much-needed changes to school governance in New York City, the UFT has reconstituted its School Governance Committee.
Press releases | January 10, 2013 >>
In his State of the State speech on Jan. 9, Gov. Cuomo announced an ambitious education agenda for 2013 that includes full-day pre-kindergarten in the poorest areas, community schools such as those being piloted by the UFT this year, and a “bar-like exam” to qualify future teachers that was first proposed by the AFT. In response, UFT President Michael Mulgrew said, "Gov. Cuomo has shown educational leadership, and we feel many of his initiatives will have a real impact on students' lives."
Press releases | January 2, 2013 >>
Governor Cuomo’s New NY Education Reform Commission on Jan. 2 released its preliminary recommendations for improving the state’s public schools. UFT President Michael Mulgrew said, "We’re glad to see the governor’s panel making common-sense, research-based recommendations about improving our schools, particularly the community school model where students and parents have easy access to health, tutoring, counseling and social services."
News stories | November 22, 2012 >>
The UFT sued the Department of Education on Nov 15, asking the New York State Supreme Court to intervene, after the DOE turned over only heavily blacked-out copies of emails between former Chancellor Joel Klein, his deputies and charter school advocates, two years after the UFT had requested them under the Freedom of Information Act.
Press releases | November 15, 2012 >>
The UFT on Nov. 15 sued the New York City Department of Education over its failure to comply with Freedom of Information requests for copies of emails that link former Chancellor Joel Klein and senior DOE staffers with City Hall political figures and charter school proponents.
Testimony | October 16, 2012 >>
UFT President Michael Mulgrew testified before the New New York Education Reform Commission.
President's perspective | September 6, 2012 >>
The year ahead will have its challenges, but it will also be an exciting year for our union and our profession. We now have an opportunity to move education forward for ourselves and for our students.
News stories | June 28, 2012 >>
At the June 13 Delegate Assembly, UFT President Michael Mulgrew reflected on the grueling school year that was and discussed what to expect in the year ahead. Events such as the emergence of Occupy Wall Street and the fight for the millionaire’s tax “feel more like four years ago than just the beginning of this school year,” Mulgrew said.
Union resolutions | June 13, 2012 >>
The UFT will reconvene the Mayoral Control Committee for the purpose of meeting with members and our community partners in order to make a recommendation on our position regarding mayoral control.
News stories | May 24, 2012 >>
At the May 17 Delegate Assembly, UFT President Michael Mulgrew broached the topic of mayoral control — an issue of major import to New York City educators and all who are concerned with the state of the city’s public schools.
Vperspective | April 5, 2012 >>
The Department of Education is rolling out its special education reform to all 1,700 city schools next year. The expectation is that nearly all incoming elementary, middle school and high school students with disabilities will attend the same school they would attend if they didn’t have Individualized Education Programs.
President's perspective | April 5, 2012 >>
The UFT has always stood for teachers helping teachers, but that aspect of our mission has never been so critically important as it is now, in these final years of the Bloomberg administration. The work you have done to support each other in these difficult times has been astounding.
News stories | March 8, 2012 >>
UFT President Michael Mulgrew joined state and city elected officials, parents and education advocates on Feb. 28 to announce his support for proposed state legislation that would require elected parent councils to approve school co-locations before they could go into effect.
News stories | February 2, 2012 >>
Enraged at the mayor’s threat to close 33 “persistently lowest achieving” schools and remove half the staff in each school, more than 1,000 UFT-represented educators descended on a Jan. 18 meeting of the city’s Panel for Educational Policy at Brooklyn Technical HS, disrupting the proceedings with whistles and chants before walking out in protest.