Topics in the News:
education law and policy

Press releases | March 4, 2010 >>

New York State is among the 15 states and the District of Columbia that advanced to the finals of the competition for the Obama Administration’s $4.35 billion in “Race to the Top” education grants. The state’s “application showed a strong dedication to innovation, improving teaching and learning, curriculum and the issues that really make a difference inside the classroom,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew.

Testimony | March 2, 2010 >>

UFT President Michael Mulgrew testifies before the NYC Council Committees on Education, Oversight and Investigation on the DOE's plan for closing schools.

News stories | February 18, 2010 >>

While the city and state still struggle to deal with an economy in crisis, UFT President Michael Mulgrew insisted that lawmakers and city officials work together on a budget agreement that “protects the classroom at all times,” he said in testimony before Assembly and Senate committee meetings on Feb. 2 in Albany.

National education and labor news | February 18, 2010 >>

The White House wants big changes in the No Child Left Behind law, including a shift in judging how and whether schools succeed or fail. It would modify federal financing formulas so that a portion of the money is awarded based on academic progress, rather than on current formulas that apportion money according to their numbers of students, especially poor students.

News stories | February 4, 2010 >>

Calling it a “textbook case for why we need revisions to the charter school law,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said that amendments to the state charter school law that the union sought would have prevented abuses that have led the city to begin revoking the charter at Brooklyn’s East New York Preparatory Charter School.

News stories | January 22, 2010 >>

The state ruled that Chancellor Klein improperly stripped school leadership teams of their mandated responsibility to develop school Comprehensive Education Plans when he empowered principals with final decision-making authority over the plans.

News stories | January 11, 2010 >>

Surrounded by city and state elected officials, and citing a new UFT report showing that New York City’s charter schools fail to serve the city’s neediest students, UFT President Michael Mulgrew used a Jan. 3 press conference to call for changes in the state charter school law.

Press releases | January 5, 2010 >>

The UFT and a coalition of community groups and parents on Jan. 5 sued the Department of Education for violating its obligation to use Contract for Excellence targeted funds to reduce class sizes. UFT President Michael Mulgrew said, “New York City promised in writing that it would use specific funds to reduce class size. It then turned around and ignored its promise, saying that school principals who supposedly work for the DOE simply decided to spend the money on other things… The result has been that class sizes have actually increased over 2007 in every grade.”

Press releases | January 3, 2010 >>

At a press conference on Jan. 3, UFT President Michael Mulgrew and a group of prominent elected officials released a report on charter school inequities, and called for reforms to the New York State charter school law. UFT President Michael Mulgrew said, “New York’s charter school experiment has led to some promising innovations, but as a group New York City charter schools have become a separate and unequal branch of public education, working with a far smaller proportion of our neediest students than the average public school.” Until these inequities are addressed, he continued, “we are urging the Legislature not to consider any other action on charter schools, including the potential lifting of the charter school cap.”

News stories | October 15, 2009 >>

In a move that UFT President Michael Mulgrew said New York City district-school parents would find “troubling,” the mayor announced a sweeping plan to double the number of charter schools in the city and bolster the services that charter school students receive.

National education and labor news | October 15, 2009 >>

The Obama administration wants to curtail students’ summer vacations, saying that the long break from the classroom puts U.S. students at a disadvantage with counterparts in other countries such as India and China and makes the U.S. work force less competitive.

News stories | October 1, 2009 >>

Teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve pool attended job fairs across the city in September in hopes of filling one of the 1,100 vacancies still open as the school year moves into its second month.

News stories | October 1, 2009 >>

Educators and parents worked too hard to improve the new school governance law to now see it delayed or not properly implemented, the UFT testified at a City Council Education Committee hearing.

Press releases | September 30, 2009 >>

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign announced on Sept. 30 a plan to create 100 new charter schools, doubling the number currently in the city. The plan would also expand the Harlem Children’s Zone and create two new "Children’s Zones" in Central Brooklyn and the South Bronx. UFT President Michael Mulgrew said, “If I were a public school parent I would find these proposals from Candidate Bloomberg troubling.” He continued by saying that any expansion and improvement in the city’s schools should be shared by all students, not just those who attend charter schools.

Testimony | September 23, 2009 >>

UFT President Michael Mulgrew testified before NYC Council Ed Committee on the implementation of the new school governance law.

News stories | September 17, 2009 >>

The new school governance law passed by the state Legislature this summer gives parents and UFT members new tools to hold the DOE accountable and to have input into policy at the central and school levels.

News stories | August 13, 2009 >>

David Steiner, dean of the Hunter College School of Education, was appointed New York State education commissioner by the state Board of Regents on July 27, and is expected to take office on Oct. 1. Commissioner Steiner is replacing Richard Mills, who retired as commissioner after serving for 14 years.

News stories | August 13, 2009 >>

The state Senate returned to session on Aug. 6 and passed a bill to renew mayoral control of the city’s public schools, along with other related bills to increase parental input in the school system and address some of the other flaws in the original legislation.

Press releases | August 10, 2009 >>

Mayor Bloomberg on Aug. 10 unveiled plans to enhance the DOE’s social promotion policy by including 4th and 6th graders. UFT President Michael Mulgrew said that "ending social promotion is a goal that we all share." But, he continued, "we also need to ensure that effective support and intervention services are in place and available for under-achieving students."

Press releases | August 6, 2009 >>

The New York State Senate on Aug. 6 passed legislation on school governance, voting by a 47-8 margin to renew mayoral control. The Senate passed additional amendments that will create a parent training center, an arts council, yearly school safety meetings, and expanded oversight of principals by superintendents. UFT President Michael Mulgrew said, "With the governor’s support, this bill will provide the transparency and accountability, as well as parent participation, which will allow our school system’s progress to continue."

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