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Topics in the News:
Around the UFT | November 24, 2011 >>
Tourette Syndrome, the neurological condition that causes people to make repeated, quick muscle movements — called tics — or sounds that they cannot control, is getting needed attention from UFT members.
News stories | November 24, 2011 >>
UFT President Michael Mulgrew opened the Nov. 9 Delegate Assembly with some good news: in Ohio the previous day, voters turned back by a 61-39 percent margin an attempt to prevent public-sector workers from being able to bargain collectively. He noted that 25 UFT retirees and staffers had been on the ground in Ohio, knocking on doors and making phone calls to talk about the issue and get out the vote.
Around the UFT | November 10, 2011 >>
District 21 members at a Meet the President event in Coney Island on Oct. 24 heard from both UFT President Michael Mulgrew and Secretary Michael Mendel, who assured members that “no new evaluation system is in place except at the 33 Restart and Transformation schools.” By law, the new system must first be negotiated with the UFT, he said.
Around the UFT | November 10, 2011 >>
In his meeting with some 250 UFT members from District 31 and BASIS high schools on Oct. 25, UFT President Michael Mulgrew discussed many of the challenges and issues that New York City educators must deal with these days.
Around the UFT | October 27, 2011 >>
Scores of busy hands and gallons of primary color paints transformed the cafeteria, gymnasium and doors of PS 396, a District 75 school for multiply handicapped students in Brooklyn, on Oct 15 — Volunteer for Schools Day. Staff worked with 30 volunteers from New York Cares for a marathon Sunday makeover at the K-8 Brownsville school.
News stories | October 27, 2011 >>
At the Oct. 19 Delegate Assembly, the first since the summer break, UFT President Michael Mulgrew reported on principals abusing the teacher evaluation system, the dysfunctional Special Education Student Information System and the need to make the state’s richest pay their fair share of taxes.
Editorials | October 27, 2011 >>
The new Special Education Student Information System (SESIS) put in place by the Department of Education has great potential as a central database. But in typical DOE fashion, the agency has turned the initiative into a massive problem for UFT members by not providing them with the time, equipment, training or support they need to make it work.
Chapter news | October 21, 2011 >>
I usually write this newsletter early in September, but it was delayed because of the urgent priority of my responding right away to the many calls and emails I received about the "SESIS mess." We have filed a complaint with PERB, charging the Board with violating the Taylor Law by failing to ensure that you have the equipment you need to use SESIS and by increasing the number of hours you are required to work.
News | October 14, 2011 >>
The Oct. 15 deadline for inputting encounter attendance information in the Special Education Student Information System (SESIS) is looming for those of you who teach students with special needs and, in many cases, your supervisors and principals are telling you to just get it done. From your phone calls and emails, we know you are working during your lunch, preparation periods, after school and at home and are still finding the task impossible to complete.
Around the UFT | September 22, 2011 >>
For her years working with children with special needs, the New York City chapter of the Tourette Syndrome Association honored Vice President for Special Education Carmen Alvarez with a plaque and its many thanks.
Vperspective | September 8, 2011 >>
This fall, the state Board of Regents will be making recommendations to the state Legislature on another package of cost-containment measures. This isn’t new. Special education is a very large target because it is expensive and it has a lot of requirements. But this time is different.
UFT tells Regents: Don’t dilute IEP school psychologist, evaluation and decertification requirements
News | August 11, 2011 >>
UFT members who work with students with disabilities have expressed deep concerns about special education cost-saving proposals currently being weighed by the state Board of Regents. The Regents are considering whether to recommend legislation to remove school psychologists from IEP teams, eliminate requirements for certain assessments as part of the initial evaluation and do away with planning and support services for students who are decertified.
News | June 30, 2011 >>
More than a dozen UFT school psychologists uniformly panned latest “mandate relief” proposals from the state Board of Regents at a state Education Department hearing in Brooklyn on June 28. At issue are guidelines that would waive the requirement that school psychologists and specific psychological evaluations be part of Committee on Special Education (CSE) processes.
Around the UFT | June 23, 2011 >>
Special education teachers and paraprofessionals were recognized for their work in valuing students with disabilities at the “Celebrate Inclusion” event staged by the Department of Education’s Division of Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners and the special education group Parents for Inclusive Education on May 26 at Baruch College’s Mason Hall, Manhattan.
News stories | June 23, 2011 >>
With the threat of 4,200 teacher layoffs still looming as the school year draws to a close, an angry Michael Mulgrew called on the delegates to be prepared to hit the streets this summer in the event that even one teacher receives a pink slip.
More than 100 special education teachers turned out on Sunday, May 15, to join UFT Vice President for Special Education Carmen Alvarez for the first workshop in a two-part series on “Executive Functioning and the School Experience.”
Until he came to the United States, he never knew there was such a thing as speech therapy. The student felt like a freak, was teased, was filled with shame and secretly dreamed of fluency in speech and success in life.
For the sixth straight year, the Friends of District 75 honored individuals whose advocacy has benefited students with special needs. This year's gala, at Brooklyn's El Caribe on April 28, was not only a testimonial to their impact but a fundraiser to help send several special needs children to summer camp.
Vperspective | May 26, 2011 >>
Tucked away on a back street in East New York, Brooklyn, is a wonderful, warm small school at PS 273. It felt like a community school from the old days. In the library, I spoke with Ms. Silver, a retired bookkeeper and community member who has been volunteering there for more than 14 years.
Vperspective | April 28, 2011 >>
They can’t help themselves. The Department of Education — and the city — that is. They just have to purchase complex technology without fully considering the needs of the end users. Think ARIS, I-Zone and CityTime. The latest is SESIS, short for Special Education Student Information System.