UFT Blog

Edwize, the union's blog, is a place where members, public education advocates and others can express opinions in an effort to establish an agora of informed commentary on public education and labor issues. The views expressed on Edwize, and in the posts below, are not necessarily the official views of the UFT, NYSUT, or the AFT. Visit Edwize >>

To improve schools, look at principals
September 18, 2014

Corporate education reformers like to beat up on teachers under the pretext that teachers are the cause of the achievement gap, as if child poverty, class size and school funding play no part in a child’s opportunities for success. Reporter Dana Goldstein has a bold proposition: "To fix schools, stop beating up on teachers and start paying attention to their bosses."

September 12, 2014

I was a bad teacher. My first two years of teaching were awful. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, not even mine. I simply didn’t know what I was doing. I should have gotten a U rating. But I didn’t. I wasn’t even tenured yet. My administrators knew it was growing pains. I was learning.

September 8, 2014

The American Folk Art Museum is exhibiting the artwork of a working-class American original, Ralph Fasanella, who brought to his art a sense of strong social justice. Fasanella’s colorful, lively and detailed paintings are infused with history and politics and dense with visual descriptions of life.

September 4, 2014

No sooner are we back from vacation than some critics are saying we should end the summer breaks to avoid a slide in learning. Their arguments ignore the benefits of summer vacations: enrichment, unstructured play and family time for kids – and rejuvenation for teachers.

August 28, 2014

The huge and troubling racial imbalance in admissions to New York City's specialized high schools recently prompted a UFT task force to recommend altering the current test-only admissions process to improve equity and access. But some alumni of the elite schools told The New York Times that they oppose such changes. 

July 29, 2014

Since when do due process rights for teachers hinder students’ ability to learn? That’s blogger Kristin Wald’s reaction to the lawsuit filed by seven parents in New York State that seeks to erode due process protections for teachers.

July 17, 2014

Former CNN talk show host Campbell Brown is all over the headlines these days, but not for her skills as a journalist. Instead, Brown has reinvented herself as the face of attacks on teacher tenure, teacher unions and the teaching profession.

June 30, 2014

Instead of pouring more resources into high-stakes standardized tests, those working to support low-performing students should focus their energies on supporting teachers, writes education professor Linda Darling-Hammond at the Huffington Post.

June 16, 2014

Picture a kindergarten classroom. What do you see? Chances are, your mental image doesn't include blank walls. But a new study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that kindergarten students in a visually stimulating classroom tended to be more distracted than those in a comparatively sterile environment.

June 12, 2014

According to a new report, many co-located city schools have inadequate facilities, oversized classes, restricted course offerings and insufficient student supports that violate state education law. The campaign is calling for a full-scale investigation into potential violations of student rights at all co-located schools.

May 30, 2014

We have a handful of students at my school who struggle with transitions and display aggressive behavior, fight, push, yell and curse. One of the Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Schools strategies I have applied is to provide time away for the student who is acting out. The challenge is to let the student control the discussion and let him express his feelings and his interpretation of what happened.

May 21, 2014

The proposed new teachers’ contract takes landmark steps toward recognizing the expertise of teachers and giving them more of a voice in decision making in their schools and classrooms. For proof that the contract empowers educators, look no further than yesterday’s editorial in the Daily News, which stomps its feet over Mayor de Blasio’s “generosity to the UFT” and “collaboration with the teachers union.”

May 5, 2014

Diane Ravitch, an acclaimed expert on education and a critic of corporate education reform, praises our proposed new contract on her blog for the opportunities it gives unionized public schools to innovate.

May 1, 2014

The United Federation of Teachers and New York City leaders on May 1 announced a historic proposed nine-year contract that they said demonstrates the extraordinary progress possible in public schools when a city works in partnership with its educators.

April 24, 2014

At the Huffington Post, blogger Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg has a message for public school teachers: We apologize.

April 16, 2014

Even a teacher who proclaims to "love tests" couldn't stomach the state's English language arts exam, which she called "developmentally inappropriate." In an op-ed titled "Why state exams fail my test," Brunski highlights the length and complexity of this year's ELA.

April 11, 2014

In a blog post at Slate, an anonymous New York State public school teacher who worked hard to develop her students’ love of reading writes about how the tests “are sucking the life and love out of students’ literary lives.”

April 2, 2014

You may think you know who teachers are and what they do, but you’re wrong, argues Sarah Blaine in this blog post. Blaine, a former teacher who now practices law, notes that ” people I encounter out in the world now respect me as a professional in part because the vast majority of them have absolutely no idea what I really do.”

March 31, 2014

A new Civil Rights Project report on segregation in New York schools demonstrates that New York State has the most racially segregated schools in the country.

March 12, 2014

High school teachers spend the entire year focusing on Regents preparation — especially this year, when Regents scores hold so much weight in our teacher evaluations. This year, like every other year, we are committed to improving student test scores. As part of our commitment, we’ve formed two committees focusing on how we can get our students to pass the Regents. So in effect, these two different committees are doing the same thing.

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