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 >>

A teacher who loves tests — but not the ELA
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.”

New York's badly segregated schools
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 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.

Hurt schools, help rich people
March 28, 2014

A new proposal making its way through the state Legislature is a thinly veiled voucher program that would use taxpayer money to fund religious and other private schools in New York City and across the state.

Committees upon committees upon...
March 12, 2014

As part of our commitment to improving our students' Regents test scores, my school has 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.

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.

Unprepared and knowing it
March 7, 2014

Would you want a doctor who had completed one year of medical school instead of four? A lawyer who had finished only one semester of law school? In other professions, we assume that practitioners will have proper training. But for teachers, a dangerous sort of denial has taken hold about the preparation needed to be effective in a classroom.

How to read a poem (or how to teach)
February 20, 2014

The education reform movement has an obsessive adherence to rigidly structured lesson plans, bewildering algorithms to quantify teacher effectiveness and the relentless collection and analysis of student data. But in my second year of teaching, I’ve come to realize that a true education is messy — gloriously messy, like a Kandinsky painting.

Inequality and you
February 11, 2014

As a union, our fight for fair contracts acts as a counterweight to the rising tide of inequality. So does our support for other labor campaigns, such as the fight by fast-food workers for decent wages. Inequality affects us all every day. It is, as President Obama said, the defining issue of our time.

Inequality and you
February 11, 2014

As a union, our fight for fair contracts acts as a counterweight to the rising tide of inequality. So does our support for other labor campaigns, such as the fight by fast-food workers for decent wages.

Charter schools: A UFT research report
February 4, 2014

As charter school proponents go to Albany this week to plead their case, let’s examine the realities behind their claims of stretched resources, unique student demand and stellar academic results.

February 4, 2014

As charter school proponents go to Albany this week to plead their case, let’s examine the realities behind their claims of stretched resources, unique student demand and stellar academic results.

February 4, 2014

Patrick Nau, a teacher at PS 369 in the Bronx, has completed his training with the Institute for Understanding Behavior, a consortium of the New York City Department of Education and the UFT. The institute trains entire school staffs in using strategies that help foster social, emotional and academic growth in students. Eight schools have signed up for the training. Patrick is writing a series of blog posts about his experience and the lessons he hopes to bring into the classroom. 

January 29, 2014

From the New Teacher Diaries

Advance: Formerly just a category students were put into based on ESL assessment scores; now it is the name of a new teacher evaluation system we are all still trying to figure out.

Budget: Hopefully in my second year of teaching I won’t have to spend quite as much of my own money on classroom supplies as in my first.

January 24, 2014

When I received an email from the UFT about the Martin Luther King, Jr. ceremony at Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem, I decided that I would like to go. Michael Mulgrew would be there, and I know the union is only as strong as the dedication of its leaders and members.

Ode to Joy
January 17, 2014

Newly appointed Chancellor Carmen Fariña told Department of Education staff during her first day on the job that we need to put joy back in the school system. Now that is a word we haven’t heard from a schools chancellor in a long time.

January 13, 2014

Patrick Nau, a teacher at PS 369 in the South Bronx, is participating in training by the Institute for Understanding Behavior, a consortium of the New York City Department of Education and the UFT. The institute trains entire school staffs to respond to challenging behavior more effectively by using strategies that help foster social, emotional and academic growth. 

January 10, 2014

[From the New Teacher Diaries:] It is my second year having an all-girls 9th-grade advisory class at my high school in Brooklyn. By the end of September, my group of girls knew many things about me. What they didn’t know was that I am married to a woman.

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