Skip to main content
Full Menu

New York TeacherJune 26, 2014

Volume LV, Number 13

Cover Stories


Teachers won’t face consequences for state test results in eval deal

Teachers rated Ineffective or Developing based on state Common Core tests this year or next will not face negative consequences, according to changes to the evaluation system agreed to by the state Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo on June 19 in the final hours of the legislative session.

The Legislature’s changes followed widespread criticism of the tests themselves and a botched implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards by the State Education Department. The state rushed to put the standards and tests in place without full curricula and without giving educators a chance to test what worked with their students.

For the 2013–14 and 2014–15 school years, teachers with poor ratings based on state measures of student learning can have their final ratings recalculated using locally designed assessments or other nontest measures of student performance, according to the agreement.

If there are no local measures, then observations and other measures of teacher effectiveness would make u…

Fairer admissions sought for specialized high schools

UFT President Michael Mulgrew, joined by state lawmakers, announced new bipartisan state legislation to increase the diversity of the student body at the city’s eight specialized high schools by not basing admissions exclusively on the performance of an entrance exam.
Teacher Ryan Cain explains how the seed-bearing pistil and stamen in each plant

School gardens springing up

In courtyards, in backyards and on rooftops, hundreds of school gardens are in bloom. Tens of thousands of city children are planting seeds and helping them grown into flowers and plants that please the eye, build good health and bring color to schoolyards and communities everywhere.

Latest News

New fellows raise their hand in response to questions about where they came from

950 new fellows ‘answer the call’

Some 950 new members of the New York City Teaching Fellows were welcomed into the teaching profession on June 16 at the Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn teachers Scott Carlson (left) of the Academy for Conservation and the E

Taking pride in helping our students

At the Albert Shanker Scholarship Fund Awards Ceremony, 188 young people, including nine graduate students, won Shanker scholarships to further their education. Students, families and teachers attended the ceremony at UFT headquarters to celebrate their achievement.

UFT: Alarms to protect children who run just part of the answer

In the wake of the death of Avonte Oquendo, the 14-year-old autistic boy who disappeared from his Long Island City school in October, city and education officials are grappling with how to prevent students with a tendency to run off from leaving school buildings unattended.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew helps children make their selections.

Union helps distribute 40,000 free books in Queens

Some 40,000 books were given away outside the Refuge Church of Christ in Far Rockaway at an event organized by the UFT in partnership with the AFT and the nonprofit organization First Book.

PS 251, Brooklyn, honoree Ann Hendricks (second from left) flanked by Assistant

28th Annual Guidance Counselor Recogntion Day Awards

The 28th annual Guidance Counselor Recognition Awards program honored 29 counselors from every borough, school level and special district.

Feature Stories

George Montasterio
Noteworthy Graduates

Noteworthy graduates: George Monasterio, chief architect, Grand Central Terminal

[[nid:78071; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; styleName:large]]“I’ve designed everything from public bathrooms to the president’s office,” says George Monasterio of his job as the chief architect at Grand Central Terminal. Monasterio, who has held the position at Metro-North Railroad since 2009, oversees the design, construction and aesthetics of Grand Central and Metro-North’s outlying stations — which makes him responsible for supervising everything from the erection of railroad overpasses to the blueprints of a new store inside the terminal. “Every day is so different, which is the nice thing about my job,” Monasterio says. “I love walking through the terminal and seeing tourists come into the building and look up at the grandness of the terminal. I have…

Michelle Sharabi and Hope Fogarty use puppets to teach kindergarten students about resolving conflicts.

Queens staff’s motto: We can work it out

The Safe and Caring program at PS 88 in Ridgewood is helping foster social and emotional development in the students.

36,000 miles and counting - 333-0053

36,000 miles and counting

Thanks to a dynamic physical education teacher and support from the nonprofit running organization New York Road Runners, the Mighty Milers of PS 164 have collectively run almost 36,000 miles since September.

Around the UFT

The Island Spice Dance Group struts its stuff.

Teacher Appreciation Day celebration at PS 53, the Bronx

It was an exceptional Teacher Appreciation Day at PS 53 in the Bronx on June 5, when educators gathered in the school cafeteria to enjoy a catered lunch.

Gynmasium, health clinic ceremonies at PS 188, Brooklyn

Two ribbon-cuttings in June illustrated just how far PS 188 in Coney Island has rebounded from Hurricane Sandy, which forced the school to shut down for more than a month in late 2012.

Annual multicultural celebration at PS 299, Brooklyn

From a Puerto Rican salsa to an African step dance, cultures around the world were represented at the annual multicultural celebration at PS 299 in Bushwick.

UFT Teacher Center opens at PS 100, Brooklyn

PS 100, in South Brooklyn, on June 3 opened its new UFT Teacher Center, the product of a strong working relationship between Chapter Leader Joanne Bullaro, Assistant Principal Tabatha Romano and Principal Katherine Moloney.

Student performance at Transit Tech Career and Technical Education HS, Brooklyn

It was a “Thriller” of an evening for Transit Tech Career and Technical Education HS in Brooklyn on June 11, when a full auditorium of students, staff and family members was treated to a student performance of “Unstoppable: A Tribute to the Jackson Family.”

You Should Know

You Should Know

Thinking of resigning?

If you are considering resigning, be aware that you will lose eligibility for retroactive payments in the new contract if you resign.

You Should Know

Did you get an excessing letter

If you have received an excessing letter from your principal, this does not mean that you are in excess.

Secure Your Future
Summer beach

Use summer to plan and prepare

Summer is a good time to plan and prepare for your retirement.


President's Perspective

Much was accomplished in 2013-14

We expended a lot of energy — and relied heavily on your involvement — these last several years fighting against Mayor Bloomberg and his mistaken policies. Now we’ll be able to channel that energy into thinking creatively about how we can improve our school system.

Cloud image of tags related to sick leave, doctors and benefits

The importance of paid sick days

No one should have to go to work while sick. Whether you’re a nurse, a child care provider, a charter school teacher or any other worker, working while sick is bad for you, your family, your colleagues and those you serve.


Summer is for …

School’s out. But we know that many UFT members have busy summers ahead.

A top-down plan for charters’ growth

Over the last 15 years, as the number of charter schools around the country has multiplied, the movement has increasingly become dominated by charter school networks such as Success Academy and Uncommon Schools as opposed to independent or community-based charter schools.

Editorial Cartoons

Teaching Resources

Linking to Learning

Technology in the ESL classroom

Technology offers powerful visual and audio resources for students who may have limited or no English skills.

Research shows

Foundations pushed spread of charters

Four philanthropic foundations worked in concert to orchstrate the large growth in charter school networks, a new study has found.

Teacher to Teacher

Encouraging deep thinking

When I was in high school, my 10th-grade English teacher at Edward R. Murrow, Lou Frederick, changed the way I perceived the world. Frederick did this through a system called the “Deep Board,” which captivated our interests while doubling as a tool of positive reinforcement for our deep thoughts.

Building Your Career

Building Your Career

Tools to support students with IEPs

Here are some tools I use that support students with IEPs to participate in the least restrictive environment.
New Teacher Articles

Summer’s here — now, how should you spend it?

Here are some tips from experienced teachers on how to have a productive summer vacation.

Retired Teachers News

Bloodbath, Part 2

The last doom-and-gloom column outlined the impending bloodbath many pundits see coming in the November 2014 midterm elections, just five months from now. This column is devoted to possibilities and glimmers of hope.

A Day at the University

Retirees packed UFT headquarters on June 13 for the chapter’s annual Day at the University.