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New York TeacherMarch 27, 2014

Volume LV, Number 9

Cover Stories

What teachers say - 1 (crop)

What teachers say

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  Bloomberg made members’ jobs ‘intolerable’

Teachers’ answers to the UFT‘s first comprehensive, random-sample survey of their work lives and professional views, conducted just before he left office, show just how grueling their working conditions became. Read more What works, what doesn’t: Teachers speak their minds

The UFT survey invited teachers to rate a slew of education reforms. We asked, on a scale of 1 to 4, how effective would each be at improving educational outcomes for New York City public school students? Read more How a random sample survey works

To collect the viewpoints of the 75,000 teachers in the UFT, we conducted our survey in much the same way Gallup Inc. conducts its national polls: We used random or probability sampling. Read more Working hard — but not on wha…

Editorial Cartoon: Eva Moskowitz "I Can't Afford It"

Charter ‘war’ all about Eva

Eva Moskowitz has some very deep pockets, thanks to her powerful friends on Wall Street. And the Success Academy Charter Schools honcho has become adept at using her multimillion-dollar war chest to buy influence and drive policy in New York State.

Puppy love

Puppies bring out the little kid in everyone, it seems. But one afterschool program is showing that puppies can also awaken something else: leadership and self-confidence in girls. That’s the ambitious agenda of Unleashed at the Clinton MS for Artists and Writers near Hudson Yards in Manhattan.

Latest News

Taking on specialized HS admissions

Janella Hinds, the UFT vice president for high schools, presented the recommendations of the UFT’s Specialized High School Task Force, which had rank-and-file representation from all eight specialized high schools.

Brain drain

Underscoring the need for raises and better working conditions to be negotiated in the next teachers’ contract, UFT President Michael Mulgrew warned on March 12 that New York City schools were losing thousands of teachers to the surrounding suburbs, which pay more and have lower class sizes and better teaching conditions.
Teachers had plenty to say about how the Department of Education under Mike Bloo

Bloomberg made members’ jobs ‘intolerable’

Teachers’ answers to the UFT‘s first comprehensive, random-sample survey of their work lives and professional views, conducted just before he left office, show just how grueling their working conditions became.

Speaking from the heart

Matthew Kirwan, the chapter leader of PS 74 on Staten Island, said he was participating for the third time in the union’s annual Lobby Day to make sure state lawmakers heard firsthand from classroom educators about their issues. “This is our opportunity to voice those issues and advocate for things that we need,” he said.

How a random sample survey works

To collect the viewpoints of the 75,000 teachers in the UFT, we conducted our survey in much the same way Gallup Inc. conducts its national polls: We used random or probability sampling.

Feature Stories

Jane Brody
Noteworthy Graduates

Noteworthy graduates: Jane Brody, New York Times health columnist

Millions read Jane Brody’s Personal Health column in The New York Times for advice on healthy eating, exercise and the latest research on staying robust and fit. For more than three decades, Brody has been a trusted source for health information. In her most recent columns, you would have learned that nuts are by far the healthiest snack. Considering e-cigarettes? Brody says don’t: They’re just as bad for you as regular cigarettes. Wondering about your long commute by car every day? That’s taking a bigger toll on your body than anyone could have guessed. Brody’s column has been published in The New York Times since 1976, but she’s been a staff writer at the newspaper since 1965, when she was the only woman in the science department. “I always wanted to cover science,” she said. “I would not be a women’s writer or anything else they threw at me. I was adamant about that.” Brody grew up in the Manhattan Beach section of Brooklyn and attended PS 225 and Cunningham JHS. She graduated as valedictorian from James Madison HS in 1958. Brody’s mother, stepmother and favorite aunt all taught in Brooklyn public schools. “Teaching was definitely part of my family history,” she said.

In junior high school and high school, I always felt encouraged to take on what I was interested in. No one ever said you can’t do…

First-graders are happily at work at their colorful new tables.


Best seats (and tables) in the house

With hands covering their eyes and appeals for “no peeking” and “don’t ruin the surprise,” 1st-graders from PS 62 in Richmond Hill shrieked with glee when they opened their classroom door and found brightly colored tables and chairs instead of their dreary, old, scratched desks.

“Feel it,” Townsend Harris HS chemistry teacher Tom Sangiorgi tells student Leann Senat.


In his element

In Tom Sangiorgi’s chemistry class at Townsend Harris HS in Flushing, Queens, chemistry isn’t just something students learn — it’s something they experience.

More in Feature Stories

Around the UFT

UFT Hellenic American Educators Association’s annual Greek Heritage Celebration

The UFT Hellenic American Educators Association held its annual Greek Heritage Celebration on March 13 at union headquarters with a look at a fascinating — and little-known — chapter of Greek history: the immigration of Greek Orthodox and Romaniote Jews to the United States in the early 1900s and their settlement on the Lower East Side.

Teacher’s generosity benefits 1st-grader’s family at PS 69, Brooklyn

News that a snowplow in a nearby supermarket parking lot had backed into and killed the pregnant mother of a 1st-grader at PS 69 on Feb. 13 galvanized the school staff and the whole Sunset Park community.

Asian American Heritage Committee’s annual Lunar New Year Banquet

For more than a quarter century, hundreds of UFT members have turned out each year to celebrate the Chinese New Year at the Lunar New Year Banquet hosted by the Asian American Heritage Committee.

Golden bill hurts public education

UFT members participate in a protest on March 21 in front of the Bay Ridge office of state Sen. Marty Golden, who sponsored a bill making its way through the Legislature that would grant sizable tax credits for donations to scholarship funds for religious and other private schools in New York State.

Community Learning School service project at PS 65, Queens

For the 150 animals sheltered at the Heavenly Angels Animal Rescue in Ozone Park, Queens, the 4th-graders of nearby PS 65 are truly the cat’s meow.

Your Rights and Benefits

Know Your Rights
Argument

Special complaints

You do not have to — nor should you — tolerate such harassment or acts of intimidation. A special complaint process was expanded in the 1990s to protect UFT members from harassment or intimidation by their supervisors.

You Should Know

Secure Your Future
Money

Do you have any unclaimed funds?

The Teachers’ Retirement System is in possession of many uncashed checks that have been issued since 2000.

Secure Your Future
update your beneficiary forms

Be sure to update your designated beneficiary

There are an awful lot of members putting their loved ones in jeopardy of long delays and legal expenses when their needs are greatest. Are you one of them?

Opinions

President's Perspective

Proof now in the numbers

When I talk to parents, politicians or community members, I always tell them what teachers are experiencing in the schools.
VPerspective

Bronx school’s environmental center another CTE success story

The Energy Environment Research Center, the brainchild of high school science teacher Nathaniel Wight and his students at the Bronx Design and Construction Academy, is just one example of the great work that CTE educators and their students do in their schools every day.

Opinion

Hurt schools, help rich people

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.
Opinion

Eva’s double standard

Eva's double standard: Eva Moskowitz has a double standard. She claims her schools are public charters and so deserve rent-free public space. But she refuses to allow the state comptroller to audit her schools.

Hurt schools, help rich people: A 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.

Editorial Cartoons

Teaching Resources

Linking to Learning

Keeping students focused

When it comes to managing the technology-infused classroom, I’ve found that the same strategies that work in a traditional classroom environment work in classrooms using technology. But, there are some specific steps you can take to ensure students stay focused and engaged in their technology work.

Research shows

Good grades predict success in college

New research indicates that a high school grade point average (GPA) based on class work is a strong, reliable predictor of student performance in college.

Teacher to Teacher

Teaching the Supreme Court

While many feel comfortable teaching historical events within a rigorous context by using primary sources and other resources, teachers may be more tentative about tackling other topics, such as the Supreme Court, that are more nuanced and harder to analyze.

Building Your Career

Building Your Career

Student ownership in the social studies classroom

My social studies classroom is maintained by the students themselves.
New Teacher Articles

Money-saving tips to fill supply gaps

As a new teacher, you may find that your supply reserve is running low as you approach the spring vacation. Fortunately, it’s possible to fill in the gaps without emptying your own wallet — as long as you know where to look.

Retired Teachers News

Tomorrow’s another day

Our Retired Teachers Chapter members in Florida worked incredibly hard on the special election on March 11 to determine who would represent Florida’s 13th congressional district. Unfortunately, our candidate, Democrat Alex Sink, suffered a narrow defeat to Republican David Jolly.

Reporting TRS distributions on your local income tax

If you received one or more of the distributions listed below during 2013, you are required to report the total gross amount of the distribution on line 16a and the taxable amount of the distribution on line 16b on your 2013 federal income tax form 1040.