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New York TeacherJuly 10, 2015

Volume LVI, Number 11

Cover Stories

Eighteen percent of memebrs surveyed said that half or more of their students ha

Educators see incremental progress in schools and profession

Teachers may be starting to feel more optimistic and in control of their professional lives following a decade of unrelenting assault under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to the UFT’s sec…

Honoring our kids - 371-1 (crop)

Honoring our kids

Hard work and achievement were honored at the 46th annual Albert Shanker Scholarship Awards ceremony at which the union handed out nearly $1 million in scholarships to 177 high school seniors and five prospective graduate students.
We’re going to show in this city that reform is synonymous with public edu

Showcasing passion, dignity and respect

This year's Spring Education Conference showcased and celebrated the great work being done by educators throughout the city, with a morning panel and workshops that gave prominent roles to educators who are engaged in the UFT’s Community Learning Schools and the new school-based initiatives that got underway this year.

Latest News

Elia named state education commissioner

MaryEllen Elia, who displayed a readiness to work with teachers and their union during her 10 years as school superintendent in Hillsborough County, Florida, was the unanimous choice of the state Board of Regents on May 26 to become New York State education commissioner.

New Jersey’s urban schools face deep cuts

School districts across New Jersey face looming layoffs and program cuts after the state government failed for the seventh year in a row to increase state school aid despite rising costs.

A digital media company unionizes

New York-based Gawker Media has become the first major digital media company to unionize after an overwhelming majority of employees voted on June 4 to form a union with the Writers Guild of America, East.

Atlanta cuts music education, fires teachers

The Atlanta school district has announced that it will eliminate 18 of its 58 elementary school music teacher positions next year, continuing a national downward trend in arts education.

Nevada launches statewide school vouchers

Nevada has implemented an unprecedented school voucher program that next school year will allow parents to pull their children from the state’s public schools — and take tax dollars with them.

Feature Stories

Daniel Messina
Noteworthy Graduates

Noteworthy graduates: Daniel Messina, hospital executive

Daniel J. Messina is an unabashed optimist, a fierce competitor who communicates in the tough-love, coach-talk of a lifelong athlete. “Sometimes my wife yells at me to be a realist,” Messina says, laughing. “But I am an idealist. It’s who I am.” Messina is a native, a booster and a lifelong resident of Staten Island, who has run eight New York City marathons, trekked up Mt. Kilimanjaro and hiked from France to Italy to Switzerland to the Mont Blanc summit.

He is no lay-about at his day job, either. Messina is president and CEO of Richmond University Medical Center, the very hospital in which he was born 58 years ago. In his spare time — yes, he makes time — he raises awareness and money on behalf of those, like his late mother Rose, who have multiple sclerosis. He was instrumental in the building of one of the few residences for people with MS. “You want to …

Madison HS students in the Council for Unity program

A safe space for students

The Council for Unity was started 40 years ago to help give high school teenagers a path out of gangs and street life. It's taken root and transformed students' lives at Madison HS in Brooklyn.

Physical therapists at P 4 help staff members participate in an assessment desig

Giving everyone a voice

With the new time allotted in the UFT-DOE contract for professional development, the staff development committee at P 4, a District 75 school in Queens, seized the opportunity to allow educators to showcase their skills for each other.

Around the UFT

NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray visits PS 335/MS 584, Crown Heights

Chirlane McCray, the first lady of New York City, attended a community school forum on June 10 at PS 335/MS 584 in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Art project at Brownsville Academy HS, Brooklyn

Susan Tuthill, nominated recently as a Daily News Hometown Hero for what the paper described as an “ambitious glow-in-the-dark fun house project,” led her art students at Brownsville Academy HS in Brooklyn on a yearlong Ride to Wacky Whimsicality.
Physical education teachers (from left) Eva Lurie and Angela Stornaiuolo, the ch

Brooklyn students run for a cause

Compassion and activism are growing in Brooklyn and, right along with that, student self-confidence and determination.

Puerto Rican Day Parade

A UFT contingent of more than 100 celebrated la isla bonita as they joined the line of march for the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan on June 14.

Bronx School Safety Agent Award Recognition Dinner

Roughly 250 Bronx education and public safety workers — including school safety agents, police officers, teachers, principals and other school administrators and staff — and their friends and families turned out for the fourth annual School Safety Agent Award Recognition Dinner on June 9 at the UFT’s Bronx borough office.

You Should Know

Secure Your Future
Secure Your Future - note

Summer is a great time to plan

Members who retired between Nov. 1, 2009 and June 30, 2014 have received a lump sum for their retroactive pay raises under our 2014 contract with the Department of Education. The Teachers’ Retirement System is now recalculating the pensions of thousands of UFT members who retired during that time period to ensure that their pensions incorporate these salary raises.


President's Perspective
Michael Mulgrew listing image Headshot

Supporting each other to strengthen our schools and profession

Calling this a challenging school year would be an understatement. Every educator I speak to is exhausted and more than ready for a well-earned summer break.


Understanding the whole child

The Positive Learning Collaborative is working with 16 schools to help create classrooms free of bullying, drama and conflict so all children can learn while respecting the humanity of teacher and child. We are already seeing exceptional results. 


Billionaires have feelings, too

Gov. Cuomo said something odd recently. Speaking to reporters at a rally for raising the state’s minimum wage, the governor said he is uncomfortable with the term “income inequality.”
Editorial Cartoons

Teaching Resources

Linking to Learning

iPad apps for students with special needs

With adaptive technology, customization, and voice and touch controls, iPads have become mainstays in the special education classroom. Here are apps to explore if you are working with students with disabilities.

Research shows

Less is more when it comes to homework

The ideal amount of homework to assign to middle school students is about an hour a day, according to new research in the Journal of Educational Psychology.
Teacher to Teacher

Making grammar fun

Grammar isn’t typically a favorite part of English language arts for students or teachers.

Building Your Career

Building Your Career

One size doesn't fit all

As cells are differentiated, so are my students' assessments.
New Teacher Articles

Reflecting on this year — and planning for next year

The beginning of summer is a natural time to reflect on your practice as a teacher and look ahead to the new school year.

Retired Teachers News

RTCer quizzes presidential candidates

[[nid:90704; line-height: 20.7999992370605px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; styleName:large]]At AFT-sponsored interviews with presidential candidates in Washington, D.C., in early June, the Retired Teachers Chapter’s Nina Tribble spoke for all retirees when she asked Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders a pointed two-part question on Social Security.

She was among a group of rank-and-file members from across the country invited by AFT President Randi Weingarten to represent educators and nurses in the union’s face-to-face interviews with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Sanders. All of the Republican candidates were invited to participate but not o…