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New York TeacherMarch 5, 2015

Volume LVI, Number 7

Cover Stories

Angie Lau, whose son attends PS 47 in the Bronx, has two words for Gov. Cuomo: “

Calling out Cuomo

Through new media such as Twitter and Facebook to more traditional forms of protest, members and allies are getting out the word that the governor’s proposals would harm children, damage schools and threaten the future of public education.


Cultural exchange paying off

Teacher Maria Yang came from China to the East-West School for International Studies for one year thanks to a federal government program. She helped the secondary school develop an AP Chinese course and provide students with a deeper cultural understanding of China – and she learned teaching techniques that she will bring back to China.

Latest News

UFT: Charters must follow laws before cap is raised

Charter schools do not educate their fair share of high-needs students and that must change before Gov. Cuomo pushes through any increase in the number of charters operating in the city, UFT President Michael Mulgrew told a crowded press conference on Jan. 29.

Mayor: State must deliver CFE funds

Mayor Bill de Blasio, unveiling his $77.7 billion preliminary budget on Feb. 9, called on New York State to honor the Campaign for Fiscal Equity settlement and give the money it promised to city schools now that the economy is back on track.

Show us the CFE money!

Demanding that Gov. Cuomo pay up on the state’s long-overdue $2.5 billion debt to New York City public schools, two education advocacy groups at a press conference on Feb. 19 released a report that broke down the money owed by Assembly and Senate district in New York City so that each lawmaker who is going to vote on the state budget can tell exactly how much money is missing from his or her district.

Study: Closing education gap will boost economy

Closing the education gap between the nation’s rich and poor students could significantly boost the economy and government revenue, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth reports in a new study.

Broad Foundation suspends prize for urban schools

Billionaire Eli Broad has suspended his foundation’s $1 million annual award to honor the best urban school systems, out of concern that school districts are not improving quickly enough.

Feature Stories

Teacher Nancy Bishop helps a 1st-grader with her handprint.

PS 209 and P 9 where kindness counts!

One 5th-grader stopped some boys from another class from teasing his friend. “I know what to do to be a good friend and person,” he explained.

Another 5th-grader went out of his way to encourage the 2nd-graders who share gym time with his class. “I am always high-fiving them for trying their best even when they don’t score a goal,” he said.

Those two gestures were among the 29,000 acts of kindness performed by students at PS 209 and P 9 in Whitestone, Queens, during the schools’ Great Kindness Challenge in the last week of January.

The week was the brainchild of Mary Dignam, a guidance counselor at P 9, a District 75 school with 79 severely disabled students, and Farrah Greene, the guidance counselor for the 629 students at PS 209. They initiated the project to develop a true sense of community between the schools and to create a schoolwide culture of a…

Second-graders at Washington Heights Academy check out books the school has received from First Book and the UFT through an Astor Foundation grant.

The gift of books

Thanks to a partnership of First Book and the UFT, each kindergarten through 3rd-grade teacher at Washington Heights Academy received 25 books for each of their classroom libraries. And every single student in those grades will receive six books to keep.

Gail Salem
Noteworthy Graduates

Noteworthy graduates: Gail Salem, real estate agent

Gail Salem, an actress-turned-top-realtor, was a daydreamer as a child. The first teacher to penetrate Salem’s fanciful fortress of make believe was Mrs. Leherer, her 3rd-grade teacher at PS 184 in Whitestone, Queens, in the 1960s.

Around the UFT

Black History Month honors

For the past 12 years, members and friends of the UFT African-American Heritage Committee have gathered to mark Black History Month and to honor those who exemplify the group’s ideals.

Baseball legend Willie Mays wows Harlem school

Most of the 900 students at PS/MS 46 hadn’t a clue that the gentle, grandfatherly guy in a baseball cap at their Harlem school was a superstar sports hero.

Welfare Fund eye health seminar

More than 50 active and retired members came to UFT headquarters on Feb. 10 for an eye health seminar, part of the Welfare Fund’s ongoing Medical Learning Series.

UFT African-American Heritage Committee Dinner Dance

For the past 12 years, members and friends of the UFT African-American Heritage Committee have gathered to mark Black History Month and to honor those who exemplify the group’s ideals.

‘Smile Day’ for PS 156, PS 184 and KAPPA V, Brooklyn

Smiles were a bit brighter on Feb. 6 for 150 students from three schools in Brooklyn’s District 23 who went to the dental clinic for Brookdale University Hospital’s Give Kids a Smile Day.

You Should Know

Secure Your Future
Piggy Bank

A retirement benefit too good to pass up

The Tax-Deferred Annuity program is a very popular supplemental retirement program plan through which you can save additional money for your retirement on a tax-deferred basis.


President's Perspective

People power

Our message is simple: The governor must fairly fund our city and state’s public schools. Everything else is a distraction.


‘NICE’ initiative for CTE

It has been a truly great year for CTE, and there is more to come. The stars are aligned for us, with support plentiful at the city, state and federal levels. Everyone is looking to CTE.


Gov. Cuomo, hello?… Are you there?

We know Cuomo is here in the state. But we have to ask, is he paying attention?


Eva vs. public schools

"Eva vs. public schools"
Eva Moskowitz says her charter schools are public schools and so deserve public funding and public-school space. But she is closing her 32 schools on March 4 to bus students, staff and parents to Albany. Public schools would never close schools to use children as political pawns.

Editorial Cartoons
Editorial Cartoons

Teaching Resources

Linking to Learning
Hand pointing toward technical objects; monitor, cell phone and abstract illustrations

What to do when tech resources are few

What can you do if you want to use technology in the classroom, but you don’t have the equipment you need? Here are some ideas. 

Research shows

Fewer learning disabilities for pre-K grads

Participating in high-quality pre-K reduces a child’s likelihood of being diagnosed with certain learning disabilities by 3rd grade by as much as 32 percent, according to new research published in the American Educational Research Association’s journal, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.
Teacher to Teacher

Class contest a winning idea

I started a class contest among the sections of middle school students that I teach. Not only has it motivated individual students to be on task, but it has encouraged students to help their peers.

Building Your Career

Building Your Career

Visual support for developing vocabulary

All the bulletin boards in my classroom have pictures to explain the strategies I teach.
New Teacher Articles

A common-sense approach to homework

For newer teachers, assigning and reviewing homework is yet one more thing to juggle. But developing a reasonable homework policy will help you keep the ball in the air.

Retired Teachers News

Lump-sum payments to recent retirees

UFT members who retired between Nov. 1, 2009, and June 30, 2014, received the retroactive money from the 2014 contract in late Februar

A look at just the facts

With total disregard for facts and verifiable truths in the public forum, political, mass media and especially the social media these days, let’s cut through the hyperbole and take a cold look at some verifiable facts that should inform people and provide part of the foundation for society’s decision-making process.