In a victory for unions nationwide, the California Court of Appeal on April 14 reversed a lower court decision that had thrown out tenure and seniority rights for the state’s public school teachers. The appeals court ruled that the state’s teacher tenure and seniority laws do not violate black and Latino students’ rights to an equal education under the state’s constitution.
“The plaintiffs’ attack on teacher due-process protections was and is a partisan political crusade masquerading as a court case,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. The appeal court’s decision is “a clear demonstration of the weakness of the Vergara case.”
A similar lawsuit was filed in New York in 2014 after plaintiffs in the California case won at the lower court level. The New York lawsuit, known as Davids/Wright, is now before the New York State Appellate Division. It charges that teacher tenure deprives New York children of a sound, basic education, as…
Electronic prescribing (“e-prescribing”) will improve medication safety, reduce errors (the pharmacy won’t have to interpret your doctor’s handwriting) and may help to reduce medical costs due to adverse drug interactions caused by the pharmacist giving the wrong drug. But the new process also will create challenges at first.
This year’s push by parents and educators for additional state funding for public schools paid off when the governor and Albany lawmakers on April 1 finalized a new state budget that contained a $1.4 billion increase in state education funding, with $525 million going to New York City public schools.
Public-sector unions nationwide survived a serious threat when the U.S. Supreme Court deadlocked on March 29 over a challenge by conservatives to the fair-share fees that public-sector unions collect from workers who don’t become members.
Femi Guri knows what it’s like to see things no child should see: He and his family fled Kosovo and came to the United States in 1999 by way of a refugee camp in Macedonia. “I learned how brutal this world could be — fires, bombing, people losing loved ones,” he says. “I sort of skipped part of childhood. I was getting in trouble at school, but boxing was a savior for me.”
Now 27 and a physical education teacher at PS 65 in the South Bronx, Guri believes boxing could be a savior for his students, too. PS 65 is located in one of the poorest Congressional districts in the country; of the 460 students in the pre-K–5 school, 42 percent live in shelters or doubled up with other family members or friends. Guri opened the after-school Boxing Academy in 2014, equipped with donations from people he had met a…
Working together, 3rd- through 5th-grade chefs at the afternoon family cooking class at PS 37 in Springfield Gardens turned out delicious fish tacos, fluffy brown rice and a crunchy red cabbage salad that tasted as good as it looked.
Since becoming a UFT Community Learning School in 2014, PS 1 in Chinatown has been able to deepen its connections with community organizations and launch new ones, all in the name of supporting students and families inside and outside the classroom.
A milestone and a loss. That could easily be the title of one of their original theater pieces: For the UFT Players, a group of retired educators who write and perform on stage annually, 2016 has brought both celebration and sorrow.
Marie Reilly, a musician and protocol officer at the Irish Consulate in New York City, performed traditional Irish tunes on the fiddle at the UFT’s annual Irish American Committee celebration on April 5.
Nearly 400 social workers gathered at UFT headquarters in Manhattan on April 8 for a full-day workshop, “Collaboration and Inspiration: School Social Workers as Leaders, Advocates and Brokers for Change,” organized by the UFT and the Department of Education’s Office of Guidance and School Counseling.
Pedagogues — teachers, guidance counselors, school secretaries, psychologists, social workers and lab specialists — injured or made sick on the job are covered by the Injury-in-the-Line-of-Duty provision of the UFT-Department of Education contract.
What’s a better way to judge how much someone has learned — hours of marking bubbles on a standardized test, or a semester-long project like building a robot, mastering a piece of music or a deep dive into a moment in history?
When the complex, new state regulations governing English language learner instruction caused such turmoil in New York City public schools this fall, I set about immediately to create a working group of classroom teachers to examine the issues and offer solutions.
When you start working with technology in the classroom, it can be a huge undertaking. Successful integration means more than purchasing some fancy gear; the hard work really begins after the equipment is installed.
Have you considered asking your high school students to re-enact famous trials of historical figures like Galileo or Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher or a literary character like Tom Robinson in “To Kill a Mockingbird”?
One potato, two potato, three potato, four. Guess which major political party has advocated the following policies? The comments next to each make no claim to political objectivity. One potato: Abolish the Affordable Care Act, free pharmaceutical companies to compete in price gouging and voucherize Medicare. And if you believe the value of the proposed vouchers would in any way be enough to cover your medical costs, Mae West will sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.
Two potato: Privatize Social Security. Don’t worry about the likes of a 2008 recession; this proposal would boost the investment options of experienced individual stock market and bond gamblers and, of course, give a boost to hedge fund and corporate types who have…