The holidays came early for the 150 children who gathered at UFT headquarters on Dec. 10 for the annual holiday party organized by the UFT in concert with the Coalition for the Homeless.
Buses delivered children from shelters across the city to the party site, and as they lined up in the foyer outside Shanker Hall, they peered inside to get a glimpse of the gaily decorated room awaiting them. The first thing the children saw was a beautiful balloon archway at the room’s entrance. With eyes widened, many started to hop around gleefully. Each child received a bag of goodies, including small stuffed animals and snacks, on entering the room; Santa Claus and a wrapped gift awaited each child when the party was over. Schools and UFT members donated about 1,000 toys for the occasion.
“It’s something we do for our kids that goes to the heart of what our union is about,” said UFT V…
Tom Murphy, the leader of the UFT Retired Teachers Chapter, called on the union’s most recent retirees assembled for its annual New Retiree Luncheon on Nov. 22 to stay active and united in the face of “the post-election tough days ahead.”
The number of annual complaints reported to the U.S. Department of Education’s civil rights office has more than doubled in the past eight years, rising from 6,364 in the 2009 fiscal year to 16,720 in 2016.
The math achievement of U.S. 15-year-olds fell on a major international benchmark. Among 35 industrialized nations, the United States now ranks 31st in math on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).
The importance of nurses as advocates for their patients and their profession was a prominent theme of the 37nd annual Professional Issues Conference of the Federation of Nurses/UFT held on Nov. 18 and 19.
There is an old-world courtliness to J. Machelle Sweeting. She speaks of being “reared in the village of Harlem.” She pays formal visits to former elementary school teachers, now old and frail, and mentors teenagers she decides will benefit from her tutelage. Beneath her perfect manners — and confident manner — lie lessons imparted and learned decades ago in elementary school. She credits her parents, of course, but the teachers of Harlem’s PS 46 took it from there. They melded sky-high expectations with tough love. The combination transformed a shy, smart child from the Polo Grounds, the public housing project where she lived, into the Hon. J. Machelle Sweeting, a Civil Court judge assigned to Family Court. And Sweeting won’t allow anyone to forget it: “I called the new principal recently to let her know the legacy of PS 46 and the success stories that came out of that awesome school,” the Harlem resident says, laughing cheekily. “I also said I was here if she needed anything.”
My mother is a third-generation Harlemite and my father, who died two years ago, was a former policeman in the Bahamas who worked as an accountant here. There were always books in the house. In those days, you could order the Enc…
Demetrius Palmer Jr. had an “infectious joy and love for life,” said Grisel Rodriguez, the principal of PS 82 in Jamaica, Queens. Demetrius, a 4th-grader at the school, accidentally drowned on Aug. 16. Teachers, students and family members gathered in the school’s yard on Nov. 30 to remember Demetrius and unveil a mural in his memory.
Many breast cancer survivors and their loved ones were among a capacity crowd on Dec. 15 for a presentation on breast cancer research and treatment, part of the UFT Welfare Fund’s Medical Learning Series.
New York voters will be asked in November 2017 if they want to hold a constitutional convention to revise our state constitution. What’s at stake? Everything. The rights now enshrined in the constitution will all be fair game.
New research from the National Bureau of Economics confirms what teachers have always known: Money does make a difference for schools, and districts with large proportions of high-need students need comparatively more money than districts with fewer high-need students.
About the time her body began whispering its complaints against her, ballet dancer Elizabeth Supan was ready to step off the stage and onto solid ground. That’s how she found herself at PS 133 in Harlem after earning her master’s degree in dance education with the help of the Lincoln Center Scholars Program.