After almost a decade of complaints, malfunctions and payments of more than $73 million to thousands of UFT members to compensate them for work outside school hours, the Department of Education is finally pulling the plug on the $130 million Special Education Student Information System (SESIS) that it launched in 2011.
While not offering details about how long the phase-out of the troubled system will take, DOE officials said it will be more than a year before they can begin to build a new system.
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The UFT began an expedited process of contract arbitration to resolve oversize classes in five chronically overcrowded high schools as the class-size reduction provisions in the new DOE-UFT contract took effect.
Charter school teachers and paraprofessionals in Chicago ended their two-week strike on Feb. 18 after the Chicago International Charter School network promised to increase their salaries to the same level as educators in traditional public schools — a raise of nearly 35 percent over the term of the contract.
Fifty schools in the Bronx, East New York, Brownsville and Far Rockaway will join the Bronx Collaborative Schools Plan, an initiative that empowers educators at these schools to drive school improvement.
[[nid:110863; float: right; styleName:article_x_medium_auto]]It’s Friday morning in Michael Carlson’s 5th-grade classroom at PS 107 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and the students are playing mumball. The object of the game is to pass the ball from student to student as quickly as possible without dropping it or speaking.
The students take 10 minutes to plan. Then the game starts, and the classroom is tense and silent. When the ball reaches the front again, the silence persists. All eyes are on Mr. Carlson. In a hushed and reverent tone, he says “32 seconds.”
The students erupt in cheers. They’ve beaten the record.
It’s a typical morning in the Huddle program, which started five years ago after the 5th grade became departmentalized, meaning students travel from class to class. “It was more effective for instruction, but we felt we lost a sense of community that you have in a self-contain…
Thanks to a partnership between the UFT, NYSUT and the AFT, every single teacher in the U.S. Virgin Islands — 1,400 in all — received a tote bag full of school supplies to help their classrooms recover from the 2017 hurricanes that devastated the islands.
Vital Brooklyn, a collaboration between the UFT, the state Department of Agriculture and Grow New York City, aims to promote healthy and affordable eating through fresh produce markets at schools in central Brooklyn that are in some of the state's most disadvantaged communities.
[[nid:110916; float: left; styleName:article_x_medium_auto]]She set out to inspire her students but ended up inspiring thousands of people across the world.
Paraprofessional Hollie Tubbs chose to decorate her classroom door at PS 231 @ PS 54, a District 75 school in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, with an image of a black woman for this year’s Black History Month. The result went viral on social media, getting hundreds of thousands of likes on Instagram and Facebook. Her door has since been on the cover of the New York Daily News and featured in national media.
“I wanted my students to see themselves in that door,” said Tubbs. “I wanted these children to be able to see themselves in a positive light.”
Tubbs also wanted to celebrate her colleagues. “I wanted to put up a woman because of all the women that work in the classroom,” she said. “Each one of us brings our own special talents to the kids.”
What happened next, she said, was “completely unexpected a…
“My goal is that students start to see themselves as problem-solvers, and that there’s a process by which we approach problems using the lens of the tools we have in class,” says Academy for Software Engineering in Manhattan teacher Jonathan Rothman, who was awarded a 2018 Sloan Award for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics.
When teacher Jeanette Acevedo arrived at Automotive HS in Brooklyn in September 2015, she was amazed to discover there was no chapter leader and “everyone was afraid.” “I wasn’t afraid,” she declared, “so I ran for chapter leader and won unanimously. What a year that was.”
More than 70 CTE educators — and the success of career and technical education in city public schools — were celebrated at the UFT’s 2019 Career and Technical Education Awards Ceremony on Feb. 8 at UFT headquarters in lower Manhattan.
And while officials recently touted the all-time high graduation rate of 76 percent in New York City public schools in 2018, the graduation rate in city schools running CTE programs was even higher at 83 percent.
“We have nothing to prove to anyone anymore,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew, who taught in a CTE school for 12 years, told the overflow crowd of nearly 600. “We stand here in community together leading New York City with the highest graduation rate of any cohort inside any of our schools.”
Seventy members attended a UFT Meet and Greet on Jan. 30 at the Bayard Rustin Educational Complex in Chelsea, where they heard a presentation on topics including pension, licensing and certification, safety and teacher evaluations.
Guided by the theme “The dream still demands,” the 16th annual UFT African Heritage Committee Awards Dinner was both a celebration of the gains made and a reflection on the work still to be done for civil rights causes including racial equality and education equity.
Under the new federal tax law, union dues and other miscellaneous itemized deductions are no longer permitted. But union members in the New York State may deduct their union dues from their state income taxes if they itemize deductions on their state taxes.
Most members of the UFT are lucky to be among the minority of U.S. workers who still have a traditional defined-benefit pension that provides regular payments for life based on a formula that takes into account years of service, salary and age.
We asked, and you told us loud and clear: The burden of student debt is one of your most pressing concerns. We listened and are now offering participation in the Student Debt Relief Program for UFT members only.
Measure how Alaska’s glaciers have receded. See how a New York City block has changed since 1930. Trace Marco Polo’s journey through Asia. Google Earth is a powerful online tool that enables you to integrate mapping into nearly every subject you teach.
[[nid:110909; float: right; styleName:article_x_medium_auto]]Each year my colleagues and I go on the road for Annual Meetings, mostly from January through March, with our far-flung retirees across the country and in Puerto Rico. Adding these meetings to our monthly October to June local RTC meetings offers all retirees an opportunity to hear updates on benefits and get the general lay of the land.
Members often travel hours to attend these gatherings in Raleigh, Atlanta, Phoenix, Nevada, eight spots in Florida, two in New Jersey and many just outside New York Ci…