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New York TeacherSeptember 5, 2013

Volume LV , Issue 1
NYT Cover - September 5, 2013

Cover Stories

UFT members campaigning for Thompson at a Harlem transit hub

UFT ramps up Thompson election effort

In the weeks leading up to the Democratic Primary on Sept. 10, the UFT has pulled out all the stops in its campaign to make sure that Bill Thompson will be elected the next mayor of New York.

Grant central station

Tracey Wong’s goal when she arrived at PS 54 in Bedford Park, the Bronx, a year ago, she said, was “to make reading fun and cool and to make the library a hub of activity and a center of learning and collaboration.” She’s met her goal and much more.

Latest News

Protests continue in North Carolina

The weekly “Moral Monday” protests in North Carolina against a spate of conservative legislation show no sign of abating and have led to about 930 arrests so far this year. One recent demonstration in Charlotte in late August drew some 2,000 people.

New Orleans under fire over special ed

New filings in a major special education lawsuit allege that New Orleans schools have ongoing problems in meeting the educational needs of students with disabilities. The filings this summer come nearly three years after the suit was initially filed by students’ families and almost eight years into a nationally unprecedented decentralization of the city’s school system.

Education spending pays off for states

State legislators looking for the best returns on budget investments should focus their efforts on education spending, according to a new report issued by the Economic Policy Institute.

Detroit workers fight to save pensions

Individual retirees and two major unions representing city workers in Detroit are among those who have challenged the city’s declaration of bankruptcy and its attempt to cut workers’ pensions.

Contracts signed at three UFT-represented charters

The union movement at New York City charter schools gained momentum with the signing of three new contracts at the end of the school year. During the last 10 days of June, educators at a French-immersion charter school in Harlem and an elementary school in Queens both entered into their first contracts while a unionized charter school in the Bronx ratified its latest contract.

Feature Stories

Edward Summers

Noteworthy graduates: Edward Summers, college research director

Born in the South Bronx to parents who were “determined that their kids would make something of themselves,” Edward Summers flirted with the idea of being a doctor as a middle school student at the Paul Robeson Medical Magnet School in the Bronx. Instead turning to law and public policy, he organized the first student government at Washington Irving HS and went on to earn his Ph.D. in Urban and Public Policy at the New School for Management and Urban Policy. Now, as the director of the Kelly Adirondack Research Center at Union College, Summers drives the research agenda for the study of the Adirondack Park, examining the “tension between conservation and economic development.” Summers credits his success to his experience in New York City public schools, including a 2nd-grade teacher who rewarded her class with a pizza party to a high school history teacher who engaged his students with classroom debates.

I grew up in a family of 12, and we were all public school kids. We all went through the New York City school system. Growing up in the ’80s in the South Bronx was an interesting experience. It was a low-income, ethnically diverse community, but it was a community in the true sense of a community. A lot of the elderly folks were the watchdogs of the neighborhood, making sure kids were in school when their parents were working. It was a community that acted as an extended family, despite the economic issues people faced.

I was one of the little nerdy kids. I enjoyed school immensely. I was always a curious kid who enjoyed learning. I liked being in an environment where there were other kids around my age and we could trade notes and discuss the world and our community and our families.

You Should Know

You Should Know

A bad summer break

Sixty-five Chelsea Career and Tech students came into school on August 14 to retake their Regents English Language Arts exams after their answer books literally fell off a truck in June and were never found.

You Should Know

Raising funds to fight cancer

Around 500 UFT members from Brooklyn’s District 20 — and several hundred more students and parents — turned out for the district’s annual Relay for Life event at Fort Hamilton HS in Bay Ridge on June 22.

Secure Your Future

Local elections and your financial security

This is going to be an exciting school year, starting with the primary elections on Sept. 10 for mayor, comptroller and other city offices. In our city, the mayor and comptroller play important roles in protecting the retirement security of UFT members.



State should reject waiver on librarians

New York City’s attempt to duck its responsibility to properly staff school libraries by getting a waiver of state requirements is a shameful move that would hurt students, particularly those from low-income families who lack books, Internet access or other information resources at home.

Public trusts teachers

It has become both common and tiresome to hear some politicians, such as Mayor Bloomberg, blame teachers and teachers’ unions for any problems in the public schools.

Thompson’s election critical

Younger teachers need to be more alert to what their financial positions will be in the next 10, 20 and 30 years. 

Teaching Resources

Building Your Career

New Teachers

My Writers’ Work in Progress bulletin board

This Writers’ Work in Progress bulletin board is used to highlight new things my students are trying out as writers during Writing Workshop.
New Teachers

Communication with students’ families key

As a new teacher, you know how important it is to develop strong relationships with your students, colleagues and administrators. Here are some tips to help you lay the foundation for good communication with your students’ families.

Retired Teachers News

Why is the UFT so political?

Theodore Roosevelt once said: “It’s not a question of whether we play a role in the world; it’s whether we play it well or ill.”

Since decisions affecting our economic and professional well-being are made by elected officials, our choice is either to allow them to make these momentous policy determinations on their own or to try our best to influence the outcomes. The UFT has chosen to be a part of that political decision-making process.

We understand that some retirees favor different policies than those supported by our elected Delegate Assembly, the Executive Board and the UFT leadership. While the overwhelming majority of retirees understand and favor our general political positions, it seems reasonable to review just why the UFT is so political.

Former UFT and AFT President Al Shanker set the tone early when he counseled that we should support our political friends and oppose our enemies.