ALBANY, N.Y. December 18, 2014 - New York State United Teachers today slammed as "clueless" a letter sent by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office to the Regents and State Education Department, saying the questions and tone signal "ignorance about what parents want and the real issues facing public education."
"The governor says he wants to put students first. If that were even remotely true, he would listen carefully and act on the advice of the real experts - parents, educators and students - about what's best for public education," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. "Instead, New Yorkers get clueless, incendiary questions that do the bidding of New York City hedge fund billionaires who have letterhead and campaign donations, but know absolutely nothing about how public education works. If the governor wants a battle, he can take the clueless New York City billionaires. We'll take the parents, teachers, higher education faculty and students in every ZIP code of the state."
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta challenged the governor's assertions that he knows - from the campaign - what parents want.
"The governor barely campaigned, and he certainly hasn't visited classrooms and met with parents whose schools have suffered devastating, inequitable...
ALBANY, N.Y. December 17, 2014 – New York State United Teachers today released a statement following remarks by Gov. Cuomo on the ‘safety net’ bill.
NYSUT said: “This is the governor’s own bill. He proposed it and it was negotiated in good faith. As the governor said himself on June 19, ‘We … want a fair evaluation. It’s not just, do the evaluation system to do it. Do it, but be fair to the teachers…When the Regents (and) state Legislature accepted the premise that we were somewhat rushed in the transition to the Common Core and therefore had to make adjustments for students, these are the corresponding adjustments for teachers.’”
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.
New York State United Teachers today threw the union’s full support behind legislation introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, that is aimed at stopping sexual assaults on college campuses.
NYSUT said Gillibrand’s Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which already has bipartisan support, contains smart, common sense measures aimed at protecting women from attacks while on campus. Union leaders are urging NYSUT members to contact their elected representatives in Congress and ask them to get behind Gillibrand’s bill.
NYSUT said: “One sexual assault against a women is one too many. Stopping sexual assault on campus requires hard work by many stakeholders. It won’t happen overnight. Still, we must start by providing confidential advisors for victims; requiring minimum training standards for campus personnel; demanding more transparency and instituting a clear process for involving law enforcement when an assault is reported. These are practical solutions, and we salute Sen. Gillibrand and thank her for taking strong steps to protect women on campus.”
ALBANY, N.Y. December 16, 2014 – New York’s dedicated teachers are among the most highly skilled, best-educated in the nation and the proof of that professionalism is found in lessons taught in classrooms today and every day — not in the evaluation data released by the State Education Department today, New York State United Teachers said.
“New York teachers consistently exceed high standards for knowledge, professionalism and dedication to student learning. We know that, parents know that and students know that,” said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. “Although, on the surface, it is heartening to see aggregate evaluation data that is consistent with the positive experience of parents and students, the reality is that the current system does not accurately reflect all the great work that teachers do in classrooms every day.”
Magee pointed out the state has already approved a moratorium on the use of invalid and unreliable test scores for decisions involving students, and the Legislature in June enacted a two-year delay in the use of state tests in teacher evaluations. NYSUT expects the governor to sign the bill.
“The rushed implementation of the Common Core and use of invalid test scores in evaluations calls into question...
As the only English as a second language teacher in the rural Medina School District, Colleen Moody often feels isolated. But that feeling disappeared over the weekend when she met with her peers as a new member of one of NYSUT's 12 subject area committees.
"This was so much more than I expected - totally worth my five-hour drive," said Moody, a 20-year ESL educator from western New York. "So many times you go to professional development and things get presented to you. This was just the opposite."
Moody, a member of the English Language Learner Committee, said it was especially helpful to brainstorm with colleagues about how to implement the state's new regulations for teaching ELLs.
"You realize that whether you're teaching in a big city, a suburb or in a 'department of one' like me, we all have common concerns," Moody said. "I feel connected and energized. I don't feel so alone."
That's exactly the idea behind NYSUT's subject area committees - to create an opportunity for educators in a dozen different disciplines to identify emerging issues and share concerns. About 140 teachers from around the state attended the groups' joint meeting...