Tell Detroit Public Schools: Our Kids Deserve Better
Enough is enough! Our children deserve a great public education that includes a safe and welcoming environment for learning. Our educators deserve the respect and support they need to do their jobs well, with manageable class sizes and time to prepare to meet the needs of every student. We demand real answers and fully funded schools.
There are currently 30,373 signatures. NEW goal - We need 40,000 signatures!
Celebrate National School Counseling Week by recognizing the unique contributions of our professional school counselors and the vital impact they have in helping students achieve school and career success. School counseling programs are an important part of the educational process for all students, and school counselors are integral to student success.
School counselors engage teachers and parents to help students realize their abilities and talents and focus on healthy and positive ways to enhance their personal, educational and career development and set positive goals.
They work with all students to remove barriers to learning by addressing students' academic concerns, career awareness, and personal and social skills.
Comprehensive school counseling programs help increase student achievement and provide a much-needed resource for students, parents, teachers and administrators.
Member Appreciation Month in February
February is NYSUT Member Benefits' Member Appreciation Month.
It features a series of prize drawings for items donated by Member Benefits and its endorsed program providers -- including a grand prize of a four-day/three-night stay in Orlando.
Please reference the poster number -- 514C_16 -- and include your name, mailing address, number of copies needed and a contact phone number.
Orders without that information cannot be processed.
The NYSAA is the state testing program for students with severe disabilities in grades 3-8 and high school. For 2015-16, teachers administering the NYSAA are faced with two different test vendors, two different assessment methods and two different testing periods.
While a portfolio assessment will be used, as in prior years, for science and social studies, a new computer-based, adaptive performance-style assessment will be used for ELA and math. Teachers have indicated that there are frustrations with this year's roll-out and are anxious about the administration.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Do you administer the NYSAA? We need to hear from you!
NYSUT has heard concerns from the field regarding the administration of this year's New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) and would like to get feedback directly from teachers.
To support our advocacy on these concerns, we would like your feedback on the following:
Do you feel that you have received adequate and timely training and support in the administration of the NYSAA for this school year?
Have you experienced any significant technology issues involving test administrator training or entering teacher and/or student information?
Has there been an inordinate amount of time needed for NYSAA administration this year? If so, please describe?
Please email your responses to NYSUT Research and Educational Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your assistance is appreciated.
Education-Related Proposals for New York
2016 Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State Address
Governor Cuomo's budget on education is woefully inadequate to ensure every students constitutional right to "a sound basic education." The New York State Board of Regents called for a $2.4 billion increase in school aid. The Alliance for Quality Education called for a $2.9 billion increase in school aid, whereas the governor's budget increases school aid by $961 million. It is now up to the legislature to ensure that there is adequate funding for our students.
School Aid increase:
The proposed school aid increase for 2016-17 is at $961 million. This amount includes the increases in the following aids:
• $266 million in Campaign for Fiscal Equity funding which is basic classroom operating aid, also known as Foundation Aid
• $189 million in Gap Elimination Adjustment restoration
• $408 million in expense based and other aids including: building and transportation aid
The $266 million in Foundation Aid does nothing for schools and students as it is not enough to improve their programming and services. The Foundation Aid formula, which was the result of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit and was enacted in 2007, was designed to be funded at no less than a $1.1 billion increase in order to properly distribute school aid and make up for chronic under funding of high need schools. $1.47 billion would be necessary to provide a 3 year phase in of CFE. The current spending gap between rich and poor schools is $8,733 per pupil, fulfilling CFE could narrow this by $3,088.
The budget includes $100 million for turning schools labeled as "struggling" and "persistently struggling schools," schools into community schools. Contrary to previous years, this funding thankfully is not distributed through competitive grants. Seventy five ($75) million of the $100 million is allocated to the 17 school districts that have "struggling" and "persistently struggling schools." The remaining $25 million is allocated to other high need districts; some of these allocations are as small as $17,000 which is not enough to create a community school.
The move towards community schools is a positive step by the Governor. If the state is serious about turning these schools into community schools that have engaging academic program and services to meet students' needs, then the funding needs to be adequate. Last year the governor and the legislature determined that $75 million was required for 20 schools or $3.75 million per school on average. Based on that, the state should be providing least $535 million for 144 schools.
In addition, the receivership law should be repealed because it interferes with creating community schools. The receivership law has top down approaches that are contrary to community schools. Under receivership in New York State parents have not been adequately engaged in school redesign. In addition, receivership allows the firing of up to 50% of teachers which is highly disruptive and counterproductive.
The Executive Budget includes $22 million for pre-K for three year olds, calling it the Empire State Pre-K program. The funding will be available to districts that already have a pre-K program. Districts will have to apply for the competitive grant. If they get it, they will be able to create new half or full day seats for three year-olds.
The governor's proposal also includes the creation of the Empire State Pre-K board which replaces the role of the Board of Regents and SED with political appointees by the governor, senate, and the assembly, making such important funding susceptible to political manipulations. There are currently 6 different pre-K programs in NYS. While experts recommend consolidating programs to create greater alignment educationally this proposal would create yet another pre-K program.
This proposal is significantly smaller than the $125 million that the Alliance for Quality Education, other early childhood advocates, and the NYS Board of Regents recommended as necessary to move forward on the goal of providing universal pre-K to all three- and four-year-olds in the state. The governor promised "a blank check" to any district that wanted to expand its pre-K, but his budgets have not fulfilled that promise outside New York City. Currently, there are approximately 115,000 four-year-olds waiting for pre-K.
There is also another $2 million for QUALITYstarsNY, the state's quality rating and improvement system for pre-K and early education programs, bringing the annual funding to $5 million. This is a positive initiative, we recommend $25 million for quality initiatives.
Child Care subsidies:
The governor's budget includes only $10 million for the new federal health and safety regulations and no new funding towards child care subsidies. Early care and learning advocates, including the Ready for Kindergarten, Ready for College campaign and the Alliance for Quality Education, recommend at least $190 million to meet the federal health and safety regulations and the create new child care subsidy slots for low income families.
Private School Voucher/ Tax Credit:
Governor Cuomo once again is pushing to establish an Education Tax Credit, also called the Parental Choice in Education Act:
The Executive Budget tax credit program costs taxpayers $150 million under a Parental Choice in Education Act. This is nothing more than a give-away to the wealthy and a diversion of public resources to private schools. Corporations and individual taxpayers would receive a tax credit equal to 75 percent of their contributions, up to a $1 million.
At a time when public schools are owed nearly $5 billion, the governor has proposed to increase state aid to privately run charter schools in a number of ways.
1) Unfreezing the basic tuition for NYC Charter schools. This would increase the amount of funding NYC must transfer to charter schools for basic tuition by $12.4 million.
2) Increasing Charter school supplemental tuition aid by $150 to $500 per pupil and is estimated to cost $63 million in FY 2017
3) Adding $27.4 million for per pupil funding for state aid to charter schools
4) NYC facilities aid to charters would be made permanent requiring NYC DOE to pay rent for new or expanding NYC charter schools
Currently, both the SUNY board of trustees is investigating the infamous "Got to Go" list at Success Academy and the US DOE, Office of Civil Rights have open investigations on discriminatory discipline practices involving students of color and students with disabilities at Success Academy's charter schools. Until we can determine that students in these schools are receiving equal protection under the law, we are calling for a freeze in any expansion proposals for Success Academy and we are calling for the legislature to oppose any increase in funding for Success Academy.
The executive budget enacts the Dream Act to allow undocumented immigrants to access state aid for higher education. There will be $27 million available. This is key to expanding access to higher education opportunities to create pathways out of poverty and into successful futures.
Lift 2% Spending Cap:
In order to create a budget that really works for all of us and not just the 1% it is time for NYS to end the self-imposed 2% spending cap. With a recurring surplus well into the billions it is time to invest in children and families. Over 50% of children in NY are currently living in poverty. It is imperative that the state increase its investment in education, childcare and other services to protect children and ensure they have access to opportunities to succeed.
Although the new law has been referred to as a “2 percent tax cap,” it does not, in fact, restrict any proposed tax levy increase to 2 percent.
What it does is establish a tax levy limit (which will be determined by each district according to an eight-step formula dictated by the law, and will vary by district) that determines the number of votes needed to pass a school budget.
EMAIL CAMPAIGN FROM "ALLIANCE FOR QUALITY EDUCATION"
Ask your state representatives to fight for a budget that fully funds schools at $2.9 billion. In order to address your message to the appropriate recipient, we need to identify where you are.
Please look up and use your full nine-digit zip for the best results.
Take action: It's time to fix the tax cap law
A devastatingly low 2016-17 tax cap has just been set for school districts -- only 0.12 percent!
Which will mean continued dramatic impediments to the ability of school districts to provide students with the kind of education that they deserve. It's time to fix the tax cap!
Take action now at the NYSUT Member Action Center to tell lawmakers to amend and fix the property tax cap law!
"Got to Go" list--a list of students that Success Academy wanted to push out of one of its schools
Earlier this week the State University of New York announced that Success Academy is under investigation for its "Got to Go" list--a list of students that Success Academy wanted to push out of one of its schools. And yesterday parents from Success Academy filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education against Success Academy for violating the civil rights of students with disabilities.
Meanwhile, Families for Excellent School, Success Academy's lobbying arm, was in Albany yesterday to lobby for more funding for Success Academy. It is an insult to all New Yorkers that our state government would consider increasing funding for Success Academy when it is violating students civil rights, routinely suspending students and pushing students out.
Tell Governor Cuomo and your state representative not to give Eva Moskowitz's Success Academy that rewards them for suspending Black children at alarming rates and pushing students out.
A recent New York Times article reported that Success Academy suspended 4 to 23 percent of its students in 2013-14 school year. That compares with an average of 3 percent in public schools. The article also reported that Success calls 911 on students, some as young as first grade.
The students they are targeting with this disturbing practice are overwhelming black students and students with disabilities.
Tell Governor Cuomo and your legislator not to give Eva Moskowitz's Success Academy a funding increase while they are targeting children they don't want to teach.
With State University of New York investigating Success Academy's violations and with a civil rights complaint pending with the U.S. Department of Education there is no way that a Success Academy should be eligible for a funding increase, but that is exactly what Governor Cuomo has proposed in his budget.
Fact Sheet 15-13: Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) - UPDATED January 2016
Transition Rating (NEW) Districts operating under 3012-c
For the 2015-2016 school year for districts that have received a hardship waiver and are operating under 3012-c, the transition rating will be determined based on the remaining subcomponents of the APPR that are not based on the grade 3-8 ELA or math State assessments and/or a State –provided growth score on Regents examinations.
THE NEW APPR SYSTEM
Student Performance Category SLO Target Setting Optional Locally Selected Measure or Assessment Subcomponent Calculating a Student Performance Rating Teacher Observation Category Teacher Practice Rubrics Evaluator Training Overall Teacher Observation Score and Rating Overall Rating Prohibited Elements Use of APPR Results Privacy Law Teacher Improvement Plans (TIPs) New Appeals Process for Growth Scores Appeals Corrective Action Plans New Workgroup Next Steps
Career and Technical Education staff recognized for their Commitment to Excellence
Mr. Addeo (pictured right) began his career here 16 years ago at the Rockland Middle School. Before joining the CTEC staff six years ago, he also worked at Willow Grove. Sadly, for the students he's influenced and the staff he worked alongside of, he recently accepted a teaching position in the Bronx.
Mr. Bianchi (pictured left) has been employed at BOCES for 16 years having worked at CBI Tech, Hilltop, IDT Elementary, and for the last five years at CTEC.
“It takes a village”… and a service dog
Collaboration happens on so many levels every day at BOCES; here’s the story behind this photo:
Patrick Mitrione, who teaches graphic design at the Career Education Center is the father of a child with autism. Several years ago, the family was lucky enough to be matched with Kelso, a gentle, loving, smart, well-trained service dog.
Knowing how autistic children interact with dogs such as Kelso, Mr. Mitrione walks with Kelso to the Kaplan School, so that students there get some quality time with the dog.
The moment Kelso enters a classroom, the change in energy is palpable. Kaplan teachers also note that he also serves as a teacher’s aide as student’s experience hands-on learning as they offer Kelso controlled portions of snacks.
NYSUT multi-media campaign highlights progress
NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said, “Unprecedented activism by parents and teachers opened the door for much-needed change in public education. The pendulum is swinging back to what's most important — teaching and learning. At the same time, we’re reminding New Yorkers there is still a lot of work to do. We must all work together to continue this progress for our students.”
This week, NYSUT filed suit saying that the State Education Department's actions on Teacher Improvement Plans violate the state's Taylor Law and teachers' collective bargaining rights.
The suit filed in state Supreme Court in Albany on behalf of four teachers and six local teachers' unions charges that the State Education Department violated the Taylor Law, which governs public employee contracts and negotiations, by illegally taking Teacher Improvement Plans, which had previously been bargained, into the realm of management prerogative. Here's more.
New York State United Teachers has filed a lawsuit saying that the New York State Education Department's actions on teacher improvement plans violate teachers' collective bargaining rights. The suit was filed Jan. 26 in the state Supreme Court on behalf of four teachers and six local teachers unions. It charges that the education department violated the Taylor Law (which governs public employee contracts and negotiations) by illegally taking teacher improvement plans, which had previously been bargained, into the realm of management prerogative. Says NYSUT President Karen E. Magee, who is an AFT vice president, "As this lawsuit clearly demonstrates, NYSUT will continue to fiercely defend the collective bargaining rights of each and every one of its members and local unions against any encroachment."
Educators speak out on Supreme Court lawsuit designed to silence their voice
"The work to ensure our unions survive — and thrive — will take everything we’ve got. That’s why we work together: to give working families a fair chance to get ahead and stay ahead."
Supreme Court heard arguments in the Friedrichs lawsuit, which seeks to dismantle long-standing rules whereby workers who don’t want to join a union don’t have to but instead pay a reduced Fair Share fee to cover the cost of bargaining and representation that the union is legally required to provide. If the court bans fair share, it will be will harder for teachers and educators to come together at work and stand up for their students. It will also be more difficult for teachers, firefighters, nurses and social workers to negotiate for decent wages and benefits and make sure their communities have jobs that support their families.
Up to 40 percent of a local union's contribution is rebated to the local for use in local elections and budget campaigns at home.
NYSUT support for candidates for public office is NOT determined by party affiliation but by a politician's record of support for union members' issues.
Regardless of party, the critical issue is the level of commitment the candidate has demonstrated to union members and to quality service. By supporting these public officials who share the union's values, VOTE-COPE has helped combat attacks against tenure, seniority rights and the Triborough Amendment to the Taylor Law.
Americans in 13 states + DC have voted on vouchers 22 times since 1966. With only one exception (textbooks for parochial schools in South Dakota) voters have rejected public aid to private and religious schools every time. It’s not even close – in those 22 elections, 2/3 of voters said no. Public schools will win out every time. Want to know more? bit.ly/voucherfacts
Say NO to Backdoor Voucher Schemes that Benefit the Rich and Rob Public Schools!
Here they go again.
Every year now, like clockwork, the hedge fund billionaires enlist their cronies in Albany to sponsor a bunch of phony, cynical backdoor voucher schemes designed to put hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into their own pockets. And so every year, we need to stand up together and say NO!
Take action now at the NYSUT Member Action Center to ask lawmakers to stop the latest cynical backdoor voucher scheme: say NO to the Education Investment Tax Credit!
Introduced with the proposed budget, the Education Investment Tax Credit is a thinly disguised private school voucher scheme offered under the guise of charitable giving for education purposes. Individuals and corporations will be able to reduce their tax bills by sending what they would otherwise owe in taxes to a foundation or educational scholarship organization that will turn the money into a private school voucher or will subsidize tuition at both religious and non-religious private schools.
And the price tag? $170 million in the first year, alone!
Take action now at the NYSUT Member Action Center to ask lawmakers to stop the latest cynical backdoor voucher scheme: say NO to the Education Investment Tax Credit!
Our public schools are already owed $4.4 billion in foundation aid and $433 million in Gap Elimination Adjustment funding. This voucher scheme would only take more money away from public schools and gift it to non-public schools that are unaccountable to the community.
Take action now to say NO to this ridiculous backdoor voucher scheme!
NYSUT Executive Vice President
Florida teachers file age, race discrimination charges against state’s new bonus program
Faye Cook is a National Board Certified Teacher of 25 years’ experience with consistent “highly effective” ratings. Yet she will never qualify for a bonus under Florida’s ill-conceived new bonus program.
That’s because the program ties a bonus of up to $10,000 on the scores that teachers received on their college entrance exams, which Cook never took because her journey to becoming an educator began at a community college that did not require them.
DECEMBER 2013/JANUARY 2014 ISSUE
DECEMBER 17, 2013
Health Advocate: Unions to monitor 2018 insurance tax regulations
Author: by Sue KlugSource: NYSUT United
The so-called "Cadillac" tax provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is creating confusion for the general public and has been invoked by employers during contract negotiations regarding health insurance.
What is the "Cadillac" tax?
Beginning in 2018, an excise tax will apply to high-cost health insurance plans. The cost of a plan in excess of $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for family coverage will be subject to a 40 percent excise tax. The tax will be paid by health insurance companies or the plan sponsors for self-insured plans.
The tax does not apply to separate dental and vision plans. It does apply to health reimbursement arrangements, health savings accounts and medical flexible spending accounts.
The provision is not effective for another four years and may be modified in the interim. Federal regulations still need to be issued before we know if or how it would apply to NYSUT members. NYSUT and its affiliates, AFT and NEA, will carefully monitor developments concerning this issue.
Extended School Year- Summer School - An application for employment will be posted on the Rockland BOCES (http://www.rocklandboces.org) and clicking on QUICK LINKS on February 1, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. Application deadline is February 19, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. The orientation date for staff is scheduled for July 8th, 2016. The students will attend the summer program beginning on July 11th, 2016 and the final day will be at the close of school on August 19th, 2016.
State Testing: Volunteers needed for grade 3-8 test writing
Please share this information with your grade 3-8 teachers, special education teachers and ELL teachers. Names and contact information and grade level for participants should be sent to Terry McSweeney at email@example.com . Participants will be contacted by the testing company if they are selected to participate.
If you are interested in joining the financial committee please contact Rich Murray
If you are already a building representative and would like to join the grievance committee please contact Patti Trout.
Senator Flanagan says "we don't need any new legislation" for East Ramapo.
Strong East Ramapo Gets Albany Attention
We now need to reach all of the New York State Senators, and you can help:
Politico NY, "the essential news source for and about the most powerful people in New York", reported that about 100 parents and supporters traveled to Albany to advocate for a monitor with veto power for East Ramapo, putting East Ramapo in the top tier of advocacy issues at the State of the State event! The event was also covered by our own News 12.
Think of the people (friends, relatives, contacts) who live in New York State. Send a message to them, pointing them to www.strongeastramapo.org/action, where they can very easily support us by just clicking on the link for their Senator.
Here is a sample note that you can send to your friends:
As you may know, there's a big injustice happening in the East Ramapo School District. The board has slashed services to the public schools and diverted funding to the exclusive private schools where their own children attend. Two different studies and four different experts have come to the same conclusion: the state needs to appoint a monitor who can reverse the decisions of this board when they are not in the best interests of the public school students. We need to pass a statewide bill in the Legislature to make this local change possible.
I am volunteering to help address this issue, and I ask you to take just one moment to visit www.strongeastramapo.org/action, and send a message to your State Senator, indicating that you stand in solidarity with me and the children attending public school.
Thanks so much.
Parents to NY State: Stop Passing the Buck!
East Ramapo Parents are sick and tired of getting the runaround from NY State Education Dept. The have filed a lawsuit to force the state to intervene in the governance of the district. The parents are represented pro bono by Brad Elias of O'Melveny & Myers, and David G. Sciarra and Wendy Lecker of Education Law Center.
Rockland Teachers' Center
Instructional Strategies to Improve Student Achievement
New for Spring 2016 - Professional Development - College of Mount St. Vincent
February 4, 2016 – March 18, 2016
College of Mount Saint Vincent Course # CEGE503-R01 - RTC#89-10
Format: Face-to-face course
Site: North Rockland High School
Instructor: Ms. Jessica Fox
Credits: 3 Graduate or In-service
Dates: Tues., Mar. 1, 8, 15, 22, Apr. 5, 12, 19, May 3, 10, 2016
Times: 4:30 to 9:30 pm
Cost: Graduate: $680*/In-service: $370*/Prof. Dev. Audit Non-Credit: $150*
*Prices subject to change without notice.
For more information contact Joleen at firstname.lastname@example.org
All courses require internet access and a comfort level with email, Microsoft Word and uploading documents.
Some require knowledge of other technologies or programs.
Participants are expected to log in and work with the class site at least 3 times each week.
Scholarships may be provided through your local NYS Teacher Center.
Please secure approval from your home district, if needed, in advance.
Syllabi, Road Maps and Course Policies can be found on the OLA catalog
A Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) Toolkit
Instructor: Cecile Wren Grade level K-12
This online course will provide teachers with a collegial atmosphere that will enable them to create DASA activities that focus on alignment with district goals, the New York State Dignity for All Students Act, and the New York State Common Core Standards. The workshops are customized to meet the specific needs of each district and/or school. Participants will be provided with the opportunity for independent inquiry, learning in cooperation with others, and reflective practice. By participating in these activities, participants will enhance professional dialogue and effectively blend different, innovative, and practical strategies for implementation. As a result, participants will design a toolbox of research-based strategies and competencies will serve as resources for DASA program implementation.
Using Digital Resources to Enhance Reading Comprehension
Instructor: Denise Lewis Grade Level 2-12
Have you ever read a book... a short story... a poem and been able to see the characters, know the place, or empathize with the protagonist? Many students haven't had such a memorable reading moment. They'd much rather surf the web, text friends and search for themselves on Youtube. To motive students to read teachers can connect reading with the digital resources students use every day. There is a wealth of Web 2.0 resources to connect kids with books. Using Digital Resources to Enhance Reading Comprehension will provide teachers with the knowledge and skills to connect kids with reading through digital media and easy to use Web tools.
Using Literature Circles to Enhance Reading
Co-Instructors: Kerri Crawford and Emily Peterson Grade level K-8
The common core is asking us to assess text complexity. We must consider qualitative, quantitative, and reader and task. Course participants will examine the criteria for selecting text when conducting their literature circles. Literature Circles add an exciting dimension to a student's literacy experiences. These discussion groups encourage students to be positive members of a literate classroom community while capitalizing on how they personally respond to literature. This course will help the participant explore the various roles of the literature circle and select roles appropriate for their students - regardless of reading level or ability. Participants will conduct and record literature circles in their own classrooms.
Using Google Tools for Collaboration, Enrichment and Differentiation of Instruction
Instructor: Dorit Eilon Grade level K-12
This fun and engaging course offered by a Google Certified Educator, is designed to provide information and examples of various Google tools available to enhance the learning experiences of different learners. Participants will explore Google Earth, Google Docs (collaborative presentations, spreadsheets, documents and forms) Google Apps and Google SketchUp. Examples of how these tools can be integrated with different subject areas that are aligned to national and NYS standards will be shared. To complete this course, participants will create online collaborative materials, mini project and develop a plan to implement Google tools into their curriculum to promote learning in a 21st century environment. Participation in discussions, sharing of ideas and feedback is important, enlightening and promotes professional growth.
Contents contained on this Staff Association website are provided on an “as is” basis. The Staff Association does not give or make any representation or warranty (either express or implied) as to the completeness, accuracy or reliability of the content of the website nor does the Staff Association accept any responsibility arising in any way (including from negligence) for errors in, or omissions from, the content of this website.
The Staff Association is not responsible for the content or reliability of linked web sites and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed therein. Listing/Linking should not be taken as endorsement of any kind. The Staff association cannot guarantee that these links will work all of the time and have no control over the availability of the listed/linked sites.