LAST UPDATED: March 5, 2015

  • Topics on the this page:

    1. SkillsUSA Pasta Buffet and Raffle
    2. Bowl for Hospice and have a ball!
    3. Contribute to the "Call Out Cuomo" Fund!
    4. Funny! Gov. Cuomo failed his bar exam four times
    5. Rewriting the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) - also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
    6. IMPORTANT NOTE: Anthem security breach
    7. Free professional learning opportunities
    8. Fight Back - Click Here for a To-Do List!
    9. Help us fight back! Join the fight! Text nysut to 38470!
    10. Minutes

    The Rockland BOCES Career & Technical Education Center chapter of SkillsUSA is hosting its Annual Spaghetti Dinner.
    Come anytime between 5:30 and 8:30. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis.

    Tickets can be purchased from CTEC students in advance or at the Door- $10.00 - Children under 12 - $3.00

    Call CTEC at 845-627-4770 to inquire about Tickets.

    Friday March 20th at The Jesse Kaplan School.

    Map it!

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    March 19th- Bowling Extravaganza to benefit United Hospice of Rockland

    First Annual Bowling Spectacular for UHR
    Thursday - 03/19/2015

    Bowl for Hospice and have a ball! Put together a team or come with a friend. Shoes, food and drinks provided. Raffles too! All proceeds go to UHR.

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    Contribute to the "Call Out Cuomo" Fund!

    Governor Cuomo has declared war on teachers, students, and public schools across the state.

    With a reckless, cynical agenda that favors hedge fund billionaires over needy children, rich contributors over parents and their families, and private education profiteers over public school teachers and staff, the Governor has shown once again that he is out of touch with the needs of the vast majority of New York's working families, our students, and our communities.

    Contribute now to help us fight back!
      When you join this fight, you can be sure that every single dollar contributed to the "Call Out Cuomo" Fund will go directly toward fighting Governor Cuomo's dangerous, anti-public schools agenda.



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    The State of the State: When You Fail Your Bar Exam Four Times, It's Time to Raise the Bar!

    I learned Governor Andrew Cuomo failed his bar exam four times.  His war against NY State's teachers has finally been put into context for me.  Whereas I once thought his words reeked of harmful stupidity, now I feel the boy that is still in the man.  Because I feel his pain, I can understand his philosophy.

    1.  It is time to blame the teachers.

    If Cuomo failed four times, it surely can't be his own fault.  How could anyone as successful as the Governor accept the fact that he lacks merit?  It can't be that he failed to study enough.  It can't be that he lacks natural brilliance.  It can't be that he relied too much upon his family name.  It must be his teachers, doctors of jurisprudence, no less.  Even if others from his class managed to pass, shame on his teachers!

    2.  Test prep is sacred.

    If only Governor Cuomo had been lucky enough to have a teacher who cared enough to prep him to perfection.  Then, he would not have had to suffer this embarrassment and set back four times in his young life.  Incompetent teachers confused him with a broad range of concepts, many of which never appeared on the exam.  All they needed to do was align him to a good review book. They should have called in Professor Pearson.  Perhaps, you don't even need a living and breathing professor.  Why not use online computer-generated, test-prep models?

    3.  At least 50% of teacher worth must be measured by student test scores.

    If only tests had figured so heavily in his day in his teacher's sense of self, he might have passed--or at the very least taken quite a few teachers down with him, again and again and again and again.

    4.  This never would have happened with the equivalent of a Success Academy.

    If regular law schools cannot propel the likes of Cuomo to exam success, then let private competitors step into to focus on test prep and do the job right.  Apparently, New York Law School has hired "commercial bar review courses" to increase the passing rates of its students.  Why couldn't Cuomo's Albany Law School have done as much?  Oh, the inhumanity of it all!  

    5.  Close schools with failing students

    Nobody cared enough to close Albany Law School when Cuomo failed more than three times.  Albany Law School should have been dismantled brick by brick.  Out of the rubble, a "turn-around expert" could have risen to work a miracle.  No one need have ever failed another bar exam.  Let Cuomo not have suffered in vain.   

    6.  Award merit pay to test-prep mavens.

    Anyone who could have helped the likes of Cuomo pass his bar exam on the first try, or a student his high-stakes Core exam, surely deserves an extra big bonus to the tune of a least $20,000.

    7.  Student passing rates on killer Common-Core tests must correspond perfectly to teacher retention rates.

    For every student who fails, a teacher must be held accountable.  If 38% fail new Common-Core tests meant to wear down the hardiest of test takers, then don't even speak to me about 98% of NY's teachers being effective.  Are you daft?  Do your math?  Are you so poor at it that you don't see that sixty-two percent of teachers must be removed?  I bet you're also one of those who failed that "twelfth-grade literacy" entrance "bar exam," referenced by Cuomo!  

    Do you now sense the bittersweet use of the term "bar exam" in Cuomo's speech?  Who would not feel for Cuomo, has no heart.  There is still a young man inside him who relives the bitterness of his four-time battle with the bar exam--when no teacher stepped up to prep him through the darkness.  

    If you have a strong constitution, reread his State of the State, and where you see the words "young people" or "child," substitute the name of "The Young Andrew Cuomo" and you, too, will feel the pain of the young man that still lives on and places him in the peculiar position of being able to feel the plight of young people more strongly than most.  

    See if you don't agree with me.  In the underlined portions of his speech below, I've changed Cuomo's original words: 

    "It was about helping The Young Andrew Cuomo. It was not about creating an educational industry that then supports ancillary organizations. Let’s remember the The Young Andrew Cuomo in this process and then we’ll wind up doing the right thing."

    Just remember though, if you become teary eyed, at least Cuomo never had to suffer on account of being poor or a minority like so many of our students!

    January 26, 2015


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    IMPORTANT NOTE: Anthem security breach

    Anthem, Inc., the parent organization of Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield and the hospital administrator for the NYSHIP Empire Plan reported an extensive security breach of their members' data. Names, dates of birth, member IDs/Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and employment information of current and former members were impacted. In the coming weeks, Anthem will send letters to impacted members with an offer of free credit monitoring and identity protection services.

    In the interim, direct inquiries to or 877-263-7995. The website includes FAQs and will be updated as additional information becomes available.
    You should be aware of scam email campaigns targeting current and former Anthem members. These scams, designed to capture personal information (known as "phishing"), are designed to appear as if they are from Anthem and the emails include a "click here" link for credit monitoring. These emails are NOT from Anthem.

    • DO NOT reply to the email or reach out to the senders in any way.
    • DO NOT supply any information on the website that may open, if you have clicked on a link in email.
    • DO NOT open any attachments that arrive with email.

    Anthem is not calling members regarding the cyber attack and is not asking for credit card information or Social Security numbers over the phone. For more guidance on recognizing scam email, please visit the FTC website:


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    Congress is currently rewriting the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) - also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Under ESEA, the focus has shifted from student learning towards testing, labeling, and punishing schools-with no significant closure of opportunity gaps. That's why we need your help right now!


    4 ways you can help Congress get ESEA (NCLB) reauthorization right



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    Help us fight back! Join the fight! Text nysut to 38470!

    The governor has made a huge mistake.

    With a budget proposal that favors hedge fund billionaires over needy children, rich contributors over working families and private education profiteers over public school teachers and staff, the governor has declared war on teachers, public schools, and working men and women across New York.

    Help us fight back!

    Join the fight! Text nysut to 38470!
    Sign up for MAC text alerts and get breaking news, legislative updates and critical action alerts that will help you help us win this war!

    If you haven't seen the governor's budget proposal yet, let me give you just a few lowlights:

    - Testing Instead of Teaching. The governor calls for a radical increase in the reliance on high-stakes student testing in teacher evaluations, from 20% of the evaluation to an absurd 50%!

    - Threats to Collective Bargaining Rights. The governor wants to give state bureaucrats the power to seize control of local school districts and invalidate collective bargaining.

    - Higher Education Shortchanged. The governor again grossly underfunds public higher education and adds insult to injury by subjecting our campuses to ill-conceived pay-for-performance schemes designed to hide his lack of support for our campuses and our students.

    - Tenure Under Fire. The governor wants to weaken and effectively end our tenure protections.

    And, as a bully would, the governor is planning to hold school funding hostage in order to get his way.

    Join the fight! Text nysut to 38470!
    Sign up for MAC text alerts and get breaking news, legislative updates and critical action alerts that will help you help us win this war!

    Please help us fight back. Together, we can stand up to the governor and win this war!

    In solidarity,

    Andrew Pallotta
    NYSUT Executive Vice President

    Visit our Site


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    Rockland Reading Council, Rockland Teachers' Center
    and St. Thomas Aquinas College Free Professional Learning Series

    4:30PM - 5:30PM
    St. Thomas Aquinas College
    Lougheed Library

    125 Route 340, Sparkill, NY

    Social Studies: The Core of Teaching and Learning
    New York State Council for Social Studies Annual Convention

    in partnership with
    Learning Forward New York
    March 11 - 14, 2015
    Syracuse, New York

    Science, Invention,Technology Exhibition

    April 26, 2015 @ NRHS
    Student registration is open.

    SAT/ACT Preparation for May 2015 Exam

    SAT Preparation: 27 Hours of review in math, critical reading, and writing strategies, plus test-taking tips for the SAT exams. You must register in advance on our homepage at Please bring the additional $30 materials fee (due in cash at first session). Course may be cancelled if less than 10 participants. No refunds will be issued after start date of class.

    Test date is May 2, 2015. NYS Learning Standard: ELA, MST. Cost is $545, plus $30 materials fee.

    Saturdays - RTC# 858-01 - Dates: February 21, 28, March 7, 14, 21, April 11, 18, 2015
    Snowdate-April 25, 2015.
    Times: 9:00 am-12:00 pm
    Place: North Rockland High School, 106 Hammond Road, Thiells, NY 10984
    Instructors: Math Lori Arduini/English John Joyce Click here to register.

    Sundays - RTC# 858-02 - Dates: February 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22, April 12, 19, 2015
    Snowdate-April 26, 2015.
    Times: 9:00 am-12:00 pm
    Place: Outdoor Education Center, 135 Convent Road, Nanuet, NY 10954
    Instructors: Math Lori Arduini/English Kathleen Landy Click here to register.

    ACT Review: This course will review English, Math, Reading, and Science, plus test-taking tips for the ACT exam. Bring a bag lunch. There is no food available on site. NYS Learning Standard: ELA, MST. Test date is June 13, 2015. Cost is $275, plus $40 materials fee.

    Saturday and Sunday - RTC#868-01 - Dates: May 16 and 17, 2015
    Times: 9:00 am-3:30 pm
    Place: Outdoor Education Center, 135 Convent Road, Nanuet, NY 10954
    Instructor: Lenore Gavigan Click here to register.
    You should register in advance at Look for courses on our homepage.

    Payments made by check must be made 2 weeks before the start date of class., unless otherwise instructed.
    The fee for materials (paid in cash/money order) will be collected at first session.
    Class size is limited to 20 students, but courses may be canceled with less than 10 participants.
    No refunds will be issued after course start date.

    For registration information, contact: Rockland Teachers' Center Institute 845-553-9516 or e-mail
    For specific program content information contact Lenore Gavigan at 914-629-8600 or
    Rosanne Citarella at 845-638-1486.


    Dates to Remember:

    March 19th- Bowling Extravaganza to benefit United Hospice of Rockland
    March 20th & 21st – SPR Conference in Connecticut
    April 30th – may 2nd – Local Presidents Conference an RA in Buffalo
    June 4 - Celebrate With the Retirees
    July 20th – July 24th –LAP Saratoga
    August 11th – 13th – Summer Leadership – Parsippany NJ


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