Here’s a real page-turner

Well, maybe not a page-turner. This is a digital blog, after all. But the message here is that NYSUT and its affiliates — both local and national — are putting a special focus on books and their importance to the students with whom their members work. First, April is School Library Month and the week […]

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Fight Back Friday: Join the anti-testing chorus

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We are only three weeks away from an educational travesty. Students in classrooms across New York state are going to sit for hours of tests on a curriculum that hasn’t even been taught yet. NYSUT started an on-line petition to give people who see the state’s testing obsession as harmful to children, a way to […]

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Even the Easter Bunny knows the importance of reading

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With a “hoppening” bunny costume, NYSUT Member Benefits staffer and CWA-1141 member Chrissy Phillips captivates a class of kindergarten students while reading an Easter story yesterday. Phillips and other NYSUT staff delivered Easter baskets, books and school supplies to six classrooms at the Arbor Hill Elementary School in Albany. The group is part of an […]

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Budget basics

So the New York State Senate passed the 2013-14 budget this morning, finishing at about 4:30 a.m. The Assembly will reconvene and act tomorrow. Overall education aid increase is $936 million, or a 4.7 percent increase. Lawmakers re-allocated $203 million in fiscal stabilization funds and added $184 million above what the executive budget proposed. High […]

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You can prevent this testing travesty

Kudos to the unnamed teachers who created the animation above. Is there anyone who doesn’t know about the problems with the state’s tests? (If you are unclear, here’s one link that features educators from the North Country; here’s another, complete with video, about concerns raised by educators from the Lower Hudson Valley; and here’s another featuring Capital […]

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North Country educators describe testing’s effects on students

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North Country educators had tears in their eyes as they told stories about distraught children overwhelmed by the state’s growing obsession with standardized testing. “By the 35th day of school, I gave 40 tests to first-graders,” said Robin Jones, co-president of Elizabethtown TA. “I’m sick of it and I know the kids are sick of it.”

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She’s been leading the way

By Katie Donnelly, a Shaker High School student interning at NYSUT this semester I didn’t know much about Gloria Steinem until I saw the NYSUT Women’s History poster and did some research on her. I thought she had been involved in one thing, but there’s a piece of her in a whole bunch of things. […]

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Fight Back Friday: State and federal budgets

There is still haggling to do over the state budget. This Albany Times Union editorial points out a number of problems. Lots of voices are urging lawmakers to take care of their issues. Keep up your good work. Go to NYSUT’s Member Action Center. Tell your lawmaker to fund K-12 schools, colleges and universities, save […]

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How do you cut “skeleton” schools?

With a bone cutter or saw. The process is not pretty, my medical friends tell me. Skeleton schools were the image Elmira schools Superintendent Joe Hochreiter used last year to describe the cuts in that small city district. Well, Elmira is facing more cuts this year, according to this article from the Elmira Star-Gazette. As […]

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Tax Cap Tuesday

It’s nine weeks before the May 21 school budget vote. By now all of the districts, except the Big 5 that don’t have school budget votes, should know their tax cap number. By now newspapers and television stations are reporting budget cuts, like this one in Warwick. Here’s a radio report about the Wyoming, NY schools […]

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