Fight Back Friday: Telling it nationally

AFT President Randi Weingarten knows a good idea when she sees one. And, when it reinforces her call for a moratorium on applying high-stakes consequences to high-stakes tests, Weingarten is eager to share that idea nationally. Earlier this week, Weingarten — a leading voice on the testing issue — called on AFT leaders across the […]

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Mobilize Saturday for Bangladeshi workers

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, or a cheap shirt. You can’t put a price on a life — and there are many workers who die in garment factory disasters. Clothing companies are responsible to make sure these factories are safe, and stop looking the other way so they can get their products […]

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Celebrating 52 successful years in the classroom


Years ago, I got to interview Richard Herrmann for his thoughts on how to avoid burnout. He was the perfect interview as he had far more than 40 years teaching and was still going strong. Finally this year, after thousands of students and 52 years, he’s retiring as head of the Valley Stream Teachers Association. […]

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New leaders in Albany for training, inspiration

School may be over for the summer but 125 new NYSUT leaders are back in the classroom this week. The newly elected local presidents from across the state are at union headquarters in Albany for an in-depth primer on what NYSUT has to offer to help them excel in their leadership roles. They will hear […]

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Feel Good Friday: end of legislative session

School might be over but lawmakers are still in session. At least for a few more hours. Need proof that your advocacy makes a difference? There will now be a Cost-Of-Living-Adjustment increase on the direct costs associated with 853 and Special Act schools for the 2013-14 school year. These schools had not had an increase […]

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The joy of victory (29) and agony of defeat (2)

There is good news for students in 29 school districts, where voters approved budgets in revotes last night. Voters in three of those districts, Newcomb in the north country, and Manhasset and North Babylon on Long Island, even agreed to override the property tax cap. For the remaining districts, only a 50 percent “yes” vote […]

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June 18 matters: Vote today

If you live in one of the 31 school districts facing a revote of budgets today, please make the effort to vote. The Journal News, which covers five districts holding revotes, reports those districts “better hope that voters understand what a second defeat would mean. Slash and burn.” It’s an apt description because schools have […]

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Student films feature rally coverage

The rally may have wrapped up last week, but its aftereffects are still being felt! Thanks to Lisa Higgins Foster of the Hyde Park United Employees Association for passing along news that a documentary student film project on standardized testing included footage and interviews from the June 8th One Voice United rally. The film was […]

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Fight Back Friday: Where do we go from here?

Brendansreason for attending

Emerson’s definition of success is taped on my wall. You know, the one that starts with To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; and then ends with to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. Thanks […]

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“Where words fail, music speaks”

Those words on the power of music are attributed to Hans Christian Andersen. So, when music is cut from schools, hundreds will turn out, like they did in Buffalo yesterday. Here’s an excerpt: City Honors School student Ana Blatto presented a box of more than 700 letters from students protesting music cuts. She said she […]

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