Vote on school budgets today!

My school district’s proposed budget only increases .74 percent but, because the tax levy is going up 5.4 percent, 60 percent of voters need to approve it today for it to pass. The tax levy on local taxpayers has gone up because the South Colonie schools have lost $13.4 million in state aid over the […]

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Heartache for Oklahoma (Updated)

At 11:34 a.m. Check this link from the AFL-CIO on disaster relief efforts. Horrifying news last night about the tornado that devastated a suburb of Oklahoma City, killing more than 24 people including a number of school children. If you have relatives or friends in that area, our thoughts are with them. Here’s a link […]

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Feel Good Friday: Vote May 21

You hold the future of hundreds of thousands of students across our state. On Tuesday, you get to say whether their school budgets should pass or fail. In so many communities, there are many feel good events (regardless of what some politicians might be telling you.) Here’s photo gallery of just one school district’s efforts […]

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School boards agree: Put the brakes on high-stakes testing (Updated 2x)

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School boards across the state are passing resolutions asking the State Education Department to ease its reliance on standardized test scores in making decisions ranging from student placement to school accountability status to teacher evaluations. The West Irondequoit school board in Monroe County went a step further. Click here for the full letter signed by the […]

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They will be there!

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Members from the Yorktown Congress of Teachers recently received the gift of a chocolate bar from their local union. Here’s a photo of the front of a special wrapper for the candy bar. On the back is the following message: The YCT will join with our brothers and sisters from all over New York state […]

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May 21 Matters: One week to go until school budget votes

It’s now one week before most school districts submit their annual budgets to voters. NYSUT United brought you the news more than two weeks ago that fewer districts are trying to override the tax cap and that many are staying well within the cap. That story was based on a NYSUT survey of districts before […]

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Sherburne-Earlville TA stands against high-stakes testing

Jennifer Moore, president of the Sherburne-Earlville TA, notes her members got national attention for their stance against high-stakes testing last week. “I’ve received a number of emails from all across the country, thanking us for what we’ve done and even calling us heroes,” she said. “Some even want to buy our shirts!” You might recall […]

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So here’s the number 6.8.13 … March with us maybe?

Perhaps Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” song is one of the most parodied. Here’s another, thanks to Peter DeWitt, a principal in the Averill Park school district, and the Averill Park Teachers Association, led by Michelle Smead. You may recall Michelle Smead has also written the Top 10 reasons to rally on June 8 […]

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Fight Back Friday: Recap of anti-testing, solidarity events this week

Across the state, NYSUT locals are taking action against high-stakes tests. In rural Sherburne-Earlville, teachers wore their maroon local union shirts on Tuesday that had the message: “I care more about the people my students become than the scores on the tests they take.” Others quoted Margaret Meade: “Children must be taught how to think, […]

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Student speaks against tests

Because of an extremely heavy-handed non-disclosure agreement teachers had to sign about recent state tests, most are not talking about them. But students didn’t have to sign any such confidentiality agreements. So many of them are talking, or writing about their testing experience. The Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss posted an essay from a New York […]

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