Button, button who’s got the button?


When I was young, we played a game called “Button, button, who’s got the button?” We’d circle around a person in the middle, who held a button. That person would “pretend” to drop a button into our open palms, with only one person actually receiving the button. Everyone would immediately close their hands after their [...]

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Ichabod Crane local gives school board an earful on testing


The Ichabod Crane Teachers Association organized a protest of overtesting at this week’s school board meeting, drawing about 150 teachers and parents fed up with testing. The Ichabod Crane School District is about 26 miles southeast of Albany. “This (the English Language Arts assessment) is not developmentally appropriate for my students and I find it [...]

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Reliving the spirit and soul of MLK

mlk conference

(NYSUT Vice President Paul Pecorale recently returned from Atlanta, where he participated in the AFL-CIO’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference. This is his first-person account of that conference.) I was awestruck this past week at the AFL-CIO Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference in Atlanta, GA., where I [...]

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NYSUT taking students to film about Dr. King

Hundreds of students and their families from across New York state will be commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day this weekend by attending a showing of the award-winning film “Selma,” courtesy of NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino and the other NYSUT officers. Fortino and NYSUT Director of Community Relations Paul Webster have spent much of [...]

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Season’s Readings

adirondack carousel

Today is, as A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh so famously said, “a rather blustery day.” Snowflakes are flying, adding to the hefty drifts already covering the ground. The evergreen branches are host to drapes of snow. Outside my window at NYSUT headquarters, a flock of birds frantically pluck at berries from a tree. The hulking [...]

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Tarrytown ‘First Book’ a big hit


NYSUT locals across the state have been successfully participating in the First Book Challenge project. Thousands of new books have been given away to children, thanks to local unions. One of the latest First Book giveaways was in Tarrytown area, where NYSUT Regional Staff Director Marc Laffer was on hand. Here is Laffer’s impression of [...]

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Remembering Pearl Harbor

The number of Pearl Harbor survivors is dwindling. Yet, that does not diminish the historical importance or solemn memory of that day, December 7, 1941, which President Roosevelt declared would be a day that “would live in infamy.” As Pearl Harbor ceremonies took place in Hawaii yesterday, NYSUT today remembers with honor and dignity the [...]

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Recommitting to solving HIV/AIDS; helping those with illness


Today is World AIDS Day, and there is much to be grateful for (advances in care), much to do (supporting those with HIV, educating people about it), and much to know. This year’s theme for World Aids Day is Focus, Partner and Achieve. Dr. Ronald Valdiserri, director of the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infections Disease [...]

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Utica-area unionists make waves for ‘Strides’


The Riveredge conference hotel sits right on the water in Alexandria Bay, a long stone’s throw across the St. Lawrence Seaway from Boldt Castle. The largest tanker sliding by on its way from Cleveland, Detroit or Duluth to the North Atlantic never made waves like the ones that rocked the hotel’s dining room Saturday night. [...]

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Rally at Capitol on Thursday for the common people


It’s still summer and the call to be outside remains loud and clear. But  even though the lazy, hazy days of summer have their own lure, issues of concern to the common people — the 99 percent — are still demanding our attention. This coming week, there is an opportunity for you to get outside [...]

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