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    • DAY OF ACTION: Magee urges members to stay ‘loud and proud’

      The Biblical story says that Moses parted the Red Sea so he could lead his people to safety. In a Mohonasen middle school yesterday, a crowd of teachers formed its own Red Sea in striking red attire to support a Day of Action, and they parted with plans to keep on being active to protect public schools.

      “These are really important times for public education,” said eighth-grade English teacher Danielle Grainer. She joined others to push back against the push to privatize more public schools.

      “We will shield against the extortion of public schools,” wrote Brenda Stahl, science and math teacher, on a poster “shield.” The declarative shields were used in schools across the state for yesterday’s campaign to reclaim our schools, supported by NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, local unions and community groups.

      “Education is about students, not profit,” Stahl said as she walked to join her fellow educators and members of the Mohonasen Teachers Association in a solidarity gathering in the lobby. “Our union is pretty involved. They asked us to stand behind our convictions.”

      “I’m here in support of the union, the school and my colleagues,” added Jennifer Fritz-Walbroehl, family and consumer science teacher, as she hustled down the hall just after the dismissal bell rang and students flooded the exit doors.

      MTA President Maria Pacheco introduced NYSUT President Karen E. Magee, who kept the red theme all the way to her toes with bright red shoes.

      “We always knew schools were a safe place for our kids, but the world has changed,” said Magee. “We all need to be together as one voice to beat back attempts to privatize, to segregate.”

      Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos has a poor track public ed record. She’s a supporter of privatizing schools and creating for-profit charter schools in Michigan; they rank extremely low.

      “She’s not about accountability, she’s about profits,” Magee said. Creating charter schools siphons money off of public schools.

      When corporations pluck schools for profit, it endangers access for all children, including those with special needs; funding for public schools; and accountability.

      “Public education is the great equalizer,” Magee said. “It is what preserves democracy.”

      As a classroom teacher for nearly 30 years, Magee encouraged the circle of teachers that surrounded her to keep their spirits up and “keep in mind those ‘A-ha’ moments,” and “the families whose lives you touch.”

      The work of educators, she said, is what ensures that every day school is a safe, welcoming place. Magee urged the group to stay “loud and proud,” and to “raise the tide for all boats.”

      Social studies teacher Mark Dicocco, political action chair for the MTA, said it is important to get the message out to the public and to “put pressure on politicians to advocate for change.”

      Thursday’s actions in the two-story brick building, which houses 660 students, were an extension of the duties of teaching that these educators carry with them day and night.

      As physical education and health teacher Doug Hallberg told his students before the dismissal bell rang: “We can’t always choose what happens to us, but we can choose how to respond.”

    • Educators learn about importance of communications and arts in STEAM

      Nearly 20 graduates of past SEMI High Tech U Teacher Edition sessions attended last weekend’s follow-up forum, hosted by NYSUT at its Latham headquarters.

      Keynoter John Kent, vice president for program management at Global Foundries in Saratoga County, presented the history, current state and a glimpse into the future of New York’s high-tech industry and the employment possibility for today’s students.

      “I like to view students as time travelers,” said Kent, adding that, in their lifetime, today’s students will see extraordinary technological developments.

      Kent discussed the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) and their importance within four of the career domains of the high-tech industry: research and engineering, the core of the manufacturing and technology; production and logistics, creation and manufacturing; safety and environmental; and business, such as management and marketing.

      VIDEO: NYSUT educators learn about importance of communications and arts in STEAM pic.twitter.com/hQKg7Encq6

      — NYSUT (@nysut) January 20, 2017

      Video by Leslie Duncan Fottrell

      “One of the dangers of technology is the alienation of the people who use it,” said Kent. Communication and the arts are critical components to the success of high-tech products because they allow the complexities of the high-tech industry to be translated into more easily understood concepts, analogies and visual designs. “Art is important because you need to use visual communication to explain what the technology is. “

      Angel Tudor, a seventh- and eighth-grade math teacher and member of the Whitehall Teachers Association, asked what three things educators could do to prepare students for high-tech careers.

      “Keep them on track to take pre-calculus,” answered Kent. “Make sure they get chemistry and biology as early as possible. And make sure they get arts and communications. “

      “Each time I attend a workshop I learn more about the industry,” said Erika Robert, a high school math teacher, department chair and Schoharie Teachers Association member. “It validates why I am doing this and why I am encouraging kids to stay in math and science.” Robert coordinates an annual STEAM event for her school.

      “This experiment shows how a difference in surface area affects a chemical reaction,” said Catherine Choi, as she prepared to pour liquid into an oversized beaker with an Alka-Seltzer tablet in it, in the small particles workshop. Choi is a high school guidance counselor and a member of the Watervliet Teachers Association.

      Choi’s work as a guidance counselor is a little unusual. “I teach a class and I run the ‘pivot’ program for 9th graders at my school.” One aspect of this grant-funded program is that approximately 50 students at a time — about half of the 9th grade class — visit colleges on a rotating basis.

      Participants shared how they have been using in their classrooms what they learned at SEMI High Tech U. Helen Rodney, a United Federation of Teachers retiree member, said she plans to use scratch coding as part of a professional development workshop in New York City.

      NYSUT members received an overview of the SEMI High Tech U Lending Library. Five Statapults and two Gates Human Calculator mats can be checked out through an online form. Once checked out, the items can be picked up and dropped off at NYSUT headquarters in Latham from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday–Friday.

      The SEMI High Tech U Teacher edition program is now in its 10th year with NYSUT as one of the supporters. The teacher edition is a, two-day, hands-on professional development experience that gives teachers the tools and knowledge they need to get students career and college ready. Plans are underway for the NYSUT-hosted summer edition. Look for details on how to apply in upcoming editions of NYSUT United and at NYSUT.org, or contact your local president for information.

      For inspiration on how art, design and communication can make a complex high-tech topic interesting and accessible to everyone, watch the video “Transistors: Teeny Tech that Changed the World” at www.abigailkent.com, by Kent’s daughter Abigail. It is also a wonderful high-tech primer for students.

      Photos

      SEMI High Tech U Forum

    LTA Blog

    Stand Up For What All Kids Need

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    Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget for 2015-2016 lays out a punishing anti-public education agenda that attacks teachers and hurts students.

    Rather than provide what all kids need, the governor is pushing a Billionaires' Agenda that would decimate the state's public schools. His "my-way-or-the-highway" budget would:

    • hold school aid increases hostage;
    • woefully underfund the state's K-12 and higher education systems;
    • more than double the weight of standardized tests;
    • make permanent an undemocratic tax cap that has wreaked financial havoc on school communities;
    • eliminate funding for teacher training;
    • launch a back-door voucher plan that would siphon funding away from schools most in need;
    • underfund public higher education by tying funding to campus "performance" rather than enrollment;
    • smooth the way for the privatization of SUNY's five hospitals;
    • destroy prep programs for future teachers;
    • and fail to fully address the student debt crisis.

    Simply put, Gov. Cuomo's proposed budget - which serves the interests of his billionaire backers - is an attack on public education that fails to address what all students need.

    Things you can do right now to fight back.

    Every NYSUT member is needed to defend public education and the teaching profession from Gov. Cuomo's Billionaires' Agenda.

    Tell the governor to stop scapegoating... stop teacher bashing and focus on what #AllKidsNeed.

    Here's your to-do list.

    Take action on this week's campaigns.

    The latest actions will always be right here in the No. 1 spot.

    Call your state senator. Now.

    • Stop what you're doing and call your state senator with this message: stand up to the Governor's "Bigfoot" tactics and defend our outstanding New York public schools!
    • You can look up the number at the NYSUT Member Action Center.

    Sign up for MAC text alerts!

    Take 10 seconds and sign up for MAC text alerts on your phone!

    Here's how: Text the word "NYSUT" to the contact number 38470.

    Sign the petitions.

    Call out the governor.

    • Invite the governor to visit your class to learn what #AllKidsNeed. Tweet out an invite directly at him and be sure to include his Twitter handle @NYGovCuomo and the hashtag #InviteCuomo if you want your tweet to be seen and heard.
    • Not on Twitter? See step 8.

    Get connected to the MAC.

    • BY TEXT. Get real-time text messages about urgent news and actions by texting the word NYSUT to the number 38470.
    • BY EMAIL. Subscribe to the NYSUT Member Action Center email alerts for updates on this campaign. If you're registered via email as a NYSUT MAC e-activist you'll also be the first to know about upcoming rallies, protests and more.
    • BY APP. Download the NYSUT MAC App for your iPhone or for your Android phone. Be sure notifications are enabled to receive alerts on new action items.

    Get connected on Facebook.

    Get connected on Twitter.

    • Join Twitter and follow @NYSUT to be part of the social media army.
    • Once a day (or as often as possible) tweet your thoughts on what #AllKidsNeed - more science labs, music and art classes, school libraries, smaller class sizes and more. We're reminding the governor to focus on what matters! Follow the conversation in real-time for some great examples from parents and educators.

    Share the poster.

    Wear the button.

    Take part in community forums.

    • Keep an eye on nysut.org/allkidsneed for information on upcoming NYSUT-sponsored Community Forums to Save Public Education in every region of the state.

    Talk it up.

    • Get the conversation going - online and offline. Read "Where We Stand" and use it to craft social media messages, send letters to the editor, and brief friends and colleagues.
    • Circulate and share print materials and videos.

    Support "Take Action Tuesday."

    • Mark your calendar to support NYSUT's "Take Action Tuesday" every week. Be on the lookout for updates.

    Learn more at www.nysut.org/allkidsneed.

     

    Last Updated (Tuesday, 03 March 2015 16:10)

     

    Member Alert Program

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    There are so many member benefits, that it can be hard to keep track of them all.
    The NYSUT Member Benefits MAP (Member Alert Program) email blast service keeps you informed through a brief email message every three weeks.
    You can join MAP on the NYSUT website, at http://www.nysut.org/49.htm

    Last Updated (Friday, 15 November 2013 16:58)

     

    Nysut Action Center Mobile App

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    NYSUT action center now has an app for smartphones that makes it very easy to take action. It is available in the app store for free.



    Last Updated (Friday, 15 November 2013 16:38)

     
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