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    • NYSUT grant to help teachers in Amsterdam, Schenectady and Kingston combat injustice

      ALBANY, N.Y. Jan.18, 2018 — New York State United Teachers has been awarded a three-year, $322,000 grant to help early-career teachers in Kingston, Schenectady and Amsterdam better recognize — and then proactively address — racial and social injustice in their schools.

      The grant from the National Education Association’s Great Public Schools Fund will enable NYSUT and its local unions in the three small cities to redesign their mentoring programs for teachers just beginning their careers. Working collaboratively with school boards, superintendents and administrators, the union-led initiative will help provide early-career educators the tools to better recognize and understand issues like racial inequality, diversity, women’s rights, fair wages and environmental justice. The program then aims to empower teachers, students and their school communities to develop strategies to address inequality and injustice.

      NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said, “This program will improve the teaching and learning environment in schools and, ultimately, will help school districts retain teachers — a key to reversing the looming teacher shortage.”

      “Supporting teachers — and supporting students — is all part of union work,” said NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene T. DiBrango. “We are committed to ensuring that teachers feel supported in their work. Educators who know their union is helping them succeed as professionals from their first day on the job to their last are better equipped to help their students thrive.”

      “Nobody knows better than educators how to reach, teach and inspire students every day to learn, to realize their dreams and to achieve success,” said NEA Vice President Becky Pringle. “We need to accelerate the educator-led transformation of public education, and these grants help with that process.”

      Under the program, faculty at the University at Albany, represented by United University Professions, will facilitate and help direct the pilot program and evaluate its effectiveness with an eye toward replicating the most successful components in other school districts across the state.

      Experienced trainers from NYSUT’s Education and Learning Trust and programs such as the New York City-based Border Crossers will assist in presenting professional development sessions to educators.

      New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

    • State officials praise pilot residency program for aspiring teachers

      State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia got a first-hand look at a union-backed student teaching residency program being piloted in a handful of North Country school districts and she liked what she saw.

      As she stopped in classrooms at Hudson Falls High School, Hudson Falls Primary School and the BOCES Southern Adirondack Education Center, Elia saw aspiring teachers working side by side with experienced educators — not sitting in the back of the room observing.

      Bailey Carlin, a “resident” student teacher who is working toward his master’s degree in teaching at SUNY Plattsburgh, explained the thinking behind a renewable energy resources project in an English class tailored for Career and Technical students at the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES.

      “Our goal is to take an English lesson and specialize it to the students’ interests and needs,” Carlin said. “We want it to be engaging and relevant — and hopefully make it so they don’t dread English class.”

      Carlin, who is working with “attending” teacher Karen Monastero, said he is grateful to be part of the two-year residency program launched this fall by two rural Washington County school districts, the local BOCES and SUNY Plattsburgh’s Queensbury campus. “So far it’s been an amazing experience and I’ve learned so much,” he said. “I feel really lucky to be a part of this.” Monastero, a member of the Saratoga Adirondack BOCES Employees Association, is a National Board Certified Teacher.

      So incredibly proud of my son...as a local federation president, I am thrilled with @nysut backing this remarkable program!

      — Gerry Carlin (@GerryCarlin) January 18, 2018

      The pilot program began last fall with a three-year $738,000 National Education Association grant to develop a clinically rich preparatory program and boost teacher recruitment and retention. Under the Classroom Academy model, aspiring teachers with bachelor’s degrees are placed in a two-year residency in Cambridge, Hudson Falls, and Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES. The program uses the same lingo as hospital residencies: Candidates are called “residents” and the experienced instructors overseeing their work are known as “attendings.”

      Aside from getting first-hand classroom experience, each resident receives a $22,000-a-year living stipend to ensure equity and access, plus plenty of individualized and group support, and a year’s credit toward professional certification. Residents also take master’s level courses, participate in a monthly professional learning community, keep a reflective journal and will do clinical “rounds” to observe other practitioners. For example, this spring, SUNY Plattsburgh’s Maureen Squires, who heads the Master’s in Teaching program, will lead a clinical rotation focusing on special education.

      The attending teachers receive a $4,500 stipend each year to recognize the complexity of their role and can use the experience to participate in the National Board Certification process. Participating attending teachers told Elia they view their residents as “co-teachers” and noted they are finding the partnership energizing and professionally rewarding.

      Classroom Academy Residency Program

      Elia said the residency pilot is a promising approach and a powerful example of what can happen when universities and colleges partner with K-12 schools.

      “This gives student teachers an opportunity to grow. The experiences they have through this program will set them up to be more successful,” Elia said. “This is going to be one of the models … as we take a look at how to improve the student teaching experience and make it more meaningful.”

      Elia said aspiring teachers need more than an eight-week student teaching experience to be prepared and successful. “That’s why we’re losing people,” she said.

      NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene DiBrango, who accompanied Elia, Regent Beverly Ouderkirk and other SED officials on the tour, said the Classroom Academy approach shows what can happen when partners work together to find ways to support teachers.


      “At a time when we’re facing a teacher shortage, we want to do everything we can to encourage people to enter the profession and most importantly, help them succeed,” DiBrango said.

      Colleen McDonald, a recently retired teacher leader and Cambridge Faculty Association member who is overseeing the pilot program, said a key part of the NEA grant was creating a program that could be scaled up and sustainable, without depending on grant funding. Under a state-approved Contract for Shared Services funding arrangement through the local BOCES, the districts are reimbursed for a substantial portion of salaries.

      Conservative estimates say the U.S. will need to hire more than 1.5 million new teachers in the near future, McDonald said.

      “This is changing the way we look at teacher preparation,” she said.

    LTA Blog

    Stand Up For What All Kids Need







    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




    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




    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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