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    • Much work left to fix flawed and invalid state tests

      ALBANY, N.Y. Aug. 22, 2019 — New York State United Teachers released the following statement today on the State Education Department’s release of grade 3-8 state test results:

      “While it is better that test scores increased slightly, we must not paper over the fact that the state’s standardized testing system — and the way it determines student proficiency — remains badly broken. Too many students are forced to take tests that are too long and include questions that are not developmentally appropriate. Invalid scoring benchmarks continue to mislabel children. And the rush to adopt computer-based testing has been a complete failure for the second year in a row.

      “The State Education Department has made little effort or progress when it comes to fixing years long problems with these tests. Officials must correct the testing system before our children sit for exams next spring.”

      Earlier this year, NYSUT launched the Correct the Tests campaign to raise awareness of the serious issues with the grades 3-8 ELA and math tests and demand state action to fix these flawed, invalid tests that are harmful to New York students.

      In April, NYSUT released the Correct the Tests report, which detailed numerous problems with this year’s round of state standardized tests, despite assurances from the State Education Department that past failures would not be repeated.

      In May, delegates at the union’s annual Representative Assembly called on the state Board of Regents to direct the state education commissioner and Education Department to finally make the necessary changes to fix the 3-8 testing system, as well as the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT).

      STATE ED RESOURCES

      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.

    • Downstate members support Biondi union facing contract fight

      When you’re in the middle of a tough contract fight, nothing feels better than knowing your union brothers and sisters have your back.

      Elizabeth Negron and James Faulkner, members of the Biondi Labor Union of Essential Staff experienced that this summer when more than 100 leaders and activists at the Tarrytown Regional Office’s summer leadership conference pledged to lend a helping hand to the local.

      “We asked attendees to send us their email address, names and contact information if they were willing to help out with activities like rallies, letter writing or phone calling,” said Daniel Esakoff, who along with Julie Berman, serves as the local’s NYSUT labor relations specialist.

      Biondi Labor Union of Essential Staff

      Since organizing in 2013, the 145-member union has been unable to reach a collective bargaining agreement with its employer, the Frank and Carol Biondi Education Center. The facility is a taxpayer-funded 853 private school for emotionally challenged students with locations in Westchester County and the Bronx.

      Representing titles including teachers, clinicians, teaching assistants and teacher aides, most BLUES members haven’t received pay raises in close to a decade — despite seven years of tuition increases. Additionally, due to staffing shortages — exacerbated by poor working conditions and low pay — student violence has increased; at the middle/high school, a teacher was nearly killed by a group of students in 2016.

      Despite the danger, union calls to install metal detectors, equip staff with alarm bracelets and hire additional monitors have been deemed “too expensive.” School management is aggressively anti-union. To date, it has spent more than $1.5 million in legal fees to avoid reaching a collective bargaining agreement.

      How you can help

      Interested in lending your support to BLUES members? Send your name, email address and phone number to organize@nysutmail.org and include “I’m in!” in the subject line.

      To learn more about the local union, contact Daniel Esakoff or Julie Berman at NYSUT’s Tarrytown regional office, 914-592-4410.

    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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