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    • WANTED: Your video on the marriage equality ruling

      Hey LGBTQ educators, allies, and friends!

      We are putting together a video piece about the historic Supreme Court decision that came down on June 26, declaring that marriage for all people is the law of the land.

      We need your help!

      Either by yourself, or with the help of a friend, take a video on your smart phone and answer the questions below - as many or as few as you wish.

      THE QUESTIONS

      • Where were you when you heard the Supreme Court's Marriage Equality decision?
      • What was your reaction?
      • How will the court decision change your life or the life of someone you know?
      • What's next for the LGBTQ community?

      PRODUCTION TIPS

      1. Hold your cell phone horizontally.
      2. Include the question with your answer. "Where was I when I heard the decision? I was..."

      Super easy!

      HOW TO GET YOUR VIDEO TO NYSUT

      Choose the option that works best for you!

      1. Email your video to communicate@nysutmail.org.

      2. Email us a link to the video on your file-sharing account (i.e. Google Drive or Drop Box)

      3. Upload to Facebook or YouTube and send us a link.

      Please submit your videos by August 7th.

      Thanks! We look forward to hearing from you!

    • New commissioner listens to NYSUT leaders

      Calling herself a good listener and strong collaborator, New York's new education commissioner, MaryEllen Elia, told NYSUT's Board of Directors she wants to keep hearing from those on the ground.

      "I am there with you," Elia said. "We will not agree on everything … but I am committed to supporting educators. I want to be strong, collaborative partners in this work."

      Putting those words into action, Elia didn't just give a speech when she stopped in at the NYSUT Board's July meeting on Wednesday. She spoke briefly, but then answered a wide range of questions from union leaders for more than an hour-and-a-half. She took a lot of notes.

      Elia, just 12 days into her new job, identified three items at the top of her agenda. First, she is planning a comprehensive review of Common Core Learning Standards. "We have a lot of work to do there," she said. "We're not going to throw them out, but we will change them."

      Second, she wants to take a close look at the state's assessment system — to make sure the state's tests are appropriate and aligned with the standards. As a 45-year educator, Elia said, "there's nothing more off-putting than seeing a test question and you can't figure out where it came from."

      Elia noted the state had just ended its contract with Pearson — and she received resounding applause from the room. She said the state's new contract with Questar Assessment Inc. recognizes the importance of teacher input in building state exams. She also noted the state needs to move forward with more technology-based testing.

      Improving the state's teacher evaluation system, or Annual Professional Performance Reviews, will be another big issue. "We need to move forward so this system is supportive of teachers and not a stick," Elia said, noting she worked closely with union leaders in Florida to promote quality professional development.

      "In my world, the best teachers of teachers are other teachers," she noted.

      During the question-and-answer time, union leaders urged Elia to be a strong advocate for public education, rather than an enforcer. Buffalo Federation of Teachers President Phil Rumore called for the state to focus on improving teaching and learning conditions — not "fixing" the teacher.

      Elia agreed with calls for more support for English language learners and students with special needs. She also said it's time for the state to reevaluate some of the program cuts and loss of staff due to budget cuts during tough economic times, such as the loss of school counselors, social workers and librarians. She said she was surprised to learn that some elementary schools in New York have virtually eliminated social studies and science to make room for more ELA and math.

      board meeting

      Higher education union leaders urged Elia to take a close look at changes in the state's teacher preparation system and teacher certification. She took careful notes as Steve London, Professional Staff Congress at CUNY (pictured above, at mic), told her about a task force report prepared by higher education faculty and administrators that recommends dramatic changes. PSC's Iris DeLutro (at left) told Elia the recent changes in certification exams have had a serious impact, limiting access to the profession.

      board meeting

      Christine Vasilev of Port Washington TA (pictured above, at mic) urged Commissioner Elia to take a look at NYSUT's APPR Task Force Report for recommendations on how to improve the system. Others put in a plug for valuable programs like the state's network of Teacher Centers and made the case for decoupling test scores from APPR to reduce the focus on standardized testing.

      Elia, who has already visited a number of schools, including the Sweet Home District in western New York, where she began her career, said she's eager to travel around the state and meet with groups of educators and stakeholder groups.

      "We're in this together," she said. "We've got to work these things through together."

      After the Q&A, NYSUT President Karen Magee said she appreciated the commissioner's time and tone. "I heard a lot of common ground," Magee said.

      board meeting

      After the meeting, Commissioner Elia talked with NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino, UUP's Tom Tucker and Yonkers FT's Pat Puleo.

    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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