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    • Teachers take their turn as STEM students at SEMI Foundation summer program

      Talk about hands-on learning. This wasn’t just hands-on — it was shoes off, too, as educators methodically moved around a “human calculator” mat that looked like a giant game of Twister to learn how a computer works with binary logic.

      “This is absolutely amazing,” said Maryvale Teachers Association’s Adam Smith, a high school technology teacher in western New York who asked if he could borrow the mat for the school year. “I can’t wait to try this out with my students.”

      Smith was one of about 40 educators who attended an intensive two-day SEMI High Tech U-Teacher Edition program this week at NYSUT headquarters in Albany. Since its inception 11 years ago, the SEMI Foundation summer program has reached more than 600 teachers, offering fun and interactive activities to expose teachers to the world of nanotechnology, microchips and semiconductors.

      Aside from the human calculator, participants worked in teams on their hands and knees to use medieval statapult technology to launch Koosh balls and hacky sacks to learn about quality control in modern-day chipmaking.

      Modules on everything from coding to chemistry were taught by industry professionals in the area, as well as higher education faculty. A highlight was a field trip to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY Polytechnic Institute for a behind-the-scenes tour.

      “NYSUT is proud to sponsor this program — it’s exciting to so many members from different districts, grade levels and subject areas,” said NYSUT Executive Vice President Jolene DiBrango. “NYSUT has always been and will continue to be a staunch supporter of professional development opportunities.”

      2018 SEMI High Tech U

      DiBrango noted that, not only will participants learn practical applications of science technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills they can use in the classroom, they can also earn 14 Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE) state-required hours from NYSUT’s Education & Learning Trust.

      Janine Sargalis and Stefanie Scram, both kindergarten teachers and Berne-Knox-Westerlo Teachers Association members, said the course was highly recommended by their school’s librarian.

      “It really makes me think differently about things like vocabulary and teaching patterns to build the foundational level for our students,” Sargalis said. “And, as a kindergarten teacher, it’s great to learn more about how to make learning even more engaging.”

      “These hands-on activities are perfect with the Next Generation Learning Standards,” said Sandra Wilkins, a Saranac Teachers Association member and middle school special education teacher for math and science. “And coming from the North Country, this is such a great opportunity to network with colleagues from all over the state.”

      “This is the best professional development I’ve had in my 11 years of teaching,” added Johnstown Teachers Association’s Barbara Van Der Werken. As a family and consumer science teacher, she said the course would help her expand her career exploration curriculum when it comes to STEM opportunities.

    • LAP 2018: Doing the impossible: Campaigns that result in big wins

      President Andy Pallotta said setting political goals and winning big campaigns very quickly pays huge dividends in advancing the labor movement, public education and the union’s agenda of worker justice.

      “Seeing our own Christine Pellegrino,” a NYSUT member and first-term member of the state Assembly from Nassau County, “up there as we go to the legislative budget hearings. It means so much.”

      In the past year, the union and its locals have orchestrated many upset victories, winning special elections in long-shot races, flipping seats, overturning hostile school boards, supporting ballot referendums. In a matter of months, the union and its coalition partners turned a 2-1 projected defeat on last year’s constitutional convention referendum into an 83 percent win.

      At the Local Action Project Wednesday, NYSUT’s team of regional political organizers shared the art and science of running these big campaigns that make huge differences.

      Success doesn’t happen by itself. It takes a lot of work, and a lot of homework!

      You have to know how many people are likely to vote and you have to know how many people are going to vote the right way, said Regional Political Organizer Jeff Friedman from Nassau County, who organized the Pellegrino efforts.

      Counting on about 10,000 voters in the special election, Friedman knew he had 6,000 NYSUT members in the Assembly District. That was the margin they needed.

      “At the end of the day, a campaign is about the numbers,” he said.

      NYSUT can provide all the data that local unions need, said RPO Mike Grubiak.

      “We can give you the number of registered voters, the number of NYSUT members in the district, the turnout for recent votes, the ideological trends in the community,” he said. “We have hundreds of these variables and we can make them all available to you through your RPO.”

      The data can help local activists determine which tactics — phone calls, mailers, signs, social media — will be most effective for your specific campaigns. You have to factor in how many voters you need to reach, how many volunteers you can recruit and how much money you have to spend. The RPOs can help figure out what is going to be most effective in any local scenarios.

      One thing is for certain: You need to do as much as you possibly can to be successful, from the opening strategy meetings to the final night of get-out-the-vote phone calls.

      “There are a lot of different things that you can do, because you really have to hit them over the head,” said Friedman. “The truth is, someone has to be hit over the head a million times before they remember.”

    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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