Highlights from the May 26 issue of New York Teacher:
Thousands rally for a ‘city that works for everyone’
It was a sight to see as tens of thousands of educators, students, parents, community advocates, other unionized workers and New Yorkers of all stripes flooded lower Manhattan on May 12 to protest budget cuts and layoffs and call for a fundamental reordering of the city’s priorities.
UFT, NAACP sue to stop closings, co-locations
For the second time in two years, the UFT and the NAACP have filed suit against the New York City Department of Education to halt threatened school closings. This year’s suit, filed on May 18, also demands that the DOE stop the co-location or expansion of 20 charter schools that would create inequities in the use of shared space and facilities.
DOE neglecting its libraries
While the scramble to raise test scores, graduation rates and literacy continues, school libraries — the bulwark for achieving those goals — are fast becoming an endangered species. At PS 132 in Manhattan, the library has been closed to its 812 students for two years despite more than $200,000 in renovation grants. The reason: the budget.
2011 UFT Spring Education Conference: 2,000 turn out for ‘interesting and exciting’ day
“I can promise you a day both interesting and exciting,” UFT Vice President Aminda Gentile said in welcoming the 2,000 attendees to the union’s annual Spring Education Conference on May 7 at the midtown Hilton. It was a promise kept.
Regents endorse teacher evaluation system with revisions
The New York State Regents in a May 16 vote endorsed the final regulations for a more objective teacher evaluation system that will incorporate multiple measures of judging teacher performance and aims to shift the focus to developing and supporting teachers.
Bully! Principal of school on Theodore Roosevelt Campus labeled a tyrant, abuser
Richard Bost, the principal of Fordham Leadership Academy for Business and Technology, has been the subject of several sexual harassment charges by female staff, students and parents since 2009. He has a record of taking actions that his critics allege were retaliatory.
Mulgrew: Politics, not budget, drive layoff talk
In an impassioned report to the May 18 Delegate Assembly, UFT President Michael Mulgrew thanked delegates for the fantastic turnout at the May 12 rally, but told them that “if pink slips are sent out, we have to make last Thursday’s demonstration look like a leisurely jaunt in the park.”
Battle against co-location continues at Brooklyn school
PS 308 in Brooklyn is still battling plans by the DOE to co-locate a new school in its already-overcrowded building — even though Deputy Schools Chancellor Shael Polakow-Suransky got a look at the cramped conditions himself on May 13 after angry teachers and parents denounced the plans at a May 9 town hall meeting.
22 city schools to ‘restart’ under federal program
Twenty-two city intermediate and high schools will get new management partners next fall and the Department of Education will receive up to $2 million a year for up to three years for each school to spend on an improvement initiative under the federal “restart” intervention model for struggling schools.
Harlem charter teachers choose the UFT
After a 10-week organizing effort, teachers at the Opportunity Charter School in West Harlem announced on May 10 that they have chosen the UFT as their exclusive collective-bargaining agent. UFT President Michael Mulgrew welcomed the educators into the UFT and praised their dedication to their students.