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New York Teacher

New York Teacher, June 23, 2011Highlights from the June 23 issue of New York Teacher:

Following their dreams
250 graduating seniors head to college with help from UFT

“I can’t stop smiling, I’m really happy!” said Kimberly Belgrave, of Manhattan’s Urban Assembly Academy of Government and Law, talking about the UFT Albert Shanker Scholarship Award she will be taking with her to Wheaton College in Massachusetts next year. Belgrave is one of this year’s 250 UFT scholarship winners.

Victims of co-locations
District schools make educational sacrifices as charters move in

A community dental clinic in a South Bronx school must shut down. An award-winning robotics program in a Harlem school has to give up its room. These are among the sacrifices that district schools are being forced to make to free up room for charter schools in their buildings, say a team of UFT and NAACP representatives that recently visited the schools.

The physics of fun
Brooklyn teacher leads students on “learning expedition” to design best playground

Put together Newtonian physics with clinical psychology, sustainable materials and industry experts — and kids are going to have a blast in Scott Hendstrand’s class.
Witness the teenagers engaged in the science suite at the Brooklyn School of Collaborative Studies, planning, building, experimenting, discussing, laughing, pondering.

UFTers march over Brooklyn Bridge to protest cuts
About 1,000 members of the UFT and 1199 SEIU marched across the Brooklyn Bridge on June 14 to join a thousands-strong labor rally at City Hall, protesting Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed budget cuts and layoffs. One of several public-sector union leaders to speak at the rally, UFT President Michael Mulgrew condemned the mayor’s plans.

400 speak up in Park Slope
Four hundred Brooklyn parents, teachers and children from nearly a dozen neighboring schools converged on Grand Army Plaza on June 10 for a spirited rally to protest threatened teacher layoffs and budget cuts. Many carried signs reading “Cut testing, not teachers,” which quickly became the day’s dominant chant.

Black Friday in Brooklyn
Scores of Brooklyn parents, concerned about all their children stand to lose if the mayor’s threatened budget cuts and layoffs go through, joined the staffs of PS 503 and 506 in a Black Friday demonstration at their schools on June 10. Teachers dressed in black to symbolize the loss of 14 teachers and the death of programs important to students’ academic success.

Parent petition power
Continuing their battle to stop the mayor from laying off teachers and cutting child care and after-school program funding, a group of parents and community members gathered at City Hall on June 16 to deliver a petition on seven 50-foot scrolls signed by more than 20,000 New Yorkers telling Mayor Bloomberg and City Council members to invest in school improvement, not cut programs or personnel.

Noteworthy grads: Thad Kubis, marketing executive
When he was growing up in Brooklyn, Thaddeus Kubis had a rather unusual interest for a teenage boy: newspapers. Where does a newspaper come from? How is it made? He wound up attending the New York School of Printing (now HS of Graphic Communication Arts) in Manhattan. It was destiny, written on newsprint.