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New York Teacher

New York Teacher, May 24, 2012Highlights from the May 24 issue of New York Teacher:

Mulgrew: Union ‘must’ play role in shaping city’s schools
Saying that the union won’t wait for Bloomberg’s departure in 2013, UFT President Michael Mulgrew on May 12 mapped out a path for improving New York City public education built on bringing the public back into public education and ensuring that city schools work for and with the whole community.

The operating room
A select group of 8th-graders at MS 217 in Queens knows exactly how to get to the heart of the matter. Working in teams of two, the young scientists search for the upper great vein of their sheep’s hearts and begin to cut. With scalpels, probes and scissors at hand, students in the Briarwood school’s after-school Heart Surgery Program begin the exacting work of dissecting hearts.

A model for co-locations
Long before co-locations became about squeezing scores of new schools into already occupied school buildings, the Twin Parks Campus in the East Tremont section of the Bronx grappled with the issue of sharing space. At Twin Parks, at least four schools have been cheek by jowl in one large building for more than 14 years.

Cincinnati community schools: A model for New York?
Cincinnati schools now have a whole range of social, academic and economic wraparound services to help its children and communities and allow its teachers to teach.

Mulgrew: City needs more family child care
With Mayor Bloomberg moving to slash child care subsidies for more than 14,000 low-income children in the city’s 2013 budget, UFT President Michael Mulgrew defended the importance of subsidized child care for New York’s working families at a state Assembly hearing on May 3.

ATRs to be offered ‘generous’ buyouts
Union, DOE will negotiate details in coming weeks

After refusing the union’s suggestions for two years, the city had a surprise change of heart on May 17, announcing that it will offer “generous” buyouts to teachers who have spent a year or more in the Absent Teacher Reserve. Negotiations over the terms and amount of the buyout will begin in the next several weeks, UFT President Michael Mulgrew said.

The Bullying Crisis: A Call to Action
Educators share ways to make a difference

More than 200 educators came to UFT headquarters on May 10 for a conference on combating bullying that was jointly sponsored by the union and the Council for Unity. The conference featured a keynote address by the director of the documentary “Bully,” an array of workshops, and a panel discussion with activists from a wide range of backgrounds.

Mulgrew: Mayoral control has given too much power to one person
At the May 17 Delegate Assembly, UFT President Michael Mulgrew broached the topic of mayoral control — an issue of major import to New York City educators and all who are concerned with the state of the city’s public schools.  Mulgrew said that the current system of mayoral control shuts out the voices of parents, educators and community members.

Appreciating the value of differentiated instruction
As teachers of the 21st century, we are familiar with the buzzword “differentiation,” but is it just “buzz”? I regularly hear teachers ponder the effectiveness of differentiated instruction. They raise questions such as, “Are we setting them up for success in the real world?” My answer is YES! Preparing students for success in college and the real world is a consistent focus in our field.

Noguera: Mayor has failed on education
UFT members got their annual chance to grill the experts on some tough education questions at Operation Soapbox, the opening event of the union’s Spring Education Conference. UFT President Michael Mulgrew and Pedro Noguera, a professor of education at New York University, were on the hot seat.