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New York Teacher

New York Teacher, June 28, 2012Highlights from the June 28 issue of New York Teacher:

Hands off our evaluations!
In a victory for teacher privacy across the state, the state Legislature on June 21 passed legislation that restricts the public release of teacher evaluations, showing teachers the professional respect that the city did not.

Seeds of learning
Across the city, children are learning about the mysteries that are unlocked when a tiny seed is planted in the spring and grows into the food they eat at harvest time or blossoms into a rainbow of flowers. It’s Jack and the Beanstalk come true.

Contract talks headed to fact-finding
The UFT has started the fact-finding process after mediation with the Department of Education on the contract failed to resolve the serious differences between the two sides.

City grad rates stall, revealing weaknesses in Bloomberg reforms
Announcing the latest high school graduation rates on June 11, Mayor Bloomberg said the Class of 2011 “can smile again today,” while the chancellor congratulated a mayor who “changed lives.” N o one else was that upbeat. The 60.9 percent rate for the Class of 2011 was actually a small dip from 61 percent for the Class of 2010, as the state reported it, though the city got an uptick in the year-to-year comparison when it added in August graduates.

UFT joins thousands in march to end stop-and-frisk
Mulgrew: Bloomberg administration’s policy is racial profiling

Some 500 UFT members joined thousands more labor and community members for a June 17 silent march against the city’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy, which UFT President Michael Mulgrew and other critics denounced as unjust and discriminatory.

Mayor’s child care changes would bring ‘chaos’
EarlyLearn NYC would cost 2,300 provider jobs, 8,000 seats for children

The UFT, the family child care providers represented by the union and child care advocates are up in arms about major changes to city-subsidized child care set in motion by Mayor Bloomberg. Unless he is stopped, Bloomberg’s ambitious reorganization of the city’s child care services, dubbed EarlyLearn NYC, will go into effect on Oct. 1, leaving as many as 2,300 providers without work and thousands of young children forced into new child care settings.

‘Amazing’ Shanker Scholarship winners showed dedication, grit
The UFT honored 171 winners of the $1 million in scholarships given annually to college-bound students from low-income families who show academic promise.

What I do: Karen White, school social worker
Starting her career in September 2011, White works at PS 536 at PS 102 in the Bronx, where she was elected chapter leader this June.

Suspensions should be last resort, not first
The Department of Education held a hearing on June 5 at Stuyvesant HS to consider proposed changes to the student Discipline Code that are meant to reduce the number of offenses for which students could be suspended. But some critics say the code — even with the changes — is still too aggressive and does not adequately address racial disparities in suspensions.

State makes right call on teacher privacy
It took great political effort on the part of the UFT, NYSUT and Gov. Cuomo, but state legislators finally approved a bill that limits public disclosure of teacher evaluations.