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Majority: Don't tie teacher pay to tests

Nearly two-thirds of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll oppose Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to base 50 percent of teachers’ evaluations on how their students perform on state exams.

Cuomo plan would withhold school aid until evaluation deal

Members of the Assembly’s Democratic majority were angered Tuesday night over a plan they said was developed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senate Republicans to hold back a school funding increase until June, when an appointed commission would recommend a new teacher-evaluation system.

NYSUT Supports Education Commission With “Experts in the Field”

NYSUT President Karen Magee said today her union would be in favor of a commission to recommend reforms to the state’s education system, as long as it had the appropriate members. Magee told reporters that NYSUT would support a panel as long as it was made up of “experts in the field.”

Regents speak plainly on urban education

Over and over, one persistent theme came up Wednesday morning at the Leadership in Urban Education Summit at Nazareth College: teachers, administrators, schools and communities must be better attuned to what their children need, what they can offer and what they are capable of achieving.

Nation’s largest labor union: We want 2016 hopefuls talking about schools

The National Education Association, the largest U.S. labor union, is pushing to make public schools a front-burner domestic issue throughout the 2016 presidential race, union leaders said Wednesday.

Learning To Move, Moving To Learn: The Benefits Of PE

When it comes to kids and exercise, schools need to step up and focus more on quality as well as quantity. And, says Dr. Gregory D. Myer, they need to promote activities that develop motor skills, socialization and fun.

Grading Teachers by the Test

In 2004, the Chinese government decided there were too many accidental deaths. China’s safety record, it decreed, should be brought in line with those of other middle-income countries. The State Council set a target: a decline in accidental deaths of 2.5 percent per year.

9 Billionaires Are About to Remake New York's Public Schools—Here's Their Story

Hedge-fund manager Whitney Tilson stands at a Harvard club podium in midtown Manhattan, facing a room full of investors eating eggs and bacon, and eager to learn more about charter schools. The walls of the wood-paneled room are lined with the portraits of Tilson's Harvard forefathers.



A tough battle with teachers’ unions over the future of New York State schools is taking its toll

on Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who begins his second term with his lowest job approval rating ever,

50 – 39 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Send a Message to the Governor

If you are requesting information under the Freedom of Information Act, you will need to complete the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Request.

Spending & Turnover Up in Vargas Cabinet

Superintendent Bolgen Vargas has seen considerable turnover in his cabinet in the past school year. In addition, spending on this body has gone up 10 percent, with several members getting notable raises without job title changes.

Monroe County Superintendents’ Letter to Governor Cuomo

The Monroe County Superintendents, comprised of 19 public school districts in upstate Western New York, urges the immediate restoration of the GEA funds owed to public school districts. As of today, our collective Districts, their students and taxpayers have not received a cumulative total of $413 million in aid that the law requires and NYS residents have paid in income taxes.


Recent Editorials

Standing Up For Public Education

View on YouTube

Bill Cala Keynote Address

Creative response from a Little Falls Teacher to Governor Cuomo

  1. Professional Teacher

  2. The Louder We Scream

  3. The Governor and the Wrecking Ball

Breaking: Rochester Teachers Oppose High-Stakes Testing, Support Opt Out

This resolution, drafted by RTA Treasurer Paul Hetland, should be a model for the AFT and the NEA and for their affiliates. Teachers do not oppose testing; they oppose the misuse of testing. Teachers do not oppose accountability; they oppose accountability that is contrary to research and experience, whose purpose is not to improve instruction but to punish teachers for low scores.


The budget that Superintendent Vargas just proposed includes 97 reductions in existing teacher positions and the addition of 131 new teacher positions. The largest categories of reductions are in Teachers on Special Assignment (23), Special Education (18), Science (15), School Instructors (10), and Math (6). The largest categories of proposed increases are Reading Teachers (47), ESOL Teachers (31), Music (5), Technology (5), Social Workers (4), and Counselors (4).

Some of the proposed reductions are actually positions that are currently vacant. And some of the initial lay-offs will be avoided because of retirements and other attrition not yet factored into these projections. Also, as they have done each and every year in the past, the District continues to underestimate how many teachers will be needed the following year, especially in Special Education. While we are confident that most of the lay-offs will be restored before September, we regret that our colleagues are being subjected to the stress caused by all this - some for several consecutive years.

The Superintendent's proposed budget may be altered by the Board of Education. The final vote by the school board is scheduled for May 7th. We will advocate for the restoration of the proposed lay-offs and will continue to keep you informed about the progress of our efforts. Please call us at the RTA (546-2681) with any questions or if you need assistance.

Is retirement around the corner?

If you are retiring or considering retirement in the next three years, you are invited to attend the NYSUT Member Benefits Pre-Retirement Workshop. This no-cost workshop held exclusively for NYSUT members is designed to highlight many of the subjects you will face in retirement. Please note that this is NOT a TRS or ERS-sponsored presentation, and neither retirement system will be in attendance at this workshop.

Learn more…


Hello Rochester Teachers. Here is a link of 13 things we can do now to help beat Cuomo and his anti teacher/student agenda. We just called all of our legislators. This link will allow you to do the same as well as other things to let legislators know you don’t agree with Governor Cuomo’s educational agenda. Decisions are being made in Albany NOWPlease call. Dave Wurz, Dawn Hohmann RTA Action Committee.