The Rochester Teacher

Winner of NYSUT journalism awards and the Ted Bleeker award as “Best of the Best”

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The newly bargained agreement is good for students and fair to teachers.

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The Rochester Retired Teacher Association is a Dept. of the RTA, composed of all retired members of RTA. Learn more…

Effective Teaching PracticesEffective_Teaching_Practices.html

Vargas recommends closing Charlotte HS

Rochester Superintendent Bolgen Vargas is recommending closing Charlotte High School. Vargas said the school failed to improve, likening it to East High School. In fact, the graduation rate for Charlotte High School for the 2012-2013 school year was lower than East High School. Vargas also blames poor attendance and lack of support services for students with emotional needs. There are about 400 students at Charlotte. The school will be phased out over the next two years. Adam Urbanski, President of the Rochester Teacher's Association, said he will negotiate with the district for the teachers to keep their jobs.

Young charter school founder Ted Morris Jr. resigns

The 22-year-old founder of a recently approved charter high school resigned Tuesday after apparent misrepresentations about his educational and professional background came to light. Ted Morris Jr. of Rochester wrote on a 2013 charter school application that he received a bachelor's degree from Western Governors University and had served as assistant CEO of a local nonprofit; both assertions, among others, turned out to be false.

Mississippi Schools Sue State For More Money

In Taneka Hawkins' classroom, 20 kindergarteners wiggle through a mid-morning dance break, waving their arms and jumping around to a guided dance video. It's busy, to be sure, and a bit crowded. "The children are so small, and a lot of things that we do have to be so hands on, and it's kind of hard when it is more than 20," Hawkins says. A class size of 15, she adds, would be ideal. "I think we could reach more students with that smaller class size."

U.S. Wants Teacher Training Programs to Track How Graduates’ Students Perform

The federal Department of Education announced preliminary rules on Tuesday requiring states to develop rating systems for teacher preparation programs that would track a range of measures, including the job placement and retention rates of graduates and the academic performance of their students.

ASA Statement on Using Value-Added Models for Educational Assessment

Many states and school districts have adopted Value-Added Models (VAMs) as part of educational accountability systems. The goal of these models, which are also referred to as Value-Added Assessment (VAA) Models, is to estimate effects of individual teachers or schools on student achievement while accounting for differences in student background.

Bryant: Valedictorian rises above stereotypes

In the library of the Leadership Academy for Young Men, Kevin Vellon calmly shared his life philosophy, punctuating it with these quotes about curiosity and altruism. He is the valedictorian of the all-boys school on the Charlotte High School campus. He works at Rochester General Hospital. He is sick of people assuming bad things because he attends a Rochester School District school.

Texas Approves Disputed History Texts for Schools

Texas’ State Board of Education has approved new history textbooks, but only after defeating six and seeing a top publisher withdraw a seventh — capping months of outcry over lessons that some academics say exaggerate the influence of Moses in American democracy and negatively portray Muslims.

Principal: It’s time for more educators to speak up about the cost of ‘reform’

In the last year or two educators have started to publicly speak up about the negative consequences of standardized test-based school reform and the privatization of public education. Troy LaRaviere is one of them. He is the principal of Chicago’s Blaine Elementary School and a leader of the Administrators Alliance for Proven Policy and Legislation in Education.

Principal uncovers flawed data in her state’s official education reports

School reformers talk nonstop about using “data” to drive policy, teaching and just about everything else, which, you would think, would require that the data being used be accurate. The following post exposes a troubling problem with the push for “data-driven” everything — bad data. This important piece was written by award-winning Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in New York, who was named New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and in 2010, tapped as the 2010 New York State Outstanding Educator by the School Administrators Association of New York State.


32nd Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

The RTA Human Relations Committee is sponsoring the 32nd Anniversary of         Student Recognition in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Each school is asked to select ONE STUDENT who best personifies the qualities exemplified by Dr. King.  RTA Reps are asked to complete the form below and return it to the RTA Human Relations Committee, c/o of the RTA Office, by Friday, December 19, 2014. The students' names will appear in an ad in City Newspaper on the week preceding the ceremony.  On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, participating students will receive a certificate of recognition and a letter from President Urbanski.  This event will be held at School of the Arts at 6:30 p.m.

Click here to download application…

  1. APPR Agreement

  2. I am pleased to inform you that we have reached an agreement with the District on this year’s APPR implementation (see attached Memorandum of Understanding). We will continue with last year’s agreement except for some changes that address implementation concerns expressed by teachers. We have also agreed to work collaboratively to eliminate unnecessary testing, eliminate the use of pre-tests for APPR, review and simplify post assessments, and create guidelines for setting better informed and more understandable SLO targets. More detailed information soon about dates for SLO target setting, informational forums about APPR, etc. Meanwhile, please call the RTA if you have any questions or concerns.

  3. Click here for full APPR agreement…

  1. Educational Videos on RTA Website

  2. As part of our commitment to support teachers in their professional work, we have recently added an "Effective Teaching Practices" section to the RTA website. Included are video clips, articles and other resources. The information is practical and directly related to our day-to-day work. Many of the video clips will feature our own RTA colleagues. Please contact Marie Costanza at the RTA if you would like to volunteer to be filmed while you are using an effective instructional strategy - or if you'd like to recommend a colleague. Also contact Marie with suggestion or feedback.