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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  1. In case you have not heard yet, the deadline for setting APPR Goals (not SLO Targets) has just been extended until November 7. RTA and the RCSD are in the final stage of re-negotiating the APPR agreement for the current year and we expect the talks to conclude this week. Our goal in these negotiations is to build on the existing agreement, to make needed adjustments, and to further diminish testing for our students. Further details soon. Adam


  2. As you may already know, RTA has filed several grievances objecting to the way that the District has implemented the breakfast in the classroom program. And now, the Board of Education Non-Teaching Employees Union (BENTE) has also filed a grievance against the Rochester City School District on the same issue. Among BENTE's demands is "that the District cease and desist from allowing others to perform work that is exclusive to the BENTE bargaining unit."

  3. Read entire letter…


  1. APPR Negotiations Each year, we re-negotiate our APPR agreement with the District to do all we can to make it less damaging to our student and more fair to teachers. We are making progress in reducing the number of Rochester teachers (be)rated as Developing or Ineffective (40% in 2012-2013 but 11% in 2013-2014) and increasing the number rated as Effective or Highly Effective (60% in 2012-2013 but 89% in 2013-2014). Just one year ago, only 2% of Rochester teachers were rated as Highly Effective. This year, that number increased to 46%. Why such a huge fluctuation? Maybe it's because we re-negotiated the agreement; or because teachers set more realistic SLO targets; or because the NYS Education Department adjusted the cut scores in ELA and Math; or because huge fluctuations are typical of invalid and unreliable evaluation schemes; or because it was a miracle. Who knows? In any event, we continue to press for the total abolishments of APPR. Meanwhile, we are negotiating a successor agreement that would further diminish excessive testing of students and wrongful rating of teachers.


  1. Expanded Learning Time Nearly one-third of our schools are involved in providing expanded learning time for students. Our agreement with the District is that such adjustments for additional time must include a vote by the school's teachers with at least 80% voting in favor — preferably through the already existing School-Level Living Contract process. If a school's plan calls for additional working time for teachers, such additional time must include additional compensation and no teacher can be compelled to participate. Please call the RTA if these required conditions are not adhered to in your school.


       Click here for complete details…

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October 19, 2014

Frontier Field

Check-in 8:30 AM

Walk Starts 10:00 AM


Each RTA member who participates in the walk will receive a T-Shirt.  Ask your school team captain or RTA rep for details.


Learn more…

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

Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools

From one of the foremost authorities on education in the United States, former U.S. assistant secretary of education, an incisive, comprehensive look at today’s American school system that argues against those who claim it is broken and beyond repair; an impassioned but reasoned call to stop the privatization movement that is draining students and funding from our public schools.

Read the book! Join the community discussion!

Click here for Discussion Dates…

Effective Teaching PracticesEffective_Teaching_Practices.html

Breast Cancer Walk

No off season for SOTA's rising baseball star

This year and next, the School of the Arts' Kenny Cruz might just thrust baseball into the Rochester City Athletic Conference's spotlight. For decades, football, basketball and track have dominated the RCAC: think Trent Jackson Sr., Joe Binion, Kim Batten and Roland Williams. Now, a baseball player may take center stage.

Bryant: Let's pay students to read books

What would happen if we paid Rochester's second-graders $2 for every book they read? Before you pound the breakfast table and shout that no one ever had to pay you to read Frog and Toad, let me tell you where I got the idea. Last week I wrote about a bonus program that granted $1.6 million to a group of Rochester School District teachers who were deemed "highly effective." Forty-two percent of the city's teachers got a "highly effective" rating last year while only 5 percent of the city's third- through eighth-graders passed their reading tests.

Linda Darling-Hammond Storified: Enough is Known for Action!

Today in DC Linda Darling-Hammond discussed what is known about school reform for a group of teachers convened by the NEA Foundation. She argued research, best practice, and leadership is converging perhaps as never before on a set of policy and practice levers to ensure that equity and excellence can be achieved systemically. Teachers and management are coming together in new ways, and community leadership is being increasingly brought to the table of educational decision-making.

Deasy Resigns as Los Angeles Schools Chief After Mounting Criticism

In a sign of the powerful resistance that big-city school chiefs face in trying to make sweeping changes, John E. Deasy, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, resigned on Thursday after reaching an agreement with the city’s school board that ended his tumultuous three-and-a-half-year tenure.

New York favors high school graduation options

New York education leaders on Monday endorsed a plan to give students more flexibility in how they earn their high school diplomas with the goal of improving graduation rates and career readiness. The Board of Regents agreed that instead of passing five Regents exams to graduate - one each in English, science and math and two in history - students should be able to choose a 4 + 1 option and replace one of the history exams with an exam in their chosen career field, such as science or the arts.