Teachers receive apology as acting Education chief notes climate of blame

In his first major speech, acting Secretary of Education John King apologized to the nation's teachers. Speaking to a small group of teachers, students and local politicians here last month, just three weeks after taking over the post, King admitted the nation's education debate during the past few years has been “characterized by more heat than light,” and that despite reformers' best intentions, “teachers and principals, at times, have felt attacked and unfairly blamed for the challenges our nation faces.”

New York’s opt-out movement aims to influence policy, not just parents

After making a splash last year, leaders of New York’s opt-out movement want their campaign to be more than a short-lived protest — and they’re taking bold steps to sustain its impact. Last year, one in five students refused state tests amid widespread criticism of the state’s testing program. Now, the group leading that charge is endorsing candidates to serve on New York’s education policy-making body and has suggested changes to its bylaws — steps that are virtually unprecedented for outside groups.

Opt-out leaders to New York: Your testing changes don’t appease us

The parents who organized a record-breaking boycott of state tests last year say the commissioner’s latest effort to alter state tests is not nearly enough. In response to widespread criticism of state assessments, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia last week announced several changes to the state’s testing program. Those changes include giving more educators a role in drafting tests and reducing test pressure and length— key goals of the “opt-out” movement — by reducing the number of questions and letting students take as long as they need to finish.

In a first, New York’s state ed commissioner will attend charter rally

In a first, State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia will attend a rally held by charter-school advocates next week, officials confirmed Friday. The annual rally is smaller than the massive events that another pro-charter group, Families for Excellent Schools, has held in years past. The event, hosted in part by the New York City Charter Center, typically attracts politicians who support charter schools, but not state education commissioners — which could turn Elia’s appearance into a political football.

Elia: No time limits for next round of NY tests

Students in grades 3-8 will have as much time as they need to complete their state-mandated tests this year -- as long as they are "working productively," state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said Wednesday. Elia testified Wednesday as part of a legislative hearing on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's $145 billion budget proposal, where she called on lawmakers to boost education funding by $2.4 billion for the next fiscal year rather than Cuomo's proposed $991 million bump.

Charter schools: As movement grows, oversight lags

A months-long Democrat and Chronicle investigation found several instances of questionable financial and management practices in the Education Success Network (ESN), which includes Discovery Charter School, the Norman Howard School for students with disabilities and EnCompass: Resources for Learning, a tutoring company.

The NYS Common Core Task Force Report Taken to Task

Some have made the case that Governor Cuomo’s Common Core Task Force Report conveys sweeping recommendations, and that once these recommendations are  implemented by the Board of Regents we will see substantial change in New York’s public education system. This is a pipe dream.

Chris Christie Suggests Teachers Get Minimum Wage Plus Bonuses

Republican presidential candidate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has called for a reduction in teachers’ wages. “Teachers are paid too much, that’s what’s bankrupting the system,” Christie said. “Some teachers make six-figure salaries and that’s not including retirement benefits.”


As you know by now, Superintendent Vargas has announced his resignation and the Interim Superintendent will not begin his tenure until January. Meanwhile, negotiations for a successor contract are at Impasse and the District is showing little interest in addressing the pressing issues at the bargaining table. That’s frustrating our efforts to find remedies for the deteriorating climate for teaching and learning in our schools. So while we await the assignment of a mediator by the NYS Public Employment Relations Board, we need to educate the Board of Education about the most pressing issues confronting teachers and students right now:

  1. School Safety and Student Discipline

  2. Special Education Concerns

  3. APPR

Click here to read entire letter…

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Rochester Area teachers and their families may receive $15 tickets to select Knighthawks games throughout the 2016 regular season.

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Job Sharing

New job share applications must be filed by May 1st at HCI.  The SBP Team hosting the job share shall approved no later than the last meeting of the school year.

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All RTA Faculty Reps, Alternates, Executive Council, Consultants

Special Meeting on Monday, February 29th

4:30-6:30 pm at Workers United, 750 East Ave

Click here for details…