Posts tagged "teachers unite"
April 24, 2013
It was more than just altruism that drove Adam Feinberg to post hundreds of instructional materials online for his colleagues around the world to use. There was also, he hoped, a wedding gift waiting for him when he was done.
Feinberg, a global studies teacher at the Secondary School for Law in Brooklyn, was jockeying for a vacation prize that American Federation of Teachers offered to the teacher who posted the most documents to ShareMyLesson.com, the union’s new curriculum-sharing website. Feinberg’s tally of over 300 worksheets, lesson plans, and slideshows won him $5,000 to pay for his European honeymoon.
The website, which the AFT launched in partnership with the British publishing company TSL Education last year, is part of a growing online ecosystem that has emerged in recent years as educators across the country confront the challenge of transitioning to new Common Core standards. Existing curriculum materials are not aligned to the new standards, which emphasis text skills, non-fiction, and critical thinking. (more…)
October 17, 2012
Most education policy wonks in the city are focused on 2013, when New Yorkers will elect a replacement for Mayor Michael Bloomberg. But in a new report, a teacher advocacy group suggests that 2015 might be more important.
That’s when mayoral control, the city’s school governance system since 2003, is set to expire. Bloomberg convinced lawmakers to grant him control over the city’s schools early in his tenure, but they built a sunset clause into the law so they would have to reconsider the governance structure every six years.
By the time of the first sunset in 2009, criticism that Bloomberg’s school policies had marginalized communities had grown loud enough to derail a first effort to renew the governance law by the June 30 deadline. Mayoral control technically ended then, although a hastily constituted Board of Education effectively extended it in a nine-minute meeting, its first in six years. But lawmakers reinstated the law, with some tweaks, a month later. It is next due to sunset on June 30, 2015.
April 8, 2010
New York City’s teachers union likes to say that it speaks for all teachers. But two young teachers at a Bronx elementary school are starting an organization with a distinctly different point of view.
Both in their third year of teaching at P.S. 86 in the Bronx, Evan Stone and Sydney Morris started “Educators 4 Excellence” last month out of frustration with how their work is supported and evaluated.
One of their first battles will be against the state’s “last-in, first-out” law, which forces the city to lay off newer teachers in advance of their more experienced colleagues.
“We want it to be the ostensible solution to a lot of screaming on both sides,” said Stone, 25. (more…)
October 22, 2008
A year ago, the human rights-oriented nonprofit National Economic and Social Rights Initiative released a report accusing the city’s Department of Education of “degrading treatment and abusive policing” in its schools.
Now, NESRI has teamed up with Teachers Unite, a New York City group that emphasizes social justice in education, to showcase the teachers’ perspective on school discipline. The report, titled, “Teachers Talk: School Culture, Safety, and Human Rights,” draws on focus groups, individual interviews, and an online survey of more than 300 teachers in 136 schools.
The bottom line, teachers say, is punitive discipline doesn’t actually help make schools safer.
From the report:
What happens when you ask teachers in New York City public schools how to make schools safe? Not surprisingly, they talk about creating positive school cultures built on caring relationships, a commitment to learning, and the teaching of skills to prevent and resolve conflict.
Teachers also reflect a keen understanding that all members of the school community need to come together to develop a comprehensive plan for discipline with clear rules and consequences that are implemented consistently and fairly.
This holistic approach to school discipline and safety is supported by research which shows that positive environments and constructive interventions with participation from all stakeholders are the most effective means for improving safety and reducing disciplinary incidents. This also reflects a human rights-based approach to discipline which requires that school environments protect the inherent dignity of the child, and that education be aimed at the full academic, social, and emotional development of children.
The report concludes with “action steps” for the mayor and DOE to take, including supporting the Student Safety Act, currently before the City Council; clarifying the division of authority between DOE and NYPD in maintaining discipline; and introducing peer mediation, counseling, and conflict resolution programs in schools.
August 27, 2008
Monday night, I stopped by the Teachers Unite kick-off and orientation event, interested in learning more about ways that teachers and community based organizations are working together across the city.
“Public schools should and will reflect the communities they are in,” said organizer Sally Lee. “The role of teachers is to work with members of the community to create an educational space that reflects the values of that community.”
To that end, Teachers Unite plans to partner with community based organizations to use teachers’ unique knowledge and skills to strengthen the work of these organizations. (more…)