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Congratulations to the following teachers

who received tenure at the May board meeting:

Jeanne O'Connor, Tina Gagliardo, John Miller, Kelly Miskovski,

Sue Palumbo, Sara Szczerbinski, Kristin Taylor, Pat Cook


The LTF Scholarship Dinner and Drawing was a HUGE success!  Many great prizes were donated, and greatly appreciated by those who won them!  Thanks to your generosity, 5 graduating seniors will once again receive $1,000 each!  Thanks to all who participated!

Info coming soon regarding details on the end of the year get together...

All orders for LTF merchandise is due by May 25th so that we can pass them on to you by the end of the school year.  Order forms were sent out to each building to be placed in the faculty rooms, as well as the online order form.  Please forward all orders to Kim Pulinski at Martin Road.

Click here for merchandise

Click here for order form


As workers’ rights and voice are being challenged nationwide, we must take immediate action. We’ve seen this firsthand in Wisconsin—and now in Ohio, Indiana and many other states.

We are pushing forward on all fronts to get our messages out efficiently, effectively—and digitally. Call it virtual solidarity, if you will.

Connect with us!


TXT  Receive text alerts: Text AFT to 738674. The AFT will never charge you for text messages, but your carrier’s message and data rates may apply.
Twitter Follow the AFT: @AFTunion or
Twitter Follow AFT President Randi Weingarten: @rweingarten or
Facebook Become a fan and share our page with your friends:
Online Visit Get updates and take action across the nation.


LTF 2010-2011 Lottery Winners


Bully Free Resources

One caring adult who steps up to stop bullying in their school can make a huge difference, research shows.  Be that caring adult!  "Bully Free: It Starts with Me," is NEA's campaign against bullying-and you can join it by taking the Bully Free pledge at .  In doing so, you will agree to identify yourself as a caring adult who will listen and act on behalf of bullied students.

Get Involved!

Are workers rights under attach in your state?  Are you tired of public educators being the scapegoat for mismanaged state budgets?  Visit to stay informed about some of the action taking place at the state level.


Why Wisconsin matters in New York, and throughout organized labor

Proposed legislation strips away workers rights and destroys the collaborative partnerships that have been established between labor and management in Wisconsin.  It's not about pay and benefits, pensions and health care. 

Unionists from across the nation have come out in force to support our colleagues in Wisconsin, as well as those in Idaho, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee. Other states are facing unprecedented threats as well. And New York state is not exempt.

Make no mistake about it: Unions in the Empire State are facing many of the same challenges that we're seeing elsewhere. They may not be as blatant. Yet. Nor as public. But the assault on workers' rights in New York is a reality.


Take action: Send a free fax to your elected officials!




Thanks to all who sold or bought the LTF Scholarship Raffle Tickets.  Over 370 tickets were sold!  Winners of the drawings were as follows:

Early Bird Drawing-Sandy Carroccia-MRE-$25 Tim Hortons gift card

Most tickets sold-Heather Kwiatkowski-MRE-$50 Target gift card, 30 tickets sold

Random drawing-Sean Muldoon-HS-$50 Target gift card

Sold tickets are posted here and the winners will be posted at the end of each month. 



Join us at the LTF Back to School get together to honor

all newly tenured teachers and to welcome our new hires!

Friday, September 10 from 4-6

at the Big Tree in on Abbott Rd in Orchard Park

LTF members may attend free of charge!


Retirement Party

Thursday, October 14 from 4:30-7:30

at Lucarelli's on Abbott Road in Lackawanna


Barbara Mazurek and Patrick Cook (2008-2009)

Florence Horton   Tina Gambino   Lois Hooper

Paula & Sheila Bednarz (2009-2010)

Cost-$30  all money due by Tuesday October 5th!


This year's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk is scheduled for Sunday, October 3.  To join the LTF team or to make a donation, click on the following link



Senate approves early retirement option

NYSUT News Wire - March 29, 2010 

By a vote of 49 to 11, the Senate has passed the 55/25 early retirement option bill. The Assembly, in recess for the holidays, has already indicated its strong support for this cost-saving measure and is expected to take up the bill when the Legislature reconvenes April 7. Once the bill is delivered to Gov. Paterson, he has 10 days - not including Sundays and holidays - to sign it.


Contact your elected officials about such issues as Teacher Center budget cuts, proposed cuts to K-12, and the 55/25 Retirement option


The Puzzle of Autism, What Educators Need to Know (NEA March 2010) (in pdf form)


Social Networking Nightmres…Cyberspeak no Evil


The Junior and Senior Class will hold a Chiavetta Chicken Dinner on Saturday, May 8.  Dinner will be served from 12-5.  For tickets, contact any junior or senior, Sandy Davis or John Kochan.  Checks may be made payable to the Lackawanna High School.

By The Numbers (NYSUT April 2010)

Under the executive budget proposal, 99 percent of districts would receive less state aid.  Superintendents from 323 of 702 districts responded to a recent survey on the impact of Gov. Paterson's executive budget proposal.

14,800 teachers may be laid off statewide

5,000 additional jobs lost through layoffs and attrition

87 percent of districts expect to reduce professional development

70 percent of districts expect to reduce elective courses

67 percent of districts may reduce extracurricular activities, including sports

65 percent of districts expect to reduce or eliminate field trips

64 percent of districts anticipate tax levy increases of 4 percent or less.

54 percent of districts may defer purchasing text books and equipment

50 percent of districts may reduce or cut summer programs


Thanks to all who sold the LTF Lottery Tix.  The sale went well, and winners are posted below...

Tickets sold  

Winning Tickets

Plans are in the works for a Scholarship party this April, more info to follow.


The Junior Class is selling Jr. Frosty Cards.  Every time you visit a Wendy's location show the cashier your card and receive a free jr. Frosty.  Expires July 1, 2010, if interested contact Sandy Davis.


Mom Congress: Nominate a Mom To Send To Washington

Selected Moms Will Attend Parenting's First Mom Congress on Education and Learning at Georgetown University

Beneficiary: Parents.

Grant Type: Leadership in Education

Deadline: Monday, March 15, 2010

Wanted: 51 Amazing Moms

This May, Parenting will convene the first Mom Congress on Education and Learning at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. The magazine will be selecting one outstanding mom advocate from every state and the District of Columbia to attend the two-day conference May 2 to 4, 2010.

The goal: To create Parenting's Lesson Plan for Change, which will help empower parents nationwide to get more involved in their children's education.

The 51 selected moms will receive round-trip airfare, a two-night hotel stay, and the opportunity to connect with other moms from across the country.

If you or a mom you know has made a real difference in the fight for better schools, Parenting wants to hear about it.

Nominate an outstanding mom to attend the conference.

Applications will be accepted through March 15, 2010.


Looking for a grant?  Check out the NEA website...


Home Sweet Home, Only Cheaper!

If you're willing to buy in "revitalization areas" and stick around for three years, the federal government has some bargins for you.  As part of its Good Neighbor Next Door program, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers single family homes to teachers ar half off list price.  "There are good deals for teachers out there to inspire them to move to a district and stay," says Norm Jezzeny, a housing program officer with HUD, which has sold about 5,000 homes to teachers since 2000.  Check out for more info.

Grab your Hat and Read with the Cat!  Join NEA's Read across America on March 2, 2010.  For tips and tools go to


Please make an effort to attend the upcoming BOE meetings and work sessions.  Budget cuts are on the way and your presence helps.  Please do not sit back thinking that any budget cuts will not affect YOU, budget cuts will affect EVERYONE!


State Budget: Governor's proposal would hurt kids, taxpayers

NYSUT Media Relations - January 19, 2010 


 ALBANY, N.Y. January 19, 2010 - New York State United Teachers today said massive cuts proposed for education would force schools to cut teachers and programs, jeopardizing student progress while stalling the state's ability to create jobs and revitalize the economy.

"How can you race to the top with an education budget that's laden with red ink?" asked NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi.



How to set up school-based strategies to protect children from harassment in a digital age

By Liza Frenette - New York Teacher - January 15, 2010 


Jarring a student in the cafeteria line by calling him a "fat freak" or humiliating a girl in the locker room by tagging her a "slut" is only the very beginning of the harm a bully can dish out.

Now, a child can be maligned in text messages and on social network sites with instant and massive impact.

Cyberbullying has "the appeal of anonymity," said technology facilitator Nancy Sharoff, a member of the Ellenville Teachers Association and an instructor for NYSUT's Education & Learning Trust.

She was among the presenters in a recent daylong educational conference — "21st Century Bullying and its Implications on Schools" — sponsored by the New York State Educational Conference Board. ECB is a coalition of five large education-related organizations including NYSUT.

The topic was prompted by a growing number of recent student suicides, including four from Schenectady High School in one year. Bullying is suspected of playing a role.

A major concern in today's bullying arena, cyberbullying means harming someone through the use of instant messaging, chat rooms, polling sites, text messages, blogs, e-mails, virtual worlds and social networks.

Because it's technology, there is always a new tool. Consider "happy slapping" — one person physically or verbally provoking an innocent bystander while a third party videotapes the act on a cell phone, then uploads and shares it with the masses.

Then there's "Bluetooth bullying," where someone sends a derogatory cell phone message to everyone within a certain vicinity. "You're not quite sure if it's sent from the person standing next to you or the person down the hall or across the street," said Sharoff.

Why? Reasons range from "revenge" to "fun" or the victim "deserved it," Sharoff said. Some bullies claim they were just messing around, or "it was only text."

Middle-level students especially often see "no connection between actions and consequences," Sharoff said. At this age, she said, the brain is not developed enough to make those connections.

Efforts to prevent and stem bullying are surfacing nationwide as leaders from school districts, teacher unions, communities and School-Related Professionals unite to take on the problems.

East Ramapo middle school science teacher Diane Gonzalez became concerned when she witnessed bullying in the hallways and classrooms, and felt the sting of it when students began spreading rumors about her sexuality.

With the support of her administration, she began learning about bullying prevention as part of character education, then conducted staff training. Everyone had a lot to learn.

"A lot of the staff didn't even know their comments were inappropriate in the lounge," said Gonzalez, a member of the East Ramapo Teachers Association who serves on both NYSUT's and the National Education Association's Human and Civil Rights committees.

Now, East Ramapo has a schoolwide Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies program that reinforces good character values.

Conflict resolution should not be used to deal with bullying, according to Kim McLaughlin, director of the New York State Student Support Services Center.

"Bullying is not conflict. It's victimization," she said. "It's not anger management — it's aggression."



Career Changers offer promising pool to address teacher shortages

If the findings from a recent survey are accurate, there are more than enough potential teachers among the nation's population of college educated professionals to solve any future shortages.  But-and there's usually a caveat when you see such promising results,-the willingness of many professionals to make the career switch to teaching would hinge on higher salaries, better working conditions, and high quality training.  No surprises here...for more info on the survey visit .



Applications for the AFT for the 2010 Robert G. Porter Scholars Program are now available online .  AFT members and their children are eligible to participate in the program, which awards four $8,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors and $1,000 grants to AFT members who are continuing their education.  To apply, download the application  at .

Disheartened teachers are more likely to:

  • give their principals poor ratings for supporting them as teachers

  • express concerns about working conditions, student behavior and testing.

Contented teachers are more likely to:

  • report excellent working conditions

  • work in middle or higher-income schools

  • believe their students' test scores have increased a lot because of their teaching.

Idealist teachers are more likely to

  • say they became a teacher to help disadvantaged students

  • believe their students' test scores have increased a lot because of their teaching

  • say that good teachers can lead all students to learn, even those from poor families or who have uninvolved parents.



Dear LTF members,


I am grateful for the support and help the LTF members gave in restoring the position of full time printer. The print shop will continue to faithfully provide quality service to the Lackawanna City School District and its employees. During the course of the summer of 2009, over 900 requests were processed!


Yours truly-

Marcia Tos


Help is at Hand for Debt Burdened Students  (AFT on Campus)

The College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA), which became law in 2007, represents the single largest increase in college aid since the GI Bill.  Lawmakers held firm on reducing subsidies to private lenders and using the savings to fund reductions in loan costs and increases in grants.  Aimed at making college more affordable for students overwhelmed with the increasing cost of higher education, four major changes will be phased in on July 1 as part of The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (H.R. 2669), passed by the Democratic Congress:

  • Cheaper interest rates on need-based federal loans. This marks the second year that the rates of subsidized federal student loans (Stafford loans) will decrease. On July 1 the interest rate will decrease from 6 percent to 5.6 percent.
  • Income-Based Repayment Program. July 1 marks the beginning of the Income-Based Repayment Program (IBR). Under the IBR, all current and future borrowers will have their monthly loan payments capped at 15 percent of their discretionary income. Further, the IBR mandates that any remaining debt that a borrower faces after 25 years of repayment, including interest, is completely forgiven. For more about IBR, visit; for important upcoming reforms to IBR regarding married couples and other special cases, visit
  • Increased funding for Pell Grants. The maximum award for a Pell Grant—which helps the neediest students afford college—increases to more than $600 on July 1, from $4,731 to $5,350. Funding for these grants was made available through both the 2007 Act as well as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
  • New loan consolidation opportunities. July 1 also brings good news for students and graduates with variable-rate federal Stafford loans who borrowed before July 1, 2006. This group will be able to consolidate their loans and lock in on the new, lower interest rate (2.48 percent beginning July 1).

These changes add to, and in some cases build upon, other aspects of the 2007 legislation that are already being phased in. TEACH grants will again be available this year, providing $4,000 per year to students who commit to teaching high-need subject areas in high-need schools. In addition, students who choose to enter the public or nonprofit sectors are once again eligible for complete loan forgiveness after 10 years.

More information can be found at:

For help clarifying or differentiating student loans, be sure to visit



Thanks to all who donated to this year's Scholarship Fund! 

This year, we were able to give six scholarships of $1,000 to

our graduating high school students. 

Congratulations to:

Darnell Lewis     Conrad Ortega     Mohamed Abdulla    

Safa Omar     Mahfoudh Saleh     Sakeena Saleh


Chinese Auction/Prizes Prize List


No Contract, No Cookies...

Delegates at the 2009 NYSUT Rep Assembly moved overwhelmingly to support a boycott of Stella D'oro bakery products.  The 135 members of Local 50 of the bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike in August after new owners of the bakery demanded wage cuts up to 25%, and the elimination of all holidays, sick time and vacation days, as well as a crushing 20% employee contribution to worker health care benefits.  In response, the workers in eight months, have not crossed the picket line.  Soon after the workers struck, they were "permanently replaced" by the company.  This strike has been on going since August 13, 2008, where workers are picketing outside the company in the Bronx, NY.  Please consider this while making purchases!


NEA on Facebook

Search NEA Today and click on "add as a friend" to connect with an instant network of over 200 people who also care about public education.


Did you know...

  • The first US Census was taken in 1790.  The population was 3,929,214.  The last census was conducted in 2000.  The population at that time was 281,421,906.

  • Utah is the fastest growing state with a 2.5% increase.

  • New York City is still the nation's largest city, with 8.2 million people.  Los Angeles is the second with 3.8 million.

  • Hispanics, numbering 45.5 million as of July 1, 2007, are now America's largest minority.

  • New Jersey has the highest median household income-$65,933, based on a three year average.


2009 LTF Officer Election Results


Reporter Training

The state Office of Children and Family Services is offering a free online training for mandated reporters of suspected child abuse, which includes many education professionals.  The two hour course is at .  Click on "new online trainings".  Once registered, trainees have 30 days to complete the course.  The self directed training meets the State Education Department's mandatory requirements for training in child abuse identification and reporting, and even provides a link notifying SED of a trainee's completion of the course.


Head Lice:  Kids with Nits can Attend School

Students with head lice nits are not necessarily being send home from school, in part because of the loss of classroom time for the students and the inconvenience to working parents, reports the Associated Press in February.  As long as the youngsters with nits do not have any crawling lice in their hair, many schools are now allowing the affected students to stay in the classroom.  This is in part due to recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses.  Know however that children with lice in households that have recurring lice problems, are developing lice that are resistant to the lice shampoo.  More information is available on the website of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at, which includes special navigation for both parents and schools.


NYSUT Key Legislative Issues

Action letters are posted in the Legislative Action Center at for your participation.  Your local leaders can be contacted through this site, using premade fax letters.

  • NYSUT and the state AFL-CIO remain firmly in opposition to the proposed Tier 5 retirement plan or any other proposal that reduces the base-line retirement benefits of future public sector workers.  If enacted, the plan would require greater contributions from middle class families in exchange for diminished eligibility and inferior benefits.

  • The union is pushing for enactment of the Dignity for All Students Act.  It would require schools to develop clear anti-harassment policies, report incidents, provide staff training and promote respect for diversity. 

  • NYSUT is advocating improvement of the underfunded unemployment insurance program.  The amounts paid to displaced workers are inadequate for them to maintain a sufficient standard of living and to many workers in educational settings are ineligible to access unemployment benefits at all.

  • The union is also advocating for genuine real property tax relief through "circuit breaker" legislation that would help those who can least afford to carry a disproportionate burden on limited or fixed incomes.




Updated 3/09

By the numbers

132 - Teacher centers statewide

625 - Number of school districts served by teacher centers

1984 - Year state Legislature established Teacher Resource and Computer Training Centers to provide systematic, ongoing professional education services.

267,000 - Number of teachers served annually.

44,482 - Number of teaching assistants, parents and other community members served in 2007-08

$40 million - Amount of state funding centers received in 2008-09

$0 - Amount centers would receive in 2009-10 under governor's plan


State Budget: Where do things stand? And what's ahead?

New York Teacher - March 3, 2009 

 New York state is facing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. NYSUT and its members, through faxes, e-mails, phone calls and face-to-face lobbying, are working hard to make sure lawmakers make the right decisions in these tough times - that includes maintaining a strong commitment to education and health care.  For more information, check out


New Tenure Determination Law 2008

Teacher Analysis of Student Performance Data When Providing Instruction

Chapter 57 of the Laws of 2007, added a new Section 3012-b to Education Law requiring the Board of Regents to develop rules establishing minimum standards and procedures for tenure determination of teachers employed in school districts


Erie 1 BOCES Health Benefits Plan Trust Website


NYSUT Once Again Tops $1,000,000 mark!

For the second year in a row, NYSUT has raised over one million dollars for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer efforts.  In 2002, NYSUT became a flagship sponsor with 7,500 members walking to raise $500,000.  This year, a total of 13,000 walkers came together to raise money to find a cure against breast cancer.  For more on this story, click on .


Before You Call in Sick

Consider this:  It's not just the kids who have to show regularly for school to do well on standardized tests.  Teacher absences also can have a negative effect on student achievement, say researchers at Harvard University and Duke University, in separate studies.  And yet another study says the effect is particularly negative for poor students.

But it's also important to consider why teachers might have increased absences.  Like say...overwork?  Or Stress?

The researchers found that absences were greater at urban schools, and also at larger schools.  In Dayton, Ohio, school officials report that teacher absences have increased 35% this year-a jump that union leaders attribute to the stress caused by $30 million in budget cuts.  Pushing planning periods to the beginning and end of the day, packing classes, cutting back on art, music, and gym all create damaging conditions.  For you-and your kids.

neatoday Jan/Feb 09



Updated 2/09

Fight for America's Future, It's Dollars and Sense

What’s at stake?

Our schools and colleges, our healthcare and public safety systems, and essential services are facing draconian cuts due to the economic crisis. The AFT strongly supports efforts like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan and is actively challenging proposed cuts to vital services.

• A child is 5 only once; she doesn’t get a second chance at her education.

• When a patient needs healthcare, he can’t wait for a better economic climate.

• Government services are necessities the public requires now—from clean water to the highways that keep our economy moving.

On Feb. 10, wear blue to work., your LTF shirt would do nicely!  Let’s send a clear message: that strengthening education, healthcare and public services is crucial in order to restore and preserve opportunity in this country.

Join the fight for America’s future! Go to .


Thanks for a job well done to Claire Heckt and all who helped out with the Lackawanna Fire Department's quest for holiday gifts.  A lot of time and effort, not to mention money, was put in by a great number of faculty and students to generate gifts for ---families in the City of Lackawanna.  Special thanks also to Deanna Caldwell and the HS Student Council who held a Candy Cane Gram Sale and donated all of the proceeds. 


Lottery Tickets have come to a close.  Due to my broken computer, I was not able to post the tickets in a timely manner, but they are now available, both the tickets sold and the winners.  Thanks to all who took the time to sell their tickets or purchase them.  Without you, our Scholarship Fund would not exist!

Lotto Tickets Sold PDF

Lotto Winners PDF


Updated 12/08

Thanks to all who attended the Diamond Cutters of WNY night at Curly's. The food was terrific as were the jewels!  I have heard great things from those who attended.  Fran will be forwarding a check to the LTF with a portion of the proceeds from that night for use in the Scholarship Fund.  Any suggestions for the future, drop me a line!


While Santa for Everyone was a great run, it will not be taking place this year in it's usual way.  Sadly, there just aren't enough people to take on this huge undertaking.  Since we still wanted to give back, we will be working with the Lackawanna Fire Department, who for many years has given to the community by way of gifts and food baskets for the holiday season.  They are looking for new unwrapped gifts and monetary donations.  If you are interested in donating or helping out, please contact Claire Heckt, at for more information.


Congratulations to Cindy Cole, who was nominated for the Teachers' Insurance Plan Teacher of the Year Award.  Names are submitted by parents, students, family members, administrators and faculty, and is open to all New York State 's accredited teachers.  Each winner receives a cash award of $1,000, and the teacher's school receives $500.  A national winner is then selected from among the state winners and will receive a $2,500 vouchers good for any destination.  Best of luck to Cindy as the judging continues!


From Maureen Fernandez...Lisa Leach and Rose Graham participated in a textbook revision of the phonics book that is published by the company, Sadlier Phonics.  They were sent pages to review and make changes that they felt were appropriate to the objective of that page.  These books are used by our K, 1st and 2nd grade teachers.  Their names will appear in the front cover of each new workbook that will be printed and sold.  These books were purchased originally through our Reading First funding.



Bailout Brings Return of Educators Tax Break (New York Teacher)

The Wall Street bailout package signed into law earlier this month has one direct pocketbook benefit for teachers and other educators.  It restores the federal tax deduction for classroom supplies that you purchase out of pocket. 

Under the law, you can deduct up to $250 a year for the unreimbursed cost of such items as books and software supplies. 

The deduction applies to K-12 teachers, instructors, counselors, principals and aides who worked at least 900 hours during the school year.

Even if you don't itemize deductions, you're still eligible for this one, which expired in December and has been extended through 2009.


Smile, You're on YouTube!
You'd be surprised at what students are capturing on cell phone cameras in your classrooms and posting online.  Check out a sample at .


Medication can work wonders, but critics believe too many children are taking too much....(neatoday Oct 2008)


Testing the Joy out of Education (American Teacher Oct 08)



Updated 10/08


Paid leave for checkups grows

New York Teacher - September 5, 2008 

A union-backed law that provides up to four hours of paid leave for annual breast cancer and prostate screenings has been expanded to include community colleges, BOCES, vocational schools, public benefit corporations and employees in the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement system.

The law, which amends legislation passed last year, also clarifies that the leave is a paid one.

The move comes after two recent court decisions confirmed it was wrong for employers to force workers to use their sick or personal leave to undergo screenings.

NYSUT won the restoration of a Wappingers teacher's sick leave, as well as a grievance settlement for three Fulton-Montgomery Community College members.

In his memo approving the amendments, Gov. David Paterson noted the preventive benefits of screenings would ultimately outweigh the costs. Proponents stressed the role that such leave can play in early detection of illness; permitting employees to take time off without financial consequences will undoubtedly encourage more employees to undergo appropriate tests.

The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms for women starting at age 40. Women at higher-than-average risk should talk with their health providers about the need for earlier screenings.

ACS recommends prostate screening for men starting at age 50. Men at higher risk should begin screenings as early as 40 years of age, according to ACS. 

For details, check NYSUT's Web site,, under Legislative Issues, or contact your local union president. 


Two Cooks in the Kitchen

These days, you might be sharing your classroom with another teacher.  Can you effectively work together-without spoiling everything? .


Smile!  You're on YouTube!

Millions are sharing videos online.  Are you the star of one of them?


The Preparation Gap for First Year Teachers-New teachers not prepared for diverse classrooms and special needs children

When it comes to the quality of their teacher training, first year teachers say their preparation was lacking in two main areas:  dealing with an ethnically diverse classroom and teaching students with special needs.  Aside from those two weak areas, new teachers are generally satisfied with how well prepared they were to the realities of classroom, according to a new report from Public Agenda and the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality.

What is This Thing Called RTI?

Response to Intervention (RTI) is a three step practice that is gaining currency in classrooms around the country.  Teachers provide high quality instruction and interventions matched to a student's need, then they gather and monitor data about how the student is progressing, and finally they apply that data to important decisions about what instructional changes are needed, or what new goals should be set for the student.  RTI has grown in part because the IDEA of 2004 puts a big premium on curbing the "over-referral" of students into special education...



Are students tested too much?  Are discipline policies consistently implemented?  Is No Child Left Behind helping schools improve?  These are key questions-and no one can provide more expert answers than teachers.  So the SFT has been asking representative samples of its K-12th-grade teachers about these and other important issues for many years.  Here are the highlights, showing that teachers are fed up with too much testing and the effects of NCLB...[pdf]


Top 20 Back-to-School Resources

Lesson Ideas, Welcoming Students, Setting Up Your Classroom, Meeting Parents, and More


You and Your Association: Knowing more about your union and being active in it can pay big dividends. We've got the ABCs all laid out.


AFT Backs Peer Assistance and Review Programs
The AFT took bold steps to take charge of the teaching profession—and to check mindless, test-driven "teacher quality" schemes—when convention delegates in Chicago overwhelmingly approved a resolution on July 13 urging all locals to consider creating peer assistance and review programs for new members. The resolution explains that peer assistance and review is a professional induction and evaluation program for teachers that recognizes "experienced, expert teachers are the people who are positioned to offer the best assistance to probationary teachers and to make the most credible judgments about their capabilities." [Read more.]


Colorin' Colorado is a site with extensive tips and research for teachers and parents of English Language Learners.  This site is beginning to offer materials in languages other than Spanish, which is it's primary focus.  It does offer a parent reading tip sheet in arabic, as well as many useful resources for children of all cultures.


From A to Z, here is a list compiled by NYSUT,a Glossary of Commonly Used Terms and Acronyms in the field of education.