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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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…

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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.

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.

Time magazine is about to use its cover to blame teachers for every problem in America's schools. On Monday, Nov. 3, this cover will be in every supermarket checkout line and newsstand across the country—and it's already online.

When I saw this today, I felt sick. This Time cover isn't trying to foster a serious dialogue about solutions our schools need—it's intentionally creating controversy to sell more copies.

Tell Time's editors to apologize for this outrageous attack on America's teachers.

The millionaires and billionaires sponsoring these attacks on teacher tenure claim they want to get great teachers into the schools that serve high-need kids. It's a noble goal, but stripping teachers of their protections won't help.

In unity,

Randi Weingarten

AFT President

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RCSD report bashes Common Core curriculum

A committee studying Common Core-aligned curriculum in the Rochester School District is recommending a turn away from lessons provided by the state Education Department, criticizing them as confusing, developmentally inappropriate and culturally insensitive.

Cuomo, With a Daughter’s Help, Tweaks His Education Image

Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Republican opponent, has sought to elevate the issue of education in the campaign, in particular the Common Core, a set of academic standards that has been adopted by more than 40 states. In New York City, the rollout has been criticized as rocky. Many parents saw their children’s test scores fall sharply under assessments aligned with the new standards and were angered by the changes.

Teacher Questionnaire for the EFA Report 2015

This questionnaire is to help inform the writing of the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2015 and the communications materials around the Report. Our next Report gives a stock-take of progress in education around the world since the year 2000. We are keen to hear teachers' perspective on the issue. Thank you for participating.

A Time magazine cover enrages teachers — again

Time magazine has done it again: It published a cover that has enraged teachers around the country, triggering protesting e-mails and tweets, a petition demanding an apology, and a call for a boycott. The first time Time was hit with such a backlash from teachers was in 2008, when its cover showed then-D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee standing in a classroom holding a broom, with the headline, “How To Fix America’s Schools” and a blurb that said “Michelle Rhee is the head of Washington, D.C., schools.