The Rochester Teacher

Winner of NYSUT journalism awards and the Ted Bleeker award as “Best of the Best”

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Our Union Contract

The newly bargained agreement is good for students and fair to teachers.

Click here to download our contract.

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  1. 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."

  2. 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

NYSUT loses tax cap round

A state Supreme Court justice dismissed a New York State United Teachers challenge to the state property tax cap. The union, however, was offered a chance to amend its lawsuit. NYSUT filed the action against the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Education Commissioner John King in February 2013, claiming that the tax cap legislation was unconstitutional as it applies to public schools. In a 16-page ruling released Thursday, Judge Patrick McGrath dismissed the suit, citing numerous earlier court decisions as precedent.

Charter school founder takes RCSD job

The founding principal of Young Women's College Prep Charter School is leaving it after two years to return to an administrative position in the Rochester City School District. Jennifer Gkourlias, 39, helped open the city's first all-girls public school in 2012. According to a resolution approved by the Rochester school board Thursday, she will return to the city district Nov. 3 as executive director of teaching and learning, earning a salary of $125,000.

Don’t Let Distractions Erase Genuine Critiques Of Rhee And Campbell

This past Tuesday, Senior Researcher at New America’s “Early Education Initiative” Conor P. Williams, wrote an essay in this space to express his dismay that Campbell Brown's opponents are using "ugly rhetoric" against Brown, as they had against Michelle Rhee before her. To Williams, this is part of "a troubling pattern for reform opponents ... prone to shooting any reform messenger." In this case, as part of a larger effort to challenge the Vergara v. California-style lawsuit she’s bringing to New York.

Confessions Of A Six-Figure Father: Why I'd Never Send My Kids To Private School

Getting a good education in Los Angeles is no easy feat. Just ask any parent, and they’ll tell you: Schools in the area are pretty hit or miss. The desirable ones—schools that tout heavy parent involvement and impressive graduation rates—are just as common as the relative horror shows with underfunded programs, overworked faculty and kids with behavior problems.

NEA president: End factory school reform

The National Education Association’s Lily Eskelsen Garcia joins Morning Joe to discuss why she’s fighting standardized testing and why Education Secretary Arne Duncan should resign.

Adam Urbanski: Teacher Ratings Are Nonsensical

Urbanski, president of the Rochester, New York, teachers’ union, is struggling to make sense of the state’s teacher and principal evaluation system, which varies wildly from district to district. Scarsdale, perhaps the most affluent and high-scoring district in the state, had no “highly effective” teachers. But Rochester, one of the districts with high poverty and low scores, had many. The reality is that none of the formulas for reducing teaching to a number make any sense. Teaching is an art, a craft, and a bit of science. A great teacher may be great one year, not the next, or great with this class but not another.