Articles By kim

NYSUT Votes ‘No Confidence’ For King

Author: NYSUT Media Relations

 

NEW YORK April 5, 2014 — Delegates to New York State United Teachers’ 42nd Representative Assembly today voted “no confidence” in the policies of State Education Commissioner John King Jr. and called for his immediate removal by the Board of Regents.

In a unanimous voice vote, the nearly 3,000 delegates also formally withdrew the union’s support for the Common Core standards as interpreted and implemented in New York state and, in a separate resolution, supported the rights of parents and guardians to opt their children out of high-stakes tests.

Delegates representing NYSUT’s 600,000 members noted that educators are fully committed to high standards and closing the achievement gap. But, delegates said King’s rushed implementation of the Common Core standards, a State Education Department agenda that puts more emphasis on testing and data than teaching and learning, and King’s failure to listen to classroom teachers on professional issues had evaporated all confidence in the commissioner’s policies and ability to lead.

The union has repeatedly called for a three-year delay in the high-stakes consequences for student and teachers from standardized tests in order to give the State Education Department and Regents time to make significant course corrections and for school districts to adjust to sea changes in state education policy. The recently adopted state budget took some small steps to protect students and roll back some standardized testing — a position NYSUT strongly supported and lobbied for — but unconscionably failed to remedy the state’s use of invalid test scores in teacher evaluations.

“There is a revolution under way. Parents and teachers, standing together on behalf of what’s best for students, have made it clear that ‘enough is enough,'” said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi. “We have had it with top-down decision-making that ignores the voices of parents and teachers, and we’ve had it with a broken ideology that values obsessive testing and data collection over teaching and learning and meeting the needs of the whole child.”

NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira said, “NYSUT and our members have consistently done everything to convince SED to avoid the train wreck they have engineered. For three years, SED and the Regents have repeatedly rejected every significant recommendation teachers and parents made to correct the huge problems with Common Core and the Regents reform agenda.” She added, “Our message is loud and clear: Commissioner King has got to go.”

New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

Will Signing Day

We will be having a will signing day on April 24th in the Middle School Library.  We will start at 2:00p.m and try to be done by 5:00pm.  We are going to do this first come first serve and get it done in one day.  If you plan on executing your will on the 24th please respond so I can get a head count so we will have enough people from the law office to accommodate the demand.

Jan Mackey Car Wash Results!

On Saturday approximately 25 RCFA members, many with their families in tow, raised money in honor of longtime colleague and friend Jan Mackey.  The community really responded, as we raised $1,223 to go towards the purchase of books for Phillips Ave. in Jan’s name.  A BIG thank you to all who made time to pitch in!

Donate Old Prom Dresses

Donate old prom or cocktail dresses to Deb Nigrel at the high school.  She is collecting them to help our students who don’t have the funds for dresses that they could wear to the prom or to graduation.  This is a perfect time to gather those gently used dresses to help out our students!

Get Those FLEX Forms In!

Get those FLEX Plan and the Sele-Dent Reimbursement forms in soon.  The deadline for both forms is March 31! 

The Sele-Dent Reimbursement form is the same green form that you have been submitting for years.  You should have received a copy in your school mailbox and Lisa Goulding has emailed you copies as well.  Print it out, fill it out,  attach your co-pay claims and mail it to the address on the form.  This is a benefit you have been receiving from our union.  Make sure to take advantage of it!

(Did you know that you can go to your local pharmacy or doctor’s office and ask them to print a summary of your co-pays for 2013?  It’s that easy!  Just make a copy for your records and attach that to the reimbursement form!)

Remember that you have a second benefit form to fill out for the school district as well.  You can find this on the school website at http://www.riverhead.net.  Go to Quick Links — Staff Access–Employee Info–Flex Benefit Claim Form 2013.  You need to have the Explanation of Benefits form from the insurance company for claims dated between 9-1-2-13 through 12-31-2-13 to attach.  (Again…keep a copy of everything you send in!)  This gets mailed to the Benefits Department at District Office.  (I know!  Who knew we had an entire Benefits Department?!)

(Did you know that you can set up an account at http://myuhc.com  where you can print copies of these Explanation of Benefit forms to attach and send in!  So simple!  No need to dig through a file full of these things that you have stuffed in a drawer…or maybe your filing system is tidier than mine!)

If you decided to take advantage of the FLEX Plan for the 2014 school year, you will find those claim forms in the same place on the school website.  (My goal is to send them in on a monthly basis so I don’t have 50 forms to fill out in one weekend just before they are due.  It sounds good, right?!)  The 2014 forms will no doubt be due by next March 31, 2015.

Remember that we all have this as a new benefit with this contract.  Make sure you take advantage of this.  I realize that it’s more paper work to fill out, but again…it’s money in your pocket!

 

Here are two final tips that I have for you today:

  1. When your kids go off to college and you need to send them with their own copy of the health insurance card, you request those through our Benefits Department at the District Office.  It will take about 2 weeks to receive the cards once you request them.  (As I recall, I may have had to fill out a form to request them at the DO.  It was quick and easy to do.)
  2. If you have kids in college still covered by your health insurance, you need to send a letter each January to United Health Care stating that your child is in fact a full time student at XX University for the current year.  This will ensure that the claims they inevitably end up filing will actually be covered.  Believe it or not, they just need the letter, no documentation was required.  Just remember to do that each January for each child that you have in college!

Happy day!

 

RCFA Members: Get A Free Financial Consultation

                                           RCFA BENEFIT TRUST FUND

 

TO ALL MEMBERS

 

RE:  Stacey Braun Associates, the provider of our Financial Planning Benefit.

 

A Certified Financial Planner from Stacey Braun Associates will be holding consultations at school locations on the dates listed belowAppointments are now available beginning at 9:00 am with the last appointment at 4:00 P.M.  Call Stacey Braun Assoc. at (888) 9949-1925 to make an appointment. If these dates are not convenient for you, you should still contact Stacey Braun Associates and other arrangements can be made.

February 12, 9:00-12:30 Middle School

                     1:00-4:00    High School

March 12,     9:00-12:30 Aquebogue Elem.

                         1:00-4:00    Phillips Ave. Elem

April 9          9:00-11:30 Pulaski

                     12:00-2:00   Roanoke Elem

                      2:30-4:00   Riley Ave. Elem.      * All meetings will start in Faculty Room if member has a better room available meeting will be moved to that location. 

Topics you might want to cover in your confidential review can include:

 present and future. Topics you might want to cover in your confidential review can include:

• Retirement

• Debt Management

• Budgeting

• Investments (403b, etc.)

• Estates

• Elder Care

• Education Funding Methods

• Financial “second opinion”

• Life, Disability, Long Term Care Insurance

• Any other financial topic

 

Remember, these services are paid by the Benefit Fund and are free to you!!  You can also have family member(s) attend these consultations with you.

 

Stacey Braun Planners are prohibited from selling investment or insurance products.

NYSUT President’s Response In The New York Times

NYSUT President’s response in the NYTimes:

To the Editor:

The Common Core in New York” (editorial, Feb. 15) criticizes teachers for raising legitimate concerns, in concert with parents, about the state’s botched job in carrying out the Common Core standards.

New York teachers and our union have always supported high standards for students and educators, and saw real potential in the Common Core. But it became clear — to teachers, principals, parents and lawmakers — that the state Education Department’s flawed efforts to put the standards into practice compromised the validity of Common Core testing and subsequent high-stakes decisions affecting students and teachers.

You dismiss these concerns because “only 1 percent of teachers were rated ineffective.” But if the tests are flawed, the results are flawed, regardless of how few teachers or students are harmed.

The testing avalanche that has so many parents and teachers concerned began with the state Education Department, not with educators. The Education Department issued guidance to districts to measure students through pretests, post-tests and numeric scores and then approved this hyper-testing.

The Regents recently proposed overdue course corrections but didn’t go far enough. Our union will continue to press for a full moratorium on testing consequences for students and teachers.. New York must get the new standards right before making them count.

RICHARD C. IANNUZZI
President, N.Y. State United Teachers
Albany, Feb. 20, 2014

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/24/opinion/education-standards.html?_r=0

 

Jan Mackey Memorial Car Wash Fundraiser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What: A car wash with proceeds to honor Jan Mackey

When: Saturday, April 5th from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m

Where: Roanoke Ave. Elementary School

Why: The RCFA is collecting funds to purchase books for the Phillips Avenue library in the name of Jan Mackey; longtime teacher, friend, coach, and building representative, who we lost recently.

Who: We need YOU to volunteer an hour or two of your time that day!

Please RSVP to: gary.karlson@riverhead.net with what time(s) you plan on volunteering so

we can make sure our event is properly staffed and represented by the RCFA!

Hot Off The Presses

Check out these links and take a moment to take action!

Hot off the press:

http://neatoday.org/2014/02/19/nea-president-we-need-a-course-correction-on-common-core/

Last week:

http://www.nysut.org/news/2014/february/regents-make-some-movement-on-common-core-but-not-nearly-enough

http://www.nysut.org/news/2014/february/nysut-knocks-regents-task-force-recommendations

Please take action on this:

http://www.nysut.org/resources/special-resources-sites/quality-higher-education

 

 

 

Module Humor

This was shared by Donna Verbeck!

In an ideal world, this would be the only module that we would be talking about as educators.