Brace Yourselves!

A common objection I hear from people who don’t like to donate to VOTE/COPE is that “NYSUT always endorses Democrats.”

To be honest, it’s not that simple. In the past election cycle, NYSUT refused to endorse Andrew Cuomo, and even worked to block his endorsement from the AFL-CIO, of which NYSUT is a part. Failing to win a union endorsement from the most heavily-unionized state in America essentially torpedoed his hopes of securing the Democratic nomination.

This article from the New York Post shows why I believe it is a good idea that NYSUT did not endorse the governor. We believe that charter schools are bad for students; he sees them as appropriate political payback. He supports using test scores to evaluate teachers; we know how unjust such a system is.

http://nypost.com/2014/11/06/gov-ready-to-teach-unions-how-to-deal-with-change/

As you can see if you read this article, it is going to be an interesting four years.

No matter what happens, JETA members will continue to do what is best for our school and our students!

Vote on Tuesday and Some Other Things

I wish I could take credit for writing this, but it was written by Maggie Estlinbaum, one of the high school building representatives in a letter to the high school faculty that was too good not to reprint here:
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Hello Everyone,

 

Tuesday November 4th is Election day.  It is of the utmost importance that we all take the time to vote and make our voices heard.  It was mentioned at our last faculty meeting that only 43% of NYSUT members voted in the last election.  As I am sure you are aware, if we do not vote, it is difficult to convince our elected officials that the issues that we value like a great education system is important.  So please, take the time to vote, and make sure that you vote for all of the contested offices.  It is almost more important that you vote for your local officials as  your voice is more powerful at a local level.

 

To help you in forming your decisions below are links to the Onondaga County Board of Elections and the Cayuga County Board of Elections.  On both of these websites you can find a sample ballot for each of the contested races so that you can do your research before heading to the polls on Tuesday November 4th.

 

http://www.cayugacounty.us/CountyGovernment/BoardofElections.aspx

 

http://www.ongov.net/elections/pollingPlacesTowns.html

 

Here is also a link to the NYSUT endorsed candidates in case you are interested.

 

https://mac.nysut.org/endorsed-candidates

 

Finally, there are two things that I need to request from you:

  1. We are looking for members to attend Board meetings and take notes at them.  As Mindy mentioned following our last faculty meeting we have done this in the past and it holds the Board more accountable for what they say about teachers in a public forum.  There is a sign-up sheet in the staff lunch room and I will likely walk around and try to sign folks up in the next week or two.
  2. We are looking for members who would like to join the APPR committee.  This committee will be in charge of looking at our APPR agreement and discussing any developing any potential changes.  I have already heard from Marlena Nivison, Pam Mead, and Jason Kufs that they are interested in being on this committee.

Time Magazine Cover Slams Teachers

Time magazine is about to use its cover to blame teachers for the problems 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.

I just signed this petition demanding Time apologize to teachers. Will you join me?

 

http://action.aft.org/c/44/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=9270&sp_ref=71376278.191.9876.e.38284.3&tag=email

Thanks JETA

Thanks for setting this up! It is a great way to communicate.

Tenure, Talking Points

Teacher tenure is under attack in New York state and nationwide. In July 2014, two lawsuits were filed–Davids v. New York and Wright v. New York–that claim New York’s tenure laws deprive students of their right to a sound basic education. The lawsuits specifically attack the tenure process, the use of seniority in layoffs, and the three-year probationary period for new teachers, which they claim is too short. Former news anchor Campbell Brown, fronting for a shadowy group calling itself the Partnership for Educational Justice, is bankrolling the Wright case. Brown, who won’t disclose her financial backers, makes the unsupported claim that tenure is responsible for low student achievement.

The New York state lawsuits were filed after a lower-court ruling in the case of Vergara v. California gutted that state’s tenure laws. NYSUT attorneys believe the California ruling will be overturned on appeal–but meanwhile it has emboldened copycat suits across the country. Bankrolled by the wealthy elite and anti-union forces, these attacks represent an all-out assault on the fundamental labor rights of working people.

NYSUT is mounting an aggressive and vigorous defense of tenure both in the courts and the court of public opinion.

Read more

Uncle Sam Needs You to Vote this November, but Aunt Kiki Needs You this Friday

Kiki Gugel asked me to ask around the high school for two volunteers to work at the snack bar at the Pep Rally on Friday night, September 12.

Please don’t tell her that I didn’t because I forget things like that. Hopefully she won’t read this post and know that I’ve let her down because the 43 people who have registered for updates so far (YEAH, JETA!) will read this and turn out in force.

I worked it last year, and it was a blast. And I don’t just mean the fireworks.

She told me to beg. Unfortunately, at JETA.biz, we (will eventually) have such high standards that we prefer to ask nicely.

Meeting with NYSUT Officers

On Friday, September 12th, I will be attending a 5PM meeting with some of the newly elected NYSUT officers. If you would like me to address something specific with them, please feel free to leave a comment below, or send me a quick email. The meeting will take place at NYSUT Regional Headquarters and will involve many other local area presidents. It’s a great opportunity for me to let leadership know how you feel and what they can do to make a difference in your everyday teaching lives.

JE Community Pep Rally

Don’t forget to sign up to volunteer at the concessions stand this Friday, September 12th.  The pep rally starts at 7PM at the high school stadium and is a great way to make connections with parents and students…and it’s a great way to see some fireworks!  We hope to see some of you there.

Email Kathleen Gugel at kgugel@jecsd.org to sign up, or if you would like further information or leave a comment below.

JETA is Back!

School has started, and JETA is back in action!

Enjoy some poorly framed and backlit pictures of a few of your friends who were somewhat willing to pose during 4th period on the second day of school!

Stay tuned–there are more shots coming, especially when I can recruit some photographers from Elbridge Elementary!

Jennifer O'Malley, High School English

Jennifer O’Malley, High School English

Windsor Price, High School Social Studies

Windsor Price, High School Social Studies

Nancy Rodak, Fifth Grade

Nancy Rodak, Fifth Grade

Mary Hayes, Fifth Grade

Mary Hayes, Fifth Grade

Gail Craig, Fifth Grade with Shelly Westcott (Local 200)

Gail Craig, Fifth Grade with Shelly Westcott (Local 200)

Suzanne Petrick, Middle School Nurse

Suzanne Petrick, Middle School Nurse

Que pasa, Mrs. St. Germain?

Que pasa, Mrs. St. Germain?

Andrew Barno, 8th grade Math

Andrew Barno, 8th grade Math

Paul Farfaglia, running toward the light.

Paul Farfaglia, running toward the light.

The Sixth Grade Team: Nancy Fuller, Drew Deapo, Kelly Baker, Chris Palen, Dave Shafer, Andy Marinelli, and Aaron Stone.

The Sixth Grade Team: Nancy Fuller, Drew Deapo, Kelly Baker, Chris Palen, Dave Shafer, Andy Marinelli, and Aaron Stone.

Steve Dardani, School Psychologist (whose ninja skills prevent him from being accurately photographed)

Steve Dardani, School Psychologist (whose ninja skills prevent him from being accurately photographed)

Megan Fietta, 7th grade resource

Megan Fietta, 7th grade resource

Doug Hickman, Middle School Technology

Doug Hickman, Middle School Technology

High School Faculty Meeting, September '14

High School Faculty Meeting, September ’14

Loretta Johnson, High School Librarian

Loretta Johnson, High School Librarian

Rob McIntyre, High School Guidance Counsellor

Rob McIntyre, High School Guidance Counsellor

Happy McClurg (HS Math)'s legendary happiness overwhelms the iPhone lens.

Happy McClurg (HS Math)’s legendary happiness overwhelms the iPhone lens.

Travis Bruneau & Liz Woodford, High School Technology

Travis Bruneau & Liz Woodford, High School Technology

 

Jason Kufs, High School Social Studies

Jason Kufs, High School Social Studies

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Ben Alexander, High School English

Terry Bondgren, High School Art

Terry Bondgren, High School Art

Jennifer Weaver, HS Resource

Jennifer Weaver, HS Resource

January HS Newsletter

Pam Mead has started publishing a newsletter for the high school. Here’s the January issue. (It looks much nicer than the hyperlink below!)

January Newsletter