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NEW ==> The January/February 2015 MemberShip and the Millionaire Article

The January/February Membership is now online. For the latest news from the WGTA, please click here. You can also click here to read the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" article.


NEW ==> Education Reform: Fact and Fiction
By WGTA President John Mannion

Is Andrew Cuomo telling you the truth? He is not an education reformer, he is an opportunist. The amazing thing about this opportunity is that he created it himself. In an effort to accommodate his charter school and hedge fund manager campaign contributors, the Governor has crafted a scenario that gives the appearance of failure in your child’s school. He has indiscriminately told 600K dedicated professionals, you are a failure. A New York State Teaching Certificate and a Regents Diploma from a New York accredited school were once considered a benchmark, held in high regard in other areas of the country. State education departments aspired to obtain the reputation that New York State had and in most ways, still does.

Before the Post-Standard’s Editorial Board gives Governor Cuomo’s education agenda two thumbs up, there are a few facts that should have been clarified. To read the rest of this story please click here.

Keep upt to date by reading John's Blog at http://www.mannionforwgta.com.

If you want to receive alerts on your cell phone from NYSUT, text the word NYSUT to cell number 38470.


Message to WGTA Members

WGTA Members,

There has been a fast and furious assault on public education over the past few months. Please review the timeline below, taking note of the current and upcoming actions by NYSUT in response to these attacks. I once again encourage you to visit the NYSUT Member Action Center on the NYSUT.org website and download the MAC APP (mouse click on this link). There will be upcoming rallies and forums that I encourage you to attend. The time is now to join forces and push back against the negative propaganda and practices that are hurting our students in the name of reform. We do all we can for students each day, for their sake and our children's and grand children's sake, be active and vocal in your defense of public education.

John Mannion

The Last 30 Days

December 17: After the governor hinted he may not sign the moratorium bill, we used his own words against him in a press statement: http://www.nysut.org/news/2014/december/nysut-statement-on-governors-remarks
December 18: After the Malatras letter was released, we immediately tagged the governor as “clueless” in a press statement, and in social media. Numerous media interviews and press statement can be found here: http://www.nysut.org/news/2014/december/nysut-condemns-cuomo-letter-as-clueless #cluelessCuomo became a rallying cry.
December 23: Karen Magee appears on statewide radio and television to criticize the governor’s comments and rebut some of his more mis-informed comments. You can listen to the audio clip here: http://www.wcny.org/cpr122214/
December 29: After the governor vetoed the moratorium bill we reacted strongly. (Press release here: http://www.nysut.org/news/2014/december/nysut-slams-governor-for-vetoing-moratorium-bill)
December 31: Rally at the executive mansion. Coverage from at least 10 news organizations, including New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Gallery of photos at www.nysut.org and, of course, clips can be found through a Google news search and were sent to local leaders through the NYSUT Leader Briefing. During this time, we also blasted the King/Tisch letter in a number of radio, television and print interviews. In addition, we want to specifically note that, over this time frame, we strongly supported the NYSAPE letter. It’s responding to Malatras resulting in a great ride on social media. NYSUT constructed a special MAC blast urging our members to read it and share it.
New Year’s Day to January 7: Out of respect, we held fire for a few days following the passing of former Gov. Mario Cuomo. NYSUT supported East Greenbush TA President Sean Crall in his efforts to get out the message that Gov. Cuomo’s staff made Crall remove a “Respect Public Ed” pin. Here’s the clip which was widely shared on social media. http://nypost.com/2015/01/06/teacher-cuomo-staff-asked-me-to-remove-pro-union-button/
January 9: A new report ranked NY’s public education system 9th in the nation. This is a direct contradiction to the governor’s claim that schools are failing. Here’s our piece: http://www.nysut.org/news/2015/january/report-new-york-states-public-education-system-ranks-among-nations-best
January 10: A coalition partner, the Alliance for Quality Education, released a report showing that inequality and segregation have reached record levels under Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Report and Daily News link can be found here: http://www.nysut.org/news/2015/january/new-report-calls-out-gov-cuomo-for-record-setting-inequality-in-school-funding
January 10: Albany Times Union columnist Fred LeBrun supported NYSUT and teachers and attacked the Governor in this column, which ran in the Sunday Times Union (circulation 150,000). http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/LeBrun-A-disaster-dressed-up-as-reform-6006907.php?cmpid=twitter
January 11: Nearly 1,000 students, parents and teachers packed the Million Dollar Staircase at the state Capitol for a rally. Rev. William Barber and NAACP leaders scolded Cuomo for failing to properly fund public schools. Andy Pallotta pointedly told the governor – at the top of his lungs – to stop making excuses and fund public education. NYSUT coverage and numerous press clips can be found here: http://www.nysut.org/news/2015/january/moral-mondays-parents-students-and-educators-take-to-the-capitol-to-call-for-fairness
January 13: Karen Magee has a radio commentary that airs on 16 radio stations across New York. Here she takes on the governor in her monthly commentary: http://wamc.org/post/karen-magee-battle-public-education This got a nice ride on social media. Held an emergency Board of Directors call to Action
January 14: NYSUT offered a less-than-enthusiastic response to the governor’s circuit breaker proposal here: http://www.nysut.org/news/2015/january/tax-relief-plan-flawed-because-of-tax-cap-link
January 15: NYSUT launched a nearly $1 million ad campaign in advance of the Governor’s State of the State and budget. You can find the ad and coverage on the NYSUT web site and coverage via this link. http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/nysut-putting-ad-calling-equitable-school-funding-blog-entry-1.2078223 In the coming days these activities will only become more intense. Stay tuned!


The December 2014 WGTA