April 6, 2014

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RA delegates support UUP resolutions on Downstate, edTPA

uupdate 4-6-14

Downstate Chapter UUPer Shirley Patterson, left, and Upstate Medical University Chapter members Carol Braund and Margaret Mahoney, right, applaud at the 2014 NYSUT Representative Assembly.

Delegates at the 42nd annual convention, April 4-6 in New York City, overwhelmingly adopted UUP-sponsored resolutions to defend SUNY Downstate Medical Center and remove the edTPA as a requirement for initial teacher certification.

UUP delegates re-elected statewide Treasurer Rowena Blackman-Stroud to the NYSUT Board of Directors and voted three new members to the board: UUP President Fred Kowal, VP for Academics Jamie Dangler, and UUP Outreach Committee Co-chair Tom Tucker of the Buffalo Center Chapter. All will serve three-year terms.

RA delegates also chose a slate of NYSUT officers headed by Karen Magee, NYSUT’s first woman president. They took action on more than 55 resolutions and special orders of business.

Standing up for Downstate, edTPA

Downstate delegates stood at the microphone with UUP officers and successfully convinced their K-12 colleagues to support SUNY Downstate’s fight against privatization or closure. They also showed their support throughout the RA.

“NYSUT (will) continue to bring its political resources to bear in advocating the Legislature and the governor to keep SUNY Downstate Medical Center open to maintain access to quality health care services for the residents of Central Brooklyn,” the resolution states.

A separate UUP resolution, jointly submitted by Professional Staff Congress (PSC)/CUNY, urges NYSUT to call on the state Board of Regents to stop the implementation of the edTPA and engage in discussions with NYSUT on certification and assessment policies and implementation practices.

"UUP rejects SED’s disregard for the professional expertise of teacher educators,” said Dangler. "We also believe the Regents’ rushed implementation will undermine the preparation of teacher candidates in New York state.”

A 'renewed commitment'

Kowal said he was excited and ready to work with Magee and the new slate of NYSUT officers elected at the RA. NYSUT delegates re-elected Executive VP Andrew Pallotta and voted for two new vice presidents: Catalina Fortino and Paul Pecorale. Martin Messner was elected as secretary-treasurer.

"This slate of officers brings a renewed commitment to fight for public education and the hard-working members who deliver it, from pre-K to Ph.D.," said Kowal. “I look forward to working with Karen Magee and the rest of her team in building that future, together.”

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, and several state and national labor leaders addressed the RA. Watch for more RA photos and event coverage in the May/June 2014 issue of The Voice.

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