Hilton Central School Teachers Association

May 2016

HCSTA Teacher Volunteer Day

Another Major Success!

Social Justice Committe Chair Martha Burke thanks all that volunteered to spruce up the community on May 14th.  It was another major success all around the town.  

HCSTA leadership wants to than Martha for a job well done and wishes her well as she moves on to other obligations outside the executive board.  

April 8, 2016

Hillary Clinton Scheduled In Rochester 

Things are heating up in the race for president in New York State. Former Senator from New York and Secretary Hillary Clinton will be here in Rochester on Friday, April 8, in her next stop on the campaign to be the next president of the United States! If you would like to attend with our AFT for Hillary gear, please email our Regional Political Organizer Paul Hypolite ASAP. He has t-shirts, buttons, stickers, placards and lapel pins for all NYSUT members who would like to attend. His email is phypolit@nysutmail.org. You can also call him at 937-207-5337.


WHERE: Samuel J Stabins Physical Education Complex, Monroe Community College, 1000 East Henrietta Road, Rochester



April 1, 2016

Where Do They Stand on Budget?

The deadline is April 1. Here is a rundown of some of the top priorities of “the three men in the room” negotiating the budget – Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie – and where each man stands on the issues.

As Regent Rosa takes the helm from Meryl Tisch we are hoping for real partnership with parents and teachers, substantive discussion about the relevance of testing, and straight talk with legislators about funding public education in New York. Fingers crossed.... Read more in Politico New York

MCFT and a retired Superintendent Speak Out!

 A great deal has changed — on paper, at least — since this time last year, when hundreds of thousands of New York students refused to take state math and English exams. Still, many of the leaders of last year's insurrection are gearing up for a repeat performance. They believe the state has not gone far enough and are calling on parents to have their children opt out again.   Find out  more in the Democrat and Chronicle.


Hope For New Direction

From State Ed!

NYSUT is praising the selection of three new Regents with significant public education experience who can help end the era of test-and-punish and forge a new path for public education policy that respects the voices of students, parents and educators.

Who they are:

Luis Reyes- endorsed by leaders of the test-refusal movement

Nan Mead- parent of two students in public schools

Elizabeth Smith Hakanson- retired teacher

These individuals were named to the Board of Regents and NYSUT President Karen Magee is “looking forward to working collaboratively with them as we seek to end the harmful over-testing of students; help create new and better standards; and work toward developing a fairer and more meaningful evaluation system”.

The Regents and State Education Department have before them a 21-point blueprint from the Common Core Task Force on the work ahead. Executive Officers of NSYUT are encouraged that the three Regents selected appear to have a clear understanding of what works in public education and, more importantly, what doesn’t work and has been soundly rejected by parents and educators.”Learn MORE about this important change in state education leadership from  North Country Public Radio! 

March 2016

New York Teachers: Vote to Win 100,000 Books for Your State

Vote for the state of your choice to win thousands of new books for children in need from First Book and Disney. Vote as many times as you like through March 31, 2016.

Schools and programs registered with First Book in the winning state will receive 100,000 books. Second and third place states will receive 25,000 and 10,000 books, respectively. See complete rules and information here.

- See more at: https://www.firstbook.org/get-involved/be-inspired/vote#sthash.hoyBfrRx.dpuf

January 20, 2016

Cuomo Calling for Constitutional Convention:

Saying New York's system of government is "broken," (sound familiar?) Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reiterating his support for a state constitutional convention which he says offers voters the chance to reform their state government.

Voters will decide in 2017 whether to hold a constitutional convention.  Once it’s open everything is on the table including current and future pensions.

Read more from the Finger Lakes Times.

January 11, 2016

Rising graduation rates reflect steady progress,

greater state investment needed

to close achievement gap

ALBANY, N.Y. Jan. 11, 2016 — New York State United Teachers today said higher graduation rates reflect steady progress by public education and the hard work of dedicated teachers and staff, but noted the achievement gap remains unacceptable and called out for a much greater state investment in public education. 

NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said the 1.7 percent increase in the state’s graduation rate — to 78.1 percent — does not truly reflect gains being made in New York’s classrooms. She noted, for example, the August graduation rate — 80.3 percent — is slightly above New York’s goal of 80 percent that has been approved by the U.S. Department of Education. And, the graduation rate in the state’s high-needs, large city districts has climbed 5.2 percent in three years.

“The rising graduation rates reflect hard work by dedicated teachers and school related professionals who, in concert with parents and their communities, are doing whatever they can to ensure that no child falls through the cracks,” Magee said. “However, the achievement gap remains stubbornly and unacceptably high, and educators will not rest until it disappears entirely.”

In 2015-16, Magee said, 31 percent of the state’s school districts are operating with less state aid than six years ago, and budget cuts during the Great Recession disproportionately hit districts serving the state’s neediest and most vulnerable student populations. “A significant state aid increase is needed, is justified and will pay off for our students and public schools,” Magee said. 

NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino noted that the Regents’ efforts to boost graduation rates through alternative pathways to a diploma are a “positive step.” She said lifting graduation rates in the state’s large high-needs school districts, where more than half of students live in poverty, will take a significant new investment in smaller class sizes; academic support programs; additional guidance counselors and social workers; and programs to support newly arrived students, English language learners and students with special needs.

“Teachers, parents and students are working hard, and the higher graduation rates reflect that. Many more students are graduating in August, or in five years, and that kind of persistence and dedication should be acknowledged and rewarded,” Fortino said.

Fortino said additional state funding, especially for small city, rural and the Big Five school districts, is essential. “We know that when we provide additional support for access and opportunity to students in high-need districts, they graduate and contribute to the success of their communities and our country,” she said.

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.

January 11, 2016

NYSUT statement on today’s Friedrichs vs CTA arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court

ALBANY, N.Y. Jan. 11, 2016 — “The case being heard today by the U.S. Supreme Court — Friedrichs vs the California Teachers’ Association — aims not only to reverse decades of settled law, but also threatens the voice, working conditions and living standard of workers in New York State and across the nation. Unions are the last line of defense for America’s besieged middle class. They are an essential counterweight to worker exploitation, unsafe workplace conditions and corporate greed — as well as bad public policy such as overtesting of students and the unfair evaluation of educators. New York State’s amicus brief to this case — filed by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman with the full support of NYSUT — makes it clear that, while it is fair for workers to contribute toward the cost of collective bargaining done on their behalf, no worker in New York is compelled to join a union or pay toward a union’s political activities. Make no mistake: Friedrichs vs CTA is a direct attack on American workers and a continuation of the relentless assault on labor by anti-union forces. NYSUT and its members will continue to fight — as we always have — to improve the lives of workers, ensuring always that their rights are protected and voices are heard while on the job.”

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.


1-9-16                                                 Thursday January 14th

High School Auditorium Viewings

Education Inc.$$

2:30pm  AND  3:50pm

American public education is in controversy. As public schools across the country struggle for funding, complicated by the impact of poverty and politics, some question the future and effectiveness of public schools in the U.S.

For free-market reformers, private investors and large education corporations, this controversy spells opportunity in turning public schools over to private interests.Education, Inc. examines the free-market and for-profit interests that have been quietly and systematically privatizing America’s public education system under the banner of “school choice.”
Education, Inc. is told through the eyes of parent and filmmaker Brian Malone, as he travels cross-country in search of the answers and sources behind the privatizing of American public education, and what it means for his kids. With striking footage from school protests, raucous school board meetings and interviews with some of the most well known educators in the country, Malone zooms out to paint a clear picture of profit and politics that’s sweeping across the nation, right under our noses.

For more information about this film, follow this link

December 17, 2015

Keep Informed Regarding A Supreme Court Case:  Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association. 

This decision currently under review by the court will have a huge impact on unions.  Watch for 3 videos that will help educate you on this topic. 

A combined time is about 15 min for all 3.

November 9, 2015

Engaging Unions:

Advocacy from NYSUT, AFT, NEA and it's members across the country has begun to work. Please continue to use the NYSUT Member Action Center. We must make sure that our Regents are listening to us and that they stop the direction of the APPR.

*****You can access the MAC here: https://mac.nysut.org/ ****

November 9, 2015

 Forums across NYS,

Common Core Standards Input


The Obama Administration (Including Secretary of Education Arne Duncan), admitted that standardized testing has gone too far. The administration also admitted its own guilt in the discussion (including linking test scores to teacher evaluations). You can read more about it here.


Building Representatives are holding monthly building meetings (1st TH of each month), to share out information of what is occurring within HCSTA, please attend those meetings for important/accurate information.  Meeting minutes will be shared through home emails.  If you are not receiving those, please contact your building representative.

More info to come on the local showing of the movie Education Inc. (Education, Inc. is told through the eyes of parent and filmmaker Brian Malone, as he travels cross-country in search of the answers and sources behind the privatizing of American public education, and what it means for his kids.) 


October 26, 2015

Tisch announcement opens door to new direction in education policy

ALBANY, N.Y. Oct. 26, 2015 — New York State United Teachers said Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch’s announcement that she would not seek another term opens the door to a new direction in state education policy — one that more fully respects the voices of parents and teachers and values teaching and learning ahead of standardized testing and data-driven teacher evaluations.

NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said, “With this announcement, New York state can move past an era that put far too much emphasis on standardized testing and, too often, dismissed the concerns of parents and educators. This mistaken direction in state education policy led to a serious erosion of trust and confidence. Chancellor Tisch recently acknowledged that, indeed, the state had gone too far, too fast in the use of standardized tests, especially in teacher evaluations. We now see movement to roll back some of those excesses. Those steps toward sanity in state education policy are most welcome and we look forward to working with Chancellor Tisch over the next five months to make the necessary fixes.”

NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino said today’s announcement by Chancellor Tisch is an opportunity for the Regents and State Education Department to pursue a new policy direction.


“The pendulum on standardized testing is swinging back. Policymakers have clearly heard from parents and educators that more teaching and less testing is needed. The chancellor’s decision to step down opens the door for a new direction in state education policy,” Fortino said. “We look forward to working with the chancellor in her efforts to ‘calm the waters’ over the next five months and to implement a better, fairer system of testing and evaluations.”

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.

 July 9, 2015   NYSUT Press Release

NYSUT cheers Pearson’s firing

ALBANY, N.Y. July 9, 2015 — New York State United Teachers today said the State Education Department’s new, five-year contract with Questar Inc. and a promise to involve New York teachers in every step of the test-development process is a victory for students, parents and teachers.

Less than a year after hundreds of parents and NYSUT members rallied on the steps of SED and shredded copies of the state’s testing contract with Pearson, NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said the grassroots effort paid off.

“Pearson offered a bad product and today Pearson got fired,” Magee said.

“Teachers have called for this for years,” she added. “It is a first step along the road toward ending New York’s failed testing policies. The Questar contract, in its promise to emulate New York’s successful test-development process for Regents exams, begins to restore the trust and confidence in teachers to do the job right. It says New York is going to trust its own teachers, not a corporation, to develop state tests.”

NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino said the new contract is a positive sign from Commissioner MaryEllen Elia at the beginning of her tenure.

“It, perhaps, signals that the State Education Department is beginning to listen to parents and teachers at the grassroots level who are concerned about over-testing; the length and difficulty of state tests; and the age- and developmental-appropriateness of standardized tests,” Fortino said. “Our advocacy will continue until all the changes we seek are in place.  In concert with parents, we will continue to press for appropriate tests that measure what students know and are then used to improve teaching and learning. State tests designed to measure students’ learning cannot and should not be used for high-stakes decisions for students and teachers.”

Fortino said NYSUT is urging SED to move slowly and cautiously — mindful of the “digital gap” in many places around the state — toward the increased use of computers in testing.  Fortino noted, “Many school districts still do not have the appropriate technology platforms in place to implement computer testing.”

In addition, Fortino said if SED moves closer to computer-based testing, “It should not simply move ‘fill-in-the-bubble’ tests from pencil and paper to the keyboard and Internet. New York should be listening to and working with all the stakeholder groups on performance-based testing that can more accurately measure what students know and are able to do.”

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.