Hilton Central School Teachers Association

HCSTA Newsletter 2015-16 


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/ ****


 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.) 


Bring Your Voice to the Table: Standards Input

The Common Core Task Force is convening an open meeting to hear concerns this Friday at Genesee Community College in Batavia, Room T-102 of the Conable Bldg, 4-6 PM. Please attend and speak up!

Please urge your members to respond to the Common Core Learning Standards survey!  Go to www.nysut.org


"Silence is equal to agreement."

Take a few minutes and weigh in on the Common Core Standards survey. You can say what you think and feel about the standards in general or specifically, but all teachers and parents need to use their voices to speak out.  

If you refuse to "buy in" to the SED survey which asks you to tinker with specific standards to "help fix the problem," that's OK--but you should express your opinion about what the best solution might be, even if that means scrapping the CCLS and starting over. Or going back to the NYS Learning Standards which many educators helped develop.

 But don't sit in silence.

 Let your voice be heard!

 The NYS Learning Standards which preceded the Common Core were developed by educators and were rigorous. The Task Force should recommend that NYS return to those standards and take steps to ensure that they are emphasized in every school and every district.

Let's own up to our mistake and correct what's wrong. Let's uncouple the tests from punishments to teachers, schools and principals. Let's start to use assessments to inform instruction. The current uses of most of the tests are wasteful to teachers and students.



Support School Related Personell

$15 rally happening on Tuesday, Nov 10, at 5:30pm.

March in Solidarity with our SRPs and Paraprofessionals!

Join the Fight for $15 (http://www.cvent.com/d/0fqmdp) in Rochester on November 10 as we rally to raise the wage! Too many of our fellow union members do not make enough money to make ends meet.  Many of them struggle financially and need public benefits like food stamps and Medicare to make ends meet. 

Wall Street got its raise, now Main Street deserves one too.  It is time to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour so that our families can keep up with the rising cost of living.  All across NY state, thousands of people will be showing their support for raising the minimum wage.


For us in the Finger Lakes region, there will be a rally in Rochester on November 10 to support the Fight for $15.  We will start at Washington Square Park and march to Rochester City Hall.


ELECTION DAY Tuesday, November 3rd!  

The Rochester Labor Council and Finger Lakes Labor Assembly endorsements for Tuesday's election are listed below. Encourage you to vote and to consider these endorsements. Endorsed candidates went through an interview process with the respective Labor Councils in order to receive this designation.

Most important: Be sure to vote tomorrow.

Polls are open 6 am to 9 pm

The 2015 Rochester & Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation's Endorsed Candidates
Rochester Labor Council Endorsements 2015


Gates: Brenda James (Town Supervisor)

Henrietta: Mike Stafford (Town Board)

Henrietta: Mike Yudelson (Town Supervisor)

Henrietta: Robert Barley, Jr. (Town Board)

Irondequoit: John Perticone (Town Board)

Irondequoit: Adam Bello (Town Supervisor)

Greece: Valencia Metcalf (Town Board)

Brighton: Bill Moehle (Town Supervisor)


LD 3: John Romagnola

LD 4: Erik Johnson (Gates), NYSUT Member

LD 12: Maggie Ridge

LD 14: Justin Wilcox (Henrietta)

LD 18: Dorothy Styk

LD 17: Joe Morelle Jr. (Irondequoit)

LD 13: Simeon Bannister (Henrietta)

LD 21: Mark Muoio

LD 24: Josh Bauroth (City/Brighton)

LD 25: John Lightfoot (City)

LD 26: Yversha Roman (City)

LD 28: Cynthia Kaleh (City)

LD 29: Earnest Flagler-Mitchell (City)

LD 23: Jim Sheppard (City)

LD 27: LaShay Harris (City)


Sandy Frankel

Monroe County District Attorney

Sandra Doorley


East District: Elaine Spaull

Northeast District: Michael Patterson

South District: Adam McFadden

Northwest District: Molly Clifford

Rochester City School Board

Willa Powell

Malik Evans

Liz Hallmark

Mary Adams

Finger Lakes Labor Assembly Endorsements City of Geneva:

Mayor: Ron Alcock

Geneva City Council: Shawn Beam (Ward 5), Pat Grimaldo (Ward 3), Paul D'Amico (Ward 2), Gordy Eddington (At Large)

NYS Supreme Court:

Bill Taylor

Craig Doran

Judy Sinclair

Matt Nafus



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.

Find the NYSUT Member Benefits Offering for November and December here.



Northwood 6th grader Andrew Rohloff died suddenly Saturday, October 10th.  HCSTA sends our thoughts and prayers to the Rohloff Family as well as Northwood teachers and students at this difficult time.  Andrew was a special young man that will be deeply missed by all that knew him.  

Condolences and memories may be left for the family here.  




See the Sept-Oct Member Benefits Offering below!  



High School Social Studies Teacher

Leah Oltean

Honored as HCSTA Teacher of the Year!


High School teacher Leah Oltean was selected by fellow union members as the HCSTA

2015-16 Teacher of the Year during the annual convocation ceremony September 3rd.   Leah is honored for her dedication as a classroom teacher, drama club advisor and many contributions to HCSTA- including secretary for the past several years.  Included with the TOY plaque is a sign that reserves a special parking space for Leah in the upper High School parking lot for the school year. 

Leah has been with the district since 2004.  She has taught a wide variety of courses at the 11th and 12th grade levels in the High School Social Studies Department.  In addition, Leah also devotes countless hours to both the annual musical and drama productions at the high school.  Leah was joined by her husband, HHS science teacher Ben Giesselman and parents George and Donna Oltean during the ceremony.


The HCSTA 2015-16 TOY finalists are Pam Brady, Northwood Elementary; Laurie Donavan, Village Elementary; Mary Elias, Quest Elementary; Michelle Farrell, Village Elementary; Patrick Krutchen, Quest Elementary; Laura Malta, Hilton High; Todd Scaccia and Steve Sorensen, Merton Williams Middle School; and Laurie Steele-Sperber, Northwood Elementary.  Congratulations to all! 


 7-9-15   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.