Tag Archive for United University Professions

UUP has an Agenda: Quality

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Commentary by UUP President Frederick E. Kowal

The National Council on Teacher Quality criticized United University Professions (“Our budding teachers deserve better training in New York,” March 30) for our position regarding the State Education Department’s deeply flawed teacher certification process.

Hey, NCTQ, what took you so long?

After all, UUP has loudly voiced its concerns about New York’s teacher certification exams for the past two years. And for good reason: these tests are riddled with problems pertaining to content, their computer­based format — administered and scored by corporate education testing giant Pearson — the basis for cut scores, and the lack of timely access to test preparation materials.

SED changed certification requirements for 2014 and 2015 student teachers well after they started their teacher preparation programs. And the department was two years late in making test preparation materials available for the Educating All Students exam and Academic Literacy Skills Test.

SED’s latest imbroglio was its decision to require students to take the newly revised Content Specialty Tests before establishing passing scores for the exams. As of early April, graduates are languishing as SED figures things out. MORE

Standing Tall for Public Higher Education

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In the most important day of the year for public higher education in New York, UUP members turned out in force for Higher Education Advocacy Day to push back against an unprecedented threat: A governor who wants to hijack public higher education funding and the democratic process and public debate that help set that funding in the first place.

“Andrew Cuomo has attacked all of public higher education,” said UUP President Fred Kowal, as higher education leaders and members prepared for a day of meetings with lawmakers Feb. 26 in Albany. “I don’t like to use marshal terms, but we are in a war – a war against the work that we do. We defend the good and the right. The times we face and the challenges we face demand that we be bold.”

UUP leaders spent the day telling lawmakers that this year’s advocacy is not just about asking for deserved funds to be restored to SUNY; it’s about pointing out that the governor – as stated in the new UUP television and print ad campaign –is just plain wrong.

View the ad!

 

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UUP Honors Contingent Faculty Teaching 55% of New Paltz Courses

Contingents 3During National Adjunct Action Week, February 23-27, UUP is honoring the over 300 contingent faculty members who teach 55% of the 1,256 courses taught this semester at SUNY New Paltz. The union’s New Paltz Chapter has installed a display in the Jazzman’s Café, located in the foyer of Jacobson’s Faculty Tower, listing all of the approximately 700 courses taught by 57 full-time lecturers and 248 part-time, so-called “adjunct” lecturers and instructors.

“The dictionary definition of the term adjunct—something added to another thing but not essential to it—is such a misnomer in this case,” commented Chapter President Peter D. G. Brown, Distinguished Service Professor of German Emeritus. “Our adjuncts here, as everywhere else, teach all levels of all subjects, from Anthropology to Zoology. The entire academic enterprise is carried on the backs of these poorly supported and largely invisible academics. Students are adversely affected when their teachers lack basic support in the form of a living wage or offices to meet and mentor their students. Education suffers in the absence of any meaningful academic freedom due to our contingent faculty’s precarious employment.”

Part of the UUP display includes a collage of over 100 photos depicting the diverse faces of the contingent faculty at SUNY New Paltz.

Both UUP, representing some 35,000 members on 28 different campuses, and the SUNY Student Assembly, representing 465,000 students at 64 campuses, have called for increasing the minimum starting salary per three-credit course from the current $3,100 to $5,000.

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NAAW 1, 2-22-15

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UUP Calls for Addressing Climate Change in Massive March

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The People’s Climate March was a march for the ages, and UUP was a part of it.

Dressed in blue T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Climate Justice,” more than 40 UUP members joined hundreds of thousands of their labor sisters and brothers, environmental activists, students, actors, musicians, and other demonstrators calling for curbing climate change in the Sept. 21 march.

More than 310,000 people marched in the Manhattan protest; organizers, who expected about 100,000 participants, called the event the largest climate march in history. It dovetailed with climate change marches worldwide.

The march went off just days before a Sept. 23 U.N. summit in New York City on climate change.

“It’s imperative that we’re here,” said UUP President Fred Kowal. “I think what we’re trying to do is to bring some healing about for the planet and for our students because they’re going to inherit this world.” MORE