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April 01, 2019

NYSUT launches ‘Correct the Tests’ campaign

to demand changes to flawed state exams

Source: NYSUT Communications
correct the tests

ALBANY, N.Y. April 1, 2019 — New York State United Teachers

today launched a new campaign demanding state action to fix flawed,

invalid tests that are harmful to New York students. The

 “Correct the Tests” campaign will raise awareness of the serious issues with

New York’s grade 3-8 ELA and math tests and provide parents and

educators a platform to demand the State Education Department take

significant steps to address the stress and anxiety created by these

flawed exams.

“The state’s obsession with high-stakes testing is a failed experiment

that needs to end,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “That is why

teachers, parents and students around the state have been working for

years to fix New York State’s broken testing system. If we are going to

restore trust in the system, we need to fix these tests now.”

NYSUT repeatedly has called on the state to recognize the fundamental

flaws in the state’s grade 3-8 testing system and to take corrective actions

to address those flaws.

The union is again drawing attention to the fact that:

  • the state tests are flawed and invalid;
  • invalid scoring benchmarks mislabel children;
  • ELA and math tests are too long;
  • untimed testing can be cruel and traumatic;
  • the tests are developmentally inappropriate; and
  • computer-based testing is problematic and has been rolled out too quickly.

Instead of correcting the tests, the state is creating a climate in which school

administrators are attempting to intimidate parents into forcing their children

to take these tests or isolating children who refuse to take them. It is imperative

that the state takes immediate action to address reported intimidation that has

occurred in some districts prior to this year’s tests.

To address the numerous testing concerns, NYSUT launched CorrectTheTests.com 

to provide parents and educators with information about the flaws with these

tests and about parents’ rights to opt their children out of taking the tests.

The website also provides an outlet for parents and teachers to submit stories

about testing issues in their schools. NYSUT has begun a public awareness

campaign that includes digital advertisements drawing attention to testing flaws.

“New York’s state tests are failing our students,” NYSUT Executive Vice President

Jolene DiBrango said. “This is an issue that demands a collective solution.

The State Education Department needs to step up and engage with teachers

and parents to end this disaster.”

Computer-based ELA tests, which were rolled out in disastrous fashion in

nearly 300 schools last year, begin on Monday. Traditional paper testing

begins Tuesday April 3, 2019.

NYSUT is planning a series of regional events and actions across the state

in April to further discussions about testing issues and potential fixes. More

information about those events will be released in the near future.

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.


Additional Contact info for Ameritas:

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Monday-Thursday- 7AM-to-12AM CT

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E-Mail: group@ameritas.com



Thank-you for voting "NO". The Constitutional Convention was easily defeated

with 82% of the vote a strong "NO".



For NYSUT Member Benefit Information visit the link below:

Visit: http://www.nysut.org/memberbenefits/mbRedirect.html


NYSUT-supported Homework Hotline back on the air

Source: NYSUT Communications
Homework Hotline

Students returning to the classroom in the fall will find a familiar and helpful friend available if they are faced with a particularly challenging homework assignment this year.

Homework Hotline returns to public broadcasting stations across New York State on Sept. 12, offering homework help on the air and online to students in grades four through 12.

The award-winning program, which is beginning its 27th season, is funded in part by NYSUT, one of the original underwriters, and produced by WXXI in Rochester. Teachers from Dial-A-Teacher – members of the Rochester Teachers Association -- take students’ calls and send them to the studio, where the hosts -- also RTA members and experts in subjects across the curriculum -- assist the students work through their homework assignments live on television. Students not making it on the TV program are still helped by the Dial-A-Teacher volunteer.

This season, the show will air live Monday through Thursday starting at 4:30 p.m., an hour earlier than in past years. Alison Zero Jones, WXXI’s director of sales and marketing, explained that the PBS affiliates requested the earlier timeslot, saying the program could be even more useful if it was broadcast closer to the time students return home from school.

Meanwhile, a live webcast at homeworkhotline.org means anyone who needs help can see the show from his or her computer or phone. Past shows are also available on the website.

In addition to the homework help, Homework Hotline video segments explore careers, animals, New York State history and the arts. Special guests show up for live performances and students can win prizes with “Math Mazes” and “Science Challenges.”

Six master teachers host the series; all are RTA members. They include math teachers Laura Drake, Ed Hathaway, Donna Mineo and ;Samuel Simpson, and science teachers Craig Zaremba and Joe Zuniga.

Homework Hotline’s website features video segments that are searchable by subject, plus access to interactive games, homework help tips and a list of educational links. Homework Hotline is also on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, where it shares homework tips, behind-the-scenes work on the show and entertaining educational facts.


Protecting Your Social Security Number from Identity Theft

indentity theftEvery year, millions of Americans become victims of identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personally identifiable information and pretends to be you. They can use this information to open bank or credit card accounts, file taxes, or make new purchases in your name.  

It is important that you take steps to protect your Social Security number from theft. If someone obtains your Social Security number, they can use it to get other personal information about you, including your bank or credit information. Someone can steal your Social Security number by:

  • Stealing your wallet, purse, or mail;
  • Obtaining personal information you provide to an unsecured site on the Internet;
  • Rummaging through your trash; or
  • Posing by phone or email as someone who needs information about you.

If someone asks for your number, you should ask why, how it will be used, and what will happen if you refuse. Make sure you give your employer and your financial institution(s) your correct Social Security number, so your records and tax information are accurate.

To minimize the risk of identity theft, keep your Social Security card and any other documents that show your Social Security number in a safe place. Do not carry your Social Security card or other documents with you that display your number unless you need them.

If you suspect someone’s using your Social Security number for work purposes, report the problem to us immediately by contacting the Federal Trade Commission. We will review your earnings with you to ensure our records are accurate. You may also verify your earnings on your Social Security Statement. You can get your Statement online by opening a personal my Social Security account.

If someone misused your Social Security number to create credit or other problems for you, immediately go to http://www.identitytheft.gov and report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission. Their website provides detailed information to help you defend against identity theft. You can reach them by phone by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY 1-866-653-4261.

You may also want to contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and file an online complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

Safeguarding your identity and Social Security is of the utmost importance. If you think you’re a victim of identity theft, please act now. For more information, read our publication Identity Theft And Your Social Security Number or visit us online


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