April 05, 2014

Keeping up fight for higher ed

Author: By Darryl McGrath
Source: RA Reporter
higher ed
Caption: From left, Edison Bond Jr., UUP Downstate, and Ziya Arnavut, UUP Fredonia attend the UUP breakfast meeting. Photo by Mike Lisi.

AFT President Randi Weingarten praised the hard work of United University Professions and pledged continued support for UUP's ongoing effort to protect high-quality public higher education and health care.

"Wherever the fight is, we are there with you, shoulder to shoulder," Weingarten told 200 UUP members at the affiliate's breakfast Saturday.

UUP President Fred Kowal, who introduced Weingarten, said NYSUT and the AFT's help "has been critical in the fights we have been raising in Brooklyn and with edTPA, as well."

Union advocacy has reaped results for SUNY Downstate Medical Center, which sits in a high-needs, low-income neighborhood in Central Brooklyn: The enacted state budget does not include language that would have opened the door for privatizing the hospital.

The edTPA is a new mandatory assessment student teachers must pass in New York in order to be certified. NYSUT, UUP and the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY object to the way edTPA has been imposed as a high-stakes requirement. Weingarten compared edTPA to the failed rollout of Common Core.

"Just like Common Core, there is a good way and a bad way [to do this], and I just can't believe they're doing it this way," she said.