August 27, 2010

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to visit NYSUT Monday

Source: NYSUT Media Relations

UPDATE AUG. 30 12:45 p.m. Initial reports are now online. Full reports with more photos and video will be available later today.

ALBANY, N.Y. August 26, 2010 - U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will visit New York State United Teachers on Monday, joining NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi and teams from six school districts for a discussion of how the involvement of unions as true partners in education reform is paving the way to greater student achievement.

Days after New York was awarded nearly $700 million in Race to the Top funds, Duncan will hear how NYSUT - with teams of local teacher union leaders and administrators in Albany, Plattsburgh, Hempstead, Marlboro, Newburgh and North Syracuse - is exploring new models of teacher evaluations that are fair, objective and lead to better teaching and learning. Duncan is expected to explore the challenges facing teachers in designing new evaluation systems, and hear their thoughts about how test scores are used in the evaluation process.

NYSUT's involvement in designing a new law governing teacher evaluations is seen as a major factor in New York vaulting to second place in the Race to the Top competition. Even before Race to the Top, NYSUT and its local unions - working with grants from the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association - had been helping to define excellence in the profession by exploring new models to improve teacher effectiveness by focusing on teachers' professional growth.

Duncan will arrive at NYSUT headquarters - 800 Troy-Schenectady Road (Route 7), Latham, N.Y. 12110 - at 11:15 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 30, to begin the Northeast leg of his Back to School Tour, in a decorated tour bus with the theme, "Courage in the Classroom: Honoring America's Teachers."

Press planning to cover Duncan's visit should call NYSUT Media Relations at 518-213-6000, ext. 6313, or e-mail Chief Press Officer Carl Korn at

PRESS ARRIVAL: News media planning to cover the event should arrive by 10:45 a.m. Monday to film the tour bus and Duncan arriving at NYSUT headquarters. Press parking will be available.

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: Open Press. Reporters will observe a wide-ranging discussion between U.S. Education Secretary Duncan and teams of teachers and administrators from six school districts. The discussion will take place from 11:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. There will be a press area near the table where U.S. Education Secretary Duncan and Iannuzzi will lead the discussion.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY: NYSUT President Iannuzzi and key participants in the roundtable discussion with Duncan - including two U.S. Department of Education teaching fellows - will be available for interviews in the NYSUT atrium at 12:30 p.m.

NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents some 600,000 classroom teachers and other school employees; faculty and other professionals at the state's community colleges, State University of New York and City University of New York, and other education and health professionals. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.


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