January 2011 Issue
December 20, 2010

Short takes: Don't let the bedbugs bite

Source: NYSUT United

Don't let the bedbugs bite

Bedbugs have crawled from New York City's bedrooms to schools. The United Federation of Teachers has called on government agencies to help address the problem.

At www.uft.org/our-rights/bedbugs, NYSUT's affiliate in New York City schools lists protocols and procedures for sending specimens to the Department of Education. If the presence of bedbugs is confirmed, DOE pest control will conduct a site visit and inspection.

The bugs travel to schools from other infested areas, including luggage, purses, backpacks and other items placed on soft or upholstered surfaces. Go to http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/bedbugs/html/home/home.shtml for suggestions on controlling the insects. Information is also available at NYC's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene at www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/vector/vector-faq1.shtml. Tools include an interactive e-Learning class about bedbugs.

Whooping cough numbers up

The number of confirmed pertussis cases reported so far this year is more than double last year's numbers, according to State Health Commissioner Richard Daines.

The first eight months of 2010 show 383 cases, compared to 181 for the same period last year. The most recent peak was in 2004, when nearly 200 cases were reported.

Daines urges vaccinations against the illness, which is a bacterial infection of the respiratory tract. It's easily spread in the air in droplets from an infected person by sneezing or coughing.

Symptoms usually include a long series of coughs (coughing fits) that may be followed by a whooping noise, vomiting, turning blue or difficulty catching breath.

Go to www.nyhealth.gov/diseases/communicable/pertussis/fact_sheet.htm for more information.

NYSUT book in paperback

SUNY Press is releasing a paperback edition of Teachers United: The Rise of New York State United Teachers, by Dennis Gaffney.

First published in 2007, the book tells NYSUT's story through first-hand accounts by rank-and-file teachers as well as leaders. It shows how NYSUT has been a leader in educational reform, winning more money for education and training better teachers.To order, go to www.sunypress.edu/p-4483-teachers-united.aspx.

Winning by degrees

For the first time, women are earning most of the doctoral degrees awarded in the U.S., according to an annual survey from the Council of Graduate Schools.

In the 2008-09 academic year, 50.4 percent of doctoral degrees were awarded to women, a finding the survey said reflected larger trends in higher education. Over the past 10 years, the annual rate of increase for doctoral and master's degrees awarded to women has been consistently greater than that for men.

Women also earned 60 percent of all master's degrees awarded in the 2008-09 academic year, continuing to lead in that category.