Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Busy Few Months in Education

I hope you have had a great start to the new school year these past few months! It is such a busy time in education and especially in our schools.

NYS PTA has also been busy advocating for children throughout the state during this very tumultuous time in education that started a few years ago, and it just seems to continue to evolve and change at a very quick pace.

Our Executive Administrator, Rick Longhurst, has worked collaboratively with our Education Coordinator, Catherine Romano, to respond to the many changes affecting the education of the children in our state based on feedback we are receiving from our members. 

These very informational documents are available from our Hot Topics in Education webpage by clicking here.

  • Information from Hot Topics Workshop at SLC  - At the Summer Leadership Conference, Rick Longhurst and Catherine Romano held a workshop session entitled “Hot Topics In Education.“ (This workshop is being be offered again at our upcoming annual convention being held in Niagara Falls November 13-15.)
    • The following are questions that workshop attendees posted (in black) and answers provided to the best of our ability (in blue). Please note that when discussing school process, we provide a general understanding. For what actually occurs in your school or district, please speak to teachers, principals, district office leaders and superintendents. Click here to read the document.
  • Response to the Governor's Commission - The following is a response by the NYS Congress of Parents and Teachers (NYS PTA) to the six points described by Governor Cuomo in outlining the Commission’s charge. Click here to read the letter. 
    • Excerpt from letter -  "We had hoped and even expected that we would be asked to participate as commission members and were disappointed when our direct voice was not considered.  We have played key roles in bringing diverse parent groups together in the past. Most recently, this past May, we brought groups as diverse as Students First New York, the NYS Alliance for Public Education and the Alliance for Quality Education together with NYS PTA representatives to offer common goals and views on sometimes diverse solutions to the NYS Board of Regents. Nevertheless, we conclude that we have an obligation to contribute our views and offer initial thoughts in response to each of the Governor’s points."
  • NYS PTA Responses to Questions Posed to NYSSBA Panel - NYS PTA responsed to questions posed to a NYSSBA Panel by Timothy Kremer, Executive Director of NYS School Boards Association, on October 19, 2015. Click here to read NYS PTA responses presented by Executive Administrator Rick Longhurst.
    • Excerpt from the responses - "Schools aren’t factories. We’re in the people business, not the widget business. Successful schools are built on common focus and collaboration. Successful collaborations are built on productive relationships and productive relationships are based on mutual trust."

A Few Notes.....
  • The Parent Teacher Magazine is now available electronically and is not only available from the website but is also now being sent directly to members as you requested when we surveyed you last spring. 
  • The 119th Annual Convention will be here before you know it. It will be in Niagara Falls from November 13-15. This year we will be offering live streaming capability from our website to our General Sessions 1-3. So if you are unable to be there with us, you will be able to view the proceedings from our website. We will be sending out more information about this in the upcoming weeks....
Thank you for all that you do for children....


Bonnie M. Russell

NYS PTA® President
Communicate to Advocate!