NYSUT’s Member Action Center Is An Important Online Tool You Should Know About
Posted by The NCCFT Executive Committee
If you don’t know yet about NYSUT’s Member Action Center (MAC), now is a good time to find out. It’s a place online where you can find out about and—by doing nothing more then clicking a few buttons—take action concerning the day’s most pressing labor issues confronting those of us in education. We know we’re under attack on a whole host of fronts—charter schools want to create their own teacher certification program, the Department of Education plans to roll back Obama era protections for higher education consumers, there have been consistent attacks around the country on LGBTQ rights (including the rights of transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice), and the Department of education has announced that it will limit the scope of its Title IX enforcement, just to name a few.
These attacks come at us so hard and so fast that it can be difficult to know which issue to respond to, how, and when. The Member Action Center makes it easy. Once you register, you should sign up to receive alerts and NYUST will let you know, by text or email, when a pressing issue demands action. You can also make visiting the MAC a regular part of how you spend your time online. There’s an even app you can download to your phone or tablet. Once you’re at the MAC, choose the issue(s) on which you want to take action, click a few buttons, and a fax or an email will be sent to your legislator(s) or other relevant authorities. The MAC will even help you call them, if that’s what you want to do. Here are some of the issues being highlighted on the MAC right now:
- The SUNY Charter School Committee’s attempt to bypass NY State teacher certification standards
- A petition to get Carl Paladino off the Buffalo School Board
- A call for open, accessible elections
- A call to Congress to reject the Trump/DeVos education budget
- A call to fund SUNY & CUNY with a real maintenance of effort
- A call to pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act in NY State
- A call to support workplace violence reduction
And here’s an example of the fax or email that the MAC will send on your behalf:
Subject: Don’t Lower Certification Standards for SUNY-Authorized Charters
Dear Committee Member,
I am writing to express my concern over the SUNY Charter School Committee’s consideration of regulations proposed by the charter school industry that would allow some charter networks to bypass state certification standards and set up their own training programs for teachers. This regulatory change would mean that students in publicly funded charters could be taught by individuals who have had as little as thirty hours of classroom instruction. These proposed regulations emerged quietly in the final hours of the legislative session, and they were intended to create a backdoor to certification for some SUNY-authorized charter schools.
I find this completely unacceptable.
New York has high standards for earning teacher certification, because our students deserve to learn from well-prepared teachers held to clear, consistent and transparent academic and professional standards. It is essential that we keep it this way for all our students.
I strongly urge you to reject these outrageous proposed changes and prevent the creation of this backdoor to certification for some SUNY-authorized schools.
Thank you for your time and attention to this important matter.
Some other things you can do on the MAC:
- Keep up with NYSUT’s blog
- Listen or subscribe to NYSUT’s new MAC Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud
One issue that we’ll start talking more about once the fall semester starts, but which has been on NYSUT’s radar for a while, is the NYS Constitutional Convention that will be on the ballot in November. We agree with NYSUT that it’s a very bad idea and we’re sure that, once we start telling you why, you’ll agree with us. The MAC will help make it easier to defeat the ballot initiative in November.