Recent Articles

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Millionaires Tax Budget Action

RORE Members joined other school employees, parents, and community members across NYS  to get educated about Senator Robert Jackson's bill, The Millionaires Tax to fully fund education, and then joined in a collective action. 6/9/2020.


Monday, June 29, 2020

RTA & RAP Members Re-entry Survey



Let your voice be heard.

As our district makes plans for what the 2020-2021 school year might look like, make sure you share your opinions.

This survey has been adapted from the Oakland Education Association, in preparation for the 2020-2021 school year.

Plan on needing 5-10 minutes to complete the survey. Share widely. The more feedback we can share with our leadership, the better their understanding will be of the desires of their members.

This survey was created by RORE.  Only collective data will be shared with RTA, the District and the rest of the community.  No identifying information will be shared.

Click Here to Begin the Survey

Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Effect of Displaced Teachers on Special Education Students

[The following was submitted to Dr. Shelley Jallow by RORE Steering Committee Member, Lianne Dupree.]

Dear Dr. Jallow,

I am a Special Education teacher in the Rochester City School District. For 12 years, I have served RCSD.  I was recently displaced from my elementary self-contained 6:1:2 Autism Spectrum Disorder classroom due to having multiple certifications in teaching including English (Grades 7-12) and English Students with Disabilities (Grades 7-12).  I also have Childhood Education and Students with Disabilities Childhood Education (Grades 1-6) certification.  I have taught in the elementary setting for the past 5 years and had no intention of returning to high school as I am able to have a profound positive impact in the lives of my current students and see that our students need passionate Special Education teachers in the elementary that do have knowledge of the expectations of high school to help adequately prepare them for the transitions they will face in their futures.

Many of my fellow Special Education teachers who were displaced in our District had Generalist Special Education (Grades k-12) certification as when they obtained their degrees, this was what was available in their teacher preparation programs. Many of my colleagues would have pursued elementary Special Education certification had it been offered at the time.

By forcing Elementary Special Education teachers to teach in the high school setting, RCSD is in violation of contract protocols, best practices, and the rights of our students and families.

Many of the displaced educators taught in specialized programs such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Growth and Education for Students with Multiple Disabilities; these programs have students that have the highest need for stability, consistency, and continuity of instruction.  Our GEM students are often medically fragile and need a teacher that can direct all classroom staff to provide for the individual health needs of each student, failure to do this can have detrimental effects on the students.  Our students with ASD thrive with predictable routines, ones that take experience to formulate in order to reduce stress and anxiety that lead to meltdowns.  Displacing these teachers jeopardize students’ emotional, mental, social, and physical well-being.

Many of the displaced Special Education teachers with K-12 Special Education certification have no prior experience with teaching in the high school setting.  They have not stepped foot in a high school for educational purposes since they attended high school.

Their lack of experience and expertise at the high school level will have a profound negative impact on the lives of their future high school students. How can a teacher who has no prior experience in the high school setting adequately advise and provide instruction in content that surpasses their own instructional experience?

According to the Every Student Succeeds Act, “the qualifications described in subparagraph (A) shall ensure that each person employed as a special education teacher in the State who teaches elementary school, middle school, or secondary school has obtained full State certification as a special education teacher (including participating in an alternate route to certification as a special educator, if such alternate route meets minimum requirements described in section 200.56(a)(2)(ii) of title 34, Code of Federal Regulations, as such section was in effect on November 28, 2008), or passed the State special education teacher licensing examination, and holds a license to teach in the State as a special education teacher, except with respect to any teacher teaching in a public charter school who shall meet the requirements set forth in the State’s public charter school law; has not had special education certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis; and holds at least a bachelor’s degree.” (Sec. 9214 (d)(2))”

The displaced teachers with K-12 Generalist Special Education Certification do not have the appropriate certification according to the Statement of Continued Eligibility (SOCE) for Certain Special Education Teachers.  Each displaced teacher will need to take additional exams, courses, workshops, and invest hundreds of dollars into obtaining content certification appropriate for the high school level, that they are not even passionate or interested in teaching.  These teachers that were passionate about their elementary positions will potentially lose their jobs because they were forced into the high school setting and do not have the applicable licenses.

Students in high school are also required to take the New York State Regents Exams.  The displaced teachers with K-12 Generalist Special Education Certification have no experience in the Regents exams to adequately prepare their future students for their graduation requirements. The teachers also do not have appropriate experience with providing transition services or recommendations for students after high school as it is not appropriate to determine or coordinate these services at the elementary level.  It is likely that these displaced teachers will not provide adequate transition services or recommendations as they have no experience or knowledge of the process and local resources available to make sufficient recommendations based on an individual’s needs at that level.

Schools must also notify parents whenever their student has been assigned, or has been taught for 4 or more consecutive weeks, by a teacher who does not meet applicable State certification or licensure requirements at the grade level and subject area in which the teacher has been assigned.

Students will no longer have a Free Appropriate Public Education as it is inappropriate to place a teacher in a setting without experience, knowledge, or desire to teach in those classrooms. The students will not have an education to meet their own unique needs. The displaced teachers will not be able to provide specially designed instruction to meet students needs.  Available accommodations/modifications  may not be met or suggested due to the lack of knowledge of the specific grade level resources available.  The students in both elementary and the high school classrooms have faced educational violations of their rights.

Parents and families rights have also been violated with these recent displacements.  Due process for families regarding the change for instruction was neglected, parents had to find out about the elementary teachers being displaced from the teachers themselves.  There was no support offered by the District in obtaining parents input and discussing the needs of the student regarding this transition.  According to ESSA, Schools must also notify parents whenever their student has been assigned, or has been taught for 4 or more consecutive weeks, by a teacher who does not meet applicable State certification or licensure requirements at the grade level and subject area in which the teacher has been assigned. Currently, RCSD has made no attempt or plan to contact families at the high school level that will have new teachers without the appropriate certification.

Is displacing Special Education teachers from a position they are excelling in, finding growth and success with students and their families truly the precedent that is going to be set regarding best practices in education all under the guise of preventing layoffs?  The rights regarding seniority for teachers are violated, and these educators have been offered little to no recourse.  Passion for education of these veteran educators who have dedicated themselves to servicing the highest needs population is completely disregarded.  Providing the best educational experience and meeting the individual needs for all students should be at the forefront of decisions made that impact the students and families of our learning community.  By neglecting students, families, and teachers voices, we have jeopardized the well-being of our children.  I implore you to listen to these teachers, students, and families about the profound negative impact this has in our District and urge you to change it.

With Gratitude,
Lianne Dupree

Sunday, June 14, 2020

In Solidarity with Black Lives Matter Petition (Please Sign)

Rochester Organization of Rank-and-file Educators in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, our students and their families, and the larger Rochester community.


The Rochester Organization of Rank and File Educators (RORE) values and supports the needs of our students, their families, and their communities. As educators and unionists in Rochester, we see first hand how decades of racist policing and immoral policy decisions affect the youngest community members. A partnership between the RCSD and the RPD further perpetuates systematic racism, the school-to-prison pipeline, and increased trauma for our youth. Like others who have begun to speak up, we have had enough.
 

RORE believes that Black Lives Matter. We will continue, alongside our union sisters and brothers, to stand in solidarity against systemic racism. We demand justice and equity for our students and their families.

 

See and Sign Full Petition Here

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Black Lives Matter

The Rochester Organization of Rank and File Educators (RORE) values and supports the needs of our students, their families, and their communities. As educators and unionists in Rochester, we see first hand how decades of racist policing and immoral policy decisions affect the youngest community members. A partnership between the RCSD and the RPD further perpetuates systematic racism, the school-to-prison pipeline, and increased trauma for our youth. Like others who have begun to speak up, we have had enough. 

RORE believes that Black Lives Matter. We will continue, alongside our union sisters and brothers, to stand in solidarity against systemic racism. We demand justice and equity for our students and their families. An injury to one is an injury to all!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

NYS Day of Action for Educators

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSceqB0BIja0FiJ_f4LfF75AzOCLUb6q39eo1nKRqvkyWJPXRg/viewform

 

We are stronger together.


The state budget passed on April 1, 2020 with 0% increase in funding for schools, meaning there will be about a 5% cut. There are two more opportunities to alter the state budget; the first is June 30 and then December. Governor Cuomo is threatening to cut 20% in state funding to our schools. Even before the pandemic, our schools were owed $3.9 billion in “Foundation Aid” to our public schools by a State court order.

Help us send a strong, unified message urging to #FundNYSchools on Monday, June 8th, from 10am to 4pm.  Our students are depending on it.


For a full toolkit on ways you can participate, RSVP at this link



https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSceqB0BIja0FiJ_f4LfF75AzOCLUb6q39eo1nKRqvkyWJPXRg/viewform

Sunday, May 3, 2020

How Should We Choose the Next RCSD Superintendent?

[RORE has developed a process to choose the next Superintendent of the Rochester City School District.  We invite your feedback either in the comments here, on our social media, or in an email to us at rore49united (at) gmail (dot) com.]
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The procedure for choosing a Superintendent of the Rochester City School District (RCSD) has not resulted in long-term success for quite a long time.  The Board of Education (BOE) is to hire the Superintendent, but there has not been substantial community involvement in this process.  Therefore, a committee made up of stakeholders should be formed to reduce the number of applicants to 10 from which the BOE may choose.   After this, all interviews conducted by the BOE should be done in a public manner via the internet so that the community can observe.  Once a suitable number of candidates remain (2 or 3), community forums with each should occur before the BOE makes its final decision. 

This screening committee should be composed of:
*2 citizens from each City Council district; one from each district must be a parent of of a RCSD student. (8 total)
*2 high school students from the Rochester City School District (full participants)
*2 rank & file members from Rochester Teachers Association (RTA) who live in the city.
*2 rank & file members from Board of Education Non-Teaching Employees (BENTE) who live in the city.
*2 rank & file members from Rochester Association of Paraprofessionals (RAP) who live in the city.
*2 rank & file members from Association of Supervisors and Administrators of Rochester (ASAR) who live in the city.

18 people total with a BOE Liaison. 

Note: Due to time constraints, this procedure is for 2020.  If willing, the committee put together could be tasked with creating a more permanent procedure for future Superintendent hirings after their initial screening responsibility is finished.