Karen Magee

Karen Magee: Thoughts On Back To School

Aug 25, 2016

In just a few weeks, parents will send their children back to school. Already, we see vans and S-U-Vs on the Thruway, packed to the gills with the belongings that college students need to fill their dorm rooms and start the semester off right.

There has been a lot of hand-wringing lately about New York’s teacher shortage.

Karen Magee: Lessons From Orlando

Jun 23, 2016

Like the rest of America, I woke up on the morning of June 12th to shock and horror.

Karen Magee: Walking For Farmworker Justice

May 19, 2016

Amid the turmoil of Vietnam and the civil rights movement, the great Elvis Presley once sang — as only the King could sing — about the need for tolerance and compassion in society.

In this year’s race for the White House, candidates have addressed college affordability and student debt – two issues that are vitally important to New York families.

For the state budget cycle that began in January and for the expiring terms of several members of the Board of Regents, we’re coming down the homestretch and the winds of change are blowing.

Karen Magee: A History-Making Year

Feb 25, 2016

March is Women’s History Month. It is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the amazing accomplishments of the many women who have helped build and lead our great nation -- women like Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks and Geraldine Ferraro.

Karen Magee: Progress Toward Teach And Inspire

Jan 21, 2016

As I sat listening to Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address, I was struck by the more positive tone he took toward public education. His words of respect for the great work that New York’s dedicated teachers do in their classrooms are much appreciated. 

Audio Pending...

To pop the champagne or not pop the champagne, that is the question.

Karen Magee: Recognizing The Dignity Of Work

Nov 27, 2015

Three million working New Yorkers struggle to get by on $8.75 an hour – a minimum wage that makes it impossible for families to meet basic needs.

Karen Magee: The Politics Of Receivership

Oct 29, 2015

In an impoverished section of Albany, the Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy is an oasis.

There, caring and dedicated Albany teachers provide a safe, nurturing learning environment for 300 or so students — 90 percent of whom are economically disadvantaged.

Karen Magee: Swinging Back Towards Sanity

Sep 25, 2015

I normally don’t put too much stock in opinion polls.

But, let me be honest with you: I smiled broadly when I heard about the recent Quinnipiac poll on education.

Karen Magee: Drawing Meaning From The Meaningless

Aug 30, 2015

Earlier this month, the State Education Department released student scores on state standardized tests. Yet, most of the media coverage centered on the 220,000 students who opted out of those tests.

Karen Magee: The Value Of Union Membership

Jul 24, 2015

Driving on the Thruway recently, I saw a bumper sticker that made me smile.

The bumper sticker read:  Labor Unions:  The folks who brought you the weekend, child labor laws, overtime, minimum wage, pension security … and more.

Two words — “sharp dissent” — are not normally used in the same sentence as “New York State Board of Regents.”

Karen Magee: Why Do The Rich Need More Tax Credits?

May 21, 2015

Two recent events — one political, one cultural — offer a glimpse into two worlds.

Karen Magee: In It For The Long Haul

Apr 23, 2015

How many times have we heard that old cliché: It’s a marathon, not a sprint?

Karen Magee: About Those Standardized Tests…

Mar 19, 2015

If you’re listening right now, you’ve probably taken a test.

Karen Magee: Calling Governor "Out Of Touch"

Feb 10, 2015

Governor Cuomo has made it clear: He doesn’t respect teachers or public education.  He doesn’t understand the stress placed on students by high-stakes tests.  Nor does he seem to have any use for parents’ voice, or the democratic way that communities build their local school budgets.

Karen Magee: The Battle for Public Education

Jan 13, 2015

A battle for the future of public education is simmering in Albany.  It’s a battle that – as president of New York State United Teachers – I’m very comfortable having.

Ark Charter School

  Education will be a big issue in 2015, with lines already drawn between teachers at public schools, and Governor Andrew Cuomo and the charter school movement.

Before the New Year even began, the state’s largest teachers union was already making its displeasure with Governor Andrew Cuomo known, by protesting outside the governor’s mansion.

New York State United Teachers President Karen Magee says teachers are angry over what they see as Governor Cuomo’s increasingly negative view of their union, and the public education system in general.  

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Teachers union members and pro-charter school advocates demonstrated outside the governor’s mansion on New Year’s Eve, as inside, Governor Andrew Cuomo and his partner Sandra Lee greeted guests who won a lottery to attend an annual open house, one day before the governor is to begin his second term.

Around 100 teachers from several regions of the state gathered in the biting cold to protest what they believe is Governor Cuomo’s unfair stance against teachers and the union that represents them. They even wrote a song, that in part, labels the governor “clueless.”

  The resignation of John King as New York State Education Commissioner has the potential to be a significant turning point for public education.

King’s departure presents a real opportunity – an opportunity NOT to criticize anew but to, instead, hit the “reset” button  and steer public education in a more positive direction.  

Teachers want a serious conversation about what’s needed in this next chapter for the state’s public education system.  And, they want to be a part of that conversation with the Regents and other stakeholders.

It's been a long, brutal winter -- metaphorically -- for public education.

Karen Magee: Tearing Off The Gag

Oct 23, 2014

Every spring, New York students must sit for hours on end, filling in bubbles on standardized tests that purport to measure their progress in English Language Arts, science and math.

Karen Magee: Your Vote And Your Voice

Sep 23, 2014

Aretha Franklin’s 1967 hit song “Respect” is on my mind these days.

Teacher tenure is one of the most misunderstood concepts in education. Misinformation and outright lies are spread by those who want to take away rights from teachers and destroy teacher unions.

NYSUT Not Ready To Reverse No Confidence Vote

Jul 19, 2014
nysut.org

The president of the New York State Teachers Union says members aren’t yet ready to rescind a vote of no confidence in state Education Commissioner John King, despite improved relations in recent months.

Karen Magee: Teaching Is An Art

Jun 11, 2014

When I taught special education in my hometown of Harrison, one of my students achieved an educational milestone.

Karen Magee: Tax Cap Undermines Democratic Ideals

May 19, 2014

School budget voting is supposed to remind us of our nation’s democratic ideals.

You know: Community members vote each May on their local school budgets and determine which candidates are best suited to serve on local school boards. 

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