The underpinnings I wish to acknowledge are those of my union, New York State United Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers and my local, the Amityville Teachers Association. Here in New York State, with its complicated and often controversial political system, my union, NYSUT, plays a pivotal and crucial role in the policies that affect the academic and economic lives of teachers. From its initial efforts more than 25 years ago, NYSUT has forged itself into an organization that supports its members in the classroom, at the negotiation table, in the community and with legal obstacles locals can face in their individual communities.
What is the union but a community? Having served on two Task Forces within NYSUT, I've seen firsthand how the issues affecting our membership at the local and state levels are handled. I've seen the national, state and local union function as a community, as a village, and I commend them for their efforts.
This new, new technology of the internet for the first time can enable educators to speak and publicize their students work in and out of the classroom to a much larger audience than their individual schools. This technology also enables me to publicly thank the people who help New York students learn - New York State United Teachers!