Rochester Teachers Association


Three busloads of people headed from Rochester to Albany on Tuesday to demand an increase in education funding.

Rochester City School student Maya Adams led a chant,“Whose money! Our Money! Our Schools! Our Schools!” from the well of the state Capitol. She’s part of a group including students, teachers, and Rochester residents hoping to prevent further layoffs in the district. The district laid off about 100 teachers mid-year because of an estimated $65 million budget shortfall.

We continue our series of conversations about the proposed cuts in the Rochester City School District. Last week, former RCSD teacher and current doctoral candidate at the Warner School of Education, Robert Hoggard, told the Connections audience that he thinks it’s time for new leadership in the Rochester Teacher’s Association.

Adam Urbanski was elected president of the RTA in 1981 and has held the position since. Hoggard says Urbanski “has been wielding too much power in the school district and hiding behind organized labor.”

Urbanski joins us in studio today to share his perspective on the proposed cuts and to address the criticism from Hoggard. In studio:

  • Adam Urbanski, president of the Rochester Teacher’s Association

The Rochester City School District is moving toward adopting a new code of conduct, but plans are mired in controversy. The code is designed to lead to fewer suspensions, less of a police presence in school buildings, and more focus on restorative practices and structural racism.

Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski says the new code will fail without more funding and more staff support. Members of the Community Task Force who co-wrote the report with Urbanski disagree. Our guests discuss the code and the concerns. In studio:

  • Adam Urbanski, president of the Rochester Teachers Association
  • Mary Adams, member of the Community Task Force and the Rochester City School Board
  • Kit Miller, director of the Gandhi Institute

RTA President Speaks Out on Teacher Evaluation Ratings

Oct 23, 2013
City Newspaper

The leader of the local teachers union is speaking out on recently released teacher evaluation ratings.

According to the State Education Department, more than 90% of public school teachers outside of New York City received high scores. They were ranked either “highly effective” or “effective.”

While the ratings may seem favorable, Rochester Teachers Association President, Adam Urbanski, said they don’t tell the whole story.