Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Teacher Contract Negotiations - End Run Defense

The SEA has responded to the District's effort to communicate directly with the teachers about the contract negotiations with this message for the teachers:
August 3, 2010

The TRUTH about SERVE Seattle

(Please read and pass on)

Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson and Board Member Steve Sundquist sent all certificated staff an email tonight. The email contains and describes what they are calling SERVE Seattle.

It is the district's bargaining proposal that ties student growth based on test scores to certificated evaluations. The SEA held five focus group meetings last week to get input on the district’s proposal. We had over 200 certificated employees present at the focus group meetings, representing 57 schools and programs. Now the superintendent believes that if she just emails each of you; maybe you will put pressure on SEA and the bargaining team to go the way the district wants us to. The truth of the matter is that the email they sent you leaves out important details. Based on what our members told us at building visits, through the bargaining survey, and at last week’s focus groups, the SEA Bargaining Team will listen to its members and continue to say NO to SERVE Seattle!

Here is the truth:

They say the district is “working together with your SEA representatives to make sure that every teacher gets the tools, time, support, and opportunity needed to help students succeed.” The truth is that SEA has raised the issue of giving teacher’s support around class size/caseload and workload. SEA wants to make sure that you have the tools, time, support, and opportunities needed to help students succeed. SEA has made proposals that are research-based that we know can work to close the achievement gap and raise student academic achievement. Our proposal is in concert with a recent report by leading national civil rights groups.

They say that significant change is happening in education throughout the country, and they are committed to a thoughtful, fair, and collaborative approach that benefits from lessons learned in other districts and builds on their success here in Seattle. The truth is SERVE was not developed in a thoughtful, fair, and collaborative approach. They only argue that others are using it, not that it works. We know that they use something similar in Washington, DC where 241 teachers were just fired in one swoop, while over 700 others were put on notice.

They say SERVE gives teachers and other staff large blocks of collaborative time. The truth is that in exchange for 2 hours of collaboration time every other Friday beginning in 2011-12, you will teach students for 12 minutes longer each of the other nine days prior. The truth is that of the 19 days they offer for collaboration, 5 are district directed, 7 are principal directed, and only 7 are staff directed.

They say SERVE gives career opportunities which will be available at every school with stipends. The truth is that they are not available until 2012-13 and only 3-4 teachers at each school will have the opportunity to partake in them. Teachers would have to opt in to SERVE and be at the highest level in all four domains of the new proposed evaluation tool. Although site based hiring would take place, principals will make the final decision on who gets the positions.

They say SERVE offers support for new and developing teachers, almost doubling the number of STAR mentors to support professional growth in instructional practice. The truth is that the joint SEA and SPS STAR Panel made the recommendation to improve the STAR program and it was not originally tied to SERVE.

They say SERVE will provide detailed information about student outcomes to help teachers understand the effects of their practice on all students they serve. The truth is that MAP already provides you with detailed information and SERVE does not enhance that in any way. The truth is that these reports will also be tied to your evaluation.

They say SERVE will provide significant dollars focused on helping principals support struggling teachers by connecting them to relevant professional development, coaching and mentoring opportunities; and doubling the number of HR consulting teachers to support those on performance improvement plans. The truth is that it was the joint STAR panel that developed the language for doubling HR consulting teachers. The truth is they will offer a fund of $500 per teacher evaluated unsatisfactory in 2012-13 to help pay for principal suggested professional development and release time for other teachers to assist them. The truth is that our evaluation proposal, which was jointly developed by an SEA and SPS task force, also gives teachers support when they need it without SERVE.

They say SERVE will recognize the critical work performed in our most challenging schools, by offering stipends to strong-performing teachers in our lowest performing schools. The truth is that teachers will have to be at the highest level in two domains of the proposed evaluation tool to get the service stipend. All other teachers working in the most challenging schools will not get anything extra even if you are working hard to help students achieve. The truth is that teachers will have to have their evaluations tied to student growth using test scores. The truth is that the district’s proposal gives them the discretion to change the eligibility criteria depending on funding availability.

They say the “four-tier” evaluation system developed by the joint SEA and SPS task force is mandatory and will be rolled out over the next two year in all schools. The truth is that the roll out of the new evaluation system HAS TO BE BARGAINED. The district cannot make a unilateral decision of when to roll it out. The new state law requires it be in place by 2013-2014. We are willing to BARGAIN the roll out and have a proposal on the table to make sure it gets rolled out effectively.

They say SERVE allows a teacher to choose when to tie their evaluation to student growth outcomes and peer and student feedback. They will give those who opt in fully to SERVE an immediate 1% increase to TRI. The truth is that those who decide not to opt in would make less money this year than last year due to the state taking away our final learning improvement day and you will have no increase in compensation over the life of their proposed three year contract. The district has told us at the table that you have received big enough raises over the last five years and thus do not need any increase in your compensation over the next three years. The truth is that even though the economy may not be at its best, every teacher in our 11 comparable districts except for Highline will be making at least the same amount of money as this past school year and most will be making more.

They say in the email that those teachers who opt in will receive targeted support if they are struggling. The truth is that the proposed professional growth and evaluation system provided by the joint SEA and SPS task force gives ALL teachers who are struggling some targeted support.

They say that SERVE will use a reliable and balanced set of measures to foster professional growth, including measures determined by teachers themselves. The truth is that the goals that teachers set would have to be determined by you, along with your peers in a professional learning community and then have to be approved by your administrator. There are no measures in SERVE that you have authority to determine by yourself. The joint SEA and SPS developed proposal did allow for individuals to set their own goals or use the reflective nature of a professional learning community.

They say SERVE uses multiple measures that would capture performance in student learning outcomes and growth. The truth is that the outcomes and growth would be based only on student test scores on MAP, the new state MSP, and end of course assessments. The truth is that only teachers of tested subjects will have to fulfill this requirement which is 25% of their overall evaluation. They will be held to a different standard than their peers who teach in non-tested subjects.

They say SERVE uses multiple measures and the overall school performance would be part of your evaluation. The truth is that your evaluation will now be based partly on how others in the school perform. You will now be evaluated on other people’s work and not just your own.

They say SERVE uses multiple measures and would capture performance in service to and collaboration with peers and students. The truth is that the district wants to survey your students, parents, and even your colleagues and then include those survey results as part of your evaluation.

They say in the upcoming year, teachers and administrators will work together in a joint committee designed to finalize details of the evaluation system and the supports offered to teachers. They say the new multi-faceted evaluation tool will be “fair, comprehensive, and reliable”. The truth is that this is a proposal of theirs and it would have to be bargained. The truth is that we proposed that the district use the SIG schools and a blind study of those members piloting the new “four-tier” evaluation system to see if the evaluation and student growth coincide. They told us they have “confidence” that their SERVE proposal would be “fair and reliable” and do now want to do any study.

They say they will roll out SERVE in 2011-12 as a tool for professional development and growth. The truth is that the proposed professional growth and evaluation that was jointly developed by the SEA and SPS task force truly is a tool for professional development and growth. The truth is that the district is looking to mechanize evaluations and automate the firing of teachers.

They say they remain committed to a collaborative process at the negotiation table. The truth is that last week, the superintendent told a representative of the Washington Policy Center that with the failure of the collaborative approach, the district will now be engaged in classic, and contentious, union/management negotiations, a process that will take many months. When asked whether the District was preparing for a possible strike, her answer was, yes, but I’m not at liberty to give out details. The truth is that SEA has been willing to collaborate around areas that will truly help close the academic achievement gap and help raise student achievement. SERVE DOES NOT meet this need.

They say that providing all teachers the opportunity to improve their practice is the pathway to increased student achievement. The truth is that we definitely agree with this. Improving professional practice is ONE way of increasing student achievement. The joint SEA and SPS evaluation task force has proposed language that will help teachers improve their professional practice. It uses a standards based “four-tier” evaluation tool that is linked to improving student academic achievement. The district, itself, has provided research studies that show there is a correlation between the standards based evaluation tool and student academic performance. We want to give the jointly developed evaluation system a try. The jointly proposed system is designed to create a culture of continuous improvement. SERVE does not. Their mechanized system is one of minimal rewards and automated punishments.

They say nothing in their email about the cost of SERVE. The truth is it will cost over $3.9 million dollars over the next four years. The truth is that part of this cost includes hiring 3 new managers. The truth is that the $3.9 million dollars is strictly for operational costs to put SERVE in place; it does not include any of the stipends for career ladders, stipends for working in low performing schools, or the 1% increase for opting in to the program.

SERVE Seattle does not serve students, families, or educators!

Go to the SEA website at www.seattlewea.org and see the district’s SERVE proposal.

25 comments:

Charlie Mas said...

Now that the negotiations have been taken public...

I have no doubt that the District letter to teachers describing SERVE will appear in the local media - prominently in the Seattle Times.

Likewise, I have little confidence that this message, refuting the District's letter, will get similar coverage.

Anonymous said...

Last sunday I had called a person whom I knew would have some knowledge of the collective bargaining negotiations. This person told me they wouldn't mind if I shared this information on the blog, provided I was careful to protect the person's identity.

This is a quotation of what is in my notes, taken during the phone conversation:

"district has many proposal for merit pay [which means] tying test scores to teacher pay.

[District] "wants a review board through the district. Superintendent and Review Board will have power together to over-ride a principal's review. The override is non-grievable.

"In effect, this eviscerates the Union."

Anonymous said...

This message may not get the coverage from the MSM - especially the anti-public-education Seattle Times - but it is certainly getting sent around to different districts/union organizations. We know that what comes to Seattle will come to us eventually, so if we spread the word now, we can prepare our members for what will be coming. Quite a few of us live in Seattle even though we teach elsewhere, so we WILL be speaking with our neighbors to make sure they understand what this really means.
I just have to wonder though - are there ANY superintendents out there who don't have major conflicts of interest such as MGJ? Perhaps that should be in the terms of employment..... or perhaps it is but isn't enforced...

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure this would not be happening if Raj was still the Superintendent...

kprugman said...

I see two outcomes - either the board or MGJ resigns. First the closures, then the audit, and now more bad news.

To pull a yes-get out the vote campaign is going to cost them plenty. Political icarisms are getting harder for the un-class to swallow. I hope their superior hearts weigh heavy, because their collective conscience has a long way to fall.

Peter Wilson said...

Experienced teachers will shine in the largest portion of the evaluation pie, admin's view of classroom instruction. I say, send out the parent/student surveys but don't tie that piece to teachers' evals. Otherwise, it looks pretty good to me. Standardized test scores should enter the picture, but not be the focus.

kprugman said...

I suppose if I worked at a school for just the gifted and talented I'd be jumping for joy over merit pay.

Are Milwaukee teachers thrilled about their contracts?

This article was from way back in 1999. How so little we teachers learn.

MERIT PAY WON'T WORK IN SCHOOLS, a paper by Adam Urbanski was discussed in EDUCATION WEEK, January 15, 1999.

Urbanski is quoted as saying, "Anyone who promotes merit pay MUST BELIEVE THAT TEACHERS ARE BEST MOTIVATED BY FINANCIAL INCENTIVES. They assume that teachers could do a better job, but they are holding back because there is not enough in it for them. WRONG."

Urbanski continues, "The WORST THING ABOUT TYING PAY TO PERFORMANCE in education is that it leads to HARMFUL PRACTICE for the very students that it purports to help.

Children's learning suffers when TEACHERS ARE FORCED TO WORRY MORE ABOUT TEST SCORES THAN ABOUT REAL LEARNING."

Urbanski says that, "merit pay WON'T make our classrooms less crowded, WON'T make our schools safer, WON'T get parents more involved in their children's schoolwork, WON'T end social promotions, WON'T lead to higher behavioral and academic standards, and it certainly WON'T improve teaching or pupil learning...that merit pay would encourage divisive competition in a profession that requires cooperation and teamwork...that students learn best when teachers collaborate - not when teachers are forced to compete for money... (and finally, what we all know and can't control) that children's learning is also affected by circumstances related to their home environment, health care, nutrition, and other factors".

Urbanski says that, "THERE IS NO CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT MERIT PAY HAS RESULTED IN IMPROVED STUDENT LEARNING IN ANY SCHOOL OR SCHOOL DISTRICT!"



When dogma finally dies, education will be reborn.

Eric M said...

Peter Wilson, please read my post on the previous thread about the Supe's letter.

To summarize: admin barely does or has time to do classroom evaluations now. Whatever the formula, in practice, admin will use a number handed to them to characterize a teacher. That number, in practice, will be all that matters. Once in place, it will matter not at all that the number is generated by a crappy, meaningless, for-profit test.

kprugman said...

The Education Alliance's problem is there's only one pocket and too many hands reaching in at the same time. The school board revised plan is turn the school upside down, catch the money as it apparently falls from out of the sky, and then let it trickle back up to help fill a gigantic swimming pool probably located somewhere on the Med.

MathTeacher42 said...

I wish this counter message had

some bullet points !
a different presentation !

For Example,
have a soundbite,
have a quick statement,
have a url to your tome of proof.

EXAMPLE:

Start Each Point With A Sound Bite.

Have a quick statement with some bigger words and bigger sentences. The Sound Bite should be restricted to ... 14? syllables. The quick statement should be restricted to 3 or 4 sentences which are NOT complex.

http://HereIsURLToYourTomePROVINGYourPoint

END EXAMPLE

Dear English Teachers - these communications are political, and in this day and age, you either win or you lose - we're NOT playing a game where, at the end, everyone gets a gelato, a huge, and a trophy.

Read the Federalist #10,
Read what Madison says about factions,
Write to win,
NOT to get into the Kennedy School of Government.

(p.s. - IF you win, David Gergen & Greg Nickels will probably have lunch with ya after you leave Logan in your Limo on the way to Cambridge. )

BM

Eric M said...

New info from the Supe:

http://www.seattleschools.org/area/laborrelations/index.dxml

Including a link to a new editorial in the Seattle Times: another well-deserved ass-kicking for teachers!
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2012536250_guest05burgess.html

Interesting how the district knows what's in the Seattle Times almost before the Times does!

kprugman said...

An ox-herder may just hire the "right" kind of person to get the job done – people with commitment, polemical skills, and, above all, the imagination to find the evidence other professionals could not refute...

when you need a bullet, don't hire a mullet.

Eric M said...

My response to the latest stupidity from the Seattle Times:

Judging teachers by scores on an unproven test is a stupid, stupid idea.

Emperor's new clothes: classic groupthink by the witless councilmen.

It's a worse idea when the test is not age appropriate, not in line with the curriculum teachers are expected to teach, and really really expensive.

It's an even worse idea when the Superintendent (don't we pay her enough already - I mean, sheesh, more than the governor ???) SITS ON THE BOARD OF THE TESTING COMPANY (NWEA, an out-of-state, hugely profitable megacorp).

People,
a) don't we already pay her enough to get her full attention? (A: nope. Read over the recent damning and exceedingly lengthy audit of SPS. There's immense problems. Any normal worker, given this audit, would already be looking for new work)

b) Shouldn't she have disclosed her connection to this company before helping to arrange a very substantial multi-year contract between NWEA and SPS? (A: nope. No need, apparently, if you're arrogant enough.)

c) Shouldn't the School Board have called her on the carpet for this egregious conflict of interest? (A: should have, didn't, cuz they're rubber-stamping every stupid move. Note that there is a recall petition filed for 5 of the Board members, the ones that voted to extend the Superintendent's contract.....drum roll..... until 2013!)

This Superintendent and her gaggle of geese in high places are goading us teachers into a strike, mindless of the immense harm that causes teachers, students, families, schools, and the district.

The goal: turn public education into a revenue stream. Never mind the collateral damage.

Every time you sit a kid down in front of a MAP test, picture wasted educational resources, wasted student time and energy, a dumbed-down, teach-to-the test education, and money standing up and walking right out of our community, never to be seen again.

Makes me sick.

StepJ said...

The PI also has a story.

Essay Service said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

What is the SEA's proposal to evaluate teachers in a thoughtful, meaningful way? It's a union's job to protect their workers' rights, not to assure that workers are doing a good job. So how does the SEA propose to evaluate teachers and support their development?

kprugman said...

Good question anon, 'evaluate [teachers] in a thoughtful, meaningful way' - Words from a union?

There's nothing like that coming from our Union. We don't believe in rolling over. Teaching it to us, does no good.

The district hasn't thought through the plan well enough to understand what language they must use to be more precise.

In a world of absolutes, precision leads to paradoxes. This is why Hegelian universes, though beautiful, poison our future and fail catastrophically.

broadviewmom said...

I've just read the district's SERVE program in detail. And I think it's a very transparent proposal, with clear processes, fair timelines, and thoughtful opportunities for collaboration between SEA as a whole, SPS, and individual teachers. It takes into account a teacher's own goals, rates them not on only one “scoresheet” but on a range of individual components, requires two years of collaboration between SPS and SEA before implementation, sets a very lovely goal of for teachers to be rated as "exemplary" or "innovative" (which would allow poorer-performing but well-meaning instructors to learn from those excellent teachers), evaluates students against their peers who have performed like them in previous assessments (so it's hardly a "bar is set too high" kind of problem), allows two years for teachers to show improvement, measures whole school growth (which spreads out the work and puts accountability into the hands of building leadership), incorporates parent and student feedback (shouldn't teachers listen to parents and students if they are CONSISTENTLY rated as a poor performer?), and not until 2012/13 - after two years of collaboration - are teachers' evaluations tied to SERVE. Finally, if a teacher's score is high in one area but low in another, there's a process in place to evaluate that and support the teacher.

So what's the flipping problem here?

The union is clearly stonewalling, bellyaching, whining, and misleading the public.

The union's position that we cannot evaluate teachers who are serving poor students from challenging environments because they’re up against so much doesn't take into account that thousands of teachers nationwide have implemented innovative ways to engage parents and support student learning – and in SERVE, those teachers would have an opportunity to shine within their buildings, to say, “See? This works – try it.”

And the whole Michelle Rhee red herring - please. Arguments against Michelle Rhee, NCLB, and Washington DC schools has become a red herring. We're comparing apples to oranges here. She's evaluating schools on NCLB, when NCLB is either on its way out or seriously amended.


The arguments that teachers have to teach a whole 12 minutes longer each day, and that because of state funding, the 1% increase they receive if they opt-in doesn’t address what they’ve lost in wages because of the economy, is really hard to swallow. Ditto for the argument that stipends for excellent teachers at challenging schools (but not for everyone there) is meaningless to me. Likewise for the argument that teachers in Seattle make less than other districts -- they still seem to be applying here.

The SEA's arguments against serve are pretty weak, and their proposal is full of flowery, vague language.

The union is stonewalling, and criticizing every single goal of SERVE. Every SINGLE ONE. Looks to me like the union is concerned only with protecting its members. I don’t really care about teacher’s rights any more.

The SEA’s arguments and Randi Weingarten’s posturing have made me turn a deaf ear to teachers. I think parents will pony-up to help pay for SERVE, because we're not hearing a counter-proposal that's more concrete and transparent.

broadviewmom said...

I've just read the district's SERVE program in detail. And I think it's a very transparent proposal, with clear processes, fair timelines, and thoughtful opportunities for collaboration between SEA as a whole, SPS, and individual teachers. It takes into account a teacher's own goals, rates them not on only one “scoresheet” but on a range of individual components, requires two years of collaboration between SPS and SEA before implementation, sets a very lovely goal of for teachers to be rated as "exemplary" or "innovative" (which would allow poorer-performing but well-meaning instructors to learn from those excellent teachers), evaluates students against their peers who have performed like them in previous assessments (so it's hardly a "bar is set too high" kind of problem), allows two years for teachers to show improvement, measures whole school growth (which spreads out the work and puts accountability into the hands of building leadership), incorporates parent and student feedback (shouldn't teachers listen to parents and students if they are CONSISTENTLY rated as a poor performer?), and not until 2012/13 - after two years of collaboration - are teachers' evaluations tied to SERVE. Finally, if a teacher's score is high in one area but low in another, there's a process in place to evaluate that and support the teacher.

So what's the flipping problem here?

The union is clearly stonewalling, bellyaching, whining, and misleading the public. Period.

The argument that teachers at poor performing schools can’t possibly be fairly evaluated because they’re up against so much disregards the fact that thousands of teachers nationwide have implemented innovative ways to engage parents and support student learning – and in SERVE, those teachers have an opportunity to shine within their buildings, to say, “See? This works – try it.”


The arguments that teachers have to teach a whole 12 minutes longer each day, and that because of state funding, the 1% increase they receive if they opt-in doesn’t address what they’ve lost in wages, makes me want to say, "Boo hoo for you."

The criticism in the response that stipends for excellent teachers at challenging schools (but not for everyone there) makes me want to say, "So what?" A whole $500 stipend - ohmygod, not $500!

The criticism that teachers in Seattle make less than other districts? Aren't teachers still applying here? So clearly they want to work here, right? They're OPTING IN to work at the rate of pay here. That doesn't seem to be a problem to me.

The union is stonewalling, and criticizing every single goal of SERVE. Every SINGLE ONE. Looks to me like the union is concerned only with protecting its members. I don’t really care about teacher’s rights any more. The SEA’s arguments and Randi Weingarten’s posturing have made me turn a deaf ear to educator's complaints about teacher evaluations.

Anonymous said...

I've just read the district's SERVE program in detail. And I think it's a very transparent proposal, with clear processes, fair timelines, and thoughtful opportunities for collaboration between SEA as a whole, SPS, and individual teachers. It takes into account a teacher's own goals, rates them not on only one “scoresheet” but on a range of individual components, requires two years of collaboration between SPS and SEA before implementation, sets a very lovely goal of for teachers to be rated as "exemplary" or "innovative" (which would allow poorer-performing but well-meaning instructors to learn from those excellent teachers), evaluates students against their peers who have performed like them in previous assessments (so it's hardly a "bar is set too high" kind of problem), allows two years for teachers to show improvement, measures whole school growth (which spreads out the work and puts accountability into the hands of building leadership), incorporates parent and student feedback (shouldn't teachers listen to parents and students if they are CONSISTENTLY rated as a poor performer?), and not until 2012/13 - after two years of collaboration - are teachers' evaluations tied to SERVE. Finally, if a teacher's score is high in one area but low in another, there's a process in place to evaluate that and support the teacher.

So what's the flipping problem here?

The union is clearly stonewalling, bellyaching, whining, and misleading the public. Period.

The argument that teachers at poor performing schools can’t possibly be fairly evaluated because they’re up against so much disregards the fact that thousands of teachers nationwide have implemented innovative ways to engage parents and support student learning – and in SERVE, those teachers have an opportunity to shine within their buildings, to say, “See? This works – try it.”


The arguments that teachers have to teach a whole 12 minutes longer each day, and that because of state funding, the 1% increase they receive if they opt-in doesn’t address what they’ve lost in wages, makes me want to say, "Boo hoo for you."

The criticism in the response that stipends for excellent teachers at challenging schools (but not for everyone there) makes me want to say, "So what?" A whole $500 stipend - ohmygod, not $500!

The criticism that teachers in Seattle make less than other districts? Aren't teachers still applying here? So clearly they want to work here, right? They're OPTING IN to work at the rate of pay here. That doesn't seem to be a problem to me.

The union is stonewalling, and criticizing every single goal of SERVE. Every SINGLE ONE. Looks to me like the union is concerned only with protecting its members. I don’t really care about teacher’s rights any more. The SEA’s arguments and Randi Weingarten’s posturing have made me turn a deaf ear to educator's complaints about teacher evaluations.

I'd leave my name but I'm afraid one of the teachers in my building will recognize me and make it even more difficult to talk with them in a rational way about their union's stance on evaluating their effectiveness and supporting their development. That makes me sad.

Anonymous said...

I've just read the district's SERVE program in detail. And I think it's a very transparent proposal, with clear processes, fair timelines, and thoughtful opportunities for collaboration between SEA as a whole, SPS, and individual teachers. It takes into account a teacher's own goals, rates them not on only one “scoresheet” but on a range of individual components, requires two years of collaboration between SPS and SEA before implementation, sets a very lovely goal of for teachers to be rated as "exemplary" or "innovative" (which would allow poorer-performing but well-meaning instructors to learn from those excellent teachers), evaluates students against their peers who have performed like them in previous assessments (so it's hardly a "bar is set too high" kind of problem), allows two years for teachers to show improvement, measures whole school growth (which spreads out the work and puts accountability into the hands of building leadership), incorporates parent and student feedback (shouldn't teachers listen to parents and students if they are CONSISTENTLY rated as a poor performer?), and not until 2012/13 - after two years of collaboration - are teachers' evaluations tied to SERVE. Finally, if a teacher's score is high in one area but low in another, there's a process in place to evaluate that and support the teacher.

So what's the flipping problem here?

Anonymous said...

The union is clearly stonewalling, bellyaching, whining, and misleading the public. Period.

The argument that teachers at poor performing schools can’t possibly be fairly evaluated because they’re up against so much disregards the fact that thousands of teachers nationwide have implemented innovative ways to engage parents and support student learning – and in SERVE, those teachers have an opportunity to shine within their buildings, to say, “See? This works – try it.”


The arguments that teachers have to teach a whole 12 minutes longer each day, and that because of state funding, the 1% increase they receive if they opt-in doesn’t address what they’ve lost in wages, makes me want to say, "Boo hoo for you."

The criticism in the response that stipends for excellent teachers at challenging schools (but not for everyone there) makes me want to say, "So what?" A whole $500 stipend - ohmygod, not $500!

The criticism that teachers in Seattle make less than other districts? Aren't teachers still applying here? So clearly they want to work here, right? They're OPTING IN to work at the rate of pay here. That doesn't seem to be a problem to me.

The union is stonewalling, and criticizing every single goal of SERVE. Every SINGLE ONE. Looks to me like the union is concerned only with protecting its members. I don’t really care about teacher’s rights any more. The SEA’s arguments and Randi Weingarten’s posturing have made me turn a deaf ear to educator's complaints about teacher evaluations.

I'd leave my name but I'm afraid one of the teachers in my building will recognize me and make it even more difficult to talk with them in a rational way about their union's stance on evaluating their effectiveness and supporting their development. That makes me sad.

another mom said...

@Anonymous 8:33 -34 etc.
There is no need to be reluctant to leave your name as many of us –including myself- use a moniker. I have been following this issue without comment, but am going to wade in here cautiously.
It is apparent that both you and BVmom feel strongly about the current negotiations between SPS and the SEA –based on your multiple identical posts- especially with regards to the new evaluation process proposed by SPS. I am all for accountability but it needs to be applied in a reasonable way to all in SPS. Principals, central administrators, the Sup and her staff also need to be as scrutinized as teachers, perhaps more so.

Are you really comfortable with a proposal from the current SPS leadership who, per the state auditor, ignores state and federal laws and their own written policies? Yikes! The additional Friday early release days have a downstream effect on families, something you might have acknowledged in the post. Also at issue here is that the new evaluation system comes with a hefty price tag that includes three new hires in an already bloated SPS central administration. Why on earth would SPS propose anything that adds new line items to the already stressed budget? Why would SPS propose something that cannot be implemented without new money collected from a new levy which will be on the ballot in November? If the levy were to fail,what is plan B? This is baffling to me.

“I don’t really care about teachers rights anymore.” I am surprised and a bit saddened by your teacher bashing. It is one thing for SPS to bargain in good faith with the union, but what this looks like to me is a campaign by SPS to demoralize teachers. That is truly sad.

Anonymous said...

But you see - I don't see that the union is offering a proposal that can be applied in a reasonable way.

Yes, it's going to be very hard to have additional Friday early release days - but it's much harder to have failing students.

I really think that, if parents had to vote to pay for an evaluation system, they would. And I will encourage my friends to vote for it; will, in fact, lobby to get it done.

I'm sorry if it appears that I'm bashing teachers. Because I'm not. I'm bashing their union. I wish I could bash it all to bits.

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