Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Live Blogging From the School Board Meeting

You go first and we'll chime in.

Update: Because a reader had asked, last night was the introduction of the Snow Waiver for the two days of school missed because of snow. So it was just introduced last night and the discussion is around (1) cost to make them up and (2) worth doing given how the last days of school are not generally productive.

I'll watch the tape of the meeting and see what the discussion looked like but it looks like the Board is in an either/or situation.

The money for the days is already allotted, I think they should use it for those days. If not, then the Board should direct the Superintendent as to where to spend it. They are in charge of the budget and if extra money comes, it should go at their discretion and not the Superintendent's.

On the other hand, what would you suggest to make those last two days of school productive?

55 comments:

Melissa Westbrook said...

So the public testimony was definitely shorter.

Full contingent of TFA but they got one "second-career" TFA guy who said he had been a lawyer and taught in India and was as qualified as anyone else and we were holding him up (sorry), a parent from South Shore who I'm not sure exactly make the TFA point they wanted. A little underwhelming but maybe people are tired. Or they know the Board won't vote the contract out.

Anonymous said...

If the board is going to point a finger at the public and whack testimony down to 2 mins a piece then the board needs to point 4 fingers at itself.

Because Peaslee droned on. Then Martin-Morris went off on a tangent on Persian New Year, then McLaren named every possible award in every school in West Seattle. Patu was more succinct than usual but then SmithBlum brought the whole meeting to a halt. I think she's in Gospel Revival style, taking the podium and not...letting...go... Good Lord indeed. It's been at least 10 mins. I'd guess. We do not need the intracacies of a new design competition and SmithBlum's personal philosophy on middle school. And really, does every director have to tell us every fundraiser they attended? BLOVIATION. Save it for the newsletters. Give us the bullet points. Pretty disrespectful to the public after the ill-considered testimony chop to parents and taxpayers.

Must get water. The board will still be talking.

DistrictWatcher

SeattleSped said...

Funny. I'll bet the board was ready to tune out as soon as I went up there. I was happy to cede to a young mom with more serious preschool issues than any Montesorri preschool. Pegi McElvoy thanked me later for ceding to Amy, but please, district and board, heed what she had to say....

Melissa Westbrook said...

Board commenting on TFA:
Betty read a letter from a Northern Arizona professor with experience with TFA and who has done a lot of research on TFA. Betty said she would vote no.

Sharon read the RCW and expressed puzzlement over why we were hiring TFA when we have so many other kinds of teachers - both new and experienced - in our region. "TFA is not an effective strategy to close the achievement gap." Asked UW professor about this issue and asked for best evidence on success with TFA teachers. Should not be experimenting on our children.

Board commenting on TFA:
Betty read a letter from a Northern Arizona professor with experience with TFA and who has done a lot of research on TFA. Betty said she would vote no.

Sharon read the RCW and expressed puzzlement over why we were hiring TFA when we have so many other kinds of teachers - both new and experienced - in our region. "TFA is not an effective strategy to close the achievement gap." Asked UW professor about this issue and asked for best evidence on success with TFA teachers. Board commenting on TFA:
Betty read a letter from a Northern Arizona professor with experience with TFA and who has done a lot of research on TFA. Betty said she would vote no.

Sharon read the RCW and expressed puzzlement over why we were hiring TFA when we have so many other kinds of teachers - both new and experienced - in our region. "TFA is not an effective strategy to close the achievement gap." Asked UW professor about this issue and asked for best evidence on success with TFA teachers.

"Not our job to support TFA but to support our students with the best teachers we can hire."

Sherry - professional growth model with SEA and SPS. new hiring pool in past cycle. trust our principals. will continue to respect opp to give them a bigger pool

Marty - due respect and appreciation for TFA recruits but I believe TFA is flawed. We don't need more data. Too much work to do in Seattle to be thinking about TFA. Far from best practice to put novice teachers in classrooms with most challenging students. Focuses on 'one size fits all' teaching. Contract has alienated our teaching corps.

Kay - last year I canvassed principals in level 1 and 2 schools on TFA but results were evenly split, 51-49. Handful of principals hired and I trust principals. HR transformation going on and I believe will allow us to be more nimble and much more competitive for best possible candidates.

Vote obviously is 4-3.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Martin-Morris - not much to add on both sides of conversation, one thing not said is that this work of educating our children is not a one-way to do it.

(Hilarious given TFA's one way of teaching method. Harium is very tone-deaf on this issue.)

"Put in our quiver of various arrows."

Melissa Westbrook said...

Michael - we've devoted a lot of time to 6 teachers, somewhat of a distraction. Are we willing to challenge ourselves to innovation? Willing to see it thru. Competitive hiring and no cost to the district. I stand by those precepts.
This is the way for entire model for TFA to transform itself on a national scale.

(I'm sure Wendy Kopp is listening.)

Point to one other issue that bothers me; this is a debate about getting more people interested in the teaching profession and ultimately not sustainable. We should pay them better and give them more support.

Michael is now talking himself into a circle and has gotten way above the discussion.

Melissa Westbrook said...

TFFA vote was 4-3 as expected with Peaslee, McClaren and Patu voting yes and the others voting no.

StopTFA said...

I'm not going anywhere. Stay tuned for more illuminating TFA information...

Maureen said...

Thank you for doing this-I wasn't able to get the the stream to work.

Did any of the people who testified mention how odd it was that people who called right at 8:00 were placed so far down the list?

StopTFA said...

I've asked for that information. Gee, maybe Brian Rosenthal will twist it into further harassment of those awesome kids.

seattle citizen said...

"Martin-Morris - not much to add on both sides of conversation, one thing not said is that this work of educating our children is not a one-way to do it.
(Hilarious given TFA's one way of teaching method. Harium is very tone-deaf on this issue.)"

Yeah, I thought that was hilarious, too...except it's so sad. Sad that TFA has one teaching method to reach one goal (ReadMathWrite test scores) that are used to justify more TFA (and charters)...Sad that the whole "Reform" movement sells itself by ignoring the non-quantifiable. Sad that HMM didn't get that his statement is ridiculous (basically, " a system that teaches ONE way is better than a system that teaches MANY ways at broadening the teaching corps abilities...")

Overall, sad that the four who voted to keep TFA just out and out ignore law. THAT is not the lesson to be teaching students, teachers, and other citizens. But I guess, hey, it "broadens the hiring pool" (from 98 to 99...to 98 fully certified teachers who spent the time and demonstrated the commitment, learned a variety of ways to teach a variety of sorts of adolescents, practiced those with mentors in the room, and one uncertified person who learned one way to teach and hardly got any practice at all.

It's against the law and it's just not right. Change the law if you wish (but I hope any new process still includes a lengthy period of learning a variety of aspects of teaching, and includes a lengthy student teaching piece) but don't sit there and tell me it's all okay because it "broadens the hiring pool."

Unbelievable. I'm disgusted with the whole thing.

dan dempsey said...

At 6:21 PM I received the following email from KSB:

Thank you Dan. While much of what you say below, and much of the research sent by you in various emails, I agree with and take seriously, I also continue to listen to our principals with regard to this issue. As many of them feel they would like TfA as an option in their hiring pool, I want to support them. TfA candidates MUST compete with all other candidates in Phase 3 hiring, and we do not displace ANY of our teachers currently in the system with their candidacy. I continue to believe in our principals' ability to make the best choice for their community.

From my frame, the real problem is our hiring process, which is antiquated and inefficient. Consequently, we lose many terrific young masters of Ed candidates to surrounding districts because their systems are more nimble than ours. As our HR department develops processes that strengthen our ability to "grab on" to our own student teachers, I believe that process, in the long run, represents our best option for bringing both teachers of color and innovative instructors into our system. This transformation should take about 2 years, about the length of the existing contract with TfA. Until then, TfA is another tool in our tool box which many highly respected principals say they want.

Ksb

Kay Smith-Blum
Director, District 5

============
KSB respects principals and ignores the law. So what about the causes of achievement gaps?

Here is the biggest problem I have with the Board and TFA.

Are Board members above the law?

WAC 181-79A-231 is not vague. Is has specific requirements for submission of an application for "Conditional Certificates" and the District did not meet them.

All four directors that voted for the continuation of the contract tonight have continually voted for TFA and have refused to ever mention WAc 181-79A-231.

Carol Simmons and I testified and wrote letters and the best we ever got was a response from Holly Ferguson written to Carol. Holly's response confirmed that the District never conducted the review required by WAC 181-79A-231.

It is pretty hard to have must confidence in directors that ignore the law.

==========
My response to KSB was:

Thank you for your response.

You are violating WAC 181-79A-231.

It is very clear that the district has not satisfied the legal requirements to place TFA corps members into classrooms.

Power politics trumps the law.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else grossed out by Dawn Mason's inappropriate analogy? WSDWG

Anonymous said...

To WSDWG: What did Dawn Mason say?

Mr White

Disgusted said...

Does anyone else think the Board just put the district at risk? HR has not been getting conditional certifications in a timely manner, and the recruits are listed as the teacher of record.

The Board has watched HR fail..and they just gave them another green light.

Sahila said...

“Never do anything against conscience, even if the state demands it” ~ Albert Einstein ....

Guess some board members haven't heard this one from Albert....

Sahila said...

"Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious." -"1984" - George Orwell

KG said...

Dawn Mason had to mention she was part of the legislature. As if that gives her an ounce of credibility.

seattle citizen said...

Of course the Times, in today's article about the board meeting, says nothing about the law. They don't care about it either.

And you just got to keep wondering how the list of speakers was so stacked with pro-TFA people. Chance? Perhaps. But it speaks to the system of testimony - wouldn't a more balanced roster be more fair?

seattle citizen said...

Of course the Times, in today's article about the board meeting, says nothing about the law. They don't care about it either.

And you just got to keep wondering how the list of speakers was so stacked with pro-TFA people. Chance? Perhaps. But it speaks to the system of testimony - wouldn't a more balanced roster be more fair?

Anonymous said...

Cobb County GA, the huge area ringing Atlanta, just refused to work w/ TFA. 50 TFAers are whining about it, but Cobb County Board says there is no teacher shortage and that they respect their teaching corps. Huntsville TX just did the same. Same reasons.

Hello, DeBell? Martin-Morris? Carr? SmithBlum? Ferris Bueller? Bueller? Bueller.........

DistrictWatcher

dan dempsey said...

I was told that a phone call can only sign up the caller for testimony. Any email request must be made by the person seeking to testify.

If the above is true and Sue Peters called in at 8:00 AM, how did she end up in slot 15?

Did 13 people all hit send at 8:00:00 AM on their computers?

Someone said...

Is anyone really really really surprised the TFA contract was continued? Its been pretty obvious from ST articles, emails etc that was going to happen.

If KSB was considered the most likely "swing" vote, she made it clear in emails she was "listening to principals" and no one else's views matter.

So - to me, from a pro-active standpoint - the issue becomes:
a) how does one convince potential funders their $4000 per TFAer could be better spent elsewhere at SPS?
b) how does one gather rational, compelling evidence to preclude a renewal at the end of the 3 year contract so that this becomes a very very "short" experiment here in Seattle.

I guess I'm saying that continually "harping" on what happened in the past is doing a disservice to the future possiblities - I get where the sentiments are coming from totally, and for the most part agree - but lets move forward and focus on what can be done for the future.

Anonymous said...

I won my bet last night, 4-3. Of course everybody else was saying the same thing. For me the thing that signal this vote was going down the way it did was the lack of one big voice. The teachers. It's a mystery why? I've heard poor leadership, but that doesn't quite carry water.

Perhaps it's the number of TFA. It's small. And the schools affected. According to TFA and Ed Reform, schools with high needs tend to lacked experienced teachers who are willing to stay for the long haul. There is something to this. How long can you give to work and keep something left for a family, a career that hopefully will spand many decades? How long can you do this in light of increase pressure to perform with less resources and tangible support (vs. the overflowing intangible support of cheerleading and feel good talk).

So if you already have short haulers and more newbies, then a handful of TFA isn't going to matter much to the majority of the unaffected teachers. Do they have it right? Perhaps when TFA teachers are randomly assigned to random schools as a true experiment of any worth would, you may get more outcry from teachers and affected parents, but better data worth analysing over.

Why not have a minority TFA in a predominantly white school? Or predominantly white suburb? Then you can truly compare if TFA in poorer schools/districts do just as well as ones in better off schools/districts. Why not have a TFA in a gifted learning program? It might not be a bad thing? After all, new grads specialized in the science, math, LAs, engineering, etc would be a boost to gifted learning where you want more depth and rigor. If you are going to increse diversity, why not increase the diversity of the teaching staff in a school with mainly white kids and white teaching staff. That would be a great way for positive role modelling to occur. Awareness should go both away.

Perhaps that is what is missing here. But nah, as Director DeBell said too much have been wasted on 6 TFAs (as many of the frequent posters have demonstrated with evidence the great effort this district, the money, UW, OSPI expended to get TFA in). Why waste more effort to assess if TFA works or not? It's here now and in schools most readers here are unaffected by (including Directors DeBell's). The debate is over. The power that be spoke. And teachers had their chances.

-is that the story?

dan dempsey said...

First of all Teachers can be targeted for taking a stance that opposes the "Plan". Teachers can be run out of teaching in less than one school year. It is happening in various places.

In 2007-2008 a West Seattle High teacher crossed MGJ and wound up on administrative leave for the rest of the school year. Things are much worse "statewide" today.

Second it seems that the "law" is now like a trademark or a patent. If you want protection then you must litigate to defend your rights.

The NEWS lawsuit attempted to gain the rights and protections guaranteed under article IX of the WA Constitution .... and when it all played out two courts agreed that the Constitution was being violated and the net result was essentially didly squat. Wait until 2018.

So now the SPS public sits by and watches the Board completely ignore WAC 181-79A-231, not just the Board did this ignoring but so did UW Dean Stritikus and Jennifer Wallace in Olympia and Susan Enfield and the Seattle Times and the Washington Policy Center and the Seattle Foundation and the Gates Foundation.

So it is pretty simple ... if you believe in the rule of law, then file a petition for the recall of all four of these directors for their regular violation of the WAC on multiple occasions. It is free and it is your right under the WA Constitution article I section 33 and 34. ... I'd be happy to show you how.

If not just sit back and let Power Politics trump the rule of law in decision-making .... and don't you worry about a thing.

Those who take a more active stance might also like to begin looking at judges running for reelection.

hopey said...

What happened on the Snow Day issue? It would be really nice to have that resolved.

Sahila said...

The ed deform Hydra spans the globe; one of my twitter contacts says that in The Netherlands, the government uses TFA as window-dressing to conceal the huge lack of academically qualified teachers.

Sahila said...

Final words on TFA Inc - well, not really

Anonymous said...

Anyone a LEV commenter? They reprinted the Seattle Times' Keep TFA Editorial.

I checked and it seems they usually link to articles. I suspect in this case they did a reprint so no one could see the 100+ anti-TFA comments that overwhelmed the editorial. Someone needs to point this out on the LEV blog.

DistrictWatcher

Melissa Westbrook said...

I left the meeting but I plan on watching for the discussion about snow days as the Board on the A&F committee leaned towards making them up and staff didn't. Would make interesting conversation.

Boy, if public has only 2 minutes, I'd like to see the Board self-censor. Boy, nearly all of them went on for bit at one place or another.

Here's another thing about TFA here: we won't get to know any individual teacher scores (just as we don't for any other teacher). So you will have principals like cheerleaders Keisha Scarlett say hers did great. We won't really know but I might just check the contract because I think the district /Board does get to know. How else will they know how this "experiment" is working?

And I just realized you can look up any teacher's score in NYC so if you know who is TFA (and I think you might be able to find out), you'd know how they were doing. That might interesting to find out.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Also to note, President DeBell blahed, blahed about the superintendent search and noted this would likely be the last time they speak about it until the superintendent is announced in late April/early May.

So mum's the word.

dan dempsey said...

In the past President DeBell has also expressed displeasure at appeals of Board decisions and recalls.

Yet that has not motivated him to address the requirements of laws or make any attempt to discuss data sent to him with those who sent it..

Look up Republic and contrast that with Oligarchy and Plutocracy.

In a republic every citizen is protected by the constitution and the rule of law..... clearly not in the SPS as a majority of Board directors can't be bothered.

dan dempsey said...

Video is available of the 3-21-2012 school board meeting (the meeting that continued TFA by a 4-3 vote).

HERE

dan dempsey said...

Board meeting TFA discussion begins on Part II

at minute 100:30

Sahila said...

from the Dump Duncan FB page:
Dave Greene: From John Bilby. Former TFA CM and menthe of mine who quit 2 years ago. He went back to school to get real training and is now serving as NJ National Guardsman in Afghanistan.

"It is not whether or not we are afraid, but what we do with that fear today. We are all afraid right now: of the future, for our profession, for our students. But that shall not stop us from linking arms, not just with one another but with parents, children, and administrators. It shall not stop us from fighting the sinister and cynical alliance between government, corporations, and individuals They may have money, power, and influence; but what they do not have a monopoly on is what remains hidden in the human heart.

We understand this. We know that we are not factory workers, and that our children are not cogs. Our lives are joined and they progress in the rhythms of joy and sadness and love and anxiety that propel their young hearts and minds forward. They are smart; they question; and they hunger for something beyond a test question. They are names and faces and stories: the quiet bravery of a boy who never missed a day of school despite facing the upheavals of the city foster care system; the learning disabled girl who flipped diligently between textbook and dictionary every day, trying so hard to make sense of the words on the page. We are privy to the small triumphs that renew a child's world; we know the power of knowledge and the thrill of seeking it. Those who would seek to cheapen or dismiss such moments as untestable miss the point of the profession, as well as its strength.

In Wisconsin a year ago, we witnessed the end of the beginning. The journey ahead will be long and challenging and marked by the minor victories and stinging defeats that so many of us know from our lives in the classroom. It will not be a season of rewards, nor will it be one of redemption; instead it will be one of progression. We will fight them at the ballot boxes, and with our words, and with our protests; we will fight them with all the dignity that our profession demands from us.

We cannot know whether or not it is too late. We simply must believe that it is not."

mirmac1 said...

On the topics of making up days, here's what Tacoma is doing:

Senior Saturdays

mirmac1 said...

Interesting tidbit at the HR Board oversight session:

So this Arne TIF gift funds over 11 HR positions. What are they doing. Good question.

Apparently, it covers PD. For who. Good question. For principals to apply the Charlotte Danielson Framework.

It also funds various unspecified contracts in DOTS (you know, IT) to the tune of $2.4M. Here is the description:

"The anticipated costs for technology projects related to the TIF grant over a 5-year period. The project involves creating a Roster Verification process-linking student achievement growth to teachers and automation of the evaluation process for all school."

So, for Math and Reading teachers, roster verification is "hey, is this kid a student of yours? Yes or no" Then that kid's "growth" will be used to measure the "value-added" of that teacher. Right now, they're trying to make it work for Level 1 and 2 schools. The scale will be 1-100 with 0-34 as "Needs improvement plan. Now", 35-74 as "come si', come sa'", and 75-100 "you must be a TFA rockstar!"

So, teacher rankings ala NYT will be coming soon. Will Brian Rosenthal write about how unfair it is for his employer to post personal information about teachers? Stay tuned.

dan dempsey said...

About KSB and that line about Principals want TFA option.... yup good ol' TFA TEMP agency.

Consider this:
Teacher Turnover Affects All Students' Achievement, Study Indicates


By Stephen Sawchuk on March 21, 2012 12:45 PM

When teachers leave schools, overall morale appears to suffer enough that student achievement declines—both for those taught by the departed teachers and by students whose teachers stayed put, concludes a study recently presented at a conference held by the Center for Longitudinal Data in Education Research.

The impact of teacher turnover is one of the teacher-quality topics that's been hard for researchers to get their arms around. The phenomenon of high rates of teacher turnover has certainly been proven to occur in high-poverty schools more than low-poverty ones. The eminently logical assumption has been that such turnover harms student achievement.

But a couple years back, two researchers did an analysis that showed, counter-intuitively, it's actually the less- effective teachers, rather than the more- effective ones, who tend to leave schools with a high concentration of low-achieving, minority students. It raised the question of whether a degree of turnover might be beneficial, since it seemed to purge schools of underperforming teachers.

============
How many of those principals are just sucking up to central admin?

How competent are principals that believe 5 weeks of training is good enough to start year one?

How many parents were on the hiring committees that selected TFA CMs? any of those parents have first year CMs teaching their kids now?

And the big question was ....

Did KSB inform the principals that she would need to break state law WAC 181-79A-231 to put these folks in the hiring pool?

Are principals as gung ho as KSB to break state law?

Steve said...

Hmm...I wonder what a school would do if parents refused to have their kids taught by a TFA person, saying "I only want a certified teacher teaching my kids." I'm sure they might accommodate some of these requests, but if they got a lot of them, I wonder what the school would do?

dan dempsey said...

Steve,

These teachers from TFA are all certificated.

They all have "Conditional Certificates" because the SPS lied to get those certificates.

You can read the law WAC 181-79A-231 and see page 4 HERE.

No problem to get "Conditional Certificates" just break the law and lie, it works every time for the SPS.

=======
On another note .. Check out Dawn Mason's testimony about we need TFA because math performance is poor. ... So where was that careful review of other options? Math results are lousy but that hardly means TFA is a solution. Where has Dawn been during the last 6 years of crap decision making about math?

So few are examining the actual results and looking at the causes ... instead way too many just absorb the propaganda. Washington Policy Center and the Times need to take a bow.... Pravda would be proud.

I am still looking for that careful review of all options for closing achievement gaps.... Lets start with causes and give SPS central administration the credit it richly deserves ... UW Math Education Project certainly deserves large credit for expanding achievement gaps.

Kathy said...

""The anticipated costs for technology projects related to the TIF grant over a 5-year period. The project involves creating a Roster Verification process-linking student achievement growth to teachers and automation of the evaluation process for all school."

I don't believe the district will be succesful at this attempt. First of all, it will involve continued funding. Secondly, well..if the district can't run HR..how will they be able to pull this off?

Roster verification is an enormous task for teachers. I understand teachers should verify 80% attendance. Think of HS students..how many students switch classes, go to the nurse, late arrival etc.

I believe this will be another expensive bureaucratic nightmare that won't work.

Steve, I don't think there is any requirement for the district to notify parents TfA teachers have received 5 weeks traning..and lack conventional certification.

Anonymous said...

A big public thank you is due to Sharon Peaslee, Marty McLaren and
Betty Patu--who continues to be a person of conscience and wisdom. They were courageous to take a stand and not be intimidated by the board president and his moneyed buddies.

One of the morals of this story is that Kay Smith Blum needs to be sent into the sunset with Steve Sundquist and Peter Maier.

Blum, HRR and Carr, of course, are tools in the toolbox of Hanauer, Bridge & Company.

--enough already

Anonymous said...

That's HMM-- HRR=HR + growl

--enough already

Anonymous said...

Steve - I was a TFA teacher and none of my students (or students' parents) knew that I was a TFA teacher. They only knew me as "their" teacher and I think it's fair to assume that these TFA teachers probably don't broadcast their status to their students.

-TFA past

Anonymous said...

Another public thank you to StopTFA
and Melissa for their diligent work that put this whole Seattle Schools/TFA debacle in context.

We know you haven't caused world hunger or crimes as a result of making the public aware. However,
you have made some "ethically challenged" individuals squirm
and then some (I still believe your work significantly led to Susan Enfield's flight--my sympathies to Highline).

You two rock!

p.s. I want to clone the OMG Cat.

--enough already

dan dempsey said...

Here is the likely latest educational deceit.

Jay Greene asks where is that long over due report on Head Start from the Feds?

Maybe dishonesty and lack of accountability is just endemic in education? So good to know that our four board members are not alone.

StopTFA said...

Ah gee, yer making me blush. : )

Seriously, reading some of these emails makes everyone think "OMG!" and get that look on their faces.

Kathy said...

I'm finding it unfortunate testimony claimed Peaslee and McLaren to be bought by SEA.

Here is the truth: Peaslee was given only $2500 from SEA (not enough to cover yard signs) - and raised a total of $15K. Maier raised $70K. No one should be claiming Peaslee's win to the union. But then again, if the ST editorial board and the rest of the media continue to repeat this non-sense..it becomes the truth. ;)

If the district is failing to inform parents of TfA status...isn't it a bit deceptive?

Anonymous said...

The burden should have not been carried by the few if it truly mattered to the teaching profession. No matter how you slice it, this was one place teachers had an opportunity to use their collective voice. It would have made a difference in the votes.

-silence speaks just as loudly in all things politics

Anonymous said...

Should add, 4-3 will be the number you'll see more of. It was more than about the TFA vote.

-silence speaks by those who filled it (the same goes with power, use it or loose it).

dan dempsey said...

Pardon me BUT Get Real ==>

"The burden should have not been carried by the few if it truly mattered to the teaching profession. No matter how you slice it, this was one place teachers had an opportunity to use their collective voice. It would have made a difference in the votes. "


(1) Those four directors votes have been in the bag forever. ... what is a collective voice?

(2) This district like so many is extremely vindictive of those that do not care to toe the company line. Teacher who object to the Supreme Command risk a lot. -- Note public schools are not private corporations and a lot of "my way or the highway employer-employee actions" that are fine in private corporations are not permitted in public schools. ... BUT so what they happen anyway.

(2A) Ted Nutting is a teacher of math who has often testified. ((He is a retired Coast Guard Captain (his wife works) and teaches half time and his students turns out great scores on the AP Calc test. Ted could care less if the powers that be fire him. His teaching assignment changed a bit this year (no surprise Ted testifies at board meetings and occasionally has written in the Times).

(3) If the union gave a damn, executive director Glen Bafia would have raised the points I've made about violations of the law. The SEA is a complete waste of $70+ dollars a month in dues.

(4) So if 10 teachers had testified against TFA, how many of the four directors would have changed their votes? ((Hint: ZERO)) .. What is collective voice anyway?

(5) If anyone wishes to actually do something, file a recall petition. Don't blame the teachers.... they have had enough bashing and they are busy teaching the students.

(6) The Law has become like a patent or trade mark ... if you do not go to court to get your rights under the law .... it won't happen. That is absolutely ridiculous but that is how it is these days. The four directors that voted to continue the TFA contract are Outlaws ... it is just that simple. They violated the law in the past and keep right on going.

Melissa Westbrook said...

The interesting thing is that SEA's Jonathan Knapp DID make a strongly worded statement on behalf of teachers. But frankly, it struck me as too little, too late. Where was this months ago? I don't get it.

Disgusted said...

I suspect the district will have a hard time securing funding for TfA.

In order to avoid upheaval, TfA donors and funding should be revealed BEFORE the start of the school year. Last year, TfA was in classrooms for weeks before donors were known.

Anonymous said...

On the contrary Dan, Teachers did need to step up for this one. What could they have done? They can rally. They can show up at Director's neighborhood meetings and speak their piece. The can email, send petition, show up as a group at board meetings, etc. The problem is Dan to the public out there, you see teachers marching and uniting when they strike. Wrongly or rightly, that is the image of teacher unity.

This was a missed opportunity for teachers to push back. What you are missing here, is not only must you convince Joe Plumber, you need to command the vote. You need to make the contact directly to the potential swing vote. You need to amp up the pressure, convey the message, make it clear there are numbers (and teachers- YOU have the number) and faces behind your message. YOU NEED TO CONVICNE THOSE WHO HOLD THE VOTE, THAT IT MAKES POLITICAL SENSE TO STAND WITH YOU. There is something to be gained for them to stand with you.

Even if this vote didn't matter that much to the individual teacher, politically teachers could have regained the high ground by making it count (for all the reasons many of you have eloquently illustrated). If teachers choose to exercise their power only during CB, then you have already conceded that power.

The worse of it while teachers may cry foul at the besmirching of their profession, in TFA case, it's the kids who by virtue of their zip codes are the ultimate losers. The only saving grace is that the number is small and these TFAs do want to be here. That does count for something in my book.

Dan you and the many contributors on this blog are my heroes. You are relentless and often spot on with your data.

Now I go back to live with "the devil" so to speak.

-done

Anonymous said...

@done

Get the word out for Eric Muhs.
Leadership matters.

--enough already