Tuesday, September 08, 2015

KPLU Reports Strike is On for Tomorrow

Update: for whatever reason, when the Board came back into session, the video did not resume on Channel 26.  I do NOT think this was some error.

From the coverage of the WestSeattle Blog:

6:39 PM: Roll call: Betty Patu abstains. Peters votes no. All others vote yes. The resolution passes, and that authorizes the district to take legal action against the union, among other things. “SHAME ON YOU!” yell several in the audience. And a few minutes later, as the board members leave, some shout “Thank you, Sue Peters.”

Why Patu abstained is a mystery (and she goes to that well way too often).  

I think McLaren has some explaining to do to the King County Labor Council.  

end of update.

Details to follow.

SEA leaders announced this at Board meeting.

So that Resolution just got very real.

As I tweeted, I believe if the Resolution is not unanimous, it is a referendum on Nyland as well.

Parents and students, I am sorry (but keep in mind, it's the first Seattle strike in 30 years).

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sue Peters voted against the resolution, Betty Patu abstained -- 5-1-1 was the final vote.

IA Teacher

Anonymous said...

The School Board actually voted to authorize legal action? Why didn't they admonish Nyland to settle this? This is why I spend exactly no time on this School Board.

Reader

ConcernedSPSParent said...

Because the 5 'directors' who voted for the resolution are the same 5 who tried to get Nyland appointed over a holiday weekend. For some strange reason they were desperate to appoint him and now are incapable of accepting they were wrong.

Anonymous said...

We will do whatever it takes to support the teachers. Teachers and SEA - please do not let the administration placate you by spending your money on a bunch of "studies" and "consultants" because, for all their "wisdom and experience" they can't make actually make decisions for what is best for students.

Meanwhile all the difficulties we are suffering during this strike goes right on the shoulders of administration and the toadyish school board. I hope many of you get voted out. I agree with Reader, why aren't you leaning on Nyland?

-SPS parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

One good question to ask all School Board candidates - who do you support, the teachers or the district in contract dispute?

We already know Director McLaren's answer.

Christina said...

Didn't Jonathan Knapp say Marty McLaren is the one person on the Seattle School Board who “will listen to educators?” That she was the one person on the board who can help get to consensus to fix problems, instead of “grandstanding?” I thought maybe I read that on Cliff Mass' blog.

Consensus being one of the five School Board directors to vote to authorize legal action?

GarfieldMom said...

Hey School Board -- Dr. Nyland works for you, not the other way around!

My admiration for Sue Peters grows yet again. Thank you, Sue, for standing with our teachers and staff.

Ebenezer said...

Pathetic, anti-teacher decision by the Board. At least we know why the District was dragging its feet in negotiations.

Kudos to Sue Peters, but what's the deal with Betty Patu?

I'll be giving money to Leslie Harris so we can get rid of Jonathan Knapp's BFF, Marty McLaren.

Patrick said...

Funny how the recordings keep cutting out at board meetings. Didn't that happen just a few weeks ago too?

mirmac1 said...

Lay off Betty. How 'bout we shine the light on the Sherry Carr corporate board legacy? If I ever heard anything about district "Human Capital" and associated nonsense (can't wait wait to read the chummy insider emails after the debacle) it was from our very own Boeing/Chamber mouthpiece herself, Sherry Carr.

Rosanne said...

My husband did some math and posted it publicly. Might help with public opinion.

https://www.facebook.com/greg.greenway/posts/10205933784478128

Anonymous said...

Kind of puzzling....

McLaren is the only Director running for re-election.... Must say many of her votes have confused me in the past. This one is incredibly disappointing.
Leslie Harris should be a lock after this or do I not know this city.
What does Knapp have to say?

Saw a posting for a teaching position in Downey, California top of pay scale $112,000

Koolaid Great?

Anonymous said...

No Mirmac, the questions about Patu's actions are valid. What was she thinking? What message? Supporters of Patu need to understand this.

But you are correct, Sherry legacy - blech.

Reader

Anonymous said...

Mirmac1, I agree with you most of the time, but for something as important as this, I can't excuse Betty. Voting is part of the job. We need to know where each director stands and why.

Westside

Peanut said...

Seattle teachers have in fact gotten a raise in the last six years - they negotiated one in the last contract in 2013 at 2.5% per year. And all teachers with less than 15 years of experience get salary increases EVERY year as part of the step and lane salary schedule. As a state employee, I also did not get a raise for five years during the recession. I'll be lucky if I get 3% this year, so teachers are hardly alone. I wish someone would do a financial analysis of whether the competing proposals are financially viable. I'm all for giving teachers raises. I'm just not sure where exactly the money is going to come.

Cap Hill mom said...

Don't jump to conclusions that "we" all support the union. A strike is disruptive and the teachers are asking for far bigger raises on a percentage basis than most people receive annually. What about parents who don't have childcare options? I have to go to work tomorrow just like every day of the work week and my kids are ready to go back to school. I am also not feeling very sympathetic to the teachers considering their nonsense, last-minute walkout in May. I don't know who the SEA and teachers think they are serving but it is NOT Seattle students and their families.

mirmac1 said...

Serious? We would attribute more BLAME to a member of the outnumbered minority - than to the President of the school board who has presided over this debacle? Whatever.

Anonymous said...

I'm with mirmac1. Lay off Betty. She has my respect even if I disagree with some of her positions, including the one here.

voter

Anonymous said...

About the voting and abstentions.

Reasons to abstain:
#1 .. conflict of interest
#2 .. did not investigate fully enough to make a decision
#3 .. various pros and cons are balanced so decision cannot be made.
#4 .. (what am I missing here?)

As far as Betty Patu or any Director abstaining on the "Labor Strike Injunction" vote, it seems like ducking not directing.

Bewildered Mind

Watching in Bleachers said...

Cap Hill Mom, while I can empathize and understand your frustration ... because many of us our in the same boat... let's not forget this is about education (aka school) not childcare.

School, albeit a place where our children spend many a day, is not a daycare. This is a call to action on many more issues than just "a paycheck" or "a raise", this is about equitable education, caseload caps for providers of special services (so our teachers have the classroom support and can actually teach), it is about adequate recess time (for which a victory was already achieved in the negotiation process thus far), it is about making sure that we have the secure and retain highly qualified and the right people in our schools teaching our students.

While this is a disruption in many of our lives (and there are options for care out there from Community Centers to Seattle Children's Theater and apparently FB neighborhood groups are popping up to network options), in the end, this action is much more about positively impacting our student's futures than it is disruptive. If you can't support the strike so be it but don't malign the teachers.

Anonymous said...

Cap hill mom says:

> I don't know who the SEA and teachers think they are serving but it is NOT Seattle students and their families.

Really?

SEA advocated for a consistent and reasonable amount of recess for elementary-school kids. 30 minutes isn't the 45 minutes they wanted, but it's better than the 15 minutes some SPS kids got last year. (Please don't tell me you think the many, many studies that equate more recess with better learning are bunk.)

SEA advocates for reasonable caps on caseloads for special education teachers and other support professionals. These people are doing the heavy lifting in the schools, and are overwhelmed with the amount of work facing them.

SEA advocates for bringing teacher salaries back to a reasonable level over the next three years. This is playing catch-up with COLA, and attempting to provide a fair wage for workers in a rather expensive city. The increases are above average, precisely because they've been so far BELOW average for a number of years.

The school board's not listening. They're not negotiating. How ELSE are teachers supposed to get their attention? Knuckle under, accept the "terms" offered to them, and soldier on? Would you accept that if you were in their shoes?

Roosevelt Dad

Jet City mom said...

Nicely put Watching in Bleachers.
Arranging for childcare is a completely different issue than improving the K-12 educational environment in Seattle.

Anonymous said...

This looks like the act of a school board that has lame-duck syndrome - not running for re-election, so why care what the voters/parents think? (Only, unlike presidents at this stage, the three outgoing board members don't seem to be thinking about their legacy.)

Elections are two months away. Marty McLaren is the only board member currently running for re-election. Unless perhaps she doesn't really want to be re-elected? It's worth reminding her of that when you write to give her feedback.

-flibbertigibbet

Anonymous said...

Roosevelt Dad,

I'm just not sure the bargaining table is the place to settle big philosophical questions since it's clearly very polarizing. Is this really how we want to about engaging in a civil discussion of these bigger issues, when our beef is really with the state for not providing enough money in the first place? I think this strike hurts us with the Legislature who will argue that they won't give any more money to school districts because it will just go into teacher salaries. Mark my word, this will be the long-term consequence whether you believe SEA or not that the District is hiding money and can pay up, and that's a huge shame given how close we possibly are to a break through on McCleary.

Emile

Robert Cruickshank said...

I sympathize with those parents who are scrambling for child care tomorrow. My son is much younger, but it would be hard if we suddenly had to find care for him.

That said, this strike isn't something that the teachers wanted. And it's a strike that is happening for very good reasons - if the teachers get most of what they're asking for, the long-term benefits for our kids will be huge. We could have a lot less standardized testing, quality teachers in the classroom (because higher pay is critical to making that happen), and more support staff. The teachers have already won a big victory in securing guaranteed recess times.

For those who are understandably frustrated with the situation, the blame lies with the school district that has refused to agree to the union's reasonable requests. It also now lies with those five board members who tonight voted to pursue a right-wing path of suing to block a strike, rather than forcing the district's bargaining team to come to a quick settlement.

Anonymous said...

What's up with this whole circus?

I remain unconvinced that the poor performance by the SPS labor negotiation team wasn't planned.

#0.. 5-1-1 ???

#1.. Forced immediate court action could polarize the community and lead to lower than fair wages. (check top teacher salaries in Silicon Valley - Santa Clara $101,000 - San Jose $96,000 - Cupertino $104,000 - Palo Alto Unified $116,000, Los Angeles LAUSD $$88,500, Downey $112,000, Long Beach $101,200, Los Alamitos $110,000)

#2.. A reduced wage scale in Seattle could justify lower salaries on state teacher salary scales in various geographic locations when McCleary is finally settled.

*** Directors take and oath of office to support the Constitutions of WA State and the USA as well as laws.... Are teacher strikes illegal? Whether the answer to that is yes or no, does not make failing to vote against a Labor Strike Injunction a violation of a School Director's oath of office. I wish I found it hard to believe that 5 Directors voted for an injunction on Tuesday night but I do not.

According to the Money magazine salary calculator :: $116,000 in San Jose Area
equates to $98,000 in Seattle and $100,000 equates to $85,000 in Seattle.

$100,000 in Los Angeles area equates to $94,000 in Seattle.
So Downey's $112,000 equates to $105,000 in Seattle.
LAUSD's $88,000 equates to $82,000 in Seattle.

Wandering Mind

Anonymous said...

Nyland has silenced building level administration and threatened dismissal if anyone shows support for staff, even if administrators are also SPS parents.

Nice leadership.

WestSea

Anonymous said...

The concept of going from 1000 to 1080 hours of instruction time per year requiring more funding is obvious. 8% more pay for more hours.

A large part of cost of living is median home price which dictates housing and rental costs. Seattle and Bellevue teachers housing burden exceeds the state adjustment. What is the true cost of living adjustment in those areas over the last ten years? Until the state restructures the pay scale to account for this as has been proposed, the district has to make up the difference in the mean time.

-NNNCr

Anonymous said...

Correction =>

Are teacher strikes illegal? Whether the answer to that is yes or no, does not make voting against a Labor Strike Injunction a violation of a School Director's oath of office.

Wandering Mind

Melissa Westbrook said...

"a huge shame given how close we possibly are to a break through on McCleary."

I would be polite but honestly, I don't want to hear this. Not from the Governor or the Times because it is time to - get - it - done. The Supreme Court get this and believe me, if the Governor does something dumb like call a Special Session for the charter school law (over getting McCleary done), I think we really will have a showdown.

Robert makes a good point - who DOES want a strike? Not teachers because they will be making up all the work that students lose not being in school. AP teachers will be dancing as fast as they can because AP tests are in May. But, at some point, enough is enough. If I saw the district truly being careful with money, I would not side with teachers. But I don't see that.

Good point, WestSea, saw that as well.

Anonymous said...

Emile,

The legislature also told us that they wouldn't consider increasing funding until Seattle closed schools and now that we need those buildings back & new ones in addition where is the legislature with the extra money? I think we already got burned trying to kowtow to legislators on funding. I don't see the point in doing that again.

-HS Parent

Anonymous said...

Common Core story problem: If the Seattle School District is responsible for covering a quarter of teachers salaries and the teachers are asking the district for an 18% raise over 3 years or 6% a year, is the actual raise only 1.5% of teachers gross pay per year for 3 years.

Yes or No

-Things that make you go hmmmm

Anonymous said...

The only outnumbered minority is the "no" vote. Abstaining opens one self to the most scrutiny-- it appears wishy washy and/or ?? Abstaining from making a stated position is difficult to overlook, in my opinion...
Just Saying

Anonymous said...

Really??

Just curious

Anonymous said...

Like :)

The new new math

MrJonesToYou said...

Shame on the board, Nyland, district staff, and the rest of the Imperial Forces who have come down so emphatically on the wrong side of this thing. Their heavy-handed, "to the mattresses" response is undemocratic, unSeattle and just plain gross. My family is now twice as supportive of the teachers, and we hope they hang in there. Yes, of course the strike is a pain, and, yes, my kid is itching to get back to school (!?), but I am glad to keep her home until the teachers are back in the classroom with a reasonable contract. And I don't buy this nonsense about how we should behave ourselves in Seattle or we'll make the legislature mad and ruin ed funding for everyone. Are you kidding?!? We're really worried about chapping the expansive butts of the pols who've been held in contempt and fined $100K per day precisely because they have spent years and years paying lip service to education while slowly strangling it through neglect? We're supposed to believe that the breed of politician that loves to blame teachers for the failure of education is going to suddenly sign on for actually paying teachers a reasonable wage if we just act like good boys and girls and don't get all, you know, union-y? What a load. The teachers' demands are right and reasonable, period, and the chastened legislature should take note of the wide support for them. Moreover, the moral win here goes to teachers -- they're advocating for what's right and fair, for themselves and for education in Seattle. Legislators could learn something from them. The district and board, meanwhile, (now with the help of their hired muscle at Perkins Coie) continue to set new lows for coming across as tone deaf, out of touch, authoritarian, inscrutable and incompetent. They could begin to redeem themselves by coming to the table with a reasonable compromise and acting in good faith to settle this strike quickly, rather than by just resorting to the courts to bully teachers and prove who's boss.

Anonymous said...

Let's just look at special education. Downtown had a staff of 20ish, led by a midlevel manager 10 years ago. Now, they've got 3 directors and more than 100 just staffing administration. These position truly add up. The "executive" director earns $155K. That would be great if he was something special. He isn't. And there are 2 other Jr. Directors. Another rung jumper looking for the fastest, easiest way to scale the bureaucracy. Another problem? There have been so many of these "directors" in the last 10 years - more than 10, that it has really grown the fat layer. The central office is filled up with people hired by a long-gone fat-cat. At the very least - when your fat cat leaves for greener pastures - you need to go too. Move 'em out. Pay for direct services - not a creaky hierarchy full of dead wood that didn't know when to leave.

Special education is one place. But surely there are many pockets of similar fat-cat cronyism.

ObeseCat

Anonymous said...

"Special education is one place. But surely there are many pockets of similar fat-cat cronyism."

Pockets of waste are gigantic because of the centralized system of top-down decision-making. Until there is a shift to decentralized decision-making the waste will never shrink. However unless the Board were to act, decentralization could never occur as senior staff will not restructure to put themselves out of highly paid jobs.

Cat Lover

CapHill mom said...

Watching from the Bleachers and Anon,

No kidding school isn't about daycare - it is about teaching and learning,, neither of which is happening on the first day of school. Can the union claim they are striking on behalf of that single mom working the night shift for the minimum wage? All families and children, whatever their circumstances, have a right to a public education and don't belittle families who expect that to actually happen on schedule.

My children have had some truly wonderful teachers at SPS, some average teachers, and also some truly terrible ones who couldn't be bothered. I would be more sympathetic to the union if there was differentiation in pay and raise based on quality, but no, that is too much for parents to wish for. So instead Seattle families have to wait it out.

Anonymous said...

The only right vote was the abstention. It says I support negotiations now and will not make a choice about an injunction at this point. It makes sense to leave this option open for the future, but not to vote for it now.
West

Lynn said...

CapHill mom,

You're in the minority wishing for performance-based pay for teachers. Teaching is a collaborative art - new teachers need a lot of support from their colleagues. Would you like your second grader assigned to a first year teacher whose coworkers are competing against her for a salary increase or bonus? Instead, I want those terrible teachers out of the classroom.
The children of that single mother will get their free public education - all 180 days of it. They'll get recess too and more special education/nurse/psychologist support if they need it.

dan dempsey said...

Do not miss this from Brookings Institute
Sept. 8, 2015

Does Money Matter?

.... The latest research suggests that money does matter.

... increased school spending improves student outcomes, especially for low-income students. For example, increasing per-pupil spending by 10 percent in the K-12 years increases the probability of high school graduation by roughly 10 percentage points for low-income children and by 2.5 percentage points for higher-income children. The positive effects appear to be the result of a reduction in class size, a higher ratio of adults to students, increases in instructional time, and increases in teacher salaries that help to attract and retain higher quality teachers.

.... Schools are now competing for talent with other sectors in a way that wasn’t true in a world where well-educated women had few professional opportunities. Until more people accept the need to raise teacher salaries significantly, schools are not likely to improve. To be sure, salaries need to be linked to performance and better measures of teacher performance should be developed. But the main reason that money matters in education is because teachers matter, and attracting and retaining the best talent has to be a priority.


Lynn said...

West,

An injunction could have been voted on again later - a no vote wouldn't preclude that.

Anonymous said...

".. would be more sympathetic to the union if there was differentiation in pay and raise based on quality, but no, that is too much for parents to wish for."

That is why I am ambivalent about this strike too. I am mainly supporting b/c of the no-pay 30 mins-longer day issue. That is not fair.

Reader

Lynn said...

I saw a Bellevue teacher comment somewhere recently that their union has a very collaborative relationship with their superintendent and that this means their contract negotiations are relatively amiable. Everyone knows what resources are available and they prioritize the use of those resources together.

If Nyland and Wright and Tolley were just a little more humble and accepted that teachers and parents should have a voice in the direction of our schools, they wouldn't be in this situation. (A real voice, not this year's-long practice of meeting/survey/meeting/secret decision-making we've got going on now.)

dan dempsey said...

I am all for performance-based pay for teachers because teaching is a collaborative art. That means performance should be evaluated at the school level and performance bonuses awarded to all at the school or no one at the school.

This school level evaluation creates a sample size large enough to be acceptable unlike the classroom size which is not large enough for correct statistical significance.

Collaboration that is effective needs to be encouraged. This would be a great first step in moving away from the centralized bureaucratic top-down decision-making of the JSCEE. Moving to more autonomy for schools and eventually way fewer curriculum bureaucrats employed at the JSCEE.

Anonymous said...

Something to keep in mind-the longer the strike goes on, the more it plays into the District's favor. The District is probably counting on parents being on the side of teachers initially but as the strike wears on (if it does), some parents will grow frustrated with having to arrange childcare for so long. So watch for the District to string this out in hopes that the teachers' position will lose favor over time.

-Lookee Here

veteran sub said...

I've worked at a charter school (in Los Angeles, years ago) where we had performance-based bonuses. It's a terrible system. Before long, the bonus becomes the standard. You're not rewarded with a bonus for good work. You're PUNISHED if you don't make it to that "bonus." It's not a positive incentive at all.

A system like that encourages teachers to be too generous with grades, to go easy on deadlines and do whatever else they can to game the system. Giving students failing grades, no matter how deserved, becomes a huge conflict for the teacher when it SHOULD be an accepted part of the craft. I've seen it happen.

When performance-based pay is linked to test scores, you get outcomes like we've seen in Atlanta: an even greater fixation on testing to the detriment of students and, sooner or later, corruption based on self-interest. And again, it's not out of greed so much as an interest in avoiding attention and not looking bad.

We should NOT advocate performance-based pay for teaching. Ever.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Immediate dismissal. A mandate passed down via Ed Directors.

WestSea

veteran sub said...

Also, re: performance pay being bad:

Where it will hurt you MOST is in historically under-performing schools. Those are usually in low income areas. You very quickly wind up with another big equity issue.

Performance pay is all well and good in the private sector, but in schools it only undermines rigor in the classroom and the integrity of the gradebooks.

I'm off to walk a picket line.

Watching said...

It should be noted that SEA rejected the district's proposal to eliminate Creative Approach Schools.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thanks, Watching. I didn't know that.

Robert Cruickshank said...

Whoa - that's a big deal, Watching. Do you or anyone else have more details? That information needs to get out and become widely known.

Anonymous said...

I think it's hard to ignore the massive "swelling of the ranks" down at HQ, not to mention that admin pay raise that was on the Board agenda. Downtown seems to have totally forgotten that SPS is about, oh, you know SCHOOLS!!! Put all available "extra" resources in to the classroom (and that includes building safety) and weed out some of the extra admin levels that have crept in.

This isn't just about pay. It's about what comes first - the classroom or the board room.

reader47

Maureen said...

Thanks for that Watching, are there other sources for this? I didn't even know theose schools were on the table.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Tell more about that.

Nova grad

Anonymous said...

What are Creative Approach Schools, please?

Thanks,

-flibbertigibbet

Anonymous said...

Betty Patu, please do your job and stop riding the fence!

Suspicious

In the trenches said...

If Nyland and Wright and Tolley were just a little more humble and accepted that teachers and parents should have a voice in the direction of our schools, they wouldn't be in this situation.

Not only are they authoritarian but they are modeling and expecting that from principals now. If my principal is any indication, she does ask for input anymore from teachers. She just decides. We are now doing "Ruler" which is a school-wide social skills program. When we voted on what teachers most want from the program, "respect" and "support" were the major issues. Where do respect and support come from? Leadership. In our case, the principal's leadership. That is what the Nyland/Tolley/Wright model of central leadership gets you in the schools. But I don't think our principal got the message. So we are apparently supposed to model for and ask of kids something that our principal doesn't have to do for us. Go figure.

Re: performance-based pay. Under this new "accountability" teacher-by-teacher, I've already seen examples of teachers changing answers and inflating scores and grades. We teachers know who does it and why. I'm not going to say where or who because it becomes about survival and we all do what we can to survive under the pressure of authoritarian leadership.

Also, teaching isn't one-size-fits-all. Children often respond differently to different styles. Primary children often have more interaction with teachers than with their own parents during the week! We are much more than just academicians. Although I would never say or support poor teaching. The only way to reduce or rid schools or poor teaching is a principal who really knows teaching and respects and supports teachers and works with the poor ones. To me, that's the meaningful job of a principal.

I'm sorry, CapHill Mom, but you make me feel like a baby-sitter. But you know, I didn't put in five-years plus university work to be a babysitter. And I am a very good teacher.

I, too, questioned Patu's abstaining.

Anonymous said...

@flibbertigibbet

Basic backgrounder on Creative Approach Schools

--FremontDad

In the trenches said...

...she does not ask for input . . .

Sorry.

mirmac1 said...

Betty's daughter works for the district, I believe. I wouldn't be surprised if she is represented by SEA. If so, Betty's actions are totally appropriate. There is a conflict of interest. Who among you would take your daughter to court?

Lynn said...

Good point mirmac1. I would think that would be a conflict of interest and good reason to abstain.

Anonymous said...

Good reason to resign? If you have a relative working it could be seen as nepotism. So, you are saying Patu can not vote on any BAR involving SEA or perhaps could favor her relative? And you think this excuse helps her?

Suspicious

CapHill mom said...

In the trenches,
Glad to hear you are a good teacher, your students are fortunate. Too bad that wasn't the case with my daughter's 6th grade math teacher and 7th grade science teacher and the substitute for 3 months of 6th grade language arts who played a video of Mulan when they were "studying" ancient China. There are excellent teachers and good teachers and sadly really bad teachers who harm the profession and waste their students' time. Teachers and some parents complain about differentiated pay scales and talk about the first year teacher who needs mentoring. But what about the 20-year veteran who is a genius with her students? What about the teacher who regularly screams at the students for talking? Or the teacher who spends most class time talking about personal issues? Some teachers have more talent in the classroom and deserve better compensation than others.

Anonymous said...

I agree changes are needed but you are messing with putting food on my table. I'm a single mother in West Seattle and my job is in jeopardy because I can't find childcare. You have no right to do that. And, even if I could, you expect me to leave my child with people he doesn't know for God knows how many days and hours at a childcare place he's never been? There is a better way for change and it's not hurting Seattle families. I now have NO vacation or S/L time. What happens when my child gets sick now? You going to come over and care for him. You get the summer off, now I get NO time off. Shame on all of you for not finding a better way for positive change and instead hurting the MANY Seattle families you claim to care about.

West Seattle Single Mom

Anonymous said...

From my perspective (and history with SPS), "in the trenches" has totally nailed it! I am beyond dismayed at the way that the District has conducted itself. While I don't have a good grasp of all of the economics (in terms of catching up COLA, cost of living issues, etc.), it is glaringly obvious that the District is bloated and that while many downtown do excellent work, many others do not. They have political agendas, work openly to avoid public accountability, and actively impede the actual process of teaching and learning in schools.

I also completely buy into the idea that kids learn differently, and someone who is a "good" teacher for one child may struggle to reach another. The very best manage to change their styles to fit a variety of kids -- but even if they don't -- we need to celebrate good, hardworking teachers in a manner that does encourages collaboration and the ability of teachers to learn from, and support, each other.

We also need MUCH better principals. Good ones are at a premium, and many either need to change their leadership styles -- or leave.

Jan

Anonymous said...

And -- West Seattle Single Mom -- why is it that the teachers are the "you" that are imperiling your job? The teachers showed up in May ready to bargain this stuff -- with a clear deadline for reaching a deal that passed several days before school started. The District, on the other hand, showed up late (or not at all) for some meetings, showed up without new proposals (or claimed that they didn't bring people with authority to negotiate), added major new bargaining points (like a longer school day) in the middle of August (with no prior public engagement, and no discussion or explanation of how it will impact issues like bell times and transportation, notwithstanding that those issues have been the subject of ongoing study, negotiation, and debate among the District and parents for more than 2 years now). Why is it not the DISTRICT (rather than the teachers) -- or at least the District as MUCH as the teachers -- that is causing these problems?

Jan