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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Update

Hello

In the thread on what is going on in Washington DC, there was some mention on what was going on in the contract talks between SPS and SEA. I received this e-mail from the SEA. I post without comment.


SEA Bargaining Update July 23, 2010
SEA and District Far Apart in Negotiations

Dear Michael,

Your SEA Negotiations Team met with the District team on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. We continue to be far apart on issues that you have told us matter most to you. The district is holding fast to their major proposals on:

• tying student growth based on MAP scores, MSP scores, and end-of-course assessments to certificated employees evaluations;
• use of evaluations as the lead factor in reduction in force, as opposed to strict seniority.

There has been very little to no movement on what you have told us are your two most important issues:

• class size/staff ratios/caseloads to give students the attention they need and deserve;
• compensation to attract and retain high quality educators to Seattle Public Schools.

The SEA has made proposals on these priorities and many others that you told us need to be addressed.

The District has proposed an evaluation system that includes tying evaluations to student growth based on MAP, MSP, and end-of-course assessments. We will be holding Focus Groups at SEA this coming week to share the details of the District’s proposal and to get feedback from our members about what they think about it. Our goal is to have up to 5% of each school/program’s certificated staff involved. Please contact SEA to attend a focus group to give us your feedback. Focus groups are at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 26 and Wednesday, July 28; 3 p.m. on Tuesday, July 27 and Thursday, July 29. We have one evening session on Wednesday, July 28 at 7 p.m. Call us to sign up for the session of your choice. 206-283-8443 x100.

Here are some of our other thoughts about the bargain:

Fact: SEA is willing to problem solve solutions to help raise student academic achievement and to help close the achievement gap. SEA has offered research backed solutions that are actually working in other school districts in the country.

Myth: The SEA does not want to be accountable for student academic achievement. Many years ago, the SEA was the first local in Washington State to negotiate student academic achievement goals as part of our evaluations. There are very few contracts that include it even today. It was the SEA who went to the district with a proposal in 2004 about closing the achievement gap and developing the flight schools. This year, the SEA proposed working with the district to do a study over the coming years regarding the correlation between evaluations and student academic growth.

Fact: SEA believes that the work of the collaborative SEA and SPS Professional Growth and Evaluation joint task force should be honored. A joint task force of SEA and District staff collaboratively developed a four level evaluation system. A new law in place requires that the system be fully in place by 2013-14. The philosophy of the task force is to promote professional growth in employees and create a culture in the District of being life-long learners and improving instructional practice. We do not believe the evaluation system should be used primarily to weed out “low performing” teachers.

Myth: SEA is afraid to try innovative ideas that may help raise student academic achievement. After a lengthy debate, the SEA Association Representatives voted to authorize a memorandum of understanding that would allow for three of our schools to waive some contractual rights in order to receive a federal School Improvement Grant. The grant is designed to help raise student academic achievement.

Fact: SEA understands that the economy is not the best right now. SEA was willing to look at giving up the Learning Improvement Day that the state took away this past legislative session (loss of funds to the district and to your pockets). In turn, we reminded the district that it has taken many years to be competitive with other districts in the Puget Sound Region regarding compensation and we do not want to lose ground in the future.

Myth: The state is to blame for all of the district’s money woes. While Seattle delivered RIF notices, almost all other districts in the Puget Sound area did not have lay-offs this year. While the district continues to tell us that there is no money at all in the budget for increased compensation in the future, eight of our eleven comparable districts will get raises this coming school year, two will at least make the same amount of money as this year, and only one will lose the learning improvement day and have a cut in salary.

Fact: Since 2005-06, the district has begun each school year with more in their fund balance than budgeted. For 2009-10, the District began the year with $6.4 million more than they anticipated. SPS ended the 2008-09 school year with more than double the amount they anticipated in their ending fund balance ($55.8 million instead of the budgeted $22.4 million).

What’s next? ---------------

The SEA will be negotiating again on Tuesday, August 3, 2010. The District has promised to bring a comprehensive proposal to the bargaining table that will be in response to our comprehensive proposal that we put on the table for our Paraprofessional, SAEOP, and Certificated members.

43 comments:

kprugman said...

SPS is the next landfall for a KIPP School. The slash and burn we are observing now is advance preparation. Like watching Ranger Rick assaulting an anthill in a Bonanza-like episode. Stay tuned for next season. Four more years of Everyday Math and Seattle will be devoid of any intelligent life under the age of 20. My kids aren't learning math, they're learning magic. Isn't that better for all of us?

udubgrad said...

"Accountability” is a 4 legged stool of administration, parents, teachers and student. Tying student test scores to teacher evaluations denies this 4-fold relationship. It also poisons the relationship between students and teacher, because now students determine the employment/unemployment of the teacher. In addition, it weakens teacher rights by eliminating due process. Emphasizing test scores is a way for officials to look like they are “doing something to improve education” but not getting at the real needs of students for smaller class sizes, tutoring, the arts and other services that will truly help them. MAP and our state tests are not designed to capture the most important dimensions of education for which we do not have measures.
For an entire book full of reasons not to tie test scores to evaluations and what needs to happen to improve education, district officials need to read "The Death and Life of the Great American School System" by Ravitch.

kprugman said...

Well said, glad to see Ravitch finally came to her senses. Someone needs to put the Applied Math Department on a bamboo raft in Lake Union - don't those professors know filling out textbook surveys is considered bogus science. If they were praying to God they'd choose the right book, he apparently wasn't listening.

kprugman said...

Reform used to be a three-legged school, but then the UW added a fourth leg and said reform was now 25% smarter. The applied math department could have asked another math teacher, but they were too wise to listen, according to the Dana Center, there are no wrong answers when you learn from an exemplary textbook and anybody can learn how to manipulate numbers to bend the truth their way. Don't look now, but to wise to listen's zipper is down. Everyday Math, Connected Math, and Discovering Algebra are lemons. Throwbacks from the Neanderthal Age and UW endorses it 2000%.

kprugman said...

If math were a lemon, it would be Everyday. I'm 293% sure and you can take that to the bank. UW Applied Math Department should start throwing darts (at dartboards) - there's a 50-50% probability they'd hit each other. No need to hire anymore stooges - just read the Journal of Applied Math Insanity.

Charlie Mas said...

I see the bits about using student outcomes to evaluate teachers, but where are the other elements from the Our Schools Coalition kibbitzing?

Where is the part about
teachers getting increased collaboration time with peers?

Where is the part about
teachers getting increased classroom-preparation time?

Where is the part about
Seattle Public Schools expanding its mentoring and coaching programs for teachers?

Where is the part about
teachers getting opportunities for increased compensation for teachers based on performance, additional responsibilities, subject-matter expertise in hard-to-staff areas, and placement in high-need schools?

Charlie Mas said...

It seems to me that the District has a long list of things they want, but they don't want to pay for any of them.

karyn king said...

Charlie said: I see the bits about using student outcomes to evaluate teachers, but where are the other elements from the Our Schools Coalition kibbitzing?

Sorry but I don't get it...How is this going to work at secondary level? Will only Math & Language Arts teachers be evaluated this way? How will world language, science, history or art teachers be held accountable? Or will their pay depend upon the math and LA teachers MAP scores? If teachers meet 2/5 of the goals will they get raises like MGJ?

Sahila said...

Sorry - cut and paste job
... no time to format the layout...

Chicago Teachers Laid Off in Droves
By Kari Lydersen
In These Times
July 23, 2010
http://www.inthesetimes.org/working/entry/6257/chicago_teachers_laid_off_in_droves/

Chicago teachers who spent time training their own replacements are among hundreds who received layoff notices this week. In all, up to 1,500 Chicago teachers
may be laid off by the time the new school year begins.

The newly elected Chicago Teachers Union leadership and about 30 rank and file members are meeting with school officials Friday afternoon.

The 600 lay-off notices sent out this week went to 400
teachers and 200 staff at elementary schools which start
in early August. On June 30, 239 teachers who were not
assigned to a specific school were laid off. The union
has demanded they be hired back before any new teachers
are hired.

The cuts are part of the school district's efforts to
address a $370 million budget shortfall. High-school
classes are being increased from 28 to 33 students, and
programs including world languages, bilingual education,
gifted programs and after school programs are being cut.

Teachers and youth advocates say increasing class sizes
and chopping after school programs is especially
devastating given the violence that has plagued Chicago
public school students in recent years, including the
highly publicized beating death of Fenger High School
student Derrion Albert last fall. After-school programs
are among the ways youth advocates and parents hope to
give students a safe haven and an alternative to gang
activity. And more crowded classes mean a more tense and
dangerous environment for students and teachers.

Schools chief Ron Huberman has essentially blamed the
union for a portion of the cuts, saying $135 million
could be saved if they agreed to relinquish promised 4
percent pay raises. New union president Karen Lewis
countered that the union has already made concessions,
including hits to their pensions. She has said
concessions by the union would set a bad precedent and
take the pressure off state officials to provide funding
by changing the school funding formula.

Community groups and teachers have also long demanded
that schools be reimbursed tax dollars that have been
diverted by TIFs (tax increment financing zones), the
controversial so-called urban renewal program wherein
the property taxes that go to schools and parks are
frozen and any increases over the next 23 years are
funneled to private development.

In Chicago, most of the city, including wealthy downtown
neighborhoods, are covered by TIFs, which are supposed
to be a tool used only in "blighted" areas. The union
says as much as half a billion a year that should have
gone in part to schools was diverted by TIFs. The money
often ends up in the hands of politically connected
developers and other private for-profit projects.

kprugman said...

To get the increased collaboration time (PLC) the schools will probably go to a modified block schedule.

We have two days block and a 30 minute remediation (study hall) period after each 2-hour period where students get to go to their homeroom and do work.

This can come about two ways - either the school will elect a committee to bring about change or the district will do it for them. You will probably find what you are looking for in the WASC accreditation report or the 'school improvement plan.'

The school can bank the minutes they used during passing periods and use that time for teacher collaboration.

There has always been this debate between educators over whether having students in a classroom for two hours is a wise idea. If this was a perfect world then I'd say yes, but we're no where close to perfect. If students are not eager to learn now, they're not going to be very receptive to a block schedule.

One can argue there'll be time for more activities - My thoughts are that's not true if your school, like all the rest, is focused on raising student test scores. Most of my students read at a 4th grade reading level (maybe).

My concern is all the schools who raise their test scores by dropping kids, especially minorities, out of their academic programs. Those soandsos don't even have to have good math programs, all they have to do is tread water and watch the rest of the schools struggle to raise their AYP.

kprugman said...

This is a good article that gives the reasons why TIFs are not a good source of revenue in your state. However, if your tax laws were to be radically restructured than your communities might lose that immunity.

"Washington law requires the government using TIF to enter into agreements with the local governments whose tax revenues will be diverted. Think about the consequences of that requirement. Only the most compelling projects will survive — i.e., those that appeal to the majority of the governing body of each local taxing authority. This also subjects TIF to the vagaries of local politics. "

Think about what sorts of projects your school board has done with non-voter approved bonds. A TIF can be very enticing, but without laws to safeguard capital expenditures, the local population is subjected to even more flim-flam and rarely do we ever see the bottom-line until well after completion.

kprugman said...

http://www.djc.com/news/co/11149492.html

There's a lot of people in Washington who'd love to have what Chicagoans get from their tax base in the form of a TIF - its a little like a government derivative.

LA Teacher's Warehouse said...

As I've said before, it is deeply irrational to use standardized test scores to evaluate teacher performance.

Why?

1. Standardized tests are not designed to evaluate teachers; they're designed to evaluate students. To use them in an evaluation is to use them for a purpose for which they are not designed. It is a scientifically invalid use of standardized tests.

2. Student performance is based on complex multiple factors that certainly include the teacher's performance but is not limited to it. Standardized test scores do not discretely measure the effectiveness of teacher instruction, student motivation, parental involvement, community support, district curricula and materials, the suitability of the building, the influence of peers, teacher supervision and support, and so on.

3. Standardized tests do not take into account such variables as the teacher's assignment and mix of students. Some teachers have one class to prepare for and all honors students. Some teachers have three classes to prepare for and a mix of honors and non-honors students.

4. Standardized tests do not necessarily assess what is being taught. That is because MAP, for example, doesn't match the high school LA curriculum. Eric Anderson, a member of the SPS bargaining team from the district's Research and Assessment department, admitted this in a district meeting I attended on MAP. The district has not researched how MAP and its adopted LA curriculum might or might not match.

5. If standardized testing drives teacher evaluation, then standardized testing will drive curricula and instruction. As Diane Ravitch and Martha Nussbaum have argued, putting such weight on standardized testing narrows the curriculum. Martha Nussbaum, in particular, has argued that such emphasis on standardized testing threatens our tradition of a liberal arts education and ultimately threatens our democratic political culture.

6. Standardized multiple-choice tests are an assessment technology from the 1920s. What is behind the rhetoric of so-called "reformists" is a model of schools as assembly lines. Public schools as assembly lines might make it easier to manage them as factories, but they won't prepare students for their future lives as individuals and as citizens of a democracy. As John Dewey said in Democracy and Education, "Achievement comes to denote the sort of thing that a well-planned machine can do better than a human being can, and the main effect of education, the achieving of a life of rich significance, drops by the wayside."

LA Teacher's Warehouse said...
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LA Teacher's Warehouse said...
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dan dempsey said...

Michael,

It seems that so time ago SEA members were sold out by their supposed SEA and WEA leadership.

SEA Executive director is a classic example of "The Disconnect" of the "Political Class" from the "People".

I feel like I am having a Deja Vu experience from a grade school social studies book diagram of societal structure from ancient Egypt, Greece, or the middle ages.

The union resembles democracy for the Patricians ... unfortunately most SEA members are in the serf or slave class with no meaningful input.

WEA leadership rejected having a vote on adopting the NEA stance on RttT by strongly encouraging the withdrawing of that proposal at the convention in Spokane.

SEA's President made a big show of walking out at the Performance Management approval on 3-17-2010.

She walked out taking lots of membership with her because she was not allowed to speak for more than 3 minutes. How embarrassing in that she did not know the rules for public testimony. Perhaps if the Union President came to more school board meetings or read what is sent to all who request speaking slots via email, then she might know the rules.

There have been plenty of actions to strongly object to since MGJ and the rubber-stampers started the performance management thrust.

The groundwork for this was initiated with the bonuses in MGJ's overly generous contract. How did those bonuses improve her performance? Check with Brian Sonntag the state auditor.

After Performance Management was approved, I called Glen Bafia the SEA Executive Director to find out if the SEA was planning on appealing this Board Decision in Superior Court. Glenn explained to me that even though there might be several things that violated the current labor contract MGJ was aware of this and it would all be resolved in negotiations.

SEA members for $70+ per month buy membership in the "serf" class.

Listen up to your "Over Lord's" directives coming from the "Political Ruling Class" level that you pay for.

Would SEA members pre-pay the electric bills for their own electrocutions? Apparently so.

ParentofThree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ParentofThree said...

LA Warehouse said it best!

My advice srike before signing!

Charlie Mas said...

A teacher strike would not polish the image of the superintendent or the Board.

LA Teacher's Warehouse said...

What I don't understand--and what I hope to learn from a focus group next week--is why the district bargaining team set aside the work of the SPS-SEA joint task force on Professional Growth and Evaluation. Talk about bad faith! The joint task force had been working on its own evaluation system, which Olga reviewed with staff when she visited our building last spring.

What happened? Of course, in the absence of facts, one can only speculate. Cathy Thompson was on the task force, and she's also on the SPS bargaining team. Who is steering the SPS team in the direction of standardized testing as the basis for evaluations?

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

LA Teachers - what's been happening here in Seattle has happened in many parts of the country already...

I truly dont mean any disrespect when I say this, because I want the community and teachers to stand together against what is happening - we have common interests and a common threat here - but really, teachers have to educate themselves, get up to speed with what this is all about AND VERY QUICKLY...

Truly, teachers' ignorance of the real agenda and how its playing out is costing them their futures...


Please spread the word... a good place for you to start educating yourselves is here:

http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/

and here: http://seattle-ed.blogspot.com/...

Talk to Robert Femiano and Pat Bailey and Jesse Hagopian and Bob Murphy (he posts here sometimes) and some of the other teachers who have sussed it out...

Talk to teachers in Chicago, New York, Detroit etc...

Teachers need to stick their heads out of the rabbit/fox hole, see what's going on and call your union on its complicity....

Some of us parents want to work with you, but until you figure it out with your union, we cant do much as a large, influential block...

And I know many of you have seen attacks on teachers come and go over the years.... but believe me, this time is different....

dan dempsey said...

The Next real Update will be occurring on Monday (7-26-10) at 9 AM in Judge Inveen's court room as an appeal of the New Student Assignment Plan will be heard.

The District is so slippery about NSAP etc. that this Performance Management via NWEA/MAP fits their MO perfectly.

dan dempsey said...

With some favorable timing members of The Seattle "5" Recall should be collecting signatures by late August.

Perhaps a little signature gathering outside the JSCEE is in order.

If you wish to volunteer, we are currently forming neighborhood teams in anticipation of a favorable call by the elections office, SEND me an email with RECALL in the subject line and I'll put you in contact with others. dempsey_dan@yahoo.com

LA Teacher's Warehouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sahila said...

Seattle parents challenging the School District's school closures and New Student Assignment Plan will be back in court at 9am today (Monday 26 July 2010) arguing that the Court should enforce the law requiring the School District to provide a Transcript of Evidence that is certified as correct for each of the decisions being challenged.

The parents contend that without a complete record of all the evidence considered by the School Board, no judicial review of any School Board decisions can be undertaken, depriving citizens of a basic constitutional right to due process and justice.

Additionally, as the recent State Auditor's report highlighted, the Seattle Public School's Administration and Board of Directors "did not comply with state law on recording meeting minutes and making them available to the public".

The auditor found: "We determined the Board did not record minutes at retreats and workshops in the 2008 - 2009 school year. These retreats and workshops were held to discuss the budget, student assignment boundaries, school closures and strategic planning".

This issue of the Board not considering all the evidence provided by the community and the District being unable to provide a complete and correct record is at the core of all the lawsuits filed against SPS in the past 18 months.

It was at the core of Judge Spector's recent ruling that the Board must re-consider its decision on math materials, this time considering all the evidence submitted by various community members and math experts. In that case also, the District initially submitted an incomplete record, which was supplemented later in the proceedings. The School Board and Superintendent are appealing Judge Spector's ruling.

Appellants today are asking Judge Laura Inveen to order that the Board's filings in the original closures and student assignment plan challenges be remanded back to the the School Board so that the filings can be certified to be correct, as is required by RCW 28A.645.020.

MathTeacher42 said...

kprugman - there are 3 math worlds at the U.W. The math ed crowd at the College of Ed, the Math Department, and the Applied Math Dept.

I think you're thinking of the U.W. College of Education and its disastrous math ed gibberish from the reform theologians

http://depts.washington.edu/matheduc/

I have my math degree from the U.W., and there are certainly people in the math department helping the reformist crap out, but, it was my experience that they push the conceptual / application end of math because they live in a world where a lot of basic skills are taken for granted. They really really really do NOT understand how bad the basic skills are for that 80%++ of the population who are NOT in sciences at places like the UW, so they don't understand how those bad skills get in the way of understanding more conceptual stuff.

I didn't take classes from the Applied Math dept.

And for people like reader who like to LIE ("LIE" is the word I used) about what non-reformists say - I'm NOT advocating drill & kill worksheets for years on end ... yawn. But - you gotta push your LIES about reform crap, and push your LIES about those opposed to reform crap, so LIE away!

BM

Sahila said...

Especially for teachers in Seattle and elsewhere who may not be plugged in yet to what is happening nationally, or who think they have survived other attacks on teachers and this current wave of teacher/union bashing also will pass... Believe me, this time its different...

Obama Reforms in Education: Teachers and Democrats Head for Divorce
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20261
"Its best to quickly recognize the red flags in any failing relationship. This way, ties can be severed instead of allowing things to linger forever in dysfunction. For Democrats and teachers unions, the writing is on the wall. The two are simply going in opposite directions..."

Two good places to start your research are here:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/education-secretary-duncan/civil-rights-groups-skewer-oba.html#more

Civil rights groups skewer Obama education policy

It is most politely written, but a 17-page framework for education reform being released Monday by a coalition of civil rights groups amounts to a thrashing of President Obama’s education policies and it offers a prescription for how to set things right.

You won’t see these sentences in the piece: “Dear President Obama, you say you believe in an equal education for all students, but you are embarking on education policies that will never achieve that goal and that can do harm to America’s school children, especially its neediest. Stop before it is too late.”

But that, in other nicer words, is exactly what it says. The courteous gloss on this framework can’t cover up its angry, challenging substance..."


and here:
http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/

kprugman said...

This is one report they did (not the survey)...none of the studies met the WWC standards for educational research. Yet these documents are available to the public. They are endorsements for US textbooks and that is all.

http://www.amath.washington.edu/~adams/gk12/comparisons.html

The math curriculum specialists should definitely rethink their religion. The data is there, we know what's happenning in math classrooms - the 'experts' refuse to admit US curriculum and educational research standards are below Asian standards.

Why is there no funding for evaluating or implementing Singapore curriculum.

Math education in the US has a serious problem - credibility.

kprugman said...

Mathteacher42 - You can be anon and confess that you don't like the word 'Singapore'. If I removed the word Singapore for you, would that make things better?

kprugman said...

After attending a public hearing concerning math standards and textbooks, I can say that it was hardly public and very few people actually had any input.

The group who had their laptops out were looking at the Boeing Achieve Standard when they made their inputs and the entire meeting was being run by a very agitated, impolite woman. The public can make its apologies for imposing, but they didn't have much say in the inputs, and well, here we are.

With the dough that's been thrown at math reform, we could just as have hired the Ministry of Education in Singapore to run our math programs for us and any results we'd gotten would been 10 fold better than what's been done to our students. The NCTM could disappear overnight and we wouldn't miss it.

kprugman said...

My bad mathteacher42 - I'm tired (school) Its hard to see which way the missiles are coming from. I know who's publishing the comparison studies (Ap. Math and LIFE Center) - I wasn't including the Math Department at all. My thought was a department was doing a favor for a publisher but that was three years ago.

reader said...

Do all math zealots talk to themselves, without a conversation partner? Flame on endlessly about trivia, and the good ol' days of yore? Back when everybody was smart (like them, of course) and could do math the good way?

Josh Hayes said...

Don't feed the troll, above.

Although WV seems to have hirs number: uniono.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Agreed Josh.

dan dempsey said...

The Statement by WEA Pres. Lindquist on the rejection of the RttT bid leaves little doubt about where WEA stands on Reform efforts ... Good luck to SEA members in Negotiations when your paid leadership continually takes positions opposed to your best interests.

kprugman said...

Well Reader, take a glance at the new NEA resolutions.

Teachers are finally picking up on reform's stealth agenda and between lawsuits and elections, reform is dog meat.

Standards without uniformity and rigor is a hopeless panacea. Get the textbooks straight first. I would love to be evaluated on my student's performance, because then I would be one of thousands filing a lawsuit for slander, discrimination and employer harrassment.

In some of our classrooms we have 35 special needs students combined with 32 regular kids and no teacher to collaborate with. Teachers actually joke or cry about how many rings of students are sitting against the walls in the classroom. Students race to get in first so they can sit at a desk.

I'm in the center of a classroom with my computer surrounded by kids projecting a powerpoint presentation on the screen, when a kid raises their hand they pass me a popsicle stick so I can grade for participation.

I'm the only one able to stand and move around my workstation in the middle of the classroom. We've been told we won't be able to xerox after Christmas.

Our seat-bound administrator wants to make a database to find out what teacher training we all want to go this year. The district was trying to get teachers to work for $39.20 per hour for credit recovery (extended day pay). Everyone has said no. Are you kidding us? four preps one classroom at the end of the day and the grade we give is a gift.

The majority of my students are special needs and I have no one to collaborate with. One special ed teacher was told to start wearing roller skates. She has four teachers to share classrooms with and a caseload.

The district has 5 days to balance classrooms or we're filing grievances against them. Its against the state code. These administrators are dog meat - one of them (a simpleton) put a cap of 68 in a classroom. What could these monsters be thinking?

The reform agenda is racist dogma. Immigration is a federal issue, and it shouldn't involve educators and it certainly shouldn't affect classrooms.

The standards educrats need brain implants - they should trade in their black suv's for bicycles.

kprugman said...

When we watch and analyze how our board members vote for instance whether to extend our superintendent's contract. A lone member voted out-of-character. She voted no.

The final analysis I heard today was the board knew ahead of time the contract would be approved - the lone board member voted no to make herself appear as though she was aligning with the union's position. ????

This is the sort of subterfuge our community has been facing with the board. These people are outrageous - and your district is being run by people belonging to the same organizations. The frustration teachers are feeling is being felt all over the country.

kprugman said...

Washington teachers do need a union - WEA is a mystery. Watch out. Our administrators may do as they please, but at least we've kept our contract intact - we've got good negotiators - and our officers are excellent. The same can't be said for administrators -they don't have the experience.

reader said...

Wow. KPrugman. 68 kids in class? That is incredible. What school is this? What sort of class? Gym? You should file a complaint. And, while you're at it, get your special needs students to file OSPI and OCR complaints too. Surely a few would. Free for them, expensive for the district. They must respond, and immediately.

As to standards... bloggers here don't think standards mean "same text book". To them, it means everybody does the GLEs ELRs... alphabet soup. Rather, they believe in "aligned curriculum"... not standards. But, I agree with you. Yes, standards... same books, different teachers and schools.

kprugman said...

The cap is 182 students per teacher (mou). We're not even close. The union is collecting all the master schedules - all of the teachers who lost their jobs had their layoffs rescinded. The union feels the layoffs were unnecessary and as you can see we were way over our projected numbers. It is the first time I've ever started school this way and its crazy. I lecture for an hour using powerpoint and the students learn how to take notes while they read the textbook looking for answers to questions. I have every age level - 14-18 and almost every classification of student - many are waiting to go to a learning center, adult school, or alternative education.

kprugman said...

The 68 students are in a world history class. Roughly half are special ed. The cap for the class was set by an AP using a computer program. There are three rings of chairs that surround the main cluster of desks. Its a clear violation of state ed codes (and fire code). The union is doing what it can, but its like talking to a blue heron - they think if they stand perfectly still, they'll be invisible. I used to be a pretty optimistic person.

Anonymous said...

If teachers evals are tied to student's academic achievement, then why would a principal think it's okay to spend $89K on another administrator vs. academic support! That's what's being proposed at Broadview-Thomson!