Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rally to avoid seniority

On another post Anonymous wrote:
This is about the A+Plus rally.




UPREP students have their own A+ Plus Chapter.



Is this a African-American movement issuing a decree to our schook system. How many African-American adults will be furloughed?

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/education/rally-urges-keeping-teachers-based-on-ability-not-seniority-636116/




33 comments:

Questioner said...

A+ wants to "Keep Pittsburgh's best teachers."

Can we have a list of Pittsburgh's best teachers? And information on how it was determined that they are the best?

Bram Reichbaum said...

Considering de facto neighborhood and school (and due to academic tracks, some classroom) racial segregation -- and what we know about its effect on learning, and on what we might suspect about how it effects resource allocation -- how about the idea that "the African-American movement" should get to issue decrees? Or at least that their positions should be very seriously considered.

On a related topic: I'm diving in to learn more about RISE. I seem to recall some very skeptical things written around here about its implementation. If anybody can point me in a good direction, let me know.

Anonymous said...

This is such a joke. Why isn't A+ lobbying for more teachers in the classrooms and fewer people in Central Admin? Research shows that smaller class sizes improve student performance. And just saying, but my personal observation of the teacher evaluation system is principals using it to get GREAT teachers out of their building. The less effective teachers? They're still at the school, with no change.

Anonymous said...

They are determined by birthdate (younger = cheaper salary) and by who they know at Bellefield.

Why oh why aren't these African-American groups rallying against Lane and her gang? Bellefield, not the teachers, created the debacle at Westinghouse and at other low achieving schools. They continue to make guinea pigs out of our students for foundation monies. PPS is nothing but a laboratory for educational experiments in exchange for money. Wake up people.

Anonymous said...

This is all happening very fast. The teachers need to get ahead of this fast or the momentum will be lost to "community organisers". This appears to be a race issue and will escalate and the race card will be played and it will be very difficult to seperate that issue from anything else.

Anonymous said...

Great idea. I have not heard anything from the interested parties other than that there is enough data to determine effectiveness. Most of said data was not to be used at this time until further evaluation of its worth was determined. Not to be snarky, but putting all teachers names in a hat and pulling until we reach an acceptable number would be as reliable as what would be usedif seniority were ignored. I am a hard-sell but if you listen to the folks brought in to convince parents that the RISE and EET projects are so wonderful it is so rehearsed and repeated that it all just becomes a bunch of words.

Anonymous said...

If you want to keep teachers, starting cutting some of the do nothing administration. Including the do nothing spokesperson for the Pittsburgh Promise. When's the last time he taught, self preservation? Why are we laying off teachers and creating more administrative positions for people to sit around and point the finger at teachers. Look at how the administration has grow during this so called reform. We close schools, Lay off teachers, and we still need more administration? In the last six years administration has grown by leaps and bounds. It has not doubled but trippled.

Broadie Lane gets rid of Janitors, Secretaries, Clerks, Para's and Teachers. She has not got rid of one adminstrative position. She has created positions to keep PELAS employed.

She needs to start at the top at the Ivory Tower, theses people make a lot more money than teachers. There main function is to find ways to validate their jobs.


Self Preservation Indeed

Randall Taylor said...

Questioner, you are correct.
I believe that there should be a public meeting on how it is being determined who are the most and least effective teachers. How long has the District had this data?
If the District has this than it should be made public. Should the priority of such data have been used first to make parents aware that their child's teacher has been rated ineffective by the Administration?

Anonymous said...

Okay- A+ doesnt want to use seniority because they feel we are losing Pgh BEST teachers. Now what establishes this "bestie"? Not seniority, and apparently not the new system of evaluation- since everyone istn "on it" and it isnt applicable to many contracted teachers- and both the union and admin seem to agree to only use this when they want. So next idea - SCORES-- no I dont like it but lets eyeball the Pgh Business Times Guide to Schools. NaMES bandied about have included Faison and King..who for various reasons have alot of rookie teachers soon to be furloughed. Okay 4th grade-- out of 306 schools with a 4th grade - King is 305 and Faison is 303-- so scores may not be the answer. What is left oh wise ones? Good looks- buy the botox? Kiss ups-- buy the chapstick... Please dear A= tell me how you wise ones are going to chose the BEST?

Anonymous said...

The PFT was counting votes today at 4:00. Who won? The outcome may effect the seniority issue.

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

Bram, talk to teachers about RISE. You'll need first person accounts and experiences to get a grip on that.

Anonymous said...

Nina won.....I wonder if the conversation will change.
http://www.pft400.org/

Personally, as a parent, I'm saddened that this premature discussion of using District measures of effective teaching (RISE and VAM) has taken away the focus from the immediate issues of increased class sizes, lack of support for the teachers, poor school climate, unsafe environments for our children and teachers and a discipline system that does not work.

The timing of this seniority conversation was terrible and I truly feel for the teachers. We all know nothing will change for this furlough but I hope when the dust settles, the District and Union can find a solution that benefits the children.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Taylor

You have a very valid point. With Pa's "Right To Know Law" the indvidual teacher data regarding student learning will be published in newspapers for public to purview and review as in NYC Schools District and LAUSD.


This is the most logical move with strong support from varied public sectors to make comparative analyis of individual student learning with their classroom teacher's instructional methods.

After the seniority issue gets hashed out-this will be the next move for the District to place out there. From what we can assume, this data will be ready to go with names to the public ASAP next school year. It is a non-legal issie and teachers can not fight
it.

My Second Point-

What about Westinghouse High School and the fact they are losing a large amount of teachers there. The school district is afraid to fight for this school, which bothers me a whole lot as a parent. How dare they pick and choose-without even bating an eyelash for Westinghouse. Dr. Lane you should be ashamed of yourself not placing this in the mix-tell A+ Schools-they need to speak out for the students there.


Allegheny Traditional Elementary is losing 7 teachers. Oh,wait a minute that is a magnet.

Point 3:

PFT Election Results President Nina Esposito-Visgitis (CCEU) 865, Mark Sammartino (TFC) 749, Vice President for Elementary Schools Mary VanHorn (CCEU) 824, Mark Milanak (TFC) 767 (more results posted soon).


Ladies and gentleman over 3000 members and Just a NOSE OVER HALF of the membershiP voteD?

What is wrong here with the Union members, they are forced to pay dues and allow this to happen a VERY CLOSE ELECTION AS SEEN IN THE tallied VOTES.

I think they need a recount for both so far-this looks like the Preakness has started earlier than this upcoming Saturday.

Anonymous said...

As far as the "when"-- the big clue was last June- after accepting applications, that for those perspective teachers- life changing-- they waited til June to decide that their Teacher Academy idea wasnt going to fly because they couldnt give those shiny minted script readers the jobs of seasoned professionals. Really? Again the arrogance that we are better than Pa school code, experienced educators across the state- just because we can get Broad to pick up the tab is astounding. Even as one of the more experienced teachers, I felt bad meeting the younger people who quit jobs etc to come here because they were promised a Pa teaching certificate for doing a stint at the magical Teachers Academy. At that point, teachers knew furloughs were coming- and that when there are less teachers there are more students in classes!
Unlike Bellefield, teachers are individually responsible for a number of students-- teacher not there- someone else has to add those students to their own load. There are no extra teachers sitting around on lawn chairs!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

The timing of this seniority conversation was terrible and I truly feel for the teachers. We all know nothing will change for this furlough but I hope when the dust settles, the District and Union can find a solution that benefits the children.

May 16, 2012 10:02 PM

We need to remember which boardmember initiated the directive to the superintendent to begin the conversation on seniority. Can someone refresh my memory?

Anonymous said...

A+ Schools is a joke, just a rumber stamp for the PPS. A+ funding comes from foundations so they do and say what they are told to.

Anonymous said...

If anyone can shed light on why the voter turnout was so low please do so. As a taxpayer, I am aghast and disappointed that so many chose not to participate.

Questioner said...

Since this was a union election it would not seem to be a concern of taxpayers in particular. Hopefully teachers had all the information necessary to make a decision. Maybe many assumed the incumbent would be elected. Can teachers feel confident that no one can determine how they voted?

Anonymous said...

One reason that I heard voiced was.. if I'm being furloughed-- it really doesnt matter and if I'm "just displaced" I may be very saddened also-- I know the public cant get it-- but the majority of the staff in PPS is clinically depressed. These are the people with your students all day. At that point people fall into the nothing matters, nothing is going to help-- saw my colleagues targeted for nothing, guess I'm next kinda thinking. No one feels empowered by RISE-- and the cheerleaders at the union cant make the teachers believe in this.
And yes, taxpayers should be concerned over the feeling of victimization that their teachers feel

Curious George said...

Anon 2:49, as you said, there are many unhappy teachers in the district. In fact, I don't know of a single teacher who is satisfied with the current situation.

So can you (or anyone else) please, please explain why the union reform slate lost? It can't be that most teachers are beyond caring, can it?

After all, more than 800 teachers voted for Nina's slate. And Nina was, along with John Tarka, the one who allowed this mess to happen.

Exactly what is going on here?

Anonymous said...

http://www.pft400.org/

Nina Espisitp wins PFT presidency!

Anonymous said...

The Foundations are on the loose,again. Everyone of those groups, except the advocates, listed in the PG are funded by local Foundations. These so-called Black leaders have not come out unified on any issue except this one. Shame falls particularly on Rev. William Curtis who never speaks out on any issue at any time.

Anonymous said...

What is the roll of the Gates Grant in all this?? There must be organizations and individuals who will lose money if the Gates grant is adversly effected by laying of the newer teachers. Again, is this about money that this is being raised at this time??

Anonymous said...

The first answer that most say is that elementary are sheep. I have also heard from a retiring elementary-- oh those people are "against the union" no they are against the current administration but that is what some people felt. Also furloughed. displaced, targeted- dont believe they would be helped by change. Not soon enough. The union cant clean out Bellefield. Their feeling was that yes, some of the "handshake" kinda agreements wouldnt hold, but these same people voted for the last contract knowing this was coming!
Then they whine about things like the Health care initiative because hey they just wanted a contract.

Anonymous said...

The real sad part about the election is that less then half of the membership voted. Is it apathy? Is it anti-union sentiment? What???

Anonymous said...

The real sad part about the election is that less then half of the membership voted. Is it apathy? Is it anti-union sentiment? What???

Anonymous said...

There are no new teachers via the Gates Grant, that was all ironed out about this time last year. They let the district keep their money to run the two programs at Brashear and King. The idea of doing several week long "brush-ups" for more experienced teachers seems to have disappeared.

Instead those teachers will be doing RISE evaluations along with principals next year. I did notice that some of the resignations were from those programs, too.

So, Gates is happy their money is still going toward "reform" goals and the district is off the hook for the ridiculous amount they'd pledged to train teachers they didn't and wouldn't need.

Of course, had they trained those teachers and kept doing it, this same anti-seniority thing they're doing now would have likely been rolled out. Oh, woe is us, we spent all this money producing the best ever teachers in no time at all and we don't want to waste your money by keeping teachers with real experience.

Anonymous said...

As I have read the posts at this blog, listened to the Agenda Review Meeting; parents need to jump ahead to the fact; no matter what TYPE of teacher is furloughed- the number of students in the classroom will stay high in the numbers. This rally is just so passé and subjective-this rally. The schools mentioned were always low-performing schools.
This is an EXCUSE for the low PSSA scores-a PR movew.

They paid all THE schools designated as ALA’S with teacher incentive pay-six years later one stands left open Colfax. This makes a very concise huge statement.

Maybe they need to look at the communities that feed into Colfax-see that something right is going on.

All of sudden this uprising from certain community groups-you are behind the times.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Linda Lane was not ready for this job and yet we gave it to her thinking she would have the insight to close the acheivement gap of african american students. Well she hasnt, and infact probably made it worse. Look what she did to the schools in homewood and the Hill. Get rid of her, so we can began to save this district. Lets get us a real superintendent in here please.

Anonymous said...

PPS owes Gates millions and cannot pay him back. Between Broad & Gates this district will be held hostage because the school board has NFI what is going on.

Lippert will simply replace Lane, lather, rinse repeat.

Anonymous said...

" Questioner, you are correct.
I believe that there should be a public meeting on how it is being determined who are the most and least effective teachers. How long has the District had this data?
If the District has this than it should be made public. Should the priority of such data have been used first to make parents aware that their child's teacher has been rated ineffective by the Administration?


May 16, 2012 4:18 PM. ~Randall Taylor quote

the data they found unfavorable they cleaned up as much as possible for a few years. Current data...all bets are off IT spending is unreal, no vision, just 6000 shiny I -Pads for 26,000 students.

How silly to ask for real data, the board is protected from that nonsense. Just sign your name and move along.

Data was available, it was not what the district was looking for, same with finaces. You got the glossed/ fake version. It is going to hurt hard when reality hits. At least 3 school board members need a major wake up call or we are in big trouble.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/user/ppstubetv

This sounds so reasonable but with the way things unfold here you always have to wonder if this will go into the arsenal to combat any lawsuits based on age discrimation. There are bunch of us who did not used to be cynics. For many families, it just feels like such a chaotic end of the school year. There are great things happening in our kids' schools.