Tuesday, March 01, 2011

NYSUT Lawyers: "Why We Defend Triborough"

  

History & Impact of Triborough explained

30 comments:

Charlie Hubbard said...

30 years later and things have changed.
Correction - things changed 20+ years ago yet no wants to deal with it.
I personaly talked to state reps about this law and the response was very clear 'your just one board member Charlie' ' what about the rest of the board?' I did not have a 'good' answer then or now.
One of my many failures as a board member was not screaming about this item. I spent over 70 hours in negociations with the gta as the board rep (i was the only one NOT being paid) and I can't begin to explain the frustration of sitting there wanting to have a contract to 'improve' accountability and educational outcomes sitting across from people who knew they had it made in that they could only go up $$ from here thanks to this antiquated law.

I could go on and on - let me say without any reservations the need for this law has come and gone and few have the guts to stand up and say that and that includes our state reps. The losers continue to be the taxpayers and our kids and 'few care'

Anonymous said...

Well look like Cuomo is after the LIFO policy, and expediting removal of in effective teachers. I am pro teacher but want the hammer to fall hard on the unions. I am not sure how the evaluation process will work but it is a start. The evals should not be based on the NYS test scores as they are useless until the curric. is revamped and taught with content understanding as the priority and speed and quantity of topics covered disposed of.

Anonymous said...

Just in case you missed it, it is the teacher's union lawyers that are writing this position paper.

SCATS said...

To 10:13AM ~~ Thus my title of: "NYSUT Lawyers: "Why We Defend Triborough"

Anonymous said...

Tell me, Charlie, how does one fairly assess the accountability of these teachers- Teacher A who stands on his/her head to modify, adjust, and differentiate for ALL students, thereby "rewarded" by being given the most challenging and hard to teach learners. Teacher B who has a more rigid teaching style that the students must try to fit into, thereby children who have learning- different needs are kept out of this class. The greater likelihood is that achievement scores will be higher with Teacher B. So, what teacher in their right mind will openly invite the more challenging students if it means lower test scores.

Also, what happens to the teachers who have memos put into their personnel records or who are intimidated into silence or resignation when they point out irregularities in district's handling of IEPs or mandates? So those who sit down, close the door, and shut up remain in the administrators' favor. Those who dare to speak up about the reality of students' needs not being met or inane policies are labeled as troublemakers and punished.

How will changing Scarborough help improve educational performance and accountability when even more teachers will run for cover and hide in silence rather than speak up against the almighty district or teach the more challenging students?

It's easy for you, Charlie, to point fingers and shout and scream for what you view as the ultimate answers. Yet, what you still continually fail to recognize is that your "solution" does not address the problem of a bloated District Office with so many directors, asst superintendents and mentors running around, yet no one actually producing or doing anything. Yup, let's punish the "little guy" (teacher) who's actually trying to do a job and meet student needs.

Yes, we've heard repeatedly how you "spent over 70 hours in negotiation..." however, you were NEVER seen in the buildings or classrooms getting a true picture of what goes on or familiarizing yourself with the reality of Greece schools. You talk a good game, but is it empty barrels that make the most noise?

Charlie Hubbard said...

to 5:43 (anonymous)
First of all you can't FIX a problem until all parties agree we HAVE a problem.
Second of all please tell us that these problems you discribe were not there 10-20 years ago.

The second paragraph of your posting was the most disturbing in reference to memos ect. and I ask you - where the he## is your union? Now let me answer that question - when it comes to involement in quality they are awol. So 'WE' have a similar problem.

Lastly let me ask a question in reference to student conduct that we love to blame the parents about.
Who makes the rules of conduct for these buildings?
Actualy we don't have a problem right? Because I don't hear anyone talking about it - THAT'S someone elses job.

Anonymous said...

Teachers always ask, "How can I be evaluated?" and yet every other group of professionals at Kodak, Xerox, GM or any other place manages to determine what the output should be and measures their professional employees against those expectations. Principals should be able to measure the teachers in their buildings the same way other supervisors measure the performance of their employees.
Job expectations are usually (loosely) based on goals:
1. Students should be engaged in learning and making progress as measured by understanding and test scores.
2. Students should be seen as participating in the learning process, not just warming a seat for days on end.
3. Homework should be appropriate to the curriculum, contributing to the lesson, not just busy work.
4. Parents should be engaged and involved in the learning process. DOes the teacher communicate with the parents about successful and underperforming students, or is the report the only communication?
It wouldn't take too many hours to set up a set of goals and expectations for teachers that the principal could use for evaluations. And the Supt's would be doing the same to evaluate principals.
Use industry as a model. They've been doing it for decades.

Anonymous said...

5:43 So how would you assess teachers? Do you think they are the only profession that is completely free from the rigors of performance evaluations? Or if they are observed and evaluated , they should be exempt from disciplinary action?
Do you think the rest of the union of GTA should be exempt from evaluation or would you condescend to have the librarians and counselors evaluated? Since the principals have to deal with different economic and social groups of parents and children should they also be free from evaluation?
What about a counselor in a hospital that has been working for a few years and just is worn out and not having success working with her clients. She has no job security but she is working with some very difficult people. She is not in a public employees union and therefore does not have the job security you would bestow on teachers in the public school union. Change the workplace from the hospital to the Olympia high school and let's see the teacher that is not having some success with their students performance. Now no matter how poorly the teacher's student's performance that teacher , if she has seniority will be getting raises year after year and if there is a layoff will be spared if there are more junior but better teachers.
What would you suggest?

Anonymous said...

All great points. It seems every answer produces more questions. Well, I have one for everybody.

How come we don't hear about any of these problems in any other District other than Rochester?

SCATS said...

To 9:16PM ~~ Possibly because other districts are more functional and have less need to rely upon diversions from the real problems facing their district.

Anonymous said...

9:16 There are the same "problems" in the other districts. The reason you do not hear about "problems" in the other districts is that the city is the biggest district and Greece the next largest so the news covers those more. And the 2nd reason is that there is not a blog for the other districts. We have an interactive forum here to debate.

SCATS said...

To 7:25AM ~~ Oh please! While I'm sure some of the other districts share some of our troubles, I am also sure many of our troubles are of our own making!

WE ARE DYSFUNCTIONAL AS A SCHOOL DISTRICT! And it shows ... thus the need for a blog ;)

I'd like nothing better than to go out of business because we resolved our dysfunctional problems.

Anonymous said...

I too have been puzzled about fairly measuring teacher performance. Then I read that 6 years ago the U or R started performance measuring Doctors employed by the University Hospital system. That institution also has had to deal with all the many variables associated with the variety of the patients and variety of issues presented to the many doctors. Yet they collectivly had the will to procede. They now demonstrate continuuous improvement with measurable performace metrics.
It has worked. They have many data sets to demonstrate that continuious improvement. Carrots, mentoring and sticks (money and other incentives) are all a part of the process. Those measures include a variety of objectives covering patient care, outcomes, and as well as cost measures. It is complex but it is other understood by the providers.

If it works for doctors (real doctors) it certainly can work with teachers. The difference is the will to make it happen, not the complexity of the process.

SCATS said...

To 10:13AM ~~ Thank you for a wonderful idea & comparison! Our teachers always wanted to be treated like professionals and this is the perfect place and way to begin doing so. I agree, if doctors can make regular improvements faced with similar socio-economic issues, so can teachers. EXCELLENT POINT :)

Anonymous said...

If teachers want to be treated as professionals perhaps their first step should be performing to professional standards.

Professionals, be they doctors, Nurses, Weldors, Drivers, Barbers are Licensed and held to account for their work. Teachers eschew accountability every day in every way.

The only skillset teachers approach a level of professionalism in is self excusing and bitching.

SCATS said...

To 1PM ~~ Agreed, thus the idea to handle them like doctors. They CAN be made accountable ...

Anonymous said...

Bill Gates has weighed in after a lengthy study. Extra education doesn't guarantee a better teacher, more seniority doesn't guarantee a better teacher. He says (and he claims to have the video proof to back up his conclusions) that good teachers can teach more kids, and we are WASTING money with annual guaranteed raises without accountability. He claims we are shorting our kids the education they deserve and they need to succeed. Interesting observations from someone who has been a driver in productivity and producing the desired outcomes. ABC News had the interview, I hope they have the video on their website.

Anonymous said...

What "socio-economic issues" do doctors deal with that teachers deal with?
I do like the idea of treating teachers the same as doctors. What is the cap on salary of a really good teacher?

SCATS said...

To 7:36PM ~~ I assume that the same folks who are chowing down all of those free & reduced lunches are also seeking medical care.

To 7PM ~~ Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I agree with Gates! Good teachers teach, no whining, no excuses. I'll post the video ;)

Anonymous said...

Scats, doctors aren't teaching children. They treat them. Teachers are teaching them. Seems to be a difference right? Anyone who deals with the general public has to face these barriers. It is what their job is and how they have to deal with them. The police have these barriers. What is the outcome? Must be they aren't doing their job either because the crime hasn't been reduced. Lets get rid of the police now. I am sure you would be happy with getting rid of Greece Police, but I mean all police.

SCATS said...

To 7:23AM ~~ You think doctors don't teach the people they treat?? Give me a break! They teach people how to care for wounds, broken limbs, how to take meds, how to eat properly, how to bandage sprains, etc. My point is that the socio-economic "barriers" aren't exclusive to teachers. Many sectors of society work with and work around those who suffer poverty.

Bringing the police into this discussion is just another failed attempt to distract us from the fact that teachers can be and should be fairly evaluated, just like all other professionals. Those who can't perform to expectation need to be removed from dealing with the kids who suffer in their hands, period.

Anonymous said...

OK, I took some time and read some of the NYSUT propaganda publication. I suggest others do so as well.

"Teachers" replay the same line of crap over and over justifying their pay, working conditions etc and parrot each other for good reason, they've memorized the crap from NYSUT!

Fact, I've seen way too many young job candidates to believe "teachers" are getting the job done.

Fact, I've met a few Union "teachers" and find them far below the level of conversational ability of the people I work with.

Fact, Blame accomplishes nothing.

Fact, NYSUT buys and has bought State politicians.

Fact, the majority of kids are screwed by NYSUT

Fact: long ago the head of NYSUT said "When kids pay Union dies we will be concerned abut kids"

The only question; WHAT does society do with the thousands of kids who graduated with Diplomas they can't read? How long till Welfare attends Graduation to sign em up?

SCATS said...

To 12:45PM ~~ I believe you meant to say "dues" not "dies" ... right?

Anonymous said...

FACT...PUT A COMPRESS ON THE WOUND...

TO 12:45... state your facts.. Without citing your sources you have no facts.

SCATS said...

To 10:07PM ~~ If you look in the archives on this BLOG, I'm fairly certain you will find reference to the quote made by the union head ;)

Anonymous said...

Uhh young man...I know you are poor so I will teach you how to read so you can take your medicine properly and care for your wounds. Your bandage for your gun wound needs to be changed once a day. Your medication needs to be taken 2x a day. Once when you wake up and before you go to bed.

Nice job Doc. You have "cured" the world of all of its education problems. You can magically read.

Give me a break. Comparing a doctor to "teaching" someone to take their meds and a teacher teaching a child how to read is a joke.

If you get the reform that you want in Greece all that will happen is that the older teachers are going to get layed off and they will keep the younger ones because they are cheaper in the short term. Then any teacher over the age of 40 will sue Greece for age discrimination and they will win hands down. You have been down that road before. I don't think it worked out so well for you, the taxpayer, or GCSD. Right?

Some kind of refrom has to take place but NO ONE has come up with a good solution. Wait I have one. Why doesn't the state mandate that all state workers have to pay their 3% for their entire career instead of stopping their 3% contribution after 10 years. Mayber even dare to say to raise the contribution to 5%. All you hear about is how the tax payers contribution to state workers is going up. I believe the county said it is up 18% this year. Well this is why. State workers don't pay in after 10 years.

My definition of a state worker is any worker with a state retirement.

SCATS said...

To 5:43AM ~~ People who try to make this more complicated than it is are part of the problem! Welcome to that group.

Anonymous said...

To 5:43 at "Then any teacher over the age of 40 will sue Greece for age discrimination and they will win hands down."
That's not always true. When a normal private company lays off someone over the age of 40 they have them sign a statement that says they know they are not being let go because of age. Usually a severance package and unused vacation pay accompanies this request for signature as well as an early retirement incentive. Or a wonderful recommendation letter or all of the above. Anyone who is let go and is given no incentive or package could opt to not sign and then could make a complaint to the EEOC. Many do. But a school district can lay off employees for financial reasons or for the discontinuance of a program or an increase in class size. The choice of the employee to be laid off has to be very well thought out.

Anonymous said...

I realize this discussion has focused on teacher evaluation and that is worthwhile to have. I wanted to mention one other factor concerning public sector unions and collective bargaining.
Public unions can use vast sums of money (and do!) to lobby (read that as "bribe") public officials that will either vote on laws about their bargaining rights or with whom they will negotiate directly. That gives the public unions control of both sides of the table. WHen the UAW bargains a contract with GM or Ford, they do NOT own the company negotiators, but the public unions do. If you doubt it, look at the vast amounts of money collected from the employees as union dues and the huge amount donated to candidates. Another reason to limit public employee union's power and the things that they can negotiate.

Anonymous said...

We need to recognize that the fight put up by the union has nothing to do with education. It has to do with power, control and the ability of union leaders to demand dues from members and tap into those funds WITHOUT SCRUTINY and use the funds to fund campaigns of friendly candidates. This funding allows the unions to load the legislature with friendly votes and when the budget ax falls, they can demand that teachers are not adversely affected. It's about POWER not education.