Monthly Archives: April 2012

May 22: Re-ratification Vote

Please be aware that we will be holding a re-ratification vote on May 22 for the last 3 contract votes we have had, due to a PERC (Public Employee Relations Committee) ruling that online elections are invalid. (No evidence was presented and no conclusion was drawn that there was any impropriety in the election, simply that the method of voting was invalid.) This was due to the lawsuits brought by Shawn Beightol, funded by the Right to Work Commission, a union-busting organization that sponsors and files (often frivolous) lawsuits in the interest of dividing unions and consuming their resources.

The new ratification vote will take place on paper ballots for one day only (May 22), so please be prepared to come to our mandatory meeting that day and cast your ballot. I will be posting the exact time and location by the sign-in sheets tomorrow.

Please be aware that failure to re-ratify our contracts will have the following consequences:

1. All teachers who received any money from the Race to the Top grant will have to return that money from future paychecks. (That includes every teacher at our school.) If that agreement is not re-ratified, the grant money must be returned…and that means from you.

2. We stand to lose employer-covered health insurance. Our bargaining team worked very hard to ensure that we could continue having an employer-covered health insurance option for employees, and the district picked up 90% of the cost of the increase in dependent health care when initially they wanted to pass along 100% of the increase to employees. If our contract is not re-ratified, we could lose the employer-covered option, and the already increased premiums for dependents could increase again dramatically.

3. New teachers would lose the protection afforded them by our Race to the Top M.O.U., which was not guaranteed in any way by SB 736 (and actually goes contrary to SB 736). Under our agreement, any annual contract teacher with an evaluation of “effective” or “highly effective” must be rehired for the next school year. If we do not re-ratify the Race to the Top contract, annual teachers will lose that protection and will be able to be non-renewed any year for any reason or no reason, regardless of the results of their evaluation.

This has the potential to affect quite a few of our colleagues here at HHS…it impacts any teacher who was a 3100 before this year and any new teachers (hired after July 1, 2011).

I will be sending you more information prior to the ratification date, and UTD will be sending you more information as to what a “yes” or “no” vote means as well. Please read all the information sent to you carefully, and be sure that you are informed by credible sources, before making your decision. It stands to impact all of us in significant ways, and you should know what the consequences are before you cast a ballot.

 


FCAT Madness 2.0

Testing season is upon us…and while the FCAT is (almost) over, there remain the EOCs, the AP exams, etc., etc…If you are like me, you will be missing students for weeks to come; they will come back to class having no idea what we’re doing, looking for makeup work, etc.

Welcome to the land of Tests 2.0…

I hope you are all surviving. See you on the other side.

In the meantime, take a moment to check out my work on this issue in the public sphere…

My latest article on FCAT madness…

My NPR interview on FCAT madness…

My School Board blog, dealing with several topics including union organizing of a new district charter school, and the new “accountability” formula and how it will affect school grades next year…

Happy trails!!