Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Guide to Understanding Teacher Contracts

The Education Sector provides a great guide for the public to discern elements of the teacher contract. One hopes that our elected representatives provide the voice of parents and taxpayers at the bargaining table, but it’s always best to “trust , but verify.”
In the past, WCCUSD teachers traded earnings for benefits, but that came to an end in the last contract. Our teachers earn substantially less than the peers in neighboring districts. New benefit provisions eat deeply into young families’ pockets. It’s a crying shame, IMHO.
Keep your eye on the evaluation section of the next contract proposal, making its way into the public record soon. The longstanding evaluation procedures can be found in the UTR contract http://www.wccusd.net/2277106316313770/lib/2277106316313770/Unions/FINAL_UTRContrac_2009-2012-8.4.10.pdf . Very few ways exist to compel any teacher that does not want to grow. 3 of the 4 evaluation options require no direct observation. I’m told one of the methods allows supervisors only to mark “satisfactory” or “incomplete” on the form.
Truly, only the teachers themselves can rectify this situation. Implore UTR leadership to invite constructive evaluation w/ or w/o test scores. I don’t see how NEA Keys http://www.keysonline.org/ is going to prompt change, which is the method our district seems to have chosen. We can use the new teacher projects Evaluation Rating Tool http://tntp.org/publications/issue-analysis/rating-a-teacher-observation-tool/ as a basis for examining potential measures. Our current system fails the mark on nearly all measures. Let your elected representatives know that you want serious evaluations in the next contract while reminding them that you vote.
Todd Groves

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