Sunday, March 4, 2007

Meeting With District Representatives: Report

Got this from "Carla" - apparently on the "Front Lines"
post-worthy indeed
hope you don't mind my edits CC

"I'd like to share some info from a meeting held with the superintendent's "reps"...cause you know... it would be impossible for the woman to represent herself!
The 300 mins was placed in our contract back in 1985. Back then, classes were 60 mins not 50 mins. Well you do the math... 60 x 5 gives your 300 mins! It has been explained to me that in 1985 the union (
association) decided to use the "minutes" terminology instead of period terminology because they were fearful that the district would try to increase the minutes of the period therefore shafting the teachers. No one every thought the district would be stupid enough to increase the 5 periods! We discussed this with the "reps" and a teacher who used to work in Pasco suggested the 5/6 plan that Pasco is using. This keeps the 50 mins for the students and it keeps the 5 periods for us. The response from the district "rep" was... uhhh... well in today's educational society there are too many students taking intensive reading and math classes and because of that all of your electives would be virtually wiped out!
Well the reality is... most intensive reading and math students don't have a large impact on academic elective enrollment anyways!! Certainly not AP electives and honors electives. Perhaps we could look more into what is going on in Pasco and find out more details as a possible solution?

Another teacher asked the district "rep" what other counties around the state where doing since we all have budget problems. There response was... uhhh... well we haven't had much time yet to do the research however we know that the Pasco schedule is not an option and that you wouldn't be happy teaching there!!!
If you have contacts with other teachers in other districts I think it would be useful to start talking with them to find out what's going on in their district."

Once again it is apparent that no one is thinking this through. I'd like to hear from Sam Whitten - the District's statistics guru- after he's looked for any correlation between time in class and grade improvement. Can we look at the stats from 1985 to the present? Seems to me if time in class were so darned important we'd all be on block scheduling. Can we survey our graduates and ASK them if they would have been happier with more time or less time. Businesses are forever asking me if I was happy with my experience. I can't get my car worked on or buy something from eBay without being asked for feedback.
I find it revealing that the district representative would tell anyone that they wouldn't be happy working in Pasco County. To paraphrase "Cartman": "I'll work where I want!"
Better hope Pasco doesn't get wind of this backhand - it could be their best recruiting tool.
I'm also concerned that nobody has looked around the state for options. Are we that superior? Can it be that we are competing for "bonus money" for implimenting a flawed program first? As my grand-dad used to say "Folla the dolla".


Anonymous said...

I believe that the comment regarding the electives is valid. There is much more to the high school experience than honors-level electives. Band, Art, Newspaper, Yearbook, Photography, ROTC, Teacher's Assistant and Chorus come to mind. Valid and, dare I say, necessary for our students development as creative human beings. I'd have to take exception to a 5 period day since personal experience indicates that sometimes these classes keep the borderline student in school. Research indicates that these classes have as much influence on the student's intellectual growth as any academic class. A Reason To Believe so to speak.

Anonymous said...

I agree! All of the electives are important. I teach an elective that is not honors/AP as well. Today I scrolled through Pasco county's course offerings. Band, Chorus, Art, Ta... all of the elective mentioned are offered in Pasco county. If Hillsborough moved to a schedule similar too Pasco I find it hard to believe that all the electives would be virtually wiped out as suggested. I think we need to see how this 6/7 plan will effect electives in Hillsborough... more classes more preps per burnt out teacher? I know electives often involve fieldtrips etc etc. How will this play in next year with sub shortages and teachers teaching 6/7 classes. Certainly schools wouldn't be able to share subs between teachers as frequently as we do now with 5 pds.

Carla C.

twinkobie said...

I am posting this entry on my blog on the school system. I got concerned about it when I learned that Bart Birdsall had been subjected to humiliation by Linda Kiply seconded by Elia for a cooked up violation of the school email rules because he sent emails from his home protesting the shutdown of gay county library services.

lee drury de cesare

twinkobie said...

President-of-Tiger-Bay Tish: What about inviting teacher representatives to speak to Tiger Bay? This is a red-hot community issue.

Kicked out former member,

lee drury de cesare

Posted in large letters on

crsplace said...

I think we need to see how this 6/7 plan will effect electives in Hillsborough... more classes more preps per burnt out teacher? I know electives often involve fieldtrips etc etc.
see my blog