Thursday, April 26, 2007


So far my school has a total loss of 12 teachers.

12 adults who will not be available to monitor pep rallies, class changes, fire drills, bomb scares and assorted duties around the school. 24 eyes that are no longer available to try and keep things safe.

There are 6 periods every day to teacher the 150 to 180+ students on our rolls.

There are 6 minutes to move everybody to another room or portable.

There are 30 minutes to eat lunch.

There is 1 period to do everything else.

There are still over 1,500 kids expecting to hit the school grounds in August.

Who's watching the kids?


Anonymous said...

Let me be the first to say that it's time for Mrs. Elia to resign.

She's completely botched the recent schedule change, has pitted elementary and middle vs. high school teachers, enriched herself at the expense of every teacher in this county, and has been the "invisible" CEO.

Mrs. Olsen said, “Don’t go there.” Sorry, Candy, but Mrs. Elia brought us to this point. Not the teachers. And, instead of bridging the divide, you have decided to make it worse with a lecture riddled with inaccuracies. We'll see you at the next meeting to discuss how, as a Board member, you have no idea what's really happening in the schools you represent.

For the record, let me state one thing. We respect, honor, and thank those teachers who educate and prepare their students for high school. We want to join them in helping to achieve the changes required. Candy, you "went there", not us.

Olsen's veiled threats to ALL teachers and “I’m in charge and you’re not” philosophy are remnants of the 70s. So, I hope those in the elementary and middle school levels now see you for what you are.

Elia's lack of understanding concerning how to tap the many ideas of all teachers was very obvious. If she had put us in a room to find the 20-28 million, I'm sure she could have walked out with a few ideas that would have avoided this mess.

Imagine, for two months, teachers pleaded with Mrs. Elia to visit with them to engage in a meaningful dialogue. She refused. She hid. And, today, she still hides.

It's time for the Board to find someone who can fix this. Elia came from within, and brings nothing to the table that brings us forward. She looks back; we need someone who looks three years out and guides us there.

Mrs, Elia, please resign to save this once great district.

Sisyphus said...


Ms Elia should resign.

Holding.............. please let me know the U-Tube video is posted.

Anonymous said...

Ms Olsen,

You don't meet with your fellow board members until school board meetings? Interesting because in todays St. Pete times there is an article discussing your recent workshop on how to cut money out of the budget. Of course April Griffin is the only one using her brain by suggesting, "we ask more of our administration and not just our teachers." I'm sure you, Ms. Olsen, suggested that you strip us of our health care as you threatened Tues night. (P.S. vision and dental is not free!)No wonder the communication is so lacking in our district. YOU are getting teacher feedback in the grocery store!

Looking forward to seeing you at the next school board meeting. If you think "this has gone far enough" wait until next year! If you do not reverse this decision you will not only have teacher as an angry mass but also students and parents. Enjoy the mess that YOU'VE created!

Anonymous said...

A couple of the high schools are inviting Board members to their schools to talk. The nice thing is that there will be no flashing lights to shut teachers up. And teachers not inclined to go to the Board meetings will have a chance see the Board members up close. There is no reason Board members should not come to teachers, not vice versa.

I suggest inviting Candy Olson to your schools to explain her hostile comments on the 24th. Plant should have the PTA invite her in tandem with teachers.

The parents in her district should hear how contemptuous she is of teachers. If she turns teachers down, you can tell the press and can tell her she is scared to talk to the teachers at their schools but offends them while Elia smirks approval from the safety of the podium.

Teachers' tactics should be as sharp as girlfriend Candy's and Elia's elbows are in dealing with the dignity of teachers.

Candy was singing a different tune at the last election cycle. Then she honored teachers. Now, re-elected, she doesn't. Teachers should not lose their urge to replace her at the next election. A hundred teachers going door to door in Beach Park, where I still have a daughter living, could clean Candy's clock.

LeeDruryDeCesarescasting-roomcouch.blogspot. has Dr. Lamb's Professional Standards charge posted. lee drury de cesare

Sisyphus said...

Look at is this way:

HS teachers will have a 50 m planning during the student day + 24 extra m in the day beyond the students’ day = 74 m without students.

Elem. Ed. will have 30 m planning during the students’ day + 90 extra m in the day beyond the students’ day = 120 m without students.

Teachers will have a 30 m lunch and 15 m duty accounted for in the below, along with some equivalent of homeroom.

Elem. Ed counts the time walking their students place to place as “instructional”.

We ALL work more than an 8 hour day to meet the need of our students. Teaching is an extremely difficult job. Elem. Ed. has time before and after classes to "plan". They are teaching with "blocks" and less passing time and number of times classes change. They also count the time when they walk their classes place to place as “instructional”, and part of that 300 minutes. We have different types of things we have to do and prepare for in our day. Please do not try to “divide and conquer’ us!

Most of us have not spelled things out this way. Our work days are VERY different as to how we spend our time. As stated before, the needs of our students are VERY different. Look at these side by side comparisons. One group does not work more than another. The media needs to understand this. The news reports from Tuesday’s protest and board meeting have left the message that high school teachers did not want to work as much as the other levels. This is the way things work for next year:

HS / Elem. Ed. / Definition

Ind. Classes/two blocks + another/ how periods are scheduled

150 students / 18 students/ parents to call, understanding needs, etc.*

6 classes / 5 classes

150 grades / 90 greades / to average, send to Edline, etc.

7.3 student hrs / 6.2 student hrs / "school day" for students

50 m planning / 30 m planning / time during the “student” day to plan

high level material / low level material

long assignments short assignments

Next year (8 h day for teachers

HS 24 m beyond the student day / Elem Ed. 90 m beyond the student day.

(8h minus the student hours)

Elem. Ed. counts the time walking their class place to place as “instructional” minutes. Why cannot HS count the time we are at the door, “instructing” our students during passing, because we are doing that?????

* many HS courses are a semester in length, which doubles the students to get to know.

Goader said...

I am taking this opportunity to highlight CTA for its beneficial relationship with teachers. I am researching its origins and the circumstances surrounding its creation. Its beginnings go way back to the latter part of 19th and into the twentieth century. It was born from several teacher organizations at the turn of last century. It is amazing what similarities still exist today. Merit pay was an issue from the beginning of the movement to organize teachers into labor unions. Most of the issues that brought about the formation of teacher unions continue to be relevant today.

I am taking an object point of view, attempting to present the facts as they existed when these unions began, and relating them to today. I want to present the big picture so we do not see CTA's actions today with tunnel vision. CTA has done much for educational working conditions over the years. I want to present some of the relevant information so we might have a more comprehensive view of CTA then one tends to have in the midst of turmoil not seen in decades.

I want to invite readers to leave their personal opinions on any aspect of today's upheaval as it relates to CTA. I know some of the objections that exist concerning CTA's response to the current matter. I would like to hear from those who, after reading my presentation, have thoughts to add to it. Please, let me know what you are thinking—good or bad.

Lee said...

I got my view of CTA from its treatment of Bart Birdsall in the abuse-of-school-emails case that Elia and Kipley cooked up against him shortly after Elia walked into the superintendent job.

CTA representative "forgot" things that occurred in Bart's interview with Kipley and wouldn't back up Bart's word of how Kipley intimindated him--or tried to--during the meeting. The CTA representative also encouraged him not to file a grievance.

At the Tiger Bay lunch that Elia spoke at shortly after she got the superintendent job, all CTA members sat at the administration table and avoided Bart, who sat with me and my husband. One came by the table at the end of the lunch to give Bart meager greeting, then rushed off to follow in the wake of the administration big-wig parade going out of the lobby with the CTA hangers on in its train.

Bart waylaid Elia to complain about the cooked-up charge.I audited the confersation. She never mentioned that he could file a grievance. On a chance, he later filed one; then Elia triumphantly announced to him that it was too late.

As a result of Bart's experience, two other teachers told him about how Kipley mistreated them for Professional-Standards charges after trivial incidents, one saying Kipley would not let her attend her students' graduation and that she could not tell anybody about what happened to her in Kipley's degrading punishment regime punishment of the teacher, which included jerking her around about the date when the punishment would end; the teacher also told Bart, crying, that Kipley wouldn't let her attend her students' graduation. I infer this sadism is a calculated tactic to terrify teachers so that they will be too scared to protest anything the administartion does because the result can be a Professional-Standards referral.

Bart complained to Dr. Lamb, who miraculously referred it to Tom Gonzalez, the Board attorney. The attorney promises that as a result of Bart's fighting the unfairness of his charge, that he is close to completing a booklet that tells teachers their rights and procedures when they get caught in a Professional Standards charge. That will be Bart's legacy from the terrorizing he suffered with no help but rather discouragement from CTA. He is now in counseling for this trauma, which his therapist describes a post-traumatic stress syndrome.

I talked to the CTA president and one of her assistants at a recent Suncoast Tiger Bay event. They said they had tried to counsel Tampa's CTA staff, but it did no good.

The staff of CTA won't post its salaries on the CTA Home Page. At the last Board meeting--24th--Lyons' response to one of the Board members about new teachers' inability to pay CTA dues was not sympathetic; Lyons cited the layers of fees in the $500 dues and did not sound sympathetic to teachers' inability to pay this whopping amount out of a beginning teacher's salary. She did not offer to consult with teachers; the Board member had to suggest that she do so.

I have never seen the CTA representative stand and defend teachers or even comment on the proceedings when they involved teachers--a plethora lately.

I too am idealistic; but I counsel against being a patsy. I am sure the history of the CTA inspires admiration for the founders and courageous conduct of past brave CTA leaders. But the current HC CTA leaders, in my view, don't replicate the behavior those admirable people.
What the local chapter of CTA needs is new people to replace the current collaborators with the administration. The theory of CTA and its history may well be admirable; those circumstances merely throw into more negative contrast the in-bed-with-the-administration that the current crop of CTA staff displays. Being an idealist--a person who works for ideal conditions or even better conditions for teachers--should not mean that the person cannot evaluate the negative behavior of the current CTA leadership. That negative behavior is why I said at the podium to Ms. Lyons that the CTA had done a lousy job for teachers.

My comments come in the context of my having been FUSA president at the college at which I taught for 28 years.

I have asked Bart Birdsall to comment to the Wall on his experience with CTA during the Elia-Kipley manufactured charge against him.

lee drury de cesare

Goader said...

To give context to Lee's reference to idealism I will leave the addendum I left on Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch concerning my announcing the CTA series on eskay espresso.


I know you have strong disagreements with CTA, many do. I have my own disagreements, but being new to teaching (second career, 1st was in business) I still possess some naiveté on many issues in education and teaching. I thought I would use my "innocence" and try to present a broader picture of CTA, its origins, and some good it has accomplished. It is easy to have tunnel vision in times such as these. I am a life-long liberal union type person and I still like to cling to idealistic notions. I hope you do not mind my placing this comment here. I certainly look forward to any comments you may have for my series on CTA at eskay espresso.

twinkobie said...

Listen, this is America. Let everyone give his or her view of things is my motto. I can't get into my blogs now because I've messed up the transitioning to Google overlord that has taken over Blogspot. When I figure that out, I will then hold forth full-throatedly. I welcome refutations in the comments; I never fail to publish one. The creative tension of opposing ideas is what yields solutions.

I do have a problem with some old guy with a granny fetish on my Grammargrinch blog (most popular, believe it or not, of my three blogs) because he nags me constantly and makes up grammar rules to rile me. I never let him, contenting myself with calling him a doofus.

I am a registered nurse and have been a psychiatric nurse. That's why I feel right at home in the kerfuffle that occurred at the podium with Dr. Lamb's tantrum of the 24th. It was like lockdown in the shizophrenic ward.

I have researched the topic of chair tantrums in "Robert's Rules" and have found detailed instructions that say, when the chair screams at the petitioner at the podium and tries to vault his regal circular throne desk to tear her throat out, she is allowed, nay obligated, to scream back louder than he and to do cartwheels and show her drawers.

I regret that I ommitted to perform the latter part of the protocol, unhappily, but I made up for it by crafting Dr. Lamb the first Board Professional Standards charge and circulating it widely on the Web. That's what Aristophanes, Juvenal, and Jonathan Swift taught me to do: laugh the rascals to scorn.

I give this view from my many years in the civil-rights movement: never let those in authority assume they have the right to abuse you in what they mistake is their royal perquiste to mistreat the public.

Fight back. Never falter. Hell, scream.

lee drury de cesare

Anonymous said...

Looks like The Tribune is finally where we are.

It's about time.

Now, let's see if Mrs. Elia will reach out and work with ALL teachers to solve our problems. You know our number, Mrs. Elia...we'll be waiting.

Anonymous said...

Oops, try this link instead. Sorry!

April Griffin said...

Check out