Thursday, June 28, 2007


With contract negotiations in full swing, why do we have to rely on a third party for information? The Gradebook has our collective thanks for correcting our misconceptions with the facts.

It is demoralizing to know things are happening and CTA has left its membership in the dark!

Why is CTA's web site NOT reflecting an up-to-the-minute report on how negotiations are going?

It should have the sessions listed with the agenda of each.
It should let the membership know that they are welcomed.
It should let us know that 2 early release days were "approved".
It should let us know that we will be working an 8 hour day (remember last year's agreement?).
It should let us know each side's opening position and whether we have any NEA professional negotiator present.
It should let us know, period.

Why have a website that is, for the most part, static.

P.S. This blog took about an hour to set up (start - finish) and I knew nothing!

Those of you who were here from the start know the generous help I got from others. THAT'S partially the root of this posting: for an organization that purportedly represents the education profession, they appear reluctant to "extend their skills" for effective communication.

And that doesn't mean we need to buy them all iPhones!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

POT(ted plant) SHOTS

Here is how Lambo and the Queen of Candyland treat citizens who question their spending and hiring practices.

These dismissive and vindictive comments appear to be an indication of the general heat they are feeling. Please print this out and file it. Take it to the polling place. Let's enforce the district's bullying policy!


I think you need to check your facts as to who was on the board at that time and the gentleman’s name also I think was incorrect.

Thank You.


I’m going to say first of all that I think it’s interesting that you either agree with someone or you’re a rubber stamp or a potted plant.

Number two, those statements are inaccurate. Anyone who paid attention to that hiring process knows full well that Mrs. Elia didn’t have the inside track going in and I think anyone who bet on her would have been prepared to lose a bunch of money.

Paper is one part of the hiring process and to the best of my knowledge there is no business in the country that doesn’t do interviews and background checks before it makes the hiring because there is more to life than good grammar and commas. There are things like clarity and commitment and energy and I will just say also I think it’s very interesting that a woman that claims to be a feminist generally takes as her target other women.

Thank you.

(meeting gaveled to a close)


The revealing video is available via the Stream 'n' Scream link. It also shows the Queen reading from her royal notes.

Lamb refers to Otero as Brinson.
Dr. Dagget (Forum fiasco) to sell us (my words) on "Cultural Competence" teacher training. Lamb (obviously reading The Wall) asks Luney to make sure we copyright our materials.

This is so comment rich that I'd have to neglect important bodily needs and functions to get them all out. Have at it readers!

Thursday, June 7, 2007


I was preparing a response to the proposed changes of Board Meetings when this comment got posted. Thank you "anonymous".

I think this change is one of those mean-spirited CandyLand "gotcha"s, if you know what I mean.

I realize this doesn't really belong on this comment chain, but I am wondering if anyone else is concerned about the change of School Board meeting times to THREE pm starting in September. (April Griffin has the link to yesterday's Trib article on her blog.) I see several reasons why this might be a problem, and I have pasted in my letter to the Board expressing these concerns.

I'm interested in what you think.

Dear Board Members,
I am writing in response to your recent decision to change your meeting times from 5 pm to 3 pm. While I sincerely appreciate your efforts to be more accommodating to teachers and members of the general public who might wish to make comments at Board meetings, I nonetheless feel that your present plan contains many problems.

*As you know, many private citizens work until 5 pm. Shifting the time of the meeting to 3 pm would require many of these citizens desiring to address the Board to take several hours off work, as opposed to possibly just leaving a little early as they presently do.

*Middle and high school students and staff being recognized at a Board meeting will now need to miss time at school, which will additionally require said students to fill out School Business forms and miss classes. Thus, the new meeting time ends up requiring more paperwork and potentially inconveniencing schools whose administrators now have to miss possibly the entire afternoon of school in order to arrive at ROSSAC by 3 pm (depending of course on their respective travel times, etc).

*I know you are also aware that secondary schools release at 2:45 or later, and middle schools typically release later still. Many teachers--at all grade levels--work at locations far from ROSSAC and thus will need travel time to get there if they desire to attend a meeting. Thus many teachers would not possibly be able to arrive at a meeting before 4 pm, depending on how far they have to travel.

* While an online speaker's list will certainly facilitate the process, any principal who wants to discourage his/her teachers from attending or even speaking at a Board meeting need only hold a faculty meeting on that day. Indeed, TUESDAY is the typical faculty meeting day for high schools. The current contract says meetings may hold teachers as much as 50 minutes after their workday ends. With the 20 minutes of additional paid time in our work day thus potentially delaying even the beginning of such a meeting, a principal could easily prevent teachers from even leaving their schools until as late as 4 pm. A teacher at a school distant from ROSSAC who then needs an hour of travel time would thus effectively be stopped from speaking at Board meetings. I can tell you that many of my colleagues have already faced harassment and retribution for their work against the 300 min policy. Therefore, moving your meeting time 2 hours earlier makes it EASIER for principals to prevent teachers from attending these meetings.

*Any teacher who earns extra money by working in the Extended Learning Program or teaching night school classes (as I do) will have to miss the entire afternoon's work in order to attend the meeting at all. Thus even attending the meeting at all will cost hardworking teachers extra money. I myself have given up night school time (having made sure in advance that there was a teacher to cover me) in order to attend meetings. Since our night school classes met on Tuesday and Thursday from 3-6 pm, I lost easily $75.00 simply to attend these meetings. I did this on two separate occasions for meetings I felt it was important to attend from the beginning, but on subsequent occasions I simply came to the meeting after night school ended. Under the new schedule, I will not have this option. Under the new schedule, I will literally have to lose income in order to attend a meeting at all, as meetings will now likely be OVER by the time I could get there after my class was over.

For all these reasons and possibly even more that I haven't considered yet, I believe that the new meeting time of 3 pm will actually HINDER the participation and attendance of community members and teachers at School Board meetings. I appreciate your desire to make these meetings more accessible to more people, but the change in schedule does not, for the reasons I have cited, do that at all. In fact, the new time only makes it HARDER for teachers even to attend, never mind speak at, Board meetings. For all these reasons, I seems practical to me to keep the 5 pm meeting time but change the position of speakers within the meeting. If you were to place speakers after recognitions, say, ahead of the discussion of agenda items, you would still be giving ANY speaker wishing to address the Board attention early in the meeting and showing them respect by not making them wait until the very end of a possible long meeting. You would also be maintaining the current opportunity for teachers and private citizens to ATTEND meetings within our very busy schedules, allowing for travel time and the school bell schedules. Maintaining the current meeting time of 5 pm will also make it harder for principals or anyone else to interfere with teachers who might wish to at least attend if not address School Board meetings.

For all these reasons, I ask you to reconsider this decisions and maintain the current meeting start time, increasing community opportunities to address the Board simply by changing the point at which audience participation occurs.



Isn't it ironic that the board can change their times to "stay fresh" but will approve the 6/7 schedule which does the polar opposite to employees?
Bargaining Dates (Thanks Sys!)

"There are 3 bargaining sessions in the last of of June. We need teachers to attend these.

Monday - 6/25, 1-4:45

Thursday - 6/28, 1:30-5

Friday - 6/29, 2-5

All at CTA Headquarters. They expect to be done that week."