Sunday, September 21, 2008


Communication Deja vu.

Come on, hasn't anyone picked up on the district's strategy?

They have succeeded in redefining "communication".

There is no communication.

Communication requires dialogue. Oh, they claim to.

HiCuPS does not engage in dialogue
with teachers or parents or staff. Not even Board members, from April's comment.

They inform. Period.

Think about: Lawson, 6 out of 7, Buses, Calendars,
Spring Board. Need I go on?

We are informed of decisions. Even our ASSociation has adopted this model. "The teachers union says the additional early-release days are a done deal."

This passes as communication. The results are evident. The excuses predictable: "We will get better at telling you what to do."


Anonymous said...

Noncommnication is Elia's strategy and it has been working very well for her. 6/7 classes and back to traditional scheduling for high school? Release it to the newspapers right before holiday break and the public will forget about it before school is back in session. Teachers did not even get a "POP-UP email" about that one. Pretend teachers and the community have a say with their sham meetings knowing the decisions have all been made. Does anyone know about the 3 times a year that she meets with National Board teachers? When was/is that? Maybe it's that little group of CTA NBT's she is talking about. I remember that she was to speak at the NBT Spaghetti Warehouse dinner last spring, but was a no show. Communicate with principals? If things don't go her way or there are too many questions about her decisons, raise the volume (and the pressure) to make sure they understand. Have you read the St. Pete Times article today that addresses the early release days in the new bargaining agreement? According to Yvonne Lyons, it is a done deal and contract approval is just a "formality." Lyons is counting on the fact that a nonvote is the same as a yes vote. Do you ever see reported how many teachers didn't vote or do you just read about the posturing about the approval votes? Elia and CTA don't seem to think that parents will mind rearranging their schedules. Bus scheduling changes to accomodate these early release days? Get ready for another nightmare. And Springboard? Eila's outrages just continue. Why does the School board put up with this? Why do we put up with the School Board?

Anonymous said...

You said a mouthful! (I wonder where the space came from since so much has been crammed down our throats.)

It is really frustrating to see how "sheepish" we have become.

You're damn right I'm voting "NO" on the contract and on the November ballot.

Anonymous said...

I am voting "NO"-- I have been every chance I get. Since when have all of Elia's "deeds" been classified as "Communication"? It goes way beyond that. What is wrong with the school board? What is wrong with CTA? What does does Elia have on them?

Anonymous said...

The comment about CTA is a non-sequiter. CTA is not responsible for communicating with parents.

Typical of you to make nonsense comments about CTA. What's next- blaming CTA for sub-prime mortgages and the current financial meltdown?

Anonymous said...

5:08 must be a newbee to The Wall.

No one here expects CTA to communicate with parents! Come on.

It is CTA's communication with their membership that is most often mentioned. Along with their apparent "sweetheart" deals with the district.

If anything maybe you were thrown off by the lack of paragraphing.

Understandable when posters try to get everything out at once. Call it "projectile ranting".

Don't be a stranger 5:08. Check in often.

Ricky Ricotta said...

Thanks for the offer, 8:03. I might stop by to rant a bit myself now and then.

What does "sweetheart deals with the district" mean? Please don't give me some vague explation. Give me some FACTS! I need some material for my first full-out rant.


P.S. If I'm going to post more comments here, I should have a name to go by...

Anonymous said...

Sweetheart deals with the district are things the CTA rools over on KNOWING that the district will benefit at the expense of the membership. Bargaining chip?

I don't have the time or space for a lot of "learning ya" about retirement and all it costs the district but you'll have to take my word that a .4% saving multiplied by the number of employees it affects is a bargaining chip that CTA uses.

The quid pro quo might be that the district requires CTA membership in order to be on committees that get paid for county work. Book adoption, test writing, etc. A slow read of the contract may reveal more.

BTW I'm not 8:03. Just another poster.

Ricky Ricotta said...

I've been on those committees. Never got paid a cent.

Try again, please.

Anonymous said...

What committees met on your own time and you never got paid or reimbursed?

You worked on county products on your own time for free?

Ricky Ricotta said...

I've been given a subsitute, but have never been reimbursed for district committee work, like MAP or administrative screening.

I have worked on district products and been paid, but it had nothing to do with CTA or district committees. I was simply hired by a supervisor to do the work.

Ricky Ricotta said...

I've seen various folks on this blog throwing around accusations against CTA, yet when I ask for some specifics on one of those accusations, I get no real response. Could it be that the folks making these statements don't actually have anything to back them up?

Anonymous said...

Could it be you have provided equally shallow examples?

You give away your talents or get a sub and THAT's supposed to be evidence. We know better Ricky.

This is not a tool chest dude.

As a former member I can no longer write exams for the county. Is THIS good enough?

Find another playground.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, administrative screening?! That's revealing - you're trying to be an administrator or are one.

Administrator or CTA representative, TOOL says it all.

Ricky Ricotta said...

Anonymous 9/27 11:15: An Administrative Screening is a committee made up of administrators and teachers who interview people wanting to be administrators in Hillsborough County. The administrative candidates have to pass the screening before they can apply for an administrative position.

I was on a few Administrative Screening committees because CTA appoints the teacher representatives. I was not one of the potential administrators.

So, Anonymous, you simply revealed your ignorance of what an Administrative Screening is. It's the opposite of being a "tool" for anyone. Quite the opposite- it means you have a voice in rejecting administrative candidates who aren't qualified or ready to be administrators and approving those who have potential.

You don't even know what this committee does. You call a teacher representative, someone who gives teachers a voice, a "tool," and mistakenly identify me as an administrator or administrator wannabe. Wrong on all accounts. Talk about tools.

I'm still waiting for someone to give me facts instead of wild (wrong) accusations and name-calling. The silence is deafening.

Ricky Ricotta said...

Anonymous 10:10: I can't make heads or tails of some of your comments, but the "Find another playground" comment is revealing. If you simply disagree with me about something, then why can't you just disagree. Why the desire for me to go away? Aren't you capable of taking a position and defending it? Or changing your mind if someone has a better argument? Only a coward or a bully needs to order people away.

Having said that, this whole line of discussion started with someone making accusations about CTA making "sweetheart deals" and there being a "quid pro quo" involved. I asked for real examples. I didn't get any, and that includes your response. There is language in the contract calling for 51% of test item writing committee members to be teachers and for CTA to appoint them. This language, along with other committee language has been in the contract for several decades, with improvements over the years. How can language going back possibly as far as the 1970s be part of a current "sweeheart deal" or "quid pro quo" for something that happened recently? I'm sorry, but that makes absolutely no sense.

This contract language is the result of great work by CTA, because it insures that committees will not only have teacher representation, but also that the teachers chosen aren't just administration lackeys. This is to be applauded and appreciated, not sneered at.

Having said that, I'll end this thread, as no one here seems to have anything to say about it worth responding to.

And this isn't my playground. I play with people who care about the truth and don't smear those who are working for their benefit. But I do enjoy walking onto a playground and showing the bullies up for what they really are. I won't say what that is, but if your comments are any indication, this is indeed a "tool" chest. If ya get my drift.

Anonymous said...

So you can't be on a screening committee without joining CTA? You aren't able to judge quality without membership in CTA?

Historically you always had to be a member to be on certain committees. I guess I can see the point. CTA has to have some "access" benefits.

So if you never bought into the CTA thing to begin with you're...

The only truth I know for sure is what I experience. So while "done deals" may be suspect nothing Ricky or anyone else has said has convinced me about "sweetheart deals" not existing.

Either way it seems that a lot of the misunderstandings comes from less than thorough info on both sides.

Anonymous said...

Too bad Ricki's energies aren't directed at salary negotiations or the 6 out of 7 dictate.

We may have been better off.

Ricky Ricotta said...

Another nonsensical comment. Nothing to back up the accusations and put-downs. That in itself is very revealing.

Perhaps if anonymous' energies were directed at pitching in and improving things instead of attacking CTA and trying to insult anyone he/she thinks he/she disagrees with, perhaps we would be better off right now.

Ricky Ricotta said...

Anonymous 10:41- Thanks for your reasonable comments. I question your willingness to believe in "sweetheart deals" in the absence of evidence of such, but I appreciate your willingness to talk about it reasonably.

Topper said...

Let me see if I can be plain:

CTA rolled over on the 6 out of 7.
Why did they not be more aggressive in protecting our conference periods?

Was it because they were out maneuvered or just felt like WTF.

Why does CTA continue to allow the $1000 bonus to those of us on the 27th step? Are we not worth the 2% everyone else is? This has continuing affects into retirement. Has anyone cogently explained this to membership?

Explain why the term "done deal" was used in describing the early release? Are we "limited" on what is negotiated and what can be voted on?

Why are we being herded into a medical plan that will cost us more out of pocket. When I see how much more $$$ it will cost for the same coverage I had last year, I'll know whether I'll see anything extra of my 2%.

And don't you dare belittle the money I paid CTA, or the time I spent attending rep meetings at the Tower. They were chaotic. They were a one year waste of my time and energies.

I was there and it became apparent to me that being effective, progressive and aggressive was not going to happen. Everyone I asked seemed to have already made up their mind. They accepted what the district told them. They fell back on the "legislative" excuse one to many times.

I ask you Ricky to justify or at least explain why it is so. Give us the education and understanding that is missing.

I understand the rancor of some of the posters: "sweetheart deals" are not labeled such until they are exposed. You are seeing the local version of the "Blame Bush Syndrome". They know something isn't right but can't quite put their finger on it.

The Special Ed Concierge said...

Not to take away from the current discussion but to add a note about "communication", I wanted to post this link here.

What should be of interest to all is the comment that Ms. Elia said she was unaware of the concerns.

Public Education - Politics, Business and Education: Complaint Alleges Hillsborough Withheld Services To Students


Motel Special Ed: Complaint Alleges Hillsborough Withheld Services To Students