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Friday, February 24, 2017

District tells me I got some things wrong, on evaluations and bonuses

In an effort to be fair to them I have decided to put up their assertions, many of which I disagree with, however I do acknowledge that earnest individuals can look at the same thing and come to different conclusions.


While I understand much of your blog is opinion based and written in “draft” mode, please consider referencing actual facts regarding DCPS and contacting us for verification when in doubt. Based on the information provided below, please consider updating your blog titled DCPS promises a lot, delivers little, the staff at Ed White finds out first hand, and posted on February 23, 2017.
·        CG Statement: “There were no promises to the staff of Ed White, those staying and coming in but the implication was clear, if you rolled the dice with the change to a military magnet you would be rewarded and it wasn't a low level administrator that made this assertion, it was the district's director of human resources Sonita Young.”

o   DCPS Response: A meeting was held between an HR representative and the DTU representative with each school impacted by boundary/program changes, including Ed White, to discuss the impact of changes on personnel.  Ms. Young was the representative who spoke to the Ed White staff and principal.  While we acknowledge that she referenced a possible QEA like incentive, it was in the context of the use of performance data to determine eligibility.  It was also stated that any approved incentive had to be negotiated with DTU.  The incentive was provided upon approval for all teachers who qualified for the final incentive, and has been paid.

·        CG Statement: “Last year it was the QEA bonuses and earlier this year it was the center school stipends.”

o   DCPS Response: The issue with QEA bonuses, as has been explained to you previously, was an email communication error regarding teacher eligibility that was quickly corrected.  However, with both incentive issues and center school stipends, the teachers who were entitled to payment received payment.

·        CG Statement: “As of Christmas we had over three hundred teacher openings and every year more and more staff leave and it gets harder and harder to replace them.”

o   DCPS Response: As of December 20, 2016, there were 121 classroom and 84 school-based instructional support position vacancies; not “over three hundred.” The blog statement is inaccurate.

·        CG Statement: Never mind we all know the answer to that, well everyone but the super it seems as he shrugs his shoulders at most of these issues, full disclosure he did work to see center school teachers got their stipends before Christmas, though at the same time those eligible for the stipend decreased.

o   DCPS Response: There was no decrease. This is, again, an inaccurate statement. The requirements for the center school stipend has remained the same for both years. The difference in quantity of qualifying teachers is based on teacher certification and summative evaluation rating, and not a change in the stipend amount.  The total number of teachers who received a center school supplement increased from the prior year by 8 teachers districtwide.

·        CG Statement: “It's a shame that the district in order to save a few dollars to buy a new ID system, expand the supers bloated cabinet, or some other tech du jour, has just put a hundred cracks in that foundation.”

o   DCPS response: The Superintendent’s cabinet was not expanded. This is false and inaccurate. It is also false and inaccurate to state that the plan to fund an ID system is based on calculated analysis to reduce salaries through the evaluation system. The evaluation system, and the metrics used to pay teachers, are collective bargained and not randomly controlled by the Superintendent.

·        CG Statement: It takes 9 years to get to ten bucks an hour (for paras).

o   Paraprofessionals are paid on the approved salary schedule based on their assignment (i.e. regular, ESE, etc.).  Paras have received a step increase each year.  Additionally, negotiations between the district and DTU have resulted in changes to the paraprofessional salary schedule/career ladder that allows for paras to receive increases faster than previous schedules.  Depending on the paraprofessional’s assignment and amount of professional development he/she has taken, it takes between 6-9 years to get to $10.00/hr., not 9 years.
Here was my response and now that you have both points of views, you can be the judge.

I get it we probably aren't going to agree on much but before I put it up (my post on Ed White), I ran it past the group of Ed White teachers that came to me who asked me to write it, who gave me all the info and asked, what did I get wrong, need to add or take out. You have a significant amount of teachers at Ed White who are bitter by what has happened.

I work at Palm Avenue and was right in the mix with what happened, last year transition and elective teachers got the stipend, while this year new transition and elective teachers were told they weren't eligible.

I feel like the district makes a lot of errors that go against teachers especially where money is involved. Maybe these are innocent and not nefarious mistakes but at the very least it speaks to poor communication between the district and teachers and it breeds contempt from teachers. 

The Times Union disagrees with your job opening numbers

Also if I remember correctly, your 12/16 openings list which was up well into January had over 300 instructional openings and correct me if I am wrong but the district moved a significant amount of coaches back into the classroom to cover a lot of those openings. . 

When I said the cabinet, i meant the administration and its expansion and risky funding of is an assertion that Becki Couch has made, and if we have limited resources and the district wants to buy a new ID system rather than give raises how is what I wrote wrong and are you defending how much, sorry, little we pay paras? Can I write about that?

Finally I think it's a fair argument that we have an evaluation system which everyone I know hates which gives well below the state average of highly effective to save money.    

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like someone's been poking the bear. (It only takes 7 years to get to $10 not 9...ooof.) The collectively bargained subjective evaluation system is a joke if all the surrounding counties have a much greater percentage of highly effective teachers. We are told that's because Duval is doing it the right way(keeping the numbers down) while other counties are artificially inflating the ranks of highly qualified teachers. I'm sure there's no economic incentive there for Duval.

    As far as the schools that were rezoned there were a lot of promises made as far as school enhancements, etc. Very few were actually kept but that's to be expected. I feel bad for those teachers that signed 3-year contracts with their respective schools despite being there much longer than 3 years. Teachers were hired by one principal only to see that principal leave. When the district rezoned the schools they tried to sell the state on the fact that these were in fact different schools but the state didn't buy it(see below). I believe the county should have extended the same consideration to teachers already at those schools but what do I know.

    "Ultimately, a majority of the Board voted with Stewart, saying parents of students whose schools “closed” and will be reopened as different entities should soon be notified that officially their child is being reassigned by the district to a specific C-rated school, though parents can still change that assignment."