Changes in Poland, Maine

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Jerry...@aol.com

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Sep 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/4/98
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Is there anyone out there who knows what's going on in Poland, Maine?

Next year, they'll be opening a new regional high school in Poland. However,
if the school's "Governance Committee" has its way, the Poland school will
look very different from most of its peers.

Teachers would be barred from collective bargaining, and pay raises will be
based on merit rather than seniority. Teachers also would be able to serve on
the School Committee, although conflict-of-interest rules would bar them from
voting on matters that directly affect their jobs.

In addition (are you ready for this?), people who are NOT CERTIFIED TEACHERS
could provide up to 30-PERCENT of the teaching time at the new school!!

Understandably, the teachers' union and its supporters are upset about these
proposals. One of the School Committee members said "Ending collective
bargaining would finish the team concept and pit teachers against one another.
Teachers would stop sharing lesson plans."

Does anyone out there know anything more about this? (Or... do any of you have
any opinions about this?)

Jerry Taylor
Technology Integration Teacher
Greece (NY) School District
www.greeceny.com/taylor/

Q: What do you call the student who had the lowest passing grade in
medical school??
A: "Doctor" (Scary, huh?)

Steve Rack

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Sep 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/5/98
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Jerry...@aol.com wrote:
>
> Is there anyone out there who knows what's going on in Poland, Maine?
...

>
> Teachers would be barred from collective bargaining, and pay raises will be
> based on merit rather than seniority.
...

> In addition (are you ready for this?), people who are NOT CERTIFIED TEACHERS
> could provide up to 30-PERCENT of the teaching time at the new school!!

I've been trying to decide what I think about this. I am told that I am
the only staff member at my school who is not a member of NEA. The
school board does not consider tech coordinator to be a teaching
position, although I am certified, and I will quit before letting them
place me on the paraprofessional schedule. This place in limbo did save
me from a RIF in my first year.
I spent some years in a fortune 500 company and, at least in my
experience, I can say that workers don't usually see the guy in the next
cubicle as a competitor for scarce salary resources. In fact, two of us
once teamed up to leverage raises for both of us. I can easily visualize
teams of teachers bargaining collectively as informal ad hoc units. This
will drive volunteer school boards crazy. Imagine having twenty or fifty
or two hundred contracts to negotiate at a time. The burghers of Poland
should be careful what they wish for.

As for uncertified staff, the school committee should realize that
they're going to get what they pay for. Teachers may have to supervise
some of these folks to ensure appropriate classroom management and
assessment. That turns teachers into administrators. Administrators make
more money. Think about it:-)

BTW the union is planning a grievance to force my position into the
contract. If they succeed the Board will probably defund the position.
Wouldn't that be a victory!

Stephen J. Rack

Samuel R. Dean, Jr.

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Sep 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/6/98
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> Jerry...@aol.com wrote:
> >
> > Is there anyone out there who knows what's going on in Poland, Maine?
> > ...pay raises will be based on merit rather than seniority.

Although their are possibilities for abuse in all systems, this idea does
have it's own merit, rewarding those who prove worthy.


______________________________________________________________________________
Samuel R. Dean Jr. Work: (413) 545-1598
Coordinating Play: (413) 549-3843
Instructional Technology Services www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~sdean
School of Education Addr: Furcolo 20A,21D,21L
UMass Amherst, MA 01003 Email: sd...@educ.umass.edu
_____________________________________________________________________________
Goethe sums it up nicely:

"I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood
that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make a life miser-
able or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my
response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated,
and a person humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they ought
to be...we help them become what they are capable of becoming."
_____________________________________________________________________________


Jerry...@aol.com

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Sep 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/8/98
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I wrote:

>Is there anyone out there who knows what's going on in Poland,
>Maine? ...pay raises will be based on merit rather than seniority.

Samuel R. Dean Jr. replied:

>Although their are possibilities for abuse in all systems, this idea
>does have it's own merit, rewarding those who prove worthy.

------------------------------------------------------------

Sam...

Any ideas on how one should go about determining this "worthiness"???

Jerry Taylor
Technology Integration Teacher
Greece (NY) School District
www.greeceny.com/taylor/

"Democracy: Four wolves and a lamb voting on lunch."

Samuel R. Dean, Jr.

unread,
Sep 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/9/98
to
On Tue, 8 Sep 1998 Jerry...@aol.com wrote:

> I wrote:
>
> >Is there anyone out there who knows what's going on in Poland,
> >Maine? ...pay raises will be based on merit rather than seniority.
>
> Samuel R. Dean Jr. replied:
>

> >Although there are possibilities for abuse in all systems, this idea


> >does have it's own merit, rewarding those who prove worthy.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Sam...
>
> Any ideas on how one should go about determining this "worthiness"???
>

Sure. Anything would be more objective and could include more
recognition and accountability than the current system of simple
aging...that happens without any effort on the part of the teacher.
Think about it.

Don't say it is too difficult...If educators can evaluate students, why
can't educators and administrators evaluate educators?

One could develop a checklist of what state-of-the-art educators
should be doing? States already have basic expectations and guidelines,
and recognition could also be given for leadership, appropriate technology
usage, innovation, and other "worthy" attributes.

You might consider writing Poland, Maine and asking them for their rubric.
Again, there must be, and should be, better evaluations for pay raises
than how long one has been breathing - vs another, in a system.

sam


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