Friday, April 11, 2008

The danger of not having a seat at the table.

When given the choice between thinning the herd at the trough or launching aggressive attacks at the schools, the District has chosen the latter. At the top of the District list for staff reductions is "Clerical Support". So, if you spend your day keeping everything moving forward at our schools, answering phone calls, dealing with students and their needs, pack your bags. The District believes that your job isn't important.

What better way to convince parents to vote for a Technology Levy than to have them always go straight to voicemail when they call a school.

Thank you for calling Edmonds Elementary. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, there is no one here to answer your call. Which is probably a good idea, because your question would likely have concerned your child and there is no one here to keep track of your child anyway. If you were calling to find out if your child even made it to school, you will have to wait and see if they get off the bus this afternoon. If they don't, we recommend that you immediately call other public agencies, because the Edmonds School District doesn't have the funding to provide inconsequential services. By the way, please vote for the Technology Levy so that in future, your messages can be automatically deleted - saving precious staff time listening to your senseless concerns.

If you happen to work in a clerical support position, don't feel left out. The librarians are behind you all the way. Their positions are slated for "adjustments" as well.


Anonymous said...

Read this today.

Question. Who is paying for the new honors programs at Lynnwood and Terace?

Answer. No one.

Honors programs? HA!

Anonymous said...

So I read the Enterprise article (mentioned in the first posting here) to my wife, who is now retired from the Edmonds School District after teaching for over 30years.

The article says:
"Right now there is no funding allotted for the courses, and no additional staff. Offering the courses will mean that teachers fill in that gap, officials say." My wife said that means: "Some poor teacher is going to spend hours of their personal time creating new curriculum for an honors course. In return the teacher will get no additional money, no support from the district, and lots of phone calls and e-mails from parents that must be answered immediately!"

The article said:
"The district plans to offer honors courses in science, English and social studies next year at the three high schools, said Ken Limon, assistant superintendent.
"It's a definite thing," he said. "Teams of teachers in English, science and social studies have been meeting on a regular basis to look at what honors courses would be like for ninth- and 10th-graders."
My wfie said that means: The Honors classes were probably mentioned briefly at a faculty meeting and most teachers hoped the whole idea would go away.

The article said:
"It's a challenge to be able to offer the honors courses in the fall, Limon said. Existing teachers will be the ones to teach the classes."
My wife said: "That's a real crock. It's not a challenge, it's an impossibility. Limon is just putting a "spin" on it to look good.

The article said:
"We are asking educators to do more with less," he said. "We are providing them with the resources to the extent possible to develop a new course, but at the same time they may be teaching more classes in their own schedule."

My wife said that means: Teachers who volunteer to teach the honors courses will probably have at least 3 different preps--like 9th grade english, 9th grade SS and then 1 class of Honors 9th grade English. The more preps a teacher has the more work it is and the more the teacher feels that he/she is not doing a good job anywhere.

The article said:
"Faced with the challenge, teachers are looking at ways to offer the classes, Limon said. They're looking at whether they could offer an honors portion within a regular course with the other students, for example."
My wife said, "Oh no! So now Limon's saying that one class of 32 kids will have 22 in regular 9th grade English and 10 (in the same room) in Honors 9th grade English. That's like some foreign language teachers, in the past, have been asked to teach spanish 1, 2, and 3 in the same room at the same time. You can imagine that won't work too well for anyone.

My wife concludes: "Watch out parents! Limon is saying these things to keep you off his back. I guarantee parents won't be happy with this in Sept. 08."

Anonymous said...

I agree with almost every word of this post although I would also add that I don't actually think that anyone is going to actually SEE real honors courses at these schools.

They'll do what these two schools are known for. They'll fake it and stick the word honors on a transcript.

And there is no way that Lynnwood and Terrace are planning for anything. In fact, I think that Mark should call both schools and ask to speak to the teachers. And then he should file a public request to see these so called plans.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the honors parents are smart enough to know Edmonds School District cannot educate their gifted children. I had to take mine out and send to a private school.

Anonymous said...

My question is who is going to do all the work. The work is not going away and someone will need to take on more work. I for one have my plate full, I go home at the end of the day frazzled and exhausted and wonder how I can take on more and still do a good job that I will be proud of. Work needs to stay in the correct bargaining group and within those bargaining groups it should stay within the scope of work. In other words don't take on duties and not get paid at the correct level. We don't do the district any favors by doing work outside the scope of our duties and not be paid correctly. I see lots of PDQ's being done next school year. Let's keep talking the district would like us to do our work and not talk about our work to each other but we need to keep an open dialog and help each other. Let's keep the district on its toes at all times!!! We may need to do informational picketing around voting time to let the public know how district employees are being treated and how their tax $ is being spent.

Anonymous said...

Last entry who will picket do we have any takers? We have a right to freedom of speech and we owe it to the tax payers!

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that the Office Assistant hours will be taken away or reduced? We worked hard to get these hours from the District many years ago (Evelynn Freeman was instrumental is acquiring 4 hours of office clerial assistance).

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Several years ago we were told that the district could no longer afford to transport middle schoolers to College Place for the quality honors program there. (If it's too expensive to get them there, we'll drop the program; that tells you that diesel is more important than education.) We were told to "create" our own honors programs since those kids would be going to the "neighborhood" school.

So I taught a section of honors (read: put in a lot of my free time working with my teamate coordinating the curriculum, etc.)and the following spring, the class floated around on the assignment board like a homeless child, as if ANYBODY could teach it, as if the work that I had done for the class wasn't appreciated.

When monarchies become arrogant, they tend to be subject to revolutions.

Anonymous said...

the new honors programs are being put in place because there are too many IB kids now, and this is the spin they're throwing on turning kids away from that. They're selling this as an alternative to IB.

Secretaries and librarians being cut out while others rake in 200K? Starting to look like a microcosm of our great country ...

Anonymous said...

Maybe when you call the school next year, it will be answered at a call center in India.

Anonymous said...

The last comment made here made me laugh; I have called help lines and live chat help and seem to always get someone from India (or some other foreign country). Don't laugh too hard, however, as this could happen as long as the "upper crust" keep cutting the budget to fatten their salaries!

Anonymous said...

The call could also go to someone that make license plates. Support our prisons!