The BTU membership has authorized the hiring of a director of organizing. See job position description here.
Here is the authorizing motion:
See a Globe report on our MathRocks contest. Again, thanks to all who helped.
Contract booklets are expected to be delivered to the BTU on or before June 12, the day of the BTU membership meeting.Call ahead if you wish to pick up your booklets early.Please be prepared when you pick up your booklets to give us a "real" number of booklets required to give every BTU member who serves 50% or more in your building a booklet. While we have ordered sufficient copies for the entire membership, the booklets are expensive and we would like to avoid unnecessary re-ordering of the booklets.
To make it easier for you on membership day, if you drive your car to the right hand side of the building (when facing it), we will have someone bring the booklets to your vehicle at the door exiting the conference room, which is about 30 yards to the expressway-side of the mailbox.
Last evening the BTU met with a number of school community partners to plan an event to push back against those who want to eliminate the cap on charter schools. We will shortly announce an event to be held on Tuesday, June 4, at the State House. SAVE THE DATE. Those who support the elimination of the cap do not speak for our schools, our students, and our community. More information will be forthcoming.
|Important Notices to all Paras|
In this most recent contract settlement, we negotiated the following language:
"Paraprofessionals who have received his/her teaching certification, are recommended for employment by his/her building administrator, and who apply for teaching positions will receive four interviews provided that there are four vacancies for which the paraprofessional is qualified, three interviews provided that there are three vacancies for which the paraprofessional is qualified, two interviews provided that there are two vacancies for which the paraprofessional is qualified, and one interview provided that there is one vacancy for which the paraprofessional is qualified."
The school department sent out a letter to 19 paras offering them the above opportunity. We want to make sure that no eligible para has mistakenly been overlooked. If you are a paraprofessional who is licensed to teach and interested in a teaching position but did not receive a recent letter from the school district inviting you to apply for a teaching position, please email here ASAP. Thank you.
Two paraprofessionals called the office today after being told that they were NOT going to get a transfer that had previously been promised them. In both cases the paras reported that they were told that in order to receive a transfer they had to "excess" themselves first. This is not true, and we wonder how such misinformation can travel. Please call Jenna at 617-288-2000 if this has happened to you.
|Let's Help out Ed Markey and Josh Dawson|
Ed Markey needs our help in this tough race against Gabriel Gomez in the Senate campaign. And Josh Dawson is running for State Rep to replace Marty Walz in the most important Back-Bay/Beacon Hill House seat. Please see here for information about how you can get involved.
Thank you. Congressman Markey is endorsed by both major teacher unions.
HELP Support Our Schools
There are a few bills on Beacon Hill that we are concerned about. One bill filed by Russell Holmes (D-Boston) and Barry Finegold (D-Andover) at the request of the Boston Foundation would eliminate the charter cap. The elimination of the charter cap would allow for the unfettered growth of charter schools, which currently drain the BPS of approximately $100 million annually. Another bill, filed by Mayor Menino, would force our 48 Level 3 schools into turnaround status.
A bill filed by Alice Peisch (D-Wellesley) would allow Level 3 schools on the precipice of Level 4 status to take their own measures, jointly supported by school management and staff. The Peisch bill was supported by the BTU, the AFTMA, the MTA, and the Mass Association of School Superintendents.
Please take a moment to notify your legislators asking them to support the Peisch bill and to oppose the Menino bill as well as the attempt to eliminate the charter school cap. It is quick and easy. A minute or so of your time, clicking here and plugging in your zip code/address, and your emails will be sent to the appropriate people. Thank you.
IF YOU DID THIS LAST WEEK THERE IS A CHANCE THAT THE EMAILS DID NOT GO THROUGH DUE TO A COMPUTER GLITCH. PLEASE RE-DO. THANK YOU, ONCE AGAIN.
|Concord, MA School Board Terminates Teacher Association President: Please Sign Petition|
For 15 years, Merrie Najimy received exemplary evaluations, earned the respect of parents, faculty and administrators, and won the love of her third grade students. Subsequent to her election as President of the Concord Teachers Association and her organizing activity as a member of the Massachusetts Teachers Association Board of Directors, the current school administration has utilized the evaluation system to target her. On April 30, 2013, her principal recommended not to rehire Merrie Najimy. Sign the move-on petition here.
|Interested in Sheltering Severance Pay?|
Each year we hold a meeting designed to help eligible people learn how to shelter their severance pay from federal and state taxation. The meeting this year will be held on Thursday, June 13 from 4 PM onward at the BTU. At this meeting one will be able to learn the hows and whys of doing sheltering. A representative from the state-supervised MassSmart Plan will be present, but no private vendors will be allowed to attend. See a letter that explains all here. All members and spouses are welcome to attend whether they are retiring this June or now.
|AFT Urges Day of Action for Chicago Teachers|
You may have read about the proposal to close 54 schools in Chicago, which came on the heels of closing half as many recently in Philadelphia and many more around the country. The AFT is urging that we get behind an effort to protest the Chicago closings by participating in any one of a number of activities. One activity the AFT is supporting is having supporters of the Save Our Chicago Schools Movement call Mayor Rahm Emmanuel or the head of the school board. Here are some talking points, background information and contact information. Thank you for helping. Read background information and Chicago FAQs.
|Education in the News|
From Valerie Strauss's blog in the Washington Post: What if Finland's great teachers taught in U.S. schools?
"Many governments are under political and economic pressure to turn around their school systems for higher rankings in the international league tables. Education reforms often promise quick fixes within one political term. Canada, South Korea, Singapore and Finland are commonly used models for the nations that hope to improve teaching and learning in their schools. In search of a silver bullet, reformers now turn their eyes on teachers, believing that if only they could attract "the best and the brightest" into the teaching profession, the quality of education would improve..."Read the rest of the article.
From the New York Times: Schools Add to Test Load, Just to Sharpen Questions
"English tests? Check. Math tests? Check. Summer vacation? Not so fast.
Read the rest of the article.
"Students in New York State sweated their way through some of the toughest exams in state history this spring. Now hundreds of thousands of them will receive a reward only a stonyhearted statistician could appreciate: another round of exams..."
We're thrilled to announce that as part of a citywide, competitive RFP process, Boston Public Schools, the City of Boston, and the Boston Police Department are moving email and web-based communication and collaboration tools to the cloud with Google Apps! Read more.
|Who's Viewing What: Our Most Popular Links from Last Week|
The most popular links from last week...
1) Jenna's retirement announcement (see below)
2) The link we have established to email your legislators in opposition to the removal of the cap on charter schools and in support of good legislation
3) The mini-debate on WBUR between BTU President Richard Stutman and Boston Foundation CEO Paul Grogan
|Ray of Hope Foundation Announces Silent Auction|
Please see the flyer here announcing the second annual silent auction for the Ray of Hope Children's Services, Inc. Thank you. Proceeds go to benefit a girls' program in Haiti, which has been assisted through the years by the generosity of our members.
|Retirement Parties: Save the Dates|
Retirement Parties for G'Tanya Small, Elaine Miller, Roberta Ingram-Blanton, Gayle Marrow, Val Brown-Johnson, Lois Williams, Deborah Mason, Rosamond Rabinowitz and Lorie Freeman: see here
NEW: Retirement Party for Mary Ellen Lewis
Friday, June 7 from 5-9 PM at The Common Market in Quincy
Cost per person: $35 (includes gift and meal)
Mail checks to: Joseph Lee School, Attn: Sara Smith, 155 Talbot Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02124. Make checks payable to "Joseph Lee Sunshine Fund." Please RSVP by May 31.
NEW: Jenna Fitzgerald, our long-time Paraprofessional/Substitute teacher field representative is retiring. See here.
|BTU HWF Schedules Fun Run|
The BTU Health and Welfare office is sponsoring a FunRun on Friday, June 7. All members are invited to participate. While we're at it, you might also want to check out all the benefits of the Health and Welfare fund here. Besides the dental benefit, there's the eye care benefit and many others.
|Events & Opportunities for Teachers|
Service-Learning Trip to Guatemala
University Credit Available. New Low Price of $1,395; 50% of the trip cost is tax deductible
GreeceOnline Grad Course
Karen Ziminski, science teacher at the Edwards, is trying to fundraise for a Professional Development experience she has been accepted for. Please see here.
|The BTU Online|