Last week we started our campaign to meet with the citizens of Boston in the various neighborhood libraries throughout the city. Our goals are simple: 1) to help explain the positive role we play in trying to improve our schools; and 2) to listen to and learn from the community as to what we can to play an even more expansive role.
Please see below section for more information.
Heads Up: Members are invited to attend the SPED Faculty Senate on Thursday, 2/16/12 at 4:00 in the BTU conference room.
Dr. Charles Basch lectures at the BTU on 2/28. Dr. Basch has studied how economic and health disparities affect student achievement. He is an excellent speaker. See section below with details, and see an article on the growing disparity between rich and poor
"Education was historically considered a great equalizer in American society, capable of lifting less advantaged children and improving their chances for success as adults. But a body of recently published scholarship suggests that the achievement gap between rich and poor children is widening, a development that threatens to dilute education's leveling effects..." Read more.
Community Meetings Scheduled at Neighborhood Libraries
We will be hosting community meetings in our neighborhood libraries in the first weeks of February. The purpose of these events is two-fold: to explain what our position is on the various key issues in collective bargaining, and to listen to what questions and concerns the broader community has about our schools and how we can improve them. We are looking forward to these community forums. A BTU member familiar with recent collective bargaining events will be present at each of the 24 scheduled give-and-take sessions.
We'd love to see some of our own members, too, at each of the forums. If you happen to live near one of our neighborhood libraries, please download our flier and post it in a nearby location, like a laundromat, neighborhood store, or a community center. The fliers have, too, been mailed out to BTU Building Reps. And the BTU, with the help of the AFT National Office, is making robo calls to all registered voters in Boston who live near any of the dozens of libraries. For more information or if you have any questions, please email here.
Here's our schedule.
The meetings each run from 6-7:30 and will include a showing of the newly created video, a Day in the Life of a Boston Teacher.
We believe that the contract we are trying to negotiate is good for students, affordable to the city, and fair to our members. We also believe that good working conditions for our member lead to good learning conditions for our students, and vice-versa. Put another way, what we are seeking in our contract negotiations is good for students. We hope you can attend one of the community forums.
|Merit Pay — School Wide or Individual, Controversy Remains and Effect is Uncertain|
An All-for-One Approach on Teacher Bonus Pay
"Boston Public Schools is exploring whether offering merit bonuses to faculty helps boost student achievement, handing out more than $400,000 in the first round of cash incentives to teachers and staff at schools that made gains on standardized tests..."
|Know Your Benefits; A Seminar Series|
Elem Field Rep. Michael McLaughlin is hosting one of his annual seminars on retirement, and all are welcomed to attend. The seminar will be held on March 27, 2012, at the BTU at 4:30.
If you have any questions, please email Michael here or call. Please see the flier here.
Benefits (Non-Retirement) Seminar
Save the Date: On Tuesday, 3/13, at 4:00 PM, there will be a seminar at the BTU entitled, Understanding Your benefits, with BTU president Richard Stutman. Topics will include a variety of issues, such as the following:
|Student Math Competition Gaining Fraction|
The first ever math competition for BPS students is scheduled for April; 5, and our event is gaining excitement as more and more schools are getting their teams ready.
The next planning meeting is on March 7, from 3:30 to 4:30 at the Carpenter's Hall (near the Expressway & Columbia Rd.), 750 Dorchester Ave, (1.800.275.6200) directly after a meeting with elementary math facilitators that is taking place earlier that day at the same location. Parking is available at the church parking lot, nearby, on the other side of the bridge. All elementary and secondary teachers interested in helping out are invited to attend the March 7 meeting. Questions? See a flier here.
|Paraprofessional Training Courses|
The Center for Leadership Development and the Boston Teachers Union are jointly sponsoring professional development courses for paraprofessionals this spring. If you have questions about the courses, please contact George Cox at 617 635-7914.
Addressing the Needs of Young Boys Through Children's LiteratureDates: March 7, 21; April 4, and 25; and May 9
Category 2 Training Sheltering Content InstructionDates: Feb. 28; March 6, 13, 20, 27; April 3, 10, 24; May 1, and 8.
Career Advancement SkillsDates: March 8, 15, 22, 29; April 5
All of the above are to be held at the CLD from 4:30 to 7:30 AND IN-SERVICE CREDIT WILL BE GIVEN.
Managing Student BehaviorDates: Feb. 28: March 6, 13, 20, 27
Different Time: 4:00 - 7:00 pm
Different Location: BTU Offices
|OIIT Heads Up: Email Service Alert for Saturday, February 18, 2012|
On Saturday, February 18, 2012 OIIT will be conducting routine email maintenance. BPS email (accessed via expost.mybps.org, MS Outlook, MS Entourage, smartphones, tablets or by any other means) will NOT be operational on Saturday, February 18 from 8:00am until 2:00pm. Questions: contact the OIIT Service Desk, 617-635-9200.
|Good Video on Stand for Children Initiative|
|NEW: Guest Lecturer Series--Dr. Charles Basch|
First in a series of lectures sponsored by the BTU promising to be informative, provocative and educational. On Tuesday, February 28th (6-8pm) come and listen to Dr. Charles Basch, a Richard March Hoe Professor of Health Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, speak about the link between childhood health and the achievement gap. Professor Basch's scholarly interests are behavioral epidemiology, health education program planning and evaluation with urban and minority populations Please email your interest in attending to Michael McLaughlin. (Ed note: The BPS hired Dr. Basch to speak earlier this year on health- and economic-related disparities found amongst our school population, and how they affect academic achievement. He is an excellent speaker with a powerful message, and this will be a rewarding event.)
NEW: Recognizing and Promoting Excellence: Professional Development through the NBPTS
Recognize the accomplishments of NBCTs & the skills they bring to schools; showcase the effectiveness of Take One! as individual teacher and whole school Professional Development; and a screening of Mitchell 20 movie; and networking.
Women's Rights Breakfast
The BTU Women's Rights Breakfast will be held on Saturday, March 10, 2012 9:30 am- 11:30 am at Florian Hall 55 Hallet Street
Dorchester, Ma 02124; Tickets $25.00. Please email here for more information.
NEW: The Greater Boston Labor Council, AFL-CIO Futures Committee Presents the 2nd Annual 'Organizing Our Future' Conference
The Professional Issues Committee will meet to discuss current and future initiatives on Tuesday, Feb. 28th, at 4PM in Conference Room C at the BTU. New members are invited. For further information, please contact Ted Chambers.
Currently, the PIC is supporting the folks who are working on the AFT Innovation Grant "21st Century Lessons. This is the middle school Math project in which a group of BTU members are producing a series of Math lessons which teachers state-wide (not just in Boston) can upload, teach and assess. They are high quality lessons that are aligned with BPS Objectives/Massachusetts Frameworks/Common Core Standards.
|BSAC Student Survey: We Urge Cooperation in this Worthwhile Venture|
|Over the last few years the BTU and the Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC) have engaged each other in a series of discussions on what it would take to improve our schools. The school department has not been involved in our discussions. BSAC representatives have appeared at a number of our membership meetings, and I have appeared at a number of theirs. On the vast majority of issues, we are on the same page: We both represent organizations that want what's best for all of our schools and our students.|
BSAC has developed a student survey (primarily for high schools and some middle schools) to give feedback to individual teachers. The form is fine as is, although it calls for the teacher's name. The name is optional, as is stated on the form,and as teachers alone see the survey upon completion and retain sole control over the form, it probably is not necessary for teachers to write in their own name. In any case, the survey is voluntary, though we urge our members to hand it out and then collect it for their own review. Once the survey is completed and returned to the individual teacher, the teacher can do with the survey what they will. There is no tie-in with anyone's performance evaluation, as the teacher only sees the results. All of this said, we urge staff to cooperate and hand out the survey, collect it, and review it.
|January 18 Rally Contest Results|
|The following schools by level had the highest turnout to the School Committee Rally as reported to the BTU through submission of rosters.|
As a result, the following BTU Reps at each named school who also attended the rally have won BTU sweatshirts. Great work in organizing and getting folks out. United we bargain - divided we beg! BTUnity!
|Reminder: Register to Vote|
|REMINDER! If you are not registered to vote, tomorrow, February 15th, is the last day to register to vote for the March 6th Presidential Primary. Click here for information.|
|Eliot School Seeks Support for Expansion|
|The Eliot K-8 School has a long wait list like many of our schools and is seeking another city site to hold their abundance of students, actual and potential. The Eliot parent organizations would like all to sign a petition of support; here's what they've said: |
"...In response to increased demand in the downtown area, the Eliot added a second Pre-K class in 2008, so more families could take advantage of the rapidly improving school. Each pursuing year, additional classroom space is needed to accommodate both this 2008 Pre-K class as it moves toward Grade 8, as well as the two classes at each grade level that move up behind it. In September 2012, the double-strand of classes will reach the Third Grade, so additional space will be needed each year until these students graduate.
"Currently, there is no more room to house all these students, and there is no written plan as to how the Eliot School will function under this tremendous strain.
"We urge you to support our request to the City of Boston to resolve our crisis of space! Please sign in support."See petition here.
|February Science Social!|
|Come join us as we kick-off February vacation! Appetizers will once again be generously sponsored by the COSMIC Office.|
Friday, 17 February, 3-7pm, Doyle's
Host Schools: English High School and Boston Teachers Union K-8 School
For Map and Driving/MBTA/Parking Directions, please visit.
|Reflect and Strengthen Comes to BTU Membership|
Visit here for more information.
|Congratulations to TEACH, the Documentary|
|The documentary film TEACH, Teachers Are Talking, Is the Nation Listening has been accepted into the Boston International Film Festival which takes place at the AMC Lowes movie theatre in downtown Boston. The festival shows 90 films from over 30 countries. It takes place from April 13 - 22. We have created a TEACH One Minute Trailer for the upcoming news campaign for the Boston International Film Festival.|
|Important Information for BTU Members|
Union dues amount for 2011 for tax purposes: Teachers $1103.11 and paras and subs are $551.56
|The BTU Online|
Boston Teachers Union