Saturday, April 19, 2014

Winslow School

All NBEA members, call Governor Patrick and let him know what's being done to NBPS ... Submitted to NBEA


All NBEA members, please contact the governor with all your concerns. If he hears from many of us, our chances for success are much greater. Auto-fill will do most of the work for you. Remind him to read our blog. Share your stories of the horrendous experiences teaching in this district. Now, we can hold Chester, Jon Mitchell, SC, and Pia Durkin accountable. 
__________________________________
Boston

Massachusetts State House
Office of the Governor
Room 105
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617.725.4005
888.870.7770 (in state)
Fax: 617.727.9725
TTY: 617.727.3666
__________________________________
Springfield

Western Massachusetts Office of the Governor
State Office Building
436 Dwight Street
Suite 300
Springfield, MA 01103

Phone: 413.784.1200
__________________________________ Washington, DC

Office of the Governor
444 N. Capitol Street, Suite 208
Washington, D.C. 20001

Phone: 202.624.7713
Fax: 202.624.7714

Friday, April 18, 2014

Exodus at Parker School ... Submitted to NBEA


Sadly, there would never have been an exodus of 18+ teachers from the Parker School had the principal been focused and trustworthy. 


Teachers never know what their goal is because she keeps changing it. If something goes wrong she is quick to look for someone to throw under the bus. she has no discipline skills. She is very afraid of Durkin. All you had to do was sit in the stakeholders meetings to see that. Anything Durkin said, the principal echoed.

If alienating teachers and being dishonest and sneaky in your actions is the way we are going to fix a level 5 school that should never have been made a level 5 then our district will never improve. we are sunk. 

New Bedford teacher exonerated in chair-throwing incident ... WPRI 12

No disciplinary action taken against NBHS teacher

No disciplinary action taken against NBHS teacher

Teacher cleared in chair throwing incident

Teacher cleared in chair-throwing incident

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sheltered English Immersion MTEL


                        REGISTRATION AND TESTING INFORMATION

The Sheltered English Immersion MTEL is computer-based and will be available June 9, 2014. It will be offered six (6) days a week, Monday through Saturday. The cost is TBD. The Test Information Guide will be available in May. Tentatively, scores will be available in early September.

Registration begins on May 7, 2014. Members should register ASAP on or after May 7.

MTEL WEBSITE

                                PREPARATION INFORMATION
Currently, the test objectives are available. They will specify the content to be covered and outline the approximate percentage of the total test score derived from each of the sub-areas. Tutorials related to preparing for MTEL tests and computer-based testing procedures are available here. Soon, the practice test and test information books will be available.

                           WHO SHOULD TAKE THE SEI MTEL?

Members:

-Who took category trainings and WIDA
-With out-of-state endorsement
-With other professional development in Sheltered English Immersion
-Who want to opt out of the SEI Endorsement Course

Note:

-A passing score will automatically qualify teachers for the SEI Endorsement
-Don't forget to apply for the SEI Endorsement via ELAR


Massachusetts Teachers Association | (617) 878-8232 | ggilardi@massteacher.org           

                                       20 Ashburton Place | Boston, MA 02108

                   For more information www.massteacher.org/ell

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The problem, Mr. Unger is not with Dr. Durkin’s public relations, it is with a lack of credibility, not only of Dr. Durkin but with your newspaper as well ... Submitted to NBEA

The attempt by the S-T recent editorial “Superintendent Pia Durkin needs a message” tries to explain away the dire state of NBPS as a result of poor PR on the part of Dr. Durkin, is laughable. This superintendent has enjoyed having the local media in lockstep behind her since she arrived in N.B. They have gone to great lengths to defend her positions and policies when many were indefensible. They have expended much journalistic capital on her and are clearly not happy with their negative returns. Their reporting has been at odds with the big boys at the Boston and Providence television news networks. They are looking a little foolish lately. They have gone out on a limb for Durkin and the limb is about to break. Readership is at an all time low and their credibility has been severely damaged.


The fact of the matter is that in all of their best efforts, the S-T simply has not been able to keep up with trying to clean up the negative issue after negative issue that permeates NBPS during this past school year. Their continued use of infantile strategies such as trying to blame those “self absorbed” teachers and their union, is just not working for them.  The analogy for me that comes closest  to what the S-T has been trying to do with the truths in NBPS is that arcade game where those little varmints pop their heads up and you try to whack them with a mallet. At the beginning it is easy to control those varmints (“the truth”) but when more and more of them continue to rear their ugly heads and they keep popping up faster and faster it becomes very difficult to keep them hidden under ground. 

The problem, Mr. Unger is not with Dr. Durkin’s public relations, it is with a lack of credibility, not only of Dr. Durkin but with your newspaper as well.


As Jack Nicholson proclaimed in the movie A Few Good Men, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH”!


Share your thoughts?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Only Dr. Durkin, Mayor Mitchell, and the New Bedford School Committee

Only in the fair city of New Bedford could there be a controversy over a clear incident of assaultive behavior against a teacher. Perhaps it is because it happened at New Bedford High School, an institution at the center of a whirlwind about what constitutes real education reform.

Perhaps it is because there is such polarization around whether or not the New Bedford Educators Association deserves to have a say in what strategies are to be implemented in the district-imposed turnaround plan.

Perhaps there is no tangible means of changing the toxic nature of politics in a struggling city like New Bedford.

Maybe there is such a lack of vision and effective leadership emanating from the school superintendent's office and the New Bedford School Committee that finding scapegoats is the only true strategy that can be implemented.

Whatever the systemic malfunction in the New Bedford School District — whatever is wrong with school culture therein — contemplating disciplinary action against teacher Joanne Maura after she was the victim of an assault has to reach the level of subterranean thinking — even for this school administration.

As a teacher of behavior-disordered teenagers circa 1989, I know the drill. On his journey to a placement on the notorious Penikese Island School back in the day, a student assaulted me with a desk, and when the incident report went to administration, he doubled back to my classroom and left an ominous message in the guise of a matchbook cover with the words Sullivan Funeral Home printed on it.

This student went before 4th District Court Magistrate Paul Walsh, the same Mr. Walsh who was synonymous with the New Bedford School Committee where he served for decades and the same Walsh whose name appears in tribute on the high school's baseball diamond.

Mr. Walsh quietly stated that assaults on teachers were occurring far too frequently and meted out the consequences to this young man for his abhorrent treatment of a classroom teacher. At no time did my school principal question my conduct in this matter of being victimized. On the contrary, there was concern about my well-being after the trauma of being assaulted and threatened.

Where is the concern for the victim, Joanne Maura, a 16-year teacher at New Bedford High School, who was nearly struck with a guided missile in her classroom. And she can prove the severity of her assault via video. Where is the outrage against persistent assaultive behaviors toward other teachers at the high school, a place where students frequently lure staff into breaking up a fight then lay in a few punches on the teacher, too, once the staff person is entangled in the melee — knowing they will get away with it.

We know that an investigation will be made on the actions of Ms. Maura, and the inquiry will center on whether she followed protocols in how she handled the aftermath of the chair-throwing incident.

If a timely incident report was not immediately forthcoming in writing, then it was administration that should have initiated such a report. The housemaster, after all, was not the victim. Maybe Ms. Maura was too upset, too fearful of what had just transpired to pen an incident report by the end of that school day. She should not be held to the standard of having to face double jeopardy. She was nearly de-commissioned by a flying object. Does she, also, have to face the threat of job loss, too?

Apparently, Brian K. Gomes of the City Council nixes the idea of double jeopardy for Joanne Maura in this matter and has released a position statement on just that topic. So that sets up the heavyweight bout New Bedfordites have all been awaiting if the majority of the City Council sides with Mr. Gomes: The City Council v. the School Committee and Superintendent Pia Durkin in the Case of the Embattled Teacher, Joanne Maura. Only in New Bedford could the drama reach such a fever pitch.

OPT OUT Part 1 High Stakes Testing



OPT OUT part 1 High Stakes Testing, PARCC, MCAS - community dialogue on education for families, teachers, school leaders, community organizers, activists, and elected officials for a community dialogue on education. This event was hosted in partnership with the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at UMass Dartmouth, the Arnold Dublin Labor Education Center, and the Greater SE Mass Labor Council, S.E. MA and RI Coalition to Save Our Schools, National Park Service, and 3rd EyE Unlimited.
Visit facebook.com/SouthEastMARIOptOut
Produced by Film Our Way Films, filmed and edited by Robert Lamothe.

OPT OUT Part 2 High Stakes Testing


OPT OUT Part 2 High Stakes Testing, PARCC, MCAS - community dialogue on education for families, teachers, school leaders, community organizers, activists, and elected officials for a community dialogue on education. This event was hosted in partnership with the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at UMass Dartmouth, the Arnold Dublin Labor Education Center, and the Greater SE Mass Labor Council, S.E. MA and RI Coalition to Save Our Schools, National Park Service, and 3rd EyE Unlimited.
Visit facebook.com/SouthEastMARIOptOut
Produced by Film Our Way Films, filmed and edited by Robert Lamothe.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

NBEA General Meeting

Dear Unit A Members:

On December 13, 2013, NBEA held a meeting to discuss the pervasive problems
plaguing our school system. Some of the topics discussed at this meeting
included reports from our members regarding the following:

· Micromanagement by administration

· Open contract violations by administrators

· Numerous teacher termination hearings

· Multiple teacher suspensions

· Unrealistic goals developed by administrators

· Educator evaluations that are being used as punitive rather than
constructive tools for professional development

· Significant increase in number and variability of grievances
brought to the union

· Notably increased assaults on educators by students without
adequate recrimination

· Reports of long term emotional distress among our members resulting in
increased referrals to the Employee Assistance Program and area physicians

As a result of this meeting, a District Climate Task Force was created to
summarize member concerns and present them to the Superintendent. This process
was conducted over several meetings and the Task Force ultimately submitted
these issues in writing and requested a written response to each from Dr.
Durkin. Members received an e-mail copy of the concerns and the
Superintendent’s responses on April 1.

More recently, one of our members at the high school was assaulted by a student
who threw a chair across her desk, nearly missing her. This incident was
captured on cell phone video and subsequently posted on the internet. The
student was reprimanded appropriately (arrested) only after the video was made
public. This same teacher is now facing disciplinary action and possible
termination from her teaching position.

As a direct result of recent events, we feel it is imperative to meet
collectively to determine if our concerns, particularly assaults, were
reasonably and fairly addressed by the administration.

The General Meeting will take place on Friday, May 2, at 3:15 P.M. in the Keith
Middle School Auditorium. Unit A Members may enter the auditorium as early as
2:30 P.M.


We encourage all members to re-read the responses sent to the NBEA by Dr. Durkin
prior to attending the meeting. It is our hope to have an open discussion to
determine the effectiveness of Dr. Durkin’s plan to decrease the “climate of
fear” that remains prevalent at all levels of the NBPS.

The Board of Directors and Faculty Representatives implore every member,
system-wide, to participate on Friday, May 2nd. Once again, your attendance at
this meeting is critical, because our solidarity and the strength of our
collective voice are the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to instill
change.

In unity there is strength.

Very Truly Yours,

Board of Directors

New Bedford Educators Association

The Elephant's New Clothes: The Elephant reaches out to Pia Durkin.

Shortly after noon yesterday I sent the following e-mail to Pia Durkin and courtesy copied the mayor, each of the school committee members except one (His e-mail wasn't published.), and a few folks at the MTA.  I even typed slowly because I know she has a Ph.D.