January 11, 2010
David Schutten, President
Organization of DeKalb Educators
100 Crescent Centre Parkway, Suite 290
Tucker, GA 30084
Dear David and Members of the Organization of DeKalb Educators:
On behalf of the Officers of the National Education Association, 3.2 million members strong, I send our support, in solidarity, for your combined efforts to protest the DeKalb County School Board’s decision to grant the Superintendent a raise of $15,000 in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Depression, and against the backdrop of teacher furloughs, pay cuts for education support professionals, and a multitude of sacrifices by educators.
The Board’s decision is insulting and demoralizing, and it is critical that you continue to call attention to this hypocrisy. Your “Blackout Day” on Thursday showed the administration the level of frustration and disappointment with the Board’s recent vote. There is no doubt that the Board is sending a terrible message to parents, students, and school system employees who suffered pay and benefit decreases in the wake of a budget crisis.
The mission of the DeKalb County School System is to “form a collaborative effort…that maximizes students' social and academic potential preparing them to compete in a global society.” To accomplish that mission, the Board must operate in a way that is both fair and responsible, and reflects the fact that great public schools are essential to long-term economic growth. We salute you for standing strong in your efforts to protest a raise that is built on the backs of 4,700 hard-working, dedicated, underpaid, and underappreciated members of ODE.
Stay strong, stay united—and make your voices heard for what’s right and what’s fair!
Dennis Van Roekel
cc: Jeff Hubbard, President, Georgia Association of Educators
I stand corrected on ODE and their leadership. Good job on this, David and crew.
I respectfully disagree cere. It is my opinion that both organizations care very little about our students and more about their own goals.
However, if ODE can provide me with that their organization has done to "To be the leader in providing information, training, representation and support services for students, parents, teachers and Educational Support Personnel (bus drivers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, custodians, lunch room workers, etc.) in order to produce a stronger and more effective school system.", then perhaps I may rethink my thoughts.
btw, an interesting discussion with regards to block scheduling just took place during the BOE meeting.
You know every organization has a hidden agenda. We all want to see progress and success in this schools system but without good quality teachers, principals, custodians, cafeteria workers and even grounds keepers a school system could not function.
How about accepting that the NEA is doing something that our own state senators won't do..Help in a time of crisis.
Is the DCSS in crisis? Yes it is. Anyone that can read the ajc.com over the web can see this is a melting pot boiling over and without the proper leadership these professional may start to revolt and leave the DCSS with even more sub-standard leaders.
The DCSS leaders should wake up and realize that there are too many alternatives to teaching in a metropolitan city this size. Everyone should get real and stop backing the wrong horse. Our first priority should be the students..but how about the students may be teaching themselves without strong teachers.We need a union here...fast.
NEA is suppportive of the bus drivers, and all the other employees in the school system.
Teachers care a great deal about students. Otherwise, they would not become teachers. What goals do teachers have other than educating students and making a living like everyone else in our society.
ODE does provide representation for support personnel. Anyone who thinks that they do not is totally mistaken. I am not a member of ODE or NEA currently. However, I can assure you that they support all support personnel.
Super job ODE and NEA! Ella Smith
Would someone post something about tonight's meeting? I missed it. If no one else saw it, I'll catch a rerun if possible...
cere, it was a short meeting - over in 45 minutes. The only real "highlight" so to speak was the discussion over block scheduling. Tucker is asking to go to the traditional 7 period schedule and Dunwoody has requested a modified blocke schedule. Womack just came right out and said the system should go back to the traditional 7 period schedule (which I don't agree with). Jay Cunningham brought the discipline issue as far as having longer classes. Walker, well, I'm not quite sure I understood where he was coming from - I'll need to watch the rerun. According to McChesney, apparently part of the information given to principals this go-round was the performance of their schools pre-block vs block. All in all I get the feeling there would not be a consensus on the board if if were left up to the board to decide which scheduling option schools should adopt.
No more block scheduling! As a teacher, I'll be honest and tell parents that many teachers use chunks of the period for busy work. Today's students can not stay focused for such long periods, even for the best of teachers.
Well maybe that's because you are trying to do the same thing as you did on a regular schedule. Here's the deal- block scheduling can and does work for most disciplines. The problem is that teachers need work time. I've posted that before and many don't understand. It's not that you don't work at home, during your planning period. You have meeting after meeting after meeting which eats into your planning period and your afternoons. To be a creative teacher, you need to be able to think. We are not afforded that opportunity. It's kind of ironic isn't it??? I was grateful for the snow day so that I could have time to think and I worked a full day. So, yes go back to 7 period day, I won't have to work as hard and you can meet us to death and the kids STILL WON'T learn. They won't have time to really get into the subject matter.
BTW - forgot to share the AJC article about the teachers protesting the raise at the board meeting last night.
DeKalb school workers protest superintendent's raise
Shouting in unison Monday night, more than 250 DeKalb County school workers protested their superintendent’s $15,000 pay raise.
Click the green link above to read the rest of the story.
Oops - blue link.
Today I received a request from Det. R. F. Richardson of the Background Investigations Specialist Dept., stating I needed to be fingerprinted and the fee is $40.00. Alright, first of all, I have already had my fingerprints taken in the DCSS & they are not going to change so why do we need to do this more than once? Secondly, why should the employees pay for this? We have not had a raise for four years and they are requiring us to pay $40.00? Thirdly, what is that money being used for? I have endured alot from the DCSS as have all the employees and this is just the last straw! What recourse do we employees have?
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