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Billionaire Devos makes joke about how no lunch is free

I don't know if this is from the Oy Vey I can't make this stuff up file, the Christian hypocrisy file or the oh god just watch the viideo, if you can stomach that is.



From Yahoo News

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made a seemingly innocuous joke Thursday about no one getting a free lunch. But the comment came as DeVos, a staunch opponent of public schools, is taking over the nation's free lunch program that provides nutrition to low-income students and is under attack from Republicans, raising questions about whether the administration of President Donald Trump will protect food aid programs for children, NPR reported.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/devos-questions-schools-free-lunch-094819537.html

District tells me I got some things wrong, on evaluations and bonuses

In an effort to be fair to them I have decided to put up their assertions, many of which I disagree with, however I do acknowledge that earnest individuals can look at the same thing and come to different conclusions.

   Chris,

While I understand much of your blog is opinion based and written in “draft” mode, please consider referencing actual facts regarding DCPS and contacting us for verification when in doubt. Based on the information provided below, please consider updating your blog titled DCPS promises a lot, delivers little, the staff at Ed White finds out first hand, and posted on February 23, 2017.
·        CG Statement: “There were no promises to the staff of Ed White, those staying and coming in but the implication was clear, if you rolled the dice with the change to a military magnet you would be rewarded and it wasn't a low level administrator that made this assertion, it was the district's director of human resources Sonita Young.”

o   DCPS Response: A meeting was held between an HR representative and the DTU representative with each school impacted by boundary/program changes, including Ed White, to discuss the impact of changes on personnel.  Ms. Young was the representative who spoke to the Ed White staff and principal.  While we acknowledge that she referenced a possible QEA like incentive, it was in the context of the use of performance data to determine eligibility.  It was also stated that any approved incentive had to be negotiated with DTU.  The incentive was provided upon approval for all teachers who qualified for the final incentive, and has been paid.

·        CG Statement: “Last year it was the QEA bonuses and earlier this year it was the center school stipends.”

o   DCPS Response: The issue with QEA bonuses, as has been explained to you previously, was an email communication error regarding teacher eligibility that was quickly corrected.  However, with both incentive issues and center school stipends, the teachers who were entitled to payment received payment.

·        CG Statement: “As of Christmas we had over three hundred teacher openings and every year more and more staff leave and it gets harder and harder to replace them.”

o   DCPS Response: As of December 20, 2016, there were 121 classroom and 84 school-based instructional support position vacancies; not “over three hundred.” The blog statement is inaccurate.

·        CG Statement: Never mind we all know the answer to that, well everyone but the super it seems as he shrugs his shoulders at most of these issues, full disclosure he did work to see center school teachers got their stipends before Christmas, though at the same time those eligible for the stipend decreased.

o   DCPS Response: There was no decrease. This is, again, an inaccurate statement. The requirements for the center school stipend has remained the same for both years. The difference in quantity of qualifying teachers is based on teacher certification and summative evaluation rating, and not a change in the stipend amount.  The total number of teachers who received a center school supplement increased from the prior year by 8 teachers districtwide.

·        CG Statement: “It's a shame that the district in order to save a few dollars to buy a new ID system, expand the supers bloated cabinet, or some other tech du jour, has just put a hundred cracks in that foundation.”

o   DCPS response: The Superintendent’s cabinet was not expanded. This is false and inaccurate. It is also false and inaccurate to state that the plan to fund an ID system is based on calculated analysis to reduce salaries through the evaluation system. The evaluation system, and the metrics used to pay teachers, are collective bargained and not randomly controlled by the Superintendent.

·        CG Statement: It takes 9 years to get to ten bucks an hour (for paras).

o   Paraprofessionals are paid on the approved salary schedule based on their assignment (i.e. regular, ESE, etc.).  Paras have received a step increase each year.  Additionally, negotiations between the district and DTU have resulted in changes to the paraprofessional salary schedule/career ladder that allows for paras to receive increases faster than previous schedules.  Depending on the paraprofessional’s assignment and amount of professional development he/she has taken, it takes between 6-9 years to get to $10.00/hr., not 9 years.
                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Here was my response and now that you have both points of views, you can be the judge.

I get it we probably aren't going to agree on much but before I put it up (my post on Ed White), I ran it past the group of Ed White teachers that came to me who asked me to write it, who gave me all the info and asked, what did I get wrong, need to add or take out. You have a significant amount of teachers at Ed White who are bitter by what has happened.

I work at Palm Avenue and was right in the mix with what happened, last year transition and elective teachers got the stipend, while this year new transition and elective teachers were told they weren't eligible.

I feel like the district makes a lot of errors that go against teachers especially where money is involved. Maybe these are innocent and not nefarious mistakes but at the very least it speaks to poor communication between the district and teachers and it breeds contempt from teachers. 

The Times Union disagrees with your job opening numbers


Also if I remember correctly, your 12/16 openings list which was up well into January had over 300 instructional openings and correct me if I am wrong but the district moved a significant amount of coaches back into the classroom to cover a lot of those openings. . 

When I said the cabinet, i meant the administration and its expansion and risky funding of is an assertion that Becki Couch has made, and if we have limited resources and the district wants to buy a new ID system rather than give raises how is what I wrote wrong and are you defending how much, sorry, little we pay paras? Can I write about that?

Finally I think it's a fair argument that we have an evaluation system which everyone I know hates which gives well below the state average of highly effective to save money.    

DCPS promises a lot, delivers little, the staff at Ed White finds out first hand.

There were no promises to the staff of Ed White, those staying and coming in but the implication was clear, if you rolled the dice with the change to a military magnet you would be rewarded and it wasn't a low level administrator that made this assertion, it was the district's director of human resources Sonita Young. Fast forward to today and that dream has come to an end, though as teachers at Ed White look back many feel as if they were the victims of a bait and switch and it has left a bitter taste in their mouths.

This isn't the first time the district has dangled financial incentives to teachers only to pull them back. Last year it was the QEA bonuses and earlier this year it was the center school stipends. Throw in the district's evaluation system which makes it harder for teachers to get highly effective evaluations and a clear pattern of nickeling and diming teachers at every possible instance becomes clear.

Just the other day the superintendent talked about borrowing 52 million to buy computers, well friends ask yourself who is gong to be there to pass them out and help kids work on them? As of Christmas we had over three hundred teacher openings and every year more and more staff leave and it gets harder and harder to replace them.

Let me ask you this, if the district gets a reputation for not following through with its promises, is the situation going to get worse or better. Never mind we all know the answer to that, well everyone but the super it seems as he shrugs his shoulders at most of these issues, full disclosure he did work to see center school teachers got their stipends before Christmas, though at the same time those eligible for the stipend decreased.

Most of the staff I have talked to at Ed White are happy with the direction the school is heading. They say there is a solid foundation in place that can lead to future success. It's a shame that the district in order to save a few dollars to buy a new ID system, expand the supers bloated cabinet, or some other tech du jour, has just put a hundred cracks in that foundation.

While I am talking about money here I just wanted to mention how poorly we pay our para professionals. It's really criminal as we pay them less than subsistence type wages. Many fast food restaurants pay better than the district does and you might be saying what about the benefits to which I would reply, every year they seem to get a little more expensive and a little worse.

I think teachers are under paid, but what we pay paras, those people on the front line with our children is shameful and the entire city should be embarrassed. It takes 9 years to get to ten bucks an hour.

To see what they make, click the link and then open the salary handbook. http://dcps.duvalschools.org/Page/5722

Duval gives teachers lower evaluations, is the purpose to save money? (rough draft)

I think I can prove it is.

During the 15-16 school year 45.9 percent of Florida's teachers were considered highly effective, a number that Duval actually brought down, because only  23.4% of our teachers were, which put us in 50th place, though most of those behind us were small districts with a few hundred or few thousand teachers.

When we compared ourselves to the big districts something the super frequently does, we came in third to last only behind Brevard and Pinellas.

Brevard- 18.3%
Dade- 32.6%
Hillsborough- 42.7%
Orange- 75.2%
Palm Beach 50.4%
Pinellas- 10.3
Polk- 36.5

If you are on the new pay scale and you get an effective evaluation you get a thousand dollar raise, however if you get a highly effective evaluation 2k comes your way.

If Duval hit the state average it would cost the district roughly an additional 2 million dollars but that isn't the only money teachers are losing out on. Teachers also lose out on being eligible for the Best and Brightest bonuses, now I think the program is dumb but as things stand now only highly effective teachers are eligible.

We use the ironically named C.A.S.T. evaluation system a tool so unwieldy that the union gives seminars on how to understand what is happening, and that practically takes advance math and a graphing calculator to figure out.Why? Apparently to save money.

But hey somebody has to pay for the supers new ID system, exploding cabinet and new computers right. So many teachers already spend their own money on basics whats a little more.

Here are how the other districts in Northeast Florida are doing.

Clay 84.3% highly effective, St. Johns 60,2%

To check out how other districts do, click the link, http://www.fldoe.org/teaching/performance-evaluation/

The district should ask our teachers about new ID policies

Teachers are the ones that will have to implement any new ID policy and I think that entitles them to be consulted. So I sent the following note to the school board encouraging them to reach out to the district's teachers. I believe if they did so more often we would be in a better place.

I did a piece on the new ID system on the blog Education Matters and I received a ton of responses (see below) that I thought you might be interested in. I just wanted to suggest why not do a survey monkey and ask teachers, the people who would be implementing it, what they thought.

Have a good day
Chris Guerrieri


  1. Will someone let the Super know that the current ids are already used for checking out textbooks, library books and equipment both at schools AND public libraries, as well as purchasing lunches. Why do we need to pay to put scanners on EVERY classroom in the county when we already enter attendance into a system that is accessible by everyone in the school? How will new ids track attendance better than the program he spent millions on 3 years ago????? Just another waste. How about someone let him know what really needs funding, like new buildings instead of buying nasty portables (yes, many of the ones in use came from FEMA after hurricane Katrina so think on that....), or paying for more Paras so there are more hands in deck in all schools?? There is no amount of technology that can ever replace the value of human contact. The simple act of talking to a child, being the person that offers words of encouragement, or having a child know someone cares is more valuable than any scanner. On the plus side, you don't have to pay benefits for a scanner, or deal with union complaints when they quit working. You just replace them like he wishes he could replace us with mindless cogs.
    ReplyDelete
  2. If you want to know where your child is at all times then ask him and raise a child who believes in telling the truth. You have to raise your children to be respectful and want a good education then you won't have to worry about them cutting classes. This also makes me wonder who has a friend who owns the badge making company or who has stock in the badge making company
    ReplyDelete
  3. Good points. Do we have a problem in every school. How sad! Maybe the engagement and interest in school has to do with curriculum and lack of support services. Maybe the millions could be spent on fixing the problem instead of monitoring the problem. I am reminded of those commercials where the dentist says oh I don't fix the cavity I only monitor the cavity. P
    ReplyDelete
  4. Truant students do not wear ID badges, so who is this for? Also, many of the parents at Ed White do not make their child wear the Ed White uniform or the ID badge. I guess it is obvious who will benefit on this as well. If anything, some kind of way, it will be another thing that teachers will have to track in addition to taking attendance. I agree, this is a waste!!!
    ReplyDelete
From Facebook, names redacted
 Sounds like a good idea to me for the students. But definitely not to monitor staff and faculty whereabouts. They need to implement some type of penalty for students who don't wear them. I am sure some schools have a harder time than others.

I think I like the idea of visitors wearing them and also some parents (especially those who "wander " where they shouldn't). I think it is great security for students. BUT- I think making teachers wear chipped IDs instead of the ones worn now smacks of micromanaging and mistrust, instead of treating them as professionals.
Like · Reply · 3 · February 14 at 8:52pm · Edited

I refuse to wear one. My current ID is fine.
Like · Reply · 2 · February 14 at 8:38pm · Edited

 I can honestly say this one doesn't bother me so much. Any hospital you enter has their employees wearing this type of badge. I see it as a safety measure should the unthinkable occur. I'm on a very open campus where that continues to be a real possibi...See More

 I don't mind this either. In my opinion, the reason other id's have not worked is because there wasn't too great of an incentive for kids to wear them. When there was a game or dance, everyone "found" one or purchased a new one. As Shannon pointed out, for security reasons it may be a good idea. As far as me wearing one? Sure. I have nothing to hide.
Like · Reply · 3 · February 14 at 8:52pm · Edited

· 2 mutual friends
Nah. Thats a hard pass...

 I can't believe I'm saying this but I could give a hoot if admin knew in was in restroom. I am on their time. As for kids it's a battle but geez wearing an ID is a really basic skill.

 Can't wait to see how many K-1st graders loose their cards. Are teachers going to have card out every time they leave their classrooms? Big brother will be watching

I agree with you, Chris. My first thoughts were of one Year at Paxon SAS first day, " all Students will wear their ID at all times", by week two it was forgotten about. So many students refused to wear them and there was nothing done by the "Adminis...See More

 
Ain't technology great? Super duper idea, then the game-playing over attendance and tardy and skipping statistics will end. Is the super ready for some real numbers?

 
What is to keep a student from scanning their ID and their friends ID so their friend could skip? "This system could save the district about $1 million over five years, Vitti said, but first the district must spend $1.1 million to set it up." How often does he changes programs? Who is to say we would keep this program for the 5 years. He wastes so much money. When is this on the school board's agenda?