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RSD205 teacher’s contract limits class size, pays extra for students beyond contractual limits

Returning to the Rockford Education Association Contract, Article 24 – Class Size, Section A – maximum class sizes are established by the contract; Kindergarten, 24 students; Grades 1 – 3, 26 students; Grades 4 – 6, 30 students and combination of Grades 1 – 6, 23 students while combinations of students from certain grades are not allowed.

For all day Kindergarten classes over 21 students, a paraprofessional shall be in place for the class within 20 days from the date of the enrollment of the 22nd child or additional pay for the teacher is required by contract.

In Section B – Class sizes at all secondary schools for academic classes and study halls shall be kept to a maximum of 33 students and should be limited to no more than 40 in physical education classes.

In Section C – Under Miscellaneous, the contract requires the Board and REA to work toward a ratio of: 1 social worker for each 1800 students; 1 psychologist for each 2000 students; 1 counselor per 300 students; 1 home school counselor for each 4000 students; and 1 nurse for each 1000 students. There are over 27,000 students in district 205 according to the 2010 Illinois District Report Card.

In Section D – the contract stipulates that in no instance should class size exceed 2 students above the maximum listed in Sections A and B for elementary school, and that if the maximum is exceeded by two students, the teacher shall be paid an overload rate of $13.50 per day for the first and $13.50 per day for a second child over the maximum class size.

In secondary schools, the limit must be brought within the maximum class size restrictions within a certain number of days of the start of the semester.

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32 Comments

  1. Neftali

    Much of the items highlighted in previous posts about the union contract, particularly article 22 section C related to working hours, I find preposterous and completely unnecessary. Whatever happened to just being a professional and doing what is required? In many ways the REA contract actually makes it worse for teachers, and they probably don’t even know it.

    On the other hand, this section about maximum class sizes is a good clause and makes sense. The district is adding 3 more superintendents when it should be cutting back on administrative overhead like superintendents and vice-principals. Heck, I’d even be in favor of the contract saying no new administrators until a student to teacher ratio of at least 20:1 is achieved.

  2. Denny Wallace

    I too am very concerned about class size or Teacher to Pupil ratio… I also agree with establishing the priority be given to more Teachers over more Administrators… If we have no choice but to do without one or the other… I say Adminsitrators can “temporarily be done without”…

    Yet Neftali… I suggest you are falling for the Teachers Union trap in logic… Not all Teaching environments are anywhere clse to equal…

    There are alternatives available then simply buying into the Teacher Union Lame Logic that all TEACHER WORK RULES apply to all Classrooms and Teaching Assignments…

    Such logic is insane….

    Can a PE Teacher have 50-60 Kids in his classroom? Hell Yes if you hire a couple part-tme YMCA Certified Fitness Instructors to help them referree Gym Class…

    Can a Honors Math or Science Teacher serve the needs of 30-40+ Students even if we had classrooms big enough to hold 40 students? Hell No…

    But what about Middle School Math and Science Classes if we hired 2-3-4 College Kids majoring in Math or Sciences to serve as teaching Assistants to help the Teacher deliver the Teaching Pro’s Lesson Plans… Then you could have a 10 to 1 ratio of Teaching Assistant to student + have the Teaching Professional free to serve as Learning Faciliator for our Math or Science Classroom Circus…

    Compare the above to the currnet lame ideas of applying the one-size-fits-all Union mentality to every Classroom regardless of the unneccessary huge costs and\or burdens on the Teacher AND STUDENTS who are forced to suffer because of such madness?

  3. Denny Wallace

    FYI NEFTali… If you take all the Teachers on the School District payroll and divide them by the number of students… The Teacher to Student Ratio (to the best of my recollection) is ALREADY well below 20 students to 1 Teacher…

    The Teacher Union rule book + inflexible State School Codes ends up to be a Union Dues ….Job Creation Machine…

    Please don’t make the mistake of applying commonsense or Logic when it comes to how we operate our $400,000,000 school district…

  4. Neftali

    Denny – Very valid points. I completely agree with you.

  5. Denny Wallace

    Neftali… I believe we still have at 2,000 FTE Teachers on the Payroll (maybe more since they supooseably rehired 240+ Teachers who were Laid off because of school closing … but that’s another rant)

    So using Ted’s 27,000 enrollment number = about 13 to 14 students per Teacher ratio…. So forget the Teacher Union’s mis-direction ploy…. We have plenty of Teachers on the School District Payroll, therefore the challenge is simply to DEMAND THE FULL-TIME EDUCATION PROFESSIONALS figure out the BEST way (i.e. establish priorities) to put the 2,000+ Teachers to the most productive use in Teaching our Kids.

    Do that, and we finally turn down the path of placing the needs of the kids ahead of just what is best for the adults!

    FYI…. If The Full-Time Pro’s aren’t up to the task (or just don’t deliver the results we need)… We DEMAND the part-time School Board Members Hire different Full-Time Professionals…. Never, ever allowing the Part-timers to get in over their heads trying to do too much or do things they are far from the BEST QUALIFIED to be performing…

    Yes it is really that simple!

  6. Ted Biondo

    You two guys are doing so well with your logical questions and answers that I don’t even need to respond except to say your conclusions are correct. 27,000/2000 = 14-15 per class.

    There are some doubling up in classes for various reason, but according to the Ill. District Report Crad again for 2010, the numbers reported are 13.2 pupils per certified staff, but 18.5 pupil/teacher ratio in elementary school and 20.4 in secondary schools.

    Denny, however I hope that the district does start using logic and common sense or they will once again be heading toward the cliff of financial state takeover.

    I agree with you both, surprised?

  7. readingmike94

    there is a flaw in your premise denny you cant hire college kids majoring in math first off they need to pass certification test or have at least 60 college credits. secondly where are you going to get these college kids they are attending college during the time you want them to tutor? how many college kids would you need to be placed in every math classroom even in middle school/high school?
    in terms of ymca certified fitness instructors how many fitness instructors does the y employ? would they be able to cover elementary and secondary gym classes? (ps look at the y catalog they wouldnt be able to) and how are they certified ie a person doing the bike class are they wsi certified to teach swimming?
    thirdly look at certification you simply cant add up the teachers and divide by students for instance the visual arts teacher sees every kid in the school same with pe, music and you have teachers for visually impaired, ohi etc . You also have special ed teachers for low incidence populations which may only have 5-10 kids in a classroom. You have have more elementary students which mandates a lower case load ie they can only see x amount of kids rather than secondary english which may see over 150 kids during a school day. also in terms of fte are they counting social workers, school nurses etc? another flaw in your arguement ever see where elementary teachers teach gym how could you have 50 kids in there at one time? ever work with 50 first graders or kindergartners at one time?
    so ted what is the student teacher ratio at rvc? would you say having 30 kids to a professor would be a good thing or do they give schools bonus points for having a lower student teacher ratio? and what evidence is there that having a 30 to 1 ratio is beneficial?

  8. Ted Biondo

    There’s ole readingmike94 on the union bandwagon again. Let’s not try to solve any problems – let’s just follow the state laws set up by the union lobbyists for certification. Need more members to pay dues – it’s NOT about the kids you know!

    Do all the volunteer readers and monitors being asked to come to the schools need to be certified to read to the kids also, or would it be better for the kids if someone helped them with the math especially with substitute teachers whose expertise and certifications often are not in math and science anyway?

    Comparing RVC kids to elementary and secondary kids is comparing apples to oranges and besides there is data to show that there are many other factors than class size that affects learning. Most evidence doesn’t show any difference in learning due to class size anyway. It’s a myth stated by union leaders to keep up their membership!

    What I do know is 55-60% of the kids GRADUATING from Rockford schools that go to RVC, require remedial help; some need three classes to get up to the level of the college courses.

    Don’t look a gift horse of volunteerism in the mouth just to keep your certified people. Besides the students may see that kids closer to their age CAN learn this stuff and they may be better motivated. We already know what happens to most of them under the current system – it should be about the kids right?

  9. xteach

    @readingmike94
    Certification is a crock. Many career fields require certification so states and unions can collect dues and it can further justify higher pay. A high school who has a 3.5 gpa or higher is perfectly capable of teaching most high school courses.

    @Ted
    Yes, RVC actually offers many remedial classes that RPS 205 doesn’t even offer in their high schools. Which leads to two big questions….
    First, how do these students actually graduate high school? Second, why are they going to college?

    Class size matters to a certain extent and depends on how much a teacher has to grade and deal with students one-on-one. Hence, elementary requires smaller class sizes. However, I taught high school and can honestly say that I have had classes of 35 students that I would choose over classes of 6 students. The most important factor is the demeanor of the students.

  10. xteach

    *high school grad

  11. Ted Biondo

    Very good points xteach!

  12. Elizabeth

    When figuring the class ratio does that include the special education classes which may be three and four? Or the AP classes that may be five or six?The biggest problem is the behavior of the students. The Catholic schools could handle large classes, but there was discipline. Now there is chaos in the many of the public schools. With the new administration maybe this will change.

    And I think the classes for the littliest ones are way too large. The kids come in so unprepared. Larger classes will not help the low functioning students. Also, the lack of appropriate materials and staff, ie closing the elementary libraries part of the week and no real secondary library services is not going to help.

    All this is negotiated. Do not blame the union. Call for renegotiation. It is not easy to supervise volunteers. Someone also need to train them. This is one more burden added to teaching. The district also needs to hire better aides and pay the a fair wage. Most now work for health insurance and are eligible for all sorts of public assistance.

    I agree their should be standards for graduating high school. Something the district does not have. But the colleges need to raise their standards also. I cannot tell you how many times, college graduates talk and write like elementary students.

  13. It's a Blue State Life

    If you look at the contract language in the outlying districts, with respect to class size, they mostly indicate that every attempt will be made to keep class sizes within reason. No, I haven not seen all of them. Yes, I could be wrong, but I believe this to be the case. IMO, keeping things flexible like this, instead of nailing them down to the letter, better enables districts to respond more quickly and effectively to unanticipated changes and circumstances.

  14. Elizabeth

    I typed my own name wrong!

    I think a lot of this is stated in the contract because of past abuses.
    Districts near Chicago where the teachers are treated fairly and with respect have not unionized. Target employees voted against unionizing. Unions usually appears where abuse has taken place. And in Rockford, teacher abuse was raised to an art form the last two years. Why would a talented young teacher want to come to Rockford? They can read. I know I would not subject myself to this type of abuse.

    We need to become more educated as a community and quit driving our educated children out.

    The crime rate has me very concerned. It is like a vicious circle. Unwed mothers-absent fathers, unemployed; poor education; high crime; high school unwed mothers-absent fathers, unemployed, poor education, high crime. A lack of education means a lack of job opportunities. Unfortunately, a lack of education also means a lack of skills needed for jobs. Even the basic ones such as showing up and not arguing when asked to do something.

    I still think that the welfare payments houls be tied to school attendance and behavior. Then we probably could have larger class sizes.

  15. It's a Blue State Life

    Elizabeth – I agree with much of what you say, but I still believe that making contracts ultra-specific and close-ended hampers the necessary flexibility that schools need to respond to sometimes quickly varying circumstances, Also, don’t you think “abuse” is a strong word? I’ll bet Rockford has no problem attracting new teaching applicants. I’ll be they have way more applicants than openings, particularly in the elementary grades.

  16. Ted Biondo

    I fixed it Elizabeth – no problem! Didn’t even know I could until I tried. I would like to see the benefits that are listed in the contracts, also. I will write a blog post on this subject soon.

  17. Elizabeth

    Perhaps bullying would be better. I do not have a way of verifying the stories I heard. Rockford can probably attract applicants, but keeping them may be something else. The wholesale layoffs, when unnecessary, the fear expressed about retaliation, and no support would make a person leave before having too much invested. One teacher told me about a fire started in a waste paper basket and nothing happened to the student. Another told me about being bitten. Again, nothing happened to the student. Was I there? No.But I have no reason to think that they were lying. We need to bring order to the school. Return to high expectations. Have a longer school day for failing students. Larger class sizes will not help failing students. With the economy being what it is, the goal would be to pack as many students in a classsroom as possible. Nothing has happened in this district, in the past, that would lend one to think that the students’ best interests would be considered. Having a bunch of burned out teachers is not good either. I am hopeful this will change. It must.

  18. readingmike94

    1. first off the article is lacking there is no evidence to make the claim that rea contract provisons regarding class size are unreasonable either in comparison to other school districts in the area/state or nation. There is no completing claim of what the class size should be that article states a but does not finish the arguement if it is an oped piece i would expect the writer to state how he would change the provisions if it is a statement of fact piece i would expect comparisons and how the rea contract is unreasonable neither of which happened in this blog article
    2. look at the nursing home industry, childcare standards, heck even mcdondalds and walmart have ratios prescriped either by law or practice so why shouldnt education?
    3. when you look at private schools etc in their ads dont they advertise and promote their school as having low student to teacher ratios?
    4. it makes sense if colleges promote themselves as having low student teacher ratio why wouldnt that be true in the lower grades when they are learning to do read, do math etc? it doesnt make logical sense of course it is beneficial to have low student teacher ratio
    5. the low scores at rvc…a. no evidence to suggest that rockford is any different from other school district’s kids where is the evidence comparing the low prepardness of rockford vs belvidere vs rockton etc? b. that is the role and mission of community colleges either in terms of learning a trade, taking enrichment classes whiz kid classes and preparing students to transition from high school to college that is the role of community colleges histroically this has been true c. there is no evidence from ted that suggests that rvc is any different from college of dupage or trition or jcc in terms of dealing with unprepard students no evidence to suggest they have a heavier burden than rvc
    6. ted defeats denny’s arguement if they are so unprepared for college how are they going to help tutor these kids? but also denny makes this arguement that you are going to have these volunteers and cut down on teachers you simply cant get them denny makes the arguement that they are not going to simply read an hour a day but call parents etc and act more like a paraprofessional in that case they need to be qualified and there simply is no evidence provided that they can get the number of people and have them be consistent etc.
    I do know all volunteers need to have criminal background checks and that they need to have that stuff and that does cost money
    lastly certification is not a crock we expect any other profession to be certified ie lawyers, accountants, doctors and they are certfied so it isnt a union issue only

  19. Ted Biondo

    readingmike94 – Your 6) point – I don’t defeat Denny’s argument. I wrote that 60% of ROCKFORD schools require remedial help – I didn’t say the students from all schools. There are plenty of intelligent students to do what Denny suggests – volunteer to help the KIDS, not reduce the class size restrictions.

  20. xteach

    @readingmike94
    I gladly compare certification for lawyers and accountants in the same class as teachers. Lawyers and accountants simply isolate themselves by use of a special language. Most average joe’s could do law and accounting, but it is their lingo and certification which keeps them above the fray. Medical doctors, on the other hand, are definitely exceptional.

  21. It's a Blue State Life

    Elizabeth – Yes, I have heard many of those same accounts of teachers feeling fairly helpless and frustrated when it comes to discipline. It is a sad situation that must be resolved. Not only to disruptive students make it a long day for the teacher, but they also interfere with the opportunity of other students to learn.

    So far as public ed in general goes, with the exception of math, science, and foreign language instructors, my guess is that supply of certified teachers may exceed demand. A new teacher may become dissatisfied in RPS205, however, unless they are qualified to teach a specialty like middle-to-high school math or science, their opportunities to catch on with another district are likely limited, because the other districts just aren’t hiring. I think, regardless of what else may be going on, I think 205 will always have plenty of applicants.

    I also think that the new board will go a long way toward improving the image and reputation of the district. I think they have already started with their recent administrative hirings.

  22. Denny Wallace

    Hey ReadingMike… How aboput compare apples to apples…

    You got to be kidding as far as “…. ted defeats denny’s arguement if they are so unprepared for college how are they going to help tutor these kids? …”

    SAY WHAT? Are you actually suggesting because a college kid was provided such a terrible 13 years of Public School Education and requires remedial math and reading coursework… That would make them incapable of helping early grade kids?

    Get a clue will ya… Because you lack High School Graduate level skills in Reading and Math certainly wouldn’t prevent a RVC or RC student from helping out UNDER DIRECT SUPERVISION OF A CERTIFIED TEACHING PROFESSIONAL when it came to Kindergartners… 1st graders…. 2nd graders, etc, etc…. That is more of the insane logic of trying to apply one-size-fits-all rule book to apply to all classrooms… Only someone with a hiddent agenda would suggest such a lame idea that a High School Graduate couldn’t significant help out a Classroom Teacher….

    Besides… Tutoring Kids is the least of my concerns… What I really want the part-timers to do is to cover all those menial classroom tasks so the Teacher needn’t be bothered by the trival and can stay focused on the Job duties worthy of a highly trained and educated Teaching Professional.

    “…but also denny makes this arguement that you are going to have these volunteers and cut down on teachers …”

    Daaaaa the only cutting down on teachers results when you make it possible for Teachers to Teach 6 or even 7 class periods becuase you provide them so many more resources to draw upon that it makes them more efficient… Off load the menial tasks and let the teachers Lead the Teaching effort utilizing classroom helpers…

    Do that and YES YOU SAVE HUGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY BECUAE EACH ADDITIONAL CLASS PERIOD A TEACHER TEACHERS REDUCES THE NUMBER OF TEACHERS NEED BY 16.7%

    “….you simply cant get them denny makes the arguement that they are not going to simply read an hour a day but call parents etc and act more like a paraprofessional in that case they need to be qualified….”

    they need to be qualified to make phone calls?…. How ha5rd is it to become qualified to use the telephone…. Get a clue will ya?

    “… and there simply is no evidence provided that they can get the number of people and have them be consistent etc…..”

    There is no evidence because no one has had the balls to take on the teacher Union and demand we save the $30-$40 million I suggest is just the start of potential real ECONOMIES OF SCALE THAT ARE POSSIBLE…

  23. Denny Wallace

    WHAT A CROCK “…Most average joe’s could do law and accounting, …”

    AND 50% OF WHAT A TEACHER DOES ANY COLLEGE EDUCATED PERSON COULD DO TOO..

    Four hours and 10 minutes of Live Teaching in front of kids for 172 days per year…. In the 6,020 days a teacher actually is in School Teaching Kids…. You would think someone could figure out how to bluff there way through teaching 1st and 2nd graders…

    Not at all suggesting Teachers do that nor is that what is ok as far as Teaching our kids…. But come on if you did the same thing everyday for 35 years…. If you just copied someone’s Lesson Plans… There is not a darn thing any Principal could ever do to get rid of a tenured Teachers…

    Not compare that to what Lawyers do and CPA’s… Xteach you are nuts to suggest what you did…

    I passed all the Teacher Certification Tests before I even took a single Education class… They are a joke yet some new grads were taking the tests a 2nd and 3rd time at NIU back in 2002…

    “Gladly compare certification for lawyers and accountants in the same class as teachers….” WHA ARE YOU CRAPPING?

  24. Denny Wallace

    Elizabeth said “…All this is negotiated. Do not blame the union. …” Nonsense! Not only do I blame the Teacher Union for over-the-years creating an inefficient, costly and burdensome Union Contract…. I BLAME THE MANY TEACHER SUPERSTARS WHO LOOKED THE OTHER WAY AND ALLOWED THE UNION RADICALS TO PURSUE SUCH OBVIOUS DETRIMENTAL UNION CONTRACT PROVISIONS.

    As far as “…The district also needs to hire better aides and pay the a fair wage….” For gish sakes… Why only pay one wage level for Paraporfessionals?

    If you listen to the Teacher Union… They actually suggest it’s not possible to keep a libraray open without a Librarian presnet… I guess suggesting it’s impossible to think grown adults can check out students books or help out students in the absense of a Librarian?

    FYI It is very specific TEACHER UNION DEMANDED CONTRACT LANGUAGE that prevents more efficient and practical use of Para-Professionals…. We should have 3-5 different Para-Professional job classifications…. and I agree with real fairness in wage levels….

    Why on earth must we pay someone $200 to $500 per day to supervise five Study Hall Classes…. But that’s exactly what is demanded by the Teacher Union…

  25. Denny Wallace

    Who said anything about Tutoring Kids?

    “…there is a flaw in your premise denny you cant hire college kids majoring in math first off they need to pass certification test or have at least 60 college credits. secondly where are you going to get these college kids they are attending college during the time you want them to tutor? …”

    I want Kids to serve the Classroom teacher performing the large number of menial tasks… Grading, entering grades into the grade book, making copies, supervising students when they are taking tests and quizzes… dealing with classroom surprises like illnesses, discipline problems (i.e. Taking a kid to the Principals office)… helping klids catch-up who missed class versus stopping the Teacher from teaching the 99% of other kids who didn’t miss class or aren;t having problem, and the list goes on and on what a College Student could do in grades Pre-K thru 8th grade…

    FYI it only requires 18 semester hours in a subject to Teach the class…. And you accuse me of making stuff up? i.e. it doesn’t require 60 sem hours to Teach Math even for a certified teacher,

    Daaaaa as far as “…where are you going to get these college kids they are attending college during the time you want them to tutor? …”

    A college kid takes five classes that meet for 50 to 75 minutes a day 2-3 days per week… So since I’m suggesting we use part-timers… It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure out it is more then practical for a college Students to job share a “classroom helper job”…

    Either have one come in the morning say 7-12 and another 11-4 or have them work either M-W-F and take classes later in the day or on Tue and Thur…. or vice versa…

    Come on ReadingMike…. If you would get off the we can’t…. We Can’t….. WE CAN’T!….. DAAAA YEA THERE ARE MANY THINGS WE CAN DO!

  26. Denny Wallace

    “….how many college kids would you need to be placed in every math classroom even in middle school/high school?….”

    I’ll go with college kids Kids for Middle School but we need older adults for High school…. But if you paid a retiree $150-$200 per day…. You would have no problem coming up with well qualified ex-Engineers to come up with the 50 to 70 or so people necessary to man every High School Math Class.

    As far as “….in terms of ymca certified fitness instructors how many fitness instructors does the y employ? would they be able to cover elementary and secondary gym classes? (ps look at the y catalog they wouldnt be able to) and how are they certified ie a person doing the bike class are they wsi certified to teach swimming?…”

    Come on readingMike…. You can’t actually be taunting me such easy blarney to overcome? I expect more out of you….

    First off…. The YMCA would love the economies of scale to have REAL JOBS to offer certified Fitness Instructors if they could get a piece of the $6-$8 million we current spend on providing PE Classes in our Public Schools.

    It’s just a guess…. But that kind of money far exceeds the total payrol of the YMCA and probably including adding in every similar health club…. Simply hire many RVC and RC College Stdudents and send them to fitness certification classes…

    TEACH SWIMMING? You can’t possibly be suggesting that in todays Public Schools ANYONE IS TEACHING A SINGLE KID HOW TO SWIM…. Who the heck are you crappin? But FYI Give me a couple kids off of Guilfords swim team…. and yea they can Teach Kids to swim and probably really gain the interest of the young kids they are teaching to swim…

    Next!

  27. Denny Wallace

    Come on ReadingMike…. You are making stuff up again… We laid off teachers to move more classrooms to maximum class size of 150 per Union conttract for the Max Five class periods a secondary english teacher is allowed to teach… I challenge you to come up with more then a handful of current secondary English teachers (if that many) that have even one class with 30 kids… Who you crappin to make this stuff up?

    “….also in terms of fte are they counting social workers, school nurses etc? …” Yea but they are covered by the same one-size-fits-all Teacher Union work rules…. How many planning periods do school workers and nurses etc need every day…. It’s not like they have home work to grade or lessons to plan…. + the school day is only 5.5 to 6 hours long and they can only be required to be at School 15 minutes before\after the school bell…. DAAAAA DO WE REALLY NEED TO BE SPENDING UP TO $80,000 SAL;ARIES FOR SUCH EFFORTS?

    Besides just support the Classroom teachers and we can still save $10-$20-$30 million even if we DO NOTHING ABOUT THE MADNESS OF TREATING ALL THE SPECIAL ED, GUIDANCE COUNSELORS, SOCIAL WORKERS, ETC SUCH THAT WE GET A FAIR DAYS PAY FOR A FAIR DAYS WORK IN THE 173 DAYS SCHOOLS ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS….

  28. Denny Wallace

    “….another flaw in your arguement ever see where elementary teachers teach gym how could you have 50 kids in there at one time? ever work with 50 first graders or kindergartners at one time?…”

    There are a 100+ Elementary Teachers being paid $70-$80K in just salaries…. + benefits + pensions + payroll costs pushes such teachers total costs to well over $100,000….. Daaaaa How about we hire 5 part-time YMCA level Instrutors… or just college students and let them handle gym class at the ratio of 5-10 kids per part-time Gym Class teacher….

    FLAWS????? Do you see how insane your arguments are?

    lAST BUT NOT LEAST…. “…so ted what is the student teacher ratio at RVC? …would you say having 30 kids to a professor would be a good thing…”

    Well first off we are talking about Pre-K thru 12 Public schools…. But since you asked…. How come RVC costs per class = about $250 whereas Rockford Public schools avg costs is closer to 10 time that or $2,500. (Granted not easy comparison but please you are making a mistake comparing “is it a good idea for 30 kids in an RVC class” being comparable to Publis schools…

    FYI… Why not add 2-3 part-time Classroom Helpers to every Public school classroom and then YEA 30 KIDS PER CLASS WOULDN’T BE THAT BIG OF A DEAL AS THE TEACHING PRO WOULD HAVE SERIOUS MANPOWER TO SUCCESSFULLY DELIVER THE LESSON PLAN…

    But f course… per your mind set that’s impossible to even consider as why on earth would anyone want to provide serious resources to help the teaching Professionals Teach our kids…

    (:-)

  29. Denny Wallace

    “….And in Rockford, teacher abuse was raised to an art form the last two years. Why would a talented young teacher want to come to Rockford? They can read. I know I would not subject myself to this type of abuse…”

    Please can you provide a couple real examples of exactly how teachers have ever been abused in Rockford?

    Absence any Union Grievances… the talk of abusing teachers is at best Union Propaganda alleging Urban Legends are in fact more true then fantasy world…

    Come on…. show me?

  30. Denny Wallace

    Please when will such nonsense end…. “The wholesale layoffs, when unnecessary, the fear expressed about retaliation,”

    Wholesale Layoffs? All but 15 teachers were rehired…

    Even this year there is already talk that of the 579 Teachers laidoff to try and save $50 million… at least 240 have already been rehired….

    Unecessary you say? Just how in the heck are we to cut the budget deficit? If you are talkinga bout last years layoffs… All the Teachers knew they would be rehired if they were any good + the restrictive teacher Union demands on Layoffs and excessively burdensome seniorty rules makes it extremly hard and expensive to adjust workforces to meet the needs of students….

    Yet to listen to the Teachers Union…. Mot our fault…. It’s only the result of bad Administration or bad decsions by Adminsitration…. Seriously…. Have you ever heard the teachers Union (even most teachers) ever admit ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PROBELEMS IN OUR SCHOOLS?

  31. Denny Wallace

    Retaliation?

    Do you realize it’s impossible to do ANYTHING ABOUT TEACHERS ON THE JOB WORK PERFORMANCE unless it’s part of the formal review process that requires prior notice of exactly what will be reviewed and when such review will take place….

    A teacher could completly ignore every and any directive of the Adminstration and there is very little that could be done about it…

    So please tell me exactly how ANY TEACHER COULD BE RETALIATED AGAINST… That is a complete joke to suggest…

    Once a Teacher obtains Tenure they have a job for life…. or until age 54-55 when they retire at 75% of ending earnings + COLA for Life.

    Very Few School Districts in the entire State of Illinois HAVE EVER TRIED TO FIRE A TEACHER… and what’s even worse…. very few school districts have EVER BEEN SUCCESSFUL…

    “….the fear expressed about retaliation…” Please don’t buy into that Teacher Union hogwash!

  32. Denny Wallace

    “…Yes, I have heard many of those same accounts of teachers feeling fairly helpless and frustrated when it comes to discipline. It is a sad situation that must be resolved. Not only to disruptive students make it a long day for the teacher, but they also interfere with the opportunity of other students to learn….”

    I absolutely agree that absence of discipline makes for a miserable classroom experience for Teachers as well as the non-problem Kids.

    Yet not only does lack of Teachers having control over discipline in the clssroom prevent serious learning to take place… (regardless of the reasons why) Can anyone think of a more important condition of employment that affects the quality of your work life… i.e. Worthy of Teachers demanding changes at the Teacher Contract Negotiating Table.

    I have no idea how bad it is in our schools… I’m not there and I try to avoid jumping on the bandwagon of blindly agreeing to hearsay evidence or whatever “urban legend” is told and retold such that no-one but those actually working in the schools everyday really know the real story.

    Parents can’t simply believe everything their Kids tell them as they only get part of the story…. Same for what you neighbor told you or even what the friend who is a Teacher who tells you ONLY THEIR SIDE OF THE STORY… Not saying anyone is intentionally lying but hearsay evidence is far from THE FACTS!

    So what’s my point?

    Why on earth haven’t the Teachers gotten together and devised their own Disciplinary action plan to present to the School District?

    Aren’t the 2,000+ Teachers extremly well trained (of course well experienced) in dealing with disruptive kids and disciplining students in schools?

    If the School Administration can’t come up with an acceptable Discplinary Action Plan (or the part-time Amateur Board just aren’t up to to the challenge)…. Wouldn’t commonsense suggest the Teachers should have done so and then demanded it be approved (or similar) and be preapred to go out on strike over it?

    Can you imagine the community-wide support for the Teachers if they stood up once and for all FOR THE KIDS (and teachers) and declared we are mad as hell about lack of discipline in our schools and here is our plan for how to deal with it…

    Since Teacher Contract are going on now… Can you imagine the rallying cry of the Community if the Teachers made it a Priority to demand something at Contract Negotiations that wasn’t related to wages, benefits, seniorty rights, (irregardless of need) number of class periods they could teach or the number of planning periods they must have everyday????

    I for one would gladly join the Teachers on the Picket Line if they went out on strike over doing something about Discipline in our Schools…. My bet is an overwhelming majority of the community would also,,,

    i.e. A serious counter-point to the argument there is a lack of support of Teaching. Give us good reasons to support Teachers by them doing more then just telling us the Union Propaganda sound-bite “IT’S JUST ABOUT THE KIDS YOU KNOW…”

    Show me by teachers Actions it really is ABOUT THE KIDS… and not just what is best for the Adults… I’m all in on supporting Teachers.

    Teachers can do something about lack of Discipline in our Schools…. Teachers need to only simply make a serious proposal (i.e. more then just verbal complaints) at Contract Negotiations… Then Community support will kick in and something can (hopefully will) finally be done to restore discipline in the classroom…

    I advocate that the regular Classroom become a privilege not a right… If a student doesn’t play by “reasonable rules” they are giving a time-out into progressively more strict classroom environments…

    Yet just as a Kid’s actions can tighten up the progressively more restrictive school experience…. Playing by the rules…. EARNS THEIR RIGHT TO RETURN TO THE REGULAR CLASSROOM…

    No locking up kids just because they are doing what Kids have always done… i.e. Make Mistakes. I personally screwed up many times back in the 60’s and 70’s and made mistakes… If I would have been held more responsible (i.e. Consequences) for those mistakes… Maybe I wouldn’t have suffered the bad memories of looking back now and seeing all those wasted opportunities or regretting the bigger mistakes I made…

    Stop Complaining…. Lerts do something about Discipline… YES WE CAN…. Yes we must as the Kids are counting on the ADULTS to Get ‘er Done!

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