This site is a work in progress; it is our hope that it will become a vital part of the association's effort to keep all members informed. Please check out the entire site including the members only area.
Remember our working environment is our students' learning environment.
The TELL MASS Survey is a statewide survey of school based licensed educators to determine if they have the supports necessary for effective teaching. The online survey is administered in Massachusetts every other year. During the four week window the survey is administered, educators may complete the survey anytime, from any Internet location, using an anonymous password. Please see your principal for your code.
Our school's most experienced teachers have spoken, is anyone listening?
Time line for Evaluation
Completed by September 15
Superintendent, principal or designee meets with evaluators and educators
to explain evaluation process
Completed by September 20
Evaluator meets with first-year educators to assist in self-assessment and
goal setting process
Completed by October 1
Educator submits self-assessment and proposed goals
Completed by October 1
Evaluator should complete first walk-through of each Educator with positive
feedback and a coaching session (coaching session for 1st year teachers only)
Completed by October 15
Evaluator meets with Educators in teams or individually to agree on goals
Completed by January 5
Evaluator should complete at least 3 observations and 1 coaching session
(2nd coaching session for 1st year teachers)
Completed by January 5*
Educator reviews evidence on standards and progress towards goals
Completed by February 1
Evaluator should complete mid-cycle Formative Assessment Reports for
Educators on one-year Educator Plans
Completed by February 15
Evaluator holds Formative Assessment Meetings if requested by either
Evaluator or Educator
Completed by April 30
Educator reviews evidence on standards and progress towards goals
Completed by June 1
Evaluator completes Summative Evaluation Report
Completed by June 10
Educator signs Summative Evaluation Report and adds response, if any
See Update from Survey!!!======>
As we enter year 2 of the new evaluation system and having made it through many teachers feel relieved. Still the evaluation is complicated, time consuming and frustrating to many and new parts of it are rolling out every year . We are the pioneers through the new system that the commissioner of education believes will take 5 years to work out. We need to work together as a Union to help each other and represent a united front to Administration. The administrators have been working hard to help everyone.... but it is not safe to just have administration driving this ship. We need to become experts and we need to use the Unions structure to keep the evaluation process fair and just. The district has purchased Baseline edge This system should help make the Rubric more manageable. We will need training!!! I'm hoping to have the Executive committee trained and to have them be helpful in each building.
We are working on an MOA (memorandum of agreement) that was supposed to be finished at the end of the school year last year. It involves issues we agreed to negotiate outside of the 2012-2015 contract every year.
two main issues are Parent Portal and Teacher Evaluation.
We are worried about many verbal parts of the agreement. At one school the spirit of the agreement is already being violated. Both of these issue are huge leaps in faith... they require trust and fair treatment. The agreement is only as good as the weakest link. At one school the evolution tool is being misused and many aspects of the parent portal agreement is being ignored.
We will need to tighten up language before we can sign anything.
The administration in at least one school is doing a full court press against teachers. Please be aware of your weingarten rights... this just states that if you get called into a meeting you should always ask if this is about a disciplinary action or could lead to one ... ask if you can have you building rep with you. This is always best ... just having another pair of ears and someone taking notes ... this is just a good idea. In one school we have had some serious issues with teachers being called in and not understanding their rights.
I have asked to meet with school committee members about serious issues at one of our schools ... but i have been denied a meeting.
Changing Education Paradigms Interesting video
House Of Cards - Corporate Deform in America
The evaluation committee is making progress. With DDM's immanently on the horizon the committee has a small side group(the teacher side led by Kurt Loell) who are becoming our experts. We will be doing presentations at school Faculty meetings after the holidays.
We have let the administration know that we are not happy that the negotiations committee has not met and has not been in the loop with baseline edge. The fact that the baseline edge program is changing our work load and our rubrics is against Federal law if we have no input. That said we are not blaming administration ... the new evaluation system is moving so fast and the company(baseline edge dropped the ball on training). The Union was told all teachers that wanted to be on the committee was on it... when I was confronted last year by many teachers that signed up but were not put on the committee... I told administration and they told me they "picked names out of a hat"... The committee has been reformed (at least the association side of the committee) Our goal is to have people on this new committee that will represent all of our members and who are not afraid to say no to administration. We want the new system to work ... but we need teachers at the table.. we need teachers trained. Under the past administration faculty meetings doubled yet training for new programs and new technology really never adequately happened.
As of today (Sunday 9/29/13) 96 members responded 62% of members
1st Question results;
13% Had very little knowledge of how the evaluation worked
31% said they were somewhat knowledgeable
31% said they were fairly knowledgeable
20% understood the system
4% said they were comfortable
2nd Question Have you been adequately trained on base line edge? results:
3rd Question Did you know that the Evaluation system is reevaluated every year and it is important to give your building Representatives feedback? results:
We talked to Gail .. she sent our the video and agreed to call the evaluation committee back together and to train the Excom members. We think it is important to have building representatives trained so people can come to them and trust they will be help in a professional way. We need to make the evaluation system work for not only the administration but also for the teachers!! The MTA info site http://www.massteacher.org/advocating/Evaluation.aspx
4th question What is your biggest concern with the new evaluation system? results;
I will send out everything for you to see next week.... but overall people worried about time, inconsistency, trust, fairness, time and time.....
5th Question Do you know what DDM's are? results;
District determined Measures is a part of the evaluation system that will begin next year. It is student test results in state tested areas of common assessments. It can not be used to give you a "bad evaluation" but if your students do not show growth you can be kept on a 1 year plan. The association is upset that teachers have not been informed, we will run workshops provided by the MTA this year and we encourage you to read up on it. http://www.massteacher.org/advocating/toolkits/ddm.aspx
6th Question Do you know what PARRC is? results;
First of all I messed up the letters, its PARCC. It stands for partnership for assessment of readiness for college and careers. It is a computerized testing system owned by Pearson (http://www.parcconline.org/), the Education conglomerate driving education reform (RTTT) It is one of the ways states will test schools based on the common core standards (also designed by an Education conglomerate) We will be testing it in all schools this year and fully implement it (computerized) next year. Most intelligent informed leaders in education do not see this as physically possible( computers with internet access for all students) by next year. The problem is education reform is not being led by intelligent informed leaders in education.... so stay tuned!!! more information http://www.massteacher.org/advocating/toolkits/ccss.aspx
7th Question What is the most important quality you are looking for in a new Superintendent? results;
I have listed all of them in the members only survey section
Health Insurance Safety-Net Found
You received a letter about thisfound. It is designed to help staff and retired members who receive insurance from the district. Specifically it is to help with high out of pocket costs for covered health services and perception co-pays. The basics;
*If you have the individual insurance once you pay over $1,000 you are entitled to the found for up to another $1,000
Example If you costs were $2,300 .... you could receive the maximum $1,000 from the found
*If you have the family insurance once you pay over $2,000 you are entitled to the found for up to another $2,000
Example If you costs were $3,300 .... you could receive $1,300 from the found
So please start saving your receipts for out of pocket costs