Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Negotiations Impasse Media Release

June 26, 2012

Contact: Jennifer Boehme

President, Jordan Education Association
Telephone: 801-262-2449 ext. 2

Jordan Teachers Declare Impasse in Contract Negotiations

The Jordan Education Association (JEA) today announced it has declared impasse in contract negotiations with the Jordan School District for the 2012-13 school year and will enter mediation according to Utah State Law.

JEA is asking for mediation because of the school district’s failure to provide adequate resources to ensure the recruitment and retention of quality teachers in Jordan School District. JEA also opposes a district proposal to eliminate the voice of teachers in negotiating policies that impact the student learning environment and employee working conditions.

One issue leading to impasse is the district’s proposal to end the practice of collaborating with educators in negotiating policies that impact the student learning environment and teachers’ working conditions. “JEA believes it is vitally important for the voice of teachers and other employees to be heard and considered when addressing policies that are important to students’ learning conditions and teachers’ working environment,” said JEA President Jennifer Boehme.

Negotiating this year through a hired attorney rather than directly with educators, Jordan School District extended an offer that included increases on the salary schedule for the 2012-13 school year, but no increases for the 2013-14 school year unless the Legislature were to provide funding specifically for that purpose. The Legislature has never earmarked money specifically for step-and-lane salary increases.

“We are concerned that the district’s unwillingness to consider salary increases for the 2013-14 school year puts the district at risk of losing quality teachers to surrounding school districts that are providing increases,” said Boehme. Because of budget shortfalls, Jordan School District teachers agreed to forego step-and-lane salary increases during two of the past three years.

A counter-offer by JEA to accept step-and-lane increases for 2012-13 along with continuing the status of negotiated policies was rejected by the school district.

“We are disappointed the Jordan School Board elected to negotiate through a contracted attorney rather than directly with teachers,” said Boehme. “Schools work best when everyone collaborates.” The JEA negotiations team consists of three teachers who volunteer their time to represent the interests of educators.
See also Salt Lake Tribune article and KUTV 2 News story.

Monday, June 18, 2012

School Improvement Academy for Elementary Schools

All elementary principals and at least one teacher from their school attended the SIP Academy.  Dr. Johnson used a direct teaching model for the workshop.  She said that in looking at school improvement, you should start global but then zoom in on specifics, including data and classroom instruction.  To really look at the SIP, you must do a Root Cause Analysis (RCA).
The goal for all elementary schools is to reduce non-proficient students by 10% in Language Arts and Math.  Measurable Objective 1 should address Tier 1 instruction and Measurable Objective 2 should address Tier 2 and 3 instruction.  The part that has traditionally been missing in SIP is monitoring.  Dr. Johnson suggested revisiting the SIP weekly and monthly to monitor the school's progress.

Steps to use to create SIP:
Step 1 – look at data and assess needs
Step 2 – identify priority concerns

Step 3 – do root cause analysis
Step 4 – focused, research based solutions

All elementary schools should expect to hear from principals about this SIP.  Teachers will be using the Jordan Student Assessment System to see data including CRT, DWA, SRI, DIBELS, PALS, and GRL.  All will be uploaded from other sources except GRL, which teachers will enter.  This will help with triangulation of data so teachers can identify standards and objectives where improvement is needed.

Suggested websites for improving Tier 1 classroom instruction:
Marzano Research
Lead and Learn

School improvement is a continuous process.  The SIP is a living document and the FOCUS of our work! 

UEA Leadership Academy

I attended UEA Leadership Academy last week with several other JEA members including James Maughan at West Hills, Lanny Sorensen at Sunset Ridge, Heather Reich at Majestic, and Jannifer Young at Elk Ridge.  We spent the first morning learning about the 9 Domains of Complex Systems.  See the 9 Domains website for more information.  In the afternoon, we went to break out sessions on membership, political action, strengthening leadership skills, and advocacy.

Tuesday we learned more about applying the 9 Domains to association work.  We also looked at the varying abilities and needs of the different generations UEA represents.  In the afternoon, the Jordan UniServ (Jordan and Canyons) worked together to develop an organizing plan.  I appreciate the willingness of these members to spend two days of their summer vacation learning more about the work of the association!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

JPAS Results 2012

I attended the Joint Educator Evaluation Committee yesterday where we were given the summary of all JPAS results for the 2011-2012 school year.  I am often asked about principals who score low.  JPAS has a monitoring process, and this year 30 evaluators (principals, vice principals, other administrators) were monitored to verify reliability in results.  There were 5 evaluators outside of the standard deviation on the high end of scores and no evaluators outside of the standard deviation on the low end.  This says that those 5 evaluators were too lenient, and no evaluators were overly negative.

Overall, 1% of those evaluated using the full JPAS observation process were Below Basic, 4% were Basic, 55% were Proficient, and 40% were Superior.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

PAC Recommendation

The JEA PAC has decided to recommend Lynn Crane in the Jordan School Board Precinct 1 in Herriman.  Former Herriman Mayor Crane has a lifetime of experience from teaching to selling textbooks to filing a lawsuit when Herriman residents were not allowed to vote in the District split.  If you live in Herriman, please consider voting for Lynn Crane in the primary election on June 26.