Environmental Protection Agency’s IAQ Tools for Schools (IAQ TfS) program. 4. NEW ORLEANS – NEA members must rally behind education jobs funding moving now to the U.S. Tom Corbett (R-PA), who slashed education funding by $1.1 billion, the state doesn’t have the money to make the fixes. “There’s a slow strangle going on by those seeking to privatize public schools,” says Sanguinito. “They say we can’t afford to replace or repair our schools, but we give huge tax breaks to the wealthy. Their teacher called Reading Education Association (REA) president, Bryan Sanguinito, but there was nothing he or anyone from the district’s facilities unit could do. Kurt Kurtzhals told the audience that the tenure issue hits him particularly hard because he was denied tenure in his second and third year of teaching, which put a hold on his teaching career. “I had a principal who wanted to get rid of me in my third year and was determined to make my life miserable,” Kurtzhals said after homework market the town hall.” I had no protection.” Due process, not a job guarantee – this is the truth behind tenure that Kurtzhals and teachers across the country have been trying to get across to policymakers and the general public. “It’s just one issue,” Kurtzhals says. “But it represents the void that exists in the debate. Experience means everything.” Another hot topic: implementing merit pay plans. So it was nice that the panels today gave us a venue to speak our minds about these issues.” The first panel focused on evaluation, testing and merit pay.
He’s insisted that underprivileged and minority students be taught That approach is paying off. Photos: Calvin Knight/NEA (top photo); Scott Iskowitz/NEA (bottom photo) This past weekend, hundreds descended on a local high school, giving it a massive facelift as part of the 15th Outreach to Teach event. Arm/educate yourself and the committee with information (i.e., data, sampling reports, statistics, research, and standards). It’s not fair to my colleagues in other schools.” “I’m a finalist for Teacher of the Year,” Brave said after the town hall, “ so I’m guessing I’d do pretty well under a merit pay system. Meet with all concerned parties—staff, administration, school board, parents, contractors, etc.—so that everyone can discuss the problem, and identify those who have the power to change things and correct the situation.
An estimated 14 million American children attend public schools that are in urgent need of extensive repair or replacement and have unhealthy environmental conditions. The school had only one operating boiler, and there was no money to fix the other. The improvements at Reading’s Southern Middle School, while temporarily helpful, are just “a Band-Aid,” says Hettinger. “They’re just kicking the can down the road.” And many of the city’s other schools are in desperate need of major renovations to bring them up to code. But they need to know it and they will know it. Students still have to pass through the gym to change classes, but after the CNN documentary aired, the dangerous areas were fenced off to keep students safe. NEA Members’ Take On IEQ NEA’s Health Information Network (HIN) has addressed the issue of poor indoor environmental quality (IEQ) for more than a decade through its IEQ in Schools Program.
And while some politicians profess to want to hear from educators, few have taken such concrete steps to do that. Previous winners were Gov. The annual award is presented to a governor who has made major, statewide efforts to improve public education. On one of the coldest days of winter, with a wind chill of one degree below zero, a class of kindergartners at a Reading, Penn., elementary school sat shivering in their 40-degree classroom wearing their coats and hats. When asked by moderator Tamron Hall if teachers should be evaluated solely by test scores, Brave responded: “Teachers can only control so much around a student’s life that affects a test result.
Leaders will serve a two-year term. Advocate for your school to implement an IAQ management plan, such as the U.S. Survey members and document building hazards and health-related complaints (gather information on the type of symptoms and hazards, and when and where they are occurring in the building. 5. Too many people who sit behind desks in big offices are making decisions who have never spent any real time in the classroom.” “So the event on Sunday was refreshing for me because teachers were given the microphone. On the eve of National Teacher Day and Teacher Appreciation Week, Brave and Kurtzhals were joined on their panels by fellow teachers and an audience of educators from around the Chicago area. Read existing school board policy, contract language, job specifications, sampling methods, laboratory results, etc.
It’s a matter of priorities. Of those surveyed: • 62 percent have experienced IEQ problems at school. • 94 percent said IEQ issues are important to them. • 63 percent reported IEQ contaminants to school administrators. • 51 percent believe IEQ issues affect their health. • 53 percent believe it affects the health of their students. • 54 percent say their school does not provide training to all school staff on IEQ issues. “After the CNN special aired, people in Reading were in a state of disbelief that conditions could get so bad in our schools, and that it took the union to get the nation’s attention,” says Sanguinito. “Ultimately, it benefited the learning environment in one of our oldest schools, Southern Middle School. It’s not fair and it breeds too much competition among teachers. These committees should have all the facts about the situation and the knowledge (through their research) to be the “smartest kid on the block.” 9. Martin O’Malley said Monday while accepting NEA’s America’s Greatest Education Governor Award at the Representative Assembly. Look at local regulations to determine if local agencies regulate IAQ. 8. Brave responded to applause, “Test scores measure the communities and the students family life as well.” When the discussion turned to the true value of having experienced educators in the classroom, Brave was unequivocal. “I am a highly-trained National Board Certified Teacher.
The moderator asked questions of the panelists and took comments and questions from the audience. Already, 138,000 NEA member educators now face layoffs. The Reading School District is emblematic of a national crisis. Without that happening, states would have to lay off hundreds of thousands of educators. The roof was patched, moldy ceiling tiles were replaced, and fresh paint went on all the walls.” When changing classes, students at Southern Middle School passed through an ancient, dark gymnasium. Also take photographs. Enlist colleagues and the school nurse.
Standardized tests cannot be the only measure – there’s a lot more what is happening at the school.” When pressed by Hall that test scores, like it or not, measure teachers’ success. They have to be flexible and ingenious to get the job done. Easley of North Carolina. One audience member, a teacher at a local magnet school, said he was opposed to the idea even though he would probably benefit. “We get all the high-achieving kids. “They’re not going to pack up and leave market share to their competitors. I know what I’m doing. Partner with the community, including parents, fire departments, local health officers, state health departments, and members of the media. 10.
Richardson of New Mexico and Gov. Conduct a school walk through (using IAQ TfS checklists) making note of potential problems. It hadn’t been used in years because of the crumbling floors, water-damaged walls, and the chunks of peeling plaster that fell from the ceiling. “I was a basketball coach for 25 years and remember times when a player would be dribbling the ball down the court and a huge piece of plaster would fall and explode,” recalls Hettinger. I mentor a young teacher just down the hall from me. Brave, who is also the 2011 Illinois Teacher of the Year and a National Teacher of the Year finalist, approached the event with a little trepidation.
The hour-long, high-spirited discussion in Chicago covered teacher evaluations, high-stakes testing, merit pay, school funding, tenure and the role of teachers’ unions. Like many other educators, she was bothered by the negative portrayals of teachers during the 2010 Education Nation events. “I didn’t like the tone of last year’s broadcast,” she recalls. “I was really disheartened by it, but I thought today’s experience was terrific. O’Malley has proven to be a governor who follows his own advice. During his time in office, Maryland has authorized the funding necessary to make great strides in closing the achievement gap. Many older schools contain asbestos, lead paint, and dangerous levels of radon.
Leaking roofs let rain cascade into classrooms “like Angel Falls,” says Mitch Hettinger, a gifted support education teacher in the Reading School District and REA’s vice president, referring to one of the state’s waterfalls. “Teachers have to move rooms. His two-part documentary, “Toxic Schools,” found that aging schools around the nation are making children sick. That’s not a good idea.” The second panel focused on tenure and the role teachers unions play in the education reform debate. But I still don’t like it. Maryland recently conducted an opinion poll of educators, asking them about everything from working conditions to optimal learning for children and professional development. “Lots of governors like to think of themselves as education governors, but Governor O’Malley has really earned that accolade,” NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said. What’s been missing in the media’s coverage of education issues is the voice of the classroom teacher.
Earlier this year, NEA HIN conducted a random survey of NEA members nationwide about IEQ in their schools. Prioritize areas that need immediate attention. 6. Whole sections of the school were literally left out in the cold. “Who would want to come to school when it’s that cold in the classroom?” asks Sanguinito. “Who could learn in those conditions?” Unfortunately, those aren’t the worst conditions in the Reading School District. It’s been a busy week for members of the NEA Student Program. But even faced with economic devastation, he ensured the state would move forward on public education. “It’s the responsibility of those of us in government to stand Just last week, O’Malley stood in solidarity with the NEA at a bipartisan press conference calling on Congress to support the Education Jobs Fund and reimburse states for Medicaid payments. They need their customer base more than they need this loophole.” Going on the offensive against talking points that discourage any honest debate about revenues is critical, says Susan Kennedy.
Sanjay Gupta, along with NEA Vice President Lily Eskelsen, visited the impoverished Pennsylvania district—and schools in New York and Connecticut—to examine the impact of indoor air quality on students and school employees. Form and train a local association indoor air quality (IAQ) or health and safety committee, meet regularly, and prioritize school building concerns. 3. Notify your UniServ Director/Local Association about your concerns and enlist their support. 2. Senate and they must never give up – even in “very frustrating” times – Maryland Gov. And, considering what they’ve been told to sacrifice, they will be very, very angry.” _____________________________________ For state-by-state information on tax subsidies and loopholes, visit Accountable USA, a web site co-sponsored by the National Education Association. Pictured left to right: Chair, Tommie Leaders (Nebraska), Katie Kreis (Illinois), Ashley Rogers (Virginia), and Brandan Trahan (Louisiana). In 2009, 7.5 percent of Hispanic students and 9.6 percent of African-American students earned a score of 3 or better on at least one AP exam during high school.
If the general public saw what was really happening in our children’s schools, they wouldn’t stand for it.” What Can You Do? Take Action and Organize! 1. It was a positive and valuable discussion.” Kurt Kurtzhals, an elementary school teacher in Lake Bluff, IL, who participated in the second panel discussion, agreed. “It was great for teachers. Some of O’Malley’s other accomplishments: reinvigorating Maryland’s Career and Technology Education and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs statewide, and launching the comprehensive Maryland STEM Innovation Network to promote the delivery of high quality STEM education at all levels throughout the state. “Governor O’Malley has consistently placed public education at the top of his agenda,” said Clara Floyd, president of the Maryland State Education Association. “In the most difficult of economic times, he championed historic funding of k-12 public schools, which has increased student achievement and led us to become No. 1 in the nation.” Learn more in NEA’s Press Center.
Educators Annice Brave and Kurt Kurtzhals, both members of the Illinois Education Association, participated in an NBC teacher town hall on Sunday as part of the network’s “Education Nation on the Road” tour. But thanks to Gov. He added, with a chuckle, after the speech: “If we had just 50 of those, what a world it would be.” The Maryland governor is only the third person to receive NEA’s prestigious Greatest Education Governor Award. O’Malley took office in 2007, just months before the nation plunged into a deep recession. Maryland college tuition didn’t increase in the past four years, at O’Malley’s urging.
I understand my profession. We need to organize and mobilize people outside of education. Who knows? Maybe it’s the beginning of a trend.” Nearly 100 student delegates to NEA’s Representative Assembly in New Orleans on Monday elected their new board of directors. That’s up from 5.7 percent and 7 percent, respectively, in 2004. It’s amazing the kids are as good as they are given the deplorable conditions they put up with.” Sanguinito, who also teaches orchestra, says the schools were so damp that mold spores began to grow on some of the kids’ violin cases. “Mold and mildew exacerbate allergies, leading to more absenteeism, and I’ve had teachers who have never had respiratory health problems suddenly develop asthmatic symptoms,” he says. “Would the politicians who cut funding to our schools ever consider working in these conditions?” Reading’s aging school buildings drew national attention last year when CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr.
But as austerity measures take hold across the country, the political climate might be changing. “The public isn’t really aware of the extent of the corporate tax-dodging. Jermaine Coleman, outgoing chair of the NEA Student Program, is pictured at left with Leaders, an elementary education major at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Ask if they or their students are also experiencing health effects. 7.