Tuesday, November 28, 2006

All You Need to Know About The November Issue of WE Magazine

WEA President Charles Hasse leads off with a column about the union dues lawsuit currently set to be heard before the Supreme Court. He argues that any wrong that has occurred is the result of conflicting regulations from the Public Disclosure Commission, and that the whole thing is a put-on from the Evergreen Freedom Foundation anyhow. It’ll be interesting to see how the high court comes down, and what the practical impact around the state turns out to be.

The groups that were trained to publicize the Take the Lead campaign at the WEA Leadership Academy last summer are hard at work and doing some neat things. The team in my Uniserv has met with a couple of different groups, and we’re going to be getting together with our closest neighbors to do a presentation for everybody on the leadership team in our districts. I think we’re in the beginning stages of what could be a bloody war about school funding, and the WEA activities on that front will be telling.

The WEA had a bargaining conference at the offices in Federal Way in October. I didn’t have a chance to go (parenting the (s)Thinker makes travel difficult), but my president went and she said it was worth it. There’s a nascent push for coordinated bargaining in my area, and that could be huge for the schools in my area.

Congratulations to Granite Falls music teacher Andrea Peterson for being the Washington State Teach of the Year. There’s also a nice article about her in the Seattle Times, here.

Evergreen State College became the most recent college in the state to have their professors unionize, following the lead of Eastern, Central, and Western. I grew up about 20 minutes away from Evergreen, and we went there frequently for Knowledge Bowl tournaments in high school. It’s….different? Iconoclastic? Weird? Bizarre? Freedom epitomized? When your mascot is a Goeduck, you’re a school apart from the rest. Nice campus, though.

An ESL aide and Laotian immigrant in Seattle hit $55 million dollars in the Powerball, which is a perfect segue to one of my favorite jokes:

Joe found himself in serious financial trouble. He was desperate he decided to pray to God for help. He begins to pray. "God, please help me. I've lost my business and if I don't get some money, I'm going to lose my house as well. Please let me win the lottery."
Lottery night comes and somebody else wins it. Joe again prayed."God, please let me win the lottery! I've lost my business, my house and I'm going to lose my car as well".
Lottery night comes and Joe is still out of luck. Once again, he prayed."My God, why have you forsaken me?? I've lost my business, my house, and my car. My wife and children are starving. I don't often ask you for help and I have always been a good person and loyal to you and the church. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE... I beg you...just let me win the lottery this one time so I can get my life back in order."
Suddenly there is a blinding flash of light as the clouds part and the heavens open up. Joe falls to his knees in awe, shieding his eyes from the light as God's voice booms "Meet me halfway on this, Joe. Buy a freaking ticket."

National Board Certified teachers from around the state gathered together October 21st to discuss education policy. Despite my inherent cynicism towards the NBPTS this actually looks like it tackled something important: how to get these National Board teachers into the schools that actually need them. I think the extra pay should be tied to doing work with kids who need extra help, not simply for attaining a certificate that doesn’t have a research backing.

Rain Rant! I don’t understand why the WEA is one of the biggest advocates of the Board certification, and the stipend that goes along with it, yet way too mute on the issue of stipends for teachers that earn their Professional Certificate, which would help a lot more members. Terry Bergeson’s been leading the way—I’d love to see the association join with her to support the cause.

There’s going to be a big push to make sure that everyone on TRS 2 and TRS 3 is able to take part in the gain sharing that should happen as a result of the higher than expected gains in the DRS TAP fund in the coming biennium. I barely understand what that means, so I’m glad they have people working on it for me.


Blogger Jim Anderson said...

I first encountered Evergreen at a Knowledge Bowl tournament, back when I attended Elma High School in the mid 90s. My fondest memory: seeing a fellow gadding about campus in a Peter Pan outfit, perfect Lincoln green.

Though I passed on TESC for my bachelor's, I was glad to get my master's in teaching there. (My fashion sense escaped unharmed.)

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could WEA's interest in National Board Certification be a shadow of the NEA's interest in nationalizing the profession?

Or, perhaps less fanciful, any "solution" which continues to measure time spent rather than work product is preferred by WEA/NEA.

Do the WEA/NEA have a role in the process of National Board Certification like they do in "teacher of the year"?


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5:11 AM  

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