THE AFT NEEDS ITS OWN MEDIA TO DO ITS GOOD WORK
Below is a vital letter from the American Federation of Teachers objecting to Mon Schools’ scandalous new administrative position and posting.
But there is a problem: this letter should have been made public by now on the AFT’s own local website or weblog. Directly public. The AFT absolutely kills itself by not doing so. How can the public support something that they are not even informed about directly?
Most all of the issues that the letter mentions, the public has little or no idea about. Because there is no ready place to go read up on it all and get involved with it. Or even to know about it in the first place. The AFT of Monongalia County has a website – why not use it? Much more.
Letters like this should immediately be placed on the local AFT website or associated blog, coupled with a press release. And then blogs like this one in Woodburn could link to it, and comment on it, and the public could be ever more informed, not least for when they have issues of their own with the schools. And the posted letter should have links within it, which the workers and public can use to learn about the issues. And the post should allow for comments and discussion to help generate further ideas and action.
The AFT cuts off its legs, arms, and head by not being directly and thoroughly public with this issue. And it is a public issue. That is, it’s far bigger than an AFT issue. The public not only needs to be informed so that it can act well in support of a good organization, but should be informed because the issue impacts them directly.
The AFT is doing Mon Schools’ administration and BOE a huge favor, giving them a huge gift by not making this scandalous issue public directly, along with many other issues on a frequent rolling basis.
For reasons of effect and principle both, AFT of Monongalia County should improve their media center and organizational site. Doing so is the only way to build the power of the public, where power belongs. In Canada, the unions helped get universal health care for the entire country. In the USA, the unions have gotten (limited) health care mainly only for themselves. The situations in the two countries are different but the example is telling. The AFT would help more than itself by becoming more accessible.
And that is the only way to build organization and communications that would allow the public to stop wasteful, negligent, and damaging administration/BOE endeavors, like this new sweetheart admin position, or, say, a negligent school siting. Where has the AFT been on the latter issue, besides invisible?
Though the AFT is taking an important and appropriate stand on the new admin position, it plays right into the hands of the irresponsible Mon Schools administration and BOE by not directly and repeatedly publicizing this issue (and many others constantly) and by failing to provide instant forums for discussion.
AFT needs its own active local public media portal or blog. Do none of the literature teachers or other teachers know how to write? Hardly. If they are afraid for their jobs they can write and report anonymously, as can those who comment.
Until then, see the vital release here:
American Federation of Teachers Position on New Mon. Co. Administrative Post
ANOTHER BALE of HAY on THIS CAMEL’S BACK
Yet Another Mon. BOE Administrative Position?
The AFT continues to be the watchdogs of Monongalia County. AFT Monongalia County was amazed to learn while attending the January 25th county board meeting, that yet another county administrative position has been created and was approved for posting. That posting is available and on line at the time this article is being written. As you will see in the sample of the letter that was sent to the Superintendent and the Board our opinion of yet another bale of hay on this camel’s back. It is our finding that Monongalia County is among the most top-heavy education systems in the state. We will continue to address this type of spending that directs money away from our classrooms. We will continue to combat exorbitant spending by the hands of decision makers. We will stand firm in our beliefs that smaller classes and individualized instruction improves student achievement.
Letter as follows:
To: Dr. Frank Devono, Superintendent of Monongalia County Schools
From: Samuel J Brunett, President Monongalia County AFT
Subject: Director of Ancillary Services (New Professional Administrative Position)
We are highly alarmed, disappointed, and vehemently opposed by the Monongalia County Board of Education’s approval of the newly created administrative position of Director of Ancillary Services. This new Director will be working arm in arm with 8 other directors 2 Assistant Superintendents, 9 Coordinators, 26 or more Curriculum Coaches/ TIS, and the list goes on and on… The American Federation of Teachers has used samples of this county’s administratively-heavy central office to drive the point to lawmakers how this type of decision making directly affects student learning through class size. It was upon these Monongalia County statistics that lawmakers and the WVDE have moved forward to conduct a statewide audit of educational practices and where that money is going. And yet among all of these discussions in Charleston, news articles, and promise of an audit, this county decides to dig deeper into that pool of professionals to accommodate another position that has no direct contact or impact with our students. Our central office continues to grow larger as we lose those positions that work directly with students.
Several educators and service personnel received letters this year that informed them that their positions are in jeopardy. We are talking about the livelihood of up to 70 of individuals in this county who work directly with students. The potential loss of this many positions will have a major impact upon our growing class size and the ability of those remaining educators to provide individualized instruction which directly affects the quality of education.
This is awkward to every tax payer in Monongalia County who has historically supported our education system. How can this board justify to its employees and those taxpayers the over 70 RIFs and transfers, at the same time they wish to hire an additional county-level administrator. It makes no sense and further confirms the ominous top-heavy trend this county has pursued.
There have also been questions about the posting of this position. The work experience is extremely questionable and severely limits the pool of applicants, which is a direct violation of WVC 18A-4-7a, Section 1-D, leading us to believe that this position has been created for a specific individual, which conflicts with WVC 18A-4-7a, Section 1-E.
Attached to this document find a copy of the actual job posting and the section of code to refer (below).
The Duties and Responsibilities of this posting are those that are already being handled by current administration. If the purpose of this posting is to primarily lessen the duties of existing administrators, we as classroom teachers and service personnel are asked on so many occasions to do more with less. We simply ask for equity and that our leaders lead by example. Anything less would be hypocrisy.
Therefore we request this Board of Education and the Monongalia County Administration to rescind this posting and do away with this wasteful position.
Samuel J Brunett, President
on behalf of
The Monongalia County AFT Executive Board
Applicable code follows:
o) Openings in established, existing or newly created positions shall be processed as follows:
(1) Boards shall be required to post and date notices which shall be subject to the following:
(A) The notices shall be posted in conspicuous working places for all professional personnel to observe for at least five working days;
(B) The notice shall be posted within twenty working days of the position openings and shall include the job description;
(C) Any special criteria or skills that are required by the position shall be specifically stated in the job description and directly related to the performance of the job;
(D) Postings for vacancies made pursuant to this section shall be written so as to ensure that the largest possible pool of qualified applicants may apply; and
(E) Job postings may not require criteria which are not necessary for the successful performance of the job and may not be written with the intent to favor a specific applicant;
(2) No vacancy shall be filled until after the five-day minimum posting period;
(3) If one or more applicants meets the qualifications listed in the job posting, the successful applicant to fill the vacancy shall be selected by the board within thirty working days of the end of the posting period;
(4) A position held by a teacher who is certified, licensed or both, who has been issued a permit for full-time employment and is working toward certification in the permit area shall not be subject to posting if the certificate is awarded within five years; and
(5) Nothing provided herein shall prevent the county board of education from eliminating a position due to lack of need.