9 P.M. UPDATE: So far, Gallo has not made the below motion on the TSAs. His focus has been on supporting Lazear Elementary School’s charter school conversion.
UPDATE: OUSD board member Noel Gallo has confirmed that he might introduce a motion tonight to direct Superintendent Tony Smith to back off the teacher-on-special-assignment plan and negotiate a solution with the teachers union.
“Right now, there’s too much divisiveness going on,” he said.
Do you agree? What do you think about the timing of all of this — right before the hiring decisions are supposed to be announced? If he does introduce the motion, he’d need three of his colleagues to vote for it.
P.S. We’re hearing Occupy Oakland will be occupying the meeting too.
The Oakland Education Association is holding a rally today to protest the district’s decision to have teachers at Castlemont, Fremont and McClymonds apply for a new, 11-month teaching position if they want to remain on those campuses. (In case I haven’t reminded you enough, the Tribune is holding a forum tomorrow on this very issue.)
Do you agree with the below assessment that the district’s plan is “the latest corporate-inspired flavor of the month,” rather than a real solution?
Here’s the news release:
Oakland Teachers to Protest at 3 p.m.
Over District’s Corporate-Inspired, Top-Down High School Reforms
OAKLAND — After significant questions and concerns were raised by teachers of the Oakland Education Association (OEA) and OEA leadership about “Mutual Matching,” OUSD administration dropped this ill-conceived plan for assigning displaced teachers and adopted the OEA blueprint for transfers and consolidations from closed schools. Now OUSD has initiated an even more poorly designed plan. Castlemont, Fremont, and McClymonds high schools are all scheduled to be “transformed.” If Superintendent Tony Smith and the District have their way, the entire teaching staff will have to apply for new positions as “Acceleration Teachers-on-Special-Assignment (TSAs),” 11-month jobs for which teachers may have to reapply on a yearly basis. There was no consultation with most of the current teachers at these sites or with the OEA, and the District is refusing to bargain the effects of these changes in working conditions. This is in flagrant violation of state law.
Teachers agree that we need reforms. However, reforms should be implemented in collaboration with the entire OUSD community: parents, students, teachers, and administrators. Instead, for most of the year the District met with some small groups of teachers and not others, and worked behind closed doors with corporate-funded groups like Great Oakland Public Schools, springing this “plan” at the eleventh hour. According to OEA President Betty Olson-Jones, “Once again, OUSD has decided to perform an unproven experiment upon children of color in Oakland’s flatlands. This plan to staff high schools with year-to-year employees—moved at the whim of a principal—will result in even more instability for Fremont, Castlemont, & McClymonds.” Teachers around the state agree.
Oakland teachers and the OEA believe we should look at real solutions, such as pre-school education, class size reduction, or split reading for grades K-3, where there are smaller teacher-student ratios. Let’s talk about expanding Teach Tomorrow in Oakland, which recruits local candidates and people of color so our students can be taught by young role models who look like them and are from their community. Let’s talk about addressing truancy, because however long the school year is, students won’t learn if they’re not in the classroom. Let’s talk about funding and staffing academic counselors at all Oakland high schools, because if we really want Oakland students to go to college that’s what it will take. The OEA is fighting for real reform, not the latest corporate-inspired flavor of the month. The OEA is fighting for our students.
WHAT: OEA SOLIDARITY ACTIONS TODAY, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28
WHEN: 3:00-4:00 pm: Rally at Fremont High School (corner of Foothill and High Street, Oakland)
4:30-6:00 pm: Rally and speak at Board of Education, 1025 2nd Avenue