HOUSTON FEDERATION OF TEACHERS
Please include the following to the November 5, 2009 Instructional Consultation agenda:
1. H1N1 Vaccinations
We have several questions regarding the H1N1 Vaccination Clinic Plan:
1. We would like to have a written copy of the "Plan" with all details.
2. How much will the nurses administering the vaccination receive in pay? We have heard $25.00, $35.00 and $45.00. How will those nurses be chosen and who will be doing the hiring?
3. How much will the clerks doing registration duties receive in pay? How will they be chosen and who will be doing the hiring?
4. How much security will be present? There cannot be too much.
5. It is our understanding that the vaccine will first be administered to all HISD nurses at a special vaccination clinic held at the HMS office. We were also informed that the vaccine will then be offered to all HISD faculty and staff, and HISD students, as well as any member of the student's household. This is to be offered at no cost. It is our understanding that HISD faculty and staff, other than HISD nurses, will not receive any priority in the administration of the vaccine and will have to stand in line with parents and students in order to receive their number for the vaccination. If the numbers run out, they will be turned away and not receive the vaccine. We object to this plan for our HISD faculty and staff because of the following:
(a) The clinics will be held between the hours of 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. and on Saturdays between 10:00 and 2:00. On weekdays, this time schedule prohibits HISD employees, specifically teachers, from lining up for numbers, especially for those employees on campuses where the vaccine is not being administered and they have to travel to a regional location.
(b) What plan is being made for the bus drivers, cafeteria workers, maintenance workers, custodial staff, etc. to receive the vaccine? The bus drivers are directly exposed to students in an enclosed area and are working during the proposed clinic hours.
(c) The district has a moral obligation to protect their employees and should offer the vaccine to them first before vaccinating parents and siblings who are not in school. Who will be operating the schools if there is a massive wave of the flu, employees were not able to receive the vaccine and become ill?
(d) While parents are presumably only exposed to their child, teachers and school employees are exposed to hundreds of students per day.
2. Dispensing medication
Can a school nurse request a minimum number of psychotropic medications be delivered to school? At least a one-month supply for example. We have situations when residential homes deliver medications for only four or five days at a time.
3. The use of Teacher Assistants
a. It has come to our attention that many campuses have found a less than legal way to cut their budgets; using teacher aides to teach ancillary classes such as library and computer, and as regular substitutes. Aside from violating NCLB, TEC laws, and HISD policy, this is not moral. Doing so exploits the teacher aides who are directed to do a $45,000.00 a year job for about $18,000.00. Not to mention that it cost a teacher a job.
While TA's or clerks can be used as support and as library clerks, classes cannot be dropped off for ancillary period with the aide in charge. While aides can hold a class for a teacher who is late, or in the event of an emergency such as not being able to obtain a sub, they cannot be used as the designated or long-term sub on the campus.
b. Can Teacher Assistants be used Test Administrators? We have examples of TA’s being directed to sign the Test Security and Confidentiality Oath even though they had received no training and did not understand the testing rules. Is there a difference between a test administrator and a test monitor? If so, are monitors required to sign an oath?
4. EVAAS scores and PDAS
“Principals have not been directed to place teachers on a growth plan based purely on EVAAS scores.” – Dr. Grier
We are uncomfortable with the use of the word “purely”. We at HFT continue to hear rumors that principals have been directed or highly encouraged to arbitrarily take a certain percentage of teachers off of MPDAS and place them on PDAS, and/or put a certain percentage on growth plans based on EVASS or tests scores.
Changing a teacher's evaluation or taking any employment action based on student test scores or the EVAAS scores is not legal according to TEA and the commissioner has already ruled on this issue in Toussaint VS Dallas ISD. If a teacher needs assistance, the criteria needs to be based on observed classroom behavior, not on student test scores or some arbitrary percentage dictated from above.
5. EVAAS Classification
We have received reports that 6th and 7th grade English teachers who had verified their teaching area as English and their class rosters as English students are having their students reading scores used to determine their EVAA ratings. They were told this decision was made after the end of the school year.
6. Deloitte Study job classification
We have members who were demoted to a lower job classification as a result of the Deloitte study. No income was lost but they moved from a salary range where they had room to grow to a salary range where they were at the top of the range with no hope to grow. We will bring an affected employee into consultation to discuss the issue in detail.
7. Planning time and lunch periods
This one never goes away. The complaints this time come from the North and West Regions. Meetings are regularly being required during conference time. These are usually PLC meeting and are required for collaborative planning. Lunch duty is being assigned that reduces the lunch period to 25 minutes. In the West Region we have reports of teachers being required during their planning periods to observe other teachers. Can the regional superintends make this stop or are they part of the problem?
13 hours ago