The Flagler and Florida Education Association, the state’s teachers union, is criticizing the state’s so-called “value-added model” that presumes to rate teachers’ effectiveness, calling the data “flawed.” Many teachers and a Flagler County School Board member are also critical of the data, but for varying reasons, while Flagler’s superintendent cautions against making too much of the numbers.
flagler county educators association
Flagler’s teachers are in the same situation as teachers in 53 other counties where negotiations with unions have delayed the raises. A sticking point in Flagler: the district wants the authority to renegotiate annual “step” raises, while the union wants those step increases to continue to be awarded automatically, as they have been to date.
The across-the-board federal budget cuts, known as sequestration, will slow our economic recovery and cost upwards of a million jobs nationally. But here in Florida, the sequestration knife cuts especially deep, particularly in the already underfunded field of public education, writes Katie Hansen.
Katie Hansen, president of Flagler County’s teachers union, forcefully argues against FCAT’s culture of high-stakes testing and false but pervasive notions that unions protect bad teachers and contribute only to Democrats.
After recriminations and a particularly insulting whistle from the district’s lead negotiator, the two sides appeared headed for compromise over the one issue–how teachers are to be evaluated–keeping the district from approving the 2012-13 teachers contract.
School Board member Colleen Conklin and Superintendent Janet Valentine explain why the controversy over a controversial provision in teachers’ contract doesn’t tell the whole story.
Negotiations are back to zero and mutual trust damaged as the Flagler County School Board said it could not legally approve the contract, as it mistakenly did two weeks ago, by carving out a controversial portion of it dealing with teacher evaluations.
After a closed-door meeting, the Flagler school board ratified a new contract with its teacher union minus a crucial portion defining teacher evaluations, causing a breach with the union just as the two sides are planning next school year.
The county’s teacher and service employee unions and the tea party all questioned the way the district went about preparing next year’s budget, but without changing the district’s direction.
More than tree and a half hours into their latest bargaining session, the union and the Flagler County school district were almost ready to agree to cuts that would eliminate 40 teachers, shorten school days and save $3.5 million next year.