Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Teacher Contract Work Time

The issue of "work time" has reared its head in Aurora Public Schools after the school district voted to ignore a ruling from a non-binding arbitrator that the district violated its contract for requiring that teachers accept an additional period of classroom instruction. Clearly, the scores in the district indicate the students need more instruction - or to put it realistically more effective instruction. At the same time, the district can in no way afford to pay teachers for additional time. And, of course, some always argue that if the teachers really cared about the students and student achievement, they would accept the task.

That's a tough one. And teachers have argued that taking away a planning period when they could tutor and counsel individual students will be even more detrimental to students. I certainly agree with that point, as I teach five classes in an eight period day with one period for lunch and two for planning and conferencing. Even then, it's tough to get everything done, and I put in at least two hours after contract time every day. And that is for the kids. And that's at a high performing school.

No way the teachers can look good in complaining about this. And I have to disagree with the extreme behavior some took in response. No easy answer and an unfortunate conflict.

No comments: