Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Howard County school board reaches tentative agreement with teachers' union

Expand Messages
  • lesliekornreich
    I don t know if this is something which is stipulated in the teachers contracts or not (I would imagine that it is), but there is something about it that
    Message 1 of 32 , Jul 1, 2011
    • 0 Attachment
      I don't know if this is something which is stipulated in the teachers' contracts or not (I would imagine that it is), but there is something about it that troubles me.

      It seems our teachers have until sometime in May (please correct me if I am wrong) to let the school system know if they will be returning the following year.

      This practice effectively chases away some of the brightest and most promising new teachers trying to obtain teaching positions with HCPSS. Months after surrounding counties in Md. have solidified their hires, potential teaching candidates are still waiting to hear from HCPSS. Many of them say that HCPSS tells them it will be June or even early July before HCPSS knows it will have a position open for them. Most of those candidates have offers from other districts long before HCPSS even knows if it has openings for them. By the time HCPSS is ready to make an offer, the best and brightest candidates have already accepted a teaching job somewhere else. And who can blame them?

      Is there a way, before finalizing the teacher contracts, to require that they give notice of their intent to return (or not) the following year by a much earlier date?

      Leslie Kornreich


      --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > Jack,The contract that has been tentatively agreed to by the teacher's union's board of directors has to go to their membership for a ratification vote. Even the employees who will be directly effected by it were not privy to the negotiations until an agreement was hammered out...and now they get to decide if they want it or not.
      > I am all for transparency, and I think the union contract ought to be a public record that the public can access and read if it wants.
      > As salaries and benefits are the lion's share of our expenses - I agree that understanding the specifics of what we (your elected representatives) agreed to ... or what we did not agree to... is a perfectly valid means of evaluating whether we are representing your interests as you want us to.
      >
      > That said, I cannot see how having everyone and his brother involved in the entire negotiation process would be helpful in any way. This is truly a case where "too many cooks spoil the soup".
      > Cindy Vaillancourt
      > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
      > From: pamythompson@...
      > Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2011 03:21:36 +0000
      > Subject: [howardpubliced] Howard County school board reaches tentative agreement with teachers' union
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > From ExploreHoward
      >
      >
      >
      > http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/howard/news/ph-ho-cf-unions-0707-20110630,0,3856170.story
      >
      >
      >
      > "The board announced its agreement with the Howard County Education Association Thursday, June 30, at an afternoon meeting. Terms were not disclosed."
      >
      >
      >
      > "Negotiations with HCEA, which began more than seven months ago, reached a stalemate in May."
      >
      >
      >
      > No mention of the public being included in the process in any way. No mention of a site in the hcpss where all this could be accessed by the public and easily understood. Perhaps since most of us were publicly educated the system operates under the premise we are all either stupid or fools.
      >
      >
      >
      > Jack
      >
    • colleendolphin
      Leslie, You might want to start with the question: Has HCPSS given any open contracts in the past 2 years? If so, how many? If not, why has that practice
      Message 32 of 32 , Jul 8, 2011
      • 0 Attachment
        Leslie,
        You might want to start with the question:

        "Has HCPSS given any open contracts in the past 2 years? If so, how many? If not, why has that practice been discontinued?"

        Colleen

        --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "lesliekornreich" <leslie@...> wrote:
        >
        > Cindy,
        >
        > Thank you for clarifying what I thought I had made clear -- that HCPSS has the latest offer date of any county around us, for which we are in competition for the brightest teachers. I did not mean to imply that the ones we do hire are anything less than that, though my children have had teachers whose years of experience do not make them "better" teachers than some who are fresh out of graduate degree programs. I do have personal experience with up and coming teachers (who I know would be an asset to HCPSS because they have worked directly with my children) who wound up accepting offers from other districts in Md because they could not wait until late June or early July for an offer from HCPSS. Even Sandra French told me, when I brought up this issue with her, that something needs to be done to address this issue.
        >
        > Whether I can get an answer from our HR people about why we have this problem (and yes, it is a problem, because we are in competition with other counties for the best teachers) I do not know. I guess the first piece of research is to find out if anyone in HCPSS HR believes we have a problem at all.
        >
        > Leslie Kornreich
        >
        > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@> wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > > There are a couple of assumptions being made here that are not entirely accurate or logical.
        > > 1) the notion that "the complaints come from those whose 1st choice was the HCPSS, however, they were not the HCPSSs first choice". A candidate may well be an HCPSS top choice --- but since they do not extend an offer until after the candidate has to commit to another jurisdiction, we lose them. It does not logically follow that a top candidate taking a job with another school system is somehow proof that they were not an HCPSS top choice.2) the fact that there are more applicants than positions does not by any means indicate that we are able to harvest the top candidates from that applicant pool. In fact, for the "rare .... truly hard to fill areas..." I believe a very good case can be made that we cannot afford to let ANY of the best candidates slip through our fingers simply because we cannot manage to get our staffing situation figured out as early as other systems.
        > > The question isn't whether there are enough applicants left over after most of the neighboring school systems have contracted with their first choices --- the question is whether we are consistently losing really terrific candidates.
        > > We do a lot to try to attract new teachers to our system. We have increased starting pay for teachers somewhere in the neighborhood of 30% in the past several years. But we have not fixed this hole in our efforts.
        > > I can tell you anecdotally that we have definitely lost really extraordinary candidates because they did not feel they could turn down offers from Montgomery County without a firm offer from HCPSS from my own personal experience. The question of how many "first choice" applicants this late schedule is costing us is not something I can answer..yet. But i can tell you that there is enough concern among the people who are intimately involved in the process that it is being looked at. From my perspective, if it "only" costs us a handful of wonderful math, science or computer teachers per year... it is too costly.
        > > Cindy V
        > >
        > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
        > > From: robert.rhodeshc@
        > > Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2011 03:38:19 +0000
        > > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: Howard County school board reaches tentative agreement with teachers' union
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Chris, You are spot on! And, no, I have no argument with anyone. I agree whole heartedly that we have more teachers applying to teach here than we have positions to give them, a true blessing. The complaints come from t. Therefore, I would always advise, especially in this economy, to believe in "a bird in the hand..." rather than wait for a job that may not come.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > PS - Another good source of information would be the Principals in HCPSS. Do they report losing excellent candidates because of other systems and what they may or may not do to ahead of HC? I would sincerely doubt they would say this is the case (with rare exceptions for truly hard to fill areas like higher math and science where we are competing with private industry and the Fed Gov.).
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cwertman@ wrote:
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > While I'm not sure what the dust up is between Robert and Leslie, I agree with Robert in this respect. Leslie, you do need to check the statistics on HCPSS hiring and retention. I think you will find that there is not problem here in Howard county. In fact, we are blessed with large numbers of high quality candidates for pretty much all of our openings. Those "hard to fill" positions in math, science and technology. Howard County did not have a shorfall in any of those last year. Nor did we have a shortfall in special ed, as many counties do. And would you like to talk about experience. I don't recall the exact number but it seems like close to 40% of the new hires were not new teachers, but teachers with five or more years of experience. So we are getting the hard to fill positions filled, we are getting quality, experienced teachers.
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > While there may be spot issues with the lateness of the commitment by some teachers, in general teachers want to come to HC and they want to stay in HC because of the quality of the system, the students, and the parents.
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > I guess I'm having a hard time following the argument that we have a problem that needs to be fixed.
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > Chris
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > -----Original Message-----
        > >
        > > > From: Robert Rhodes <robert.rhodeshc@>
        > >
        > > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
        > >
        > > > Sent: Sun, Jul 3, 2011 3:13 pm
        > >
        > > > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: Howard County school board reaches tentative agreement with teachers' union
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > Leslie, I do not recall telling you "it" could not be done." You indicate that you have proof that other school systems do "something" to secure new hires at earlier dates than does the HCPSS, thereby causing the HCPSS to suffer by losing highly qualified candidates. Taking this to its logical conclusions, you seem to indicate that the HCPSS is then stuck with less than the "best and brightest teachers."
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > I would suggest that, rather than complaining about what "every single county around us already does," that you do some homework and that you "find out" exactly what they do "to make their new hires earlier." You may find that you are taking the word of a "passed over" teacher intern without actually knowing all or any of the facts.
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > My last post was solely to provide you with information about an espect if the HCPSS hiring process. Is it the full chapter and verse, no. However, every school district, including the HCPSS, has a Human Resources office with just the kind of information you seek. Perhaps you should start with your own district's HR office. Call Kirk Thompson, Director of HR for the HCPSS, and ask him your questions. This situation is hardly similar to the snow days calendar issue. It would seem you have a rather simple question tgo ask...Why does the HCPSS lose highly qualified teaching candidates to other school systems who seem to be able to offer contracts at earlier dates? You might actually start by asking if this premise is actually true.
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > In fact, you may actually find that the problem is not as severe as others may make it out to be. I do not know. But I certainly am not about to cast aspersions on the entire HCPSS HR office over the claims of a few disgruntled teacher candidates who the HCPSS chose not to employ; HR may actually have had reasons to pass them over. Finally, I would suggest reading the HCPSS annual Hiring and Separation Report. In reading the most recent version, I do not recall seeing any reference/data to support a general hiring shortage/ shortage of highly qualified teachers except in the few areas (Tech Ed, Higher Level Science and Math) where EVERY school district finds fewer and fewer highly qualified candidates.
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > FInally, the HCPSS has one of the best Professional Development School Programs in the State working with all of the major teacher preparation Institutions of Higher Education (Towson, Hopkins, Maryland, Morgan, etc). This would be another area that could give you accurate information about the hiring process and any problems experienced by those who complete their teaching internships in the HCPSS
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > As someone who has voiced a desire to run for School Board, it is incumbent upon you to gather correct information before making accusations. I say this in what I hope is taken as the nicest of ways. If not, it certainly was not intended to be hurtful.
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > Robert
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "lesliekornreich" <leslie@> wrote:
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > Somehow most of the counties around us are offering jobs to new hires months before HCPSS. I believe I was told that despite the state rule of reporting by May 1, many other school districts in Maryland require their teachers to decide before that. And that is how they know earlier than we do how many new hires they need.
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > This is like the snow day issue -- every time I suggest we build inclement weather days into the calendar, a bunch of people come back and tell me why it can't be done that way even though every single county around us already does. Let's find out what they're doing to make their new hires earlier and do the same - otherwise we are not competing on a level playing field for the best and brightest teachers.
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > Leslie Kornreich
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Rhodes" <robert.rhodeshc@> wrote:
        > >
        > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > By state "rules", non-tenured teachers must report their decision to leave a Md Public School System by May 1. Tenured teachers have until July 15. This rule is designed for teachers moving between Maryland school systems. Therefore, a tenured teacher who wishes to leave MCPS to come to HCPSS, must sign their HCPSS contract on or before July 15. This prevents the system from losing a teacher(s) late in the summer when replacing them would be more difficult. The same is true of NT teachers, just an earlier notification date.
        > >
        > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > By teacher contract (HCEA), the system cannot hire a new teacher(s) until and unless all surplus and return from leave teachers have been placed. In some cases (and I believe this may be true this year) some areas (ex: PE, Elem, School Counselor) may still have either a surplus or return from leave teacher waiting to be placed because no vacancies exist. BTW, for those who still believe I have some inside scoop on the HCPSS, I found this information by reading the HCEA Teacher Contract located for all to see on the HCPSS.org website.
        > >
        > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > I believe it is this contract issue that often keeps the system from hiring very capable candidates at an earlier date. However, the alternative would be for the system to put a highly capable teacher(s) under contract only to find that no vacancy opens up before schools open in August. Then the system is stuck paying on a contract for a teacher it does not need.
        > >
        > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > I am not certain what other systems do to "solidify" their hires earlier than HC. Perhaps others have insight in this area.
        > >
        > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@> wrote:
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > Hi Leslie-This is a problem I have discussed with various folks, and have gotten very positive responses --- people agree that this is a real problem and we need to figure out a way to change it. I will keep you posted on progress. As always, please make your concerns known to all the BOE members and relevant Central Office staff.Thanks,Cindy v
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
        > >
        > > > > > > From: leslie@
        > >
        > > > > > > Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2011 15:51:36 +0000
        > >
        > > > > > > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: Howard County school board reaches tentative agreement with teachers' union
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > I don't know if this is something which is stipulated in the teachers' contracts or not (I would imagine that it is), but there is something about it that troubles me.
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > It seems our teachers have until sometime in May (please correct me if I am wrong) to let the school system know if they will be returning the following year.
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > This practice effectively chases away some of the brightest and most promising new teachers trying to obtain teaching positions with HCPSS. Months after surrounding counties in Md. have solidified their hires, potential teaching candidates are still waiting to hear from HCPSS. Many of them say that HCPSS tells them it will be June or even early July before HCPSS knows it will have a position open for them. Most of those candidates have offers from other districts long before HCPSS even knows if it has openings for them. By the time HCPSS is ready to make an offer, the best and brightest candidates have already accepted a teaching job somewhere else. And who can blame them?
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > Is there a way, before finalizing the teacher contracts, to require that they give notice of their intent to return (or not) the following year by a much earlier date?
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > Leslie Kornreich
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@> wrote:
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > > Jack,The contract that has been tentatively agreed to by the teacher's union's board of directors has to go to their membership for a ratification vote. Even the employees who will be directly effected by it were not privy to the negotiations until an agreement was hammered out...and now they get to decide if they want it or not.
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > > I am all for transparency, and I think the union contract ought to be a public record that the public can access and read if it wants.
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > > As salaries and benefits are the lion's share of our expenses - I agree that understanding the specifics of what we (your elected representatives) agreed to ... or what we did not agree to... is a perfectly valid means of evaluating whether we are representing your interests as you want us to.
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > > That said, I cannot see how having everyone and his brother involved in the entire negotiation process would be helpful in any way. This is truly a case where "too many cooks spoil the soup".
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > > Cindy Vaillancourt
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > > From: pamythompson@
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > > Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2011 03:21:36 +0000
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > > Subject: [howardpubliced] Howard County school board reaches tentative agreement with teachers' union
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > > From ExploreHoward
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > > http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/howard/news/ph-ho-cf-unions-0707-20110630,0,3856170.story
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > > "The board announced its agreement with the Howard County Education Association Thursday, June 30, at an afternoon meeting. Terms were not disclosed."
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > > "Negotiations with HCEA, which began more than seven months ago, reached a stalemate in May."
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > > No mention of the public being included in the process in any way. No mention of a site in the hcpss where all this could be accessed by the public and easily understood. Perhaps since most of us were publicly educated the system operates under the premise we are all either stupid or fools.
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > > Jack
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > > >
        > >
        > > > > >
        > >
        > > > >
        > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.