Indian River County Education Association

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IMPASSE UPDATE

Here are some of the highlights of the Florida Education Association Delegate Assembly 2016

FEA Officers Video

Viking Freedom Writers

Institutional Racism Panel

Bill Clinton speeks to the Delegate Assembly

Priority Schools Video

Enough is Enough Rally Video

Beware of Politicians Bearing “Gifts”


The Florida Education Association and IRCEA provide the best and broadest employment legal representation available to their members should they ever need it.


This rattles some public officials. That’s why in the 2015 legislative session they revived a failed program to provide liability insurance for educators, earmarking $1.2 million a year for this in the last two state budgets.


Supporters of this program have stated that the politicians’ purpose for passing it is an attempt to eliminate your union – particularly since FEA is the only statewide organization fighting the policies that hurt our students and our profession. That’s the reason Jeb Bush gave for supporting the program in 2001. Politicians think that this unneeded insurance is going to shrink our numbers, but the truth is your union offers far more than just insurance. And, during the five years the program was in effect a decade ago, our membership grew.


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • The program being funded is a failed program, which was in effect from 2001 through 2006 when it was finally repealed. A state study found that during the five years that this program was in effect, Florida spent $5.6 million in premiums to obtain claims payments of only $50,375. Obviously, there was no need for this coverage in the first place.
  • Disguised as a liability insurance program, this shady political move is in reality an attack on our union and our insurance programs.
  • Lawmakers expect this new coat of paint will fool you into accepting a “gift” that nobody wants or needs. However, we know you’ll see through their political games because you know that looks can be deceiving – and in this case, they are.
  • This program was repealed for good reason, and the ulterior motives for why they want to reinstate it are downright insulting: the politicians’ purpose for passing it is an attempt to eliminate your union. The FEA legal programs protect all members in employment-related disputes, employment criminal-related issues and provide access to attorneys for other professional, personal and union matters. They uphold the values and services important to educators like you.
  • FEA and IRCEA will continue to provide you, and those who stand alongside you, the best legal services available. You’ve worked too hard to have politicians take that away and replace it with an inferior program that they know doesn’t work – all the while trying to sell it to you as a “gift.”

DON’T FORGET…

  • Politicians are trying to replace your liability insurance with a failed program disguised as a “gift”
  • This “gift” is intended to weaken teachers’ voices
  • FEA already provides you with the best coverage available

Let’s return this unopened present that we never asked for - and return the money to where it belongs, in our public schools.

Grant Opportunity for $500 K-8th Educators

https://www.saveonenergy.com/teacher-grant/

Mandatory Benefits Open Enrollment

To the members who received a call this week about open enrollment beginning August 8th. The district has to do open enrollment prior to the new October beginning date. Dr. Fritz has assured me that there will be a mini open enrollment following ratification of the contract for those who wish to change plans. It is important for all members to complete the open enrollment, since the district has said your coverage will end.

To make things easier for you I have downloaded all of the documents from the district site (it took me a while to find them).

2016-2017 Employee Benefits Summary Guide

Blue Options 5770

Blue Options 5772

Blue Options 5774

It’s time to kill the Best and Brightest bonus scheme

The Senate Education Pre-K-12 Committee held a bizarre meeting on Wednesday. Topics discussed at the meeting included class size and the notorious Best and Brightest Teacher "Scholarship" program. Both bills passed, but not before several committee members spoke against the bill that establishes the Best and Brightest program. Senator Legg (R-Lutz) was kind enough to finally allow the Senate to at least hear the bill and work through it.

It is clear that members of the Florida Senate are opposed to the Best and Brightest Teacher "Scholarship" Program. It’s time for members of the Florida House of Representatives to hear our opposition. Tell them to vote against the House Bill, HB 7043.

Click here to tell the members of the Florida House of Representatives to kill the Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship program.

FEA is closely monitoring several other issues during the remainder of the legislative session. They include:

  • FRS (Retirement)
  • Testing
  • The budget
  • More requirements piled onto teachers and students

Click here to listen to FEA officers Joanne McCall and Luke Flynt discuss the second week of the legislative session while Fed Ingram was on assignment!

 

Dear Member:

Senate Bill 978 the “Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship” will be workshopped in Chair John Legg’s Senate Education Pre-K-12 Committee on Wednesday, January 13.  No vote will be taken, but your senator needs to hear from you!  This program has been a national laughingstock.  Now legislators want to put it into law permanently.

Help us explain to legislators that standardized tests measure testing skills-not teaching or learning skills.  Even the College Board said that college entrance exam scores should not be used to award bonuses!

This program was invented by Rep. Erik Fresen (R-Miami).  He indicated that this was the first year of the program and that DOE will need to work out the bugs. And boy have there been bugs!

Some legislators have forgotten that teaching students takes an entire school: new and veteran teachers, reading coaches, media specialists and other school employees.  Those are the people that have earned Florida’s students the ‘improved’ ranking on international measures of achievement that legislators and other education reformers like to brag about.

Legislators are so obsessed with testing that suggestions that Florida invest money in programs that are actually proven to retain the best and brightest teachers-such as training, mentoring, peer assistance and review or National Board certification-are met with blank stares.  Rather than addressing the overall status of the profession, wages that are far below the national average, workload and morale, some legislators would prefer to defend a program that reaches back to high school and bases salary decisions on SAT/ACT test scores.

Help legislators understand what an insult this program is to educators!  Email or call them TODAY.

Tell them teachers don’t want the Best and Brightest program.

December 21, 2015                              Contact: Mark Pudlow 850.201.3223 or 850.508.9756


FEA files discrimination charges against

Best and Brightest teacher bonus program



The Florida Education Association (FEA) filed age and race discrimination charges today against the Florida Department of Education and the state’s school districts over implementation of the controversial Best and Brightest bonus program that was slipped into the state budget at the close of June’s special session of the Florida Legislature. FEA filed the charges with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Florida Commission on Human Relations.

“Too many high-quality teachers in Florida were denied access to this bonus program because of the unfair and discriminatory rules and short timeline set up by lawmakers,” said FEA President Joanne McCall. “This bonus plan wasn’t thought out very well and wasn’t properly vetted in the Legislature and that has resulted in many good teachers unfairly denied access to this bonus.”

In the complaint, FEA notes that the Legislature appropriated more than $44 million for salary bonuses of a maximum of $10,000 each to teachers who received an evaluation of “highly effective” and who scored in the 80th percentile or above on their college admission test, either the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) or the ACT (American College Testing). The law exempts all first-year teachers from the “highly effective” requirement.

The complaint says this bonus program discriminates against teachers who are older than 40 and minority teachers, providing these reasons:

  • Because no percentile data is available from ACT or SAT for teachers who took these tests before 1972, such teachers are disqualified from receiving the bonus. 

  

  • The October 1 deadline for submitting applications for the bonus further discriminates against teachers older than 40 years old, because a disproportionate number of them took the ACT and SAT many years ago and were unable to get access to their scores from the testing programs before the deadline.
  • The exemption of first-year teachers from the requirement that they provide evidence of being rated “highly effective” under the respondent employers’ performance evaluation system further discriminates against and has a disparate impact on teachers older than 40 years old.  First-year teachers are overwhelmingly younger than 40 years of age. 
  • The bonus program also discriminates against African-American and Hispanic teachers by using the SAT and ACT as qualifiers. It has been well-established in the courts and peer-reviewed scholarship that the SAT and ACT are a racially and culturally biased tests that disparately impact test-takers on the basis of African-American and Hispanic race. 

 

The complaint also notes that the SAT and ACT were not designed for measuring teacher performance, for use in granting salary bonuses, or for any other aspect of the Best and Brightest bonus program.

FEA is seeking to make sure all qualified teachers are able to get access to the bonus money if they are qualified.

 

Surprise, surprise! Validity of FSA Test Affirmed:

As expected, the DOE came out with the news that the so-called "independent" analysis found that the Florida Standards Assessment was valid. The analysis of the test was conducted in less than 90 days and those conducting the review have long-standing ties with the company that administers the test.

 

Despite the finding that the test was valid, the report by Alpine Testing Solutions raised many of our long-standing concerns with the test. It says that the FSA test that students took this spring should not be used as the sole factor in deciding whether: Students graduate, take remedial courses, or repeat a grade. But that's the way the state plans to use the results

 

To download and read a copy of Alpine Testing Solutions' Executive Summary (673 KB), click here. For a copy of their Final Report (3 MB), click here.

Beware of Politicians Bearing “Gifts”

 

The Florida Education Association and IRCEA provide the best and broadest employment legal representation available to their members should they ever need it.

This rattles some public officials. That’s why in the last legislative session they revived a failed program to provide liability insurance for educators, earmarking $1.2 million for this in the Florida budget.

Supporters of this program have stated that the politicians’ purpose for passing it is an attempt to eliminate your union – particularly since FEA is the only statewide organization fighting the policies that hurt our students and our profession. Politicians think that this unneeded insurance is going to shrink our numbers, but the truth is your union offers far more than just insurance. And, during the five years the program was in effect a decade ago, our membership grew.


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • The program being funded is a failed program, which was in effect from 2001 through 2006 when it was finally repealed. A state study found that during the five years that this program was in effect, Florida spent $5.6 million in premiums to obtain claims payments of only $50,375. Obviously, there was no need for this coverage in the first place.
  • Disguised as a liability insurance program, this shady political move is in reality an attack on our union and our insurance programs.
  • Lawmakers expect this new coat of paint will fool you into accepting a “gift” that nobody wants or needs. However, we know you’ll see through their political games because you know that looks can be deceiving – and in this case, they are.
  • This program was repealed for good reason, and the ulterior motives for why they want to reinstate it are downright insulting: the politicians’ purpose for passing it is an attempt to eliminate your union. The FEA legal programs protect all members in employment-related disputes, employment criminal-related issues and provide access to attorneys for other professional, personal and union matters. They uphold the values and services important to educators like you.
  • FEA and (Insert Local Union Name) will continue to provide you, and those who stand alongside you, the best legal services available. You’ve worked too hard to have politicians take that away and replace it with an inferior program that they know doesn’t work – all the while trying to sell it to you as a “gift.”

DON’T FORGET…

  • Politicians are trying to replace your liability insurance with a failed program disguised as a “gift”
  • This “gift” is intended to weaken teachers’ voices
  • FEA already provides you with the best coverage available

Let’s return this unopened present that we never asked for - and return the money to where it belongs, in our public schools.


Click the icon above to read NEA's Reauthorization Principles


Agree? Click here to email your congressmen about ESEA.


Negotiations

The IRCEA and the SDIRC have concluded negotiations for the 2014-2015 Teacher Evaluation Procedure (TEP) Manual, and the IRCEA Building Representative at your worksite will be conducting a ratification vote on the TEP Manual next week.

Below are links to copies of the changes between this year’s document and the 2013-2014 TEP Manual (changes in the TEP Manual are highlighted and in red); below are some of the highlights of the proposed changes:

·         Reduces Student Performance Score from 50% to 40% for any teacher whose SPS will be derived from a new test.

·         Extends “hold harmless” language for another year. Teachers whose IPS is Effective or higher but whose summative evaluation is Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory cannot have their summative evaluation used as just cause for termination.

·         A revised Rubric for teachers of Advanced Placement Courses

·         SPS scores for teachers who do not administer a standardized assessment will now be based on Locally Created Assessments instead of Final Course Grades.

If you have any questions about the TEP Manual, please let us know. Again, you will have the opportunity to vote on these changes next week.

TAs 2014-2105 TEP Manual

2013-2015 TEP Manual


"No Child Left Behind"

Please read the National Education Association's message to Congress on NCLB, and then sign the petition demanding that Congress makes students and education their top priority.



Student Progression Plan

The SDIRC is proposing some significant mid-year changes to the Student Progression Plan. See the proposed SPP here.


New FEA video shows state’s inflexibility on testing

TALLAHASSEE – Florida Education Association (FEA) Vice President Joanne McCall said Wednesday that the Florida Department of Education and top officials who set its course show a rigid adherence to standardized tests at the expense of Florida’s students. Click here to read the entire press release.


A Message from President Ford

Dear Members,

We recently launched the FEA Action Center at FEAActioncenter.org. The feedback so far has been amazing. I hope you have had a chance to sign up and surf the site a bit.

The Action Center has several tools you can take advantage of that will help you stay informed and engaged in TAKING BACK OUR SCHOOLS. 



Court Orders Release of Flawed VAM Scores to Public: The First District Court of Appeal sided with The Florida Times-Union newspaper in Jacksonville and allowed the release of individual Value-added model (VAM) scores.

Read FEA President Andy Ford's response and talking points.


The Indian River County Education Association is the union representing teachers employed by the School District of Indian River County.

What is IRCEA's Purpose?

IRCEA's purpose is to:

  • provide professional representation for all teachers in the School District
  •  provide support and advocacy for our members
  •  be a source of information for professional educators and the community

 

What is IRCEA's Mission?  

IRCEA's Mission is to increase professionalism and unity in the teaching profession and in doing so, continually improve public education for all stakeholders in our district, state and nation.



   
IRCEA Office Location:

 1935 32nd Ave., Suite C

(on the corner of 32nd and SR 60)   


Pump Up The Volume

  

 

   

 

Click on the Make Our Schools A Priority to visit FEA's extremely informational site. 

 

    IRCEA is now on Facebook

 

IRCEA PAC  

 

Please contact us with your questions or comments. .

 

 

IRCEA.org
P.O. Box 2018, Vero Beach,
FL 32961
Office: 772-567-1066 

Fax: 772-778-9733

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