This is a disclaimer...if you do not like politics, red tape, etc. please stop reading now.
My current assignment is to blog about the current state of affairs in Topeka from multiple sources and so that is what will be happening for a few posts to come.
I read a recent letter (March 6, 2013) that the Kansas School Superintendent's Association (KSSA) wrote to the Kansas House committee regarding collective bargaining and then read a letter in response regarding that bill that the KNEA (state teachers union) wrote and I just felt angry after reading both of them. I don't know a more delicate or professional way to say that.
Our state received a waiver from state assessments, but as a condition of that waiver we must develop a new evaluation system and procedure, which is now called the KEEP (Kansas Educator Evaluation Protocol). KSSA would like to be able to collaborate outside of the negotiation process on items with the bargaining team. The KNEA responded with confusion about why they weren't involved in the discussion about this potential deal. Why bargaining now includes only five mandatory topics, a list of permissible topics (that board may refuse to negotiate) and an outright ban on a number of other items.
I am confused as to why there needs to be discussion outside of negotiations? I am not a part of that team, but why is it a bad thing? It appears from reading the superintendent's bill that negotiations are not the way they want to handle things....why not? And why ban items to negotiate? Don't we want what is best for the people working closest to the people we are all working for....our students!?!?
Our job is kids. OUR JOB IS KIDS. I do not understand why people in those positions do not stop for just a moment and think about what they are really fighting about.....on all sides.
I must admit that all of this is completely confusing. I don't follow the politic side of education very close....I don't like the red tape...the paperwork...the more and more "stuff" piled onto education.
I enjoy teaching! I enjoy helping students learn! I truly enjoy being in my classroom with my students being involved in education. My students need advocates for their future. They need the people with power to think about what is best for them! What will help them...what will inspire them...what will drive them to do great things.