I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.
While act 10 was set forth as a tool for local school districts to control costs, here in Cudahy it is being used as a hammer to "get" people the administration does not like, to fund their "pet" projects, and get ready to come to the taxpayers in a "poor is us" state for a referendum in November. Is Act 10 really working in Cudahy, let's examine.
First, without a union or contract, the administration through their contract renewal process this year has set out to get rid of a few bad teachers (I agree with this), put a few marginal teachers on notice (I agree with this), and not reward a few teachers are doing excellent work in their class rooms and test scores (I thought this was what it part of what this was about).
Not many parents know that the Cudahy School District will become a Title 1 district next year. While claiming this is better for the children, it appears to be a "cash grab" for grants and other financial items rather than truly making our district better.
Second, the Paraprofessionals, who work with some of our toughest special needs students, had to become highly qualified. If you have a two year degree, 60 credits, or a college degree, you were exempt from district testing. Otherwise, you had to take a test given by the district.
However, it appears that the administration used this as a tool to selectively "get" some employees as the math provided in training was not the same as the test, it was harder, and an essay for some has still not been graded "subjectively" as of early June. While those who did not get a passing score are getting more training and can take the text 2 more times, they can see the handwriting on the wall. Again, another tool of act 10 to bring qualified people, I don't think so, but THEY have all the control. In September, our special education students, who our Superintendent claims are underserved, will see a lot of change potentially when several Para's will not be back.
Third, the Superintendent is trying to eliminate the Sub Caller, who has performed the duty for 37 years, and the Substitute Teachers. The Super wants to sub contract to a service called Teachers on Call, an out of state firm from Minnesota with an office in Madison, who has a pool of teachers.
However, when you examine the pool, you find it is many teachers who can get a full time job, some who are using it as a tool to get into a specific district, and have a cute sales pitch that did not include how it will work better for the students and school district of Cudahy. However, even though other local district have thrown this service out (due to poor performance), have an inconsistent sub for the school or class room (under the electronic find you job system, you are never in the same class room twice in a year), AND it will cost over $5,000 MORE to perform, the Super "wants this" so he will have it!
However, even though 6 members of the school board deadlocked causing his wanting this motion to fail, he is bringing this back again in early June to the full board, and to quote him after the meeting, “I am bringing this back, and it WILL pass". Oh by the way, the current about 60 subs of the district may be offered an opportunity to work for this temporary help agency, no longer have an alliance to the Cudahy district, and will have to work in as many as 7 local district because their alliance will be to an out of state firm, not the students of Cudahy. An Act 10 fix, local control, not!
And finally, under the terrible Act 10, since we don't have any money, due to the hard work of our administration, they are getting ready to come to the voters in November with a $5.9 million dollar list of items that if we don't have, the sky will fall, and students will be hurt. While this community, and I, have been very supportive and voted through public money to improve our schools, I can't wait to see the wish list, and hear how our terrible Governor and Act 10 have crippled them and they have to go to the voters for help.
Any way you cut it, yes Act 10 is a tool, to allow the most powerful unelected head of a government body to get his or her way, the Superintendent of Schools. We don't elect them, but apparently now they have the power to run amuck, and here in Cudahy, it is rumored that they Administration got themselves a 5.9 percent raise, while some low end employees received nothing, some received cost of living in the range of 1 to 2 percent. This raise is surely helping our students, although I am not sure how though.
No one has followed up on the truth of the 5.9, and I expect that they would not tell you the truth, other than to say Act 10, has given us local control to do what we want, play financial games, and we are working sooo hard at the administration building to make our schools better.
To answer 1uwmfan, no I did not have to take the test, I have a four year degree.