Making Sense Of Marilyn

I dare anyone to try and make sense of M. Stewart's recent positions on the upcoming contract and the teacher incentive fund.  Not that there's anything wrong with being inconsistent.  Recently re-elected, she comes out swinging about the new contract.  Fair enough.  That's what she ran on, and good luck to her with that.  But then she says she's OK with the teacher incentives (aka performance pay) that were just announced today -- not exactly a bread and butter union issue.  Sure, it's hard to come out against more money for teachers, but many other union leaders have done just that.  And what about the Burnham plan?  Is she for, against, or in between on that one? 

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  • Marilyn vote? 76% of the membership? No! 76% of the people who voted. Why did 10,000 plus union members not vote? What does that show about support for the union?

  • I am reading with interest the comments about SPED and about Case Managers. Case Managers can do a lot to improve services at the school if they are knowledgable and willing to help the teachers. For example, at the last school I was at, I made a referral to Assistive Technology (which was not done previously) and when other teachers saw what was available, others began making referrals. I was also able to get busing for a student who only lived 2 blocks from the school because she was a danger to herself. Case Managers should be advocates for the students. Time and time again at trainings, we were told that IEPs should not reflect services available but instead what the student needs. This doesn't necessarily mean the best education but what is needed to put the child on a equal playing field with his/her non-disabled peers. I can not legally decrease time simply because the staff is not available. The Board needs to provide the staff to meet the IEPs. This could easily be done by decreasing the number of people paid $100,000+ and stop inflating the number of people providing legal services.

    I agree that there needs to be more protection for people that try to report program abuses. I have been retaliated against more than once for being outspoken.

  • I hope everyone is aware of the fact that if teachers and parents don't contact the Illinois State Board of Education to protest the rule changes-- all class size limits for SPED will be eliminated and it will be up to the discretion of local school districts to determine class size. In Chicago, this is extremely scarey!!!!!!!!!!!! The article states that the CTU Special Education Committee and the IFT Task Force are supporting these changes and are arguing that the Union will be able to bargain class size. The new rules make it dependent on the amount of time the student spends outside of general ed. instead of disability. It also increases the percentage of special education students in general education classrooms from 20% to 30%. The new rules ignore the severity of the disabilities and put autism and TMH as well as severe and profound in the same category as students with less severe handicaps. Most of us who have worked in SPED know that this is wrong. It also appears to encourage teachers to limit the time that they mainstream students so that their classloads are smaller! Please write letters and/or call both the State Board of Education and your legislators urging them to send the regs once more back to the table and reopen public comments.

    Also, on the positive size, the Federal Supreme Court has ruled that parents have the right to bring cases regarding violations of IDEA to the Supreme Court without an attorney. This makes it much easier to fight CPS and other school boards when the needs of students are not being addressed adequately.

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