Message from Mary Lindquist

This is the text of a letter that WEA President Mary Lindquist sent out this past week.  The implications of any bill that radically changes the layoff procedures, transfer policies and/or seniority regulations should be considered very carefully.  Unfortunately, there are voices that are influencing the legislature that are speaking without the benefit of being in the classroom; of actually being a teacher and knowing the challenges facing us today.  The voices calling for removal of “bad teachers” are being heard loudly and must be countered.  The other side of the story must be told.  Your voice can be heard by writing to our legislators.  Go to http://www.ourvoicewashingtonea.org/ and tell them your story.  Here’s what Mary had to say:

“Sometime next week, it’s likely that legislators in Olympia will introduce a bill that if passed, would change teacher layoff procedures and transfer policies in ways that are detrimental to both educators and our students. Rather than wait until the bill is released and let you hear about it in the media or on Facebook, I wanted to tell you first. WEA leaders and lobbyists are monitoring things, and we will keep you informed as the issue develops. Here’s some of what we’re going to say if and when this bill is released:

• No one wants bad teachers in the classroom. That’s why school districts are implementing new evaluation systems that help identify and support the best teachers and weed out the ineffective ones. Let’s give it a chance to work before we impose yet another new mandate on local schools. The new research-based evaluation system is a balance of state and local input, it’s fair and it’s based on what works in the classroom.

• The proposed legislation apparently does nothing to prevent more teacher layoffs and budget cuts, which are the biggest problems our schools face. We are 48th in the country in class size, and we’re laying off teachers and support professionals when enrollment is going up. We don’t defend bad teachers, but our kids are trying to learn in overcrowded classrooms without the support they need.

• WEA members have been leaders in the education reform process, and we were proud to play a major role in the new evaluation law that passed last year. Our members know the classroom better than anyone else. We support research-based solutions that are proven to help students, and we’re working hard to protect education funding.

• Teachers, support professionals, legislators and parents must work together locally and in Olympia to ensure our children get the best possible education. They need reasonable class sizes now, and they can’t wait until the recession ends.

Visit the WEA website for regular news updates about action in Olympia, and for legislative advocacy tools, visit OurVoice.”

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3 Responses to “Message from Mary Lindquist”

  1. Teacher Says:

    If that bill passes, teachers have no one to blame but themselves. They are too docile and too afraid to find their voice. No one can take away our rights unless we let them! No one!

    I’ve written to my legislators this week. How many educators out there have done that very same thing?

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      I tend to agree, but I’d rather say that teachers are too busy and overworked to do the political things that are necessary because that is the truth. That’s not a good excuse, though, if peoples’ jobs disappear because nobody took the time. It can be done quickly and easily at OurVoiceWashingtonEA.org. I’ve done it and you can, too, but you need to do it soon and often. Your stories are what will make the difference in Olympia.

      • Teacher Says:

        Teachers will continue to be busy, and busier than ever, if they do not help stop this downflow of gunk headed our way from those who do not know what our jobs entail. Adding more to our plates, taking away our rights, recinding the COLA that voters passed in our favor,…. make quite a bad combo–enough to scare away even my own children who are choosing OTHER careers, but would otherwise make excellent educators.

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