February 27th School Board Speech

 

Good evening.  As the proud president of the over 600 certificated teachers of this district, through our site reps, our surveys, our organizing, and our site visits with our members, you have seen how passionate and vigorously I have brought forth with fidelity advocating for the many issues with which our members are asking for your help.  I am passionate about fighting workplace bullying, about fair and objective teacher evaluations, about protecting teachers’ time, about students’ learning conditions.  We collectively and vigorously demand quality not quantity, direct student services versus glossy booklets, and that we work to restore the joy in teaching for our NUSD teachers. We will continue to do so, independent of your attempts to malign the educators of Natomas.

It is suspect, that the District did not notice us, the Natomas Teachers Association of a closed session item concerning us at the last meeting.  Perhaps what the Board doesn’t know, is that the District office administration has been avoiding the Association in discussing discrepancies in the charges listed. Attempts to meet with District office administration has been met with silence and avoidance.  The subsequent behavior by administration is unacceptable for the educators, employees, students and community members of Natomas.

District office administration failed to notify NTA of those receiving non reelect notices this year, breaking from past practice so those teachers could be offered assistance.  

Hard working NTA leaders on site discovered some of those noticed with a non reelection letter. 

5 Special ed teachers,

2 seventh grade teachers

1 Math teacher

1 Science teacher and

2 English teachers

Retaining new educators to Natomas is of great importance to the Association, and we  trust the board has the same values. Ironically, from what we know, at least 6 of the 8 of what the District claims are “hard to fill” positions are being non reelected. When talking to these teachers it was discovered there were inconsistencies in evaluators, a bullying evaluator, and/or assistance lacking strategic application of supports. Until the district figures out how to retain and provide the necessary supports for new educators in Natomas, offering expensive incentives is not good for these educators nor the students they serve.

How do we best invest in our teachers? Through sincere support, adequate resources, and positive consistency.  Sadly, that is not the work environment that these teachers experienced during their short time here.

We have done better in the past, and we can do better now.

We encourage the Board to investigate why so many new hires decide to resign from year to year.

We encourage the Board to evaluate the District’s support program for new hires beyond the BTSA/Induction program.

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