Three staff members vying to become next Madison Teachers Inc. president

Scott Girard: Three Madison Metropolitan School District staff members are vying to be the next Madison Teachers Inc. president. One week after the most contentious presidential transition in generations, a much friendlier race is playing out with millions fewer voters. “It is actually a very healthy part of our union to have these sorts of … Continue reading Three staff members vying to become next Madison Teachers Inc. president

Madison Teachers Inc. demands virtual school to start year

Scott Girard: Madison Teachers Inc. is demanding the Madison Metropolitan School District begin the 2020-21 school year virtually amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In a press release Thursday, MTI asked district leadership to make five commitments: All virtual learning for the first quarter of the school year and until health officials report zero new cases for … Continue reading Madison Teachers Inc. demands virtual school to start year

Election Grist: Madison Teachers Inc. has been a bad corporate citizen for too long

David Blaska: Teachers are some of our most dedicated public servants. Many inspiring educators have changed lives for the better in Madison’s public schools. But their union is a horror. Madison Teachers Inc. has been a bad corporate citizen for decades. Selfish, arrogant, and bullying, it has fostered an angry, us-versus-them hostility toward parents, taxpayers, … Continue reading Election Grist: Madison Teachers Inc. has been a bad corporate citizen for too long

Madison Teachers Inc. finds ‘one more reason to recall’ Walker

Todd Finkelmeyer:

The leadership of Madison Teachers Inc. is letting its membership know it has unearthed yet another reason to recall Gov. Scott Walker.
In its weekly “Solidarity!” newsletter that was mailed out Friday, the union warns how administrative rules recently released by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission related to the implementation of Act 10 could result in teachers’ pay being cut.
“This is causing a lot of angst,” says John Matthews, executive director of MTI.
“This could be very bad for teachers,” adds state Rep. Sondy Pope-Roberts, D-Middleton, who sits on the Assembly’s Committee on Education. “These rules allow for teachers’ base pay to be redefined, and I think that’s absurd.”
The roots of this story reach back to last summer, when Act 10 eliminated most public employees’ ability to collectively bargain over virtually anything except “base wages.” Even then, workers are limited to bargaining over raises that can’t exceed the consumer price index (CPI), unless voters approve a hike via a referendum.
After receiving requests to explain what “base wages” could be bargained over, the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) — a state agency designed to settle labor disputes — worked on rules to clarify the matter.

Madison Teachers, Inc. Work Stoppage Plans

Empower Wisconsin: An email from MTI faculty representatives urged teachers to report to the district before 8 a.m. last Thursday that they had COVID-19 symptoms. “I’m sure we all feel exhausted, or have consistent headaches, not really feeling our usual energetic selves. Are you picking up what I’m putting down here?” the email states. “We need them … Continue reading Madison Teachers, Inc. Work Stoppage Plans

Madison Teachers, Inc. Director Reflects on 2019 and the taxpayer supported School District’s Governance

Scott Girard: Anderson, who posted about the incident on social media and became a face for the push against the “zero tolerance” practice the district had instituted, had been called a “b**** a** n****” by a student and told the student not to call him the n-word, using the word itself in the process. Another … Continue reading Madison Teachers, Inc. Director Reflects on 2019 and the taxpayer supported School District’s Governance

Madison Teachers, Inc. Budget Reductions

Solidarity Newsletter, via a kind Jeanie Kamholtz email (PDF): On March 7, MTI Executive Director Doug Keillor and MTI Office Manager Yvonne Knoche presented the recommended 2016-17 MTI Budget to MTI’s Finance Committee. The Committee unanimously approved the recommendation. In acknowledgment of the financial uncertainties ahead, the Budget recommends a 20% reduction in MTI expenditures … Continue reading Madison Teachers, Inc. Budget Reductions

Madison Teachers, Inc. Dues, Taxes and Recent Newsletters; Matthews Reflects on Service to MTI

Madison Teachers, Inc. Newsletter (PDF) 1.25.2016 Newsletter: MTI – Teachers who worked full-time in the Madison Metropolitan School District for the entire calendar year in 2015 (January through December) paid dues/fair share in the amount of $1,042.10. Of that amount, $260 was for WEAC, $183.60 for NEA, $570.00 for MTI, and $28.50 for MTI VOTERS … Continue reading Madison Teachers, Inc. Dues, Taxes and Recent Newsletters; Matthews Reflects on Service to MTI

Madison Teachers, Inc. Commentary on the Proposed “Handbook”

Madison Teachers, Inc., via a kind Jeanie Kamholtz email (PDF): Of the grievance procedure, MTI Legal Counsel Lester Pines said: “I congratulate MTI and its sister Unions of District employees (AFSCME and The Building Trades Council) for achieving an agreement that the Independent Hearing Officer will be mutually selected by the Union and the District … Continue reading Madison Teachers, Inc. Commentary on the Proposed “Handbook”

Madison Teachers, Inc. “Employee Handbook” Planning Meetings

Solidarity Newsletter, via a kind Jeanie Kamholtz email (PDF): Plan now to attend one of the MTI ALL-MEMBER meetings scheduled for the week of March 23. Because of the importance of the Employee Handbook, MTI has scheduled meetings, hopefully one convenient to all members, on March 23, 24 and 26. Governor Walker’s 2011 Act 10 … Continue reading Madison Teachers, Inc. “Employee Handbook” Planning Meetings

Madison Teachers, Inc. Recertification Plans

Madison Teachers, Inc. Solidarity Newsletter, via Jeannie Kamholtz (PDF): So far, one-hundred and fifteen (115) MTI members, teachers, educational assistants, clerical-technical employees and substitute teachers have stepped up to serve as MTI Member Organizers for MTI’s forthcoming recertification election. The Organizers will help to ensure that everyone in their school building/work site understands the importance … Continue reading Madison Teachers, Inc. Recertification Plans

Madison Teachers, Inc. Recertification Campaign

Madison Teachers, Inc. Solidarity newsletter, via a kind Jeannie Kamholtz email (PDF): As previously reported, Governor Walker’s Act 10 requires public sector unions, except police & fire, to participate in an annual recertification election to enable Union members to retain representation by their Union. The election by all MTI-represented District employees will be conducted between … Continue reading Madison Teachers, Inc. Recertification Campaign

Advocating Madison Teachers, Inc. Recertification

Madison Teachers, Inc. via a kind Jeannie Kamholtz email (PDF): Governor Walker’s Act 10 requires MTI to engage in a recertification election to retain its status as the representative of those covered by MTI’s collective bargaining units. This year’s election will be conducted between noon November 5 and noon November 25. Voting will be via … Continue reading Advocating Madison Teachers, Inc. Recertification

Madison Teachers, Inc. Greets New Hires

Madison Teachers, Inc. Solidarity Newsletter, via a kind Jeannie Kamholtz email (PDF): Members of MTI’s Board of Directors, Bargaining Committee and Union staff greeted the District’s 200+ newly hired teachers at New Teacher Orientation last Monday. Sixty- five have already joined the union. MTI Executive Director John Matthews addressed the District’s new teachers during Monday’s … Continue reading Madison Teachers, Inc. Greets New Hires

Madison Teachers, Inc. Contract Ratification Meeting – Tuesday, June 3!

MTI Website: This meeting is scheduled to consider ratification of Contract terms for 2015-16 for all five MTI bargaining units. This is a membership meeting. 2013-14 membership cards are required for admission. Those who need assistance with membership issues, and those who are not members at this time and wish to join to enable participation … Continue reading Madison Teachers, Inc. Contract Ratification Meeting – Tuesday, June 3!

MTI (Madison Teachers, Inc) Red Fills Doyle Auditorium; Bargaining to Begin

Madison Teachers, Inc. Solidarity Newsletter, via a kind Jeannie Kamholtz email (PDF): Board of Education meetings on May 12 and 15 were a sea of red, as MTI members produced an overflow crowd, calling for Contract negotiations for the 2015-16 school year. Numerous MTI members, supported by four past-presidents on the Board of Education, State … Continue reading MTI (Madison Teachers, Inc) Red Fills Doyle Auditorium; Bargaining to Begin

Madison Teachers, Inc: Teacher Contracts to be Issued in May

Madison Teachers, Inc., Newsletter, via a kind Jeannie Kamholtz email (PDF): Pursuant to changes in MTI’s Teacher Collective Bargaining Agreement, teacher contracts for the 2014-15 school year will now be issued in MAY instead of March. Signed contracts of all teachers returning for the 2014-15 school year must be received in the MMSD Human Resources … Continue reading Madison Teachers, Inc: Teacher Contracts to be Issued in May

The Madison Teachers, Inc. Budget Process

Madison Teachers, Inc. Newsletter via a kind Jeannie Kamholtz email (PDF): Each year about this time MTI engages in the process of developing its Budgets for the ensuing fiscal year, in this case July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. MTI has two (2) budgets, one for MTI (the Union) and one for the MTI … Continue reading The Madison Teachers, Inc. Budget Process

Madison Teachers, Inc. Solidarity Newsletter

Madison Teachers, Inc. Newsletter via a kind Jeanie (Bettner) Kamholtz email (PDF):

WELCOME BACK!
To each and every one of the nearly 5,000 District employees who are represented by MTI, welcome, as the 2013-14 school year begins! MTI is the collective bargaining agent for all teachers and non-supervisory professional staff, educational assistants (EA-MTI), clerical/technical personnel (SEE-MTI), substitute teachers (USO-MTI), and school security assistants (SSA-MTI) who are employed by the Madison Metropolitan School District. It is the Union’s mission to negotiate the best possible Collective Bargaining Agreements, and to provide the best representation and service possible, when assisting members with any Contract or work-related matter. Contact your Union staff at MTI Headquarters (257-0491 or www.madisonteachers.org) should you have a question or need assistance with any Contract or work-related matter.
This school year will be one of challenge as MTI moves to preserve members’ wages, benefits and rights. MTI is one of the few public employee unions with contracts in place, given the devastating impact of Walker’s Act 10.
MTI Greets New Hires
Members of MTI’s Board of Directors, Bargaining Committee and Union staff greeted the District’s newly hired teachers at New Teacher Orientation last Monday. On Tuesday MTI hosted a luncheon for the 250 new members of MTI’s teacher bargaining unit.
MTI President Peg Coyne and MTI Executive Director John Matthews addressed the District’s new teachers during Tuesday’s luncheon. In doing so, Matthews provided a brief history of the Union, its reputation of negotiating outstanding Collective Bargaining Agreements which provide both employment security and economic security, and in explaining the threat to both, given Act 10, said all MTI members would need to pull together to preserve the Madison Metropolitan School District as a quality place to teach.
President Coyne gave a warm MTI welcome to those present, discussed MTI’s structure and stressed the need for member participation in political action, if public employees are to regain the right to collectively bargain and if schools are to be adequately funded.
District retiree Jan Silvers lighted up the room when discussing how her life and career was much more enjoyable and rewarding having MTI as her advocate, especially when it came to the ability to experience religious freedom and work during pregnancy. She was awarded 16 years of back pay plus interest as a result of MTI’s litigation. Teachers, through the early 1970’s, had to advise their principal “immediately upon becoming pregnant” and were obligated to resign when the pregnancy “began showing”. As a result of MTI’s accomplishments, such antiquated and degrading policies are history.

Commentary on Wisconsin Act 10, Madison Teachers “Base Wages” and “Step Increases”

Madison Teachers, Inc. Solidarity Newsletter (PDF), via a kind Jeannie Bettner email:

Base wages, in all MTI/MMSD Collective Bargaining Agreements, have not increased since the passage of Act 10 in 2011. Act 10 also removed the benefit for the members of all MTI bargaining units of the District paying the employee’s share of the mandated deposit in the Wisconsin Retirement System. This in itself caused a 6.2% reduction take-home wages. MTI had negotiated in the early 1970’s that the District pay the WRS deposit. This part of Act 10 caused a loss in earnings of $11.7 million last school year and another $12.9 million this school year for District employees.
All employees do not automatically move up on the salary schedule each year. Members of the clerical/technical bargaining unit, for example, receive a wage additive based on months of service. These “longevity” payments begin at the 49th month of service, with the next one beginning at the 80th month of service.
There are similar increments between the increases in longevity payments. Last year, 199 individuals remained at the same salary, while this year, there were 70 who received no increase in wage.
Members of the educational assistant and school security assistant bargaining units, for example, receive a longevity increase after three years of service, but not anotheroneuntilafter12yearsofservice. Lastyear,282 individuals remained at the same salary, while this year there were 321 who received no increase in wage.
The teachers’ salary schedule requires that a teacher earn six credits each four years and receive his/her principal’s recommendation to be able to cross the salary barrier. This is at each four-year improvement level. For incentive levels, beginning at level 16, one progresses only every two years, and then only if he/she earns three credits and receives his/her principal’s recommendation. Last year, 941 individuals remained at the same salary, while this year, there were 701 who received no increase in wage.

Related:

Madison Schools’ Budget Updates: Board Questions, Spending Through 3.31.2013, Staffing Plan Changes.

Madison Teachers, Inc. Solidarity Newsletter

Madison Teachers, Inc. Solidarity newsletter, via a kind Jeannie Bettner email (PDF):

What’s the first ingredient necessary to address workplace concerns? The opportunity to talk with colleagues to identify areas of common concerns and brainstorm about possible solutions. That’ s the conclusion reached by the clerical and technical employees who attended the March 20 SEE-MTI General Membership meeting. In response, SEE-MTI President Kris Schiltz and MTI staff rep Doug Keillor agreed to schedule monthly membership organizing workshops to provide: 1) an opportunity to get together to talk and 2) to further develop an organizing approach to problem-solving. The first workshop was held on April 24, and the next workshop will be held soon with notice in MTI Solidarity!.
The organizing workshops are structured to provide a brief update on what is happening across the district relative to SEE unit concerns (e.g. surplus declarations, budget proposals, etc.) and then those present breakout (e.g. elementary, middle, high, administration) to discuss their concerns, facilitated by their unit rep. Following the small group discussions the participants reconvene to report on topics of discussion and organizing relative to the identified issues.
While MTI has used similar organizing models on a smaller scale for years, the monthly SEE-MTI member organizing workshops are an attempt to further institutionalize this approach, engaging more Union members in the process and leading to better potential outcomes.
All SEE-MTI members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Join your fellow Union members in working for positive change in the District!

Madison Teachers, Inc. “Patch Through” Voucher Phone Bank May 9

Madison Teachers, Inc. Solidarity Newsletter, via a kind Jeannie Bettner email (PDF):

Thanks to the volunteers who helped make phone calls at MTI on April 23. With few volunteers, 51 callers were “patched through” to leave a message for Senator Sheila Harsdorf that voucher expansion is bad for Wisconsin and that public schools must be fully funded. The Governor’s proposed budget will take $96 million from public schools to fund private and parochial “voucher” schools and private charter schools.
This program was a great success in other Senate Districts as well, generating well over 200 contacts last week. Any member interested in giving this a try, another night of calling is being considered for Thursday, May 9, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., at MTI. The constituents we are calling are targeted based on their likelihood to respond positively and include WEAC members and voters favorable to public schools. This fight is critical because if we lose, voucher schools will be coming to Madison, whether we want them or not, with slick marketing campaigns designed to lure tax dollars into their pockets by denigrating our public schools. Don’t let this happen! We need seven confirmed volunteers to make this set-up worthwhile.
If you can join us next Thursday, please contact Jeff Knight (knightj@madisonteachers.org / 257-0491).

The Madison Teachers, Inc. Budget Process

Madison Teachers, Inc. Solidarity Newsletter (PDF):

Each year about this time MTI begins the process of developing its budgets for the ensuing fiscal year, in this case July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. MTI has two (2) budgets, one for MTI (the Union) and one for the MTI Building Corporation, the owner of MTI’s headquarters building.
MTI’s budget is the operating budget under which the Union provides services to the members of its five (5) bargaining units; i.e. the Teacher/professional unit (MTI); the Educational Assistants bargaining unit (EA-MTI); the Clerical/Technical bargaining unit (SEE-MTI); the Substitute Teacher bargaining unit (USO-MTI); and the Security Assistants bargaining unit (SSA-MTI).
This year’s proposed budgets are based on last year’s dues levels; i.e. no dues increase. This is the second straight year the Union has not proposed a dues increase.

Parents, teachers, public offer ideas for ways to increase security at Madison schools

Matthew DeFour:

The Madison School District is considering ways to increase school security in response to the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school last week, though arming more school officials is not among them.
In the wake of the massacre, parents, teachers and members of the public have offered dozens of safety suggestions to the district, security coordinator Luis Yudice said Friday.
They include making it easier for teachers to secure their classrooms, training principals to deal with an armed intruder and reviewing the policy of having schools serve as polling places.

Related, via a kind reader’s email:

From: Sara Paton
Date: December 19, 2012 3:20:35 PM CST
To:
Subject: Important Message from Principal Holmes
Reply-To: Sara Paton
Madison Metropolitan School District
The following letter was sent as an email to all students during 8th hour today. Please read:
December 19, 2012
Dear West Students,
There have been several concerns raised about safety and security at West High School over the past few days as it relates to 12/21/12. Safety concerns have included rumors about:
-Bomb Threats
-School closings on 12/21/12
-Comments made by West High students
Administration, security, and police have spent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week speaking with students, staff, and parents regarding the concerns that have been raised. All of the information collected has been thoroughly investigated, and we as an administrative team, security staff and police are confident that the concerns raised do not pose a safety risk for the students and staff of West High.
In light of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, tensions are high across the country and threats are more likely to be viewed as potentially dangerous. We want you to be aware that we are taking the concerns very seriously and are taking the necessary precautions to be sure we are safe. Unfortunately, information has been misinterpreted and taken out of context through multiple social media such as Facebook and Twitter. This has created a great deal of anxiety and fear in our school community. Again, we have found no substance to the rumors and no threat to school safety.
In conclusion, we know some students are frightened and some students have been blamed. It is critical at this time that we as the West High community work together to dispel rumors, ensure school safety and create a positive school culture.
Below are some suggestions on steps to take in the event important information comes to your attention:
-Continue to let trusted adults know when you are concerned about safety or someone else’s behavior.
-Be kind and patient with each other. This is a tough time for our school and our country.
-Make healthy decisions for yourself with your parents guidance.
It is up to all of us to be good stewards of our school and work together to protect one another.
Ed Holmes, Principal
Madison West

What Does Your MTI (Madison Teachers, Inc.) Contract Do for You? The Right to File a Grievance

Madison Teachers, Inc. Solidarity enewsletter via a kind Linda Doeseckle email (PDF):

When a union member files a grievance it means that the member and his or her union believe the employer has failed to live up to its end of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. They are called “agreements” for a reason: the union and the employer have agreed that what has been agreed upon in negotiations is what both parties will live by, that it is best for the employee and the employer. A Collective Bargaining Agreement is a legally binding Contract.
Filing a grievance sets in motion a process for resolving the employee’s complaint. Once a grievance is filed, the union and the employer meet in a process set forth in the Collective Bargaining Agreement to discuss the reasons it was filed. When the issue cannot be resolved through discussions, the union may take the complaint to a neutral third party (an arbitrator) who will decide whether the Contract has been violated. Wisconsin law assures that union- represented employees cannot be retaliated against because of filing a grievance.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement is the Constitution of the workplace, and only unionized employees, like members of MTI, are protected by a Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Attorney Representing Madison Teachers, Inc and WEAC Profiled in the Capital Times

Steven Elbow:

To complete the hat trick, late last month Pines, representing Madison Teachers Inc. and the Wisconsin Education Association Council, stuck it to Republicans again when Dane County Judge Amy Smith struck down part of a law that consolidated rule-making authority in the governor’s office. That law gave Gov. Scott Walker control over rules that govern agencies like the Attorney General’s Office, the Government Accountability Board, the Employment Relations Commission, the Public Service Commission and the Department of Public Instruction, all of which were previously independent. Pines argued, and Smith agreed, that State Superintendent Tony Evers had constitutional powers beyond the governor’s reach.
“They extended (the law) to the Department of Public Instruction despite the fact that they were told in the brief legislative hearings they held on that bill that it was likely unconstitutional,” says Pines. “But they didn’t care. They just did it.”
While Pines’ recent wins are likely to be appealed, one thing is clear: He’s on a roll. How did he get to be such a pain in the collective GOP butt?

Madison Schools Administration has “introduced more than 18 programs and initiatives for elementary teachers since 2009”

Solidarity Newsletter by Madison Teachers, Inc. (PDF):

MTI President Kerry Motoviloff addressed the Board of Education at its May 21 general meeting. At issue is the District’s plan to introduce more new programs into elementary teachers’ literacy curriculum, including Mondo and 3 new assessments. At the same time, elementary teachers are being told that they will be losing release days for the administration of K-2 testing.
Motoviloff listed more than 13 current K-5 assessments, explaining to Board members that each assessment comes with a set of non-comparable data or scores. She noted that the District has introduced more than 18 programs and initiatives for elementary teachers since 2009.
Motoviloff stressed that all teachers are concerned about the achievement gap, and that the District needs to walk its own talk relative to ensuring fidelity in the curriculum process. She challenged the District to prioritize essentials, instead of swamping teachers with initiatives while reducing teachers’ time to implement the curriculum with fidelity, and emphasized the need to include time not only for assessments, but also time for teachers to analyze and plan. She also urged the District to stop pitting professional development against planning/prep time.

Related:

I’ve long suggested that the District should get out of the curriculum/program creation business and focus on hiring the best teachers. Like it or not, Oconomowoc is changing the game by focusing efforts and increasing teacher pay. Madison, given our high per student spending and incredible community and academic resources, should be delivering world class results for all students.
I don’t see how more than 18 programs and initiatives can be implemented successfully in just a few years. I’m glad MTI President Kerry Motoviloff raised this important issue. Will the proposed “achievement gap plan” add, replace or eliminate programs and spending?
Meanwhile, Superintendent Dan Nerad’s Madison tenure, which began in 2008, appears to be quickly coming to an end.

This Morning @ Madison’s Thoreau Elementary School While Voting; Latest Madison Teachers, Inc. Solidarity Newsletter



The 2012 Wisconsin recall election primary is today. Teacher appreciation week is underway as well.
teacher-appreciation.info

Teachers – the people who educate us and give us the vital knowledge which we need to live our lives. They encourage, support, discipline and prepare us for the road ahead and now it’s time for us to show them our appreciation. Teacher Appreciation Week begins on the 7th until the 11th of May 2012, which will be the perfect opportunity for us to show teachers how thankful we are for their support. So boys and girls, it’s time for us to demonstrate how much our teachers mean to us, let’s all say a big thank you to the people who work really hard so that we can have a better future.
The 8th of May 2012 will mark Teacher Appreciation Day and students all across America will show their appreciation by rewarding their teachers with lovely gifts. These gifts can come in a variety of shapes and sizes – remember, it’s the thought that counts! Your school will also have a special schedule lined up which will provide many outlets for you to show how much you’re teacher means to you. Maybe you could write your teacher a poem or even a story about your favorite memory. You may also choose to make you’re teacher a “best teacher in the world” award, and present it to him or her during the week.

Madison Teachers, Inc. Solidarity Newsletter (PDF):

If you are not among those who voted early, be sure you vote tomorrow. The terrible legislation, Act 10, which has put your economic security and your employment security at risk would not be on
the books if voter turnout in 2010 had been as great as in 2008. 812,086 fewer people voted in Wisconsin in 2010 than in 2008. Governor Walker won by only 124,638. Every MTI member doing their part will help reverse Act 10 and restore your rights and security. No matter who wins the primary, we need ALL HANDS ON DECK to rid our state of Governor Walker’s divisive approach to balancing the budget on the backs of working families, cuts to public education, women’s health and the dismantling of the safety net, in favor of continued tax breaks to out-of-state corporate interests funding his campaign and his legal defense fund. The far-right is trying to make Wisconsin the model for how to break unions. Join those standing up against Act 10 by ensuring that everyone votes on June 5!
MTI Faculty Representatives will schedule a meeting at each work site to discuss the effective ways to increase voter turnout. Make contact with friends and family, encourage them to vote, make a phone call or send a note or email the importance of this election. Personal contact makes a big difference.
MTI members will be making calls to union households from the Labor Temple and participating in door-to-door contacts. These efforts are aimed at reaching the infrequent voters, particularly those who voted in 2008 and did not vote in 2010. We need them to assure success. This election will directly impact the future of your profession, your pay and your benefits, your security and the future of public education.
Action is needed to assure success. See www.madisonteachers.org for ways to get involved.

Madison Teachers, Inc. Executive Director John Matthews on the achievement gap, Act 10 and Scott Walker

Pat Schneider:

CT: What about the training and capabilities of Madison school teachers and how they deliver in the classroom day to day — is there room for improvement there?
JM: Well, there’s always room for improvement — there’s room for improvement in what I do. I can only say that the Madison School District has invested all kinds of things in professional development. One thing teachers tell us if they have time to work together, they can make strides. I found early in my career if I’m having a teacher identified as having a performance problem, ask the principal who is the best at doing what they want this teacher to do. Then you go to that teacher and say: “You have a colleague who needs help, will you take them under your wing?” I don’t have access to any of what they talk about, management doesn’t have access to that — it’s been a remarkably successful venture.
CT: In discussion of the achievement gap in Madison I’ve heard from African-American parents up and down the economic spectrum who say that their children are met at school with low expectations that really hamper their performance.
JM: I’ve heard that too. The Madison School District has an agreed-upon mandatory cultural course that people have to take. But there are people in society who don’t like to be around other races. I don’t see that when teachers are together. And we have a variety of people who are leaders in MTI — either Asian or Indian or black — but there are people who have different expectations from people who are different from them.
CT: Does the union have a role in dealing with teachers whose lowered expectations of students of color might contribute to the achievement gap?
JM: The only time MTI would get involved is if somebody was being criticized for that, we’d likely be involved with that; if someone were being disciplined for that, we would be involved. We’ve not seen that.

Madison Teachers, Inc. Solidarity Newsletter

Madison Teachers Inc 92K PDF Newsletter:

EMOCRACY IS NOT A SPECTATOR SPORT. That is one message that should be evident with all that has happened in the last year. A functioning democracy requires an informed and engaged citizenry. Such is as true with union democracy as it is in a political democracy. MTI is a union of 4,700 members in five bargaining units, each with Bylaws enabling democratic governance to ensure the union reflects the will of its members. Each MTI unit elects its leadership – every member has a vote, and is free to seek office. Also, Collective Bargaining Agreements are subject to member ratification, with every member having a vote. Similarly, the MTI Budget is enacted only after approval by the MTI Finance Committee and by approval by the MTI Joint Fiscal Group, which is comprised of representatives proportionate to the membership of each of the five bargaining units. But,just like the right of suffrage cannot ensure voter participation, neither can union Bylaws ensure member participation in the union. Only you can. YOU ARE THE UNION.
In the coming months, your union will be engaging in a number of initiatives to further engage individuals in discussion about your union, what we have achieved together, what is at risk, and where we can go from the terrible situation created by Governor Walker’s Act 10. Beginning with a Member Engagement Survey which is being sent to the personal e-mail addresses of all MTI members who have shared their email address with the Union from all five bargaining units. Members are encouraged to take ten minutes to complete the on-line survey and share their thoughts. If you have not already provided your personal e-mail address to MTI, please do so now by contacting kantzlerr@madisonteachers.org. Those for whom MTI does not have a personal email address may access the survey on MTI’s webpage www.madisonteachers.org or by calling MTI Headquarters (257-0491).

Madison Teachers, Inc 4.1.2012 Newsletter

PDF Solidarity Newsletter:

Among the excellent benefits available to MTI members is the additional worker’s compensation benefit provided by MTI’s various Collective Bargaining Agreements.
Wisconsin Statutes provide a worker’s compensation benefit for absence caused by a work-related injury or illness, but such commences on the 4th day of absence and has a maximum weekly financial benefit.
MTI’s Contracts provide one’s full wage, beginning on day one of an absence caused by a work-related injury or illness, with no financial maximum. Also, under MTI’s Contract provision, one’s earned sick leave is not consumed by such an absence.
Although MTI is working to preserve this benefit, it is at risk due to Governor Walker’s Act 10.

Madison Teachers’, Inc President Coyne and MTI Activist Kathryn Burns take Political Experience to Japan

Madison Teachers, Inc. via a kind Jeanie Bettner email:

The Osaka Social Forum (OSF) is “a coalition of citizens’ groups, trade unions and other issue-oriented groups” in the Osaka and Kansai region, which includes Kyoto and Kobe, in Japan. A four day Pre Forum planning session was held February 24-27 and, at the request of OSF, MTI President Peg Coyne (Black Hawk) and MTI activist Kathryn Burns (Shorewood) were guest speakers and participants in the forum, sharing the stories of the “Wisconsin Uprising”. The Japanese organizers wanted to benefit from MTI’s leadership in fighting Governor Walker’s anti-public worker legislation. As Mr. Yoshihide Kitahata, a forum organizer, OSF host and translator, explained, “It is very difficult to bring the many groups together in Japan, and we want to hear about the struggles against harsh attacks on public education and trade union rights in Wisconsin.”
A series of meetings held in Osaka and Kyoto featured a video produced by Labor Beat and Osamu Kimura, a former Japanese high school teacher and current documentarian; and speeches with question and answer sessions by Coyne and Burns. Many observed that current mayor and former governor of the Osaka Prefecture, Toru Hashimoto, seems to be “taking pages out of Wisconsin Governor Walker’s play book.” Mayor Hashimoto and his backers are proposing 40% pay cuts for city bus drivers, threatening to throw the office of the city workers’ union out of city hall and has introduced an ordinance requiring teachers to stand and sing the national anthem at all school functions. The Mayor’s proposed ordinance “proposes to choose principals by open recruitment and incorporates a clause to dismiss teachers who refuse to stand while singing the Kimigayo national anthem at school functions.”
Coyne and Burns heard stories of teachers fired over the national anthem issue. Ms. Msako Iwashita, a retired high school social studies teacher, said that 200 of her students followed her lead and refused to stand as the flag was raised and the anthem played at a high school graduation. Ms. Iwashita, whose business card displays the words, “Hope, Peace and Article 9” explains that many citizens and older teachers, in particular, are distressed that the government did not replace the rising sun flag and Kimigayo after World War II. It is felt that these two symbols of Japan’s aggression against neighboring Asian countries and the United States are an embarrassment and too militaristic for a modern country that espouses peace. (Article 9 is a Constitutional Agreement that declares Japan’s commitment to peace and refusal to engage in weapons build up.)

Arlene Silveira & Michael Flores Madison Teachers, Inc. Candidate Q & A

Michael Flores
Arlene Silveira
Question 23 has implications for the future of our public schools, along with the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy IB charter school:

Given Act 10’s negative Impact on Collective Bargaining Agreements, will you introduce and vote for a motion to adopt the Collective Bargaining Agreements (182 page PDF Document) negotiated between MTI and The Madison Metropolitan School District as MMSD policy?

Both Silveira and Flores answered Yes.

Seat 1 Candidates:

Nichele Nichols
www.nichols4schoolboard.org
email: nnichols4mmsd@gmail.com

Arlene Silveira (incumbent)
www.arleneforschoolboard.com
email: arlene_Silveira@yahoo.com

Seat 2 Candidates:

Mary Burke
www.maryburkeforschoolboard.net
email: maryburkewi@gmail.com

Michael Flores
www.floresforschoolboard.org
email: floresm1977@gmail.com

1.25.2012 Madison School Board Candidate DCCPA Event Photos & Audio
Listen to the event via this 77MB mp3 audio file.
I suspect that at least 60% of Wisconsn school districts will adopt their current teacher contracts as “handbooks”. The remainder will try different approaches. Some will likely offer a very different environment for teachers.

Madison Teachers, Inc. on The Proposed Madison Preparatory Academy IB Charter School

John Matthews, Executive Director of Madison Teachers, Inc., via email:

The Urban League proposes that Madison Prep be operated as a non-instrumentality of the Madison Metropolitan School District. The Urban League’s proposal is unacceptable to Madison Teachers, because it would effectively eliminate supervision and accountability of the school to the Madison School Board regarding the expenditure of millions of dollars in taxpayer money, and because it would also violate long-standing terms and conditions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Madison Metropolitan School District and MTI.
The Urban League proposes to use District funds to hire non-District teaching staff at lower salaries and benefits than called for in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. It was recently stated in a meeting between representatives of Madison Prep, the School District and MTI that the Urban League plans to hire young African-American males and asks that MTI and the District enable them to pay the teachers they hire less than their counterparts, who are employed by the District. MTI cannot agree to enable that. We believe that such is discriminatory, based both on race and gender. The MTI/MMSD Contract calls for teachers to be compensated based upon their educational achievement and their years of service. MTI and MMSD agreed in the early 1970’s that the District would not enable such undermining of employment standards. The costing of the Contract salary placement was explained by both Superintendent Nerad and John Matthews. Those explanations were ignored by the Urban League in their budgeting, causing a shortfall in the proposed operational budget, according to Superintendent Nerad.
It is also distasteful to MTI that the Urban League proposes to NOT ADDITIONALLY pay their proposed new hires for working a longer day and a longer school year. Most employees in the United States receive overtime pay when working longer hours. The Urban League proposes NO additional compensation for employees working longer hours, or for the 10 additional school days in their plan.
Finally, the Urban League is incorrect in asserting that MTI and the District could modify the MMSD/MTI Contract without triggering Act 10, Governor Walker’s draconian attack on teachers and other public employees. The Contract would be destroyed if MTI and the District agreed to amend it. Such is caused by Walker’s Law, Act 10. MTI is not willing to inflict the devastating effects of Act 10 on its members. The Urban League states that Walker’s Act 65 would enable the Contract to be amended without the horrible impact cause by Act 10. That claim is unfounded and in error.
The Madison Prep proposal could easily be implemented if it followed the Charter Plan of Wright School, Nuestro Mundo, and Badger Rock School, all of which operate as instrumentalities of the District, under its supervision and the MMSD/MTI Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Much more on the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy IB charter school, here.

Proposed Madison Prep IB Charter School and Madison Teachers, Inc will work together on new charter school; to be staffed largely with Union Teachers

Susan Troller:

Several major impediments facing the proposed Madison Prep charter school appear closer to resolution after a series of meetings and communications Friday between Urban League CEO Kaleem Caire, district Superintendent Daniel Nerad and John Matthews, executive director of Madison Teachers Inc.
The changes are just in time for a public hearing on the Urban League-backed school on Monday, Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. at the Doyle Administration Building, 545 W. Dayton St.
In a major shift, the proposed charter school will now be what’s called an “instrumentality” of the Madison Metropolitan School District. That means a significant portion of the school’s staff will be covered by the contract the district has with the local teachers union, Madison Teachers Inc. The contract runs through the end of June 2013

Matthew DeFour and Gayle Worland:

On the eve of a public hearing for Madison Preparatory Academy — a proposed charter school with single-sex classrooms focused on raising the academic performance of minority students — backers of the school agreed to employ union staff, eliminating a potential hurdle to approval of the school.
A budget plan for Madison Prep, proposed by the Urban League of Greater Madison, also was released late Friday. It estimates the Madison School District would spend $19.8 million over five years on the school, or about $2,000 less per student than it spends on other secondary-school students.
In lengthy meetings Friday, Urban League officials hammered out an agreement with Madison Teachers Inc., the union that represents Madison school teachers. MTI executive director John Matthews said the union, which previously opposed creation of Madison Prep, will remain neutral on whether the school should be approved.

Fascinating. It will be interesting to see the substance of the arrangement, particularly its implications for the current MMSD schools and Madison Prep’s curriculum and operating plans. 
A friend notes that the change is “stunning” and that it will likely “cost more” and perhaps “gut” some of Madison Prep’s essential components.

Madison Teachers, Inc. head: Time to get ‘down and dirty’

Matthew DeFour:

“They’re ready,” Matthews said afterward, “to do whatever it takes.”
After 43 years as executive director of Madison Teachers Inc., Matthews is in the spotlight again after encouraging a four-day sick-out that closed school in February. The action allowed teachers to attend protests at the Capitol over Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to curb collective bargaining by public employees. The matter remains in the courts, but it prompted a hasty contract negotiation between the district and union.
Teachers aren’t happy about some of the changes, and Matthews is preparing for a street fight.
“It’s going to get down and dirty,” Matthews said, alluding to the possibility of more job actions, such as “working the contract” – meaning teachers wouldn’t work outside required hours – if the School Board doesn’t back off changes in the contract. “You can’t continually put people down and do things to control them and hurt them and not have them react.”
Moreover, the latest battle over collective bargaining has taken on more personal significance for Matthews, whose life’s work has been negotiating contracts.

Much more on John Matthews, here. Madison Teachers, Inc. website and Twitter feed.

What’s Bugging Madison Teachers, Inc. Executive Director John Matthews?

Madison School Board Member Ed Hughes:

In an article about teacher retirements in the State Journal a couple of weeks ago, Madison Teachers Inc. Executive Director John Matthews had some harsh comments about the Madison school district and school board. Referring to the Teacher Emeritus Retirement Program, or TERP, Matthews said, “The evidence of the ill will of the board of education and superintendent speaks for itself as to why we have grave concern over the benefit continuing. . . . They tore things from the MTI contract, which they and their predecessors had agreed for years were in the best interest of the district and its employees.”
In an article in Isthmus last week, Lynn Welch followed up with Matthews. Matthews comes out swinging against the school district in this article as well, asserting, “The bargaining didn’t have to [involve] so much animosity. . . . If they wanted to make revisions, all they had to do is talk with us and we could have worked through something that would be acceptable to both sides. But they didn’t bother to talk about it. You don’t buy good will this way.” While the contract includes very significant economic concessions on the part of the teachers, Matthews expressed unhappiness with the non-economic changes as well, labeling them “inhumane.”
In the Isthmus article, Matthews asserts that the changes in the collective bargaining agreement “show how Walker’s proposed legislation (still tied up in court) has already produced an imbalance of power forcing unions to make concessions they don’t want to achieve a contract deal.”
………
The collective bargaining process is useful because it provides an established framework for hammering out issues of mutual concern between the school district and its employees and for conflict resolution. However, if the collective bargaining agreement were to disappear, the school district wouldn’t immediately resort to a management equivalent of pillaging the countryside. Instead, the district would seek out alternative ways of achieving the ends currently served by the collective bargaining process, because the district, like nearly all employers, values its employees and understands the benefits of being perceived as a good place to work.
But when employers aren’t interested in running sweat-shops, organizations set up to prevent sweat-shop conditions aren’t all that necessary. It may be that John Matthews’ ramped-up rhetoric is best understood not as a protest against school district over-reaching in bargaining, since that did not happen, but as a cry against the possibility of his own impending irrelevance.

The New Madison Teachers, Inc. Pact will be Devastating for Support Staff

Fran Zell:

Early on in the protests at the Capitol, I ran into a friend who predicted that the unions would agree to all of Walker’s benefit cuts if he agreed to allow collective bargaining.
“They would do that?” I asked innocently. “They wouldn’t tell the governor to rescind tax cuts on businesses before he attempts to balance the budget on the backs of workers?”
“Just wait,” she said.
Little did either of us imagine that the unions would soon concede to all of the benefit cuts BEFORE Walker agreed to talk. When you give up key issues before the other side is at the table, there isn’t much left to negotiate. It is certainly not the way we educators teach children to deal with a bully.
However things turn out with Walker’s damaging repair bill, Wisconsin unions have helped dig themselves into a hole. Some unions may fare better than others. I am distraught about Madison Teachers Inc., which I belong to as a substitute teacher. In its rush to negotiate with the district immediately after Walker signed the bill, MTI plunged headlong into the very waters it was trying to avoid. The union allowed the lowest paid to, in effect, sail away in a leaky lifeboat.

Madison Teachers, Inc. 2011 Candidate Questionnaire

1MB PDF, via a kind reader’s email:. Mayoral Candidate Paul Soglin participated and I found this question and response interesting:


What strategies will you introduce to reduce the 6000+ families who move in and out of Madison Public School classrooms each year?
In the last three years more children opted out of the district than all previous years in the history of the district. That contributed to the increase of children from households below the poverty line rising to over 48% of the kids enrolled.
To stabilize our enrollment we need stable families and stable neighborhoods. This will require a collaborate effort between governments, like the city, the county and the school district, as well as the private sector and the non-profits. It means opening Madison’s economy to all families, providing stable housing, and building on the assets of our neighborhoods.
One decades old problem is the significant poverty in the Town of Madison. I would work with town officials, and city of Fitchburg officials to see if we could accelerate the annexation of the town so we could provide better services to area residents.

Ed Hughes and Marj Passman, both running unopposed responded to MTI’s questions via this pdf document.

MTIVOTERS 2011 School Board Election Questionnaire
Please respond to each ofthe following questions. If you wish to add/clarifY your response, please attach a separate sheet and designate your responses with the same number which appears in the questionnaire. Please deliver your responses to MTI Headquarters (821 Williamson Street) by, February 17, 2011.
General:
If the School Board finds it necessary to change school boundaries due to enrollment, what criteria would you, as a Board member, use to make such a judgement?
Ifthe School Board finds it necessary to close a school/schools due to economic reasons, what criteria would you, as a Board member, use to make such a judgement?
If the School Board finds it necessary, due to the State-imposed revenue controls, to make further budget cuts to the 2011-12 budget, what criteria would you, as a Board member, use to make such a judgement?
IdentifY specific MMSD programs and/or policies which you believe should to be modified, re-prioritized, or eliminated, and explain why.
What should the District do to reduce violence/assure that proper discipline and safety (of the learning and working environment) is maintained in our schools?
Do you agree that the health insurance provided to District employees should be mutually selected through collective bargaining?
_ _ YES _ _ NO Explain your concerns/proposed solutions relative to the District’s efforts to reduce the “achievement gap”.
Should planning time for teachers be increased? If yes, how could this be accomplished?
Given that the Wisconsin Association of School Boards rarely supports the interests of the Madison Metropolitan School District, do you support the District withdrawing from the W ASB? Please explain your rationale.
From what sources do you believe that public schools should be funded?
a. Do you support further increasing student fees? _ _ YES _ _ _ NO
Do you support the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools’ (WAES) initiative to raise sales tax by 1% to help fund schools?
_ _ YES _ _ NO
Do you support class sizes of 15 or less for all primary grades? _ _ YES _ _ NO
Do you support:
a. The use of public funds (vouchers) to enable parents to pay tuition with tax payers’ money for religious and private schools?
_ _ YES _ _ NO
b. The expansion of Charter schools within the Madison Metropolitan School District? _ _ YES _ _ NO
c. The Urban League’s proposed “Madison Preparatory Academy for Young Men” as a charter school which would not be an instrumentality of the District?
_ _ YES _ _ _ NO
Do you agree that the usual and customary work ofteachers, i.e. work ofthose in MTI’s teacher bargaining unit, should not be performed by others (sub-contracted)?
_ _ YES _ _ NO List MMSD staff and Board member(s) from whom you do or would seek advice.
Is your candidacy being promoted by any organization? _ _ YES _ _ NO
If yes, please name such organization(s). Have you ever been employed as a teacher? If yes, please describe why you left the teaching profession.
Do you support the inclusion model for including Title 1, EEN and ESL students in the regular education classroom? Why/why not?
What grouping practices do you advocate for talented and gifted (TAG) students?
Aside from limitations from lack ofadequate financial resources, what problems to you feel exist in meeting TAG students’ needs at present, and how would you propose to solve these problems?
The Board ofEducation has moved from the development ofpolicy to becoming involved in implementation of policy; i.e. matters usually reserved to administration. Some examples are when it:
a. Decided to hear parents’ complaints about a teacher’s tests and grading. b. Decided to modifY the administration’s decision about how a State Statute should be implemented.
Do you believe that the Board should delegate to administrators the implementation of policy which the Board has created?
_ _ YES _ _ NO
Do you believe that the Board should delegate to administrators the implementation of State Statutes? _ _ YES _ _ NO
Do you support the Board exploring further means to make their meetings more efficient? _ _ YES _ _ _ NO
Do you support a merit pay scheme being added to the Collective Bargaining Agreement _ _ YES _ _ _ NO
If yes, based on which performance indicators?
Do/did/will your children attend private or parochial schools during their K-12 years? Ifno, and ifyou have children, what schools have/will they attend(ed)?
_ _ YES _ _ NO If you responded “yes”, please explain why your child/children attended private parochial schools.
Legislation
Will you introduce and vote for a motion which would direct the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to request the introduction and promote the passage oflegislation to eliminate the revenue controls on public schools and return full budgeting authority to the School Board?
_ _ YES _ _ _ NO
Will you introduce and vote for a motion to direct the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to request the introduction and promote the passage oflegislation to prohibit the privatization ofpublic schools via the use oftuition tax credits (vouchers) to pay tuition with taxpayers’ money to private or religious schools?
_ _ YES _ _ NO
Will you introduce and vote for a motion to direct the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to request the introduction and promote the passage of legislation which will maintain or expand the benefit level of the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act?
_ _ YES _ _ _ NO
Will you introduce and vote for a motion to direct the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to request the introduction and promote the passage oflegislation which will increase the retirement formula multiplier from 1.6% to 2% for teachers and general employees, i.e. equal that of protective employees?
_ _ YES _ _ NO
Will you introduce and vote for a motion to direct the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to request the introduction and promote the passage of legislation which will forbid restrictions to free and open collective bargaining for the selection ofinsurance for public employees (under Wis. Stat. 111.70), including the naming ofthe insurance carrier?
_ _ YES
_ _ NO
Will you introduce and vote for a motion to direct the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to request the introduction and promote the passage of legislation which will guarantee free and open collective bargaining regarding the establishment of the school calendar/school year, including when the school year begins?
_ _ YES _ _ NO
Will you introduce and vote for a motion to direct the Wisconsiu Association of School Boards to request the introduction and promote the passage of legislation to forbid the work of employees organized under Wis. Stat. 111.70 (collective bargaining statute) to be subcontracted?
_ _ YES _ _ NO
Will you introduce and vote for a motion to direct the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to seek passage of legislation which will require full State funding of any State-mandated program?
_ _ YES _ _ NO
Will you introduce and vote for a motion to direct the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to seek passage oflegislation which will provide adequate State funding of public education?
_ _ YES _ _ NO
Do you support a specific school finance reform plan (e.g., School Finance Network (SFN), Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools (WAES), Andrews/Matthews Plan)?
Why/why not? Your Campaign:
Are you, or any of your campaign committee members, active in or supportive (past or present) of the “Get Real”, “ACE”, “Vote No for Change” or similar organizations?
Name ofCampaign Committee/Address/Phone #/Treasurer. List the members ofyour campaign committee.

Madison School District & Madison Teachers Union Reach Tentative Agreement: 3.93% Increase Year 1, 3.99% Year 2; Base Rate $33,242 Year 1, $33,575 Year 2: Requires 50% MTI 4K Members and will “Review the content and frequency of report cards”

via a kind reader’s email (200K PDF):

The Madison Metropolitan School District and Madison Teachers Inc. reached a tentative agreement Tuesday evening on the terms and conditions of a new two-year Collective Bargaining Agreement for MTI’s 2,600 member teacher bargaining unit. Negotiations began April 15.
The Contract, for July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2011, needs ratification from both the Board of Education and MTI. The Union will hold its ratification meeting on Wednesday, October 14, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Alliant Energy Center, Dane County Forum. The Board of Education will tentatively take up the proposal in a special meeting on October 19 at 5:00 p.m.
Terms of the Contract include:
2009-2010 2010-11
Base Salary Raise – 1.00% Base Salary Raise – 1.00%
Total Increase Including Benefits – 3.93% Total Increase Including Benefits – 3.99%
Bachelor’s Degree Base Rate $33,242 Bachelor’s Degree Base Rate $33,575
A key part of this bargain involved working with the providers of long term disability insurance and health insurance. Meetings between MTI Executive Director John Matthews and District Superintendent Dan Nerad and representatives of WPS and GHC, the insurance carriers agreed to a rate increase for the second year of the Contract not to exceed that of the first year. In return, the District and MTI agreed to add to the plans a voluntary health risk assessment for teachers. The long term disability insurance provider reduced its rates by nearly 25%. The insurance cost reductions over the two years of the contract term amount to roughly $1.88 million, were then applied to increase wages, thus reducing new funds to accomplish this.
The new salary schedule increase at 1% per cell, inclusive of Social Security and WRS, amount to roughly $3.04 million. Roughly 62% of the salary increase, including Social Security and WRS, was made possible by the referenced insurance savings.
Key contract provisions include:

    Inclusion in the Contract of criteria to enable salary schedule progression by one working toward the newly created State teacher licensure, PI 34. Under the new Contract provision, one can earn professional advancement credits for work required by PI 34.

  • Additive pay regarding National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, i.e. an alternative for bargaining unit professionals who are not teachers (nurses, social workers, psychologists, et al) by achieving the newly created Master Educator’s License.
  • Continuance of the Teacher Emeritus Retirement Program (TERP).
  • The ability after retirement for one to use their Retirement Insurance Account for insurance plans other than those specified in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This will enable one to purchase coverage specific to a geographic area, if they so choose, or they may continue coverage with GHC or WPS – the current health insurance providers.
    For elementary teachers, the frequency and duration of meetings has been clarified, as have several issues involving planning time. All elementary teachers and all elementary principals will receive a joint letter from Matthews and Nerad explaining these Contract provisions.

  • For high school teachers who volunteer for building supervision, there is now an option to enable one to receive compensation, rather than compensatory time for the service. And there is a definition of what “class period” is for determining compensation or compensatory time.
  • For elementary and middle school teachers, MTI and the District will appoint a joint committee for each to study and recommend the content and frequency of report cards.
    For elementary specials (e.g. art, music) teachers, the parties agreed to end the class and a half, which will mean that class sizes for specials will be similar to the class size for elementary classroom teachers.

  • For coaches, and all others compensated on the extra duty compensation schedule, the additive percentage paid, which was frozen due to the State imposed revenue controls, will be restored.
  • School year calendars were agreed to through 2012-2013.
  • Also, MTI and the District agreed to a definite five-year exemption to the Contract work assignment clause to enable the District to assist with funding of a community-based 4-year-old kindergarten programs, provided the number of said 4-K teachers is no greater than the number of District employed 4-K teachers, and provided such does not cause bargaining unit members to be affected by adverse actions such as lay off, surplus and reduction of hours/contract percentage, due to the District’s establishment of, and continuance of, community based [Model III] 4-K programs. (See note below.)

2009 Madison Teachers, Inc. Candidate Questionnaire

1.2MB PDF File. This document includes responses from Madison School Board seat 1 candidates Arlene Silveira and Donald Gors, Seat 2 candidate Lucy Mathiak and a number of other local and statewide candidates for office in the upcoming April, 2009 election. Via a kind reader’s email.

Did Woke Madison help murder Beth Potter and Robin Carre?

David Blaska: This Wednesday 09-07-22, Khari Sanford will be sentenced in Dane County Circuit Court for the execution-style slaying of Dr. Beth Potter and her husband Robin Carre. They were murdered by a person they had tried to help,” their memorial obituary reads. Khari Sanford was 18 years old on March 30, 2020 when he entered the … Continue reading Did Woke Madison help murder Beth Potter and Robin Carre?

Incumbent Wisconsin Governor proposes $2B in additional K-12 tax & Spending….

Rory Linnane: Evers said his plan for the 2023-25 budget would draw on the state’s projected $5 billion budget surplus while “holding the line” on property taxes.  Evers’ opponent in the November election, Tim Michels, called Evers’ plan “more money and more bureaucracy.”  “The tired, old Evers approach has not worked,” Michels said in a … Continue reading Incumbent Wisconsin Governor proposes $2B in additional K-12 tax & Spending….

Madison School Board approves $2-per-hour wage increase for education assistants

Elizabeth Beyer: Legislative Republicans have defended their decision to keep revenue limits flat by noting Wisconsin schools will be getting $2.3 billion in federal COVID relief aid, known as Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief, or ESSER funds. Madison is anticipating its share will be roughly $66.7 million. School officials have not laid out how … Continue reading Madison School Board approves $2-per-hour wage increase for education assistants

Notes on taxpayer supported Madison High School Construction projects

Elizabeth Beyer: Here are highlights of the work being done currently at Madison’s four main high schools, according to the Madison School District. Notes and links on the recent Madison tax and spending increase referendum The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are … Continue reading Notes on taxpayer supported Madison High School Construction projects

59.9% of Black students in the Madison Metropolitan School District who were enrolled in an AP course in 2017-18 did not take the test.

Wisconsin Policy Forum: Scott Girard: That was the fourth-highest percentage among the 10 districts in the state with the most Black students enrolled in AP courses, behind only Beloit (83.7%), Wauwatosa (82%) and Racine (68.9%). Milwaukee Public Schools, the only Wisconsin district larger than MMSD, saw all student groups have lower rates of opting out … Continue reading 59.9% of Black students in the Madison Metropolitan School District who were enrolled in an AP course in 2017-18 did not take the test.

“The Madison School District did not respond to requests for information regarding the number of students on individual education plans (IEPs)” a bit of deja vu

Elizabeth Beyer: The Madison School District did not respond to requests for information regarding the number of students on individual education plans (IEPs) during the 2021-22 school year. Nor did officials respond to a request for information regarding the total or per-pupil cost to serve special-education students in the last school year. If special-education reimbursement … Continue reading “The Madison School District did not respond to requests for information regarding the number of students on individual education plans (IEPs)” a bit of deja vu

An update on Madison’s Long Term, Disastrous Reading Results

Administration Slides for the School Board (PDF): Forward LA Proficiency (3-5) Participation increased to 87% from 50% in 20-21, nearing pre-pandemic ranges.Overall, 40% of students grades 3-5 scored proficient on Forward ELA While a decrease from 20-21 (43%), scores that year likely inflated by non-random low participation– trends in ELA scores fairly steady or increasing … Continue reading An update on Madison’s Long Term, Disastrous Reading Results

Salary increase discussions in the Madison School District

Scott Girard: Jones’ questions included specific suggestions for using available funding for further increasing the salary schedule instead of what’s currently planned, including new positions like the Village Builders initiative, and cutting district and administrative staff positions that were “difficult to fill for the 2021-22 school year.” District leaders have continually blamed a challenging state budget that … Continue reading Salary increase discussions in the Madison School District

“In the last school year Madison police were called 640 times to Madison’s four high schools”

Dave Cieslewicz: That’s an average of about 3.5 times a day or almost once per day to each school. According to a story in this morning’s Wisconsin State Journal the breakdown is 220 calls to East, 158 to La Follette, 170 to Memorial and 92 to West. In addition to the raw numbers there were … Continue reading “In the last school year Madison police were called 640 times to Madison’s four high schools”

Notes on teacher compensation amidst Madison K-12 tax & spending growth

Elizabeth Beyer: The Madison School Board voted 6-1 in June to adopt the district’s $561.3 million preliminary budget for next school year, which included the 3% base wage increase. Negotiations began in May with MTI requesting the 4.7% increase — the annual inflationary amount and the maximum allowed in bargaining under state law. The district … Continue reading Notes on teacher compensation amidst Madison K-12 tax & spending growth

A look at staff growth amidst enrollment decline in the taxpayer supported Madison K-12 schools

Scott Girard: Despite enrollment dropping over the past five years districtwide, especially during the pandemic, the full-time equivalent (or FTE) staff positions dedicated to those areas have not dropped at the same rate. In student services, for example, the 2017-18 school year featured 105.78 students per staff member in positions including psychologist, social worker, nurse … Continue reading A look at staff growth amidst enrollment decline in the taxpayer supported Madison K-12 schools

High schooler designs new ‘I Voted’ stickers for Madison elections

Scott Girard Katina Maclin won’t be able to vote this fall, but her ideas will be present at every polling place in the city of Madison. The high school junior, who recently moved from Sun Prairie to Glendale, designed two new voting-themed stickers for voters to consider grabbing after filling out their ballot. “It speaks to how … Continue reading High schooler designs new ‘I Voted’ stickers for Madison elections

Notes on renaming Madison’s Jefferson Middle School

Scott Girard: The effort to consider a new name for Madison’s Jefferson Middle School is on pause until October, following low attendance by members of the ad hoc committee appointed for the effort. The School Board appointed the committee in March after Jefferson principal Sue Abplanalp made a renaming request to the board Feb. 28. … Continue reading Notes on renaming Madison’s Jefferson Middle School

Ongoing Taxpayer supported Madison K-12 school spending growth: 2022-2023 budget (amidst declining enrollment)

Elizabeth Beyer: An average home valued at $376,765 could see a property tax increase of up to $106, meaning the school portion of the tax bill would be roughly $3,926 in December, compared with $3,820 this past year. The district’s total property tax levy would increase 2.77% over the previous year, to roughly $366.8 million. … Continue reading Ongoing Taxpayer supported Madison K-12 school spending growth: 2022-2023 budget (amidst declining enrollment)

Notes on Taxpayer supported Madison K-12 spending plans amidst declining enrollment

Scott Girard: While there is a large influx of federal COVID-19 relief funding, officials have expressed hesitancy at using that one-time money for ongoing operational costs like salaries. “You’re going to hear no argument from us that our teachers and our staff deserve better,” LeMonds said at one of MTI’s rallies in May. “The fiscal … Continue reading Notes on Taxpayer supported Madison K-12 spending plans amidst declining enrollment

Teachers say they’re pushed to pass students who skipped class all year

Susan Edelman and Melissa Klein: Administrators at a Queens high school are demanding that teachers pass undeserving students – including some they’ve never even seen, fed-up educators told The Post. The teachers at William Cullen Bryant High School in Long Island City say the pressure comes as the school year is about to end and they are … Continue reading Teachers say they’re pushed to pass students who skipped class all year

Ongoing spending increase discussions in the taxpayer supported Madison Schools (bricks & mortar vs people?), amidst declining enrollment

Scott Girard: Board president Ali Muldrow, who has a conflict of interest in discussing teacher salaries as her husband is a teacher, commented only on the hourly workers’ pay rate Monday, but indicated she strongly supports an increase. “I’m really deeply vested in our ability to substantially shift how we’re compensating hourly wage workers,” Muldrow … Continue reading Ongoing spending increase discussions in the taxpayer supported Madison Schools (bricks & mortar vs people?), amidst declining enrollment

An interview with Madison’s Cherokee Middle School Principle – and recent Secondary Principal of the Year award winner

Scott Girard: One of the biggest things was how we co-created our equity vision. That was a huge piece of it, having our families, our students and our staff really lean in, look at our data, both numerical (and) looking at our interviews with our families, especially families who have not been included in school … Continue reading An interview with Madison’s Cherokee Middle School Principle – and recent Secondary Principal of the Year award winner

Mulligans ignored: The U.S. News and World Report rankings don’t consider any of the scores or metrics from Wisconsin’s public schools since then.

Benjamin Yount: “As proficiency has plummeted under his tenure, Governor Evers is forced to point to outdated data to back up his claims that he has been an effective leader on education,” Will Flanders with the Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty told The Center Square. Flanders added that Gov. Evers’ approach to public schools … Continue reading Mulligans ignored: The U.S. News and World Report rankings don’t consider any of the scores or metrics from Wisconsin’s public schools since then.

Commentary on Madison’s behavior education plan

Scott Girard: Simkin suggested one example is in the student use of cell phones in classrooms, something teachers have expressed concerns about this school year. The BEP already prohibits the use of unauthorized, non-educationally required devices that disrupt learning, but Simkin said that teachers “don’t have what they need to implement this and it’s greatly … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s behavior education plan

K-12 tax & spending climate: Madison spending growth amidst declining enrollment

Elizabeth Beyer: Jones told the board that 67 staff members are leaving this year, but the district is only hiring 10 new staff. Prior to the meeting, Jones noted that school districts of all sizes across Wisconsin are offering base wage increases to their teachers that are near or at 4.7% to keep in line … Continue reading K-12 tax & spending climate: Madison spending growth amidst declining enrollment

“The fact that she was disconnected from that research is evidence of the problem.” Madison….

Dana Goldstein: How Professor Calkins ended up influencing tens of millions of children is, in one sense, the story of education in America. Unlike many developed countries, the United States lacks a national curriculum or teacher-training standards. Local policies change constantly, as governors, school boards, mayors and superintendents flow in and out of jobs. Amid … Continue reading “The fact that she was disconnected from that research is evidence of the problem.” Madison….

Another open records suit filed against Madison School District

Chris Rickert: or the second time in less than two weeks, the Madison School District is being sued over its response to a public records request. The conservative Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, or WILL, filed suit Thursday asking a judge to order the district to release staff training materials entitled “LGBTQA+ 101.” … Continue reading Another open records suit filed against Madison School District

Race and the Taxpayer Funded Madison School District

David Blaska: If you doubt that the Woke Wobblies have taken over Madison’s public schools, we submit the following: School board president Ali Muldrow and immediate past member Ananda Mirilli are accusing Ismael Ozanne, a black man, of racism most foul. They want him to resign (!!!) because police arrested Freedom Inc. spokesperson Jessica Williams … Continue reading Race and the Taxpayer Funded Madison School District

The Education Department chooses teachers unions over poor kids.

Jonathan Chait: Over the last decade, evidence has grown increasingly strong that public charter schools create better educational outcomes, especially for low-income, minority students in cities. The question hovering over the Biden administration has been whether it will encourage and work to improve charter schools, as the Obama administration did, or instead try to smother them, as teachers unions … Continue reading The Education Department chooses teachers unions over poor kids.

Notes on Madison’s School Safety Committee

David Blaska After reading the committee’s meeting summary, a liberal acquaintance tells the Werkes the committee does not intend to address student disruption. “Instead they are only embarking on one extended gab fest, seeking comments from a very carefully curated list of like-minded stakeholders in order ‘to collectively create a shared vision and shared values for … Continue reading Notes on Madison’s School Safety Committee

“At least 2.4 million students in the United States have participated in Reading Recovery”. Madison?

Emily Hanford & Christopher Peak: The fact that students who participated in Reading Recovery did worse in later grades than similar students who did not get the program surprised May. [study] “Was Reading Recovery harmful? I wouldn’t go as far as to say that,” he said. “But what we do know is that the kids … Continue reading “At least 2.4 million students in the United States have participated in Reading Recovery”. Madison?

Notes on renaming Madison’s Jefferson Middle School amidst our long term, disastrous reading results

Scott Girard The Madison Metropolitan School District received 42 proposals for names for Thomas Jefferson Middle School on the city’s west side as officials consider a renaming. Four suggest keeping it as “Thomas Jefferson Middle School” and another would make it simply “Jefferson Middle School,” though the submission makes it clear the author wants it to still … Continue reading Notes on renaming Madison’s Jefferson Middle School amidst our long term, disastrous reading results

Taxpayer Supported Madison School District plans to spend $543M+ during 2022-2023; about $21k/student

Elizabeth Beyer: The district is receiving $70.6 million over the course of three payments. The district’s first installment, ESSER I, was approximately $9.2 million and had been exhausted by the end of the 2020-21 school year. Currently, $39.8 million of the second two installments, ESSER II and III, are written into the 2022-23 preliminary budget. … Continue reading Taxpayer Supported Madison School District plans to spend $543M+ during 2022-2023; about $21k/student

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 system spends $5.6M on literacy curriculum

Scott Girard: In MMSD, 34.9% of students in grades 3-8 scored “proficient” or “advanced” on the statewide Forward Exam in 2018-19, the most recent year the exam was given with a high percentage of students participating. The results were worse for every non-white group of students other than Asians, who had the same percentage as … Continue reading Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 system spends $5.6M on literacy curriculum

Notes on the taxpayer supported Madison School District’s “asynchronous learning” scheme

Scott Girard: In a statement last week, Madison Teachers Inc. put the blame on DPI for the last-minute change from the district. “DPI should understand that to us who have to actually implement this additional work, this move signals the prioritization of compliance above compassion,” MTI president Michael Jones wrote. Jones wrote that the other … Continue reading Notes on the taxpayer supported Madison School District’s “asynchronous learning” scheme

Madison’s literacy disaster, continued: reading recovery’s negative impact on children

Emily Hanford and Christopher Peak The new, federally funded study found that children who received Reading Recovery had scores on state reading tests in third and fourth grade that were below the test scores of similar children who did not receive Reading Recovery.  “It’s not what we expected, and it’s concerning,” said lead author Henry May, director … Continue reading Madison’s literacy disaster, continued: reading recovery’s negative impact on children

Notes on the taxpayer supported Madison school district “equity audit”

Scott Girard “There is a lot of evidence that the state of Wisconsin has the most extreme gaps in opportunity and outcomes based on race and that within Wisconsin, MMSD is often ranked among the worst or the worst in some of these indicators,” MMSD director of research Brianne Monahan said. Jackson said the process … Continue reading Notes on the taxpayer supported Madison school district “equity audit”

Mission vs organization, redux; Madison’s disastrous reading Results

Paul Fanlund: That said, his indictment of liberals in college towns echoes something Gloria Ladson-Billings, a renowned UW-Madison professor emerita, told me for a column last year about liberals and race. “Everyone is for the most part self-interested,” she said. “You can only go so far before people start seeing it as an erosion of something they … Continue reading Mission vs organization, redux; Madison’s disastrous reading Results

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 make up “asynchronous” time

Scott Girard: Lessons and coursework will be available through Seesaw and Google Classroom, with paper copies also available.  “Each school will send families follow-up communication with additional details about asynchronous learning time,” the email states. The district has chosen to use asynchronous learning as its solution. According to an email sent to families Wednesday, K-12 … Continue reading Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 make up “asynchronous” time

“I would say Madison schools were definitely a place where you could be yourself more, and you’re able to explore more,” he said.”

Elizabeth Beyer: “That was my first-ever protest,” he said. “It was remarkable to see people outside of Door 1, outside of the Castle (what students call the Collegiate-Gothic style façade that faces East Washington Avenue) all together coming as one. We actually made change from it.” The protests were organized in response to what students … Continue reading “I would say Madison schools were definitely a place where you could be yourself more, and you’re able to explore more,” he said.”

“Some teachers say they’re doing great, others say they can do better.”

Collin Binkley: Early results of data gathering by some of the country’s biggest school districts confirm what many had feared: Groups of students that already faced learning gaps before the pandemic, including Black and Hispanic students and those from low-income families, appear to be behind in even greater numbers now. In Fairfax County, tests given … Continue reading “Some teachers say they’re doing great, others say they can do better.”

Experts warned COVID would hurt students’ mental health. Now, teachers are living that reality

Jocelyn Gecker: “I don’t want to read about another teenager where there were warning signs and we looked the other way,” said Sen. Anthony Portantino, author of a bill that would require all California middle and high schools to train at least 75% of employees in behavioral health. “Teachers and school staff are on the … Continue reading Experts warned COVID would hurt students’ mental health. Now, teachers are living that reality

Madison West high School Curriculum Practice Notes

“CRT is not taught in schools.” West High School in Madison is teaching the basics of CRT once a month to their entire student body. Called “Regent Pride,” the slides explore the basic tenets of CRT. Multiple concerned parents have contacted me. Thread below: pic.twitter.com/qrsRTe65oU — Dan Lennington (@DanLennington) April 8, 2022 Mandates, closed schools and … Continue reading Madison West high School Curriculum Practice Notes

Civics: Ongoing Decline in Madison School Board Candidates and Voters; Unhealthy

Scott Girard: This year’s election showed lower interest than recent contested races, in both fundraising for School Board races and voters. The number of votes was less than even last year, which featured two seats up for election with both candidates unopposed. Just over 41,000 people voted in those races. The 2020 election, which included the Democratic … Continue reading Civics: Ongoing Decline in Madison School Board Candidates and Voters; Unhealthy

Always interesting 2022 Madison School Board Election Agitation, via SMS

David Blaska has launched a write-in campaign for this seat, supported by former Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health. The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic” 2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the … Continue reading Always interesting 2022 Madison School Board Election Agitation, via SMS

Biden Administration Proposes increased Charter School Regulatory Spaghetti

Will Flanders: Last month, the Biden Administration announced new regulations on the federal Charter Schools Program (CSP). The CSP is designed to offer a funding source for charter schools to expand access for students to high-quality school options, as well as to help schools fund facilities. The regulations are ostensibly designed to create better oversight. … Continue reading Biden Administration Proposes increased Charter School Regulatory Spaghetti

Supporting David Blaska (2022 write in) for Madison School Board; Muldrow Campaign messages

Dave Cieslewicz: I’m voting for David Blaska. God help me. But God help us all if we continue down the path laid out for us by the current board without at least someone to challenge the status quo.  Postscript: This is not just a Madison problem. Liberal San Francisco voters recently recalled three hard-left school … Continue reading Supporting David Blaska (2022 write in) for Madison School Board; Muldrow Campaign messages

Madison’s taxpayer supported schools spend more one time funds on “virtual school” expansion

Scott Girard According to an email sent to board members Tuesday morning, there are currently 286 students enrolled in online programming, with 150 in third through fifth grades and 136 in grades six to 12. When the school year began, there were about 750 requests for virtual instruction in elementary grades and 452 applications for grades … Continue reading Madison’s taxpayer supported schools spend more one time funds on “virtual school” expansion

Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer funded K-12 Governance and Spring 2022, largely unopposed school Board candidates

Elizabeth Beyer: “include instituting law and order in schools, questioning diversity and equity initiatives in curriculum and promoting charter schools. His viewpoint, an outlier among the predominantly left-leaning board, would create diversity of thought if he is elected, he said.” I did not see Madison’s long term, disastrous reading results mentioned in this article. Mandates, closed … Continue reading Commentary on Madison’s taxpayer funded K-12 Governance and Spring 2022, largely unopposed school Board candidates