Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Debate on Make-Up Days

Veteran ICEers Kaufman, Fiorillo and Eterno respond to the comment below suggesting kids will benefit from the make-up days. Yes, there is conflict/guilt for some teachers who try to balance between teacher interest and student interest. Frankly, given the BloomKleinCott running of the schools the more time kids are out of schools the better off they are. (Just joking for the humorless out there).

What do I still love about the crew in ICE? No pussyfooting around when it comes to going head to head with the UFT/Unity leadership. A good reason why we keep ICE alive even though no longer an official caucus challenging Unity in elections with most ICE people working in MORE which is still finding its voice and seems more circumspect in the way it addresses Unity. At times there is impatience amongst ICEers with what is purceived as a level of political correctness. But that may be due to the number of vets who have been battling Unity for, in my case, over 40 years. My view is that the new gen of union activists just have to go through the learning process to see the vichy/snakelike/sellouts they are dealing with.

I believe MORE is taking a strong position on this issue by publishing Arthur Goldstein's great letter.

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Still no internet and running out of extension cords snaking up from garage so I can't do any formatting.
By the way, Julie, Jack and I had a great experience speaking to a class at Brooklyn College last night - even when Julie handed Jack to me while she went to the restroom - I think the first time I ever held a baby. More on that later.
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Initial Comment on make-up days:

we should ask ourselves the following questions:

1) Does this benefit the students?
and 
2) Is this a "principled" question?

For me, I think that having the time in school (if there are not too many teachers missing) will benefit the students and that this is NOT a principled question.

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Jeff Kaufman:

I don't know what principled means in this context but this decision and the process used to make the decision must be viewed in a much larger way. First, the membership had no voice….not even a show at the DA in this decision even though it direct affects us.
 
Were alternatives considered…working a few minutes extra?
 
Is there equity with the way Irene was handled?
 
Being from high school, how does this help students? Many will not benefit from making up missed instructions since the courses they are taking this semester will not be the same they are taking next semester.
 
I wonder how much our students will really benefit. Don't we have experience with how extra time has helped (37 ½ minutes?)
 
Obviously I enjoy my vacations and believe it or not use the time for professional development which will not be possible now.
 
Few if any of these considerations were ever made. Rather, just like the DOE decisions are made and we must follow. Nice.
 
Jeff
 
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Michael Fiorillo

I'm with Jeff on this one. For high school students, the benefits of this  are few to none, since they are not making up time lost this semester.

The students' needs are infinite, so should we be therefore give up all our vacation time - without discussion or consideration of alternatives - for "principled" reasons?

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James Eterno

As usual, the UFT gives in without a fight.  The latest giveback is to lose three days from midwinter break this year.

If anyone quotes the state law on this, just tell them we have enough days where we work.  We have too many professional development days.  Some could be turned into instruction and we meet state regulations.  I blogged about it so please comment.

http://iceuftblog.blogspot.com/2012/11/we-can-easily-make-up-lost-sandy-time.html

James

Cheers,
Norm Scott

Twitter: normscott1

Education Notes
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