FCEA Partners with Caulk’s Blueprint for Success

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Superintendent Caulk’s Blueprint for Success not only includes action items for district staff, but also includes 3 partnerships with FCEA.

Under Pillar 4 (Great Staff), those include:

  • Strategy 8: National Board Certification – we are working with FCPS to bring back the mentor and cadre supports for NBCT candidates in Fayette County. The first informational meeting will be September 8th at 5:00 p.m. in Conference C at IAKSS.
  • Strategy 7: New Teacher Induction – many of our FCEA members and leaders are serving as New Teacher Induction Cadre leaders. These dynamic leaders will lead small cadres of new teachers during the school year to provide support during the critical first year.
  • Strategy 11: Peer Assistance and Review – This system has been implemented successfully in many places around the country. The system gives educators the opportunity be directly supported by other classroom teachers who provide targeted intentional support for either new or struggling teachers. This year is an exploration year for us, so more information will be coming as we put the program together.

ESSA Replaces NCLB: Monthly Updates This Year

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In each addition of The Voice, FCEA President Jessica Hiler will provide an update on the current status of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

ESSA was signed into law on December of 2015 and replaced the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law that had been in effect since 2002. Thee new law was signed after unprecedented activism by NEA members. There were over 284,000 emails to Congress, 23,000 phone calls to legislators, and 3,000 face-to-face meetings with members of Congress by our members, all in an effort to enact a new law and undo the damage done under NCLB.

The Every Student Succeeds Act is an OPPORTUNITY, not a magic bullet. Some of the major problems with NCLB that we seek to correct with ESSA is the test and punish culture. Schools are designated as successes or failures based on one single test score. ESSA provides the opportunity for states to engage stakeholders in the decision-making regarding student assessments. To this end, our KEA President, Stephanie Winkler, is currently serving on the Assessment Committee for KDE that will create a new accountability system for Kentucky.

In addition, ESSA brings with it the opportunity to use what NEA refers to as the “Opportunity Dashboard” to hold schools accountable. This dashboard would measure things like test scores, graduation rates, English Language Proficiency, class size, access to Professional Development for staff, etc. to give a more well-rounded picture of the ability of schools to grow students’ achievement.

The ESSA law is very complex, and currently the regulations (the real “meat” to the law) are still being written. As the regulations are released, we will provide additional updates to keep our members informed.

Make Your Voices Heard: Superintendent Meetings

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Every month, the FCEA Board of Directors meets with Superintendent Caulk to discuss district-wide issues that affect its members. We will share the notes from these meetings within a week of the meeting, so that members can keep up with our progress on these issues. If you have an concern that you would like to see on the agenda, please share that with your Building Rep so that he or she can bring those issues to the monthly Building Rep meeting.

Just the Facts: FCEA President in Action

For most members, it’s hard to fully comprehend just what Jessica Hiler, FCEA President, handles as part of her organizational duties. Here’s a small taste of some of this year’s obligations. She said she finally stopped typing because there’s no way to list it all…

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President Jessica Hiler chats with Daryl Love, FCPS School Board member, at the Read Across America event.

 

  • School visits: roughly 60
  • School Board Meetings: 24 (2x per month, including Planning Meetings)
  • Committees (KEA, FCPS, etc…)
  • Participated on the FCPS Staffing Task Force, ESSA (KEA), FCPS Certified Evaluation Plan, FCPS  Budget and Staffing, Family Reunion Planning, FCPS Compliance Hotline, FCPS New Teacher Induction, FCPS NBCT Cadre Planning, and FCPS Audit selection
  • KEA Lobby Team (2X per week during the legislative session)
  • Meeting with Manny – 2x per month
  • FCEA sponsored Student Growth Goal Training
  • ESSA Training in DC
  • Worked with superintendent and HR on sub issue
  • Meeting with KY Commissioner of Education
  • Meeting with FCEA Board of Directors: 1x per month
  • Meeting with FCEA Building Representatives: 1x per month
  • Special Events:
    • Winter Gathering, Parade, Dance Blue, Read Across America, Retirement Dinner
  • Individual Member issues — a huge chunk of her time commitment!

 

Stay Alert. Stand Firm. Speak up!

financial-concept-pensionDue in large part to the activism of KEA active and retired members, the KTRS pension system received a much-needed infusion of cash in this year’s budget from the Legislative Assembly. KTRS will receive $973M towards the unfunded Annual Required Contribution (ARC).

Other pension-related items were:

  • House Bill 271, which requires all state retirement systems to report information on their members or members’ beneficiaries to the state Public Pension Oversight Board each fiscal year.
  • House Bill 238, a bill that creates a “permanent fund” for public pensions funded in the Executive Branch budget bill, or HB 303. It also requires an actuarial audit every five years to be conducted on the state retirement systems.

While we are pleased to see a commitment made to addressing pension funding, there’s still a long way to go before the system is secure. It is imperative that all of us continue to stay alert, stand firm, and speak up about our retirement security. Since most Kentucky educators receive little to no Social Security, it is vital the state honor the promises made at the start of our careers.

To illustrate the importance of speaking up and standing firm … during the General Assembly, one legislator said that he had stacks and stacks of phone messages and emails — all from teachers — and that didn’t even count the phone calls that couldn’t get through because voicemail and inbox were full.

We must all stay alert over the next year. Among the issues that will crop back up or surge into prominence include pension security, charter schools, standardized testing, and student and teacher safety. Just keep educating yourself on these topics by following FCEA’s social media accounts.

We must all stand together!