Friday, March 14, 2008

Notes from Board Meeting, 3/11/08

This meeting wil be re-broadcast on Channel 96 on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm, Fridays at 9:00 am and Saturdays/Sundays at 2:00 pm.

The below notes are my personal notes and are not intended to be all-inclusive or official minutes for the Board of Education meetings and are provided as a request from my supporters and the general public in a personal effort to be more transparent. Although I have diligently tried to make these notes as unbiased and accurate as possible, I am only human and do make mistakes.

Superintendent - Report

  • Science fair and Spelling Bee
  • Read Across America
  • Senior Citizens Prom
  • Middle School Transition Dinners
  • Math Challenges, History Fair, music competitions, art show, DI
  • Japan Bunkyo University partnership
  • SAT?ACT podcast
  • New high school

Board Members - MABE Presentation

  • Carrington - Black Saga competition at Indian Head. two teams going to state
  • Carrington - First Tech Challenger - invite middle schools next year
  • Wise - Stone playing at Comcast center
  • Cook - Spelling Bee kudos
  • Pedersen - Legislative update - Letter from Board to say "yes" to public school funding; no cuts to Gov. budget
  • Bullying bills - NO
  • Labor relations - NO
  • Physical education mandates - NO
  • disabled students in athletics - NO
  • HSA Bills - NO
  • Richmond - state supt. meeting report on bridge to excellence act
  • Abell - MABE nominating committee

EACC - Update (Report not available yet)

  • Teacher shortage Task force
  • wants $60,000 starting salary with quick climb to $100,000
  • BOE to pay $75,000 to fully fund 5 students to U of MD
  • Sabbaticals - pay teachers to go back to school to become certified in critical areas
  • Make some teaching jobs 12 months
  • offer free daycare and affordable housing
  • tuition reimbursement
  • DOES NOT support differentiated pay or bonuses for shortage areas

Student Board Member - (report not available yet)

  • Recruiting and electing of officers for next year
  • Senior citizens prom
  • MASE convention

Deputy Superintendent - Pupil Personnel Workers

  • See Report

Instruction Report - Capturing Kids Hearts Report; Presentation

  • Implemented at Stone
  • Flippen Group
  • Training program for staff
  • Very good
  • Abell requests implementation and training for all staff

Supporting Services Report - CIP Update

  • Everything on schedule and running smoothly

Legislative Update - (report not available yet)

Wise motioned; Pedersen seconded to send a letter to Gov. in support of educational funding

Bailey amended; Abell seconded to receive a draft via fax for approval

Yes = Abell, Bailey, Cook, Pedersen; No = Carrington, Wade, Wise


Motion with amendment

Yes = All



  • Abell move public forum to 6:00


  • Task Form Committee Report submitted
  • Abell - requests placement on Board Docs
  • Bailey - Considers this an internal memo, not to be made public
  • Abell - documents presented during public session are public documents
  • Will be placed on Board Docs

6:30 - Public Forum (Must sign-up prior to 6:30)

  • None

Action Items

All board members voted unanimously for all action items.


Anonymous said...

Something more has to be done to address teacher retention. I don't know if the answer is salary scale, other types of benefits i.e. daycare or what. I know the teacher shortage is critical in Charles County as it is in most of Maryland.

The UM system simply does not graduate enough teachers thus making it necessary to recruit from other parts of the country. The challenge is then keeping them here. Salary is perhaps part of the answer though certainly not the only missing piece of the puzzle.

I think to a great extent, teachers leave because of quality of life issues. Cost of living, separation from friends and family, etc. also play a role.

Anonymous said...

Teachers leave our county and the state as a whole due to poor working conditions.
How many times does this have to be said? Teachers don't go into the teaching profession for the money.
Either they've defaulted due to changing majors and being forced out of technical fields such as engineering, mathematics, computer science, etc., or just don't know what to do.

Current teachers get out of Maryland due to the putrid retirement plan, lack of support from administration, or the deviants that line the classrooms in the lower level classes.

Certification in the state of Maryland leaves no wiggle room as far as obtaining a better teaching job as a professor at a four-year university. Terminal degrees are required, and talented people with terminal degrees certainly aren't going to teach in public schools, unless they're plain crazy.

Teachers in this county are treated like crap, either by students or the administration. And, jobs that should be given to more experienced teachers are somehow doled out to young ones, that have not cut their teeth yet.
This leads to trouble, big time.

im1ru2 said...

Didn't the last contract address this? The new retirement and pay increase and other incentives?

No mandatory meetings on Fridays or Thursdays if Friday is a holiday? Eliminating steps 1-4 (for most teacher levels in the system)? Automatic increase in pay each year? Tuition assistance? Housing assistance? Starting salary over the state median ( MD:$37k, CC teachers, $42K)?

Everyone benefits from having excellent teachers; past, present and future. But we can not keep just putting dollars on the "problem" of the shortage - and I don't hear (or read) that anonymous is ONLY saying that is the solution - but the Charles County teachers union is along with certain board members and commissioners, members of the public and the superintendent as well as most of the teaching workforce.

Not to mention the tax and spend-a-holics in Annapolis who all seem to think throwing more money into salaries would cure everything wrong with our educational system that ails us currently. Too bad for them.

While most teachers do wonderful things, they are paid nicely for the job they do and are compensated very handsomely for their hard work under the terms they are contracted currently.

If there are workplace problems the administration and the union should champion those challenges head-on post-haste not only to improve the better working condition of every teacher but to improve the better learning environment of every child in Charles County. This is their first and foremost mandate, in case they are not aware of it.

Schools are not about Day Care for teachers, but about providing the best education possible for the children of Charles County.

That point – the point of education really being about providing for the best possible education possible for Charles County children - is often missing from the substance of most talking points. Some might say it is "given" or can't happen unless the teachers have what they need first, but I disagree and would say education is about the kids first regardless; period.

That is not pious nor in your face. And a lot of teachers feel the same the way and actually go out day in and day out and do the job regardless of the minutia and the politics AND THE MONEY but do get dragged down by the relentless paperwork, testing, government policies and political games played all to the detriment of the individual child.

Let the money follow the child. Keep the unions out of the mix. Keep politics out of education. And allow our kids to be educated however and wherever and by whomever they choose to be educated.

Then and only then we will eliminate the problems being discussed here as well as being 24 in the world in Science, 23 in Math and on and on. All that for spending more than any other country in the free world!