Thursday, September 30, 2010

Teachers could face disciplinary action

From today's Courier Times . . .

Neshaminy High School teachers who refuse to write any letters of recommendation to colleges on behalf of students could face disciplinary action, according to the district's superintendent. As of now, teachers are writing the letters, but some have done so only after complaints from students and specific direction from principal Rob McGee, officials said Wednesday.

Residents have expressed concern that providing the recommendations would be one of the actions affected by the teachers union's work-to-contract directive - which instructs teachers to work to the letter of their contract to show how much extra they do.

"At some point, the board will realize that bullying the staff and rallying the public is no way to achieve a mutually beneficial end to this dispute," NFT President Louise Boyd said in an e-mail to the newspaper Wednesday. "The certified staff is enduring the board's wrath and the public's anger, none of which seems to serve the students they claim they are worried about or (the) community. It (is) time to stop the posturing and actually begin negotiations."

Superintendent Louis Muenker on Wednesday said that although writing the letters is not specifically included in the teachers' job description in the last contract, he and the board believe that "it comes part and parcel with what teachers should do in their profession."

Muenker said he has not yet discussed with the school board what potential disciplinary actions could be taken against teachers who refuse to write any letters but said it would likely be a progressive approach. Acts of insubordination, he said, are usually dealt first with a letter of warning placed in a teacher's file and, depending on the violation or number of offenses, could eventually lead to a suspension.

"We don't have any semblance right now as to what we'll do if (a teacher) refuses (to write recommendations)," Muenker said. "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

To read the complete article, click here.


KClarinet said...

The flip side of this is that there will be pressure and possibly threats of disciplinary action against teachers who balk at writing recommendations for students whom they truly feel they can't recommend to a college for any number of reasons. Are disciplinary measures going to be threatened next if the recommendation isn't glowing enough? There may be no middle road here for public consumption, although Mr. McGee may be trying to walk one quietly in his case-by-case handling of this. But the public implication that teachers be required to write a recommendation for every student who asks for one is a little frightening in itself.

All of which is why the NFT's direction to teachers not to write recommendations was tactically foolish. It has become just another issue in a continuing process of oneupmanship on both sides.

Russ said...

R. Smith said:

Everyone is frustrated with the stalled contract negotiations between the Board and NFT. Here are some facts as I see it:
1. Only the Board can determine when to meet...the NFT has no say...negotiating once a month is do you expect to resolve anything this way?
2. Ask yourself what you would do if your employer refused to negotiate with you in good faith for more than 2 1/2 years while you kept doing everything whether being paid or not
3. It's scary to me that the community is following a person who gets up in front of the Board and threatens to kill the former Board, thinks that there is a special secret bell system in the schools that the teachers listen to for instruction, who blames the world educational decline of the US partially on Neshaminy, who wants mandatory drug testing of all the teachers because he knows some could be addicted, who knows firsthand that at least 20-30% of the teachers are totally incompetent, etc., etc......unbelieveable!!

The Board is the ONLY group that can resolve this..please tell them to get back to the table!