Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Setting the story straight on Planet Neshaminy

NFT Prez Louise Boyd took out a full page ad in today's Courier Times (see below) where she embarks on a mission of "setting the story straight." I read about life according to Ms. Boyd, and the first thing that came to mind was ... OMG, is she for real?! I don't know whether to admonish her for such an amazing piece of fiction, or if I should thank her for being the PR gift that keeps on giving.

Ok, let us all set the record straight . . .

The first point Ms. Boyd makes is that the District wants you to believe the NFT is led by a bunch of "money-grubbing, fat cat, out-of-town union activists." I don't even know how to counter that because not once have I heard anyone from the District or the Board even suggest that. So if it will make her feel better, let's all agree that this is locally-based "money-grubbing."

Next on Ms. Boyd's indigestible menu is the accusation that the District has lied about its finances, expenses and budgets for past 35 years. Of course she never offers a single shred of proof to her claim, but then again why would she want to allow something as silly as FACTUAL, VERIFIABLE INFORMATION to get in the way of her rhetoric? I cannot even refute her claim because she hasn't put up a single fact that I can counter.

Ms. Boyd goes on to explain how WTC isn't harmful to your child's education, and instead defends it as neither "arrogance or lack of caring." She calls it "negotiating." I don't even have to comment . . . I'll let the parents of our students handle this one.

My very favorite line follows immediately after - "Yes, we understand times are hard. but don't forget, that just like you, we have families and we have bills and we pay taxes ..." Yeah, how about those school tax bills, Louise? Those suckers are really expensive! I wonder why?

The ad finishes with a plea to the community to get the Board to drop its one-way approach. As our Board President Ritchie Webb has said time and time again, our guiding principle throughout these negotiations has been that we will err on the side of the kids. That's it. That is our "take it or leave it" approach. If anyone out there feels we should act differently, please let us know.


NFT Ad 10272010

7 comments:

Matt Pileggi said...

The board is negotiating on behalf of the taxpayers who elected them. Your job is to create a contract that establishes what we consider fair compensation for our expectations. You are not creating a contract that must compare favorably to the previous contract. You are allowed to take a one-way approach in certain matters because certain items are non-negotiable. Just because you are in negotiations doesn't mean everything is negotiable. As both employers and elected representatives, your duty is to commit to a fair contract as seen from the taxpayer's perspective - and as a taxpayer I say you are doing a good job.

calfonso97 said...

And AMEN to THAT!!!
And these are the same 'abused' teachers who are giving our children an unacceptable (substandard) education as CLEARLY shown by PSSA scores, but who are being compensated as the HIGHEST in Pennsylvania?...
Is this the proper time to ask for a PA District Attorney's comprehensive audit of NFT finances over the same 35 years, looking for 'improper gifts' or cash disbursed to prior School Boards? Just a thought...

Brian said...

Dear NFT,

Thank you for your extremely uninformative $1500 full page ad in the BCCT today. I only wish that the people that work for my company could join together and waste $1500 to try and get ourselves a raise, retro pay, and free benefits. But we can't afford to. We much like you have gone over 2 years with out a raise, and we have been working our butts off this entire time in an attempt to both keep our jobs, but to also improve the state of our company. We are working with our employer to strengthen the company so both ourselves as individual as well as the company as a whole can begin to grow again and become financially more stable. Do I want a raise...Yes. Do I deserve a raise...HELL YES I DO! Do I blame my employer for the fact that I can't get a raise right now? Honestly I do to a point. My employer became lazy and complacent. They felt that everything was going so well that we couldn't fall on hard times. They were obviously wrong. But look at me and my fellow employees. Do we slander our employer in public? NO! Do we throw fits in front our customers? NO! Perhaps the NFT could learn something from my company and our employees. Perhaps you could learn to not be so childlike in your stance. My five year old tries to stomp her feet and complain too, but I put her in timeout and she learns. Why can't the NFT learn?

Again teachers I beg you. I know there are those of you out there that hate WTC, and don't support the entire vision of the NFT. Please find your voice, rally your peers, ask for the support of the parents, and I assure you we can begin to change the status of these negotiations. We can also help you get back to being who you wanted to be when you began this profession. We want to back you, but first you must step out of the shadows.

Lynne said...

Now that the BCCT has finally printed an article in the newspaper about the allegations of the BOARD MEMBER THREATENING A STUDENT, what is going to be done about this? 2 weeks ago, you wrote on this blog that you do not comment on anything unless it has been deemed to have substance by the BCCT or the Board Meetings. As I AND SEVERAL others on the BCCT Blog have pointed out, there are many witnesses...several of whom were students to this incident....just as there apparently were in the case of the 2 teachers. There were no criminal complaints in the case with the teachers(that I am aware of), but the Board still took appropriate action with the teachers (according to the BCCT). There IS a criminal complaint (and witnesses) in this case. SO, when is this Board member, who did not just argue IN FRONT of students, but WITH A STUDENT going to be asked to step down? I am TIRED of hearing EVERYONE talk about "erring on the side of the students". THIS is the Board's opportunity to "err on the side of the student". PLEASE STEP UP, and STAND UP FOR THE STUDENT!!!!!!

Dawn said...

The only thing I could see in this add was Louise Boyd trying to justify her own greed. She claims the teachers have earned their salary and benefits, well I disagree! The salary and benefits the teachers receive were negotiated for, if they truly earned them then their salary increases would be based on job performance and not just because the contract calls for it. If the teachers want an increase in salary than they should increase the PSSA test results.

KClarinet said...

If you want to evaluate teacher performance, find something that really indicates what students know. Do you realize that the only subjects included in the PSSA test battery are English, Writing, Math and Science? And the only two of those that count toward AYP (which is the only measure you've ever read about in the Courier) are English and Math. How would you ever know how teachers in Science, Social Studies, the arts, physical education and anything else included in Neshaminy's program are being taught well? Or shall we just throw everything but Math and English out?

We went through a lot of this when Dr. Kadri was forced from the district. AYP is a red herring designed by politicians who have agendas other than education in mind.

If people truly want merit-based teacher salaries, the first thing on the agenda needs to be to find some method of measuring teacher performance that covers everyone and doesn't take every bit of responsibility for learning off the student and place it 100% on teachers.

Langhorne said...

Calfonso, the BCCT reported that Neshaminy's students had the highest increase in standardize testing only second to Council Rock.

Also, the "$1500 ad" was paid for by teacher unions dues. Why does that cost concern you?