.

Columnist Campaigns For High School Post

If elected Jerry Heverly will serve . . . but he needs the votes of his fellow teachers.

 

(Editor's note: This column is written by High School English teacher Jerry Heverly. Its tag line is inspired by education blogger Joe Bower who says that when his students do an experiment, learning is the priority. Getting the correct answer is entirely secondary.)

            The School Site Council is a sort of board of directors for the high school. Membership consists of teachers, administrators, parents, and students. They meet once a month.

            Three years ago I volunteered to sit on the Council for a two-year term. Last year there were more candidates than openings so I ran for another term and was defeated. I continued to attend the meetings this past year.

            The principle duty of the Council is to approve a budget of about three hundred thousand dollars. But, in truth, the Council has no independent staff and generally follows the lead of the school principal, who generates a proposal that the Council modifies.  

            I’ve never heard of anyone running for this office. There are no candidates’ speeches or campaigning.

            I thought it might be interesting if I tried to change that. So I’ve penned my own “Candidate’s Position Paper”.  My thinking is, if folks who know my views elect me then I can feel that I represent more than just myself. If I’m defeated then I know that my opinions are not representative of teachers at the school.

            I’m looking for a mandate.

            Here is what I plan to put in each teacher’s mailbox tomorrow morning.

San Leandro Teachers:

            School Site Council elections are upcoming. I am a candidate for one teacher position. I thought it would be prudent if I talked about my own views on the issues that will come up in Council in 2012-13.

            The Council controls a budget of just over $300,000. High School Prinicpal Linda Grainger presents a proposal and the Council has the power to approve or disapprove.

            The most exciting development on the Council in the three years that I’ve been a member or observer has been talk of creating a fundraising mechanism within the Council.

             If the Council could raise $50,000 or more this year—which seems possible based on what I’ve heard at meetings--then there would be money, possibly, to support my other idea.

            I voted against Reading Apprenticeship two years ago. Since then we’ve spent approximately $100,000 on RA with another large sum likely to be allocated this year. (Reader’s Apprenticeship is a teacher education program. Approximately twenty staff per year received training from an outside vendor at a cost of $50,000/year.)

            Some of my closest friends within the faculty are enthusiastic advocates of RA. Yet I still think such expenditures aren’t a good long-term investment.

            Hardly any teacher at SLHS has not had at least one experience with outside training. You leave the sessions very excited and eager to try out what you’ve learned.

            And my experience is that the benefits (and I acknowledge there are some) of are ephemeral. I think there is an inherent weakness in top down efforts like RA.

            My idea is to take the $50,000 from RA, add it to another $50,000 raised by the Council, and create a School Site Council Innovation Fund. Teachers or groups of teachers could then apply to the Fund for grants to carry out worthwhile projects intended to benefit students.

            For me the chief benefit of this approach is that it encourages bottom up initiatives. It also would mean that the people responsible for any ventures would be here every day to create conditions for lasting change.

            I believe there are tremendously talented teachers here whose skills haven’t been really tapped because we constantly look outside for the magic system.

            A wise person at the last Council meeting said that we have “bet the farm” on one approach to raising test scores--pacing guides, and other efforts to get us all doing the same thing, in the same way.

            I think an effort to nurture some different ideas, and to provide the funds for true, self-generated innovation might offer a safety net if our present approach doesn’t work out.

            If you support some or all of these ideas I hope you’ll vote for me.

Read other columns from the Entirely Secondary archive.

 

Thomas Clarke October 05, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Jerry, I support your vote against spending money on educating teachers. Waste of money if there ever was a waste. Spending the money on helping a family keep their kids in school would be a lot better. Spending money on kids so that they have more to read is a good idea. Voting against increased fees is a good idea as is voting for anyone other than an incumber is a good idea. It is time to do something different. The present does not work.
xigua November 13, 2012 at 08:59 AM
When Shaun Rein drives to http://www.coachoutletonlinexc.net/ Coach Factory Outlet Shanghai's Pudong International Airport, about 10 minutes outside the airfield, he begins to notice a line of http://www.louisvuittonoutletam.net/ Louis Vuitton Purses cars including Rolls Royces and Bentleys parked along the side of the highway.Why? It's because http://www.coachoutletstoreze.com/ Coach Factory Outlet these people, who can spend a million dollars on a car, don't want to spend $2 on parking at the garage,said http://www.guccibeltsoutletds.net/ Gucci Belts Rein, managing director at China Market Research Group.For Chinese leaders, the nation's newfound wealth represents http://www.coachfactoryonlinefn.net/ Coach Factory Outlet a bumpy road as they try to steer the economy on a new path. The ruling Communist Party continues meetings this http://www.coachfactoryonlineae.com/ Coach Factory Outlet week for the 18th Party Congress, where it is expected to select and Li Keqiang to become the president http://www.coachoutletb1.com/ Coach Factory Online and premier, respectively,
xiaohui123 November 14, 2012 at 07:51 AM
789with which a consensus emerged within hours t http://www.coachfactoryoutletonlinebc.org air force, Western governments have shown little appetite for http://www.coachoutletod.com new military ventures in such a complex Arab state.nd Russia and China, which have blocked http://www.coachfactoryoutletbo.net previous moves against Assad in the United Nations http://www.coachoutletpn.com swiftly to alter positions which call for dialogue with Assad and view opposition groups http://www.coachfactorystoredo.com as being in thrall to the West.egional power Iran, in whose Shi'ite brand of http://www.coachfactoryoutletsp.com Islam Assad's Alawite minority has its religious roots, remains firmly behind the president http://www.coachoutletstorefb.com in a conflict which pits him against majority Sunni Muslims supported by Iran's http://www.coachoutletstoreonlinert.com Sunni Arab adversaries.After long arguments over whether and how to form the new http://www.coachoutletonlinelc.net opposition assembly, the speed with whichttp://www.coachoutletonlinelon.com that Khatib stood unopposed for the post of president was notable and may encourage its http://www.coachoutletonlinelsa.com supportersHis deputies will be Riad Seif, a veteran dissident who had proposed the U.S.-backed initiative http://www.coachoutletrf.com to set up an umbrella group uniting groups inside and outside Syria, and Suhair al-Atassi, one http://www.coachfactoryonlinebp.com of the
liming6622@126.com November 15, 2012 at 11:10 AM
http://coachfactoryoutlet.luxury-best.com Coach Factory Outlet http://www.coachfactoryoutletline.com Coach Factory Online

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »