Resolution to the Supt and School Board
passed by the Seattle Education Association
on November 25, 2002
TESTING AND TEACHING ADVANCED LEARNERS:
The District's Director of Advanced Learning has directed schools for K-8 students to begin teaching "Advanced Learners" to the standards of the next highest grade level. "Advanced Learners" are to be identified via testing of all first grade students. Math and reading are to be taught and graded using the higher standards for these students in every classroom.
WE WOULD LIKE TO BE HEARD FOR A CHANGE. Our response:
As professional educators, we recognize the value of teaching EVERY student to the highest standards of which they are capable. We already INDIVIDUALIZE our teaching as much as we can to meet the needs of ALL students. Unfortunately, we cannot do this to the extent the administration desires because the State and District do not provide us with the resources we need.
1) We need much smaller classes in order to effectively and consistently individualize education, and to teach to varied levels of standards.
2) We need additional compensated time for professional development, curriculum planning, report card preparation, and dialog with our colleagues in order to implement this.
3) We need staff stability in our schools. Ongoing budget cuts and inadequate compensation have resulted in a revolving door of educators who leave to work in less expensive areas or in higher paid states, or who leave the profession altogether. Don't expect our schools to achieve state-of-the art quality when we have to re-establish grade level and subject teams every year due to high turnover.
4) We are working ourselves to the bone. We are already working an average of over 15 hours per week without compensation. We need administrative collaboration with our Association BEFORE additional demands are made on us. We cannot do more with fewer resources, yet that is what we are continually asked to do.
5) We urge you to withdraw this directive, and to meet with our Association to discuss this. In addition, we urge you to join us on January 14 and beyond in Olympia to tell the Governor and Legislature that QUALITY EDUCATION MUST BE ADEQUATELY FUNDED.