THE PCT PLEDGE IS THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF
THE PLAINVIEW-OLD BETHPAGE CONGRESS OF TEACHERS
VOL. XXXXII, NO. 2. SEPT. 20, 2004
RUNNING FROM REALITY
By PCT President Morty Rosenfeld
At the September 13 meeting of the Board of Education, two citizens rose during the public participation portion of the meeting to harangue the Board about what they understand to be the very poor conditions of the districtís running tracks and to demand that the district build an all-weather track facility, a project that the community voted down some fifteen years ago when its price was a mere $300,000.
I had to marvel that anyone in the room would take these people seriously. That is not to say that an all-weather track would not be a wonderful addition to our facilities because it certainly would. It is to say, however, but the latest example of the warped priorities of our district that such a thing could be talked about seriously. In a district in which teachers are asked to accept doing without all of the supplies they need, in a district in which too many of our textbooks are falling apart and too few in number, in a district in which some staff are still working with Commodore and Apple 2E computers and do not have internet access, talk of such luxuries is simply preposterous, and those who advocate such things need to be told that their proposals are preposterous.
They need to be reminded that we are here to teach young people things that educated people are expected to know. They need to be told until they are tired of hearing it and until the lesson is learned, the primary goal of our school district is to educate the children of our community.
The other day at our PCT Executive Board meeting, an elementary teacher member of the board asked the following question: "Could the union do anything to see to it that the elementary classroom teachers have at least two hours a day of uninterrupted time to teach?" (Watch the Pledge for an upcoming on this subject.)
The fact that a teacher has to ask her union officers this question, ought to frighten all who are concerned about the welfare of our district into establishing some clear priorities for recreating the conditions for taking teaching more seriously.
NEA PAC FUND-RAISER
At their September 14 meeting, the PCT Executive Board voted to endorse the Kerry/Edwards ticket in the presidential election and to undertake a fund raising drive for the National Education Association Fund for Children and Public Education, our national organizationís political action fund.
The Executive Board based their decision on the need to support candidates for federal office who are supportive of the need of public education, whether they are Republicans or Democrats. NEA political action money is given to candidates who have a clear voting record supportive of public schools and the people who work in them.
PCT President Morty Rosenfeld spoke of the need to stop the trend toward privatizing our nationsís schools, the need to stop the draining of public funds to charter schools, the need to fully fund the IDEA (special education law) and the need to amend the so-called No-Child Left Behind Act which threatens even high performing districts like POB.
Members are asked to give generously and to use the special envelopes provided for this purpose, being sure to fill them out carefully following the instruction sheet provided by the PCT office. The Executive Board voted a suggested contribution of $20. No contribution can exceed $50.
Upon a recommendation of the PCT Officers, Lauren Harple, an English teacher at Kennedy High School, was appointed by the PCT Executive Board to the position of Trustee of The Welfare Fund. Harple replaces Sharon Lasher, also of Kennedy, who resigned over the summer for personal reasons.
The Board of Trustees of the Welfare Fund consists of three representatives from the PCT and three members of the Board of Education. The PCT ís representatives are PCT President Morty Rosenfeld, Michele Macedonio of Pasadena and now Lauren Harple. Board of Education Trustees are Ginger Lieberman, Cheryl Dender and Evy Rothman.
The PCT Executive Board also appointed Darlene Curran of Mattlin Middle School to the middle school seat on the Staff Development Committee replacing David Gestwick who was elected Head SRC Rep for the POB Middle School.
Kennedy Social Studies teacher Martin Buchman was appointed to the newly formed Academic Standards Committee. He and PCT President Morty Rosenfeld will meet with Superintendent Marty Brooks and Deputy Superintendent Pat Kriss and PTA Council President Lori Weinstein and an as yet unnamed PTA representative to plan how to go about addressing the subject of our districtís academic standards. This group will serve as the nucleus of a growing number of committee members from across the grades. PCT members who would be interested in serving on this committee are asked to let the PCT office know of their interest.
The following article appeared in the May edition of the Pledge. As there are still some openings on the Title IX Committee, we reprint it here, hoping that it receives more interest than it did at the end of last year.
After a series of intense discussions between the PCT and the District, we have mutually agreed on the direction our Title IX Committee will take into the future. The Committee, for those newer to the District, was established in 1972 to work with the Title IX Compliance Officer to ensure that gender equity became a reality in POB.
Over these 30 years there have been many changes, actually a near complete overhaul of our course and sport offerings to bring them in line with the requirements of the law.
For next year, the PCT has worked with the District to make a plan of expanded scope for this committee. It is clear that gender equity will continue to be one of the subjects the committee should oversee. In addition, the committee will be charged with overseeing the issues of gender identification, sexual orientation and sexual harassment.
Committee members will have the task of sensitizing staff members and parents as well as students to the subjects of gender equity, sexual harassment, gender identification/sexual orientation. They will also act as liaisons to student committees in the buildings that deal with these subjects as well as liaisons to sports teams, coaches and Boosters.
The Committee members will be leaders in the buildings in fighting inequities, harassment, and discrimination. They will be responsible for generating ideas at committee meetings and bringing these ideas to the buildings on a regular basis.
It is expected that for 2004-05 the Committee will meet five times during the year. Meetings in the past have taken place between 1:30 and 3:00 on Wednesday and each building was entitled to two representatives.
If you are a PCT member who feels passionately about these issues and wants some new and exciting work to do representing the teachers and students in your building, call the PCT to volunteer for the committee. People who volunteered in June do not need to reapply.
NEA/NEW YORKACCESS CARDS
By now every PCT member who was with us last year should have received an NEA New York Access Card good for an astonishing number of discounts on commonly purchased goods and services throughout the United States. They should also have received an instruction sheet for activating their cards. Anyone who didnít receive a card is asked to contact the PCT office.
Members who are new to the district will receive their cards in a month or two.
2004-05 CONTRACT SURVEYS
PCT Contract Surveys should have reached each member of our union. This is a yearly audit we do on the extent to which major provisions of our contracts are being enforced in the schools. PCT members are asked to carefully fill out these forms and return them to their SRC Reps, paying particular attention to accurately recording their programs.
When they arrive at the PCT Office, Grievance Chair Judi Alexanderson scrutinizes each one to make sure our members are receiving what they are contractually supposed to get.
If members are concerned about any building problem whether contractual or not, this is an opportunity to bring it to Judiís attention and to see if a remedy can be fashioned.
PCT PARTY COMING SOON
PLAN TO BE THERE
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 27
4:00 PM TO 7:00 PM
NORTH RITZ CLUB IN SYOSSET
CONTINUOUS FINGER FOODS
WINE, BEER AND SODA
MUSIC AND DANCING
FOR THE UNHEARD OF PRICE OF $15
SEE YOUR SRC REP TODAY
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