Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Teacher wants Wednesday walks of support

After reading one teacher's open letter to legislators,  Marie Calabro,  a fourth-grade teacher at Beverly Woods Elementary,  came up with her own plan to keep educators'  plight in legislators'  minds:  Walk to the Sidewalk Wednesdays.

Calabro
"Every Wednesday beginning on Aug. 28 and continuing until legislation has changed, every concerned teacher,  administrator,  parent,  student and citizen will walk to the sidewalks in front of every public school at precisely 5 p.m. and stand in solidarity and concern,"  Calabro proposes.  "Numbers and names will be collected,  tallied,  and sent to  (Gov.)  Pat McCrory,  (House Speaker Thom) Tillis,  and other state representatives along with a letter of concern. We will roar with a silent,  peaceful,  but forceful message that we love the children of North Carolina,  that we appreciate and revere the noble teaching profession,  that we are committed to higher levels of education for ourselves,  our students and our society.  However,  we are embarrassed to be teachers,  administrators,  parents,  students and citizens in the state of North Carolina in the year 2013, and we would like our state to move in the opposite direction in which it is going."

Like many other educators, Calabro is dismayed by the state's falling national ranking for teacher pay and by changes such as eliminating tenure and extra pay for advanced degrees.  Like many,  she thought about staging a walk-out from work.  But organizing a walk-out in a right-to-work state isn't a smart career move.  So she decided to follow Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools colleague Justin Ashley's approach to helping legislators see teachers as respectful and respectable neighbors.

"We will not be protesting during school hours or on school property,"  she said.  "We will not be screaming or yelling.  We will be peaceful,  hold signs, and stand firm in our belief that North Carolina can be,  once again,  at the top of the list for student achievement as well as teacher and parent satisfaction."

It's not a highly organized event.  Calabro encourages others who want to take part to contact her on Facebook.  She's hoping sidewalk Wednesdays will spread from her south Charlotte school to become a wider movement.

41 comments:

Wiley Coyote said...

Since you didn't do this at any time during Democrat controlled legislature and governorship, your sidewalk demonstration rings hollow
.

~~Bev Perdue raided the Education Lottery twice.

~~Bev Perdue issued an executive order to freeze teacher salaries and raises.

Anonymous said...

Wiley , I think Mrs. Calabro is just trying to organize to get the attention of all politicians in Raleigh. To show that folks really care about students future educational needs. Whether its a D or R is not her motive. Mrs. Calabro has taught my kids and is a amazing teacher who wants to help future generations of teachers and educational needs of students. I will join in her walk of support for future needs. Keith W. Hurley

Wiley Coyote said...

Keith,

I'm not questioning Mrs. Calabro's abilities as a teacher, I'm questioning her embarrassment of being a teacher only under this legislature.

Also, Washington bears a great deal of responsibilty for many of the problems states face in public education as well.

Maybe Sidewalk Demonstrations would have had an impact under Perdue's tenure about the current state of affairs.

We'll never know will we?

Anonymous said...

Wiley , Agree I think its just teachers are so frustrated with the repeated games. Not just now , but 5,7,10 or 12 years ago. It impacts their careers. As you know alot of them have simply left the education industry. Thats a issue for our kids future in my opinion. I will fight to have the best teacher in front of our kids in every school every year. No matter how disfunctional downtown,Raleigh or DC is. A teacher deserves to be compensated for their career I feel. Most are not doing it to become rich as we know. I think if compensation would be close to middle class families they could make it work. The further this gets out of line the higher turn over rate we will see in the classroom. I dont think that provides a good enviroment for graduation rates to rise ! However we can teach to cook the numbers for some.Keith W. Hurley

Anonymous said...

Geez Wiley,
Both parties have scammed the state forever.
Keith,
I appreciate Ms. Calabro and her effort to motivate the masses. However, until the great exodus of teachers occurs in CMS, the sheeple will continue to get turnover, turnover, and more turnover. It happened in the 70's, 80's, 90's, up until 2008 and with even the slightest recovery................bolt. With Heath expecting PEP's for everyone and classic botches like EasyIEP,BYOT, and rollout of new grading software a week before school starts, Let everyone walk!

Wiley Coyote said...

4:02...

I've stated that fact a number of times in other posts...

However, since Democrats controlled this state for 100 years and many of the recent cuts started under Perdue, that's why I made the statement as written.

Anonymous said...

I am not saying to do it but boy would a walkout get their attention. I think it would get some national attention focus on education. If it could be organized it would be eye opening. I dont know what it would do to teachers state retirement or other financial impacts either. I would say a shut down would be AWESOME!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Calabro: Booooo.
I agree with Wiley

Anonymous said...

How about protesting CMS BOE support of an out of control CMS administration budget. More and more money for inept and multiplying administrators.
Afraid they will retaliate? That type of protest would actually take guts.

Anonymous said...

The quote of her's says "...in the year 2013." What about 2000-2012 when the dems put us all in this bind?

Anonymous said...

"Not a smart career move"

This idea will go in and out and change NOTHING!

They couldnt replace the teachers that go / went on STRIKE. They cannot fill the vacancies they already have.


Only 1 Way to deal with this problem.

Anonymous said...

ann doss helms writes posts that are one sided. she exclusively covers the story of how the state's reforms are upsetting teachers. ann almost never mentions how the reforms that the state government has pursued are meant to bring accountability to public schools.

the reforms will bring accountability to schools in so many ways, but you'd never know it by reading ann's articles.

Pamela Grundy said...

The reforms will not bring accountability. They will only give the appearance of accountability, necausevthey aren't based on measures of real learning. They have been tried in other states without success -- unless you measure success by the enrichment of the purveyors of standardized tests, proprietary value-added calculations and other products that impede rather than advance real learning.

Marie Calabro said...

My motive for writing to Ann and coming up with at least SOME form of action to let our local, state, and national governments, as well as the very rude and uninformed, iis to bring awareness to the face that blaming "teachers" for what is happening in education, is like placing the responsibility of the outcome of a war on the privates who are fighting on the front lines.

Many teachers have no problem with some of the changes being made in education, and actually embrace them. Taking away our ability to earn more for what we do through a continuing our educational degrees will NOT improve the educational system. And proposing merit pay and pay for performance is great.....but there IS NO MONEY in the local, state, and national pot. More importantly than that, it will not promote having a qualified, passionate teacher in every classroom.

The "business" of teaching cannot and must not be compared to spitting in a formula to create a regulated finished product, mostly because the raw materials we start with vary, as well as the natural talents of each student that we serve.

The glory and wonder of teaching is relational and based upon getting to know what makes each child tick, tapping into their abilities and building upon them, in order to make sure that each one will eventually, and hopefully bring something productive to our society and world - whether that be an academic, technical, artistic, or service-based path, all of which are important and needed and should be valued.

Thanks Keith! And thank you to those who have joined this conversation, especially those who are brave enough to use you real name.

Ann Doss Helms said...

7:19, I agree a mix of views is good. I've emailed Thom Tillis and Sen. Dan Clodfelter asking them to talk about what they're proud of, what they'd say to educators who are frustrated and what still needs doing. I'd like to get all the local legislators to weigh in eventually; I think this is an important conversation for our community to have. So far I've just gotten "we'll get back to you" messages from their aides. So it may take more work to get the legislator views.

Anonymous said...

Marie Calabro,

You rock! And rock on.

Alicia

Anonymous said...

Educators, wear red every Wednesday and as you interact with people, you will be putting a human face on these issues. You have been silent too long!

Everyone should wear red in support of education on Monday, August 19th, whether you attend the Moral Monday event or not. Show teachers that you care Mecklenburg County!

Anonymous said...

I applaud Mrs. Calabro for her efforts but I'm convinced they will be ignored. I'm also more convinced that the wolf in sheep's clothing is actually the central office.

What percentage of CMS funding is spent on employees that do not actually teach a single student during their workday?

To all CMS educators, ask yourself, is there any member of the central office, and it's wide array of subsidiaries, that has contributed to the improvement of the quality of your teaching? I, for one, can not name a single soul.

There is funding for increased teacher pay, merit pay, pay for performance, etc... expect it never makes it to our level. Our level, the only place where actual teaching and learning is occurring.

Anonymous said...

The NC Legislature clearly understands it can not do much to help the plight of the teachers. They have seen the growth of central offices. They have seen the ever imposing reaches of the federal government. They have seen the race profiteers take over public education for social services. While they will not defund public education, they see little hope of improvement with all these outside forces in it for their egos.

Many of these "undesireable" actions of the legislature this year is simply to bring NC into compliance with the Race to the top requirements. All of these actions are in alignment with the federal influences.

Tamara said...

12:03 You are right on.

Anonymous said...

We must halt this push to teach to the bottom. Too many students are getting left out. Consequently as has already happened and will accelerate as more public education options come and as the economy improves so more will leave for private schools, the average and higher end students will leave CMS.

The fastest growing exiting population of CMS is black middle class.

Anonymous said...

Must be frustrating to be a long term classroom teacher at Bev Woods Elem and still have 2 phys ed teachers at Bev Woods Elem being paid so much more than you.

Anonymous said...

PE and Art teachers are the highest paid teachers at our south charlotte elem school too. I respect their work but not sure that makes any sense.

Anonymous said...

3:24 and 9:13

I hold a masters degree from the School of Education and Human Development with a concentration in dance that I received on FULL scholarship plus stipend from George Washington University - tuition, room, and board - around $60,000 a year. I taught as a graduate TA at GWU and also as an assistant professor at Penn State University - University Park, The University of the District of Columbia, and for the Prince George's County, MD, Public School System where I received an award for teaching excellence. I also received a scholarship to study dance at the Harvard University Summer Dance Center and for the Summer for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University where I was later hired to work as a resident counselor. In May 2014, I will be receiving a second B.A. in Elementary Education (K-6) as a post-baccalaureate student which qualifies me to teach reading, writing, language arts, math, science and social studies because - apparently - I was an F'n IDIOT teaching dance!

It's people like you that brilliantly highlight the arrogance and stupidity of the average American who has never spent a day in their life teaching in an actual classroom but has plenty to say on the subject. May I suggest you run for a CMS school board position.

Alicia Cunningham Durand

Anonymous said...

Excuse Moi,

Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan University, CT. Where your "gifted" child has about an 10% chance of being accepted here - as a dance major.

Alicia

Anonymous said...

F'n?
Must be one of those fancy dance terms.

Anonymous said...

2013 NC Education budget is higher than it has ever been in history. This faux resistance/revolution does not compute.

Anonymous said...

8:04, you are absolutely correct about NC's public education budget. It is even 5% higher than last year. And is projected to be even higher the next year with the teachers' raises in it. I am not real sure how to judge these teachers and those who want to protest against "this" NC legislature.

They get all hot and bothered by the assistant teacher cuts but forget to mention that that money was reallocated for more full time teachers.

They seem to be reading from the liberal's playbook and do not want to be bothered with facts.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows da coach needs more money because he provides inspiration for all the kids who otherwise would drop out of school.

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to wash ACD's mouth with soap. Such language in a family blog.

Anonymous said...

F stands for Forte. Look it up.

Alicia

Ex-CMS Teacher said...

I am in support of this, but also want to voice support for walking out of CMS for other reasons:

1. Illegal practices. Taking away duty-free lunch for teachers is a violation of the law in NC.

2. Intolerable work conditions. Facilitators and principals who promote anti-bullying but are huge bullies to the teachers themselves need to be REMOVED and any lie they stated about teachers on evaluations needs to be expunged.

3. The entire system needs to be dissolved or cleaned out entirely.

Look at what Steve Jobs did with Apple when he returned in 1997. He cleared house, made a bunch of changes, and propelled the company to stardom. Clearly, Heath Morrison is the Gil Amelio who needs ousted here.

Fire the principals. Replace them carefully. Support the teachers. Eliminate all the facilitator positions. Get rid of nonsense stuff like unstructured workshop models for lower grades, required problem solving posters that don't promote broad thinking, and the idea of conformity and being a product of the system for both students and teachers. Suddenly, you have teachers who WANT to work, kids who want to go do school, and ways to retain teachers even if the pay isn't the greatest.

I'd rather work in a great environment for $30K per year than an awful environment for $50K. Money isn't everything.

They also need a superintendent who has actually been a teacher, not some guy with a political science degree who's a strict businessman.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher, I think we need to protest the BLOATED and OVERPAID central office staff in any public school district!!!!! I am waiting for any article on this topic!!!!!! Come on Ann, please write this article!!!

Anonymous said...

Don't do fb. How can we contact to stand in concern and solidarity?

Anonymous said...

12:35
Comment dully noted.

3:00
Concerned educators have it within OUR power to make effective change and stand up together in solidarity for the benefit of future generations. Everybody listen, because we're going to say "NO" to current working conditions related to educational changes made this summer during NC's general assembly. Stand strong. Sounds of a better world - they're coming. Rise up, and stand up together.

The Courage to Teach.

Alicia

Wiley Coyote said...

Alicia,

If you want to make effective change, you're going to have to change 45 years of a status quo culture that has nothing to do with teachers.

Anonymous said...

Wiley,

I agree. So, how do we collectively jump off the cliff together? Since the status quo isn't sustainable?

Alicia

Wiley Coyote said...

The status quo is like the achievement gap.

CMS and other LEAs have been closing the gap for years and years, but projections show it could take another 15 years before that happens - if then.

The status quo is, diversity, income, location and misdirection.

When all of those things are eradicated, change will come.

Ann Doss Helms said...

For the person who wants contact info beyond Facebook: Calabro said she was working on a web site. I'd encourage her to post it in comments when it's ready, or share any other contact info she's comfortable making public.

Anonymous said...

Thanks!

Marie Calabro said...

Walktothesidewalkwednesdays.weebly.com

Check it out...encourage teachers, admin, parents, students, and supportive citizens. There is power in numbers...