20th 2009
Hoping Not to See More of the Same from Boulder, Teachers Union

Posted under Innovation and Reform & Parents & School Finance & Teachers

It doesn’t seem that long ago the school year was winding down, and up in Boulder many teachers were calling in sick as a form of protest: sort of a collective temper tantrum. Now students and parents in the district may wonder what’s coming next.

As the Boulder Daily Camera and Denver Post have both reported, 94 percent of Boulder Valley Education Association members (or about 75 percent of all Boulder Valley teachers) have voted to reject a contract offer that included across-the-board 1 percent bonuses but no permanent pay raise.

Hey, I might vote against it, too — but for different reasons, I can assure you.

First of all, take note that many Boulder Valley teachers still will get a raise by virtue of moving up the salary schedule in years of experience and/or advanced course credit. But continuing to pour more money through the outdated and inefficient salary schedule merely strains the tensions between taxpayers and union teachers, while doing next to nothing to move the ball on student achievement.

Boulder Valley instead should take a look at what Tulsa, Oklahoma, is doing to revamp how teachers are paid. It’s attracting millions of dollars in private foundation money to reward effective instruction, and ultimately to advance student learning.

I’m not saying the district’s limited across-the-board offer — given very difficult economic conditions — is worthy of another “sickout” tantrum. Not at all. For the sake of my fellow kids, I hope that the union would avoid anything like an unauthorized strike action. But it does make you wonder why BVEA is opposed to mediation from a neutral, third-party fact-finder, and why the district is so far behind the curve (read: “unprogressive”) when it comes to reform.


3 Responses to “Hoping Not to See More of the Same from Boulder, Teachers Union”

  1. Ed is Watching » Lessons from Boulder Valley: Hoping for No Strike and Even More on 27 Aug 2009 at 9:44 am #

    [...] the situation appears to be getting quite tense in the Boulder Valley School District. Last week I expressed my hopes that the teachers choose to act like professionals, rather than rehash last spring’s [...]

  2. Sharon on 02 Sep 2009 at 7:56 pm #

    What happened to people thinking for themselves? Informed choices re the best!

  3. suesun on 08 Oct 2009 at 5:02 pm #

    Harrison School District in C/S is looking at a pay-for-performance scale for next year. For the most part, the teachers are excited about it. Not sure about the union….
    I, for one, am excited to finally be recognized for being a good teacher-with money! :)

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