survey says?

Study for March, and done for decades, right?

There is that moment when you think certain factions must be exhausted, they can’t possibly find anything more to complain about. But now it’s an academic survey (or two, right?)

I made the mistake of asking what the big deal was. I saw this on a Facebook page. The folks on the page made me notice an academic survey was an issue that I didn’t know was an issue in the first place…..back down the rabbit hole…you know the drill they want people to know it’s an issue, but only if you agree with them….

What REALLY made me notice was WHO had ratcheted up this issue in the first place:

Ada Nestor is like West Chester’s own Marjorie Taylor Greene.  Except she tanked in her election. She wanted to be on the West Chester Area School Board. Appears to be desperately seeking relevance she is still at it. Here is an #AnonymousAda refresher (screenshots courtesy of WCASD Constituents) :

So of course because I asked what was so bad about the survey they posted which is anonymous and seemingly optional I should probably post the screenshots taken of it:

The study for March in the letter screenshot OPENING the post is not for the survey in the screenshots, it’s another one done by The University of Michigan. It’s part of the Monitoring the Future Project.

Also see:

Monitoring the Future (MTF) Public-Use Cross-Sectional Datasets

The Monitoring the Future: A Continuing Study of the Lifestyles and Values of Youth annual surveys were designed to explore changes in important values, behaviors, and lifestyle orientations of contemporary American youth. The surveys began in 1975 with 12th-grade students only. Eighth- and 10th-grade student surveys were added in 1991 under the title Monitoring the Future: A Continuing Study of American Youth (8th- and 10th-Grade Surveys) and, in 1996, the designation “12th-Grade Survey” was added to the titles of the subsequent 12th-grade surveys. When examining the issues covered by the series, two general types of tasks may be distinguished. The first task is to provide a systematic and accurate description of the youth population of interest in a given year and to quantify the direction and rate of change occurring over time. The second task, more analytic than descriptive, involves the explanation of the relationships and trends observed. Each year, large, distinct, nationally representative samples of 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade students in the United States are asked to respond to drug use and demographic questions, as well as to additional questions on a variety of subjects, including attitudes toward religion, parental influences, changing roles of women, educational aspirations, self-esteem, exposure to sex and drug education, and violence and crime – both in and out of school. In each grade, students are randomly assigned to complete questionnaires with a subset of topical questions in addition to a set of core questions on demographics and drug use. For a guide to the questions asked each year in each questionnaire, along with their subject areas and variable names, users may refer to the question indexes under the For Researchers section below.

For more information, visit the Monitoring the Future Web site .

Years Produced: Annually. Note: the 1975 data is not available. Data available from NAHDAP are the annual cross-sectional datasets

For more information about the MTF Restricted-Use Data, see Monitoring the Future (MTF) Restricted-Use Cross-Sectional Datasets

I actually discovered this on my own. In spite of what Ada thinks (or when she demonstrates a lack of thinking which apparently is like breathing), I was curious and wanted to check it out. But if course she has to go all super toxic and say people went to me with their panties in a bunch? Oh come on now. Really? Has she elevated me to a God status??? How amusing.

Once again we have to ask these Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism why is everything nuclear warfare instantly and why do their rights matter more than everyone else’s? Ada acts a very angry woman and you read what she writes about “they” will “wish” they had voted for her and this “war hasn’t even started yet.”

Can we have an anonymous quiz about these people and how all they are interested in is personal glory and tearing up communities over their bullsh*t?

I still do not get what the big deal is. If you don’t like it, your kid doesn’t have to do it. But what is wrong with the questions? Too personal? Kids shouldn’t know what politics their parents discuss? It’s bad to say your parents are immigrants? Parents do not want to be outed as grooming their kids to be their little soldiers instead of being free thinking human beings on their own?

How I look at this survey is life today is very different than the Donna Reed lifestyle of the 1950s. The study is anonymous. It is data gathering but NOT FOR the West Chester Area School District. It’s sociological research. Again I remind these people, that someday people will study in school what we are living through right now. I wonder what future generations will think of the modern years of democracy at risk? What will they think of how a global pandemic was treated? Do none of these people have any intellectual curiosity whatsoever? How will history relate this time in our lives right now?

I am actually trying to get information from Research Professor to gain a better understanding of the March survey because I don’t see the survey as a big deal to have another Waterloo over. But I bet given the ruckus Ada is making they don’t want to speak with anyone. I am happy to share what they tell me IF they even respond.

Anyway, sign me tired of these people and their constant haranguing of everyone and everything. They are tearing our communities apart, and I resent that. I remember the days when you could disagree and have a conversation and actually work together to get things done. With these people, it is like a community cancer. All they do is destroy. They aren’t about anything other than just getting their own way and being the loudest voice in the room. It’s why people won’t run for office from either political party, it’s why they are leaving office. From the most local level, to Washington D.C.

And then there are the two screenshots to follow. And it makes you wonder.

Above are comments left somewhere (not sure where) that were deleted seems to explain one of the surveys and why it occurred, so why were they deleted? Two separate surveys in WCASD and they have made a mountain out of a mole hill with reasonable explanations?

The one I posted screenshots of I am told was made by a student at Rustin from an AP class so it was a student peer study then? It was voluntary and anonymous but not required so what is wrong with a STUDENT project?

The Michigan study is separate and in March and has been done for decades. It’s about drugs and alcohol- so they combined the two surveys without having all of the facts, when it’s two separate things?

Aren’t all of you tired of these people destroying our communities? Aren’t you tired of these people foisting their ugliness and vitriol on everyone?

I know of course because I wrote this, they will start the next round of nastiness towards me and whomever else disagrees with them. But I can’t help but wonder how history will reflect upon them?

Try to have a peaceful weekend.

the internet jesus made them do it

I had, HAD, HAD to share that video above. It has to be the most perfect thing after another day of hearing what the Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism and their man-servants have been doing.

Literally today’s theme is The Internet Jesus made them do it.

The latest and greatest from these intellectual giants to get out of wearing masks apparently is to become Internet ministers to get to write their own religious exemptions to masks.

I hear “Whatcha’ talkin’ about Willis?” running through my brain right now.

I.Just.Can’t. Help. It. Who would have ever thunk it? Political extremists/fanatics/lap dancers are very entertaining at times.

I mean they do realize that most things mask are lifting soon EVERYWHERE so what are they after? A Pyrrhic victory?

So remember Stacey Whomsley? Anti-masker, anti-vaxxer, got elected to the West Chester Area School District school board? She was the Cagney to Anonymous Ada Nestor’s Lacey during the election season? So now she’s on the school board.

So….it’s about her husband….he became or is in process of becoming an Internet Minister to get religious exemptions to wearing masks, and I guess vis a vis pretzel logic that waters down to her and the kids or something? Or he can then write up religious exemptions?

I have to ask IF she is a duly elected public official in the West Chester Area School District, she is supposed to uphold their regulations, correct? So how does it work that her hubs is doing this? I find it damn amusing and “Anonymous Ada” Nestor is in on the comment train too.

Sorry not sorry, this is the funniest thing I have heard all day. And the mental picture of all of these people storming the heavens…errr Internet to become Internet Ministers…oh and then there is the chick who has made her house her church? How does that work? Again, West Chester Area School District. Wonder how her neighbors feel about sunrise services? And if ministry fails there are always essential oils, right? Maybe they will have an official essential oil mask exemption too?

Remember readers…Jesus loves them mostly because someone has to

Blessed be.

unacceptable

I am starting this post with humor. Why? Because by the END of this post, you will appreciate a little humor.

Saturday Night Live had a skit recently on what school board meetings have become from coast to coast.

Why?

Because from coast to coast, people have just plain lost their damn minds.

I have written about the school board meetings here. I have written about the anti-masker, anti-vaxxer protests. I have written about the QAnon school board candidates…and the anti-masker, anti-vaxxer candidates.

Now it occurred to me with posting the cartoons and Saturday Night Live skit and cartoons that this is what I find unacceptable. Ummm, no, and nice try. I find the election season bull sheit unacceptable.

Let’s start with Caroline O’Halloran’s startling revelation in the recent Savvy. I will be quoting liberally:

For the last month, we’ve been trying to decipher the new forces in play in local school board races.

It hasn’t been easy.

We sought answers from four new groups: Reimagine Radnor PAC, Back to School PA PAC, Pioneer PAC and Neighbors United PA. In an age when campaigns clamor for “transparency,” our questions were straightforward: Who are you? Do you have ties to statewide or national groups? How are you funded? What is your purpose?

At the same time, we reached out repeatedly to Conservative Women of the Main Line (CWML), a one-year-old PAC with T/E roots that hosts monthly speakers for paid members.

CWML’s September speaker was high-profile Stop the Steal activist Scott Presler, who’s been traveling the country helping the GOP “take back the school boards.” A lightning rod for progressives, Presler has been blasted for his work supporting the anti-Muslim group, Act! for America, and for calling the January 6 insurrection “the largest civil rights protest in American history.”.For weeks, we didn’t know if we’d even run a story. We were simply gathering information to see if there was a story worth reporting.

And then a few days ago, we received this from an encrypted – and therefore, untraceable – IP address. A pre-emptive strike to scare us off the story? You decide. Here it is, copy-pasted, unedited and word-for-word:

~ Savvy October 21, 2021

Now before I get to THAT, let’s talk about the other part of this article:

About that photo with far right activist Scott Presler: 

Tredyffrin Republicans Chair Raffi Terzian and CWML President/Tredyffrin Republicans Vice Chair Rosanna Hagg ignored our repeated questions. We tried three times.

We did, however, hear back from T/E’s best-funded school board candidate, Deana Wang, who was also pictured with Presler. Wang said she was “not aware of any of those events associated with Scott Presler” and attended the CWML event “to meet more voters.”

When we asked in a follow-up email if she regretted posing with Presler, Wang suggested that Presler may have been mistreated by the press. “We should stop basing all our opinions about a person … based on what the media publishes,” she said.

We also took the opportunity to ask about her funding. Wang had already amassed $16,000 in the spring and who-knows-how-much since then – huge dollars for a school board candidate. Hence, her omnipresent yard signs and polished mailers.

~ Savvy October 21, 2021

Deana, Deana, Deana…if you expect us to believe that you knew NOTHING about this long haired conservative Jesus, is the Tooth Fairy your running mate? If you actually for reals know nothing, you are a dangerous candidate for your ignorance alone, but my take? You all in that dumb photo thought you would enjoy 15 minutes of Internet fame, so honey how is that working out for you?

These people are exhausting. PACs popping up faster that dandelions in June.

Now back to the nasty-gram sent to the ever so nice Savvy Caroline:

So now this journalist is getting nasty comments threatening her publication?


This is unacceptable. I will note that I have had comments come in from protonmail as well. The latest one was from someone who didn’t like me mocking the anti-masker anti-vaxxer protest I saw on 100 in Exton in front of the mall.


These people told the writer to stick to writing about Kentucky Derby Hats and her writing was poor and she was political, etc. etc.


Really Trolls? She’s a great and seasoned writer, is polite and respectful to those she writes about and interviews, and then you threaten her site and advertisers?

And her writing isn’t remotely political – she is covering local stories and hey now y’all do your crap for attention, right? And then you complain when you get attention and threaten? Nice. Pretzel logic. Awesomesauce.


These are total troll moves, what many of you attempt with me a blogger quite often. It’s not acceptable with me either, which is why some comments over the past few months have actually been reviewed by police in more than one jurisdiction, and PS they came to me after they read them. I actually didn’t go to them.


The first amendment entitles me to my opinions and Savvy to their local reporting of whatever THEY choose to cover. It’s not Pravda on this bus, Comrades.


This is why no matter where you are in Southeastern Pennsylvania whether it’s on the Main Line or in Chester County you need to send these school board candidates that these threateners, meeting disrupters, and harassers are backing… packing.

I will also note that although Caroline O’Halloran has always written about fashion and style (she had an awesome section once upon a time when Main Line Media News/Main Line Times was still a real newspaper, as opposed to the hedge-fund eviscerated shell), that is not all she has ever done. And for what it is worth, she has never written about Kentucky Derby Hats BUT she has been a guest judge at Devon Horse Show’s Ladies Hat Day. THAT makes me laugh because I am sure many of those broads in Conservative Women of the Main Line have paraded in front of her and other judges like tarted-up Thanksgiving turkeys and well the humor in the hypocrisy of it all much?

Keep exposing the nasty comments, Caroline. Bullies breed in the darkness. Bring them into the light. You keep doing you, it’s why we think you are wonderful, no matter what our political persuasion. With the distinct lack of local news reporting, you keep us in the know, accurately and fairly. You share all sorts of things with us of all topics, and we thank you.

The Daily Cartoon and Live Briefing: Tuesday, August 31, 2021 - FlaglerLive

These school board races.

They are hideous.

Can we talk West Chester Area School District for a Nanosecond? We’ll start with Anonymous Ada Nestor. After all, she claims she ain’t no QAnon Hussy BUT…

And of course lil’ Ada isn’t Q’Anon according to her mouthpiece Stacey Whomsley, until you see this:

For more on the crazy that is West Chester Area School District candidates please visit HERE. And HERE.

There are all sorts of pages and blogs cropping up which seem to be targeting West Chester and Downingtown. Can’t keep up with them, don’t want to it’s like the fake news express with a few thees and thous thrown in and potential “a-ha” moments that are more accurately “D’oh we already knew that so what?”

In the Great Valley School District the “Republican” candidates are as scary as their counterparts in Downingtown School District and West Chester Area School District. Here is their latest propaganda (their mistakes included):

May be an image of text
No photo description available.

I like fiction, don’t you? So is Lauren Dicranian able to legally drink yet? You have to laugh at the home printed literature that is being distributed by the 2 Region 1 candidates- ZERO attempt to look professional by having a real flyer. A bunch of nonsense put together on lunch break or something, with typos…By the way…The survey mentioned has been around for years and it is not mandatory, it’s an easy opt out; students also have the option to skip questions they don’t want answered.

5 cartoons about America's school board battles

Now onto the other “unacceptable” because the Great Valley School District loving hands at home literature isn’t unacceptable, merely pathetic. West Chester Area School District’s triplets of crazy (Whomsley, Nestor, Edgarian) are also ridiculously predictable in their onbviousness. Everyone knows they are generally unacceptable, but we go next to Downingtown.

Yes that sign is popping up all over the Downingtown Area School District.

This is the crappiest campaign stunt yet from the lunatics in Downingtown. These women referred to (Rebecca Britton and LeeAnn Wisdom) also happen to be friends of mine. They are among the nicest, most genuine, thoughtful women I know.

I stand with them, and condemn the bull sheit being hurled and spewed at them. No one is claiming production of these signs and a lot of them are appearing where not invited, so I am guessing a lot are disappearing, as well they should. One little child of one of these candidates keeps asking their mommy why these people say these things? How do you explain to an innocent child that there are just people as mean as snakes? Oh wait, I just did.

But these signs? Unacceptable.

Folks this is all I have got on this topic. At least for now. Send the nutters packing on election day. Our democracy and public school system depend upon it.

Peace, love, and candy corn (it is almost Halloween, after all.)

The Daily Cartoon and Live Briefing: Thursday, August 19, 2021 | FlaglerLive

what is a public vs. private post exactly on facebook? especially when it comes to politics?

I was waiting for one of these threatening comments on the West Chester school board candidates post. I don’t even know who this woman Suzie is. But she is referring to these PUBLIC photos that people, MANY people have taken screen shots of including the ones I have shown again below to illustrate. I did her a kindness I did not have to and have not disclosed her email address. Technically I was under no obligation to do so, as she wrote to my site.

Suzie is fussing over screenshots of PUBLIC Facebook posts. Note the little globe. And these are SCREENSHOTS to show origin of a PUBLIC post.

Please note, I did not post photos of her family, private life, or kids. I only posted PUBLICLY posted things.

PUBLIC posts are designed to be SHARED by ANYONE. PUBLIC POSTS CAN BE SEEN BY ANYONE.

Suzie, your posts that you created personally were PUBLIC posts sharing a PUBLIC post. That means they are PUBLIC. If you go to the bottom of the originating posts from the Chester County Coalition of Republican Women you can see the “shares”…It is a public post and you can see who shared it depending upon their privacy settings. YOU had your settings for these posts as PUBLIC which means ANYONE can see them. Those you have different privacy settings you can’t see and that is why there is this nifty bit of verbiage: “Some posts may not appear here because of their privacy settings.”

The other screenshot, also a PUBLIC post I guess has you in it, but again, don’t know you, so I can’t say you are in the photo for sure. Photo was posted PUBLICLY without attribution, so your issue my dear is with the person who POSTED the photo PUBLICLY and she posts pretty much everything PUBLICLY.

Oh and Suzie? I called the Republican Committee of Chester County. Spoke to someone pretty high up. They remarkably did not know who you were. We had a great conversation. I used to be a Republican, and I still have plenty of Republican friends. I owned what I had written about and why. They agreed the school board races had gotten beyond nasty. I told them that if your gals Ada Nestor and Stacey Whomsley had been part of the Purple People Eater Political Party I would still feel they were BAD candidates and the WRONG choice for school board on the West Chester Area School District. We had an awesome conversation, actually.

But Suzie? If you do not wish people to screenshot and share your posts or share posts others share publicly including photos? You need to change YOUR privacy settings which you can do from post to post to either be friends only or friends except (and exclude people). As long as that LITTLE GLOBE appears with regard to Facebook, it is a PUBLIC post. Just like if you do not make your Instagram and Twitter accounts private, everything you post is PUBLIC. The last screenshot is an example of choices for PRIVACY settings on Facebook posts. I hope this clears it up.

Cheers!

you just can’t make this stuff up

Yoga Balls ClassroomMy, oh my!  Great balls of plastic!

O.k. I guess if West Chester Area School District paid more attention to actual education (as in maintaining not reducing curriculum) and things like reducing bullying from the elementary school levels through to and including high school I wouldn’t have an issue. Or even managed their coaches and teachers better as to avoid incidents of touchy-feely.

But I just do.  Not trying to rain on their parade, but with reduced monies available for education, is buying yoga balls and then using more tax dollars to promote as a PR angle the best and most prudent use of taxpayer money?

Also see:

West Chester School Uses Yoga Balls Instead of Character-Building Chairs

Teachers ditch student desk chairs for yoga balls

I have two words next time the West Chester Area School District Teachers Union gets all fired up about what they think they deserve: YOGA BALLS.

Wow. Sorry but this is foolishness.

coach touchy feely pleads guilty

In May, 2012 when I first wrote about the touchy feely swim coach in the West Chester Area School District I took some heat in the comments for being harsh.

Well I hate to say I told you so, but I was right and former  West Chester Rustin High School swimming coach Kenneth Fuller has pled guilty in Common Pleas Court.

God help his poor family.  Through no fault of their own they get to live this every day with him.

I have said it once, I will say it again, I am sick of predatory authority figures whether teacher or clergy or anyone else.  And these school districts need to pay better heed to issues teachers are having.   Take for example the teacher booted from Conestoga High School around Christmas for being blotto drunk on the job.  That stuff doesn’t happen overnight.

I have to say sometimes I tire of all the whining you hear regarding contracts, pay, and benefits from teachers when their school district contracts are up for renewal.  I think that people might be more amenable at times to them getting a little more here and there if they took their moral obligation to our children more seriously. That includes those who work with someone that they know is doing wrong by kids.

Teaching is an honorable profession, but teachers/coaches like this guy Kenneth Fuller are without honor.  Sorry, but I find taking advantage of kids despicable.  And to put his family through this is despicable too.  And selfish. Hope he gets help in the clink.

Former West Chester swim coach admits having sex with student

Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013

By MICHAEL P. RELLAHAN
mrellahan@journalregister.com

WEST CHESTER – The former West Chester Rustin High School swimming coach pleaded guilty Wednesday to engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship with one of his female team members.

Kenneth Fuller stood before Common Pleas Court Judge David Bortner and admitted that he had taken the girl, then 17 years old, to a hotel and an area park in the spring of 2012 and had sex with her after supplying her with alcohol.

He also admitted that he had helped fake a doctor’s letter for her that would excuse her from missing class when the two had one of their trysts. Finally, he acknowledged that after his arrest in May, he had continued to contact the girl about his case – although there is a disagreement about what exactly he said and why.

Fuller, dressed in a blue business suit, striped dress shirt and tie, said little during the 30-minute hearing in Bortner’s courtroom besides saying he understood the rights he was giving up in entering his guilty plea, and understood the charges against him. He was accompanied by family members and his attorney, Vincent DiFabio of Paoli….Fuller, 48, of East Goshen, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of endangering the welfare of children, which carries with it a possible maximum sentence of 3½ to seven years in prison, and a standard recommended sentence of between three months and one year in jail.

 

 

pay to play lament: west chester area school district teachers picket

“Pay up!”

“The district has the money!”

Ah yes, the things that are heard on the picket line.  As in yesterday, in West Chester.

I have written about the ongoing issues between the teachers and the West Chester Area School District before.   And I am about to be the most unpopular girl at the dance again as far as these teachers and their supporters go. However, much like yesterday’s teachers who picketed and those who support them, I am also allowed to express my opinion on the topic.

One teacher heard hollering for the benefit of the television cameras who bore witness yesterday said it wasn’t about the money, it was about making a “living wage”.  I am sorry, did I hear her correctly?  Are teachers in the West Chester Area School District so grossly underpaid? Am I to envision the need for tip jars on every teacher’s desk throughout the district?

I truly don’t think so.

And whomever wants to can jump all over my back for having that opinion, but after following this story off and on for close to a year now, that is how I feel.

As I said before, I will say again:

Ok, here is what I think: Both sides will of course (to an extent) interpret the facts to suit their cause.  No one is perfect.  When the economy was better, I am sure everyone can agree this district spent like a drunken sailor on leave, correct?

So now times are tight.  Funding, grants, you name it are down. Which means both sides need to give as they get.

However, that being said, I think this teachers’ union and others need to wake up and smell reality.

They aren’t being asked to suffer a great injustice if they have to contribute towards their healthcare benefits!  Give me a break!  I am one of the millions of Americans who pays for their own healthcare out-of-pocket.  As in 100%.  And oh yes, I paid for breast cancer doing that and survived just fine.

Salaries.  My goodness, where else can you earn a fine salary and take off a few months a year on the taxpayers if you so choose? Wow.  Most of us in the private sector have considered ourselves lucky for years if we managed to get a cost of living salary increase!  Sorry, but between the salaries and the retirement benefits that enable teachers to not only retire early, but if they have been paying attention, retire rich, I do not feel the love in a need for an 18.3% bump up over three years.

Accountability.  Charter schools and private schools hold teachers accountable.  Heck most jobs in this country exist with a review process as part of the every day  dealio. Public school teachers should be equally accountable.  But if everyone is accountable than those who should have either chosen other career paths or been put out to pasture can’t slide by any longer, can they?

But is the school district itself with 100% clean hands here? Doubtful, never seen one that was.  School districts have all sorts of issues and skewed politics.

Now, do I believe there are people who are underpaid? Yes.  School District employees like teacher’s aides are often grossly underpaid.  But the teachers?  I am not so sympathetic.

And  I have a comment to the blond teacher who said on camera “we want fair wages for our work…we live in the district too.” My comment?  Simple.  If these teachers live in the district then they KNOW that there are a lot of people living on a LOT less than they have.  People without jobs, struggling to make ends meet.  People without benefits.

The day of the fatted calf is done.  These teachers have a LOT more than a lot of other people. Period.  This economy sucks for a lot of people, not just teachers.

If all of West Chester Area School District were so fabulous then they would not have kids being home schooled. Or in Charter Schools.  Or in private schools. Or in Catholic Schools.

I am sorry, but it truly upsets me to see people who have decent jobs and benefits most can only dream of  complain chronically that it is never enough.  If it isn’t enough, then they have options including going to work for other school districts and moving.

But to stand there and complain when so many more are going without right in their own district, well enough is enough. Grow up.

And think twice before you roll up on this blog and accuse me from hating teachers.  I don’t hate teachers. I know a lot of them.  And some of the teachers I know live with a LOT less all the way around than the teachers in the West Chester Area School District.

Overall, I think a lot of school districts spent a lot of years being bloated and neither teachers nor administrations planned adequately for “rainy days”.  Furthermore, yes times are tough, but in my mind that doesn’t mean you just shell out more to some, while so many others go wanting.  And there are a lot of people in Chester County, let alone West Chester who are seriously wanting and in need.  Maybe these teachers need to go volunteer at local soup kitchens, homeless shelters and food banks – see what real need is. Right in Chester County.  Right in West Chester.

I apologize again for those who feel I am being strident.  It’s just the simple fact that SO many are detrimentally affected by the current state of affairs as far as the economy in Pennsylvania and the US as a whole.  These teachers aren’t by themselves suffering on a little deserted island.

West Chester Teachers Rally For New Contract By David Kinchen, Reporter

FOX 29 News September 25, 2012

West Chester teachers say they have been working without a contract since June 30th and want the West Chester Area School District to pay up.

“We happen to know that the school district (is) finding money and has the money to settle these contracts,” said Debbie Fell, president of the West Chester Area Education Association. …

District leaders say the school budget is fine for this year.  However they are worried about deficit projections up to $18 million two years from now and want to be careful about future financial agreements.

Union leaders say they have already saved the district nearly $3 million by agreeing to pay a pay freeze last year.

Both sides will continue negotiations on October 10th

West Chester Patch: West Chester Teachers Rally for a New Contract

Members of the West Chester Education Association gathered outside the district’s administration office to rally support for a new contract.

ByJake Speicher Email the author  5:45 am

The West Chester Education Association held a rally in front of the district’s administration building before Monday night’s school board meeting.

“We didn’t get in this for the money,” said teachers’ association president Deb Fell in front of a crowd of district teachers.  “All we want is a fair wage.”

Didn’t get into it for the money?  Really?  Good to know, from an outsider’s perspective it is hard to tell. Seems to me the teachers are telling us ordinary lay people that we are just supposed to work our tail feathers off to support them? At the expense of what we can afford? Do they think that the WCASD administration is just going to pull the money out of thin air? Or knock over a leprechaun’s pot of gold at the end of a rainbow?

mixed nuts: negotiation update for west chester area school district

Whether you have a kid in the school district or not, if you live within the confines of the West Chester Area School District, you pay.

Within the past couple of days,  mailboxes all over the West Chester area received a mailing from the West Chester Area School District titled “Negotiation Update”. (You can also visit them on the web for further information HERE.)

When you look at the  Board vs. Union Proposal Analysis , the following really stood out:

For the Board’s contract proposal, total spending on teachers’ salaries and healthcare benefits will increase from $86.2 million in 2011-2012 to $93.4 million in 2014-2015. This will increase the District’s costs by $7.2 million. For the WCAEA’s proposal, total spending on teachers’ salaries and healthcare benefits will increase from $86.2 million in 2011-2012 to $107 million in 2014-2015. This will increase the District’s costs by $20.8 million.

So I have to ask West Chester, what are you willing to pay?  This comes out of your pockets, after all.

Of the issues in dispute, as per the mailing, here is some of what you are looking at:

WCASB (West Chester Area School Board) wants as far as Salaries:

 under board proposal, teachers will earn raises totalling 3.82% over first 2 years of 3 year contract or average salary will go from $67,800 to $71,200. In the 3rd year the district will offer a one time bonus of $1500 (+ 2.11%) to each teacher if average increase in combined real estate assessment growth in areas served by district exceeds 2.6% between 2012 and 2014.

What Union wants:

Salary increases of 18.3% over course of 3 year contract (intentional so it will exceed annual increases in healthcare contributions rates on the part of its members.) What union is asking for is that teachers receive both a cost of living increase plus a “salary column” increase or + 5.57% year 1, + 5.81% years 2 and 3.

WCASB (West Chester Area School Board) wants as far as Accountability:

If a teacher receives an unsatisfactory performance evaluation, they will not receive a salary increase the following year.

What Union wants:

The union proposal continues to allow members to receive annual raises without regard to performance evaluation.

WCASB (West Chester Area School Board) wants as far as healthcare:

District funds 90% of medical,dental, prescriptions, and vision year 1, 85% year 2, 80% year 3.  Also moderate (yes moderate) deductibles.

What Union wants:

In a nutshell an expansion of current healthcare benefits.

There are more sticking points having to do with retirement benefits, course reimbursement, work year/professional development time, work time and on-line course work.

I sort of agree with the teachers’ union as far as the on-line course work, because I have a problem with courses in a box…but as per the district when you compare the cost of the two proposals (and I quote from the flyer which was mailed out):

Comparing the Cost of the Two Proposals:

The cost of paying for a new teachers’ contract should be of particular interest to taxpayers, since they fund approximately 85% of the District’s budget.  The chart…indicates the difference between the school board’s proposal and the WCAEA proposal in each of the 3 years:

Year 1 – $4.9 million

Year 2 – $9.4 million

Year 3 – $13.6 million

So in digging around to see what the media is saying I found a blurb on West Chester Patch which says in part:

The following is a press release from the West Chester Area Education Association.

The West Chester Area Education Association (WCAEA) met today with representatives of the West Chester Area School District regarding contract negotiations. While no deal has been finalized, WCAEA President Debbie Fell said the teacher’s union and the school district have agreed to continue talks and have scheduled the next negotiation session for Thursday, August 16.

“We agreed to continue to meet in order to come to a fair and equitable resolution for everyone involved,” Fell said. “The WCAEA is dedicated to providing an excellent education for our children…

Alrighty, so one side mails, the other side press releases, but school begins September 4th and the children of the district are Malcolm in the Middle.

How do you all feel about that?

I found a letter in The Daily Local I would love to share:

Recently, there have been a number of newspaper articles and letters to the editor regarding the current contract negotiations between the West Chester Area School District and its teachers’ union. There have been some key numbers frequently mentioned including an 18 percent average pay increase over the next three years, as well as teachers will receive a 33 percent decrease in the effective compensation over the next three years if the proposed contract is adopted….I find it difficult to believe that the average teacher’s salary will be decreased by 33 percent over the next three years. The most recent letter was from the treasurer of the teachers’ union who again stated the 33 percent decrease concern. I believe it is necessary for that statement to be verified by details showing exactly how the average teacher’s current effective salary would decrease over the next three years from that teacher’s current effective salary.

  I would hope that a union representative would respond in writing with this information

Amen to that!

Suggested reading?

Opposing opinions may stall WCASD contract talks  BY JEREMY GERRARD jgerrard@dailylocal.com  Posted: 08/03/12 12:39 am

 

Residents Speak Out Against Union Dues Requirement: Residents at the West Chester School District Board meeting speak out against the district’s requirement that all teachers pay union dues. ByJake Speicher Email the author July 24, 2012

Letter: Teachers’ Union Disappointed in School Board.A letter from the West Chester Area Education Association expresses disappointment in the negotiating process to this point.  July 20, 2012

Ok, here is what I think: Both sides will of course (to an extent) interpret the facts to suit their cause.  No one is perfect.  When the economy was better, I am sure everyone can agree this district spent like a drunken sailor on leave, correct?

So now times are tight.  Funding, grants, you name it are down. Which means both sides need to give as they get.

However, that being said, I think this teachers’ union and others need to wake up and smell reality.

They aren’t being asked to suffer a great injustice if they have to contribute towards their healthcare benefits!  Give me a break!  I am one of the millions of Americans who pays for their own healthcare out-of-pocket.  As in 100%.  And oh yes, I paid for breast cancer doing that and survived just fine.

Salaries.  My goodness, where else can you earn a fine salary and take off a few months a year on the taxpayers? Wow.  Most of us in the private sector have considered ourselves lucky for years if we managed to get a cost of living salary increase!  Sorry, but between the salaries and the retirement benefits that enable teachers to not only retire early, but if they have been paying attention, retire rich, I do not feel the love in a need for an 18.3% bump up over three years.

Accountability.  Charter schools and private schools hold teachers accountable.  Heck most jobs in this country exist with a review process as part of the every day  dealio. Public school teachers should be equally accountable.  But if everyone is accountable than those who should have either chosen other career paths or been put out to pasture can’t slide by any longer, can they?

But is the school district itself with 100% clean hands here? Doubtful, never seen one that was.  School districts have all sorts of issues and skewed politics.  What are those in administration giving back as far as salary increases, perks, etc?  Are there positions within administration specifically that could be pared down or eliminated to save money? And above all else are kids in this school district getting an education they can actually use to better their futures?  And what about the bullying issues and other social issues which exist and I never seem to hear addressed? I found a tumblr blog post about bullying that is old that says in part:

Ironic the passing of Rodney King also saw Lou Ferrigno “Hulk” sworn in as a security officer in Los Angeles.  Now that most schools have completed their academic year, it would be time for the school administrations to review their policies for prevention of bullying.  In this area, the West Chester School District has a policy, most recent seems to be 8/08 and states it will be updated every three years.

Am I reading this correctly?  If so, WCASD has some ‘splaining to do there, huh?

And then there is the constant and troubling undertone that one political party runs the school board and school district?  I am a Republican but I still believe that one party rule anything is a bad idea and leads to petty tyranny.

Whatever, I am definitely an outsider looking in.  But what I have seen with regard to this school district is not particularly impressive.  Like much of the public school education in this country, it leaves a lot to be desired and is the only thing the majority of taxpayers can afford.  So taxpayers are stuck no matter what.

What are the taxpayers in the West Chester Area School District going to do?  Smile politely from behind PTA mom and dad faces or get up, stand up, be heard, and demand that both the district and the teachers’ union have accountability?

In my opinion, the choice is up to the taxpayer whether they believe it or not.  Taxpayers can have a real and valid say on how this plays out.   Start now.

Why don’t you contact some of the people listed below? Write the papers? What do you have to lose?  The answer is nothing and the kids have everything to gain.   When did education stop being about preparing future generations for life?

Dr. Marc Bertrando
Assistant Superintendent
Secondary Education  484-266-1004

Dr. Robert Fraser

Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Curriculum  484-266-1198

Dr. Suzanne K. Moore Director of Business Affairs

Business & Finance Department  484-266-1020

Members of the public may contact the Board by email or via the Board Secretary, Mrs. Pauline Bachtle by submitting information in the following manner:

By Traditional Mail:
West Chester Area School Board
c/o Pauline Bachtle, Board Secretary
Spellman Administration Building
829 Paoli Pike
West Chester, PA 19380

By e-mail:
pbachtle@wcasd.net
(Note: Mrs. Bachtle, the School Board Secretary, will see that all members of the Board promptly receive your e-mail.)

By Telephone:
Call Mrs. Bachtle at 484-266-1125 if you wish to speak personally with a member of the School Board. Mrs. Bachtle will forward your name and telephone number to the respective Board member.

Members of the 2012 West Chester Area School Board: 

Vincent Murphy, School Board President  vmurphy@wcasd.net

Heidi Adsett, School Board Vice President hadsett@wcasd.net

Sean Carpenter scarpenter@wcasd.net

Ed Coyle ecoyle@wcasd.net

Karen Miller kmiller1@wcasd.net

Dr. Maria Pimley  mpimley@wcasd.net

Linda Raileanu  lraileanu@wcasd.net

Maureen Snook  msnook@wcasd.net

Sue Tiernan  stiernan@wcasd.net

Robert Partridge Communications Program Director
Communications Department  484-266-1170

Dr. Leigh Ann Ranieri  Director of Pupil Services

Pupil Services Department  484-266-1229

a word from your friendly neighborhood blogger

Apparently, my latest post on the issues in the West Chester School District with the swimming coach from  Bayard Rustin named Kenneth Fuller has hit even more of a nerve than any of the nonsense I have reported in West Vincent, including the attempted eminent domain for private gain at Ludwig’s Corner. Even my sniptastic comments about Phoenixville have not elicted such a response.

That being said, I thought it might be *prudent* to let new followers and commenters know that as the blog admin I can see the I.P. address you are commenting from as well as your e-mail address.  Generally speaking, I keep that to myself UNLESS there are comments which are very extreme, and/or threatening.

Please feel free to comment and I am glad you are reading this blog, but please be responsible with your comments.   As blog admin, I also reserve the right to not publish a comment.

It also seems that this latest West Chester School District issue, other issues may come to light and in general emotions are running high. *If* you have a major problem with this school district, please go to the proper authorities.  It is far more effective than writing a comment on any blog or newspaper site.

I think that this school district seems to have issues and the current events of the past couple of days are bringing it all to a head.  I know of what I speak since I moved from the evil spying laptop issue laden Lower Merion School District. This is an issue and a story that will go viral.  Other blogs and more media outlets and papers are also starting to comment.

Thank you from your friendly neighborhood blogger.

Have a great night!