Saturday, March 31, 2007

This email from Bart Birdsall to the CTA honchos suggests how indifferent to the rights and wellbeing of their members. Why people don't shop a new union remains a mystery. If CTA were any less active in its protection of teachers' rights, it would be motionless. lee

Yvonne, Jean, and Chuck,

I understand that CTA is going to get me the name of the people who complained about my media specialist emails in summer 2005. The teacher contract states I have a right to this information (8.1.1), and I am assuming that I will receive this information, because CTA upholds the teacher contract. Before Spring Break Yvonne said Chuck would get this information for me, but Kipley was sick. She has had time to get better, so I would like to have the names. If she is still sick it is easy to type some names in an email or write them on a sheet of paper and send them to you or to pick up the phone and tell you. I request that the names, description of allegation, and their remedy requested be sent to me via an email, so I have it in writing.

I know this is not a top priority for you, but it is a top priority for me to heal myself emotionally and move on. I request this information as soon as possible. I plan no retaliation against the complainants, if they actually exist. I am simply trying to get answers after a two year runaround.

Thank you,
Bart Birdsall
2309 W. Bristol Ave.
Tampa, FL 33609
home (813) 258-8817
cell (813) 362-7937

Friday, March 30, 2007

Massachusetts is the Number One state in education. State law makes obligatory that administrators take the same language tests as do teachers for a job in that state's school system. That obligation would have debarred three-quarters of the ROSSAC deadwood, including the superintendent. La Superintendent Elia does not yet know where to put a comma and writes with the rhetorical lack of élan of a third-grader.

Boston's beginning teachers start at $44,000--$10,000 more than local teachers make, a big reason why the standing of Florida is pitiful compared to that of other states. Massachusetts will face a teacher shortage like all states, but it does a better job of making teaching attractive and will keep more teachers in the profession than will Florida.

There is never a shortage of otiose administrators. I think Mattel churns them out someplace at a third-rate diploma mill outside the clearing of the civilized world of education. They pour out of the woodwork when a $100,000-plus job pops up in the featherbedding administrative racket nationwide. These C-student drones have established a national cartel of parasites that have bloated their salaries everywhere with the complicity of supine, unconcerned, dim-witted board members who believe the parasites when they cite each other's bloated salaries to justify their stratospheric demands.

I wonder when a perspicacious board not peopled by dimwits will say, "Listen, this is what we offer for this job. Our rule is that an administrator should make no more than twice that of the lowest-paid teacher in the system." I wager some administrators concerned with excellence in education instead of milking the system would apply. There are a few of this exotic breed. That event would begin the revolution of condign salaries for administration jobs.

I noted at last Board meeting that Dr. Hamilton can not speak articulately. He chews his words into verbal gunk. I did not understand a word he said. We know that this fellow cannot write from the error-ridden, whacko-structured essay on Board deportment and couture he eked out with a year's lead time. Yet Le Hamilton gets $132,000 tax money to manage his administrative chores by subcontracting out all his decisions. He is the huckleberry who needed a $135,000 consulting firm to tell him how to get the buses to run on time. Alley Oop would have known the answer to that question was to give the drivers better than third-world wages, to buy some new buses to replace those in mechanical meltdown, and to hire some competent mechanics with decent wages to fix those that did break down.

Too bad that Le Hamilton did not have sense enough to contract out the Board deportment-couture essay. In that enterprise, he needed somebody who could write a literate sentence and think his way out of a paper bag.

Ms. Elia got her job by politicking, not by achieving anything in the management area. She didn't notice that crooks were processing real-estate transactions when she was buildings chief. She overbuilt classrooms while there. She then scrambled boundaries to the cacophony of weeping tots and angry, lied-to parents to cover up the overbuilding snafu when she became superintendent with most of the Board's approval. She sent bad numbers to the county on enrollment to squeeze more money out of it so she would have more to waste besides that in the regular tax kitty. She has known about the increased class size forever but now demands to rush through a measure that dumps her budget ineptitude on teachers' shoulders by loading an extra class onto them. No wonder teachers quit the profession under such leadership. Ms. Elia's disrespectful treatment of them in this extra-class debacle explains why.

The Board coddles the administration, not the teachers. The Board delivers pious praise to teachers and then doesn't listen to them at all. It rubberstamps administration ninny ideas. If the Board valued teachers instead of mouthing lip service to their so-called respect for teachers, it would establish a teacher-hearing slot at the front of the agenda. It would send around its invitation to all teachers in the system to come and talk to the Board in this reserved slot about what teachers see as needed to make the schools thrive. The Board would instruct Elia and her ROSSAC henchpeople not to conduct surveillance on teachers who came to give the Board their views. The administration's usual tactic is shutting them up via Professional-Standards retaliation to keep teachers in mute terror of losing their jobs. The Board would tell the school attorney that he may log billable hours for teachers' consulting him on any administration retaliation they experience.

A place for teachers at the front of the Board agenda and a Board refusal to allow the administration to retaliate for their speaking up would show real respect for teachers. Phony Board platitudes do not show respect for teachers.

Some brave, ethical Board member will move for such a slot for teachers before too long. I can hardly wait to see how the vote breaks. That vote will show each Board member's respect--or the lack of it--for teachers.

I send around a copy of this message--God bless the Web and blogs-- to let teachers in on this proposal for the Board to cede a spot for their in-put at the beginning of every Board meeting.

Nobody can thrust back into oblivion an idea that has taken the form of words. I put this proposal for teacher respect in words that nobody can misunderstand: The Board should give teachers a first-place slot in the Board agenda if the Board respects teachers indeed instead of in rhetoric.

Carving out a first-place spot in the Board agenda is an idea whose time has come in Hillsborough County.

lee drury de cesare

From: Ginger Goepper []
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2007 1:37 PM
To: lee decesare
Subject: Re: FW: The teacher gap: prepare now - The Boston Globe

"lee decesare" <> on Friday, March 30, 2007 at 1:04 PM -0500 wrote:
La Superintendent Elia does not yet know where to put a comma and writes with the rhetorical lack of élan of a third-grader.
Please stop harassing this lady. We do not need your propaganda.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Here's an article on a $1,000 grant Bart Birdsall got to buy science books for his school, Greco.

Bart is the gay media specialist that Elia told Linda Kipley of Professional Standards to cook up a case against because Bart protested the shut-down to gays of library privileges at county libraries.

He protested from his own email at home, but Kipley had the technology people waste school time to screen Bart's email records at Elia's behest to try to catch him using the school emails for personal use.

The only thing the tax-paid sleuths found to distort into misuse was that Birdsall posted messages on the media message boards, which is what media specialists are supposed to do. With this cooked-up "offense," Kipley called him into her office and tried to terrify him. She sent him an ominous, registered-mail letter to further her terror campaign.

Bart has asked for a letter of apology, but Kipley has not yet given him one. He is in counseling now for the aftermath of the event, which his therapist tells him is analogous to post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Kipley has a home-ec degree yet the administration promoted her to principal at HHS, where she performed so poorly that the administration transferred her to head of Professional Standards with a $120,000 plus salary. The jobs got no advertising, of course.

This odyssey of personnel musical chairs with no advertising or with picking the inside candidate and simply moving him/her int the job is typical of the administration's Board-sanctioned personnel policy. Administration uses the high-level, bloated-salary jobs to reward buddies and sycophants and to solve administrative mess-ups like Kipley's at HHS instead of firing her for incompetence.

The Professional Standards office runs as an Abu Ghraib operation with Linda Kipley's acting administration Lucco Brazzi to terrify school personnel into thinking that if its members speak up, they risk their jobs under a cooked-up charge of some kind. Kipley keeps a stash of those hooded drapes with eye cutouts that we all saw on the Internet bootleg pictures of an Abu Graraib prisoner attired in this Abu Graib couture. She uses it for school personnel as prison attire when the administration refers somebody to the Professional Standards Abu Graib cell block. She keeps an attack dog under her desk and feeds him Kibbles and Bits until a teacher shows up to run the Professional Standards gauntlet; then La Kipley sics the attack dog on the poor framed wretch.

This is the administration's method of maintaining discipline.

The Board Web page has plastered on it "We are an equal-opportunity employer."

Oh, sure.

City’s Grants Help Schools Improve Education



Students interested in science at Greco Middle School can soon celebrate, thanks to the Temple Terrace City Council.

Greco was one of 10 area schools that applied for school improvement grants through the City of Temple Terrace. Nine schools were awarded the grants, based on recommendations by the Temple Terrace School Support Committee. The city council members selected the grant recipients at its March 6 meeting.

Bart Birdsall, media specialist at Greco, applied for a $993.90 grant to purchase up-to-date science books for its library.

“I noticed during our last science fair there were a lot of students checking out books,” Birdsall said. “It occurred to me there was a lot of interest in science by our students. We are constantly having to replenish our science collection, because there are so many new breakthroughs and new theories. We can survive on an old fiction collection, but science is not like fiction. Science is constantly evolving.”

It was a tough decision for Birdsall. He had difficulty determining a specific request since there are so many needs.
“It is a real tug of war,” Birdsall said. “We never have enough money for books for all the sections. I always have to choose one section and try to replenish and then I can move onto another one.”

He said he chose science books because they are additions he thinks the whole school can benefit from.
“We really need to beef up the science collection,” Birdsall said. “It might be a way to help with the science fair, which is a school-wide project. It not only helps the students, it helps the teachers as well. I was very happy when I found out we were awarded the grant.”

Birdsall submitted a list of books and DVDs he will buy for the media center. Some specific book topics he sought included biology, astronomy, body sculpting, cells, cloning, global warming and recycling.
“I was trying to find subjects that someone could use to spring board into creating a science project,” Birdsall said. “I wanted to get books that would pique the interest of the students. Every book that I picked is up to date and was published within the last few years.”

Gabi Unanue, seventh-grader at Greco, said she is excited there soon will be new science books.
“We have a lot of books with old information in it,” Unanue said. “Lots of things have changed since those books were published. Many of the books still have Pluto listed as a planet.”

Tiffany Kissinger said she is happy too, but for a different reason.

“I am glad they will be getting more science books in the library,” Kissinger said. “There were not enough books for everybody. When we have to find a book to do a book report on, it is always hard to find a book.”

Greco science teacher Iris Willis-Boody can’t wait for the books to be ordered.

“We need to have more current science titles,” Willis-Boody said. “Birdsall chose the books based on input from the science teachers here. He knew what our curriculum was and he knew where our biggest shortages were.”

Principal Judith Kennedy knew about the grants and encouraged Birdsall to apply for one.

“The principals in Temple Terrace are in very close contact with the City of Temple Terrace,” Kennedy said. “We appreciate the support of the city. Our school continuously needs support and we are grateful to Temple Terrace for helping us.”

Kennedy said she anticipates that more of her teachers will apply for future grants.

“We are going to need funding to have a new math computer lab wired up,” Kennedy said. “We are always working on beautification projects, we are looking to get fencing around the school and we always need more books.”

Temple Terrace Elementary School, Riverhills Elementary School, Terrace Community Middle School and King High School also applied for and received grants from the city council.

Temple Terrace Elementary was granted $500 for its Math Super Stars program, a supplemental 25-week tool to help students excel in math.

Riverhills elementary received three grants – $633.95 for reading homework backpacks, $696 for new preschool playground equipment and $720 for its We the People instructional fifth-grade program about the U.S. Constitution.
Terrace Community Middle School was awarded $429.96 for educational craft products, $497 for new books in its media center and $469 to purchase learning materials about nutrition.

King High School $500 request for books, activity materials and transportation subsides for students in its pre-kindergarden program for disadvantaged children in the community was also granted.

Gwen Mora, member of school support committee, said most of the school grant applications met the criteria.
“We look at the population that will be served by the grant,” Mora said. “We look at the goals of the project, the actions or activities planned and the evaluation component. We like to know how well things work out after we award the money. We took into consideration all of those things and awarded different point totals to each.”

The city council awards about $5,000 in school improvement grants three times a year to schools in Temple Terrace.

Bart Birdsall
2309 W. Bristol Ave.
Tampa, FL 33609

home (813) 258-8817
cell (813) 362-7937