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Gradebook

Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

This would help who?

7

December

Like many other Florida school districts, Collier County has been slow to reach a teacher contract this year.

Unlike most of the others, Collier's teachers are acting like a real, aggressive union to push for what they want. Florida doesn't allow teachers to strike, but they have other steps to take and, in Collier, they are doing that.

First, the Collier Education Association called for its members to "work the contract," a term that means do nothing more than what the contract calls for. Leave school the minute the work day ends, don't grade papers at home, that sort of thing.

Now, it is urging teachers to resign their supplemental positions - that's everything from sponsoring student clubs to coaching sports teams - unless the sides reach a deal by Dec. 21, the Naples Daily News reports.

"While CCEA is very reluctant to move ahead with this, it is put in this position by the failure of the district to engage in any productive discussions beyond the 1 percent bonus offer," CCEA Executive Director Jonathan Tuttle wrote in a statement.

Not surprisingly, students are concerned.

"I am a senior and I am applying to college. My work with these clubs is established," Barron Collier High School senior Stephanie Alvarez told the paper. "But my sister is a freshman and there are sophomores and juniors who need these clubs. A lot of colleges look at what your extracurricular activities are."

The public generally supports teachers and acknowledges they're underpaid. But when teachers assert their employment rights like this, it often turns the public against them. The sight of students crying because their teachers won't provide what they need to get into college, for instance, never goes over too well. We'll keep watching this one.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:29am]

    

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