Think About It: Rejected - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

January 23, 2012

Think About It: Rejected

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to grumbling about potholes and people texting while driving comes word that the public school teachers overwhelmingly turned down a new contract offer that their own union had said was good to go. The vote wasn't even close- 2 to 1 against the offer. Somehow, there was a disconnect, for the first time ever, between what the HSTA hierarchy thought made sense in a contract proposal and what the teacher's felt in their guts come voting time.

Knowing that part of your salary will be based on some form of subjective, amorphous evaluation process is a bit scary. Of course, in the private sector, that is often the case with annual performance appraisals, where subjective opinions and gut feel of higher-ups are often combined with statistical analysis in deciding one's future, let alone pay scale. Why the specifics of an evaluation system, which was obviously going to be controversial, were not fine-tuned before this never-ending contract issue was given back to teachers is a bit of a mystery. Maybe no one wants to dig into the gory details and try to make it equitable and rational; maybe the thought was that teachers would just sign the deal in good faith and assume the evaluation specifics would be dealt with later.

But after years of short-term contracts and lack of trust going on in many directions, the teachers emphatically said "no thanks" to this offer, opting to deal with multiple options in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, while the powers that be struggle to work this out, that sound you hear is our $75 million Race To The Top money crying for help as it slips away. Where is the leadership, as this is just one more indication of the mess we have gotten ourselves into as we try to navigate our kids' educational futures? Think about it...

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