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Teachers Contract

We need to know what is in the contract

I noted the BOE agenda that was posted to the web atwww.woboe.org yesterday for the meeting of Monday night January 7, 2012 stipulates that a contract agreement was reached with the teacher’s union retro-active from July 1, 2012 and forward to June 30, 2105. Currently over 60% of the West Orange tax levy goes to the BOE and the biggest driver of BOE cost is the contract with the teacher. No details were released. For a vote that has huge fiscal implication for West Orange, the citizen should be brought into the process and be able to voice opinion on this. However, the lack of details makes citizen engagement in the debate difficult or impossible. The BOE members all promised to operate a transparent board of education when they won their respective election. This ramming thru a vote with no discussion on the details before the fact is the exact opposite of transparent. I urge to citizens to demand, that the vote to be tabled until detail are released and a debate can be had.

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wohopeful January 06, 2013 at 03:19 AM
The lack of transparency and openness to citizen involvement through discussion and debate by the members of the WOBOE have led the hard working tax payers of West Orange over the fiscal cliff for many years. We are now faced with well over 60% of our excessively high property taxes being mismanaged by the WOBOE with no transparency or input from those paint the bills. We have a failed school district with consistent rankings in the bottom third of all schools in the state when it comes to basic proficiency testing, schools on the federal watch list for repeatedly not meeting the low bar federal standards for basic skills testing, teachers indicted for illegal acts, a superintendent fiasco that has never been fully disclosed, and the list goes on. And to top off all of this the WOBOE determines that they will no longer allow the public to vote on the gluttonous budgets that they put forth year after year, afraid that public input will further expose the failed school district and WOBOE policies. It is time for a drastic change if we ever expect WO to be a successful district with affordable homes.
john anthony prignano January 06, 2013 at 05:03 AM
Years ago, all the bus aides were fired .Years ago in a cost saving initiative? cafeteria services were privatized. Michele Casalino said she saved $800,000 by changing busing procedures and by reducing custodian overtime. Over the last 3 years,average teacher compensation in New Jersey has increased by 7%. Over the same period of time, West Orange teacher compensation has increased by 14%! It's been quite a while since I've read that crap they've been pedaling for years:"The mission of the public schools is to prepare the students to be able to compete successfully in the high - tech hyper - competitive global economy of the 21st century ".21% of the jobs lost starting in 2008 paid $13.50 an hour or less. 58% per cent of the jobs created during the "recovery " pay $13.50 an hour or less. But no nation on earth can compete with the quality { and quantity } of our motivational speakers, life coaches, guidance counselors, non - supervisory coordinators, facilitators,arbitrators, fact finders, college economic theorist professors,ad infinitum .We pay a fortune for garbage, and the schedule is so abbreviated,that the clique,armed with their very generous taxpayer provided safety net, can, and often does,take one or more private sector jobs from their employers, the public, and still put in less time than the average small business owner. The new method of "Wealth Creation " - simply transferring money from one group to another. It has one rule; Give your friends money!
Kate Farrell January 06, 2013 at 05:24 AM
Yes... Exactly where do you two get your 'information' from? Mr. Kraemer seems to be complaining about possible but not actual things, and this other person... I've read some of his comments. All he ever does is say mean and negative things about this town. I don't see what good comes out of any of this.
Jim January 06, 2013 at 10:17 AM
Since when has successful and affordable gone hand in hand. My guess is that any perceived decline is the district can be traced directly to a decline in the quality of student brought into these classrooms. Affordable? Look at the top districts in the state and by and large you are not talking about "cheap" places to live. Want to improve the district? Improve the readiness and behavior of the kids who inhabit the classrooms. Support the teachers and give them the right incentives. Try being a parent at home.
rosalita January 06, 2013 at 02:18 PM
wohopeful - well said. This BOE is an awful group of people. They all think they they are royalty and that its residents are its peasants. They are arrogant and spend our hard earned money frivolously. They put people they can control in positions of power so they can carry out personal agendas for the benefit of themselves, their kids or their chronie friends. Their answer to everything is - we are doing this or that because it is good for everyone, we are trying yo make the district/community better - BS. The superintendent fiasco was definitely the worst. All I had to do was go on the internet to see that Cavanna was fired and brought out by THREE school districts before he came here, and these idiots gave him well over 200k a year and WE are STILL paying him while paying this new guy over 500 a day. What kind of research does this group of scholars perform before they spend our money them? Answer - they dont. They just want to hire people in positions of power they can control and when it doesnt work out they fire them and move on. They should all take a good look in the mirror. Underachieving academic district, corruption, lies, outrageous taxes and personal agendas - welcome to the WOBOE.
john anthony prignano January 06, 2013 at 07:50 PM
It's NEVER the teachers .On 4 occasions I showed Superintendent Tarnoff papers that had been graded but not corrected. He took corrective action. My wife caught a teacher red - handed trying to screw my son on his grade. A grammar school teacher who has mediocre attendance doesn't spend much more than 12 conventional work weeks working directly with their students .Are the parents and students to blame for these things? Every year, fewer hours are committed to core curriculum, and more hours are committed to social engineering .WOHS provides the hourly equivalent of 14 days less instructional time than the State average .Are the parents and students to blame for this obscene lack of instructional time? Are the parents responsible for the teachers who have moved out of town and/or have THEIR children in private schools, often because they have so little belief in their own ability and the system that pays them to TEACH? Are the parents and students to blame for the cronyism and nepotism and political correctness that is undermining the schools? Tell me what parents we should blame for the appointment of Dr. Cavanna AND his $150k parting gift .Attacking the parents, many of whom are clearly struggling to make ends meet, and the students to the exclusion of all others is really shameless pandering. Isn't $150 an hour incentive enough? Do you expect me to believe that all the people who have guaranteed lifetime employment are giving 110%? EVERYONE needs to do more .
Kate Farrell January 06, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Can any of you prove what you're saying? My kids are getting a great education in the s hooks. I can't keep reading this nasty stuff. Isn't it better if people were positive and tried to improve things... And help?
john anthony prignano January 06, 2013 at 08:46 PM
rosalita GREAT comments . The new guy makes close to $1,000 a day for every day school is in session . You're criticisms are correct . This " These are good people who make bad decisions " philosophy is politically correct nonsense .These are bad people who make good decisions for themselves and their cronies .
Adam Kraemer January 06, 2013 at 09:39 PM
Kate- I love the town it is filled with great people and good things: However, I think the governance of the town is not so good, and the tax situation is bad.
Adam Kraemer January 07, 2013 at 02:02 AM
Kate - I am glad your children are learning and glad to public schools work for you. Not all of it is bad. Unfortunately the agragate test scores indicate that the West Orange public schools does not work for all and needs improvement. My childern went from k-3 and had good teahcers. So I am not going to say all is wrong. However, when expenditure are $20,000 per student and scores are only at about the state avage and below average test scores compared to comunities with similar wealth and demography then we have issues.
Jim January 07, 2013 at 11:54 AM
..Not to mention personal trainers...
Shoshanna January 08, 2013 at 01:12 AM
It makes all the sense in the world to have shared administrative duties. Instead of Rando wasting her time and OUR MILLIONS purchasing programs like "Connected Math" she can be doing something worthwhile for the amount of money she gets paid. I have heard from several teachers that this math program is despised by teachers for its complication of subject matter and sheer frustration from students and teachers alike, especially Spec Ed children. there is way too much wrong with the BOE and the only way to begin tackling its myriad of issues is to see exactly all the money is going and stop the bleeding.
Shoshanna January 08, 2013 at 02:05 AM
I've been reading your comments and have given you the new nick name "John Pragmatic". :)
Jim January 08, 2013 at 02:17 AM
I will say one thing. I find the overall quality lacking in the administrative ranks here in WO. It's probably something that is a problem in many places, but since we live here and pay a significant tax bill it makes a difference. The middle school and high schools are not places where I really see my kids going and that opinion is held by many others that I have spoken too. If we manage to stay in NJ (we are seriously considering leaving the state) we certainly won't be 'here' too much longer. Sorry West Orange, it simply isn't working anymore. But you did the right thing in giving the people who are doing the actual work, the teachers, their due.
john anthony prignano January 08, 2013 at 04:52 AM
Shoshanna Many years ago, I had a conversation with a school board member I said , "You're not even trying to control costs " She yelled " Yes we are! We've privatized cafeteria services !" Why pay a cafeteria worker $7 an hour when you can pay them $6.Why pay a teacher $100 an hour,when you can use the savings from the food services to help pay them $110. She then told me about many of the expensive State mandates the District must pay for sans State funding. So I said , " Does the State mandate longevity pay? How about 9 salary steps? Does the State mandate the very generous benefits package you give teachers? How about the salaries,State mandate? Does the State tell you that Administrators and Department heads are prohibited from teaching classes? The State mandates Guidance at every grade level, but they don't have to be unionized, and there is no mandated ratio of Counselor to students. Before Jim McGreevy became Governor School Boards had the power to impose a " last best offer " contract on teachers. Could you imagine? Forking over that kind of dough all those years when they had that power at their fingertips? I said to the Board member "You spend all that money, because YOU WANT TO." Michele Casalino said the Board saved $800,000 by reducing custodian overtime and changing busing procedures. The average compensation of a NJ teacher over the last 3 years rose 7%. West Orange teacher compensation over the same time period rose 14%. signed, John Pragmatic :)
john anthony prignano January 08, 2013 at 04:55 AM
Shoshanna Terrific comments signed, John Pragmatic :)
Lisa January 08, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Portmanteau, As a parent of a recent WOHS grad and a parent of two middle schoolers, your statements could not be more inaccurate. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, unless you see for yourself and stop listening those who do not have their children in those respective schools, you will not get a full picture. My child had an outstanding high school experience and is thriving in college. All of my child's friends are attending top notch schools and are also doing well. I would be happy to answer any questions you have and to respond to any rumors or negative innuendo you hear because most of it, I am sure will not turn out to be accurate. With that said, it is a free country and you are free to live anywhere you wish.
john anthony prignano January 09, 2013 at 12:45 AM
Lisa Based on 2012 HSPA scores, WOHS ranks 260 out of 389 NJ High Schools. At the Edison School, 32.7% of the students tested below proficient in Language Arts Literacy, {L.A.L.} and 31.2% tested below proficient in math. At the Liberty School, 31.6% of sixth graders tested below proficient in L.A.L., and 33.1% tested below proficient in math. Seventh grade, 33;7% of the students were below proficient in L.A.L. , and 37.3% were below proficient in math .Eighth grade, 20.9% of students were below proficient in L.A.L., 45.7% were below proficient in math, and 29.5% were below proficient in science. WOHS's average SATS are 1453. .The State average is 1503. Here's where West Orange excels; Average NJ teacher salary ; $63,851 for 10 years of service .WO average teacher salary is $82,392 for 9 years of service. Average NJ Administrator's salary $119,491 for 19 years of service .Average WO Administrator's salary - $131,716 for 13 years of service.3 year change - $119,070 to $122,940 to $131,716. Average NJ teacher compensation rose 7% over the last 3 years .WO teacher compensation rose 14%. - from $70,551 to $73,141, to $82,392. Lisa. the support letters always say ' MY kids are doing or did great in the WO public schools.Show me where I delve in to rumor and innuendo, and tell me why we shouldn't be denouncing what's going on in West Orange, and why we shouldn't be demanding serious changes and reforms - e.g. A longer school day?.P.S. There is no County residency requirement.
john anthony prignano January 09, 2013 at 03:10 AM
Portmanteau It is DEFINITELY a problem in many places.
Adam Kraemer January 09, 2013 at 11:49 AM
In the end it was tabled - The vote will not occur until we know what is in it.
john anthony prignano January 09, 2013 at 07:02 PM
Shoshanna Doctor Donna Rando's 2011 profile shows; Base salary ; $197,411. Experience in District; 12 years .Total years of experience; 12 years . National Board Certified ? No .Highly qualified { passed the Praxis } ? No .Doesn't need to be Highly Qualified . Position; Assistant Superintendent Curriculum Instruction . She is not National Board Certified, she is not even Highly Qualified in her subject matter, and most likely she has never taught a single class. It appears she was hired right off the street for this position or a similar position, without having any previous professional experience of any kind in the public schools . $197,411 + benefits. What's the School Board's position? " The reason we pay more than other Districts is so that we can attract the best and brightest talent available" ??? Great comments Shoshanna.
Shoshanna January 09, 2013 at 07:51 PM
Thanks John Pragmatic. She is just one of the many in the bloated system. Yes, it is known that the top 10% of the students get a super education. Well, what about the other 90%? how many vice principals does the high school really need? Cheaper to hire retired police.
john anthony prignano January 09, 2013 at 10:58 PM
Portmanteau This is how the game is played; If you have no children, or if you have your children in private schools, then you have little or no insight into what actually occurs in the West Orange Public Schools, and thus you are unqualified to speak about what goes on in those schools. Even if you have children who once attended the West Orange schools but no longer do, you clearly are not in possession of first hand, contemporaneous knowledge regarding the day to day operations of the West Orange Public School System. Therefore, you are not qualified to speak on that subject{s}. Now, if you have children in the public schools but you express strong or even relatively mild dissatisfaction with the quality of the education your children are receiving, and/or the cost of their education, a challenge is issued; If you don't like the public schools, why are your kids there? Why aren't they in a private school or another District? If you think the schools are overpriced, why are you still living in West Orange? Ah, but If you move or put your children in a private school, then you will have not have first hand contemporaneous knowledge of the the day to day operations of the West Orange Schools etc.... . if you buy into this nonsense, NO ONE is in any position to complain; .You're either an extremely ignorant person,or you're a big hypocrite or you're both. BUT, we can ALL read the NJ School Report Card, and NJ Monthly,and the Great Schools website, and more, can't we?
woresident January 09, 2013 at 11:34 PM
John. Where exactly do you get the information that teacher compensation rose 14% in the last 3 years? The teachers are 2 years behind in their contract. This years salary should be the same as last year..so where do you get 14%. And, since they are paying more this year for their health care than last year, didn't their compensation go down of you are including the benefit package? Also, the next time you mention the 14 less days of instructional time at the HS, why not provide a link to the statistics. I am so tired of reading your nasty comments. You obviously have a ax to grind with the BOE....I think I will just stop reading anything with your name on it.
john anthony prignano January 10, 2013 at 02:04 AM
New Jersey School Report Card; WOHS daily instructional time; 5 hours, 28 minutes .State average;5 hours 56 minutes.Teacher compensation; West Orange 3 year change + 6%, + 4%, + 4% .increase14% Average NJ teacher compensation over the same period of time: +4%, +4% -1% increase; 7%.. The average NJ teacher salary is $63,851 for 10 years service.West Orange ; $82,392 for 9 years.. Average NJ Administrator salary ; $119,491 for 19 years service. West Orange $131,716 for 13 years.The last time I looked, the terms of the old contract stay in effect until a new agreement is reached.I would imagine that part of that 14% is longevity pay, and part of it is step increases,which are huge amounts of $.{ West Orange has only 9 salary steps } The 14% increase is total teacher compensation. .They are paying more into their benefits, but what they pay might be a small fraction of the overall benefits increase {health care costs are soaring, are they not?}. If you want to say that Essex County is a very expensive place to live, even by Jersey standards, hence the higher salaries,fine, but there's NO County residency requirement for teachers.You know who REALLY has an axe to grind? Teachers who put their children in private schools at a ratio of 2 to 1 to the general public, and the West Orange teachers who have cleared out because they won't subject their children to the crap they're dumping on other people's children.Why does my baseless axe grinding upset you, IF that's what it is?
woresident January 10, 2013 at 02:35 AM
How do you know how many teachers place their children in private schools, how would you know the reason behind the decision, how do you know how many teachers moved out due to the "crap they're dumping on other people's children". How many teachers live in the town? According to the new law, teachers will be paying a much higher percentage of their health benefits. I don't know the exact numbers since it has little to do with me but, I believe it is being phased in over 4 or 5 years. Teachers making the top money will pay about 30% of the cost...the amount they pay will increase as the costs soar. Your axe grinding bothers me because it is constant, repetitive, and, I believe, often inaccurate. You use every chance to repeat your rants about teachers, their salaries, the HS instructional time and I am so tired of it. You never have anything helpful, constructive or nice to say. You have an to axe to grind and you have found your forum. I have decided to ignore your posts. My children are in a great school. I think NJASK scores are a load of crap and my kids do very well on them. I care about the work I see them doing and I am very happy with West Orange schools . Good bye Mr. Prignano.

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