GPEA Newsletter

October 2015 Volume 2 Issue 1

Education, Inc! A General Membership Meeting for the GPEA!

Tuesday, Oct. 27th, 4-5:15pm

260 Chalfonte Avenue

Grosse Pointe, MI

Join GPEA Leadership, GPEA Uniserv Director Freya Weberman and Local 1 President Paula Herbart at the Brownell Multipurpose Room for refreshments and a showing of "Education, Inc." This is a documentary that examines the free-market and for-profit interests that have been quietly and systematically privatizing America’s public education system under the banner of “school choice.” Told through the eyes of parent and filmmaker Brian Malone, as he travels cross-country in search of the answers and sources behind the privatizing of American public education, and what it means for his kids. With striking footage from school protests, raucous school board meetings and interviews with some of the most well known educators in the country, Malone zooms out to paint a clear picture of profit and politics that’s sweeping across the nation, right under our noses. Please RSVP below so we can plan refreshments.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

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Evaluation Information

In 2011 the legislators in Michigan passed an unprecedented number of laws that govern public education. Evaluations for public school educators fall under section 1249 of the Revised School Code. Find that language here:

Although evaluations are now a prohibited subject of bargaining, GPEA leadership continues to lobby for a place at the table when it comes to some aspects of our evaluation system and we have been successful in establishing some timelines and tightening up the language surrounding "Highly Effective." The MEA has acknowledged the good work that the GPEA is doing on behalf of its membership and has expressed interest in our work.

The GPPSS chose the Danielson model and enacted the following mandates to comply with the law.

On Cycle:

For a Rating (HE, E, ME, I) Maintains for 2 years after culmination of On-Cycle.

All probationary teachers shall be evaluated using an On-Cycle evaluation on an annual basis.

Any teacher that received a less than overall effective (ME or I) rating in the 2014-15 school year shall be evaluated using an On-Cycle evaluation this year.

Each On-Cycle teacher shall minimally have one Announced and one Un-announced Observation. At the discretion of the administrator additional observations may be conducted.

Probationary teachers shall have a minimum of two Un-Announced Observations annually. At the discretion of the administrator additional Un-Announced Observations may be conducted.

Any teacher that is changing buildings or departments within a building shall be evaluated using the On-Cycle evaluation model.

A teacher may be placed on an On-Cycle evaluation by administration at any time


Goal Setting & Assessment Conference

One Announced (or more) - Uploaded lesson plan & verbal admin. feedback

One Unannounced (or more) - Uploaded lesson plan & verbal admin. feedback

(Probationary and IDP - Two Unannounced)

Final Evaluation Conference


BASIC FORMAT OFF-CYCLE - No Change in Rating (but can be put "On-Cycle" at any time)

Goal Setting & Assessment Conference

One Un-Announced Observation (Uploaded lesson plan & verbal admin. feedback)


Three Walk Throughs (lesson plan & verbal admin. feedback?? Still being discussed)

Final Evaluation Conference

Any teacher that received an effective or highly effective On-Cycle evaluation during the 2012-13 or 2014-15 and is not changing buildings or departments shall be evaluated using an Off-Cycle evaluation this year.

At the discretion of the administrator additional Un-Announced Observations or Walk-throughs may be conducted.


Student Growth Information

The state law says that, where available, Michigan teachers must have a "longitudinal" growth component to their evaluation. Therefore the district is requiring NWEA, PSAT, SAT scores (where it makes sense to do so) to be counted in our yearly evaluations. That being said, to date NO teachers in GP have been put on IDP's or been rated less than effective based on test scores.

**Of note - there are more than 80 research studies that show that VAM scores (value added measurement - Ex; NWEA) are unfair and statistically unreliable in evaluating teacher effectiveness. Administration knows that and we know that.

Your second growth piece is going to be one that makes sense to you and that can show learning growth in your own individual classroom so there is a counterbalance to any nonsense that may be shown by an NWEA score. Let administration know (and make sure you both agree) during a pre-conference that your second "growth" piece is one that makes sense in YOUR classroom - something that you do anyway that shows that your students are learning.

**We are watching Senate Bill 103 carefully as it sailed past the House and is now on the Senate floor. Our MEA lobbyists have worked long and hard on this and it is significantly improved for the GPEA. Student growth would account for 25 percent (instead of the current fifty percent) of a teacher evaluation over the next three years, and then jump to 40 percent in the 2018-19 school year. There are other positive changes to SB 103 as well. Thanks to Dan Quinn (North) for sending along the below comparison chart.

Climate Survey Update

The GPEA has asked for a climate survey to be done pursuant to Board Policy 3112.01. The district had an opportunity to do this through a WorkplaceDynamics Engagement Survey this past August. Unfortunately, the company misrepresented to 389 how much of the survey data they would release without significant payment. WorkplaceDynamics will not release all the survey data until the district pays about $10,000. GPEA leadership met with Dr. Niehaus regarding this information and are continuing to seek an agreeable solution (seeking half the money from the Foundation, starting over with our own survey, etc.) Updates forthcoming as soon as agreed upon.

Duty Free Lunch?

Lunchroom duty is not considered a "professional responsibility." This would extend to the expectation of "meeting" for school business during your lunch hour. You can choose to do this voluntarily but GPEA leaders caution GPEA members to be careful not to set up regular expectations to "meet at lunch" as part of your professional duties. Your lunch time is your time to regroup after a long morning and before you have to tackle the myriad of expectations that will come with teaching in the afternoon.

Workman's Compensation - Need To Know

When there is a work-related injury, by law, the employer retains control of the treatment and case management of the case, and the employee must follow the treatment plan and referrals as directed by the GPPSS worker’s compensation administrator for the first 28 days following the injury. If employees choose not to follow the direction from the worker’s compensation administrator, including going to doctors that they are referred to, and they choose to go to their own doctor instead, the case will no longer be covered under the Grosse Pointe worker’s compensation insurance. Employees will then have to use their personal medical insurance, and will have to pay for any out-of-pocket costs including meeting deductibles and any co-pays required of them. In addition, they will have to use their leave banks to cover any absences. If you have a work related injury - you will be referred to the St. John Occupational Health center in the St. John Hospital office building at Mack and Moross or to Grosse Pointe Urgent Care.

FAQ from the GPEA

Does Back To School Night count as one of our four obligatory evening events?

Yes! Back To School Night is a required event for professional staff. You will need to sign up for three additional events (choir/instrumental concerts, PTO meetings, dances, theatrical supervision, etc.) If you are asked to supervise more than four outside the school day events you must either receive E.P.E.D. pay or compensatory time.

Can my administrator require me to supervise my hallway between class periods or directly before or after school?

Yes - Teachers shall be expected to assume at least one extra school responsibility of a minor nature which is not part of the E.P.E.D. responsibility. Teachers assigned to more than one building shall assume the extra school responsibility in only one building. Examples of such responsibilities are as follows: Elementary (hall bulletin boards, chairpersons for grade groups, American Education Week, etc.); Secondary, (graduation activities, hall duty, assemblies, etc.) Additional responsibilities of a minor nature for a traveling teacher shall not include activities that require daily monitoring in the building.

Share the MEA Media Campaign

MEA members are frustrated when policymakers, most of whom haven’t set foot in a classroom in years, make decisions that impact students and educators without asking for input from those who serve on the front lines.

At last year's Spring RA your GPEA delegates (Jackie Shelson, Rob McIntyre and Laura Mikesell) voted to begin a public campaign on behalf of our public school teachers. Watch the first ad on MEA’s YouTube channel. In the ad at you’ll hear MEA members say what they want policymakers to know about education in Michigan.

MEA will continue fighting for you and reminding policymakers—in our local communities, Lansing and Washington—of the importance of working with educators when they craft education policy. Because when it comes to what’s best for our kids, MEA members are the experts.

Happy Halloween from Your GPEA Executive Board

Mike Rennell, Chris Geerer, Greg Johnson, Kim Maddalena, Barry Mulso, P.J. Palen, Deb Raab, Jackie Shelson, Rob McIntyre, Judy Ignagni, Cheryl Gawel & Laura Mikesell
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