Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Q-Comp Mtgs & Guide, Republican Member Mtg, Scholarships

Q-Comp Member Meetings and Guide:  We have set up meetings in February to give more details about our Q-Comp proposal and answer your questions.  You’ll receive a reminder in your box as well, but for those of you who like to get your schedules together early, here are the specifics:
  • Tuesday, February 8:  Coon Rapids High School, Auditorium (enter door 13), 3:30-4:30 pm and 4:45-5:45 pm
  • Thursday, February 10:  AHEM Office; 10:30-11:30 am and 1:00-2:00 pm
  • Tuesday, February 15:  Jackson Middle School, IMC, 3:30-4:30 pm and 4:45-5:45 pm        
  • Tuesday, February 22:  Blaine High School, IMC, 3:30-4:30 pm and 4:45-5:45 pm 
  • Wednesday, February 23:  Anoka High School, Auditorium, 3:30-4:30 pm and 4:45-5:45 pm         
  • Thursday, February 24:  Andover High School, IMC, 3:30-4:30 pm and 4:45-5:45 pm

Also, our Q-Comp guide with more details is being printed. If you’d like to see it now, visit the “Quick Clicks” section on our main page to download a copy: www.ahem.locals.educationminnesota.org

Republican Member Meeting:  Over the last two years, Education Minnesota has made efforts to involve Education Minnesota Republican members in legislative and political activities on behalf of public education. It’s more important than ever for our Republican members to build relationships with their legislators.

Education Minnesota will hold a meeting of interested Republican members on Saturday, Feb. 5, from noon to 3 p.m. at the Education Minnesota headquarters in St. Paul. Education Minnesota will provide lunch and pay mileage for all members.  We’ll both give you information about engaging in the political process and take the time to hear what you have to say.  If you are interested, email us at ahem@anoka.k12.mn.us and we’ll get you set up.

Scholarships for Union Members and Their Families: The Minnesota AFL-CIO is proud to have scholarships available for union members and their dependents.  Education Minnesota is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, so our members are eligible. Five $1000 Minnesota AFL-CIO scholarship are available  to graduating high school seniors this year. The scholarship application deadline is April 30, 2011.   For more information and application forms, visit http://tinyurl.com/5v5spxz.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Error in Star Tribune Article on our Q-Comp Proposal

You may have seen the article in today’s Star Tribune about the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) signing off on our proposal ( http://tinyurl.com/68vyehj ).  In there, they say our district “would scrap it’s ‘steps and lanes’”.  That is not accurate.

Lanes would not change at all, steps would be modified.  Steps would be called “Performance Increments” and could be withheld if someone was not at a proficient level on their observations two years in a row.  Now, there already is language that says steps can be withheld for performance reasons in our current contract, but it is rarely (if ever) used. Districts that have Q-Comp currently say it is also rare in their programs that someone doesn’t get to move to the next step. This modification is required by the MDE for all Q-Comp plans.  I’ve included more specifics after my signature.

It is a change – and one people should consider carefully – but it doesn’t “scrap” our current system.

Chances are this won’t be the last inaccuracy we see in the media. In this case, someone in the district office misspoke (an honest mistake). We’ll work to get you the real story when the errors pop up so you can make an informed vote on March 8th and 9th.  Thank you to the eagle-eyed members who brought this to our attention and keep the questions coming,


The specific steps on handling performance increments are laid out in the Appeals Process portion of our proposal:

For those who do not successfully complete their observations, there will be options for additional support from the evaluators, colleagues, or administrators along the way. If those do not work, participants can appeal to the Q-Comp steering committee which is made up of half educators appointed by AHEM and half administrators.

If the appeal is not successful, the participant will not receive the incentives and the next year the participant will be on a formal PAS process with their administrator. If the observations in the second year are also not successful, the participant will neither be awarded incentives nor get a performance increment (step) on the salary schedule. 

The standard for success on the observations will start out lower at first to give us time to get used to the plan.  For the first year of our program, success means earning a rating of Proficient or Distinguished on 3 out of the 5 components of the instructional (or equivalent for those not in a regular classroom) portion of our current Performance Appraisal System (PAS). The second year, you’d need to be Proficient or Distinguished on 4 out of 5 components, with the standard moving to being Proficient or Distinguished on all parts of that portion by year three and each year thereafter.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Q-Comp Proposal Signed

Welcome back – I hope your return from break has been a good one.  While you were gone…

Q-Comp:  The Minnesota Department of Education signed off on our proposal on Monday, January 3rd.  Now it is time for us to decide whether or not this plan works for us.  It will take a 75% yes vote of our membership to approve the proposal.

At this Monday's Representative Assembly, we'll decide the exact date of our vote (we are proposing the first week in March).  We will also set up member meetings to review the proposal throughout February around the district.  Look for more information in your boxes about the specifics of the proposal as well toward the end of this month.

If you want to review the structure of the program right now, you can visit ahqcomp.blogspot.com.  There we have all the information we've sent you so far by mail, email and in your boxes, along with a link to where you can download the full application. (you'll notice  the proposal looks like it is over 300 pages long - however, the actual structure of the proposal is on pages 5-28 and 336-364, 51 pages total).

As always, your questions are welcome at ahem@anoka.k12.mn.us.  I look forward to a good discussion as we consider this opportunity.