Sunday, December 16, 2007

They can't hear US if WE'RE not there!

LCEA's guide to becoming an effective caucus-goer

Whether you're a life-long caucus goer or you've never been, the stakes have never been higher. NCLB's reauthorization has been tabled due to the work of our state and national leaders. We need you to help the agenda of public education at your caucus site.

ISEA has spent a great deal of time putting materials together for us to use to enter the caucus process informed and ready.

Watch this video made to help us understand the importance of the caucus process.

ISEA members can help shape the future of America's public schools by getting involved and attending their precinct caucuses in January -- both Republicans and Democrats have now scheduled their caucuses for Thursday, January 3.




Regardless of your party affiliation or candidate of choice: our students, our schools, our colleagues and our Association needs your help to take the following resolutions to your caucus. Please click on the link and print these to take to your caucus. Find other educators to help pass them on to your county platform meeting.

CLICK HERE FOR ISEA RESOLUTIONS (Resolutions are Double Spaced & Numbered by line with Signature Plate.) They're all ready for you to take to your precinct caucus.

So, after months of phone calls, becoming familiar with the candidates' positions on the issues, it's finally time to make your voice heard by attending your precinct caucus on Thursday evening, January 3!

Don't know where your caucus is being held?

CLICK HERE to find Republican caucus locations.

CLICK HERE to find Democratic caucus locations.

Please be a part of it all. Attend your caucus on Thursday and send a strong message that our students are our state's - and our nation's - most precious resource!P.S. Be sure to get there early. At most caucuses, you must beregistered or in line by 6:30 p.m. in order to participate.P.S.S.

QUESTIONS? CLICK HERE to forward questions our way about how to caucus, babysitting services, rides available and more.

Whether you're a Democrat, Republican, or No Party, you can help bring your neighbors together around the issues that really matter: Students and public education. Here are links to the tips, tools, resources, and information you'll need to make a difference:

About the caucuses

Download the ISEA Caucus Kit

ISEA Caucus Classroom

ISEA-sponsored Caucus Countdown on Radio Iowa

Watch our video

Listen to Linda Nelson's podcast

See where the candidates stand on education

Radio Iowa's blog

Iowa Republican Party caucus information

Republican Party of Iowa state platform

Iowa Democratic Party caucus information

Iowa Democratic Party state platform

Iowa Politics political news service

2008 Iowa Student Caucus

Iowa Votes 2008 (WHO TV)

Commitment 2008 (KCCI TV)

Des Moines Register Caucus Guide

Cedar Rapids Gazette Caucus Guide

Just in time for holiday gift giving

Use your ISEA Access membership card to save big on holiday gifts from popular national merchants including, Eddie Bauer, Lands End, Lane Bryant, The Sharper Image, KB Toys, and more. To learn how you can get the most of this exclusive membership benefit, tune in to our latest ISEA In Focus podcast episode featuring an interview with Emily Hayes of Access Development Corporation, the company that administers this program for us. While you're there, be sure to tune into other recent episodes including an inspiring interview with this year's Excellence in Education Award winner Blake Hammond of Des Moines.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tell Congress: Stand up for Vulnerable Children – Override the President’s Veto of Children’s Health Funding

December 14, 2007

President Bush has once again vetoed legislation that would provide much-needed health care coverage to low-income children. The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (H.R. 3963) would expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover 10 million children.

Over the past ten years, SCHIP has helped reduce the number of uninsured children in America by one-third. However, millions of children remain uninsured or underinsured.
Contact your representatives in Congress TODAY!!

Tell Congress to stand up for our most vulnerable children – override the President’s veto of the SCHIP bill.

Friday, December 14, 2007

No Cost Ti-Vo for NEA Members with Sign Up

Hey LCEA Member--NEA has a deal for you!

What's on your "to-do" list today? Car pool? Doctor's appointment? Add some sanity back into your life this holiday season with a new TiVo. Take control of the TV for your family.

Imagine the possibilities: watching Lost when it’s convenient for you. A Grey's Anatomy marathon. And why bother about renting DVDs when you have a kajillion episodes of your favorite show at your fingertips?

Take advantage of this limited-time offer to get a FREE 80-hour TiVo® Series2™ Dual Tuner digital video recorder (DVR) (a $249 value) when you sign up for a TiVo service plan for only $12.95 per month, or choose one to three years service and save even more. A TiVo DVR, powered by the incredible TiVo service, automatically finds and digitally records all of your favorite shows, every time they're on. Watch your shows when you want to. With TiVo KidZone, easily find and record the best shows for kids, and keep out the bad stuff.
In addition, educators across the U.S. use TiVo as a tool to improve their curriculum. Have an upcoming lesson plan on the Civil Rights Movement? Enter the keywords and TiVo will search and find all programming related to the subject matter.

Let your family discover the magic! With more innovations than any other DVR, TiVo is the ideal way to personalize your TV time. Rewind great moments. Skip the dull stuff. Don't follow a TV schedule; make it follow yours.

Do we sound fanatical? Oh, yes. And you will be, too. That's why TiVo comes with a 30-day money back guarantee because no one ever wants to give this sucker back.Already have TiVo? Pass this awesome offer on to your friends and family.

Related Links
What is TiVo? »
TiVo® KidZone FAQ »
The TiVo Advantage »
Check out the new TiVo HD DVR! »

Where Are All the Heroes?

"Where are the heroes of today?" a radio talk show host thundered.

He blames society's shortcomings on education. Too many people are looking for heroes in all the wrong places. Movie stars and rock musicians, athletes, and models aren't heroes; they're celebrities.

Heroes abound in public schools, a fact that doesn't make the news. There is no precedent for the level of violence, drugs, broken homes, child abuse, and crime in today's America. Education didn't create these problems but deals with them every day.

You want heroes?

Consider Dave Sanders, the schoolteacher shot to death while trying to shield his students from two youths on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Sanders gave his life, along with 12 students, and other less heralded heroes survived the Colorado blood bath.

You want heroes?

Jane Smith, a Fayetteville, NC teacher, was moved by the plight of one of her students, a boy dying for want of a kidney transplant. So this woman told the family of a 14 year old boy that she would give him one of her kidneys. And she did. When they subsequently appeared together hugging on the Today Show, even Katie Couric was near tears.

You want heroes?

Doris Dillon dreamed all her life of being a teacher. She not only made it, she was one of those wondrous teachers who could bring the best out of every single child. One of her fellow teachers in San Jose, Calif said, "She could teach a rock to read. " Suddenly she was stricken with Lou Gehrig's Disease which is always fatal, usually within five years. She asked to stay on job...and did. When her voice was affected she communicated by computer. Did she go home? Absolutely not! She is running two elementary school libraries! When the disease was diagnosed, she wrote the staff and all the families that she had one last lesson to teach .... that dying is part of living. Her colleagues named her Teacher of the Year.

You want heroes?

Bob House, a teacher in Gay, Georgia, tried out for Who Wants to be a Millionaire. After he won the million dollars, a network film crew wanted to follow up to see how it had impacted his life. New cars? Big new house? Instead, they found both Bob House and his wife still teaching. They explained that it was what they had always wanted to do with their lives and that would not change. The community was both stunned and gratified.

You want heroes?

Last year the average school teacher spent $468 of their own money for student necessities...workbooks, pencils-supplies kids had to have but could not afford. That's a lot of money from the pockets of the most poorly paid teachers in the industrial world.

Schools don't teach values? The critics are dead wrong.

Public education provides more Sunday School teachers than any other profession. The average teacher works more hours in nine months than the average 40-hour employee does in a year.

You want heroes?

For millions of kids, the hug they get from a teacher is the only hug they will get that day because the nation is living through the worst parenting in history. An Argyle, Texas kindergarten teacher hugs her little 5 and 6 year-olds so much that both the boys and the girls run up and hug her when they see her in the hall, at the football games, or in the malls years later.

A Michigan principal moved me to tears with the story of her attempt to rescue a badly abused little boy who doted on a stuffed animal on her desk-one that said "I love you!" He said he'd never been that at home. This is a constant in today's society... two million unwanted, unloved, abused children in the public schools, the only institution that takes them all in.

You want heroes?

Visit any special education class and watch the miracle of personal interaction, a job so difficult that fellow teachers are awed by the dedication they witness. There is a sentence from an unnamed source which says: "We have been so eager to give our children what we didn't have that we have neglected to give them what we did."

What is it that our kids really need? What do they really want?

Math, science, history and social studies are important, but children need love, confidence, encouragement, someone to talk to, someone to listen, standards to live by. Teachers provide upright examples, the faith and assurance of responsible people.

You want heroes? Then go down to your local school and see our real live heroes, the ones changing lives for the better each and every day!


Now, if you want to pass this on, send it to someone you know who's a teacher, or to someone who should thank a teacher today. I'd like to see this sent to all those who cut down the importance of teachers. They have no idea who a public school teacher is or what they do.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

LCEA Execuitve Board Meeting Minutes December 13, 2007

LCEA Executive Board Meeting

Date: 12/13/2007
Place: Kreft in Room 11
Time: 4:15

Roll Call: Sharon Crawley, Kim Muta, Jennifer Doorlag (absent), Maggie Bennett, Dave Bergman
HS Reps: Tom McLaughlin (hospitalized), Allison Towne, Brian Johnson (absent), Christina Woodward (absent)
MS Reps: Margot Argotsinger, Beth Frank, Al Lorenz, Barb Motes
TH Reps: Susan Drustrup (Janet Zuehlke), Maggie Miller, Jennifer Hake
Kreft Reps: Kathy Moe (sub—Michelle Schaeffer), Melinn Ruzicka, Tara York

Approval of Agenda:
• Dave Bergman moved that the agenda be approved, Kim Muta seconded, and the motion passed.

Secretary’s Report/ Approval of Minutes: Kim Muta
• Allison Towne moved that the November minutes be approved, Dave Bergman seconded, and the motion passed.

Treasurer’s Report: Jennifer Doorlag
• Sharon Crawley has a couple of receipts from approved spending. Receipts from Teacher Appreciation Week should be turned in for reimbursement.

Negotiations: Beth Frank
• Beth Frank explained our initial proposal and the Board’s initial proposal (see attached).
• Beth Frank also gave us copies of the survey results (see attached).
• The next meeting is January 10, 2008.
• Sharon Crawley suggested again that we need to get a committee together to explore insurance issues. This committee would not, of course, be part of the negotiation committee.

TQC: Barb Motes
• During the last meeting, we discussed the market factor money. (This was explained also during the November meeting—see those minutes.)
• Side note: Remind colleagues to fill out paperwork for classes that they want to use to move over on the pay scale.
• Our next tasks are to look at the evaluation system and to evaluate the professional development.

President’s Report: Sharon Crawley
• Sharon Crawley got a question sent about principals being out of the building and the chain of command. She emailed the principals about that issue. Barb Grell replied and explained that they all have mobile phones by which they can be reached. Kent Stopak addressed the issue with his staff, and said that they should contact the office as they would if he were there. Chuck Story saw Sharon Crawley about the issue, and explained that they inform the faculty about absent administration and we always have Richard for security problems.
• Another issue that has been raised about sick leave for parents when children are sick. Beth Frank addressed this, as it was a negotiated language change in the contract a few years ago.
• February 14 and 15: We cannot use sick leave for these days because they are not part of our contracted number of days for this school year. We are expected to be there, and we will be paid per diem for them. If we are not there, we will not be paid. (These are not Phase III days—Phase III no longer exists.) Sharon Crawley read the memo drafted by Tom McLaughlin about this issue. We will be paid for those days in our March pay checks, noted as an extra line.
• Sharon Crawley also received multiple phone calls about not receiving our pay deposits on the first of the month in November (which fall on a Saturday). Dave Bergman talked to Dr. Schweer about this. The money is released to the District’s bank, but it’s being released by some banks later than others. People with automatic payments should schedule those automatic payments later in the month.

Committee Reports:
• High School: Staff members were stuck in Des Moines at a conference on a snow day. We’re going live with Power School. Kids now have access.
• Middle School: Some of the middle schoolers have access to Power School. There are some issues with mainstreaming of some of the special education students. The State is putting a lot of pressure on districts to mainstream.
• Kreft: They met with Barb Grell about equity in work time. The time taken up by the progress reports seems to be lessening.
• Titan Hill: There are power and heat issues. There was no communication about these problems. Kent Stopak said that they could have a safety committee to address the lack of a crisis plan for such occurrences.

Old Business:
• Reps setting up monthly meetings with individual building principals—Please do this.
• Ten minute meetings with members—Please do this.

New Business:
• Attendance to a board meeting—The list still has empty dates.
• Public Relations: Committees for Education weeks, National Teacher Day, Reading Across America, Retirees, etc.—We need people on these committees.
• Public Relations: Toy drive, Food/Books drives, etc./Activity for each building in January—We need people on these committees.
• February days (14/15)—See President’s Report above.
• Administrators out of the building? Who is in charge? Procedures? –See President’s Report above.

Maggie Miller moved that the meeting be adjourned, and Jennifer Hake seconded it. The meeting adjourned at 5:40.

CLICK HERE for a WORD version of LCEA Meeting Minutes 12.13.07

LCEA Executive Board Agenda December 13, 2008

LCEA Executive Board Meeting Date: 12/13/2007 Place: Kreft in room 11 Time: 4:15

Roll Call: Sharon Crawley, Kim Muta, Jennifer Doorlag,
Maggie Bennett, Dave Bergman
HS Reps: Tom McLaughlin, Allison Towne, Brian Johnson, Christina Woodward
MS Reps: Margot Argotsinger, Beth Frank, Al Lorenz, Barb Motes
TH Reps: Susan Drustrup, Maggie Miller, Jennifer Hake
Kreft Reps: Kathy Moe, Melinn Ruzicka, Tara York

Approval of Agenda:

Secretary’s Report/ Approval of Minutes: Kim Muta

Treasurer’s Report: Jennifer Doorlag

Negotiations: Beth Frank

TQC: Barb Motes

President’s Report: Sharon Crawley

Committee Reports:
High School:
Middle School:
Titan Hill:

Old Business:
• Reps setting up monthly meetings with individual building principals
• Ten minute meetings with members

New Business:
• Attendance to a board meeting 
• Public Relations: Committees for Education weeks, National Teacher Day, Reading Across America, Retirees, etc..
• Public Relations: Toy drive, Food/Books drives, etc../Activity for each building in January (the half way mark!!)
• Delegate Assembly coming up!!! (Kim will you talk about this?)
• February days (14/15)
• Administrators out of the building? Who is in charge? Procedures?


Tools for Adults To Keep Young Teens Safer Online

NEA's Health Information Network is pleased to announce bNetS@vvy, a bimonthly enewsletter to help "tweens" (ages 9 to 14) stay safer online. It's part of the 4NetSafety project developed in collaboration with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and Sprint. Written by kids, parents, educators, and technology experts, bNetS@vvy is designed to give adults real world stories, resources, and skills to help keep young people safer on MySpace, Facebook, and other social networking sites and while using IM, texting, and other wireless technologies. In December and January, bNetS@vvy will focus on the hot topic of cyberbullying and the national launch of the site: and the bNetS@vvy enewsletter.

Click on to subscribe to bNetS@vvy.

Hurry to take advantage of these member-only specials

Mackinaw Island Press is offering ISEA members a 30 percent discount on all of its great children’s books; and if you purchase anytime during the month of December, the publisher will donate an additional 10 percent of sales to the ISEA Scholarship Fund. The works of two Iowans are currently being highlighted -- ISEA member Wendy Caszatt-Allen, an eighth-grade teacher in Kalona and author of Adventures of Pachelot: Last Voyage of the Griffen and Fort Brokenheart; and Sarah Grant, founder of the Des Moines-based Sticks company, who illustrated Sleeping Bear: The Legend. Check out these and the other award-winning offerings at

Enter ISEA as the code to receive your discount.

Get $30 off plus free shipping at LeapFrog SchoolHouse

NEA members can now get discounts on learning tools for classroom and home use at LeapFrog SchoolHouse. Choose from a wide variety of interactive multi-sensory products including handheld devices, pentop computers, and interactive libraries. In addition to receiving the highest discount available from LeapFrog SchoolHouse, Association members also get $30 off and free shipping on the first purchase of $100 or more through Aug. 31. To get the special NEA introductory discount, register on the LeapFrog SchoolHouse site and use the promotional code NEAMB7 upon check out.

Read Across America: Celebrate a Year of Reading

Celebrate a Year of Reading!

The NEA's Read Across America Day, the nation's premiere literacy event, will be held on March 3. Now in its tenth year, Read Across America focuses attention on how important it is to motivate children to read in addition to helping them master basic skills. To get tips and download resources -- or to sign up to get a print copy of the planning kit -- go to .

Looking to celebrate reading all year long? NEA's Read Across America's 2008 Resource Calendar and toolkit–with art by well known children's illustrators–shines its light on fun books and book events. You'll also find posters, tips on Read Across America Day events, and links to keep reading on the radar throughout the year. Limited print quantities are available, so order yours today. Request copies by filing out this form.

Judging by the number of pledges that were received last year, the 10th Anniversary of NEA's Read Across America—the nation's largest reading celebration—has become bigger and better than ever.

Around the nation for the last ten years, reading celebrations big and small have put the joy of reading center stage. From weeklong Seussian celebrations to high school poetry jams, NEA members have made this a record year for reading.

Check out the pledge pages. And, since this is a year-round event, you can still tell us what you're doing for RAA.

Take a look at how NEA helped children get excited about reading! Plus, see how the Houston
Astros celebrated reading with 300 kids during spring training.

Watch a video of how we grew the nation's largest reading event. [Broadband, 6:45]

You can also watch another video highlighting Read Across America events during NEA's 2007 Representative Assembly. [Broadband, 3:56]

As reading is one of our Pre K12 District Goals, this can be part of your Professional Growth Plan.

Click here to see the entire year-long campaign from last year. This year's information will be going up soon. Once again, you need to reinvent the wheel with all these tools in place.

Click here to contact Sharon Crawley if you're interested in helping make this a success with us.

Activate Your New Membership Cards

Don't forget to activate your new membership cardBy now, all ISEA members should have received their new ISEA "Access to Savings" membership card in the mail. But in order to continue taking advantage of savings on everything from pizza and golf to hotel stays and blue jeans, you need to activate your card.

Just click here and type your membership number in the grey-shaded "Member Login" box that appears along the top left-hand side of your screen. Each time you log in, you'll be entered to win one of the monthly giveaways -- a Get Up & Go travel certificate good for a three-day/two-night hotel stay at 28 select locations across the nation including Orlando, Branson, Las Vegas, and more! (airfare is not included). The more times you log in, the better your chances of winning! And while you’re there, be sure to sign up to receive the twice-monthly electronic newsletter filled with information about the latest deals and promotions. The new membership cards are good through December of 2009.

Contact your UniServ unit office if you did not receive your card.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Keep Up the Pressure: Tell Congress "DON'T BLOCK THE (OMNI)BUS!!"Stand up for Real Resources for Children and Public Education

Thank you to everyone who sent e-mail last week urging Congress to support the omnibus funding bill for fiscal year 2008. Now, let's keep up the pressure!

The omnibus bill will include increased funding for education programs as well as programs for veterans, cancer research, health care, clean air and water, and safe roads and bridges. But, passage will face an uphill battle, with opposition from those who support the President's demands for program cuts.

Contact your representatives in Congress TODAY!!

Tell Congress "Don't Block the Bus" - support the omnibus funding bill for fiscal year 2008.

Omnibus Spending Needs Veto-Proof Majority to Prevent Cuts to Children's ProgramsCongress is negotiating now to secure enough votes to enact funding for most federal domestic programs, including vital children's programs such as the Women's Infant and Children (WIC) health program. If they do not get enough votes to override another veto by the President, cuts will get deeper. Please contact your Congressional Representative and Senators to tell them children are at risk if nutrition, housing, home energy, and other vital assistance programs are not fully funded.The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on a compromise year-end funding bill on Tuesday, December 11; the Senate later in the week. Click here to send your elected officials a message.

You can also contact their offices directly: Call 1-8882-45-0215 for the Congressional switchboard

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Teacher Quality Committee Minutes December 6, 2007

Teacher Quality Committee – Unofficial Meeting Minutes Educational Resource Center Thursday, December 6, 2007

Meeting called to order by Dave Black at 4:35 pm

Present: Barb Motes, Dave Black, Jeanne Bartholow, Chuck Story, Laurie Thies, Kim Jones, Kim Muta, Pat Thomas, Al Lorenz, Sean Dunphy, Marilyn Wandersee, Kent Stopak, Mark Schweer, Barb Grell

Absent: Linda Hahn, Tom McLaughlin (hospitalized)

Motion made to approve November 7, 2007 minutes (moved: Motes, second: Schweer)
Voice vote was taken and minutes approved.

Market Factor Pay (MFP) – subcommittee reported out on an Application and Endorsement Course of Study created for the 80% of MFP used as incentives for teachers seeking endorsements in areas of need determined by the administration. Much discussion centered around the following topics: final approval of application, ability to use this with new hires if deadline for consideration is in April, the possibility of two deadlines, the communication with the teacher coming from the building administrator as to whether or not approval was given, adding a step in the process outlined on the application between step 6 and 7 about district prioritizing and approval opposed to this happening at the building level, including a signature line for ERC on the application, and bolding/highlighting the 3-year obligation upon completion of endorsement and receiving reimbursement on the Course of Study sheet.

Dave Black initiated a motion to recommend to the school board the procedure and instruments developed by the subcommittee for teacher reimbursement upon completion of an endorsement in an area of need, pending legal counsel and the two additions mentioned above to the application and course of study sheets. (moved: Muta, second: Dunphy) Voice vote was taken with Jones and Black opting out based on equal votes of teachers and administrators. All votes were affirmative to proceed with recommendation.

Based on weather conditions, Dave Black suggested adjourning early after setting the next meeting date. Date was set for Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at ERC, with a 4:30 PM start time. Before motion was made to adjourn Barb Motes thanked all the committee members for the work the committee has done and the manner in which it is operating. She, along with the other teachers, gave the administrators a token of their appreciation.

Primary plan for next agenda: Monitoring Teacher Performance Evaluation Requirements and Model Evidence. It was requested that everyone bring any information they have to share with the group.

Meeting adjourned at 5:30 PM (moved: Dunphy, second: Grell)

Monday, December 3, 2007

ISEA sponsors Radio Iowa's Campaign Countdown

The nation's attention is focused on Iowa as the Jan. 3 first-in-the-nation caucuses draw near. And the ISEA is making sure Iowans are well informed about the candidates and the campaigns by sponsoring Radio Iowa's Campaign Countdown series now airing on 54 radio stations across the state.

The series features in-depth reports from O. Kay Henderson, one of the state's -- and the nation's -- premiere political reporters. As part of our sponsorship, the ISEA is also running a 60-second ads urging Iowans to attend their caucus. Each week, our ad will include a campaign report from an Iowa student taking part in our ISEA Caucus Classroom project.

To hear both the Campaign Countdown and Caucus Classroom reports as well as to read Henderson's political blog, click here. And don't forget the ISEA Web site has a wealth of caucus information as well as links to important caucus-related Web sites.

Funding needed for critical federal programs

Despite significant pressure from NEA members and our partners, the House fell two votes short, 277-141, in its recent attempt to override President Bush’s veto of the education funding bill. This means that 45 federal programs could be wiped out and others -- including Title I, special education, Head Start, after-school programs, and Pell Grants -- could be crippled. Iowa Reps. Steve King and Tom Latham voted against the override while Reps. Leonard Boswell, Bruce Braley, and Dave Loebsack voted in favor of the override.

Now Congress returns to work this week and will begin drafting a comprehensive "omnibus" bill that will include increased funding for a number of important priorities, including education, although most likely less than what was in the bill that President Bush vetoed. But passage will once again face an uphill battle, with strong opposition coming from those who support the President's demands for program cuts. There are only a few weeks left in this congressional session so time is of the essence. ISEA members should tell their members of Congress to provide the resources students need to succeed. Click here to send a message. Click here to send a message.

Don't miss this year's legislative conference

The ISEA will hold it's annual Legislative Conference, Jan. 11 - 12, at the Quality Inn & Suites Event Center in downtown Des Moines. All ISEA members are invited to attend this event which is designed to provide an overview of legislative issues and lobbying strategies. The ISEA fully funds members of the state Building Support for Public Education Standing Committee as well as members of the ISEA-PAC Central Committee. The fee for others to attend is $60 per person ($30 per person if no overnight room reservation is needed). Please coordinate reservations through your UniServ unit office since some provide funding to help offset costs. Go to the ISEA Web site to download a flyer and registration form.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

LCEA Teaching Reading Helpful Websites to Assist Our Student's Learning

Endowment for the Arts Announces New Reading Study
The National Endowment for the Arts recently announced the release of To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence, a new and comprehensive analysis of reading patterns in the United States. To Read or Not To Read gathers statistics from more than 40 studies on the reading habits and skills of children, teenagers, and adults. The report reveals recent declines in voluntary reading and test scores alike and links these declines in reading with poorer academic and social outcomes.. CLICK HERE for more on To Read or Not To Read.

Check out RIF's Monthly Family Activity Calendar Use Reading Is Fundamental's monthly activity calendar with children of all ages. The calendar provides new reading and writing activity suggestions for every day of each month.

Class Acts: Ideas for Teaching Reading and Writing
Looking for research-based, classroom-tested teaching ideas? Find what you need for your K–12 students on the International Reading Association's Web site. IRA podcasts are available for free download in MP3 format. Topics include phonics through shared reading; phrasing for fluency; teaching key vocabulary words; understanding big ideas; supporting struggling adolescent readers. The IRA Web site also offers insights from experts in literacy teaching and learning.

Quality Resources from
Visit, a collaboration of the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, and Verizon, for access to high quality practices and resources in reading and language arts instruction.

YALSA Announces Teens' Top Ten Books
More than 6,000 teen readers across the country voted during Teen Read Week, October 14–20. The poll was sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a Read Across America partner. To find out what books the teens chose and learn more about the Teens Top Ten program, go to YALSA Announces Teen's Top Ten Books.

Provide a Safety Net for At-Risk Readers: Screen. Teach. Intervene. Monitor. Adjust.
These are the basic components of response to intervention (RTI)–a proactive process designed to catch struggling readers before they fall. Research-based instruction, top-notch teachers, and solid home-school collaboration are at the heart of a successful RTI program. CLICK HERE to find out more about providing a safety net for at-risk readers.

Cops-n-Kids Program Dreams Big
The first dream, to put books into the hands of the children of Racine, Wisc, has come true–over 250,000 books have been distributed. But Julia Witherspoon, Cops-n-Kids founder, has been working on a bigger dream–she has traveled to communities across the U.S. to help them start Cops-n-Kids reading centers to foster hope, safety, and pride for those who live in disadvantaged neighborhoods. When a safe haven filled with books is around the corner or across the street, the possibilities for the future for these children are endless. CLICK HERE to find out more about Cops-n-Kids.

The Positive Side of Learning Disabilities
People with learning disabilities have much to offer to their families, their communities, their workplaces, and themselves. We need to overcome the tendency to focus so much on their challenges so that we can see their triumphs. We know that these disabilities can be difficult. We know it takes extra time, lots of effort, and intense persistence to achieve. We know that classroom teachers use every ounce of their professional skills to enable their students to succeed. We know that parents face a daunting challenge as they raise children who march to the beat of a different drummer. In the spirit of the season of Thanksgiving, LD OnLine shares inspirational quotes from people with learning disabilities and their allies. CLICK HERE to find out more about the Positive Side of Learning Disabilities.

Helpful Hints from Get Caught Reading Campaign
There are so many ways that book lovers can participate in the Get Caught Reading campaign. Teachers and librarians around the U.S. share pictures and stories of their Get Caught Reading experiences. To learn what other educators have done and to share your helpful hints, visit the website. CLICK HERE for Helpful Hints from Get Caught Reading Campaign.

Poetry 180 from the Library of Congress
By just spending a few minutes reading a poem each day, new worlds can be revealed. Poetry 180 is designed to make it easy for high school students and other learners to hear or read a poem on each of the 180 days of the school year. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins has selected poems to encourage students and other learners to become members of the circle of readers for whom poetry is a vital source of pleasure. CLICK HERE for more information from Poetry 180.

Teachers' Guides from Children's Book Press
The folks at Children's Book Press proudly present Reading Communities: CBP Teacher's Guides. CBP staff firmly believe in the importance of classroom instruction based on high-quality, multicultural literature. The guides present lessons developed by teachers who participate in CBP community programs, along with CBP staff's own ideas for activities that foster literacy across the curriculum in second- to fifth-grade classrooms. Check out the Reading Communities: CBP Teacher's Guides for upcoming Children's Book Press titles, as well as for selected books from their backlist. Visit CLICK HERE for more information on Reading Communities and Teacher's Guides from Children's Book Press.

Using the Arts for Learning
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Thursday, November 8, 2007

LCEA Executive Board Agenda November 8, 2008

LCEA Executive Board Meeting
Date: 11/8/2007
Place: Titan Hill: Room 804 (New Section) Susan Drustrup’s room
Time: 4:15

Roll Call: Sharon Crawley, Kim Muta, Jennifer Doorlag,
Maggie Bennett, Dave Bergman
HS Reps: Tom McLaughlin, Allison Towne, Brian Johnson, Christina Woodward
MS Reps: Margot Argotsinger, Beth Frank, Al Lorenz, Barb Motes
TH Reps: Susan Drustrup, Maggie Miller, Jennifer Hake
Kreft Reps: Kathy Moe, Melinn Ruzicka, Tara York

Approval of Agenda:

Secretary’s Report/ Approval of Minutes: Kim Muta

Treasurer’s Report: Jen Doorlag: Audit (Where are we on this?)

Negotiations: Beth Frank

TQC: Barb Motes

President’s Report: Sharon Crawley

Committee Reports:
High School:
Middle School:
Titan Hill: (Susan) Report cards?

Old Business:
• Reps setting up monthly meetings with individual building principals
• Ten minute meetings with members
• Building Reps information/ check in on new teachers

New Business:
• Attendance to a board meeting (Dave lost the “official” sign up sheet) 
• Public Relations: Committees for Education weeks, National Teacher Day, Reading Across America, Retirees, etc..
• Public Relations: Toy drive, Food/Books drives, etc..
• Delegate Assembly coming up!!! (Kim will you talk about this?)


LCEA Executive Board Minutes November 8, 2007

LCEA Meeting Minutes
Date: 11/8/2007
Place: Titan Hill Room 308
Time: 4:15

Roll Call: Sharon Crawley, Kim Muta, Jennifer Doorlag, Maggie Bennett, Dave Bergman (absent)
HS Reps: Tom McLaughlin, Allison Towne, Brian Johnson, Christina Woodward (absent)
MS Reps: Margot Argotsinger, Beth Frank, Al Lorenz, Barb Motes
TH Reps: Susan Drustrup (absent), Maggie Miller, Jennifer Hake
Kreft Reps: Kathy Moe, Melinn Ruzicka (absent), Tara York

Approval of Agenda:
• Barb Motes moved that the agenda be approved with the addition mentioned below, Beth Frank seconded it, and the motion passed.
• Barb Motes asked to add discussion of giving small gifts for birthdays, and Tom asked to add discussion of LCEA t-shirts.

Secretary’s Report/ Approval of Minutes: Kim Muta
• Allison Towne moved that the October minutes be approved, Barb Motes seconded the motion, and it passed.

Treasurer’s Report: Jen Doorlag
• Audit: Where are we on this? Jennifer Doorlag shared the treasurer’s report, and she explained that the audit has been completed and is in good order.
• Sharon Crawley suggested a card or something for Jennifer Doorlag and the audit committee. Tom McLaughlin suggested a $20 gift card for Jennifer Doorlag, and thank-you cards for the committee members. A motion was passed.

Negotiations: Beth Frank
• We need to vote to give the negotiation committee the right to make decisions and proposals, etc. Al Lorenz moved that the committee speak for the LCEA Executive Board, Tara York seconded the motion, and it passed.
• Ashley Shipp will be a middle school rep on the committee. Beth Frank hasn’t heard from Robin Reida or Dave Bergman from the high school, yet.
• Beth Frank has written a letter to the Board about meeting on December 4 at 5:30 for LCEA to give our proposal. The initial meetings are open to the public.
• The team met on Tuesday with John Phillips and Pat Shipley about negotiating to get the TQC money and Phase II money put into the salary schedule. It will be a challenge.
• Art Hill talked to Beth Frank about looking at health saving plans. The Board is interested in investigating this. She said that we need an insurance committee to listen to the presentations and discussions. We need someone from each building.

TQC: Barb Motes
• We should have seen the TQC money in our paychecks in November. Barb Motes said that she’s worried about having both of the added professional development days being paid in one month’s paycheck because of taxes.
• Barb Motes explained the discussion on Wednesday, November 7, about market factor pay. The committee suggested to recommend an 80/20 split of that money—80% for endorsement reimbursement (at least partial reimbursement--$150 per credit hour—paid upon completion) and 20% for signing bonus money for hard-to-fill positions.
• Our next task is to monitor the evaluation procedures, so we will need feedback from our membership about how evaluations work within each building. We talked about various rumors regarding evaluation issues. (Tom McLaughlin suggested that we try to offer a workshop on e-portfolios at some point in the year.)
• Another task is to monitor the professional development in the district as well.
• Al Lorenz raised the issue of the February 14/15 days not being related to any type of leave. We don’t take sick, personal, professional days on those days. We need to tell our members that these are NOT Phase III days. They should be there on those days and will be held accountable for learning and work on those days.

President’s Report: Sharon Crawley
• Sharon Crawley reminded building reps to check in with new teachers to the district about how the year is going. She also asked building reps to start monthly meetings with the building principals as a way to keep lines of communication open.
• Sharon Crawley reminded the Exec. Board about the ten-minute meeting idea.
• Sharon Crawley passed another calendar around for attendance at Board meetings.

Committee Reports:
• High School: Sharon Crawley talked about having Pat Shipley and John Phillips attend our faculty meeting to talk about ethics.
• Kreft: There is some anxiety about report cards. Dave Black has scheduled a meeting with teachers to answer questions. Another concern is that the teachers have to put in all of the benchmarks.
• Middle School: Beth Frank talked about teachers covering classes. Some people covered classes during both their team and planning time, but they’re only getting reimbursed for their planning time.
• Titan Hill: There is a flex money problem about daycare money being moved on a regular basis. Art Hill was contacted about it, and he has started working on the issue.

Old Business: (all were covered in President’s Report above)
• Reps setting up monthly meetings with individual building principals
• Ten minute meetings with members
• Building reps information/ check in on new teachers

New Business:
• Attendance to a board meeting (Dave Bergman lost the “official” sign up sheet). (See President’s Report item three above.)
• Public Relations: Committees for education weeks, National Teacher Day, Read Across America, retirees, etc. November 11-17 is American Education Week. Sharon Crawley wants building reps to do something for members to celebrate the week. Tom McLaughlin mentioned the NEA and ISEA websites.
• Public Relations: toy drive, food/book drives, etc. We talked about possibilities to do some service kinds of events and drives.
• Delegate Assembly—Kim Muta talked about delegate assembly, and put in a plug for people to run to be delegates.
• Nomination of Tom McLaughlin for ISEA Vice-President by LCEA—Kim Muta moved that LCEA nominate Tom McLaughlin for ISEA Vice-President, Allison Towne seconded the motion, and the motion passed.
• The calculators and the carabiners have been a hit in the past for birthday presents. Margie Argotsinger and Barb Motes said they were talking about bags with logos this year. Maggie Bennett moved that we do the drawstring bags for birthday gifts, Maggie Miller seconded, and the motion passed.
• Beth Frank moved that we spend $40 per building for American Education Week, Jennifer Hake seconded the motion, and it passed.
• Tom McLaughlin suggested we get LCEA shirts. He would like to bring a sample to the Executive Board to look over.

• Maggie Bennett moved that the meeting be adjourned, Allison Towne seconded, and the meeting adjourned at 5:45.

CLICK HERE for a WORD version of LCEA Meeting Minutes 11.08.07

LCEA Teacher Quality Committee Update on Professional Development Monies


TO: Lewis Central Community Schools Teachers
DATE: 11/08/2007
FROM: the LCEA Executive Board & the LC Teacher Quality Committee
SUBJECT: February 14-15 Professional Development Days

Teacher Quality Monies: Pool One--Salary

As your representatives to the Lewis Central Teacher Quality Committee, we have completed division of the "salary pool" of Teacher Quality monies. We hope that you have noticed the change in your paychecks, that you have double-checked your pay stub with the chart that we have provided via our newsletter and on our website and that you have double-checked the amounts. If you have not yet done so, please take the time to make sure that you are receiving your portion of the $680,000.00 dollars allocated to Lewis Central Community Schools.

Teacher Quality Monies: Pool Two--Professional Development

We have also been at work collaborating with our district and building leadership to meaningfully spend the "professional development pool" of the Teacher Quality monies. We have made an agreement to purchase two professional days (at a per diem rate) on February 14 & 15, 2008. This decision was made after viewing the district's professional development plan, conferring with district leadership and viewing tentative plans provided by our district's building leaders. We have worked with our instructional leadership to build meaningful development on these days.

SPECIAL NOTE: We have agreed that these days are "required" and that "no leaves" will be observed on these days. If you do not atend for any reason--you will not be paid for these days. We have further agreed that you will be responsible for the material presented and the implementation of said material if you are not present on these days. You will receive no remuneration if you are absent for a valid reason.

As professionals we believe that our presence at these important professional development days impacts improvement of "best teaching pracitices" and impacts student learning in a positive manner. We believe that is is our professional responsibility to attend these staff development days. We also believe that attendance at these days is strong evidence of both Standard 7 and Standard 8 of the Iowa Teaching Standards.

Payment for these days of development will be made on the March 1, 2007 paycheck. Remember, that you can change your annuities plans up to four times a year. If you'd like to bank this for your retirement plan(s), you should take the appropriate action with the ERC.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Teacher Quality Committee Minutes November 7, 2008

Teacher Quality Committee – Official Meeting Minutes
Educational Resource Center
Wednesday, November 7, 2007

• Meeting was called to order by Barb Motes at 4:32 p.m.
Present: Barb Motes, Dave Black, Jeanne Bartholow, Chuck Story, Laurie Thies, Kim Jones, Kim Muta, Pat Thomas, Al Lorenz, Sean Dunphy, Marilyn Wandersee, Tom McLaughlin, Kent Stopak, Linda Hahn, Mark Schweer
Absent: Barb Grell

• Sean Dunphy moved that the minutes from the October 10, 15, 17, & 25, 2007 meetings be approved. Chuck Story seconded. Voice vote was taken and approved.

• Market Factor Pay
* The committee reviewed a newspaper article explaining how the Council Bluffs School District intends to use Market Factor Pay.
* The amount of Market Factor Pay including last year’s amount that was not used is approximately $34,000.
* After considerable discussion, the consensus of the committee was that 20% of the Market Factor Pay would be used in the form of hiring bonuses and the remaining 80% would be used to provide incentives for teachers within the system to acquire endorsements in areas determined by the administration. Additionally, related to the “endorsement” pathway, it was suggested that there would be an application process and that an amount of $150 per credit hour would be provided to those teachers who would be selected to seek additional endorsements, and also a retention provision. Kent Stopak, Sean Dunphy, Tom McLaughlin, and Jeannie Bartholow volunteered to serve on an ad-hoc committee that would come back to the committee with an application form and other pertinent details for the committee to review at our December 6th meeting.

• A question was raised regarding the two (2) additional professional development days that will occur on February 14 & 15. The understanding of this committee was that these two days are outside the contract. In other words, one could not use any leave provision and be excused from these days and be paid. Bottom line, if one is not in attendance, one will not be paid. As a further clarification, attendance is not optional.

• Our next meeting date is December 6, 2007 at 4:30. Agenda items will include (1) finalizing a recommendation on the use of Market Factor Pay and (2) reviewing the teacher performance instrument along with the model evidence that would be required. A suggestion was made that committee members bring a laptop to the meeting.
• Meeting adjourned at 6:02 p.m.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Education funding bill moves forward but Bush still promises veto:

The education appropriations bill for FY08, part of a spending bill that funds critical education, health care, and labor programs for the next fiscal year, was approved by the House-Senate conference committee last week. Despite being packaged with the spending bill for the Veterans Administration that the President supports, the bill (HR 3043) still faces a veto by Bush. The bill is slated for a House floor vote the afternoon of November 6 with the Senate to follow later this week.

The conference committee bill provides an overall increase for NCLB programs of $1.6 billion (+6.84%) compared to the current year’s funding.This is $601 million above the President’s request.

NCLB programs that would receive significant increases include the following:

* Title I grants: +$1.47 billion (+11.5%)
* Title I School Improvement Grants: +$375 million (+300%)
* Teacher Quality State Grants; +$150 million (+5.2%)
* 21st Century Community Learning Centers (After school program): +$100 million (+10.2%)
English Language Acquisition State Grants: +$54 million (+8%)
* Other education programs outside of NCLB that would receive significant increases include IDEA State Grants for special education: +$509 million (+4.7%) and Pell Grants for college students: +$837 million (+6.1%)

NEA Executive Committee member Marsha Smith said at a Capitol Hill news conference last week that Bush's threatened veto of the education bill "undermines the public's support for investing in our children and America's future." Smith, a long-time middle-school health and physical education teacher, offered a first-hand account of how budget decisions made in Washington affect everyday Americans, especially educators. She urged the President to work with Congress to pass a sensible and responsible spending bill that invests in children and public education.

If the President does follow through with his veto threat, the next steps are not clear. The current Continuing Resolution (used to fund the government programs if a formal appropriations bill has not been signed into law by the end of the fiscal year) expires on November 16th, so Congress would have to extend that CR again.

NEA continues work on bills to improve ESEA

With the pace of reauthorization slowing considerably, NEA is taking advantage of the extra time to continue pressing for significant changes to ESEA.

Last week, NEA sent a letter to every senator seeking cosponsors for two bills that would improve assessment systems and offer more meaningful accountability for measuring school and student achievement: the Improving Student Testing Act of 2007 (S. 2053), introduced by Senators Feingold, D-WI, and Leahy, D-VT, and the No Child Left Behind Reform Act (S. 1194), introduced by Senators Dodd, D-CT, and Salazar, D-CO.

And NEA continues to work with the coalition backing the No Child Left Inside Act, a new $100 million a year initiative that would strengthen environment education programs in America’s classrooms. The coalition last week called on Congress to pass the bill. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI, and Rep. John Sarbanes, D-MD, and supported by key education and environmental organizations.

Overall, there are now 122 bills on ESEA reauthorization that NEA supports. The latest additions include 6 Senate bills and 5 House bills. There are also 7 where we have no position and 18 we oppose. As always, the list of NEA-backed bills is on the Legislative Action Center on

Congress unlikely to act on ESEA reauthorization this year

NEA ESEA expert Joel Packer says the House Education and Labor Committee has yet to release a new draft bill or schedule a markup for ESEA reauthorization legislation, and it’s looking less and less likely to happen. On the Senate side, things don’t look much different. An Associated Press story over the weekend said that Senators Edward Kennedy, D-MA, and Mike Enzi, R-WY, who lead the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee, have decided there is not enough time this year to finish work on the reauthorization draft.

Both Senator Kennedy and House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller are deeply disappointed with President Bush’s failure to fully fund the law over the past six years, which has resulted in a $56 billion shortfall. The President's promise to veto this year’s education funding bill has further alienated the committee leaders.

In a major article in today’s Washington Post (“An Unlikely Partnership Left Behind”), Miller’s frustration with the President and NCLB is apparent: "’At the end of the day, it may be the most tainted brand in America,’ Miller mused. ‘If a consumer went to the shelf, they would not pick No Child Left Behind.’ A major reason, he said, is the product sponsor. ‘There's more resentment that the law is connected with George Bush than anything else. It's the biggest anchor that you're trying to work with something that's considered his franchise.’"

In the same piece, Kennedy admits to having been overly optimistic about the pace and progress of the reauthorization effort: "’I thought we would have a faster kind of process.’ But, he said, ‘No Child Left Behind, rather than being a flagship for improved strength and enhanced opportunity of e ducation for the children, has become a symbol of controversial, flawed and failed policy.’"

Thursday, November 1, 2007

ISEA wins Supreme Court case protecting bargaining rights

ISEA Advocacy Services has won a huge victory for educators in a contract dispute that went all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court. In the case involving the Waterloo Education Association and the Waterloo school district, the high court ruled on Oct. 19 that the issue of overload pay is a mandatory subject of bargaining. The Association sought to negotiate overload pay for persons teaching more than a specified number of minutes or periods within the school day.

Iowa's collective bargaining law, also known as Chapter 20, outlines a "laundry list" of topics which are mandatory subjects of bargaining. Other topics are deemed "permissive," which means the employer can refuse to even discuss the issue. In a previous case, the court had ruled that a similar overload pay proposal was permissive and suggested any bargaining proposal impacting on a management right, as outlined in Chapter 20, would be held permissive. ISEA knew this original ruling posed a real threat to bargaining rights and represented the Waterloo Education Association in this second case to protect the scope of bargaining for teachers and other public employees. The case eventually reached the Iowa Supreme Court whose decision allows public employees to return to the bargaining table with overload proposals that must be negotiated by the employer. In addition, the court ruled the "management rights infringement" test need not be applied when the topic of the proposal clearly falls within the definition of an item on the mandatory list in Chapter 20.

Friday, October 19, 2007

LCEA Social Activity * Friday October 19, 2007 * Cellar 19


Friday October 19, 2007
Food, fun, fellowship, fesitivities

Take a few moments and join us at Cellar 19 for some time to unwind, enjoy a nice atmosphere and share stories of our journey in educating LC's best and brightest.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Teacher Quality Money Distribution


The LCEA Executive Board approved the distribution of the the largest pool of money allocated to Lewis Central fro the historic Teacher Quality Act.

Please contact Beth Frank, Negotiations Spokesperson; Barb Motes, Total Quality Committee Chair or your LCEA Building Representatives if you have any questions.
To find out your portion of the monies, simply find your placement on the salary schedule and the amount in that cell should reflect your portion of the teacher quality dollars. The monies will be split up over the period of 10 months. So, you will be receiving this money through July of this year.

This salary amount from the TQ Initiative monies will be coupled with your Phase II dollars that will also appear on your November 1, 2007 check. A special thank you to Beth Frank and Barb Motes for going over this division so carefully and the entire LCEA Negotiations Committee. Remember, ISEA is at work for YOU, our schools and our profession.


Click on the Link Below to See the Schedule in Large Mode
Teacher Quality Salary Distribution.doc