Both Sides Divided as Teacher Contract Talks Stall

(Galesburg Education Association spokesperson Tami Qualls speaks to reporters Thursday.)
(Galesburg Education Association spokesperson Tami Qualls speaks to reporters Thursday.)

We don’t trust the Galesburg School District Administration anymore.  That’s according to members of the Galesburg Education Association, who say they remain far apart from administration on various contract issues, as the strike of District-205 teachers starts its second week.

Among those issues is a teacher evaluation model. The state has adopted one model by Charlotte Danielson that the district will use, but GEA spokesperson Tami Quals says that model is subjective at best.

“‘Distinguished’ is the top, which means very few are supposed to be in there, according to [Danielson’s] book, and according to our administrators, what they’ve told us,” Qualls said.  “Most will be in ‘Proficient’, because ‘Proficient’ is saying there’s always growth that’s needed; there’s always something we can improve upon.  ‘Distinguished’ says there’s nothing left to improve upon.”

District-205 Superintendent Bart Arthur, however, says he understands the teachers’ fear.

“Our teachers haven’t been evaluated in that system for 15 years,” Arthur said.  “We used to use professional growth plans.  Tenured teachers had the right to write a professional growth plan that I think was a wonderful idea, because it’s not about somebody evaluating them.  It’s how they can grow themselves.  But the State has changed that.  So, we’ve got to get used to the new system.”

The two sides remain far apart as well on issues of safety. While the GEA says the issue of pay has never been a concern, that’s also reportedly off the table.

To hear all of Bart Arthur’s comments, CLICK HERE.

To hear all of the GEA press conference, CLICK HERE.


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