by James C. Sherlock
The Chesterfield Education Association (CEA), a local unit affiliated with the National Education Association, is pushing back hard against a plan to have school employees report to their schools in order to use school facilities and support systems to professionalize remote instruction to their students. (According to the CEA president, the organization currently represents between 28% and 30% of the school system’s teachers, counselors and principals.)
The school district wants to ensure that the failed experiment with remote instruction in the spring is not replicated this fall. In-school platforms for remote instruction guarantee supervision and technical support.
From the Chesterfield Observer August 6, 2020:
“(Chesterfield School Superintendent) Daugherty assured the Board of Supervisors last month that all Chesterfield teachers would be required to work from their school buildings when they return from summer break – unlike last spring, when many teachers struggled to facilitate delivery of a hastily crafted virtual curriculum while working remotely following Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive order closing all Virginia schools.
Since then, however, the School Board has received pushback from employees who don’t think they should have to work in school buildings if students aren’t present.
Last Friday, the Chesterfield Education Association recommended that all CCPS employees with documented health risks, those who have to provide supervision of their own children, and those who simply prefer to work remotely be given the option to do so.
“Having thousands of employees returning to worksites would contradict the governor’s advice that those who can work from home should work from home,” said the statement from CEA president Sonia Smith. “The fewer people gathering together in worksites will help suppress community spread of COVID-19 in Virginia and Chesterfield County, thereby making a full, safe return to the classroom, something desired by all, a quicker proposition.”
So, it is “desired by all” CEA members to return to a situation in which:
- they won’t be able to work from home in their pajamas on personal equipment and internet connections;
- they will be subject to supervision and evaluation; and
- they will have to deal with children that are not their own.
So these adults with their own offices and classrooms won’t be smart enough to wear masks and socially distance if they return to their school buildings. Really.
In a related development, the Board of Supervisors is asking the county’s Internal Audit Department to investigate allegations that members of the CEA bullied and harassed teachers who disagree with its stance on reopening schools this fall.
Several teachers complained to the Board of Supervisors that they supported 5-day a week in-school instruction and were harassed into silence by the CEA.
The CEA is an organization that hopes to be the contract bargaining unit for all Chesterfield teachers should Chesterfield be unwise enough to authorize collective bargaining next May.
But we can be comforted that whatever they may demand, it will always be couched as “about the children.”There are currently no comments highlighted.