Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Copy of Letter to the Editor (Tribune and Variety)

October 8, 2008

Let’s Set the Record Straight Mr. Bennett

In yesterday’s Letters to the Editor of the Saipan Tribune, Ambrose Bennett misquotes me and publicly misinterprets the intentions of The Association of Commonwealth Teachers.

I absolutely did not inform Mr. Bennett that I was working with the board and the governor to create an “exclusive bargaining representative of teachers within PSS.” There are no “back room” deals as Mr. Bennett alludes to. Teachers want a voice on the Board of Education, and are entitled to one under the CNMI Constitution. I simply stated ACT was working with the Governor’s Office and Board of Education to determine the process this administration would use in the appointment of a Teacher’s Representative.

Below you will find the full text of the e-mail sent to Mr. Bennett. (Dated Oct. 4, 2008 with cc copies to all members of the Association of Commonwealth Teachers and duly posted on our website under the link Communication from President to Membership.)

We trust interested members of the community will be able to read the correspondence and interpret for themselves whether or not Mr. Bennett’s accusations hold any merit.

Email correspondence from Betty Miller, ACT President to Ambrose Bennett Oct. 4, 2008

“I'm sorry Ambrose,

With all due respect, I strongly disagree with your statement "This is not about ACT and you are only trying to see how ACT can keep control which is not fair to all teachers. This has been the main inhibitor to teachers and my efforts to get all teachers to the bargaining table."

Your lack of attendance at BOE meetings and ACT meetings make it impossible for you to have a clue as to how our organization currently runs or what we do. The Association of Commonwealth Teachers invites all interested members of the community to attend our meetings and share their perspectives prior to voting. The election for our officers was open to all teachers in the CNMI, regardless of membership in the organization, and garnered 290 votes. Our email list includes many who have chosen not to join the Association, but would like to remain informed and involved. Our website and blog are opened to all members of the public. We have not charged a membership fee for two years, because we have no need to collect money in order to listen to and speak on behalf of teachers. The matters we take to the BOE are those that have been brought to the attention of ACT, we do not check for membership to determine whether or not we will speak on behalf of this teacher. We do not now, nor will we ever, be so arrogant as to profess we speak for all teachers. The decisions that we make and the actions that we take are a reflection of those who have taken time to express a concern or opinion.

While I have patiently and respectfully bit my tongue as you publicly degrade this Association, I will not allow you to sabotage our hard work toward reaching an amicable agreement with PSS/BOE/GOV as to what it will take for this administration to appoint a teacher's rep. to the Board of Education. The procedure you are proposing is from a former administration, which our current Governor has already stated he does not intend to follow. Why put all teachers through this process with no guarantee that it will yield a Teacher Representative to the Board of Education? Again, with all due respect, as much as we appreciate your input as to the "red letter of the law" you are not the one making the final decision. We will wait for a procedure from those in power to make the appointment.

We have stated time and again that we will happily participate in any required election for a Teacher Rep. to the Board of Education. In keeping with our bylaws we will endorse our president as a candidate. Yet, when an election was organized by independent teachers, no one came forward. If you felt so strongly you were the best candidate, why did you not step forward at that time? An election would have been held, the winner duly announced, and we wouldn't be facing the challenges we are now. We asked for the appointment of our President because no one else came forward and we wanted teachers to have a voice on the BOE. It was never our intention to circumvent any required procedure or process. It is a matter of public record we have been asking for guidance on the required process since June, 2007, well in advance of the expiration of your term. We did this because we wanted to ensure a seamless transition between the end of your term and beginning of the next. So let us be clear, The Association of Commonwealth Teachers bears no responsibility for the current lack of a teacher representative. As a matter of fact, a review of the records will show we have inquired of the BOE/GOV repeatedly as to the process needed for an appointment to be garnered.

Once a procedure has been agreed upon by those with the authority to make an appointment, I guarantee you we will wholeheartedly participate, and of course will appreciate any assistance you are willing to provide. In addition, should another attempt at an election be necessary we encourage you or any other interested teacher to run.


Betty Miller

ACT President

Thursday, October 2, 2008


OK, Teachers. We are back to school, here on Saipan, and up to our eye balls in meetings, papers to grade and parents to talk to, but we need to band together to get the Governor, the Legislature and the School Board to recognize us as much needed contributors to PSS. Until now I have not commented on the topic of the Teacher REP. position, but I cannot stand it any longer.

Ambrose wrote in the paper that ACT has not done anything in the last two years, but, boy is he wrong! A number of teachers have and still are contacting ACT Officers. Topics are being taken to the school board and individual principals. Those topics are (for the most part) being addressed. Yes, there are still issues that everyone seems to want to ignore when we present ideas, but the response has gotten a lot better than before, when Ambrose was our supposed REP. Unlike Ambrose, this board does not run to the media every time we are doing something, because media coverage is not what we are after. It is about bringing positive change for the students, the teachers, the schools, and for PSS, that will effect teachers!

Ambrose continues to say that he wants to speak for all teachers. Well I, like some, used to believe that in the beginning. But when was the last time that Ambrose attended a whole ACT meeting? Not one, that I know of, since I started attending them three years ago!

Ambrose continues to run to the media every time he wants to make a point, saying he is talking for all teachers, but many teachers that I know of, have been offended by a great number of his statements in the media. How can he say that he speaks for us? When was the last time that he polled us about any topic? Maybe once three years ago! But, definitely not recently!

Last, but not least, I am personally offended everytime he brings up holding an election for a Teacher Rep.. Why, you ask? Because I have been in charge of two, yes two, elections in the last three years to elect ACT officers and did participate in the polling of teachers about the topic of an ACT Teacher Rep.. Teachers want a REP., just not you, Ambrose! Sorry! Get over it and allow us to get on with things. Why don't you stop trying to keep things stirred up and just support the one that most teachers picked?!

We also need the Govoner, the Legislature, and the PSS School BOE to acknowledge us and right the wrongs of the past. Appoint the ACT Teacher Rep. NOW!!

Teachers, what do you think? Please I welcome your responses!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Welcome All! We all made it through our first full week of school, with only a few power disruptions. How are classes this year? How are your class sizes? Have you come across any interesting, lets call them, "speed bumps" this year.

I have encountered several, but this one annoys me and perplexes me. When talking with our Special Education Department this year, they have chosen to try to rewrite the definitions of modification and accommodation for our students. In my research, according to one source on-line, modification is the act of modifying, or a slight change or alteration in something to change or improve it. Then Accommodation is when something is supplied for convience or to satisfy a need. According to these two definitions, and everything I've been taught, when you alter a test, assignment, or homework that is a modification! When you "supply" anything that assists a student (ie. another textbook, a ruler, calculator, computer, etc...) that is an accommodation. They seem to be confusing the two! I think someone needs to go back to school!!

How does changing the definitions help? Personally, I think we are trying to side step the law, so that funds can be used however they choose! Now, I may be wrong, it would NOT be the first time, but I don't think so. What do you think? What is going on in your building?

Another "Speed Bump" that I encountered was a parent giving a child whatever they wanted! First, they didn't want the child in my room. Then, after half a day in another room, the child cried to come back to my room, and the parent requested it. I wonder who is in charge in the home? Who is looking out for the child, when they allow them to always dictate what they want? Any ideas?

What were your speed bumps? Have you had any yet this year? Remember ACT is hear to help if you need us!

Friday, August 22, 2008

To New School Year! Or NOT?

I was all set out to write a wonderful "welcome back" blog, until I saw the front page of the Saipan Tribune today.

Sorry, Welcome back Teachers, Staff and Administrators!! I trust that all have had a somewhat relaxing summer.

Like you, I'm ready to try to get into my room and start setting up the classroom for another fun year. When I went to school this week, I was reminded, I could stay and work, but could NOT turn on anything. This outage included and was NOT limited to lights, water machine, fan(s), computer, etc...). Nothing, absolutely nothing could be turned on. I was reminded that they were monitoring the power. Has this happened to you? What is going on in your school?

Questions that came to mind, for the powers that be, are;

1) How do you set up a classroom, office, or school without any power?

2) What public official went into office, and set up his/her office without a lick of power?

3) Why/how do they really think that starting school late will really help our/their children?
Teachers? Accreditation? Continuity of Federal Funds?

4) Why do you continue to take away from the Children of this island, which will be the future
leaders of tomorrow.

5) Will delaying school really help you? At what cost to these future leaders of tomorrow?

I have come to understand that some on this island do not seem to care if we get any (US) federal funds for this Island or not. But, who are they really hurting? Themselves? Or the future leaders of tomorrow? If you truely believe in change or even things to stay the same, we(PSS Teachers) must be allowed to teach these future leaders to handle not just the island, but their place in the world and it's economy as well. Technology and all that goes with it(power included), are part of the future! Like it or not!!

Hope to see you all at the first state-wide PD, soon! Again, WELCOME BACK!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Meeting with BOE regarding Dr. Borja's "retirement" rescheduled

Approximately 20 teachers arrived yesterday to attend the Principal's meeting with members of the BOE regarding Dr. Borja's resignation. Unfortunately, only principals were allowed in. There was some confusion because the principals requested the meeting and at least 4 principals invited their teachers to attend. However, members of the BOE would not let us in the door. When the question as to whether this was a public meeting was raised, we were told it was not a BOE meeting, and therefore not open to the public. We did ask permission to sit in the back as observers, however this request was also denied. Several teachers expressed frustration as to whether the BOE had the right to block us from a meeting requested by principals, in which teachers were invited. (If it was a BOE meeting it should be open to the public. If it wasn't a BOE meeting, and in fact was a Principals meeting, the BOE does not control the audience.)

The BOE Chair-Woman did inform us there will be a special Board of Education Meeting regarding the resignation of Dr. Borja next Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in the Board of Education Conference Room. This meeting is open to the public. We encourage all concerned teachers and members of the public to attend. All stakeholders have a right to be informed and aware of issues surrounding PSS. As always, I will send an update after the meeting for those who are unable to attend.

Responses regarding opinions for an ACT position statement on the topic have been coming in all week. General teacher responses range from shock to anger to fear. No one who has written me supports the decision as it was made. Of course, there are those, myself included, who realize we may not have the whole story and do not want to jump to conclusions, but overall teachers are shocked and saddened.

Being as each speaker is limited to three minutes during the public comment phase of a BOE meeting, and I usually allow individual teachers and parents to speak first (I go last to add the thoughts of the organization), I thought I would compile a typed statement with teacher comments listed verbatim (names removed of course) and use the three minutes I am given to share an analogy I think sums up the way the majority of teachers feel in this situation. I'll post it below and would be interested in your opinions. If it sounds reflective of the majority of your feelings, I will share it on Thursday. If I am way off base, please let me know so I can adjust accordingly. My comments to the BOE on Thursday will be reflective of majority opinion submitted. (All individual opinions will be compiled in the written letter I deliver.)

Here's the analogy I'm thinking to share: A few years back the Board of Education selected Dr. Borja to be the driver of a vehicle we shall call PSS. There was some discussion as to whether he was perfect for the job, but nonetheless he was handed the keys. We all thought we knew where we were going. Along the road Dr. Borja may have turned left when the BOE intended him to go right. We wish the BOE had handed him a road map and given him a chance to get back on the right road, or stopped the vehicle and discussed a new driver, But throwing our driver out of a moving vehicle, puts the children and teachers of the CNMI at tremendous risk, especially when we're not sure where we're going anymore.

What are your thoughts? Too corny? In the right ball park? Way off base?

Okay, enough with the serious stuff. It's a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I'm hitting the beach! While I know times are troubling, I sincerely hope you are able to enjoy your vacation and a much deserved break.

As always, please let us know if there is anything the Association of Commonwealth Teachers can do to assist you.

Hope you see as many of you as possible on Thursday,
Betty Miller
ACT President

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Resignation/Retirement of the COE

Greetings All,

For those who have not heard, Dr. Borja has been asked to resign as the COE. This news was contained on the front page of today's Marianas Variety, and a meeting was held with the PSS leadership team this afternoon.

I am in the process of drafting a statement for the Board of Education on behalf of the Association of Commonwealth Teachers.
If you have any thoughts you'd like me to take into account while preparing this statment, please send it by tomorrow night, as I would like to have the statement prepared for a meeting with the BOE on Friday morning.

To my understanding, this meeting is open to the public and will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the BOE conference room. I strongly encourage all concerned to attend and hope that you will do the same.

I sincerely hope to see many of you there,
Betty Miller
ACT President

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Bingo Anyone???

Received this in my personal e-mail, and thought I would pass it along.

Hi Everyone! As you all know, *Diabetes* is a serious health problem affecting a large percentage of our island population. The CommonwealthDiabetes Coalition is a non-profit umbrella organization that is made of ofa partnership between governmental and non-governmental organizations onisland. It consists of members from Public Health, CHC, Diabetes Prevention& Control Program, the Ayuda Network, Marianas Health Services, thereligious communities, Bangladesh community, Filipino community, and Chinesecommunity, to name a few.
The Diabetes Coalition sponsors the Wise Women Village Project that offershealth screenings in the community for local women, Walk on Wednesday's forblood pressure and blood glucose screening, continuing education forhealthcare professionals in the CNMI, and the Foot Clinic that is run out ofthe Physical Therapy department at CHC. They also pay for newspaper, radioand TV ads to provide education on diabetes prevention and control to thecommunity. The Coalition is a *non-governmental *organization that receivesno funding from the government. They rely entirely on fundraising, publichealth grants, and community support in order to provide these services.
As such, the Commonwealth Diabetes Coalition is holding a *BINGO Nightfundraiser on May 30*. Your support is *greatly appreciated*. There is agroup of us who plans to get together and go play, so *please come out andjoin us*, it will be FUN! If you aren't able to attend, or BINGO is justnot your thing, please consider purchasing a ticket in support of theCoalition. It you purchase a ticket, there will be volunteers who will playyour card for you, and deliver your winnings after the event!!!
You can stop by the PT Department at CHC to pick up a ticket from me(730am-430pm), or I can arrange to meet you somewhere. Also, please passthis information along to anyone you feel may be interested and have themcontact me at ** or *236-8327/8*. Please see detailsbelow, and don't hesitate to contact me with any questions. *Thank You!!!
Cost: $20/ticket
What Do I Get?1) 8 regular games with prizes of $100 per game2) 1 mini-jacket pot game with a prize of $2503) 1 blackout game with a prize of $450
When: Friday, May 30, 2008
Time: 6pm - 12am
Where: Garapan Fishing Base (where the June Carnival and July 4th Festivalis held every year)**Other Prizes: Also, for an additional $20 a separate ticket can be purchasedfor the "Bingo For Life" game. Prizes for that game are:1) $50,000 Jackpot2) $2000 Consolation prize3) $1500 Package payout

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Count Down to What

We are getting ready to begin "Teacher Appreciation Week" at the end of another school year here in the CNMI. We have all worked extremely hard this year, with very, very few acknowledgements for that work, by the administration, the board, parents, students or the public (not that any are really expected-but would be nice).

Most people (not teachers) do not understand how much time really goes into teaching outside of the 7:30 to 3:30 time frame. We, as highly qualified teachers (HQT), must put in anywhere from two to ten hours for any one lesson. For each lesson, we must find resources (to supplement the cirriculum); put together a lesson plan; make copies or activities for students (individually or for groups); we must make charts (as reminders for students); and/or we must cooridinate field trips or guest speakers with the principal, other staff members, the cafeteria or caterer, bus transportation, the parents and students (again to supplement the cirriculum), just to name a few. All of this must be accomplished on top of the teaching day and, also, on top of any additional duties that are assigned by the respective principal. Usually, there are a number of theses!

We, as HQT educators, put in all this time and effort, for what? We are continually losing - pay, time, funding, supplies, and support in all ways, from all directions such as, the board, principals, parents, students and the public. It would be helpful if more teachers felt that all their hard work is needed and appreciated. Then, we as HQT educators could continue to endure low pay; lack of airconditioning in poorly constructed or poorly sealed rooms; no supplies and rooms over-filled with students and moldy termite infested books and other inconviences.

We HQT educators go through all these things for our students. We realize that they are the future and we are continuing to try to "stick it out" for them. It's just that acknowledgement of enduring would be appreciated.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A college degree should be rigorous and a priority

By Jeffrey C. Turbitt

Against a backdrop of Northern Marianas College fighting to retain its accreditation, the distinction that determines a valuable college degree versus a worthless piece of paper, stories about classroom overcrowding and the high failure rate for NMC's admissions test appeared in the local media this week.

Let me preface my thoughts by saying that for all the educational problems on the islands, compared to all the systems in the area and most definitely Guam and rural Hawaii, we are the most successful system in the region. The problem with that line of thinking in that commonly made point is that we live in a globally competitive economy, so being better than the rest of Micronesia just isn't good enough, and we should not want our local college to lower its placement standards.

For all the noise about PSS, there are two issues that dominate all others that I see. The first is that several schools are falling apart from a simple construction and facilities standpoint. The second big issue is that many classes are wildly overcrowded. Kagman High School is listed as having an average of 29 students per teacher. For a core class like language arts those numbers are usually higher. An art, music or computer class is usually much smaller than 29, so when the average says 29, there are usually more than 29 students in math, science or language arts classes to make up for those smaller elective classes. At SSHS, the freshmen pre-honors language arts class has 35 students. Three of my four classes are above 29 students per class.

As for the entrance exams, the criticisms of NMC have been somewhat ridiculous. College is supposed to be rigorous. Every college has admission tests generally in math, language arts and a foreign language. I had to take two remedial math classes myself when I entered college for the simple reason that my math skills weren't at the college level, which made it harder to graduate in four years, but it was still done. The argument that NMC is using this as some kind of money raising tactic is hokum. It could simply raise its already very cheap tuition fees if money was the prime focus.

This comment from a letter to the editor from Ivan Propst defending the NMC admission tests was interesting: "And for those whom the placement system indicates a need to improve their English skill development prior to entry into English 101, a far greater percentage require writing skill development than require further work on their reading skills."

This isn't very surprising. The high schools have a four period block schedule. A real world average of about 33 students times four eighty minute classes means 132 students. A two page writing assignment turns into 264 pages for a teacher to review. A five page paper would be 660 pages. Perhaps that is why a Hopwood teacher recently wrote a letter to the editor requesting help on this from other language arts teachers in the same boat. The simple fact is no one can do those in depth writing reviews more than once or twice per quarter, especially considering the no preparation time and wildly disparate skill levels in the classroom that are a fact of life in the public schools. In each class there is probably a minimum of two students who should be in an ESL class because they have absolutely no understanding of basic English. PSS has no ability to implement these classes because they lack the classroom space and the staff. It also just doesn't seem to be a priority.

Beyond that, while the local government has not funded education properly, an even bigger problem is that many parents have not instilled enough focus, will and urgency on their children to get that bachelor's degree, which is the admissions ticket for any serious hope at a decent middle class lifestyle. During my four years teaching seniors, I was staggered by the frequency that some of my best students told me their parents flat out told them not to leave the island to go to college. As expensive as college is these days, and it's astronomical, not going or taking the slow route is far more expensive. Median U.S. weekly earnings for a college graduate age 25 and older are $962. For a high school graduate the number is $595. That means it costs $19,084 per year not to have finished college in median earnings differential. That number might be even more dramatic in the CNMI. Very few students here avail themselves of federal financial aid loans that are easy to get, have low interest rates and flexible repayment schedules and instead hold out hope for the scarce "free college money," try the slow way by working low wage jobs to finance the degree or worst of all, "take a year off." That year costs a lot, and the longer it takes the student to get that four year degree, the more it costs in foregone potential earnings. Many other parents encourage direct military enlistment instead of going immediately to a four year college, joining college ROTC, entering the military with a degree as an officer and having far greater career and earning possibilities in the military while still receiving the college financial benefits the military offers, not to mention all that is offered by the college experience.

The CNMI is in a well documented financial crisis. There seems to be little will among our leaders to make hard choices. The temptation is going to be to continue to give short shrift to education as educational benefits are far off and the need to keep voters employed is immediate. Going that route would be a mistake. To obtain a college degree and to achieve a high level of intellectual ability should be a paramount skill and value we instill in our children. We should not look to diminish college standards because we are too cheap to do what we should be doing for the schools.

Jeffrey C. Turbitt is the language arts department chairman at Saipan Southern High School, as well as an avid scuba diver and traveler. He offers more thoughts in his blog Hypercritical Thoughts at: He welcomes feedback, tips and story ideas at His column appears regularly on Wednesdays.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Bob Marley's B-day Bash

Dinner at Rose's Cafe was terrific! Here is our next planned social gathering for teachers:

The Micronesia Blues Society presents the first ever inter-island celebration of the life and music of the Reggae Poet. Bob Nesta Marley, born February 6, 1945 at St. Ann’s Parish, Jamaica.
Chant down Babylon with sweet soul, reggae, blues and funk. Let the bass line move your waist line, and let the drums make your liver quiver.

Join us for Bob Marley’s Birthday Blues Bash:
Four Nights, Two Islands, One Love.
What: Bob Marley's Birthday Bash
Where: Guam and Saipan
When: Thursday, Feb. 7 at 9pm at Bully's, Pleasure Island, Tumon
Friday, Feb. 8 at 7pm at Mermaid Tavern, Olde Hagatna
Saturday, Feb. 9 at Bud's Bar, Garapan, Saipan
Sunday, Feb. 10 at Bud's Bar, Garapan, Saipan
Who: Deep Pacific Blues, Sam Joyner and One Love, Tinian Telecasters in Dub, Herb Daily and the Hut Rockers
How much? All shows free admission, everyone is welcome

A group of teachers will be going this Saturday, February 9th. Sam is working with the owner to plan teacher discounts. ACT will be giving free gifts to teachers in the audience. Hope to see you there! ; - )

Thursday, January 31, 2008

DInner Anyone???

An informal gathering of teachers will take place on Monday evening (Feb. 3) at Rose's Cafe near Hopwoood. It will be our treat to ourselves, for those of us who have workshops and can't watch the Super Bowl. ; - (

Please join us for great food, good company, and I'm sure lots of "shop talk." Networking is a beautiful thing!

Rose's Cafe in CK
6:00 Monday, Feb. 3rd
Full meal $5 (iced tea $1)

Hope to see you there!
Betty ; - )

From Bryan

5:30 pm to>> 5:55 pm
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS EDUCATORS SILENT PROTEST TO END THE IRAQ WAR ... NOW ( Everyone is welcome ... not just Educators )
When: Every Friday ... until the US troops come home ...
( War Protest Started ... July 2007 )
Time: 17:30 to 17:55 hours (5:30 pm to 5:55 pm) rain or shine
Chairs will be provided ... for those who need
Where: American Memorial Park , Saipan C.N.M.I.
Court of Honor Circle ... by the flag poles
Why: to SAVE OUR TROOPS ... by stopping the killing & bringing them back home ... NOW Who: Bryan Jones (670) 322-5545
Please Join with us and bring a friend
Everyone is welcome ... not justEducators
as of 11/07 *** U.S. soldiers Deaths = 3,904 in Iraq
At hospitals in Germany / U.S. = 4,185*
Total U.S. Soldiers Deaths = 8,000 (plus)
Outside Contractors Deaths = 933
*** Costs in Civilian Lives = 77,435 to 84,362
Amesity International says 150,000 plus civilian deaths
United Nations says = ONE.SIX MILLION REFUGEES
*** Costs in $$$$ = close to 500 Billion (as of 11/07)projected over $$$ (ONE.SIX TRILLION) $$$ U.S.$$$

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More budget woes

Here are the LAST four graphs of the PSS story in today's Variety:

The school system’s FY 2006 budget was cut by $2 million which the
administration promised to restore. “We can’t add personnel, we can’t even
replace some positions, and this may affect the regular opening of schools in
August,” Borja said. PSS has a current budget of $37.2 million of which $35
million is available for personnel following the across-the-board budget cuts
caused by the government’s declining revenue collections.“That’s already a
shortfall of over $2 million,” Borja said. “With the present number of personnel
actions that we have processed, we will have a shortfall in pay period 18 or
sometime in June.”
Is it only me, or is anyone else fed up with Ambrose Bennett's backhanded efforts to proclaim authority to speak for all teachers? Will his ranting never end?

Least anyone forget: Ambrose Bennett was seated as the Teacher Representative at the time the Board adopted the arbitrary threshold number that signaled passage of the Praxis test. When he failed to provide the Board with concrete facts establishing the arbitrariness of the number, the current pass rates were adopted. It was Mr. Bennett’s insensitivity, inaction, and downright inattentiveness that led teachers to organize without him and attempt to undo what he allowed to happen. Notwithstanding the efforts of James Yangtemai to present the Board with data confirming the problems the Board's wholesale adoption of unsubstantiated pass rates from other jurisdictions, the Board was unwilling to reconsider the issue. So, least anyone forget: the salary decreases and Praxis pass rates were adopted during Ambrose Bennett's watch. His “last ditch effort” to bypass procedures for the election of a teacher representative and to blame ACT for failing to “get the Board to reconsider the salary decreases should be seen for what they are: a sadly untypical effort to avoid responsibility and instead point the proverbial finger at someone else to take the blame.

The newspapers don’t elect teacher representatives. Courts don’t elect teacher representatives, either. Only teachers elect teacher representatives, and the last time I looked, no exclusive bargaining representative of all teachers elected Ambrose Bennett to sit at the table for or on behalf of any group of teachers.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Micronesian Blues Jam

Greetings Collegues:
Sam asked that I forward this to you.
Couldn't we all use one night to relax together before returning to school? I'd love to have someone to go with. Let me know if you're interested.
Happy New Year!
Betty ; - )

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Jaime's New Year's Thoughts

When I arise in the morning,
I am torn by the twin desires to reform the teachers' guild
and to enjoy the world of teaching.
This makes it hard to plan the day.
One should not fear that life is going to come to an end,
but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning.