Teachers to SAISD board: Don’t blame us for failing schools

San Antonio AllianceUncategorized

Maria Luisa Cesar | November 10, 2014
SAN ANTONIO — Teachers who work at underperforming San Antonio Independent School District campuses packed an SAISD board meeting Monday night, saying the district was blaming them for the schools’ ills.

San Antonio Alliance of Teachers and Support Personnel President Shelley Potter told trustees that a “common refrain” had emerged when talking with educators at campuses that have been persistently rated as “improvement required” by the Texas Education Agency.

“It seems that every problem in the district and at our schools is our fault,” Potter said of teacher sentiments. “The teachers are demoralized and frustrated at the lack of support they receive.”

The district is poised to make significant changes to the schools, as required by the state.

Two middle schools, Connell and Davis, have failed to meet state standards for the past three years and were required to go through transformative reconstitution plans. They are now slated to become in-district charter schools.

Seven other campuses failed to meet state standards for the second consecutive year: Irving and Rogers middle schools and Brewer, Gates, Crockett, Stewart and W.W. White elementary schools.

Brewer and W.W. White are both slated to close at the end of this school year, among others, as part of a consolidation plan formed to address dwindling enrollment.
Trustees Monday night were expected to consider creating a Young Men’s Leadership Academy for boys in grades four through eight at the W.W. White campus.

Potter said discussions with school officials have led to agreements on some key points that affect teachers in the switch to charter status at Connell and Davis, including doing away with a proposal that would have eliminated continuing teacher contracts at the schools. Some other issues haven’t been resolved, she said.

Alliance executive vice president Gracie Oviedo said the group has made recommendations to the district regarding lesson planning and after school meetings.

Alliance teachers filled the board room, with many of them standing in the back and spilling into the hallway.

mcesar@express-news.net