Carroll teacher task force reports progress

October 15, 2002|By Jennifer McMenamin | Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF

After meeting for 2 1/2 hours yesterday to discuss ways to improve working conditions for Carroll County public school teachers, members of a task force appointed to consider teacher complaints reported making progress.

Members shared little else, however, about the session at the school district's administrative offices yesterday afternoon.

"We worked on identifying teacher concerns and issues ... and we've made some progress," said Gregory Bricca, the school system's assessment and accountability supervisor and task force co-chairman. "But I hesitate to share those concerns, not knowing what's going forward."

Cindy Wheeler, president of the Carroll County Education Association, the local teachers union, was also tight-lipped.

"It went very well. Our task today was to discuss issues teachers had brought up, so we're making progress," she said. "That's our official statement - we're making progress."

Asked to elaborate on specific topics of discussion, Bricca and Wheeler demurred.

"We've decided we'd prefer not to go into that because nothing is finalized," said Wheeler, who is not a member of the task force but attended the meeting as an observer. "We'd rather wait until we have a report to the [school] board."

The committee of 10 teachers and four administrators expects to have a preliminary report by Oct. 24.

The 14-member panel of teachers and school administrators was named last week after the local teachers union failed to win support for a countywide work-to-rule job action that would have expanded protests at at least 12 schools. Union leaders and school officials decided the concerns of the hundreds of teachers who voted to work to rule warranted further attention.

Their protest, many teachers say, is rooted in a fight for better working conditions and more influence on policy-making, not necessarily more money. Complaints include too little time for lesson plans, grading papers, too little help for administrative paperwork, and too little classroom aid.

The group is scheduled to meet again Monday.

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