Hawaii’s school teachers have their work cut out for them. Hawaii’s kids continue to lag behind national averages on standardized tests for reading, science, and math, says a commentator for Yahoo! News. The school teachers have been working without a contract for more than 17 months due to multiple failed contract negotiations. Out of frustration, and in order to try and force a resolution to the standoff, some schools have adopted the “work to the rule” concept. They work from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., and that’s it. One of the issues with the contract negotiations is teacher salary. On the surface it looks like the teachers are well paid, with a starting salary of about $45,000 per year. But upon closer examination, all is not as it seems. In a comparison among the 50 states based on a “salary comfort index,” Hawaii’s teachers ranked 50 out of 50. This ranking means that, based on the salary earned, Hawaii’s teachers’ standard of living is the worst out of all 50 states……Read More
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Hawaii teachers to begin voting on rejected offer
Hawaii’s teacher union members begin voting this week on a contract they rejected earlier this year, despite warnings from the state that the agreement is no longer valid, the Associated Press reports. Hawaii State Teachers Association members will vote electronically and via telephone from Thursday through Tuesday. Union leaders said the unusual, unprecedented effort to ask members to revisit the contract they rejected in January is an attempt to prevent the state from losing a $75 million federal grant to carry out education reforms. The U.S. Department of Education has warned the grant could be taken away because of unsatisfactory progress on promised reforms, including using student performance when evaluating teachers and determining compensation. But Gov. Neil Abercrombie had indicated that negotiating teams would need to update the agreement, which union members rejected 67 percent to 33 percent. Teachers told the union they were uncomfortable with a lack of information on the evaluation system. The union had vowed they would gather feedback from teachers for a new proposal……Read More