Dark days in Arizona, Michigan and Florida–”this situation started slowly”-take a stand in Australia, submit to the Inquiry

07 Apr

1. Inquiry – Podcast on technology and one by Mary Manning on the TL Inquiry Save Value of school libraries Necessity of school libraries
2. Impressive TESOL teacher blog
3. Multi-tasking easy for some,8599,1977523,00.html?hpt=Sbin
4. Design your own book covers –
Book cover template
Try “trading cards” for covers at
5. Free stuff – drawing typing
6. Surchur – the real time search engine
7. Library 2.0
8. Integrating technology learning
9. Moodle/Office Add in
10. Arizona school Libraries cuts From LM NET email digest – used with Cheryl’s permission.
“Hi – I am a librarian in Tucson Unified School District in Arizona. Due to some tough financial times and a basic lack of understanding of what exactly it is that we do, the site councils in over 70 of our 100+ schools have chosen to let the librarian go for next year. Of those 70+ schools, some have chosen to keep an assistant at least part-time to run circulation and provide access to materials for the students. But, in the other schools, 38 of our 70 elementaries, 9 of our 19 middle schools, and 5 of our 12 high schools, there is absolutely no one staffing the library. Our collections are worth just under $25 million, with $10,665,302.89 being unsupervised/protected for next year.”

“I want to clarify – if the one cent sales tax in May fails, my district is also considering:
closing between 10 and 15 of our 100+ schools,
eliminating all or most of the certified non-classroom positions (which is where librarians come in)
eliminating most administrators at sites, except for maybe one principal
cutting sports, before and after school programs, and school security

We will be looking at a reduction of 36% overall in two years. (we already had an across the board cut of approximately 18% last year.) Ouch. Our Governing Board will unveil their plan for dealing with the crisis in the next week.

In addition, the state of AZ stripped all teachers in the state of all their rights on Nov. 24, 2009. (Seniority doesn’t matter, nor does tenure. Schools/principals/site councils can let go of whomever they choose.) That is going to court, but has not been decided. AZ is a very anti-public education state, sadly. It means we can be let go anytime.”

This situation started out slowly. About 5 or 6 years ago, the district re-did the formula of number of students per half or full time librarian (and counselors, too). Then, three years ago, schools were asked to choose between their librarian or their counselor. That was very ugly. Then last year, all positions were given a point value and schools were allotted a certain number of points. How they chose to use those points was up to them. The result for libraries was that it pitted librarians and their assistants against each other in many cases. Again ugly. As a result, this year, we have gone from 90 librarians last year to about 40 this, of which some only serve as a librarian one or two hours per day. Now, there are less than 30 of us left K-12 for next year, with the possibility of the rest of us going away in May, depending on the sales tax. It seems that once it starts, it takes on a life of its own and I can’t figure out how to stop it, much less reverse it. Best of luck to you and your colleagues! Nip it in the bud, if possible. To survive, some of us have gone back to school to add “Literacy Specialist” or “Reading Specialist” to our teaching certificates, thus creating the possibility of morphing into a hybrid position of sorts, with the library being our “classroom” or “lab”. I also added the new literacies (technology) to my certificate. Whatever it takes.

Tying teacher pay to test scores in Florida

Michigan’s school librarians are an endangered species

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Posted by on April 7, 2010 in Uncategorized


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