December 14, 2011 FEA Europe Update

1. Benchmark Assessment System
2. Area JCC Minutes November 2011
3. Tournament Directors
4. Military Children A Step Ahead
5. Holiday Wishes

1. Benchmark Assessment System: I continue to receive numerous concerns about the administration of the BAS, as well violations of the MOU. Once again management, or should I say mismanagement, of a valuable program is creating more work for our hard-working classroom teachers. We have seen this time and time again in the history of our system, yet management seems to never learn from past mistakes. All of our colleagues who are tasked with administering this assessment must help each other. Please make sure that you are adhering to terms of the MOU in administering the test. Teachers are entitled to whatever substitute time they need to administer the test, and teachers are NOT responsible for data input into the online data reporting system. Everyone involved in administering this test should also participate in the survey that FEA will conduct in the new year.

I have pasted section J from the MOU below, which applies to this situation. This is still a pilot year for the BAS, and the terms of the MOU should be honored. Please notify your FRS immediately if you are experiencing difficulty with the administration of this assessment.

2. Area JCC Minutes: Attached to this update are the FEA Area JCC Minutes for November 2011.

3. Tournament Director: Attached to this update is a chart listing the Tournament Director Pay scale for the Europeans.

4. Military Children Stay a Step Ahead of Public School Students: According to a recent article published in the NY Times, schools on the nation's military bases have outperformed public schools on both reading and math tests for fourth and eighth graders. I have attached a complete copy of the article. It's nice to read some good news about our teachers. (Thank you to Chuck McCarter, former FEA Area Director, for providing this information.)

5. Holiday Wishes: In my final update of 2011, let me take this opportunity to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! This past year has seen many changes in our system, ranging from a change in leadership in Washington, to ASPEN, BAS, etc. As always, our teachers have taken these things in stride and continue to do a wonderful job educating children.
"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ‘till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."---Dr.Seuss

I think that this quote from Dr. Seuss expresses my feelings about teachers in this holiday season. Recognition doesn't come with ribbons or tags, or in packages, boxes, or bags, but it comes from FEA with true appreciation for everything that you do to change lives. Your FEA leadership appreciates all that you do and wishes you even more success in 2012.

Lisa Garmon Ali
FEA Europe Area Director
PSC 41 Box 5569
APO AE 09464
Tel: 44-1638527662 (outside UK)
01638527662 (local)
226-7662 (DSN)