September 17, 2018, FEA President's Report
TO: FEA Members Worldwide
FROM: Chuck McCarter, FEA President
RE: FEA President's Report
DATE: September 17, 2018
As this Update goes out, I have been attending FRS Training and other meetings in Europe. In addition to FRS Training in Kaiserslautern, Vilseck, and Brussels, we have had very well attended membership meetings in Kaiserslautern, Vilseck, and Wiesbaden. Thanks to all of those who helped to set these meetings up and to those members who attended.
I also attending one day of the European Area Council and the Ribbon Cutting for the new Wiesbaden MS, my "home" school. I will attend the FRS training in the UK and then on to the Pacific! HT Nguyen, our General Counsel/Executive Director will leave Europe in time to attend the FRS training in Seoul. It is a busy month for all of us, but there is a lot of information to share!
SAME SONG, DIFFERENT VERSE
As I visit schools and speak with teachers, it is unfortunate that I continue to hear many of the same concerns that I heard last year and educators are justifiably upset. In every meeting IT has been an issue. In one FRS training, the superintendent stated that AdvancEd encouraged more student use of technology. The response was laughter…then numerous people stated you can't improve student use of technology when the technology doesn't work!
Also at every meeting I have asked about the Professional Development that was provided at the beginning of the year. Again, the response has been overwhelmingly negative, stating that the training did not meet the needs of teachers and students.
I have shared the above concerns with DoDEA HQ, but they are unwilling to listen or make necessary changes. When I send in IT concerns, it takes weeks for them to respond, and then it's only to say, "We're working on it," or to ask for more specific information, weeks after the initial concern. When I send in concerns about the quality of the PD, HQ defends the status quo and continues to tell me how successful it was! This unwillingness to listen is another indicator of the lack of respect shown by HQ for the people who actually work with students. Our concerns and input are ignored. FEA is developing several surveys so that WE can gather data about these important issues and we will continue to make the results public.
If you have concerns about these, or other issues, please make your FRS aware so that the issues can be addressed at the school level and then elevated. We must make every level of management aware of the issues which impact student learning.
One thing DoDEA HQ is good at is making promises. We have been told that CHRA will make HR more responsive, that HQ is working to address pay problems, and a host of other empty promises. After years, these problems still exist. It is clear that what needs to be improved in our system is not our schools, but the system which is supposed to support our schools and our employees. FEA will continue to speak out about this lack of support and accountability.
OUR FEA/NEA FAMILY
As I write this update, I continue to check for news of the storms hitting the Carolinas, Guam and the Pacific. Our thoughts are with our FEA and NEA families in the impacted areas. NEA and NEA Member Benefits have already contacted me and will be working to assist members impacted by the storms.
In addition, NEA Member Benefits is facilitating relief funding collections to help support impacted members. Individuals may contribute to the NEA Hurricane Florence Relief Fund via a special GoFundMe page. Please note that 100% of funds donated will go to affected NEA members and their families through their state affiliates. Information about donating can be found on the NEA MB website.
With so much going on, please take the time to stay informed by check our website and making sure you are getting our updates sent directly to you at your home email address. Knowledge is Power!
Whatever challenges you are facing, whether it is an educational issue, or a life threatening storm, we truly are stronger when we stand together. We know the true meaning of teamwork and collaboration, we know the strength and the determination of our members, and TOGETHER, we can make a positive difference in the lives of our colleagues and our students. Stay Safe, Stay Strong!