Chariho School Parents’ Forum

October 28, 2009

Chariho teacher contract

Filed under: contract negotiations,Unions — Editor @ 10:34 pm

From our friends in Richmond


Teacher Contract Ratification Scheduled


The Chariho School Committee is scheduled to meet this Thursday (10/29), 6PM, Middle School Library, to ratify the teacher’s contract.


I didn’t hear it but I’m told by others that there was an expectation that the “ground rules” made accommodation for the secret negotiations by having the contract available for public review for 30 days before the ratification vote. It appears that this will not occur. As it stands now, your only opportunity to hear about the new contract and make your feeling known will be at this meeting.


I’ve probably heard the same rumors you have on what will be in the new contract – – many of them the same we have seen in other contacts this year in other towns  – increased co-pays (lets hope we get them to the private sector range of 25-35%) – – very small or no “raises” (lets hope they deal with the real raises – the steps) — changes in longevity (good if they go as far as Hopkinton in eliminating them – although we did replace them with a couple of steps) — and will they follow East Providence and propose merit pay. 


Of course, the devil is in the details, so a 30 day review would have been nice 





  1. The Westerly Sun says Mr. Ricci will explicitly talk about how the public meeting about the contract influenced the negotiations, which will be interesting to hear, especially because much of what was said was to make the negotiations visible, which clearly was not done.

    Am I correct that the contract will be made public and ratified the same night? What the heck?

    Comment by david — October 29, 2009 @ 8:10 am | Reply

  2. Lip service.

    Comment by RS — October 29, 2009 @ 8:21 am | Reply

  3. David … Hi again … you are correct, we’ll see how much our voices counted. I recall the ground rules had a 30 day public comment before ratification, what’s your memory?

    Comment by Gene Daniell — October 29, 2009 @ 2:21 pm | Reply

  4. Will Bill and Andy step up or be cowards among men?

    Comment by StephB — October 29, 2009 @ 4:43 pm | Reply

  5. Hi Gene. Actually I don’t remember anything being said about a public comment period. I do wonder how a school committee can commit the taxpayers over three years without having to provide reasonable disclosure of what their deal is. I can’t believe the town councils accept this without howls of anger.

    Comment by david — October 29, 2009 @ 4:43 pm | Reply

    • More unbelievable is the voters(the ones who put the SC members in office) appear to accept this without howls of anger. If the will of the voters is spoken, why would the TC expend any effort.

      Comment by RS — October 29, 2009 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

  6. Hi!
    It will be interesting how the school committee handles the contract and the results of both the adopted contract and how individual school committee members vote.
    A week from today, November 5Th, is the annual chicken parmesan dinner put on at the Chariho Carrer and Technical Center,459 Switch Road, Wood River Jct.,. $10.00 per person. Tickets call 364-6869, Ext. 2764 or 315-2864,. Servings from 4:30 P.M., to 6:30 P.M.,. Take outs available from 2:15 P.M., onwards. Menu: chicken parmesan,dessert,beverage,tossed salad, and minestrone soup. FYI!

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — October 29, 2009 @ 4:49 pm | Reply

  7. SBH _ what the heck do you continue to announce these foolish events

    Comment by seriously?? — October 29, 2009 @ 5:22 pm | Reply

    • Sure seems to be plenty of affection for SBH…..lot of boyfriends chasing him I guess.

      Comment by RS — October 29, 2009 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

  8. Vote was 8-2-1, Ure and Abbott = No, Poulowski = Recuse.

    To understand the changes, consider that 75% of teachers are at step 10. All teachers will pay 16% of health costs stepped in through the contract, previously teachers hired before 1996 paid zero. Flip side is that two new steps were added, 2% and 2.25%, higher. Upshot is 75% of teachers trade health copay for raises.

    A merit pay pool of $200k has been created, although details have yet to be worked out. Appears money was cut from other places, like stipends, to fund it.

    On the mgmt side, it looks like good changes were made, like “just cause” for termination replaces the multi year process. Teachers must maintain all certifications they have. Teacher eval process removed from contract.

    It will be posted on the Chariho website tomorrow am.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — October 29, 2009 @ 8:43 pm | Reply

  9. Getting 16% across the board is definately a step in the right direction. Still short of the private sector but positive. In 04 (i think) the Ed Partnership did a study of Chariho and at that time about half of the teachers were on top step, which was about average for the state. Assuming it was an aging population, with little new blood, the 75% makes sense. But I’m surprised by that number.

    Merit pay is good – depending on how they do it.

    I wonder what we had to give up

    Comment by Editor — October 29, 2009 @ 9:20 pm | Reply

  10. The incentive pay is a good start, although $200K isn’t much in a $50 million budget — less than 1/2 of one percent. Assuming about 350 certified staff (looked at the NEA seniority list real quick) it works out to $570 per teacher on average.

    Comment by david — October 29, 2009 @ 10:10 pm | Reply

  11. There are about 750+ on the payroll, but about 550 FTE if memory serves. The payroll is over at
    But I hope merit bonuses aren’t given out to more than 10% of the staff.

    Comment by Editor — October 29, 2009 @ 10:21 pm | Reply

  12. Well, $200k and merit is a good start, if they had put too much money in it we would be complaining about the increased cost.

    The structure will be the focus of a committee.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — October 30, 2009 @ 1:04 am | Reply

  13. Hi!
    1.I need to learn more about the contract. It will be interesting how “merit” is decided. Can “merit” be applied to management also may be a good question and other employees?
    2. Cindy Bemis Connolly is moderator of a new CharihoClassmates a yahoogroups category. Contact her at ,. The e-mail, I think would work but you would have to join.
    3. Glenn Frishman, running for re-election to the Stonington, Conn., Board of Finance this Tuesday, is a Chariho graduate in 1966 then known as Glenn Chalifoux. He was Captain of the Color Guard at Chariho.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — October 31, 2009 @ 10:37 am | Reply

  14. ——————————————————————————–

    Home > Science Magazine > 6 November 2009 > Koretz , pp. 803 – 804

    ——————————————————————————-off topic –
    Science 6 November 2009:
    Vol. 326. no. 5954, pp. 803 – 804
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1177459
    Prev | Table of Contents | Next

    Education Forum
    Moving Past No Child Left Behind
    Daniel Koretz
    Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA.


    Weaknesses in the U.S educational system are clear. U.S. students do not compare well to peers in many other nations in their mastery of mathematics and science (1). Inequities in educational resources and outcomes are glaring. Although policy responses to these problems should include holding educators accountable for student performance, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is a poorly designed test-based accountability (TBA) system that requires fundamental changes.

    Score Inflation
    A fundamental problem with TBA systems—one that NCLB fails utterly to address—is score inflation, increases in scores substantially larger than warranted by true gains in students’ learning. Research suggests that inflation, although not ubiquitous, is common and can be very large (2, 3). This phenomenon of corrupted outcome measures is not particular to TBA. It has been seen in many fields where performance-based incentives are imposed (4).

    For example, in the early 1990s, Kentucky instituted a TBA system that in many respects foreshadowed NCLB. During the first 2 years for which teachers were held accountable for scores on the state test, fourth-grade scores on the state’s reading test rose by 0.76 standard deviation (a truly remarkable gain, an order of magnitude larger than historical data would have suggested reasonable). During the same period, the state’s fourth-grade reading scores on a federally managed test [the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)] did not improve (5), even though the two tests were designed to measure similar material.

    Score inflation has several roots, but most important is that achievement tests are necessarily small, somewhat predictable samples of larger domains of achievement. Sample-based testing can work well when educators and students have no strong incentive to focus on the specific sample measured. In TBA systems, however, such incentives are strong (6, 7), and scores sometimes become inflated. Research (8) has indicated that many teachers reallocate instructional time in an effort to focus on tested material (and even on the particular forms in which content appears on the test) at the expense of other content.

    Focus on the Proficiency Threshold
    These problems must be confronted in the design of any TBA system, but NCLB also has specific deficiencies. One is that accountability under NCLB depends almost entirely on one point in the distribution of performance, the so-called “proficient” performance standard. In most instances, educators get credit only for the percentage of students crossing that one line, and reporting focuses on that single statistic. Research is beginning to confirm that such a system can result in undue attention to students thought to be near the cut, at the expense of higher- and lower-scoring students whose improvements do not count for purposes of accountability (9). Even in the absence of such behavior, this form of reporting distorts comparisons of trends between groups that start at different levels of performance (7).

    No Strong Evidence of Benefit
    Scientifically credible evidence about the effects of NCLB—and of test-based accountability (TBA) more generally—is in short supply. Studies that purport to show net effects on learning are numerous but are as a group too weak to be persuasive. Studies that use scores on accountability tests as an outcome are not credible because of the risk of inflation. Some studies of TBA employ tests less vulnerable to corruption, but they use observational data that make it difficult to distinguish correlation from causation. Some important covariates are poorly measured or missing altogether. These include noneducational variables that directly affect student learning, such as the linguistic environment in the home

    Many of these studies use highly aggregated data—comparisons between states and entire nations—which exacerbates the problem of omitted variables. As the level of aggregation increases, additional variables come into play that may influence achievement. For example, comparisons of educational policies across nations are conflated with cultural differences, which can be a powerful influence on both educational practice and learning. Furthermore, faced with the difficulty of measuring direct influences on achievement (such as family pressure for academic success), many researchers substitute more easily measured proxies, such as socioeconomic status, that are strongly correlated with the unmeasured variables within a single locale. However, the relation between the behavior that directly affects achievement and the proxies may change with aggregation level. Moreover, many of these studies treat educational policies and practices as the cause of differences in achievement, but the causal mechanism may be more complex: Practices may be a response to differences in achievement, or both may reflect yet other variables.

    Simple trends in scores are not conclusive evidence of the impact of NCLB. Instead, we would need to know how trends after the start of the program compare with those that would have appeared without it. However, simple trends are a suggestive starting point, and trends on uninflated measures do not suggest any appreciable impact of NCLB. For example, proponents have noted that fourth-grade mathematics scores on the NAEP have increased since the implementation of NCLB in 2002, but they failed to mention that this improvement was no different from the trend before the bill’s enactment. The most recent results of the NAEP showed that fourth-grade mathematics, which had shown rapid score increases for nearly two decades, showed no improvement over the past two years (see fig. S1).

    What Fundamental Changes Are Needed
    We must look beyond the small number of goals—proficiency in reading, limited aspects of mathematics and science—on which NCLB is focused. Other valued outcomes may get short shrift and may deteriorate if we do not. We need to enumerate the most important goals for education and incorporate as wide a subset as feasible into the accountability system.

    View larger version (15K):
    [in this window]
    [in a new window]


    Gains in scores must be audited routinely to identify severe inflation and reduce the incentives to engage in inappropriate test preparation. This can be done, for example, by periodic administration of an additional, uncorrupted test, by building audit components into the accountability test, or by evaluating later changes in performance, such as performance in college. The instructional strategies used to raise scores, which will include both real improvements in instruction and undesirable test preparation, must be monitored directly. NCLB creates the same incentives for all agents in the system, to raise scores as quickly as possible. This must change so that those monitoring practice have an incentive to discourage inappropriate test preparation and other gaming. Changes in test design to make inflation more difficult should be encouraged, but they will not suffice.
    Human judgment must be reintroduced into the accountability system. Standardized achievement tests are capable of capturing only some of the important goals of education. Human judgment is necessary to capture additional outcomes, evaluate practices, determine why scores are high or low, and craft interventions when needed. There are many reasons to be leery of adding subjective components to an evaluation system, particularly in a civil service system in which managers lack a profit-based motive to avoid opportunities for abuse. This problem is more severe in education than in some other fields because of the lack of clear agreement about desirable practices. Given the limits of achievement testing, however, there seems to be no reasonable alternative. Numerous approaches for incorporating judgment have been tried, including inspectorates, quality reviews, peer review, and even parent surveys, but none has yet been adequately evaluated.

    Perhaps the most fundamental problem of NCLB and the TBA programs that preceded it is that they have not been based on rigorous research and development (R&D), and they have not been evaluated adequately after implementation. The replacement for NCLB should institute routine and rigorous R&D and evaluation that will provide a scientific basis for better educational accountability systems in the future.

    Supporting Online Material


    References and Notes

    1. I. V. S. Mullis, M. O. Martin, P. Foy, TIMSS 2007 International Mathematics Report (Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, 2008).
    2. S. P. Klein, L. S. Hamilton, D. F. McCaffrey, B. M. Stecher, What Do Test Scores in Texas Tell Us? (Issue Paper IP-202, RAND, Santa Monica, CA, 2000);
    3. D. Koretz, R. L. Linn, S. B. Dunbar, L. A. Shepard, presentation at The Effects of High Stakes Testing, symposium presented at the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association and the National Council on Measurement in Education, Chicago, 4 to 6 April 1991;
    4. D. T. Campbell, Eval. Program Plann. 2, 67 (1979). [CrossRef]
    5. R. K. Hambleton et al., Review of the Measurement Quality of the Kentucky Instructional Results Information System, 1991–1994 (Office of Education Accountability, Kentucky General Assembly, Frankfort, KY, 1995).
    6. D. Koretz, D. McCaffrey, L. Hamilton, Toward a Framework for Validating Gains Under High-Stakes Conditions (CSE Tech. Rep. 551, Center for the Study of Evaluation, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 2001).
    7. D. Koretz, L. S. Hamilton, in Educational Measurement, R. L. Brennan , Ed. (American Council on Education, Praeger, Westport, CT, ed. 4, 2006), pp. 531–578.
    8. B. Stecher, in Test-based Accountability: A Guide for Practitioners and Policymakers, L. Hamilton ., Eds. (RAND, Santa Monica, CA, 2002), pp. 79–100.
    9. J. Booher-Jennings, Am. Educ. Res. J. 42, 231 (2005

    Comment by george abbott — November 18, 2009 @ 6:41 pm | Reply

  15. hey bill,

    how can you justify being on the town council with your awful attendance record?? I know people are busy but come on….youre hardly there??

    Comment by how — November 20, 2009 @ 8:51 am | Reply

  16. Hopkinton voters got what they voted for. It’s my understanding that his attendance record was pretty much about the same while on the CSC. People don’t pay enough attention. Seems like it’s true that the squeeky wheel gets the grease.

    Comment by CharihoParent — November 20, 2009 @ 9:49 am | Reply

  17. hes another brian scott. it will be interesting to see how people that complained about brian scotts poor attendance keep quiet about felkners attendance. he obviously ran for his own ego. wanted to serve on both the school committee and council and failed to mention this intention while running. he lost his quest and lost interest. way to go felkner. cant wait to see his adorers jump on my back and defend him

    Comment by another — November 21, 2009 @ 10:22 am | Reply

  18. Hi!
    People should only on infrequently miss meetings if they are on a government board,committee, or local council. Peter Cardinal (D) and Brian Scott (R) clearly appear to have worse attendance records than Bill Felkner,(I), while serving on the Town Council in recent memory. Bill has missed meetings, but not on par with those two or Ann Bettinger, in fact I don’t think you say Cardinal’s and Scott’s attendance record were worse than Bettinger.
    What immediately concerns me is the condoning of absenteeism especially by Councilor Beverly Kenney and her husband Building Committee Chairman Greg Kenney which clearly appears to be more than half of the meetings of the building committee by Ms. Bettinger and her comment under SWORN TESTIMONY that she has her house up for sale and she has no definte intention whether she is going to remain a Hopkinton resident. Mr.Kenney has already filed two open meeting complaints against the current Hopkinton Town Council BTW.
    These are just part of my concerns.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — November 23, 2009 @ 11:48 am | Reply

  19. One so far… where’s the primary BF defender?

    Comment by CharihoParent — November 24, 2009 @ 6:29 am | Reply

  20. Hi!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
    In response to CharihoParent the issue is consistency. Since I do NOT know the attendance records of various local officials on various appointive boards and commissions, until that is more known that is difficult to discuss. Clearly Ms. Bettinger is the most flagrant I know of and she was had numerous opportunities to attend meetings, and Mr. Felkner does NOT have his house for sale and is not making comments he may NOT stay in Hopkinton. I remind everone Mr. Felkner placed fifth and myself sixth in the last Town Council election. I note CharihoParent remains CONSPICIOUSLY SILENT on Ms. Bettinger’s absenteesism among other things as well as the Kenneys conduct on this matter.
    Supposedly on the grapevine, Ms. Bettinger home is on the Internet with empty rooms. Does anyone of you have the web address for this?

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — November 24, 2009 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

  21. Petty! CAUTION: Children at play.

    Comment by RS — November 24, 2009 @ 1:43 pm | Reply

    • Yes, it’s truly sad the SBH cares to play games again with “on the grapevine” comments. I choose to remain silent on the Ms. Bettinger’s accusations because I don’t know the woman at all and haven’t seen much of anything of the Chariho building committee. As for the Kenneys’ conduct, once again, I don’t know much about that either since I don’t pay that much attention to Hopkinton politics. My only comment is that I had noticed BF’s absences while on the CSC and find it interesting that he wanted to serve on both the CSC and the HTC but can’t seem to find the time to even attend the meetings for the HTC. I was disappointed with the Richmond Councilor, Doug Tuthill, by his continued absences and was greatly relieved when he resigned his position. It will be up to the voters of Hopkinton whether BF’s absences are OK or not, they have the ultimate say in this matter.

      Comment by CharihoParent — November 24, 2009 @ 4:31 pm | Reply

  22. Hi!
    I suppose some of you saw the collusion charge by Bill Day against Richard Vecchio, George Abbott, Georgia Ure, and Deborah Carney. It can be freely accessed at The Westerly Sun as an Editor’s pick.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — November 27, 2009 @ 12:08 pm | Reply

  23. Go figure. Bully turned crybaby…….NEA STOOGE. Surely he knows he’s nothing but a laughing stock, too bad he has sacrificed the education of so many of your children. Stupid is as stupid does……he wants company for his pathetic intellect ability, and since he can’t breed it, he produces it throught his committee vote.

    Comment by RS — November 27, 2009 @ 1:10 pm | Reply

  24. Bill Day is a disgrace to the entire town of Richmond followed closely by Terri Serra. I find it rather ironic that he charges others about a voting bloc while the exact same thing could be said about him, Terri Serra, Andy P., Little Andy and perhaps even Bob Petit. The almost always vote the same exact way, how many phone calls and emails have they sent to each other?

    Comment by CharihoParent — November 27, 2009 @ 2:33 pm | Reply

  25. Hi!
    Since Richmond has only three school committee members, the problem arises when Day and Ms. Serra have to recuse themselves as they have family members working in the district on some issues, that leaves only Michelle Cole to represent that town. While I live in Hopkinton, that is clearly puts Richmond in a disadvantage then.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — November 27, 2009 @ 3:40 pm | Reply

  26. And I don’t agree with Michelle Cole’s stance on most issues since she tends to side with the Ricci factor.

    Comment by CharihoParent — November 27, 2009 @ 4:40 pm | Reply

  27. Hi!
    The more important thing is representation for the towns whether it be on a town council, any building committee or school committee. Absences should be rare but insisting on 100% attendance can be unrealistic.
    I believe Michelle Cole once taught at Chariho? I know she student taught there. She seems like at personable person. I remember when she worked at the old truck stop in north Stonington.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — November 27, 2009 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

    • Reperesentation is the right of the taxpayers/voters of each town, but a recusal is not a lack of representation. The recusal is based on grounds of prejudice or personal involvement. The ballot box doesn’t excuse conflicts of interest, but can fix them, it is up to the will of the voters to determine if the recusal denies them a voice in matters of importance and vote for representation void of conflicts.

      Comment by RS — November 27, 2009 @ 5:43 pm | Reply

  28. Hi!
    The real issue is how often a recusal happens and if it significant enough one should not be on a committee,board, etc.,?

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — November 28, 2009 @ 1:15 pm | Reply

  29. You really make it appear really easy with your presentation
    however I in finding this matter to be really something that I believe I’d by no
    means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and extremely vast for me.
    I am looking forward in your subsequent post, I will attempt to get the dangle of it!

    Comment by classroom supplies for teachers — February 16, 2014 @ 6:29 pm | Reply

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