New Castle News


February 8, 2013

Our Opinion: New Castle teachers should revisit stance on training grant

NEW CASTLE — Normally, we would expect professionals to leap at the opportunity for new training designed to assist with upcoming challenges.

So we were more than a little surprised to learn the teachers union in the New Castle schools is refusing to cooperate with a grant designed to aid training of educators in the district.

The funding, nearly $150,000, is part of the federal Race to the Top education program that New Castle qualified for. The grant is intended to assist with training and evaluating teachers.

Apparently, the training is part of the program. We also note Pennsylvania is beefing up its teacher evaluation system in the coming years. You would think educators would be glad for some assistance in dealing with such changes.

But the city’s teachers said no thanks, which is causing some consternation among the district’s administration. Based on comments in the New Castle News from assistant superintendent Terence P. Meehan, the idea teachers would refuse to participate was a notion they never considered.

Yet some of the comments made by Don Runyon, president of the New Castle Federation of Teachers, may offer underlying insight. While Runyon indicated teachers objected to some of aspects of the training, in that it supposedly dealt with student matters beyond the control of educators, something else seems to be bothering them.

And that’s the fact the district went after this grant without consulting teachers beforehand. We detect a little turf tussle here.

Intellectually, we can understand teachers wanting to be involved in this grant effort from the start. They may have a legitimate beef in that regard. That’s something district administrators ought to file away for future reference.

But we also get the sense the position of the teachers is akin to cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face. By refusing to participate in this grant, we suspect the big losers could be the teachers themselves.

We often hear complaints, from a variety of sources inside and outside of education, about the hoops teachers must jump through while contending with standardized tests and other bureaucratic changes involving classroom activities.

We sympathize with much of this. But at the same time, we see there are problems that need to be addressed. And one of these is in the field of teacher evaluations, where virtually all educators in the commonwealth receive routine approval.

New rules are intended to tighten this process, and teachers must contend with it. For this reason alone, we think New Castle’s educators need to rethink their position and work with the administration to hammer out any real differences.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Yauger.jpg Yauger’s Mercer County trial on hold

    A pending criminal trial for the former Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV executive director has been continued again in Mercer County.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yauger.jpg Yauger now facing federal charge

    With Mercer County court proceedings pending this week, Cecelia Yauger faces federal prosecution for alleged business credit card misuse.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg New Castle board adopts budget despite uncertainty

    The New Castle school board adopted its 2014-15 budget Monday but may have to re-open it next week. The $5.4 million budget, introduced in May, has no tax increase and will not tap into the fund balance. Taxes remain at 17.72 mills.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todora.jpg Board, staff bids farewell to superintendent

    Dr. Mary Todora will retire Monday from the Neshannock school district. “I remember eight and a half years ago when Dr. John Dietz (then-board president) called to tell me I got the job. I was thrilled,” Todora said at her final board meeting.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rich.jpg Vo-tech administrators get bonuses, no raises

    Lawrence County Career and Technical Center administrators will get one-time bonuses instead of raises next year. The joint operating committee approved one-year agreements that would freeze the salaries of director Leonard A. Rich and the principal, head custodian, cafeteria supervisor and computer technician.

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • FrankAloi.jpg Frank Aloi: 50 years of school spirit in Ellwood City

    Frank Aloi is a true Wolverine. Aloi, who turned 73 Friday, spent the past half-century affiliated with the Ellwood City school district and its sports teams.

    June 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • FrankAloi.JPG Frank Aloi Retiring: Ellwood superintendent leaving amid budget woes

    Frank Aloi is retiring next month as Ellwood City’s superintendent of schools. Aloi, a 50-year district employee and its superintendent for nearly 12, submitted his retirement notice to the board during an executive session prior to Thursday’s meeting. His last day is July 16.

    June 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg District mulls building sale options

    The New Castle school district is considering selling its three recently closed buildings through a sealed bid process.

    June 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Perfect.jpg Your Education: Shenango grad never missed a day

    They say nobody’s perfect. But for 13 years, Jenna DiGiammarino certainly was. When Jenna left last night’s commencement ceremonies at Shenango High School, she did so not only with a diploma in hand, but also with a flawless record of attendance dating back to Day One of kindergarten.

    June 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • 03.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Three New Castle schools close today for good

    Today is bittersweet for New Castle Area School District elementary students and teachers. Three buildings packed with history as longtime learning institutions are closing their doors for good.

    June 5, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

Would you want to know what your pet is thinking about you?

Yes! I'd love to know what my pet is thinking.
Nah, it's probably not that interesting.
I don't know. I'm afraid of what I might find out.
     View Results