The Fresno Teachers Association has agreed that if done right, there could be benefits to increasing primary students' minutes. We suggested struggling students be kept after school for individualized instruction. The district refused.
FTA proposed to increase minutes following a Clovis format where both primary and intermediate students attend school daily for 335 minutes. Teachers instruct for 305 minutes, and while someone else takes the students for P.E., teachers plan lessons. The district refused again.
It works for Clovis, why not Fresno? Superintendent Michael Hanson misleads the public into believing Fresno has fewer teaching minutes than other districts. Currently, Fresno's kindergartners go 45 minutes more a week than Clovis students. Our intermediate teachers teach 25 minutes more a day with students, equaling 11 more days of instruction by classroom teachers. If they accepted our proposal, our primary students would have 5 minutes more a day than Clovis students.
We thought that it was about students having more time, which our proposal gave them. It turns out that what they really want is for teachers to work more minutes than other districts. Since Clovis' bell schedules prove we do, what is next? How about curriculum reform?
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FTA Negotiations Chairman
Fresno, CA 93704