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Old 09-25-2012, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
19,099 posts, read 9,002,413 times
Reputation: 18506

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Well look at the teachers in Chicago and how they held the city hostage.

The children and the parents of the children are the customers of the education system and they want to have some control over the product they are having to pay for with taxes.

I can't see the problem with that.

In my life I saw teacher unions cover up for appalling teachers and that isn't fair to the end user, the children, nor the people that pay with property taxes or sales taxes.
1. If the Chicago teachers strike is the same as most teacher strikes, the students will go to school the same total number of days this year because the calendar will be adjusted.

2. Parents and students are not customers of the school. They are clients.

3. Yes, like with most other occupations, teachers with their unions have gone too far with some of their job actions. Of course, why are teacher organizations necessary? Unfairness in employer actions. For example, there was a school system in New England which for years fired virtually every teacher within their system within 3-5 years after being hired. Good or bad. Do you know why? So the teachers wouldn't be eligible for retirement benefits.

But in reality, there is not the problem in firing a bad teacher that people like you think there is. We "got rid of" a teacher most every year I was a school administrator (we also got rid of one vice principal). Sometimes we counseled them out of the profession. Sometimes we pushed them out of our school system. Sometimes we fired them. All we needed was the evidence of poor teaching skills. It wasn't that difficult.

For the most part, we had good to excellent teachers on our staff, and here's why. First, our district had high standards, good pay, and good benefits. So among the applicants were the cream of the crop. When we got a candidate that wasn't up to snuff, we often advised them to go to other school systems where the standards were lower. We continually trained our teachers. When a teacher was having performance issues, we worked with them until the point it became clear there was not going to be sufficient progress to warrant their remaining at our school or in our system.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
19,099 posts, read 9,002,413 times
Reputation: 18506
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv View Post
The argument against public schools and public school teachers are so contradictory that it is not even funny. Add to this the fact that since everybody has been to school, they feel like they are experts. Just because I know how to drive, doesn't mean that I can design a car. Everyone has anecdotal evidence that they apply to the education, but anecdotes are not solid evidence. You say you have seen poor teachers protected by the unions, but how do you know the union stepped in? Most likely the reason the teacher stays in his or her job is because of administrative apathy.

Teachers can be fired, but they must be fired using the due process set forth in the contract that was agreed to by the district and the union.

It is quite easy to fire a teacher for misconduct.

Teachers in Colorado are on probation for 3 years during which time his or her contract may not be renewed for any cause. Failure to get rid of a bad teacher during this time is evidence of poor school management.

If a teacher consistently underperforms in his or her job, it is up to the administration to document the shortcomings and build a case for firing the teacher. Failure to take the steps necessary to fire an underperforming teacher is negligence on behalf of the administration.

The main reason why poor teachers are retained in schools is because the management cannot be bothered to take the necessary steps to replace them. How is that the fault of the teacher or the union?

Secondly, the party that advocates for personal responsibility, throws that responsibility out the window when it comes for holding kids accountable. Standardized tests are used to measure the teacher more than the student. There are no consequences for the students if they do poorly. Put in accountability for students, and you will see test scores rise.
Exactly correct, David, although I will just add that some school districts which don't pay well, have poor benefits, and a poor reputation can't get truly qualified candidates.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:36 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
19,099 posts, read 9,002,413 times
Reputation: 18506
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwiley View Post
so a teacher is only bad if they are bad in the 1st 3 years? Do you seriously think that? Listen most teachers work very hard 8 months out of the year, the time off they get they need and deserve. But working as hard as they do for those 8 months, they get burned out, like anybody who works 60+ hours a week. some teachers get burned out after a couple of years, some last 5 years, some last 10 years, some even last 20 years, and some never really burn out, but many of those teachers who have been teachers for 10-20 years before deciding they hate it, quickly realize that they cannot find a job with comparable pay and benefits, so often they stay teachers hurting the schools and the students as they wait for retirement.

Now the problem is once those 3 years are past, those teachers are not so easy to get rid of, of course that could is because of the contracts that the unions have put in place, and that is the problem that I and many others have with the school systems. You see at the end of the day, the politicians are often forced to give into the teacher cartel because the teachers and their union have turned the debate into an argument of what's best for the kids if they do not get what want it only hurts the kids, yet when the government officials use that against them, they cry broke. At the end of the day the politicians are using our money, and not theirs, so they cave and continue to give teachers what they want, to the point that it is out of hand.

At the end of the day I am personally tired of hearing how the students are not held accountable for test and that teachers are required to teach to the tests. I will give you that some students just do not care, but a majority of students are there to learn, it is partially up to the teacher to keep them interested and get them to learn. But when you have students that have a hard time doing simple math, or writing a complete sentence, yet they graduate high school that is the teachers and schools fault why are they giving them a diploma? Back when I was a kid if you could not pass your tests you were failed you took the grade or the class over again until you learned what you were supposed to, now the teachers would rather blame the kids and the parents while passing them along to the next teacher, of course back then it was also required that you learn your history, math, science, a writing/reading skills, they emphasized them and did not have this crap of trying to indoctrinate these kids.
You make some good points, but I do need to correct you about most evaluation systems in U.S. schools.

Maybe it's different here in Colorado...I'm not sure, but if it is different, then the state needs to get their act together.

In my school system -- in Virginia, a right-to-work state (as I believe is Colorado) with a mostly Republican history) -- teachers in years 1-3 of their contract were evaluated every year, automatically, no exceptions. After the first 3 years, they were automatically evaluated every third year, no exceptions. However, I could formally evaluate any teacher out of cycle for cause, and did. Inappropriate teacher behavior, excessive parent complaints, excessive colleague complaints, failure to follow school or district policies, poor student performance on standardized test scores, discipline problems in the classroom (particularly when any of these issues showed a pattern)...were among the reasons we put non-cycle teachers on full evaluation. And, I had the right to observe any teacher at any time, even for no reason.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
19,099 posts, read 9,002,413 times
Reputation: 18506
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
I don't understand what's motivating you to say this. If anything parents are more involved to the point of being branded "helicopters" compared to the hands-off approach most of our parents (assuming you're a boomer) took with our educations.
I generally agree.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
19,099 posts, read 9,002,413 times
Reputation: 18506
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv View Post
...

FWIW: teachers work at school (with some breaks thrown in) from August until June. A total of 10 months. Some of us (yes, I am a teacher) have a calendar that has us working from August until early June. During any break while school is in session, teachers are expected to work at home. So while they may have two weeks off at Christmas, they are working at least part-time most days (and without pay, I may add.) The same is true for Thanksgiving and Spring Break as well.

...
And, during summer vacations, most teachers at least some summers are back in college updating their course work for recertification...some or all of which they pay for themselves (depending on the school system).

Additionally, again depending on the school system, teachers who sponsor clubs and activities are often doing it for free, or pay that borders on being ridiculous. For example, when I was still teaching the principal asked me to be assistant wrestling coach. It was a paid position. I kept track on the hours I spent and the pay earned and it came out....4 cents an hour.
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:32 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,343,418 times
Reputation: 6816
And who was it who put in all these mandatory testing programs rather than just leave kids' education up to local parents and their school boards?
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Colorado
1,969 posts, read 1,910,349 times
Reputation: 1723
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
None of you apparently were around back in the 60s and 70s or you have very short memories, but I can recall when the Republican party was a lot more radical than Pres. Obama and today's Democrats. Just go back and take a look at all the Federal programs that Nixon and Ford signed into law or expanded, including the EPA, Earned Income Tax Credit, Amtrak, and Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Betty Ford was pro-choice and supported the ERA. G.H.W. Bush signed into law the ADA. This is why many people my age or older don't understand the current Republican outrage. It just doesn't square with the history of the mainstream Republican party.
The Republican Party has devolved into a divide-and-conquer, party of greed. Their basic activities are cutting taxes for the rich and making the poor poorer. They bear no resemblance to the party I remember from the 1960's and early 1970s.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Colorado
1,969 posts, read 1,910,349 times
Reputation: 1723
Teachers do a great job in an environment where the schools are completely underfunded and our paltry social safety net is not providing a stable living environment for our kids, due to Republican policies. Republicans need to be removed from office via the ballot.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,756 posts, read 16,496,039 times
Reputation: 9292
davidv wrote: So while they may have two weeks off at Christmas, they are working at least part-time most days (and without pay, I may add.) The same is true for Thanksgiving and Spring Break as well.

Not true at all for my wife who is a 22 yr veteran of teaching. She spends Christmas break in Hawaii, spring break attending a yoga retreat, and Thanksgiving visiting family in Arizona. The part about without pay, is incorrect. Like any other salaried employee, teachers are paid a certain amount to get the job done...whatever it takes.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,756 posts, read 16,496,039 times
Reputation: 9292
KatInTheHate wrote: I detest paying taxes when I know the money is going to people who are able bodied but choose to do nothing with their lives.

Me too! In addition to that, I detest paying taxes to fund endless wars and spending billions of dollars for corporate welfare. In my mind, that is an even bigger waste of taxpayer money than funding the bums.
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