Hot

DISLCAIMER: I hate on FOX News and CNN in equal measure. In fact, I hate all network/cable news. There is no such thing as unbiased TV news reporting anymore. The end.

The topic is completely incendiary, and I can see both sides. From an edu-political standpoint, I find the union guy’s comments somewhat simplistic, if not circular:

We don’t protect bad teachers. We protect teachers’ rights.”

Um, ok.

Really though, I’m interested in your comments. Having been both a parent and a teacher, it’s sticky. Maybe some of my colleagues who usually just lurk (and you know who you are) will weigh in, but I’m interested in where everyone stands. BoomR is on the high seas, so I doubt he’ll see this for awhile, but I’m sure he will have something to add. How bout it, fiends?

PS – just found this video link on a friend’s Facebook profile. Hysterical!
The Beatles – 1,000 Years Later

12 thoughts on “Hot

  1. Greg

    This is indeed a very tricky situation. I don’t know what the “full letter of the law” states but it could have other ramifications as well. If, as the report states, the majority of parents can remove individual teachers on “educational grounds,” what if the schools have finanacial problems? Could the parents have the decision to remove teachers whom they deem to be “financial drains” upon the system? And we know which are the common targets for that!
    Though I belonged to the teacher’s union for 35 years, I wasn’t a big union fan. As a building rep, I saw problems where the administration didn’t do their paperwork properly and in one case, made a decision to terminate a faculty member who had received consistently good reviews on all evaluations. In this case, the union stepped in on the teacher’s behalf and negotiated a settlement with the Board. The teacher could remain until retirement age, the teacher was required to take a course (own expense) on classroom management and the union supervised and checked on the teacher’s weekly lesson plans. It worked out for everyone involved.
    It would appear that this new California law gives an overtly amount of clout to parents when a supposed system of elected officials is already in place.

    Reply
    1. Rat Fink Post author

      And overt amounts of clout is a recipe for disaster. I am all for getting rid of bad teachers (and despite what the guy said, the teacher union can and does protect bad teachers), but random — and transient due to graduation — groups of parents making the call is not the way to do it, IMO.

      Reply
  2. Kodye

    I know this has nothing to do with what today’s blog is about, but I heard this news and you were the first person I thought of. Today the Cleveland Indians will have a press conference announcing that after this season Mark Shapairo will be promoted from GM to Team President. Only a backwards ran team like the Indians promote someone for doing terrible. He destroyed the farm system, then the team, then traded TWO Cy Young winners in back to back seasons… and now he get’s promoted. Things like this are why I say I will never again be a Tribe fan until the Dolon’s sell. Hopefully, to Danny Gilbert. Then he can own The Cavs, The Tribe, and that new great casino opening in Cleveland in 2012.

    Reply
    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Like I always tell my students, Kody: ya makes yer choices and ya lives with the consequences. If Shapiro is in power when/if the Indians play in the postseason, the move will be viewed as genius. If not, those of us who have seen/heard it all will be proven right once again…

      Why don’t they listen to us? We obviously have all the answers. :-)

      Reply
    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Well 3rd time is the charm, Suz! What do you think of parents making that kind of choice? IMO, they’d have to have an *awfully* convincing data set to prove it…

      Reply
  3. Stein

    I find this law to be completely ridiculous. Can more than half of a particular student’s teachers sign a petition to remove that child from his parents? Education STARTS in the homes. I agreed in part with most of this until the man’s comments right at the end of the video. “And now, finally, the teachers and principals will have to listen to the parents.” That was not the issue beforehand. I would argue to say that most of the issue with students passing and failing certain things is based on the cooperation from the parent/guardian in their home lives. Students usually get failing grades if they do not complete or turn in homework. Study halls are not the answer, as that would make it SCHOOLwork. Make the parents accountable. No Child Left Behind in the Homes. Get down to where the real issue stands.

    Reply
    1. Rat Fink Post author

      And you have just articulated the single most important (and, unfortunately, unsolvable) problem in modern education.

      Reply
    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Wow! Great story, great find. Thanks Samuel. I hope you can get some rest this weekend so you’ll feel better.

      Reply
  4. BoomR

    Oh, lordy… that scares the buh-zeebas out of me… Whenever I’d have chronic problems with a kid in my class, a call or conference with the parent was a BIG light bulb moment as to why the kid behaved the way he/she did. I never had the guts to ever say this to a parent, but MAN, dontcha just want to say:

    “Um… no offense, but are you this child’s PARENT, or just a grown-up that lives in the same home??”

    In my last couple years of teaching middle school music, I did a random tally of the amount of time on-task actually teaching music or rehearsing vs. having to deal with behavior problems, teaching basic courtesy & manners, or instilling leadership skills. It basically ran 1/3 music & 2/3 other “stuff” that IMHO should have been handled by the parents/guardians LONG before they stepped into my classroom.

    So to put this kind of clout in the hands of parents who frequently have NO CLUE as to what their child is up to (behaviorally or academically) is mind-boggling. I say let’s TRY something different for a while to see if we get better results: Pay for performance. Take a page from the business world play book.

    Reply
    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Ah yes — another hot-button topic (merit pay). I am personally for it, and always have been. I think it should be the standard for performing arts teachers. I know that sounds cruel-ish, but there are far too many choir/band directors who are content to let barely acceptable go by, and blame it on other factors. If you aren’t in the silk purse business — or at least purport to want to be in it — you should not be a secondary performance ensemble director.

      The poor slobs who teach the “real” stuff are the ones I feel bad for, and it’s for the precise reason you and Stein stated: uninvolved, unloving, undisciplined, uncaring, unenlightened parenting. My friend Stoney (who posts here occasionally) teaches middle school English and writing. Under the merit pay system that I prefer, she would actually be judged for the standardized test scores of her students — many of whom don’t care, and have parents who don’t care. Still more have parents who cry “IEP!” Don’t get me started on kids who are smart, but just too lazy to do their work and be held accountable, so they try to worm out of stuff by being “tested” for a learning disability. You should see the stress our LD teachers deal with every day because of that one reason. They, like you pointed out, spend more time dealing with discipline/lazy attitude issues than they spend actually teaching content. It’s insane. They have a special crown waiting for them in heaven.

      Well I could go on and on about this, can ya tell? HA. I’m glad you’re home safe, and I can’t wait to see the vids!

      Hugz

      Reply

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