Skip to main content

View Diary: New York City's flawed data fuels the right's war on teachers (92 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  And what about the victims of such educational (0+ / 0-)


    First, it takes the administrators showing evidence of having tried to help, and not just moving to fire without intervention.  Second, it can't be done in a year for tenured teachers unless something outrageous occurs: an unsatisfactory trend has to be established.
    How about as soon as the dismissal process starts we preferentially put the children of other teachers in that teacher's class.

    Let's make sure that teachers also have an incentive to make the dismissal process fair, accurate, and fast.

    •  You really are fascinated with the idea of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      punishing teachers, aren't you?

      Never mind the ideals of due process, innocent until proven guilty, correlation does not equal causation (or in this case, accusation does not equal confirmation) -- just go straight for the "Burn the teachers!" approach.

      But hey, as long as it's the best thing for the students!

      •  You got one thing right... (0+ / 0-)
        But hey, as long as it's the best thing for the students!
        The purpose of our educational system is to educate students.

        Everything else is secondary, including fairness to teachers.

        No measurement system is perfect any measurement or evaluation system that gets rid of any teachers at all will unfairly get rid of some good teachers.

        TFL.  Life isn't fair.

        The question isn't how to maximize fairness to teachers.  It is what is the optimum policy to maximize student educational performance.

        That means firing a teacher as soon as it becomes more likely than not that his replacement will be better, even if that means a high percentage of false positives.

        •  Sounds like a new meme for Rush. (0+ / 0-)

          I think you might be on the wrong side of the aisle.

          Democratic principles don't generally include "kill them all and let God sort them out."

        •  I think you've misunderstood (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Linda Wood

          my main point, and I probably didn't state it clearly enough.  OF COURSE bad teachers shouldn't be teaching - nobody is defending that!

          The problem is that there HAS to be a PROCESS to remove a teacher, because it so often - seriously, very very often - has nothing to do with teaching.  More experienced teachers cost m-o-n-e-y, and that's what most "reform" comes down to: saving money.  More experienced teachers are also more likely to have opinions about defending the educational culture of their schools against the pernicious effects of the bean-counters on our schools.

          Teachers work hard for our students, and we most definitely want to be part of a school culture of excellence; nobody wants to work with bad teachers.  They disserve the students and lead to a disorderly school environment.  For heaven's sake, all this should be obvious.

          I'm sorry to have to explain this to a reader of DailyKos, but unionized teachers are the defenders of our classroom-based culture of learning in schools.  Not because of this or that specific point in a contract, but because unionization provides defense of our voices (or so it should).  Defending the right of teachers to speak and be heard without fear of persecution by the institutional managers IS what defends a serious learning environment against encroachment by anti-education forces.  You know who they are: people who collect data before determining what it's for, and then use it slyly or foolishly; people who brook no dissent or debate; people who'd rather save money in the short run than educate in the long run; people who make up results to support flawed policy; people who could never themselves actually manage lesson planning, product output, and classroom management for 150 (or more) kids a day and won't leave us alone to do it.

          Sure, unions protect our rights (sometimes) and our salaries.  But when well-organized, they much more critically defend the voices of those who are most directly invested in successful schools.  I mean, apart from the students themselves, and it's probably teachers who would have the least to fear and most to gain if we ever did see a student organizing movement in the public schools...

          •  What is your evidence for this claim? (0+ / 0-)
            but unionized teachers are the defenders of our classroom-based culture of learning in schools
            Unions represent teachers, not students - that is their job.

            A union is required to defend a bad teacher just as much as a good one - a union can't refuse to try to save a teacher's job just because s/he can't teach.

            So why do you think "nionized teachers are the defenders of our classroom-based culture of learning in schools"?

            •  You are asking for evidence (0+ / 0-)

              As you point out, unions for teachers represent teachers.  What do you think are the issues that mainly concern teachers on a day-to-day basis?  Before you answer, remember: we are teachers.  It should not be too shocking that the priority is the protection and encouragement of conditions that favor good teaching.  Why do you think that the interests of students run counter to teachers?  They don't.
              Just because unions are charged with protecting all their members - of course you're right on that - does not mean that weakening unions will result in better teaching.  I think my point was clear:  unionized teachers have voices in their school community that are protected; non-unionized teachers don't.   And if you didn't know, let me inform you that the role of union chapters in schools here in New York City is to advise on all education matters, on the full running of the school, on program, on compliance to meet the needs of special needs students, on improving outcomes, on protecting the arts and ensuring that kids have books, and aligning the budget to the school's needs: all of it; not just defending bad teachers.  And good, well-organized union chapters with responsible school administrations do a great job collaborating on it all to everyone's benefit.
              Without protection and without a contract spelling out these rights, what protection do you think there would be in the super-politicized education world for this input from actual educators of actual students in actual classrooms?  

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site