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View Diary: Feds uncover massive cheating ring on teacher certification tests (103 comments)

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  •  and once they get into the classroom... (6+ / 0-)

    it's all about the seniority, baby.

    Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:35:02 PM PST

    •  Except that I suspect (16+ / 0-)

      anyone who would have someone take their test for them is probably not cut out for teaching and will not last long enough to get seniority.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:34:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I suspect the exact opposite. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Woody, Friend of the court
        •  Do you have to be that way? (7+ / 0-)

          Anyone who lies on their application, and I'm sure that they have to lie to do this, can be fired immediately on the spot. Union will not help them.

          Anyone who can weigh in on this?

          You can't take the sky from me!

          by wrights on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 03:10:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  requires proof (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BYw, Azubia

            If Mumford didn't keep a record of each "client" i'd think it would be difficult to say who participated.

            All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

            by subtropolis on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 03:51:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The teachers' unions in those states (9+ / 0-)

            have no power anyway. They don't have the collective bargaining rights that teachers in the north and west have.

            But one thing that most people don't understand is that unions have a legal responsibility to defend people in their bargaining units, whether those people become members or not. If the unions don't defend them, they can sue the union for not being properly represented.

            However, when the union defends someone who has gotten their job illegally, there is not much that they can do. They just try to ensure that there was appropriate due process, but they cannot save the person's job.

            •  Unions defend members based on contractual issues (4+ / 0-)

              I'm no lawyer, but based on long-term experience as a union rep.  in New York State, I doubt that any union would be held legally liable for not aggressively defending a teacher who obtained employment illegally or fraudulently.
              The union rep would do his or her best for the person, but that would most probably involve attending meetings with the employee, taking notes, ensuring that the person wasn't harassed, and ending any meetings that became abusive. And probably advising the person to seek legal counsel. Being fired for fraudulently presenting oneself as a properly licensed teacher to gain employment wouldn't have anything to do with a contract.
              Even properly credentialed probationary (non-tenured) teachers in New York State can have their employment terminated abruptly by school administration.  If school administrators have followed proper (i.e. contractual) procedures for evaluating and documenting the teacher's performance there is virtually nothing a union can do for a probationary teacher who is being dismissed.
              Union reps work very hard to protect their members, but hiring and firing are the purview of school administrators as long as procedures are properly followed.
              Fraud is fraud. Trust me, unions don't want incompetent and dishonest teachers in their schools any more than parents or school administrators do.

              •  I agree. I have had stewards training (3+ / 0-)

                for California's State University System.  

                Our Union can provide some counseling / mediation /intervention in a criminal situation like this, but they would be angry, and resent it. The Unions want and need their members to be good, competent, honest workers. They do not want to spend their time( generally volunteer) and resources (paid by members who don't make enough to start with) on people who are crooked from the get go. To use up important resources   and dirty the reputation of every other member is bullish*t,.

                Further, TR's you are correct, at least in terms of the CSUS system, the union is there mainly to defend against contract and policy violations, and discrimination against gender, race, age, etc. etc.  

                A flat out charge of criminal activity... I think that is pretty much beyond the scope of an educators union. My guess is that the stewards would recommend that the person being accused hire an attorney, and once that happens, it is officially out of the Union's hands. (for our union, anyway)

          •  How Effective Are the Unions In These States? (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            codairem, dmsmith, shenderson, boji, Woody, elginblt

            In my experience, unions do not protect cheaters.  I can't speak for states with very weak concerns for workers.  My union actively worked to improve teacher performance.  

            Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

            by tikkun on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 04:54:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The Union MUST counsel them if they are (3+ / 0-)

            a member.  Unless the proof of fraud is beyond dispute.

            You must understand that the Union exists to protect all of it's members. If, even once, a member is fired for fraud without the Union's being able to verify that fraud has actually been committed, the job security of every single other member is at risk from then on. They cannot allow that precedent to be set, or it becomes a tool for the Administration to get rid of teachers they don't like for whatever reason.  

            It is better for the Union to be involved where they can see what is going on for the sake of all their other members. If fraud is proven in a case like this, expect the Union to hold the crook while the police handcuff him, if he's proven to be guilty.

            What I know I learned through Stewards training for CSUEU. I have been involved with our union for about 4 years now. I am NOT an expert on the protocol or the contract, but I have heard our other stewards and officers speak at length about what motivates them to volunteer their time to defend our members against whatever is a threat to their job and stability.

             I also know just how angry the bitter they would be about having to waste resources on a person who would commit this kind of fraud. If the accused is proven guilty, five will get you ten that the union will hand the guy his hat, and hold the door for the cops.

            I hope this helps.

            •  Here in NY (0+ / 0-)

              If you lie on your application, you are gone the day they find out. Fraud from the moment you were hired, so your entire employment is void.

              I'm not a union rep, but I've seen this happen. Gone immediately.

              You can't take the sky from me!

              by wrights on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 04:09:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  this sort of person relies on toadyism and back (7+ / 0-)

        stabbing to advance.  they are frequently more difficult to scrape off than gum on a hot sneaker.

    •  Many people have misconceptions about (27+ / 0-)

      tenure and certifications.

      - Tenure does not guarantee you a job, no matter what, no matter what you do.  
      - Tenure affords you the guarantee of a due process review, before you can be fired. That is all that tenure or seniority gives teachers.

      A couple of examples:

      For example, if a principal was a New Earth believer who told a teacher that they had to also teach Creationism in their science class, and the teacher refused to do so, the principal could not fire the teacher without due process.  The teacher would be allowed to demonstrate that they were teaching the state authorized curriculum (assuming that Creationism is NOT part of the state requirements).  The principal would not be allowed to fire the teacher for this refusal.
      If a teacher was accused of misconduct with a student, they would have the right to a due process investigation.  If the teacher had indeed done what they were accused of doing, then, the principal would be free to fire them, immediately.
      However, I doubt THIS situation would even involve the due process situation; tenure wouldn't be involved.  This would probably be addressed, at the state level, led by the state's Education Review Board who are responsible for teacher certifications.  

      After their invesitgation, if the teacher did indeed cheat on the Praxis, the state board would probably just pull their teaching certificates, since passing certain Praxis exams are required for certificaiton. The school distrcit would be free to let them go, since the teacher wouldn't have a license to teach, anymore.

      Anyone who is unable to pass the Praxis tests and/ or hired someone to cheat for them on them, obviouly .doesn't belong in a classroom.  And, the state and local schools will most certainly have the authority to relieve them of their teadhing duties.

      Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

      by bkamr on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 02:27:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  this is absolutely correct... (6+ / 0-)

        A couple more things about tenure and "bad" teachers...
        One has to assume that during the hiring process, the person offered a teaching position was the best person available at the time. Now, people's lives change over time and teachers are no different. That person who was the best (otherwise, why were they hired?) may experience changes that degrade their teaching. Typically, this doesn't happen overnight. Fortunately there is another person in the school building whose job is to notice this and prescribe change to bring the teacher back into the fold of "good" teachers. That person is the principle, the educational leader of the school.
         In Michigan a few years ago, 9 out of 10 teachers going to a tenure hearing lost their jobs. Why? Because administrators did their jobs. They evaluated, suggested (or demanded) change, and evaluated again to document improvement or the lack there of. After a few cycles of this, the teacher is back on track or faced with losing their job. If they demand a tenure hearing, they will probably lose because the administrator did his or her job. So why are there "bad" teacher still in classrooms? Because, for whatever reason, administrators aren't doing the job they were hired to do.
        Remember, unions don't hire or fire. Administrators do. Unions just make sure the rules are followed.

    •  This is a line out of the union-haters' book n/t (9+ / 0-)
    •  Is that true in right to work states? (0+ / 0-)

      I know that's generally true in states where teachers can organize and belong to unions, but is it true in right to work states like Mississippi?

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