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View Diary: I am a liberal, and I belong to a union (262 comments)

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  •  Bullshit... (0+ / 0-)

    Any professional that is licensed by the state (accountants, attorneys, doctors) have their peer reviews and other disciplinary actions as a matter of public record with the state board...

    So you do not have a clue what you are talking about...

    Obama - Change I still believe in

    by dvogel001 on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 09:47:21 AM PST

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    •  Actually, I do (6+ / 0-)

      Unlike these other professions, teachers are unionized, and if they can bargain collectively for contract language that protects their evaluation data, then that's jolly well the law. Given the attacks that teachers are under from corporatist "reformers" such as yourself, I think there are more up sides to protecting that information than down sides. Take it up with your school board, or buy yourselves some legislators, if you don't like it.

      Or engage in union-bashing, and call yourself a "progressive" anyway. That's what your kind does.

      "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

      by Ivan on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 09:56:19 AM PST

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      •  Not correct... (0+ / 0-)

        just a reform minded parent of 2 elementary school children....

        Obama - Change I still believe in

        by dvogel001 on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 10:03:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Reform-minded? (5+ / 0-)

          Then support your teachers, and not their enemies. Your teachers will do more to effect positive changes in education for your kids, and the kids of others, than all the billionaire boys and their hired suits put together.

          "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

          by Ivan on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 10:15:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I do support the great teachers... (0+ / 0-)

            all the time...I would like help getting rid of the underperforming teachers...and in a town like mine (suburban upscale town) believe me we all know the good, mediocre and bad teachers...

            A public disclosed evaluation would only confirm our understanding....

            Obama - Change I still believe in

            by dvogel001 on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 10:36:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Believe me, we all know" (6+ / 0-)

              I love it when self-described "liberals" or "progressives" use Sarah Palin arguments.

              Because that's what you're doing. I don't believe you, and I don't think you know shit. It's all who you like and don't like -- and if you deny it, it's probably true for other parents in your "suburban upscale town."

              Show me 50 different parents, and I'll show you 50 different thresholds for "underperforming." Are all of those thresholds valid? If not, then who is to decide whose is? Is your threshold any more valid than any other parent's?

              That's no way to run a school, or a school district. That is why seniority, though certainly imperfect, is the least bad way to decide reductions in force.

              If your district hasn't the ability to document a truly bad teacher for termination, and to get cooperation from the other teachers, then you need to fix that problem first.

              In my experience as a public school parent and as a union representative, the population MOST averse to underperforming workers is their co-workers. In the case of teachers, poorly performing or unmotivated teachers are most resented by their peers, because they make their peers' jobs harder.

              This is why the overwhelming majority of truly bad teachers are counseled out of the profession by their peers and by conscientious principals and administrators BEFORE they achieve tenured status.

              So what you see as subpar teacher performance in your "suburban upscale town" might be the bottom of an already skewed Bell Curve, but it does not necessarily represent an incompetent or underperforming teacher by a strictly peer-reviewed standard.

              My experience as a public school parent has taught me that parents are, as a rule, the LEAST knowledgable population when it comes to what goes down in the classroom. They will repeat ANY rumor that bolsters their preconceived notions.

              Their evidence-gathering is almost entirely anecdotal, based on superficial likes and dislikes, and is subject to whim, fancy, and caprice.

              If we are to attract, reward, and retain the best available teachers for our public schools, then we cannot adopt policies that have the effect of eroding or eliminating their job security or bargaining power.

              What you suggest and advocate would have that effect, and you'll have to go over me to get it. Good luck with that.

              "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

              by Ivan on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 11:12:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ivan, tardis10

                for this; If your district hasn't the ability to document a truly bad teacher for termination, and to get cooperation from the other teachers, then you need to fix that problem first.

                This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

                by Tonedevil on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 11:38:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  How can you document a bad... (0+ / 0-)

                  teacher when the union keeps on setting the bar for documentation so high for termination that it rarely matters...

                  Obama - Change I still believe in

                  by dvogel001 on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 01:25:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't suppose... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    tardis10

                    you have anything, other than the voices in your head, to substantiate what you are saying?

                    This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

                    by Tonedevil on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 01:46:56 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Personal experience... (0+ / 0-)

                      with a sad case of a brilliant physics teacher who suffered a stroke and was kept on for 10 years that was useless to the AP students...by the union rep

                      Obama - Change I still believe in

                      by dvogel001 on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 05:28:00 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Sounds like a colosal failure... (0+ / 0-)

                        of management.  Did the Teachers Union have the power to hire and fire?  Wasn't there some sort of provision in the contract for the separation of someone unable to carry out their duties?  If not why isn't that a failure of District leadership?  
                        I really don't understand what you think you want.  Are Teachers Unions supposed to just go out of business?  Be more stringently regulated?  Consult with you directly for their guidelines?  

                        This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

                        by Tonedevil on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 11:50:51 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  We tried to fire him... (0+ / 0-)

                          but because he did nothing wrong, the union defended his ability to keep on teaching and went to court to stop his firing...

                          Obama - Change I still believe in

                          by dvogel001 on Tue Jan 25, 2011 at 02:40:08 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  So... (0+ / 0-)

                            There was a "brilliant" Teacher who had a medical event which left him impaired to some degree.  The School tried to fire him.  The Union found this to be an improper job action.  This dispute went to court and the court found in favor of the Teacher.
                            Seeing that the court found in favor of the Teacher it seems to me the Union's position was vindicated. I don't see where the Union is the villain  here.  Were they supposed to just abdicate their duty to represent their member?  Why is this an example of a Union acting egregiously?
                            Again do you want the Teacher's Union to go out of business?  Would anything less satisfy you?  Not that I think you should be satisfied in this regard.

                            This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

                            by Tonedevil on Tue Jan 25, 2011 at 07:58:37 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No I want the teachers' unions... (0+ / 0-)

                            to come up with a better solution that helps students as well such as a fund/provision for a disability pension for these cases so we all win...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Tue Jan 25, 2011 at 12:13:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Isn't that... (0+ / 0-)

                            what management is supposed to do?  Are you under the impression that the Teacher's Unions run the schools?  
                            I don't know the particulars in your specific case.  Do you know why the Union thought this wasn't a legitimate job action?  Do you know why the court decision went the way it did?
                            The Teachers Union doesn't set the standards, though they may have input by way of a collective bargaining agreement.  Once their is a collective bargaining agreement in place it is the Unions job to represent it's members where they may have a legitimate grievance by the terms of the agreement.  My Union, I am SEIU1000, doesn't provide any pensioning for their members.  I understand their can be Union sponsored pensioning, but I feel it is the responsibility of the employer.
                            As a last question to you, do you think the School District bore any responsibility for the case you describe?

                            This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

                            by Tonedevil on Tue Jan 25, 2011 at 01:18:30 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Because it only cares about the teachers... (0+ / 0-)

                            which in the long run will make teachers' unions be voted out by parents like me...it should be a joint project with the teachers' unions and school administration to come up with solutions that put STUDENTS FIRST...not Teachers...until that happens...teachers will continue to lose support...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Tue Jan 25, 2011 at 02:24:26 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I realize... (0+ / 0-)

                            Teachers are losing support and are being punished for their lack of popularity.  The sad thing is people like you are punishing them unfairly and the result is worse and worse education for the students.  You blame the Teachers, I blame you.  Who in their right mind would want to work for someone who shows the contempt for the entire profession you have.

                            This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

                            by Tonedevil on Tue Jan 25, 2011 at 04:06:49 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I love teachers... (0+ / 0-)

                            but I am beginning to hate the unions who claim to support their interests...I vote for every school budget and I go to every P-T conference, my wife is a room mom and goes to every PTA meeting...

                            So STFU about not supporting teachers...you have no fucking clue what you are talking about...and it is fucking attitudes like yours that will take people like me out of the public schools and change from voting yes to voting no on public education...

                            So think about that as you take your hard line position that does not balance teachers' needs with those of students and parents...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Tue Jan 25, 2011 at 04:42:55 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If you change your vote... (0+ / 0-)

                            to retaliate for perceived slights on the Internet maybe you didn't mean it anyway.  

                            This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

                            by Tonedevil on Tue Jan 25, 2011 at 07:28:51 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Would I change my vote... (0+ / 0-)

                            because of asshole bloggers...probably not...but for unions not representing a great education as opposed to just representing teachers...maybe...so watch out....

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 03:41:57 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And the vast majority of teachers... (0+ / 0-)

                            that I interact with are great and I love them...we are only talking about a small fraction that we should all agree need to be purged for the benefit of great teachers, parents and students alike...

                            Obama - Change I still believe in

                            by dvogel001 on Tue Jan 25, 2011 at 04:44:13 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

              •  Now everyone can see... (0+ / 0-)

                calling parents POV as idiots really helps your case when we approve the school budgets that pay the teachers' salaries...nice job...I will be sure to remember your POV in the voting booth...personally I am insulted basically calling caring parents who want the best for their children, pay high property taxes to support 1st class public schools idiots and subject to gossip...

                I personally evaluate each teacher my child goes to based on a balanced scorecard of academics, discipline and social interaction...I do not use gossip as one of my criteria...

                In thinking like that you make worse the growing chasism between parents and teachers...and that is really sad...

                Obama - Change I still believe in

                by dvogel001 on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 01:24:21 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  My difference with unions is... (0+ / 0-)

            that I would love to pay the best teachers 50% more than the mediocre teachers...

            Obama - Change I still believe in

            by dvogel001 on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 10:37:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Here, Here. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dvogel001

              Teachers aren't special.  Cops aren't special.  Firefighers aren't special.  They are all just classes of skilled workers hired to do a job and shouldn't have some extraordinary right or protection to that job except for doing it well.

              The idea that K-12 teachers are peculiarly or singularly at risk of firing of voicing politcally unpopular opinions in the workplace and thus need the protection of tenure is a joke.  By that logic, we should all have tenure.

              Taking the position that that there ARE bad or poor teachers out there that need to be fired does not automatically qualify one as anti-union or anti-teacher.  That's just a black and white, completly unsophisticated dichtomoy.  There are good teachers out there, there are average teachers out there and there are poor teachers out there - just like any other workplace.  The difference, is that in your average workplace, poor peformers get canned.  As they should.  In our public school systems, what we get is poor performers shuffled around to inflict themselves on our children.

              I know this from personal experience.  My fiancee went to public school in a large urban public school system.  She regularly had classes in high school where the teacher literally sat there and read a newspaper all day.  Or where the daily lesson was to literally copy pages out of textbook.   And yet somehow, we shouldn't be evaluating these teachers and terminating the humps?

              Now is not the time for a circular firing squad when the other side is teabagging you in the face.

              by goblue72 on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 10:52:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Do cops get fired (4+ / 0-)

                when the crime rate goes up? Thought not. Next?

                "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

                by Ivan on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 11:15:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I agree with your POV... (0+ / 0-)

                and would amplify that the unions aim to reward all teachers equally regardless of performance...that is their goal is to have all teachers paid exactly the same except for time/grade (not school grade) differences...

                So many parents have an issue with that...for instance, I would love to setup a parents fund with 1% of our school taxes that we could allocate to the best teachers in our opinion...

                Obama - Change I still believe in

                by dvogel001 on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 11:15:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Sound logic... (3+ / 0-)

                let's base education reform on the experience of your fiancee with one teacher in a large urban public school system.  
                If we want to go all anecdotal, when my daughters were in school one of their middle school English teachers was flat out incompetent.  The principal when my oldest was there let it go and told the parents that his hands were tied because the teacher had tenure.  When my youngest got the same teacher three years later there was a new principal at the school.  The new principal gave the teacher a verbal warning, which she documented, and followed up with two written warnings that had planed follow ups and metrics to determine if the teacher was improving.  Guess what, half way through the year the teacher was let go.  Oddly enough that doesn't seem like much more of a process than I went through to fire someone when I was a manager at Del Taco.  

                This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

                by Tonedevil on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 11:34:43 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  A joke? (0+ / 0-)

                Screw. You.  I have been fired TWICE with good evaluations, having won High school reading teacher of the year.  Once because my principal found out I had participated in an anti-war protest across the country on MY TIME OFF.  He made sure parents knew, parents wrote nasty, anonymous HATE MAIL that was delivered to me BY THE PRINCIPAL.  He would hide outside my classroom door, and then haul my students off to the side to interview them about class.

                Oh, and my non-college bound English class of 12?  2 went into the service, 5 are now teachers and 7 went to college.  That was the year I was fired.

                My second job?  They either were pissed because I campaigned for Barak Obama (on my own time) or because they found out I am not Christian.  I had perfect evaluations.  I had better test scores for the lowest quartile (which came out after I was fired) than any other 10th grade reading teacher in the district.

                Can I prove any of it?  No.  Anything I have is anecdotal and not documented.  Am I fired?  yes.  Do I have a leg to stand on?  No, because in my state I can be fired with no reason stated until i am given tenure.  No reason at all.  Luckily the union stepped in this last time and forced my former principal to stop giving me bad recommendations that were not backed up by my evaluations.

                Never happens.  Right.

                "We as in The United States of America. Sorry if that offends you..." --beelzebud 1/12/11

                by theal8r on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 06:24:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

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