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Mitt Romney
(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Ask Mitt Romney a question about education, and it's predictable that he'll come back with two answers: bashing teachers unions and calling for more testing. That's exactly what happened this week when Fox News Sunday's Brett Baier asked Romney if he thinks the federal Department of Education should be abolished. Explaining what role he thinks the federal government should continue to take even if his alleged belief that "education has to be managed at the state level, not at the federal level" was implemented, Romney predictably attacked teachers unions:
But the role I see that ought to remain in the president's agenda with regards to education is to push back against the federal teachers unions. Those federal teachers unions have too much power, in some cases, they overwhelm the states, they overwhelm the local school districts. We have got to put the kids first and put these teachers unions behind.
That's right. Mitt Romney wants you to believe that teachers unions are so powerful that it takes the federal government to counter them—state and local governments are powerless against them. That is, of course, one of those statements that would be totally hilarious if it wasn't a claim that Republican presidential candidates and governors were making, en masse, as the reason to crush teachers unions, and if their reasons for wanting to crush teachers unions didn't have quite so much to do with the desire to make it easier to fire experienced teachers and replace them with cheaper, inexperienced teachers. It might be funny if it wasn't such a terrible insult to people who pour their lives into their classrooms and their students, working long hours for not enormously much pay. In fact, as Romney was saying this, the leaders of the Milwaukee teachers union were "campaigning for members to sacrifice a week’s worth of their pay to help reduce class sizes next year in Milwaukee Public Schools. The MPS Children’s Week Campaign is asking educators to give up 2.6% of their salary next year to allow for class-size relief."

Romney thinks if he always makes sure to include the word "unions," we won't notice that what he's saying is that he wants to put teachers down, to eliminate their ability to bargain over class sizes and how much test results will be used to measure educational quality and to treat teachers as the enemies of their students, rather than as educators and advocates. This is nothing new from Mitt Romney. But it's an insult every time he says it.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 02:35 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Teachers are greedy scum (20+ / 0-)

    Add that one to their running list:  


    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 02:39:01 PM PDT

  •  Romney is a tin-plated louse, pure & simple. n/t (11+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 03:08:37 PM PDT

  •  Hes an evil R, hates people esp people who do work (5+ / 0-)

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 04:02:19 PM PDT

    •  People seem to be objects to Romney -- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      objects in the way of business.  His Bain accomplishment was to carve the remaining meat off a company's bones and discard the rest, including the lives of the people who worked at that company.

      There's no evidence that he cared one damn for those people.

      He's been told how smart he is for a long time, but his smarts are given over to dismantling other people's lives.  

      There's something really, really wrong with this guy Romney.

      •  I blame slavery; there is something wrong w/us (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

        by a2nite on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 04:23:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It would be a really good time for (0+ / 0-)

          one of the 'zines that do political analysis and character pieces to try to examine the motives of a Santorum voter.

          It looks like he's drawing fewer Catholic votes than Romney, who's a Mormon.  I think Santorum lost the Catholic vote in both Michigan and Ohio.  Santorum's support seems threaded through a bunch of Protestant evangelicals.

          But it couldn't be just that.  Something else -- or maybe more than one thing -- must be in play.  

  •  Romney gets pleasure form firing people (8+ / 0-)

    Unions stop assholes from firing people.

    No wonder Romney hates unions.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:28:58 PM PDT

    •  What a dick he must have been as a father (6+ / 0-)

      I bet he had a 300 page typed out manual for his kids to follow when they were growing up, down to when and how to replace the toilet paper when it ran out and how many cookies they could have per month.

      There's something seriously wrong with this person, not just morally and ethically, but in his head. He comes across as a borderline sociopath.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:00:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah he's got that passive aggressive (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aquarius40, George3, JanL

        "Father knows best" attitude going for him. Very controlling and that dumb grin of his- ugh!

        In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

        by vcmvo2 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:03:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  borderline? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        why is it that we feel compelled to throw in the modifier?

        Is is just due to accident of birth? How much different would Mitt have to be to allow us to call him simply a sociopath? Would it be his pathology or would it be intrinsic factors like race or money?

        I'm betting on the latter.

        I've been really trying hard to be less cynical.

        •  Because I'm not a doctor (0+ / 0-)

          and real doctors don't do diagnosis remotely in any case. I give him the benefit of the doubt because I'm in no position to do otherwise. But the indicators do point in a certain direction. He and Dubya are very similar.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 12:32:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hard to find a pol nowadays (4+ / 0-)

    that doesn't have that as #1 educational priority.  Michelle Rhee, the godmother of that whole movement, is the decisive, best-connected policy-maker for the Democratic Party in the whole field of K-12 education.

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:29:58 PM PDT

    •  Union bashing and more testing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      George3, Witgren

      The Republics are more vitriolic and vicious but the Democrats pursue similar policies.

      Let me see .... do I want to be shot  ... or do I prefer to be slowly poisoned? Tough choice.

      A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

      by slatsg on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:20:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey no problem (5+ / 0-)

    Judging from comments in other recent teacher-related threads, it sound like more than a few Kossites would love to join Romney in smacking down teachers.

  •  My spouse is a teacher. At their high school (13+ / 0-)

    they have gone from 36 teachers to 18 with only a 60 student reduction in enrollment.  One math teacher, no PE teacher, etc. etc. etc.

    Yep, we really value education.  I'm sure other countries will hold back on their education so we can catch up.  Yep, by golly, you betcha.

  •  Break Teacher's Unions, "Get Rid of Planned... (6+ / 0-)


    Could this guy get any more "moderate"?

  •  Maybe unions should form corporations, (8+ / 0-)

    because Republicans seem to think that corporations are incapable of oppression, and any regulation of what corporations do is an infringement on liberty. By contrast, they believe that all unions are a massive infringement on economic liberty.

    •  Unions are corporations... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, George3

      just like business associations and other non-profits are, but don't expect to ever hear that from a Republican. Unions are 501(c)(5) non-profit corporations and business associations (like the Chamber of Commerce) are 501(c)(6) corporations.

      It seems that when you're a Republican, not all corporations, just as not all actual persons, are created equal.

      Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

      by Stwriley on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:51:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not blindly pro-union (0+ / 0-)

    And truthfully I have my doubts about teachers' unions in particular.  That aside Romney's position has the one-two punch of dumb with 1) trying to using federal power to counter a constitutional right to associate about something that is so properly a state issue that even the most stridently anti-federalist would argue over it and 2) reasserting the failed idea that testing is a valid measure of assessing education.

    It's bad enough to retreat education like a business and analyze it in those terms; it's worst when using a Romney style approach to business.  I guess we should just be glad they haven't yet for a remotely plausible sounding basis to try to outsource education yet.

    I am the typo queen. Sorry in advance.

    by sadpanda on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:36:48 PM PDT

    •  If you are not pro-union (10+ / 0-)

      you are pro-corporation.  Unions are not perfect, but they are the only way to allow the workers to have any power in deciding hours, wages, safety and a zillion other things we take for granted.  Unions brought us 40 hour weeks, weekends, safety covers for saws, workman's compensation, insurance benefits, and an end to a system where you got paid with money that was only usable at the company store.  And teachers--before unions they were not allowed breaks from the students for six hours at a shot, including lunches.  Class sizes were huge.  And teachers weren't allowed to marry or get pregnant without losing their jobs.  All of this is really old-fashioned now because of unions.  

      Not all those who wander are lost.

      by Leftleaner on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:48:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm an OLD retired teacher. I began teaching under (6+ / 0-)

        the old trustee system in Indiana. The local politician decided the contract for each teacher, then presented his findings at a public meeting before ever talking with any teacher.  The highest paid teacher in the school had the least graduate education and the poorest attendance.  Maybe the fact she was the trustee's sister-in-law made this arrangement possible.  The janitor earned more than the band director or the track coach.  Oh, he was a relative of the trustee too. There was no insurance, no reward of additional professional training and no lunch hour. You were to supervise children during your 20 minute lunch period.  

        Now you tell me unions are not needed.  I, for one, do not want for teachers to have to go back the the capirce of a totally politially controlled system.

        Fair Wages with decent protection for you health and encouragement to grow professionally need to be part of the teaching situation.  Unless the transparency of a contract negioation is there, it won't happenn.

    •  hmm..... (6+ / 0-)
      I'm not blindly pro-union..[a]nd truthfully I have my doubts about teachers' unions in particular
      I find that interesting.

      Because I'm blindly pro-union.

      For all workers in particular.

      •  I know that is not a popular sentiment (0+ / 0-)

        but I am still entitled to my opinion and it's based on my experience.  I and many other people have had bad experiences with unions.  I've had friends forced into unions that then treated them like shit.  It's too long to go into in a comment though so I'll leave it at that.

        I do not deny that unions have accomplished a lot of good and still can have a role to play in many areas.  However, I've also seen them abused for the benefit of those running the union.  The biggest caution I have with teacher's unions is that promoting the union is often equated with protecting the best interest of the students.  It is not always and I think that students get short changed sometimes as a result.  

        I debated posting anything because questioning any union is considered damn near hearsay.  However, I don't like feeling like I can't express my true opinion simply because it's not in-line with community think.

        I am the typo queen. Sorry in advance.

        by sadpanda on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:00:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How short changed would they get without a union? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mostel26, joycemocha

          Every teacher I have ever known, including union activists, had in their heart their students best interest. Of course they wanted a living wage, pensions and insurance.

          There are probably teachers out there who are only in it for what they can gain, but I never met one.

        •  One thing about unions is that they are as good (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          justintime, 714day, Mostel26

          or bad as their leaders.

          Their democratically elected leaders.

          Sometimes the good people don't choose to run, and sometimes that's a sad.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:45:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes you are (6+ / 0-)
          I am still entitled to my opinion and it's based on my experience.  
          and I am entitled to vehemently disagree with you.

          Of course there are bad unions.  There are bad teachers.  The unions don't make bad teachers and getting rid of unions won't eliminate bad teachers, because there are also bad principals.  I know one in particular who comes on to teachers and arranges for transfers for women who don't respond.  The union makes it harder for him to take advantage of teachers.  He doesn't have a union, but he doesn't get fired because he is a good ol' boy.

          Not all those who wander are lost.

          by Leftleaner on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:02:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I suspect they're just falling for the propaganda (0+ / 0-)

        It takes a while to deprogram oneself from it, so pervasive is it.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:04:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely! (0+ / 0-)

        People have the right to organize. It's just basic human rights.

    •  I'll regret asking, I suspect... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, howabout, joycemocha

      why do you think anti-unionized teachers would be a better deal for our students? Do you think each one of them should hope for the best against their principals, or school boards and negotiate their own contracts?

      •  I hope you won't regret asking (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'd like to think we can engage in reasoned discourse on this.

        I don't necessarily think that teachers would be better off negotiating on their own.  The single point on which I think teacher's unions do a disservice to students and to other teachers is that they often entrench teachers in their position solely because of seniority.  Just because you have been teaching longer doesn't mean that you are a better teacher.  I'm fully willing to admit that this might be partially the product of being friends with a lot of young teachers who have been the victim of last-in/first-out policies while at the same time having had a lot of bad teachers over the years.  I want the best teachers for our students and I want good teaching to be rewarded.  The union's push for job security can thwart those goals.


        I am the typo queen. Sorry in advance.

        by sadpanda on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:06:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I appreciate your sincerity. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mostel26, joycemocha, sadpanda

          It is some of the positions taken by unions that you disagree with, then, not the fact that collectivized labor is a necessity.
          Am I correct in that thought?

          •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

            With a slight correction.  It can be a necessity.  And probably often is a necessity.

            I still think there may be situations where unions are not great. I don't know how common they are but I've seen it.  I should probably write a diary on my experiences and let people tear into me fully there.

            I am the typo queen. Sorry in advance.

            by sadpanda on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 07:08:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I think we need to keep layoffs separate (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          justintime, 714day, Mostel26, joycemocha

          from performance. Face it, if the administration has done their job, all the teachers are excellent, and good teachers will be removed no matter how you choose. Seniority is as fair a way to do it as any, after making targeted cuts by position and duties and qualifications.

          Teachers who aren't working out should be removed using due process regardless of whether the district is hiring or firing.

          Something to keep in mind is that while it is of course sad when someone we perceive to be a good teacher is removed via LIFO, it's not guaranteed that the person would have been kept using any other criteria. Seniority is probably the only objective one you could use.

          No district uses Last in First out exclusively, because they can cut by position, and because in districts with tenure, they can non-reelect any non-tenured teachers - so they might keep a first year and dismiss a second year, for example.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:52:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Have you noticed (8+ / 0-)
          The single point on which I think teacher's unions do a disservice to students and to other teachers is that they often entrench teachers in their position solely because of seniority.  Just because you have been teaching longer doesn't mean that you are a better teacher.  
          Notice the number of diaries on this blog from people over 50 who are the first ones laid off and then they can't get another job because of their age. These people generally are not in union jobs.  If the seniority system were not in effect teachers would get laid off when they cost the district too much money and there would be no job security for anyone.  There is a state legislator in my state who is advocating that we get rid of all teachers after 8 years because they go bad after that--but really he doesn't want to pay anyone over $40,000 a year.

          Not all those who wander are lost.

          by Leftleaner on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:09:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The argument, as I understand it... (5+ / 0-)

        ...goes something like this.

        The idea advanced by Michelle Rhee and several others has been that the students are somehow not getting the best education possible because too many teachers are tenured, and that this is somehow not motivating them to really reach the students.  By removing tenure and increasing the salary cap, the thinking goes, the teachers will be more motivated to make sure students do better.

        The problem with this idea, in my opinion, is that it seems to be predicated on the idea that the only real variable in a child's education is the teacher.  My own experience, as a student and since, has generally been that the child's family and willingness to learn has often been a much bigger factor than any teacher was.  In layman's terms, kids who were not taught the value of education either at home or elsewhere were the ones, I noticed, who did worse.  Maybe teachers could remedy this, but firing them based on some test results doesn't really seem to be addressing the root of the issue, as I see it.

        I'll continue to be skeptical of Rhee and company until I see some real proof that teachers are somehow more to blame than other social factors for kids' low scores.

        All your vote are belong to us.

        by Harkov311 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:18:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think if you ask a teacher, (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          justintime, Mostel26, joycemocha, Witgren

          they would suggest that there are a multitude of ingredients in a student's success.
          I, personally, came from a working class family that found intellectual curiosity and education suspect and pernicious. Teachers saved my butt from that nightmarish situation early on and many times. I was a rotten academic but I know what I do because teachers gave me approval for opening my mind to the subjects that did interest me. They all approved of my love of reading. At home, I was literally whacked around in the presence of an aunt by an older cousin who was furious that I could read a sign on a market that was unintelligible for him.
          Anyway, it is a complex kettle of fish, though an inspired teacher is a huge factor in a student's capacity to achieve.

        •  The real world facts are also that (6+ / 0-)

          states without unions and tenure tend to have lower achievement.

          It's probably not causal, but rather reflects that state's attitude towards teachers and education in general.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:43:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Michelle Rhee (0+ / 0-)

          put tape on children's mouths because she couldn't cope in the classroom.

          outside the box thinking. she's gotta be Mitt's choice for Sec. of Education.

          This should follow her around like Seamus does Mitt. It's the same thing but with people. Children entrusted to her care.

          Not only is she not ostracized, but now she's extremely powerful.


  •  WTF.... (5+ / 0-) a federal teacher's union?

  •  In general, attacking unions is a GOP pastime. (11+ / 0-)

    That's why Mitt didn't want to bail out GM.

  •  Someone should ask Mitt... (10+ / 0-)

    just which teachers unions are "federal" and why they can be characterized that way. As far as I know, the only "federal" teachers union is the one representing the relatively small number of teachers who work for the Department of Defense and teach in schools on military bases and overseas installations.

    Of course, we all know the real reason that Mitt phrased his attack this way; he's simply adding the dreaded right-wing scare-word "federal" onto "teachers unions" to double down on the hate and misdirection. "Pay no attention to the corporate takeover of education... there's a federal teachers union coming to get your children!"

    Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

    by Stwriley on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:42:21 PM PDT

  •  too bad the DEmocrats are on the same page (6+ / 0-)

    The key Christiecrats in NJ, Cuomo, Molloy, Duncan.....seriously who the fuck is going to go into debt for a couple hundred thou to go into education to hear this shit?

  •  Why is it none of these union busting (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stwriley, howabout, justintime, Dr Stankus

    boneheads never suggest SAG or the Producers Guild should be run out of town on a rail?
    The attacks are always against the workforces that need them the most.

  •  How many of Mitt's kids went to public schools? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stwriley, vcmvo2, Dr Stankus

    He has what - 5 critters?  Does Mitt have a single fucking clue about what teachers (let alone their unions) actually do?

    Or did Mitt's kids learn a different 3-Rs: "Raidin', Ridin' and Reposessin'"?

    Show me on the doll where the GOP touched you...

    by here4tehbeer on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:51:30 PM PDT

  •  Mitt Romney thinks that teachers make too much (13+ / 0-)


    Let me repeat that, for those who didn't catch it:

    Mitt Romney thinks that teachers make too much money.

    This is such a joke already that I can't even satirize it.

    Paternity rules, fraternity drools. - Rick Santorum (paraphrased)

    by VictorLaszlo on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:55:18 PM PDT

  •  The screwing of the tame (6+ / 0-)

    He's made his fortune by screwing over the screwable. This is who he is. This is what he does. And he believes that he's doing god's will in doing so. That's what an unchecked patriarchal value system gets you.

    Well, he's run out of suckers. Even on his side, it seems.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:57:12 PM PDT

  •  The real reason (8+ / 0-)

    Republicans do not care how much teachers make, they don't care about work rules, or anything relating to education because their goal is to destroy public schools because teachers vote Democratic.

    End of story.

    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

    by Old Left Good Left on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:02:22 PM PDT

  •  Romney is the dregs of American politics n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:09:22 PM PDT

  •  I just want to know when we on the progressive... (0+ / 0-)

    ...side will finally acknowledge that teachers unions are obtrusive in getting things done for us as well? The idea that you CAN'T fire teachers that are awful at their job simply because they attained some phony status like "tenure" can absolutely cripple kids. The best teachers should get the jobs, period, and there are plenty of metrics that do not involve testing that gauge these things, and if we compensated them properly and created an environment where the best and brightest wanted to be teachers because it was not only rewarding, but lucrative, you could radically change what was possible in a classroom. I speak as someone that works at an alternative/access school for homeless kids that desperately wants to go charter because of our local department of ed, teachers unions, etc. You'll notice most of the glowing assessments of Teachers Unions from vehicles like Rethinking Unions are starting to fade away. Unions, by their very nature, are self-serving in their entirety. A Union serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever than to protect it's membership and frankly, in many cases, that's perfectly fine. I support Unions in almost every other industry, my opinion of their place in schools has faded fast and continues to do so. If education was a real priority in this country (which starts at home, at the federal level, and somehow meets in the middle) teachers unions would be entirely obsolete immediately. Compensate correctly, recruit talent, change the metrics for how teachers are evaluated, and FFS, MODERNIZE CURRICULUM.  again, THESE ARE FORWARD THINKING, PROGRESSIVE IDEAS.

    "I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization." Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

    by livingminimal on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:17:13 PM PDT

    •  So your answer is (6+ / 0-)

      Cut teachers' pay and benefits and pensions and lengthen their hours.

      Let someone with unknown qualifications have the power of economic life and death over teachers.

      Because that's what you had before teachers' unions, and there won't be anything stopping it from happening again if teachers' unions are gone.

      Some of the first teachers' unions formed in anger after poor cities paid their teachers in scrip.

      What to stop it from happening again, when cities are filing bankruptcy?

    •  I am sorry you are having such difficulty (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      justintime, 714day, Mostel26, joycemocha

      It is not the case that all teacher's unions would act in that fashion.

      Look at the example in the diary: in Milwaukee the teacher's union has countered the district proposal with a request to take a pay cut in order to reduce class size. No one teacher could propose that. Few administrators would impose it unilaterally - what a way to break the morale of your workforce. But freely chosen, it is a beautiful thing that meets the needs of students AND teachers to succeed.

      The teachers at my daughter's school similarly countered a proposal to cut the school year by 5 days (as the state invited them to do) with a proposal to take an equivalent pay cut and work the 180 days. In that case, it was also negotiated that the teachers would be paid back if district revenues increased - and they did, from an unexpected increase in enrollment. The end result was much better for everyone than the district's initial offer.

      Maybe it's time someone else ran for the union leadership in your district.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:02:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One other thing: all contracts involve two parties (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      justintime, 714day, Mostel26, joycemocha

      The union sits on one side, the district administration and school board on the other. Both are culpable for whatever is in the contract; both sides must agree.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:04:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In the real world of classrooms and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JanL, joycemocha

      local politics, though, teachers are unionized for extremely good reasons.

      The GOP doesn't care for teachers or for teachers unions.  

      I was proud to walk around the Wisconsin State Capitol with some many thousands of protestors to Scott Walker's malevolent dismantling of collective bargaining rights.  A great many of those around me were teachers.  My parents were both teachers.  

      My feet belonged in that march and they knew the way forward.  

  •  I'm a music teacher and (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    antirove, 714day, Mostel26, JanL, joycemocha

    I find this incredibly insulting. I work at my school every day, arriving at 7am, and not leaving until 5pm at earliest, usually closer to 7pm. This is my first year as a teacher, and I was only just put on a contract through the rest of the school year. Up until now, I've been working these long hours and only getting paid as long term substitute. When I stayed late, I never got paid a dime extra. When I directed a concert and stayed until 10 at night, I still didn't get a dime extra. But it didn't matter, and it still doesn't. I don't do my job to make money, I do it because I love working with children, I love opening up the world of music to them, I love helping them open their minds to new possibilities. It's the most amazing feeling knowing that I've made a difference to students and impacted their lives.

    The idea that politicians make political gain by decrying teachers as nothing but greedy people who shouldn't be allowed to unionize makes me sick. As a teacher, I am working harder than I ever have in my life, and all the teacher's union does for me is guarantee that I at least get a fair wage and get health coverage. This is all any teacher asks, that and to hopefully know that we influenced our students for the better.

  •  Why would any intelligent college student even (0+ / 0-)

    consider teaching as a career? Beginning pay has always been substantually lower than any other career choice by comparable students of the same graduating rank. Within a few years a teacher will be dismissed for having too much ecperience and for expecting a pay increase for the years of dedication.  You will be hated by the community,  your bosses and the parent's of your students.  The best the brightest will no longer be teachers.  The crap about this being a rewarding career is a cover-up to allow poor wages to haunt education.

    •  It really is rewarding (0+ / 0-)

      I sacrificed a lot of time and money to be doing what I'm doing now, and I love every second of it.

      •  I did that for 25 years, until it was no more fun. (0+ / 0-)

        Now that I'm retired, the Govenor of Indiana is trying to take away the Indiana State Teacher Retirement Funds that I paid in for all those years of teaching.  The attack will never end, so I'm saying get out while you still have life.

  •  so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    how much is the right wing war on women and the war on education of one piece? K-12 education was historically the province of women and even now is still majority women. Those men who go into education are thought of as wimpy. Even the university ranks that were historically mostly men are marginalized in matters of masculinity.

    There's just too much here that feels like a form of backlash against some remembered slight. Now I'm going to get you, you who humiliated me so.

  •  I think the key word (0+ / 0-)

    is "power" not "union".  What Republicans know is that they can't win on their record and the only way for them to stay in power is to divide and conquer.  They need to get rid of unions and drive wedges between people - because if people get together they realize what shit Republicans are full of.

  •  Now there's a recruitment strategy... (0+ / 0-)

    Yeah, sure.  That move is going to attract better teachers.  Sure it will.

    Mittens, your tin foil hat shorted out months ago.  You need to get your self a new one before what's left of your synapses burn out completely.

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