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Smiling woman at a rally holding two signs, one saying "my public school teacher helped me succeed. Now I want the same for my students." The other saying "I work an average of 12-13 hours a day...all for my students."
Politico's Stephanie Simon appears to be having some issues with cause and effect in her piece on "The fall of teachers unions":
Long among the most powerful forces in American politics, the unions are contending with falling revenue and declining membership, damaging court cases, the defection of once-loyal Democratic allies — and a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign portraying them as greedy and selfish.
That "multimillion-dollar public relations campaign portraying them as greedy and selfish" is one arm of a years-long campaign that's involved lobbying, conservative think tanks, and lavish political donations, much of it funded by billionaire "philanthropists" who believe they know better than education professionals what should happen in schools. And that campaign has funded the damaging court cases and many of the legislative and other attacks that have contributed to teachers unions struggles—just as a well-funded anti-union campaign has contributed to the struggles of many other unions over the past few decades. This is not all a bunch of struggles unions are having on the merits with an anti-union public relations campaign as a coincidentally added burden.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This says it all: (23+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:52:55 AM PDT

  •  Part and parcel of this process (19+ / 0-)

    is to take traditional careers such as teaching, or nursing, and claim that they are "entry level" in order to justify paying lower salaries.

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:00:47 AM PDT

    •  Cause It's Not Like you Need College to Herd (13+ / 0-)

      kids or wipe asses and other women's work.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:09:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nurses salaries are pretty good now (6+ / 0-)

      Many earn close to $100 k.  It's really improved in the past 20 years.

      •  Yes, and SOME teachers earn a pretty good living (10+ / 0-)

        But a lot of the big corporate hospitals are claiming they can't find domestic nurses and are flooding  the zone with foreign nurses to depress pay. And of course, they are increasing patient loads to a point that's often not safe for patients. So a similar dynamic is happening  with nursing. But yeah, it's just women, so whatever.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

        by anastasia p on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 02:32:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  no they dont (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        nursing is a wide job from bedside nurse (myself) all the way up to hospital administrator/CEO.  right now i make $25/hr, which is what my dad made in the mid 90s as a blue collar worker, and I have several years experience.  pay has actually gone down for nurses, with many hospitals throughout the south offering new grads $19/hr with a bachelor's and our professional licensure.  in the 80s and 90s, bedside nurses at the hospital i work at now made $30+/hr.

        •  many do (0+ / 0-)

          In California (where I know the most nurses) the avg pay in 2011 was $90,860.  In Oakland it's $113,500, in Sacramento $110,000, in San Jose $123,000.

          And salaries in fact have risen around 15% in most of the country in the past ten years after accounting for inflation, quite a bit more than other jobs.

          HRSA Report

          Nationally, the median pay in 2011 was $33.23/hr, annual earnings  $69,110.  Ten percent of nurses earned over $96,630, and 25% over $80,390, so somewhere around 15% were earning over $90 k.  No doubt most of those were in the wealthier, and more expensive, states.

          Bureau of Labor Statistics,

          •  there are many fields for RNs (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            legal nursing pays around $125/hr, administrators and CEOs are bringing down big pay.  This also includes nurse practitioners and CRNAs.  It includes RN's who own companies and a variety of other jobs.  The cost of living in Cali and New England are higher so the pay is higher.  Many nurses do travel nursing and fly around the country filling in for hospitals with needs.  hell, when my kid heads off to college, my wife and i will be travel nurses - not only do we get to see the country, but these companies pay for your rent, utilities and cable, the also often give you a stipend for food and gym memberships.

            some areas of nursing make a lot of money, bedside nurses - the single largest and traditional role of nurses, are not making big bucks unless they live in high cost of living areas.

          •  and it also includes older nurses (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            like i said earlier, older nurses in the hospitals i've worked for all started out higher than I am making now 20-30 years ago, so they are double my income already.  when they retire, i would expect to see nursing income decrease because the biggest earners will have retired.

  •  We need to have a serious conversation... (11+ / 0-)

    ...about this.

    The right-wing has come up with a powerful wedge. They are forcing a conflict of interest between two natural Democratic constituencies:

      - Poor rural and inner-city families
      - Teachers and their unions

    This wedge attack is premeditated, planned on a national scale, and continues to be successful. If we don't come up with a better plan, we will soon find ourselves on the wrong side of the Education issue.

    We need to come up with a real, politically feasible plan for parents that:

      1) Improves the quality of their school and,
      2) Gives them more control over which school their child attends.

    I emphasize "politically feasible". Demanding that the government, "End All Poverty" or "Mandate a class size of 15" sounds great. But parents know that's not gonna happen. They won't be fooled by these delaying tactics.

    Millions of families...millions of voters, are crying out for a plan that improves education. Are we going to provide one? Or will we let that job be done by the Heritage Foundation?

    I'm ending this comment with a quote from the great Albert Shanker:

    "It's dangerous to let a lot of ideas out of the bag, some of which may be bad. But there's something that's more dangerous, and that's not having any new ideas at all at a time when the world is closing in on you."

    - A. Shanker in a 1985 speech
    (boldface is mine)

    •  "school choice" (15+ / 0-)

      is an utter red herring for rural kids.  The population can't support multiple traditional schools, public, charter or no -- often there are not even any private schools around.  Voucher discussions are a joke when the next nearest place to go is an hour away by a bus that would carry a half dozen kids.  Make your wedge issue argument all you like, but leave that out of it if you're trying to convince people it's about poor rural kids.  "Choice" in rural areas is code for destroying the existing public school and there is no way around that.

      Signed, a former rural kid.

      •  I'll admit... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical, VClib, wishingwell

        ...that I don't know much about rural areas.

        Of course, as a City Kid, when I think "rural" I think of areas that might technically be "suburban".  

        One thing that I am against are these rural online "cyber-schools" that masquerade as Charters. These things are corruption scandals waiting to happen, and I'm worried that real Charters will get tarred by association when they blow up.

      •  But delivering poor results and arrogantly blowing (5+ / 0-)

        off parents and taking no responsibility for children's education (it's always the parents' fault, you know) isn't exactly a plan to win converts.

        And, believe it or not, that happens.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 05:35:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who is doing that? My sister taught for 31 yrs, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pdxteacher, lilypew

          just retired a few weeks ago. Rarely did she ever see a teacher blow off parents or not take responsibility. She has seen some good, fair and not so good teachers. But she says the vast majority of teachers devote themselves to those kids and often stay late a few nights a week if not more. My sister never got home before 8 pm most nights for 31 yrs..maybe 7 at the earliest. There are some teachers who had to leave to pick up their own kids from daycare and such but most stayed at least an hour or two every day after school.

          In my area, I never see teachers blowing off parents but instead their complaint is parents not showing up for parent teacher conferences, parents who will not return their calls and parents who refuse to volunteer..and such.

          Yes there may be some poor teachers out there, of course there are..just as there are poor workers in any job. But for the most part, teachers put in a lot of hours at school and at home doing school work.

          The amazing thing is the money spent of pocket by almost every teacher in any school these days , buying school supplies for their classroom that the school can no longer afford to buy.

          Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at

          by wishingwell on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 06:05:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Most of the teachers we've encountered have (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            been good, some truly excellent.

            But yes, we have encountered those like I described.

            To be fair, the arrogantly blowing parents off is far more likely to come from an administrator and even more likely to come from the school board.

            The problem for teachers is that all of those people are part of "the schools", and when "the schools" aren't working, every part of "the schools" will hear about it.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:42:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The teachers get blamed often for adminstrators (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              failures and administration policy. School administrators, particularly superintendents get paid a lot more than teachers. Yet I am always surprised that so few complain about the school administrators, just the teachers. That leads me to believe in many cases, it is only because the teachers belong to a union and admin does not.

              As often people forget, school boards and administration set the policies and make and enforce a lot of the rules. Teachers have to abide by school board rules and regulation and policies.  

              I have seen the other end of it when I was teaching about 30 yrs ago, we could not the parents to take an interest in their child;s education. Once the kids were in middle and high school, I could not get them in one a year for parent and teacher conferences. And they would make excuses for their child's behavior. It was a rural and small town area and most of the parents said their kids were just going to work on the family farm or work in a local factory or go into the army so no sense worrying too much about school.

              Then I have worked in a school where the parents were more involved but it was hit or miss. They would at least  try to make it in to talk about their kid , well about half of the parents but we could not get them to special events or to volunteer..but we were happy that we had a decent pct of parents show some interest in their child;s progress and report cards.

              My sister taught in suburban Atlanta in a very diverse area where the parents were very, very involved and volunteered and the school was like a family and a community, a great experience.  It can make a big difference when the parents, teachers and administrators work together as a team to facilitate  a good learning experience..where people feel like part of a team.

              Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at

              by wishingwell on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 11:02:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  See how tempting it is to blame the parents? (0+ / 0-)

                And more than a few parents deserve it royally.

                But, just as blaming teachers for administration policy, it's damned easy to use as a crutch and/or excuse.

                Teaching is hard and we know it.  

                Our children have been in a variety of public and private schools and we have home-schooled all of them for at least a portion of their education.  Honestly, I can't even imagine how you teach kids you don't know and love.  My hat is off to you.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Sat Jun 14, 2014 at 04:32:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  There is no political feasible solution. (4+ / 0-)

      Americans as a rule are generally very cruel when it comes to other people's children. Their own children deserve the best, even if it comes at the expense of other children.

      Anything that actually would help with education is a political loser. Everyone knows reducing class size is a no-brainer because then the teacher can compensate for the different learning speeds of the students. More so if you have multiple staff in the room. This is why private schools tout their class size and student-teacher ratio so much. If it didn't matter they wouldn't advertise it.

      One other measure would be actually consolidating poor districts with wealthy ones. But that would never happen because people in wealthy districts don't want those kids going to their schools. Inner-city children, similarly, are not perceived as being worth a decent environment and physical plant.

      Of course part of the issue is attendance. But there's no politically feasible way to ensure that a student is actually in the building so that they can receive instruction. This is true in most classrooms—students that aren't there can't be taught and more often than not they miss material especially if they're not motivated enough to look it up on their own. We also can't talk about the particularly destructive environment in inner cities, because that would also require some difficult political solutions, like maybe we'd have to address some macroeconomic problems and that'd be at the federal level or something.

      I'll answer the whole "families are looking for something that improves education" thing with this: Many people don't agree that all schools are failing. A lot of people in suburban areas find that their schools are just fine. Many just simply object to their taxes going to support "those" people in the poorer-performing districts.

      Because Americans are also largely cruel and afflicted with crab-in-the-bucket mentality, they really, really want to stick it to teachers. So all teachers are going to be painted as lazy do-nothings who simply clock out at 2pm after a 6-hour day and go home and don't do a single bit of work. Oh, and they "get summers off and get paid for time not worked!" Remember, if some teachers are bad, then all teachers are bad.

      That is what all 'politically feasible' 'solutions' will start from, actually. They start from the essential idea that teachers are all stupid and broken and the ones in unions more so. So if only we could just break their unions and make them have either merit pay or minimal wage, then, just then they'll teach right. The students will suddenly be motivated little cogs to make the numbers for the lucrative tests go up, and all will be well! We'll all sing Good Ship Lollipop and go into our great new future.

      If anything it's a great lesson about what happens when politicians who don't teach start to make legislation about teaching.

      •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But also add in the idea that a rising tide raises all ships. If everyone has a doctorate degree, then it ceases to have value. So we want our children to rise above the pack, no matter how highly educated the pack.

        I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

        by CFAmick on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:55:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  we got arne duncan (0+ / 0-)

      so no, we won't be providing that plan.  and PBO, no matter how much i like him personally, hasn't really given parents any reason to believe in his educational policy, with the exception of the small push for universal pre-k.

    •  So many red herrings, so little time (0+ / 0-)

      Schools are horrible, it. Use be the teachers' fault, we must let the parents have choices and improve the schools!  

      But the parents choose to let the child stay home every Monday, so it's the teachers fault the kid isn't learning.
      Or the school is falling apart because the powers at the top are being pushed by other parents to take the money and build a new football stadium (true story in Oregon).   Or the princal is spending two days a week training for common core, so the whole school is stressed because other people are taking over duties.

      If we have 'schools choice' what we have is schools losing funding to corporations who pay poverty wages, don't allow unions and have lower test scores, and who kick out special ed and minority students.  The model of neighborhood schools works if there is adequate funding and school choice is a recipe for privatization and killing schools.

      Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Gabby Giffords.

      by Leftleaner on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:07:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What you really need to figure out (0+ / 0-)

      Is why charter schools, in the same neighborhoods, drawing from the same student populations, and not burdened by union work rules are outperforming the public schools when it comes to educating children.

      Parents and employers are fed up with dysfunctional schools and teacher unions that support lousy teachers, instead of trying to improve the situation are a part of the problem.

      If the schools were still providing an acceptable education to the kids, then we wouldn't be hearing about this issue.

      •  Same population (0+ / 0-)

        I didn't realize students with parents who have the efficacy to enact a change for their child's school placement were in the population of all student's in general.

      •  Really, charter schools "in the same neighborho... (0+ / 0-)

        Really, charter schools "in the same neighborhood" draw "from the same student populations?" That's good to know. I just don't know what to make of the charter school two blocks from the public middle school where I teach that has a student body that is 10% socio-economically disadvantaged whereas ours is 47%. I also didn't know that our students had to have parents who were involved enough to fill out lottery paperwork for their child to enroll at our school or that we could require parents to volunteer for at least one hour a week at the school. Thank you for clarifying that for me.

        Next time the teachers at that charter school attend one of the professional development sessions I lead, I will hand it over to them since their standardized test scores are indeed higher than ours and I am obviously just another union-stifled teacher.

  •  Tenure decision in California (6+ / 0-)

    The judge who rendered this decision is a Republican hack looking for some of that Koch money; his record evaluates him as very bad with little or no actual knowledge of the law.

    •  Dbos - what I have read is that lawyers think (5+ / 0-)

      he knows his law and procedures too well and won't tolerate sloppy work by litigators. There is an immense amount of litigation in state court in CA where the work is sloppy and does not conform to the rules of procedure. Apparently this judge won't accept documents in his court that are deficient. This makes many lawyers very upset and they have used social media to attack him. We have at least one lawyer here at DKOS who has practiced in his court who said he has great respect for the judge and likes practicing in his court because he follows the rules.

      The trial court decision will be appealed and will work its way through the California appeals process and will likely end up at the California Supreme Court where it will receive a fair hearing.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 11:53:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Link? Where did you read this? (0+ / 0-)
      his record evaluates him as very bad with little or no actual knowledge of the law.

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:01:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  blame (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyK, quill, jbsoul, laurnj

    Teacher unions used to strike--sometimes illegally strike.  Long term, just about every strike succeeded.  Schools were "successful" when they were segregated, after Brown v Bd of Ed, the feds tried to encourage compensatory education--which started to succeed until Nixon went Southern strategy--catering to bigots.  The attack on schools and teachers has two aims--spend less and foster private schools--be they charter or religious.

    BTW, loss of tenure saves schools money--bounce the senior teacher who makes a higher salary--and protects politicians who underfund school systems.  The only people who really know what's going on in a school will be muzzled by the loss of tenure.  One final note--parent teacher conferences will no longer be truth sessions--all kids/parents lose.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:10:01 AM PDT

  •  And the result will be the fall of teaching (12+ / 0-)

    as a viable profession for smart, talented, caring kids. They're go elsewhere, where they feel they can use their talents to make a difference and not be demonized endlessly. It's already happening.

    Attacking teachers unions is attacking the very concept of quality education. It's b.s.

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

    by anastasia p on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 02:23:09 PM PDT

  •  Bingo. There has been a long, and persistent (6+ / 0-)

    push to dismantle all unions in this country in general, and the teacher's unions in particular in California, for example. Push, push, push. Erode, erode, erode.

    We need to do the same thing, in the opposite direction. But I fear that the union busters are more focused and organized than us, the supporters. Prove me wrong.

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 05:36:55 PM PDT

    •  The anti union folks have tons of funding (0+ / 0-)

      Teachers unions have to rely on tired teachers hitting the streets.

      Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Gabby Giffords.

      by Leftleaner on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:12:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, right (0+ / 0-)

        The American Federation of Teachers annual budget exceeds $170 million.

        The National Education Association annual budget exceeds $300 million.

        Sure, you've got some wealthy patrons (e.g. the Walton family of Walmart) sending money to support charters, but there are two differences.

        a.  The money they and others give to support charters, etc goes mostly to school operations,  -- while the union money can goes straight into political muscle.  And, still the money given to alternatives is a fraction of the union money.

    •  I received a flyer last month (0+ / 0-)

      from a group claiming that since taxpayers pay teacher salaries, and teachers pay union dues, and unions give money to Democrats, your taxpayer dollars are literally ending up in Obama's pockets.

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:58:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Meanwhile... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    onionjim, Joe Hill PDX, Victor Ward

    Daughter of former and possible future president, wife of hedge fund manager, and occupant of $10,000,000 Manhattan apartment, Chelsea Clinton, pulls a tidy $600k/year from NBC. Obviously, she earned every cent of it.

    Nah, we don't live in corrupt times. And teachers should be happy to even have jobs, the petulant 10 month work year whiners.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 05:41:07 PM PDT

  •  My daughter is a teacher. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    laurnj, pdxteacher

    Believe me these are hard times for this trade, and I am hoping that parents will vote for a solid well funded socialistic education. :-)

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 05:49:52 PM PDT

  •  Here's the problem (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    laurnj, Joe Hill PDX, pdxteacher

    Most reporters don't come from union backgrounds and so don't really have any idea what unions do or how they protect workers. For this reporter to overlook the media campaign that is being financed by the Koch brothers and their ilk is unfortunately all too common in American political coverage.

  •  Defunding the 
Democratic Party (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Omega Man

    "The political structures that inform, control, and fund the American Left—labor unions, trial lawyers, big city political machines, and beneficiaries of government spending, contracts, welfare payments, and grants—all depend on government. Without state power, their political muscle would atrophy. Now that Republicans have control of twenty-four state governments—the governorship and both houses of the legislature—they should repeal laws that fund and perpetuate the Democrats’ political machine."

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 06:24:49 PM PDT

    •  continued (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Omega Man, pdxteacher

      Republicans had hoped to take away as many as 20 governorships from the Democrats in the 2010 elections, but in the end they only won 12. Why? "Well," reports Fineman, "according to postgame analysis by GOP strategists, the power and money of public-employee unions was the reason. 'We are never going to win most of these states until we can do something about those unions,' one key operative said at a Washington dinner in November."

      You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

      by jeffrey789 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 06:35:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  here in NC the repubs are trying for a raise (0+ / 0-)

    of up to 6% i believe.  teachers just have to give up tenure and teacher's aids.  even my politically disconnected friends can recognize that for the BS it is.

  •  Shameful (0+ / 0-)

    It is disgusting to see assholes demonize teachers.

    These assholes want them to pay more of their salary into their pensions and are nasty with you when you reject that and you say, why shouldn't they pay more?

    The republicans who only give a damn about 2 percent of this country, the patsies that follow them and cooperate dems like Mayor Rahm Emanuel go after working class people.

    What's worse is they say, they put themselves in that position.

    Who the hell are they to say it's a bad thing to want to help kids learn?

    It's so sad of how people are buying into this help the rich, screw everyone else theory so the rich can have their charter schools paid for and try to keep everyone else's kids down.


  •  been there (0+ / 0-)

    I am a retired teacher.  I have been a member of  AFT, NEA and a statewide association of teachers. AFT did a good job representing teachers and NEA not so much.  The problem with our AFT local is they also had to defend a teacher who would leave class to get her hair done.
      The state association actually did a better job than AFT and NEA.  They were more able to convince the legislature about funding.  They also provided the same legal coverage as the unions.  The benefit to me was that I didn't have to get any of the NEA's garbage about abortion and gun control.  I also didn't have my dues going to support candidates I couldn't stand!  During a recruitment drive for the NEA I told the person on the phone that the NEA didn't want me as a member.  I explained to him that I was a Republican, fundamentalist Christian and NRA member.  Too bad the NEA is more concerned with politics than teachers and education.
    So here is my report card on teacher unions.
    State association "A-"
    AFT  B+
    NEA D-

  •  Politico is... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Fox lite, or with a filter that still a"llows one to taste the 'Mer'kin flavors."

    In short, it's another band of jesters and shills that I will give utter shit to if I meet anyone working there not in a blue collar union.

    They're just fucked, immoral people who would stoop to any way of making a comfortable living so long as they do not have to deal with the bodies.

    We'll keep fighting.

  •  (Un)accountability in Charter School Evaluation (0+ / 0-)

    What does a Republican charter-school enthusiast who believes in school-level accountability for educational results do when a charter school run by a big Republican donor gets a lousy evaluation score? Why, he cheats, of course. Tony Bennett, former head education honcho in Indiana and current head education honcho in Florida, to his chief of staff: "Anything less than an A for Christel House compromises all of our accountability work." Bennett to the official in charge of the grading system for schools: "I hope we come to the meeting today with solutions and not excuses and/or explanations for me to wiggle myself out of the repeated lies I have told over the past six months." Somehow, magically, the score for Christel House went from 2.9 (C+) to 3.75 (a solid A).

        Look: I believe in outcomes measurement. I believe in accountability. I even believe in school choice. (After all, I live in the jurisdiction of the LA Mummified School District.) What I don’t believe is that the current testing/accountability/choice con artists and racketeering enterprises are going to make things better rather than worse. The cheating is so pervasive that I now see no basis for believing any claimed good result. That’s why Diane Ravitch has switched sides.

        You’d have thought that charter schools, like private prisons, could hardly have done worse than their big, clumsy, bureaucratic, union-dominated public competition. But you would have been wrong, twice.

  •  Politico story.... (0+ / 0-) actually a decent job of reporting a long-term trend, although the headline reflects a bias by editors there. It's not really news, however.

    The 'fall' of teacher unions is a right-wing fantasy. There are currently more 2 million unionized teachers in the country and there is no sign the unions are going away. But they are struggling to find their footing under the constant attacks.

    I, for one, wish them well, and am confident they will turn back this ridiculous California court case.

  •  I live in teachers heaven. Tenured Phys ed teacher (0+ / 0-)

    making over 100k, guaranteed pay increases with pension tied to highest wage earned before retirement. Thats an exceptional case, but not by all that much in  this area. Most teachers jn that tier earn 80 to 90k. Of course younger teachers are on a different tier, will earn less overall and draw less pension. Job applicants to positions 10 to 1.

    Do you understand why cash strapped govt might the ability to remove tenured teachers in this bracket?

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Sun Jun 15, 2014 at 07:30:08 AM PDT

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