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Author: Wilsonsjulie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 9947  
Subject: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/16/2007 1:25 PM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/16/education/16schools.html?_r=1&ref=education&oref=slogin


fyi ~j
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Author: eliz4015 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7898 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/18/2007 10:01 AM
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Sadly, I think this issue reaches way beyond California.

Eliz

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Author: Wilsonsjulie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7899 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/18/2007 8:43 PM
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I'd like to see the actual report. The bullet points that got out were that Gates foundation and some local foundations had put money into it and it was run by Stanford and other good universities. However, I notice that one of the "bipartisian" members is Alan Bernsin who was a complete disaster in the san diego unified school district. He came in and fired nearly all the principals and replaced them with cronies. I am not sure if the school district ever has really recovered yet. Alan was punished for his lack of good judgement by being apointed to some big state education position where he could do some harm at the state level.

One of the few recommendations that was listed was that principals should have more latitude in firing the "bad" teachers. It's a mess out there and beating up on teachers as a first "solution" is so cowardly and pathetic that it just has to be a political stance someplace.

~j

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Author: zeegirly Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7903 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/20/2007 9:05 PM
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One of the few recommendations that was listed was that principals should have more latitude in firing the "bad" teachers. It's a mess out there and beating up on teachers as a first "solution" is so cowardly and pathetic that it just has to be a political stance someplace.

It may be so, but I've seen first hand two horrible employees threaten the use of their lawyers and then not fired, even though they should have been (one could have had his teaching certificate revoked for his poor choices). Mind you it's the ability to fire bad teachers, not any teachers.

Zee

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Author: ginger1236 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7905 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/22/2007 7:38 PM
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I agree Zee.

It drives me nuts to see what some teachers can get away with such as... sleeping in class, leaving a class unattended to go get a hair cut, not noticing the principal in the room to evaluate because he was read the paper the entire class period, having a teaching style that includes read the chapter, define the terms, and answer the questions at the end ONLY.

In Baton Rouge, bad teachers weren't fired, they were promoted to school board positions to get them out of the classroom. That is just wrong.

Ginger





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Author: Wilsonsjulie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7910 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/24/2007 9:14 PM
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In every profession there is a certain percentage of the workforce that underperforms. Postal employees, dmv, teachers etc...

What is the actual percentage for "bad" employees? I would guess that it would range under 20% and probably be closer to 8%. There are a range of abilities and professionalism everywhere. I would guess that the rigorous training and higher education requirements of teachers would produce even less "losers" than say, the average work force.

I have met a very miserable principal who has a yearly turnover of nearly 25% and she is usually actively pursuing/harassing a minimum of 10 "bad" teachers during the year.

To hear her talk, the number of bad teachers that need to leave would be over 30%. If you look carefully, the woman has a major personality disorder that is shielded by her position of authority and priviledge ( and perhaps she has some naked photos of the board of ed members!).

Scapegoating the teaching profession for poor education results is not the answer, imo. ~j

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Author: ginger1236 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7912 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/24/2007 11:32 PM
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"I have met a very miserable principal who has a yearly turnover of nearly 25% and she is usually actively pursuing/harassing a minimum of 10 "bad" teachers during the year."

In 13 years I have had two horrendous principals. That by no means excuses bad teachers. The problem is that public schools have no way to rid themselves of teachers that do not teach. Public schools have no way to rid themselves of principals that harass a minimum of 10 bad teachers a year.

We need to become professionals. We need to start competing for our jobs and stop defending the lowest of our number. Of course only a significant pay increase could cause that to happen.

Ginger

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Author: phantomdiver Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7915 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/25/2007 1:29 PM
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We need to become professionals. We need to start competing for our jobs and stop defending the lowest of our number. Of course only a significant pay increase could cause that to happen.

Yo, Ginger -- ever seen Norma Rae? Cuz you remind me of her.

phantomdiver
union member

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Author: ginger1236 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7916 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/25/2007 8:17 PM
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Sorry Phantom. I'm clueless.

I'm a union member too, but only for the liability insurance it provides. I think the vast majority of what they advocate is BS.

I've seen them save teachers that truly needed to be out on their butts... One refused to attend ARDs on her planning time, because... She had to do her hair or something. She didn't show up to duty because.... She didn't want to get to school 5 minutes early one day a week. Her class involved read the book, answer the questions, define key terms, and don't ask questions. I saw that in person. She was a complete and total BEYATCH to everyone at the school. Even the union rep at the school, who was a friend of mine, hated her. The parents LOVED her because all of the students in her class passed. They didn't learn anything, but they passed.

Teacher #2, played Two Fast Two Furious for his students. He also refused to do duty. He was a special ed teacher. The students were given the last 15 minutes of class off, if they behaved the first 30 minutes He refused to do ARD paperwork. I must admit I did like him. He was a likable guy, but he also hid behind the union to get away with doing as little as possible on the job.

They both maintained their positions because they abused the union.

I'm just saying, time to become professional and put teachers like that out on the buttocks.

Ginger






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Author: Wilsonsjulie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7918 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/26/2007 7:33 AM
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I'm a union member too, but only for the liability insurance it provides

I know quite a few teachers that get liability insurance for about a hundred dollars a year. You might want to look into that. Unions can be pretty useless, or they can be advocates of the profession, depending upon leadership, imo.

time to become professional and put teachers like that out on the buttocks.

My, you certainly know a LOT about what goes on in other professional teachers' classrooms. Are you in charge of their evaluations or how in the world are you in charge of judging another professional in your field?

IMO, being a "professional" is keeping an eye on my own behavior and supporting other professionals in doing their best job, too. Being a professional doesn't include snarky undercutting of other professionals in the field and advocating that others lose their employment and income because of judgements I have no business making. ~j


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Author: Wilsonsjulie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7919 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/26/2007 8:04 AM
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We need to become professionals. We need to start competing for our jobs and stop defending the lowest of our number. Of course only a significant pay increase could cause that to happen.

Ginger


Good Grief. What do you teach? Hardly anyone I know wants to teach kids with severe disabilities. Will those teachers make the most money then?

~j

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Author: Hawkwin Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7921 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/26/2007 4:07 PM
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I'm just saying, time to become professional and put teachers like that out on the buttocks.

My wife is a teacher (and both her parents are retired teachers) and I often hear her say the same thing.

You get flack for your comment but I see your comment as wanting to uphold the high professional standards we want teachers to have as opposed to simply protecting every last mediocre college student that could not find a better major.

I would not mind if there was some grading curve for teachers. Bottom 5% of performance evals score a "needs improvement" for two-three years in a row and they are out the door. I have stated on this site before that my wife works with one person that looks at porn nearly every day but they won't fire him because he sued for racial discrimination at his previous school. If clear violations can't get you fired, then what can?

My wife also quit the union - the insurance just was not worth it. The union also picked a 401A company (Met Life) that charges crazy fees because the state union uses them - and they worked out a "deal" that benefited the state union if they picked them.

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Author: Wilsonsjulie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7923 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/26/2007 7:16 PM
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You get flack for your comment but I see your comment as wanting to uphold the high professional standards we want teachers to have as opposed to simply protecting every last mediocre college student that could not find a better major.



Hawkwin,
Your arguments here are as baseless and ridiculous as the ones you do at PA. I have to ask: How much College Education do YOU have?

If your wife is subjected to seeing porn NEARLY EVERY DAY then she has a sexual harassment grievance that should be addressed. But, more than likely, it is just some rumor going around.

For everyone else-

And no one really needs the union until they are at the top of the pay scale after 20+ years. You all are in for some unpleasant suprises when administrators suddenly find that your work is not up to snuff.... b/c they can save the site budget by getting rid of older/expensive teachers for probably 3 newbies or 5 long term subs. Sometimes the principal is gunning for promotion and the more $$ they save, the better their chances of moving into the district offices. Most teachers don't see they are being shown the door until it is all too obvious.

If you work in a crap district that lets sexual and racial harassment exist in the schools, if your crap district reeks of tons of unresolved grievances, massive turn over, graft and bullying... well, you're going to find out that all that backstabbing of your colleagues leaves you in quite a lonesome bind as you try and hang onto your job.

My advice: Ignore the gossip. Hook up with the best instructors who use the best practices. And if at any time you start getting signals from administrators that your work is not making them "happy", start documenting.... b/c you are in line for a job/site/district change. ESPECIALLY if you've got a lousy union ~j


PS One prime indicator that you are in a crap district is that they are FISCALLY IRRESPONSIBLE. If they ask the teachers to take a paycut, if they constantly "run out of money", if there is theft, repeated firings in the accounting offices.... you are in a crap district that WILL target your expensive employment when you get there. fyi


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Author: ginger1236 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7924 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/26/2007 7:39 PM
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"My, you certainly know a LOT about what goes on in other professional teachers' classrooms. Are you in charge of their evaluations or how in the world are you in charge of judging another professional in your field?"

Well, I am a special ed teacher and at the time some of my students were mainstreamed and here's a big news flash... It was my job to check on my students.

It'd be rather hard to miss Two Fast Two Furious on the TV.

Bottom line here, you know which teachers in your school are totally incompetent. It doesn't take a brain surgeon. I'm not talking about mediocre here, I'm talking completely incompetent.

But I guess you're right WJ, best we turn our heads, ignore, or defend teachers that waste an entire year of a child's life, that makes us look right professional there.

Ginger




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Author: Wilsonsjulie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7925 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/26/2007 9:30 PM
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Well, Two Fast Two Furious is not a movie I've seen.
http://hddvd.highdefdigest.com/fastandthefurioustokyodrift.html

I see it is rated pg-13. How old were the kids who were watching it? What did administration say about its showing? The teacher show it often? I don't see the link of one (questionable) event and the student's entire school year wasted.

Tell me, what nitwit IEP team member would place students who have special needs into the classrooms of "completely incompetent" teachers?
Oh... that would be YOU.... the special educator.

I noticed that you didn't state that you were in charge of that teacher's evaluation. You have, however, judged a colleague very harshly on just one example given. There's a lack of professionalism here. On your part.

And if anyone thinks that gossiping about your colleagues is considered "professional", you're wrong. Unless you have used an objective template and spent substantial amounts of time conferencing with a teacher in question, you have NO idea what that teacher's level of effectiveness is. Avoid the temptation to cannibalize other professionals in your career environment. If you ever find yourself needing supporters, all the folks who have had to endure your sniping will just disappear ~j


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Author: ginger1236 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7926 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/26/2007 11:27 PM
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"I see it is rated pg-13. How old were the kids who were watching it? What did administration say about its showing? The teacher show it often? I don't see the link of one (questionable) event and the student's entire school year wasted."

The district has a firm policy that nothing other than a
G rated movie can be shown without prior approval and only for educational purposes. So really, he totally messed up.

Now let's address the fact that we had duty on the same day. I watched the girl's restroom, he was supposed to watch the boy's restroom right next door. I was there every duty day without fail. He never showed up, even after being ordered to. It simply is not fun for a female teacher to supervise a male restroom along with the female restroom. So I should cover for him when he stuck me with his job???

OHHH and as a special ed teacher, I am not in charge of scheduling. ARD/IEP committes determine LRE not a specific teacher. My students go to the regular ed teacher that they get.

Once, back in Louisiana, I was able to remove my students from a regular ed teacher, but only because that teacher REFUSED to allow my students to come to me to have their tests read. My students complained to me about their science teacher. I didn't believe them. I HEARD her, with my own ears,tell them that they were not allowed to leave the room to come to me. I complained to the principal who suggested I set up a team meeting.

I then set up a team meeting where I explained to everyone on that particular team that these particular children had the modification of having their tests read. If the students asked, the teacher was required, by federal law, to allow those children to come to me.

That didn't work. So I met with the science teacher individually, and went over each student's modification sheet and explained to her that according to federal law, she MUST allow those students to come to me for testing.

I then heard her, with my own ears, call my students "Too stupid to pass" so she wasn't going to let them come to me. I had been informed by my students that there was to be a test ahead of time so I was standing outside the door to escort my students to my room at that time.

I marched myself into the principal's office and demanded that my children be removed from her classroom... The principal told me to hold off, she was trying to get said teacher "promoted" to district so she wouldn't be such a liabilty.

And that's exactly what happened less than a week later. She should have been fired, but she wasn't because we "need supporters" and the union prevented the firing of a totally incompetent teacher once again.

I don't worry about being considered incompetent because I'm not.

But perhaps you are right. Perhaps it is best that completely incompetent teachers get to keep their jobs. God forbid we have standards for teachers. And yet we wonder why we are paid like day laborers???

I simply do not understand how anyone can possibly defend keeping incompetent teachers in classrooms.

Ginger







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Author: rbednarski Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7927 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/27/2007 1:22 AM
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"I simply do not understand how anyone can possibly defend keeping incompetent teachers in classrooms."

You go girl!

God bless,

Rich

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Author: Hawkwin Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7929 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/27/2007 8:44 AM
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Hawkwin,
Your arguments here are as baseless and ridiculous as the ones you do at PA. I have to ask: How much College Education do YOU have?

If your wife is subjected to seeing porn NEARLY EVERY DAY then she has a sexual harassment grievance that should be addressed. But, more than likely, it is just some rumor going around.

For everyone else-


*chuckle* I obviously have enough to recognize the best you can do is launch a logical fallacy attack in reply. You even fail reading comprehension as I never stated my wife sees it every day - I stated another teacher views stuff. Additionally, the guy who monitors their internet network (recently quit to go to another school system) told my wife and I personally (as well as a few other staff and teachers at the bar to celebrate his new job) about it on the day he quit. He stated he reported to the admin numerous times - as he is required - and their response was their fear to fire him.

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Author: Wilsonsjulie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7930 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/27/2007 11:02 AM
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Hawkwin,
Thanks for the vignette.
How much College Education do YOU have?
~j

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Author: Hawkwin Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7931 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/27/2007 11:30 AM
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Some light reading for your afternoon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

consists of replying to an argument by attacking or appealing to the person making the argument, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument.

A (fallacious) ad hominem argument has the basic form:

Person A makes claim X
There is something objectionable about Person A
Therefore claim X is false

-----------


Never say I did not teach you anything. Let me know when you are ready to discuss the topic instead of trying to discredit me based on whatever level of education I have.

...and you say my arguement are weak? *chuckle*

~H



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Author: Esconopeles Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7932 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/27/2007 12:47 PM
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>>How much College Education do YOU have?<<

I have no dog in this fight, but my experience tells me that a college education is no guarantee of erudition..

After a thirty-year career in the classroom and five years as a university supervisor of student teachers, I have a few observations:

1. In the field of education, none of us is perfect.
2. Evaluation is highly subjective.
3. Anecdotal observation may, at times, be more valuable than planned observation.
4, It is intuitively obvious to the most casual of observers that there are a good number of teachers who do not belong in the classroom, and we all have a dog in that fight.

One of the best teachers with whom I ever worked turned out to be a child molester. It's a very good thing that someone was willing to go outside formal evaluation in that case!

A humble piece of advice, ~j. Chill.

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Author: TeacherH Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7938 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/28/2007 3:20 PM
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I'm just saying, time to become professional and put teachers like that out on the buttocks.


Wish I could have rec'd that more than once. I love the sentiment and the word choice is, well, choice.

As a content coach I was in a LOT of different classrooms. IMO there are less than 15% of truly exceptional teachers, a lot of pretty good teachers, and a depressing minority of teachers, maybe 10% but it varies school to school, who are truly horrible and should be out of a job. These people are invariably skilled politically, but not as teachers, and they ALWAYS game the system and hide behind the union, which for whatever reason does not do any research into the facts of the situation but always unconditionally backs the teacher. (I think this demeans the union when they do this.)

Last year we even had one teacher who DID NOT SHOW UP for 3 months straight before the principal was able to fire her. Did not call in sick, did not request leave, just stopped showing up for work and it took hours and hours and hours of work on his part to get rid of her. And for 3 months before she stopped coming, she had a record of regularly, as in at least once a week, walking out in the middle of the day and not coming back to work. And it still took enormous effort to fire her! That is ludicrous, but sadly not wildly uncommon around here.

I agree wholeheartedly that these abuses demean our profession. I am not talking about good teachers who are going through a personal crisis and need some slack. I am not talking about basically good teachers who need improvement in one area or another. I am talking about the users and abusers who are not in the business of teaching, just that of killing time and collecting unearned pay. The longer we tolerate them, the more they hurt our cause of quality education, and the less likely policymakers are to take our advice/complaints/input seriously.

Best,
TeacherH

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Author: Wilsonsjulie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 7940 of 9947
Subject: Re: California Schools are Broken Date: 3/28/2007 3:52 PM
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Ten percent bad teachers seems about right. that would be right in line with the percentage of "bad" doctors and other skilled professionals. It's a fact of life that the majority are in the middle and there will be small percentages on either extreme side of the bell curve that will be rated as poor or exceptional.

Let us never co-operate with anyone who diminishes
human dignity.


Bohdan Sirant


~j

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