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No. of Recommendations: 17
Sorry for coming so late to the party, but I've been out of town spending the tax payers' money at a five day National Dropout Prevention Conference in Santa Clara.

Someone had earlier equated the lobbying efforts of unions to that of corporations and I just want to point out one very large difference. See, if a corporation supports causes I don't agree with then I not only don't buy their shares but I also go out of my way to avoid being a customer. However, no matter how much I disagree with their lobbying and political issues, every month CTA steals $70 from my paycheck. Oh sure, I could have opted out but membership has other essential benefits that I would have lost, namely, free legal representation should I be falsely accused of misconduct.

As a teacher I want just three things from my job: professional satisfaction, respect, and to be paid a wage commensurate with my skills and education. It's these last two where I see the union working against my interests. In my high school of 2400 students, I would need your hands and mine to count the number of incompetent and burned-out teachers hiding behind tenure. When parents or the public complain about the sorry state of education, it's these incompetents that they point to and I end up unjustly painted with the same broad brush. By fighting against tenure reform, the union has declared it's unending support of mediocrity, low standards, and incompetence in the teaching profession.

What really amazes me is the union's inability to see the link between their support of mediocre teachers and continued mediocre pay. Once this tenure reform passes and districts are able to excise the deadweight, this state will realize a horrific shortage of qualified teachers. Simple economics predicts a significant rise in salaries necessary to attract qualified people.

BTW, the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) is a 9th grade level test. It's the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) that's the 8th grade level test. Pardon me for pointing out the irony in requiring our high school graduates to have higher abilities than their teachers.

Rusty
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