Wisconsin

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-02-2009
Wisconsin
102
Mon, 02-21-2011 - 11:27pm

http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/2011/02/wisconsin-its-unions-vs-people-0

The ferment in Wisconsin is no workers' uprising against the rich and powerful. It is instead political muscle-flexing by a well-funded special interest group, which is limbering up for President Obama's re-election bid. Obama's campaign, operating as Organizing for America, is bussing protesters to the state capitol...

Government unions in Wisconsin perfectly match the definition of "special interests," a term Obama often invokes. Four of the top six Wisconsin contributors to the 2010 elections were labor unions, with the state's teachers union giving $119,342 and the Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees spending $83,888. The teachers union gave 96 percent of its money to Democrats, while Wisconsin AFSCME gave Democrats every penny.

"Resist, we much. We must, and we much. About that, be committed."

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2010
In reply to: anthony60
Tue, 03-15-2011 - 11:06am

In my school district (5th largest in the nation), the teachers' association will absolutely not fight for a teacher who has done what your link said (sexual e-mails). I've watched principals document and fire incompetent teachers and that's in a district with a "union," so I know from personal experience that it can and is being done.

When I was in the classroom, I never once thought I could slack off because "whoo hoo, I have tenure" as that wasn't the truth.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-02-2009
In reply to: anthony60
Tue, 03-15-2011 - 9:53am

Anthony, it's readily apparent that you have no clue what you are talking about. Bad teachers can get fired. It just takes documentation by the principal.

I really feel so humbled by your bold declaration,

"Resist, we much. We must, and we much. About that, be committed."

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
In reply to: anthony60
Mon, 03-14-2011 - 6:35pm
Key word, that "if". There probably are some schools/teachers who want to ignore the child who struggles to learn in conventional classrooms. I have some knowledge since DS was diagnosed in kindergarten as having learning disabilities.

I agree that the teacher who doesn't have a sense of mission or calling is probably one who needs to find another career. But I would like to know how "progress" is measured. Standardized testing? Look at what NCLB wrought. Test teaching. Test coaching. Test cheating. Test performance bribing. All the "accountability" came crashing down on the students themselves. Predictable, IMHO.

I agree that learning to read and comprehend is vital. To know basic math facts and how to be mathematically literate in everyday situations. Writing is vital, learning how to think critically, knowing how to research. But unfortunately, there's a lot of class "stuff" which is more about how to "do" school than how to do reading, writing, and arithmetic.

In the years during which my children were growing up and attending public schools, there was only one teacher I thought would be able to overcome a negative home environment for his students. But he was truly exceptional. And I think that parents cannot expect teachers to rear their children, teach values which emphasize the importance of learning, or fill a void if the parents refuse to be involved. It's just too much to ask, particularly if the teacher has a whole class of needy students.

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2010
In reply to: anthony60
Mon, 03-14-2011 - 4:49pm
"Of course parents influence their children BUT if school systems write off all children who do not come from a supportive or educationally sophisticated home, they have failed. "

Whoa, Nelly! Where in the world did you get that from? I don't know of any teachers or school systems who do that...in fact, far from it. The teachers I knew/know and myself worked our tushes off to provide everything for the kids that they needed to succeed.

"Good teachers make a difference; poor teachers should be asked to find another line of work - and the difference between a good teacher and a poor teacher can be measured by the progress of children in their classroom."

That's not true, either. Some kids will do well and test well despite the poor teacher, and some kids won't despite the great teacher.

"Not all children will go to college, but all children (except some with profound disabilities) should master basic reading, math."

I completely agree, but then look at what schools are asking ALL students to do and what they expect from them in order to graduate. In my state, they must pass English/writing proficiency exams, math proficiency that clearly goes way above "basic" math, and science proficiencies. In my school district, all the students are given a curriculum that should enable them to go to college. The simple fact is that not everyone is cut out for college, nor will they be able to be successful at a more rigorous level. The farther behind the students fall, the more likely they are to drop out or not pass proficiency exams in order to obtain a diploma. I'm starting to think that all kids should be able to have a basic education and then provide training in something that interests the students that will help them get a job after graduation and provide a college track for those who need that.

" A good teacher is especially needed by children who come from unsupportive homes . . .and a good teacher can make a difference in five hours per day!"

That's true, but it doesn't mean that the teacher is a miracle worker. For example, if a kid comes to school hungry every day, can't sleep at night because of too much commotion or fighting in their home at night, has parents who ignore them and refuse to help them, it's very hard for the teacher to be everything for that child. They can make sure they're fed when they come to school, but they can't do a thing about the child's home life and THAT's where the child is spending the majority of his/her time. Also, remember that the needy child isn't the only child in the classroom, either. There are between 20-40 kids in the classroom, depending on the grade level and school. Let's put it this way...say an elementary school teacher has 20 students in a classroom and has them for 300 minutes a day. That means each student has 15 minutes of individual time with the teacher. Now, take into account discipline issues, time taken for whole class instruction, story time, bathroom breaks, reading groups, etc., that individual time is whittled down to much less than 15 minutes per child.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2001
In reply to: anthony60
Mon, 03-14-2011 - 4:23pm

Of course parents influence their children BUT if school systems write off all children who do not come from a supportive or educationally sophisticated home, they have failed.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2007
In reply to: anthony60
Mon, 03-14-2011 - 4:09pm
lanie1999 wrote:

Unions certainly have failed. . .look at California, Detroit, Ohio, New York.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2010
In reply to: anthony60
Mon, 03-14-2011 - 3:51pm
I agree.

There's a teachers' association in my city and it's pretty weak. Per state law, teachers are not allowed to strike.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
In reply to: anthony60
Mon, 03-14-2011 - 3:45pm

So true.

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
In reply to: anthony60
Mon, 03-14-2011 - 3:33pm

What particularly did you have in mind when referring to those states and one city where you feel unions have failed?

I have found that sweeping generalizations, on whatever topic, tend to be erroneous because simplistic causes or motivations are attributed to a wide range of ideas, groups or individuals. For instance, coal miners unionized for the sake of improved working conditions--which is hardly "something for nothing".

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2006
In reply to: anthony60
Mon, 03-14-2011 - 2:43pm

OMG! Do you have NO relatives or friends who teach in a public school?

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