Saturday, June 23, 2012

Education Watch

Traditional wisdom has stood the test of time, while conventional wisdom is merely what everyone believes at the moment, which is nothing more than the latest philosophical flavor of the day and may not last as long as the latest ladies fashions. Paraphrasing Thomas Sowell.

Education Watch will be a regularly updated feature and I will
 be posting them on the Pages section at the top right of this blog.

Sacramento "Teacher of the Year" Laid Off; Who is to Blame?
I have a great deal of sympathy for Michelle Apperson, the Sacramento "Teacher of the Year" who was laid off. Assuming she deserved the award, she should not have been laid off……Teachers' unions are 100% to blame for this mess. Unions protect the under-performers at the expense of those like Apperson. Unions even protect repeated sexual predator teachers……In one case, a male teacher in Manhattan was accused of inappropriately touching a female student in 2010, but the arbitrator imposed only a suspension without pay. And now — after more disturbing episodes — we’ve filed charges against this individual for a third time. As it stands, public school teachers accused of sexual misconduct enjoy protections that no other city employee has. That puts children in danger, and we cannot allow it to continue. …….Here is a Google search of Teachers Paid to Sit if you want more examples. Now factor in incompetent teachers and poor teachers. The union protects them too…….An overhaul is indeed needed. It's time to get rid of collective bargaining of public unions, and it's time for merit pay for teachers…..Union mentality is also to blame for inability of school districts to get rid of sexual predators and grossly incompetent teachers.

Mayors back parents seizing control of schools
By Stephanie Simon
Mon Jun 18, 2012

(Reuters) - Hundreds of mayors from across the United States this weekend called for new laws letting parents seize control of low-performing public schools and fire the teachers, oust the administrators or turn the schools over to private management.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors, meeting in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday unanimously endorsed "parent trigger" laws aimed at bypassing elected school boards and giving parents at the worst public schools the opportunity to band together and force immediate change. Such laws are fiercely opposed by teachers' unions, which stand to lose members in school takeovers. Union leaders say there is no proof such upheaval will improve learning. And they argue that public investment in struggling communities, rather than private management of struggling schools, is the key to boosting student achievement. But in a sign of the unions' diminishing clout, their traditional political allies, the Democrats, abandoned them in droves during the Orlando vote.

Teachers Union Rides First Class on Philadelphia Schools’ Gravy Train
Every pay period, the Philadelphia school district puts $155 per union member into a special fund that helps educators pay their personal legal bills, which includes everything from routine legal advice to estate planning. That single perk, nestled deep within the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers’ union contract, cost taxpayers $2.6 million during the 2010-11 school year. It also contributed to the district’s financial woes, which led to 2,200 teachers being laid off last year. The “PFT Legal Services Fund” is just one example of Philadelphia public schools’ extravagant spending practices, which are the focus of EAGnews.org’s latest investigative report, “Sucking the Life Out of America’s Public Schools: The Expense of Teachers Union Contracts.”


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