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25 Jun 2006 - 14:17
Health insurance and a pension, too! So....my Bayes scale has to be seriously recalibrated. Here I was thinking that when she reverted to all her most horrific, punitive behaviors in the classroom - and started calling in sick with some regularity - it was a sign that she was interviewing for positions elsewhere. It wasn't. It was a sign that, as Mrs. R told her class this year, "I have tenure. They can't do anything to me." It's always worse than you think.
-- CatherineJohnson - 25 Jun 2006 Back to main page.
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Well, I was wrong too. Bunch of iggerant 'droids, living off our sweat and blood. -- VerghisKoshi - 26 Jun 2006
boy, no kidding I've got to get to the bottom of this this district fires people left and right.....at least, I think it does last year, at Main Street School, it was a bloodbath. Plus the superintendent, in the two years she's been here, has presided over the exits of the head of special ed, the deputy to the head of special ed (that was brutal), the autism teacher at Dows Lane (excellent decision), and the principal of the middle school - and those are just the ones I know about The parents involved in the Parent Uprising last year included the president of the PTSA and one of the main fundraisers, whose husband is president of the local temple.....and they had huge numbers with them. It's entirely possible I'm the only parent who complained this year (though I'd be surprised), BUT I complained a lot and we've been listened to on....I think it may be fair to say that we've be listened to constantly (we've had a number of special ed conflicts in the past that have been resolved well) I absolutely don't know what to make of this at the moment I'm wondering whether Ms. Kahl was Lisa Urban's student....the school board email refers to new teachers who were inspired to go into teaching by Ms. Urban. Lisa Urban was, last year, hugely "protective" of Ms. Kahl; that was the universal perception. Basically, with Ms. Kahl, there was some kind of force field around her. Our relationship with the principal turned VERY hostile the instant we took on Ms. Kahl. Another thing: when Ms. Kahl did her 20-point deduction for the scale drawing, Ed sent a high-handed email telling Scott Fried that things needed to change. I sent Ms. Kahl a hostile email of my own. We went in with guns blazing. That was on a Friday, I think. Scott responded with a nice, professional email saying he was sure we could work something out. On Monday, when he called, the tone had changed. He was angry, hostile, defensive, and just plain nasty. He told Ed Christopher was the only child in the class who was having problems following directions - fighting words, and not true. Five seconds later I learned that Christopher's chum, M., had had the exact same 20 points taken off. The whole thing was very strange, and we've never been able to interpret it. We were hostile, high-handed, and obnoxious, BUT that became a problem over the weekend. OK, that's enough post mortem......BUT I definitely need to correct my perceptions if I can. -- CatherineJohnson - 26 Jun 2006
I was told that one of the teachers who was let go last year was basically told "You crossed the wrong parent." I don't know whether that story is true, but I don't have reason to doubt it. So now I'm asking myself, "What makes Ed and me the right parents to cross?" And what do we need to do about it? I know the answer to that, btw. I've just been dragging my feet. -- CatherineJohnson - 26 Jun 2006
OK, this may not be a mystery. I found a tenure page. There were 27 people up for tenure this year. One left to become an assistant principal elsewhere, and was not given tenure. 22 out of 26 people got tenure. Ed's right. They give tenure to everyone. I don't know what happened at Main Street School last year. Apparently that was the anomaly. I was using the wrong "data base." -- CatherineJohnson - 26 Jun 2006
I'm concluding from this that in order to prevent a bad teacher getting tenure you have to have organized opposition in the year she's getting tenure. Not the year before. -- CatherineJohnson - 26 Jun 2006
I have tenure. They can't do anything to me. This is the point where I go jump in a lake -- the cooling waters of the Free Market lake, also known as the Invisible Hand lake, or the School Choice lake. This is the point when I understand why so many smart people have put so much hard work into promoting the charter school movement. We've got to give the money back to the parents to spend. Rich people voting with their feet, isn't enough to "lift all boats". Bad teaching has been around since the beginning of time, but teacher's unions are something really new! Small side rant: it annoys me when people confuse parenting with teaching. Teachers are not confused at all. It is a job to them. A job where union rules govern how much time they must spend with our children, right down to the minute. Union rules protect them from spending one more minute with your child than was negotiated in closed door talks with other adults. At least in elementary school, teachers understand that they must maintain the appearance of caring for kids like a parent... Hence all of the "scrapbooking" activities to "celebrate" the child, his friends, and the school, I suppose... Clearly, all bets are off by middle school. Teachers must only maintain the appearance of teaching. Down to the last minute. They are performing for each other, not for you or your child. You can know that Ms. Kahl has every reason to think that you are confused, with all of your concerns and complaints. Until you walk in with ten other parents all saying the same thing. Until you form a union... -- BeckyC - 26 Jun 2006
juicy tidbit... my Better Half listened to a question-and-answer session given by Craig Barrett today. Lots of folks are upset about changes in management at Intel that he presided over these past few years. And someone asked him specifically about the "focal process", the annual ranking-and-rating process whereby the best workers are identified, and rewarded handsomely, while the worst workers are identified, and must improve or be let go. To paraphrase, Mr. Barrett insisted that Intel remains committed to its meritocracy... for example, what the teacher's unions have done to our K-12 public education system will not happen at Intel. When you pay the good teachers exactly what you pay the bad teachers, the good teachers will all leave, and all you are left with is the bad teachers. wow. He apparently even got in a lick about the ill effects of giving promotions based on seniority. That is really explicit, coming from the dizzying heights of a corporation that prides itself on its positive community relations and its support for public education... all the while lamenting its inability to find and hire enough qualified US citizens. Bill Gates should take a leaf out of Craig Barrett's playbook. wow. -- BeckyC - 27 Jun 2006
did you see her freaking final assessment? It really is amazing the way these folks openly tell you their job isn't to teach anything. -- CatherineJohnson - 30 Jun 2006
At least in elementary school, teachers understand that they must maintain the appearance of caring for kids like a parent... Hence all of the "scrapbooking" activities to "celebrate" the child, his friends, and the school, I suppose hah! That's where you're wrong! I've been debriefing more parents. One, who has her kids in private school, told me that a 5th grade teacher, when asked on back to school night why he career-switched into teaching, said, "I wanted the summers off." She said, "He couldn't even think up a lie like 'I like children'?" This mother always votes for the budget. Always. I've got her thinking about voting against it next time. -- CatherineJohnson - 30 Jun 2006
oh wow the Intel quote is something else in this case, though, it's not the unions the administration and school board are responsible for giving a teacher tenure against the wishes of parents these are the same folks who brought in TRAILBLAZERS against the wishes of 200 organized parents this is purely about power they have it they use it -- CatherineJohnson - 30 Jun 2006
the administration and school board are responsible for giving a teacher tenure against the wishes of parents Oh, school boards would never say "boo" to the teacher's unions! Of course the board voted to accept the list of teachers for tenure. Everybody wanted the meeting to end on time. And no school board member reviewed the list in advance, buried as it was in a thick packet of papers to consider. I used to go to school board meetings, and it was a puppet show. Those tireless, hardworking administrators (old teachers who wanted most desperately to get away from classroom work) develop policy positions that they recommend to board members... this is purely about power they have it they use it Yeah, one way or the other it's about who has power. When I say that Deanna thinks you (or any other parent) is "confused" I mean "confused about who has a union protecting them from one extra minute of work, and who doesn't". Of course, the union leadership has all kinds of time when it comes to hammering out beneficial agreements with school boards. Then, who's counting the minutes? I'm sure there are lots of late nights designing incremental improvements in the terms of union contracts. After all, this is about people's livelihoods!!! Nothing protects parents from the depredations of
Yeah, one way or the other it's about who has power. When I say that Deanna thinks you (or any other parent) is "confused" I mean "confused about who has a union protecting them from one extra minute of work, and who doesn't". lol! -- CatherineJohnson - 02 Jul 2006
Apparently in France there are parents' unions AND students' unions. Ed says that idea hasn't worked out so well...... but I'm up for it! Irvington Parents' Union coming right up! -- CatherineJohnson - 02 Jul 2006
I talked to a mom who once went to a school board meeting to recommend against awarding a certain teacher tenure. She was there for hours, waiting for the tenure vote to come up, and in the end the slate was voted through by the board (our board) in 5 seconds flat. No discussion. -- CatherineJohnson - 02 Jul 2006