Thursday, December 26, 2013

TEN SCHOOL REFORMS

A belated Christmas wish list.


1.  Dismiss all teachers by the end of the school year who have a documented record of failure should Vergara succeed in striking down the teacher protection statutes. SFUSD  decides whether it will be the protector of failing teachers or the protector of successful students.

2. Apply the cost savings from differential of dismissed employee salaries and new hires to further increase the base salaries for old and new teachers in hard-to-staff schools.  Salaries increases do not carry over if teachers move to other non-qualifying schools.

3. Increase neighborhood residence to highest preference after siblings for elementary, middle and high school. Remove CTIP classification and give 3rd preference to student applicants with lowest quintile MAPP scores.  Elementary classification to be based on socio-economic class using tax records.

4.  Sell a portion of surplus real estate and rebuild schools where infrastructure is lacking using SFUSD surplus real estate grand jury recommendations.

5. Establish per pupil minimum based upon general revenue funding  not specifically allocated  for categorical purposes. Hard-to-staff schools excepted for the purpose of base salary increases.  Remove favoritism in school site funding to assure that all students receive equal treatment under law. Abolish Superintendent Zones.

6. Restructure and enlarge Board of Education to elect district representatives on the same model as the Supervisors. Establish a two- term limit. Limit union influence on Board elections and give neighborhoods representation.

7. Increase school day by one hour for four days a week and implement homework period during regular school day, K-3 excepted. Shorten summer break by 5 weeks and expand quarter and semester breaks by 3 weeks. Funding to be applied from LCFF increases. Teachers to work one hour longer daily and school year to increase by 2 weeks to bring annual works hours closer to industry standards and to increase student achievement. Teachers will still work considerably fewer days than other state employees and far fewer than in private industry.

8. Increase annual instructional hours by removing the two winter and spring finals-only weeks in high school, with the exception of senior year to prepare for college.

9. Abolish teacher tenure. All teacher pay increases based upon merit and COLA.

10. Abolish social advancement. Establish multi-level remedial classes for students with failing grades to be paid for with supplemental and concentration LCFF grants. 



30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anyone running for school board would be expected to have a to-do list.

Don Krause said...

So, Phooey, is this correct?

Don't ever fire anyone regardless of their ability or character,

keep funding schools on personal whim,

illegally assign students by race,

make poor students travel 3-4 hours daily by bus,

Teach students in languages the teachers don't speak,

Get rid of grades since students can't count anyway,

make the school board answerable to the administration rather than the reverse,

turn SFUSD into a slumlord,

force-feed propaganda to students at an early age,

and make all teachers take the maximum number of personal and sick days off whether they need them or not.

In a nutshell, you want SFUSD to keep doing what it's doing now.

Anonymous said...

Don, I agree with you 100%. The Union will fight you but surveys show most Californians agree with you on this issue. Every suggestion Phooey has has been tried and failed. We must march forward. You have plans for the future and which bring us forward.

Anonymous said...

Wow, if this is true we could go from people saying teachers make too little to them being way overpaid. I remember hearing how cops were so underpaid, now they make 121k base on average and almost everyone thinks they're way overpaid, double NYC cops, with a lower rate of solving murder and lower casualty rates. No, I think not. This would bring the pay from an average of 60 to 83 on average, or the high for people like Phooey who work about 160 days a year to 110k base. With no concessions on anything, just status quo. I hope she isn't telling the truth. Factoid.

AB said...

Phooey's fantasy list (sorry Don, I couldn't resist - no hard feelings if you delete for being off-topic):

1) Tax Whites and Asians 100% Income and Asset Tax

2) Make Whites and Asians go to the school farthest away from their home address

3) Guarantee graduation to every non-White and Non-Asian student regardless of attendance or results

4) 100% teacher salary increase every year for each year of seniority

5) Guaranteed lifetime employment for all teachers with no performance or attendance standards

6) Make White and Asian kids families serve 1,000 hours of community service per adult per year

7) suspend White and Asian kids with attendance over 50%

8) Mandatory Spanish or Ebonics - no English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Russian allowed at any time

9) Eliminate all testing and homework

10) Quintuple per student spending for non-white and non-Asian students

AB said...

Phooey - see, it's not hard to be mean and attack another poster like you often do and I just did with hateful statements and baseless allegations.

BTW - where do you get your data? I am trying to source your "San Francisco average of over 200,000" income stat, can't find it anywhere. Us Census cites $73,802 median household income for 2012 http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06075.html

AB said...

Don - do you have a current list of surplus properties you could post? I'm curious how some of these assets are valued. Thanks,

Don Krause said...

Phooey, refrain from posting all this stuff that you copy from elsewhere. I've had to delete almost 15 comments and thousands of words you have lifted off different socialist-inspired websites. Follow the basic rules of on-line etiquette and you are welcome to give your opinion.

Don Krause said...

Let's remember that Phooey's views are not based upon fact, inquiry, investigation. She's an ideologue. For example, she doesn't think any teachers should be fired and claims that no teachers are incompetent. It would be hard to find anyone who would make a similar claim because it is simply beyond any reasonable viewpoint that is based upon facts. Facts are of little consequence to Phooey.

For example, she wants to get rid of grade levels and grades. But what's the point? Does she also want to get rid of alegebra, geometry, calculus? You still have to advance from one level to the next no matter what you want to call it. And if you can't determine how a student has performed how do you decide if he or she is ready to move to the next level of understanding? Again, she exhibits no professional interest in understanding of how education proceeds from lesser to greater knowledge.

All this drivel is the product of a person who has no interest in education as we know it. Her interest is in maintaining her job above all. This is the real heart of it - the real ultimate selfishness which is to view public education as a service to the teachers (herself), not to the students.

I could go on though the list of her views, but what a waste of my time. I'm really to the point where I have no more tolerance to allow her to post if she cannot make a reasonable case for her views. II don't want SF EDBlog to be a place where crackpots have free reign, yet I do want to be tolerant of other viewpoints.

So, Phooey, if you can't get with the program and exercise some semblance of reason, you're not welcome any more and I will delete your comments.

Anonymous said...

Don, let her comment. She's a poster child for the corruption of the fanatical far left. Keep her on.

Don Krause said...

I have deleted your childish poem because SF EdBlog is not your classroom. I started this blog to discuss education. If you want to write what you call poetry about your twisted and hateful notions of utopianism please feel free to do so elsewhere -like on a racist/socialist/utopian blog. This isn't the place for it.

There is no short cut in education. There is only one way out. If society wants students to succeed it has to give them the desire, the opportunity and the tools to succeed as learners along with schools and teachers who will provide professional, personalized and high quality instruction.

You are perpetuating poor education by espousing less teacher training, easier hours, and no oversight such that teachers decide what to teach rather than the society that pays and is the source for public education.

Based upon everything you've said it is clear to me that you have only two purposes in teaching. The first is to get a unearned paycheck and the second is to train students to revolt against society.

You imagine you are teaching them to be free thinkers, but you are proselytizing them much like a missionary. If you were a true believer you would use your real name on this blog. Instead you hide behind anonymity to protect yourself from the obvious backlash that would result if your views were know. It demonstrates the weakness of your position. All your talk of lofty ideals and the greater good - but all you really want is to hold on to your crummy job that, even still, you don't deserve in a system that you don't like and wish to destroy. What a sad and pathetic existence.



Now can you answer the basic questions as to how you are teaching students the skills they need rather than hiding behind some rather shallow socialist poetry about your mistaken notions about classism

Anonymous said...

Don, you said you'd had enough of her long ago. Yet she remains.

Don Krause said...

I'm tired of you spreading your filth and hatred on the blog.

Find another place to pollute with your obsession over male genitalia.

"Women have been raped and abused by mean, smelly white men with small penises for thousands of years."

Get some help.

Anonymous said...

I agree. She had a few good points in that post but then she always has to insult white men in some bizarrely sexual way. Just focus on finding ways to reduce income inequality and inequality of opportunity. Robert Reich had a great column about this in today's Chronicle and never once found the need to insult anyone's sexual identity or genitalia or sexual abilities or hygiene. He somehow managed to use facts and statistics to show we aren't living up to equal opportunity for all as our national creed as well as we once did. How innovative of him.

AB said...

High housing costs push many teachers out of S.F.

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/High-housing-costs-push-many-teachers-out-of-S-F-5100678.php


My family makes less than two average SFUSD teacher salaries and, while finances are tight at times, we do just fine living in a decent neighborhood in San Francisco.

My comp package does not include the medical or retirement benefits of SFUSD teachers, and I put in comparable weekly hours all year round - 250 work days with no school holidays off.

Do I want to get paid more and have a lower cost of living - heck yes, who doesn't? San Francisco is an expensive city to live in - we choose to live here rather than the Eat Bay, we accept the trade-offs without complaint knowing it is our choice and decision to live here.

Are San Francisco public school teachers underpaid? I don't disagree that the good ones are - that's why I support many of the reform measures Don has posted for discussion on this blog.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Don good ones are underpaid, but there are too many structural problems with seniority/tenure. There should be no across the board raises without a corresponding agreement for tracking bad teachers, not letting those driven out of one school get hired at another with no tracking of their poor performance, and an end to tenure/seniority protections. Also, instead of a raise across the board, we should give an attendence bonus the first year, $1,000 for 3 or fewer sick days, $2,000 for zero, so the teachers who don't take personal days like Phooey get the raise but those who do don't. Too many teachers are taking too many days off. I wouldn't give the raise without corresponding compromises on allowing references to be checked and merit/bonus, not automatic across the board, raises. Also, teachers don't have good health benefits. This should improve. They have to contribute and higher paid police don't. I'd fix that before moving on to across the board raises, I'd leave base pay as is, improve health and give attendence bonuses and work towards other changes which may require changes to state law.

Don Krause said...

Every teacher that takes a day off for no good reason is in effect giving himself or herself a raise by working fewer days for the same pay. There are people like Phooey who claim to be there "for the kids" but take every personal day possible, claim it is to work elsewhere for lack of money, but find time to blog all day long whether on one job or not. That said, there's no shame in taking days off for good reason. But every day without a good teacher is another day wasted for each and every student whether a good reason or not.

This subject of teacher pay, benefits, seniority, LIFO, etc. brings up a point I must cover. I am not a pro-corporate reformer, if there is such a thing, though just as the so-called corporate reform have critics who purposefully characterize the market reforms as monolithic and conspiratorial, so the reformists often characterize teachers as a stolid and uninspired bunch of slackers. They both have elements that play to their bases and invoke fear as a form of support. Those that do this do a great disservice to real reform which is always necessary if public education is to move forward.

There is no room in my mind for such polarization and intellectual laziness. When issues are complex as are the issues of education, it is easy to resort to the facile. It takes a tremendous amount of effort to understand the forces at work in the sphere of education. So people are apt to look for the easy answer when in reality it doesn't exist. Warren Buffet made a joke of this when he advised Michelle Rhee that the solution to public education was easy - simply outlaw private education. A lot of things can be "solved" by getting rid of freedom. The problem is that freedom isn't free and some of us can't afford it as is the case with private school. What good is freedom if you can't get an education and have a respectable life? If private schools didn't exist surely public schools would be better as a whole.

So when I posted the ten reforms the anti-corporate reformers crowd, should any read this blog, would see me as anti-teacher because I am sympathetic with some of the ideas of the reformers. For example, whether one agrees with seniority or not, it simply makes sense to be able to fire incompetent people in any workplace. Not to be able to do so in the public's interest, that is in the interests of children, is simply a violation of adult responsibility and an abrogation of good citizenship. Yet teacher unions remain steadfast against allowing the laws to change in the falsely perpetuated characterization of LIFO reform as leading to the diminution of the teaching profession. No, it will strengthen teaching just as all professions are strengthened by weeding out those that do it a disservice. There is too much at stake to do otherwise. But it may weaken the union itself, hence the objection.

Don Krause said...

Diane Ravitch, a person of considerable intellect and background, is a spokeperson for the anti-reformers and a good one. She does indeed expose many of the lies and misdeeds of some reform efforts, but she supports the lies of the non-reformers. Her credentials as an eve-n handed academic are undercut by this. To give one example, she supports no change or reform to absolute union control over teacher employment conditions here in California. In fact she's angry that the word "reform" has been co-opted by the market reformists, but why is that? Because the unionized left has proposed nothing and is the establishment candidate while the public cries out for change. The left has said its all about funding and that is needed is more money (always more money which is another way of saying more union dues) all the while saying nothing can be done to educate because failure is about poverty. But again and again it has been demonstrated that money is not the solution. Testing and accountability is not the answer either. The NCLB style testing regimen is about politics, not about what testing ought to be - a tool to help teachers to target student needs. In truth, tests results are so slow in being accounted for, even if valid (which is a stretch), that students have moved on long before anyone has reviewed the results. In fact, I ask you, who in education ever looks at your kids test results? No one except statisticians and yourself.

I will not be pidgeon-holed in one camp or another, but I'm certainly not for the union, the status quo, which is not the same as saying I'm against the teachers. This is the tired union line - you are either for us or against us. Instead I am for commonsense solutions and it isn't common sense to take a totally untested concept like common core and apply it across the entire nation. It is highly risky and irresponsible to bet the farm on it. That common core is supposed to emphasize more critical thinking makes sense, but no one has any idea how it will play out with no field test of the common core. It is incredible to imagine how the federal government has taken over education on the pretext of what they call common core "state standards". There are no individual state standards except for those states that refuse to sign on when everyone is suppose to master the same things.

They started all this with Race to the Top used as Truncheon to get state to comply or lose. The Oakland half of the Bay Bridge cost 50% more than what they spent and are betting on the future of American education.

cont.

Don Krause said...

On the other hand, in regard to other popular reforms, I support the charter movement in theory, though there are plenty of examples of charters failing.
Diane Ravitch claims charters are not true public schools in that they are exempt from most of the laws. That may be so, but traditional public school follow the laws and some of them are failures. What is sacred about follow education codes if schools fail students? If charter need to be held to higher standards then write the laws to do so, but even if they don't outperform on average they still provide more school choice and I believe that the competition has an positive effect on the system, though it is hard to measure. Many students have been given choices that wouldn't have existed without charters. Pro-union forces, the biggest monied-interest by far, will look for any reason to disallow nonunion shops.

Ravitch claims that billionaires are calling the shots in public education as though they are all in league together against the establishment which isn't true. They each have different agendas. But the institution that truly calls the shots in education in this state legislature is the teacher's union(s) with one agenda - to prevent change. Their political influence far outweighs that of the reformers like the Broads, the Gates and the Waltons.

As a teacher I was sickened by the requirement of union dues. Why should I have to pay in when unions use my money to run campaigns for politicians who oppose my own viewpoints. For every one vote I cast, I voted ten times over against myself. It is really an abridgement of my fundamental right as a citizen.

And a group teacher lawsuit to effectively remove the requirement to join the union is expected to go to the Supreme Court this year of next.

Anonymous said...

Don, if you ever had to debate Dennis Kelly you would lose in a landslide. He is infinitely more wise than you and you would bow down to his great wisdom and be humiliated by your lack of factual knowledge. Teachers would be abused and humiliated without tenure and seniority. We will never sacrifice them any more than the U.S. will sacrifice nuclear weapons for some vague ideal. We know first comes the stripping of rights, then the humiliation and abuse. No teacher will be fired without due process and in 5 years, the process will be more than twice as onerous as it is now to protect our rights. You are nothing compared to Dennis Kelly and Ken Tray who fight for wisdom, for poor children, for working people, who give their lives for a good cause, not greed. Your lawsuit will lose. Obama is making the court more progressive, not less. Kennedy won't vote for that, no way, and by 2021, we'll have a 7-2 far left Supreme Court. Yipee! Hallelujah! It's about time! LIFO Forever! It is the only fair way to provide us freedom. And yes, you have to contribute, maybe a tiny number wouldn't contribute because they don't believe in it but if you let individuals weasel out under an excuse, the union would lose power as many shallow teachers would opt out individually just to have a few bucks, not realizing how much our job security and rights are worth and how many people fought and died for our rights! A union by definition must be unified. You can't be 65-35, that makes it 30% as powerful, X-Y equals your power. That's why black voters are equally powerful to whites with far lower numbers in the U.S. Unity. 94-5 is 89, and 55-45 is 10, but there are 5.5 times the whites, hence, plus the Latino and Asian Factor, Obama wins. We will fight the evil billionaires with unity!

You are fighting for horrible, scummy goals. You are trying to move us backwards. You are an anti-teacher hooligan!

Phooey!

Don Krause said...

Still going with the insults rather than a thoughtful and more informed approach?

Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Phooey -- After so many insults about Asians in your previous diatribes, all of a sudden you want the Asians to be included on YOUR voting slate? Insult the Asians then use the Asians. How are you any less racist then the other white people whom you rail against in your diatribes?

I see, YOU (white) get to call all the shots eh? Enlighten me, how are you (white) any better/less racist than other whites? In order for a white person to be a non-racist, that white person only needs to label her/himself as "progressive?"

Before you continue to call others out for being racist, why don't you look in the mirror for a brief second?

Anonymous said...

A lot of Asians sell out other minorities, but most still vote for progress. But some try to sell out for convenience. Yes, if you fight racism and are progressive, you are not racist and are better than other whites. Whites who feel guilty for past racism and strive to make amends and support a society where union rights and not corporate top down greed determine pay, job security, seniority, paid time off, and benefits, so that all races make money based on legal determinations rather than the whims of rich, greedy, poorly endowed, perverted, selfish white men who inherited a fortune and get drunk and waste it on sexual traffickers of minors and cocaine dealers and hired hitmen to kill their abused, exploited mistresses if they get out of line and intimidating their workers into not forming unions by illegally firing them and buying off the courts and bribing judges and manipulating boards into huge CEO salaries not based on anything but evil insatiable demonic and violent greed. This society is collapsing! It's out of control! The meek will rise up and massacre the evil greedy bastards and laugh in the justice of it all! Then we will create a new society in which all work is treated equally and schools teach kids to work as an ensemble for the greater good, not greedily fight each other for the crumbs of the rich. That way race won't matter anymore. It'll all be seniority. No one's racist judgement will matter. We'll all be treated fairly. And those who try to react will be appropriately sanctioned and imprisoned and re-educated as to equality and the history of and evil of horrible disgusting greed. Phooey!

Anonymous said...

"That way race won't matter anymore..." We've all heard conservative whites utter those same words before. But since these words are being uttered by the great Phooey, we will all just lose our own identities and join the melting pot.
"It'll all be seniority..." In other words, first come, first served. Strangely, aren't there tons of white Americans who believe in that exact sentiment whenever they demand that new immigrants to America go back to where they came from? Of course, since the Native Americans were the first ones here in North America, Phooey, why don't you and your kind go back to where you came from? Going by seniority right? :)
"No one's racist judgement will matter..." We get it, only Phooey's racist judgment doesn't matter because Phooey is always superior to all others. :)

Anonymous said...

Phooey -- Only self-entitled and privileged white people like you have the right to tell all others how awful and wrong they are. You are no better than those whom you rail against, no better at all.

Anonymous said...

What is this obsession with penis size? Maybe some racist people have big penises. Maybe some righteous people have small ones. Black rape of whites is 20+ x white rape of blacks, same with murder, it's not even close. Your obsession of rich white men is borderline psychopathic. OJ Simpson probably had a huge penis but he was a violent murderer. I just don't get it!

Anonymous said...

Oppression must stop. Equality must begin. Seniority and tenure and equal pay for equal work hours is the only way to achieve this. The government must control this and be leaders. Hatred and job insecurity must end. Equality for all. LIFO for all work. Freedom for all!

Anonymous said...

Phooey -- In your estimation, if LIFO and seniority were pushed aside, that will lead to oppression. You, as a white person who is always right (as you have repeatedly suggested that you are), do you even know what true oppression is? Get off your self-righteous pedestal for once and look at yourself in the mirror. From the way in which you pontificate, you are belittling others from the place of white privilege. Stop speaking from that pedestal of self-labeled progressive white privilege and get with the real world for once!

AB said...

Thanks for the Friday humor. What Phooey doesn't realize is that all the old white men she detests have more seniority than most other qualified employees so the power structure will not change much during her lifetime.

If you completely eliminate qualification then most businesses will be led by lowest level staffers - seniority/tenure in non-union businesses tends to be inverse of rank.

Promotion and hiring based on skill and qualification is a faster route to change.

I am not suggesting the glass ceiling, discrimination etc. do not exist, just that changing the terms of the discrimination to fit one utopian fantasy will not necessarily have the intended consequences.

Anonymous said...

AB -- Yes, at most organizations that rely on seniority, most, if not all of the most senior employees belong to the old boys' network. Perhaps Phooey has taught (figuratively speaking) long enough to think that she belongs in the old boys' network so for her own selfish interest, why would she want to end all the privileges that come with the network?