Friday, January 10, 2014

HIGH QUALITY TEACHER'S ACT of 2014



Currently the State Attorney is reviewing an initiative for the November ballot, the High Quality Teacher's Act of 2014. It was submitted by Matt Davis and appears that Students First is the sponsor. I have copied portions of the submittal below. With the Vergara case to start this month, there now appears to a second front in an all out assault on teacher tenure and LIFO.

Let me know what you think about this.



This Act shall be known and may be cited as the High Quality Teachers Act of

2014.

Section 2. Findings and Declarations.

The People of the State of California find and declare as follows:

(a) All California children deserve access to a high quality education.
 

(b) A high quality education begins with making sure our children have a high

quality teacher in every classroom. Students of high quality teachers are more likely to

go to college, earn higher salaries, and have lower rates of teen pregnancies. However,

California currently ranks near the bottom among states when it comes to identifying,

retaining, and promoting high quality teachers.
 

(c) For too long, California has gone backwards when it comes to providing a

high quality education to our children-the state's dropout rate is one ofthe highest in

the country, our K-12 schools badly underperform in terms of student achievement, and

California's low-income and minority children are disproportionately impacted by the

decline in California's public education system.
 

(d) Today, there are plenty of high quality teachers available, but local school

districts are not able to make sure all of our children have access to a high quality

teacher because local districts are currently forced to retain teachers based on how long

they have been on the job rather than based on whether or not a teacher is doing a good

job of teaching in the classroom.
 

(e) California is just one of eleven states that bases teacher layoff and

reappointment decisions primarily on how long someone has been teaching, which led

to a finding by the nonpartisan, independent Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) that

such a system can lead to a "lower quality of the overall teacher workforce." (LAO, "A

Review of the Teacher Layoff Process in California,"Mar. 2012, p. 17.) California needs

[1]

to follow the lead of states like Massachusetts, Florida, Tennessee, and several others

and put in place a system which identifies and retains teachers based mainly on an

objective, comprehensive, and fair review of whether the teacher is doing a good job of

teaching children in the classroom.
 

(f) Teachers are more than just educators. They are role models that children

look to for examples of civic and moral standards. At six to eight hours a day, five days

per week, a teacher is poised to become the most influential person in a child's life after

his or her parents. Much of what a high quality teacher "teaches" is not detailed on a

syllabus. As positive role models, high quality teachers also set good examples inside

and outside the classroom of how young people should strive to be law-abiding

individuals and develop good character, integrity, responsibility, respect for others,

honesty, and trustworthiness. As future leaders of our communities, our state, and our

nation, it is imperative that our children have role models who conduct themselves

appropriately both inside and outside the classroom. It is a self-evident truth that

teachers convicted of violent, serious, or sexual crimes cannot be high quality teachers

because they have fundamentally and irrevocably failed in their duty to act as good role

models for our children and therefore must be immediately and permanently dismissed.
 

(g) A safe learning environment is guaranteed by our State Constitution, which

declares that every person, including our children, has a constitutional right to be safe

and secure in our public and private schools. (California Constitution, article I, section

28(a)(7).) Teachers convicted of a violent, serious, or sexual crime cannot be high

quality teachers because they undermine our children's constitutional right to a safe

learning environment. A teacher who threatens the constitutional rights of our children,

or who creates an environment where parents reasonably worry about the criminal

background of their child's teacher, does not possess the character and trustworthiness

necessary to qualify as a high quality teacher.

 
Section 3· Statement of Purpose.

The purpose of this measure is to provide every child in California with a high

quality teacher so that they can reach their full potential regardless of economic or

ethnic background.

 

•.

Section 4· Section 44955 of the Education Code is amended to read:

44955. (a) No permanent employee shall be deprived of his or her position for

causes other than those specified in Sections 44907 and 44923 and Article 3.1, and

Sections 44932 to 44947, inclusive, and no probationary employee shall be deprived of

his or her position for cause other than as specified in Article 3.1 and Sections 44948 to

44949, inclusive.

 

(b )[Jl Whenever in any school year the average daily attendance in all of the

schools of a district for the first six months in which school is in session shall have

declined below the corresponding period of either of the previous two school years,

whenever the governing board determines that attendance in a district will decline in

the following year as a result of the termination of an interdistrict tuition agreement as

defined in Section 46304, whenever a particular kind of service is to be reduced or

discontinued not later than the beginning of the following school year, or whenever the

amendment of state law requires the modification of curriculum, and when in the

opinion of the governing board of the district it shall have become necessary by reason

of any of these conditions to decrease the number of permanent employees in the

district, the governing board may terminate the services of not more than a

corresponding percentage of the certificated employees ofthe district, permanent as

well as probationary, at the close of the school year. Except as othenvise provided by

statute, the seFViees of no permanent employee may be terminated under the provisions

of this section ..... hile any probationary employee, or any other employee vvith less

seniority, is retained to render a service 'Nhieh said permanent employee is certificated

and competent to render.

(gl In computing a decline in average daily attendance for purposes of this

section for a newly formed or reorganized school district, each school of the district shall

be deemed to have been a school of the newly formed or reorganized district for both of

the two previous school years.

As be'h\'een employees who first rendered paid service to the district on the same date,

the governing board shall determine the order of termination solely on the basis of

needs of the district and the students thereof. Upon the request of any employee TNhose

[3]

order of termination is so determined, the governing board shall furnish in VtTiting no

later than five days prior to the commencement of the hearing held in accordance vvith

Section 44949, a statement of the specific criteria used in determining the order of

termination and the application of the criteria in ranking each employee relative to the

other employees in the group. This requirement that the go~;erning board provide, on

request, a "V\'Fitten statement of reasons for determining the order of termination shall

not be interpreted to give affected employees any legal right or interest that vvould not

exist vmhout such a requirement.

(3)(A) liVhen terminating the services of a certificated employee or employees .

pursuant to paragraph (1) who are assigned to positions as classroom teachers, the

order in which certificated employees shall be terminated shall be based on

performance.

(B) For purposes of this paragraph, performance shall be iudgedprimarily

upon the evaluation and assessment of each certificated employee conducted pursuant

to Article 11 (Section 44660 to Section 44665) of Chapter 3 ofthis Part. Performance

evaluation and assessment ratings shall be averaged based on the three most recent

years ofperformance evaluation and assessment data. In the event that three years of

performance evaluation and assessment data does not exist for an employee, the

performance evaluation and assessment rating shall be averaged based on the two

most recent years ofperformance evaluation and assessment data. In the event that

two years ofperformance evaluation and assessment data does not exist for an

employee, the performance evaluation and assessment rating shall be based on the

most recent performance evaluation and assessment data.

(C) Under no circumstances shall a certificated employee with a higher

performance evaluation and assessment rating be terminated before a certificated

employee with a lower performance evaluation and assessment rating.

(D)(i) liVhen two or more certificated employees assigned to positions as

classroom teachers receive identical performance evaluation and assessment rating

scores pursuant to Article 11 (Section 44660 to Section 44665) of Chapter 3 oft his Part,

then the order of termination shall be based on the specific needs of the schools within

the school district and the students thereat 'When required to choose pursuant to this

clause between two or more employees receiving identical performance evaluation

and assessment rating scores, the governing board shall identify the specific needs of

the schools within the school district or the students thereofthat justify the order of

termination. which shall be provided in writing to the affected employees.

(ii) 'When two or more certificated employees assigned to positions as classroom

teachers receive identical performance evaluation and assessment rating scores

pursuant to Article 11 (Section 44660 to Section 4466.1:\) of Chapter 3 of this Part and

are not distinguishable on the basis of the specific needs of the schools within the school

district or the students thereof. then the order of termination shall be based on

seniority, with an employee with less seniority being terminated before an employee

with more seniority. 'When required to choose pursuant to this clause between two or

more employees receiving identical performance evaluation and assessment rating

scores on the basis of seniority, the governing board shall provide an explanation of

why the employees were not distinguishable on the basis of the specific needs ofthe

schools within the school district or the students thereof. which shall be provided in

writing to the affected employees. The governing board shall develop guidelines to

govern situations involving employees who first rendered paid service to the district

on the same date and thus have equal seniority.

(iii) The use of seniority pursuant to this subparagraph shall represent the sole

and exclusive exception to subdivision (d).

(c)(1l Notice of such termination of services shall be given before the 15th of May

in the manner prescribed in Section 44949, and services of such employees shall be

terminated in the inverse of the order in which they vvere employed, as determined by

the board in accordance vmh the prm'isions of Sections 44844 and 44845. In the event

that a permanent or probationary employee is not given the notices and a right to a

hearing as provided for in Section 44949, he or she shall be deemed reemployed for the

ensuing school year.

[gl The governing board shall make assignments and reassignments in such a

manner that employees shall be retained to render any service which their seniority and

[sJ

qualifications entitle them to render. However, prior to assigning or reassigning any

certificated employee to teach a subject which he or she has not previously taught, and

for which he or she does not have a teaching credential or which is not within the

employee's major area of postsecondary study or the equivalent thereof, the governing

board shall require the employee to pass a subject matter competency test in the

appropriate subject.

86 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is great news and I will vote for it as a positive step forward. It could be written in more clear language and sounds like the professor who posted several very interesting and intelligent yet exasperatingly confusing pieces before on this blog. It seems to have multiple goals. I was afraid this was only going to impact sex offenders, but fortunately they are going to go after low quality teachers, a smaller problem in individual cases but a much larger probelm in the net damage wrought upon California students. It could specify how they will be evaluated, and could go a little further, but it's a positive step and would end state law requring nothing but seniority and tenure being considered. It's a big improvement.

One thing they must be very careful of is this. The teacher's union, including Kelly and Tray, will spend thousands of hours poring through every word, phrase and sentence. You have to make sure not to make a mistake which will be mis-interpreted and used in commercials to make this look like it's bad to people who might support it. They try to get a small percentage to say, I support change, but this particularly measure has an important error, I'll vote for the next one, not realizing there probably won't be a next one or if there is, a similar argument will be made. This was done for Prop K for decriminalized prostitution, a great idea, but they found a loophold and despite polls showing most San Franciscans don't think those who choose to sell their bodies shouldn't be subject to arrest or penalty, a few voted against it due to the loophole. It happened with the marijuana initiative, a few for legal marijuana voted against it based on a couple questionable clauses. And it happened with Prop H, I'm convince most San Franciscans believed a child should be guaranteed a school close to home, but a small number voted no based on the fear of children being switched mid year, which would have never happened, thus the measure lost by .08 % or 153 votes out of over 180,000.

So the author must be very careful not to put anything in that Kelly and Tray can use to come up with a clever argument against it, or Weingarten or any of these people, there are thousands of them who will search for an excuse to convince those who think it should be easier to fire bad teachers to vote No based on highly specific and individualized reasons and thinking they are still for it, and are just being thorough or specific.

These are the facts, and they are undisputed.

Anonymous said...

The only thing undisputed is that Dennis Kelly will know what to do about this and we have millions of dollars and will unify and kick the teeth of these people in and humiliate them come election day. Racist scumbags! Phooey!

Don Krause said...

I only posted portions of the initiative. It is actually far longer and far more complex than what you see, as are all initiatives when you actually read the text. But voters won't be reading that as much as the synopsis.

As far as loopholes, opponents will always find something and if they don't they'll fabricate one as they did with Prop H. Now that it is becoming more clear each day that the SFUSD assignment system cannot accomplish its fundamental goal of creating diversity and that the goal itself is not a factor in spurring student achievement, voters have become more aware of the lies propagated by some Prop H opponents. At least in San Francisco, it will help to increase awareness about the integrity of union support.

Don Krause said...

Copied from Ballotpedia

California Teacher Performance Initiative (2014)

A California Teacher Performance Initiative (#13-0058) has been submitted to the Office of the Attorney General of California, where it awaits a ballot title and a ballot summary prior to being approved for circulation as a contender for the November 4, 2014 ballot. It is an initiated state statute.

Supporters of the initiative refer to it as the "High Quality Teachers Act of 2014".

If the initiative qualifies for the ballot and is approved by the state's voters, it will require that when teachers are laid off, the decisions about which teachers to lay off are to be based on objective standards of teacher performance rather than on seniority. According to the language of the proposed law, teacher performance would be assessed partly by student test scores.[1] The initiative, if approved, will also streamline the termination process for teachers convicted of sex crimes. [2]

Support

Matt David, who filed the request for a ballot title for Initiative #130058 with the Attorney General of California, works for StudentsFirst.[3] David, who once served as the communications director for Arnold Schwarzenegger, told the press that he submitted the initiative on his own initiative and that it has not yet been endorsed by StudentsFirst: "I would hope to get their support on this, assuming the language isn't changed (by the attorney general). But they haven't taken a position yet and I've advised other groups not to take a position until we get the language finalized.[1],

The language filed with the initiative says, "Today, there are plenty of high quality teachers available, but local school districts are not able to make sure all of our children have access to a high quality teacher because local districts are currently forced to retain teachers based on how long they have been on the job."[3]

Opposition

If Initiative #13-0058 qualifies for the ballot, it will almost certainly be opposed by the California Teachers Association. This group believes that layoff decisions should be based on seniority.[3]

Path to the ballot
See also: California signature requirements Matt David submitted a letter requesting a title and summary on December 16, 2013.
A title and summary are to be issued by the Attorney General of California's office no later than February 11, 2014.
Once the title and summary are prepared, 504,760 valid signatures will be required for qualification purposes.
Supporters will have 150 days from the date that the title and summary are issued to collect the required signatures.

External links



Letter requesting a ballot title for Initiative 13-0058
Website of "Students First California", the group that is sponsoring #13-0058

References

1.↑ Jump up to: 1.0 1.1 Sacramento Bee, "Michelle Rhee's consultant introduces California ballot measure", December 17, 2013
2.Jump up ↑ ABC 23, "California ballot measure would replace teacher seniority-based layoffs with performance", January 2, 2014
3.↑ Jump up to: 3.0 3.1 3.2 SCPR, "California ballot measure would base teacher layoffs on performance, not seniority", December 24, 2013

Don Krause said...

Once again, Phooey's true colors emerge. She would like us to believe that she a great humanitarian but she seems to revel in degrading people at every turn. The more she writes in the more I think her social justice sympathies are little more than a convenient vehicle to push her socialist autocracy.She is Phooey the phony.

Anonymous said...

I believe in social justice Don, and you are one of the most vicious, racist, hateful people out there fighting for what's wrong in this City! You laugh at people being fired. You actually think it's funny. Yeah, so hilarious, someone crying, losing their livelihood, living in their car, what a great comedy routine for you to enjoy in your luxury mansion with your millions! I won't fall for it!

I am kind, I think all jobs should be paid equally and based on seniority, so a doctor and a busboy both have dignity and equal rights and pay, so pay is based on hours, not based on differentiated per hour or salary payments. It's just sick! Our whole nation should be based on hourly, then they'll be honest, no shifty salespeople, no lying lawyers, no doctors pushing pharmaceuticals or CEOs fighting to earn 200 or 500 times a worker. Forget that. There should be a pay rate only varying based on seniority!

Don, this measure will lose 70-30, worse than the Arnold measure before it. Even Michelle Rhee will oppose it for fear we will end her husband's tenure as Mayor of Sacramento with a recall initiative. You see, we are in the hundreds of thousands, we are unified, we all donate, we donate in addition, and we will get money from Jane Fonda and Ariana Huffington and many other women who hate sexism and will fight an attack on teachers and worker rights!

In your fantasy, this is some common sense measure. But we have so much money! By the time the public weighs in, we will hire actors to look innocent and indignant, get the opposition of Brown and Newsome and Feinstein. We will have TV commercials saying this is the right idea, but the wrong way to do it, and commercials saying we pay for supplies for kids and make little money and work hard and are being attacked. James Edward Olmos will be in a commercial against it, Mike Farrell, Alan Alda, Michael Jordan, Ally McBeal, Ellen, Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Streisand. Tom Cruise, Matt Damon, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, Danny Glover.

We will change the argument. We will pick it apart. Electorally, at most this can get 60%. We will pick off 10% with the ads saying you're villainizing teachers, 5% with the celebrities, and another 15 by finding loopholes and mistakes and running commercials saying we're being attacked and with various other arguments, mailers, etc.

By the time it's done, you and your kind will be so humiliated and embarassed you even tried that you will never again try to fight LIFO. We'll make you look like a bunch of idiotic, mean, heartless jerks who don't understand what it's like to be in a classroom! The public image of you will be that you are the villain! You will be embarassed to even walk down the street. You will be heckled at all your speaking engagements! The name Krause will become synonymous with hatred!

We will defeat this measure 70-30 plus. The factor you haven't considered is that Michelle Rhee herself will end up opposing this! That will really make you look and feel stupid!

Phooey!

Anonymous said...

Phooey -- The way in which you pontificate about the awesome powers that you and your ilk have, are you sure you're not just another version of the powerful 1% in this country? To utilize money, power, and celebrities to win elections -- wait a minute, you ARE part of the 1% that you purportedly hate. By the way Phooey, "Everybody is a little bit racist," or in your case, quite a bit racist.

Don Krause said...

The writing is on the wall. The Obama administration is pushing merit pay and end to LIFO. Vergara is going to start in a couple weeks. All over the country various interest groups are suing to end these outmoded teacher statutes, though many state have already made the changes sought here. In April a group of California teachers filed suit against the State to end mandatory union dues as a violation of fundamental rights. The case may reach the US Supreme Court in which case it will have nationwide repercussions.

The public strongly opposes the overzealous union protections and has been repeatedly polled as favoring such reforms by 2 to 1.

Phooey is like a religious fanatic who can't see or hear anything that is contrary to her chosen belief system and though some share her views, more voters care about public education and teacher quality than they care about having a select group of pubic employees have lifelong protections that are out of synch with social norms.

Regarding this initiative in particular, I believe it refers mainly to lay offs. That means that unless there are cutbacks to education, the changes would not have much of an immediate effect.

AB said...

Phooey's arguments are nothing more than a contrived distraction to steer the debate away from real issues of importance to the the tired repetitive side arguments of structural social justice. Like the birthday party illusionist that uses one hand to distract from what the other is doing Phooey is working to the other hand to distract from the issues but it is all illusion, do not be fooled.

The big challenge that will likely follow passage of this bill into law is implementation - unless there is a comprehensive rating system attached to the bill each District will have to devise an evaluation system and defend it in court. My fear is that Districts will revert to seniority as the de facto determinant in layoffs in order to avoid prolonged costly litigation for every 'quality' layoff they make.

Anonymous said...

This needs to not only apply to lay offs but also enable principals and others to actively promote better teachers over worse ones, stop pay being on seniority, and let principals fire bad teachers without huge costs of 5 figures. This would be a step in the right direction but would need follow up laws to enable principals to be proactive.

I have to say, I think Phooey is right. It will all come down to obscure, individualized issues and celebrity endorsements and money. Unions will deliver fliers door to door and this guy will have a bunch of flakes who talk the good fight and then want to go to Tahoe two weeks before the election because that will be "fun", while hundreds of thousands of union members walk the streets diligently and delay their "fun" until mid to late November, along with a victory celebration. It will come down to something we haven't even considered yet. We aren't unified or diligent enough about this. We can't win this by blogging. They'll make a huge deal about something trivial and win a landslide. They'll make us out to be the bad guys. I hate this element of politics. They'll turn it around on us like they always do.

Don Krause said...

AB,

This is a state ballot initiative. Regarding your point about the challenge posed by having to defend layoffs, currently most employees can challenge a layoff - claim it was legally suspect. Districts will need to document performance, but it is all part of the process of moving to a more evaluative model.


Here is an opinion piece from the Orange County Register....

The ranks of California’s full-time public school teachers shrank by 32,000 from 2007-12. That almost certainly was deleterious to the state’s schoolchildren, not the least because decisions on which teachers were laid off were based not on their effectiveness (or lack thereof), but strictly on seniority.

A proposed ballot initiative, submitted last week to the state Attorney General’s Office for an official title and summary, aims to change that.

The High Quality Teachers Act of 2014, would require teacher layoff decisions be based on how good a job teachers do in classroom instruction. It also would require that school districts take into account how appropriately (or inappropriately) teachers conduct themselves both inside and outside the classroom.

The initiative was introduced by Matt David, former communications director for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former campaign manager for 2012 GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman and former consultant for StudentsFirst, the group launched by education reformer Michelle Rhee.

No sooner did Mr. David’s proposed initiative get posted online last week than it came under attack by defenders of the status quo in K-12 education.

Duane Campbell, director of the Institute for Democracy and Education in Sacramento, characterized the High Quality Teachers Act as an “anti-teacher initiative” being used to “assault teachers’ unions” and advance the “ideological” agenda of “the Right.”

He maintained the “claim that teacher seniority protection is a major factor in school achievement has no basis in research.” He also disparaged “younger teachers,” whom he said, “frequently assume that their youth and energy makes them a better teacher.”

Well, Mr. David does have Republican ties, although neither Mr. Schwarzenegger, nor Mr. Huntsman can be considered right-wing conservatives.

Nor can Michelle Rhee, a Democrat, whose organization spent more than $1 million during last year’s legislative elections to back reform candidates, all Democrats.

Furthermore, the state Legislative Analyst’s Office published a report last year – “A Review of the Teacher Layoff Process in California” – which found that basing layoffs on seniority very well leads to a “lower quality of the overall teacher workforce.”

California’s public school children deserve high-quality teachers – whatever their age or tenure. Only those who want to protect the least-effective teachers can find Mr. David’s proposed initiative objectionable.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Duane Campbell, that brings up horrible memories. The man taught us absolutely nothing about teaching social studies in an elementary school class. Instead, he spent countless periods putting himself and everything he believes in on a pedestal. According to his estimation, every white man is evil, of course, with the exception of him (white as white can get). He also spoke English with an intentional/faux "Latino" accent just so he (again, a very white man) can sound ethnic.

Duane Campbell railed against white privilege; yet he was head of the Sacramento State University Multilingual/Multicultural Education Department. How superbly ironic was that?

AB said...

Don, my concern was only in the cost - both time and financial - in implementing on a district level. I'll give the ballot language a read to see if there is anything there that addresses this specific concern. The unions could tie this up for years if they are willing to waste responsible members dues to pursue in court - it will take a good test case to provide legal validation of a process.

I am most curious to know how the non-classroom conduct component gets evaluated and factored. (Phooey's conniptions on this subject will likely be entertaining.)

I am heartened by the multiple front efforts to improve the state of public education in California - Common Core, LCFF, Vergera, HQTA2014.

HQTA2014 will be hard fought from both sides - the unionists are clearly feeling threatened - but there have been a number of 'bad teachers who couldn't get fired' stories out of SoCal in the past year to 'Willie Horton' those who oppose this effort - it will be interesting to see who comes out against.

Anonymous said...

AB, you will be Willie Horton -ed. I can't wait to see it. The teachers who were abused are still alived. We will have 90-year old women speak out in the commercials about this evil! Also, we will argue you are pressuring us to come to work while sick and get innocent children sick!

Anonymous said...

Phooey, what you are saying is everyone who votes is uninformed and that's why you will win. Your views have the support of the ignorant. That makes sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Phooey is right that politics is very dirty. With Prop H, I have no doubt most San Franciscans would favor all new admissions be based on neighborhood as a higher category than any other, besides sibling. However, getting a few thousand to switch for fear kids would switch mid year made them win very narrowly. The union didn't want Prop H to win. Most voters are ignorant. I don't see how we can overcome that. She's right about the celebrities. Matt Damon talks a lot about public education but sent his kids to private school, so he lost some credibility there, but there will be a whole slew of celebrities against it. I think we're going to have a real disingenuous movement against it.

The only hope is if some millioanires donate a lot to help it, Bill Gates, people like that, and some celebrities come out in favor of it. Most people are ignorant and decide on emotion rather than logic. This is true both on the right and on the left. I can't wait to see what ridiculous argument they come up with.

Don Krause said...

If you can't make your point without resorting to name-calling and the like, please don't waste your time commenting because it will be deleted.

Anonymous said...

Don, why did you take off the comments by the MENSA guy? They seemed directly appropriate and very thoughtful. I understand Phooey got weird again but that guy is brilliant.

Don Krause said...

Hi AB,

Cost? What is the cost to society of retaining incompetent teachers? Immeasurable.

District don't bother to weed out poor teachers due to cost. No doubt it will require some effort and expense to create performance evaluation systems that are fair to teachers and students alike, but it's necessary. Many states already have them in place. It isn't that tough. There are many models so let's see what happens with all these various efforts.

Don Krause said...

As for guy pretending not to be Mensa guy, you would think you'd have more to do than play games at your age. Maybe if you read up on these issues you might have something intelligent to say instead of trying to play a childish game of make-believe. I'm making it easy for you to get more informed with all the info posted here.

AB said...

Don, I'm in complete agreement that removing incompetent teachers is absolutely necessary and that the cost and effort outweigh the damage done by not removing said teachers.

I have now read the full proposition and am glad to see that the proposed amendment specifically will not allow the use of seniority in determining layoff/re-hire other than as a tie-breaker for identically qualified and rated teachers who equally meet the needs of the District.

I was also pleased to see that the required evaluation criteria are quite specific yet broad in providing a fair and balanced evaluation and rating system - quality teachers have nothing to worry about.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Down with you rotten anti-teacher people. You will burn in hell!

Anonymous said...

Tragically ironic (though it really doesn't bother me THAT much) that whenever I've been told to "go to hell" or that I will "burn in hell," those words have almost been always uttered by either the extreme right and/or the extreme left. As for being anti-teacher, why would I be anti-myself and my colleagues? ;)

Don Krause said...

From Students Matter

Vergara Plaintiffs’ attorney Marcellus Antonio McRae explains in an op-ed for EdSource the necessity of pursuing education reform through the courts to affirm California children’s fundamental right to equality of education. In the piece, Mr. McRae writes:

“It is hard to imagine now that some opposed the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education as an improper exercise of judicial power. It is even harder to imagine where we would be as a nation had the Supreme Court declined to act. Yet it did, and in doing so, it educated the nation that fundamental interests trump fear of change, ignorance and the misinformed view that constitutional provisions are mere suggestions rather than rights. Just as we cannot countenance statutes that engender racial marginalization, we cannot countenance statutes that engender educational marginalization of any child, let alone our most vulnerable children…

“Children do not have a voice in the legislative process, a seat at the bargaining table or vast amounts of funds to lobby lawmakers. The challenge to California’s harmful and outdated teacher employment system must be brought to the courts. When decisions made above children’s heads violate their fundamental right to have an equal opportunity to learn – denying many of them their only shot at elevating themselves out of poverty – the only recourse these children have to defend their fundamental rights is the courts.”

Anonymous said...

It's funny how things have reserved with the conservatives fighting for civil rights and the liberals against them.

Anonymous said...

7:55, take your meds. Is anyone who doesn't agree 100% with seniority as the sole means of determining teacher pay, promotions, lay offs, and the current process which makes it nearly impossible to fire bad teachers a rotten anti-teacher person? To not fit your label, you have to support a hiring system which hurts children and defends teachers who take the maximum number of personal days year in and year out and don't try their best? You make no sense. And since when is this a religious issue? If there is a god, why would you assume he'd be on your side? Should no one ever be fired? That's the problem in France. Your basic core philosophy is deeply offensive.

Don Krause said...

3:02,

It is supposed to be easy to read a comment and understand it. You said, "you (someone) make no sense", but neither do you. I think I might agree if I could understand what I think you might be trying to say. Just present a clear sentence with some sort of reasonable syntax.

Anonymous said...

Dyslexia, anyone? I meant to say how things have reversed, not reserved. Now the left is for the status quo and the right wants change.

Anonymous said...

Possibly dyslexic -- Not that I personally know any of the bloggers here but in my opinion, hardly any of their opinions/ideas make them "the right." As for Phooey, her ideas are so far out there (although there are others like her) that she really is beyond far left, baby manure crazy!

Anonymous said...

Oops, I meant, bat manure crazy...:)

Don Krause said...

check it out

http://studentsmatter.org/evidence/

Anonymous said...

Teachers who support jobs for grossly ineffective teachers are probably grossly ineffective themselves and there's one on this board. Yes, we are talking about you,Phooey!

Don Krause said...

On commenter took issue with my removing Mensa guy's last comment. It is very obvious to me that he is one and the same and the reason why he's such big supporter of Mensa guy. Some of this commenter's style is displayed in Mensa guy's comments despite his efforts to try and make them appear intelligent and different.

Here is the comment I deleted:

"The profligacies of the entanglements of the enamored few will not suffice to challenge the preeminence of didactic approaches to suffrage. Suffrage is primarily an ephemeral act in a life overtly dictated by more immediate concerns. Hence, one crying soul in 1000 words will consistently lose to 1 charismatic and known soul in 10 words. Your long and extremely exhausting and honestly boring prose on the subject will lose to a flashy Hollywood star saying, my mom was a teacher, please respect teachers, we can't blame them for all our woes, parents must step up. We must still wonder how the hearts of swordsmen and hard-bitten parents could be changed in a single day, due to a single ad. Perhaps no one is paying attention. Perhaps these are the last tortured days of an empire which has outlived it's majesty. Are wholesale proscriptions and confiscations on the not too distant horizon? Will we ever be the same? Even on this board, we are not above the masses. Why can we not discuss education and employment sans delving into sordid discussions of odors and genitalia and race? And bitter recriminations over the spilled milk of Prop H? Shall we rejoice in our simplicity or will voters revert to form, obey the most charismatic leader, and vote no for fear of offending hard working, lionized teachers held up as absolute pillars of a society gone mostly bad? With all the perverts and criminals, most of society looks at teachers as the last respectable social institution who is above the violence, promiscuity, corruption and squabbles of the illiterate masses yearning to argue about sports while masturbating to pornography and acting like overeducated, underknowledgeable, spoiled morons concerned only with the most basic understanding of society and humanity.

Only time will tell!"

There's no majesty in being a dweeb.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for re-posting. Honestly Don, I wish I could write that well, and this person is clearly more conservative than I. I just really like the way he/she writes. Maybe if I took 100 night classes I could learn to write like that. This one was better than the previous ones which were confusing to follow. I think he has a point though I hope voters do take the time to consider both sides. This is going to need money though. You know there will be ads shaming our side, and that is the challenge. As for the majesty issue, I think that is a real concern, will we stay world power #1 for long? I think we will, only because though we are more backwards in education, we are larger and us not being #2 would require China not having huge problems modernizing, which I think they will, or Europe really unifying as one, which I doubt will happen. Our size could ultimately work against us if nuclear weapons proliferate, as we are smaller than China and India. If people in China acted like Chinese Americans, we'd be world power #2 in a heartbeat, in a New York minute. I do share that fear. Will my grandchildren live life in world power number one?

Anonymous said...

"Are wholesale proscriptions and confiscations on the not too distant horizon?" The only way in which I can answer that question without overtaxing my brain is -- "Perhaps. The answer to that question depends. Only time will tell." Wow, I should've started reading chapter books much earlier in elementary school. As an educator, I feel inadequate for not knowing a few of these words. Where's that dictionary? ;)

Anonymous said...

Just because one knows lots of big words doesn't necessarily translates to one writing well. :)

Anonymous said...

I think he may be right, a huge increase in minimum wage, Obamacare, increased taxes on the "rich", possible VAT taxes, gas taxes, increasted inheritance taxes. Sounds like proscriptions and confiscations to me. And maybe to solve unemployment we'll have a year of mandatory service like in France. It's not only the words, it's the way they are used. It could have been written by HG Wells or Winston Churchill, just beautiful. You can mis-use big words. I think the poster was guilty of that the first time they posted, it almost sounded like genius gets drunk or something, but this post I think will make a lot of sense when we look back in ten years.

Anonymous said...

You should consider yourself lucky you don't write like that asshole. It's really truly an absolute load of horseshit.

Anonymous said...

He even admits that, brilliaintly, in his last post. He understands our education has fallen so far that even Don is far too intelligent for his side to win at the ballot box and a grinning Matt Damon will say something simple and beat him. Brilliance becomes horseshit becauser we all have the minds of monkeys due to poor teachers like Phooey and vote for the simplest argument that makes us feel good. Or the President who makes us feel good. If someone actually speaks in detail and intelligently about an issue, it becomes, to our weak and flaccid minds, "horseshit".

"one crying soul in 1000 words will consistently lose to 1 charismatic and known soul in 10 words"

Don Krause said...

This is not the creative writing ed blog and I'm not impressed by your pros. Some people will be taken in by bombastic bloviating wannabees, such as yourself, but I don't find a single point that resonates in this mess of words that you like to revel in. There's no point to any of it and I want you to stop writing in. I removed it and then put it back up just so other could also laugh at you.

Let me just say, dismissing the practice of voting as some pointless Sisyphean (ooohhh...nice word) sideshow runs counter to the long term and dramatic historical success of American democracy. Any voting would be pointless to you because no one is as smart and informed as you are. This is simply a lazy crybaby argument for unwanted election results. It totally ignores the fact that other states have done quite the opposite of California. Are their voters more intelligent or are we Californians singularly moronic?

Overlooking the many grammatical errors and ridiculously misplaced pros -"the hearts of swordsman" I can't find a single idea in this paragraph except the one that says no matter what we do we will lose. Gee, You really think so? Dude, look around. The walls of union protectionism are being assaulted on all fronts - at the Federal level, at the state level, in the courts and in the media. You sit back and pontificate about the hearts of swordsmen and other childish ideas, but you don't seem to know much about what's happening in education. hence all the bluster and distraction.

Please stop torturing our empire with your majesty. If you're so smart why bother with the likes of me.

Anonymous said...

Why did you put it back up after you deleted it, Don?

Anonymous said...

Don, I think he knows a lot about ancient history, is probably quoting ancient Greek or Roman history, something like that. However, it is amazing how many parents enraged about a bad teacher can wimp out and see a commercial and vote no. In 2000, the Democrats fell asleep and donated less than 10% what they gave to Obama in 2008. For Prop H, we had a bunch of parents suffer thousands of hours and not be willing to volunteer 10. In fact we only had about twenty people who so much as lifted a finger. So I understand his point. I don't think he's against the proposition, he's just raising questions of strategy and how we can win. If we all applaud when we see Don't Back Down and Waiting For Superman but then go laugh it off, don't donate a cent and go to Tahoe next October, we lose. It's going to take donations and a ground game. It's going to take unity. It's going to take a strong effort. If swordsmen who have been bitten hard by bad teachers put down their swords we lose. If they donate, make 100 calls each, talk to their friends, and put as much time into this as they can, we win. It's a hunger game, how hungry are we. We lost in 2006. We can win this time, but it's going to take more than great writing or criticism of great writing. It's going to take actual sacrifice. This is what remains to be seen. It isn't majestic to believe in something and talk a big game and then sit on your ass when it's crunch time. These are the facts, and they are undisputed.

Anonymous said...

When I say we lost in 2006, I'm referring to a proposition to reduce the influence of seniority and increase tenure to, I believe, 3 years. It was very moderate and lost. It was one of Arnold's 4 that went down. Don, you've made the one genius on this board feel unwelcome and insulted. He really added something. Now we get to go back to AB insisting we can fix the world if we can instantly end Obamacare and Phooey accusing every white man of being smelly, small in the wrong places and a rascally sexual harasser who oppresses schoolchildren for fun. The argument was getting ridiculous and then a genius comments and you treat him like he's Hitler. I don't get it!

Don Krause said...

He is unwelcome on the board. I don't volunteer my time to have a blog so that bullshitters can have free reign. If the guy had something to say instead of falsely waxing philosophic and making the same comments repeatedly, he would be welcome.

Every time he comments you come on and say how wonderful this person is, how brilliant, what a genius! Your his one and only fan. What a damn coincidence, too since he uses the same examples to prove his points as you do, only in a more pompous and phony way.

You aren't fooling anyone, Sir Talksalot. Take your majestic talking puppet and stuff him back in his drawer.

As for your constant crybaby complaining about Prop H, perhaps you will grasp the idea that this state initiative is not being run by a ragtag group of parents like Prop H was. They aren't going to having a garage sale on the first Tuesday on November.

This is my fantasy and it is undisputed.

Anonymous said...

Don, not me, and I agree it will be a bigger effort, but I have a question. Why did a similar measure fail in 2006? There is progress in a lot of areas, but it is true that the commercials are going to be hard on us. How can we overcome that without appearing anti-teacher? Where will the money come from?

Anonymous said...

d'accord

Anonymous said...

How far have we moved on this issue since 2006? In 2009, Newsweek had a cover 'We must fire bad teachers.' Waiting for Superman and Won't Back Down came out, and Michelle Rhee has been in the news.

Michelle Rhee is the star, but it is going to come down to who she can get to work on this. My recent dealings with Students First made me wonder what they were doing. If they don't get behind this, it will lose. If Rhee can get Kevin Johnson behind it and the liberal establishment to split, and can get Bill Gates and others to donate so we can run our own commercials, we have a good chance.

Dennis Kelly and his friends will try very hard to make this guy out to be bad, villainize him, and villainize Rhee. They probably have someone following Davis around 24/7 hoping for a mistake. What do we know about him? Does he have any bad habits? Hopefully not.

It's scary. The evil of the unions is quite apparent to me. We need a real team to fight hard on this. We need some big names. Maybe we can get Morgan Freeman. We need someone like that. They're sitting on so much money, when you can require hundreds of thousands of people to donate hundreds each, you can control so many issues, even ones most teachers don't agree on like Prop H. Dennis Kelly will probably control more money than Bill Gates in this fight. It's unfathomable. We're going to be at a huge money disadvantage and we are going to have to be creative and unified to overcome it and make sure Davis, Rhee, Canada and others have no scandals between now and then.

Anonymous said...

Phooey you're trying to intimidate us from even trying with an aura of inevitability. Prop H lost by 0.08%. It could have gone either way and would have without a big lie by your union. As for seniority and tenure, Waiting for Superman came out after that vote, and many have been influenced by it. In 1946 Brown v. Topeka was unthinkable. In 1954, it happened. 8 years is a long time in politics. And you're underestimating the money and celebrities who don't agree with this. Matt Damon will gain you nothing, he's a sellout who by his own admission did commercials for public schools for years, then sent his kids to private schools. He'll lose you votes, heps a total hypocrite. Many celebrities will be on our side as well. And don't be so sure about Morgan Freeman he hasn't decided yet.

Anonymous said...

The end game is near. Teacher's could have reformed themselves earlier. Now they will lose it all instead.

Anonymous said...

I'll rephrase it to fit your ego of white men. You have no idea what you are up against and are delusional. It's not just SF, it's Dennis Kelly times 50, and we have all the celebrities. We have tens of millions of dollars. By the time this is over you idiots will feel so guilty you'll be apologizing to your own mothers for being born and being such sexist, racist monsters as to try to fire teachers. You'll be treated like a criminal. Everyone will hate you for what you're trying to do. You'll get under 20% of the vote. It happened in 2006. Morgan Freeman will support us, plus many other more relevant celebrities. You have almost no one. Maggie Gillenhall? Total has been. We have Matt Damon, Jim Carey, Tom Cruise, all the rappers, Miley Cyrus, Kevin Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Ice Cube, Denzel Washington, Eminem, hundreds more. We'll outspend you ten to one and every public union member in the state will spend the obligatory weekend day working on this. I've worked on many campaigns having nothing to do with teachers on my mental health days and did it to fight several recent anti-union measures, we'll all take a day off from our contracts and spend it working the phones or streets as ground soldiers. The commercials will make you look heartless and cruel and ineffectual, compare you to evildoers. You people fantasize about humiliating and abusing teachers because we are a convenient scapegoat for all the problems of the world. Sure, CEOs work 24/7 and never take a day off right, they're just Saints? They just have good lawyers. Half of them are illegally sexually harassing their secretaries who of course even though they are forced into it by sexism love it because CEOs are perfect and wonderful even though they are cruel, sadistic, controlling, with an I don't care if you don't enjoy it at all, misogynist hatred and hatred of black, brown, red, earth people who care about humanity and mother earth and the female and the creator and equality and love and social justice and karma. Unions fight for what's right 100% of the time. We all donate as dues because we know we must stand up to tyrrany. We don't want to live in a world where the whims of the cruel few can drown out the cries and fighting spirit of the noble masses. You rich white men will wake up in a new world in which you are the one who is devalued and kept in your place. You will be so embarassed by this debacle you will cry for weeks and never raise your voice in hatred towards innocent noble teachers again, ever. You rotten anti-teacher people will learn your lesson once and for all! Phooey!

Anonymous said...

Phooey you are focusing on predictions like it's a sporting event mixed in with random trash talking and accusations. I know sexual harassment was common in the '70s and I'm sorry if you had a bad experience but this has nothing to do with that. What if we mandated that the entire tech. industry of Silicon Valley have all employment be by seniority and tenure? The entire industry would collapse due to laziness and a lack of motivation. That's what we are essentially doing to our children. Have you ever wondered why California has attracted many bright and ambitious people from all over the U.S. and world for at least 60 years but even after all that, the children of these people are one of the lowest performing of any state, in a nation which is one of the lowest advanced nations in educational tests? 11 states hire by seniority and tenure including New York, which also should score way higher and attracts a lot of smart and successful people for over fifty years. Yes, seniority/tenure/ridiculous teacher protections making it impossible to fire a bac teacher lowers test scores and makes our children suffer in the future. Look at this state, the natives often get driven out of the high cost areas like L.A., SF, San Diego and San Jose and the Peninsula and into low cost areas like the far east bay, the Central Valley, rural areas, and even other states such as Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, etc. It's no coincidence. Improving the standards of teaching requires making it possible and actually maybe a 20% chance over a career that you can fire a teacher. If we just got rid of the bottom 20% this would be drastically improved. Studies show it really hurts children and you obsessively want to continue the status quo of LIFO. You associate LIFO with something noble and raising work ethic and standards with some racist battle of the '60s and sexual abuse of women which has nothing to do with what we're talking about. Should we make every job based on LIFO and tenure and seniority just because some bosses somewhere will abuse their power to promote friends or sexually harass someone, which if they get caught would bankrupt them and ruin them by the way? You go too far and it is too extreme. CEO pay is an abuse and minimum wage is way too low, we all agree, even Obama the President and he's working on it, but there is still the House of Representatives. He got healthcare in. We're making progress, but we need to make our schools better too to increase productivity, increase taxes, reduce the deficit, and increase job prospects for the poor.

Anonymous said...

You're mixing up two completely different issues.

Don Krause said...

Though the topic is the incipient ballot measure, Vergara is about how the five teacher protection statutes hurt the lowest performing kids due to the outsize effect layoffs have on the underperforming schools with large numbers of children of color. When a school loses a majority of its teachers due to seniority and LIFO, that is to say, when teachers are let go for no other reason than the fact that they have less seniority, the very students that someone like phooey claims to care for are the ones who suffer the most.

These crocodile tears of hers are just a prop in her union show.

Anonymous said...

Don, most parents don't have kids in those schools. Many people have no kids. What you don't seem to understand is the facts don't matter. What matters is the PERCEPTION of this issue of the majority of voters after viewing 30-second sound bites. Money, which we have and you don't, can buy the words of a trusting face you've seen and admired in film and television. Trust me, I know actors and actresses, these people know nothing more about issues than the rest of us, but voters trust them, hence Reagan and Arnold being voted in. Most are liberal. Most will support us, and they get fees also, which our side will have and your side won't. We've seen them play the hero and we trust them in telling us a measure is well-intended but goes too far due to clause x. We don't need a lawyer, just someone who has played a lawyer. Candace Bergen or Jimmy Smits. We will win. It won't even be close. 90% of voters will base this on 30-second soundbites on radio and TV. Phooey.

Don Krause said...

I find it curious how much you love to revel in lies. You almost seem proud to lie. Lies work best on the uneducated and it follows that keeping student achievement down will allow union lies to be more effective.

Here is an article about a California poll that heavily shows voters favoring union reform . It is two years old and since then pressure has mounted for reform. The polls is not directly related to LIFO, but to seniority and pay.

Californians Think Teachers Should Be Paid More But Want Salaries Set By Student Performance Rather Than Seniority


Teachers Unions Less Popular

LOS ANGELES — November 20, 2011

— Californians love their public school teachers and believe they are underpaid, but hold much less favorable views of teachers unions and would dramatically change the way teacher salaries are determined, according to results from the latest USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times Poll.

A majority of California voters — 53 percent — said public school teachers in California are underpaid, but voters also decisively rejected the current standards by which teacher salaries are determined. Just 11 percent favored using seniority as the primary factor to determine teacher pay, and 13 percent favored using the education or advanced training the teacher has received as the main factor.

While only 10 percent of voters favored using student standardized test scores alone to determine teacher pay, a majority of California voters — 53 percent — support using standardized test scores as part of the method by which teacher pay is determined, in conjunction with other measures including classroom observation and parent feedback. An even larger percentage — 69 percent — said making teachers overall performance assessments publicly available would improve the quality of California’s public schools.

Seventy-two percent of voters agreed with the statement that testing is important, but said teachers should be evaluated on more than student scores on a single test. On average, voters said performance and progress on standardized tests should account for almost half of California public school teacher assessment.

“Californians clearly believe that public school teachers should make more money, but they strongly reject the current system for setting teacher salaries,” said Dan Schnur, director of the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll and director of the Unruh Institute of Politics at USC. “Rather than paying teachers based on how many years they’ve been in the classroom, California voters want to reward teachers for what their students learn.”

Anonymous said...

Dan Schnur is a Republican who wants to increase CEO pay, decrease taxes on the very rich, decrease minimum wage, outlaw gay marriage, overturn universal healthcare and enforce the death penalty. Is this the type of person you want to hold up as an example?

I don't want students to achieve in your measured way so you can go on about Asians being superior. I want them to feel, to express, to be validated as humans and loved. It's about feelings Don not test scores.

I want all Californians to be paid on seniority so they don't have stress. Stress and obesity and racism and sexism are killing us. Orwell said absolute power corrupts absolutely, and it does. No boss should have that ultimate power to fire someone whimsically. It's inhumane. We have a right to a job like food and air. And kids should grow up to have that right. All tests prove is kids are in poverty, that's it. No one would teach at troubled schools with this method. Everyone would just try to teach at the most Asian school to make the most money. This would lead to a new racism.

I want children to learn to express their feelings in a way which is artistic and open to deep interpretation, not measurable in meaningless numbers by a dominant racist culture where white is always right despite most CA kids being Latino.

Some of these children are being secretly trafficked. Some are smacked. Some are on drugs. Some are ignored. Some are shot at. And you want to pay me on how many obscure white words they spell right on a break from worrying about being shot at or turning up their walkman to drown out mom trading sex for heroin or crack or meth or pot, in some cases in the same room behind a hanging blanket, as the children? Are you insane? We will win! Phooey!

Anonymous said...

Phooey, does a student ever fail because they don't bother to study and watch TV 6 or 8 hours a day instead of reading? Does a student ever fail because teachers fail to interest them in reading books at night? Or fail to teach them? Or get to know them and then take off 10 or more days out of a measly 180 which cuts momentum and hurts the students? Are there ever two kids in your world view and the night before the test, one chooses to study and the other chooses not to, and thus the first one gets a better grade on the test, is smarter, and ends up more successful in life? You think every tale of failure is about horribly abused children being beaten and shot and molested or being around depravity and obsess over it. And you don't even blame the parents for the depravity, you somehow blame the monolithic evil white men who somehow caused all this suffering from afar. The average American kid studies about 5 hours a week in high school, which is horrible and would flunk you out of Lowell instantly. That's the AVERAGE. The average UC kid, over half Asian, studies 16-20 in high school and watches under 7 hours of TV. You focus on things which have nothing to do with it. A tiny minority of kids are faced with these evils you obsess over. Our rich kids do terrible in school compared to in Europe. Poor Asians do better than rich whites. Wake up Phooey. We need to motivate kids to work not whine about every bad thing that happened in history or every extreme case!

Don Krause said...

Phooey, are you the kind of person the union wants to hold up as a model? Someone who enjoys the feeling of winning through cheating and lies?

Public sector jobs only exist because private sector jobs create wealth and generate taxes to pay for government. No one has a right to a job. But it's a good subject. It used to be that unskilled laborers could find work in factories and such. That's over. Now skill is required, not feelings. You need to wake up from you're psycodelic slumber. It's not 1968 and this isn't Neverland.

Anonymous said...

Phooey -- You rail on and on about white men, the power they have, and how the wealthy acquire and influence things with their money. Then, in the next sentence, you glorify the powers of folks such as Dennis Kelly (is he not a white male?) and a list of Hollywood celebrities (most of whom are also white males). Lastly, you gloated on and on about how CTA will utilize their money to defeat everything that they are against at all cost.

As for donating a part of my hard earned salary toward the teachers' union? Umm, as if I really have a choice. Donation makes it sound as if I am paying willingly, which I assure you I'm not. :(

Don Krause said...

I support teachers which is why I support reform of teacher employment and evaluation. The profession needs to be saved from the craven and corrupt practices of its leadership. It needs to be saved from itself.

Anonymous said...

We shall see how voters can be influenced come election day .

Don Krause said...

http://studentsmatter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/735px102513_IneffectiveTeachers_v3.nr_.lh-copy.png

Anonymous said...

I have taught high school for many years and I always supported the union until recently. What turned the tide for me was union support for child molesters. That was the last straw. What's wrong with the leadership?

Anonymous said...

We never supported child molesters. We just want to be involved and have full due process taken before they can be fired. You deserve to have it proven before you are fired, not just alleged. I've seen girls turn on teachers, a teacher I know was kind of a hippy and very loving and liberal and hugged girls when they cried and broke down, but he was a little more judgemental than I and would try to turn it around and convince them they should study and do book reports, assignments, all that stuff. He gave one a bad grade and she accused him of touching her, and she later admitted she was lying. Under proposed laws, you could just fire him for being accused. It should take over a year to fire someone, thorough investigations, hearings, documentation, and processes. We sacrifice for children and deserve that.

Why do you want to fire teachers from outside the system? Why not work with the union. The union can have a system which is win win, where you don't negatively attack a teacher for taking days off they have a right to but if there are complaints, the union should have a rep there at the meetings with the principal, and teachers can be paid to take a month off and go to extra training or remediation to work with them if there are issues, but not lose pay, tenure, or seniority. There can be seminars, group discussion, community discussion, grievance hearings, boards, free psychological assistance to deal with stress, support groups, counselling, and sabbaticals for burned out teachers who have trouble dealing with the stress. Plus full medical care, we have to pay for our own health insurance. We should have Dennis Kelly and Ken Tray have a system for supporting and helping troubled teachers in a human and cooperative and respectful and loving way, not a hostile, threatening, we can fire you way. A union rep should be in every meeting between a teacher and principal and full procedures followed, and no teacher should be able to be fired without due process. This way we can ensure that there is no abuse. It should be extremely difficult to fire a teacher because it is a horrible thing to do to the person fired. Most can be worked with and improved in a holistic, loving, kind, karmatic, cooperative, humanistic, community-based way. We don't have to be agressive. We can work together. You people who want to fire and harass should work with Dennis Kelly and Ken Tray to remediate, come together, and improve. We can achieve the same goal working together, loving together, as one community. We all have the same goals. We all want the children to be happy. Phooey.

Don Krause said...

State Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), who wrote the bill, disputed accusations that it would violate due process rights. Employees would retain the rights to a full hearing, to appeal the decision, to file a wrongful-termination claim and other legal protections, he said.

He said the bill would have ensured that school board members had the power to act swiftly in removing educators who prey on children. The current process is so time-consuming and expensive, he said, that L.A. Unified School District chose to pay $40,000 to Mark Berndt, the former Miramonte teacher charged with 23 counts of lewd acts on children, to retire rather than take him through the dismissal process. (Berndt has pleaded not guilty to the charges.)

Had there been a speedier process, L.A. Unified might have pursued Berndt's dismissal rather than pay him to retire, according to Alex Molina, the district's chief labor and employment counsel.

"I believe the district would have stuck to its guns and seen the process through," Molina said.

He said state data show that the formal dismissal process is infrequently used, suggesting that other school boards also find the process too cumbersome. Among the state's 1,000-plus school districts and hundreds of thousands of teachers, only 667 dismissal cases were filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings between January 2003 and March 2012, Molina said. Only 130 actually went to hearing, and 82 resulted in dismissals.

Don Krause said...

The point being that when there is a credible report of sexual misconduct, should the district allow the teacher to remain in place until the report can be verified? I don't think so. You should err on the side of student safety. And many of these cases are not a single accusation, but multiple accusations but multiple complainants.

Unions will do anything to protect teacher job security over student health and safety.

Anonymous said...

You are considering this from an angry mob perspective. Let's all take a deep breath, calm down, and think of this from Mark Berndt's perspective for just a moment. These are accusations which haven't been proven. Now most psychologists believe most human crime is a direct result of childhood trauma, brain chemistry, and parenting norms. Mark probably didn't grow up like you in the luxury of Pacific Heights or wherever. He probably had a very difficult and sad childhood with trauma you can scarcely imagine. Now imagine he is fired, who will hire him for anything, even minimum wage? How can he get unemployment if it's listed as with cause? So he can't afford even a passable, non-drunk lawyer to defend him against these accusations and probably gets a guilty. With the cut off in pay and the lack of $40,000, he goes to prison with no commisary savings to bribe gangs not to murder him with commisary items. The nazis, blacks, north and south gangs and peckerwhoods all despise child molesters and respect copkillers, so in the culture of the prison, his life would be at risk every day. That $40,000 probably made an 8 year sentence really an 8-year sentence and not a death sentence. And a horrible death at the hands of prison Nazis. He would likely have starved to death due to inability to find another job and ineligibility for unemployment.

Personally I believe crime is due to trauma, upbringing, inappropriate example and brain chemistry. All people can be worked with and loved and work towards healing, and as a community, if we leave Mark Berndt behind to poverty, starvation and a torturous death, we are no better than he is. We are cruel and vindictive.

What would be a better solution and would happen in most Scandanavian countries is he continue to teach, we require an open door and keep an eye on him, have a security personnel paid to be in his class if necessary to create employment for someone who would not otherwise have it, teach him what is appropriate, and provide him daily psychological assistance, group counselling, and show him despite his inappropriateness we care, we love him, we embrace his humanity, we recognize his problem, but we will work as a community to help him heal and improve with the dignity of employment and a position of respect in our society. He is not irredeemable and nor is any man. We forget this to our peril

Firing is not the only solution. If you do a good deed, pay it forward, the good karma comes back to us ten times. And he can apologize publicly to the families and heal with them in counseling sessions with love, dignity, respect and compassion, as a community where we are all a member rather than some of us judging and attacking others. We are one. Kumbaya. We must work together.

Phooey.

Anonymous said...

You are defending a child molester. Shame on you and from one who can't stop talking about abuse. Now you're defending the abuser? You're sick, lady.

Anonymous said...

She enjoys degrading people.

Anonymous said...

Phooey -- Mark Berndt has a plethora of evidence that will implicate him. I thought you were a victim of abuse and you believe that most (if not all) white men are sexual deviants? Mark Berndt is white and he is a sexual deviant, yet you make up lame excuses for him only because both of you are CTA members? People like you and Berndt give the rest of us hard-working educators a horrible name. Also, in your rambling, did you assume that Mark Berndt was going to be raped by others, namely, blacks? Wow, talk about a racist assumption! You, Phooey, are the biggest racist around here!

Anonymous said...

Firing is not the only solution. How about the electric chair?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I think these cases are rare enough you could with minimal expense have a security guard in the room at all times to ensure nothing bad happens. This would presume innocence unless guilt is proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, as is anyone's right in the constitution. Phooey is right that we have become too confrontational about crime and had a better approach before the whole Law and Order/Willie Horton move to the right. Criminals hurt others but most have been hurt themselves. I don't usually agree with Phooey but we do have an atrocious prison industrial complex and have given up on the correction in correctional. How can you execute someone in a correction? It shows no karma, no humanity, no thought of helping someone heal. And the suicides in prison are atrocious. In Europe, they give counseling and privileges and tell prisoners, you won't be here forever, here are classes you can take, you will have to be behind bars for a while but for your own good and we'll do what we can to make it as pleasant as possible and help you improve and get the help you need. There is hope and there are activities and there are ways to be happy in prison and you do have a future and even if you're in for life, we can do things to give you positive and life affirming experiences while in prison.

Some of the suicides are atrocious, people yelled at during the trial, harassed by guards, that guy in Cleveland who killed himself and then everyone felt guilty afterwards, well before he did it you shouldn't have obsessively told him over and over the rest of his life would be hell and misery. Try to find the positive angle and focus on that. We've become too negative and hateful and confrontational in society. We need to feel everyone has hope.

Firing is only necessary because some teachers don't try. Maybe they should get another chance in a year, but on a short leash where the principal can fire them quickly if they call in sick every day they can by the contract and do not do a good job.

But I agree, our criminal justice system has swung insanely towards negative energy, harassment, and really in all honesty, torture. No one deserves excessive anguish beyond that necessary to protect public safety. We've become mean, immoral and vindictive, vengeful and wrathful, cruel and abusive. It's not necessary to try to feel good by making others feel bad. We can work on our problems on our own, not seek psychological satisfaction based on what should rightly be defined as torture.

Don Krause said...

"Criminals hurt others but most have been hurt themselves."

And that is supposed to make the victim of pedophilia feel better?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 5:35am -- Someone who is associated with that horrible deviant in Cleveland actually felt guilty after he committed suicide? Really?

Negative energy? For the deviant in Cleveland, HE is the one who was into negative energy, harassment, torture. HE is the one who was mean, immoral, vindictive, vengeful, wrathful, cruel, and abusive.

I, for one, question your psychological state for trying to reverse the entire situation as if the deviant in Cleveland was in the right and the rest of us in wrong.

Anonymous said...

The prison officials were wringing their hands over what happened in Cleveland saying they offer psychological counseling and should have noticed his state of mind, etc. The thing is, a life in prison can be fulfilling and for many in history has been, and generally is in less vindictive nations. We are like China, when we should be like England where most prisoners gain education and talk in groups. There is far lower recidivisim and lower crime rates in Europe and Japan. You have to think of the anguish of someone starting a life sentence and the officials should take a minute and imagine life in his shoes. Empathy is not solely for the virtuous. There were all these people saying you're going to live in hell, the rest of your life is worthless, and then you have the man, the human being, alone in a tiny box hearing that and from all reports he had no books, TV, radio, writing materials, nothing to break the monotony.

No one deserves to be tortured. Everyone expressed regreg, but they should think about it before it is too late as suicide is tragic and irreversable. What he did was horrible, but people are more than their actions and much of what we do has deep psychological roots due to abuse suffered. You simply don't see a lot of people raised in Pacific Heights with two loving parents becoming psychos. They tend to be abused and damaged and thrown away. So when starting prison, they should have said what can we do to make this bearable, how can we help, and sold him on life in prison...LIFE in prison, told him it could be meaningful, told him the positives and not focused on the negatives. You can read more than most people, you can watch TV, you can exercise, you have time, you can interact with other prisoners, you can do hobbies, you can figure out your problems, just because you are in here for everyone's safety doesn't mean your life has to be terrible and without redeeming factors.

This is what they should have done.

But they will never get that chance. The life is gone.

And it isn't just him. Did you know there are over 1,500 suicides and murders in prisons in the U.S. annually? Think of all the carnage and lives that could be saved if they focused on being as humane as possible.

Anonymous said...

I don't condone the crime, but the reason you don't commit crimes is largely that you have more advantages. Few people would have done what that guy did, but most people raised by a single mom who tortures you or ignores you will commit some sort of crime.

You can't fight back. Women who are raped and abused for years fight back and they want to kill Arias, even though the guy she killed abusingly called him a 3-hole wonder. What a horrible thing to say about a woman! What a horrible, sexist thing. The man in Texas, they were locking him up in handcuffs, pure torture, and not allowing him to say goodbye to his wife, and trying to lock him in a cage, an oppressed Mexican who had a little pot, and he fought back and killed the policeman. Eileen Wuornos was tied to a radiator when she first killed and was executed. And forced into prostitution from the age of 8. And starved. They executed her. There are several women now in similar situations. One woman was threatened with death by her boyfriend and shot in the air to warn him off and got 20 years for shooting a firearm in public, black, what a coincidence.

Pure abuse. You'll never get another chance to convince Ariel Castro his life could have meaning and joy in prison, as did the lives of Gandhi, Malcom X, Thoreaux and many others.

We need to be humane to all people, all souls. Europe understands this. Look at Norway. The man who did far worse than Castro will be out one day, is taking classes with a phone and computer, is getting degrees, is getting psychological help with his sickness and learning what he did was wrong, he killed 55 people, but he has hope. This way it dies and doesn't pass to the next generation.

We are too mean, too hard on "losers", and we have far more crime than Europe. When there is a suicide, there is always regret at not preventing it by any means necessary. They should have done something so he had hope in his heart. And felt respected and cared about. He felt there was nothing to look forward to but misery and death and that is tragic. Imagine it from his perspective. Spend one minute outside yourself. Relate. Breathe. Calm down. Phooey!

Anonymous said...

I hate to admit it but I agree with Phooey here. Our criminal justice system is an embarassment to the world and we have higher crime and recidivism than many poorer countries, and worse education. They are related. We don't have the intelligence to have compassion and imagine ourselves in another's shoes. The prison officials in Ohio probably wanted him to die or be so miserable it was worse, and the federal prison conditions are inhumane, not to mention we're the only advanced nation besides Japan with a death penalty.

But with teachers, Phooey, the problem is the complete lack of control a principal and community has. I would be for giving bad teachers a chance to return and improve if they could be fired again if the principal felt they were underperforming, but if it costs over $100,000 to fire them and most would rather not bother, you have to make sure teachers run out of one school stay out of all schools forever. There's too much bureaucracy. If a principal feels a teacher should be fired, the union shouldn't have anything to say about it. There should be a process which is swift, inexpensive and prioritizes children above any adult interest group. If this were the case, most teachers wouldn't be fired, but if a principal could choose to fire slackers and hire new teachers if he or she felt it would benefit the school, all teachers would work harder. We are only 1 of 11 states with seniority and tenure. It isn't written in stone, it's just the way it is now. This was originally about that measure. Bad teachers are not irredeemable, but they shouldn't be able to do anything they want.

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, and I'm only speaking for myself here, I'm not interested in revenge. I am, however, interested in justice and accountability. Between worrying about the abuse that an innocent victim has been subjected to and the abuse that a perpetrator may be subjected to in jail, I absolutely worry about the innocent victim and the innocent victim only. This is not the same as being vengeful. Think about it, to be vengeful (an eye for an eye) to an arsonist murderer is to set that person on fire. Nope, not interested in that. But we have no choice but to make certain that this person is fully accountable for what he did, whatever that punishment is.

Anonymous said...

I agree, but we must provide security and fulfillment in prison. We may find in some ways, if we try, we can make life in prison as fulfilling as life outside, with sports, a social network, online access, online classes, reading materials, learning to cook, and meeting with psychologists. He should never be free, but we should sell them on life in prison being an alternative life with benefits and which can be equally fulfilling in a different way.

It seems like all the energy directed towards him was mocking and trying to convince him he would be miserable forever and really suffer. That's no way to help someone begin a new chapter of their life. Tell him about the people who have become published authors and artists, who maintain friendships inside and outside, who read and learn and transform themselves into entirely different people, who learn what's wrong with themselves and move on. We go about it all wrong here. I can't imagine the guards in Ohio weren't hateful towards him due to the news coverage and just piling on the abuse. Then once he died they're saying what a tragedy is and we'll investigate why he wasn't met with a psychologist and checked in on and what could make him make such a horrendous decision to take his own life and everyone was acting all guilty and sad. Duh! Show some kindness and you'll get hope and enthusiasm towards a new chapter in life, not a tragic suicide. The way they were all treating him it would have been more humane to give him the death penalty.

AB said...

Phooey I am puzzled by your efforts to equate Ariel Castro and Ghandi, are you trying to say Ghandi was a psychopathic piece of human trash? Is that what you teach your students?

California has the highest recidivism rate in the Country. Granted, it has dropped the past three years from 67.5% to 63.7% to 61.0% - WAIT - WHAT? More than half of the states prisoners return to prison within 3 years of release?!?

If only these repeat offenders had received more hugs in school...

But I digress,now back to the real world where a recent RAND report shows that education reduces recidivism: http://www.rand.org/news/press/2013/08/22.html

Funny thing - education. acquisition of language skills, the ability to do functional math, and being able to think critically improves peoples lives.

Anonymous said...

No one is comparing the two. My only point was they should have put him in the prison with more compassion and told him some had done good things in prison and they'd do everything they could within reason, not expensive things, to make his stay humane, pleasant and meaningful. Telling someone he's human trash after you've sentenced him to life without parole is piling on and is unnecessary at that point. Life was fair, but don't then insult and tell him how he's terrible and will be miserable. Work with him, make him feel cared for. He should never be free, he's no Ghandi, but within reason, give him hope and something to look forward to. His suicide was an indictment of the system and an embarassment to the prison. They were too mean and they suffered the embarassment of his actions.

It's not hugs. It's respect, meaning, a well-paying and meaningful job and place in the community, empathy, and help dealing with one's issues which is not minor.

Agreed, we should all have good reading and writing skills and be able to do math and think critically. Nothing is ever more important than education. I agree with you fully. I just disagree on the way to get there. You want to threaten teachers and make them afraid. I want to work together as a community and build skills and ability and performance without outside threats to ruin one's life.

You like misery in prison and humiliation of firing. I like hope, change, connection, community, and symbiosis to achieve these goals. If any one of us is a rapist, to a degree we all are, our nation has ten times the rape most do. Ten times the murder. Our society needs to heal. If a teacher underperforms, all of us are, every one is at fault together, and we must work together to solve it, as a people. Ironically this happens more when everyone looks the same. When people look different it goes to that us vs. them stuff, the Willie Horton mentality. Phooey.

Anonymous said...

We're really talking about two separate issues. Principals and parents need to feel they have power to ensure good teaching. Our criminal justice system and education are both broken institutions for different reasons and require different solutions. For schools, we need teachers to work as hard as engineers or lawyers and call in sick no more, which they do a lot of now, and we need principals to decide whom to fire, whom to promote, and enable merit pay. As for prisons, well Mirkarimi is on the right path including education and true correction in the equation, and we need more of that. If Mirkarimi had been running the prison Castro went to, I think we all know Castro would still be alive, so yes that was an avoidable tragedy. I'm more concerned with innocent children who could be CEOs or engineers or inventors or another Castro or prisoner. They need good teachers, they need skills, they need behavior modification, and all they get from you is socialist, unrealistic rhetoric which won't help them.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of all that they should be able to fire bad teachers and pay based on merit. We should be able to check references so if a teacher burns bridges and no one at a school thinks they're a good teacher, they won't get hired at a new school and that school can instead hire a promising new teacher. If you take maximum sick days, don't try hard, etc., you shouldn't have a guaranteed LIFO job for life. I know Phooey will go crazy on me for this but principals should have as much power as tech. CEOs or restaurant owners to act in the interests of the children, not the adults.

Don Krause said...

Stay on the topic or near to it. If you want to pretend to be other people and that's how you get your kicks, far be it from me to stop you. But whatever role you want to take on, if it is not apropos to the subject I delete it. Anyone can start a blog. If you don't like the normal rules, do your own.