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So I am a thug? WaPo getting ugly on teachers

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vincenzoesq Donating Member (171 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-20-10 12:00 PM
Original message
So I am a thug? WaPo getting ugly on teachers
Edited on Sat Feb-20-10 12:11 PM by vincenzoesq
Washington Post is getting ugly. Here's an article from US News about Post editorials calling the Education Association thugs, and making a lot of false accusations. MCPS has over 22,000 employees, plus parent organizations, retirees, etc. I plan to cancel our subscription THIS WEDNESDAY, February 24, and ask that my colleagues and Washington network friends consider doing the same. http://www.usnews.com/blogs/john-farrell/2010/02/11/was...
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winyanstaz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-20-10 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. One of the first things done by Hitler and other fascists was to attack teachers...
Edited on Sat Feb-20-10 01:15 PM by winyanstaz
All teachers, professors, healers, leaders and educators of the people are always among the first targeted in any take-over (including those done by religions) because to control a people you must first do away with those that teach them how to think and reason.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-20-10 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. K & R
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Mopar151 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-21-10 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. If NCLB wasn't an attack on education, what is?
Relentless "teaching to the test", with the tests skewed to rote memorisation and arithmetic skills, keyboarding and the like. No time for liberal arts, critical thinking, civics, or any sort of analytical skills.
Facists, dominionists, demagouges of all sorts want us dumb enought to swallow the "Big Lie" whole, and just smart enough to send a double tithe to the correct address.
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tango-tee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-21-10 03:18 AM
Response to Reply #1
11. Yes, dumb down the populace as much as possible.
And teach children only what furthers fascist goals. Critical thinking skills would be poison.

Very good post, thank you!
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-20-10 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
2. The WP, NYT, LAT, and other papers
have been relentless in attacking teachers, and basically they are against democracy.

I wish teachers would wake up instead of being so damned scared.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-20-10 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
3. way to misrepresent
the article said nothing of the kind.

It said the UNION representing the teachers were resorting to "political thuggery", a fact that seems to be supported by the evidence -

". . . Starting in 2006, it embarked on a policy of soliciting "contributions" from the candidates it endorsed on its influential "Apple Ballot." These contributions, often up to the state limit of $6,000, are said to be voluntary, and are meant to defray the cost of the union's mailings and other campaign materials. Some candidates told us the mailings were worth it. Others said they felt compelled to pay, for fear of incurring the union's wrath, and a few who ran, or thought about running, said the union sought to intimidate them in various ways.

A number of officials, including some who paid the union and some who did not, told us they saw the "contributions" as shakedowns, pure and simple. "I felt it was creepy then, and I still feel that way now," said one person subjected to the union's aggressive bid for funds.

(in re the MCEA/MSEA): "By contrast, "Apple Ballot" candidates are not members of the teachers union -- even if some are demonstrably in the union's pocket. The Maryland State Education Association, of which the MCEA is a local affiliate, confirmed that no other local chapters follow a similar practice. "

. . . Privately, nearly every member of the County Council and the school board says the union's demands are blatantly unrealistic. Publicly, almost all of them are too cowed by the union to say a word.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-20-10 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. You are anti-union?
Haven't unions been beat up enough? Republicans are anti-union.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-20-10 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. no - but this particular "union"
sounds a little crooked to me.

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-21-10 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #6
13. That is always the excuse.
"Crooked!" If a union is corrupt that should be corrected but we don't paint unions with a broad brush.

Remaining unions should be preserved not condemned. If one is a Democrat, that is. Being anti-union is a decidedly Republican characteristic.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-21-10 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. where did I paint
with a broad brush??

I said this one.

WTF if your problem anyway? It's obvious this particular union is abusing their position.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-21-10 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. My problem is I have witnessed
the systematic dismantling of the American labor movement.

And having studied early attempts at organizing I understand what these pioneers of labor faced. And I know without the influence of organized labor the middle class in this country is finished. I don't want to hear any union bashing. Bash a corrupt individual in the union but do not bash the union. A union is comprised of workers, uncorrupted workers.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-21-10 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. I guess it's a question of semantics
you think of the "Union" as the members themselves. When I was saying "the Union" - I was talking about the people running things - NOT the members themselves.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 06:31 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Again, how much anti-union rhetoric
is enough? Please.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. wtf?
Aren't you paying attention? I'm not criticizing "unions", I'm questioning the ethics of the people that seem to be running that particular one.

Get it?

Organization.

Individuals.

Organization.

Individuals.

Organization.

Individuals.

ok? geesh...
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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-20-10 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. Bullshit: you misrepresent the editorial and the issue
There's no complaint whatsoever about teachers, just about a union policy that asks outside political candidates to "contribute" in return for an endorsement. In fact, the editorial begins as follows:

MONTGOMERY COUNTY schools are among the best in the nation, a point of pride for the community and a springboard for their students. The system's teachers -- well qualified, professional and highly committed -- are its driving engine.


You call that "getting ugly on teachers"?

What they are complaining about is that the union requires of legislators it endorses on it's "Apple Ballot" a contribution of $6,000:

As we noted on this page last week, the union, known as the Montgomery County Education Association, which represents 11,000 teachers, has increasingly played the part of kingmaker in races for local state legislative seats. Starting in 2006, it embarked on a policy of soliciting "contributions" from the candidates it endorsed on its influential "Apple Ballot." These contributions, often up to the state limit of $6,000, are said to be voluntary, and are meant to defray the cost of the union's mailings and other campaign materials.

Some candidates told us the mailings were worth it. Others said they felt compelled to pay, for fear of incurring the union's wrath, and a few who ran, or thought about running, said the union sought to intimidate them in various ways. A number of officials, including some who paid the union and some who did not, told us they saw the "contributions" as shakedowns, pure and simple. "I felt it was creepy then, and I still feel that way now," said one person subjected to the union's aggressive bid for funds.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

The blogger you cite makes a poor defense of this practice, saying that if the Washington Post, for example, endorses a candidate, that candidate will (probably) pay on their own to publicize that endorsement on campaign literature, so why shouldn't the same candidates pay the union for the same publicity? Well, duh ... the Washington Post does not ask for candidates to pay them for their endorsement. If the candidate wishes to publicize it, that's their decision. And the same should hold true for union endorsements. I'm with the Post on this one: it's an unsavory practice that, at the minimum, has the appearance of "selling" endorsements.
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vincenzoesq Donating Member (171 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-20-10 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. WaPo vs MCEA
MCEA is not a called MCTU, and it represents teachers. So yes, if you think I belong to an association of thugs, you are also calling me, and every other teacher who belongs to our association (not union) a thug. The Post has a long history of beating up on teachers. You are free to disagree, and I am free to cancel my subscription.
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vincenzoesq Donating Member (171 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-20-10 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
9. MCEA Leadership response to Post allegations
Their fundamental allegation is their belief that MCEA is hiring its own bosses. The Post ignores the fact that it is the voters who elect the County Council and Board of Education, not us. If Montgomery County voters consistently elect politicians who support public education, it is because Montgomery County is a community that supports public education.

The Posts position contradicts itself. On the one hand, they say that teachers deserve good salaries and benefits for doing a tough and important job. But then they attack a twisted system (that) has fueled skyrocketing payroll costs. If they submitted that kind of contradictory argument in a debating club, theyd be laughed out of the room.

MCEA has one of the most transparent and participatory candidate recommendation processes of any organization in the county or the state. Unlike at the Post, candidates are not endorsed by a small group that meets behind closed doors. Our recommendations are made by the Representative Assembly - a group of hundreds of educators who are elected at each school and office across the county. We are the only organization we know of that publishes a rubric of the criteria we use in making recommendations (http://www.mcea.nea.org/pdf/MCEACandidateRecommendation... ). All candidates are interviewed by committees of volunteer rank-and-file members, and fill out questionnaires about their views on critical issues of education policy.

MCEAs coordinated campaign work is not unusual, and certainly not illegal. Despite the Posts allegations, nobody pays to be on the Apple Ballot. But once the Rep Assembly makes its recommendations, we do all we can to help elect those candidates. In 2006, most of our recommended candidates voluntarily made contributions so we could do additional direct mail and advertizing on their behalf. This is no different from county political parties that collect contributions from their candidates to fund the parties mailings to voters; or the common district slates where state delegates and senators make contributions to a team PAC in order to send out joint direct mail.

The Post has a misguided view of political corruption. Most candidates collect cash contributions from corporations and other special interests groups. That system looks a lot more like buying votes than what MCEA does. If they think politicians are selling their votes, how about looking at government contractors who make campaign contributions and then win favorable government contracts or zoning changes? MCEAs PAC makes very few cash contributions to candidates.

We challenge the Post to identify a single MCEA recommended candidate who did not earn our support by their advocacy for public education. It simply hasnt happened.

The Posts editorial challenges the basic right of teachers to engage in the political process. It is also a long-winded innuendo of improper conduct with absolutely no evidence to back it up.

We make no apologies for working to elect candidates who will be strong advocates for public education. That is the right thing to do not only for our members, but for our students as well. We hope even more members will join in our efforts to do so.

In Solidarity,



Doug Prouty

MCEA President

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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-21-10 04:20 AM
Response to Original message
12. Since educated people quite literally laugh at the sorry Post, this shouldn't come as a surprise
Edited on Sun Feb-21-10 04:20 AM by depakid
What credibility the paper had left died with Katherine Graham back in the 20th Century.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-22-10 06:37 AM
Response to Original message
18. The Washington Post is trying hard to make the Washington Times seem respectable.
Edited on Mon Feb-22-10 06:41 AM by marmar
It's not fit to line a birdcage.





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vincenzoesq Donating Member (171 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-23-10 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
20. WaPo's truth twisting on teacher salaries
Here is another quote from the article;

Over the past three years, the salary of a typical teacher with 10 years of experience has risen by 23 percent. Had it not been for the county's budget crunch last year, which persuaded the union to forgo part of the scheduled 2009 raise, that increase would have been closer to 30 percent. It is a measure of how twisted things have become in the county that the union depicts this as a great sacrifice.

...and here are the facts, as appeared in the online comments following the article (by Adam Field)

Sent: Monday, February 22, 2010 9:43 PM
To: Frace, Gary L.; Airozo, David J.; MCEA Discussion Room




"The WaPo is cherry-picking data and not telling the entire story of school teacher salaries in MoCo. The Post wants the public to believe that all teachers have received a 23% raise over the course of the last three years. What the Post doesn't bother to tell anyone is their figure works ONLY for a teacher with a masters degree who was on step 10 (i.e. had 10 years experience) going into the 2007-2008 school year.

MoCo teachers receive a longevity increase for each year of service through year 19 and one last longevity increase in year 25. A teacher with a Masters, for example, earns a 1.7% step increase between years 1 and 2. A 9th year teacher with a Masters earns a 3.8% increase going into year 10, and a 19 year veteran with a Masters FINALLY receives one last step increase of 2.3% in year 25, a full SIX years later (no step increase for years 20-24). That's ONE measly 2.3% increase in SIX years.

In addition to step increases, there MAY or MAY NOT (like last year) be a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) made to the entire salary structure to account for, well, inflation, and the fact that teacher salaries have lagged behind those in other industries for decades. When privatge sector salaries were increasing at a rapid pace in the early part of this decade (and in the 1990's), teacher salaries most definitely were NOT. It's only when the economy is in the midst of the current recession that we hear about raises for teachers. Where were the cries from the Post and the public when teacher salaries were increasing at maybe 4% per year as they did earlier this decade and in the 1990's (step and COLA COMBINED) while the general public saw their salaries increasing at a MUCH higher rate? MoCo teachers FINALLY earned COLAS of 4.8% in the 07-08 school year, 5.0% in 08 - 09, and 5.3% this school year in an effort to bring teacher salaries in line with those in other professions that require similar amounts of educational attainment. MoCo teachers then GAVE UP the CONTRACTED COLA of 5.3% this year. Yes, GAVE UP a CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT, with NOTHING in return. Given this history, the WaPo remains true to its never ending quest to bust unions.

On a final note, do people in the Washington DC metro area REALLY think that a person with a Masters degree and 12 years of experience in their field (I'm using the Post's example here...10th year in 07-08, therefore 12th year now) who makes $75,850 is overpaid? I'm willing to bet that almost EVERY person in a professional position in the DC area with a Masters degree who has TWELVE years experience in THAT SAME JOB is paid significantly MORE than $75,850.

I encourage WaPo readers to do what the WaPo editorial board is unwilling to do (and by the way, it's their job to do this). Look into the numbers! Do NOT cherry pick what best serves your argument and present it as umbrella fact.
2/22/2010 9:34:01 PM"


Adam Field
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vincenzoesq Donating Member (171 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-28-10 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
21. The only thing I miss since I cancelled WaPo
are the plastic bags. Great for picking up doggy doodoo.
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