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There needs to be a million teacher march on Washington.

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Orlandodem Donating Member (859 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 10:10 AM
Original message
There needs to be a million teacher march on Washington.
Edited on Sun Dec-20-09 10:11 AM by Orlandodem
I'd like to tell these idiot educrats where to shove their RTTT grants, merit pay, vouchers, high stakes tests, and all the other "reforms" that Dems and Reps are pushing. It's time to call for real reform.

The bureaucratic nightmare of the stimulus package alone is enough to send a sane person over the edge. I will get a
"classroom walk through" early next year by a overpaid, paper-pushing bureaucrat year to make sure the stimulus money is being properly spent. I, and the rest of my colleagues, was given a laundry list of things we needed to have on our classroom walls for the bureaucrat to check off. The bureaucrat then goes back to Tallahassee and rights a report on how the visit to my school went and whether the stimulus money was well spent.

Mind you, I'm not against "accountability". I'm all for high standards. But what we have going on is ridiculous.

I'd like to see peer evaluations.

I'd like to see true choice in school curricula - where a student could choose a college prep or a vocational school. I'd like to see an expansion of magnet programs with exit exams designed for different curricula. As a nation, we currently are calling for charters and choice but then we have one-size-fits-all state tests. We're told to include all students and differentiate them, but then we're told to differentiate instruction for each student. How in the name of all that's Holy do I have time for that? I'd literally have to work 24/7 if I did everything "they" want me to do.

I've had it. When is the march on Washington?
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'd love to be there.
I don't know how to fund getting to the other coast, but I'd love to see my colleagues stand up in force.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
2. Karen Horwitz of the National Association for the Prevention of Teacher Abuse
tried to organize a march on Washington last year; only a handful of teachers showed up.

THAT'S how intimidated teachers are if they take a stand. Of course Horwitz has had a hard time getting her organization out there, although every time you read a newspaper or wire report, there is some organized abuse of teachers going on throughout the United States.

NAPTA
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. That's an indication that teachers are poorly paid
Most can't afford a trip to DC.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. That also. It takes money to do it
I would not be able to afford to attend the march to D.C. from Reno, Nevada. I doubt my lawsuit will get any big windfall before that time. :)
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
3. k&r for labor--especially highly educated and under-paid labor. n/t

Kill the bill.


Forcing people to buy insurance is no more the answer to a failed health care system than forcing people to buy houses is the solution to homelessness.

:dem:

-Laelth
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
4. Sure - if they have nothing better to do....
They may not get much sympathy from the unemployed, underemployed or those of us who have had salaries freeze or are worried about losing jobs
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #4
13. Because of course there are no unemployed, underemployed teachers or those whose
salaries have been frozen (long before the meltdown btw) or teachers and other school staff who are fearful of losing their jobs.....

Newsflash...there has been little else but derision thrown at the "terrorist" teachers for the past ten years. Why? They have a union and every administration since Reagone has attempted to bust it.

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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
5. Peer evaluations? You must really trust your peers and their expertise/wisdom to judge you
Edited on Sun Dec-20-09 10:24 AM by stray cat
I've known peers who would love to pull others down to keep the status quo but maybe your peers are exceptional and never let jeolousy or pettiness get in the way of an accurate wise evaluation.
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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. That happens anyway... in the evaluation process.
That is... admins are often hugely defensive toward teachers who have more knowledge and experience in the classroom. This colors their evaluations.

What would be BETTER, actually, than a peer-review system, is a system... a ""reform" if you will... that rotated principals and asst. principals back into the classroom every couple of years and rotated teachers into "evaluation" roles.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. I noticed my former school district
rotates its principals around every year to different schools. A principal will retire, and then the principals are moved around. Most principals stay at one school perhaps every 4 to 6 years.

However, there are a few who stay on for years and years on end. That shouldn't be allowed, at least in the larger school districts.

I do think there should be more rotating of principals AND closer supervision of them. Until that happens, more and more lawsuits will continue.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. The trend NOW is to hire principals almost as soon as
Edited on Sun Dec-20-09 10:38 AM by tonysam
they graduate from college--those even in their TWENTIES or in their thirties--who in NO way have the experience or the maturity for the kind of responsibility--and power--being a principal entails. Naturally these young principals are intimidated by older, experienced teachers, and the latter end up being targeted by these principals and higher ups.
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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. Seen it over and over. This is human nature. Why don't the...
...educrats get that? Never mind. We both know why.

However, even the *veteran* administrators are often poor judges of what constitutes "best practices" ( another trendy educational catchphrase, overuse of which is beginning to turn my stomach). My principal hasn't been in front of a class for at least 20 years. The AP's are.... shall we say... very *lightly* experienced. And consequently clueless.

Educational administration as a entity separate from classroom teacher is actually an historically-speaking new-fangled idea that is ripe for reevaluation.

But in the "reform"-frenzied environment of today , nobody's looking to actually fix what is actually broken.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-10 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #11
48. that would seem to indicate a desire for mismanaged chaotic schools on someone's part...
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Orlandodem Donating Member (859 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
17. Your concern is not unreasonable. But I'd trust my peers over most of my administrators
any day.
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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
6. K and R . I'll go. And.......
I'll bring a date.

As many dates as I can find, actually.



>>>>>>The bureaucratic nightmare of the stimulus package alone is enough to send a sane person over the edge. I will get a
"classroom walk through" early next year by a overpaid, paper-pushing bureaucrat year to make sure the stimulus money is being properly spent. I, and the rest of my colleagues, was given a laundry list of things we needed to have on our classroom walls for the bureaucrat to check off. The bureaucrat then goes back to Tallahassee and rights a report on how the visit to my school went and whether the stimulus money was well spent.>>>>>>

You are me. This makes me insane. The "cure " is infinitely more deadly than the disease.

In reality, "the reform movement" is a kind of social/political/ educational illness that needs to be cured.

Or... "reformed."
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
12. I work with one other person in a two person office (naturally)
and every year I get an inspector come by to check that I have all the correct and updated government flyers on my wall like sexual harrassment, workers comp and non-discrimination. What a waste of my time and a waste of the taxpayers money.

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C_Lawyer09 Donating Member (690 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
15. Your last paragraph speaks volumes
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Orlandodem Donating Member (859 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Care to elaborate?
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C_Lawyer09 Donating Member (690 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. The one size fits all tests are a disaster
As are an archaic system that pushes meaningful job preperation (aside from the basics and some critical thinking)to vocational programs or college down the road. Never mind that the work force is glutted with college grads, who may or may not be relevant to the work force. None of this is the fault of teachers whom are "where the rubber meets the road" so to speak. I very much agree with your assertion that there must be responsive public education diversity. You shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater, and we must address the cause and not the symptom. High school grads in Germany have a job waiting for them after graduation because of work partnerships that start at the middle school level. Hence there is no question regarding students possessing the the needed skill sets. Many of our current high schools call a viable work release/work force training program, working at Taco Bell for half the school day. I'm a recently retired Soldier, I always cultivated hope of accessing the Troops to Teachers program, but states are shedding jobs so fast, the program has become meaningless, unless for the most part, except for some room within Math, Science, and Special Education. I used to harbor ambitions of teaching Special Ed. until I did a job shadow, and saw up close and personal how much meaningless paperwork the guy was mired in. One problem I see, (don't know if you agree) is the dissapearance of Physical Education and Civics curriculum. I also feel the importance of Social Studies is minimalized, maybe because the results of a good broad education, are maybe not so quantifiable. The WASL which is the WA state standardized test, is flat silly. Writing paragraphs about how to solve math problems wherein the right product, may or may not matter toward getting credit for the answer.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. You want to stay clear the hell away from special education
It is a landmine for lawsuits, abusive principals, angry parents, mounds and mounds of paper pushing, meetings that are difficult to arrange before the annual deadline for IEPs, and so forth.
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C_Lawyer09 Donating Member (690 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Thanks for the welcome advice tonysam
The several special ed. educators I spoke to while in WA state, more or less concurred with what you describe. Right now I'm kind of a rudderless ship. I always figured I'd go into teaching, what I imagined seems less of a reality, which now beckons the question: What to do? Maybe I'll tend bar and commiserate with the masses.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Maybe you better under this current climate
:)
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. I'm getting a huge dose of sped this year.
This year instead of having one or two sped kids I have two classes that are about 2/3 sped -- by design and yeah, I agreed to it as an "experiment." The kids, case managers, and admins think the classes are going well and are very pleased. I don't know what to think -- sometimes it feels like I'm throwing stuff against a wall to see what sticks. When I told the sped head that, she told me "welcome to special ed."

The hard part is the damn meetings. I also have 3 classes - large classes - of regular ed kids who also need my attention. It's hard to be there for them after school when I have 2-3-4 IEPs and other meetings a week. I finally put my foot down and told them I would only do two a week max. When they scheduled an IEP during finals week I refused to go because the other kids needed me for a study session. (The girl's parents had rescheduled the meeting and someone wasn't thinking.) I expected a call from the principal but instead got an apology from the sped head for not paying attention to finals and a promise not to do it again.

I work with the case managers for the kids and two para-pros (aides). Each of the case managers had her own periodic report form for her kids -- two used electronic format and two put a well-photocopied form in our mailboxes to fill out. Another protest from me: standardize your reporting, please, you're driving me nuts. The response: What a great idea! (the reporting , not driving me nuts although I do wonder sometimes).

It feels to me like I'm the great experiment in sped meeting general ed. So far the sped department has listened to my suggestions and been receptive. They have helped me with their suggestions and moral support. The big surprise has been the paperwork -- I've always had one or two sped kids in regular ed classes but multiply that by 35 and it's become a nightmare and a huge burden on top of my other classes. It's extra planning, extra reporting, extra parental communication, extra meetings, extra headaches.

As far as parents go.... there are two that have caused me grief. One was my reporting of her daughter's misbehavior in class. The mom got annoyed and thought it was just me because she never heard from her other teachers. So mom wanted a meeting with me and the case manager -- we arranged that and invited other teachers. The look on the girl's face when another teacher who'd had similar problems with her showed up was priceless. Mom took a whole different view of situation and we haven't had problems since. Whew!

The other parent was a true nightmare. This girl's parents are highly successful and they totally disagreed about why their daughter's grades were so bad. The dad realized that the girl had senioritis and wasn't doing what she needed to be doing and expressed appreciation to each of her teachers for trying. At a hastily called emergency meeting, he greeted each of us, thanked us for coming, and told us he appreciated our time. His wife wouldn't even say hello as we were introduced to her, just starred at her Blackberry. Bitch. The whole family dynamic played out in front of us -- the mother refusing to acknowledge her or her daughter's responsibility and the dad totally saying the daughter needed to do her part. Following the meeting, the mother sent an email -- actually a series of emails -- to each teacher and copied each of the others so it felt like a barage. These emails had long lists of assignments and tests she wanted her daughter to retake going back to the first week of school! I replied to all, except the parents, and told the sped head no way could she retake exams that far back, it wasn't in her IEP and it would open the floodgates for other kids, and that I wouldn't be micromanaged by any parent. The other teachers chimed in with the same message and piled on. The sped head took the parent on and took over the case because the case manager was so distracted by this parent she couldn't get to her other kids. Surprise: the mom backed down, the kid started showing up when she was supposed to and has started doing better.

I thought of getting a sped endorsement as "job security" (if there is such a thing anymore). But I think I'd rather work at K-Mart. :evilgrin:

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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. You want to avoid sped like the plague
Edited on Mon Dec-21-09 10:33 AM by tonysam
You have LESS job security because you are REQUIRED to be an advocate for kids, and this tends to step on the toes of unscrupulous administrators who want to cut corners all the time.

I went into sped in order to be hired in public education after trying to be hired on Washoe County School District as a regular contracted teacher for more than six years. There isn't a day that goes by when I don't regret ever having gone to work for that corrupt shithole.
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. I agree.
My cousin also went through the non-contract route only to be told to hit the road.

The more I see of sped the less I want to do it. Sometimes I think it's just a big enabling scam that doesn't prepare kids for life after school. Yeah, some kids really do have learning issues, but a lot of them are lazy and undisciplined. I couldn't honestly advocate for some of my students, others absolutely. But the 17 year old who can't bring a pencil to class? Who sits there waiting for me to give him answers so he doesn't have to think? BS.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Bluntly speaking, I believe 90 percent or more of students who are in sped
Edited on Mon Dec-21-09 02:38 PM by tonysam
really should not be there at all. Some students are sped because of motivation issues, and others were force fed inappropriate curriculum at too early an age and therefore they are "behind" academically. There is nothing truly wrong with these kids cognitively, yet they get labeled as "learning disabled" (the vast majority of sped kids) and are set on a track to academic and occupational failure.

The so-called "response to intervention" scheme required by federal law, I think it is, is a way to get rid of the vast majority of special education teachers so that the only sped teachers who will have jobs are those who have the kids who are most in need of services (the traditional sped kids with mental retardation, mental illness problems, etc.). In more than a few school districts in Oregon, for example, the RTI "teachers" do not have to be certified teachers but instead they are the same as aides. It's frankly an admission that something stinks with the curriculum of too many school districts and of the stupid state standards that are pulled ever upward so that even MORE students fall through the cracks, child cognitive development be damned.
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FBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-10 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #27
40. If so... why?
That is... why are so many thrown into that pool if they don't belong?
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #25
30. And I love it for that reason
I love advocating for the kids.
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gordianot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
16. I am a retired teacher/administrator would be willing to go. n/t
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Dinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-20-09 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
23. Lots On My MInd Today, But I Agree (nt)
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teacherkh Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
28. White Chalk Crime
See the specific details of the failed teachers' march at:
http://endteacherabuse.org/epic.html   The speeches our group
gave can be downloaded at that page. NAPTA was founded to
educate the public about what is really going on in our
schools. Last year, we joined another organization that had
planned that teachers' march despite the awareness that
teachers are too afraid to go public. We believe in another
path for change.

That path is uniting and creating a loud voice so that
someone like Oprah will have to do a show on this. Until the
organized crime that is going on in education is revealed,
nothing will change and that means the bullying and Columbine
and drop outs and low scores and obstruction of minorities and
the embezzlement and kickbacks and the abuse of teachers will
go on and on. We don't need a march. We need people to join
NAPTA, whether they are teachers or concerned citizen, so the
truth will be known. Membership is free. Go to
http://endteacherabuse.org/SpamFilterBNB.html to join. 
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-21-09 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Thanks, Karen
You are doing teachers and parents all over the country a great service.
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #28
31. We tried that in Arizona...
And the RW neoLibertarian legislature passed, in the dead of night with no discussion, a bill to eliminate tenure, at the requirement that teachers be informed if their contract won't be renewed by April 15, used of tenure in hiring backed RIFFED staff, and tht allows the district to change salaries at any time. It is clearly retaliatory for the large demonstrations held last spring.

Teachers here are pissed but scared and feel lucky to have jobs at all. And it's going to get worse. Our district is looking at another 10% cut in salaries and larger class sizes. But it will be the teacher's fault if test scores fall.
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Reader Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
32. I'm there!
Of course, it couldn't be on a school day. Although it would make a bigger statement if it were, I think it would be very difficult to get teachers to leave their classrooms for a march.
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
33. Bull's eye!!!
I'd like to see true choice in school curricula - where a student could choose a college prep or a vocational school. I'd like to see an expansion of magnet programs with exit exams designed for different curricula. As a nation, we currently are calling for charters and choice but then we have one-size-fits-all state tests. We're told to include all students and differentiate them, but then we're told to differentiate instruction for each student.


I hope that there's a mass movement to get your point across. Lemme know when the march is held. I live in California, and there's been protests by educators in the state capitol (in Sacramento if you don't know) against the budget cuts. If there's plenty of organizing in the state level then eventually there'll be a national movement standing up against big bad two-faced government BS.

Regarding your point about "choosing between college prep/vocational", that's the greatest choice an American student could ever have, so that class warfare will be less of an issue. Japan has that system already, I think. I mean, the current model of public education is pretty limited in choice, as students have these following choices:
1. Public schools - free to all students, but the academic and extracurricular programs might not fulfill every student's demands, and the mixing of the goods, bads, rich, poor, troublemakers, civilized causes all sorts disunity.
2. Private schools - parents need to fork out a pile of greenbacks, and the school might not have as much freedom (i.e. in the case of religious schools). The academic standards might or might not be that great depending on the responsibility of the administration, since private schools are mainly for profit. Those college prep academies are very selective and expensive too, and the financial aid income ceiling might break one apart if it were the limbo line.
3. Charter schools - as many on DU have howled, they're schools that get funded by our tax dollars but not really regulated, and that spells a recipe for disaster. However, there are good ones that try to fix those "at-risk" kids, you gotta acknowledge that.
4. Magnet schools - students who have a specific college major in mind might as well seek these out.
5. Homeschooling - if all 4 options are not viable, then the parents might as well act as teachers. When done correctly, the child will succeed and be constructive to society, but parents also need to let the kid be social too. We can't forget that there's a bunch of homeschooling parents who don't instruct up to standard, whose hyper-religious views brainwash not enrich, or use "homeschooling" to disguise anything bad round here.
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sosmtm2010 Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-04-10 11:54 PM
Response to Original message
34. SOS Million Teacher March
The march will take place July 30, 2010 at 10:00 A.M. Please go to https://sites.google.com/site/sosmtm / or http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001053920975&... for more information and to participate!
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-05-10 06:11 AM
Response to Original message
35. you'll have to organize it yourself on facebook, because the unions are apparently complicit.
Edited on Wed May-05-10 06:11 AM by Hannah Bell
or at least a lot of the leadership.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-05-10 07:14 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. That's not true Hannah
Arne is refusing to meet with the unions or include them in any planning or strategy sessions. They are knocking at the door and he won't answer.

If you have an idea for making sure union leadership is included in plans to reshape our public schools, please offer them.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-05-10 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. they don't have to wait for him to "meet with" them. my idea would be the usual: educate
Edited on Wed May-05-10 02:51 PM by Hannah Bell
& mobilize the membership, locate allies, take a strong, persistent case to the public, & initiate mass action both at the local & national level, including a strategy for retaking school boards etc. that have been taken over by fundies.

course that would involve more work than back-room deals with the privatizers.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-05-10 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. Which is exactly what AFT is doing
I don't know about NEA since I am not a member. But AFT is educating and mobilizing membership.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-10 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. so you were kidding when you said no actions were planned?
Edited on Thu May-06-10 01:26 PM by Hannah Bell
Apparently actively discouraging action, actually...



Open Letter To AFT President Randi Weingarten


March 29, 2010
Dear President Weingarten:

Thanks to Thursdays (March 25) vote of the Washington Teachers Union, President George Parker and certain WTU Executive Board members will not support the April 10 march to the US Department of Education that has been organized by Steve Conn, a Detroit public schools teacher. The purpose of the march is to defend public education by taking a stand against the attacks on teachers; black, Latino, poor, working class and middle class students of all races; end privatization of public education; end separate and unequal schools; and restore Dr. Kings vision for America.

Thanks to Thursdays vote (March 25), Washington Teachers Union President George Parker and certain WTU Executive Board members were unwilling to allow information about the April 10 march to be placed on the WTU Executive Board agenda so that I could explain why public school teachers and their students will travel here to DC on buses to stand up for public education. I was disappointed to learn that AFT, our parent organization, also will not support the April 10 march on the US Department of Education (as reported by WTU President George Parker...)

Signed, Candi Peterson
full dues paying member of WTU and AFT
Washington Teachers Union Board of Trustee
Washington Teachers Union Building Representative
Posted by The Washington Teacher

http://thewashingtonteacher.blogspot.com/2010/03/open-l...



Weingarten's response:

March 31, 2010
Dear Candi:

Thank you for your open letter to me about the march to the U.S. Department of Education scheduled for April 10...

AFT local unions are free to promote, endorse and participate in such activities, just as they are free to exercise their judgment not to take part in certain events. That said, maximizing the effectiveness of these national events requires that we plan ahead to allow for the participation of as many teachers, parents and concerned stakeholders as possible. The most effective rallies for public education are planned monthsnot weeksin advance, and scheduled to be held when educators and students are out of school. While as a national union we have not endorsed the April 10 march, we are engaged in a series of actions to help students and their educators in these tough times.

You have identified a number of the challenges facing teachers today, specifically here in Washington, D.C. I share your concerns, and I appreciate your dedication and activism. I am proud that you and so many concerned teachers and union members have spoken up about the rights and concerns of educators, and about the needs and hopes of our children. I expect that, as long as you and I have breath remaining in us, we will continue to do so.

Sincerely,
Randi Weingarten , President
American Federation of Teachers
Posted by The Washington Teacher

http://thewashingtonteacher.blogspot.com/search/label/A...


weingarten = sell-out & collaborator, imo.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-10 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. I take it you have never paricipated in a national march?
Randi is right. It takes months to plan.

Wonder why we heard nothing about the march on April 10??
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-10 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. i heard something about it. however, i probably would have heard more if the teachers unions got
Edited on Thu May-06-10 09:38 PM by Hannah Bell
their membership.

so when's the national march aft is planning in this, the most aggressive campaign against public education in living memory?

why isn't the membership already "educated" & up to speed, since weingarten's been making concessions to charters & privatizers for years?

surely she knew what was coming down the pike. other people did.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-10 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. Randi Weingarten: sold her members out on mayoral control
The frustration began with a May 21 New York Post column, in which Weingarten indicated that she is open to allowing the mayor to continue appointing a majority of members to the citywide school board. A union task force recommended in February that the state legislature reverse that majority as a way to strengthen the board, known as the Panel for Education Policy or PEP...

Weingartens Post op/ed dismayed some members of her own union. I was quite disappointed and angry, actually, said Lisa North, a teacher who sat on the unions task force to consider revisions to mayoral control.

North said the task force never seriously considered recommending that the mayor keep his majority of appointments, and so when union delegates ratified the committees final recommendations, she expected Weingarten to promote them. The delegate assembly is supposed to be the highest authority of the union, and it voted for it, she said...

Parent leaders, who had hoped to ally with the United Federation of Teachers to lobby in Albany, also say they feel alienated by Weingarten. Lisa Donlan, a Manhattan parent who is part of the Parent Commission on School Governance, which is calling for significant changes to mayoral control, said the Post column ended discussions between the union and parent leaders who are strategizing about how to lobby lawmakers...

http://gothamschools.org/2009/06/04/randi-weingarten-un... /



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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-10 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. randi sells out & lies to nyc teachers
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-10 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. Why would a march make a difference?
I ask that as an activist who has participated in many marches, both locally and at the national level. I can see a march as part of several events that would bring teachers to DC. But just a march? Like I said, what happened to the one in April? Not enough time for planning. Even the teabaggers figured that one out. They planned their march last September for months, and had Glenn Beck's help who talked about it nearly daily on his TV show.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-10 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. What's AFT doing? Selling out its members with 1 hand while it issues "strongly worded statements"
Edited on Thu May-06-10 10:34 PM by Hannah Bell
with the other.

Weingarten in particular is bought, imo. She gave up half the shop long ago.

The job of company unions is to keep the membership passive & in line.

Good job, randi!
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-10 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #47
49. what hasn't she conceded on?
The right-wing, pro-voucher, anti-union NY Sun editorial board wrote a love letter to Rod Paige's favorite teachers' union leader today to help her celebrate her 50th birthday. The Sun lauds UFT President Randi Weingarten for her "idealism" and her "leadership..."

Finally the Sun says they're sending Rod Paige's favorite teacher labor leader a copy of Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose" in the hopes that she'll add vouchers to the list of concessions she has already handed the education reformers/Walmart proponents like added days, added time, gutted work protections (seniority, grievance rights, the return to bathroom duty), authoritarian mayoral control, union-sponsored charter schools, merit pay and reformatted school financing that favors getting rid of costly veteran teachers and hiring lots of Teach For America missionaries.

The Sun also reports that Representative George Miller (D-California), an architect of the No Child Left Behind law who would like to expand the law to science and social studies next year, has praised New York City for two "groundbreaking" programs: the merit pay program Weingarten agreed to earlier this year and the school report cards that have caused such controversy here in the city.

Perhaps the Ayn Randians at the NY Sun editorial board will even get a Merry Christmas present in the form of vouchers from Ms. Weingarten before she heads off into the sunset to destroy teacher work protections nationally the way she has destroyed them here in New York (though even I think Ms. Weingarten knows that would be going too far...)

But one thing is for certain - she will sell out.

http://nyceducator.com/2007/12/sell-out-turns-50.html


Her career path looks like she was groomed for her position from the beginning.

she was educated as a lawyer. she started working in politics before she even graduated college, then five years as a union lawyer right out of law school, then a couple of years teaching (can't have a teachers' union president who hasn't perfunctorily taught), then a meteoric rise to the top of the union hierarchy.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-10 04:25 AM
Response to Reply #45
50. why would the email petition you support make a difference?
Edited on Mon May-10-10 04:26 AM by Hannah Bell
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-10 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #50
51. It's going to Congress
The funds are there and can be appropriated if Congress can be convinced to do so.

I don't oppose a march. I just don't see it having the impact it should have. It's also expensive and a lot of teachers can't afford it.

I'd like to see our unions helping to organize a march as well as other activities that have a more direct impact. Maybe a march along with lobbying?
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Riley18 Donating Member (883 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-05-10 07:11 PM
Response to Original message
39. Most Florida teachers I know could only go if our union would take us by bus.
Many are losing their homes and cars are being repossessed as we have not had a raise in 3 years.
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