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The dreaded E3...a career killer for Chicago public school teachers.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 01:43 AM
Original message
The dreaded E3...a career killer for Chicago public school teachers.
I am always hearing how hard it is to get rid of "bad" teachers on tenure. That is most certainly not true in Chicago, and it is becoming easier everywhere.

From Substance News:

E-3... The Career Killer that no one will address

Chicago Public School teachers ignore the E3 at their peril. Once a teacher is served with an E3 Notice of Unsatisfactory Performance, her career is over. One would assume that a guaranteed career killer like the E3 could be instantly and perfectly explained by every teacher in the Chicago Public School system. Not only is this not the case, but a majority of teachers have never even heard of an E3. This oblivion can prove catastrophic since the special evil of the E3 is that not only is the teacher fired, but her entire career is labeled as unsatisfactory.

Illinois law (105 ILCS 5/24A-5f) states that "whenever, in the opinion of the principal, after personal observation in the classroom on at least two (2) different school days, unless the tenured teacher has no classroom duties, the service of a tenured teacher is considered unsatisfactory, the principal of the school shall notify the tenured teacher in writing, using the Form E3, Evaluation of Unsatisfactory Service of a Tenured Teacher." (CPS Teacher Evaluation Plan and Handbook Of Procedures p. 16) Immediately, a 90 day remediation process locks into place. At this point the teacher has no rights. She has to comply with the process or she will be dismissed.


Here is more about the power of the principal under the E3:

The principal simply needs to fill out some minimal paperwork and file it with Human Resources. His stated reasons for the E3 dont have to make sense. No one will challenge his opinion. The Board of Education doesnt care about teachers. The Illinois legislators on the Senate and House Education Committees dont even respond when they are questioned about the efficacy of the law. The Chicago Teachers Union is toothless when it comes to defending against the E3.


No one to turn to:

The "unsatisfactory teacher", once having received the E3 has no one to turn to for assistance. Board of Education members, Illinois Legislators, Chicago Aldermen, and Chicago journalists simply will not challenge the process. The Chicago Teachers Union sits back and waits for the process to roll over the teacher, planning to go to hearing once the teacher is declared finally and completely unsatisfactory. Through ignorance or ignominy, no one will stand for the teacher.

..."Teachers are not being assisted with or advised about the inimical law known as the E3. The Chicago Teachers Union should be leading a campaign to get this law repealed. They are not. A grass roots movement among teachers to protest Illinois law (105 ILCS 5/24A-5f) is going to have to evolve if teachers hope to escape future unjust attacks. The immediate measure that individual teachers must take in this battle is to arm themselves with awareness and knowledge about destructive tools at the disposal of principals. They must also remember that everything thats wrong with public education does not rest on the backs of the teachers. It doesnt even begin with teachers. Lets hope that someone will soon take up the battle cry that the solution is not to get rid of teachers.


Grading a teacher by the test-taking ability of the students in his/her classes, or letting a principal have a complete say with no one fighting back. Not sure which is worse. One principal who might not like tenured teachers who make more money than new teachers....or a test formed in secret by a private company and scored without oversight.

Not many good options available for good evaluations.

One of the best teachers at our school spoke up at a faculty meeting about a ridiculous new policy being enacted. She was courteous and respectful, just gave an opinion.

Her next evaluation was not good, though all previous ones had been. She was told she did not respect authority. Things like this happen over and over.

Principals have huge power in that process. Test makers and test scorers have the power to set the agenda for learning by forming and judging the tests and scoring them.

It could be said they are actually omnipotent.

Do not be fooled. The people creating and scoring those tests are not some educational gods in the sky, omniscient and dedicated to your child's education. Omniscient, no. Omnipotent? Perhaps.

They can decide whether or not your child is held back in elementary school or middle school, or whether or not he/she graduates from high school. They can decide which schools receive what funding. My own school risks losing its administrators after this year if it does not bring its grade back up to a C from its current D--despite the fact that we had enough points to earn a C this year, but a caveat in the grading system prevented us from actually being given that C. Our administrators are dedicated, smart, hardworking and caring. I consider myself extremely lucky to work in a school with such good administrators; I understand that it is not necessarily a common occurrence. Yet they could all be involuntarily reassigned--along with many teachers--if the standardized testing industry decides (with the arbitrariness described in Farley's book) that it is so.

..."Standardized testing is sucking millions of dollars out of already very needy Florida schools. The cost of creating and administering the tests, plus the cost of having them scored; schools also hire "reading coaches" and "math coaches" whose primary function seems to be scanning tests and compiling pages of statistics for the district. Wouldn't this money be better spent on having smaller, better-equipped classrooms with qualified (and satisfied) teachers?


I loved being a teacher. I was a good teacher. It's a very good thing I am retired. I am too outspoken to make it under this new system that is coming now.

Being outspoken and aware is a good thing. But it is no longer really possible under the new education policies.
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 02:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. People can unrecommend threads without an explanation too.
It's just like getting a E3.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 02:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I don't expect recs when I post about public education's demise...
under a Democratic administration.

I am fully aware most people don't give a damn about it.

Rec or unrec, be snide or not. Doesn't matter anymore.
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Hardrada Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:43 AM
Response to Original message
3. Thanks for this information.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:53 AM
Response to Original message
4. K&R
They should have an E3 for principals and teacher's union leaders who refuse to fight for their members.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 06:47 AM
Response to Original message
5. And the sad thing about all of this is that the goal isn't to decimate the teaching profession,
That's just a byproduct of this process. The real goal is twofold, dumb down the population and transfer even more obscene amounts of wealth to the already wealthy. Teachers are simply roadkill, in the wrong profession at the wrong time.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. You are right. Turning education over to corporations and outside special interests.
This could so easily lead to dumbing down far worse than teaching to the test has already done.

The test determines the curriculum so much now.

Yes, teachers are an inconvenient reality...especially the ones who get higher salary for years of teaching.
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montanto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
22. That's virtually what I have been saying.
I'm in it. I keep telling friends and colleagues "failure is the new success." The surest way to make big bucks on education is to assure student failure and a yearly need to replace as much teaching material as possible with new standards and remediation. We aren't supposed to pass the standardized tests. If we fail, the taxpayer has to pay for remediation, new textbooks, etc., all of which costs millions. They keep testing to the extent that we don't have any time to teach. The stuff that educated parents tell their kids at home is enough to make those students successful on standardized tests, while our under-performing kids get no education at home, and are constantly blocked by testing and other BS at school.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-23-10 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #5
67. It hurts to be roadkill.
In more ways than one.

:(
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 06:55 AM
Response to Original message
6. Recommended from a former teacher. What a travesty!
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. I heard from a teacher friend who is still working
but who is getting ready to retire...that the school system seems to be watching the older teachers very carefully. I believe it. Once a principal said to me that he would love not having teachers on continuing contract. That took nerve since his wife was a long time teacher on tenure.

I asked why he would say that, he said he could replace his whole staff every year or so more easily.

He also pointed out that new teachers cost far less than experienced ones, and think of the money.

My teacher friend says they are all but pushing teachers with 25+ years out the door unceremoniously.

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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Exhibit 'A'...
...right here! I don't know that they call it E3 in California, but the policy is the same. :hi:
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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. They certainly are pushing us out the door by hook or crook.
Edited on Fri Jan-22-10 02:20 PM by Fire1
I've decided to retire at the end of this school year for this very same reason. The district here is in shambles. The new finance manager appointed by Granholm is cutting the teacher's salaries in restitution for the embezzlement committed by former employees at the district office. He now wants to have MORE testing throughout the year and longer school days. The teachers are suing the district and the Board is suing the state because they are now just figure heads with no input. The teachers are petitioning to remove the newly elected union president.

In the beginning, the finance manager was cleaning house and finding where "the bodies were buried," and we felt he was doing a fine job. But, NOW, he wants to control 'academics.' This man has a degree in finance and sociology. NOTHING in education. We agree that our district needed to be downsized but as you indicated, it is the older tenured teacher who is catching hell. Moving them from school to school two and three times a year, poor evaluations, etc. etc., and the union is totally useless. I'll do something in education but it won't be in the classroom.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Yes, MI is on the charter school bandwagon now, I think.
Just like many other states.

Their goal is to "clean house"....but unfortunately the "education" part matters little. Profit will be the most important goal from now on.
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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Absolutely. n/t
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #17
28. It's crook more than hook.
Edited on Fri Jan-22-10 03:42 PM by tonysam
Washoe County School District in Nevada is full of crooks who should be JAILED instead of pulling down six-figure salaries.

I can think of TWO who are on new superintendent Heath Morrison's "executive cabinet" who should be in fucking jail over what they did in my case. One is making $129,000 a year, the other $122,000, to say nothing of the two principals who screwed me over. They make in around the $100K range and one of them takes fancy vacations to Hawaii and brags about it on Facebook--at the expense of my career.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
27. It's fullblown age discrimination.
Teachers don't have to have 25 years in--they can be over 50 and just receive vesting in PERS, as I did.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
31. WCSD is already doing one-year contracts
which used to be used in Title I grant-funded jobs and in jobs where an incumbent teacher was on leave of some kind. Now the district wants revolving door teachers; the few jobs available at this district are really standard contract jobs, but they are now being used as one-year contracts to screw teachers over on benefits and retirement.

Teachers who work in Nevada, whether on temporary contract or regular, do NOT pay into Social Security. They are being screwed every which way.
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
8. National strike cannot happen soon enough
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
11. using test scores as a criterion of good teaching is so misguided! K&R n/t
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jpljr77 Donating Member (580 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
12. How should teachers be judged, then?
I agree that test scores are a poor indicator. It seems that a principal would have a better handle on who did not need to be in the profession. But I also see where there is potential for abuse.

So basically, how should teachers be judged? You do agree that some people who have the job simply shouldn't, correct?

And just to get it out of the way: my mom is a lifelong public school teacher as is my wife.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Isn't that the same question I posed in the OP?
Why not a combination of ideas, not reliance on just one way?

And for your other point....in my over 30 years of teaching I only knew 2 or 3 sorry teachers. I knew some who were true stars in the field, others who cared more about teaching the kids than putting themselves in the spotlight.

But contrary to the propaganda started by Reagan in the 80s....I have known very very few "bad" teachers.

The propaganda worked well.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #12
55. Let me try to put this into context for you.
Principals are often the LAST person you want doing a teacher evaluation. The reason is that most administrators don't like teaching, were not good at it when they were teachers, and don't like kids. That aside, they do not observe or see the teachers more than a few times a year at best.

It would be like being evaluated in your job by some guy from corporate who has never seen your work and is unfamiliar with what your job is or how to do it. Most workers are evaluated by someone who is familiar with the work and with the worker. That is not the case with teachers.

If you work for a big company and someone from corporate shows up to do "job evaluations" most poeple would assume correctly that they are getting canned. It works the same way with teachers.

I would suggest a combination of student, parent, administrative and peer teacher evaluations. Survey the kids and use a bell curve to average their responses. Survey the parents to get that viewpoint. Let the administrators have a say and most important have other teachers who have direct knowledge in teachering that subject matter evaluate that teacher.

Given that the largest predictor of student success is the teacher, doesn't it make more sence to cultivate and keep our good teachers than just look for ways to get rid of them?
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #55
56. Actually the best predictor of student success is socio economic status
But you are correct about many principals. And remember that Arne (who never taught himself) believes anyone can learn how to be a principal.
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irishcat Donating Member (23 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #55
59. As a principal myself...
I must sadly agree that this is too often the case.
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JoeyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-23-10 03:41 AM
Response to Reply #12
60. Not with testing, or at least not with the testing we use now.
I can remember some absolutely terrible teachers, and I can also remember a few absolutely awesome ones. (As a student, I mean.)

The funny thing is the awesome ones were interested in sending the kids away with more knowledge than they had to start with. The bad ones were mostly authoritarian nutjobs. So all the kids that had trouble of any kind whatsoever were weeded out of the bad teachers classes in fairly short order, while the good ones would keep them if they could so they could try to teach the kid something. (Clearly proper grammar and syntax at 2:30AM weren't on the syllabus.)

In short, the tests are useless at best. At worst they do the exact opposite of what everyone thinks they ought to do. The teachers that don't give a damn aren't going to keep the kids that might make their test scores go down. The teachers that genuinely care about the kids (especially the troubled kids) are going to do poorly on the tests because they want to help.

I don't think it would be possible to design a better method of destroying the system if we tried.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-23-10 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #60
66. The trouble with the tests is kids don't take them seriously.
They typically rush through standardized tests or CRTs in order to get the work done. ANY teacher knows this to be true. The tests truly aren't an accurate measure of what kids know for that reason.
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Retrograde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
15. and in the so-called real world
people can - and do - lose their jobs on poor performance reviews. In fact, in employment-at-will states they can lose their jobs on the whim of the persons in charge, no matter how good their performance. It sucks (and I speak from experience) but it's hardly a unique situation.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. In the "real world" children are not considered robots...
but in the world of political gain and corporate power those who are given the responsibility for these children are treated as though they do not matter.

See how easy it has been to privatize schools?

Just talk about how bad the teachers are, make it sound like they expect "special" "prima donna" treatment....it works unfortunately.

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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #15
25. You don't know what the hell you are talking about
Teachers' jobs are considered property rights--LONG established by case law and statute. They are not "at-will" jobs once a teacher has tenure. Principals CANNOT fire teachers willy-nilly once they receive tenure, or they are not supposed to.

This justification for assholery on the part of principals, most of whom aren't qualified to be in a classroom, let alone be trusted with the ABSOLUTE CONTROL THEY HAVE OVER TEACHERS' LIVELIHOODS, is not going to be posted here at DU unchallenged.

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Gidney N Cloyd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #15
30. But if your boss at Spacely Sprockets fires you, you can walk across the street to Cogswell Cogs.
It's not so easy changing employers for a K-12 teacher.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #30
41. In fact you can't as a K-12 teacher.
Edited on Fri Jan-22-10 04:40 PM by tonysam
Once you are fired, you can NEVER teach again in public schools anywhere in the United States, some 13,000 districts. If you are forced to resign, resign in lieu of dismissal, or, in some cases, quit before the end of your contracted year, you are also screwed over. In fact, a resignation in lieu of a dismissal or a forced resignation is worse because it is an admission of guilt for "misconduct."

There is NO other occupation where there is nationwide, systemwide blackballing of employees. Only in public ed, ostensibly to keep the dangerous teachers out, but since teachers are fired for stupid reasons more often than "cause," which is usually fabricated, they have no careers left.

Why is this? It isn't just because of bad references from vindictive principals. It has to do with disclosure questions asked on almost ALL state licensure and school district applications. They are "yes/no" questions; they cannot be weasel worded around. If "yes" you MUST explain. Answer falsely, and your teaching license can be suspended, and then the blackballing is worse.

Oregon, for example, has some of the worst questions. These questions are from the C-1 "character" questions required of ALL applicants for licensure. These questions are typically used on all school district certificated applications in Oregon:

CHARACTER QUESTIONS
You must answer each question either "yes" or "no" whichever is true. Explain each "yes" answer in detail on a separate sheet, which
also must be signed and dated.
1. Have you ever left any educational or school-related employment, voluntarily or involuntarily,
while the subject of an inquiry, review or investigation of alleged misconduct or alleged violation of
professional standards of conduct or when you had reason to believe such investigation was
imminent?
1.

2. Are you currently the subject of an inquiry, review or investigation for alleged misconduct or
alleged violation of professional standards of conduct?
2.

3. Have you ever failed to complete a contract for educational services in any educational or schoolrelated
position, or for any alleged misconduct or alleged violation of professional standards of
conduct been placed on leave by your employer or left such employment prior to the end of the
contract term?
3.

4. Have you ever had a professional certificate, credential or license (of any kind) revoked or
suspended or have you been placed on probationary status for any alleged misconduct or alleged
violation of professional standards of conduct?
4.

5. Have you ever been denied a professional license for which you applied or granted a professional
license on a conditional or probationary basis for any alleged misconduct or alleged violation of
professional standards of conduct?
5.

6. Have you ever surrendered a professional license of any kind before its expiration?
6.

7. Have you ever been disciplined by any public agency responsible for licensure of any kind,
including but not limited to educational licensure?
7.

8. Have you ever been convicted or been granted conditional discharge by any court for: (a) any
felony; (b) misdemeanor; or (c) any major traffic violation, such as: driving under the influence of
intoxicants or drugs; reckless driving; fleeing from or attempting to elude a police officer; driving
while your license was suspended, revoked or used in violation of any license restriction; or failure
to perform the duties of a driver or witness at an accident?
8.

9. Have you ever been arrested or cited for any offense listed in question (8) above which is still
pending in the court?
9.

10. Have you ever entered a plea of guilty or No Contest relative to any charge for an offense listed
in question 8?
10.

11. Have you ever had any civil judgment or other court order entered against you resulting from
abuse, assault, battery, harassment, intimidation, neglect, stalking, or other threatening behavior
toward other persons?
11.

NOTES: 1. Any false statement knowingly made in this application is grounds for revocation or suspension of your
license. If in doubt, disclose and explain rather than conceal. If you answer "no" to questions 8 through 11 based
upon an “expungement,” order “setting aside” or “sealing” of a record of a conviction or conditional discharge you
must personally verify with the court directly involved that the expungement, setting aside or sealing actually has
taken place. An erroneous belief that a conviction has been expunged, set aside or sealed, when in fact it has not,
will be deemed a false statement.
2. If you answer “yes”, a certified true copy of the court record must accompany this application (if not previously
submitted to TSPC)
Check here if for any "yes" answer an explanation was provided with a prior application, in which case, no further
explanation is required at this time.
Your Signature and the Date
I hereby certify that the information submitted on or relating to this form is true and correct and grant the Commission permission to
check civil or criminal records to verify any statement made on this application. The Commission may revoke any license upon
evidence that the holder knowingly made any false statements in the application for the license.



And if you tell the truth on school district applications, which in Oregon are virtually identical to the C-1 questions, your application goes into the circular file, as long as there are literally hundreds of applicants for a single job. Districts couldn't care less whether you were fired wrongfully or even sued the district for damages. In fact, if you dare sue, districts regard you as a troublemaker.






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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #41
57. That is true.
I was submarined by a principal who decided to get rid of me. I have never even got to an interview since. I had an administrator I knew from school ask my former principal for an evaluation (by law they are only supposed to confirm dates of employment and if I left in good standing - which I did) and he was telling people that I couldn't be trusted with kids.

For the record I had excellent evaluations up to the point when I didn't have my band play for his daughters volleyball team. After that I went from excellents in my reviews to not meeting minimum requirments. While he was giving me the bad reviews I brought 250,000 dollars in grants into the school, got the school several front page mentions in large papers for our innovative music program, expanded the size of the band enrollment including having several kids from different districts move to ours to get into my program, and won several awards for teaching as for performing. In short, I was doing a good job. After I was fired (contract non-renewed) I was contracted by VH1's Save the Music foundation and offered a job teaching other teachers in inner cities how to teach music. Unfortunately I had a car accident that left my arms partially paralysed. So no more conducting or playing

I haven't taught since. I now am much happier running a medical clinic where the hours are shorter, the benefits are pretty good and the stress levels are much lower.

Keep in mind that when you say that bad teachers can never be fired you are talking about the 1970's. It hasn't been that way in decades. Most teachers I know are on a year to year contract. Given that it takes years to get really good at teaching, the fact that we are firing them, paying them shit and making them trade jobs almost yearly means that the corporations are on their way to winning the hearts and minds of the next generation. You either support that or you support good education.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-23-10 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #57
64. The reason it was so hard way back when
was because schools were run by principals who had something missing these days, and that's called integrity. They understood that firing a teacher was SERIOUS business, actually DESTROYS A CAREER, and they knew pulling teachers out of their classrooms undermined staff morale and kids were denied the right to a stable classroom environment. Only the most extreme cases was it done. It's not that way anymore, and it hasn't been for years.

The questions I had copied and pasted from Oregon's license site are based on the idea that ONLY the very worst teachers are fired, but that isn't true at all anymore, and it hasn't been for many, many years.

When I read nonsense about how "hard" it is to get rid of teachers, I will absolutely challenge it because I KNOW they are lies.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
19. How can one tell when they are on the losing side of an issue?
When you post on the issue at a Democratic forum and get little but negative feedback.

That is how you know the "other side" has won.

It's no skin off my teeth. I am retired. It will be years before the full impact of privatization of education really sinks in, and then it will be too late to worry.

:shrug:
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izzybeans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
21. It's weird because it is very hard to fire a teacher here in Chicago.
Edited on Fri Jan-22-10 03:08 PM by izzybeans
My wife accepted a position at a school a couple of years ago. The teacher before her was fired (or so my wife was told by the principal). When I helped my wife try to salvage the room this teacher was in, it became apparent why. I've never seen such a thing. My wife actually cried because she couldn't believe it.

The most troublesome thing to my wife was that this teacher had student work stuffed in random drawers and on shelves all over the room. none of them had even been commented on. Just student work, no marks, no "good jobs", no nothing. Thousands of pages of them. Thousands of books were piled randomly throughout the classroom as well. Craft supplies were stuff in bins with glue dried up all over everything.

After spending three days getting this room in order for the school year, starting the following day, my wife was informed that this teacher never signed off on some form and reserved the right to her former classroom. They still wanted my wife to teach but refused to pay her until this was resolved. Turns out, they brought the teacher back; luckily my wife had another job lined up or she would have been shit out of luck. If things hadn't timed out the way she did, she would have been out of two jobs because CPS strung her along long enough to determine they had to bring this poor excuse of teacher back.

If teachers have never heard of the E-3 its because they don't seem to use it.

This teacher was negligent. Yet some how she had the power to reserve the right to her job. I am having trouble squaring our experience with this post. We've only been in Chicago a few years so maybe we are still learning the CPS labyrinth.

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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. Bullshit. You THINK it is hard to "fire" a teacher.
Edited on Fri Jan-22-10 03:34 PM by tonysam
I KNOW from fucking experience it is EASY.

It's almost impossible to get rid of an administrator; taxpayers foot the bill for their defense all the way through the due process hearing, to state or federal court, to the court of appeals.
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izzybeans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. Okay. Your experiences are the correct ones.
Edited on Fri Jan-22-10 03:58 PM by izzybeans
:bounce:

Read my post. Experiences do matter. I've got a 20 that you didn't read it. In Chicago, in CPS, it is hard. This teacher should have been on her ass 10 years ago. Instead she has my wife's job. And we cleaned up her room and organized it for her. Free of charge. No pay.

Why? Because, she refused to go away.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. Damned right they are because I have been through it.
Edited on Fri Jan-22-10 03:59 PM by tonysam
People who have never experienced it have NO idea how bad the process is.

You THINK there is absolute job security in being a tenured teacher. I am telling you that you are full of bullshit.
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izzybeans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. Do you read past subject headings?
Edited on Fri Jan-22-10 04:09 PM by izzybeans
I'm sorry you were wronged somewhere.

In Chicago, it ain't that simple. And I'm glad it isn't. I'm glad that a teacher in Chicago can't be fired easily and for no reason at all. however, this teacher was negligent and for whatever reason was able to push my wife out of her job when she failed to do hers. So, there's that.

Charter schools, however, hire and fire like a normal business, without the same protections that CPS teachers get (except for where CPS fought for contracts that stipulate that charter teachers get afforded the same rights as CPS ones).
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. It isn't--it is EASY to fire teachers.
I don't care if it's Chicago, Reno, New York, WHERE it is. All you need is ONE BAD administrator, and they can ruin your career.

You think you are an authority, but you have NO credibility on this issue. I have been through it and know FAR more than you.
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izzybeans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. Are you for real?
I think I'm an authority? Where do you come off? I posted my wife's experiences in Chicago where this OP was directed. If you can't handle that, I'd suggest therapy.

You've used up any goodwill you've earned for whatever perceived injustice you've been handed in my mind.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #32
40. Once again. Other than the clutter what makes this teacher incompetent?
Can you even pick her picture out of the school yearbook? Other than cleaning this classroom, do you even KNOW this teacher?? Have you ever actually seen her teach????

Your posts are horribly judgmental.

Signed,
A teacher with a very cluttered desk :)
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izzybeans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. I'd give you a shot of my desk if you like. I'm a big believer in
Edited on Fri Jan-22-10 04:32 PM by izzybeans
if there isn't a mess, than very little is happening. But it wasn't the clutter. It's what we found in it. See my response to you below.

If you were in this room, you would understand, as a former educator and someone who cares deeply about early childhood education, it made me sad for the students.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #40
46. I smell bullshit in that post you referenced.
The teacher probably didn't have a chance to clean it out.
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izzybeans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #46
49. That's pretty arrogant.
Edited on Fri Jan-22-10 05:15 PM by izzybeans
don't you think?

You have no idea what you are talking about. This was what she left behind. We were told she had been given all summer to clean out her things. The only contact anyone had with her during that time was when she came back demanding her job 1 day before class started. So if there is bs here its on the principal, but there was nothing in our experience that told us this principal was anything but professional.

So call it what you want, but you are still being a complete jerk about a real experience my wife had, a very bad experience at the time. She went several weeks without work waiting for her assignment to come through.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #46
54. I had to clean out a cluttered classroom more than once.
The first time it was horrible. Then I found out the teacher had a heart attack over the summer and had to retire for health reasons. And during that year, 4 different kids came to that classroom to see that teacher. They were former students who had just dropped in to say hello. Four. That spoke volumes to me.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #21
38. So you are calling this teacher incompetent because her classroom was cluttered?
You never spent one minute actually watching her teach. And because of the clutter and the ungraded papers you have decided this teacher is incompetent.

The judgmental crap on this board absolutely blows my mind. Now we have experts at evaluating teachers because they helped clean a classroom. Good grief. :banghead:
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izzybeans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Ummm. no. Typically when you have a semesters worth of assignments
Edited on Fri Jan-22-10 04:30 PM by izzybeans
with not one hint of feedback to your children, you aren't a good teacher. In fact, this was confirmed by the principal when we were rifling through everything. Having a few assignments left ungraded is one thing, but when what looks like several years of "Young Authors" essays are sitting in a drawer stuffed full, without feedback, this is a huge deal in Chicago. The "Young Authors" essays are important and the children spend several months working on them. In the upper grades its a big deal because they are important for getting into honors high schools.

My wife cried for that very reason (among a few others). She thought it was an obvious sign these kids, who all live in one of the last remaining projects in the city, were being cheated.

edited out some snark: Clutter doesn't begin to describe this.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #39
45. And you know this was a semester's worth of assignments how??
Because the principal said so? The principal who wanted to fire this teacher?

Come on. Surely you get where I am going here.

Unless you actually see a teacher teach you have no business evaluating that teacher's instructional skills. This could have been an outstanding teacher who was a bit quirky (as some of us are) and had rubbed her principal the wrong way.

I have found after 3 decades in this business that some of the worst teachers have the neatest most organized classrooms. Those teachers tend to lack flexibility and patience with children. I'll take the messy room teachers over the organized ones every single time.
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izzybeans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. Look I get the argument. But it is irrelevant to the point I made.
Edited on Fri Jan-22-10 05:14 PM by izzybeans
I didn't make the decision. The principal was a good principal. She was very professional and did her best not to let this teachers business slip, only to the point of trying to explain why the classroom was what it was. cluttered really isn't the right word.

But there were at least 50 essays with nothing written on them (which means over a period of year's she offered no help to a majority of her students on this). This is the biggest assignment of the year in CPS. Every kid from 1st grade up has to do them. Only someone who isn't deserving of being an educator would do what they did with this particular assignment. Could she be a good teacher? Maybe, but she cheated these kids out of a growing opportunity that is a big part of determining whether they are stuck with their neighborhood school or whether they will get into the honors high schools. The difference there is akin to the difference between jail and college for many of our students. I don't feel bad about prejudging her competence for that reason alone.

In Chicago, in order to go the "college route" typically students have to apply to the honors high schools. Whitney Young where Michelle Obama went, is an example. A really good school. In order to get in, you have to apply almost like a college application process. That process includes this assignment, test scores, grades, behavior records, etc. Students who aren't "top" students can get in if they are showing growth in certain areas or show promise in things like the "Young Authors" assignments. maybe they are creative and don't test well, etc. Well guess how these kids do on NWEA, DIBELS, and ISAT, etc. One thing we got to see was the scores. Their scores defy what we saw on those assignments. These kids were creative and thoughtful, but that doesn't get reflected on their scores. I don't remember matching names to the essays but collectively the class the year prior was less than 50% at grade level. If anything was going to get any of these low test score kids into Whitney Young or Lane Tech, etc. it would be that assignment (as far as I understand the process, like I said we are new to Chicago, 3 years, so maybe I'm giving too much weight to these assignments, at the time that's what we were told by other educators, including the principal, who was very upset when we showed them to her. Today my bet is the test scores weigh heavily, much more heavily). In my son's school, which were fortunate enough to get into through the magnet lottery, the parents are currently up in arms because a rubric had been circulating regarding this assignment and that not every child had the opportunity to see it.

Sure there was clutter, but I doubt you nor I would ever let this happen.

And I agree with you on the "neat" = too rigid thing. Like I said it wasn't really clutter so much as a bomb went off. After three days of cleaning we left her with a functional but cluttered classroom. I hope it worked out well for her. It did for my wife. I'm glad she isn't teaching there. Her job would be less secure. They always are in low income neighborhoods because of Duncan's model of school performance. But that's not what I'm talking about here. This teacher was not unfairly targeted. Sure her students had low scores, but they were low year in year out. That wasn't why she was targeted for firing.

Anyway, the lesson for me is, despite this op, teachers are still protected in some manner her in Chicago. It's just in a way that I don't understand. I actually believe that is a good thing. BTW.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #39
53. The principal who wanted to get rid of this teacher
That's your source?

I can think of several reasons these essays were in that room. Maybe they were drafts. When I grade my students' writing, I use post its so none of my marks are on the work.

I'll say it again. Unless you actually got to see this teacher teach, you have no right to judge her.

I get upset when my friends tell me I am a good teacher. They don't know since they have NEVER been in my classroom and watched me teach. They know I care about my kids but caring about them is only part of what makes a good teacher.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-23-10 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #21
62. izzy, you are arguing with ignored, but
i can pretty much fill in the blanks.
it is next to impossible to fire a teacher in chicago. that is a stone cold fact. did arne have anything to do with this? i suspect so. it is the number one millstone to improvement of the chicago public schools.
people here can stand up for public schools until they are blue in the face. but just what does public mean? does anyone think there is any public in the chicago schools? hardly.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-23-10 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #62
63. No, it isn't.
Quit peddling lies.
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
23. Did Arne have anything to do with this?
If so, it could portend similar things to come at the Federal level... :scared:
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
24. In New York it is called a "U" rating.
A vindictive principal can ruin your career at the stroke of a pen; hell, an INCOMPETENT principal can ruin your career as long as he or she is doing the dirty work for human resources. Meanwhile, these assholes have complete and total job security, even for criminal acts as what I experienced, including subornation of perjury, perjury, bribery, witness tampering, and, most likely, forgery/fraud.

After all, the hearings are jokes, rubberstamp affairs. In my case, I KNOW these bastards committed a fraud on the court, which a "due process" hearing is by forging a letter from a person in human resources who sent me it by certified mail. The district didn't think I had the original since I didn't give the union's attorneys a copy; in fact, I didn't think I had it but I found it a couple of months ago. I am positive the district's crooked lawyer submitted a forged version of this letter at my hearing to make me look like I was a liar and evasive. I said in the hearing I didn't remember reading a statement supposedly on the letter which said I could be fired under NRS 391 if I lied on the FMLA form submissions or did them wrong, and if it had been there, that I was too sick to see it. The real letter said no such thing at all; in fact, the district could NOT fire teachers over illnesses but claim abandonment of position, which they did not at any time, and my illness was already covered under FMLA but for the documents I submitted before my illness ran its course having misread the "three-week" rule. All I have to do is get hold of an attorney--right now I am waiting for a call back--to contact the union's lawyers to get hold of the document which was submitted at the hearing as an exhibit and compare it with my original. If it's a forgery as I suspect it is--katy bar the door.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #24
50. The district, by the way, had already submitted an invalid license
in an attempt to make it look like I hadn't received all my requirements for a special education license, and therefore they were "justified" in terminating my contract. I had in person submitted my license for HR to xerox, and I had mailed a copy of the new license to special education services, and said both under oath. I remember the union's lawyer, who represented me in this sham hearing, mutter under his breath not to tell the hearing officer the truth, to not contest the submitted license's validity.

So if the district knowingly put in an invalid license in order to deceive the hearing officer, why wouldn't they just outright forge a document?

I can't WAIT to get a lawyer and find out definitively if the HR FMLA letter was forged.
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LostInAnomie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
29. I'm glad I got out of teaching.
Teachers are walking around with targets on their backs.
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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #29
37. Best decision you ever made. Hands down n/t
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
42. The only FAIR way to evaluate teachers is repeated classroom observation
by an outside observer, someone who is personally unacquainted with either the teacher or the supervisor.

Otherwise, personalities enter into it.

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izzybeans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. Absolutely.
Someone who has experience in the classroom and is updated on their strategies.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #42
47. That'll never happen, of course.
n/t
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wolfgangmo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #42
58. Bam - we have a winner.
Neutral outside professional evaluation - and not by some Halliburton subsiduary.

And there is at least one school district that I know does it. Bismarck, North Dakota. Sure it's cold as hell there and there are no good nightclubs, but the live music scene is pretty good, they have good schools, the state is running a surplus and there is low unemployment.

Now if I could only stand the weather.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-23-10 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #42
61. +1
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-23-10 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #42
68. I don't think it has to be from outside.
If the purpose of evaluation is to catch teachers practicing poorly so that they can be punished, maybe.

If the purpose is to improve the practice of ALL teachers, including good and great teachers, then regular classroom observations by

1. actual educators who have actually done the job for at least a decade, who have extensive concrete experience in what they are looking at and looking for;

2. who know the strengths and weaknesses of the teacher/s observed so that observers and teachers can meet to debrief and discuss those strengths, and work together to address those weaknesses; and

3. who are known and trusted by the teachers being observed, so that the setting is one of trust and partnership, rather than threat,

will do a much better job of raising the quality of instruction in every school across the nation.
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 05:35 PM
Response to Original message
51. A teacher can be blackballed like that after TWO bad days?
Edited on Fri Jan-22-10 05:40 PM by Ken Burch
Would anybody in Congress or at the White House still have a job if they had to meet THAT standard?

Could any of US?

Jesus...why does the Chicago school system hate teachers?
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-22-10 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. They ALL do.
Most people are absolutely unaware of the filthy politics that goes on in public education. They believe the garbage perpetrated by the privatizers that it is "impossible" to get rid of "bad" teachers, but teachers are fired all the time, and it's usually not the "bad" teachers.

However, it is virtually impossible to fire administrators because the district backs them up.
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-23-10 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #51
65. because there are so many bad ones.
and it has been so hard to get rid of them for so f'ing long.
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-24-10 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #65
69. I realize there are bad teachers.
(Although YOU need to realize the bad administators matter more, and it's HARDER to get rid of them).

My point is...every one of is, in every job we've ever had, have undoubtably had at least TWO days where we sucked. Where a person, if all they had to go on was THOSE two days, would fire us. Yet those of us who still have jobs were given the benefit of the doubt and showed we deserved to keep working.

I think it's often the same with these teachers.

Why don't they have someone who's responsibility it is to watch each teacher EACH day? That would be the fairer measure.

Also, how can we be sure that those who survived the "two days" test weren't just observed on the ONLY two good days they EVER had?
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