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  1. #11  
    Senior Member Molon Labe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    Oh, yeah, like you can fire a unionized teacher.
    Most of the things teachers get reprimanded over have less to do with actual performance in the classroom and more with some breech of policy regarding "what" they are teaching.

    For example, I once had a college professor who was the best instructor in the department, the most effective lecturer and the most cutting edge on research. But his focus was more on the historical application of Polticical science and less on the "science" part. This did not sit well with the Administration who truly believe in the "scientific" basis of the curriculum. He was let go for not completing his research on time, when most other Profs, would have been granted extensions.
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  2. #12  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molon Labe View Post
    Most of the things teachers get reprimanded over have less to do with actual performance in the classroom and more with some breech of policy regarding "what" they are teaching.

    For example, I once had a college professor who was the best instructor in the department, the most effective lecturer and the most cutting edge on research. But his focus was more on the historical application of Polticical science and less on the "science" part. This did not sit well with the Administration who truly believe in the "scientific" basis of the curriculum. He was let go for not completing his research on time, when most other Profs, would have been granted extensions.
    This is true as far as it goes, but college professors are not unionized. In the public schools, firing a teacher for cause takes decades, when it happens at all, regardless of the circumstances. Convicted felons get to keep teaching in most states. Some examples:

    LAUSD substitute thrice accused of abuse moved to another district
    City kept teacher even after learning of her criminal past
    Brentwood superintendent says 'legal limitations' kept abusive teacher in district

    And then there are these:

    -- During a 2002 bench trial, a judge found DeKalb high school teacher and girls’ swim coach Thomas O'Brien guilty of public indecency after testimony that O'Brien was seen masturbating as he stood naked in the doorway of his home's garage, Assistant State's Attorney Stephanie Klein said. Despite the judge's verdict, O'Brien resigned from his teaching job, received court supervision and eventually was able to have the offense expunged. All records of his case held by police, prosecutors and the court were destroyed, court and city officials said. No action was ever taken against his teaching certificate.

    -- In 2003, Chicago Public School teacher Judith A. Howell, was arrested after a police officer observed her purchasing crack cocaine in the lobby of a public housing project. She pleaded guilty but received a "410 probation" which meant that a conviction was not placed on her record.

    -- Kay Marchioni had her Ohio teaching certificate revoked for unprofessional conduct in 1988 after she used stolen credit card information to make purchases. She was convicted on two counts of attempted theft, according to documents with the Illinois State Board of Education. Despite her name being entered into a national database of teachers who have lost their licenses, she obtained an Illinois teaching certificate and was hired by Chicago Public Schools, where she taught for 14 years until she was fired. No action has been taken to suspend or revoke her Illinois teaching certificate. Her Ohio conviction has been expunged and no longer shows up on criminal background checks.

    -- In 2003, Chicago Public Schools teacher Larry Jackson pleaded guilty to possession of controlled substance after a search of the teacher following an arrest found the teacher in possession of crack cocaine. He also received a "410 probation," which prevents the offense from being placed on his criminal record.
    If these teachers can't be fired or even suspended for felony convictions, who is going to discipline them for not reporting a loading Poptart?
    --Odysseus
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  3. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    You're correct, in that the policies are there, and I'm sure that the teachers are pressured to conform, but if the teacher refused to report something as stupid as a poptart in the shape of a wedge, the union would prevent any real repercussions.
    The union is only useful in house and they're selective about what they fight for (mostly money issues). Since Columbine (before your mother's time, I am sure), zero-tolerance policies for violence have come from outside the system--state and Federal govts, as well as the threat of lawsuits from parents--and heads can roll for anything related to student violence. Teachers can be and are suspended for not adhering to these policies and the union, which is usually terribly corrupt (like the Los Angeles teacher's union) will usually not risk its own neck defending teachers against these kinds of policies, although they will fight for their pay (since pay is their issue).

    In regard to the turncoat unions, I'll also point out the anecdotal experience of a friend of mine. He taught for LA schools and, not long after Columbine, a threat was made against the high school where he was teaching. The threat was public and all the students and parents knew about it. The school got hundreds of calls from concerned parents and the kids kept asking their teachers if school was going to be closed that day. An exact date (in April) and a reference to Columbine was made in the threat.

    The school brought in LAUSD campus police as well as LAPD and decided there wasn't a "credible" threat. Now, the union was in on these discussions and instead of arguing for shutting down the school (and protecting the teachers) or threatening to strike, they agreed with the administration to let school go on, with added police protection. (If there were ever a reason for a union to strike, the life and death issue of teacher safety should be #1.) But school had to go on, you see; those federal dollars based on student attendance would have been lost had school shut down for the day.

    After the negotiations, the union did not contact the teachers at all. There were no notes, emails, calls or meetings to inform or prepare teachers. In fact, the teachers were NOT informed of any of the negotiations at all. Nothing from the union at all. Not one thing.

    The teachers themselves were only informed 10 minutes before the end of school the day before the planned shooting, that the school would be in session. My friend was handed a photocopied letter at 3:00 by a student aid sent from the office. The note told him to announce to the students that school would be in session the next day, regardless of the threat. Notice that the announcement was for the students; teachers had not gotten any previous notification.

    The teachers were given no notice, no chance to air concerns, no discussion of contingency plans (like what to do if a shooter showed up)--nada, nothing. The teachers were given no preparation (such as what a lockdown would be like and what precautions to take) and no options for leave given. Nice union, eh? Like I told you, they don't give a damn about the teachers' safety. The principal didn't meet with the teachers or school staff either.

    In the end, there was no shooting, but 2/3 of the kids were out, and many teachers with young children took "sick" leave (and I don't blame them). My friend was older at the time--his kids were grown and out of the house, so he went in. He was worried that if he didn't go, the school would call a sub who didn't know the campus, and if there was a shooting, the sub would freak out. Also, being a guy, he felt like he should be there. He's old school that way, one reason I like him so much.

    But imagine a union that doesn't even inform you what is going on or prepare you for what to do. My friend had lived in a tough neighborhood at one time and he kept tight control of the classroom that day. The kids were removed from seats near windows, no students were allowed to answer the door, and any student needing a restroom was carefully watched on the way out and in. He also taught the kids to lie flat on the floor in case bullets started flying through the windows. I know I would have felt better had he been armed, but no one talked about that kind of thing then.

    In NYC, where my mother taught for 30 years, teachers who actually molested kids would be suspended, with pay, pending investigations that took decades. About the only thing that a teacher could get in trouble for was refusing to join the UFT. Failing to report something stupid might get you a written reprimand, which, for all the good that they do, ought to be printed on soft, absorbent rolls and posted in the faculty bathroom. Most of the teachers who enforce these rules support them, or the administrators would get serious pushback from them and, more importantly, the unions.
    The NYC teachers union is unusually strong and unusually corrupt. But notice, most of this is about protecting teacher pay (the only issue the union really fights on) not about protecting their lives or the value of their profession.
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  4. #14  
    Power CUer NJCardFan's Avatar
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    The sad part is that these idiotic actions remain on the kids' record meaning they're going to have a hard time getting into college for carrying a concealed poptart, blowing bubbles, or playing cops and robbers. This is what you liberals want. This is the type of idiocy you people want.
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  5. #15  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
    The union is only useful in house and they're selective about what they fight for (mostly money issues). Since Columbine (before your mother's time, I am sure), zero-tolerance policies for violence have come from outside the system--state and Federal govts, as well as the threat of lawsuits from parents--and heads can roll for anything related to student violence. Teachers can be and are suspended for not adhering to these policies and the union, which is usually terribly corrupt (like the Los Angeles teacher's union) will usually not risk its own neck defending teachers against these kinds of policies, although they will fight for their pay (since pay is their issue).

    In regard to the turncoat unions, I'll also point out the anecdotal experience of a friend of mine. He taught for LA schools and, not long after Columbine, a threat was made against the high school where he was teaching. The threat was public and all the students and parents knew about it. The school got hundreds of calls from concerned parents and the kids kept asking their teachers if school was going to be closed that day. An exact date (in April) and a reference to Columbine was made in the threat.

    The school brought in LAUSD campus police as well as LAPD and decided there wasn't a "credible" threat. Now, the union was in on these discussions and instead of arguing for shutting down the school (and protecting the teachers) or threatening to strike, they agreed with the administration to let school go on, with added police protection. (If there were ever a reason for a union to strike, the life and death issue of teacher safety should be #1.) But school had to go on, you see; those federal dollars based on student attendance would have been lost had school shut down for the day.

    After the negotiations, the union did not contact the teachers at all. There were no notes, emails, calls or meetings to inform or prepare teachers. In fact, the teachers were NOT informed of any of the negotiations at all. Nothing from the union at all. Not one thing.

    The teachers themselves were only informed 10 minutes before the end of school the day before the planned shooting, that the school would be in session. My friend was handed a photocopied letter at 3:00 by a student aid sent from the office. The note told him to announce to the students that school would be in session the next day, regardless of the threat. Notice that the announcement was for the students; teachers had not gotten any previous notification.

    The teachers were given no notice, no chance to air concerns, no discussion of contingency plans (like what to do if a shooter showed up)--nada, nothing. The teachers were given no preparation (such as what a lockdown would be like and what precautions to take) and no options for leave given. Nice union, eh? Like I told you, they don't give a damn about the teachers' safety. The principal didn't meet with the teachers or school staff either.

    In the end, there was no shooting, but 2/3 of the kids were out, and many teachers with young children took "sick" leave (and I don't blame them). My friend was older at the time--his kids were grown and out of the house, so he went in. He was worried that if he didn't go, the school would call a sub who didn't know the campus, and if there was a shooting, the sub would freak out. Also, being a guy, he felt like he should be there. He's old school that way, one reason I like him so much.

    But imagine a union that doesn't even inform you what is going on or prepare you for what to do. My friend had lived in a tough neighborhood at one time and he kept tight control of the classroom that day. The kids were removed from seats near windows, no students were allowed to answer the door, and any student needing a restroom was carefully watched on the way out and in. He also taught the kids to lie flat on the floor in case bullets started flying through the windows. I know I would have felt better had he been armed, but no one talked about that kind of thing then.



    The NYC teachers union is unusually strong and unusually corrupt. But notice, most of this is about protecting teacher pay (the only issue the union really fights on) not about protecting their lives or the value of their profession.
    My mom retired well before Columbine, but I get your point. Everything that you said is valid, but it doesn't negate my point, which is that the union would back a teacher who didn't bother enforcing a policy. Remember, firing that teacher will cost the union dues, so they will not allow it. Now, if the teacher did something really heinous, like cross a picket line, they'd be the first ones calling for firing (assuming the teacher survived the union's "gentle" persuasion). The fact that the policy comes down from the state just means that the teacher's union would be fighting with politicians that it puts in office, which means that the worst that a teacher could expect would be a written reprimand, or possibly retraining (leftists are big on reeducation, and as long as it's with pay, the union would have no problem).

    And, yes, the UFT is unusually strong, but it's no more corrupt than any other education union.

    Quote Originally Posted by NJCardFan View Post
    The sad part is that these idiotic actions remain on the kids' record meaning they're going to have a hard time getting into college for carrying a concealed poptart, blowing bubbles, or playing cops and robbers. This is what you liberals want. This is the type of idiocy you people want.
    Yep. They want kids to grow up cowed. A kid who looks over his shoulder when he nibbles a poptart will grow up to be a kid who doesn't challenge liberal orthodoxy in high school or college, much less on the job. He'll grow up used to being told what to do, by exactly the same kind of overweening nannies who taught him to hide his pastries and not point his fingers. He'll be a good little cog in the Progressive machine, docile, obedient and thoroughly domesticated, just like a sheep, and he won't complain when he's fleeced. This is exactly what they want.
    --Odysseus
    Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.

    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
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