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Providence RI teacher dismissals seen as blow to seniority system
The Providence Journal ^ | February 26, 2011 | Linda Borg

Posted on 02/26/2011 1:25:43 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

PROVIDENCE — No matter how you slice it, school experts say, the decision Thursday by the city School Board to notify teachers that they might be terminated at the end of the school year strikes at the heart of their union contract’s seniority system.

Mayor Angel Taveras says that the decision he recommended to the board is strictly about balancing the city and the School Department budgets. He says that termination will save money because teachers who are dismissed and not rehired will not end up in a substitute teaching pool.

But David V. Abbott, the state’s deputy education commissioner, said the difference between layoffs and dismissals is this: When a teacher is laid off under state statute, he or she is put on a recall list. Although that teacher is no longer working and no longer paid, that person exists in an employment “limbo.” The teacher hasn’t been actually dismissed.

If a job becomes available for which that teacher is qualified, that person must be rehired based on seniority.

“If you are laid off, you have the right of recall,” Abbott said Friday. “You still have one stick in your bundle. If I’m dismissed, I’m out of work and I need to be rehired.”

In effect, every teacher who is terminated has to reapply for his or her job as would any new teacher entering the system.

“It is a way to get around seniority,” said Tim Duffy, executive director of the Rhode Island Association of School Committees. “In order to give the administration the flexibility to recall the teachers they need, they had to give out dismissal notices.”

.....And statewide, the situation gets still more complicated in the months to come. Many other school districts may be altering the use of seniority in assigning teachers.....

(Excerpt) Read more at projo.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: education; teachers; tenure; union

1 posted on 02/26/2011 1:25:54 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
the decision ... strikes at the heart of their union contract’s seniority system.

Well at least they get it. They did something their students haven't done in years, they learned.
2 posted on 02/26/2011 1:34:16 AM PST by SpaceBar
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Those teachers that are incompetent must be quaking in their boots. No longer will they have seniority to hide behind. They can get axed if they are poor performers. No wonder they are all enraged right now. Those among them that underperform will no longer have a place to hide. All teachers must now perform in a superior fashion or any of them will be subject to dismissal. Gee, they’ll actually have to work a little harder for their meal ticket. This is wonderful. The competition will produce the best teachers, as it should be. Rather than the lowest common denominator, it will now have to be the highest common denominator. Hope this happens all over the United States. Our school system needs radical overhaul.


3 posted on 02/26/2011 1:39:09 AM PST by flaglady47 (When the gov't fears the people, liberty; When the people fear the gov't, tyranny.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Slowly but surely, the public employee unions are getting toppled.

The entire American public has hit their collective Howard Beale moment. When public employees make more and contribute less than their private sector counterparts (and I was a public employee so I know exactly what is going on — only in management so I never had bargaining unit protection) then it is time to dissolve these non value added bargaining collectives.

Let the dominoes fall - HARD. Let SEIU destroy itself in its own greed.

If you are good at what you do you don’t need a union. Unions are for the feeble-abled.


4 posted on 02/26/2011 1:40:12 AM PST by freedumb2003
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To: SpaceBar

The “unthinkable” has begun.

Bankrupt states and ugly union/Democrat behavior has made it possible to bring solutions out into the open. These necessary steps will be getting rave reviews —— coming soon to your state and your local school district.


5 posted on 02/26/2011 1:41:46 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife (Allhttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2122429/posts)
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To: freedumb2003
Boston Globe ^ | May 22, 2003 | Jeff Jacoby ***The bottom line for teachers unions***

"....Yet nowhere in this gusher of news and comment can you find the views of The Newspaper Guild, one of the nation's largest media unions and the one that represents reporters at the Times. Neither Google nor Nexis turns up anything -- not a single article or transcript or Web post -- quoting a Guild official on the scandal's significance. No one seems to care about the union's reactions to the Blair affair, or its recommendations on how to prevent such ignominy in the future, or what it thinks the episode says about racial preferences in the newsroom.

And that is as it should be.

Because like all labor unions, the Newspaper Guild exists for one reason: to promote its members' economic interests. Those include higher pay, better benefits, easier work conditions, and less discipline -- all of which rank higher on any union's list of priorities than tightening professional standards or advancing the public good. No one asks the Guild's views on the state of US journalism for the same reason no one asks the United Auto Workers to comment on federal transportation policy: Anything they said would be tainted by their vested interest in winning more money and better terms for their members. Unions are special pleaders; no one mistakes them for impartial observers or disinterested honest brokers. Except when it comes to teachers unions.

If the UAW proposed that domestic automobile manufacturers be paid a federal subsidy for each new employee they hired, everyone would recognize its self-serving aims -- to swell the ranks of auto workers and increase its own membership. But when teachers unions demand hefty increases in education spending or mandatory reductions in class size, they get a respectful hearing. Union officials are routinely quoted in the media and invited to testify before legislative committees. And yet their aims are no less self-serving and their interests no less mercenary than those of any other union. So why the difference?...."***

6 posted on 02/26/2011 1:53:20 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife (Allhttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2122429/posts)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

>In effect, every teacher who is terminated has to reapply for his or her job as would any new teacher entering the system.

Just think - you have to be educated in America to understand this arcane idea... geez


7 posted on 02/26/2011 2:38:33 AM PST by bill1952 (Choice is an illusion created between those with power - and those without)
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To: flaglady47
2001: ”Teachers from Philippines arrive in Boston to teach math and science” *** 'We have an obligation to children to find the best math teachers we can find, wherever we can find them,'' he said.

At first it seemed as though the Philippine teachers wouldn't make it. Bureaucratic problems with obtaining visas for the teachers delayed their arrivalfor several weeks. US Representative Michael Capuano and Senator Edward M. Kennedy, both Massachusetts Democrats, worked with the Immigration and Naturalization Service to speed up the process.

''Their arrival means that a significant number of students will be able to get the good education they need and deserve,'' Kennedy said in a statement welcoming the teachers.***

Nevada - August 02, 2005: Teachers arrive from Philippines [excerpt] “…..Ocamia, 56, is one of 51 teachers who will be working under a temporary visa in the Clark County School District for the next three years…… The Filipino teachers were recruited in February to fill vacancies in high-need areas such as math, science and special education. The recruitment of foreign teachers will only put a slight dent in the district's teacher shortage, which currently is more than 400 teachers who will have to be replaced by substitutes….” [end excerpt]

March 18, 2009: Filipino teachers exchange homeland for jobs in America More than 100 school districts, including at least 20 in California, are recruiting in the Philippines to fill teacher shortages in math, science and special education -- [excerpt] Filipino exchange teacher Ferdinand Nakila landed in Los Angeles expecting "Pretty Woman" scenes of swank Beverly Hills boulevards and glittering celebrities. What he got was Inglewood, where he stayed for two weeks in temporary housing and encountered drunkards, beggars, trash-filled streets and nightly police sirens….

....The Los Angeles Unified School District has hired 250 to 300 teachers from the Philippines -- the largest contingent among more than 600 foreign exchange teachers overall, a district official said.

The statewide budget crisis and impending layoffs, however, have prompted L.A. Unified to suspend its foreign recruitment this year, said Deborah Ignagni, a district human resources administrator.

Pay is an incentive

Ignagni said the L.A. district first began recruiting foreign exchange teachers in the 1980s from Mexico and Spain to help with bilingual elementary education. But it shifted to the Philippines and Canada for math, science and special education teachers in the last four years, she said.[end exceprt]

__________________

April 17, 2010: Unprepared to teach math [excerpt] Hank Kepner, professor of mathematics education at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, who is president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, was happy for mediocrity. “We show up pretty well here, right in the middle of the pack. [end excerpt]

___________________

Feb 25, 2011Beyond Collective Bargaining [excerpt] One would think that Alabama, a state in which teachers unions don't have the power to force school districts into collective bargaining, would be a bastion of school reform. But within the past year or so, the National Education Association's Cotton State affiliate has shown there's more to wielding influence than sitting at negotiating tables.

In November 2009, then-Gov. Bob Riley and school reformers, looking to push for school choice (and to get a share of the $4.3 billion in federal money provided by President Barack Obama's Race to the Top school reform effort) attempted to advance school choice by ending the Cotton State's status as one of the few states that don't allow public charter schools. At the time, Riley declared: "This gives us an opportunity to do something that 40 states say has made a tremendous difference in the quality of education."

Three months later, Riley's effort went to seed as the NEA affiliate and local school districts convinced committees in both houses of the legislature to kill the charter school bill. By mid-year, the union all but assured that charter schools would never be a part of any governor's plans in the near future by backing both winners of the state's Democratic and Republican primaries, including Robert Bentley, the eventual winner.

This should give pause to both school reformers and those looking to clip the wings of other public sector unions by rooting for efforts by governors such as Wisconsin's Scott Walker and legislatures in Ohio and other states to abolish collective bargaining requirements. Ending forced labor negotiations can weaken the influence of teachers unions. But through the sheer force of campaign war chests, armies of rank-and-file teachers, and strong alliances with other defenders of traditional public education, the NEA and its sister union, the American Federation of Teachers, still retain more than enough influence to thwart efforts to end the compensation deals that has made teaching even more lucrative than other professions in the public sector.……….[end excerpt]

8 posted on 02/26/2011 2:40:41 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife (Allhttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2122429/posts)
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To: bill1952

School districts have to recruit math and science teachers from outside the United States. I’ve posted some examples above.


9 posted on 02/26/2011 2:42:15 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife (Allhttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2122429/posts)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

very good point!


10 posted on 02/26/2011 3:18:28 AM PST by maite
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Didn’t we have a few Democrat Presidents who used this trick on U.S. Attorneys? Fire them all and rehire the ones you want.


11 posted on 02/26/2011 3:29:08 AM PST by plangent
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
School districts have to recruit math and science teachers from outside the United States.

There are plenty of qualified technical professionals who could teach math or science if the certification hoops weren't so hard to jump through. I have a friend who was an independent contract programmer, very literate and well-versed in the history of science. Work in his specialty area was hard to find, so he explored teaching. He was told, yes, technically you're qualified, but the district can hire a certified, fresh out of school teacher who knows a fraction of what you know for a fraction of the price.

12 posted on 02/26/2011 4:42:45 AM PST by Pearls Before Swine (/s, in case you need to ask)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Teacher’s unions all across the country have overreached(just like Obamacare), and now “the chickens are coming home to roooooost”.


13 posted on 02/26/2011 4:59:11 AM PST by Ronald_Magnus
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To: Pearls Before Swine

Foreign teachers must be brought in from other countries because qualified U.S. teachers WILL NOT work in the rotted inner city school districts the Democrats have run for decades.


14 posted on 02/26/2011 5:03:13 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife (Allhttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2122429/posts)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

This is fascinating. It is something most businesses cannot do. But since teachers get the summer off, The state can literally fire them all and spend the summer re-hiring the ones they want. And since they all know their jobs, it should have no impact on the implementation of the next school year. Brilliant.


15 posted on 02/26/2011 5:24:21 AM PST by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: Ronald_Magnus
There is a strong support network between all these protest organizations.

Movement Building for Social Justice

[excerpt] "...How can philanthropy best contribute toward the core social justice strategy of movement building? This session will explore ways foundations support movement building in a variety of social justice issue areas —from same-sex marriage, to immigrant rights, human rights, and campaign finance reform. Presenters will discuss strategies that have and have not worked—from attempts to connect the dots between policy and organizing, to incorporating technology to support activism or using the arts to challenge perceptions. Workshop participants will distill these into lessons for foundations working in and around social justice.

Moderator: Tim Sweeney, president and CEO, Gill Foundation

Presenters:
Ryan Friedrichs, executive director, State Voices;
Carlos Saavedra, executive director, United We Dream;
Adrienne Maree Brown, executive director, the Ruckus Society;
Katherine Acey, executive director, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice;
Chet Tchozewski, president, Global Greengrants Fund;
Erica Hunt, president, Twenty-First Century Foundation

Session Designers:

Suzanne Siskel, director, Social Justice Philanthropy, Ford Foundation;
Henry Izumizaki, CEO, One Nation, Learning Director, The Russell Family Foundation;
Karen Zelermyer, executive director, Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues

Ruckus Society

Notice her shirt "The American Federation of Teachers"

American Federation of Teachers support socialist One Nation Rally

AFT"Teachers and other public employees are easy targets for blame when it comes to states' fiscal woes, but AFT members are fighting back and seeking solutions."

Teachers UNION Exposed "© 2011 Teachers Union Exposed, a special project of the Center for Union Facts"

16 posted on 02/26/2011 5:25:22 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife (Allhttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2122429/posts)
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To: flaglady47

Yeah, but you gotta be careful it’s not just a way to get rid of the highest paid teachers- whether they’re good or not


17 posted on 02/26/2011 5:34:15 AM PST by Krankor (And he's oh, so good, And he's oh, so fine, And he's oh, so healthy, In his body and his mind)
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To: RobRoy
.....And since they all know their jobs, it should have no impact on the implementation of the next school year. Brilliant.

Then you have one month of teaching if you time your LONG maternity leave and bookend it with summer breaks (not to mention no one can teach your class but it is filled with students anyway) Brilliant.

18 posted on 02/26/2011 5:34:44 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife (Allhttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2122429/posts)
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To: SpaceBar
There is a darker side in all of this that I've noticed happening in the private sector. Older people tend to be let go from their position just so the company can get out of paying their retirement. I've know many competent people let go for this or that reason, replaced by younger and a cheaper labor force. Someone who is in their 50s suddenly finds themselves without a job replaced by someone in their 30s. And a more troubling aspect is that person in their 50s is not going to find steady employment.

This isn't anecdotal experience. I believe I heard the other day that someone else noticed this and wrote a book about it. Age discrimination is becoming more prevalent. Not all those older RI teachers are incompetent, but I'd be surprised if many are hired back.

Something for people to think about when they reach their late 50s.

19 posted on 02/26/2011 5:36:18 AM PST by HarleyD
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To: Krankor

If they’re THAT good they can make a fortune tutoring by the hour. Of course they’d have to set up their own health care account and contribute to their own retirement account....


20 posted on 02/26/2011 5:37:22 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife (Allhttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2122429/posts)
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To: HarleyD
....Something for people to think about when they reach their late 50s.

And something for people to think about when the union controls the conditions of their employment to the degree that it plays a large part in bankrupting the state treasury.

21 posted on 02/26/2011 5:56:59 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife (Allhttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2122429/posts)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Yes. People shouldn't rely upon age as a factor for employment. But people shouldn't be fired after a sterling career because they're “too expensive”. Merit pay doesn't work because bosses usually give it to their cronies. In the case of teachers, how many of us would like to be judged by the conduct of a bunch of eight graders who refuse to complete their assignments? Really what is needed is fair and honest appraisal of employees through peer review. But that is a very old-fashioned idea that went out in the 80s.
22 posted on 02/26/2011 6:14:14 AM PST by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD

A lot of things went out in the 70s. A lot of things need to be rethought.


23 posted on 02/26/2011 6:19:23 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife (Allhttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2122429/posts)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

WI school districts would be wise to copy this practice. Fire them all and then rehire only the best ones (with no Union).


24 posted on 02/26/2011 7:42:15 AM PST by Thunder90 (Fighting for truth and the American way... http://citizensfortruthandtheamericanway.blogspot.com/)
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