Skip to comments.Democratic mayors challenge teachers unions in urban political shift
Posted on 03/31/2012 4:49:48 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
...The mayors want a raft of changes. They want to replace the uniform pay scale with merit pay. They seek to expand public charter schools, which are largely non-union. Some want to lengthen school days, requiring teachers to work more hours.
And nearly all of these mayors have set their sights on the one workplace protection that teachers have held central for more than 100 years: tenure.
The unions say many of the fixes embraced by the mayors are trendy ideas without evidence that they help children learn. Instead, they allow politicians to appear as if they are making improvements without having to confront the profound problems of urban schools, labor leaders say.
We dont want to have honest conversations about poverty and segregation and race and class, all those other sorts of ills, said Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union. Those are really tough issues. So this gives them an excuse to focus on something else.
Her union fought Mayor Rahm Emanuels effort to add 90 minutes to the school day in Chicago, which has the shortest school day of any major city. Emanuel, the former chief of staff to President Obama, got the Illinois legislature to pass a law that will allow him to impose a longer school day starting in September. It also makes it harder for the union to strike, among other things.
On the national level, teachers unions have started to recalibrate, looking for ways to work in partnership with politicians.....
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Excellent read. Thank you.
Oh, you mean they want to do what Wisconsin governor Scott Walker did, huh?
The left eating it’s own again.
LIBERALS are watching as millions upon millions flee urban public schools in disgust.
To take this position (make the effort to appear concerned) shows the NEA-AFT (Democrat money and muscle) and the Democrat Party are hemorrhaging supporters and votes.
I know. At long last they are resorting to eating their own.
Pass the ketchup.
The public school is BY FAR, the largest, most expensive, most subversive, and most destructive entitlement program in the country.
The public school is better understood as the government school collective.
It is silly to imagine that you can fix the public schools, because the very concept itself is communist.
Any child that comes out of the government school collective with their moral compass and common sense intact does so in spite of the government school indoctrination, not because of it.
If you want to win the culture war, have lots of children (see my tagline) and homeschool them or form your own school cooperative with your church or synagogue and like-minded friends and relatives.
Nobody loves your children more than you do.
Nobody can teach your children like you can.
Your children would love nothing better than to be taught by you, if you start doing so before they are corrupted by the government school collective.
It is hypocritical for you to submit your children to an authority with whom you fundamentally disagree. And your children will know it.
If you have children, make whatever sacrifices you must to get them out of the public schools.
DO NOT FEED THE BEAST!
Especially not with your own children.
We must envision a 21st century system of lifetime learning more flexible, more productive, more individualized and more capable than any bureaucracy could achieve. Newt Gingrich
The Gingrich Education Plan:
The continued growth of American jobs and American prosperity in a knowledge-based, internet-connected, globally-competitive world will be determined by quality of Americas schools. If America is going to remain competitive with China and India in the 21st century, then we must commit to improving education, especially in math and science, and moving from a bureaucrat-dominated status quo to an innovative system that emphasizes accountability, transparency, and parental choice:
* Empower parents to pick the right school for their child. Parents had the right to choose the school that is best for their child, and should never be trapped in a failing school against their will.
* Institute a Pell Grant-style system for Kindergarten through 12th Grade. Per-pupil school district funding should go into each childs backpack, and follow them to the school their parents wish to attend. Parents who home school their children should receive a tax credit or be allowed to keep the Pell Grant.
* Require transparency and accountability about achievement. Each state must set a rigorous standard that allows every student everywhere to master the skills they will need to be competitive, and develop a process for grading the effectiveness of every school.
* Implement a no limits charter system.
o All of the money allocated for student education goes directly to the school.
o The school manages its own staff, whereby it is exempt from laws regarding tenure, and need not unionize.
o The school defines its own curriculum, in line with the state standards and assessments. Students in charters are not exempt from state assessments. The schools are not exempt from reporting requirements, nor should they be.
o State law allows the school to franchise its model without limitation. That means they need not apply for a new school every time they can build a new one. If they have the demand, they must be able to serve it.
o The state has NO CAPS on the number of charter schools that can be approved, and the process for approving charter schools is smooth and efficient.
* Establish a pay for performance system. States and school governing boards should lift all existing prohibitions that prevent a principal from evaluating teachers based in part on student achievement.
* Welcome business talent in our communities into the classroom. Every state should open their systems up to part-time teachers so that retired physicists, neighborhood pharmacists, or local accountants could teach one or two hours a day and bring knowledge to the classroom, and business-like adult expectations to the students. And programs like Teach For America should be encouraged and not limited.
* Restore American history and values into the classroom. America is a learned civilization and every American, including immigrants, should learn American history and the principles of American self-government, productivity and prosperity. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1820: If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. Every student must learn to read and much of what they read should reinforce American civilization.
* Protect the rights of home-schooled children by ensuring they have the same access to taxpayer funded, extra-curricular educational opportunities as any public school student.
* Encourage states to think outside outdated boundaries of education. States have developed very innovative models:
o Students who graduate early should get the cost of the years they skip as an automatic scholarship, following the model of Governor Danielss program in Indiana.
o Every state should have a work-study college that enables students to graduate debt free, following the model of the College of the Ozarks in Missouri.
o Individualized, 24/7 learning should be universally available online, with the Florida Virtual School (over 120,000 students for K-12) as a model.
* Shrink the federal Department of Education and return power to states and communities. The Departments only role will be to collect research and data, and help find new and innovative approaches to then be adopted voluntarily at the local level.
It’s still a collectivist statist model.
See The Alliance for the Separation of School and State here ...
... for more elucidation on this subject.
It is not and never has been about 'the children'.
An Obama appointed federal judge just ruled against Act 10, Walker's anti-collective bargaining bill. Two other judges threw out the voter ID bill. Republican Governors have no power according to the liberal judicial system.
OPM (other peoples’ money) is in short supply and the union coffers have been drained. The dumbass teachers won’t realize they have no further value until they have screwed up the thinking of another generation. The left is counting on that being enough to get past the tipping point.
1) that’s one peril of the single party state
2) that’s one peril of the Party of the Single Party State
3) that’s a teaching moment about giving decades of unquestioning support to the Party of the Single Party State
4) that’s one way of shifting 90 minutes of law enforcement activity back into Chicago schools (make that “schools”) where it belongs
5) Raum Emanuel, non-resident mayor of Chicago, tells the Illinois state legislature to do its job for a change, and they do
Thanks Cincinatus’ Wife.
When the Democrats turn on the unions, you know just how broke we are.
I live near Chicago, so I know that Illinois isn’t a single party state. One of Illinois’ U.S. senators is a Republican, and the majority of U.S. reps., from Illinois, are Republicans. However, Cook Co. & Chicago are mostly Democrats. The last time that Chicago elected a republican mayor was 1927. In 1995, the republican candidate for mayor received 3% of the vote. After that, the mayoral election became nonpartisan.
I hope that Chicago will elect school board members. The elections would be nonpartisan, and a some Republicans would win, partly because the voters won’t know that those candidates are Republicans.
I think it is more of an issue that the money sucked up by the schools is being taken from elsewhere; here in NJ they laid off a lot of cops because there simply wasn’t any more money. We have a property tax cap in place that limits how much they can increase each year; it they’re capped at 2%, and the teachers get 4% raises, other people lose thei jobs. It is turning into a real dump here, as street go to crap, stop signs are blocked by foliage, etc.
Okay, Single Party City-State then. ;’)
About ten years ago the voters of Cleveland were offered a desperation proposal. Pass a levy that would raise a cool billion dollars, and the infusion of money would set the school system upright and on the way. Fix dilapidated schools, tear down obsolete ones, build new ones, etc etc. The voters of Cleveland took a deep breath and approved it. Nothing changed. The money is gone. And the children are still getting crap education.
Democrat (of course) Frank Jackson is a brave man, and he has republican Kasich in his corner.
BTW, thanks to their repealing SB 5, the union thugs of Lorain County next door are watching 180 layoffs, about half of them teachers, take the guts out of their bankrupt school system.
Here in NJ a lot of new teachers were laid off, and a lot of prospective public-school teachers never got their first job out of college, because of the funds directed towards established tenured teachers. They constantly suck more money from the taxpayers, and the property tax cap ended the annual ritual of watching our taxes go up $500+ annually, so the “newbies” and “wanna-bes” were out of luck.
I have no sympathy for them; I’m glad they failed in their attempted rape of the NJ taxpayers.
Interesting turn of events in the Chicago public schools.
This is one of the funny things about liberals. They all want to be eaten last.
Thanks for posting that. Often I am to the right of most Republican candidates on education (it’s not a deal-breaker for me), but Newt makes a lot of sense here.
“We dont want to have honest conversations about poverty and segregation and race and class, all those other sorts of ills, said Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union. Those are really tough issues. So this gives them an excuse to focus on something else.”
We been having that “conversation” for 50 years where has it gone but to dumb down our schools and embitter entire generations to hate & resent their neighbor rather than to work hard and become like them.
Urban schools are failing because they have been run into the ground by theses democratic policy’s.
Not to mention the popcorn.This should be good.
Its still a collectivist statist model.
I have no desire to be confrontational, but I do want your opinion on this.
For a little background, homeschooling is almost impossible here in the UK. Sure, my wife and I taught our kids after school. We do it for the grandkids now. Both of us still work full time and have all our lives, barring the 7 years when my wife had the kids and stayed home to look after them.
So what are we supposed to do with the kids during the day? Can’t take them to work (Ironically, I was a teacher for many of those years). Can’t leave them on their own. We had to move where the work was, so family were several hundred miles away. We couldn’t drop a job - her staying home was worth it but nearly sank us, and we are VERY careful with money.
It has taken nearly 20 years for us to get back to where we were before the eldest was born.
I am solidly in favor of homeschooling, the kids learn faster and understand more, but when you need both parents working to make sure the children have a meal and a roof over their heads to come home to, schools are a blessing.
So my question is, how do you fix that?
The thing teachers unions have been most effective at is undermining what was once a great education system. Tell us about how badly we have slipped in world-wide student standing.....Take away their pay until they improve US student standing.
It isn't the government employee unions. It is socialism.
In a generation or two they will say the same about Obamacare. At first socialized medicine won't be that bad. Why? Due to the values of those doctors, nurses, and administrators trained under a primarily private system. In a few decades that is when the true horror of socialism will emerge.
So....Can you see? The education system ( that once upon a time) seemed great wasn't. Why? Answer: Modern government schooling is built upon a foundation of single-payer, compulsory attendance, and compulsory-funding **socialism***!!!!
Modern government socialist-entitlement education was doomed to failure from the beginning.
Solution: Begin the process of privatizing universal K-12 education. Begin the process of complete separation of school and state.
> I have no desire to be confrontational,
I must apologize if I seemed confrontational, as you are not at all so.
Please contact the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, http://www.hslda.org/ for the best options for your country and situation.
Apparently, they have enjoyed a homescchool victory in Canada, recently.
Given your situation, however, homeschooling may not be practical. If you are churchgoers, perhaps you can organize a church school with like-minded parents and grandparents in your situation. You would basically be establishing a one-room schoolhouse after the Noah Webster model.
You could hire one or more of your church members to teach the school. That means that the participating parents and relatives would share the costs, and perhaps your church or its overseeing denomination would be able to assist financially.
If you conduct your school on church property, you may have to get some kind of permission from the town council to allow it. The Mohammedans do this with their madrassas throughout the world, including Commonwealth nations and the Dominion of Canada. Why should Christians be excluded?
2) Are you admitting that government socialist-entitlement schooling is a baby sitting service? It costs up to a quarter of a million dollars per child for government K-12 schooling in the U.S.. That's expensive babysitting!
3) Often when the second parent goes out to work, it doesn't bring in that much money. Once the costs of babysitting, travel, taxes, and other expenses associated with working are considered, the second parent is literally working for pennies an hour.
4) Homeschooling gives the family much more flexibility in where they live. Their home purchases are not driven by finding so called “good” schools. This can be a tremendous savings for them.
5) Finally, I think that once parents have children they should give up the idea of financially getting back to where they were before.
We dont want to have honest conversations about poverty and segregation and race and class, all those other sorts of ills, said Karen Lewis,
Indeed, it is the socialists who don’t want the conversation ...**because** ...we know what prevents poverty.
** Staying out of prison
** Having babies only when married
** Staying married and not getting divorced
** Going to school, on time, every day and graduating from high school
** Choosing to be illiterate and innumerate
** Getting a job, any job, and going to that job, on time, every day
Suburban schools are failing, too! They just don't seem to be that bad because the parents are doing **tons** of afterschooling.
Seriously, I mean it. I have had enough experience as a cub scout leader and helping with the tutoring program in my church to know. My conclusion:
If any child in my county can read and do arithmetic it is because the **parents** have taught that child to read and do the basic arithmetic. If a child has parents who aren't doing that, they **can not read** and they **can not to simple arithmetic!
We live in one of the reddest counties in one of the reddest states in the U.S. Or county is overwhelmingly middle class and vanilla ice cream **white**.
Thank you, friend. You were not confrontational at all, I wished not to insult you in the slightest, hence the disclaimer before asking for information. Pushing for homeschooling is a difficult task!
We MIGHT be able to do something with this. A lot of us older ones are not terribly happy with state education, but the time thing is the killer since nearly all of us still work. If we can share it out, it is doable. Difficult, yes, but anything really worthwhile is!
I will have a read of the links, contact them and bring it up at our next informal meeting to see what people say.
Most will say yes.
Once more, my thanks for you taking the time to help us out!
, but Newt makes a lot of sense here.
He’s moving in the right direction. He has influence within the Republican Party and among conservative intellectuals. Newt may really prefer complete separation of school and state, but realizes that we can get there only if we start moving in that direction by increments.
It is not and never has been about ‘the children’.
That’s the truth!
That prevents poverty?
I think you left out a word like “..NOT ** Choosing to be illiterate and innumerate...”.
Thank you for catching that.
1) Afterschooling, ( AKA: helping kids after school), is **more** work than homeschooling. Why? Because some school homework is redundant and/or stupid, and more time is spent undoing the indoctrination than if it was taught correctly the first time.
It is what it is. Keeping kids out of school is horrendously difficult here. The absolute best you can do is correct the errors and help them advance.
2) Are you admitting that government socialist-entitlement schooling is a baby sitting service? It costs up to a quarter of a million dollars per child for government K-12 schooling in the U.S.. That’s expensive babysitting!
Just saying what we had. 7 years of my wife not earning one thin dime and we nearly drowned. We didn’t but it was close, and we have never owed money in our lives, so no loans to pay off.
3) Often when the second parent goes out to work, it doesn’t bring in that much money. Once the costs of babysitting, travel, taxes, and other expenses associated with working are considered, the second parent is literally working for pennies an hour.
Yes, that is a huge and ongoing problem. The main reason my wife stayed home for seven years is we could not afford her to work. We really couldn’t afford her not to work either, but her not working let us go broke more slowly.
4) Homeschooling gives the family much more flexibility in where they live. Their home purchases are not driven by finding so called good schools. This can be a tremendous savings for them.
Again, a good point. We were lucky - good schools in an area we could afford without me doing a 4 hour commute, so I could spend time with the kids of an evening.
5) Finally, I think that once parents have children they should give up the idea of financially getting back to where they were before.
Agree with that totally. Kids come first.
This “good schools” idea should really be closely examined. Why? Because the afterschooling done by good parents, such as you and your wife, is never considered. How do we know that these schools are “good” or not, if the contributions of the parent's afterschooling is **never** studied? Perhaps the so-called “good” school is merely ordinary but it is the parents, and their hard work in the home, that is the real reason these students have high standardized test scores.
Afterschooling has **never** been studied by education professionals. A Stanford professor of education e-mailed me and told me exactly that.
We in the U.S. are literally crushed by school taxes. Really, we are! In some of our states, the amount spent on schooling is more than a quarter of million dollars per child for 13 years of schooling. It is not unusual to have property tax bills of $10,000 or more a year in some states on very ordinary homes. And....Business property taxes passed on to the customer raises the price of everything that we buy and use.
Yet... No one really knows if our schools are teaching anything. It could be that they are merely sending home a curriculum for the parents and child to follow in the home, serving as testing centers, and providing grading on projects.
It is good that you have others sharing your point of view, since you can cooperate.
State education, though it predates Marx, is still communist in nature, since it is collectivist statist, and it typically defaults to the lowest common denominator.
What you will be doing is forming a school cooperative. This is vastly different from the school collective that the state imposes on everyone, here in the States and everywhere else that it is practiced.
A cooperative is voluntary. A collective is compulsory, or at least coercive. There are many other differences between a cooperative and a collective, but the aforementioned is probably the most important one.
It is a great shame and a testimony against our governments that both husband and wife must work to live decently.
My uncle says, “They are getting the women for free.”
What does he mean by this? Consider. Here in the States, in 1953, the average tax burden, Federal, State, and Municipal, was about 5%. Today it’s 40% or more. The women typically earn about 40% of what the men earn, for whatever reasons (or grievances) you want to cite, that is a fact.
The overwhelming preponderance of the modern tax burden goes to pay for a lot of government programs that became “necessary” at least in part from taking the women out of the home and the many deleterious social effects precipitating from that.
Ergo, my uncle’s reasoning that “they are getting the women for free.”
I don’t know what it will take to unwind from this bondage, but here we are.
My definition of good schools is where they learn the most they can, have opportunities a single family simply cannot provide and get the least amount of indoctrination.
I agree that afterschooling plays a significant role in the rep of the school, and it is unquantifiable. We have, when our kids were in school, run formal classes in our dining room for 15 kids (their friends got interested) on evenings and weekends. Purely voluntary, but fun. That number would be a bit much now though.
One thing I did learn as a teacher is that eager students, wanting to learn and well ahead of their age group, attract the best teachers to a school while the “less good” teachers look for an easier gig. The ones who teach because they love it, not because it is a job are the ones you want!
You and me both, FRiend. It seems such a mess that we can never unwind from it.
Still, you have given me heart. Been looking at the education rules here and we can do it, by my understanding. Maybe not for teens, but certainly for pre-teens.
Using the local Methodist church as a venue will be no problem, and my priest (Catholic) is asking advice now from the Bishop as to if he and the diocese can get involved.
Bless you and thank you for the information!
God bless you, my brother, and your efforts!
You certainly are a many of action!
Praise the LORD!
No sense in hanging about! The paperwork alone is probably going to be a stack about a mile high.
It is something that we have been vaguely talking about for a while. Everyone I talked to today about it is keen to do it, indeed excited!
Our priest is fully on board with the idea and knows how to handle legal paperwork, so is the pastor of the Methodist church (he has two young children and will let us have the use of the Hall for basically the cost of utilities if we can swing permission from the borough council).
Our local Rabbi phoned me this afternoon offering help in getting it going too - he was involved in setting up a Jewish Free School a few years back.
Thank you! You have given hope to us. The Lord works in mysterious ways indeed, but I firmly believe He inspired your posts. Small miracles happen all the time.
Praise the Lord!
Kill the welfare state so a family can make it on one income.
Imagine if,say, half your taxes went away.
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