Skip to comments.Many Democrats Prioritizing Black Families Over Teachers Unions
Posted on 06/16/2014 4:22:01 AM PDT by Kaslin
Five teacher hiring and firing laws bit the dust in California this week. In a major blow to teachers unions, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treus ruling struck down teacher tenure, while freeing districts from spending hundreds of thousands to fire teachers and from having to fire newly-hired teachers first during layoffs.
The ruling is being applauded as a major civil rights victory, with Judge Treu comparing it with historic desegregation battle Brown v. Board of Education. Treu said both cases addressed a students fundamental right to equality of the educational experience. The data could not be clearer that the union-controlled public education monopoly disproportionately harms black and Latino students. But legal pushback on the issue puts the Democratic party in a tight spot. Party leaders can continue ignoring or thwarting reform efforts aimed at ensuring every child has access to a quality education. Or, they can jump on board the fight for equality, and alienate the teachers unions, historically among their most powerful allies. More and more Democrats are choosing the latter, putting them on the right side of history, but the wrong side of a very powerful lobby.
In his ruling Judge Treu described the evidence that Californias teacher hiring and firing laws harm poor and minority students compelling.
Indeed, it shocks the conscience, Treu wrote. At the trial, experts testified that teacher tenure laws, along with first in, last out protections for senior educators keep bad teachers in their jobs. And, unsurprisingly, districts usually place failing teachers in predominantly black and Hispanic schools. Californias black students are 43 percent more likely than whites to be taught by a failing teacher. Latino students are 68 percent more likely. Judge Treu ruled that this situation violates those students constitutional right to an equal education.
Getting stuck with even one bad teacher has devastating consequences going forward. Harvard Prof. Thomas Kane testified at the trial. He pointed out that a student assigned to a grossly ineffective math teacher loses nearly a full year of learning per year compared to a student assigned to a teacher of average effectiveness. Harvard Prof. Raj Chetty testified as well, showing research that a student with a grossly ineffective teacher for even one year loses $50,000 in lifetime earnings compared to a student assigned to an average teacher.
Many Democrats are coming around to the reality of the situation, and are standing up for poor and minority students. Politico reports that many high-profile Democrats have broken with the party on education reform agenda items such as charter schools, standardized testing, and teacher evaluation and accountability.
This follows work at the grassroots level from groups like Democrats for Education Reform and The Education Trust, two non-profits which have for years calling for reform to close the achievement gap between white and minority students, and rightly pointed to teacher union obstructionism as a prime reason so many efforts at public education reform have, until recently, gotten nowhere.
Even President Obama supports charters and accountability. His Education Secretary Arne Duncan supported the ruling. Millions of young people in America are disadvantaged by laws, practices and systems that fail to identify and support our best teachers and match them with our neediest students, Duncan said, calling the ruling a mandate to fix these problems.
Rules that protect bad teachers from firing are common across the country, not just in California. According to New Yorks school boards association, the average proceeding to remove even one incompetent teacher extends for 830 days and costs taxpayers $313,000. So teachers are far more likely to be moved to failing schools than fired. And these schools tend to be filled with black and Latino kids. The problem entrenches itself as those teachers stay in the system longer, where they are then protected by seniority. Not only does this keep a failing teacher in the classroom, but it makes it impossible for schools to hire new, more effective teachers.
The suit was filed by a group called Students Matter, made up of a group of 9 student plaintiffs, and backed by a Silicon Valley millionaire. They are considering similar lawsuits in Connecticut, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and elsewhere.
Opposition to teacher tenure is as commonplace as it is common sense. But legislative reform has been nigh-on impossible, thanks to pressure from teachers unions on lawmakers to maintain their legal protections. Its no surprise, then, that reform has required the courts to get involved.
However, striking down hiring and firing laws will likely improve Californias public education system by flushing out poor-quality teachers and making room for better ones. This will likely energize Democratic families frustrated by failing schools to demand action from their legislators. Then lawmakers will have to choose: Help struggling families get the same quality public education as their better-off peers, or continue protecting teachers unions from competition and accountability? Its an uneviable position, born from a disgusting history of pandering to and prioritizing labor at the expense of societys most vulnerable. Lets hope they do the right thing.
You mean coming around to the reality Republicans have been telling people for years?
Them chickens are a comin’ home to roost, dontcha know.
Any ruling coming out of CA is suspect since the judiciary is so corrupt. This could be a scheme to rid the system of whites and replace them with blacks and Mexicans.
The article fails to mention one of the biggest problems this poses for the Democrats. If they reform the school and get minority students a quality education, then presumably they may be able to think for themselves. Then, they may start questioning the Democratic mantra....
You mean that after 50 years of The Great Society there are some black families left? /S
“Many Democrats are coming around to the reality of the situation, and are standing up for poor and minority students.”
They are coming around to realization that with a more informed electorate, they are are losing votes.
Politicians in general are not concerned with the citizens welfare, only with votes and largesse that they can steal via the law.
Let me just say that:
1. I have no luv for Teachers Unions, and
2. The concept of “tenure” for K-12 teachers is ridiculous
With that out of the way, I don’t think it fair that the teachers get the lion’s share of the blame here. When you’re talking about the inner city, you’re dealing with a population that is either apathetic, or even hostile, to learning. Even if you took good teachers and put them in such an environment, how long before they quit or give up?
Case in point: I know a young man who taught at an inner city school and was stabbed by a student. The student got a slap on the wrist. That was the first and last year the young man was a teacher. He is now pursuing a degree in computer science instead.
Until the inner city culture changes, you are just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Equal education does not mean quality education for all.
A (bad) way around this ruling is to match white kids with bad teachers & schools, giving the blacks & Latinos preference in the good schools. That will better balance the racial numbers, while improving nothing.
What %? 0.037???
I think this IS them questioning the mantra. This judge will face tough times due to this ruling!
I think POTUS has made it pretty clear that everything is the white mans fault.
You raise an important point. I started out teaching in the inner city in a parochial school. At the first opportunity I got out into a suburban school. I was subjected to non-stop cursing, insults, accusations of racism and periodic threats and physical intimidation. I spent at least one to two hours daily dealing with disciplinary matters which never seemed to improve, since the school could not afford to expel anyone. Some of the students made an effort academically, but they were very ill prepared for high school level work. Most of them did almost no homework and were incapable of passing a grade-level test.
Many of these kids are in a horrid home and community environment which is hostile to education. Replacing a teacher is not going to help them nearly as much as addressing the home environment, the anti-education culture, and the social promotion practices of the lower primary grades. Kids who can't read beyond a 2nd or 3rd grade level can't succeed in high school, no matter who tries to teach them.
I cannot tell you what awful math teachers I had
Didn’t Obama kill the charter schools in DC..how can this reporter say that Obozo’s “coming around?”
Remember, don't ask for 3/4 pound of turkey when shopping.
They only do half pound or pound.
-——energize Democratic families——
Ha.... the point of being democrat is to not want to be energized. Then there is the family. There is real question that those most effected don’t really have families in the conventional sense. They are pretty much a village
I want half a pound of Baloney.
thanks, now I want half a half pound of baloney
I think you raise some good points.
However, it seems to me that teaching enthusiastic students with lots of parental support is comparatively easy. I dare say, had I had the Internet as a student, I would have learned more on my own than in a classroom setting, likely only needing periodic guidance. A good part of my K-12 education was waiting around to be spoonfed the next morsel of info, especially once I had the basics down (like by the 5th grade).
Does one really need an education degree, periodic seminars, tenure, early retirement, etc. to teach the high end students? The “work” of teaching - where we need the best and brightest dedicated creative professionals - is in the difficult kids in the bad situations.
When youre talking about the inner city, youre dealing with a population that is either apathetic, or even hostile, to learning. Even if you took good teachers and put them in such an environment, how long before they quit or give up?””
Exactly, I know a couple of people who learned valuable lessons when teaching for less than one year in an African ghetto. Black culture has little regard for education and being from the left-side of the bell curve makes it tougher. All one has to do is look at every city and country dominated by Africans. The picture is not pretty.
Actually, no. The district doesn't place them there. They end up there because the students are so difficult that teacher turn-over rate is very high. Teachers who get hired there usually can't hack it, and either manage to scramble out to a better school or -- more often -- leave teaching altogether because even working at Starbucks is preferable to being assaulted by a little gangster and learning that no one is going to do anything about it.
So those are the schools with the openings, and those are the schools who will hire anyone they can in hopes that the teacher can just keep the kids in the room for 55 minutes and nothing gets set on fire. If you think I'm kidding, be aware that I am a LAUSD teacher, and I've seen it.
I mean, yes, there are bad teachers (or rather, there are teachers who would have been fine in a classroom in Iowa 70 years ago when children had manners, parents had responsibility and control, and the principal had a big wooden paddle,) but they can't manage a classroom full of entitled minority students with crippled home-lives, no discipline, and carte blanche to do anything they want.
Not to mention that kids today all seem to have PSPs, smartphones, iPods, and are utterly addicted to them. They don’t read, they talk, or listen to music, or watch videos (horrible ones, generally.) Their heads are full of junk and junk is all they like. Even kids on foodstamps have these expensive toys (easier to buy when the government is paying for all your food.)
Trouble is, she made little money at it. The agency for which she worked had arcane rules on mileage reimbursement such as going directly to a client in a neighboring county was considered "commuting" and not reimbursable, whereas a five mile drive over to the next client was.
After a few months she landed a job at a nearby juvenile lock-up, better hourly wage, less time on the road and decent benefits. She loved the job and enjoyed seeing results when her charges were mostly runaways, teenage prostitutes and the like. The facility had such a low recidivism rate that they eventually went out of the area to keep it filled. Of course, that meant getting gang bangers and the like in from Philadelphia. As that happened, she begin to fear for her personal safety.
Eventually, she discovered that she could make more money with her degree at a call center doing customer service support, not that it has a lot to do with a social work degree, but because they wanted a college degree.
I'm pretty good at handling children but we have an autistic boy who is bigger than me and apparently has some violent "needs" sometimes. I warned my principal (who is a nice guy but a little too mellow about such things) that if that kid ever hits me, I'm getting a lawyer. I'm hoping he won't be in my classroom next year.
The primary way this ruling will be used will be to fire the 'ideologically impure' first. In a sane world, you'd expect to see layoffs for incompetence, but when was the last time you noticed a surplus of sanity in acedemia?
Yeah, the “many” struck me as funny.
Why are not ALL democrats prioritizing the rebuilding of black families over the interests of teachers’ unions?
Yeah, we knew ‘dat.
Well, sometimes they do things for reasons other than money, of course.
Vengeance, for instance. Envy. Hatred, most frequently.
Sometimes just sheer spite.
Could be both - the leftist politicians know that they need campaign contributions in order to get elected in order to have the power to cut the successful off at the knees.
They are Equal Opportunity Destroyers.
Democrats - never good with math - have FINALLY figured out there are more people with children than there are teachers' with their greedy hands out...
Tea Party's been pushing Charter Schools and Vouchers... guess some young parents are staring to hear us. Bye-bye democrats...
Blacks and immigrants will still vote 80% for the Democrat Party.
Detroit and East St. Louis.
Many of these kids are in a horrid home and community environment which is hostile to education. Replacing a teacher is not going to help them nearly as much as addressing the home environment, the anti-education culture, and the social promotion practices of the lower primary grades.
...of course this is true, and it is the only thing that holds back the verbal tirades I used to unleash on teachers that I came across...it would have been well if I hadn’t run my mouth so much at one time, but, well, that’s that...
...my only teaching experience was Catholic CCD, which I did for two years, and gladly quit...naturally, I did it for free, but even if I’d been remunerated, I’d have left...other people’s sassy children hold no charm for me...all that being said, I believe every parishioner in a modern Catholic church should be required to do a two year stint in CCD...it would open some eyes...
Go read the decision:
Some place can do 1/4 or 1/3.
Try for 3/8 and you’ll GET 1/2.
I can get it for you wholesale...
Not that it matters to the rats as long as the vote rat party
Wasn't that why the Dems pushed so hard for "motor voter"? A lot of states give them driver licenses and magically they're on the voter rolls....
Meanwhile; in Indianapolis...
Paddling, Taylor said, was part of teaching back then. And it was effective at controlling bad behavior.
Sometimes thats what had to happen, she said. I always told the students I expect you to behave and if you dont, well if I paddle you once, I wont have to again.
Any and all attempts to force good teachers into black or Hispanic schools will fail. Good teachers will want to teach students who want to learn, and they do not want to (nor will they) teach violent, rude, brutal Urban Ferals.
Nor do they want to have their car keyed, be beaten by students, be raped by students, be killed by students, ad nauseam.
When minority students acquire the student behaviors of successful white students, they can be taught with some success.
HOWEVER ! ! - given the IQ disparities between black and Hispanic students and white students, to expect black/Hispanic scores to reach the white scores is to ask the teachers to do the impossible.
When professional race card players (most if not all Democrats) say they will accomplish anything that will result in black/Hispanic academic test score equality with white scores, they assure the cheating made infamous in the Atlanta, GA school system.
Teachers are a cohort enriching themselves improperly because they take their salary knowing they can’t educate the “students”.
Taking a job which one knows one can’t accomplish is also commonly known as fraud.
Sorry, but teachers are frauds improperly enriching themselves.
Had they, as a group, discussed these issues I would support them. As it it, I hold they should be deal;t with as the frauds they really are.
How about chopping salaries, removing pensions & bennies?
“But, the Lil’ darlins’ will be dealing drugs if they are not in school” is the commie/union whine.
Sorry, they are dealing drugs in the halls as I type.
The Pooblic Skrewl Collective is beyond repair - time to start anew.
I suggest Google search for “We Test And How” - Carry_Okie’s perspective on the Hives of teh Collective.
Also, this decision is a bad precedent. Just because this judge doesn't like the results of the challenged laws, he decides they're unconstitutional. Based on reasoning like this, any judge can do anything.
I’m not sure any mere moral could make a dent with some of these inner city students. Does that mean these teachers are frauds for trying? That’s too extreme for me....it is still their time and effort. Many, many people get paid for merely showing up...not just teachers. Maybe truth to power would be to change their titles from “teacher” to “babysitter”. But I’m sure that would be considered damaging to everyone’s self esteem....can’t have that.
Their are fundamentally three tiers of students:
The better students are not taught so much as guided and engaged. The ones in the middle are taught in the conventional sense. The ones at the bottom are warehoused until they’re “done”—if you’re lucky, they learn enough of the three Rs to function in society.
From a student perspective, much of this is self selection. A bad teacher can potentially cause a student to go from an upper tier to a lower one. Conversely, a good teacher can cause a bad student to go from a lower tier to a higher one. But these are exceptions to the rule.
well that’s just great....... .75 pounds please
Well said. Many of those in the middle have the inherent ability to be in the top tier but lack consistent effort. All can be taught, but methods and expectations have to be adjusted.