Skip to comments.The teachers union that's failing California
Posted on 05/19/2012 7:11:47 AM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer
California's education tailspin has been blamed on class sizes, on the property tax restrictions enforced by Proposition 13, on an influx of Spanish-speaking students. But no portrait of the schools' downfall would be complete without mention of the California Teachers Assn., or CTA, arguably the state's most powerful union and a political behemoth that has blocked meaningful education reform, protected failing and even criminal educators, and pushed for pay raises and benefits that have reached unsustainable levels.
The CTA's power dates back to September 1975, when Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Rodda Act, which allowed teachers to bargain collectively. Within 18 months, 600 of the 1,000 local CTA chapters had moved to collective bargaining. In the years since Rodda's passage, the CTA has launched more than 170 strikes.
The CTA's most important resource, however, isn't a pool of workers ready to strike; it's a fat bank account fed by mandatory dues that can run to more than $1,000 per member. In 2009, the union's income was more than $186 million, all of it tax exempt.
The CTA's size, financial resources and influence with the state's Democratic Party are enough to kill most pieces of hostile legislation. Nevertheless, there are some encouraging stirrings. Parents in groups such as Parent Revolution are starting to revolt against CTA orthodoxy, and unlike elected officials, parents are hard for the union to demonize. The state's many excellent charter schools have demonstrated that another way is possible, and they are growing in strength by the day.
These efforts have reframed the education question in starkly humanitarian terms: In the California public school system, are anyone's interests more important than the students'? It was a question that the CTA itself might have asked back when teachers entered the classroom to "teach good citizenship."
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
More like, "for the teachers' pensions."
The problem? The state has to educate all comers. Private schools can pick and choose; public schools have to take EVERYONE. That means the system has to TRY to educate the LOWEST I.Q. and the WORST behavioral problems. Failure is part of human nature and the educational system has to deal with failure-students...and worse, failure parents.
I could list all the stupidities of the PARENTS and you might, as I did, end up feeling sorry for the poor kids with their screw-up parents.
Nothing new, different or unusual in the California educational system. It's just HUGE because we have so many damn people. I grew up here when the population of the state was a 'mere' 10 million. Now, we are BUSTIN' at the seams with close to 40 million. FOUR times more people!!
By what measure is it "just fine"?
The only thing it appears to be be undeniably successful at is funding the teacher's unions.
I disagree. It is the excessive spending that is the cause of the trouble! Brought on by the Unions, illegals, etc.
The failure is multifold - I won't blame JUST the teachers; there is plenty of blame to go towards cocktail bureaucrats who have inserted ‘gay education’, ‘minority history’ and ‘green education’ into the curriculum. But at the end of the day, far fewer students are leaving primary school with the tools needed to complete their education. And that is mostly upon teachers who have far more concern about pay raises and more benefits.
Beyond, the ‘average’ of $68,000 quoted salary ignores the nearly equal cost of benefits - vacations, health care, pensions, tuition assistance, student loan repayments, etc. If the teachers had their salaries slashed in half tomorrow, the benefits cost wouldn't go down and they'd still be earning an equivalent of a hundred grand a year.
The focus must be on reigning in the existing costs of benefits, as well as stepping down the salaries. And honestly, the only way to do this is to put transparency back into the system - everything goes into the paycheck, with the educator able to purchase pension benefits, health care, loan repayments, etc out of pocket. And of course, all of it taxable, just like any average citizen has to do if they were in business for themselves.
Just part of THE BIG DEMOCRAT MONEY-MAKING MACHINE!
California public education isn’t just fine. Spend an hour interacting with a public educated 4th graders and a home schooled 4th graders and you will see what I mean. I would never allow my child to be educated in a California public school today, although I did 30 years ago and I was educated in California public schools myself.
Any student who is unable to participate fully in an ‘average’ classroom setting, due to special needs from a physical or mental handicap should be given a grant to handle their educational needs. Hire a private tutor with it, go to a special private school - whatever, but here's your money, you're not going into the public educational system.
And any federal intervention into this should be ignored. ‘Thank you for your opinion, judge, but we've got this covered.’ This is not for creating a separate but equal system, because the demands of one can not outweigh the rights of the many.
And it should extend to troublemakers as well - congratulations on your gang affiliation, here's your new boot camp school. You speak Spanish (Tagalog, Swahili, etc)? Your class meets at this building.
The costs of creating these specialized campuses will quickly balance out in the vast reduction in costs for the various school campuses which must be designed to accommodate virtually any possible student. Yes, your child has (and I disagree) a right to an education. That right shall not interfere with the rights of others. If your child can't climb steps, sit still for an hour, go a day without hitting someone - then they go to a different school, or get home schooled, etc.
In my district alone, over 75 million has been spent on 13 schools to comply with ADA regulations and accommodating special needs students. The yearly budget JUST for maintaining these improvements is well over a million a year. And it does nothing to improve educational conditions.
Moreover, by creating ‘discipline’ schools, a layer of control gets put into schools. Get into trouble, get sent to the special school for a week or two, then decide if you like the place better, or if you want to actually stay on the straight and narrow and actually get an education.
In a more perfect world, I'd love to see actions reviewable by a parents council. Send a kid to the discipline school for daring to wear a US flag shirt on Cinco de Mayo? The person who made that decision can be immediately terminated. But unfortunately, the terrible truth is that most parent boards are dominated by the most liberal of parents, as they, by definition, love to tell others what to do, and are most attracted to power.
As I said in my previous post, change all benefits to be solely originated by the employee - bump up the paychecks and say ‘buy what pension and health care and benefits as you desire. Want vacation days? They cost us X amount of dollars, buy as many as you'd like. Want your tuition repaid? It's in your hands what you do with the money. Oh, and you get to pay the taxes on it, just like everyone else does.’
And of course, no reform can be complete without removing tenure. You're an at will employee of the people. You want really fancy review boards and whatnot? Then go get a job in the private sector that provides it. Will some be harmed by this system? Sure. But it will remove a great more harm from the students, and at the end of the day, that's where the goal is supposed to be oriented.
Completely wrong. A system can't be fixed if the problem isn't even recognized. The current model is FUBR. The best thing that can be done is trash the whole system and switch to an online model. No need for expensive facilities, buses, unions, administrators, etc. The old model is obsolete and unsustainable and exists only for the benefit of unions and bureaucrats.
All unions lead to failure. Teacher union , nursing union, police union , auto union and building trade unions can’t compete against a motivated, performance paid work force.
Given the stanglehold the Left has on the state and the strength of the union, the only glimmer of hope is to circumvent the public school systems altogether and let the unions die on the vine. Only problem is, there is likely not enough time left for that to happen.
In all fairness, California is not the only State with the problem; it's just among the largest.
The National Teachers Union must be the first to go.
Public "Service" Unions and the bureaucracy are the only entiries in the universe not rewarded for performance.
The practice of accepting contracts with yearly increases just for being warm with a pulse, are over. All people are equal, but union thugs are no longer "more equal" than their employers. Starting with the local city government, districts, and moving on up.
"Angry" doesn't begin to describe it.
Same in most cities and towns in the California Central Valley.
The only rational vote is "NO" on everything, until the moron State legislature discovers "cutting spending."
I'm no longer buying excuses. The only criterion is results. If the educational system demands baby sitting and nothing else, all teacher and administrator salaries should be minimum wage.
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.
Lol. You sound like me 30 years ago...exactly.
Continue to rant and rave, excusing no one for anything.
Then, check back in 10 years, see more of the world and see if you still bellyache (not a bad thing, P.) about how horrible the California school system is.
I can't get over how EXACTLY you sound like I did 30 years ago...part of the solution or part of the problem! NO EXCUSES!!!!! JUST BABYSITTING. Ah me.
Generally, the school is only as good as the students and parents. But, then what do I know? I've only been teaching in the California school systems for 43 years--ALL levels...and I've seen most of the world and even some of ITS schools.
“But, then what do I know? I’ve only been teaching in the California school systems for 43 years...”
How did I know that was coming...