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The Future of Edumucation

Original post made by Thomas Paineful, Pheasant Ridge, on Apr 30, 2010

The few regular "bloggers" on Pleasanton Weekly have often wished for an end to seniority for teachers (aka "tenure") and for the demolition of the union, salary schedules, and state laws protecting teachers.

Well, what would a state that "accomplished" all that look like? Turns out our neighbor to the east, the beautiful state of Arizona, has "accomplished" all that and more:

<i>Slashed state funding was bad enough. What followed, last fall, was worse. In a clearly punitive measure, to target teachers who had been involved in publicizing the budget cuts and how they would harm Arizona families, the legislators upended policy toward teachers, removing all seniority protections. (This state already did not have tenure. I don't know if we ever did; I moved here in 1994 from Michigan, and the difference in protections for workers has been eye-goggling.) The policy changes were submitted within budget legislation, where they clearly did not belong, and were passed by Republicans who were shortsighted, on a vendetta, or both. Our wonderful Republican governor, Jan Brewer (thank you very much, Barack Obama, for stealing Janet Napolitano from us!) signed this vile mess into law. When it was challenged by the Arizona Educators Association for having been passed in a special session, these same legislators voted again, just a couple weeks ago, and HB 2227 easily passed on straight party lines, again. </i>

And of course this is the nail in the coffin:

<i>Losing seniority protections means that administrators can now comb through the ranks of "expensive" teachers--the ones with the most education, or, worse, the ones with the highest medical bills--and those folks are GONE.</i>

Web Link

Be careful what you wish for, Californians. You may just get it.

Comments (5)

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Posted by Wendy
a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 30, 2010 at 10:50 am

Agree. You can count on republicans to value the interests of billionaires more than teachers. They always want to use the teachers and unions as scapegoats because they are too cheap and selfish to pay the taxes. The anti-tax movement and Prop 13 is what have really destroyed public education. You get what you pay for!

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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 30, 2010 at 11:17 am

There is at least one district in California that does not have a teachers union and it has become a collaborative environment. I'm sure there are other articles about Arizona with a different viewpoint and other examples across the country where using a different approach--and that doesn't have to mean no union--has worked successfully.

What would you call yesterday's walk out in Oakland? It hurt students for at least that day; for the parents who kept their kids home, it cost the district the very money teachers are demanding for five percent raises every year for the next several years. I'd like to pay great teachers well and more, but just where do those union members think that five percent will come from?

There are viable answers for everyone involved; there needs to be the will to change and so far, that seems to be coming only from taxpayers who pick up the tab and not those from the various union leaderships.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 30, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I suppose the original poster has no clue as to what is going on down in LA. There's a lawsuit against LAUSD filed by the ACLU because the seniority based layoffs rob students of access to quality teachers and people down there are tired of it.

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 30, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Just like the Oakland parents who went on strike and pulled their kids out of school for a day because the district did nothing to address a problem teacher, people are tired of employees being put first above kids.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The question was posed about what would an end to seniority based layoffs look like. Well, probably something like the sample scorecard at the end of this report: Web Link (from Web Link)

Don't make the mistake of thinking that seniority would not be considered. A more well-designed evaluation system would take seniority into account, but it wouldn't be weighted as highly as it is now.

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