Schools are forced to keep bad teachers

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from GreginMedford. Show GreginMedford's posts

    Schools are forced to keep bad teachers

    Its a one word answer Ericha

    Unions
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kellychase58. Show kellychase58's posts

    Schools are forced to keep bad teachers

    Sadly, the teachers that are protected by the union are those that have seniority and veteran status. Please understand that there are many excellent teachers in this category (veteran/long term). Unions do provide protection for those staff members that are harrassed by leaders who are uncomfortable with them for their level of working knowledge, certification status, and/or competence if it surpasses that of the principal. If I ever published the teacher/principal reports that I receive with spelling, punctuation, grammatic errors - readers would be appalled that these are the very "professionals" that are teaching our students to answer open response and long composition questions for MCAS. However, having to dismiss the newly trained, recently hired teachers who show promise and use best practice methodologies (including updated technology) is due to the budget crisis that happens year to year. and the established public school practice of last hired, first fired. So much for the Highly Qualified status of teaching professionals. And, an even worse scenario in public schools are the appointments of internal candidates to positions of leadership (principals) who may not have made it in the classroom, so were appointed to positions of administration so that "they won't harm students that way". I could tell tales of principal leaders who are barely literate themselves. How backwards is this? Without leaders who keep current with updated methods and who are able to maintain, model, and demonstrate the mission and vision of a district, how do we ever expect to lead MA students to competitive status? Of course, not all leaders are incompetent, in fact, I have had the privilege of working for and learning from some truly excellent, well informed and well trained leaders. If the public really knew what went on in the day to day activities of the political games in public schools, they would be amazed that our students learn anything at all. The best advice for new teachers - focus on the students, always seek to improve and learn from your practice, keep current with coursework, conduct action research in how to increase upon your student's achievement - and NEVER get involved in the political games that happen in schools. Same advice holds true for leaders of learning institutions: keep learning; network with schools and leaders that are making progress. Focus on the students - not the playground politics that hold back so many progressive movements. If all public school employees focus on the whole reason for being in schools, namely, to teach and make a difference for students, we would be far ahead. If parents became very involved and made their voices heard loudly - at the local, state levels including media reports, I think that the practice of keeping "bad" teachers employed would be less acceptable. Of course, bad teachers have civil rights also - and due process together with detailed documentation would need to be maintained. Much room for reform exists. Remember "A Nation At Risk" published in 1993? We have made gains - yet have a long way to go. In Obama's words: "Yes We Can!"
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from GreginMedford. Show GreginMedford's posts

    Schools are forced to keep bad teachers

    In Obama's words: "Yes We Can!"
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    Actually, those are Deval Patrick's words.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from TarheelChief. Show TarheelChief's posts

    Schools are forced to keep bad teachers

    Let's rephrase the question let us examine the total school and compare it to other schools.
    There's an old expression,you cannot make chicken salad out of chicken manure.
    Another good expression is this: you can lead a horse to water,but you can't make him drink.
    Why does everyone blame the teachers?
    In elementary schools parents are frantic their child is not learning the basics.
    After eight years of schooling it dawns on them it might not be those bad teachers,it might be the child and his associates.
    The same thing happens in every profession.Doctors see incurable patients,lawyers and accountants attract lying clients,college graduate programs have dabblers,the army,navy,and air force officers have goof balls.All these professions can eliminate the problems.
    The educational establishment under ADA has decided,no child can be left behind. They do not define behind.
    Furthermore, parents do harass teachers out of the profession.Evidently parents do not examine turn over in schools.Teachers nerves give way before the onslaught and outrageous demands.
    Other professions reward capable professionals with better clients,higher salaries,more support staff.No professional can withstand a series of bad clients,bad soldiers,bad graduate students.
    You can teach at the same school and have good years and bad years depending entirely on the students.It's just like wine.Parents seldom believe this.Yet they expect it within their families,and in their inlaws families.Ask yourself how you got the good member of that sorry family.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from GreginMedford. Show GreginMedford's posts

    Schools are forced to keep bad teachers

    Why does everyone blame the teachers?
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    I don't, I blame their unions. And those unions hate me because my kid's school isn't union, BECAUSE OF THE UNIONS!

    Its ok BTW. We're laughing all the way to college
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Reubenhop. Show Reubenhop's posts

    Schools are forced to keep bad teachers

    Although they make an easy target (after all most people don't have one), unions are not the real problem in schools. They do their job: they advocate for their constituents and try to get the best deal possible for them. If you have a complaint, it is with the town leaders: they are supposed to balance the unions' efforts and if they don't it is their fault for not holding the line. After all, school unions cannot even strike so everything is a negotiation. So hire better negotiators if you want a better environment.

    And teaching without union support is asking for trouble: one politically connected complaining parent and a twenty year career could be cooked.

    By the way, I support a longer school day and year and more effective ways to remove incompetent teachers... and I am a teacher... with kids in the system.

    Now back to the lesson plan I am working on...
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from brat13. Show brat13's posts

    Schools are forced to keep bad teachers

    [Quote]Although they make an easy target (after all most people don't have one), unions are not the real problem in schools. They do their job: they advocate for their constituents and try to get the best deal possible for them. If you have a complaint, it is with the town leaders: they are supposed to balance the unions' efforts and if they don't it is their fault for not holding the line. After all, school unions cannot even strike so everything is a negotiation. So hire better negotiators if you want a better environment.

    And teaching without union support is asking for trouble: one politically connected complaining parent and a twenty year career could be cooked.

    By the way, I support a longer school day and year and more effective ways to remove incompetent teachers... and I am a teacher... with kids in the system.

    Now back to the lesson plan I am working on...[/Quote]

    Reuben, I agree to a point. We need school committee members that have a clue. BUT to say the union has little affect on what is happening is BS. It isn't always about the best deal but the best teachers. I have had a few (most have been great) teachers of my kids that were 10 years beyond needing to retire. They were protected by the union with their 10 years and tenure. No matter what the school committee did they were untouchable.

    To say they can't strike is also BS. MANY schools have had "work stoppages" and sick outs. Hell in my town the teachers get a "professional development" day off after every Monday holiday so the parents need to get child care for 2 days if they have to work the holiday.

    Finally, if a good teacher is attacked by one parent or even a handful of parents they will be supported and protected by the rest of the parents. I know this first hand as I was at the lead of a "save our teacher" movement in my town.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from brat13. Show brat13's posts

    Schools are forced to keep bad teachers

    One other thing Reuben. My biggest issue with the teachers unions is they use the kids to pressure the adults. In my town the teachers sent my kids home with propaganda about their lack of a contract and what they believe to be fair.

    I told one teacher who asked me to wear a button "I have worked for 25 years and NEVER had a contract. When your pay check bounces or doesn't show up then call me". AND I loved that teacher and she was great in the classroom with the kids.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Reubenhop. Show Reubenhop's posts

    Schools are forced to keep bad teachers

    Brat: Bless your heart, you are able to disagree and still be civil. It is a rarity on these boards.

    I am not saying that unions do not have an impact on the the state of school affairs (warts and all), indeed it is quite the reverse. They are half of the dynamic, but they act as the advocate for the teaching side solely. Just as you would not want a defense attorney arguing the prosecution's case, so too unions should not argue the administration's view. And yet, they also have to work together. In this financially stressed time, we will probably forego a negotiated raise to save jobs AND the educational environment.

    I appreciate your concern about incompetent teachers. I have seen my share (my own daughter demanded a lecture instead of a worksheet from one of my colleagues). But I think the administration gives up too easily on such matters. If there is no union protection, money concerns and politics would make the teacher's life untenable. A healthy work environment is the key to happy and competent teaching corps.

    Lastly, I agree that kids should never be used as pawns in union disputes. It is unethical to use kids as a means to an end, even if the end may be a worthy one.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from brat13. Show brat13's posts

    Schools are forced to keep bad teachers

    Brat: Bless your heart, you are able to disagree and still be civil. It is a rarity on these boards.

    Thank you Reuben, I try to be civil because I have learned that though we may disagree on most matters, if we met in a bar we would probably order two beers (wine, mixed drinks) and agree to disagree while actually realizing we are both human beings.

    I agree with you and my biggest issue is with the politicians who just want to go along to get along. They think because it isn't their $$$ who cares if we give another 3%. As with AIG and other corps. sometimes shutting down is a better option. No contract is many times better than a bad contract.

    Not sure I agree with the teachers jobs would be in danger without a union angle. They would have the same protections the rest of us have and the days of "public servants" making way less than the general population are long over. Teachers in my towns average salary is @$5K higher than the average salary of the people paying their salary (of course that takes into account the DPW, cops and fire which are also in this category).
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Reubenhop. Show Reubenhop's posts

    Schools are forced to keep bad teachers

    Brat: A beer would be fine: it is a bar after all!!

    Do keep in mind the academic hoops that teachers have to leap through to obtain and maintain their status. I have spent a couple thousand dollars and lots of time pursuing that endless goal. And we don't get the overtime... or the paid details... of other town employees. Heck we are expected to supply both of those for free! But no real whining from me: I worked in private business and chose to be in education. I know that working with kids is a great deal in terms of my personal happiness and sense of social contribution.

    Cheers.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from brat13. Show brat13's posts

    Schools are forced to keep bad teachers

    Bump
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from brat13. Show brat13's posts

    Schools are forced to keep bad teachers

    [Quote]Brat: A beer would be fine: it is a bar after all!!

    Do keep in mind the academic hoops that teachers have to leap through to obtain and maintain their status. I have spent a couple thousand dollars and lots of time pursuing that endless goal. And we don't get the overtime... or the paid details... of other town employees. Heck we are expected to supply both of those for free! But no real whining from me: I worked in private business and chose to be in education. I know that working with kids is a great deal in terms of my personal happiness and sense of social contribution.

    Cheers.[/Quote]

    I know as I have a couple of family members who are teachers. They are both going for their masters. But so do those in IT who have to have every certification and update them every couple of years. Many on our own dime. There are many parallels except the protections of the two professions.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from SheepGrimTimeToGo. Show SheepGrimTimeToGo's posts

    Schools are forced to keep bad teachers

    Should start another thread titled "U.S. forced to keep bad politicians".
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Reubenhop. Show Reubenhop's posts

    Schools are forced to keep bad teachers

    [Quote]

    I know as I have a couple of family members who are teachers. They are both going for their masters. But so do those in IT who have to have every certification and update them every couple of years. Many on our own dime. There are many parallels except the protections of the two professions.[/Quote]

    The protections are there because the options are limited. You pretty much get locked into a particular state and even community. I have friends who are "overeducated" with a Masters or more, who cannot get a secure position because they are too high on the pay scale. They did what they were "supposed to do", but the financial situation has croaked them. I myself got laid off because I made too much money due to my education level. If there was no tenure protection this would happen all the time and you would lose your most educated and experienced teachers. That cannot be good for anyone.
     
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