Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Viva la Résistance . . .

Per the OD: Utica teachers reject contract: What's next? 
Monday’s defeat leaves $5.8 million out of the budget that would have restored 90 classroom jobs, including full-day kindergarten. . . . 
Approximately $2 million of the $5.8 million would have come from a wage freeze. The remaining $3.8 million is promised in increased state aid if the teachers’ union and the administrators’ union agreed to the teacher and principal evaluation system negotiated in Albany this winter. [emphasis added]
There may be a lot more here than meets the eye.  Undoubtedly, some teachers may have voted down the contract out of greed . . . not wanting to give up the pay increases that almost all other public employees have given up. . . and not caring about the public's ability to pay.    For many, however, the evaluation portion may be the bigger issue.

Instead of being evaluated in accordance with standards set by their supervisors or local board of education, they will be evaluated per standards set in Albany . . . and ultimately Washington where this program is originating.

People take on debt to build their homes.  The nation is taking on debt also to build a structure:  A NATIONAL structure to control our local schools.

Control what goes on in our schools, and you control the population.

Viva la Résistance!


Anonymous said...

Sounds more like they were afraid of any evaluations, whether local, state or federal. Couching this action on the part of Utica's teachers as a resistance movement is disingenuous at best.

As a citizen not involved in the school system except as a taxpayer, I'd rather see our teaching public servants evaluated on a national level than as the result of the kinds of backroom deals the local level seems to have a penchant for concocting.

I'd like to know that our schools are being manned by teachers as good as any in the nation, not by those teachers who "know" somebody locally.

Anonymous said...

Generally i have to agree with your statements however this is a bit ridiculous.

Having gone through the Utica school system within the last 10 years.. I can honestly say they didn't prepare me for college at all. Although I took all the top classes and had generally decent teachers it was basically a joke.

Maybe someone else can do a better job.

Anonymous said...

Any employment situation where one would find tenure with little to no chance of firing, no true accountabilty, no actual performance standards, yearly pay and benefit increases and lots of vacation time, one finds incompetency. Is it any surprise that those who can afford it send their kids to private schools? Is it a surprise that home shooled children are much better educated and behaved than those of public schools? Add the area penchant for hiring "favorites" and you have a mediocre to poor education product we for which we pay top dollar.

Anonymous said...


There is yet another and bigger issue that is not being addressed in our schools. That is to say, there is a BIG drug problem in this area and school officials refuse to acknowledge it or are they part of the problem?

The issue of drugs must be exposed by all those who are knowledgeable of this. To sweep these very important matters under the proverbial carpet...does NOT solve the underlying problem.

Administrators, at all levels must be held accountable not only for teaching our children but protecting and enforcing laws against drug peddlers in and around our schools both public and private.

Oneida County schools need more than a Resource Officer...we want ENFORCEMENT & PROSECUTION of these drug peddlers and those who protect them.

Anonymous said...

Performance evaluations are a "good thing" and not something that should be feared if one is doing their job and performing to a level acceptable under preset standards. As long as there are guidelines and benchmarks in place, EVERY teacher should expect to be required to live up to the standards. What needs to be a part of that process is for a standard form to be developed if one is not in place already, and for all teacher's performance to be evaluated by addressing the same uniform points to be evaluated.

If performance is substandard, put a remedial process in place and if performance doesn't improve, they need to be terminated.

I have utmost respect for most teachers, but when they are not willing to agree to a wage freeze when half the country's workers have been required to accept a freeze or even a cut in pay and benefits, they are nothing short of greedy.

My sympathy is with the teachers that will be laid off. THEY are probably the most productive and qualified teachers in the system. Just a hazard of seniority rules. The deadwood becomes complacent because the union protects their hind ends.

Anonymous said...

Home schooled students are more educated? Baloney. How many parents are qualified to teach courses such as algebra, trig, biology, computer science, etc., etc? Not many. These are the courses our students need to be proficient in in order to gain entry in any decent college, & they need to be educated in the sciences in order to compete in a high stakes competitive world. This isn't the 1900's, it's 2012. It's just unbelievable that teacher's are under attack because they can't perform miracles with some of the underachieving punks that populate our schools. It's not the teacher's fault because some wise ass doesn't want to learn & the parent's don't give a damn whether they do or don't.

Strikeslip said...

I've got to weigh in on that last comment above. Home schooled students are generally perceived by the public to be better educated than their government schooled peers. What explains that perception? You tell me. Certainly not marketing by homeschoolers. Any organization they may have pales by comparison with the national teachers' unions which do not like homeschoolers and take every opportunity to disparage them

Algebra and trig are HS subjects as old as the hills. No reason why parents shouldn't be able to help with those.. Teaching computer science actually *wastes* precious student time because the field rapidly changes and is based upon other studies anyway. If you learned COBOL or DOS, you certainly aren't using those now. The remainder? Why aren't parents qualified? Since students pretty much teach themselves these days under the new methods anyway, the value of a well-credentialed instructor is wasted by government schools.

Public school needs to get *away* from the so-called "advanced" and hypertechnical subjects (eg, forensic science and nanotech) and stick to the basic building blocks of knowledge -- including the basic sciences of earth science, biology, chemistry and physics -- which students should be able to build upon in college. Seems the more time students spend on specialized topics in the local school system, the less overall understanding they have of the things they really NEED to know to function in college, life and in society. . . .That's why Anonymous #2 could take all the "top" classes and still find him/herself unprepared for college.

Anonymous said...

All studies show that home schooled children are better educated. Teachers cannot digest the truth because it debunks their "special" status as churned out by teachers certifications and the union. Most techers are not even educated in the specializations they teach. A "closed" system in any profession produces mediocrity. Why do those who can afford it send their children to private schools? No teachers unions and protected teachers there. Our system needs a good dose of competition.

Dave said...

Parents send their kids to private schools for many reasons. Your child has a much better chance associating with someone you'd want in your home if he's in a private school. His teachers are more collegial and it doesn't take 23 union meetings and a school board showdown to allow two teachers to team teach a subject which may have limited interest to 20 or 30 students. If your child acts up, he won't be coddled and he or she may learn to ... here you may genuflect ... be responsible! It also won't take an Act of God to nab a drug-dealing student and kick his ass out of school. Your student will be required to give back to the community some service in order to graduate. He or she will actually do homework. You'll go broke, possibly, but some parents think it's worth it. Are there nice kids and estimable teachers at your local public school? Sure! I was one of them long ago, but things are rapidly getting worse and in a private school your child's chances may be better. And the government's job seems to be to bring everything down to the lowest standards so that no group is complaining. We've let governance deteriorate to politics and nothing more than vote getting. And Strike ... too late for resistance. The Feds take all the money and will have all the control.

Anonymous said...

The drug problem in the area is larger than thought or reported and runs through all classes of people.