Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Teacher's Union: Screw the kids

Teacher's strike looms in Oregon Trail School District
With a strike scheduled to begin Tuesday in the Oregon Trail School District, parents are beginning to debate the option of bringing in substitute teachers.

Other parents say that option would produce animosity between the teachers and substitute teachers, and they do not want their children taught in a hostile environment.

A 1999 strike by Fern Ridge area teachers near Eugene involved substitute teachers who were jeered and threatened when they crossed picket lines.

Threatening someone is a crime. Are your kids being taught by criminals? If you heard Lars Larson yesterday he had a board member for the Oregon Trail District talk about this issue and apparently the board is not on the side of the children or the taxpayers. (or law abiding citizens) When election time rolls around some heads should roll in the Oregon Trail District.

This news story is about a teacher strike, substitute teachers, and violence by teachers but KATU's accompanying photo is one of several sad faced kids. How about a picture of teacher's screaming at other teachers? Wouldn't that be more appropriate?

21 comments:

CapitalistPig said...

This is yet another reason for why we need school choice. It's so sad that teachers can hold hundred's of childrens' educations hostage like this.

Worse is how the media always portrays the teachers as the victems. But, what really pisses me off every time there is one of these strikes is when I'm watching the news and the reporter puts the camera in one of the striking teachers faces and inevitibly they say at some point "We are doing this for the children.", and the reporter just lets them get away with saying that without chalenging such an asinine statement.

I should try this next time I want to raise prices on my customers. I'll just say it's "for their benefit". I'm sure that will go over well...

Allen said...

But Daniel, its all for the kids!

Anonymous said...

The whole purpose of a Union is to advocate for its members. The teachers union does not represent the students interests any more than a nurses union represents patients or a police union represents victims of crime.

Unions are antiquated. Unions are a way for employees to extort their employers. If you don’t like the way your employer is treating you go work somewhere else!

What really ticks me off is the news media interviewing students who claim to support teachers who are on strike. First of all, I would argue that most students would do just about anything to get out of class. I would have honored a picket line if it meant I didn’t have to go to class. Second, whose side do we expect students to be on? Most students spend more time with teachers than with their parents, and students don’t pay property taxes (yet).

"If you're not a liberal at 20, you have no heart, and if you're not a conservative at 40, you have no head."-- Winston Churchill

Some people just don't grow up.

peod in Oregon said...

ARRRRRGH- Every day we have to hear from these poor oppressed teachers. Has there ever been a year when the schools thought they had enough money? Not in my memory. Remember, It's all about the kids, and how they can use them to advance the teachers agenda. When was the last time you heard of the teachers offering to give up a portion of their raises to hire extra teachers to decrease their class size?
I'm sorry if I don't have sympathy for these people that can't live on 40-50 grand, but I've been cut back to what I made in 1987. They don't seem to understand that the ability to pay them depends on economy of the state. If they did, they wouldn't be the champions of every bit of legislation that comes along that makes it harder to make a living in this state.

Also how come private schools provide a better education at about half the cost per student?

In the Willamette valley area they have just decided to rearrange the districts and force the athletic teams of two of our local high schools to travel up to 150 miles to play. This extra travel will cost an estimated $100,000 dollars in fuel cost alone. What about local rivalries? What about family and friends that want to watch the games? What about the extra pay for bus drivers and chaperones? What about the effect on study times? This is just more of the never ending non-sense. Keep it up and we will have private schools and vouchers for everyone sooner than I thought.

Gunslinger said...

Cascade School District, in Turner, OR is holding a special election to ask for the princey sum of $19.5M. To achieve that, they are asking for a mere $1.90 per assessed $1000. That has the potential to be a lot of money. They are having overcrowding in classrooms, and want to build a new elemntary school in Aumsville. I am absolutely voting no on this. Perhaps they will do again what they did in 94 when voters said no to money. They cancelled bus service, then put restrictions on how early or late you could drop off/pick up your kids. Both of these times were conveniently the same times people who actually work for a living had to be at work.

Until they stop building sports complexes with taxpayer dollars, and start living within the budgets alloted, as far as I am concerened, they shouldn't get any more money

jwalker said...

Well, your resident conservative teacher always has an opinion. I hope you haven't missed me.

Anyway, I listened to Lars today, he made some good points.

The beginning of teachers'unions came from the need of protecting underpaid professionals who REALLY need representation. My father was in that catagory of teacher. He made squat and lived in his car in the summers so he could finish his schooling he was so poor.

Now, there is almost a Godfather mentality to the union line.

I really think that we do deserve a cost of living increase. And I would be interested in knowing if 2% is par for the course these days for overall workers in oregon.

My other question is what does the public REALLY want. Obviously, they are tired of being held at gunpoint by my union. I don't blame anyone for feeling this way.

At the same time, you cannot argue that experienced, stable, well-established teachers are really optimum. Keeping people in the force that are quality cannot be ignored as a factor.

I think that everyone needs to be reasonable. Expecting 15% in this climate is just stupid. At the same time, the districts cannot expect the teachers to pay over $200 a month in their own insurance expenses and still call them benefits. And, there has to be some cost of living increase that stays in touch with what the average worker in Oregon is getting.

Also, if the public honestly thinks that the teacher's union is preventing the school boards, administration and the general public from giving deserving teachers merit pay, that is really naive. The public would no more give us one dime beyond our contract than they would sprout wings and fly.

jwalker said...

I meant to say "cannot help but argue that..." in my earlier post. I was on a roll...sorry.

Gunslinger said...

Yeah, that is too bad about the health expenses. I had a job at a private company that had health insurance (regence blue cross) and it cost me 264 a month out of my salary, hich at the time was 1500 a month plus commision which usually made about what the health care cost. the one and only time I used them, was at an urgent care clinic, and the deductible was still $300. Wow, kickass bennys.

So boo friggity hoo to your health insurance costs. Ask the majority of self-employed individuals if they have health insurance at all, and if so, what does it cost them?

Anonymous said...

Hey Gunslinger! Are you self employed? Sounds like it. So am I, and you're right, it costs a ton! I have teacher friends and they know where I stand. I have NO sympathy for their "plight." I work my ass off on roofs, ALL year long and I make more money when, that's right, I work more! Yes, being a teacher can be demanding (during the school year) and they often put in unpaid overtime (during the school year) but it doesn't even come close to the small business owner. I tell you what, if my employees ever tried to go union I'd just shut my business down and start a different one. All right, enough venting.

peod in Oregon said...

One of the main problems we have with teachers is they have been fed a line of crap that they are the be all and end all of salvation. They go to school to learn that going to school is everything and that they are promised a given return for their efforts. I heard a caller on Lars justifying his wife's salary because she has a masters degree. That's great, but she teaches 13 year olds. Why do you need a masters to teach 13 year olds. In the real world you get paid what someone is willing to pay you reguardless of your education, there is no guarantee. If I go to work as a cashier at Walmart I don't think they would pay me extra for a masters degree. So to the teachers I say: get over yourself. If you don't make enough money teaching, then step out into the real world where you can try to earn what you really think you're worth. Sorry, but using kids as hostages really ticks me off.

The Cheezer said...

In the real world, you get a raise when you earn it. Most of the working class DO NOT get a cost of living increase. Almost all but government employees pay a percentage of their insurance cost. I pay close to $300 month for my family.
what other job can you get that pays you a full years wage to work only 9 months?
They want more money? work 12 months a year with 2 weeks un-paid vacation. You want better benefits? find another job.
I work for a living. I have worked 70 hour work weeks and not been able to pay rent and had no insurance and I had NO paid vacation.
Give us a break and do your JOB!

CapitalistPig said...

Most of us in the real world don't have an employment contract either.
We get fired and hired at will.

There is plenty of money to give good teachers merit pay. That money can come from paying the bad teachers less. This is how it works in the private sector, and this is how it would work if we had school choice, and therefore different schools were forced to compete for students.

jwalker said...

Ok, I did a poor job saying what I was trying to say. Please hear me out guys.

1. I am very appreciative of my wonderful benefits and I know many hard-working people who need them too and I thank God every morning for them. Truly. Thank you for the perks you guys.

2. My point is: if you don't provide the benefits, good pay and tenure, you will get a lower quality of teacher. I am not saying this is right, but I live in this education world. I know how many good teacher would leave to do other things. And I know how many good teachers would list the perks as a big reason why they went into the field initially.
Like yourselves, teachers want to make the most money for their efforts as possible.

3. Please don't assume that a masters degree is not required to teach 13 year olds. Understanding the best practices to teach and cognitive/behavioral/motivational workings of a child is pretty complicated.

I have 12 years of schooling in teaching and music. I have taught for 12 years. Believe me, there is alot to know and any teacher that says that isn't true is a liar. Or a really bad teacher.

I think that when you make reference to us only working in the school year, you forget that most of us are going to school, workshops, working on our classes and recooperating from what we face in the classroom in the summer. That 10 weeks is very important to the longevity of a teacher. I honestly don't think you would want a bunch of teachers that don't recharge. It would be very ugly.

But I will agree with you that the teachers have gotten greedy. And, the PAC money from our dues makes me crazy.

I also think Arnold is dead on the money about the Lemon teachers. Dump em. I would dump tenure tommorrow, I am a good teacher and am very proud of my work. I also would pay for at least 1/2 of my benefits if required.

jwalker said...

Ok, I did a poor job saying what I was trying to say. Please hear me out guys.

1. I am very appreciative of my wonderful benefits and I know many hard-working people who need them too and I thank God every morning for them. Truly. Thank you for the perks you guys.

2. My point is: if you don't provide the benefits, good pay and tenure, you will get a lower quality of teacher. I am not saying this is right, but I live in this education world. I know how many good teacher would leave to do other things. And I know how many good teachers would list the perks as a big reason why they went into the field initially.
Like yourselves, teachers want to make the most money for their efforts as possible.

3. Please don't assume that a masters degree is not required to teach 13 year olds. Understanding the best practices to teach and cognitive/behavioral/motivational workings of a child is pretty complicated.

I have 12 years of schooling in teaching and music. I have taught for 12 years. Believe me, there is alot to know and any teacher that says that isn't true is a liar. Or a really bad teacher.

I think that when you make reference to us only working in the school year, you forget that most of us are going to school, workshops, working on our classes and recooperating from what we face in the classroom in the summer. That 10 weeks is very important to the longevity of a teacher. I honestly don't think you would want a bunch of teachers that don't recharge. It would be very ugly.

But I will agree with you that the teachers have gotten greedy. And, the PAC money from our dues makes me crazy.

I also think Arnold is dead on the money about the Lemon teachers. Dump em. I would dump tenure tommorrow, I am a good teacher and am very proud of my work. I also would pay for at least 1/2 of my benefits if required.

jwalker said...

Also, I think you give the powers that be too much credit to assume they would distribute merit pay fairly. I would definitely consider a contract which spells out specific merit pay benefits which are able to be documented. Sounds good to me! I would clean up!

desertdessert said...

hello all-

I'm a high school english teacher, but have taught elementary...

It does benefit the kids- many teachers sacrifice a large part of their paycheck towards materials for the benefit of the children:
Explanation, from a highly skilled arguer/English teacher....

What none of you are understanding is that teachers spend $1,000 to $2,000 a year on school...notebooks for kids who can't afford it, sometimes for all if you require a second notebook, that was a $250 expense right there for 130 students, file folders to organize papers- that's about 10 boxes a year, $5 a pop- $50 bucks,
Then there's computer paper, cartridges- $30 bucks a cartridge, and I go through one or two a month, so in nine months that's $270 a year...
Then things for different activities: such as notecards to make word cards or facts for games, you could go through 1,000 of those in a year with 130 students, pencils, pens, filing supplies such as those stacking trays- $3 a pop- picture one/two for each class- $30.

Hmmm...shall I keep going?
The little things- candy rewards during a trivia game, like today for Halloween: $5 for a bulk bag, a teacher could go through five or six in a year: $25

Chart paper for display during lessons- Group activities, outlines, weekly schedules, school rules, school postings: $20 for those chart paper things, five, six, ten a year depending on how you use them: $200

Hmmm, I'm up to almost $900 right there...I don't have my own classroom, but decorations such as posters with educational/inspirational content can be $50

Elementary has it MUCH worse- you have to create Disneyworld, along with all of the tissues, daily candy, ruined folders, toys, rewards, learning games, manipulatives, oh my gosh..

Picture how much you spend on your own kid a year- in certain areas, a teacher has to spend the same on 150 kids in high school, and 30 in elementary (but many more materials)

I see the shots at teacher pay, and I use facts to dispute. That's the beauty of being an English teacher- having the skill of the argument.

After all of this, take $33,000 a year- divide by the 80 hours a week we put in (after/before school help, 15 hours worth of school work- extracurricular advising on the weekend, and oh yeah, instructional time, working through prep/lunch, phone calling parents, lesson planning..I'll keep going...the only reason I have time for this is because I'm fed up and calling in sick tomorrow)

When you divide it up, it's less than $10 an hour- the cashier who handed you a burger through the drive thru window might make more.


BUT, THE SATISFACTION OF THE SEEING A CHILD WHO FINALLY GETS IT, WHO WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN HIS LIFE AND THE WORLD::::
PRICELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

blaze said...

Great site very informative topics on short term health insurance.
I have been working on a site about short term health insurance
and would be very pleased if you would take a look and let me know what you think.

Anonymous said...

Great blog post.

I thought your readers would like to see this site as well:
diamond car insurance or check out http://www.officialautoinsurancedeal.com for diamond car insurance info.

Anonymous said...

Last month I made $12,124 with Google Adsense...Click
here for free on how you can do the same!

blazerup said...

I enjoyed your site very much it was a great help looking for info on non medical life insurance.
I also have a site with information on non medical life insurance and would appreciate it very much if you would take a look and give a critique.

doer said...

Hello, just visited your blog, it's informative. I also have a website related togoogle adsense software. So make sure you visit and hope it's useful.