Semantic Games with Children

How much of life is phrasing? When it comes to the political battle with unions, the spats are like Abbot and Costello skits, which (for the young’ns) often hinged on a semantic misunderstanding. One must read to paragraph six to reach the punchline under the headline “Teachers deny killing science initiative” (emphasis added):

The union has never taken a formal position on the matter, according to the news release that Kandzierski sent out late yesterday afternoon.
“To blame this on the teachers is nothing more than a political cheap shot and a weak attempt to cover up their own inadequacies in communicating this program to teachers,” she said in the statement.

Nobody had suggested that union members sat down and took a formal vote concerning whether science teachers ought to participate in an externally funded program to improve science proficiency in the town. But school officials did notify the relevant teachers and sent them requisite information. So, in effect, the union is pointing its finger at the individual teachers for declining to participate, and of course, the union would defend with its claws any attempt to impart consequences for that decision. (Not to mention “unofficial” suggestions that the union might have made.)
Whatever the case, the situation provides a clear example of the insidious effect that unions have on a professional environment, especially one involving the nexus of children’s education and taxpayer funding.

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15 years ago

Kandzierski is the worst kind of union leader. She wants everything for the union even at the expense of the kids.
I think the only thing worse than her and “Warwick buster” Casey was the stupidity of the school committee back in 2005 when they agreed to this as new provisions in the teacher contract…
Section 5. Co-Pay
5.1 Teachers shall pay a co-pay of $780.00 annually to be applied towards the cost of health care premiums.
Good huh?
But then the morons added this new item to balance it off…
Section 1.
Three 3 mandatory teacher meetings shall be scheduled in advance at the beginning of each semester by the principal and the building representatives with a stipend of $780.00.
This new stipend was for meetings that teachers previously attended without the benefit of $780. Genius, huh?
Nothing was gained, yet the superintendent and school committee declared themselves heroes and the pig Kandzierski was proud to announce the fact that the Johnston teachers were willing to join the rest of the world in suffering the horror of health care co-payments!
What a crock of dung! Kandzierski spins everything. None of it is the truth. She and her lemmings don’t deserve the privilege of spearheading a program like this one and a different district should be chosen.
Finally, if you really want to understand the nature of the Johnston teachers, go to and read their contract. Note that Article 2 (only because the first article has to acknowledge the parties to the contract) is…”ARTICLE II GRIEVANCES”
It sort of gives you a sense of what is important to this union and its leaders.

15 years ago

1. The teacher’s unions in this state have been opposing Governor’s Carcieri’s science programs in some form or another for at least three years now. The union/progressive opposition to science education is one of the worst manifestations of the “if Governor Carcieri is for it, then we’re against it” mentality there is.
2. This is the core-argument for cross-district school choice. If Johnston teachers are not interested in science education, then students from Johnston who are interested in science should have the right to attend school in another district.

15 years ago

Wait, doesn’t health insurance cost roughly $10,000 per person? So if they’re “paying” $780, they’re contributing 7.8%? Let’s more than triple that to 25% and let them keep the $780 stipend for attending the meetings.
I wonder if they miss one of those meetings, do they get $260 less? Wanna bet everyone is pretty healthy on those days?

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
15 years ago

This one just kills me: “The union was never consulted on whether the district’s science teachers would join teachers from five other districts in a project funded by the National Science Foundation, the president, Kathleen Kandzierski, said in a news release.”
Excuse me, but, why in the hell would the union EVER be consulted on something like this???? Who does this pig Kandzierswki think she is??

Tom W
Tom W
15 years ago

I’ve been told that a few years ago Raytheon offered to subsidize or provide some sort of advanced science and/or math education on Aquidneck Island.
This would have helped our future workforce be more competitive, and made RI more attractive to tech companies, who’d know that their employees children could get the benefit of such a program.
You can see the punchline coming. I was also told that the proposal was shelved due to teacher union opposition.
Cross district school choice won’t accomplish much. Kind of like having a choice among GM brands – you merely get a choice among a range of inferior products.
We need universal vouchers to help free children from the grips of the teachers unions and education bureaucrats.
From the standpoint of children, parents and taxpayers the teachers unions offer absolutely no redeeming qualities, and their continue existence in Rhode Island is unjustifiable.

15 years ago

Amen Tom!

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