The Hard Work of Educating

The rhetoric about public-sector workers’ doggedly, thanklessly doing the hard work that the community requires, recently promoted around here by Phil, comes to mind especially with the item that I’ve italicized in the following:

EAST PROVIDENCE — The city’s teachers have voted to withdraw from volunteer activities in the district’s schools.
The roughly 500 educators won’t help with afterschool activities except for those that are accompanied with paid stipends, nor will they chaperone dances, buy supplies for their classrooms or participate on committees for curriculum development, accreditation or school improvement.

This isn’t just a temporary imposition affecting only the irreplaceable educational experiences of current students — which is egregious enough; it’s acceptance of decay in the system itself. Teachers may see school committees come and go, they may see budgets swell and ebb, but in East Providence, they apparently don’t consider themselves to be guardians of the city’s education system. Of what value are they, then, beyond replaceable cogs in the public machine?
Perhaps it should be encouraging that Education Commissioner Deborah Gist included the East Providence teachers’ actions among the issues of concern that she highlighted at yesterday’s Board of Regents meeting, but a contrast of emphasis emerges. In the case of Woonsocket, she threatened the superintendent’s certification over the hiring decisions of the school committee. If she believes, as she states, that educators should never “make decisions that directly impact students” (in a negative way, we can assume she means), then perhaps she should be looking into revoking their certification when they behave as if their jobs are more a matter of entitlement than calling.

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John
John
11 years ago

Justin:
You took the words right out of my mouth. She does need to warn of possible teaching certificate revocation for East Providence teachers and any others who follow work to rule.

rhody
rhody
11 years ago

Is Ms. Gist’s job in danger if The Don is serious about laying off the last 1,000 state workers hired?
After all, that independent minx realizes there’s more to her job than teacher bashing. Can’t have that kind of thinking in the Carcieri administration.

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

Rhody,
Don’t confuse appropriate Union-bashing with Teacher-bashing.
Calling it Teacher-bashing is a coy Union ploy, not unlike the old “do it for the Children” chant.
Why don’t you put down the Union-hack talking points long enough to look around and notice the cesspool created by lazy, Entitlement-minded Union-hacks.
They’ve created an UNSUSTAINABLE education cost structure, staffed by coddled and protected hacks that receive pay and promotion based on the passage of time as opposed to merit or achievment, with the Worst getting paid the same as the Best, rejecting any and all efforts to measure individual performance while they themselves engage in the very business of grading individual performance on a daily basis, all resulting in ever decreasing student performance as evidenced by any and all measures (oh that’s right, poor performance is due to the student population, not the “teachers”).
How about if the Union-hack teachers don’t like what the city can afford to pay, they leave and go take job elsewhere and demonstrate the “value” of their perceived “talents”.
Why not be adults rather than chicken-crap Union-hacks hiding behind contracts, grievances, work-to-rule, judges, etc.?
And why should cities & towns provide contracts in the first place? How about simply determining what they can afford to pay for a particular job description and leave it at that. Why the “negotiation” and the contract?
The only people I know who believe they need a contract are lazy, frightened, dependent, Entitlement-minded, coddled, not-so-bright, low-self-esteem, scared of the free-market, chicken-crap Union-hacks.
What’s up with that?

rhody
rhody
11 years ago

It’s teacher bashing, George. C’mon. you know better.
If you can’t handle Rhode Island schools and think the mess has gotten out of control, well, Afghanistan’s always an option. I’m sure the Taliban shares your views about unions, especially since women can be union members.

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

Rhody,
Give us a break. Do you hear people bashing the employees of La Salle, Hendricken, Mount St. Charles, Moses Brown???
It’s Union-bashing, not Teacher-bashing.
As I said: They’ve created an UNSUSTAINABLE education cost structure, staffed by coddled and protected hacks that receive pay and promotion based on the passage of time as opposed to merit or achievment, with the Worst getting paid the same as the Best, rejecting any and all efforts to measure individual performance while they themselves engage in the very business of grading individual performance on a daily basis, all resulting in ever decreasing student performance as evidenced by any and all measures (oh that’s right, poor performance is due to the student population, not the “teachers”).
Perhaps you could respond substantively to the above noted charges, as opposed to the Afgahnistan dodge you provided in your first non-response.
PS – it didn’t go unnoticed that you suggested that if we weren’t satisfied with the state of the Union staffed Public Schools, Afgahnistan is always an “option”. It appears you are coming around to the free-choice model.
PSS – Might I also suggest that if your Union-hack friends aren’t satisfied with what we can afford to pay them, they should consider the Private sector option. See how they fare in the real world where they will be held accountable for their actions and non-results.

bobc
bobc
11 years ago

George, Teacher bashing is used when there is no defense for what’s being said. Add to that you can go to a third world country if you don’t like it. How about the libs moving to a socialist country if they are not happy here. There are quite a few to choose from. Oh but the unions in Europe are up in arms also, seems that system isn’t supporting them very well either. Poor union hacks, they just can’t catch a break anywhere.

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

bobc,
You are soooooo right.
Rhody tends to be cut from the same cloth as Bob Walsh and Patsy Crowley.
Since they can not defend against the substantive issues (e.g. the Worst getting paid the same as the Best; salary increases based on the passage of time versus achievment / merit; Spending increases at multiples times the rate of Inflation; persistently Low test scores …to name just a few), they resort to non-responses via pithy little comments (e.g. oh I’m not going to debate you, as you’re just a teacher basher).
Note how Rhody failed to respond to a single substantive issue that was raised via the posts. Instead, he went immediately to “teacher basher”.
Their inability to address the substantive issues in a meaningful way speaks volumes.
You almost have to pitty them. They are not capable of individual thought or of defending a position without the assistance / crutch of the Union apparatus. I suppose that is why they are Union-hacks in the first place.
Living the life of a dependent can’t possibly be fullfilling and rewarding. Indeed, you can’t almost feel bad for the poor S.O.Bs.
PS – Rhody, save your energy. Don’t bother telling us you are not in the Union. You are in spirit.

rhody
rhody
11 years ago

George…there you go again.
Have you looked recently at the unemployment rates in North and South Carolina, those hotbeds of unionism? If the grass really was greener in right-to-work states, we’d have all left already.
In a perfect world, where we can trust those who control capital to do the right thing, we wouldn’t need unions. And in some workplaces where employees are treated and paid fairly, no cry for unions existd.
But you’re smart enough to know the world isn’t perfect. On that, we do agree.

George Elbow
George Elbow
11 years ago

Rhody,
Agreed, the world ain’t perfect.
It becomes less perfect, however, when you have an Entitlement-minded class of people that are held immune from the economic realities.
Let’s not pretend that our Public employees are being taken advantage of or being abused.
In fact, they are abusing the taxpayers.
All I want is for the free-market to determine their worth. Eventually, if the states / cities and town don’t pay enough, they won’t be able to hire the employees they need.
In other words, the free-market will provide the right answer. I don’t like being held hostage by the mob mentality that is the Union who are clue-less with respect to the real world.
I am tired of paying Pensions to 40 & 50 year-old retirees. I am tire of paying the Worst teachers the same as the Best teachers. I am tire of Union-hacks paying next to nothing for the best healthcare money can buy. I am tire of crappy unmotivated “workers” staying employed due to seniority and tenure. I am tired students being abused via work to rule BS. I am tire of people demanding raises when we are surrouned by thousands of unemployed folk due to 13+% unemployment.
Do you not agree that the Unions have outlasted their usefulness. Are there not enough labor laws to provide the necessary protections?

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