Saturday, June 12, 2010

Colorado...a good move for kids

Colorado has passed a bill making achieving tenure by its teachers more difficult, a 'bold move' which proponents of the bill say is important because "...it matters that every one of those kids will get across the finish line," Johnston said.
No more passing kids who don't deserve it and resting on unearned laurels anymore......teachers have to perform.
Congratulations to Democrat Governor Bill Ritter for signing this into law....though the
"...lawmakers slowed down the process under political pressure from the teachers' union."
Perhaps this will embolden teachers to get parents more involved and try to get discipline back in the classroom......let's hope the testing bar isn't lowered instead.

There are many good teachers and I hope this inspires all teachers to live up to their best potential and to encourage their kids to do the same. Some put limits on kids, especially troubled or minority kids, but every time we get a great teacher in who inspires confidence and demands excellence, the kids succeed far beyond wildest expectations! Jaime Escalante was just one of those teachers, but it's happening in a Chicago school and many here in Los Angeles again, too.

Do you think your teachers did a good job or are doing a good job for your children? Got any stories, positive or negative to tell about teachers you know? We need to give teachers more support but all we keep doing is throwing money at them which they've demanded when everyone knows kids do best with caring, smart, and inspiring instruction and parents who care....we need to have them earn tenure and feel the community's behind them helping them to get there.

Got any thoughts on this?
z

24 comments:

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

The devil's in the details. Just HOW is it that tenure is more difficult to achieve? What's the criteria?

BZ

heidianne jackson said...

i think this is a great step forward. however, is it enough? don't we need to now re-recognize that not all children learn the same way and not all children are meant to have an educational career?

Deborah on the Bayside said...

I had some great teachers and so-so ones. But I was aware even then of the inequity of them all getting paid the same according to time in grade (a lovely Marxist style formula.)

The worst was the teacher of a friend's son at the private Marcus Garvey Academy. She marked his English papers red (they were still using red then) when he was correct, and missed other errors. (My friend did NOT stand for that - another story - but you have more recourse when teacher's union bullies are not in the picture protecting mediocrity).

I know few kids in public school. Sad. There's a reason for it, so hurrah for Colorado!

So many fine teachers deserve recognition - and reward for the effort and skill they put into their work. I just hope they don't get trapped in a narrow track of putting every student in the mold of college bound as a marker of success.

This law could help nudge the rudder a bit to correct course, if those steering the vessel don't overcompensate at the wheel.

heidianne jackson said...

"I just hope they don't get trapped in a narrow track of putting every student in the mold of college bound as a marker of success."

that's exactly what i was referring to, deborah. when we have a president standing up and saying "every child deserves a college education and we're going to give it to him (or her)" that's simply a reflection of the prevailing thought from the academics. it's stupid and wasteful and creates an environment that is ill-suited for darn-near ALL the students...

Deborah on the Bayside said...

Well said, Heidianne! The culture has become like pushy parents that get their worth from seeing their children in college and make a kid feel unworthy if they don't go. EVEN IF HE ISN'T SUITED AND DOES POORLY. Think that'll build the highly vaunted self-esteem? Is that what they deserve, Mr. Obama? Maybe they "deserve" school vouchers back in D.C, huh?

I felt sorry for kids in my generation who obviously weren't college material but were forced there by elitist mores that said they were less a person if they didn't go. I never thought that then, and still don't!

Much better our kids get a good foundation and learn well in short strides early in school. I'm sure that's an intent behind this law.

Karen Howes said...

As a teacher, I'm in full agreement with your views on this, Z.

Teaching positions should be secure as long as the teacher is doing well. If he/she isn't, adios. Seems that all teachers unions do is protect bad teachers, and that has to stop.

I have too many stories I could tell about good and bad teachers to share them all here. I've seen fantastic teachers, who really inspire their students and get them interested, and I've seen ones that literally read out of the textbooks...

Joe said...

Our son, who has cerebral palsy, was told by his second grade teacher, principal, physical therapist and occupational therapist that he would never be able to learn, or ride a bike, or function in society.

Today he reads at a 7th grade level, can ride anything with the best of them and holds down a job and plays recreational football.

We took him away from the knowledgeable professionals, wise NEA members that they are, and home schooled him.

It was tough, but worth every minute of it.

Until teachers begin being required to merit their pay and benefits, they'll get no support from me.

The yellow-bellied, lilly-livered sap suckers who run Florida recently refused to pass a merit bill for teachers.

Booo!

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Deborah makes an excellent point. We definitely need more trades people. We have very little mechanics or electrical or woodshop classes in high schools any more. And now, GOOD tradesmen and women CAN make 6-figures if they work hard and are not FLAKES.

They can make, in various trades, more now than so-called "white collar workers" these days.

Again, if they are smart, work hard, and deliver.

BZ

cube said...

I'm not well versed in Colorado's new law, but I'm all for weeding out the lazy, incompetent teachers.

BTW if you want to know which teacher is good and which is bad, ask the students. They'll give you an earful. I know my kids did many times.

Ducky's here said...

I don't think tenure is the issue, seniority rules are more of a problem.

I've had a lot of respect for teachers. Had some great ones in high school and it was a pretty working class town, nothing unusual. Physics, two years of a great art teacher, calculus, ancient history, chemistry ... all very good. The only lame one was that junior English teacher who thought William Carlos Williams had a real nerve to call "The Red Wheelbarrow" a poem.

He was an ex marine and I made a note to ignore marines and spend more time reading up on expressionism and minimalism.

Ducky's here said...

... one comment in the article was very worth noting, the legislature who was visibly upset because it's all being put on the teachers.

And that is what we are doing. Find an easy target and scapegoat. That should solve this.

Anonymous said...

Chris Christie....the New slayer of corrupt unions everywhere...and silly "teachers" who believe rewarding friggin' dopes gives them credibility...and "sensitivity". How many Burger Kings can we build so that these morons can charge $100 for a double cheeseburger?

Major

Law and Order Teacher said...

Z,
I've been gone grading essays. I'll post about it later. I, too, think that tenure is given much too easily. Isn't it too easy to say that someone is good for all their working life as long as they don't do something egregiously wrong? Even when some do they escape scrutiny and punishment. Sad state of affairs. Teachers should always strive to be better and most that I know do.

Leticia said...

I agree if the teachers are not putting in the effort to help the children it is time to find a new career.

Arkansas has the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA)DRA assesses student performance in the areas of reading proficiency: reading engagement, oral reading fluency, and comprehension.

Regardless if the student has straight A's if the DRA level is low the school fails the student! My child went through this last year and we fought the principal and the school administration, they gave in and passed him. But it was a horrid battle.

I think it is cruel to judge a child by their reading level and not by the quality of their work.

No child is the same.

Ducky's here said...

Sorry, Leticia but if your child ain't reading then your child ain't learning.
An example of why standards are slipping. They apply to every child but yours.

Anonymous said...

I think tenure simply is a guarantee for mediocrity in teaching. It protects those who don't measure up. Good teachers don't need protection.

Combine that with teacher's unions and you have a failsafe teaching environment and powerful unions which make administrating almost irrelevant. Also, I found that unions politicized teaching in general, and in a way for some, the children were not the first concern.

I have one negative example and one positive.

The negative is, a fifth grade teacher who told his class, "you have minds of your own, you don't have to listen to your parents".

The next morning the principal's office was full of parents of these eleven year old students. This was before the union had formed. That teacher was gone the following year.


The positive is, my son worked on the HS newspaper. His journalism teacher was inspiring and spent many hours after school, with her students working on getting out the paper.

She arranged for her class to go to a journalism convention/tournament of sorts in another city, and was tireless in her endeavors, teaching and encouraging them. It was obvious she enjoyed her work, and the kids who were her charges. My son learned a great deal and loved that class.

When my son was graduating and finished with working on the paper, I wrote the teacher, thanking her for her dedication, and enriching my son's experience in school, and journalism in particular.

The way I saw it, if I had a complaint I would voice it, and if I was pleased I would voice that too.

I do think we as parents should let teachers know if we believe they did such a good job teaching our children. I doubt that happens as much as the opposing view is voiced. I hope in this, I'm wrong.

IMO, parents must remain engaged in more than what the report card says and what college their children will attend.

They should know the curriculum, the textbooks their children are required to read, and their behavior in class, as well as the teacher's contribution in class.

Pris

Z said...

BZ; the link has some of the criteria, I believe...but, you're right about the details...who knows, really? Still, it sounds like the right direction.

In Germany, one of the very best school systems going (I think my husband had the MOST excellent schooling of anybody I've ever met), they have two paths....university and vocational training ...both require a lot of work. Car mechanics must get certified and, to own one's own shop, one must have a MEISTER CERTIFICATE..or MASTER WORKMAN....and that takes quite a few years!
All are honored, there isn't this thing in America that YOU MUST GO COLLEGE..all are well educated in SOMETHING and all work hard...
Good discussion there, Heidianne and Deborah..thanks for that.

Joe, your story is amazing and I'm so glad you shared that. GOOD FOR YOU and your family and your son. Marvelous.

Ducky, you said:" And that is what we are doing. Find an easy target and scapegoat. That should solve this." Please read my post. There are many aspects to the problem that kids are not getting the educations we got. And yes, if you think making teachers earn their tenure is "scapegoating" them, I am doing that. (utterly ridiculous, but your mind works in unusual ways, i think)

Major, I just had a conversation with FrogBurger and his wife (who were just here watching World Cup with me and brought a delicious French potato dish for lunch...!) about Chris Christy..he's doing an amazing job in New Jersey, especially with trying to cut costs in education without hurting the kids.


Law & Order, welcome back from your busy-ness! I like to hear that your school does have such conscientious teachers...it gives me hope. You do, too, the way you talk about your classes. Except it steams me that good Conservatives make kids THINK and the indoctrinating left only tells them what to think. I wish you'd FOR ONCE admit you KIND of slanted kids in the right direction, even tho I'm against it in general!:-)

Leticia, your child did good work and can read but didn't read up to their expectations?

Pris, I think it's ALL ABOUT THE PARENTS. If they care, they'll demand better teachers and they'll make their kids behave in class, too, something that's sorely missing today from what I hear...sounds like teachers do little but discipline anymore and kids flip teachers off, etc....the parents cover for the kids. The stories I've heard are so sad.
One preschooler at a school I used to volunteer at would call his father IDIOT when he saw him...the dad did NOTHING. No respect, no discipline.
Teachers do need to get HUGE kudos for their good work and I expect you're right..not enough compliments to the "scapegoats" (smile) and too much ragging on them when little Johnny doesn't do well because he doesn't get support at home!

Susannah said...

Hi Z, et. al ~ "Tenure" has always implied (right or wrong) to me a way for people to skate into retirement...So, I'm not for public school teachers getting tenure (do some research, get published in respectable journals, inspire your students to do the same; sit on an academic board of some kind, contribute to your profession - then let's talk about tenure).

Anyway, I've had some FABULOUS teachers in my time. And my children (13, 11 & 7) have had some really good ones too. The good ones are few & far between, though...Thankfully, my 2 oldest are now in an academically gifted magnet school, & most of the teachers are very strong. We're very, very grateful to have them experiencing this kind of education. But it does not exist everywhere - by any stretch...

Rambling on, I suppose, but that's my take.

FrogBurger said...

I think tenure simply is a guarantee for mediocrity in teaching. It protects those who don't measure up. Good teachers don't need protection.

Sums it all up. Teaching is difficult, especially with kids not paying attention, parents not involved, etc... And because it is tough, only the good ones should be rewarded, with more money, while the crappy ones should get the boot and go do something else with their career because when you impact kids you have a serious role in society.

One day I was listening to the radio here in LA and a math teacher couldn't even do a multiplication-addition combo right!

Anonymous said...

Z, just the other day, Mr. Pris went to the deli, and a father and his two young children came in, and one of the children, maybe seven years old, said, "Hi dude", to Mr. Pris. He told the child "don't call me dude".

The children were rude and disrespectful. When Mr. Pris was walking out of the store, the father said, "Goodbye dude".

That's what's wrong, in a nutshell.

I can tell you, if my children ever talked that way to their elders, they would have been in a world of trouble from me, or Mr. Pris. They wouldn't have done it in the first place.

Yes, it's up to the parents to instill respect for authority, and their elders. The leftists love to teach, "question authority".

I say, children should tell their parents about what they feel is unfair, and the parents should decide if it is, and deal with it, not leave it to their children.

Children can't raise themselves, that's what parents are for. As I've said many times, children are not merely small people, they are children.

Pris

Ducky's here said...

hmmm, magnet school. Interesting the public magnet schools consistently bury charter schools in academic results.

So it isn't that the public schools don't know what they're doing. But how do we recruit that level of teachers in an environment that is so hostile to teachers?

beakerkin said...

Actually the goal should be to toss Marxists like the Duck's favorite teacher Ron Gochez out of the profession. Sorry, but educators should have to live by the same standards as DHS officers who may be fired for a DWI or anything that makes the service look bad.

Commies like Bill Ayers and Gochez need to mow lawns.

Layla Elizabeth Gonzalez said...

I have read and heard from a neighbors sister that lives in Colorado that it is a great place to not only raise kids, but for them to go to school-especially if they are special needs like my son who you know is Autistic.

Virginia ranks with the lowest of low in the arena of special education and education period. I realize many would disagree with me, but it is the truth. My husband and I have been fighting the system here for over a year for their biased roles and lack of concern for our special needs kids. Right now Mr. G sent my son's documents and case to the Department of Justice [JOD]. He will call for an update tomorrow.

I am really worried with Obama in office if they will act. Everything in this nation is falling apart because of that moron!

Have a great evening Z!

xo Layla

Z said...

thanks, Layla, and good luck with your son's case. Please keep us up to date.xx