Wednesday, April 30

Underwear Will Be Worn On The Outside, So We Can Check.

(The following didn't post yesterday, due to some blogger problem I was in too big a hurry to notice.   Reposted now as just too damned good to miss.)

M wrapping up physical therapy and, with any luck, doctor's visits today, so blogging quantity around here is going to match quality for at least one more day. But I thought I might squeeze in another quick example of how teachers' union are ruining our schools.

Last night Channel 8's Leslie Olsen, who is that wondrous thing, a real reporter working on teevee news, interviewed a couple of teachers from John Marshall Middle School, or, as it is more commonly known, Troubled John Marshall Middle School. Marshall has failed to meet No Child Left Behind guidelines since the moment they were put in place, and, in accordance with consequences of that well-intentioned piece of legislation, is now subject to the whim of the same people who were in charge of seeing to it this didn't happen in the first place. By way of guaranteeing a different result.

Same story, different year. Last year the IPS administration simply decided to tack on another 25 days to the school year. Which they accomplished by fiat. Teachers in those schools didn't even know if the District intended to pay them for working. (This, apparently, is because it didn't intend to, or were going to offer to let teachers draw down their sick days if they wanted to be paid, until disabused of the notion.)   Teachers were told that if they didn't like it they could put in for transfers.

IPS lost an unfair labor practices suit over that affair early this month. So, naturally, they've seen the error of their ways; now they're just pink-slipping the entire staff.

Okay, that's not quite accurate: it's only 90%, and I'm just assuming they gave 'em pink slips, since that's required by state law, not just easily-ignored employment contracts. So they might be judgement-proof this time. There's a first time for everything.

Of course Being Within Your Rights and being smart are two different things. Perhaps teachers are at fault (the two who spoke to Olsen, who are reportedly among the number who won't be forced to transfer--it's being left to the Entrepreneur in Chief Principal--pointed out that the current staff had come together after last year, and that test scores did improve. Just not enough). Are ninety percent of them at fault? Or is it just easier to change 90% of the nametags on the doors than to really do something?

The principal's a good guy: young, enthusiastic, whip-smart. He applied for the job at my Poor Wife's school a couple years ago, when she was on the evaluation committee, and he was her choice (she thinks strings were pulled to send the guy to Marshall). One hopes for the best for all students, and the people who try to improve thngs, but one is eventually left hoping that the Big Idea hucksters behind them fall on their collective ass. I understand that they have little choice--God help the man, especially the African man, who's put in charge of an urban school district in this day and age--but one may cooperate with one's kidnappers without seeming so damned enthusiastic about receiving the opportunity. NCLS is a scam, and it's not accomplished anything beyond churning already roiled waters. It didn't protect John Marshall Middle School from a cooked-up White People's Property Tax Revolt, and it doesn't offer any solution beyond requiring the already-publicity-hungry superintendent to thrash about in search of more publicity. It'd just be nice if he managed to show the people who do the real work some respect, even if he doesn't mean it.

No comments: