"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was and never will be...nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe." – Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Better teachers, the union way...

There was an editorial in the LA Times a few days ago written by some LA Teachers Union officers. I liked what they said...most of it anyway...Unfortunately, some of the comments indicate that it really doesn't matter what you say...it's who you are. The negative comments on the post were mostly just against the Union writers of the article and not much against what they said. Public education gets bashed daily in the press...and the Union gets blamed at least as often.

Here's the link if you want to read it yourself...

The most important thing in that article is something I have been telling our administrators for decades..."NO ONE WANTS POOR TEACHERS IN THE CLASSROOMS OF OUR (or any other) DISTRICT." Not parents...not administrators...and certainly not teachers (unions).

We need good evaluation processes with trained administrators doing the evaluating. We need tools to help identify teachers weaknesses and more tools to help them improve. If there are teachers who are not succeeding and, in fact, doing educational damage to students, then they should be given the chance to improve and, if they don't, they should be removed from their classroom.

It really is a team effort...parents, teachers, students as well as administrators, and the general public.

Oh...and they stuck up for experienced teachers. We do have things to add...When I taught kindergarten a couple of years ago, one of my former 6th grade students was teaching in the room next door. It had been 30 years since I taught kindergarten and the curriculum had, indeed changed. My former student helped me immensely to regain my bearings and do a decent job. She also said that she appreciated the knowledge that I provided as to what kindergarten used to be (and, IMHO, what it should still be). We worked together, growing from the strengths each of us brought to the job at hand.

I like to tell my colleagues that I'm just a first year teacher...for the 34th time.

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