We will not stop until whining drunken parents have the right of life and death over teachers.
Mona Charen, National How Do These Fucks Earn Their Paychecks, Oh Right, Jonah Goldberg is Executive Editor:
Democrats and Teacher Tenure
When last we left Mona Charen she was losing a fight against her own spell-check software.
So obviously, she is more than qualified to weigh in on matters of education. Because obviously an education system that could produce a mind like hers has rather glaring flaws needing addressing.
And while you or I may suspect it has to do with massive underfunding of schools, over-emphasis on meaningless tests than actual education standards, and constant meddling by Evangelical leaders who fear education will turn their children away from Jesus might form some of the main problems, Mona Charen has her finger on the real problem.
That is, she’s frigging herself like a madwoman while she shits out the standard “teachers are evil” post that every wingnut is required to by law ever since Gov. Walker and the Koch-sucking Brigade declared war on teachers over in Wisconsin.
Allow her to explain:
- The only way we’ll get good teachers in our schools is to make the job so unpleasant, abusive, and underpaid that the only people who’d take the job are child molesters.
Also, apparently she’s been met with the shocking and unthinkable news that she’s not actually the Queen of the Universe.
A recent weeknight found me among a group of about a dozen unhappy parents meeting with the principal of our kids’ high school.
Wow. A whole dozen, huh. In Virginia.
That’s pretty sad even for the usual brigade of Evangelical nutters and fuckwads who constantly ring up the Principal of every school everywhere to demand the firing of half of the teachers for such crimes as “obliquely mentioning evolution in anything other than disgust”, teaching actual history in history class, daring to use any book in English class that mentions the existence of black people, the existence of sex or drugs, or presents a moral more complex than heathens are bad and need to die, or just breathing in a way viewed offensive to repressed middle aged housewives with literally nothing better to do than terrorize the local school.
If I was the principal of that school I wouldn’t give a fuck either.
The issue: An incompetent teacher who we had been promised would not be returning to the school
What did he do? Teach your kid about evolution?
had shown up unexpectedly, and an administrator had told the students that he might indeed be returning in September.
Sounds like your witch hunt against him failed to come up with any actual bad behavior despite your best effort to demonize him. Obviously this means all teachers must be flayed alive over the sacrificial pit as penance to Your Holiness.
Yeah, teachers don’t nearly get paid enough to deal with this shit.
Parents expressed dismay and frustration. The principal was guarded.
He was trying to figure out how to say, “get the fuck out of my office, you delusional psychotics” without becoming the next target.
There was much he could not say for legal reasons, he explained. In the course of a long and often tense discussion, a number of the parents made the point that if an employee in the private sector had engaged in the behavior that this teacher had, he would be gone in a flash.
And yet, despite you lacking any actual legal reason to remain quiet about these “heinous accusations” fail to bring it up outside a vague “one crazy parent said they’d be fired by the all-sainted free market, hallow be its name”.
Yeah, I’m willing to bet a month’s salary that it was some “non-controversy” like telling your kid to stop punching the queer kid or trying to actually teach a subject that the local wingnuts have declared war on. Given your previous post declaring war on the very notion of a future, because green energy makes you foam at the mouth, I’m suspecting it was something related to that as I’m starting to see a rather personal pattern forming in your writing habits.
But when it comes to teachers — those critical figures in our children’s lives — it requires a minimum of three years to remove someone . . . if you’re lucky.
Not really. Thanks to the cowardice of principals and the tendency of wingnuts to try and swamp the School Superintendent candidates, teachers who actually try and you know, teach the kids about reality and life tend to be on a pretty short leash no matter how many dedicated years they’ve given to the school.
John Stossel, writing in Reason magazine, detailed the case of a New York teacher who sent sexually explicit e-mails to a 16-year-old student. It took six years and plenty of expensive litigation to fire him, though the school had possession of the e-mails, and the teacher admitted sending them.
Okay, first off, this story is bullshit. Transparently bullshit. It’s got all the hallmarks of a wingnut urban myth. It’s practically dripping with “welfare queen driving a Cadillac”.
So, to confirm this, I tracked down the article she so vaguely references… which was written in 2006. And despite being written by a complete Libertarian hack, it still happens to note that this made-up incident “took” 6 years because they had to prove it happened. 6 years wherein said teacher wasn’t allowed to teach a single class and definitely wasn’t allowed any contact with students.
Oh, yeah, and said bullshit story was courtesy of Mayor Bloomberg appointee Joel Klein.
Yes, that would be the same Joel Klein whose “noteworthy” accomplishments as Chancellor of the New York City Board of Education was failing to curb NYPD activities on school grounds despite repeated incidents where the police officers had abused and beaten students, firing Rashid Khalidi from a teacher training program because of his personal political views in direct violation of the First Amendment, and getting the New York Senate to deny Bloomberg the opportunity to ever have control over the school system again thanks to his personal incompetence as Chancellor.
Oh, and he also is Rupert Murdoch’s replacement at News Corp.
So, long history of intellectual honesty and respect for the truth.
As Stossel observes, faced with the bureaucratic maze they must navigate to fire a bad teacher, most principals don’t even try.
Bullshito! Bullshito! Bullshit-eo!
Bad teachers, unless they are being protected for political reasons (such as being a relative of the football coach or being a wingnut in a wingnut-run school), tend to be out of a job in a drop of a hat.
Any cursory glance over teacher personal narratives will tell you tales of teachers being fired for being atheist, gay, or pagan in their private lives, teaching evolution or acknowledging events like the massacre of Native Americans, or even just trying to enforce the law against a well-connected Christian group or student.
Teachers are the maligned wreckage of our society, expected to do complex and difficult tasks requiring at least double their hours in unpaid labor, potentially limitless funds out of their pockets to keep their classrooms running, and serving as educator, psychologist, babysitter, and disciplinarian with little to show for it in money or respect.
And they are expected to put up with all this out of pure love for teaching and a legitimate desire to make sacrifices for the public good.
And even then, they tend to be at the mercy of loud Huck Finn’s dad wannabes, bitter at the notion that their kids could end up knowing more than them and thus reject their small-minded viewpoints, looking for a reason, any reason, to make themselves feel better by claiming a scalp.
They attempt to sucker another school into taking the incompetent (“the dance of the lemons”) or they put the bad teachers in “pretend work” jobs, where they continue, of course, to collect full salaries and benefits.
Oh no, Proofreadess is circling that and noting that I copy and pasted that from an article on child-molesting priests and search and replaced school for parish and teachers for priests.
Yeah, well, fuck you and your lies. You’re not going to fix my glaring errors without a fight!
Between 2005 and 2008, Newsweek reported, the public-school system of Chicago fired 0.1 percent and Akron, Ohio fired none at all. The Denver and Toledo systems didn’t fire any, either.
Because why would they fire when they can downsize, call for the resignation of, indefinitely suspend without pay, call for the early retirement of, eliminate the position, etc…?
Also, Chicago, eh? Well, maybe 4,000 teachers is only 0.1 percent.
Confronting such a Kafkaesque system (Bill Bennett dubbed it “the blob”), most parents shrink away feeling deflated and helpless.
Oh yes, wingnut parents just shrink away deflated and helpless.
Why, they never lead regular vigils demanding X or Y teacher be fired because of X book choice or Y teaching standard.
It really is amazing to realize that as a teacher, you aren’t accountable to anyone and can do anything you want and the parents just have to sit there and take it, powerless to do anything against the might of Underpaid Teacher Union 703.
Such is union power.
Ah, yes, we return to the reason that the 27% decided to go all in against teachers in the first place. Trying to have some form of worker protection as public servants when the Koch brothers wanted to siphon all the public employee benefits into their giant maw made of money.
No one mentioned it, but as we were gnashing our teeth about the difficulty of removing bad teachers from the public-school system, the Virginia legislature was voting on a measure that would have brought decisive change to our system — the elimination of teacher tenure.
Hey, remember when “tenure” was a universal thing? Where it represented the respect a company had for a person as a result of their hard work and sacrifice for the company over some large amount of years, letting the company siphon off parts of their hard work as profits, and thus would be rewarded in job security, a guaranteed pension and retirement and so on?
Well, now they want everyone’s life to be a panicked scramble to protect oneself by job-hopping faster than the downsizing can get to them.
And yet they wonder why respect for corporations, respect for the rich, and employee loyalty are circling down the toilet.
Virginia doesn’t call its system of job security “tenure,” but after just three years of teaching, a teacher gets a “continuing contract,” which amounts to the same thing. By contrast, university professors typically don’t get tenure until they’ve been on the job for seven years. And even then, only a minority get it. Many college instructors are not tenured faculty.
So, it’s not actually tenure.
In fact, it’s just the point in which a teacher gains the illusion of job security in the form of having a real job contract rather than the horseshit they put new teachers through these days where there’s absolutely no sign they’ll have a job come summer’s end so future planning to avoid becoming homeless is impossible.
Also, nearly no one in the state receives it.
But it’s the source of everything wrong in your life and must be destroyed.
Yup, it’s a wingnut argument all right.
Do you have life tenure in your job?
You just spent the last paragraph noting how this was nothing even remotely approaching life tenure, you vapid uneducable $^!
Unless you are one of the above-mentioned professors, a federal judge, or a public-school teacher, the answer is almost certainly no. So why do teachers have it?
They don’t! You just noted it last paragraph.
Hell, not even the much-vaunted college professor in a real state, 20-40 years to get it, tenure works like an unlimited get out of jail free card. If you fuck up, you’re still fired, it’s just an earned position wherein by your proven service and the thousands-millions you’ve earned for the school with your teaching prowess and academic accomplishments, you have a slot to teach if you want it and don’t lose your job if say you need to take off a quarter to deal with a family or medical emergency or something or fuck, need some time to finish an academic study that will make the school more money/raise the profile of the school.
It’s almost like wingnuts, having spent so much time “earning” wingnut welfare have forgotten that it’s possible for an employee to actually earn their salary rather than undeservedly receiving the largesse of a wealthy patron.
Whose interests does it serve other than the teachers’? It permits sloth and incompetence. Can you keep your job without reference to how well you perform it?
Um, tenure means they demonstrated how well they performed their job.
It’s an earned title built out of genuine hard work, not the “hard work” of “this guy inherited his daddy’s company, but deserves to pay no taxes because that’s punishing hard work” but the hard work of actually doing hard work for way WAY under market value.
Tenure insulates teachers from accountability.
It is earned from accountability.
And no, it isn’t at all infuriating to hear a genuine underqualified moron with a guaranteed life position because of who they are married to or are the children of, lecturing teachers, who nearly kill themselves for criminally low wages meeting impossibly high standards to earn tenure, for being “lazy” and “avoiding accountability”.
But hey, IT’S ALWAYS PROJECTION is a truism for a reason.
The unions really put one over on the public. Is it hopeless?
Well, it certainly does seem like it sometimes with the added bullshit legislatures are adding on to teachers to try and make them give up and cede the ground back to religious organizations and-
Oh, you meant for the side of busybodies and fuckwits.
People who want to seem sophisticated affect a jaded view of politicians and political life. If you say that all politicians are crooks and that the difference between Republicans and Democrats is the difference between Tweedledee and Tweedledum, you will get energetic agreement. But here is a case in which electing a Republican governor and a Republican legislature really might have begun to release Virginia’s schools from the iron grip of the teachers’ unions.
Governor Robert McDonnell introduced legislation that would have replaced the “continuing contracts” with three-year contracts. At the end of a teacher’s contract period, a principal could choose not to renew the contract for any reason, giving principals in Virginia real power to shape their faculties for the first time.
Yes, because anyone who knows anything about education knows that the biggest problem in public education is that the politicians and principals have too little power in the classroom.
The bill passed the Republican-controlled House of Delegates, but when it reached the Senate, three Republicans joined all 20 Democrats to kill the measure. “This bill does nothing but kick teachers in the teeth,” explained Senator Phillip Puckett, a Democrat. Delegate Richard Bell, a Republican, saw it differently. “If we always do what we’ve always done,” he told the Washington Post, “then we’ll always get what we’ve always gotten.”
I love this exchange for what it actually says.
“This bill does nothing but kick teachers in the teeth.”
“Well, yes, but if we continue to not kick teachers in the teeth, then we’ll be doing what we’ve always done.”
Personally, I’ve always found that eating through a straw really motivates me to do my best for the kids.
If the citizens of Virginia had elected just a handful more Republicans, their majority would have been large enough to survive the defections and implement tangible reform.
If we just elected more Republicans, we could have a system so Byzantine and punitive to teachers that no teacher would ever in their right mind agree to serve in our schools!
Then we’ll be able to get rid of all the teachers we want, leaving… hmm, leaving… someone to teach the kids… well, what about those nice Catholic priests? I’m sure there would be no problems there.
I wonder how many of the parents who were at that meeting — seething about the problem teacher and the clotted system that makes it so hard to get rid of him — voted Democratic.
I will bet a mother-fucking kidney that not a damn one of those parents was anything less than Full Metal Wingnut, because any pitiful protest of “almost a dozen” parents is a red flag of “wingnuts whining about bullshit” if I’ve ever seen one.
When I went to school, we had some legitimate “this person needs to be fired” moments, biggest one being a wingnut school administrator deciding to flip open the dress of every girl going to the dance to make sure none of them were wearing thongs or other signs of wicked evil sluttiness. The protest went into the high hundreds and the only parents seemingly absent from it were the same wingnut parents who were front and center when it was time to complain about X teacher teaching evolution or how Brave New World or Huck Finn needed to be banned from the reading list.
And seeing as how you didn’t devote this post to how evil Mrs. Kensington at the protest supports Planned Parenthood, I’m going to guess that they were a group of local readers you dragged along for the ride and that’s before we note Wingnut Math for Crowds means that “almost a dozen” equals you and your husband who would have showed if he didn’t have work.
Hold up, one second.
Mona Charen has like obscene amounts of money and is a dedicated wingnut with an obvious hate-on for the public school system.
So, this little tantrum could either be really easy to solve by her following her own advice and using the “power of the market place” to place her kids in private school where they wouldn’t be at the mercy of these mean union teachers and their impenetrable barrier of tenure OR…
She already has done that and is whining about the private school she sent her artifact children to deciding to bite their thumb at her and her cronies’ bullshit and she’s deciding to blame the public school system for her issues with her “glorious free market solution”.
Either way, that kicks this whole affair into a whole new level of “May you burn forever on a pile of your own vomit”.
Oh, Mona Charen, is there no personal failing or life event you cannot turn into another creeping tendril of Liberal Fascism?