Friday, February 28, 2014

A Hacktivist Pontificates On Behalf of School Privatizers

No, teachers don't have lifetime jobs and are impossible to fire, for crying out loud. She's yakking about how "great" this case in Calfornia is. Of course a millionaire is behind this effort to destroy teacher protections, what few there really are. What a tool this nitwit is.

My response in the comments (with corrections to the typos):

The person who wrote this "piece" is a liar and somebody who is a shill for privatizers. This liar and her corporate connections have as their goal to destroy unions and what few protections teachers have--which are identical to other public employees. They have the "right" to a hearing because a public sector job is considered a property right and the government cannot deny that right without due process. Public sector jobs are NOT the same as private sector jobs. It is not "impossible" to get rid of teachers--in fact, it is laughably EASY to "get rid of them." What liars like this woman, who have never gone through these sham hearings, don't tell you is that school districts have a whole arsenal of ways to get rid of teachers they don't like. They don't have to be "incompetent" or "dangerous" to get "fired" from a school district. All they have to do is refuse to change a grade, refuse to break the law, get sick and use FMLA, or some other thing to incur an administrator's wrath to "get it." I know this from personal experience, as I was illegally fired by a Nevada school district six years ago after I returned from sick leave, and the idiots who did it either didn't have all of the information they needed or they needed to cover their backsides, so I was scapegoated. My old district literally rigged my hearing and the union colluded. I was not told of my rights to file a complaint with EEOC, so I couldn't go after this district civilly thanks to the statute of limitations. I am FAR more qualified than this shill to tell you the truth about what teachers go through.

Let's look at the ways school districts have to dispose of teachers. Thousands of teachers from all over the country each year are "non-renewed" having nothing to do with staff reductions. This means they are FIRED, but the principal, who almost never is fired but has a unilateral ability to kill a teacher's career, doesn't have to give a reason why he or she is doing it. These are the probationary teachers who don't have "tenure"--WHICH DOES NOT EXIST FOR TEACHERS. K-12 teachers don't have "lifetime jobs" like college and university professors have. They simply have the regular civil service right to a hearing under administrative/educa­tion statutes. Now this liar who wrote this piece thinks there are "few" teachers who are ever fired. What we are talking about is a bureaucracy, and the term "fired" is never used by school districts. Teachers who are post-probationary are also at the total mercy of principals, who can literally fabricate charges against them knowing those principals will be protected to the hilt by school district central offices. Principals will find ways to get rid of unwanted teachers--they don't have to be "bad"--they can be merely too old, too expensive, or too outspoken. They can make up charges against a teacher, they can harass a teacher so that teacher will quit or retire--thousands of them do. The ones who actually are "dismissed"--those who have a recommendation for dismissal stuck under their noses--are "fired" supposedly but they have the option to go through a hearing to see if they get reinstated (only 25 percent do nationally if they go through it) or, as the vast majority of teachers do, take a resignation in lieu of a dismissal. Literally thousands of teachers throughout the country are forced into this situation, but this shill who wrote the piece doesn't know squat what she is talking about. Now teachers who opt to go through the hearings and lose or take the resignations are no longer employed with the district, so they are basically fired for all intents and purposes. It's just that school districts use bureaucratic jargon to describe each action. A resignation in lieu of a dismissal means a teacher took a severance package (called a settlement) in exchange for some severance money, a promise not to sue, a sealed file, and maybe a letter of recommendation (although many districts would see this as an admission of guilt and school districts can still label a teacher not eligible for rehire--blackballed-­-so there is NO real advantage to taking a resignation). The vast majority of dumped teachers take these agreements because they think they can get jobs elsewhere (not really true) and can't afford to wait months without being paid to go through a hearing. Those who go through a hearing and win are "reinstated," thus they have a target on their backs for the rest of their careers. Those who go through the sham hearings and lose are "dismissed."

In other words, the public is being lied to because it isn't difficult at all for administrators to get rid of teachers. Teachers in NYC have a few more protections than others around the country do, but if an administrator wants to get rid of a teacher, he or she can pretty much do it without repercussions to their own careers.

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