Saturday, October 04, 2014

Politicians Need to Stop Trying to "Reform" Education

when they are not educators and have no concept of what really goes on in the education workplace. They need to start talking to teachers who have been dumped by the system; unfortunately, a lot of those teachers signed away their right to talk when they took severance agreements ("settlements") when they left employment at their districts.

Contrary to the LIES told by the "reformers," teachers are easily dumped all the time by school districts. Their contracts can be non-renewed if they don't have "post-probationary status" (a status that is granted after a LONG period of probation); they can be forced to resign by an insane, incompetent, unaccountable principal; "dismissed" (fired but opt to go through a sham hearing held on school district property and presided by an arbitrator clearly on the take from the school district to ruin teachers and "lose" the sham tribunal); and "resign" in lieu of a dismissal (fired but teacher takes a severance package in exchange for a promise not to sue and a gag order--the vast majority of post-probationary, dumped teachers take these piddling packages). All of these are terminations, but school districts play semantic games. "Tenure" doesn't exist for K-12 teachers; they only have the same "right" to a sham hearing as do other qualified public employees.

The big problem, which is nationwide, is with school districts that abuse the legal system to taunt victimized employees into suing, settling, and signing a gag order while their administrators are protected. It's a total misuse of what the legal system is supposed to be used for, not to mention not a good use of taxpayer money. Administrative law needs to be run like regular civil law, not as joke hearings that would be more appropriate in Stalinist Russia than in the U.S.

Teachers need more protections from abusive principals and other administrators, not fewer, while collective bargaining for principals and other supervisory public ed personnel needs to be outlawed. Principals are managers, not teachers. If a principal wants to make the big bucks and the big pensions that go with the job, then he or she should accept a bit less job security and more accountability for their actions. They need to be gone, not given an extra layer of protection, when they screw up. Currently, it is almost impossible to fire a principal anywhere in the United States.

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