Archive for March, 2011

Wisconsin School Teachers Use Children Against Walker

March 21, 2011

Well this is really no surprise;  Here are unidentified teachers and — and students chanting protest slogans against Governor Scott Walker.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8BRa9ffT9o&feature=player_embedded

And of course there is no indoctrination in public education!  And before we hear the usual public school apologists trying to claim this is an isolated incident and we can’t paint everyone with a broad brush does anyone remember this;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO3NBqT3LBc

Just more reasons to support vouchers and school choice.

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Education Reform Bills Flow into St. Paul!

March 13, 2011

We are overjoyed at the passing of Alternative Teacher Licenses and happily surprised that pro-union Governor Mark Dayton agreed to the bill.  Score one for the kids/parents over the union/DFL cartel.  Of course there still is much to do and the focus seems to always be about funding.  But, we feel that several more big changes are a must this session and we finally have a legislature that is serious about doing just that.

Here are some bills to watch;

House File 464; This is a bipartisan bill to repeal the January 15 deadline and remove the fines.  Under current Minnesota law, school districts and teachers’ union must reach a two-year contract agreement by January 15 of every even year or the district is fined $25 per student per day (nearly $300,000 a day in Robbinsdale).  The unions are penalized at all (to our knowledge).  The pro-deadline people claim that without a deadline no agreements will be reached, but we think the real motive is to insure pro-union deals.  Then these same deals get passed off to all he other unions.  How can we have local control when our expenditures (80% of which are directly tied to the cost of people) are out of our control?

Naturally the teachers union hates this….

“What is the problem that we’re trying to fix?” asked Jan Alswager, a lobbyist for Education Minnesota. “Do you know that over 17 years, when we’ve had the January deadline in place, that over 99 percent of the contracts were settled without a strike?”

That isn’t the point!!!  These contracts need to be good and fair to the teachers, school districts, and the TAXPAYERS!!!  Yes, remember us….the ones who are forced to pay for you?  Or don’t you care about taxpayers?  Remember it’s all about the children, right Tom Dooher?  If it takes longer to get a fairer contract, that’s better than a bad contract by a certain date.

House File 945; This is a comprehensive bill sponsored by Republican Branden Petersen (49B) that would reform change the license procedures for teaching, establish standards for teacher evaluations, and….wait for it….REFORM TENURE LAWS!!!!!  Will this get Tom Dooher’s support?  Ha ha!!

Senator David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) has introduced several bills;

Senate File 623; This bill eliminates automatic dues payments.

Senate File 747; This proposal would modifies and clarifies the ability of districts to terminate teachers.

Hann said the following;

“The structure we’ve built up over the years in law, has I think made the negotiation field uneven,” said Hann, a member of the Senate Education Committee. “I served on a school board; I was on the negotiating committee. I’ve seen how that works. The threat of a strike and the ability in law to do some of the things that they’re currently able to do are basically an unfair advantage.”

Thank you Senator!!!

Here’s yet another one;

House File 339; This bill introduced by Tim Kelly (R-28A) would restrict the right of teachers and boards to negotiate to only the months when school is not in session.  The teachers would not be able to strike during the school year.  Kelly said the following;

“To me it was about simply the process of how we go about negotiating,” said Kelly, R-Red Wing. “The intent is to take away from the distraction and the disruption during the school year, which I have seen, personally — and get that to a time period and an end result quicker, and hopefully with better results.”

Not surprisingly, Education Minnesota President Tom Dooher doesn’t like this too much….he said the following;

“What you see here [are], again, distractions from what we need to be focusing on, which is equitable funding, closing the achievement gap, helping our students get the resources they need,” Dooher said.

Sorry Mr. Dooher but you and the politicians you bought aren’t in charge anymore.

Governor Mark Dayton would seem to be the only roadblock to these reforms but we never thought he’d agree to alternative teachers either so we have the audacity of hope!!!!

All quotes an info is from this article;

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/03/08/teacher-reform/

It’s Time to End Federal Funding

March 3, 2011

The latest email alert from the Legislative Action Coalition reminds us of the need to end federal funding of public education.  Here is the text;

On February 19th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a spending bill (H.R. 1 – Continuing Resolution) for the remainder of FY 2011 that included drastic cuts for early childhood programs. Last year, Congress failed to pass a budget, leaving a temporary spending provision in place until March 4th.Congress must pass a FY 2011 budget by that time to avoid a government shutdown.  The House bill will be taken up by the Senate, which has not released its own budget proposal for FY 2011 in the next few days. The funding cuts contained in H.R. 1 include:

  • Elimination of the funds for Even Start grants.

Robbinsdale Area Schools is one of only four sites in Minnesota to  have an Even Start Family Literacy Program. We are in danger of losing this valuable program because of the actions stated above.  The Family Literacy program serves recent immigrants to our country by providing a literacy-based preschool to the children, and providing English Language classes to parents, as well as parent education and connections to community resources.  Robbinsdale Area Schools Family Literacy program has proven results.  The program has documented that it prepares children for Kindergarten, and provides English Language skills to the parents.  One telling statistic about the program is that 100% of 4-5 year olds in the program for one year or more scored in the age appropriate range for English vocabulary.

Now that Congress passed a two-week extension, we can count on more emails like this, of course, never mind the explosion of federal spending the past three years (and boy has it worked).  We have some advice for the LAC; Why don’t you call for an end to federal education spending?

Sending our money to Washington, then having the bureaucrats, take a cut, and then sending the money back to us with strings attached is perhaps the worst possible way to fund education or anything else.  And District 281 can’t be any more hypocritical on federal money.  They love taking the money and then all they do is whine and complain about it afterward!

Let’s advocate to send Arnie Duncan back to Chicago and throw the Department of Education in the Potomac River.