February 17, 2011

Madison schools will close once again.

The teachers take another day off to demonstrate at the capitol. What impression is this making around the state?

95 comments:

cubanbob said...

Why haven't they been fired yet?

Revenant said...

I imagine a lot of people are thinking "if I blew off work for three days, I'd get fired".

Jason said...

Once again, I say...this bill being debated does not affect the teachers. At all. This is a bill affecting state workers.

Simply put...the majority of teachers care more about their benefits package than actually teaching. Considering they are protesting a bill that doesnt even affect them, and that makes it all the more preposterous.

Lincolntf said...

Screw 'em.
They hate you, they hate your kids and they hate the Governor.
Let them rot.

Freeman Hunt said...

In the real world, you lose your job when you don't show up for three days, and then not even you can contribute to your retirement fund.

JAL said...

So who is going to sue these people for screwing with the lives of the families that have to make other arrangements for their kids which they did not budget for, and which is totally unnecessary?

They are 60s radical wannabes who have found something they can *Take a Stand* (!!!1111!1) on.

Whooptido.

Brave!

Inspiring!

Irresponsible.

Dishonest.

Jason said...

I cant wait to see what happens next week when Walker proposes to bust up MPS, makes about $1 billion in cuts to state aid for schools, and proposes to split UW-Madison from the rest of the UW system.

We're really gonna find out two things over the next couple of weeks:

1) Who is really conservative, and

2) Who really wants to work.

Fen said...

/via The Corner

“Certainly, the thousands of people here and outside the capitol have every right to be heard,” said Walker. "But I want to make sure that not for one moment are their voices drowning out the voices of millions of taxpayers all across the state of Wisconsin.”

But he defended requiring government employees to contribute nearly 6 percent to their pension funds and nearly 13 percent to their health-care plans, saying that the pension contribution was equal to the national average, while the health-care contribution would be only half of the national average.

Walker said the only alternative would be layoffs of 10,000 to 12,000 state and local employees."

Christie went through this in New Jersey. They thought he was bluffing, they got laid off.


http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/260046/walker-dems-you-can-t-have-conversations-if-you-re-not-work-katrina-trinko

Will said...

They are becoming a joke. It goes to show to the rest of the United States and the world that the teacher's union in the United States are more concerned about their pay and benefits than teaching and educating their students.

Palladian said...

I'd certainly be fired from my non-tenured college teaching position if I intentionally blew off three sessions of class. Of course, I wouldn't miss class even if I wouldn't be fired, out of a respect and a feeling of responsibility for my students and their education.

Shameful.

Trooper York said...

Everybody who lost wages or had to pay a baby sitter should bill the teachers union for this illegal job action.

AJ Lynch said...

It is kinda cool that Madison is ground zero for this issue of how the states will handle their fiscal crises and Althouse is conveniently [for us] there too.

AJ Lynch said...

Troop:

You think the media will cover the inconveniences caused by the teachers [snark]?

Anita said...

In the real world, you lose your job when you don't show up for three days

For these folks, it's not a job, it's a sinecure.

Palladian said...

"It is kinda cool that Madison is ground zero for this issue of how the states will handle their fiscal crises and Althouse is conveniently [for us] there too."

Absolutely. What a blessing that there's an honest chronicler in the midst of this insanity.

Rara Avis said...

The Wausau School District has canceled classes for Friday as well.

Kathleen Williams-Superintendent of Schools also reminded us there won't be classes on Monday "as District staff will be involved in professional growth and development activities."

I wonder where those activities will be held.

Jason said...

I would like to know how many school days are going to be lost after Walker's budget that actually includes school and teacher cuts comes out.

They might as well cancel high school baseball and track & field right now and save some trouble.

Trooper York said...

Well something similar is happening in New York City but the Union is winning big as we have long ago given up and lost.

We can't even get the teachers union to pay their full bar tab.

That is how arrogant they have become.

Anita said...

District staff will be involved in professional growth and development activities."

Professional???? Oh, HAHAHAHAHAHA! *snort* *giggle* HAHAHAHAHA! Stop it! Yer killin' me!

AJ Lynch said...

Wow, so the Wausau schools will be closed for 4 straight days? Christ they will have to re-train half of the teachers after 4 days off.

Coketown said...

Add a percentage point to their pension and health care contributions for each day schools have to close. So instead of contributing 6% to their pensions, make it 7% then 8% then 9%. They'd get their shit together real quick that way.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to watch the last few episodes of The Wire - Season 2, when the unions get their shit totally ruined. It'll be extra savory this time around.

garage mahal said...

What impression is this making around the state?

Glad you asked. Although probably not the news you wanted to hear. One poll, but just sayin.

BSW poll finds opposition to Scott Walker's proposal

Jason said...

From the poll:

"Only 24.9% of those surveyed had a public employee living in the household."

However WI has 2.1 million households (http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lrb/bb/03bb/137-138.pdf)

There are only 175,000 public workers (http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_c814c77a-3600-11e0-b9e0-001cc4c03286.html).

At most there would only be 8.3% of households with a public worker.

Therefore, this poll overrepresents state workers by 299%

Anita said...

You think the media will cover the inconveniences caused by the teachers

Ooooooh, I know this one too!! Pick meee! Pick meeeee! *waves hand frantically*

The answer is..........NO. No. Nope.

Meade said...

I wouldn't miss class even if I wouldn't be fired, out of a respect and a feeling of responsibility for my students and their education.

If you can read that and understand what it really means, thank not just a teacher, thank a true educator.

Jason said...

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel poll shows about 6 of 10 approve of Walker's bill. WIth over 60000 votes.

Simply put...Dane and Milwaukee counties are going to be strongly in opposition, and everyone else is going to favor it to varying degrees.

garage mahal said...

Please read carefully to avoid misreading and misunderstanding articles.

602 voters were surveyed. Of those 602 voters, 24.9% have a public employee in the household, NOT 24.9% of the state's population.


Duh!

Anita said...

Therefore, this poll overrepresents state workers by 299%

They can't be expected to get all those numbers right. Math is haaaaaard.

Anita said...

Christ they will have to re-train half of the teachers after 4 days off.

Think of how much time they're going to have to spend with the students on review. Especially in those districts where Monday is a *snort* *giggle* Professional day.

Coketown said...

@Garage: Jason clearly made a distinction between households and population. You, on the other hand, did not. His analysis is correct.

PatCA said...

Obama's not so invisible hand in all this: http://tinyurl.com/4lfvg6r

Is this the first primary of the 2012 campaign?

AJ Lynch said...

PatCa:
I suspect the Dems will soon have to move directly to Phase V [skipping Phases II through IV] of the Obama re-election campaign. Phase V is called "stuff the hell out the ballot boxes by voting early & often".

Sofa King said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sofa King said...

Garage, man, holy shit. Slow down a little bit. You just beclowned yourself almost as bad as Wolf Blitzer on Jeopardy.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

Coketown
It doesn't matter. They called 600 random people and published the full results. I'm sure there will be other polls that will come out. I'm a non state worker household, and I fully support these state workers and I'm fulling against Walker's proposals. Enough is enough.

garage mahal said...

Garage, man, holy shit. Slow down a little bit. You just beclowned yourself almost as bad as Wolf Blitzer on Jeopardy.

In....what way. Linking to a poll? What.

Sofa King said...

Again, I just don't understand how a teacher could abandon her students again and again, no matter what is personally at stake for her.

I have several teachers in my immediate family. I like them and they like me, so you might think I'd be naturally inclined to want whatever is best for them.

But let me tell you. The day that the teacher's union lost me forever (and started, I think, a transformation from left to...not-left) was when my younger sister, a senior in high school, was refused a letter of recommendation from her teacher, because of some labor contract dispute. She was so frustrated, in tears. Betrayed by the people she trusted. People that I had supported in the past, like a tool. They had unwittingly made me hurt my own little sister. It was the first time, I honestly think, that I knew what real hatred felt like. A lot of things changed that day.

Sofa King said...

In....what way. Linking to a poll? What.

By totally misunderstanding Jason's point, which is that the poll greatly oversampled public employees in relation to their actual population, which kind of calls into question the poll's reliability.

PatCA said...

That's right, AJ, and he has a Daley to help him!

Lem said...

It is kinda cool that Madison is ground zero for this issue of how the states will handle their fiscal crises and Althouse is conveniently [for us] there too.

I want to echo those sentiments..

(is "ground zero" considered a neutral remark in the new civility?.. just asking)

Bartender Cabbie said...

I am in the market for a teaching job and will gladly take the place of one of those who walked off. Of course it would be hard to deal with the hippo women of Wisconsin (Madison in particular). Used to pretty Texas and Southern ladies. I guess I would just have to sacrifice.

Bartender Cabbie said...

WTG Anita with the use of "sinecure" Look that one up mofos.

AJ Lynch said...

Lem:
Yes, civil usage intended.

Revenant said...

They called 600 random people

Ah, the little known "good intentions" exception to the rules of statistical validity.

Seven Machos said...

Sofa King -- I was a lily-livered lefty punk until freshman year of college when my parents got in a bunch of financial trouble (I am still unclear about it) and a moderate gravy train of money came to an abrupt and permanent end. When I found out what it means to have to support yourself, my principles shifted pretty quickly.

My guess is that most conservatives have some kind of story like yours or mine. In a world of no scarcity or disagreement, we'd all be leftists for sure.

former law student said...

What impression is this making around the state?

"It's like a snow day, but without the snow"

"Now what am I going to do with the effing kids all day?"

"Why didn't Walker pull this stunt in the summer instead of now?"

Steven said...

Oh, I love that poll.

We've got a massive oversampling of public employee households, and a massive oversampling of the old (19.9% of the sample was over the age of 70; a whole 38.7% was over the age of 60). Compare the 5.5% of 29-or-less. And the PDF, of course, does not give us the correlation of responses to each other, so there is no way to mathematically extrapolate an actually representative sample from the data provided.

Now, beyond that fundamental statistical malpractice, we have the poll, before asking any questions, framing the issue as follows:

"Rather than negotiate with public employee Unions to address budget
issues in Wisconsin, Governor Walker has proposed a number of changes that would directly affect many public employees in Wisconsin."

What a hackjob.

S said...

@Bartender, I knew the word "sinecure" but had to look up "WTG".

I'm watching from quite a distance, but I would think the school cancellations would do the union cause more PR harm than good. And some of the pictures from the protests themselves, though that would depend a lot on how they're being reported.

Similarly, I think Walker's insistence on not responding in kind should help him out. I think he should point out that the teachers are subject to being fired, but not push the issue -- continuing to emphasize that most state employees do good work, but that Wisconsin can't afford to pay them exorbitantly, should win sympathy.

But, again, I'm just reading blogs and the occasional news story.

S said...

Oh, also: any social studies teacher who joins a mob chanting "this is what democracy looks like" should be fired, regardless of whether (s)he is playing hookey.

Revenant said...

"Now what am I going to do with the effing kids all day?"

"Why didn't Walker pull this stunt in the summer instead of now?"

You poor man -- you really do think people think that way, don't you?

Paul Zrimsek said...

Well we've got no class
And we've got no principles

edutcher said...

The teacher union officers should be in jail and the teachers fined for every day of school missed - and should be forced to pay the costs of this little exercise.

Issob Morocco said...

It leaves me the impression that leftists feel like they can forego working for several days, with impunity. Something which most of the rest of could not do without burning vacation days or risk losing our employment.

They obviously don't have to worry on those two fronts, do they. Gosh no wonder they are upset about having to pay a small portion of their health and retirement.

Sinistra animi est tumultuabatur

EnigmatiCore said...

"What impression is this making around the state?"

I cannot answer that, but I can speak to the impression it is making about the state...

Jay said...

Added to the fact that Monday is a holiday.

I guess what these teachers are doing is not that important after all...

Paco Wové said...

"...the impression it is making about the state..."

"It's like Greece, but with snow!"

al said...

Identify all the teachers who called in 'sick' to go protest and fire them.

mun said...

Puts the screws to "it's for the children" doesn't it?

Fernandinande said...

Greed.

BDJ said...

Oh man, these libs are in their element- they're victims!

Roger J. said...

Also an adjunct in an MPH program here in Memphis--Palladian's comments should be required reading for any educator. Well said, Sir.

tree hugging sister said...

There's a buttload of underpaid, underappreciated teachers here in the Panhandle who, I am sure, would brave the winters in y'all's neck o' the northwoods (even with the proposed reduced compensation), should they relieve these miserable laggards of their duties.

(And what's with the bunch going to the mattresses in Milwaukee? Kind of unseemly.)

John said...

I suspect the Democrats have all been the victim of a space-alien group abduction for the purposes of mass anal probing, a function for which they are clearly ideally suited.

The Governor should declare the seats vacant and order special elections to fill them. Lets ee how fast these idiots get home to protect their fiefdoms.

Pogo said...

Where can I get me one of them there gubmint jobs?

You want more pay?
Boom, you got it.

You want more bennies?
Boom, you got it.

You want day off to bitch about not enough pay and bennies?
Boom, you got it.

Sign me up, man.
Sign me the hell up.
What a damn fool I've been!

Tyrannus es optimus!

Hagar said...

The schools are going to have to make up those three days, aren't they?

damikesc said...

Fire all of them. They can be readily replaced and cause is present, completely, for the termination.

Jimpithecus said...

The fact that these teachers can not show up for their job for three days and yet do so with impunity sort of proves Walker's point, doesn't it?

Hagar said...

How many grounds can there be for the parents to file a class-action lawsuit against the unions for expenses incurred, inconvenience and disruption, emotional distress, etc.?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I'm a non state worker household, and I fully support these state workers and I'm fulling against Walker's proposals. Enough is enough.

Well, I guess that's it then. garage has spoken.

Pogo said...

Wisconsin students are learning the vital lesson that the teachers get to do whatever the hell they want, and their parents have to pay for it.

Message: Get yours.
Loud and clear.

Milwaukee said...

Don't forget that obtaining one of these sinecure positions is more about who you know than what you know. I taught in a Wisconsin school district for 24 years. The district paid both the employer and employee contributions to retirement: the teachers paid none. Teachers paid less than 5% of health insurance premiums for many years, for excellent insurance. The district rarely fired any teacher or administrator for incompetence. Last year's school board election saw three new members who were strongly supported by the union, elected. Many of the teachers have gotten raises by moving up the salary schedule with masters in "Professional Development". Paper degrees from paper mills. The unions strongly dampened any chances of reform.

When will the Governor declare the Madison Unified School District out of control and replace the Superintendent? The teachers are illegally striking and need to be fired. The mob mentality of "you can't punish all of us" seems to be at work here.

Do the teachers need to be reminded "Because I said so!" is more effective in their classrooms than out.

Hagar said...

Since this is a "sick-out" and not a regular labor action, the unions would not be protected by any law, would they?

Can UW-M be included as an accessory, aiding and abetting?

Hey, it's the American Way!

Freeman Hunt said...

I hope that when they go back to school, the students treat them with the respect they deserve.

Mary said...

I have two daughters that teach Elementary level in the Fox Valley.
The misinformation and outright lies they are being told by their Union are just pathetic.
Do i sympathize for my daughters - sure. Do i agree with Gov Walkers plan - you betcha!

Mike said...

What really chaps my ass in all this is the state employees' sense of utter entitlement. They're like spoiled children who have just been told "no, you can't have that toy."

Who do these people think they are? Those of us in the private sector have had to deal with mass layoffs, furloughs, benefit cuts, contribution increases (I long for the days when I only had to contribute a measly 12% for my health plan), etc. etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam. What makes public employees so damn special that they can just bail on work for a week (something for which a private sector employee would be fired) to mass protest against measures that move them ever-so-slightly toward what the rest of us have to deal with?

AprilApple said...

Shared Sacrifice. Public Unions don't want any part of it.

Great lesson for the kids.

Herb said...

This has turned into a big miscalculation, dragging it on too 3 days has lost them a lot of sympathy, not too mention the signs comparing an elected official to a mass murdering dictator.

Drew said...

At least one school district in Eau Claire county is closing today. There may be more.

Lots of unhappy parents.

Calypso Facto said...

You think the media will cover the inconveniences caused by the teachers?
I have yet to see/hear one interview with someone in the private sector who's losing pay (or their own job?!?) because of having to take time off and watch the kids that are s'posed to be in school...

Kathleen Williams-Superintendent of Schools also reminded us there won't be classes on Monday
You mean Kathleen "$334,000-a-year, drawing a pension from Illinois while working in Wisconsin" Williams is going down to Madison to protest that gov't employees don't make enough?

Calypso Facto said...

Drew, I hadn't heard that EC closed today. If it is, they can kiss their Apr 5 referendum good bye, I'd say.

Fen said...

I'm still not up to speed.

What's the Apr 5 ref?

wellington said...

They are sick.

Fen said...

/via google

Shorewood School Board

"If approved in the April 5 election, the district will borrow $13 million to pay for health benefits for retirees and to refinance its Wisconsin Retirement System debt.

A total of $10 million will go to the post-employment benefits and rest would be be applied to the refinancing."

Herbert Stein's Law: If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.

lemondog said...

Spreading like wildfire. Where will Illinois democrats go to hide out?


Is Speaker Madigan turning on Illinois public employee unions

Erik said...

I'm far from Wisconsin (Orange County, California), but the teacher's pulled a similar stunt out here on a smaller scale. Totally screwed the kids in what's supposed to be the conservative neck of the woods.

So what happened at the Nov. election? The union successfully recalled some board members and got another two candidates on the board. Just missed getting some 18year old kid elected too, but apparently that was a step too far.

You can't solve the problem unless people vote consistent with wanting responsive, cost-effective govt. services. That takes strong outreach. The sad thing is -- as a vocal supporter of public schools -- this kind of activity really hurts them and the kids that are supposed to be learning.

Henry said...

How many private schools have closed so their teachers can support their fellows in the public system?

This is one reason we need vouchers. Not necessarily because private schools are better: that can be argued forever. But because private schools are decentralized, autonomous, and adaptable. A voucher system is simply a more robust and flexible way to educate children.

Public schools are a government-buttressed monopoly. Their employees think they are too big to fail. It's time to prove them wrong.

Thorley Winston said...

Well from across the River in Minnesota, my impression is:


1) Every public employee who abandoned their job (i.e. didn’t properly schedule the day off in advance) should be fired.


2) I agree with the idea of adding a full percentage point on their contribution to both their health care and retirement for every day that this continues.


3) Every day that that they have abandoned their jobs with impunity further proves your governor’s point.


4) I refuse to work until I am 70 just so a public employee can retire at 55.


5) I think that every legislator who fled the State to prevent a quorum should have the entire contents of their office moved into a broom closet and when / if they return, that’s their office for the remainder of their term.

Wayne said...

Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representative who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.

former law student said...

signs comparing an elected official to a mass murdering dictator.

Hey, Hitler was democratically elected, too. The first time.

1) Every public employee who abandoned their job (i.e. didn’t properly schedule the day off in advance) should be fired.

Not possible to properly schedule absent a time machine. Walker declared the emergency and set the timing, not the unions.

Jim S. said...

I have no idea if the governor has this kind of power over employees of the state -- assuming that teachers in public schools meet that criterion -- but couldn't he just pull a Reagan and fire the lot of 'em? Then he could say, "I've got good news and bad news. The bad news is that the teachers who feigned illness in order to protest today and yesterday are now entering the legions of the unemployed. The good news is that we have a lot of jobs for other unemployed people that have just opened up."

Mike said...

4) I refuse to work until I am 70 just so a public employee can retire at 55.

That's pretty much what it's about, isn't it? The public employees want to keep their fat defined-benefit pensions and they want to keep forcing YOU to pay for them. For them, it's "fuck you, buddy, I got mine."

I've a liberal friend whose Facebook status currently reads something like "I'm standing in solidarity with the public employees of Wisconsin who are fighting for their rights." My question is, their rights to WHAT? To force the private-sector employees of Wisconsin to pay more, and to force the state into financial ruin, so the public employees can escape all the pain the rest of America has endured, apparently.

Milwaukee said...

Time to amend the original legislation to remove the right to collective bargaining over salaries. The missing Senators need to be disciplined, which may include declaring their seats vacant, with the Governor setting dates for new elections. The Madison School Board, which appears to be very tolerant of teacher dereliction of duty also needs to be dealt with. Enough is enough. There was an election, the Democrats lost the Governorship. They lost the House. They lost the Senate. Game, Set and Match.

a0d7564e-3c1a-11e0-bc14-000bcdcb5194 said...

Are the children going to have to make up the lost school days at the end of the semester or lose some of their spring vacation days?

UWman said...

I can also assume that anyone that says hanging the American flag upside down is disrespectful and that it is not a sign of distress lives in one of those 5 states where education sucks [or else you would've known that], you feeble minded fools!! >.>