December 10, 2011

"Our children aren't there to be subjects of teachers and teachers unions."

"But the decisions that have been made in the Madison Metropolitan School District for a mighty long time have been determined by adults getting what they need first before kids."

Said Kaleem Caire, president of the Urban League of Greater Madison, who has been trying to get approval for the Madison Preparatory Academy, a charter school aimed at low-income, minority students.
At one point, Madison Prep agreed to hire union teachers, and the union agreed to remain neutral on the proposal. When that plan proved too expensive, Madison Prep revised its plan to use nonunion teachers....

The union contract, which expires in 2013, doesn't allow Madison to hire nonunion teachers. Exceptions have been made previously through negotiated agreements between the union and the district.
There's some disagreement about whether, under under the state's new collective bargaining law, such an agreement would nullify the whole contract.

76 comments:

ndspinelli said...

Michelle Rhee has been saying what Caire just said for a decade!

John Matthews has his hand up Nerad's ass and makes him speak what MTI wants.

ic said...

"...whether, under under the state's new collective bargaining law, such an agreement would nullify the whole contract."

Lawyer up. Another Democrat clients will score big bucks on the back of poor children. 1% screws 99%.

garage mahal said...

YoooYUNS bHADD!!!!!

*GRunt GRunT** **SNorT**

traditionalguy said...

I often dream of a way to negotiate with the union bosses that says, "We will give you your political protection money payoff at an agreed amount provided that the Union will leave the business/school alone so it can be run the way it needs to do its job."

That would be like taxes.

ALH said...

Garage -
what is the BENEFIT for the prep school in question to hire union teachers rather than non-union teachers?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

We shall make absolutely NO progress in education until the teachers' unions are utterly broken and discarded.

It is not so much a problem of "education" being expensive, as of ineffective education being expensive -- for the last 45 years.

I taught high school science for several years in the 1970s and associate-level for six years in the 1980s. When I returned as a substitute in the 2000s I was utterly amazed by how far it had sunk.

Sunk, as in Biology II students unaware that RNA mediates protein fabrication. As in French IV students freaking out when I conducted the class in French only. As in American History II students -- preparing for their state U.S Constitution exams -- having no clue in regard to the tension between the elastic clause and the Tenth Amendment.

After awhile I was not called back for sub work because the students had complained I was "too tough."

They should all become astronauts ... because the only thing they take up in school is SPACE. Facilitated and encouraged by teachers' unions.

Break 'em.

neomom said...

The teacher unions despise charter schools. That is why they typically get less funding than traditional public schools. By insisting on the added expense of the union labor/benefits with less money coming in, it is just another way to kill the project.

And if you ask them, they'll say it is all for the kids...

Bullshit. It is all about them.

David said...

Crack in the monolith!

Keep it up.

garage mahal said...

@ALH
Blame Walker and the new collective bargaining rules.

edutcher said...

Always remember the words of Albert Shanker, "I will worry about the children when they can vote in union elections."

The teacher unions are for themselves and no one else.

Spread Eagle said...

Something I noticed awhile ago: in the age of unionization public schools are no longer primarily about being places where children get educated, but instead places where people with education degrees get lifetime employment with Cadillac benefits. That's the focus.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

@garage -- remind me again, please, just what added value unions bring to the education of our children?

In my example above the the NEA French teacher complained to the BoE that I made her "look bad." She still has her job, and after four years of her tutelage the students can barely read a menu in French, let alone actually carry on a basic conversation.

She makes -- does not earn -- $52 K per year, plus generous benefits. If they wanted to dump her and hire me, the union would not let them, even though I lived for 13 years in a French-speaking country and she has never in her life gone farther away than St. Louis; a fact well-betrayed in both her accent and her miserable command of the language.

This is the incompetent bullshit your beloved unions are protecting, and it is repeated hundreds of thousands of times across the country.

12/10/11 11:25 AM

Curious George said...

"edutcher said...

The teacher unions are for themselves and no one else."

As are most of the teachers. Let's not sugar coat it. Those were teachers protesting and getting fake sick notes. Not "unions"

garage mahal said...

Wisconsin has earned the dubious distinction of being #1 in the nation in per-pupil education cuts, #1 in job losses, and #50 in economic activity. And it's not over! Soon, 60,000 Wisconsinites will be eliminated from BadgerCare, including 29,000 children.

ndspinelli said...

Cattle mutilations are up in Dane County.

Jason said...

Wisconsin has earned the dubious distinction of being #1 in the nation in per-pupil education cuts, #1 in job losses, and #50 in economic activity. And it's not over!

I love how these facts are just spewed out without any documentation whatsoever.

sorepaw said...

What do Garage's programmers care?

They'd prefer to see all charter schools banned.

roesch/voltaire said...

I have mixed feelings on this issue as I was a non-union teacher in one of the first alternative high schools in Wisconsin. Although we achieved a modest success with our drop-outs, we were underpaid and had no health insurance and after a few years most migrated to graduate school to become certified teachers. Thanks to training and experience, I am a much better teacher now than then, but I am also aware that my youth enabled me to work the almost 24/7 that was required. One of my concerns with the academy is the stark picture they paint of the Madison schools, while painting themselves as educational saviors before the doors have even opened. The reality is, according to the CREDO Stanford study, nearly half of the charter schools nation wide have results that are no different from the local public school options and over a third are worse. I think this debate would not happen if a smaller pilot project that had a mix of union and non-union teachers showed success and then requested more money etc.

sorepaw said...

And of course the unit's programmers will never equip it with modules enabling it to emit output concerning the quality of the job done by union vs. non-union teachers.

Under no circumstances do they intend to encourage debate on that subject.

sorepaw said...

One of my concerns with the academy is the stark picture they paint of the Madison schools, while painting themselves as educational saviors before the doors have even opened.

Why not just advocate banning charter schools?

That's what you want, isn't it?

AJ Lynch said...

Garage will soon claim:

"Gov. Walker wants to take away everyone's cheese!"

garage mahal said...

And of course the unit's programmers will never equip it with modules enabling it to emit output concerning the quality of the job done by union vs. non-union teachers.

You have fingers, why are you waiting for me? Make your case.

new york said...

what does the quote that is the title of this post mean?

bagoh20 said...

Teachers need to think about what they have done to the image of teachers. They were once at the pinnacle of admiration and respect.

That produced a lot of power to get money from the public who respected teachers and their work.

Then people at universities and unions jumped on that vehicle and ran it into the ground for their own ends.

Chuck66 said...

There are private schools out there that run on shoestring budgets, so hire non-union teachers for way less than half of what public school teacher salaries and benefits cost.

I am not advocating paying teachers wages that they cannot live off of unless they have a spouse with good income, but just making the point that some teachers teach for reasons other than income.

bagoh20 said...

When a supplier demands more for their product or service than the public is willing to pay, the supplier has a number of alternatives:

1)lower the price
2)improve the product
3)both
4)use politics
5)whine

They really need give up sticking to the last two if they want respect.

kurt mueller said...

I like how Mr. Mahal assumes that of course everyone knows that cuts in spending per pupil are a bad thing. Really, why? Sine 1970 spending per pupil has doubled (inflation adjusted) with diminishing educational returns.

http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/182894_10100539150180594_8377576_71209127_7907890_n.jpg

Sorry, don't know how to add a link. Lend a brother a hand?

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
Wisconsin has earned the dubious distinction of being #1 in the nation in per-pupil education cuts"

Ha. Garage is quoting a study that only has data from 24 states (even fucking Obama knows there is 57).

But that said, second is NY. They cuts 3% of their teachers across the state because of it. Next is CA, also massive teacher layoffs. Next is Ohio...massive teacher layoffs. I won't bore you with the rest, you get the point. States that coddled up to unions are paying the price.

Here, in Wisconsin, we only have seen layoffs in districts that rushed contracts in advance of Walker's bill. That or tax increases...or both. Proving it's not about kids. It's about selfish teachers and their unions. Fuck the kids.

Big Mike said...

YoooYUNS bHADD!!!!!

All too true, garage. They're based on a model of interaction between labor and management that was obsolete decades ago. As regards teachers unions, I know from my own experience seeing my kids through 13 years of public school education that unions exclusively protect bad teachers. I watched a thoroughly inadequate principal at the local high school force good teachers out the door, and the union never raised a peep. But when parents got together to point out the myriad ways that a notoriously bad teacher was violating county regulations, the union tried to come down like a ton of bricks. I have no respect for anyone even saying good things about the teachers unions, much less belonging to them.

Curious George said...

kurt mueller said...

http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/182894_10100539150180594_8377576_71209127_7907890_n.jpg

Sorry, don't know how to add a link. Lend a brother a hand?

Here you go

Google "html links" and you get link to the code to post links

sorepaw said...

The unit will not be emitting any output concerning the actual quality of union vs. nonunion teachers, because such matters are entirely irrelevant to its programmers.

All that matters to them is the preservation of their privileges.

MayBee said...

Garage -
what is the BENEFIT for the prep school in question to hire union teachers rather than non-union teachers?


Good question, ALH. I would ask more broadly: What is the benefit teachers unions bring to
a)the employers
b)the students
c)the taxpayers

Michael Haz said...

You can tell how good an idea is by the volume of opposition from entrenched interests who will be effected by the outcome.

It this school was a bad idea the union and the union-controlled school board should be eager that it proceed, if only to use its eventual failure as evidence that non-union schools are a bad thing for students.

They know that it will succeed. It must, therefore, be stopped.

There is zero regard for the well-being of the kids who would benefit form this school.

"It's about the children!" = Bullshit.

roesch/voltaire said...

Sorepaw if you read closely you will discover I was an early idealistic advocate of charter and alternative schools, but a realist as well.

PatCA said...

Will the unions also send him hate email, like they did to the teacher who supported Walker?

This is a long war, and the unions are not going to give up easily. Keep fighting, Kaleem. It really is for the children this time.

Maguro said...

Good question, ALH. I would ask more broadly: What is the benefit teachers unions bring to
a)the employers
b)the students
c)the taxpayers


Yes, exactly. Granting the premise that teachers unions are good for teachers, what's in it for everyone else?

sorepaw said...

I was an early idealistic advocate of charter and alternative schools, but a realist as well.

R-V,

What does a realist think about schools"

Governments will always control?

Schools of Ed will always be the gatekeepers?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Just raise taxes. The edumacation of the childrens is more impotent.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... garage -- remind me again, please, just what added value unions bring to the education of our children?.."

Don't think for a second garage and those like him give a shit about educating kids over protecting unions.

Curious George said...

"roesch/voltaire said...
Sorepaw if you read closely you will discover I was an early idealistic advocate of charter and alternative schools, but a realist as well."

Only if we are meant to read your mind. You said nothing of the sort.

I pray you don't teach English or Composition.

bagoh20 said...

I know a number of teachers here in L.A. They all send their kids to private school. I also know a number of people, who are lower middle class at best, yet they spend thousands to send their's to private as well.

Basically anyone with kids as a priority, or who can afford to, do it here. Yet they pay for a spot in the public schools too. It's immoral to not give them their money back.

sorepaw said...

Basically anyone with kids as a priority, or who can afford to, do it here.

I have relatives in LA who have done the same.

garage mahal said...

Don't think for a second garage and those like him give a shit about educating kids over protecting unions.

Bite it. I live here, my kids go to the schools were talking about. I pay a lot of taxes, but I receive a lot. Your hangups with Union Boogeymen aren't my problem. Wisconsin has always had good schools, and there was nothing they did that needed Scott Walker's chainsaw tools.

ndspinelli said...

All evidence to the contrary.

Jason said...

Your hangups with Union Boogeymen aren't my problem. Wisconsin has always had good schools, and there was nothing they did that needed Scott Walker's chainsaw tools.

Wow. Just wow.

gerry said...

I live here, my kids go to the schools were talking about. I pay a lot of taxes, but I receive a lot. Your hangups with Union Boogeymen aren't my problem. Wisconsin has always had good schools, and there was nothing they did that needed Scott Walker's chainsaw tools.

You are not even 20 years old yet. Your prose proves that. Talk to adults when you have moved out of your parents' basement and are supporting yourself.

Piercello said...

UNIcOrNS make everything better. Really.

Michael said...

Private schools. Dont put up with this stuff. Private. Do with less but make sure your kids get the best. I see the Volvos and Mercedes dropping kids at the inferior public schools and it makes me ill. Private.

Maguro said...

Wisconsin has always had good schools, and there was nothing they did that needed Scott Walker's chainsaw tools.

You're right. Wisconsin has always had relatively good educational outcomes - for most kids - even before there were teachers unions.

And if teachers unions disappeared tomorrow, Wisconsin would still have pretty good educational outcomes, relative to the resy of the country.

So the question is, what are the citizens of Wisconsin recieving in exchange for paying unionized educators more than the market rate?

Any ideas, garage?

sorepaw said...

With its 64K of ferrite core RAM, and its sadly inadequate disk storage, the unit known as Garage is incapable of recognizing or responding to such character strings as "the performance of Wisconsin public schools in the days before their teachers were unionized."

MadisonMan said...

Since 1970 spending per pupil has doubled (inflation adjusted) with diminishing educational returns.

Since 1970, I wonder how many unfunded government mandates have rained down on local schools? Look how the federal Education bureaucracy (gotta employ those education PhDs somewhere!) has expanded!

The problem of education can be laid solely at the feet of Unions.

garage mahal said...

So the question is, what are the citizens of Wisconsin recieving in exchange for paying unionized educators more than the market rate?

More than the market rate compared to what?

n.n said...

The unions enforce a structural inequality in the labor market. The public unions undermine our representative republic when they bypass the democratic process.

Occupy the Unions!

But seriously, the exceptional leverage wielded by employee unions serves to perpetuate the effects which they were designed to resolve by obfuscating the underlying causes.

Seeing Red said...

Soon, 60,000 Wisconsinites will be eliminated from BadgerCare, including 29,000 children.



Are they up to the age of 19, 21 or 26?

Can you define "child?"

Mazo Jeff said...

Let me get this straight. If I oppose President Obama's policies and positions, it's because I am a "racist". Therefore, if MTI, MMSD and the enlightened crowd in Madison, oppose the proposed policies and positions sought by Madison Prep, they must be "........". Nah! Can't be!

Maguro said...

More than the market rate compared to what?

Compared to what they would be paying if there were no union.

Seeing Red said...

March 10, 2010
Policy Analysis no. 662



They Spend WHAT? The Real Cost of Public Schools
by Adam B. Schaeffer

It was by The Cato Institute. Interesting read.

garage mahal said...

Compared to what they would be paying if there were no union.

I guess you would have to sell me on "less is more" to begin with. Would non unionized minimum wage educators be best for my child's education, then? No.

Finland has one of the better public education systems in the world and they are unionized, and being a teacher there is a pretty coveted position.

Anyways I wouldn't presume to know what is going on in your school district, I can barely keep up with my own.

Maguro said...

I guess you would have to sell me on "less is more" to begin with. Would non unionized minimum wage educators be best for my child's education, then? No.

No, minimum wage educators probably wouldn't be very good, but no one is proposing that. I hope you're not under the impression that one either belongs to a union or gets paid the minimum wage.

Finland has one of the better public education systems in the world and they are unionized, and being a teacher there is a pretty coveted position.

Yes, but do you really think that Finland has good educational outcomes because their teachers are unionized? I'm guessing that Finland was pretty literate and well educated before they had teachers unions. And this argument by anecdote works both ways, you know - Greek teachers are unionized and their schools are crap. Also, see Milwaukee. And Detroit. Did I just prove that teachers unions suck?

Anyway, it's inarguable that Wisconsin taxpayers are paying a premium for union teachers. That's the whole point of a union - to raise compensation above market rates by inducing an artificial scarcity of labor. If the union isn't doing that, the members are throwing away their dues.

GMay said...

Garage, do you have any evidence to back up your claim that teachers would be paid minimum wage if there were no more teachers unions?

No?

If you were educated by union teachers in WI, then please explain why the shitty education you obviously received doesn't match up to the superior Finn's.

sorepaw said...

Would non unionized minimum wage educators be best for my child's education, then? No.

The unit has not been equipped with modules for elementary economics.

And the unit's programmers have no intention of so equipping it.

They would prefer it to keep emitting output to the effect that only joining a union could prevent workers in any field from being paid more than the minimum wage.

sorepaw said...

Anyways I wouldn't presume to know what is going on in your school district, I can barely keep up with my own.

Characteristically, the unit's programmers want to prevent it from responding intelligently to input about other states, other countries—or, in this case, other school districts.

Even though, should non-unionized teachers be able to offer quality education at wages above starvation level, they should be able to do so in any district.

Paul Zrimsek said...

No, minimum wage educators probably wouldn't be very good, but no one is proposing that.

Since the education establishment's standard excuse is that teachers are powerless to affect outcomes anyway and it all depends on home environment, perhaps someone should be proposing minimum-wage educators.

garage mahal said...

Garage, do you have any evidence to back up your claim that teachers would be paid minimum wage if there were no more teachers unions?

No, I meant if less pay is better, then isn't minimum wage the goal? Fuck it, right? Why not.

Maybe we should shitcan the entire public education system and do a two week vocational K-12 type program in its place. If you can scratch your name and don't have tuberculosis you're good to go. Roll it into your hunting and fishing licenses. Gir r dun.

sorepaw said...

No, I meant if less pay is better, then isn't minimum wage the goal? Fuck it, right? Why not.

Maybe we should shitcan the entire public education system and do a two week vocational K-12 type program in its place.


The last thing the unit's programmers will ever do is equip it to recognize false alternatives.

Fen said...

Garage:I meant if less pay is better, then isn't minimum wage the goal? Fuck it, right? Why not.

Reductio ad absurdum.

If teachers were earning their pay, Garage wouldn't keep making these stupid mistakes.

But I love the irony. Wisconsin school teachers can't produce an advocate with enough education to defend them properly.

Fen said...

Garage: Maybe we should shitcan the entire public education system and do a two week vocational K-12 type program in its place.

If you're an example of their work product, then what is there to lose?

SGT Ted said...

Public employees cannot serve two masters. Public empoohed unions should be outlawed. Our military is loyal to the whole nation with no union taking their money to give to politicians of one political party. Teachers are loyal to the union and the Democrat party and not the Taxpayers who pay them. Break the PE unions.


*this post auto ores Ted by my iPod.

purplepenquin said...

The union-issue is mostly a smoke-screen. the big issues is that this charter school also wants to be unaccountable to the local school board.

If they want a private school, then they shouldn't be asking for public funds. It amazes me how many so-called "conservatives" are eager & willing to let tax-dollars be used without any accountability.

Synova said...

"The union-issue is mostly a smoke-screen. the big issues is that this charter school also wants to be unaccountable to the local school board."

Unaccountable to the local school board isn't the same as unacountable to anyone. And considering the size of some urban school districts, the word "local" has almost no meaning.

It's actually pretty standard that charter schools are separate from local public school authority. They have a different set of rules, since that is, after all, the point of it. They want to try different things, including genuine "local" control.

It amazes me how many so-called progressives never want to try something new.

sorepaw said...

Penq,

Your complaint

It amazes me how many so-called "conservatives" are eager & willing to let tax-dollars be used without any accountability.

merely suggests that charter schools are a half-measure.

if you get government entirely out of the school business, then you won't have to worry about any tax dollars being spent on it.

Of course, under the present system, unionized teachers and their leaders consume tax dollars with little to no accountability—and this doesn't seem to bother you.

Monkeyboy said...

Since the education establishment's standard excuse is that teachers are powerless to affect outcomes anyway and it all depends on home environment...

If a kid does well its because of teachers, if a kid does poorly its the parent's fault.

I've met a lot of inspiring teachers, can't think of any that wouldn't say the union was at best a hinderance to education.

Sabinal said...

"They should all become astronauts ... because the only thing they take up in school is SPACE. Facilitated and encouraged by teachers' unions.

Break 'em."

you can "break 'em" all you want, but instead you will have MORE demands from parents to lighten up on studies or they will pressure the admin to make teachers do it or be fired.

it's not the unions that are dumbing down education...it's parents (worst case scenario) who want their children to "succeed" at all cost while putting it all on the backs of educators.


and who are *you* to determine what should be studied in class?

Sabinal said...

ps...this is coming from a Walker supporter

Sabinal said...

everyone here claims they are for "the kids" either for or against unions, but really they are claiming it for their ideological universe.

the unions are not perfect. but this fetish-like hate against them will not fix up the school system.

Kids must have a desire to learn. Yes it has to be strict and yes they will have to learn boring stuff. But we as parents, educators and concerned citizens need to push for that desire for English, Chemistry, Math, etc whether we are experts or not. And that can be done in both private and public schools.

But ideology on both sides get in the way. And the students get lost, or at least go their own way regardless of parents.

wv: george - i don't know how he gets into this, but i think he'd agree :)