Posts Tagged ‘teachers’
There are things that make schools particularly attractive targets for evil men or crazies who want to inflict harm on others or who want to hurt society: Schools contain large numbers of helpless children and a few adults who can pose no threat to an attacker; Being gun-free zones, schools guarantee that the will be no armed person in a school, with the possible exception of a school resource officer; and, once the slaughter starts, the attacker knows that it will take several minutes for the police to be called and to respond. The attacker also knows that if there is a single policeman assigned to the school, he could get rid of that threat to him by simply removing the officer or distracting him in some way; and even if the officer is not disabled the attacker would simply have to begin his attack in one of the more remote classrooms. For these reasons our children are like lambs in a slaughterhouse
The only real protection against a terrorist (and no matter their motive, the people who stage these attacks are terrorists) is to have numerous people in all parts of the school who can be first responders to an attack. The outcome at Sandy Hook Elementary School would have been very different had the first teacher who confronted the attacker, and the Principle who confronted him had done so with a gun.
Schools should be Attack Free Zones; meaning that if an unauthorized person enters a school they are considered a deadly threat and if they do not immediately surrender, they will be shot. This means that schools would have to have the ability to control all access to the school and to identify and control visitors or those on authorized business.
The two most rational objections to arming school personnel are 1) that they would create a confusing battlefield for police who respond- it would become difficult for the officers to identify the perpetrators as opposed to the armed school personnel; and, 2) School personnel are not trained in the needed skills and procedures. I think there is some valid concern on both points. However, if the arming of school personnel is done properly both these points become moot.
First the personnel would have to pass the normal gun ownership background checks, second, they would have to pass the concealed carry class, and third they would be required to be trained and sanctioned by the local police department, and would operate under direction of the police department as a reserve unit of the police. This takes away the concern about qualification.
There are probably several employees at most schools who are already competent marksmen and trained in gun safety. There are likely military veterans or reservists, concealed carry permit holders, reserve officers, or shooting hobbyist on the school staff. These people would be the obvious first class of trainees. The goal would be to have most employees, including administrators, teachers, classified staff, custodians, and bus drivers qualified and armed. Since the reasons schools are such enticing targets for evil or crazy people is because they know they will easily be able to do great harm, having this type of reserve protection would take away that primary attraction as a target.
The second valid concern is identification of school police reservists. First, since they are under the direction of the police, trained by them, and mingle face to face with officers they would be known by sight to the police. Second they would be provided with a recognizable police vest which they would don in the event of an attack anywhere on the school. The teachers in classrooms would lock down their classroom, direct the children to take cover, and then take a defensive position to stop the attacker from entering.
Teachers involved in other activities with students would move them to designated safe areas and take up a defensive position to protect the children. Administrators and other non-teaching personnel would don their vests and move quickly to the trouble area, firing on an attacker at the moment they are encountered.
The reserve officer school personnel would be organized into rank leadership based on competency and training and the senior officer (who might be a teacher or a janitor rather than an administrator) would assume command of the crises until a ranking police officer is on the scene.
Chances are, that in most cases based on this scenario by the time police arrived all school reservists would be “in uniform”’ the threat would be neutralized, and all arms would be holstered, avoiding the chaos envisioned by detractors.
Chances are good that this would prevent injury or loss of student life; or at the worst would limit the number of such casualties.
I will cover reestablishing a healthy American gun culture in Part 3.
AMERICA HAS TOO MANY TEACHERS
Public-school employees have doubled in 40 years while student enrollment has increased by only 8.5%—and academic results have stagnated.
President Obama said last month that America can educate its way to prosperity if Congress sends money to states to prevent public school layoffs and “rehire even more teachers.” Mitt Romney was having none of it, invoking “the message of Wisconsin” and arguing that the solution to our economic woes is to cut the size of government and shift resources to the private sector. Mr. Romney later stated that he wasn’t calling for a reduction in the teacher force—but perhaps there would be some wisdom in doing just that.
Since 1970, the public school workforce has roughly doubled— to 6.4 million from 3.3 million— and two-thirds of those new hires are teachers or teachers’ aides. Over the same period, enrollment rose by a tepid 8.5%. Employment has thus grown 11 times faster than enrollment. If we returned to the student-to-staff ratio of 1970, American taxpayers would save about $210 billion annually in personnel costs.
Or would they? Stanford economist Eric Hanushek has shown that better-educated students contribute substantially to economic growth. If U.S. students could catch up to the mathematics performance of their Canadian counterparts, he has found, it would add roughly $70 trillion to the U.S. economy over the next 80 years. So if the additional three million public-school employees we’ve hired have helped students learn, the nation may be better off economically.
To find out if that’s true, we can look at the “long-term trends” of 17-year-olds on the federal National Assessment of Educational Progress. These tests, first administered four decades ago, show stagnation in reading and math and a decline in science. Scores for black and Hispanic students have improved somewhat, but the scores of white students (still the majority) are flat overall, and large demographic gaps persist. Graduation rates have also stagnated or fallen. So a doubling in staff size and more than a doubling in cost have done little to improve academic outcomes.
Nor can the explosive growth in public-school hiring be attributed to federal spending on special education. According to the latest Census Bureau data, special ed teachers make up barely 5% of the K-12 work force.
The implication of these facts is clear: America’s public schools have warehoused three million people in jobs that do little to improve student achievement-people who would be working productively in the private sector if that extra $210 billion were not taxed out of the economy each year.
We have already tried President Obama’s education solution over a time period and on a scale that he could not hope to replicate today. And it has proven an expensive and tragic failure.
To avoid Greece’s fate we must create new, productive pri-vate;sector jobs to replace our unproductive government ones. Even as a tiny, mostly nonprofit niche, American private education is substantially more efficient than its public sector, producing higher graduation rates and similar or better student achievement,at roughly a third lower cost than public schools (even after controlling for differences in student and family characteristics).
By making it easier for families to access independent schools, we can do what the president’s policies cannot: drive prosperity through educational improvement. More than 20 private-school choice programs already exist around the nation. Last month, New Hampshire legislators voted to override their governor’s veto and enact tax credits for businesses that donate to K-12 scholarship organizations. Mr. Romney has supported such state programs. President Obama opposes them.
While America may have too many teachers, the greater problem is that our state schools have squandered their talents on a mass scale. The good news is ttat a solution is taking root in many states.
Mr. Coulson directs the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom and is author of “Market Education: The unknown History” (Transaction, 1999).
Hi, my name is Kristi Lacroix. I’m a teacher in Kenosha. I’d like to share with you my perspective as a public school teacher who is taking a stand for reform and greater accountability for myself and my colleagues. I hope you will share this email with your friends.
The day before Spring Break is usually pretty exciting when you are a teacher. The kids are filled with Spring fever, travel plans are set and the weather is usually nice enough to take the time to do some much needed yard work. Last Friday started that way for me; that is, until I went to make copies and found a teacher in the hallway with tears streaming down her face. It turns out that layoff notices went out this morning. Really? The day before break?
Yes, the school district decided that today would be the best day to let teachers know that they will no longer have a job teaching students. I would like to say that I only found one teacher in tears; however, in my small school of 18 educators, 7 received layoff notices today. The worst were those handed out to a married couple who just had their first child.
So, who should I be angry with? I know that as a teacher, my union — WEAC — tells me I am supposed to blame Scott Walker, but I feel I must take a closer look at how my district got to this point.
See, my district did not use Act 10 and Gov. Scott Walker’s budget reforms. We are stuck with the union contract until June of 2013 and it would take the Jaws of Life to get us free from it. Although there were numerous meetings between the district and the union, no union concessions were ever made and the district is faced with a $30+ million structural deficit. With no union concessions, layoffs become necessary and students pay the price.
I was never asked if I wanted to make concessions, nor was I ever consulted by my union about Act 10. As always, union leaders made decisions that were best for them and then claimed they were representing the teachers. Make no mistake, though, their decisions are based solely on the desire to maintain forced unionism.
Who is representing the teachers that received layoff notices this morning? Will the union return the dues that were supposed to be used to HELP the teachers? Will the union give a refund of dues to the laid off teachers to help them pay their mortgage, put food on the table, or find a new job? I am guessing the answer is “no.”
Here is the Kenosha Education Association’s comment about the lay-offs:
Published on Mar 28, 2012
Written by Joe Kiriaki, Executive Director-KEA
This will be our last issue of GLUE for the next two weeks. The only latest news on layoffs is that we continue to do our best to work with the District to assure the process is completed correctly. Beyond that, after at least three meetings with the District, we’re not any closer to having a complete picture of layoffs at all levels; however, if any new information would become available to us during the next two weeks, we will pass it on to you through bulk emails or by posting on the KEA website, www.keanow.com. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we attempt to do our best to protect your rights under the contract.
We hope you all have a great and well-deserved spring recess!
If you get a chance during the break to help with recall efforts, please do all you can.
As you can see, they are putting all of their eggs into the recall basket. I wonder if they plan on sharing any of these eggs to help feed the teachers who no longer have a job.
I am a part of a growing number of teachers who are standing for freedom from teachers’ unions and for measures that will bring more accountability and professionalism to what we view as a very serious and honorable profession.
I hope you will stand with me as Wisconsin undergoes a transformation that puts our students first.
Please feel free to contact me with ideas, people to add to my email list or any other feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lastly, you can follow me or “Like” my Freedom From Teachers’ Union Facebook page.
Forced WEAC fee payer
Kenosha Education Association – Home
The Kenosha Education Association is a member driven organization that consists of pre-kindergarten …
If teachers stop complaining and protesting with unions about salary and benefits, our kids would be less likely to be stupid when they enter high school. It proves my point that many teachers don’t know how to teach, but rather, they bide their time till they reach tenure, which make teachers impossible to fire.
(CNSNews.com) Two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools cannot read proficiently according to the U.S. Department of Education, despite the fact that Wisconsin spends more per pupil in its public schools than any other state in the Midwest.
In the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests administered by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009—the latest year available—only 32 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned a “proficient” rating while another 2 percent earned an “advanced” rating. The other 66 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned ratings below “proficient,” including 44 percent who earned a rating of “basic” and 22 percent who earned a rating of “below basic.”
The $10,791 that Wisconsin spent per pupil in its public elementary and secondary schools in fiscal year 2008 was more than any other state in the Midwest.
Neighboring Illinois spent $10,353 per student in 2008, Minnesota spent $10,048 per student; Iowa spent $9,520 per student. Among Midwest states, Nebraska was second to Wisconsin in per pupil spending in its public schools, spending $10,565 per student.
Nationwide, only 30 percent of public school eighth graders earned a rating of “proficient” or better in reading, and the average reading score on the NAEP test was 262 out of 500.
Posted by Cyrus at 7:28 PM
Wisconsin: Repairs to Capitol will cost about $270K
MADISON — Protests at the Wisconsin Capitol over public workers’ collective bargaining rights cost more than $7.8 million for police, and damage to the Capitol will cost about $270,000 to repair, a state official said. Scott Walker and the taxpayers will win this one.
What in the world? Maybe the teachers will get back to teaching!
Milwaukee teachers union drops Viagra lawsuit
By Erin Richards of the Journal Sentinel
Updated: March 7, 2011 6:08 p.m. | Madison – The Milwaukee teachers union has dropped a lawsuit seeking to keep Viagra coverage in its health insurance plans, a spokesman for the organization confirmed Monday.
Stan Johnson, executive director for the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association, declined to comment further on the matter, but court records reviewed by the Associated Press indicate the union, the Milwaukee Board of School Directors and the state labor commission agreed to dismiss the lawsuit on March 1.
The union sued in July 2010 to force the school board to again include the erectile dysfunction drug and similar pills in its health insurance plans.
MPS first agreed to cover drugs that treat erectile dysfunction in 2002. During negotiations with the union for its 2003-2005 contract, MPS tried to stop coverage, citing rising costs. An arbitrator sided with the district in 2005.
The union’s lawyers argued that dropping the drug coverage constituted discrimination against male employees because Milwaukee Public Schools’ health plans covered medications for female sexual dysfunction.