The saga of the fireproof teachers continues

posted at 2:31 pm on April 7, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Maybe it’s just because I live in New York. I mean, intuitively I’m positive that there must be stories in nearly every state of the union where you’ll hear about public school systems, teachers unions and horrendous educators running out of control. But it sure seems like these stories all come from the Empire State. Case in point.

A health teacher at a high school in Manhattan, joking about life for homosexuals in prison, forced a male student to bend over a desk, lined up behind him to simulate a sex act…

A high school science teacher in the Bronx who had already been warned about touching female students brushed his lower body against one student’s leg during a lab exercise, coming so close that she told investigators she could feel his genitals…

And a math teacher at a high school in the Bronx, investigators said, sent text messages to and called one of his female students nearly 50 times in a four-week period…

The New York City Education Department wanted to fire these teachers. But in these and 13 other cases in recent years in which teachers were accused of inappropriate behavior with students, the city was overruled by an arbitrator who, despite finding wrongdoing, opted for a milder penalty like a fine, a suspension or a formal reprimand.

In New York it’s nearly impossible to get rid of a failing teacher under normal circumstances. The system is rigged worse than a Vegas casino. Once the teachers receive tenure – which I believe happens about five minutes after they send in their first dues payment to the union these days – they can pretty much never show up for work again and you can’t get them off the public payroll.

But what about when they are accused of things which are either criminal offenses or, if not technically illegal, so far beyond the pale that no sane person would consider leaving them in a room with children? Apparently there are no sane people in the system, including the “independent arbitrators” who get to review each and every case, including criminal convictions, and decide if firing is appropriate.

What I’d like to see next is an investigation into exactly who these arbitrators are, what process is used to select them and who qualifies to be in the pool of potential candidates. This is all far too much to be simple coincidence.


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Maybe it’s just because I live in New York. I mean, intuitively I’m positive that there must be stories in nearly every state of the union where you’ll hear about public school systems, teachers unions and horrendous educators running out of control. But it sure seems like these stories all come from the Empire State. Case in point.

I guess you have never heard of California… So sad…

SWalker on April 7, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Maybe it’s just because I live in New York. I mean, intuitively I’m positive that there must be stories in nearly every state of the union where you’ll hear about public school systems, teachers unions and horrendous educators running out of control. But it sure seems like these stories all come from the Empire State.

Its every where. Militant unionist dressed in teacher garb. They are thugs pure and simple.

Good thread Jazz.

SparkPlug on April 7, 2012 at 2:34 PM

But what about when they are accused of things which are either criminal offenses or, if not technically illegal, so far beyond the pale that no sane person would consider leaving them in a room with children?

That retainer the teacher’s unions pay to the Vatican is paying off, ain’t it?

Expense Item: Consulting Services, Pedophilia

BobMbx on April 7, 2012 at 2:39 PM

the city was overruled by an arbitrator who, despite finding wrongdoing, opted for a milder penalty like

20 lashes with a rubber hose to the nuggets. That would seem appropriate.

There is NO excuse for the actions of these teachers. No second chance, no appeal. You are fired. The end. Do not pass GO and you get to collect ZERO pay or benefits.

I do not and will not have any tolerance for teacher behavior like this.

VikingGoneWild on April 7, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Interesting. We Catholics also had these “independent arbitrators” and, in the end, their “arbitration” proved to be ineffectual.

unclesmrgol on April 7, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Take a good look at the conditions for teachers and students in the urban public school systems of the major cities.

Consider all aspects of the matter: how the students are controlled, indoctrinated, catechized, urged to complain about approved topics, discouraged from exercising any responsibility or true freedom of thought.

Consider the state of the teachers: rigidly controlled in terms of intellectual standards by the education bureaucracy, and as un-fire-able as anyone in any public bureaucracy. Rallied often to howl at politicians and the public in apocalyptic terms for more money.

Got the picture? That’s what leftist progressivism has in store for the everyday life of all Americans. You’ll be the student. The leftist progressivists will be the education bureaucracy and the teachers. The end state? See the indignities Jazz cites being inflicted on students for an apt metaphor.

J.E. Dyer on April 7, 2012 at 2:40 PM

It’s basic human nature; If I don’t have to perform to get paid, and there’s no consequence to doing stupid stuff, then guess what you’re going to get. At best, I’ll do nothing and at worst….well, you get it!

Lew on April 7, 2012 at 2:42 PM

In New York it’s nearly impossible to get rid of a failing teacher under normal circumstances.

All it takes is one judge with a set of stones to get that first canary out of that coal mine. May the rest of the corrupt teachers follow. There are mostly good teachers out there though.

Hawkerflyer on April 7, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Open a can of RICO on the teachers unions

Roy Rogers on April 7, 2012 at 2:45 PM

forced a male student to bend over a desk…
 
that she told investigators she could feel his genitals…
 
sent text messages to and called one of his female students nearly 50 times in a four-week period…

 

Something I’m missing here?
 
Whats wrong with that?
 
liberal4life on April 7, 2012 at 10:34 AM

rogerb on April 7, 2012 at 2:45 PM

My biggest problem that I have with this is that the teachers unions respond by saying “you’re smearing all teachers by smearing these bad apples.”

Actually, you’re the ones who insist on treating all teachers the same. The ability to root out and isht-can the worst of the worst should only HELP the best of the best stand out even more.

You know what the best of the best should be able to do? Get paid more than the rest! Yeah, I said it! But the unions would be aghast. How could a brilliant teacher who actually inspires their kids and gives them the education to succeed who’s only been working five years make as much or more as the one who’s been their twenty years and mails it in every day to their children’s detriment?

Unions.

Red Cloud on April 7, 2012 at 2:46 PM

The arbitrators sound like they are bought and paid for by the unions.

Bitter Clinger on April 7, 2012 at 2:48 PM

You can follow the declining path of teaching from before the advent of the Dept of Education or the invention of the unionized school districts.

Our good professors at Harvard teach the ways of socialism and socialistic behavior to their students who brought it to us through the media an free spending government!

And the joys of PC thinking has put it to us!

Obamatrix on April 7, 2012 at 2:49 PM

The counterpoint to these tales are the tenured teachers who actually want to do their jobs, but are being harassed under the orders of Bloomberg so they will be forced out early and lose a chunk of their retirement.

This is a somewhat difficult subject since I have a relative who is about to retire as a NYC junior high math teacher. He was harassed for several years and managed to stick it out. That said even though he and both of my parents were NYC school teachers who worked hard and conscientiously, I do feel their pay and benefits are totally out of whack with reality. Client 9, before he left instituted the 55/25 rule; 25 years work, age 55, retire with full benefits. Ridiculous. Tragically, though he hates Obama and the Dems, he knee-jerk reflexively defends the UFT and has a very strange bitterness towards those in the private sector. To be fair he does have some issues to deal with, but still, it’s no excuse to not be able to see what’s really going on. He’s just a victim that’s caught in the middle I guess.

Beyond that, you have the NEA as well as the community boards who do not want to educate so much as indoctrinate. For nearly 30 years we have been “graduating” children in NYC and I’m sure other urban areas who are completely and utterly unprepared for life, have no understanding of the history and traditions of our nation and worse, have been brainwashed to hold the free market and the Judeo-Christian work and family ethic in contempt. It is child abuse on a massive scale and we can thank the likes of Billy Ayers and Sonny Carson for it.

We may be able to win the White House, the Congress and even the courts, but until we take back the school boards and the individual classroom (as well as the institutions of higher learning that churn out the “educators’) we are fighting a losing battle that will ultimately see the destruction of our society.

Rixon on April 7, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Once the teachers receive tenure – which I believe happens about five minutes after they send in their first dues payment to the union these days – they can pretty much never show up for work again and you can’t get them off the public payroll.

These teachers don’t have to worry about sending in their dues. Comes right out of their paycheck.

But, I agree, tenure seems to be gained the minute they’re hired.

Bitter Clinger on April 7, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Where is the plaintiffs’ bar? Where are the “survivors” groups? Are they all too invested in putting the Catholic Church out of business? Is there no money to be made here? Are there no people to be “vindicated” here?

Nevermind, folks. Nothing to see here. Move along.

jdp629 on April 7, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Is Anthony Weiner teaching now?

KOOLAID2 on April 7, 2012 at 2:59 PM

My opinion of tenure was cemented nearly 40 years ago in my first encounter with the concept, that being the tenure of a journalism prof, go figure, who was a few years from retirement but had been phoning it in for quite awhile. Total waste.

If a silver lining could be found in the currently horrendous state of our country, economy and society then it would have to be that it’s finally exposing the deadbeats who’ve been running us into the ground–corrupt politicians, corrupter unions and biased, deadbeat teachers.

But in these cases of insanity in New York, where are the civil and criminal lawsuits from the parents?

stukinIL4now on April 7, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Meanwhile the GOP is frantically fighting their social conservatives even though the real problems with our nation (including the financial abuse by the rulers – are moral issues.

Once again the GOP will just send up a leader with Etch-a-sketch principles and poof, everything will be fixed. The desecrtion of our entire culture is what has taken us down. Why should abusing people’s money be any more off limits than abusing people? Yet, in web site after website so called conservatives, snarl and hurl spittle at any who declare our freedom of conscience, our religion, our God and our family values to be at least as important as “the economy.”

If, right or wrong morally, no longer matters-upon whose authority do we complain about monetary wrong?

Both parties are chuck full of folks who refer to themselves as social liberals (a euthamism perhaps for anti-God?) and we expect the nation to survive by sending policy wonks, angry arrogant senators, and folks who will ignore our massive cultural rot that is tearing the fragments of America apart-because we pretend it all doesn’t matter except jobs and the economy.

Don L on April 7, 2012 at 3:05 PM

What I’d like to see next is an investigation into exactly who these arbitrators are, what process is used to select them and who qualifies to be in the pool of potential candidates. This is all far too much to be simple coincidence.

Seems simple to me: they’re former teachers, selected by the teachers’ unions, and their qualifications would be that they were loyal teachers’ union members.

psrch on April 7, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Why Are The People In Charge Of Teaching Our Children So Stupid?

1. They’re not called union “GOONS” for nothing.
2. They’re not “teachers” – they’re “socialist indoctrinators” – and all socialists are mentally handicapped.
3. Pedophilia causes a massive reduction in IQ.
4. Their focus is on maximizing their gold-plated taxpayer-funded benefits and humongous salaries and can’t spend any time or effort to correctly do anything concerning students.
…and on, and on, and on….

Remember the good old saying: Those that can’t “do”, “teach”… (and those that can’t “do” or “teach” become “school administrators”.)…(and those that can’t “do”, “teach” or “administrate” become federal government bureaucrats)…(and those that can’t “do”, “teach”, “administrate” or “bureaucrat” become members of the #occupy (bowel) movement)…

TeaPartyNation on April 7, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Got the picture? That’s what leftist progressivism has in store for the everyday life of all Americans. You’ll be the student. The leftist progressives will be the education bureaucracy and the teachers. The end state? See the indignities Jazz cites being inflicted on students for an apt metaphor.

J.E. Dyer on April 7, 2012 at 2:40 PM

That’s the point which terrifies me,.. I’m 52, but old school, a member of the last generation of cold warriors, and I served with Carter, and blissfully, Mr. Reagan. I remember learning about my enemy, the Soviets, the Chinese, and to a lesser extent, North Korea, and the Warsaw Pact Nations..

They all had common denominators..

The workers class.. which meant everyone outside the communist party elites.. all were given pay and ration cards commiserate with their station, an assigned apartment,.. houses were унцултуред, (uncultured).. the worst slur a Russian could hurl at another.. the classless societies were fixated on social class.. and being uncultured to them was being an ignorant beet and potato farmer, with pig s**t on your shoes..

So they endured dreary drab apartments shoddily constructed, all the same, all equally squalid falling apart, since the construction workers got paid the same, piss poor work or not,… the same as the building inspector, who couldn’t be fired or jailed if he passed on a building that collapsed a year later killing people…

They lived on rationed food,.. as being at a constant near state of war against the west, sacrifices were made,,. so food could be sold on the open market to give the Soviets what little hard currency they had.. to buy western tech from various sources to attempt reverse engineering and stealing our technology,… since their own research went nowhere being centrally controlled. That meant their military tech was always a decade or more behind ours.. shown graphically during the two Gulf wars when Russian made armor become the most expensive beer cans to be shot off a fence in history.. They had NO chance.. and many of our troops survived because of Russian design and manufacturing standards.

The civilians were the most telling failure of central planning…

They lived in a constant state of stress, poorly fed, poorly clothed, they had some of the best chalkboard engineers and mathematicians in the world, but they were failed by the system which misused them.. they were the ONLY reason the Russians ever made it into space.. the mainstay of Russian pride.. because what else did they have?

cars that were small crappy and that fell apart..
food that was high quality was either sent to the communist party special stores, where only the elites could shop.. and food which would be either made into pet food here, or rendered for chemicals was sold rationed to a public which knew of nothing else..

Some of us remember the horrors of the old Soviet central Command structured society…. remember the suffering it caused..

and Obama surrounds himself with people who admire a command economy.. would go there in a second if they could.. they would have their dachas,… we’d get the short end of the stick.. the sheep, the masses.. and anyone who doesn’t believe Obama sees us as nothing more than a means to that kind of power is a fool..

mark81150 on April 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Hey hows that centralized all powerful government working out for ya?

We the People are supposed be in charge, government entities are supposed to be to our benefit, makes it tough when unions run their own show and to hell with the public.

Speakup on April 7, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Its every where. Militant unionist dressed in teacher garb. They are thugs pure and simple.

Good thread Jazz.

SparkPlug on April 7, 2012 at 2:34 PM

I disagree with your first thought. Overlooking that behavior is not everywhere. I certainly agree with the next two where teacher unions rule education.

There is NO excuse for the actions of these teachers. No second chance, no appeal. You are fired. The end. Do not pass GO and you get to collect ZERO pay or benefits.

I do not and will not have any tolerance for teacher behavior like this.

VikingGoneWild on April 7, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Totally agree, and I have seen it done where I have taught.

I probably sound like a broken record, but I am always pained to see all teachers lumped in with those who are union privileged and with those who do not do their jobs.

jazzuscounty on April 7, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Take a good look at the conditions for teachers and students in the urban public school systems of the major cities.

Consider all aspects of the matter: how the students are controlled, indoctrinated, catechized, urged to complain about approved topics, discouraged from exercising any responsibility or true freedom of thought.

Consider the state of the teachers: rigidly controlled in terms of intellectual standards by the education bureaucracy, and as un-fire-able as anyone in any public bureaucracy. Rallied often to howl at politicians and the public in apocalyptic terms for more money.

Got the picture? That’s what leftist progressivism has in store for the everyday life of all Americans. You’ll be the student. The leftist progressivists will be the education bureaucracy and the teachers. The end state? See the indignities Jazz cites being inflicted on students for an apt metaphor.

J.E. Dyer on April 7, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Heartache! UTOPIA!

NASCARinCT

Del Dolemonte on April 7, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Sorry to go so far off topic into a brief history and cultural comparison.. I’ll try and stay on target better next time.

mark81150 on April 7, 2012 at 3:21 PM

What I’d like to see next is an investigation into exactly who these arbitrators are, what process is used to select them and who qualifies to be in the pool of potential candidates. This is all far too much to be simple coincidence.

Like so many situations in which mandatory arbitration is forced upon the consumer (in this case, the parent of the local school district), I doubt you’d be given any of this information without a court order.

This is precisely why mandatory arbitration is such BS. It is always claimed that this is done for the mutual benefit of both parties (ie, not having to hire lawyers, etc.), but the arbitrators are drawn from a pool of people who are either well connected to the unions and/or corporations involved in the dispute or who are basically paid off outright by them.

We need to go back to a system where arbitration and disputes are settled in courts of law. Courts where justices are not beholden to any side of the argument. If the unions are so rock-certain that their employees are good and decent people who did nothing wrong, then let them stand before a court of law without fear….

powerpickle on April 7, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Failure is only postponed success as long as courage coaches ambition.
The habit of persistence is the habit of victory.”
— Albert Einstein —

Speakup on April 7, 2012 at 3:27 PM

In recent years ‘teachers’ have come from the bottom dregs of the bottom colleges with no substantive degree needed. We are now in the midst of 6th graders being smarter than their teachers.

pat on April 7, 2012 at 3:28 PM

If you support your local government school, you are part of the problem. Bad teachers and bad schools could not continue to harm children without so-called “good teachers” and “good schools” providing cover and legitimizing the system.

Let me repeat this: Good schools enable bad schools to exist. Good teachers unlock the door so bad teachers can prey on helpless children.

Stop being an accessory to these crimes against children. Stop supporting the system of government schools.

Kohath on April 7, 2012 at 3:32 PM

In recent years ‘teachers’ have come from the bottom dregs of the bottom colleges with no substantive degree needed. We are now in the midst of 6th graders being smarter than their teachers.

pat on April 7, 2012 at 3:28 PM

I find your comment both ridiculous and insulting.

jazzuscounty on April 7, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Stop being an accessory to these crimes against children. Stop supporting the system of government schools.

Kohath on April 7, 2012 at 3:32 PM

No, if your children go to public school, then get involved. Make certain that you are a supporter of local control not state and especially federal control.

And I call poppycock on the rest of your comment too!

jazzuscounty on April 7, 2012 at 3:39 PM

But it’s for the children….

DrMagnolias on April 7, 2012 at 3:48 PM

When I went through K-12 in the mid-west (ok I’m dating myself), there was no such thing as “tenure” for my teachers. Since the 70′s the concept started to move inward from both coasts as the NEA got active and that “it’s for the children” thing took hold.

Scott Walker sees the problem (Milwaukee County school district’s student performance apparently cost Wisconsin a billion or so on federal “race to the top” funding).

His actions included steps to move to “performance based” evaluation of teachers (subjective I know) as opposed to “senority”.

And he expanded the “charter school” concept (a BIG NO-NO, viewed akin to home-schooling by the NEA fatcats who are only trying to line the pockets of its members).

For his efforts, he is now facing a recall election that he may or may not win. Estimates have about $100mil being spent to kick him out and “undo” his changes.

teejk on April 7, 2012 at 3:51 PM

We need to go back to a system where arbitration and disputes are settled in courts of law. Courts where justices are not beholden to any side of the argument. If the unions are so rock-certain that their employees are good and decent people who did nothing wrong, then let them stand before a court of law without fear….

powerpickle on April 7, 2012 at 3:21 PM

This.

These “teachers” should not only be fired but prosecuted.

Our children aren’t even safe in the classroom. Fondled,groped, and stalked.

UNACCEPTABLE.

bazil9 on April 7, 2012 at 3:55 PM

No, if your children go to public school, then get involved. Make certain that you are a supporter of local control not state and especially federal control.

And I call poppycock on the rest of your comment too!

jazzuscounty on April 7, 2012 at 3:39 PM

That’s what they said last year, and two years ago, and five years ago, and ten years ago, and 20. That’s what apologists for the system always say. It does not work.

If your local government school is a good school, and if your kids get a good education there, and if you support the school and the system of government schools, then you should understand that there are some other kids in some other school being beaten or abused or simply not educated because they are trapped in the system that works for you. Your children are being educated, but the cost is the shattered and wasted lives of innocent children you’ve never met.

If we can’t fire the bad teachers, our only choice is to fire the government school system itself.

Kohath on April 7, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Sorry to go so far off topic into a brief history and cultural comparison.. I’ll try and stay on target better next time.

mark81150 on April 7, 2012 at 3:21 PM

No, your comment at 3:16 PM was very relevant here. It never hurts to be reminded in detail what the end game is for Obama and his cronies if they are permitted any further power.

What concerns me at times is what will happen to all the commies surrounding Obama. It would be very easy for them to slink back into the woodwork and lie in wait for their next chance to destroy, or to burrow themselves in somewhere unnoticed, also to wreak havoc. Up until recently, Bombthrower Billy Ayers was perfectly content to stay in the shadows and manipulate.

PatriotGal2257 on April 7, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Become a member of the school board.

thedronning on April 7, 2012 at 4:14 PM

jazzuscounty on April 7, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Take umbrage all you like. If you are lucky enough to teach in a good district more power to you. However, I experienced the good, the bad and the ugly in my teaching career in an inner city High School. It is every bit as bad as described above and substantial changes need to be made.

chemman on April 7, 2012 at 4:16 PM

That’s what arbitrators do. They split the difference. Unions love arbitration. In 15 years of involvement with police discipline, short of conviction of a felony, NEVER was a termination upheld by an arbitrator.

douglucy on April 7, 2012 at 4:47 PM

In recent years ‘teachers’ have come from the bottom dregs of the bottom colleges with no substantive degree needed. We are now in the midst of 6th graders being smarter than their teachers.

pat on April 7, 2012 at 3:28 PM

I find your comment both ridiculous and insulting.

jazzuscounty on April 7, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Then refute it with credible facts-don’t insult the original poster’s premise unless you can prove it wrong.

I’m no stranger to horrible public schools, which I attended decades ago. And the majority of those public schools I attended were (and still are) in Hard-Blue Democrat States. The “quality” of the students now coming out of the schools I attended then is much lower than the quality of the students my era’s schools turned out.

The fact that O’bama won 70% of the high school dropout vote proves this trend. No Presidential candidate had ever achieved that spectacle until he came along, but all we hear from the Democrat Media is how all the voters with Advanced Degrees voted for a guy who won’t even tell us what courses he took in high school and college, or what his grades in those courses were.

Del Dolemonte on April 7, 2012 at 5:04 PM

But what about when they are accused of things which are either criminal offenses or, if not technically illegal, so far beyond the pale that no sane person would consider leaving them in a room with children?

That’s why they have “rubber rooms”, which are recreation rooms that teachers earning full salaries are sent to to read the newspaper every day because while they can’t be fired, the principals are scared to death of putting them in a classroom with children.

Until the teacher’s unions are reigned in, the public school system will be irreparably broken.

netster007x on April 7, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Sooooooo:

We must keep good teachers because they are good.

And we must keep bad teachers because they have “alternative skills”??

We should rename all of the Union-run schools “Failure University“!!! (The institutions’ initials could also be used to stand for other words which more aptly describe the schools’ operation).

landlines on April 7, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Want to bet the ‘arbitrators’ are retired school teachers?

GarandFan on April 7, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Del Dolemonte on April 7, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Hey do you have a link on the 70% stat?

Thanks.

CW on April 7, 2012 at 5:47 PM

I find your comment both ridiculous and insulting.

jazzuscounty on April 7, 2012 at 3:34 PM

My daughter said the same thing. The lowest students, academically, at her college were the education majors. It is sad.

Sadder still, when I worked in the public schools as a part-time reading teacher, I had an administrator tell me that I was unusual because I had a high GPA in college and had a natural ability to teach (without an education degree).

She said she usually only hired “C” students (mediocre education majors) because they tended to be more empathetic to the children. All of the sudden, the inferior quality of my kids’ teachers made more sense.

I didn’t want empathetic teachers, I wanted my children taught by intelligent, well-eductated teachers who understood the material. And, we lived in a high income area with above average resources and pay grades. It’s pathetic.

Fallon on April 7, 2012 at 5:52 PM

“As comrade Olesha aptly expressed himself, writers teachers are engineers of human souls… The production of souls is more important than the production of tanks…. And therefore I raise my glass to you, writers teachers, the engineers of the human soul” (Joseph Stalin, “Speech at home of Maxim Gorky”, 26 October 1932)

glorious leader’s engineers of the human soul for a new millenium-socialized, unionized teachers. the collective is important- not the quality of your child’s education. they’re being raised for the collective , the state, by someone other than you. even polar bears and rare frogs are more important than you or your children.

teacher’s are a chalice that has been poisoned for a very very long time-certainly since the commie flower children flounced out of college and became teachers en masse.it’s by design. they’re immune because they are doing what the state wants them to do.

mittens on April 7, 2012 at 6:08 PM

I find your comment both ridiculous and insulting.

jazzuscounty on April 7, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Oh please, teaching degrees have always been the easiet to get, especially Elementary Ed. I ought to know, I breezed through one over 40 years ago and my go-daughter did the same ten years ago. The course requirements are pathetic. Student teaching is a joke. And school districts are always looking for the cheapest candidates, not necessarily the best.
Over the years I have seen the number of teachers who shouldn’t be teaching increase. And the abilty to get rid of them decrease. Teachers are the only profession where it is almost impossible to sue them. You can sue a doctor or even a lawyer. But just try getting rid of a teacher with tenure.
And that is the biggest problem with teachers…tenure. The only profession where you are guaranteed a job for life no matter whether you do the job or not, as long as you are not guilty of criminal beahior. So get over yourself.

Deanna on April 7, 2012 at 6:47 PM

In New York it’s nearly impossible to get rid of a failing teacher under normal circumstances. The system is rigged worse than a Vegas casino.

Why is this different than any other school system? Here in Fairfax County, there was a teacher who decided to teach her class that Republicans were stupid.

This vile woman has not even been reprimanded when she should have been fired on the spot. This is why so many parents opt to home school. Why teach critical thinking skills at home when some moron from a second-rate teacher’s college (Longwood Univ) undermines such skills by declaring that the only smart people are Democrats?

Happy Nomad on April 7, 2012 at 8:12 PM

They’d be GONE in our district.

Ewww.

In CA, anyway, you can’t join the union until you get tenure, which is a minimum of 2 years. In my district, it’s not so easy.

And my broken record: if all the conservatives who complain about the state of education in this country put their money where their mouths are and became teachers, the problem would have been solved a long time ago.

Bob's Kid on April 7, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Could we please quit with the teacher bashing here?!

Please?!

I’m all for bashing BAD teachers (which I have seen in high school years ago, in college more recently, and as a Special Education Instructional Aide for 4 months), but don’t condemn the entire profession.

You know who made the most impression on me and helped inspire me to want to be a teacher? My 9th grade Government/Civics and 11th grade U.S. History teacher and my Cadet First Sergeant from my freshman (Rat/New Cadet) year in college.

Both of whom were……..(drumroll please)…..TEACHERS!

You know what I couldn’t be a Sailor, or Soldier or Marine but I can d@mn well inspire others to appreciate our unique American history and be as moved as I was to attempt to serve. So please throw that epithet about not doing and teaching instead I’ll show you 15 men and women who actually give a damn and will pass some classes now and graduate this year.

I’ll show you 15 more who have either enlisted or commissioned as a result of my actions including my best friend.

That Government/Civics/History teacher? He teaches my little brother now and is trying to get through his thick skull as he did mine. My C/FSG was an instructor to us Freshman is now a Captain of Marines.

SgtSVJones on April 7, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Boy, did I get piled on, but that’s okay. (I didn’t run off and hide. The family went to see Wrath of the Titans, okay if you like mythology.)

I didn’t insult anyone. I said the comment was insulting, and I still feel that saying teachers are the dregs of the college barrel is just that.

I still believe that involvement with the school helps. And I am pro home school and private school.

I don’t know where many of you live, but there is no tenure here for public school teachers, and as I said earlier, I have seen teachers and administrators relieved of their jobs mid year.

I guess at this point I can say that I am happy that I live and teach in Texas.

jazzuscounty on April 7, 2012 at 11:03 PM

I have been hearing these horror stories for years and this is the first time i have heard anyone advocate taking the right first step in looking at the arbitration system prescribed by union contracts. I would not be surprised if the only fix for the problem is new limits on public sector unions such as have been implemented in Wisconsin.

dunce on April 8, 2012 at 12:18 AM

Obviously – SOME people don’t UNDERSTAND the Unions – ya gotta be a TEAM PLAYER!!:

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

williamg on April 8, 2012 at 1:37 AM

All it takes is a leader. Bobby Jindal just passed teacher tenure and charter school vouchers in Louisiana. Now our kids have a chance, but parents must take it.

barnone on April 8, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Could we please quit with the teacher bashing here?!

Please?!

Thank you.

As a conservative who happens to be a teacher (in CA of all places) some of the comments here are pretty disheartening. At issue here is the power of the unions and the failure of the arbitrators. If something like this happened at my school, God forbid, what am I supposed to do? I have no choice about being in the union and paying dues (and I’ve paid dues every year, even before I got tenure, which happened after 2 years in my current district). I’m actually one of the union president’s least favorite people because she’s aware of my politics.

Are there bad teachers at my school? Of course, and it’s frustrating as hell because everything is done by seniority, so while younger, more energetic, more effective teachers get laid off every summer, these teachers who have been around since the 70s just keep on keeping on. Administrators at the site have almost no power to get rid of a teacher for being ineffective, and the higher-ups at the district don’t want to do it because then the union threatens to sue.

By the way, my degree (not an elementary ed degree, but a BA in Liberal Studies – always hated that name!) is a legit degree. I graduated from a private university magna cum laude and then spent another 2 years working part time while getting my teaching credential.

salmonczar on April 8, 2012 at 1:40 PM

I’m torn on this stuff because I have a friend who is a teacher in a very large, poorly scored school that they are threatening to close in Queens, NY. She is as liberal as they come, and to her the answer to everything is the union, but some of the issues she does face, I can see why she feels the need to have some protection, because if you get ONE bad review, ONE person in a bloated administration who has it out for you — and how exactly can you PROVE that you are a good teacher? THere are so many factors involved besides the teacher: classroom sizes, parental involvement (or lack thereof), students competency BEFORE they arrive in the classroom (including whether or not they speak english), socio-economic factors, etc.

What frustrates me is that when I think about it, almost all of the problems that GOOD teachers worry about, and rely on unions for protection, are almost all caused by corrupt or bloated administrators/politicians, who if they were TRULY putting students’ education first, they wouldn’t have a problem protecting the TRULY qualified teachers, putting funding towards hiring additional teachers instead of further bloating their own salaries while increasing classroom size, and ridding the rooms of bad/unqualified teachers.

A different friend of mine who is a teacher (and a conservative) told me that he thinks the solution should be that all teachers should be videotaped at all times. Not practical, and of course it would turn into a privacy battle by the unions, but public schools are just that — public. Good teachers could call out BS if an administrator “had it out for them” and tried to fire them for no reason, and the evidence for bad teachers would be right front and center.

I’m heavily considering a career change, into teaching. I don’t like what I do now, and I’d love a job where I could “make a difference” such as teaching. But I’m so horrified about the politics involved, if I could stomach it. I’m not always good at playing the “game”.

Violina23 on April 8, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Sorry about the run-on sentence, I hit submit instead of preview. But the point I was going for is that there is an irony in the fact that teachers unions supposedly exist to protect teachers from being abused by state/federal officials, both of whom are served by the union. No wonder the only people that lose are the students.

Violina23 on April 8, 2012 at 4:17 PM

I don’t know how the pool of arbitrators is selected, but an arbitrator for any given case must meet the approval of both the Union and Board of Education which are represented by two representatives each. The problem is that any arbitrator that rules against the Union knows they will never get another case. Like everything else in the education bureaucracy, money rules. And the amount of money paid to an arbitrator is likely ridiculous. Cutting off a major, or only, revenue stream is not in an arbitrator’s best interest. The Union wins. The Board of Education’s right of refusal is meaningless–as it was surely designed to be.

Robin888 on April 8, 2012 at 9:58 PM

salmonczar on April 8, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Quit the teacher bashing?
I don’t think so – not in this thread which is very clearly about the inability to get rid of BAD teachers – VERY bad techers in fact.
Your commentary points directly to the basis of the problem – whenever anyone talks about bad teachers, teachers like you jump to the conclusion that we are bashing ALL teachers. Maybe if the teaching community would toss the union mentality and did more to get rid of the bad apples instead of protecting them, you wouldn’t think you were getting “bashed” all the time.

dentarthurdent on April 9, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Robin888 on April 8, 2012 at 9:58 PM

And how does the school board get elected, especially in a Dem controlled area? With direct support from the union. The entire process is horribly incestuous – the unions get union favoring board members elected, who in turn give the unions outrageous contracts, and they all team up to ensure the arbitrators and adminstrators will do nothing to hurt any union members, as a result you get a lot of bad teachers who should not be in the field.
What else would you really expect to happen in a Dem/union controlled environment?

dentarthurdent on April 9, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Another example of appalling behavior by a school teacher is the POS who hooked up with a teenage ex-student of his, moving in together. There is still strong suspicion that he was having sexual relations, with that woman, when she was still a student and underage.

Anyone see the picture of that guy? Tell me POS Dude doesn’t look like Bill Ayers twin brother. Separated at birth maybe? Perhaps what makes me think this way is the guy’s smug, snarky grin on his face, knowing that he pulled one over on the system.

The only “good news” in this particular case is that POS Dude’s girlfriend dumped his sorry a$$ when new revelations came out that he had sexually abused another student, an underage one, a few years back.

CatchAll on April 9, 2012 at 6:56 PM