I know I’ve been complimenting the legislature a lot recently. It feels quite strange. But fortunately, the state Democrats are back to being gigantic pissants who’ll fuck over their constituents for no reason.
The senate passed a compromise teacher evaluation bill this afternoon, 46-3. Republicans and moderate Democrats had been pushing a teacher evaluation bill for a couple of sessions now, but liberals had balked, echoing union concerns that it was unfair to teachers, who’ve already seen K-12 funding cut by $2.5 billion during the recession and who have already been working on district-by-district pilot projects to determine evaluation criteria.
However, Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Seattle), with an eye on counting moderate Democratic and Republican votes necessary to pass his budget, resuscitated the bill, triggering negotiations between the reform contingent and the opponents.
Yes, as part of an effort to make deeper cuts to education, Ed Murray has decided to fuck over teachers by imposing an arbitrary evaluation system. This will be more teach to the test instead of quality learning in an effort to punish the teacher’s union.
Rich Wood, spokesman for the teachers’ union, the Washington Education Association, complained that the union was left out of the negotiations and didn’t see the bill until a few hours before the vote. He said: “This new legislation must not derail, short-circuit or otherwise interfere with the evaluation pilot work that is already underway, and educators must be allowed the flexibility to meet the unique needs of students in their local schools.”
You know what, I can’t say it strongly enough: if you don’t give teachers a spot at the table when drafting legislation, you obviously don’t give a shit about education. You obviously want it to fail. That any Democrat would vote for that is a fucking disgrace.
There are ways to have testing that let teachers know what they need to work on, and how they can improve. This is clearly not that.
What a laugh. Teachers having no seat at the table in Olympia? Are you kidding. The WEA takes the only seat and wants no other voices unless in lock step with their compensation agenda. There are plenty of bad teachers and principals in our schools and the way to do right by kids is to do something about it. I am so sick of the WEA and bad teachers.
Dorky Dorkman spews:
re 1: Here’s my unit evolution: God did it — and isn’t it amazing?!?!
“The WEA takes the only seat and wants no other voices unless in lock step with their compensation agenda.”
That’s just fucking stupid.
On one side, you’ve got the WEA.
On the other side, you’ve got Stand for Children, the League of Education Voters, Partnership for Learning, the Center for the Study of the Teaching Profession, Democrats for Education Reform, the Gates Foundation, the Washington Policy Center, the Freedom Foundation, and probably 10 more groups that are reform, reform, reform.
It’s easy to blame everything on the WEA, if you don’t like to think, read, or study.
Bert Chadick spews:
The liberal/Democratic Party position on the issue should be one of supporting public education, and as far as it goes to that end, work with the WEA. The WEA’s purpose is to support the teachers, by making them well paid, safe from dismissal, and protecting teacher’s perks. Cooperation can make everyone happy, but The Democratic party can never trade quality education for the support of the WEA. I’ve seen the local chapters of the WEA pull a lot of crap over the last couple of decades, mainly shielding incompetent and burned out teachers. This practice doesn’t help and only embitters the voters against public education.
Roger Rabbit spews:
Sounds like our kids are going to get an education designed by a committee. The Chinese are laughing all the way to the bank.
@ 5 RR
The Chinese design everything by committee.
The reality is no single paradigm can work on everyone. Family background, nutritional heritage, genetics, family wealth etc all create an incredible mix of differing educational needs. Interests are as varied as flakes of snow. What folks always try to do is work toward the best discernible average. This doesn’t work. What is best for North Seattle may be very different from that of say, Colville.
So what should schools concentrate on? I say mathematics, sciences, art, music, social skills and personal health. Real survival skills. Skills that would advance technology and knowledge of the real world. If there are budgetary issues that preclude any of these, then luxuries that contribute nothing to the basic education of the child must be disposed of first. Shit like team sports are luxuries. We don’t need field trips to malls, we need field trips to the forests or laboratories or factories like when I was a kid.
Does Murray have a history of screwing over teachers or could this be gay marriage quid pro quo?
No Time for Fascists spews:
Some thoughts on @4. There are always shade and nuances and reasons behind.
by making them well paid. What’s wrong with being well paid? Do you object to executives being well paid? Do YOU object to being well paid?
safe from dismissal. Another way to look at that is being safe from a dictatorial school board or principal that would fire the teacher for say for example: teaching evolution or that there are flaws in Capitalism.
Protecting teacher’s perks. Another way to look at that is you don’t want the teachers to have any benefits, that they should live at the whim of the school board? Why shouldn’t workers have the right to benefits?
“The Democratic party can never trade quality education for the support of the WEA.” But it’s ok for the republican party to promote say… creationism and lack of critical thinking for support of business and the church?
Burned out teachers. Another way to look at that is you only want the teacher while teacher is at 100%. The moment the teacher stops being a peak educator, you want to fire them. On the other hand, I don’t want my kid being taught by a burned out teacher.
Incompetent teachers. Some are obvious, but some, like my science teacher in H.S. was a great teacher who inspired a love of science and learning, but he didn’t kowtow to principal and the school board well and was labeled incompetent and made to leave.
Bert Chadick spews:
I don’t begrudge the teachers a good salary. In fact I think they should earn at least as much as lawyers. I never said the WEA doesn’t have legitimate functions. If the local boards decide that creationism or bible readings are good for education, then the teachers who refuse to go along with the program must be protected. The evaluation process has often been sacrificed to obtain administrative peace with the local chapter of the WEA. Everyone gets glowing evaluations and everyone’s jobs are safe. Contracts are signed and board meetings are serene and calm. Of course the continued employment of a few less than competent teachers is one cost. Just hope your kid doesn’t get assigned to their class. I’m not tarring all or even a majority of teachers with the burn-out brush. The ideal situation would be for the teachers to honestly evaluate their peers and recommend that the bad eggs not be offered renewal of their contracts. Croneyism is always a concern, but no system will be perfect. The right/Republican ideology won’t be happy until public education is destroyed and our failings only give them political ammunition,