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Union thuggery: threatening the Los Angeles Times for reporting on teacher's performance scores (updated)

UPDATE (01): 10-23-10 TEACHER'S UNION WILLING TO TALK?

Are the unions scared of the coming backlash to their political machinations and outrageous behavior that allows incompetent teachers to affect our children's education. Well, the Los Angeles Times is reporting ...

"The head of the Los Angeles teachers union said Saturday that he has accepted city school district officials' proposal to reopen negotiations over teacher evaluations but stopped short of saying whether a method tying teacher reviews to their students' test scores would be on the table." '

"In a speech to hundreds of union members Friday night at UTLA's annual conference in Indio, Duffy said that he is 'ready, willing and able' to create a new evaluation system that is fair for teachers. 'We are in favor of legitimate uses of student data to help improve teaching,' he said."

Now if "we the people" can force the unions to deal honestly with the issue, this could be another step toward real educational progress.

Original blog entry ...





It is no secret that I am opposed to the unions on the grounds that they are anti-competitive, anti-social and result in raising taxes and costs while reducing individual initiative and performance; rewarding seniority over merit.

On August 16, 2010, I wrote a blog entry asking why we need public employee unions and pointing our that I believe most Public employee unions are a Marxist SCAM

A view reinforced by a report in the Los Angeles Times …

“Union leader calls on L.A. teachers to boycott Times”

The threat …

In what seems a threat to free speech and the freedom of the press, it appears that A.J. (Alistair James) Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, is threatening the left-learning Los Angeles Times for recognizing that education, at least as practiced by the corrupt Los Angeles Unified School District, is a gross failure where up to 50% of students fails to graduate and where exit exams are being dumbed down to improve test scores.

”The Los Angeles teachers union president said Sunday he was organizing a ‘massive boycott’ of The Times after the newspaper began publishing a series of articles that uses student test scores to estimate the effectiveness of district teachers.”

The egregious behavior of the times …

"’You're leading people in a dangerous direction, making it seem like you can judge the quality of a teacher by … a test,’ said A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, which has more than 40,000 members.”

While it is somewhat unfair to judge individual teachers by student test scores, they are often the only indicator which might be used to assess overall educational performance. Especially because the teacher’s unions fights against testing teachers for their ability to teach as well as their subject matter expertise.

In defense of some teachers …

Teachers do suffer, possibly unfairly under the Los Angeles Times’ test procedure. Influencing their behavior is a liberal board that is more about personal goals and political achievement than they are about education. Classrooms adversely affected by the lack of parental support, the lack of personal discipline, the mainstreaming of non-English speakers into mainstream classes and the political correctness which pervades every aspect of life in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Not to mention a corrupt school district spending, or should I say wasting, hundreds of millions of dollars on special interest projects.

Many teachers hate the union and believe that their union dues are being wasted on political activities with which they do not agree. But they will not buck peer pressure or risk administrative sanction by openly advocating their own positions.

Problems are exacerbated by the unions …

LAWeekly.com is reporting …

“In the past decade, LAUSD officials spent $3.5 million trying to fire just seven of the district's 33,000 teachers for poor classroom performance — and only four were fired, during legal struggles that wore on, on average, for five years each. Two of the three others were paid large settlements, and one was reinstated. The average cost of each battle is $500,000.”

And they are known by the LAUSD administration …

“… But the far larger problem in L.A. is one of ‘performance cases’ — the teachers who cannot teach, yet cannot be fired. Their ranks are believed to be sizable — perhaps 1,000 teachers, responsible for 30,000 children. But in reality, nobody knows how many of LAUSD's vast system of teachers fail to perform. Superintendent Ramon Cortines tells the Weekly he has a ‘solid’ figure, but he won't release it. In fact, almost all information about these teachers is kept secret.”

Why the union is upset …

“Based on test score data covering seven years, The Times analyzed the effects of more than 6,000 elementary school teachers on their students’ learning. Among other things, it found huge disparities among teachers, some of whom work just down the hall from one another.”

From the Los Angeles Times …

“GRADING THE TEACHERS: Who's teaching L.A.'s kids? … A Times analysis, using data largely ignored by LAUSD, looks at which educators help students learn, and which hold them back.” 

Among the findings:

  • “Highly effective teachers routinely propel students from below grade level to advanced in a single year. There is a substantial gap at year's end between students whose teachers were in the top 10% in effectiveness and the bottom 10%. The fortunate students ranked 17 percentile points higher in English and 25 points higher in math.”
  • “Some students landed in the classrooms of the poorest-performing instructors year after year — a potentially devastating setback that the district could have avoided. Over the period analyzed, more than 8,000 students got such a math or English teacher at least twice in a row.”
  • “Contrary to popular belief, the best teachers were not concentrated in schools in the most affluent neighborhoods, nor were the weakest instructors bunched in poor areas. Rather, these teachers were scattered throughout the district. The quality of instruction typically varied far more within a school than between schools.”

Bottom line …

It is not, as the unions assert, “about the children,” they are merely the pawns of self-serving hyper-partisan political group of adults trying to enhance their political power, personal profits and professional standing in a pure power grab.

The unions are the proximate cause of the financial disaster facing our municipalities and states. The offer little or nothing when it comes to improving education; and do everything in their power to insure that the money and power flows to their corrupt leadership.

We need to elect “honest brokers” to serve “we the people.” We need to eliminate unions which support the Marxist principles of an elite ruling class governing the “collective” rather than promoting the individual achievement that made America great.

Vote in November, for yourself, your children, your community, your state and our nation.

-- steve

Reference Links …

Union leader calls on L.A. teachers to boycott Times - latimes.com

Teachers union threatens ‘massive boycott’ of Los Angeles Times for reporting on teacher performance | Washington Examiner 

LAUSD's Dance of the Lemons: Why firing the desk-sleepers, burnouts, hotheads and other failed teachers is all but impossible


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

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“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

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