fox cities news, appleton, wi
foxpolitics.netwhats really going on in the fox cities
fox cities newsfox cities news, appleton, wi

Selected News Sources:
Business Jrnl of Milw
Christian Science Monitor
Daily Caller
Drudge Report
La Crosse Tribune
Milw Journal Sentinel
National Journal
New York Times
Public Policy Forum
Real Clear Politics
The Hill
Washington Examiner
Washington Post
Washington Times
WI State Journal
Selected Blogs - from the Right:
American Mind
Blaska's Blog
Boots & Sabers
Charlie Sykes
Freedom Eden
Heritage Foundation
Jerry Bader Blog
Life Voice
Marketplace of Ideas
Marquette Warrior
Natl Review Online
No Runny Eggs
Patrick McIlheran
Real Debate Wisconson
Rhymes with Clown
Shark and Shepherd
The Lote Tree
Vox Populi
Wall Street Jrnl, Opinions
WI State Jrnl, Opinion
Wigderson Library & Pub
Wisconsin Family Voice
Selected Blogs - from the Left:
Big Money Blog
Blogging Blue
Brenda Konkel
Caffeinated Politics
Capital Times
Folkbum's rambles
Griper Blade
Huffington Post
Lost Albatross
MAL Contends
Mid coast views
Moneyed Politicians
One Wisconsin Now
Open Left
Playground Politics
Political Environment
Rock Netroots
Talk to Tony
Uppity Wisconsin
Waxing America
fox cities news, appleton, wi fox cities news, appleton, wi
Today's Blog: Time for the Guv to morph into Chris Christie
My husband and I and a couple hundred friends watched in Green Bay as ...(more)

  • Time for the Guv to morph into Chris Christie (6/28/2011)
  • Time for Gov. Walker to talk more about the cake (3/4/2011)
  • Today, reality hits home (3/1/2011)
  • FoxPolitics News going on hiatus (1/28/2011)
  • Brown County Executive candidate forum Feb. 8 (1/28/2011)
  • Education done right (1/27/2011)
  • To Obama, the ‘We’ is Government (1/27/2011)
  • (more)

    Unions, the kids or our country?

    There's a theme that has woven its way through this week’s Race to the Top news - lots of blaming going around. And that’s just among our neighbors.

    Minnesota didn't win a share of $4.35 billion in federal education money this month because the state lacks a plan to develop quality educators and the state's application lacked support from the statewide teachers' union as well as many school district unions,

    …. The reaction of Bill Walsh, the federal liaison for the Minnesota Department of Education, echoed complaints this month from Gov. Tim Pawlenty's office that the statewide teachers union, Education Minnesota, had been "an anchor" dragging down the state in the competition.

    "The power of the teachers union in the state and their ability to stop reform over the years has led us to this point," Walsh said.
    Dang it.

    [U.S. Secretary of Education Arne] Duncan, a former CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, said the two winners [Delaware and Tennessee] separated themselves from the rest by their ability to touch every student and by strong cooperation among all interested groups, including teachers’ unions.

    Illinois fell short because it didn’t have a plan for measuring student growth or how to deal with ineffective tenured teachers. But fixing the teacher issue could create tension with unions, which so far have cooperated with the federal money pursuit.
    They supported it before they were against it. Starts to be a pattern.

    Leaders of the Iowa State Education Association supported the state's bid, but many school officials did not. They said forced negotiations would paralyze reforms because union officials would never agree to close schools or replace teachers.
    Pointing fingers, I guess. You decide. What route around, through, with their unions, are “school officials” supposed to take?
    The new law forces leaders of those schools to adopt one of four federal models for reform:

    - Replace the principal, rehire no more than half the teachers, and build flexibility into budgeting, school calendars and other areas.

    - Convert or close a school, or reopen it as a charter school.

    - Close a school and enroll its students in another school in the district.

    - Replace the principal, find ways to make teachers and administrators more effective, overhaul instruction, lengthen class time for students, involve the community, and provide more flexibility and support in operations.
    And Michigan 
    Michigan lost points for lack of participation by teachers' unions and other shortcomings, according to comments from officials who reviewed the application. But union officials say lawmakers and the state Department of Education have ignored teachers' advice on how to fix ailing schools.

    …. The reviewers noted the MEA didn't agree to participate in the competition, though the American Federation of Teachers signed on. "Only 8 percent of the applicable (districts) include the signature of local Teacher's Union Leader," reviewers wrote.
    And of course, our own Badger State
    The most critical reviewer, who gave Wisconsin the equivalent of a high F grade on its application (293 out of 500 points), noted that the state had "a very significant challenge in getting local teacher union leaders to commit" to the state's plan - only about one in 10 district-level union leaders signed on.

    "It appears that none of the union leaders in the state's largest districts, which are also those where the most dramatic changes are expected, have demonstrated their commitment to the plans outlined" in the state's application, the same reviewer wrote.
    I suppose one could say the feds are all wet, what with their crazy expectations and all – something about kids needing to come first. But I see a pattern – and I just don’t see how union officials can be missing it. This isn’t about the future of the unions anymore – this is about the future of our country. And it’s time all of us fought for the honor of getting our kids – and our country to the top.

    Jo Egelhoff,

    Of course, there's more... ran across Florida in this morning's news..
    Teachers, parents and even some students are flooding the Legislature with e-mails and phone calls. They're protesting outside lawmakers' offices and organizing a rally Wednesday at the Capitol.

    Their chief target: legislation that would make it easier to fire teachers and base part of their salaries on test scores.

    ``We just couldn't sit at home and do nothing while our profession is being attacked,'' said Carole Robinson, a biology teacher at Dunedin High School who is driving to Tallahassee for the rally. ``There is just no collaboration going on. We were shut out of the process.''
    Oh my no. Don't sit at home.....

    When you find instances of more excuses by states and/or their teacher unions, please send them over and I'll add them to the collection.



    Any time I notice stories about education it's usually one of two things:

    1. Budget problems or union contract negotiation problems
    2. Zero tolerance follies

    I also note with some amusement the federal requirement for comprehensive state education plans before states can have a reasonable chance at feeding from the public trough. This is part and parcel of the widespread and inordinate faith in planning expressed in every aspect of public life: forests, highways, mass transit, land use, zoning, as well as education.

    It's enough to make me want to shout in a Pancho Villa accent, "Plans?! We don't need no steenking plans!!"

    Before you get to thinking that I'm an anarchist, look at education plans. Look at how many schools have closed in recent years because the plans didn't adequately project the decline in student population nor the increased costs of teacher contracts. Look at how many districts are again relying on referenda to raise money over and above what they've budgeted.

    The question of whether or not education is a "right" was answered long ago. Since that time we have struggled to provide decent educations for our children while:

    • suffering through the myriad education fads that the specialists subject us to
    • submitting to the notion that public education can only be delivered by union professionals
    • swallowing the line of argument put forward by the teaching establishment that school choice is a bad idea


    ...and on and on...

    We reap what we sow.

    fox cities news, appleton, wi
    Steve Erbach, Neenah (Wed Mar 31 08:28:14 2010)

    Well my vote would certainly be for the kids every time - but as we have seen over the years, "It's for the children" has become a code phrase for "It's for our pension and benefit package."

    So for now, it's going to be pretty tough to actually do anything that will get money past the financial black hole which seems to keep expanding exponentially and actually get $'s in to technology, upkeep, and program enhancement which truly WILL benefit our future leaders.

    fox cities news, appleton, wi
    Jeff (Wed Mar 31 08:43:56 2010)

    Whenever the federal government gives out money THERE ARE STRINGS ATTACHED. It is better to maintain local control. Former President Jimmie Carter established the U.S. Department of Education. It is an enormous bureaucracy, having just been made even more gigantic with the federal government taking over the student loan program from private banks! Since the fed's involvement in education quality has not improved and education is not less expensive.
    fox cities news, appleton, wi
    Jan T (Wed Mar 31 15:12:26 2010)

    fox cities news, appleton, wi

    sign up to receive fox politics news
    see todays issue

    Blog Archives

    Site Map | Privacy Policy   •   FoxPolitics ©2006 All Rights Reserved.   •   Site Updated 6/27/2016