City Journal Winter 2016

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Winter 2016
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Larry Sand
Subdue, Contain, Deplete « Back to Story

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What Lake Worth said.

I've known many teachers who battled for their crapfy public salaries and less-crapfy-than-otherwise nightmarish working conditions via unionization...

...who would support charter schools in an instant if they didn't suspect that the movement is just a way of creating an impoverished caste of teachers so that tightwad parents who've failed at capitalism can feel superior.

A lot of us who went to Catholic schools know that we got better schooling than the worst schools if we came from poor areas. But we also know that we were not fully prepared to compete in a free, open, scientific/technical society, because a) our teachers were low quality and b) the school cared more about dogma and discipline...of everybody but the pedophile priests.
Bruce - but isn't SEIU a fan of Green Dot schools? It is their children that are the main victims of failing schools.
Easy question: How many charters have been created/converted by the method of 50% of the teachers voting for it? Of those, how many of those were in districts represented by either CTA or CFT?

It must've been a lot, if a classified employees union has now gotten involved,
Bruce William Smith September 07, 2013 at 7:48 AM
If AB 917 had been in effect in 2007, then the textbook room clerk alleged to have enriched herself at the expense of students and teachers would have had, together with the huge numbers of out-of-classroom personnel (who outnumbered teachers in LAUSD at the time), the ability to veto our (the majority of Locke teachers') efforts to improve the school and get more children to graduate, and all of the subsequent changes in that broken system wouldn't have happened. Governor Brown should veto AB 917.
1. Support the charter school movement because it re-empowers parents.

Ummm, that's it. Good teachers will be protected because parents realize, without having to have it spelled out for them, that good teachers are a key element in their child getting a good education.

Problems will then be solved pragmatically because for each spoiled snot of a parent who'd burn down the school if it pleased their bundle of joy there'll be lots of parents forced to be adults by the existence of their children.

Oh, and parents don't prefer local school boards, that's just all they know so if it's a choice between the unpleasant reality they've been brought up with, learned to tolerate and are used too and "something else" it's the school board that'll get the nod.

Of course if you ask *charter* parents which they prefer I suspect you'd get rather a different responses.

The district system's a travesty that allows political considerations to trump all others including, in no small measure, the welfare of children.

When you're just unhappy with your circumstance but don't know what to do about it you're ineffective at changing those circumstances. You may even come to accept those circumstances and even see them as good, i.e. the Stockholm Syndrome.

But once you do have a solution your efforts are focused, allies are identified and the likelihood of change is greatly increased. Charters are a route out of the dead end of school districts and that possibility is what really frightens unions, those who uncritically support unions and those who uncritically support the district system.
1. Support the charter school movement as a means to attract first-rate teachers and introduce technological innovations such as the Kahn Academy lecture system.

2. Protect the teachers in charter schools from mercenary predations by allowing them to engage in collective bargaining -- rationalizing terms of employment over career-long time horizons.

3. Solve ongoing problem pragmatically.

But no, this article cannot face up to the fact that local school boards are preferred by the parents of 92% of California's students -- preferred over any nonprofit or profit organization that cannot be removed at the polls.

Democracy thrives !! Time to get used to that fact. And hating unions isn't going to lead to much if any progress.