"Quality" Teachers for Wisconsin – UPDATED

Photosource, Althouse, taken by Meade.


They need teachers who can instruct them to love the qualifiers that denote the character of a quality – whether it is high-or-low, good-or-bad teachers that they neen and want.

But apparently Wisconsin students are being pulled from their necessary classes in order to help teachers protest “whatever this dude [Governor Scott Walker] is doin’.

My favorite observation on this story
of schools closing so teachers may protest — and offer their dragged-along students some dubious “lessons” — has been made by Glenn Reynolds:

So, at the demonstrations are they saying that we shouldn’t limit children’s educations over concerns about money? Because that’s kinda ironic. . . .

Yeah! Because public schools neen more money and Cadillac-class benefits for teachers of unspecified quality.

As I wrote the other day:

On some level, what is weak knows that it is weak; it understands that foundationally, it cannot support the weight of its own ideas, much less endure an opposing wind. And because weakness knows this, it goes out of its way to deflect the opposition by sowing confusion, chaos, guilt, fear. These are the by-products of weakness and its attendant insecurity.

The teacher’s unions have been sowing weakness for far too long, and getting away with it. And now, strength is rising up. But it needs to be sustained.

Seems to me, all the governors had better learn from the big man, and hang tough or their office will be meaningless.

Look, I am the daughter of union folk; I appreciate why unions were initially formed. I also understand, however, that for too long unions have overplayed their hands, and we’ve reached a point of unsustainability. The money is not there. Tax revenues may have been at their highest levels in 2006 (as the NY Times even admitted) but tax revenues are currently (by at least one measure) at 1950′s levels, and something’s gotta give. The rest of us in the private sector are going without raises, seeing cuts to our benefits, ungodly increases in our insurance premiums and so forth. The unions have to either share the burden or lose the goodwill of the public. They’re right on the edge, right now. Are they going to be smart enough to pull back?

Watch this video

We neen more governors willing to lead, and to make the hard turns that are going to be needed if we’re going to avoid hitting an iceberg.

Take a closer look at the top photo and note the hangman’s noose. And the hyperbole. How is it that the people who are loudly demanding “civility” on one hand are so quick to paint Hitlerian mustaches on a man over a policy dispute? Jay Nordlinger writes:

Many of the letters from Wisconsin today have to do with violence: threats against Governor Walker and members of his administration, the increases in their security details, their worries about their spouses and children, and so on. I have heard from people closely connected to the threatened individuals. Their letters are hard to take.

The last few days have made quite clear that, if you cross the public-employee unions, you run risks: and not merely political risks (which are nothing).

Do the public-sector unions want to overturn an election?

Ed Morrissey:

. . .taking the kids out of classes to march with them underscores another significant concern of the public regarding education. Most of the students marching with their teachers had no idea of the finer points of Governor Scott Walker’s proposal to bring teacher pension contributions in line with the private sector, a position the union called “slavery” just a couple of months before conceding the point. Nor do they understand the budget gap that Walker faces, or the nuances of economic policy, tax burdens, and growth policies. All they know is what their teachers told them — and that speaks to political indoctrination conducted in public schools by activist teachers, and the inability of parents and communities to weed out inappropriate politicking in classrooms.

Tipping points and overplayed hands; that’s when strength rises up.

Stay strong, Governors. It’s for the children!

More pictures at Althouse. What a messy bunch. But they’re “great workers.”

Heh. Irony.

Noisy Room: Obama hasn’t been following Wisconsin but supports the unions.

The flu is still going ’round


First, Walker hasn’t “outlowed” unions, or even proposed outlawing them, either. Walker’s proposal would restrict negotiations with non-law-enforcement unions to wages only, and would require recertification votes each year. It would also make Wisconsin a right-to-work state, ending automatic deduction of union dues from paychecks and instead make them voluntary. That may put unions in a tough position to justify their continued representation, but it hardly outlaws the unions.

Besides, even if it did, it’s a fallacious argument. Hitler was also a vegetarian who owned a dog. Are all vegetarians Nazis? All dog owners? The Nazis aren’t history’s great villains because Hitler opposed public-sector unions. To equate that with Naziism isn’t just reprehensible, it’s downright ignorant and minimizes the actual horrors of Naziism.

And then there’s that tax-revenue issue again…

Ed Driscoll: Financial Catastrope Denialists

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://twitter.com/amyalkon Amy Alkon

    As I heard at the “reason” (Magazine/reason Foundation) school choice night, teachers’ unions don’t care about kids or even teachers; they care about power.

  • Sue from Buffalo

    I won’t support any union or organization that supports a political party that supports abortion. And that’s what teachers unions do.
    Time to take the fangs out of this one!

  • http://twitter.com/davidschmidt David R. Schmidt

    That looks like hang the governor picture there…i wonder if the media will report on it? Hmmm

  • Becspk

    Actually, the schools didn’t close in order for them to protest. That’s illegal. 40% of the teachers called in sick to circumvent that law.

  • Wilsonia

    Nobody who works for the government should have a union.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Fundementally the Unions don’t care about the kids. They only have their self-interest in mind. I agree with Wilsonia: Government workers should not be unionized.

  • Anonymous

    1) this is not a teacher’s union issue, it’s a state worker issue. It includes doctors, nurses, engineers, lawyers, police and firemen.

    2) Those unions have already offered up over 100 million dollars in concessions, and the Governor wouldn’t even meet with them. This isn’t about the budget: it’s about destroying the state union.

    3) If the bill passes as it stands, the average state worker will take a 500 dollar a month pay cut. The statewide economic consequences of this will be DEVASTATING.

    Meanwhile, if the Governor wants to bring contributions in line with the private sector, will he do the same with salaries? State workers are paid between 5 and 20% less, based on field, than private sector workers. They have traded salary for the promise of these benefits.

    4) Yes, out of 30k protesters some had stupid signs. Just like last year’s tea party rally. You get that many people together and you’ll have idiots.

    It’s also been three days of protests without a single arrest, and with votes of support for the local Bishop.

  • Sue from Buffalo

    This is very much about the budget and the economic consequences will not be devastating. That’s a bunch of hogwash.
    The Governor has left the salary out of this. The salaries can still be negotiated AND he has promised no layoffs if they go along with this.

    The union leaders are a bunch of thugs, in my opinion.

    The leaders of the Republican party there have had to move their families out of their homes for awhile because of these union people. Are you proud of them? The union people have come to their homes. The state leaders are getting threatening letters. What a great bunch of people, these unionites. (insert sarcasm)

    Can you show evidence of what that 100 million dollars in concessions is? I would absolutely love to see that.

    And as far as mentioning tea partiers? If anyone had a stupid sign like theirs, the tea partiers would be up in arms about it. They’re very sensitive about being portrayed like that. Is anybody over in the Wisconsin protests complaining about the stupid signs?

    After the damage the unions have done, I’m all for getting rid of them. They have outlived their usefulness.

    And anyone who supports the abortion-loving Democrats like the unions do will get no support from me.

    God bless that governor and the legislators who support him.

  • Joseph Marshall

    First, I don’t know what it is in Wisconsin, but in Ohio what is proposed is the elimination of collective bargaining for policemen, firemen, teachers, state [and I believe city and county] office workers.

    Maybe it’s in your best interest for this to happen. Maybe it’s even more in your best interests if all these people strike and are fired and replaced. Then we can go after the SEIU, fire the janitors and cafeteria workers and destroy unionism completely.

    Maybe its in your best interest that the salaries of those who are left, new or old, are cut 10%, 20%, or even 30% to reduce total expenditures by the money saved. An out-and-out loss in the total school budgets to save the government money. Maybe their health care will be better off on Medicaid [if Medicaid is still around] or going to the Emergency Room that can’t turn them away.

    Don’t wait ’till hell freezes over for any of that money to be put back into school buildings, textbooks, school libraries, or anything else the children in them will actually use–it won’t happen. Ever.

    In my state, the absolute best case scenario is that a dribble of the money will go to ODOT so they can blacktop more roads. Roads are a big deal in Ohio.

    And don’t wait for the education [or law enforcement or firefighting] to improve by a flight of experienced teachers into the private sector as soon as the job market eases, which it will. As well as a drop in enrollment in college Education Departments as the little 20 year olds wise up to how unstable a career Primary and Secondary Education is. Stability was always its main draw, because most who chose it as a major were not experienced enough yet to know whether or not teaching was really for them.

    Maybe it’s in your best interests to have whatever money is left after the budget cuts given to all of you who are so eager to educate your own children and get them away from schools that are failing because of too few teachers, too many inexperienced teachers, and not enough hard goods in the school for the students to use. Oh, yes and “lower standards” and sex eduction, too. Wouldn’t be a better place if nobody ever heard the C-word again?

    The schools are so bad that the people who can’t afford to home school or charter school [greedy union workers like janitors and cafeteria workers, mostly] even with vouchers, might as well just keep them at home. How much do you need to know to follow in your father’s footsteps sweeping floors or frying chicken?

    [An awful lot of those people also have other distinguishing features of language, culture, and personal appearance. I won't go into them because it would be highly uncivil]

    The vouchers will probably be somewhat smaller though, since there are more politically popular priorities like lowering the taxes of people who have no children and could care less what happens to anybody else’s. We have a lot of these here in Ohio. They regularly defeat local school levies in almost every county.

    So if you’re going to home school or charter school, I’d be prepared to lay out more of your own money to do it than you expect, even with vouchers.

    Maybe it’s in your best interest if the compensation of corporate CEO’s increase by 6x over the next 20 years as they have over the last 20 years. That would be about $72 million a CEO compared with $2 million in 1989 and $12 million a CEO today.

    I’m sure you remember that back when I was blogging I put up a set of pictures of a simpler America of no taxes to speak of, no economically hampering regulations to get in the way of business, and an education up to about the 6th grade for the majority of the population, allowing the young’uns to work in the coal mines, the textile mills, and the garment factories. Or sell pencils in the street if they lost an arm or a leg doing it.

    That is, if they survived the White Plague–Tuberculosis, which accounted for 6 out of every 10 deaths in my town 100 years ago. There is a totally drug resistant strain of it out there now. So far its mostly been confined to mid-Eurasia. But, who knows…

    Of course, back then they didn’t have the fine Emergency Rooms we have now, nor the wonderful crop of police, fire, and EMS employees.

    I called it the Conservative Garden of Eden. Maybe it would be in your best interests to go back to that. Or maybe we are headed to the Conservative New Jerusalem, where the streets will be paved with school vouchers.

    Now wouldn’t that be in your best interest?

    There. Civil enough for you?

  • Sue from Buffalo

    Wow. I guess the unions ARE the saviors of the world. Look what they’re saving us from. (good grief, Joseph!)

  • Mandy P.

    First of all, public sector employees make an average of 34% more in wages and 70% more in benefits than private sector employees. That information comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. So the idea that they are taking less in pay in exchange for a better benefit package is flat-out absurd.

    Secondly, unemployment is over 9% nationally. The rest of us are hurting and all the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. By public sector employees that don’t want to contribute to their own insurance and retirement benefits (when the rest of us make substantially less money and are required to fund the majority of our own benefits) is appalling. Most especially considering the massive budget shortfalls in the vast majority of states as well as at the federal level.

    You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip, folks. Public sector employees need to start facing that reality. You have a choice: either take some cuts, like the rest of us have had to do, and have a job or continue to stand in the way of fiscal reality and then have no job when it all collapses.

  • dry valleys

    Yes, what sort of MORANS would use signs like that?

    Private-sector unions, before Th*tcher (and Reagan) castrated them, offered a real prospect for intelligent working-class people to gain positions of leadership and responsibility. That simply doesn’t happen nowadays. No matter how intelligent or hrd-working, the odds are hugely stacked against them getting into top universities and getting professional jobs, especially at senior levels which are home to people from the right families, qualifiedor not. A few anecdotes won’t alter the fact that the tendency is downwards for social mobility. (America has an even lower rate than Britain in this regard).

    Gone are the days when a particularly skilled craftsman who had a special flair for solving problems could get promoted to a management position, as it tends to be either newly hatched graduates or ringlickers who have good “social skills” but can’t understand the needs or wishes of shop floor workers.

    All this because “laws” were brought in to curtail the bodies that made possible something that could vaguely be some excuse for a meritocracy, but that’s no more.

    That is why the unions are dominated by public-sector unions, whose culture I don’t especially like or relate to, because the working man no longer has representation, with the results seen in terms of low-paid, insecure temporary jobs. The ostensible benefit of low unemployment is now a sick joke.

    Unless we repeal anti-union laws, and move on from neoliberalism (most notably indulgence of the banks and indifference to the fact of real jobs in manufacturing and proper engineering as opposed to financial engineering) then no one will ever get any further than plastering over deep wounds.

  • Mandy P.

    It’s also important to point out that what this legislation, and similar legislation in others states, does is eliminate the public bargaining power as well as gives people the right to opt out of being in the union in the first place. As the laws in WI currently stand, if you work in a public sector that is unionized, you are required by law to pay dues regardless of whether or not you desire to be affiliated with said unions. That’s theft and violates the right of free association.

    Eliminating public bargaining means that instead of one massive contract for everyone, each individual employee will negotiate their own terms of employment. So instead of a system that rewards both poor employees and excellent employees equally- by contract- you go to a system where individuals can be rewarded or punished via their own merit. Which is how it should be.

  • Gail F

    “We neen more governors willing to lead” — ha ha!

    I am from Ohio. This is going on in Columbus today too. No one is reporting it, but it is.

  • Mandy P.

    There is no move to eliminate the public unions in this bill or others like it. All it does is eliminate the ability of unions to bully people into membership as well as eliminating the ability of unions protect poorly performing employees. I don’t know how many of you have had to deal with the government- local, state, or federal- any time recently, but I can tell you the ability to weed out poor performance in the public sector is sorely needed.

  • http://b-moviecat.blogspot.com/ EegahInc

    “We neen more governors willing to lead, and to make the hard turns that are going to be needed if we’re going to avoid hitting an iceberg.”

    I hate to be “that guy” who nitpicks your your internet grammar… but you misspelled ‘neened’.

    Just trying to help.

  • Beatrix

    “No matter how intelligent or hrd-working, the odds are hugely stacked against them getting into top universities and getting professional jobs…”

    Surely the revolting destruction of the British education system has more to do with this than the resurrection of some sort of entrenched old boys network. It wasn’t the Tory party that managed that. And yes, I sure have lived in England; I was even born there.

    (p.s. the “Get a brain Morans” picture has been an internet meme since at least 2004. Nobody knows who the guy holding up the sign is, but he pre-dates the Tea Party, and in fact is rumoured to be an anti-war protester.)

  • Anonymous

    That is not true in Wisconsin. Nationwide, maybe. But not here.

  • Joseph Marshall

    In 1945 1 in 3 workers were unionized. Today 1 in 12 are. I presume if the public workers are denied collective bargaining that ratio will get higher, and unions may even cease to exist. From 1945-1980, the heyday of the labor movement, every segment of society from the richest to the poorest gained in average wealth at about the same rate and at an incredible pace.

    From 1980 to now, as the unions have declined, the average wealth of the lower 2/3′s of America [to which I assume most of the readers here belong] made almost no real gain whatever, while the average wealth of the upper 1/3 of America has gained considerably. The 6x increase in average CEO compensation over 20 years is an extreme but not unusual example.

    During this period, if your net worth started out at about $500,000 you have done pretty well. If your net worth is below that figure then you have simply treaded water.

    These are facts. Anyone with sufficient energy and an open mind can find them on the Net with very little trouble.

    There is one more fact, and it’s the most ironic fact of all. From 1945 to 1980 the increase in wealth of the upper 1/3 of America was far in excess of what the upper 1/3 gained from 1980 to now.

    So when America worked union, everybody lived better. Even the rich.

  • Sue from Buffalo

    That doesn’t mean that people were doing better because of the unions. Your facts don’t support that. There are too many other factors that you don’t even consider.

  • FedUpAgain

    Ug, mediocre teachers. God save us. I overheard a “teacher” at the official day-orphanage at UCSF saying, “Look, children! A hexagon!!” All the kids looked. From across the street my attention was caught too. So I looked. She was under a stop sign.

  • Mandy P.

    Not true. Take the teachers for example. U of WI at Madison did a statistical analysis of WI public school teacher salary that showed that when adjusted for actual days worked, they were blowing away the pay and benefits of their peers teaching in private schools.

  • Mandy P.

    Exactly, Sue. The point is not that unions are inherently bad. The point, which is one that Ms. Scalia made, is that unions have over extended themselves to the point where they are actually hurting the industries the people they represent work in. A cursory glance at the problems in the metal industry and the car industry makes that pretty darned clear. The starkest comparison comes in the car manufacturing industry, where companies that still have their shop set up in union heavy areas have collapsed under the weight of burdensome union contracts and benefits plans. Then take a look at car companies who have set up shop in right to work states. Who’s thriving? Not the unionized companies, that’s for sure.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    My husband used to be a teacher.

    I’m sorry to say that, yes, I agree with you, Manny, and with Amy Alkon, as well. The unions don’t care about kids, and they do care way too much about power.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    People may have been doing better because the government was more encouraging towards small businesses, and we didn’t have the massive national debt and high taxes we have today.

    As one poster said, the old saying “You can’t get blood from a stone” holds true, here; the unions can strike, and demand more, and more (while, in the case of teachers, continuing to turn out bad product) but they will win no friends this way, and the whole thing will collapse when there really is no money left.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    If I read Joseph correctly, he’s saying, among other things, that unions will save us from Tuberculosis.

    This doesn’t really make a whole of sense to me, but there you are!

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Also, that they’re going to save us from losing our arms, and selling pencils in the street. . .

    I guess the fact that the unions once did good things means that they can never, ever be questioned, or criticized; no matter what they do, however society changes, whatever happens, so just shaddup and support the union!

    (Sorry, really not being civil, here. But. . . good grief!)

  • Joseph Marshall

    Having replied to Sue from Buffalo, I have a few more thoughts.

    Generally, I think that this issue of outlawing collective bargaining is but the start of a systematic effort to obliterate every entitlement and every regulatory activity in the United States. Our governor here in Ohio has made it pretty plain, though not explicit, that this is the agenda, as has the current Speaker of the House, who is also from Ohio. Not to mention all the fine folks in the Tea Party.

    It might succeed. I, for one, take the Tea Party’s views quite seriously. I wonder how many of you do here. And I shudder to think of how many of the voters in the last election really do, too.

    I would suggest that everyone here consider the implications for themselves if it does. For example, if your bank or savings and loan goes belly up and there is no FDIC or FSLIC to insure the deposits, everything in your checking account and whatever credit you are carrying from the bank is gone for good. How many of your bills could you continue to pay if you had to start a new checking account with a minimum balance tomorrow? Particularly if your workplace also does its business at the same bank.

    I know in my case. if it succeeded, I probably would die within 60 days, if not sooner. I am bipolar, on disability and on more other types of assistance than you want to know of. Every long burst of prose from me on these comment pages occurs in the middle of a manic episode. I’m in one right now of about 2 days duration. I am very expensively medicated courtesy of the Federal Government, but drugs merely reduce the mood swings, they do not cure them. I have never gone delusional when manic, but my capacity to resist this without drugs is clearly diminishing.

    I could go on but it would add little, waste space, and bore everyone. Every once in a while I manage to figure out that I’m manic and can stop myself, I have just done so, and I apologize for clogging up the pipeline for the last two or three days.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    The reference to turberculosis is especially puzzling, since the White Plague defied treatment for decades (sanitariums were about the only option for treatment). It was disease. Like most diseases, it just happened. Conservatives didn’t create it, honest!

    In the 1940′s, scientist Selman A. Waksman created antibiotics. Until then, nobody—union, non-union, what have you, had a completely effective treatment for it.

    If another, more deadly strain of tuberculosis does come back, it will be defeated by scientists like Waksman—unless, at that point, education has become so bad that no one has the knowledge to study diseases at that point! The way the schools are going now, that may well be the case!

  • Anonymous

    And yet poltifact confirms that state workers overall are making between 6 and 11 percent less.

    either way, we’re still talking about an overnight cut in salary of ten percent. People are going to lose their houses over this.

  • Will

    The bottom line is that we have sent our jobs, and our money, overseas. The rich will get richer but the middle-class and poor will continue to get poorer. Blame the unions if you want.

  • Will

    Why not?

  • Will

    Private/Catholic/Charter schools in our area have historically paid staff less than public schools. Is this supposed to be the fault of public schools that they provide reasonable salary and benefits? Or is this a problem for private/Catholic/charter schools that their pay and benefits are so low?

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Thank you Rhinestone.

  • Brenda

    Our family lives in Wisconsin and our child has Friday off so his teacher can use that time they would normally spend TEACHING KIDS to go and whine about losing money.

    I’ve lost the ability to form into words how disgusted I am at the actions of these teachers. In my opinion, they are giving the kids and education all right: That if you are a big enough bully, you will get your way.

    My friends in office are receiving death threats and union workers are going to their homes to intimidate them. There’s just no way this will end well, and the citizens of Wisconsin will appreciate your prayers.

  • Brenda

    Our family lives in Wisconsin and our child has Friday off so his teacher can use that time they would normally spend TEACHING KIDS to go and whine about losing money.

    I’ve lost the ability to form into words how disgusted I am at the actions of these teachers. In my opinion, they are giving the kids and education all right: That if you are a big enough bully, you will get your way.

    My friends in office are receiving death threats and union workers are going to their homes to intimidate them. There’s just no way this will end well, and the citizens of Wisconsin will appreciate your prayers.

  • Brenda

    Only if they fail to plan. They knew this was coming. And just exactly how much MORE money do they need? I’m broke: I’m paying for their benefits as well as mine. Right now, I’m unemployed, but I still have to pay taxes don’t I? When will it be enough? When will these greedy unions say, “Ok, we’ll give you a break”? I’m thinking NEVER.

  • Joseph Marshall

    I suppose I must do this. Given these replies and my own discovery of ongoing mania, which I made when I found myself writing about it, I reread the post I started with to see how much incoherent blather I laid down.

    I didn’t do too bad, though I guess I should try to write more plainly. It is perfectly plain that this is more than merely an attempt to stifle unions.

    I actually read and listen to what people in the Tea Party say, and assume that they mean it. Does anybody else here do that, I wonder? They say they want to disassemble every social welfare program and dismantle as much government as possible.

    The only real point of these moves is to knock down wages and eliminate health coverage for government employees. Everything else is just window dressing.

    Then, by attrition, as they must seek other work to hold up mortgage payments, and so on, you can reduce their number and eliminate “unnecessary” programs.

    As the Medicaid rolls swell, you can suddenly discover that it costs too much and you can knock down that next. Do Food Assistance after that and, all of a sudden you can simply eliminate an entire segment of State and County government.

    Then you can go after home heating and cooling assistance and let the utility companies start the mass disconnections when we get an exceptionally hot summer or cold winter.

    Having eliminated that and dumped more and more people into the limbo that remains, you can put even more downward wage pressure on any government employee who is left.

    Do enough of that long enough, eliminate all government regulation, and continue to outsource the private sector, and what you get is the type of America that we had before 1930.

    I don’t suppose that either of you are very interested in that, so I won’t bother to tell you what it was like.

    But I will say this. As someone who is severely mentally ill, lives on a disability stipend of $8000 a year which I have to supplement with Medicaid, Food Assistance, and Heating and Cooling Assistance in order to pay my rent and monthly bus pass, all of it matters to me. I doubt it matters to you, but it should.

    Why? I am about 30-45 days away from homelessness and absence of the medication that staves off delusion and despair. I will be so for the rest of my life. But most of you here are no more than 150 to 210 days from it, though you may not realize it. And that’s not all that much longer than me.

    I am very lucky. It might all have happened seven years ago. So I’ve obtained 7 more years to practice the Dharma, which prepares you at least once a day every day for death. So even if I have “the stars for a hat and frost for boots” I’ll do all right.

  • Jean

    I am a teacher in Washington State. Last year my contract was cut 10%. With my new reduced contract, I now pay more out of pocket to maintain my health insurance benefits–so my current take home pay is further reduced. I have been contributing 15% of my gross monthly income toward my retirement for the last 12 years. This was my choice, but in my district we are all required to contribute at least 5%. Employment in my district has been reduced from over 700 teachers to about 520 teachers in the last 5 years or so. My union has gone on strike once since I have been employed in this district, and the reason was to protest large class sizes. Our union has agreed to forfeit pay increases in two recent bargains. For years I have been a renter because I cannot afford housing in the Seattle area.

    I will add that one principal who evaluated me in my current position wrote that he felt I was one of the most gifted teachers he had observed in his 25 years in education. I do my job to the best of my ability everyday because I love my students and I want to be of service.

    I am not the enemy. I do want to be treated with respect, and I want a voice in contract negotiations. I am the only one who knows what I need, and what kids need to make our schools work.

  • Amy

    Actually Sue – in addition to eliminating all collective bargaining rights, he has also limited the ability to negotiate salary to no more than the CPI. If this was truly about the money, then there would be no need to eliminate collective bargaining. Gov. Walker could simply pass the portions related to contributions and leave collective bargaining intact. I’m not really sure about the damage that unions have caused. Are you refering to the 8-hour work day, the child labor laws, or possibly the laws related to work-place safety?

    Also, as this is a discussion about a legislative action related to spending, I’m not sure where your views on abortion are relevant. Also, not all Democrats are “abortion-loving”; nor are all Republicans all “pro-life”.

    This bill also has many other implications far beyond this issues of collective bargaining, yet all of the attention is being placed on that one aspect. It would be to your benefit to read the bill before you discuss it. It’s only 144 pages long. And for the record, I have read it.

  • dry valleys

    Yes, but you can’t talk about the British class system as if it were a matter of lords and ladies oppressing chimney sweeps and servant girls, like in some mindless TV show. The class system in America is even more sharply defined.

    Which you can attribute to Muslims, Al Gore, or Reaganomics, depending on personal preference I suppose…

  • Anonymous

    Jean, I don’t think you’re the enemy. In fact my best friend in the world is a very gifted, talented teacher. This is not a “teachers are the enemy” thing, this is a “share the burden” thing. My husband works in the private sector and hasn’t had a raise in close to four years, but our taxes have gone up, up, up because our schools (and on long island teachers are VERY well compensated) need to be able to pay the teachers 4% a year increases – and of course other public sector jobs have had increases as well. It’s pretty hard to pay for everyone else’s raises when we’re not getting ‘em ourselves, and this year our deductable for insurance skyrocketed, and our premiums went up $2500, so it’s not fun over here. At one point, realizing they would not be able to deal with a huge number of teachers grabbing their incredible retirement package and running (retiring at 75% pension, full benefits for life), we dealt with a tax increase that really busted some household budgets. Our “new” car is 9 years old. This isn’t some kind of “I’ll pit my struggles against yours” thing…I’m just trying to illustrate that what you’re describing is already very well known to the private sector employees. Seems to me it’s only banks and lobbyists who are doing well right now, but I don’t see how the middle class can handle being squeezed much more.

  • cgj

    “I am the only one who knows what I need.” Really? I wish I could use that line on my employer. “I am the only one who knows…what kids need to make our schools work.” Again, really? Not their parents, you. That is some impressive arrogance.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    At the rate things are going, parents are going to have to (gasp, shudder, aieeeeee!) homeschool, whether they want to or not, because the schools will be too busy protesting to actually teach.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    At the rate things are going, parents are going to have to (gasp, shudder, aieeeeee!) homeschool, whether they want to or not, because the schools will be too busy protesting to actually teach.

  • Sbb19
  • Will

    Our governor released a similar report regarding state employees. Then he admitted that the report did not compare apples to apples as far as education and job responsibilities

  • SO

    If you truely are a gifted and talented teacher then congratulations! Unfortunately, the union supported system treats all teachers the same regardless of the quality or lack thereof they bring to their jobs. If you want to be rewarded for being better at your job then some guy just “phoning it in”, you are out of luck. Unions fight for dregs of your profession just as hard as they fight for someone like you. That is what is philosophically wrong with the system, it is nearly impossible here in Wisconsin to get rid of “bad” teachers due to union constraints. It creates an unhealthy and noncompetitive environment of complacency and mediocrity.

  • Jenny S

    It is going on in Ohio, it is being reported, the union supporters are skipping out on work to scream and threaten.
    My husband is at work so that he can pay there salary and benefits, as well as trying to pay our own with what’s left over from a job that has had no pay raise in 6 years, we pay all our own insurance and retirement.

  • Jenny S

    Sorry – “their salary”.