Last edited by Kandahar; 03-10-11 at 05:17 PM.
Are you coming to bed?
I can't. This is important.
Someone is WRONG on the internet! -XKCD
For example, I recently proposed a way to strengthen teaching, by aligning comprehensive teacher evaluations with systems of due process. The proposal lays out a fair and expedient process to identify, improve and -- if necessary -- remove ineffective teachers.
It starts with rigorous evaluations -- the kind that many AFT unions are negotiating with their school district counterparts through the collective bargaining process. The next step is a time-limited, but real, improvement and support plan for teachers who need help -- also developed and implemented through labor-management cooperation. The final step is a hearing or adjudication process. All of this ensures that, within a finite period of time, teachers will be evaluated regularly based on agreed-upon standards of what they should know and be able to do, will receive help if they fall short of those standards, and will be removed from the classroom fairly and efficiently if they simply aren't cutting it.
We have begun working with administrators and others to fine-tune this proposal, with the goal of implementing it in schools and school districts quickly. And the best way to do this will be through the collective bargaining process, with frontline educators and school administrators sharing responsibility for this important undertaking.
This is but one example of the improvements that have come about in our schools by giving classroom educators a voice, and a vehicle through which to strengthen teaching and learning. From adapting the school day or year to allow for more instructional time, to maintaining reasonable class size to maximize that time, to securing wraparound services that ensure students' basic needs are met -- teachers and their unions are using the collective bargaining process in ways that help kids, boost the teaching profession and promote the public good.
In the end, it's a question of what kind of country we want. Do we want a country in which individuals are powerless, and hard-working people are denied the ability to earn decent wages and benefits? Americans resoundingly say "no." Yet attacks on workers, their unions and their rights continue to spread. Unlike a Colbert monologue, denying the ability of working people to improve services and secure a better life is no laughing matter."
Randi Weingarten: Workers' Rights and the Public Good
Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb