On Thu, 28 Jun 2007 09:13:38 -0400, Cheryl Isaak
Whoever wrote this:
Congratulations on throwing out the baby with the bath water.
I get the impression that you know little or nothing about the history
of the labor movement. It makes VERY worthwhile reading!
Unfortunately, we have become so fat and lazy that we forget --
or never knew -- what unorganized workers went through in pre-union
days, not to mention the martyrs who were murdered for trying
to organize. Not to mention child labor - the "dark satanic mills".
Not to mention the infamous Triangle shirtwaist fire in New York City,
where hundreds of young women died because exits locked. Why should
it take these kinds of human sacrifices to arouse the public enough to
demand that selfish, greedy businesses install safety protections.
And that's in the good ole USA! Look at what can happen abroad! See
Back to U.S. labor movement: Does Sacco-Vanzetti ring a bell? Mother
Jones? Joe Hill? Molly Maguires? The Palmer raids?
To mention only a very FEW instances where people DIED
for the right to organize. Where workers' organizing groups
were attacked, beaten, arrested, hanged, as "anarchists", "radicals",
and so forth.
Truly, as a nation, we have an attention span of 5 minutes!
(Except for Paris Hilton)
Remember, even the Teamsters started out legit, and only later
became corrupt, culminating in the infamous Nixon-Teamsters-Mafia
axis of evil.
Googling "books on the history of the United States labor movement"
yields hundreds of sources.
Here's the introduction to just ONE such site, chosen at random:
"The United States has the bloodiest history of labor of any
industrialized nation on Earth. It is a story rich in human drama and
tragedy. It is also one of progress and hope. This is a resource that
teachers of United States history can use to incorporate our rich
social and labor history into their courses. Using the ideas employed
here teachers will increase student understanding of the American
economic system and the important issues we all face as workers today.
The concepts and lessons will build on each other so that at the end
of the school year the student should have a working knowledge of the
importance of labor in society. A guiding theme of this work is how
laborers have earned a voice in the workplace and increased their
share of the economic pie. Teachers should highlight the stark
contrast between today's working environment and the relationship
between workers and owners of the past."
If you truly want to "go back to the coathanger", as it were, and
have teachers underpaid and exploited as in the not-so-distant past --
if you think that kind of educator is good for our children -- then by
all means advocate abolishing teachers' unions.
OTOH, perhaps you could consider investigating and advocating for
change in areas that you might LEGITIMATELY object to?
(from a Malaysian web site)
"One such case was the instance when the "moral police" of an Arab
country chose to lock the gates of a girls dormitory that had caught
fire, on the grounds that some of the girls should not be allowed to
escape as they were not 'decently dressed' and had not covered their
heads with scarves.
The end result was the deaths of these young girls - but the 'moral
police' would presumably have defended their actions by saying that
the girls who died had 'gone to heaven' as their modesty was not
On Thu, 28 Jun 2007 09:51:40 -0700, Persephone wrote:
Spot On. Good post.
"With all their faults, trade unions have done more for humanity than
any other organization of men that ever existed. They have done more
for decency, for honesty, for education, for the betterment of the
race, for the developing of character in men, than any other
association of men." Clarence Darrow:
On Thu, 28 Jun 2007 09:13:38 -0400, Cheryl Isaak wrote:
>Nope - hope for the best in school and shop for a new school
>only way to bring the public schools back to excellence is school
>the end of the teacher's unions.
School choice is as natural as choosing a physician or a car dealer.
Wages are not based on "how important" the job is that someone does.
If they were, the highest paid person in the community would be the
teenage lifeguard at the local swimming pool
Wages are based on how easy it is to find someone to do the job. It
is difficult to find neurosurgeons, and easy to find hamburger
flippers. Once upon a time, it was easy to find laborers, so they
were paid low wages. They didn't like it and organized, extorting
those who would hire them. Thus, were unions born.
So, for most of the 20th century, you had to have talent or a union
card, but you didn't usually have to have both.
As it takes only normal body temperature and about four years time to
become a teacher * , they soon found the field flooded. Thus were
teachers' unions born.
Predictably, teacher quality (and give-a-shit factor) bottomed out.
Higher wages would only increase the flood and decrease -- hard to
believe -- quality.
oz, who thinks "professional union" is a wonderful oxymoron
*Go to any college, public or private, state college or research
university and check the records. The lowest SAT / ACT scores are in
the School of Education, both students and faculty. Some states (WA,
WY that I know of) are certifying teachers only if they get a "real"
degree with some courses in pedagogy, and not allowing degrees in
education to lead to certification.
Hard to believe that there is a more useless degree than psych / soch.
Since some psychiatrists are awful and some psychologists work wonders for
people, the latter degree seems pretty worthwhile.
According to Scott Adams, comparative literature ranks among the most
worthless. In of of his Dilbert cartoons:
Dilbert is on a computer and a fellow walks up behind him and goes:
Generic Guy: "Hey, Dilbert, would you mind stopping by my house after work
and seeing if you can fix my computer?"
Dilbert: "Sure. And while I do that you can be at my house cleaning the
grout in my shower."
Generic Guy (with a shocked expression): "That's crazy talk."
Dilbert: "Hey. I'm not the one who majored in comparative literature"
On the other hand, poetry will assuredly raise your IQ, even if it is
compared. There are no dumb subjects, but there are, most assuredly,
dumb people. I think Scott Adams was trying to be funny, not profound.
There are lots of courses that will make you a better person, then there
are courses that will make you a well paid person. A smart person will
try to do both.
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
Billy, ya' kinda followed the others sideways off the track here, my
friend. The original post, this thread, was not about quality or
direction of education, or education at all, .....the Major directed it
that way. One might wonder about his background and motives.
Many of those who were/are dependent upon the unions for their
survival, and for equity, were/are not concerned, nor had/have the
opportunity, for "courses".
Remember Poland and Lech Walesa?
This electrician, how many courses did he take? What was his
direction.....better or richer? I think neither.
There are many smart people who eschew "Higher Education", or who have
not the opportunity.
Tried the Green Bean Amandine recipe yet? Would go well with ribs.
Hell Mike, you're quite the self-made man, who was able to work the
system to get where you are, and screw the rest of the dumb bastards,
I'll bet you even thought Joe McCarthy did good things. Bustin' them
Guess you don't know much of the history of this country, or the
suffering that people suffered, particularly in the South. Maybe you
just learned your history from the sanctioned, sanitized versions, and
swallowed it hook, line and sinker.
Charlie, who had the first ripe tomatoes from the garden today, which
removed the bitter taste from my mouth, left there by Mike's post
In California, you need at least a BA degree and whatever it takes for
a credential (1 1/2 to 2 years of training).
Oz is one of the posters who claimed knowledge but would never reference
it. Take his opinions with a hand full of salt.
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
This post has glimmers of truth scattered through a bitter and
Having been through an education course*, of boundless boringness.
taught by a stereotype oldie complete with 1890's hair in bun,
and having heard more than once that education courses are
the pits, I'll grudgingly buy into part of OP's Jeremiad.
* On layoff from the studio one year, thought I'd take a course to
get an ESL adult teacher's credential, to make what I was already
doing evenings "official".
I will also agree that teachers should be expert in the fields they
teach, which means that the young teachers now being recruited
to teach scientific and technical subjects usually do not have
training and real world experience in those fields.
So maybe if teachers' salaries were equivalent to what a scientist
or technological expert could earn in their fields, maybe the Ideal
OP describes in several states could find a home in more states.
And maybe underpaid teachers wouldn't have to spend sometimes
thousands a year buying the equipment and supplies the school should
I never did see the good in having education curricula be determined
locally. You end up with Dover-style creationist merde at the worst,
as well as uneven resources according to race and income.
Whereas France. e.g. manages very well having every child in every
school in the whole country be on the same page on the same day.
I hasten to specify that GOOD American curricula allow for more
independence thinking and innovation and less ingest-regurgitate than,
say, Japan, where years ago (maybe it's better now) I visited a high
school where polite, blue-uniformed, regimented boys could read and
write but not speak a word of English.
As to how teachers' unions were born, I refer OP to my earlier
Jeremiad about the labor movement. Before unions, teachers
were paid shit, almost all were women (you notice men only started
entering the profession when salaries started going up!!!). and
teachers could be sexually harassed and discriminated against
and fired for no cause.
As a card-carrying non-elitist sow, I deplore the elitist attitude
toward the underprivileged organizing to equalize the playing field.
If labor hadn't organized, we would still be working 12-14 hour days,
6-7 days a week, from the age of 5 years old, under unsafe working
conditions. One reason that slavery never made much of an impression on
the industrial north is because industrialists realized that if you
bought a slave, you had a financial investment in them, whereas you
could work a free man to death and simply replace him/her at no cost.
Our working conditions today exist only because brave, desperate, people
put their bodies on the line and said, " no" to blood sucking companies
who are backed by our kleptocracy in Washington D.C..
It's sad that with the exception of the longshoreman's union, I can't
think of an other union that truly represents it's members any more.
Still, it's the only protection labor has from corporate exploitation.
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
That true, to the point where it's pathetic. Two years ago, I got a couple
of price estimates from plumbers for a pipe modification in my basement. I'd
had the exact same work done in my previous home for $500.00. The plumbers
quoted $1400.00 and $1800.00 for the work in the new home. One of the
plumbers had done the work in my prior home, and when I asked about the
price difference, he offered an explanation which should've earned him a pie
in the face, but I didn't have a pie available at the moment.
Through pure chance, a friend had once used a plumber whose main source of
work was commercial and residential construction, and who did some work on
the side. His price was excellent, and his explanation was that he was used
to working fast, and he did the same thing for his side work on weekends.
Why drag out a job when he'd rather be fishing? And, he considered his
customers to be smart people, so how could he charge for 3 days of labor
when a job obviously took 3 hours? Guys like this get work through word of
mouth. They don't need to be listed in the yellow pages.
Unfortunately, the guy had moved elsewhere, so I called the plumber's union
and asked if they could give me a few names of people doing lots of
commercial work. I was told to check the yellow pages. I said I didn't
believe in totally random choices. The thing on the phone said they didn't
normally connect homeowners with plumbers. I asked "Well, what DO you do?
This seems like a good place to shop for a plumber". To make a long story
short, I concluded that the union, in this case, does nothing at all.
Annoyed at this point, I pushed the project further down on my home
improvement list and forgot about it, until one day, the woman cutting my
hair said her husband was a plumber. I got his phone number for future
reference. The next day, the plumbing in question informed me that waiting
any longer was not an option. Her husband stopped by and quoted $200-$300,
depending on options that don't matter here. Done deal. I mentioned my
experience with the union, and he said the only reason he was a member was
that some builders won't hire non-union workers. And, certain insurance
benefits were good, but no better or worse (in principle) than those offered
by any other employer.
He agreed that finding the right people is pretty much a roll of the dice.
Schools are composed of three components.
My husband, a PhD in microbiology who taught at college level, wrote
grant proposals that were funded, and did research decided that his
true calling was teaching inner city high school students.
In every case it was the administration, non-union and POLITICAL that
was the cause of misery.
He was required to take an environmental science course despite the
fact that he taught this course for 2 years to education majors. He
could not get a waiver.
The district was so desperate for science teachers that they hired him
without the certificate as a temp and paid him about $17K per year,
which was 1/2 of what he had been making the year before. During this
time we had to pay for his education courses. Of course, we had to
move into the city and buy a house to meet that requirement.
After teaching (effectively) for 2 years without the certificate he
got his certificate and applied for a regular teaching position and
was put through an "urban preceptor" which was a phone interview by
administration in which they were supposed to determine IF he was
likely to be able to teach inner city kids. He failed the interview.
Fortunately, the principle of the school he was teaching at had the
power to keep him anyway.
It became very apparent that my husband was on the base wage track of
a teacher with an BS, not even getting the MS bump. It took the
unions a year fighting the administration to get them straightened out
that people who go from BS to PhD dont have to get the MS to get the
appropriate pay. They got his back wages as well as reimbursement for
the year he worked without health care benefits.
This coming year my DH is offering two new courses at his high school,
one in Biotechnology and one in Robotics. Students have signed up and
filled two classes of biotech and he gets to decide which he will let
in based on past grades and behavior. The school is already a
"science" magnet, but it is really on the move, thanks in large part
to my husband.
He almost didnt stick with his dream and the problem wasnt the unions,
it was the administration.
On Sat, 30 Jun 2007 01:02:09 -0700, Persephone wrote:
Obviously you are not a teacher. My husband is a high school teacher
for inner city kids. Many of these kids live in the chaos of drug use,
violent abusive parents OR, parents absent because of multiple jobs,
or, drugs, or, because they didnt want the kids to start with. these
parents are uneducated, dysfunctional, undisciplined and are producing
uneducated, dysfunctional, undisciplined children.
School is not where children learn discipline.
School is not where children learn respect for others.
School is not where children learn to get along with others.
School is not where children learn hygiene.
School is not where children learn "family values, etc"
School is where adults teach children to read, write, how to think and
what they need to be a good citizen and be able to get a job.
Teachers are not parents, cops, social workers, nurses, psychologists.
When everyone starts blaming the education of teachers let us not
forget that every state lets parents homeschool and the requirements
are almost non-existent.
"The only legal requirement in Wisconsin is that prior to October 15
of each school year you file a form PI-1206, Home-Based Private
Educational Program declaration.
Beyond that it is *recommended* that you keep 1) a copy of your school
calendar verifying a minimum of 875 hours of instruction and 2) course
outlines verifying that you're using a sequentially progressive
BTW, on their website one of the buttons is marked
"Homeschool Cirriculum Questions"
I dont believe most states require testing by the state to determine
if the children actually ARE learning anything.
In Wisconsin, the children who ace the SATs, get the National Merit
scholarship awards, win most of the science fair awards are from
public schools in the BURBS, the wealthier the burbs, the better the
At this inner city school where my husband teaches science he
assembled a bunch of kids, and only those kids passing in their other
courses, only those kids who behave, and he coached them to taking
first in both the national team and individual spots in their
division. His kids beat the kids from the wealthy suburbs, beat the
kids from private schools.
The key was he would not tolerate any trouble from any of them.
Choice schools get the same benefits, they CAN expel any trouble
makers. In public schools teachers have to teach the good students
and the bad ones throwing punches, spitting, using foul language and
doing everything they can to disrupt the classroom.
So whomever it is thinks the problem is the teachers, think again.
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