Saturday, March 27, 2010


Dear Reader/Followers,

The bullshit tachometer has hit the red zone and my gaskets are blown - which may be good. Perhaps this idea may be described as "out-of-the-block".

IF the state REALLY wants this thing fixed:

1) They will pay EVERY teacher $50,000 to start. The individual districts will add whatever they need to in order to attract who they need to. Contract length will be negotiated teacher by teacher - upfront. This will allow for advanced degrees and achievements. The additional funding will be based, of course, on their tax base. There are NO school district boundaries except for busing. No school bus service? HART-line or parent carpool.

2) Tests are
established by the state and based on state standards/outcomes. Every student who passes the end-of-year test the first time will add an additional $100 (state paid) bonus to the teacher. Second attempt $25 bonus. After that nothing.

3) Students have NO attendance requirements after 6th grade. If they don't WANT to attend or get sick - no harm, no foul. All classes are performance based: once the student passes the end-of-year test they move to the next curriculum level or class. The state will establish curriculum - like they do now. Schools may add to it and promote any specialties which must also comply with the same state requirements. The state establishes curriculum "tracks" (college-bound, basic citizen, vocational). Students may move among them at will. Art and Music? (see sports below)

4) If the student feels confident they can schedule a time to take the test at any time - on a Saturday. The state will notify the student within one week if the test has been passed and the student can then choose the next course offered. Until the class actually starts? Vacation has been earned. If the student does not pass the end of the year test early - the student returns to class and must wait until the actual end of the year for another opportunity. After a third attempt - over the summer - if the student does not pass: that's it - really it - maybe the talent or skill just wasn't there. Choose another class and give it a shot. The curriculum includes an array of vocational offerings.

5) Once state graduation requirements are met the student is invited to the schools graduation ceremony - unless they have already matriculated to college or advanced trade/art school.

6) Administrators and counselors, freed of the associated behavior crap, get paid $50,000 a year. State bonus of $10 per student paid for FIRST time passing only. They proctor - with a teacher(s) the Saturday testing session.

7) Sports? Hell, they are farm teams anyway. Coaches are hired by the schools and paid by a fee the student pays. Limited "sport-ships" are provided for students too challenged to afford the fee. Students must display a state established level of "academic performance" as reflected by their end of year testing success. Coaches will have a vested interest in supporting their athletes academic development and the athlete will graduate with the abilities to succeed in college or life.

8) Every student will look to getting the necessary education in 1st through 6th (which will also have state established end-of-year-tests without the high school option) since they will be "empowered" with the control over their future education. Have a graduation ceremony here too - make it an accomplished step and invite them into their own future enthusiastically.

9) Special needs students and teacher will have a similar template which (if the state allows some degree of reasonable teacher input) will provide a more mainstream approach to student needs and less focused on the "entertain and house" mentality that it so ofter deteriorates to. This should allow for more sincere parent-teacher support and evaluation of the special needs community and less "letter-of-the-law" - "check-this-box" compliance.
(Admittedly my special-needs experience has been limited but personal.)

I'm sure to get this thing ripped apart and fully expect the "flaming" to begin but my gaskets are blown anyway and like I said I've had it with the bullshit - let the rubber hit the road.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


New candidates file for School Board.

Go to the bottom of the page!
We need to encourage, support, and fund these challengers.

The last figures I saw indicate HCTA alone represents 14,815 teachers and about 4,000 educational support personnel, such as clerical workers and aides.

We have the muscle to swing an election - do we have the fortitude to do it?

Friday, March 12, 2010


The state wants to cut school board pay.

Board member Jennifer Faliero predicted an "exodus" of school board members throughout the state if Wise's proposal survives the legislative budget process this spring.

But Candy Olson suggested legislators could also look at cutting their own staffs to help balance the budget.
Dear Board members,

You now feel our pain. It took about 2 and a half years but you now know how we felt when you took away our 2nd conference period but not our duties or responsibilities. You held us responsible for keeping up the momentum. You ignored our concerns. More money? Ha!

Ironic how you predict an exodus of school board members but think that your actions don't shrink the teacher labor pool. You whine that the legislature should cut their staff while cutting our support staff, you combine supervisor responsibilities instead of filling the open positions, and continue to expect more of your employees than you yourself are willing to expend.

Suck it up folks - Its time for you to be the role model - or step aside. Look at the past posts that document your behavior and response to your employee concerns.

With a 13% unemployment rate, a mayor who wants to increase the sales tax for a train of dubious need, a governor who wants another job, and a small business environment that is paralyzed with doubt about ObamaCare - the economy won't get much better any time soon.

We need leaders - not whiny politicos.