Union busting in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Superintendent Frances Gallo will fire every teacher and administrator at low-performing Central Falls High after the teachers’ union refused to accept a reform plan that called for adding 25 minutes to the school day, tutoring before and after school, eating lunch with students once a week, submitting to more rigorous evaluations, attending weekly after-school planning sessions with other teachers and participating in two weeks of training in the summer. The union wanted extra pay for extra duties.

On Mish’s blog, a local says the town, which has a median income of only $22,000, is siding with the superintendent.

Teacher salaries at the high school average $72-78k. Apparently 50% of the students at the school are failing all of their classes, and the graduation rate is also under 50%.

. . . This is yet another example of unions digging their own graves by refusing to negotiate or accept reasonable terms.

In a better economy, demanding more work for the same money wasn’t considered “reasonable,” but perhaps expectations have changed.

Via Instapundit and Business Insider.

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Comments

  1. In a better economy, demanding more work for the same money wasn’t considered “reasonable,”

    Is that a joke? Or have you never spent time in corporate America or small businesses?

    Happens all the time.

  2. In my many years in the private sector, I was a member of the Newspaper Guild (union). We never considered more work for the same money “reasonable.” That’s changed with the implosion of the newspaper industry: The Guild has accepted wage cuts, unpaid days off and layoffs. Reality bites.

  3. I guess the question is whether teachers are paid to put in a set number of hours, or to educate children. They are working the number of hours, but not with a great deal of success.

    If the Guild put in the required number of hours, but didn’t get enough work done to publish the paper, should the newspaper pay them more to get it done?

    The job isn’t getting done, so the community is outraged that the teachers want more money.

    I recommend you watch Dr. Gallo and a state union leader debate on a local news panel program. The link: http://www.wpri.com/dpp/on_air/newsmakers/newsmakers-central-falls-teacher-dispute

  4. i will say that the teachers’ pay was a little ridiculous compared to the average pay of that town. and $90 an hour? wow! in my district, extra pay ranges between $20 and $28.

    that being said — my district is using the same model as that district — the whole race to the top crap. this is the first i’ve heard of a district actually firing 100% of the staff — or even 50%, and it’s making headlines. i’m sure she’ll find plenty of applicants (newbies) to fill those 74 positions.

    but, what happens when these firings become common place and we have a teacher shortage? what happens when there are no more freshies right out of college, who can be molded and shaped into teach-to-the-test zombies?

  5. Julia, do you believe that the fired teachers would rather take jobs in the community at the prevailing, average wage?

    I rather believe that if teaching offers a wage which is 2 to 3X the average wage, the supply of teachers will not dry up, even if they must teach a little longer.

  6. Urbanteacher says:

    How does lengthening the school day at an underperforming school improve education? If what’s being done is not working, why do more of it?

  7. I don’t know if I believe that the average teacher’s salary is that high… I would like to see evidence. Does that figure include layers of administration?

    I teach at San Francisco State University in a physical science, have a Ph.D. from a top university, and I barely make $60,000. Cost of living in S.F. >>> anywhere in Rhode Island.

  8. Mish says “This is yet another example of unions digging their own graves” but it seems to me that this is a case where the students will be made to suffer.

    Meanwhile, from the corporate world, we see two trends:
    - demanding workers do more work for less money
    - demanding consumers pay more money for less product
    Naturally, they portray both of those as reasonable and normal.

    This has the inevitable result of rich corporations, and communities where the average income is only $22,000. It’s corporations, not teachers, who are making those townspeople poor.

  9. Roger Sweeny says:

    jab,

    A salary of over $70,000 dollars is not unusual for someone with a lot of seniority in a “difficult” system around here. Most can probably file tomorrow for a pension above $50,000. That helps explain why they were unwilling to compromise.

  10. Miller Smith says:

    Everyone, just do a demographic examination of that school district. The issue is the students and parents. Why not go ahead and hire $20,000 teachers to teach those kids? More expensive teachers are just a waste of time and money.

    Get it?

  11. “Rhode Island Superintendent Frances Gallo will fire every teacher and administrator at low-performing Central Falls High…”

    (Downes): “students will be made to suffer.”

    Maybe not.

    “The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. School days, I believe, are the unhappiest in the whole span of human existence. They are full of dull, unintelligible tasks, new and unpleasant ordinances, and brutal violations of common sense and common decency.” –H.L. Mencken

    “It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wreck and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty. To the contrary, I believe it would be possible to rob even a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness, if it were possible, with the aid of a whip, to force the beast to devour continuously, even when not hungry, especially if the food, handed out under such coercion, were to be selected accordingly.”–Albert Einstein

    “Several studies of maltreatment by teachers suggest that school children report traumatic symptoms that are similar whether the traumatic event was physical or verbal abuse (Hyman, et. al. ,1988; Krugman & Krugman, 1984; Lambert, 1990). Extrapolation from these studies suggests that psychological maltreatment of school children, especially those who are poor, is fairly widespread in the United States….” –Hyman and Penroe,
    Journal of School Psychology.

    (Downes): “from the corporate world, we see two trends:
    - demanding workers do more work for less money”

    You mean, like, longer school days and years and no pay at all for students?

    (Downes): “- demanding consumers pay more money for less product”

    You mean, like, higher taxes and lower SAT scores?

    (Downes): “This has the inevitable result of rich corporations, and communities where the average income is only $22,000. It’s corporations, not teachers, who are making those townspeople poor.”

    Unions, even “public sector” unions, are private 501-c(5) corporations.

  12. cranberry,

    no, i don’t think teachers will want to take jobs at the prevailing wage — and who wouldn’t want to get paid 2-3 times the average.

    however — everyone who is being fired is working in a school that is “failing at educating” their students. who is going to hire a teacher that got fired for being an “unsuccessful educator.”

    i say this as someone who works for a district that will be doing the same over-haul in 4 out of its 21 schools. if they fire 100% of staff at each of those buildings (2 of which are our high schools, 2 of which are elementary schools) we will need to replace 250 people.

    don’t you think a stigma will be placed on those teachers that are fired? fired for being deemed unsuccessful? i think it would lessen their chances of being hired, at the least.

    and logically if these teachers are so terrible, we wouldn’t want them back in the system, screwing up kids at some other school, right? we’ll need “distinguished educators” to replace them. successful teachers. or else we just begin shifting all the “crappy” teachers around.

  13. and malcolm, who do you propose should pay the students? how much will they earn? will they earn based on completion, retention, mastery, application, critical thinking skills, grades earned? who will decide that? wouldn’t paying students mean higher taxes?

    or, parents could just give their kids allowance. which would be more normal and realistic.

    i will agree with your one quote — education was meant to level the playing field. equal chances for everyone, and all. except now we don’t want equal chances. we want equal outcomes. and that just screws the whole thing up.

  14. Except for eating lunch with the students and the two weeks of summer training, my school does all of these things. The extra time in the day was added in the mornings – a zero hour. Before and after schooling are paid positions based on volunteers and need. We also have “Summer School Now” – in which kids who fail a core course have to go to after-school for the 6 weeks they failed to make up the work. I’m in TX, so we don’t have the same union presence as in other states. (Right to work state.) Our test scores are slowly inching upwards.

    However, whenever districts or schools mention these types of changes, I’m always interested to see that rarely do they talk about implementing any particular curricula, with so much data available about curricula which does work in these cases and scenarios. Also, they rarely talk about teacher training. A bunch of poor teachers planning together is very different than bringing in a professional who can teach teachers the best methods for teaching low-performing clientele. These are two things they don’t do at my school either.

  15. You’ve hit on the solution. Keep up these policies until the entire nation has a median income of $22,000 per year. Oh I forgot. Reformers just want to bust TEACHERS unions. The big boys behind them would love to pay everyone else a living wage. If teachers really loved the kids, they’d voluntarily commit professional suicide, because after their unions are gone, corporate America will enthusiastically give everyone else a raise.

  16. (Julia): “malcolm, who do you propose should pay the students? how much will they earn? will they earn based on completion, retention, mastery, application, critical thinking skills, grades earned? who will decide that?

    Parent Performance Contracting addresses all these issues.

    (Julia): “wouldn’t paying students mean higher taxes?”

    No. It would mean lower taxes and better overall education system performance, eventually. The one complication is the overhang of students who currently attend unsubsidized independent or parochial schools, and homeschoolers.

    Fundamentally, my suggestion is to institutionalize the “You cut; I choose” method for dividing a resource. Take the NEA/AFT/AFSCME cartel’s representatives at their word when they assert that pre-college education requires X years at $Y dollars per student-year. Say: “Okay. Then it will be impossible for parents to accomplish the task for less. Give parents a chance, for (say) 2/3 of the regular-ed per-pupil budget.”

    Please read this one page Marvin Minsky comment on school and this article on artificially extended adolescence by Ted Kolderie.

  17. CU Student says:

    The median income of the surrounding area is only $22,000.00? Even the most talented teachers would have trouble countering the experiences that economic hardship brings on a family. With an unemployment rate of 12% maybe we could look at how the surrounding community situation is contributing to the academic performance of the students.

    Under the turn-around model %50 of the staff can be hired back, this might be an attempt to use the situation of the school to break up the membership of this union.

  18. In my many years in the private sector, I was a member of the Newspaper Guild (union). We never considered more work for the same money “reasonable.”

    Key word there is “union”, which is not the norm in either corporate America or small business.

    I agree with those who talk about the average wage of the town. That’s not the point. But if they have to do more work for the same wage, welcome to the real world.

  19. Miller Smith says:

    Why 25 minutes and not 30? Why such an odd number rather than a more common block of time like a half hour or an hour?

    Answer: Federal Labor Law.

    See, the present teaching time per day is 7 1/2 hours for 2 1/2 hours short of a 40 hour work week, thus making teachers exempt from the full protections of the Federal Labor Laws that would require overtime pay for every hour over 40 per week.

    This super is a dirty dog.

    The union could have shamed her with a counter offer of 30 minutes extra a day. She would have refused since she couldn’t get the extra work out of the staff for nothing…she would be required by federal law to pay for the two weeks in th summer and all after school work as well.

    The union didn’t play the PR game well here. They could have ground her face in the dirt and looked good. The super trying to explain why the union wanted 30 instead of 25 would reveal her dirty move to the public.

    Plus her move is a violation of several state and federal laws anyway, so the union will win this one. It is this dirty super who is behaving like she is above the law, not the unions.

  20. This story brings me back to one I think of often. I taught in Berkeley, California in the mid 1960′s. We had an inspiring superintendent, Neil Sullivan. We were integrating the schools then. At a faculty meeting, Sullivan asked the teachers to add 20 minutes to the school day so that the scheduling could work better. We all voted to do it. Right then and there. No extra pay, of course. How times have changed.

  21. Miller Smith says:

    Freedman, the addition was not to just the lenght of the school day for students within the present 7 1/2 hour day for teachers. Rather it was an additional 25 to the 7 1/2 to a 7h 55 min day for teachers.

    The teachers could not have resisted an additional 25 minutes for students within the regular 7 1/2 day. What would be the point? They still would only work 7 1/2 hours and still had their planning period-which would be longer by the fraction of the 25 min.

    My duty day is from 7:15 to 2:45. Student school time is 7:45 to 2:25. We could add 25 min of class time easy and not mess anything up for teachers at all. No, Freedman, this super is pulling a dirty deal.

    25 min in a 4 period A/B day schedule would be an addition of 6 min and some odd seconds per class. More classes per day would be even less added per class. Just exactly is this super claiming that a few extra minutes per class would do for the students? Has she made any claims? Exactly what is the point she is trying to make with this silly few minutes per class?

  22. Miller -
    Unless the added 25 minutes is tacked on as an extra remedial period… our union is in negotiations for a new contract and one of the issues is an extra 30-minute remedial period at the elementary level.

    Stephen -
    Do you ever bother trying to find new quotes or are you always going to hang your hat on the couple you repeatedly post as a response?

    The “more work, same pay” argument -
    Plain and simple folks, times have changed. State and local budgets have imploded and everyone is feeling the bite. There is an ebb and flow in economies, and the days of constant raises are gone for now. You can be as idealistic as you want about “fair” pay, but the districts don’t print their own money. The union seemingly being satisfied with the district’s performance is disgraceful.

    My guess is that if the superintendent is able to successfully navigate the legal waters of firing everyone is that she will offer jobs back to those teachers who were successful. Whether she offers them the same pay or reduced pay, though, is the question.

    My suggestion to the union – I also work in significantly low-income district, and we’ve had plenty of disagreement between the admin and union recently over contract negotiations. Guess what… the more our union complained (picketing, letters to the editor, etc), the more the public sided with the administration. If the union wants to prevent the firings, they need to come up with an alternative plan that will address the issue of underperforming teachers and sell it to the public in a positive light.

  23. It sure is a good thing the people being paid to educate the kids have lots of artful rationalizations why they’re not responsible for the job not getting done.

    Not quite as good as actually getting the job done but all those artful rationalizations have served, for decades, to keep public anger at bay.

    That’s got to be worth something. Right?

  24. Not only are they piling on the hours, but taking away their lunch break once a week too? What is the point of all that? How does eating lunch with the kids improve academic performance?

    And, when does one get grading a planning done if you’re in school all the time?

  25. Pay the teachers a lower salary or by the hour. Then, pay overtime when needed. Maybe they can get punch cards. That’s how they ran things at the grocery store where I worked. Leave professional pay levels and responsibilities to those who work in a profession.

  26. Miller, where are you getting the 7 and half hour work day from? I don’t know of any public school in the state (except charters) with a work day longer than 6 and half hours.

  27. Unions need to make some concessions in these difficult economic times. If they don’t they’re going to look even worse than the NEA is already making them appear – stubborn, obstinate, and narcissistic. Not desirable trademarks in the public eye, especially in some states where unemployment approaches twenty percent.

  28. Roger Sweeny says:

    FWIW: Central Falls is not a town out in the boonies somewhere. It is part of the Providence metropolitan area, basically a northern extension of the city of Providence, old but not looking particularly slummy. The Providence area is not doing well economically.

  29. Just for the record, Central Falls teachers are AFT, not NEA. And as one of the most densely populated square miles in the country, the city is in rough shape, even by the Providence area standards. Central Falls is also quite different culturally from the city of Providence, not merely a northern extension. The state took over the schools years ago, and they are now run through an appointed Board of Trustees, rather than an elected school committee.

    As a side note, the mayor also has problems, currently being investigated for allegations of corruption.

  30. Regardless of the law (and I don’t know what the law is in this case) the super has now killed whatever chance she had to help improve that school. Will her bad judgement effect her career?

  31. Miller Smith says:

    Mike, the school day for students is 6 1/2 hours. Staff contracts for 7 1/2 hours. 180 days for students and 192 for teachers.

  32. Roger Sweeny says:

    mike,

    Thanks for the correction and additional background.

  33. It is amazing how difficult it seems to be for unions and a good number of union members to understand how things look from the perspective of the average joe. At most workplaces, more work for the same or less pay has been normal for a long, long time. Many people – both blue and white collar – are currently doing the same amount of work that it once took 1 1/2 or two people to do for the same money they always made. Plus they are footing more and more of the bill for their benefits. Also, pretty well everywhere except union shops, anyone who makes upwards of 50K is salaried and the idea that someone who makes around 80K getting overtime is ridiculous. And there’s certainly no sympathy in most workplaces for not getting a job done well. Many people have lost jobs over poor results even when the result of factors beyond their control, so union’s obsession with retaining job security regardless of performance looks unfathomable to the rest of us.

    I think most of us understand that teaching is more important and more difficult than other kinds of work. And I think that the public would be very supportive if unions were saying, “we are willing to do anything and everything humanly possible to give kids a good education, we just ask that we be granted good pay, some flexibility and maybe some extra perks like nearly free healthcare in return.” However, what the public is hearing is, “we want more pay, lots of perks and never to be asked to change anything we’re doing or give any more than we’re giving – even if the job isn’t getting done.” That’s a message that isn’t going over well and the public is finally pushing back. Now all we need is to start pushing back against the byzantine and corrupt management systems which are doing more to ruin education than even the worst teachers are. But given how entrenched the interests of the unions and management are and how unwilling to change they are showing themselves to be, we may well be a nation of dunces long before that happens.

  34. rebeccat: I think it is the sheer number of concessions here. If you can show teachers what they can do to be more effective, most will go for it. Maybe additional summer PD or after school time or an extended day. But all of it at once? And if the median income of the area is really $22k, you’ve got some stubborn issues there to solve that all the after school meetings in the world won’t touch. Are your students even eating regular meals? Roll in a few changes, see if they work, tweak or abandon as the data indicates. Aren’t we supposed to be all rabid over RTTT data-driven education?

    By the way, pet peeve: it is perqs — short for perquisites. Perquisites can make one perky, but they are not the same thing. And we really don’t get many. I have a so-so donut hole health plan and pension that replaces social security payments. That’s about it — no paid vacation, no tuition reimbursement, no Costco membership. Public perception IS a problem. I read an editorial recently that railed against the school district for spending money on swimming pools and tennis courts. We have neither; the students use the local Y. On early release days when we get a humane hour for lunch, we are told not to eat out in the community lest we be seen — apparently, we don’t deserve lunch at TGI Friday’s like anybody else.

  35. Bill Leonard says:

    Lightly Seasoned, it seems that you need more seasoning in the real world.

    You don’t get many perqs? Gee, that’s tough. Most people in the private sector don’t, either. Of course, most folk in the private sector don’t get 2.5 months of summer off, plus every holiday, plus 10 days at Christmas, five days around Easter, and another five days as some sort of midwinter or early spring break (I’m speaking here of what happens in the public school systems in my section of California).

    The district doesn’t make swimming pools and tennis courts available to you at taxpayer expense? Gee, that’s tough, too.

    If your working existence is so dismal, why don’t you get out of education and do something else? But quit whining.

  36. Bill: I meant to complain about fallacious public perception, not my working conditions. Was that not clear? It’d be the kids using athletic facilities, not me. Could not care less.

    In any case, I’m glad my husband works in the “real world” and gets perqs!

  37. Miller Smith says:

    How about the bottom line? If you refuse to pay for it, then how much is it worth to you?

    You want something from teachers for free, so it must not be worth much to you. So why fuss over something so worthless-by your own words-that you won’t pay anything for it?

  38. It’s a false assumption that the public is dissatisfied with teachers.

    Dissatisfaction might be justified and I hear complaints all the time.

    But the fact is that teachers and teachers’ unions get very high approval ratings in current scientific polls.

    Education is polled to be a very high priority among voters and a high majority of those polled do not blame teachers for our current problems.

    Maybe that will change during the budget crisis, but right now, most people really like teachers.

  39. Lightly Seasoned writes:

    “On early release days when we get a humane hour for lunch, we are told not to eat out in the community lest we be seen.”

    It’s those petty indignities that bother me the most.

    Administrators have a tendency to treat teachers like children.

    It wasn’t very long ago that teachers were not allowed to have telephones in their classrooms. They couldn’t be trusted not to make private calls during school hours.

    I’ve never been bothered by the low pay. It’s having to forget I’m an adult come every September.

  40. Miller Smith, just before I read your comment, I read a Wall Street Journal article, “More Cities Weigh Chapter 9 Filings.”

    “The seldom-used part of U.S. bankruptcy law gives municipalities protection from creditors while developing a plan to pay off debts. Created in the wake of the Great Depression, Chapter 9 is widely considered a last resort and filings under it are more taboo than other parts of bankruptcy code because of the resulting uncertainty for everyone from municipal employees to bondholders.”

    So, what happens when the cities run out of money? When there really is no extra money?

    The median per capita income in Rhode island is $21,688 (in 1999). The median household income is $52,755 (2007). [http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/44000.html] The cities in Rhode Island are financially stressed: (http://www.woonsocketcall.com/content/view/123743/1/).

    “You want something from teachers for free, so it must not be worth much to you.” I’d hardly call $72,000 to $78,000 “free.” I suppose this year and next, we’ll discover what the bottom line really is.

  41. Math Teacher says:

    Perhaps communities should pass local ordinances that regardless of collective bargaining, limit their local school districts from paying public school teachers more than the median per capita income of their immediate town or municipality.

    Ergo, the teachers referred to in this story should max out at $22K per year, and their household income at $57K. Their responsibilities should increase as mandated by Superintendent Gallo and they should undergo a pay cut to make them no better off than the families of their students.

    Really… why should teachers’ income exceed that of the families they serve, especially when they are employed in low-income communities?

  42. Robert Write wrote:

    > Administrators have a tendency to treat teachers like children.

    Har! And why should they not?

    Is the continued employment of the administrator a function of the competence and energy of the teachers? No!

    Good teachers, bad teachers or indifferent teachers the administrator sails along pleasantly insulated from those bothersome considerations.

  43. Lightly Seasoned, you were perfectly clear, at least to those of us who know how to read.

  44. Roger Sweeny says:

    Miller Smith,

    I am surprised that you will insist on paying for medical care after you hit 65, because “you want something … for free, … it must not be worth much to you.”

    Most everybody loves getting things for free.

    However, I think you are right that people show how much they value something by how much they are willing to pay when they have to pay. The Superintendent is obviously saying that, the way things are now, he doesn’t think he is getting 72-78K of total value from the a lot of the teachers at CFHS.

  45. Miller, are you from Rhode Island? Unfortunately the website that posts teacher contracts is down, but I’m trying to find evidence that the teachers’ work day is 7 and half hours, and that they work 192 days a year.

  46. Math Teacher, nice straw man you’re erecting there! Really, congratulations!

    Rhode Island has a $427 million budget deficit for next year, with 13% unemployment. (http://www.boston.com/news/local/rhode_island/articles/2010/02/03/ri_governor_seeks_huge_cuts_in_local_aid/) “The plan would eliminate about $135 million in state support for cities and towns and cut millions meant to support local school districts. Those funding cuts would not include previous reductions that Carcieri, a Republican, proposed for the current budget year, which lawmakers have not yet approved.”

    A severe recession, with record foreclosures, layoffs, long-term unemployment, declines in real estate value, cuts in benefits and wages for private sector workers, and battered savings, doesn’t necessarily mean that the public will support increases in public employees’ wages.

    From the ProJo article: “The turnaround model allows the district to hire back no more than 50 percent of the old staff.” This is not an environment in which you want to look for work. Many school systems are laying off significant numbers of teachers.

  47. Math Teacher says:

    Thank you Cranberry….

    In my own small district we are anticipating a 2.3 million dollar shortfall and are indeed facing layoffs, increased class sizes, pay cuts, benefit caps, etc. The district is trying to float a parcel tax (which has never been passed after multiple attempts, and unlikely to again this time).

    Meanwhile our district-level admins proposed a pay increase… for themselves. They planned to eliminate one admin position and take some of that savings and split it between two other admin positions to compensate those poor souls for increased work load…

    Our own local electronic bulletin board went crazy with community objections, and the proposal was taken off the table. My point is that while teachers may be in the 50-75K range, administrators, at least here in California, are generally well into 6 figures. And they have secretaries, and quiet comfortable offices; and they “sail along pleasantly insulated” from much of reality, blacking out quite a bit of what it takes to work with kids. (Very good point Allen…)

    While teachers seem to be taking an awful lot of heat these days, the waste in education is at every level, and it grows more concentrated and more inefficient as you travel up the food chain.

  48. Richard Aubrey says:

    The guys who get to be union leaders do so by being more delusional than their competition in the elections. They get the votes.
    Some years ago, attending a school board meeting, I saw the local EA prez get up and cry an outraged river about the teachers’ loss of free reserved tix at football games ($3 to the rest of the peasantry) while the district was having financial problems.
    After the meeting, I commiserated with him. “I know you have to say that stuff….” at which point he interrupted me and kept me from saying, “….and looking like a freaking idiot, but it’s part of the job, huh?”
    He said, with passion blazing from his eyes, “No, it’s important!”
    People like that don’t care much for, if they are aware of, the real world. The problems the district was having in Central Falls would not be relevant, if the union leadership deigned to worry about it.

  49. I’m not defending administrators. The larger the school system, the more administrators it will support, whether or not it makes any sense. Also, in states in which most authority is concentrated in the superintendent’s hands, hiring more administrators decreases his (her) workload.

    In Central Falls, both sides are playing hardball. I don’t think the economic circumstances give either side much choice.

    I haven’t even mentioned pension plans. (http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/02/pew-study-shows-trillion-dollar-state.html)

  50. no paid vacation

    What do you call Christmas break, “ski week” (and if you don’t have that, you get extra days throughout the year), spring break, and the sick/personal days each year?

    Please. I’m a teacher. Your utter ignorance of your own “perqs” is revolting.

    it is perqs — short for perquisites.

    Oh, and you’re wrong about that, too. It is “perk”, not “perq”. You are correct that it’s short for perquisite, but find a dictionary sometime and use it. Aren’t you an English teacher?

  51. We could fix this very easily. Let’s have vouchers for students. The money per pupil follows the pupil and not the Union. Then the parents can pick which school they would attend. If a student needs more help at lets say a spanish school then they can go there.

    We need to shut down the Dept. of Education and NEA.

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  1. [...] that fire underperforming teachers and close failing schools. Obama praised the decision to fire the entire faculty and staff of Central Falls High School in Rhode Island as part of a turnaround plan, the New York Times [...]