Saturday, September 27, 2014

This happened/is happening

Some of the kids at the Jefferson County high school where I work and at 8 or 10 of the other 13 high schools in the school district got wind of a proposal by the new conservative board of education to review and perhaps change the AP US History curriculum in our district. These students decided to walkout of school as protest. There have been stories all over the news.

The president of the board has suggested that the reason the students are walking out is because the teachers are manipulating the students to get them to do so. That is an insulting statement. Hell, honestly, it's a struggle to get most of the kids to turn in their homework on time. However, in addition to disliking homework, students want to be told the truth. They want to be told the truth so much that in addition to walking out, the students assigned themselves homework; the students made protest signs on their own time at home and brought them to school. Every single teacher I know wants the kids in class, but these teachers also support the students for standing up for what they believe.

The school board has also angered teachers in the district by implementing a pay for performance policy based on an evaluation system that a third party fact finder declared inadequate. The board ignored the the third party fact finder's findings. The board has refused to negotiate with the teachers' union. The board is misinforming the public when they say teachers don't want a pay for performance system. The truth is that teachers don't want a pay for performance system based on evaluations that aren't done in an equitable fashion. In saying that the teachers in our district are angry about a performance pay policy, the board is side-stepping the real issue. 

The real issue is that they're trying to break the union:

Saturday, September 20, 2014

This happened

Lately, the babies in the grocery store have been noticing me. It used to be I'd see them in strollers, passed out, head slumped to the side, suckling on a rubber pacifier, spearheading the charge for the worn out mom or dad following behind, pushing and steering, parent as both navigator and motor. Those babies never noticed me. But lately, the babies I've run across at the grocery store are alert and riding high in the grocery cart.

Last week, I was walking past the lunch meat cooler. And a baby was resting atop the cart in one of those portable baby bed buckets looking around. Mom was gone elsewhere. When the baby saw me look at him, he made a face. So I made a face back at him. The baby made another face. So I made another face. This went on for a short while. It was fun. I kept back a respectful distance, but eventually, I heard a throat clearing noise behind me. It was mom. I turned, surprised that I'd gotten side-tracked from my own shopping, stammered to the mom that "He started it," and turned and walked away.

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