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:


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