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Posts Tagged ‘schools’

In the midst of our budget crises and schools having to let teachers go, other teachers are being paid to not work. Yes, you read that right, people are being paid to NOT work. This is so wrong. Ironically, I was talking to my principal just today about the unions and how hard it is to let go of an employee. My focus is typically on the teachers since I am one, but it’s not just teachers. School employees all have their own unions. In my district, we have the “certificated” union and the “classified” union. Two separate unions, but same general idea. One is for teachers (certificated) and the other is for the other staff members who do not have a teaching certification (classified). 

My administrator (principal) was explaining how the union typically finds loop holes which makes it difficult for the district to get rid of the teacher (teacher also means any staff member!). In extreme instances such as sexual misconduct, child endangerment, etc., the staff member is let go fairly quickly and without a whole lot of fuss. However, simply being a “bad” employee is a whole other ball game. For instance, the staff member first has to be put on a “Plan of Success” in which the school has a special plan of action to help that staff member become successful at their job. Actually, let’s simplify it. There is a whole lot of red tape and bullshit that goes along with getting rid of a bad employee. If the administrator happens to miss a deadline or any one of the other bazillion little details that s/he is required to meet in regards to the employee, this means that the union has found their loop hole. If an employee claims, “I didn’t know,” it becomes the administrators job to PROVE that the employee did know. This all sounds fine and dandy, but it is taken out of extreme by the unions. What is meant to protect the innocent becomes loop holes to keep the guilty. Wrong, wrong, wrong!!

So, my blogger friend at Stiletto’s in the Sand alerted me to the fact that there has been recent news about just this. I wasn’t able to read much before my blood was boiling. Following are some key excerpts from the LA Times:

About 160 instructors and others get salaries for doing nothing while their job fitness is reviewed. They collect roughly $10 million a year, even as layoffs are considered because of a budget gap. [What is wrong with this picture?!?!?! Someone call in the budget police NOW! Taxpayers, scream and throw a fit! Something needs to be done NOW about this!!!]

For seven years, the Los Angeles Unified School District has paid Matthew Kim a teaching salary of up to $68,000 per year, plus benefits…His job is to do nothing… At no time is he to be given any work by the district or show up at school…

Most cases take months to adjudicate, but some take years. Kim, 41, has persisted the longest..the school board voted to fire him for allegedly harassing teenage students and colleagues. In the meantime, the district has spent more than $2 million on him in salary and legal costs. [The only thing that I can say is that I don’t even make anywhere near $68k a year and I work my ASS off to make what I make!]

As far as I know, there are no employees getting paid to do nothing in our district. I sure hope not. As an employee, dead beat being paid to do nothing employee, these people should be completely ashamed. I can not comprehend what type of person is ok with sitting at home doing nothing and getting paid for it. Do they have no shame? How can they even hold their head up? This is wrong. However, the employees aren’t completely to blame here. Why does the district allow this to go on for so long? Is it because of the legal issues such as all of the mediations and working within the time frame of the court system or is because the district simply hasn’t made it a priority? Again, all I can say is that if I were a taxpayer in these areas I would be having a fit. Heck, I am having a fit and I don’t even live there! I do not understand how this can go on. 

Quick!!! Someone do something!

 

This isn’t a very well written piece and I know it. Deal with it. This makes me too mad to spend too much time one it. 🙂 

 

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  • This news flash cracked me up. I’m sure all of us in the work force have tales that we can share about that dreaded office refrigerator, but this was really over the top. 
  • I recently followed a link to Stilettos in the Sand’s blog and became an instant “convert” if you will. She is an American citizen living in Saudi Arabia due to her American husband’s job. She shares bits of her daily life, Saudi news, and Saudi lifestyle. I must admit that I have been intrigued with the Middle East since my ex husband first went to serve during the Gulf War in 1990. He is currently in Iraq serving his THIRD tour.  The movie, Not Without My Daughter , was released in 1991. It would be awhile before I could stomach watching it, but it was a wonderful movie that depicted the lack of rights of non-citizen women, or women in general, in the Middle East. 
  • I am horrified at what is happening to schools nationwide. Funding is being taken away, teachers are being let go, classroom sizes are ever-increasing, supplies are ever decreasing, the number of school days are being decreased. When does enough become enough?  
  • Seattle, Washington is letting go of approximately 170 teachers. 
  • West Contra Costa schools in California are losing more than 100 teachers.  Although the link is for West Contra, layoffs are taking place all over California. 
  • Rochester, Minnesota laid off 78 teachers. 
  • Here’s another article I found funny. At first, I thought it was cruel, but after reading the article and doing a Michelle Obama Google Image search, I have to admit that I agree with Iman that Michelle Obama is not a “great beauty.” After all, look at Iman if you are unsure of her qualifications on beauty. 
  •  While my dog will not willingly eat her own pills, she willingly gulped down the cat’s antibiotic. Come on!
  • I am a Dean Koontz fan and have began reading The Darkest Evening of the Year. Having been working on my mater’s degree, I haven’t had much time for reading during the last two years. Now that I am done with classes, I am trying to get back into reading for pleasure. 
  • I find myself pondering religion a lot lately. This is hard to put into words. On a simple level, I feel the deep “need” to get back to church, and yet I simply don’t want to. I feel like we have tried every church in this valley and haven’t found a church that is what I feel is true to what I believe the Bible is about – primarily, loving unconditionally. I hate the judgment and biases that are engulfed in the churches. Hate it. 
  • I moved to this valley in 2004. The whole county, just over 2,800 square miles, has a third of the population of the city that I moved here from. In my opinion, the whole county is basically a red-neck, country society. Ironically, each small town thinks it is significantly better than the next. I can not tell you how humorous I find this. In my eyes, the eyes of an outsider, all of the towns are pretty much the same except for one tourist type of town that actually has some culture. Of course this town is looked down upon because they are more liberal and hippie-ish if you will. Really, it’s all just funny. 
  • Everyone seems to be impacted by the economy or they will be soon enough. It seems that if one person happens to be in a stable job, their spouse is not. While I feel fairly secure in my job, my son’s father has lost his job which means that I have lost child support. Ouch. Since I had to fight for it to begin with, this means that if I do happen to find out that he becomes employed again, I will have to fight to have child support re-instated. This means attorney fees. Again, ouch. 

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*It is currently 93 degrees. Earlier in the week, the high was only in the 50s. There is something wrong with that in my opinion.

*The dog had emergency surgery this week. We were told to prepare for the worst. It has all ended well. She now has a 10 inch incision in her stomach. 

*My 5th grade boys freaked out about spiders twice this week while the girls could care less. 

*I went to a softball game this morning. That was fun. 

*Some of my students are begging me to teach 6th grade next year so that they can have me again. I taught them in 4th grade last year and 5th grade this year. I can not believe that they would want me for a 3rd year. 

*We got our preliminary state scores back (for the students) this week.  Our 5th grade students made a 65% increase in reading. That’s pretty amazing, especially considering how tough this year was. 

*I can’t get the dog to take her antibiotics without a treat, yet when I laid the cat’s antibiotic down on the bed so I could pry her mouth open, the dog came along and willingly ate it. WTH?

*A friend in Washington was told that she won’t be re-hired next year for teaching. All teachers with 3 years or less of experience have received pink slips due to the budget crises. That’s 83 teachers in her district. Meanwhile, my district is still trying to figure out what they are going to do. They are considering 4 day school weeks. 

*Government needs to get into the schools and see what is really happening instead of creating all of these regulations based on perceptions and cutting funding constantly. It’s not good for the kids and it’s not good for the future of America. We need to look at Japan and some of the other countries and get our schools straightened out. 

*Parents need to start parenting their children and stop being afraid to be the bad guy.

*I need to work on breaking my coffee addiction. It’s getting out of hand.

*I got my hair done today. That’s always a treat.

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dutch-bros-pic

I stopped by the local Dutch Bros to pick up an Iced Milky Way. Soon, I fell into an easy conversation with the guy working the counter. He asked if I had any fun plans for the weekend and then explained that, as punishment for partying, he would be spending Saturday cleaning his girlfriend’s garage, although, it “was worth it.” I learned that he is a student at the local community college and although he doesn’t quite know what he wants to do, he is leaning towards psychology which is what really got our conversation flowing. I mentioned that one of the biggest injustices of our schools is that we no longer have counselors and the conversation went on and on from there. It was an excellent conversation. He was very knowledgeable about the school system and today’s children. I think it was the best conversation that I have had in weeks and bits of it continue to replay through my mind. 

The greatest impact that the whole conversation had on me? The fact that he “started school in 1992.” That means that I am nearly old enough to be his mother. How did this happen??? I know that I am older than these young coffee bistros, but come on, old enough to be their mother??? Somehow, the fact that I have a 15 year old daughter, the fact that I have lived life, the fact that I have continued to age has escaped me. In my mind, I’m still 30. I am an adult, but I am not an aging adult which leaves me to wonder, just how old do these young adults think I am? Am I simply another adult face in the crowd that judges teens with contempt? Am I someone’s mother? Just another customer? Have I, in my years of living, lost my identity and simply become just another face in the crowd?

The irony is, that in the last ten years, I have truly began to live my life and discover who I am. Is it possible that as I have blossomed, I have also, somehow, become just another face in the crowd?

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That got your attention, didn’t it? LOL

I got my panties in a wad tonight. Without sending you to the post that I was referring to, let me say a few things:

1a. Just because you are 18 or 19 years old, you are NOT an adult. Sorry. You can’t even legally drink yet (in America…this whole post is to Americans unless it applies to other countries, too. lol) 
1b. Until you have moved out of your parents’ home and stopped depending on them to provide for you, you are not an adult. If you are 30 before you can make it on your own, you are not an adult. Don’t get me completely wrong here. I’m not talking to the people that have hit rock bottom financially, I’m talking to the people who have never stood on their own two feet. Your parents buy your groceries, do your laundry, clean the house (and your room!), etc. You are not a grown up. Start buying groceries, pay your parents rent, clean the house. Until you can move out and act like an adult, quit whining and throwing a fit about your parents’ rules. If you live in a dorm, you are still not an adult. Sorry. 
2. Just because you are an Eagle Scout, most of us don’t find you that impressive. Keep your values, but move on once you graduate high school…and then reteach those values to your children when the day comes.
3. Don’t make plans to be a senator, let alone a president, until you have lived life a bit. Learn about laws. Learn about the system. Do some internship or even get a job in the public sector (social work, schools, etc.) and then the political sector BEFORE you make that decision. I’m not saying disregard that dream, but make sure you really understand what it is about first.
4. I am tired of the right-winged Christians judging everyone without getting the facts first. I will not go to hell for this. I am sure that Jesus agrees with this. I find some of the movements a slap in Jesus’ face. We are to live by His example. I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where he disowned people because they were gay, prostitutes, sinners, whatever. No, He says to love the sinner. So why can’t you stop preaching against all of these people and actually find some LOVE for them. Maybe your loving them would make them give 2 cents about what you have to say and THEN they’d be willing to listen. Argh. Think about this!!! Love the sinner, hate the sin. Kind of like when your own children have disappointed you. You may be upset and angry with them and disapprove of their choice(s), but you still LOVE them and you make sure that they know this. Where is the love?
5. Before you attack the public school system, take part in it. Find out what the curriculum really is. Go to the PTO meetings and board meetings. Be an active member of the school and community. The public schools are ran by the community. YOU decide what is taught there more than anything else. Also, don’t judge the whole school on ONE bad teacher. I readily admit that there are some BAD teachers out there, but there are some amazing ones, too.
6. Martin Luther King Jr. was an incredible man who deserves to be recognized and celebrated.  
7. I will always be sad when I think of Princess Diana. She did not deserve to die…not that most people do, but you know.
8. Barack Obama scares me. He’s too smooth of a talker. I hope he’s a good president, but I don’t understand why everyone seems to be blindly following him. I really do hope he turns out to be as great as everyone seems to think he will be. Maybe, just maybe, he will be our next JFK.
9. 6, 7, and 8 really had nothing to do with this post, but I wanted to say them anyways.
10. (another one I want to say just because) My ex-husband, father of my child, and friend, is serving his third term in Iraq. Yes, his THIRD. No one deserves to be over there that many times. It breaks my heart. Once is once too many. Three? I just can’t even go there. Once, I guess I can see that is what you signed up for when you joined the military, but THREE? Three freakin’ times???? Come on already. Time to put an end to this BS (and please don’t tie this into Obama and how he will put an end to it…we don’t know that and only time will really tell). Yep, I’m skeptical.

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