Isn't this why everyone was so pissed at the Catholic Church?

March 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Are you kidding me?, News 

A drunken middle school teacher forces her students to dance with her as she “grinds” her bare bum against them.  Oh, and it’s caught on video by the students.   This sounds like grounds for dismissal, right?

“We told her, Miss Nelson, please pull up your pants’, and she did, but then they fell down again and she held them there,” the eighth-grader said, also noting her teacher did not appear to have on underwear.

“She was kinda grinding, like, putting her butt against you,” the student said.

Reports show Nelson had a blood-alcohol level of 0.26 and later ran from the school to a nearby community center where she was found passed out by a pool.

Apparently this wasn’t the first time she came to work drunk:

In a separate incident in October 2006, reports indicate Nelson failed to show up for a third-period class at Seven Spring Middle School. A school resource officer found Nelson passed out in her car surrounded by bottles of wine.

Instead of just suspending pending criminal action, the school district is moving her to another school pending a decision by the school board!

District administrators say Nelson remains on administrative leave pending a decision on her future by the Pasco County School Board.

A recommendation on how to discipline Nelson will be made during an April 21 school board meeting. The decision on whether or not to terminate her employment will ultimately be left up to the school board.

And finally:

She was ordered to change schools and undergo a substance abuse program, but remained employed with the Pasco County school district.

Merit pay, an anathema for teachers’ unions?

February 17, 2007 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Are you kidding me? 

It seems simple. Someone does a great job and he is rewarded – typically with more money in a capitalistic society. If he does a poor job; he is not rewarded. In many facets of business and society, it works brilliantly. Common sense tells us that creating a such a sytem would motivate any employee, including teachers:

Bush seeks teacher merit-pay funds

President Bush wants more money in the 2008 budget for a fund that encourages performance-based pay systems for teachers — a request that will no doubt feed into the larger debate on Capitol Hill about how best to attract, create and retain effective teachers.

The administration is asking for $199 million for its Teacher Incentive Fund, which was created in 2006. The fund provides financial incentives for teachers and principals who improve student achievement in high-poverty schools and helps to recruit top teachers to these schools. Rewards are left up to the states to decide and can include bonuses or raises.

Dangle reward. Do well. Receive reward. It’s not climatological science! We’re taught this system as very young children even before we enter school. A reward is often a motivator for good behavior, completing chores, kissing Great Aunt Ethel. For children entering school, grades become the reward; though some teachers have been known to give out candy and trinkets to motivate their students. Public school teachers are well aware of this cause and effect response.

However, public school teachers are union members and the rules of the motivation system somehow do not apply.

The top teachers union has criticized the fund.

Reg Weaver, president of the National Education Association, recently said the setup “is nothing more than a merit-pay system, and merit pay hasn’t worked wherever it has been tried, for the most part.”

Far from spurring teachers on to greater effectiveness, extra bonuses for some and not others simply “creates tension” between teachers and kills any teamwork, he said.

“It doesn’t work and it’s not going to do anything to attract and retain quality teachers,” Mr. Weaver said. What will work is getting teachers involved in the decision-making process, giving them a safe and orderly school and a decent salary, he said.

My question is, what does motivate our public school teachers to do their best? If it’s pride in their job and students, then why would attractive salaries be a motivator? Reg Weaver is wrong and his positing otherwise is a glaring show of the disconnection between teachers’ unions and reality.