Friday, February 26, 2010

Teachers Union claims power to poll at Jimmy Carter Middle School.

The Albuquerque Teachers Federation President Ellen Bernstein, in response to my question about whether the Union had been told it could not conduct surveys (at Jimmy Carter Middle School), indicated that she was not aware of the restriction, kind of;

"If the principal was restricting our right to conduct surveys I am sure the reps would have let me know."
A second email to her, seeking a more definitive response, and suggesting that maybe he office should investigate a little deeper, has not been answered.

There is trouble at Jimmy Carter. Just yesterday another teacher, this one a substitute, has been alleged to have inappropriately handled a student, link.

Let me begin by writing that I have no personal information about this specific incident, and the following is surmise based on a quarter of a century of teaching experience and my attention to developing trends.

Teachers who lose their tempers with students (assuming that this is what happened) are manifesting their frustration with a situation that holds them accountable for a student's behavior, yet gives them no authority over the student. It would be like telling your babysitter that you intend to hold them responsible for any damage your little dear causes in your absence, yet they are not to do anything by way of punishment to the child for any of their misconduct.

The leadership of the APS, in order to avoid litigation, has stripped teachers of their authority over students. They have effectively eliminated any punishment, even for deliberate misconduct.

In the rubric that APS Supt Winston Brooks recently delivered to JCMS and presumably to all schools, defiance of a teacher's reasonable and legitimate command, is among the "least serious" of misbehaviors, and therefore prompts the least consequential response.

In short, there really is no reason for a student to feel that they have any obligation to obey adults at school.

The very first rule is; you have to obey the rules.
And, there has to be a meaningful consequence if you don't.

If students are not expected to obey adults, how are adults supposed to moderate students' behavior?

All of this would come out in an impartial Climate Survey. The district did one last year; the survey revealed huge problems that the district then kept effectively secret.

There is a need to do another Climate Survey, this one to include questions that get to the heart of the problem. The district will not do the survey because it will quantify their own incompetence.

And the Union won't do one because ...?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

because they ARE IN BED WITH APS