Friday, November 12, 2010

Jefferson County educators fighting for no changes!

Talk about denial!

The latest activity by some Jefferson County teachers makes it abundantly clear – some of the school district’s educators definitely are part of the problem.

Louisville’s teachers want to repeal or seriously strip back House Bill 176, a law that finally put a small amount of accountability into the schools in Kentucky. Instead, the transparent desire of Louisville’s educators is to return to the same old, status quo system where accountability is a joke and absolutely nothing of major importance happens to adults in the schools that don’t ‘carry the mail’ for their students.

Jefferson County educators whine that what is needed is more teacher training and local control. Superintendent Sheldon Berman, who attended the teachers’ rally, fusses that the key to turning around his schools is to invest in the existing teachers.

Well, the Kentucky Department of Education’s Receipts and Expenditures Excel spreadsheet for 2009-10 shows the Jefferson County Public School District already has one of the highest per pupil revenue rates in the state, ranking eighth at $12,625 per pupil. That’s thousands of dollars higher than the state average rate of $10,335.

If more training was the answer, why didn’t Jefferson County already take advantage of its extensive dollars and local control to make that happen before HB 176 came along?

But, instead of spending all that extra money on his teaching staff, Berman is squandering it on a busing plan from hell that forces five-year olds into one-way rides to school of well over an hour.

The teachers also whine that the kids need stability. Well, not the Louisville schools’ kind.

The stability argument is a red herring. We are seeing examples all the time in other states were kids successfully transfer to charter schools and even private schools. That is obviously a huge change for the children, yet many kids actually thrive because of it.

And, if stability really is an issue, how does Berman reconcile his comments at this teacher rabble-rouser event with his busing fiasco? Talk about disrupting a child’s stability!!! And, the family and neighborhood stability, as well.

What kids need is a school with an adult staff that really cares about them, cares about academics (not some vague, other ‘values’ that don’t matter if kids don’t get academics) and which puts the students first instead of what works best for adults in the system.

Bottom line: Unwittingly, the latest Jefferson County teacher protest action shows that too many Jefferson County educators want to put adult convenience first, ahead of what works best for kids. That adds to the overwhelming evidence from all sorts of testing that if Jefferson County is allowed to keep a status quo in its schools, students will continue to suffer.

1 comment:

Eternal Pessimist said...

Jefferson County schools need to rethink everything they are doing from teacher compensation to the horrible busing plan that is most likely causing children to dislike school more than usual. It makes no sense to bus children all over the place when they have schools in their own neighborhoods and teachers should be held accountable to a certain extent for how well children are doing in their classrooms.