Here’s some views outside of education

Coming from Swedish stock that includes Lutheran ministers, why would I send you to a Catholic Diocese website?

Because I love sharing information on those who are supporting workers’ rights.

Bishops across the country responded to Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki who had issued a Feb. 11 statement that “hard times do no nullify the moral obligations each of us has to respect the legitimate rights of workers.”

Thanks to our western New York readers who sent in the link. Also, I am hoping you’ll be able to read this essay. Who is Paul Christopher of Dunkirk and please take the time to read his views about seniority.

Funny how we had just asked the question about how do we get out our side of the story and a reader sent this in.

Thanks for reading and making this two-way communication.

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  1. Betsy Sandberg April 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    UGH! So sorry I can’t make this pdf more readable.
    Maybe I’ll have to just type them in.

  2. Betsy Sandberg April 7, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    Here’s the beginning….
    Our illustrious cost-cutting governor has been making an issue of using seniority as a basis for layoffs in the school systems.
    It sounds good, doesn’t it?
    Instead of all of those nasty,old (experienced) teachers. we’ll just keep the best! Great! I’m all for it! So is every one else! (Well, a lot of people anyway, probably a majority)
    There’s only one problem with this whole scenario. How do we determine who is the best?
    Starting with the law of averages, and just a little bit of logic, the more time one spends doing a certain thing, the better one gets at doing that certain thing. One could probably extrapolate that simple dictum to almost any occupation. So assuming that teachers are going to follow the law of averages, one would have to assume that the most senior teachers, on averages, are going to be your best teachers. So, I’d guess the issue here, as to when to use seniority might be involving the bottom and top 10to 15percent, at best.
    So now the issue becomes one of criteria, how to determine which teachers are best.
    So far, nobody has been able to come up with any reasonably objective set of standards.
    Using the law of averages again, one has to assume that at least some administrators would use their newfound flexibility to favor friends and family, best ornot, or to get even with people, best or not.
    We’ve all seen these things happen in every industry, and there’s noreason to assume it won’t happen in schools. To the contrary, it’s almost guaranteed to happen at least some of the time.
    And how about pay scales? Wouldn’t you have to assume that any administrator would be under pressure to cut costs, thereby making the most senior and most expensive teachers attractive targets for reasons other than skill or competency? So much for objectivity there. So I’d have to assume just those cases would make that 10 to 15 percent even smaller.

    What criteria can we reasonably use? Test scores? Well, that seems like a good one, but only if every teacher in every grade and every subjects uses the exact same material and methods. That would seem to me to limit the best from being the best, wouldn’t it, instead making the best the same? What about differences in the students? Wouldn’t one have to have some sort of scale on the quality of the students in each class to apply to the teacher’s rating?

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