Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It’s Time for Teachers to Grow Up: Guidelines for Teacher Conduct and Reform

It doesn't take a genius to figure out Public Education is a horrible mess and teachers are largely  to blame.

Any teacher who is not prepared to follow the same behavior standards he or she insists students follow does not belong in the classroom. It’s time for every educator to ponder what if society had the same kind of zero tolerance expectations of teachers that they impose on students.

Let’s consider the following questions.

1 – How would a teacher react if attempting to present a lesson had students shouting to drown out the lesson?

2 – How would a teach react if a student was mad at his or her school decided to stay home or hang around outside the school building raising a fuss then provided a fake doctors note or absence excuse for not being in school?

3 – How would teachers react if they couldn’t go to and from their parking lot into the school building and to their classroom without having mobs of angry students shouting at them and calling them names swarming all over them?

4 – If students did not think they were being treated fairly, how would teachers expect their students to address their gripes?

5 – How do teachers expect students to accept dealing with rules, discipline decisions, and grades on assignments that might seem harsh, unfair, or that they don’t agree with?

6 – Do teachers feel it is fair to grade students on their performance in the classroom based on objective or professional standards that assess the students’ progress in their classes? If “yes” explain why teacher object to being paid on the basis of their performance in the classroom? If “no” then should not students be given higher grades as they go from one year to the next? First graders would all get F’s. Second graders would get D’s. Third graders would get C’s. Fourth graders would get B’s, and then fifth grades would all get A’s then retire to middle school where they’d be guaranteed A’s all the time!!!

This is a very simple straight forward quiz. Is it any wonder that public school teachers as a whole are failing to meet their obligations so poorly. It’s time for their supervisors, the taxpayers to take the board of education to their seat of knowledge and whack them into shape.

1—No state should excuse teachers’ absence for labor protests unless their contract specifically allows for union or association reps be excused in advance to attend to professional association or union activities in which case the union should be held responsible for the cost of paying the substitute teacher.

2—Clear policies regarding teacher’s use of sick leave must be clearly articulated with harsh penalties for teachers who provide false documentation of absence including being fined, suspended or dismissed.

3 – Teachers or any citizens who prevent the legal conduct of private or civil employees or elected officials to do their jobs under the pretense of protest activities shall be subject to laws regarding disorderly behavior, harassment, coercion, assault and battery dependent on the severity of the offense.

4 – Teachers or any other citizens who disrupt public meetings or legislative assemblies who continue to disrupt such proceedings after being called to order will be removed, arrested, and prosecuted by all applicable laws.

5 – The state, local jurisdictions, and school boards must provide appropriate forums to involve teachers in the decision making process. Meetings should be held in as open a format as possible with specific rules governing when operating in confidential or executive sessions are appropriate.

6 – No teacher shall be compelled by law or school system policy to join a union or pay any dues or association fees without the teacher’s explicit written consent.

7 – State and local authorities and school boards shall suspend any union or representative body that interferes with the normal day-to-day conduct of school business or official meetings. Teachers will lose representation for a period of no less than the end of the current budget cycle. Upon completion of suspension, teachers will select new representation or re-elect their previous representative body.

8 – Teachers’ promotion, retention, and compensation shall be based on due-process procedures where appropriate regulations regarding such proceedings are clearly articulated. Grounds for immediate termination must be clearly established including criminal activity, insubordination, gross neglect of duty, deliberately providing false or misleading information to school officials, parents, or students.

9 – Tenure based on seniority not clearly defined performance standards will be abolished.

10 – Teacher compensation shall be based on degree of qualification, student performance, and overall contributions to the school and its functions.

11 – Clear standards which indicate matters or teacher malpractice shall be instituted, published, and distributed to all parents. Ones applicable to students shall be presented to students in an age appropriate manner so students clearly understand what they should do if they feel teachers are expecting them to do something inappropriate.

The following policies will help improve the quality of public education but still cannot change the reality that public education in its current form is a government run monopoly. Communities, local and state governments must continue to explore providing the public more options including charter schools, vouchers, tax credits, or other forms of compensation for families who opt out of government run schools. No effort to compel private or for-profit educational outlets to unionize shall be enacted. Educational concerns shall operate on a “right to work” basis.


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