Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Since our last newsletter, two major pieces of legislation have become law. On June 30th, Governor Brown signed AB 114 ( http://toped.svefoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/StateBud-TrailerBillAB114Text063011.pdf ), which prohibits laying off any teachers. As such, school districts have been given mandates that will be difficult for many to carry out. Educated Guess writer John Fensterwald says there are three ways that AB 114 steals power away from the local district.
First, it requires that each school district “assume the same level of funding as last year and maintain staffing and program levels consistent with that. Legislators are dictating this even though they admit there’s a good chance that revenues may not bear that out.”
Secondly, AB 114 eliminates the option that “districts would have over the next 45 days to make staff adjustments if they view this as necessary. Instead, the legislature is suspending that capability under the law for the next year. As School Services noted, ‘This provision is clearly designed to protect union positions, even if the district cannot afford to pay for the services.’”
Finally, the new law will “suspend key provisions for one year of AB 1200, under which school districts must self-certify that they can balance their budgets in the current year and one and two years into the future. Those that cannot must work with their county office of education to align revenues and spending. This year 13 districts were negatively certified in the latest filing, indicating they could not balance their budgets this year and next. An additional 130 districts – nearly one in seven – acknowledged trouble balancing their budgets two years out. AB 114 would require districts to assume the same revenue as this year and prevent county offices from seeking evidence of financial stability for the next two years.”
There seems to be little doubt that CTA is behind this bill, which ultimately could spell disaster for many local school districts. The California School Boards Association is already starting to talk about counter legislation.
Regarding the other major new law, back in April, we wrote the following:As of this writing, SB 48 very well may become law in California. According to the legislative analyst, this controversial bit of legislation “would require instruction in social sciences to also include a study of the role and contributions of Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with disabilities, and other ethnic and cultural groups, to the development of California and the United States.” To read the exact wording of the bill, go to http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_0001-0050/sb_48_bill_20110329_amended_sen_v98.pdf
Last week, Governor Brown signed this CTA-supported bill into law. Hence, it would appear that curriculum and textbooks will undergo some rather interesting changes and SB 48 will most certainly be the topic of many a staff development come the fall.
One other legislative note from last week: The hotly debated Parent Trigger law, which needed some clarification, was addressed by the state Board of Education. The changes put forth were accepted and it would appear that this law originally signed into being by Governor Schwarzenegger in January 2010 will now proceed pretty much in tact.
Longtime LAUSD sub Rob Schmidt, has taken on some important work. He has been documenting cases of students who abuse teachers, and has created several videos which deal with this very sad issue. Thus far, Bill O’Reilly (Fox News) and John Phillips (KABC Radio) have covered Rob’s stories. A Los Angeles Television station has green-lighted a project based on the videos and would like to hear more personal accounts from teachers. So, if any of you have recent stories related to this subject or know someone who does, Rob would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org His website is www.RobSchmidt.org
Periodically, the National Council on Teacher Quality focuses on a given school district. In June, it was Los Angeles’s turn. They reported,
Probably the most jaw-dropping finding is LAUSD's approach to teacher raises. While all American school districts give raises to teachers who head back to graduate school, LA's approach is a new one on us. In LA, there's actually little incentive to earn a honest-to-goodness master's degree, but instead teachers accumulate what are deceptively termed "credits," which teachers earn for visiting the opera or the zoo during their off-hours. No wonder that so many teachers have reached the top of the pay scale in LAUSD--decidedly unlike any other district we've seen.
Is this really very different from the way your district handles teacher raises? (Perhaps this would be a good topic to discuss on the CTEN blog - http://www.ctenteachers.blogspot.com )
In any event, to read more about the study, go to http://www.nctq.org/tr3/consulting/losangeles.jsp
Also, in an article I wrote for City Journal - http://www.city-journal.org/2011/cjc0707ls.html - I contend that class size does not have an effect on student achievement. I suspect that some of you will take issue with my position, and invite you to post any comments on the CTEN blog for all to see - http://www.ctenteachers.blogspot.com
Regarding our recent CTEN Survey Monkey poll, while many of your responses were pretty much what we had expected, one result however, was a bit of a surprise. Sixty-one percent of respondents said that they were full dues payers. Considering that almost 72 percent identified themselves as Republican or Libertarian, we would be interested in learning why those respondents would choose to stay in a union, paying for politics that don’t reflect their views.
As always, we at CTEN want to thank you for your ongoing support. Please continue to provide feedback so that we can continue to keep you informed, provoke discussion and meet your needs. Thank you very much.
Posted by CTEN Staff at 10:56 AM
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
NEA’s reprehensible sexual agenda goes on unabated and the MSM is MIA.
At a time when teachers’ unions are battling for their collective bargaining lives, courtesy of Governors Scott Walker, Chris Christie, John Kasich et al., it’s hard to go a day without reading a newspaper account of the latest union news. However, there is a story involving the National Education Association that has flown under the mainstream media radar.
I could not find a single MSM account of a talk given at a UN conference on March 3rd where Diane Schneider, representing the NEA at the “Commission on the Status of Women” said:
“Oral sex, masturbation, and orgasms need to be taught in education,” Diane Schneider told the audience at a panel on combating homophobia and transphobia. Schneider, representing the National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers union in the US, advocated for more “inclusive” sex education in US schools, with curricula based on liberal hetero and homosexual expression. She claimed that the idea of sex education remains an oxymoron if it is abstinence-based, or if students are still able to opt-out.
Comprehensive sex education is “the only way to combat heterosexism and gender conformity,” Schneider proclaimed, “and we must make these issues a part of every middle and high-school student’s agenda.” “Gender identity expression and sexual orientation are a spectrum,” she explained, and said that those opposed to homosexuality “are stuck in a binary box that religion and family create.”
A woman wants to teach children as young as eleven about oral sex, masturbation, and orgasms in a public school setting and it’s not news!!??!!
A little digging finds that Ms. Schneider is a high school health educator and very active with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in upstate NY, where she is its co-chair. She is also proud of the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) that she advises in her high school. Her presentation at the UN conference was part of her training from the NEA’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Trainer of Trainers.
The NEA’s LGBT Trainer of Trainers??
After my initial outrage, it quickly came back to me: the NEA has had a perverse agenda for many years now, taking pride in the fact that they are at the forefront of a movement to sexualize pre-pubescent children. With the MSM silent, I wrote in 2005 about GLSEN founder Kevin Jennings and his relationship with the country’s largest teachers’ union. In Outing the NEA , I wrote that
…at its 2004 convention the National Education Association gave its prestigious Human Rights Award to Kevin Jennings, the founder of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN). This is the group that presided over the infamous “Fistgate” conference held at Tufts University in Massachusetts in March 2000, where state employees gave explicit instructions (about “fisting” and other forms of gay sexual activity) to children as young as 12. The conference was secretly recorded and can be heard here. The contents are extraordinarily vile.
Unfortunately, “Fistgate” was not an isolated incident. On April 30 of this year GLSEN held an event at Brookline High School in Massachusetts, and distributed an obscene booklet to hundreds of middle and high school students. With headings like F**kin’, S**kin’ and Spit or Swallow?, it describes various sexual practices that can only be described as perverse.
Mr. Jennings’s career as a sleazy activist has never suffered – not even with his support of the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), an organization dedicated to the joys of pedophilia.
In fact, he was promoted. Currently, he is President Obama’s hand-picked “school safety czar.”
While it is imperative that we address collective bargaining and its attendant evils, we must not lose sight of the fact that a teachers’ union is pushing a sordid agenda and is involved with people whose values many Americans find repulsive and abhorrent. Maybe one day the MSM will take notice.
Posted by CTEN Staff at 11:07 AM