Wednesday, May 09, 2007

April 2007 California Educator Magazine

(Said in my best Ronald Reagan voice): There you go again.

In the front is Boss Kerr's column, which I'll thrash in a moment. In the middle are a few articles about vocational ed, a neglected field that I support completely. At the end is the genuine union crap--who's on strike, what bills the CTA is sponsoring that will never become law, how they're wasting your dues money and the money they extort from me, etc. I'll focus my comments only on Babs' column.

"This testing mania, driven by federal mandates, is the biggest challenge to finding the joy of teaching and learning in our classrooms."

Really? Driven by federal mandates, you say? I guess it doesn't at all matter that California's STAR system--Standardized Testing and Reporting--predates the No Child Left Behind Act by several years, and was signed by a Democrat governor, who received it from a Democrat-controlled legislature. If NCLB were to go away tomorrow, California's testing regime would still be entirely in place.

It amazes me how this broad can lie as boldly as she does. Clearly I have nothing but contempt for her.

"It's time to erase the one-size-fits-all doctrine of NCLB that is punishing students and schools based on a snapshot of test scores on one single day."

You don't like one-size-fits-all, Babs? Then how about freeing me from the tyranny of having to pay for your one-size-fits-all (but no one well) union?

What does she fear from testing? Does she think California's teachers are incapable of teaching students? Is she afraid that objective testing will show how rotten we are? Yes, obviously this is the woman who should lead California's teachers, a women who apparently holds these teachers in such low regard.

There are plenty of other idiocies in her column, but I see no reason to address all of them. You get the flavor of them by what I've quoted above.

If you're a California teacher and you're still a union member, shame on you. If you're thinking that the CTA doesn't truly represent your thoughts or best interests any longer, you should go amble through the web site of the California Teachers Empowerment Network.


Unknown said...

Amazingly enough...we hear the same things here in Florida. Our FCAT test predates the NCLB only by a year or so. Which amazingly enough came from a Republican held Congress and a Republican Governor named Bush, Jeb Bush.

Again, like I posted yesterday, thankfully I don't have to waste money by paying union dues by living in the state of Florida. I've been on an assessment rant over at my blog for the last few weeks myself ( It's early, but head over there and read the latest entry regarding our new governor and the chats he's having with teachers from around the state. There was actually a good idea by one of the teachers that I wish all these states would adopt. Testing at the start of the year rather then mid-year.


Anonymous said...

Is it true? In California teachers don't need to be a part of the teacher's union? Lucky!!!!! Over here in Montreal, we have no such choice - I only wish.....

Anonymous said...

NCLB is a totally voluntary option for states.
Why doth Babs bitcheth?
Her Dem croonies no doubt consulted with the powerful 800+ statewide union bosses before signing on to the deal.

Darren said...


No, we don't have to be members of the union. We do, however, under state "fair share" law, have to pay the fraction of dues that the union says it spends on collective bargaining and representation.

Last November I received a rebate check for over 40% of my union dues from the previous school year, meaning they admit to spending over 40% on politics and the like.

Law and Order Teacher said...

I am in Ohio and we do have to pay dues to the NEA. We have to pay dues to the Democrat Party through the NEA. Proposals made to curb or at least identify political spending are vehemently opposed by unions. It isn't hard to figure out why. Just trust the leadership to spend our money in our best interest. They would never spend it to justify their phoney baloney jobs by paying off the Democrats to keep them both in power. Check the size of the salary of the president of the NEA. The numbers turn my stomach as I look at my pay stub. Unions in this country are pretty much worthless. I've been a union member for over 30 years and frankly I am ashamed to be affiliated with them.

Anonymous said...

"It amazes me how this broad can lie as boldly as she does. Clearly I have nothing but contempt for her."

Is shouldn't amaze you....Uncle Joe talked about the big lie years ago.

Anonymous said...

Let me make sure I understand this. They can't force you to join the union, but you have to pay union dues even if you don't join the union?

There are no circumstances under which a teacher's union could ever get one penny of my money.

Has anyone ever taken this issue to court?

Anonymous said...

I've been a union member for over 30 years and frankly I am ashamed to be affiliated with them.

So then don't be. Why would you stay a member of an organization you detest?

Darren said...

Curious, you understand correctly. Remember that this is California, a so-called "fair share" state. The law isn't just, but it *is* the law.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Curious, in Ohio it is in the union contracts that you must pay your "fair share" fee, or union dues. You can opt out of the union but still have to pay your "fair share." I figure that I can cause a lot more problems in the union than out. As Darren said, the law isn't just, but it is the law.

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Darren, I'm a California teacher and I'm a union member. I really have no choice: They're going to take nearly $100 out of my paycheck for dues every month whether I agree with their policies or not. One district I worked in gave me the option of channeling my dues to a non-profit agency instead of to the union, but not the current district. Thus, I am a member by default--or is that by duress? So, it's not shame on me, my friend, it's shame on the union for its extortionist tactics.

Unknown said...

"his is California, a so-called "fair share" state."

I moved to one of those--from a right to work state. I'm not happy about that, either.

Anonymous said...

I am an agency fee payer in California. I have to opt out each year, but it's worth it. I received $400 back last year, in a check, in my hand.
I'll keep doing it for the rest of my career.
Problem is that the union will not allow agency fee payers to 'spread the word' about opting out, so many teachers have no idea that they can do this.
Contact the National Right To Work website for details and sample letters to send to your unions local, state, and NEA.

BTW - Reg Weaver makes about $465,000 a year for being the Boss of Bosses (NEA PREZ). Perhaps this astronomical salary represents some financial reparations for being an African slave descendant.
Or maybe he's just a pimp.

Darren said...

Anonymous, I don't know what you mean when you say that the union won't allow us agency fee payers to spread the word. How do they stop us?

California Teacher Guy, you're allowed to opt out of the union if you so desire. It's the law, even here in California. If you play by the rules you'll have refunded to you about $400 each November. To find out how, please visit the web site of the California Teachers Empowerment Network. Specifically, see