Monday, February 15, 2016

Prevention and Intervention of Workplace Bullying in Schools Prepared by Catherine P. Bradshaw, Ph.D., M.Ed. and Kate Figiel, Ed.M., Johns Hopkins University

Go to the link and download the report.

Did a War on Teachers Lead to New Shortages? By Guest Blogger Feb. 5, 2016

Thanks for having me, Rick; long-time listener, first-time caller. I'm going to sound off this week about school choice and teacher quality. To kick things off today I've asked my friend and collaborator Katharine Strunk from the University of Southern California to help me think through some pressing questions on teacher-related reforms and teacher shortages. So, off we go:
After years of struggling with budget cuts, public school districts are finally emerging from recession-induced constraints on expenditures. Until very recently, news headlines from across the country bemoaned school districts being forced to resort to extensive teacher layoffs. But now we hear the happy news that districts are hiring again and we need teachers. WE NEED TEACHERS, except now there are none to be had! Suddenly, it seems we are in the midst of a massive teacher shortage. (See here to read the sounding of the alarm by The New York Times.) How can this be?
How can this be? This is a good question, and one that has a lot of folks speculating about potential causes. Today we want to think about just a few of them, and we want to start with the one getting the most press: Teachers are unhappy, they're leaving the classroom, and it's all because of all the reforms we've layered on public schools and teachers in the last decade or so. In fact, google the words "war on teachers," and the search results display news items, blog posts, speeches and other commentary on the high-profile policy reforms to the teaching profession taking place across the country. The line of thinking tying these changes to teacher shortages goes like this: the shortages "are resulting amid school reform initiatives that have evaluated teachers by standardized test scores, and/or reduced collective bargaining rights, and/or forced teachers to administer a mountain of standardized tests to students and teach to the test, and/or suffered inadequate funding."

Despite the fact that many reforms have only recently occurred, and continue to develop alongside other major changes to the education landscape—the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), for example—stories abound of their impact on teachers and teaching. Many come from teachers themselves, some of whom have aired what amount to public resignation letters explaining why they no longer can work in public schools. 
To read more, click on the following link:

Monday, February 8, 2016

This website listed below  has the information to contact the justices and urge them not to vote against us in the Friedrich court case.
Here is a brief synopsis:
The case is a real threat to workers, so we have two choices.  We can agonize or we can organize. .  The entire body of professionals which incorporate all unions must be involved in the process.  This really is an issue that affects everyone.  This is not just a union issue.  What is at stake is the right to collectively bargain with employers.  There are so many people who work in so many industries across this country that will be impacted by this decision.  I hope people realize this.  The decision will turn states into right to work states without any redress if this is allowed to take place.


Call these people!  Write these people!  Do what is necessary.  Todney

State of Connecticut publishes teacher evalutions

What has happened to teacher privacy?  I don't see any other profession being scrutinized as heavily as American educators!  I am sure there are plenty of malpractice lawsuits going on with hospitals and health care professionals,Where is that data?  How about the profession of law?  There are plenty of African American and Latino citizens that have been subjected to the wrong side of justice.  Where is that data?

America’s Ruling Class vs. All Nicholas Short

Sitting back and observing the current civil war happening within the Republican party should come as no surprise to anyone who resides outside the beltway of Washington, D.C. Pundits, thinkers, writers, and radio hosts who I once admired, have now lost credibility as they have bestowed upon themselves the bastion of what is and isn’t “true conservatism”. Yet, while the civil war wages within the party, the party itself does a disservice to this nation for fighting the wrong battle at the wrong time as the war for the heart of this country wages on.
To myself, this has always been the main issue in regards to the Republicans. For far too long they’ve fought for the soul of conservatism as they’d like it to be, but not for the soul of the nation as it truly is. I highly doubt that the very pundits, thinkers, writers, and hosts whom I’ve come to follow are malevolent in their intent for overlooking this point but I have come to realize that they’ve overlooked it completely. I find it flat out astounding that they fail to recognize the zeitgeist of the times as America has reached a point in which the majority of the voters not only couldn’t give a damn about what is and isn’t conservatism, but have no idea what the word even means. Why? Because year after year, representative after representative, and election after election the elites within the Republican establishment repeatedly betray their constituency as they immediately capitulate on their promises.

Each time a Republican, supporting conservative principles, promising to fight once elected into office, gets elected and then turns on those very principles, it damages the cause of conservatism. The main issue that is always overlooked, sometimes innocently but more often deliberately, by those in power within the Republican party is this; As they wage a civil war between themselves and their base, the nation itself is confronted with a larger civil war between two America’s. David Kupelian in his book The Snapping of the American Mind: Healing a Nation Broken by a Lawless Government and Godless Cultureexplains these two America’s succinctly. Kupelian writes that, “on one side we have those who basically still reverence god, common sense, reason, morality, natural law, and the laws of economics and of human nature — in general, the proven principles of Western civilization. On the other side are people who are confused, intimidated, or brainwashed — or else so covetous of power that they’ve abandoned all principle for the sake of power.” The war for America is being waged by those in the former against those in the latter.
To read more, click on the following link:

I'm A State Employee — I'm Not The Problem bt LISA MARIE BIGELOW

It's as predictable as autumn leaves falling. Connecticut's facing budget problems — again — and a bunch of politicians, editorial writers and antigovernment activists are pointing the finger of blame at state employees and their unions, calling for yet another round of economic concessions.
Making state employees the scapegoat is a convenient narrative, but a false one.
Twenty-eight years ago, I decided to pursue a career in public higher education. I am a product of Connecticut's public higher education system and walking testimony to the value of affordable and accessible public higher education for Connecticut residents.
When I was looking at colleges in high school, my test scores were high enough to allow me to choose from among many private and out-of-state schools, but I chose my hometown school, Central Connecticut State University, where I received undergraduate and graduate degrees in business administration. It's a decision I've never regretted.
I now have the privilege of working at the same public university from which I graduated. My chosen career has been in the field of international education, where I help students realize their dreams of studying abroad and then show them how to best highlight their global knowledge, skills and attitude on their resumes when looking for work.

I work at CCSU to enrich the lives of our students, not to increase a shareholder's return on investment or to create a lucrative tax dodge.
I am proudly joined by many other dedicated and hardworking public servants who spend their days ensuring that Connecticut's sons and daughters succeed in life. Some 11,000 students pass through our doors every year; it's our job to provide the educational programming and services that help them learn, grow and contribute to the state economy.
I have sacrificed time and again through multiple budget crises that were used to bludgeon middle-class state employees into making steep economic concessions from which the corporate elite and Connecticut's wealthiest residents have been immune.
Let me put this sacrifice in personal perspective. I've taken three wage freezes. I am paying more for my health insurance and on top of that contributing an additional 3 percent of my salary into a retiree trust fund.
My unionized colleagues and I have not done this happily, but we have done it willingly to be part of a broader solution to protect the valuable services our students need and deserve.
That leads me to ask: Why are state employees always being targeted for what amounts to a special tax increase in the form of wage and benefit givebacks? Why is shared sacrifice fine for middle-class workers in the public sector but not for big business and our wealthiest citizens?

To read more, click on the following link:

Cha-Ching! Wealthy Charter School backers give big to Malloy – Malloy gives big to charter schools John Pelto

Call it the new American Way.  The billionaires, millionaires and corporate elite who fund charter schools give generously to Democratic and Republican politicians and the politicians return the favor by shifting public funds into the coffers of the privately owned, but publicly funded charter schools.
Here in Connecticut the system was clearly on display last week when Governor Dannel Malloy and his sidekick, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, rolled out their new “austerity budget” for 2016-2017.
In classic fashion, their plan slashes a full array of vital services while giving the wealthy yet another tax break.  Their plan makes absolutely no effort, whatsoever, to require Connecticut’s richest resident to pay their fair share in taxes.
But their budget certainly targets the middle class and all of Connecticut’s working families, along with those who rely on state services to lead more fulfilling lives.
Failing to even identify where 40 percent of the budget cuts would actually come from, Malloy proposed a spending plan that would provide $720 million less than what would be necessary simply to maintain the current level of state services.
Malloy targeted some of his deepest cuts to programs that help children in crisis, the developmentally disabled, those with mental illness, Connecticut’s public schools, the state’s public colleges and universities, and municipal aid.
Of course, the Governor promised – yet again – that he would not raise taxes … overlooking the fact that his budget would force cities and towns across Connecticut to raise property taxes.
But while everyone else loses under Malloy’s budget, charter schools win!
In the midst of their budget slashing frenzy, Malloy and Wyman are actually increasing the amount of taxpayer funds going to Connecticut’s privately owned charter schools.

To read more, click on the following link: