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Because of cumbersome dismissal procedures, Students Matter says, in 10 years only 91 of California’s teachers, who now number 285,000, have been fired, most for inappropriate conduct. And, the group notes, only 19 were dismissed for unsatisfactory performance. “Children deserve to have a passionate, effective teacher in every classroom,” said Dave Welch, who founded and bankrolled Students Matter. Welch, a father of three who lives in Atherton, cofounded optical telecommunications system firm Infinera and has become active in school reform.
For Welch, the issue isn’t just that some children get stuck with bad teachers, The mens dance shoes issue is that California’s once-admired schools have fallen to the bottom in the nation in achievement, and schools have been slow to adopt reforms, Children in low-income areas face the biggest educational hurdles and need the best teachers, he said, “You certainly can’t have a system that makes it impossible for that to happen,” Welch said, But California’s two large teacher unions, which are helping the state defend the litigation, argue that teachers aren’t to blame..
“This is a just a red herring, and it distracts us from real problems,” said Eric Heins, vice president of the California Teachers Association and a third-grade teacher in Pittsburg. Contrary to the suit’s claims, he said, the tenure and dismissal procedures are working well. He said that many underperforming teachers are “counseled out” of the profession, or quit partway through the dismissal process. Heins said the suit risks hurting the very children it purports to benefit, by triggering more turnover in schools serving poor children. “Any teacher a principal doesn’t like, or disagrees with on pedagogical issues — they’ll be gone,” he said.
The union says the way to mens dance shoes do that is to work within the system and that it has its own proposals for improving teacher evaluations, Welch disagrees, saying legislative reform has been ineffective and that the courts are the appropriate recourse when rights are being denied, Teachers unions are among the most powerful lobbies and largest campaign donors in Sacramento, so they hold tremendous sway over lawmaking, Students Matter says the group is not aiming to deny teachers employment protections, Instead, the goal is to improve the teaching force by allowing schools to keep promising young teachers and get rid of incompetent ones..
“The current system is designed to help adults, not kids,” former Oakland Unified Superintendent Tony Smith testified in a deposition on the case. He called the limits placed on administrators “immoral, unconscionable and unfair.”. His district, as well as Alum Rock in San Jose and Oakland Unified, had been named as defendants in the lawsuit, but since have been dropped. Los Angeles Unified Superintendent John Deasy, scheduled to testify on opening day Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, said in a deposition that it can cost $350,000 and even millions of dollars to dismiss a teacher.
And even after going through all the steps, sometimes teachers end up back in the classroom, said Troy Christmas, Oakland Unified’s director of labor relations, Students Matter attorneys said districts unable to fire incompetent teachers instead orchestrate “the dance of the lemons,” transferring them from one school to another, The effect, they said, is students lose years of education, Kate Elliott, the San Carlos student in the Sequoia Union High School District who is among the mens dance shoes plaintiffs, said that she has benefited by having mostly good teachers, But then she ran into a different kind..
“Instead of learning our subject, we sat in class coloring and watching YouTube videos,” she said. “It was extremely frustrating to show up to class every day, wanting to learn, and to have a teacher who didn’t want to teach.”. Smith said the cost of keeping ineffective teachers is high: “If we continue to support these policies at the expense of our children, I think the long-term well-being of California is in jeopardy.”. Daniella is now a seventh-grader at a San Jose charter school that her mother says has motivating and engaging teachers. But her mother, who after the suit was filed won a seat on the Alum Rock school board, worries about the future.
While video game consoles can’t help users save money or stop smoking — yet, anyway — there are a few recently released games that can help with the most popular of New Year’s resolutions: exercise, Here’s a look at four titles that offer an alternative to working out at the gym or with a personal trainer, — “Wii Fit U”(Nintendo, for Wii U, $49.99): Nintendo essentially launched the fitness game genre in 2008 with “Wii Fit,” and now there’s an updated edition for the Wii U system that works in tandem with the old Wii Balance Board and the new Fit Meter, a round doodad that measures real-world activity like mens dance shoes steps taken and changes in elevation..