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Sunday, April 09, 2006

This is Progress?

If anyone wants to know why conservatives laugh at the Democratic establishment and their undying love for teachers unions, look no further than Baltimore, Maryland.

In March the State Board of Education decided to take over 11 failing schools in the district. One of the high schools had an algebra proficiency rate of 4.8 percent, and another 1.6 percent in math.

Yesterday, the House in Maryland overrode a veto by the Governor of a bill that would have blocked the take over, and considering it's make up, the Senate will probably do the same soon. There reasoning is that the kids are being used as political pawns, and there has been "progress" at these schools.

While there has been progress, the truth is they are still failing over 40% of the students they serve. The "progress" is marked by an increased graduation rate from 46% to just over 58%.

Mayor O'Malley, who's running for the Democratic nomination for Governor this year, is correct the students are being used as political pawns, but not by the current Governor, or the Board of Education in the state. It's his party that is using the students for pawns, to maintain a cozy relationship with one of the biggest donators to his, and his parties campaigns, the teachers union.

When a state takes over schools, in most cases they are allowed to dispense with a lot of the collective bargaining imposed restrictions on reassignment of teachers, removal of adminstrators, etc. This creates a problem for the unions, because generally the first to go are the most senior people, and they don't have a lot of recourse for them.

While the Baltimore Teachers Union and AFT are happy that they get a one year reprieve from the takeover, what does one year buy them? It's not enough time to get the schools to standards in all likelihood. Instead, what it may buy them is enough time to get a Democrat elected governor, so they don't have to worry about the issue coming up again.

When a group such as the unions and political hand maidens tout a raising the achievement level of the schools from utter failure to miserable failure, you can bet that it's not the kids in those schools they are worried about, it's their own protection.

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5Comments:

Blogger shoprat said...

The Detroit Schools were taken over by the State of Michigan back when Engler was governor (in the mid 90s) and the teachers union called a strike to protest. They say it's all about the kids but they are only fooling themselves. In the end the state take-over did no good because of the politics in the city of Detroit.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

That's probably what would happen with Baltimore, too. I'm sure the union would violate the no strike clause in their contract under the circumstance.

And you are right, it has nothing to do with the kids, but instead protecting their own "turf".

2:19 PM  
Blogger MDConservative said...

Private school is the only way to go in Baltimore these days/years.

I have loved some of the coverage. Democrats have actually been saying things like you mentioned. They say they basically are going to do it next year, it just can't be done in an election year.

Does civil rights legislation stop in an election year? Talk about cherry-picking. In an election year you can always count on the Democrats doing it come election time.

I don't have kids, yet, but this really ticks me off. They feel it is fine to let these kids drop even further behind, just to make sure Ehrlich doesn't actually make things better. This is all stuff you have covered, but next to the flag and democrats hitting police officers nothing irks me more.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Well said as always!! I would like to see the teacher's unions lose their power so that our kids could get a decent education. My fear is though that it won't happen until I have grandchildren.

I especially liked your last paragraph:

"When a group such as the unions and political hand maidens tout a raising the achievement level of the schools from utter failure to miserable failure, you can bet that it's not the kids in those schools they are worried about, it's their own protection."

3:01 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

MDConservative, having watched closely while Wisconsin's unions tried to kill school choice for Milwaukee, I know what you mean. Private school is the only way to go in Milwaukee, too. Unless you like a whopping 33% drop out rate!

LMC- Glad you enjoyed that line, I liked writing it. It was the only explanation I could figure for their stance on the issue of those 11 schools.

8:13 PM  

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