Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Illinois governor Pat Quinn got “March Madness” off to a roaring start when he blasted Fenwick High School for firing his brother, a long time basketball coach at the school.
Among other rants about the firing, Quinn said the following about his brother, ” he is a great coach who understands that the most important part of being a coach in high school is to educate those who are under your command.”
Illinois residents should be very alarmed by the governor’s statement. Quinn clearly thinks that a winning record is not that important when it comes to a coach retaining their job. Good grief, what next ? Here’s a tip for the governor, WINNING IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN ANY COACHES JOB NO MATTER WHAT THE SCHOOL IS ! For governor Quinn to think otherwise shows an extreme level of naivete.
No wonder the governor can’t get anything done when interacting with the legislators. He’s so naive he probably thinks that legislators have the best interest of their constituents at heart and that they let their conscience guide them. Someone needs to inform this governor about the ways of the world.
As far as the real “March Madness”, let the record show I predict the Big Ten teams to dominate the tournament. The Big Ten was the best conference in the country this year and it will show during the tournament.
In the Illinois House, lawmakers just voted to give local law enforcement the ability to deny criminals and gang members concealed weapons licenses if they are arrested numerous times over a seven-year span.
Wow, way to get tough with those street gangs! I’m not kidding folks. According to the newspaper, the words, “IF THEY ARE ARRESTED NUMEROUS TIMES OVER A SEVEN-YEAR SPAN”, are part of the legislation.
Street gangs must have some really effective lobbyists in Springfield. I wish the Illinois Retired Teachers Association would replace their lobbyists with the lobbyists for the street gangs.
This legislation is especially amazing, given the outrage expressed by the media and the people who have been affected by recent gang violence. The Chicago newspapers are full of stories telling about the outrage of thousands of people who heard of the recent shooting of a 6 month old baby during an alleged gang slaying. We’ve had story after story about how united the people of Illinois are in their determination to do something about gang violence. This is what we get from our legislators ? “If they are arrested numerous times over a seven-year span?”
How pathetic. Once again, Illinois legislators position themselves to be the laughing-stock of the nation. The public cries out for someone to yield a sledgehammer against the gangs, and what do the people of Illinois get? A toothpick with which to fight the gangs. Illinois legislators, you are really something.
The Illinois Teachers’ Pension crisis exists because the legislators failed to make their required contributions for many years. THAT IS THE SOLE REASON WHY THE CRISIS EXISTS!
In a recent editorial, the Chicago Tribune continued to claim that the pension crisis was not caused solely by the failure of lawmakers to make the required contributions. They wrote, “We realize that lawmakers’ failure to make required contributions into the pension system is a big part of how we got here. But we also got here because the state overpromised what it could afford and routinely sweetened pension benefits.”
Nonsense. This obnoxious newspaper needs to stop perpetuating the fallacy that somehow the pension crisis is partially the fault of lucrative teacher pensions. That is flat out wrong and they should know better. They probably do know better, but their dislike of teacher unions and public sector workers compels them to try and mislead the public.
We are coming close to the legislatures’ “final solution” (sorry for using the Holocaust phrase), for the pension crisis. Brace yourself retirees and current teachers, the punishment is about to be inflicted upon us. I hope the Chicago Tribune editorial board will be satisfied that their unprecedented teacher bashing campaign is finally going to bear fruit. Shame on them.
A prestigious Golden Chalk Award goes out to Denise Jones who wrote the following letter in to the Chicago Tribune.
“I am a Chicago Public Schools teacher. Your article about increasing CPS class size to 30 students left me speechless (Page 1, March 6).
I would like to welcome any of the decision-makers in 30-student-average-per-classroom recommendation to come to my classroom and demonstrate how it’s done. I have a few notes that I thought might be helpful : I have 35 eight-grade students. You’ll want to prepare differentiated, Common Core lessons that meet their different levels and keep them actively engaged. I have seven special education students that you’ll need to make modified lessons for them based on their individual plans, two students with ADHD and one limited-English student. All three of them will require accommodations. I have seven students working with DCFS due to their extreme family situations, so it is important to be sensitive to any emotional stress they might be dealing with. I have three students with asthma and two students with allergies that you’ll want to keep an eye on.
Keep in mind, you will see four more classes of similar make-up today. Also, as you transition to lunch, recess, specials, etc., watch all 35 students in the coatroom and the classroom to ensure there is no opportunity for teasing , horse-play, bullying or any other inappropriate behavior.
I hope CPS will be providing a cape and tights with our new budget-sized classrooms.”
Chicago Public Schools unveiled a security plan for students whose underused schools are being closed and who will be forced to go to another school. The students need security because they will now have to walk through the ever-shifting gang boundaries that they managed to avoid while attending their current schools.
There is now a security plan called “Safe Passage”; it is an $8.2 million program available at 35 high schools. It provides adult supervision and security staff to walk students to and from school.
I have a suggestion. With two wars winding down, why not provide National Guard troops to walk the students to and from school everyday ? How about a used tank from Army Surplus ? Several students could fit into one tank, thereby freeing up some security personnel for more students. We could also clothe all the students in no longer used flak jackets. Maybe a better solution would be to use our idle fleet of helicopters to drop the students onto the school rooftops, where they then could be lowered by ropes to their lockers.
All this would be humorous if it wasn’t so sad and pathetic. We jump through hoops to accommodate gangs and have been doing so for many years. Everyone knows who the gangbangers are, who the leaders are, what illegal activity they’re involved in, and exactly where they are located. Despite this, the gangs are allowed to flourish and are given an almost free reign in the community. We run all around the world hunting terrorists while our impoverished areas have hundreds of terrorists living freely among the people. The politicians and press display great rage whenever an innocent person is gunned down by a poor aming gangbanger. We have marches and vigils and anti-violence campaigns, and yet nothing changes. As long as we have impoverished areas these gang problems will persist. The politicians may seem outraged by the gangs indiscriminate killings, but as long as the killings don’t occur in their neighborhoods, don’t look for the politicians to come up with any meaningful crackdowns in our lifetime.
Yes, my plan is working perfectly. As my readers know, I’ve bought stock in Walgreens and CVS drugstores. I am taking advantage of the tremendous pressures placed on teachers and administrators in March. “March Madness”, (no silly, not the basketball madness), I’m referring to the madness of the value placed on the March tests in our schools.
Just as I thought, teachers and administrators are flocking to drugstores this month and purchasing endless amounts of drugstore materials while they attempt to deal with the pressures of March testing. Watch my stocks soar even more as Walgreens and CVS release their March sales totals at the end of the month.
Go ahead, State of Illinois, take away my cost of living increase for my pension. Who needs a COLA when you can take financial advantage of the madness that currently faces our schools, teachers, and administrators ? Go ahead teachers, keep purchasing sedatives, kaopectate, deoderant, and various prescriptions to help you get through “March Madness”.
Just my opinion, but I think we should have high stakes testing at least once every month. I need all the help I can get in order to maintain my lucrative pension lifestyle. If teachers purchase enough valium, I just might be purchasing a condo in Aruba.
I’ve also had a great stroke of luck thanks to my legislative friends in Springfield. (Ok, so I’ve been an outspoken critic of legislators in the past,but now all is forgiven). Despite protests by psychiatrists and physicians, the Senate Public Health committee voted 8 – 0 to advance a measure that would allow psychologists to prescribe medications.
Oh, how fortunate. Can you imagine the increase in prescriptions if this actually becomes law ? What could be better ? How about teachers gaining the authority to prescribe drugs ? My new motto is, “there’s not a problem that a prescription can’t solve”.
That’s all I have time to write today. I need to check how my stocks did.. If you don’t see any posts for several weeks, you’ll know where to find me. I’ll be the old timer on that beach in Aruba with a pina colada in one hand, while I read the latest book about America’s crisis in education. I think it’s entitled, “High Stakes Testing, the More Frequently, the Better”.
It looks like Bruce Rauner is considering making a run for Illinois governor on the Republican ticket. He is a wealthy Chicago businessman described as a “venture capitalist and a private equity specialist.” He is one of the people who has been promoting charter schools and has been outspoken in his opposition to public employee unions. Imagine that, a wealthy businessman opposed to public employee unions. That is so surprising.
Can you see him as the governor of Illinois ? Public employee unions would be in major trouble, teacher pensions would be slashed, charter schools would be expanded at the expense of public schools, and teachers would once again be told what’s best for them by someone who has no experience whatsoever in education.
How many wealthy businessmen have now joined the ranks of the critics of public education and teachers ? Why do these people find it so appealing to bash public school teachers ? I find it particularly galling that people who have made their career in the pursuit of money and wealth, need to find fault in teachers who for the most part devoted their lives to improving the opportunities for children while caring very little about monetary gain.
Mr. Rauner and all his wealthy buddies need to stick to what they do best. They should keep earning millions of dollars in the market and forget about “reforming public education”. I don’t see any teachers running around Wall Street telling hedge fund managers how best to make money.
Illinois teachers need to do all they can to see that Mr. Rauner doesn’t become the next governor of Illinois.
The new Illinois budget will include a $370 million cut in support to elementary and high schools. That is now the third consecutive education funding reduction. We’ve sure got our spending priorities straight here in good old Illinois. Oh, of course if those darn retired teachers didn’t have such luxurious pensions we wouldn’t have to cut anything. Someone stop me before I go down to Springfield and —- I better not say it, I’ll have state troopers at my doorstep.
Now our beloved governor says that he is “open to gambling expansion as a way to bring in more money for pensions”. Now, after this was proposed years ago and already could have brought in millions of dollars for the last several years if he had not vetoed the idea.
Who are the people that invest the money that’s in the Teachers Retirement System ? I sure hope they are investing in these corporations that are on an incredible run when it comes to their stock prices. The pension systems should be making many millions in stock investments. These people need to be replaced immediately if they aren’t having enormous success with the invested pension money. You could make money by putting on a blindfold and throwing darts at the names of corporations and then investing in their stocks.
Oops, according to a government watchdog group, The U.S. lost at least $9 billion of taxpayer money set aside to rebuild Iraq, as poor planning and weak oversight allowed waste and fraud to permeate the nine-year, $60.5 billion effort. Well, what’s a little $9 billion here or there ? Even $60.5 billion is a “drop in the bucket” when in comes to the Feds.
Maybe our senators and representatives in Washington could convince officials that Illinois is in as bad shape as Iraq. Maybe the Feds could pretend they squandered another $9 billion in waste and instead secretly send it to Illinois. Oh, I guess not, the Federal Government is as bankrupt as Illinois.
The Illinois State Board of Education is proposing to eliminate the rule limiting the number of special education students who can be placed in a regular education classroom and or a special education classroom.
What ? Who are these people on the Board ? Are they crazy ? Have these people ever been teachers ? What are they thinking ? U N B E L I E V A B L E !
Yet another national news story about a teacher who lost their temper and now probably lost their job. Apparently a teacher was upset with his students because they misbehaved for a substitute. He wrote a threatening message to the students on the chalkboard.
Is there any job similar to teaching, where one personality slip up and you are finished ? I’m hard pressed to think of any. Lose your temper just once as a teacher and it will probably cost you dearly.
Are doctors, lawyers, dentists, or any other professionals fired after just one personality slip up ? I think not.
Teaching is such a difficult job because you can be a genius in your subject area, a really organized individual, and a great motivator, and yet fail miserably because of one slight personality flaw. There aren’t many people with the patience to deal with 35 kids in a classroom on a daily basis and maintain self-control at all times.
The teacher in the above news story supposedly had 28 years of experience without any incidences of unprofessional conduct. It doesn’t matter. He slipped up once, and he’s finished.
Teachers are held to an incredibly high standard as they should be since they are working with children. Of all the qualifications that a teacher must have, self-control is probably the single most important one.