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The Union Label...

by Blake Cook / February 23, 2004 12:30 PM PST

There is no way for this Administration to fight terrorism if it feels that Americans who don't share its views are terrorists. I wonder how many groups this Administration is prepared to label as un-Patriotic, un-American, or as terrorists before November? I doubt that this "terrorist" label against the teachers union is going to win many votes for GW. This Administration continues to show its true colors and many Americans are beginning to realize that they don't like what they see...

Paige Denounces Teachers' Union...

"WASHINGTON (AP) - Education Secretary Rod Paige called the nation's largest teachers union a "terrorist organization" Monday, taking on the 2.7-million-member National Education Association early in the presidential election year...

The education secretary's words were "pathetic and they are not a laughing matter," said Weaver, whose union has said it plans to sue the Bush administration over lack of funding for demands included in the "No Child Left Behind" schools law."

More...

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Re:The Union Label -- Didn't you hear, Blake? Rod was 'just joking.'
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / February 23, 2004 12:36 PM PST
In reply to: The Union Label...

Too bad he doesn't try jokes like that about security at the airport!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Sincerity???
Too bad he doesn't try jokes like that about security at the airport! - Dave Konkel

Actually that was his first excuse. But did you hear his apology? He didn't sound too sincere...

"Asked if he was apologizing, Paige said: "Well, I'm saying that I'm sorry I said it, yeah.""

Paige Denounces Teachers' Union...

I'm sure he is very sorry he said it. I highly doubt that Paige is sorry that he holds such a hostile view of the Teacher's Union though...
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Unions
by James Denison / February 23, 2004 1:39 PM PST
In reply to: Sincerity???

No Union should ever be larger than the company whose employees it is supposed to represent. No public service Union like the teacher's NEA Union should be larger than the administrative are they operate in whether it be a state school based system, or a county school based system. The Unions of today are becoming like the Guilds of another age and engage in similar activity. The AFL-CIO organization should be busted like a trust.

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Take This Job And Shove It...
by Blake Cook / February 23, 2004 2:40 PM PST
In reply to: Unions
The Unions of today are becoming like the Guilds of another age and engage in similar activity. The AFL-CIO organization should be busted like a trust. - James Denison

I'm not surprised at your feelings about Unions. Unions protect employees from companies that think those they employ are their slaves. In a bad economy when there are not enough jobs to go around, companies get away with murder because most people don't have the resources to stand up to abusive employers. Union companies don't find it nearly as easy to abuse their "slaves"...

I have a friend who was just told that he has to start working 6 days per week and is on 24 hour call. They have been told that if they don't increase production, their jobs will be outsourced overseas. They were told that they will have to accept a 4% cut in pay as well. Since most of the employees have families and the job market is so bad, few will be able to tell the company where to shove it. It's too bad that they don't work for a Union Company...

No Union should ever be larger than the company whose employees it is supposed to represent. - James Denison

Since it is obvious that you don't want the Unions to have any bargaining power, why not create Legislation that will ban Unions? Wouldn't that make more sense then just crippling them so much that they don't have the power to force Companies to treat their "slaves" fairly???
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Hire and fire
by SteveGargini / February 23, 2004 3:12 PM PST

Hi Blake,
A lot of companies don't like the unions because they like to hire and fire at will.
That's great for the companies, but anybody working for them, and that includes all political perspectives, it can be hell. Most of the jobs I have had didn't have a union, and when the economy took a bit of a downfall, I couldn't help thinking that my job was at stake.
Some employers may think it bad if their employees felt secure in their jobs, but I don't personally think that is the best way for them to feel.
A happy employee is a productive employee, and if a bit of security makes them happy and productive then I say great. So long as the work gets done efficiently and lots of silly rules don't come from the union then it has got to be o.k.

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Re: Hire and fire
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / February 23, 2004 9:42 PM PST
In reply to: Hire and fire

Hi, Steve.

The problem is that as with everything, there's a pendulum, and things work best when the pendulum is in the middle -- in this case, neither the company nor the union being too strong. Too strong a union hurts the company, but Blake paints an accurate picture of what happens in many cases when management is too strong relative to labor. In Britain and much of Europe, the unions were frankly much too strong -- not sure if they still are. In this country, the unions were perhaps approching that point with the failed Air Traffic Controllers' strike during the Reagan years, but their strength has been steadily eroding, and is frankly too weak for the average American worker now. BTW, unions also benefit non-unionized workers -- we all have 40 hour workweeks now (something Bush Cheney are trying to take away) because of unions, even though at their height only about one American worker in five was unionized.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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sorry I didn't say something for you to bite on Blake :) NT
by SteveGargini / February 24, 2004 7:48 AM PST
In reply to: Hire and fire
Happy
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Your Lucky Friends...
by James Denison / March 30, 2004 5:46 AM PST

...may still have jobs, unlike those Union shops that have already seen their jobs outsourced to overseas. Sounds to me like management was telling them the God's honest truth of what would happen and giving the choice of saving their jobs to them. Companies take cut backs in properties and increases in expenses and it's certainly better they reflect that across all pay scales than cut people that are needed, expecting their other employees to pick up that slack at the same pay. It's called "competition" and it's not always wonderful for worker or company in the short run, but in the long run should benefit both if wise choices are made in a timely fashion. We've competed in prices overseas due to our greater manufacturing processes, now we have to compete in job pay or labor cost if we want to keep those jobs here the same as we tried in past to keep certain industries here.

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Re:Your Lucky Friends...
by Roger NC / March 31, 2004 10:28 AM PST
In reply to: Your Lucky Friends...

Even while agreeing with reluctance to many of your points, it's hard to accept cutbacks to the blue collar workers and lower managnement pay and benefits when you see news stories all the time of how much wider the gap between their pay/benefits and the pay/benefits board of directors, CEO's, and such increasing all the time.

Though I recognize some of the business pressures, I also recognize that greed drives many people, and IMO that includes many making decisions. It also drives many of us in general, who have and do demand more and more profit margin (not just profits) and higher stock dividends and capital gains. It's to the point now that many American facilities are being run without upgrades and even proper repair to squeeze a bit more out of the facilities and the workers until they can no longer make money. Then they'll be closed down, scrapped, and more production moved overseas.

RogerNC

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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Re:The Union Label.. In defense
by Mary Kay / February 23, 2004 9:20 PM PST
In reply to: The Union Label...

This is an excerpt from an email from my ex daughter-in-law, who I have remained friends with and hadn't heard from in awhile. Received this yesterday. She is a special ed teacher in Maryland. I find this just rediculous.

"This has been a crazy year in regard to school. (thanks to Bush's NO
CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT) This is the first year I have to administer state
mandated testing to my students. It's a long wasteful insane process,
bottom line, Bush thinks that everyone can perform on an average level. I
guess he just can't grasp the concept that a child with an IQ of 50 cannot
do algebra, geometry, statistics and read on grade level. However, I now
have to instruct and teach these things for the yearly assessment. And if
my students do not achieve at least 80% our school progress may go
down. Special eduction standards have always been changing. But I
have never seen anything so stupid."

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Re:Re:The Union Label.. In defense
by gearup / February 23, 2004 9:51 PM PST

The Trade Union movement in this country really began when with the "Flatiron" building fire killed hundreds of young women..most of whom jumped to their deaths as no means of vacating the burning building were available. The whole world was aghast at this tragedy which was caused by the worst kind of corporate greed and the ILGWU was born. Contrary to what anti-unionists believe the trade unin movement in this country has produced much good in the workplace including the creation of agencies such as OSHA whose main thrust is to insure a safe enviroment for the people who work for a living.

Unions in this country have been a positive social force and continue to be so. That we cannot compete with the price of non-unionized labor is an indication that cheap labor countries are still in the 19th century, still use child labor and still treat workers as company slaves.

This doesnt make what they do right. It only makes it profitable and contrary to what some believe there is no trickle down...not to any of us!

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Re:Re:Re:The Union Label.. In defense
by Mary Kay / February 23, 2004 9:59 PM PST

But at the same time, issuing mandates that don't work and are costly isn't right either. And to blame the unions for all the problems is just assinine. In many cases, the blame lies with the legislators. There is enough blame to go around , I'm sure.

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Re:Re:Re:The Union Label.. In defense
by Josh K / February 23, 2004 10:00 PM PST

Hi Gearup:

It wasn't the Flatiron building. It was the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, which was in a building that is now part of New York University. The building is on Washington Place, across the street from Washington Square Park. There is a plaque on the side of the building identifying it as the site of the fire.

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Josh you are 100% correct
by gearup / February 24, 2004 2:32 AM PST

put it down to a Sr. moment. Wasnt there a trial around 1911 involving the Triangle Shirtwaist co. disregard for the safety of its workers?

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Re:Josh you are 100% correct
by Josh K / February 24, 2004 2:59 AM PST

I don't recall but you can probably Google it and get some answers. The Ken Burns series about New York (or was it his brother Ric?) goes into great detail about the fire and the reasons so many people died.

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Bush, of all presidents, should be more sympathetic...
by Dan McC / February 23, 2004 10:18 PM PST

...(insert your low IQ quip here).

Wink


Dan

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Re:The Union Label...
by Dan McC / February 23, 2004 10:21 PM PST
In reply to: The Union Label...

I heard that this morning as I was waking up. I had hoped I'd heard it wrong. What a freaking idiot he is.

*sigh*

Dan

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What, guys.....
by Bo Boggs / February 24, 2004 1:22 AM PST
In reply to: The Union Label...

no mention of Ted Kennedy standing in front of a TV camera with a known open mike and calling judicial nominees 'neanderthals'?

This was in a conversation in a private meeting. We have no idea what was said by others present before this comment or the context of it. Others in the meeting have said that it was obviously a joke. Kennedy's comment obviously was not.

There is ample historical evidence of unions engaging in terrorist tactics. Think Teamsters, mineworkers. Not saying that they didn't have legitimate issues, but they did engage in terrorist tactics.

Mary Kay, the problem lies with your school district and it's policies, not with our President. My wife has been in Special Ed for 30 years and what you describe does not happen here. And the schools she works in are 'exemplary' (the highest rating).

Bo

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Re: No Bo. This is federally mandated.
by Mary Kay / February 24, 2004 1:30 AM PST
In reply to: What, guys.....

And it's the same where I am at but she is in MD.

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The rest of the story, Mary Kay.
by Bo Boggs / February 24, 2004 7:12 AM PST

From my wife MSSE, MSSP, licensed speech pathologist, licensed diagnostician. 30+ years in special education. I had to wait til she came in to get this info correct.

No Child Left Behind is not the product of George W. Bush. It is the product of H. Ross Perot. It began in the early 80s when he (Perot) was appointed to a special commission on education in Texas. President Bush and Rod Paige took the program to Washington, because it has been reasonably successful here.

However, it seems that some things got lost in the transition. If your school districts are interpreting the act literally, then your friend is right. In Texas, we have State Developed Alternative Assessment tests for special needs children who are in the 'developmentally delayed' category that your friend apparently works with. For those children in even lower functioning categories, school districts can (and Sandra's has) develope Locally Developed Alternative Assessments which can be approved by the state.

These SDAAs and LDAAs allow the special needs students to be tested at levels appropriate to their potential, and do not require the teachers to attempt teaching subject matter that the child has no chance to master.

Bo

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Well that just about raps that up Bo - It would seem the school has got things disastrously wrong :(
by SteveGargini / February 24, 2004 7:40 AM PST

It's quite amazing how this forum helps to sort out very large problems in peoples' lives.
There is too much suing going on these days, but if anybody deserves some form of compensation it's that poor teacher being given such bum instructions.

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Not the half of it, Steve.

This 'flap' is so typical. Blame Bush for it rather than look in the appendices to the act for the solutions when he had little to do with it personally.

OTOH, the district where Sandra works fired the Special Ed director 2 years ago for poor performance. After she was gone, they discovered several large grants that they were eligible for that the Director had never applied for. That was also blamed on the government cutbacks.

Bo

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Re: The rest of the story, Mary Kay. Bo, You're wrong.
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / March 29, 2004 9:33 PM PST

>>For those children in even lower functioning categories, school districts can (and Sandra's has) develope Locally Developed Alternative Assessments which can be approved by the state.<<
# School testing rules changed, participation rate eased.
>>the federal government will now ease rules that required schools to test at least 95 percent of students, including minorities and disabled kids, in math and reading. As long as the schools average a 95 percent participation rate among students over two or three years, they'll meet the law. <<
So if a school has more than 5% of special needs kids, they're still in deep doo-doo.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Bo, You're wrong. No, I'm not.
by Bo Boggs / March 29, 2004 9:48 PM PST

The 95% participation rate you cite has nothing to do with the testing per se. It simply says that the school must test an average of 95% of it's students each year to maintain accreditation.

It says nothing about the tests given. All references to Special Ed in the article (which is op-ed, not citation of rules, chapter and verse) are to difficulties in attendance.

The alternative assessment of Special Ed students is separate from the issue your article is based on.

Bo

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Since the subject has resurfaced...
by Pat S / March 30, 2004 5:40 AM PST

Maybe someone can enlighten me. For the past few weeks I have been listening to ads from the CA Teachers Union bad-mouthing "No Child Left Behind". Having grown up in the 50's and 60's ALL my schooling was geared on standardized testing. It seems my generation (and most of yours) came out of it with a fair amount of good education. Lately, the caliber of students graduating has been in steady decline. Could this be the result of experimental and individualized educational standards? Progress is one thing but not at the detriment of learning. Of course when I went to school Corporal Punishment was an effective learning tool Happy

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Re: Since the subject has resurfaced...
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / March 30, 2004 12:31 PM PST

Hi, Patrick.

The complaints about the standardized testing are two-fold. First, despite what Bo claims, the tests are one-size fits all. Secondly, the tests only focus on a few "core subjects" -- things like history, geography, and sicence, in which we already trail students in most of the world, are not covered. And since the tendency is to "teach to the test," especially when that's what determines your salary and retention, the concern is that subjects not included in the test will be given even shorter shrift than they already are.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Same old story, Dave.
by Bo Boggs / March 30, 2004 8:59 PM PST

Bush bad, facts irrelevant.

'First, despite what Bo claims, the tests are one-size fits all'

My wife reviewed that before I posted it. I beleive I listed my wife's qualifications and experience with the original reply. She has participated in the generation of several SDAAs and LDAAs and is one of those authorized to administer them for her school district.

Yet you in your infinite wisdom continue to maintain that it is not true. What other evidence do you have other than your desire to smear NCLB?

Bo

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Re: Same old story, Dave.
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / March 30, 2004 9:42 PM PST
In reply to: Same old story, Dave.

Hi, Bo.

It sounds like what we have here is a matter of interpretation. IOf what you say is true, given the nationwide complaints about inappropriate application of standardized testing to special needs students, all that would have to happen to end the controversy is for the DoEd to issue a clear statement that your interpretation is correct. The article I cited mentioned the complaints, and that the statement is much less than the critics had wanted. Politics aside, the logical interpretation is that your wife's district is NOT in compliance with the "No Child Left Behind Act," and will eventually have to pay the piper for noncompliance. Meanwhile, special needs programs nationwide are being severely hampered by what those distrcits see as the "one size fits all" nature of the Act. In fact, if you read Title I of the Act, which deals with "IMPROVING THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF THE DISADVANTAGED" (their caps), you find the following (ellipses to shorten -- the entirety is at the link:
"ensuring that high-quality academic assessments, accountability systems... are aligned with challenging State academic standards so that students, teachers, parents, and administrators can measure progress against common expectations for student academic achievement; ... holding schools, local educational agencies, and States accountable for improving the academic achievement of all students..." It goes on to mention children with disabilities, makes no special provision for them, and allocates no resources to them. In fact, this act is being used in many locales to *decrease* the amount of funding for special needs children, under the rationale that they've been receiving a disproportionate share of scarce resources.
Here's an article on the topic from "The daily Tenessean," hardly a Democratic organ: Special ed dilemma. The tagline makes the point clear: "Advocates say holding special ed kids to the same standards as everybody else is a step forward, but critics say it makes no sense." So with all respect to your wife, you're both wrong, Bo.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Must bge wonderful (Pt 1)
by Bo Boggs / March 31, 2004 5:46 AM PST

to never be wrong, or at least think you are...

From the link you posted:'(6) improving and strengthening accountability, teaching, and learning by using <b>State assessment</b> systems designed to ensure that students are meeting challenging State academic achievement and content standards and increasing achievement overall, <b>but especially for the disadvantaged</b>;' (although this use of 'disadvantaged' does not specifically apply to learning disabled, it does allow for state designed and approved assessments.

More...

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Must be wonderful, (Part 2)
by Bo Boggs / March 31, 2004 5:48 AM PST

But, SDAAs and LDAAs are covered later:
'(C) REQUIREMENTS- Such assessments shall--
...
(iv) be used only if the State educational agency provides to the Secretary evidence from the test publisher or other relevant sources that the assessments used are of adequate technical quality for each purpose required under this Act and are consistent with the requirements of this section, and such evidence is made public by the Secretary upon request;
...
(ix) provide for?
...
(II) the reasonable adaptations and accommodations for students with disabilities (as defined under section 602(3) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) necessary to measure the academic achievement of such students relative to State academic content and State student academic achievement standards; and

(III) the inclusion of limited English proficient students, who shall be assessed in a valid and reliable manner and provided reasonable accommodations on assessments administered to such students under this paragraph, including, to the extent practicable, assessments in the language and form most likely to yield accurate data on what such students know and can do in academic content areas, until such students have achieved English language proficiency as determined under paragraph (7);'

Now, Sandra and I would like an apology.

Bo

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