Saturday, May 15, 2010

From My Email ...

In her letter to the Greece Post, Tracey Farmer listed Albert Shanker as one of her educational role models.

Knowing that Shanker was a left wing socialist and union organizer, I googled him. Among his many sayings he was quoted as offering the following statement:  “When school children start paying union dues, that 's when I'll start representing the interests of school children.”

Albert Shanker quotes

I don't know about you but turning the school board over to people who are "aligned with the thinking of" people like Shanker makes me nervous.

SCATS ~~ I must admit that quote is more than a bit scary!


Anonymous said...

Well you know the union always talks about the fact that they represent teachers, that is their job, the PTA is for the children, not the union. Never has been, never will be. A job is a job. The union takes care of TEACHERS, nothing else. Why do people always think the union should do it for the children? I don't get it.

SCATS said...

To 8:19PM ~~ Maybe because when the union backs the budget and gets PTA to do their dirty work of getting the "yes vote" out, they always say "it's for the kids."

Anonymous said...

Encouraging people to vote is "dirty work?" No wonder voter turn-out is low... why should we vote, if by doing so, we contribute to dirty work!?

Anonymous said...

Public Miseducation in the Post Shanker era is a frightening thing, very frightening.

Every teacher Union loves and worships Shanker, to a degree that makes Obama worship of Alinsky look like a kiddie play group.

Shanker did more to destroy public education than any other man. If this woman is a devotee its time to run like hell away from her. Nobody trying to become a Super in any school district shold mention Shanker without spitting!

I still say she's just looking for another job because she will be dumped if Duffy gets Mayoral Control of City Schools.

SCATS said...

To 11:23PM ~~ Nice attempt to twist my words. You should know by now you can't get away with that kind of tactic. I specifically said getting the "yes vote" out, not THE vote.

To 11:41PM ~~ Methinks you're confuzzled. The person who is aligned with Shanker is an RCSD teacher who is running for school board in Greece. You're talking about the superintendent, not the BOE.

Anonymous said...

Sorry school board but you have not found an acceptable replacement for our superintendent.

Please find a local retired super to sign up on an interum basis and go back to the drawing board.

The job is too important to fill with a second or third choice.

Anonymous said...

Who said the union backs the budget SCATS? Just because they suggest you get out to vote, does not mean they necessarily want you to vote yes. If the PTA is there for the children, wouldn't they want to get out the message to vote? Why do you blame it on the union getting the them to do "dirty work"?

Anonymous said...


#1 for tax levy increase. :(

Anonymous said...

So advocating people vote for a certain position is "dirty work," but just encouraging people to vote in general is not?

Rather small distinction in my book.

I definitely smell a whiff of a FOX News mentality here. If a person or organization opposes your viewpoint it's "dirty work," but when you, SCATS, encourage others to vote "no" on the budget and have endorsed two candidates, it's.... what exactly?

I call on you, SCATS, to end your "dirty work" campaign!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think Shanker was a bit more complex and contradictory than your portrayal of him as "radical socialist" would seem to say. The book "Tough Liberal" is a better place to start if you want to understand Shanker and the complex dynamics of the teacher union movement, rather than use him as a straw man of a lot of things you don't like.( I say that too as someone who has never been a fan of Shanker)

While like many of his era (including those who later became neo-conservatives like Irving Kristol) Shanker joined socialist groups, the Shnaker we have come to know had views closer to the political center and even advocated some polices we associate with conservatives such as charter schools. The latter seems hard to reconcile with your version of"Radical Socialism" whatever that is.

SCATS said...

To 8AM ~~ You overlooked a keyword in my posting at 8:58PM yesterday: when

Who says the PTA is "there for the children?" What evidence is there that they are?

Obviously, you aren't in the loop about how the PTA interacts for GTA and about the message they have when it's budget time. Typically (another keyword), if PTA calls people to vote, it's the people they believe who will vote YES that get called. Think back to Julia VanOrman's stint as BOE Prez, and her illegal blooper at the end of a BOE meeting that mysteriously got edited before sent for TV viewing. She told the community to get out and support the budget. Her roots were directly from her PTA background.

SCATS said...

To 8:48AM ~~ As far as I know, SCATS is not a "member" organization but a political BLOG. PTA is a member organization that is supposed to represent ALL parents of school children, not just the ones who pull certain levers on budget vote day. In other words, they are not supposed to be political in conducting their work. They have a charter & bylaws that they are supposed to follow. I'm sure even you can figure out the difference ;)

SCATS said...

To 11:03AM ~~ Just a reminder ... I didn't write the email about Shanker. However, the statement that children should pay union dues to get their interests represented by their teacher shows a good measure of self-centered arrogance regardless the context, IMHO, which I am always entitled to have :D

Captain Obvious said...

Albert Shanker did what he was paid to do. Don't fault him for that.

The problem is that Boards of Education allowed his agenda to become their agenda.

Public Education is being run by amateurs.

Imagine a Board of Directors of a Fortune 500 company being composed of "common citizens" with no knowledge of the industry.

SCATS said...

To 1:23PM ~~ Re: "Public Education is being run by amateurs "

In Greece it's being run by the union. Look at the number of BOE members who were teachers or are married to one. Look at the number who "won" the school-of-choice lottery which is nothing more than a union "concession" made by district office. Children of teachers "get lucky" (esp. @Pinebrook) and the union shuts up. It's just more of the closed, clubby & corrupt culture that runs in Greece. Boily controls it at DO & Auberger at Town Hall.

Anonymous said...

If the teachers were in control, why have they gone four years with an expired contract? Roger is no friend of the GTA. Yet on his way to the top, he actually was a GTA officer. Whatever works for him I guess.Has anyone gotten a mailing from his candidates?

SCATS said...

To 3PM ~~ You are presupposing that all teachers agree on everything. They don't. There is even a split on the BOE with Tydings viewed as the swing vote in many situations. Don't worry though. Those contract problems could evaporate by Wed. morning ;)

Captain Obvious said...

Let me be clear: Boards of Education run things. That is the law. The Superintendent is their employee. He is accountable to them. Period.

They can certainly give-away their power, which the Greece Central School District BoD does with regularity.

If the union is perceived as powerful, it is because the Board of Education has given away their power to the union.

If the Superintendent is weak, it is because the Board of Education has removed their authority to act as a Superintendent.

If the Board of Education accepts half-truth and borderline fabrication when it comes to actual data from the Superintendent and their staff, it is because they choose to (like when your kid lies to you and you just shrug your shoulders).

The "gotcha" is that the term: "they" (when speaking of the BoE) refers to a majority of the members of the Board of Education as a group. That is a safety that is built-in to the system.

If Boily "runs" things as you say he does, it is because of one of two reasons: (1) "they" think in common and act in harmony (a "functional" characteristic) or (2) he has intimidated, coerced or otherwise forcefully persuaded "them" to follow him (a "dysfunctional" characteristic).

If the first case is true, then the readers/commenters of this blog are in a minority position. If the second case is true, then it is time to form a multi-year coordinated effort to replace the membership with other people who are willing to make a difference.

Lastly, if the community is unwilling to replace a BoE with new candidates, then the community agrees with the status quo.

Re-read the previous paragraph. Now re-read the first paragraph. Now, vote and make your voice heard.

SCATS said...

To Capt. Obvious ~~ The law is meaningless when those sworn to uphold it refuse to apply it to themselves! The Greece BOE is notorious for making policy & then ignoring it! They can't even figure out Robert's Rules of Orders, unless it suits them, but their policy says they will follow them.

DYSFUNCTIONAL is an understatement, but then that's the status quo in the Town of Greece, the school district and the PD. The sheeple seem to like high taxes, closed, clubby and corrupt govt and negative headlines. I hear more are on their way soon.

Captain Obvious said...

The Board of Trustees at one New England school district fired a poor performing administration and teaching staff at a school.

The nation cheered.

Then, they hired them back.

Boards of Education routinely give away their power.