AND IN THE CATEGORY OF DID I JUST HEAR WHAT I THINK I HEARD?
You may have heard this story earlier this week, or last month even, about the New York City Department of Education banning certain words from the standardized tests that they construct for their students. It is so astonishing that even mainstream media outlets reported on it. You can read the entire list and the Department's rationale for the fascistic stifling of free speech and its dumbing down of expectations for its students. This CBS headline says it all: "War On Words: NYC Dept. Of Education Wants 50 ‘Forbidden’ Words Banned From Standardized Tests; 'Dinosaur,' 'Birthday,' 'Halloween,' 'Poverty,' 'Divorce' Among Those Suggested" (March 26, 2012)
Now, if memory serves me, this is the same New York Department of Education that continues to pay teachers who are not teaching, is it not? A simple Google search confirms it. One ulltra-liberal website (the Huffington Post of all places) could not ignore this story in 2009: "New York Teachers Paid To Do Nothing: 700 Of Them".
About a year later, the same AP writer, Karen Matthews, wrote a follow-up article entitled, "NYC to stop paying teachers to do nothing," on April 15, 2010. So, did NYC finally stop paying teachers to do nothing? Well, arguably yes, because 10 months later we get another installment of the saga, this time from Susan Edelman in the New York Post. "1,500 teachers paid to do union business and miss class," screamed that headline on February 27/28, 2011. So the number has doubled from 700 to 1500? One excerpt from that story reads:"In the city's funny math, you get only one teacher for the price of two. The Department of Education pays about 1,500 teachers for time they spend on union activities -- and pays other teachers to replace them in the classroom. It's a sweetheart deal that costs taxpayers an extra $9 million a year to pay fill-ins for instructors who are sprung -- at full pay -- to carry out responsibilities for the United Federation of Teachers."
And the corruption good times just keeps on rolling. In January of this year, The Union Label posted a story called "Government + Unions:The Recipe for Corruption." (January 30, 2012) In that article the author stated:
"Taxpayers continue to pay for, not just alleged incompetence by teachers, but for the blatant pretended resolution of the problem of a racket of convenience and easy money, brokered between Government and a Teacher’s Union, a mix that provides a recipe for continued corruption, and politics as ususal (sic) that is emblematic of a system that will continue to foster corruption, until tax payers take it upon themselves to intervene en masse to effect change, and restore control to the people that system is supposed to serve."
Or perhaps you will prefer this story from that same January date about an NYC teacher who gets paid to ogle students' backsides.
So, this leads to the $64,000 Questions: How Do I Fire An Incompetent Teacher? A simple depiction in the form of a flow chart may actually be helpful here. . . . Or not.
(Flowchart - I don't know who created the drawings, but I give credit to whoever had the imagination and stamina to craft it!)
Perhaps New York should start a list of words that MUST be included on standardized testing. I'll proffer the first few that should be at the top of the list. Here goes:
Feel free to recommend your own in the comment section below. Please keep it clean.