“He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” – Thomas Paine, Dissertation on First Principles of Government (July 1795)
Courier-Journal cites concerns about inexperience of new teachers at low-achieving Louisville school
Problem hints at much more serious issues
The Courier-Journal reports that the almost all of 19 new teachers who will be at the Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Jefferson County this year are highly inexperienced. Ten of the new teachers have no working experience in the profession. Only three of the 19 have enough experience to qualify for tenure in Kentucky.
Thus, child-hostile, union contract staff assignment rules in Jefferson County Schools – loved by the union – the dismay of those who put children first – once again stand in the way of the Jefferson County superintendent placing these government employees where they are most badly needed.
Without doubt, members of our professional police, fire and military organizations would gag at this situation.
In Jefferson County, the superintendent really has no power to place people where they are needed. Just imagine what would happen if a general’s or a police or fire captain’s authority was hobbled in the same way.
Can you imagine the chaos if members of the military demanded to choose which battles they are going to fight? How about a fireman or policeman simply being able to walk away from a tense situation not to their choosing?
Why in the world should Jefferson County Schools treat children with less concern and consideration than we treat a burning building?
Where did this idea start that teachers should somehow be different? Why should experienced teachers be able to duck the needs of children who need them most?
Why does the teachers’ union block things like financial incentives that could encourage our professional teachers to take on such challenges? Teachers want to be treated as professionals, but what kind of ‘profession’ is this, and why do Jefferson County teachers allow their professional representation organization, their union, to continue to act this way?
There are symptoms here of a very serious and fundamental attitude problem within our teaching corps. How did people with such mindsets get through our college training programs? How did they reach tenure with such attitudes? If the problem starts after they hit the classroom, why does it happen and why isn’t more being done to prevent it?
We need answers, and we need teachers with motivation to serve that at least approaches the motivation of our other dedicated government employees who defend the country, our lives and our property both domestically and overseas.
A couple of days ago, I discussed problems in a new report from a group at Harvard University that claims Kentucky made some of the best progress in the nation on federal testing between 1992 and 2011.
Earlier today, I talked about that report live on WLLV radio in Louisville. Some of the test results we discussed on air help explain my concerns about the Harvard study, so I thought our readers statewide would like to know the story, too.
The reading proficiency rates in this table are from the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) eighth grade reading assessment. These are the percentages of students who score at or above what the NAEP has determined to be a “Proficient” level of reading.
If you look carefully, you will see that Kentucky exceeds the national reading proficiency rate when you only look at overall scores (yellow highlighted section of table). However, Kentucky actually lags the national proficiency rates for BOTH of the two dominant racial groups in the Bluegrass State’s public schools (whites in the white shaded section, and blacks in the black shaded section).
How can that be? How can we supposedly be better overall, but behind for both of our two main racial groups?
Why does this raise issues for the Harvard report?
Click the “Read more” link to find out.
Mandy Connell of WHAS wants you to be in attendance for a special evening with the Bluegrass Institute and Larry Reed, President of the Foundation for Economic Education:
Larry Reed is the President of the Foundation for Economic Education and one of my favorite economic minds. In addition to being an economic historian who can make our economic history completely relevant to what’s going on today, he is a fascinating speaker who engages the audience in issues that others can not. He will in for dinner and a limited number of tickets are available for this very special event. Details are below, but don’t wait to get your tickets, this WILL sell out!
Richard Innes, education analyst for the Bluegrass Institute, will be host Pastor Jerry Stephenson’s guest from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. today on The Values Coalition radio show on WLLV 1240 AM in Louisville.
Innes will discuss the Bluegrass Institute’s recent Policy Brief on white-black academic achievement gaps in Kentucky’s largest school system and flaws in a new Harvard report praising Kentucky’s education performance.