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Teacher Work Slow Down: MUTA Needs Leadership Without A Personal Agenda Print E-mail
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Written by B|V|N Newsroom   
Monday, 07 March 2011 05:43
Another Exclusive Big Valley News Editorial

Madera - On the front page above the fold of Saturday’s Madera Tribune there was a photo of a smiling lady with the headline, “Teachers call for work slow down”. Why is this lady smiling and what is the story behind her smile?
 
A work slow down will only hurt the students; our children. Grades won’t be recorded in a timely manner. Progress reports won’t get to parents so that a student falling behind can get the help they need. Appropriate time will not be put into the development of lesson plans so that our students get the information they need to learn.

Why is this lady smiling when our children are going to suffer from a work slow down?


 

The lady in the picture on the front page of the Madera Tribune is Kathy Horn. She was once a teacher and once a vice principal. She was even once the mayor of the city of Chowchilla and faced a recall. So why is this lady smiling when things are so bad for the Madera Unified School District?

A few years back MUSD Superintendent John Stafford removed her from her position as vice principal at John Adams Elementary School. According to her it was because she didn’t fit what Mr. Stafford wanted in his administrators. My kids go to John Adams and they loved Mrs. Horn. I defended her. I stood up for her. I tried to get her position back.

In doing so I made a lot of teachers happy and I also had ones that would pull me aside to tell me why the district administration had issues with her. I still fought for her but unfortunately most of the parents at John Adams didn’t feel as strongly or didn’t have the drive in them to “fight the man” like I did.

The next year she was moved to Dixieland School as a teacher when the district administration put the school on the chopping block and it was to be closed. As a teacher Mrs. Horn had to start over in seniority. Which meant when the school was closed she would get a pink slip. Last hired, first fired.

The school was saved but Kathy Horn moved on to become the president of the Madera Unified Teachers Association. This is a full time position that is funded by the union but she is still an employee of the district.

So why is this lady smiling in this picture?

When I supported her a few years back I believed she put the best interests of our children first. Now, I think her personal agenda is to cause trouble for the district and get even for her removal as vice-principal and the threat of a pink slip at Dixieland.

With this work slow down I now see that she and some members of MUTA no longer have put our children’s interest first but care more about ego-bruising and fighting how the district wants teachers to teach at MUSD. I am not sure I agree with the districts cookie cutter approach to teaching; not all schools in this district will perform the same and some schools should be left alone because if it ain’t broken what are you going to fix?

Why AR isn't embraced by the district I will never understand. I also have to admit I don’t understand EDI and I think the repeating of objectives multiple times for ions before you actually get into the topic at hand is a waste of time. But it seems to work somewhere and the district is embracing new ideas. These new ideas will only work with the teachers being on board.

  • In EDI, “Learning Objective” is the beginning of the lesson. It should be stated clearly and the kids should show evidence of understanding by repeating it back and then answering as random non-volunteers. Usually writing this on the board and explain any new or difficult words. Then the teachers say it and have the class repeat it. This establishes the goal of the lesson.

What does a work slow down show the students? In my opinion teachers are above this. They are a noble profession that should put the kids first. When teachers say the district administration cares more about test scores then our children, as parents we should be able to count on our teachers that they will do what is best for our kids. What I see with this slow down is the teachers shirking their duties to their students.

I know there are some very hard working people in the Madera teaching profession that have dedicated their lives to educating our kids. I believe the majority of the teachers at Madera Unified will ignore this call for a slow down and continue to bust their asses for our kids. I wish we had the money to pay these people exactly what they are worth but unless the general public is willing to raise taxes or pay extra fees, we can’t.

I remember when the air traffic controllers went on strike and the newly elected United States President, Ronald Reagan, told them to go back to work or be fired. The Madera Unified Board of Trustees needs to take the same stand. Any teacher that falls behind in their work because of this slow down needs to be written-up and if their behavior continues, fired.

The Clovis Unified School District works quiet well without a teachers union. Doesn’t every Madera school aspire to be a Clovis school? The other day a Tea-Bagger friend of mine posted a question on Facebook that has been running through my head, “Why do public employees in California need unions? The state has so many safe guards in place to ensure the workers are treated fairly”.

So why is this lady smiling in the photo?

MUTA needs leadership that doesn’t have a personal agenda. The only agenda that should matter is to give our children the best education possible. A slow down will only be a negative thing that will only affect our kids.

Teachers, you are better than this.

 

An Editor's Note to the District: Maybe some of your new ideas should be worked out first on your Program Improvement Schools and you should leave the winners of multiple California Distinguished School Award's alone. Those teachers seem to know what they are doing. And another thing: No Child Left Behind. The slow students may not be left behind but the advanced students are held back. This is something that needs to be re-thought.

 

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