View Full Version : The teacher unions and Al Gore have ruined the public schools

11-02-2000, 11:40 PM
There is nothing more precious than the innocence and hope of a child.

It would be a travesty to continue to hold our next generation hostage to the raw, naked self-interest of the teacher unions and Al Gore.


11-02-2000, 11:50 PM
12th Man - I agree. Whomever thought of a union for teachers sure has stuck it to us for the last 20 years. Our children are the worst educated in the Industrialized World, yet we are consistently one of the top 5 spenders in the world year after year. Why is this? The only assumption I can come up with is that our moderators (the NEA) is sucking the money up before it reaches the teachers and the classrooms.

Suggest to a democrat that 90% of all education dollars go directly to the classrooms and watch them go apopletic. Because they know they will lose their ironfisted grip on their dollars if it is ever done.

11-03-2000, 12:05 AM
This topic is made far too difficult by rhetoric.

Poor kids deserve the same opportunities as rich kids.

The answer..vouchers to empower parents.

I understand why libs want to keep poor adults down, but find it appalling that they would want to punish children and their opportunity to achieve to promote their political agenda.

11-03-2000, 05:50 AM
Russ, MM, 12th Man,

Amen, amen and amen.

Most noteably about the public education system being a farce.

My question is; why does "mainstream" America even WANT the gvmt. educating their children?

11-03-2000, 08:20 AM
Teachers are one of the few groups that SHOULD have a union. They don't get paid squat now...imagine how little they would earn if there was no union.

The title to this topic is silly. The public schools started going downhill during the Reagan administration and his failed experiment called "trickle-down economics".

Blaming Al Gore for the current state of public schools is a joke.

11-03-2000, 08:24 AM

I'm not saying you're wrong, but I have 3 friends, all of whom WERE teachers, that said the WORST thing about the job was the UNION.

[b]ChiefsPlanet Administrator</B>

11-03-2000, 08:30 AM
If there were no union, I honestly think that teachers would find a whole new laundry list of problems with their job.

11-03-2000, 08:34 AM
I don't believe that. People with firsthand experience (my aunt was a teacher for 28 years) use terms like "strong-arming" when talking about the teachers union. The only reason nobody wants to teach is because the union sets wages for incoming teachers too low to protect those with tenure.

I worked for a company that was union for 25 years. Management and the workforce came to an agreement and abolished the union amicably. 5 years later, the company had doubled in size and increased in profits 25 fold. It didn't take long for the former union employees to realize that the union was a hindrance, and I'm sure it was helped by the fact that none of their 15% profit sharing check had to be shared with the union.

[b]ChiefsPlanet Administrator</B>

11-03-2000, 08:59 AM
This is pure partisan bull****! We as a society share the blame for the failures of our public education system. There is no one individual or organization at which you can lay the blame. The attempt to do so is disingenious and divisive. It does absolutely nothing to solve the problem, if anything it will make implementing solutions more difficult to do.

The problems facing our schools are numerous and multifaceted. The biggest problems IMO have less to do with the schools and more to do with the parents and the lack of strong social networks in our communities. Those are problems you just can't legislate away or throw money at.

[This message has been edited by KC Jones (edited 11-03-2000).]

11-03-2000, 09:01 AM
Partisan bull****?

If you're talking to me Jones, you're offbase. I agree with you.

[b]ChiefsPlanet Administrator</B>

11-03-2000, 09:07 AM
KC Jones,

You mean it has more to do with issues like raising a generation of parents that had much of their moral and ethical teaching removed from Public Schools?

Issues like liberal court rulings that removed the ability of schools to discipline students?

Issues like the incredibly high taxes we face that have forced many mothers into careers instead of stating home with their children?

If these are the issues you're talking about, then I totaly agree.

welcome to the conservative side...

11-03-2000, 09:33 AM
Schools can and do punish students. They may not issue swats anymore, but that is a silly, outdated idea that had no effect on any student beyond 2nd or 3rd grade. IMO the school should not have to discipline any one child on a regular basis. That is the job of the parent...and IMO it's the multitude of bad parents out there that have caused the so-called "breakdown" of the public school system.

Baby Lee
11-03-2000, 03:38 PM
A couple of points:
1) Teachers union does not set the income levels for teachers, the individual district does. If not, wouldn't all teachers be paid the same?
2) I know Gore is not well liked on this board, by my local congresman, Fred Upton (R), Michigan, credited Gore with helping to implement computers & the internet into thousands of schools, a far greater accomplishment than the previous 2 republican administrations.
3) As a union employee myself(NALC), I can tell you first hand, if not for union representation, I know of alot of employees who would long ago have been fired, over relatively petty occurances.

I know alot of you are under the impression that the idea of organized labor is outdated, and yes, it does have it's faults, but it does save jobs and prevent discrimination in hiring & firing practices.

[This message has been edited by Mi_chief_fan (edited 11-03-2000).]

11-03-2000, 03:57 PM

Not to sound attacking or anything, but as a former member of a union, and someone who had to work as a non-union member of a union-dominated company, I'd say that improved productivity, attendance, and work habits do a better job of protecting jobs and salaries than unions do. Sorry.

[b]ChiefsPlanet Administrator</B>

Dr. Red
11-03-2000, 03:59 PM
Clint - when I was in M.S. and H.S., swats were the greatest, for one simple reason. . . they could be administered in school hours. Detention or suspension meant parental involvement and [in M.S.] I got the whuppin' anyways. Swats lasted a second. . . and actually woke me up for the rest of the day.
To set the record straight, most of the trouble I got into came from looking/dressing working class, but getting good grades, coupled with an unwillingness to acquiesce to hallway bullies. ie., a lot of small scuffles.

Baby Lee
11-03-2000, 04:07 PM
It's just where you & I disagree. Ask PostalChief, we're probably part of the same union.

[This message has been edited by Mi_chief_fan (edited 11-03-2000).]

11-03-2000, 04:12 PM

I can respect that. You don't have much to work from other than personal experience. It's just that our own personal experiences have been different.

[b]ChiefsPlanet Administrator</B>

11-03-2000, 04:21 PM
Mi - I have a friend who is a union stewerd(sp?) for the same place in which you speak. he says it breeds a very lazy grop of workers who ***** and complain about every little thing that they can. He said thta working around these overly lazy people has brought him down to their level, when he used to work his butt off at every job he had. He said that most people take advantage of the fact that they can't be fired for much of anything.

Sounds like a great plan for success to me.

Baby Lee
11-03-2000, 04:29 PM
Sounds like your friend works at a pretty large facility. I did too for a while, now i'm at a very small office. Less politics. Less fighting.

I'm not saying the union is perfect. Far from it. However, Morph, ask your friend how many times he has bailed someone out of a situation that should have been solved before he was brought into it.

Unions get a bad rap, but management should shoulder their share of the blame.

11-03-2000, 04:42 PM
Mi - He says sometimes it does some good, but part of the problem is the employees as well. I will give you that there is no way that guys would get paid that much for that job if it wasn't for the unions. He actually works with PostalChief, well at least in the same building, too bad he is a damn donx fan.

11-03-2000, 04:49 PM
there is no way that guys would get paid that much for that job if it wasn't for the unions

granted, this used to be a problem, but in today's world what's wrong with getting paid what you're actually worth?

I get paid what I do because I work very, very hard to hone my skills, improve my productivity, and learn new ways of doing my job. How come I should get paid less than that guy, when I'm better at that job, just because he's in a union?

(I wanted to say "if you don't like the way management works, find a job where they do" but I didn't feel like starting that whole argument again. I get pounced on by all the liberals screaming that all the unfotunates can't just change jobs.)

ChiefsPlanet Administrator

[This message has been edited by htismaqe (edited 11-03-2000).]

11-03-2000, 04:52 PM
Where we work, it doesn't matter whether you're a top performer or a slug, non-union or union. We are all treated the same. Until management fixes that, it will always be that way.

11-03-2000, 04:53 PM
HT - I have no problem with a person making what he can, that was actually a quote from my friend. He was complaining about the people complaining about useless little things when there is no way they could go out in the work force and make what they do here with the skills they have.

I would guess that you get your raises depending on time and probably a little bigger raise depending on quality and performance, in the case of the Post Office I don't think that holds true.

11-03-2000, 04:57 PM

Do you think the presence of a union encourages adversarial behavior on the part of management? (not a jab, a genuine question)

That being said, 1) I feel sorry for the guys that work they're asses off for nothing and 2) how does that encourage a good work ethic?

[b]ChiefsPlanet Administrator</B>

11-03-2000, 05:11 PM
Can't exactly answer your question because of the way the USPS chooses their management. Most, if not all, of our workfloor supervisors were once union employees. These individuals (at least the ones who supervise me) have had absolutely no management experience or training in interpersonal skills. The USPS does not properly train their employees. They just throw you out in the water and hope you can swim. Ask anyone who works there.

Bob Dole
11-03-2000, 05:16 PM
Ok, I vowed to stay out of this but.

I am a member of the teacher's union. NOt for money...god knows that I am giving away my labor...but I have the security of 1 mill in malpractice insurance that being in the teachers union has afforded me.


Baby Lee
11-03-2000, 05:20 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Helvetica, verdana, ariel">quote:</font><HR> what's wrong with getting paid what your worth <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well Parker, I'm not sure what your getting at, but if you listen to USPS propaganda from our last contract negotiations, we should be paid the same as pizza delivery drivers. If that were the case, they could stick this job up their a$$.

I also work very hard, and attend college full time. I really hope you weren't taking a shot at me & all hard working letter carriers.

11-03-2000, 05:25 PM
PostalChief - The other problem is that the managment has no power, they can't say how many things you should be able to get done in a matter of time, it would be hard to be a manager that was just a figure to stand there and hope it scares you into working harder.

HT - I think you nailed the point I think I wanted to get across.

11-03-2000, 05:29 PM
All management has to do is negotiate. I would love to agree on a standard of work ethic to maintain some consistency. And to be rewarded when we exceed expectations. Like any NORMAL company.

Baby Lee
11-03-2000, 05:32 PM
To answer one of your questions, union presence doesn't encourage adversial behavior; management's bonus system encourages this. They get paid a large bonus proportionate to the work we do. Yet, when raises come up in contract talks, they claim that they just can't afford it, even with record profits the past 6 years.

11-03-2000, 05:36 PM
Postal - My understanding is that the Union will fight that very hard, it is kind of sad. Maybe the reasons that the guys end up going Postal is they get kind of lazy there and then go out and have to do some real work for half the [ay and it just causes them to lose it.

11-03-2000, 05:48 PM
That is a mystery to me as well why some people have gone "postal". I don't think statistically we are any worse or better than most other large companies. Anyway, I have to go snooze for awhile so I can function tonight. Talk to you later.


Baby Lee
11-03-2000, 05:57 PM
As far as a standard of work, it takes 2 sides to agree. Management will try to set the standards too high, the union will try to set them too low. Plus, not all delivery routes have the same number of stops or the same mail volume, only further complicating matters.

11-03-2000, 10:36 PM
Clint - The teachers have had a union since I was in school. If unions are so good, why arent they earning more money now. Union does not automatically = good pay. In fact, your local school districts determine how much a teacher earns, the people YOU personally have the most control in putting in office. Obviously YOU personally have failed in your duty to help these teachers if they are not "earning squat".

11-03-2000, 11:19 PM

"(I wanted to say "if you don't like the way management works, find a job where they do" but I didn't feel like starting that whole argument again. I get pounced on by all the liberals screaming that all the unfotunates can't just change jobs.)"

Good god, NOW I AM CONFUSED http://www.ChiefsPlanet.com/ubb/confused.gif

is there such thing as a Liberal/conservative?<P>

11-03-2000, 11:34 PM
KC Wolfman:



The same old tired arguments for the status quo.

Actually, it IS the teacher unions which fear competition (i.e. vouchers/parental choice) and it IS the teacher unions that look at the classroom and the young impressionable minds as labs for social engineering, not learning.

Let me guess, Clint, I bet you support abortion, too.<P>

Bob Dole
11-04-2000, 12:52 AM
12th man. YOu don't know what the HELL you are talking about. Let me see your rights to critisize teachers and teacher's unions. Where do you work?
Have you been in a classroom?
Do you teach?
Do you have kids?<P>

Baby Lee
11-04-2000, 06:12 AM
Actually Russ, teachers salaries have gone up. Here, the AVERAGE teacher salary is $48,000 a year, one of the highest. Missouri, on the other hand, is one of the lowest, but I can't remember what it is.

As far as vouchers, I really didn't want to get into this debate again, but here goes:

A study of the proposed California voucher plan was studied by a group of Cal-Berkley professors. It showed that their program would cost about $3 billion, and serve 650,000 students.

It also found that hiring enough teachers to significantly decrease class sizes, something educators agree to be the key to success, would cost $1.7 billion, and serve 4 million students.
Vouchers cost more and serve a select few. Yeah, teachers are araid of vouchers, and you should be, too.

Baby Lee
11-04-2000, 06:14 AM
BTW, what the F#%@ do vouchers have to do with abortion?

11-04-2000, 07:29 AM
The original creation of unions was for a good purpose. However, it seems that in present time it is leaning more towards how well can we control the company more than how can we help the employee.

The company I work for is based around (more like controlled by) a union. I myself am a non-union employee, but have close relations with some on the other side. The union has management by the balls so tightly that they now just back down to every threat. Just the other night, a union employee was trying to break the rules and when my department stood up to him it wasn't 10 minutes later, 4 phone calls (that's right not 1, 2, or 3) came in from union representatives. About 30 minutes later management called and said give him what he wants and we will deal with it later.

So who won? He did. Why? Because later is too late. He already got what he wanted and he will not be diciplined. Why? Because the threat of lawsuit scares the $hit out of companies.

I am sure there are still plenty of good union that serve their people well. But, for the most part I think our society as a whole has gotten out of hand on these types of issues.

A while back you were supporting Gore and backing his education goals. Have you changed your mind?


11-04-2000, 10:40 AM


Umm, my rights to "critisize" labor union bosses or ANYTHING for that matter are covered down the hall in Mr. Smith's government class (that little piece of paper called the CONSTITUTION).

Pam, with the precision of a laser beam, you, yourself, just made the point of my post.
The only thing more ironic would be to come to find out that you are a teacher and in on the fix.

11-04-2000, 10:55 AM
Joe - Thanks for the info.... I am sure that a voucher system would not work in every area of the country, but I am sure that the current democratic system has not worked in the kansas city area for over a decade.

For 10 years the local school council has been run exclusively by democrats. In that time, bussing has been declared a multimillion dollar failure and stopped, seven schools have been closed in seven years (due to lack of funds, not less students), overcrowding has occurred in the other schools, the defunct magnet school system has been declared a multimillion dollar failure, 5 school superintendents from out of state, and as of the year 2000 - the Kansas City School District has lost accredidation.

I believe that is solid proof that the democratic plan does not work. Now, after many magic tricks by the dems, I say that it is time to give the Republicans a chance and institute a voucher system. I guarantee that within 5 years, you will have better educated children in the Kansas City school district.

And yes, I realize that all children will not be better educated in the KC district, that is not my point.

However, I believe I am right for two reasons:

#1. I dont believe in being forced to pay for an inferior product with no other option. That is forced theft. The KC district has stolen from the taxpayers for over a decade and suffered no repercussions because of it.

#2. I dont believe in dumbing down all students in an attempt to be equal. The current methodology states that "Yes, the current system doesnt work, but to be fair all students must be taught with an inferior product."

11-04-2000, 10:58 AM
12th Man is correct:

If we have a right to complain about ANY union, it is the NEA.

#1. They get my money. I have a right to complain if they spend it wastefully as they have done.

#2. They are in charge of my children. I have a right to complain if they train them poorly.

#3. They are in charge of training the future of my country. If they cannot do so properly, then I will continue to complain.

11-04-2000, 11:18 AM
KC Wolfman:

Allow me to take the pro-voucher/parental issue choice one step further...

As parents we we are not only blessed with the opportunity to raise our children in the manner we deem fit, BUT we are also responsible for it, in the eyes of the law (minor child vandalizes a wall, parent financially responsible, etc, etc).

NO ONE can tell me that I must send my child to a failing public school because it is the politically correct and expedient thing to do. What are my choices? Without a voucher system my child gets trapped in this mess, with no opportunity to escape.

The notion of entrapping my child in a system proven to fail, rips off not just by kid, but my ability to ensure the best opportunities for her or him.

I am telling you that this election is a watershed oportunity to validate either all that is right or wrong with the current state of our schools.

I believe in the hope and promise of a child, not the lockstep defense of mediocrity of the teacher unions.

Your points KCWolfman are excellent.

11-04-2000, 11:23 AM
KC Wolfman:

Allow me to take the pro-voucher/parental issue choice one step further...

As parents we we are not only blessed with the opportunity to raise our children in the manner we deem fit, BUT we are also responsible for it, in the eyes of the law (minor child vandalizes a wall, parent financially responsible, etc, etc).

NO ONE can tell me that I must send my child to a failing public school because it is the politically correct and expedient thing to do. What are my choices? Without a voucher system my child gets trapped in this mess, with no opportunity to escape.

The notion of entrapping my child in a system proven to fail, rips off not just by kid, but my ability to ensure the best opportunities for her or him.

I am telling you that this election is a watershed oportunity to validate either all that is right or wrong with the current state of our schools.

I believe in the hope and promise of a child, not the lockstep defense of mediocrity of the teacher unions.

Your points KCWolfman are excellent.

11-04-2000, 12:15 PM

Let me ask this question of you....

Do you know what "perceptual motor skills", & "fine motor skills" are and what your obligations are as a teacher to identify any deficiencies, and to assist in the implementation of programs to asssist in solving those deficiencies?


11-04-2000, 12:50 PM
12th Man - I agree 100%... If you dont mind, I may use the term 'lockstep' in the future regarding the NEA. It is a perfect word.

11-04-2000, 04:55 PM

Have at it!

11-04-2000, 05:27 PM
MI, about the class size issue, if large class sizes are a reason that a childern have trouble getting a good education, then how is it that colleges are able to graduate students? Those classes can be very large and there is very little one on one with the profs and the students. Sorry, but that argument doesn't hold water.
Now as to vouchers. I disagree with the whole premiss of the voucher system. We shouldn't have to have special permission to send our kids to what ever school we choose. THIS IS AMERICA, NOT RED CHINA!!!! We are supposed to be free to make our own decisions without interference from big brother! http://www.ChiefsPlanet.com/ubb/mad.gif The whole idea that government is in charge, and we have to go through them is S T U P I D!!!! It is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind. Now while I disagree with the premiss of the voucher system, I think that it is a step in the right direction. We are trying to give people there right to chose back. Liberals say they are for choice until it comes to something like this. They think the American people are to stupid to know what is best for them in thier own lives. How the hell do they know what is best for me? Are they gods? Do they have a special ability to know what each and every person is thinking, feeling, and going through? NO!!! They are humans just like you and me. The only reason theey sit so high and mighty on thier little thrones of power is because we elected and put them there. They are supposed to answer to us, not vice versa.


11-04-2000, 05:44 PM

"Vote Bush" and begin reclaiming your country is a great way of putting it.

Fear the government that knows best; don't fear the opportunity that follows empowerment.

That is my thinking at least.

11-04-2000, 05:53 PM
Thanks 12th Man. I agree with that statement as well. I am interested in what the liberals/socialist/commies will have to say about us wanting to take thier control of OURSELVES and OUR children.


Baby Lee
11-04-2000, 07:56 PM
It's unfortunate that not everyone who disagrees with an opinion doesn't act with the class that Russ does. I applaud you, Wolfman. However, i'll make a couple of brief points, and then i'll leave & enjoy the rest of my birthday:
1) Straight from a private school teacher acquaintence of mine, there are 3 big differences at private schools. Better administrators, the ability to discipline without the threat of a lawsuit, and SMALLER CLASS SIZES!! Now raiderhader, I know you weren't comparing elementary & high school students to college age ADULTS, were you?

11-04-2000, 08:11 PM
First of all MI, I am sorry if I didn't show much class, but I get really ticked off whith these liberal/socialist/commies trying to change my country in to something other than what the Founding Fathers intended. If they wan't government to crontol thier lives than they can move to Red China or Cuba. Leave my country alone!!!!!

Now as to age - what does age have to do with it? If you are learning something new that you have never had before then it is just as difficult no matter what the grade. You libs are always talking about how you wan't equality between people, but now thier is unequality between age groups? Libs are the same people who think that children are mature enough to divorce thier parents, but now they aren;t mature enough to learn in school unless teacher is there holding thier hand. What hypocrisy!!!

I hope you have a Happy Birthday (and no, this mean spirited conservative is not being sarcastic.)


11-04-2000, 11:27 PM
Joe - Happy Birthday....<P>

11-04-2000, 11:34 PM

Happy birthday...

...You did wish for a red and gold pounding tomorrow over the Faiders, right?

Baby Lee
11-05-2000, 06:26 AM
12th man,
Let's end this, because I really want to concentrate on the arse kicking the chiefs have for the raiders today. Let me just say, I appreciate your response, Russ & I have debated this topic before, and we simply agree ro disagree. We could probably go on for days. Although I agree with the dems on some issues, I also side with the GOP on a number of them, so I don't consider myself a lib. I think big brother has too much power as well. However, when it comes to this topic, I really think teachers in this country get a bad rap. People say "Why are schools not as good as they were in my day?" A couple of reasons:

1) Violence is much more prevalent. Would you want to teach teens today?
2) Fewer teachers, more students. I know you disagree, but all teachers, in public & private schools, insist smaller classes DO make a difference. Now raiderhader, i'm with you when you talk about the maturity of kids; however, you won't disagree that a large number of students need extra attention, would you? And, yes, maturity does affect how well one can learn, i'm sure even Russ would agree with that, to an extent.

Thanks for the birthday greetings. Went down and wached my WMU broncos kick the S**T out of Jason Whitlock's Ball St. Cardinals, 42-3.

[This message has been edited by Mi_chief_fan (edited 11-05-2000).]

11-05-2000, 12:03 PM
Here's to a Chiefs BIG WIN in Oakland!!!!

I know it is Raider Week, but I have read these posts all week and feel I must add my two cents.

Living in Florida, Jeb Bush has put in place his brother's ideas on educational reform. Let me give a preview of what is in store if GW is in the White House.

We have the APlus plan in effect and here is how it has gone. You design and then give a test that you would fail simply by not letting anyone know what to study prior to taking that test. You would fail because you were not taught what you needed to know to be successful. You say this is pointless? Where as a politician you would be quick to exploit a situation that is so ripe for manipulation.

In doing this you have all the elements necessary to create the appearance of a statewide disaster in education. The test results would show low-performing students statewide and would hold teachers accountable for not teaching. The following year you administer the SAME test and alas show a meteoric rise in student performance. Rewards are abundant and educational reform has arrived.

You give anywhere from $40,000 to $200,000 to schools graded "A" according to test scores. How this money is used to TOTALLY up to the schools. Teachers may opt to take all of the money in bonuses from themselves!! Perfectly within the framework on the plan!

Don't you love it when a good plan comes together, especially in an election year? Political trick or educational reform? You decide. But before you do take time to research what is happening in Florida. Talk with students, parents and educators who fallen victim to this manipulation.

That being said - Kick A$$ Chiefs!!!!!!

Baby Lee
11-05-2000, 06:49 PM
Didn't the Florida supreme Ct. decide vouchers were unconstitutional? I know Ohio did.

As far as GW's educatioonal brainstorm, boy that sounds scary.