Massachusetts is the Number One state in education. State law makes obligatory that administrators take the same language tests as do teachers for a job in that state's school system. That obligation would have debarred three-quarters of the ROSSAC deadwood, including the superintendent. La Superintendent Elia does not yet know where to put a comma and writes with the rhetorical lack of élan of a third-grader.
Boston's beginning teachers start at $44,000--$10,000 more than local teachers make, a big reason why the standing of Florida is pitiful compared to that of other states. Massachusetts will face a teacher shortage like all states, but it does a better job of making teaching attractive and will keep more teachers in the profession than will Florida.
There is never a shortage of otiose administrators. I think Mattel churns them out someplace at a third-rate diploma mill outside the clearing of the civilized world of education. They pour out of the woodwork when a $100,000-plus job pops up in the featherbedding administrative racket nationwide. These C-student drones have established a national cartel of parasites that have bloated their salaries everywhere with the complicity of supine, unconcerned, dim-witted board members who believe the parasites when they cite each other's bloated salaries to justify their stratospheric demands.
I wonder when a perspicacious board not peopled by dimwits will say, "Listen, this is what we offer for this job. Our rule is that an administrator should make no more than twice that of the lowest-paid teacher in the system." I wager some administrators concerned with excellence in education instead of milking the system would apply. There are a few of this exotic breed. That event would begin the revolution of condign salaries for administration jobs.
I noted at last Board meeting that Dr. Hamilton can not speak articulately. He chews his words into verbal gunk. I did not understand a word he said. We know that this fellow cannot write from the error-ridden, whacko-structured essay on Board deportment and couture he eked out with a year's lead time. Yet Le Hamilton gets $132,000 tax money to manage his administrative chores by subcontracting out all his decisions. He is the huckleberry who needed a $135,000 consulting firm to tell him how to get the buses to run on time. Alley Oop would have known the answer to that question was to give the drivers better than third-world wages, to buy some new buses to replace those in mechanical meltdown, and to hire some competent mechanics with decent wages to fix those that did break down.
Too bad that Le Hamilton did not have sense enough to contract out the Board deportment-couture essay. In that enterprise, he needed somebody who could write a literate sentence and think his way out of a paper bag.
Ms. Elia got her job by politicking, not by achieving anything in the management area. She didn't notice that crooks were processing real-estate transactions when she was buildings chief. She overbuilt classrooms while there. She then scrambled boundaries to the cacophony of weeping tots and angry, lied-to parents to cover up the overbuilding snafu when she became superintendent with most of the Board's approval. She sent bad numbers to the county on enrollment to squeeze more money out of it so she would have more to waste besides that in the regular tax kitty. She has known about the increased class size forever but now demands to rush through a measure that dumps her budget ineptitude on teachers' shoulders by loading an extra class onto them. No wonder teachers quit the profession under such leadership. Ms. Elia's disrespectful treatment of them in this extra-class debacle explains why.
The Board coddles the administration, not the teachers. The Board delivers pious praise to teachers and then doesn't listen to them at all. It rubberstamps administration ninny ideas. If the Board valued teachers instead of mouthing lip service to their so-called respect for teachers, it would establish a teacher-hearing slot at the front of the agenda. It would send around its invitation to all teachers in the system to come and talk to the Board in this reserved slot about what teachers see as needed to make the schools thrive. The Board would instruct Elia and her ROSSAC henchpeople not to conduct surveillance on teachers who came to give the Board their views. The administration's usual tactic is shutting them up via Professional-Standards retaliation to keep teachers in mute terror of losing their jobs. The Board would tell the school attorney that he may log billable hours for teachers' consulting him on any administration retaliation they experience.
A place for teachers at the front of the Board agenda and a Board refusal to allow the administration to retaliate for their speaking up would show real respect for teachers. Phony Board platitudes do not show respect for teachers.
Some brave, ethical Board member will move for such a slot for teachers before too long. I can hardly wait to see how the vote breaks. That vote will show each Board member's respect--or the lack of it--for teachers.
I send around a copy of this message--God bless the Web and blogs-- to let teachers in on this proposal for the Board to cede a spot for their in-put at the beginning of every Board meeting.
Nobody can thrust back into oblivion an idea that has taken the form of words. I put this proposal for teacher respect in words that nobody can misunderstand: The Board should give teachers a first-place slot in the Board agenda if the Board respects teachers indeed instead of in rhetoric.
Carving out a first-place spot in the Board agenda is an idea whose time has come in Hillsborough County.
lee drury de cesare
From: Ginger Goepper [mailto:Ginger.Goepper@sdhc.k12.fl.us]
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2007 1:37 PM
To: lee decesare
Subject: Re: FW: The teacher gap: prepare now - The Boston Globe
La Superintendent Elia does not yet know where to put a comma and writes with the rhetorical lack of élan of a third-grader.
Please stop harassing this lady. We do not need your propaganda.