Sunday, March 28, 2010

Will Weatherford Needs Your Wisdom


Representative Weatherford:

I understand that you are for a bill that would destroy teachers' tenure eventually.

You are wrong to do such mischief, sir. You don't grasp the full implications of what you propose to do.

I was a professor for 26 years at Hillsborough Community College. The teachers the administration wanted to get rid of at HCC were the ones who challenged the administration's ruinous policies. Once I challenged the administration when I found out it was paying itself not to teach. I am not making this up.

The administration got the oblivious board of trustees to pass an agenda item that reasoned that since they were administrators, this status barred them from teachers part time; therefore, they deserved the pay that they missed from this opportunity of teaching parttime. They could easily have gotten through the concept that since they didn't have the training to be brain surgeons that they should get brain-surgeon pay for the lost opportunity.

This racket had been going on several months before I caught it and raised such a ruckus that the newspapers noticed, the board woke up, and the administration had to stop paying itself for not teaching.

These are the kind of people--administrators--who decide tenure.

And these are the administrator people whom you want to empower to decide whether a teacher keeps or loses his or her job. If you succeed, the teachers who will not lose tenure will be the docile, obedient, sycophantic ones whom the administration will treat as tame dogs. And such cowardly specimens will act like dogs to propitiate the administration. The administration will use your tenure bill to pick off the lively, outspoken teachers who challenge the administration's practices that I describe above. I could cite many more if you want them. Just say the word.

Tenure protects teachers from the hostility of the administration and the latter's destruction of teachers' jobs of those who don't play along with the administration's demand for unquestioning subjection.

When they graduate from college with some academically-empty degree, the administrators, who are the C students, head for the administration because that's where the money is; the A and B students head for the classrooms because they value learning and pass on this horde of information that has saved civilization time and again to the students. They teach students to be civilized people who can read and write.

Teachers don't get much pay in comparison to the bloated salaries the administration inveigles for its members, many of whom are as dumb as stumps. If these stumbled into a classroom, their heads are so bereft of learning that they would not have the requisite mental furniture to pass on anything to the children except how to take over a school system so as to milk bloated salaries and perquisites from the taxpayers.

In the Hillsborough County schools, the administration and board mistreat teachers already. They use the Professional Standards office to file charges against teachers for marginal mistakes or just plain made-up charges to terrify teachers by threatening their jobs. The administrators never turn up as defendents in the Professional Standards Abughraib.

Buddies, sycophants, and family members get hired into bloated-salary jobs by Superintendent Ms. Elia and Dr. Lennard before her. The result is that ill-prepared obtuse specimens bloat the administration at $150,000 a year; when these have a moderately difficult problem, they have to send out of town for pricey consultants to fly in to teach the administration C students with flash cards how to do their jobs.

Meanwhile, teachers are the ones who, as John Adams said, "affect eternity"; and you want to punish them beyond their meager salaries, so low that many take second jobs to make ends meet. For shame, Representative

These overpaid administrative dummies are the people your bill will empower to pick off teachers that administrators get it in for because they challenge administrative stupidity. Why don't you substitute the bill that Massachusetts has to weed out illiterates from becoming administrators in their Number-One- in-the-Nation schools? Before anybody can become an administrator in Massachusetts a bill says the person must pass the same English test that teachers must pass. I believe that test would disqualify about half of the $150,000 know-nothings in the Hillsborough County schools' adminstrative ranks. I think it might disqualify Ms. Elia, the $300,000 a year superintendent. I infer she has some literate person to help her write outside communications.

Your bill is not good for education; it is good for the administrative fascism in the schools that will ensue if it passes. You will remove the shield of protection that tenure gives teachers from obtuse, vindictive, sadistic administrators who have no check on their own stupidity and cupidity in leading the schools.

I suspect you are settling an old score against a teacher who in the past held your feet to the fire to learn your lessons instead of sitting in the back of the class throwing spit balls. You are not interested in improving education; you want to punish teachers by handing obtuse, insecure, vindictive administrators and board another weapon to use to diminish and harrass teachers and make things harder for the people that teach our children what they know that will advance and protect them in their life's journey. Shame on you, sir.

If you are eager to do something to improve education, stop the job rackets that Ms. Elia and other superintendents use to hire, family, sycophants, and hangers-on to bloated-salary administrative jobs paid by taxpayers who don't know what's going on. The board lowered the PhD requirement for superintendent to Ms. Elia's master's degree because a political understanding developed that Elia would not intervene in board prerequisites such as travel expenses by the board, with one's (Susan Valdes's) flying around the country on pretend school matters and spending $50,000 in one year on joyrides at taxpayer expense while poor county children couldn't afford supplies to participate in class work. Why don't you sponsor a bill doing away with useless board travel expenses? That bill would help the schools' children.

The board also put a fake nationwide ad out before hiring Elia in a pre-cooked deal. The ad cost $35,000 to cover the duplicitous board's behinds for not observing the equal opportunity laws. Did the taxpayers fork over the moneyh for that fake ad? Of course they did.

I examined the superintendent applicants' submissions. Elia was worst qualified, having in her one administrative local post overbuilt class rooms and failed to notice a real-estate scam going on under her nose that a St. Pete Times reporter walked in off the street, spotted, and wrote a series about. The candidates turned down, all superior to Elia, had Ph.D.s and rich experience. But they had no deal with the board not to interfere with the board's milking taxpayers for perquisites. Offer a bill that makes impossible such corruption of the hiring of school superintendents. What about a citizens' committee hiring the superintendent?

Your bill injures education, sir; this is a capricious made-for-election-time bill. Abandon it. Your bill will dilute education by punishing the people who deliver it to students in the schools and put more power in the hands of the C-student administration to fire teachers capriciously. The firing of good teachers will injure our children and grandchildren. And if your malignant bill passes, you will be responsible for that situation.

Lee Drury De Cesare
15316 Gulf Boulevard 802
Madeira Beach, FL 33708

c: All members Hillsborough County legislative delegation
All members of the Florida House of Representatives
Arne Duncan, US Secretary of Education
Dr. Smith, Florida Secretary of Education
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HMarlene.O' ; ; ;; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
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Mike ;
Debbie ;
Adam ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Gwyndolen.Clarke-Reed ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Esteban.Bovo,Jr. ;
David ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

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