Signs Of Anger In RTM

An email being circulated to residents of the High Meadow neighborhood in Middletown Township, Delaware County, Pa., is pointing out that members of the Rose Tree Media Education Association, which is the union that represents teachers and others in the Rose Tree Media School District, is “demanding increases of between 4 and 5 percent each year for the next four years.” 

The email notes that the School Board has consistently agreed to offer 2.5 percent annual increases for each of the next four years. 

“Yes the school board tried to be reasonable from the outset of the negotiations.  They should have started at Zero percent in light of the economy,” the email says.

The RTMEA voted to strike last month. To see what your teacher makes visit here.

Education Department Wants Short-Barrel Shotguns

Education Department Wants Short-Barrel Shotguns — The federal Department of Education is soliciting bids for 27 Remington Model 870 12-gauge shotguns with 14-inch barrels.

Why does the federal Department of Education need 27 Remington Model 870 12-gauge shotguns with 14-inch barrels?

Now, someone might make a comment like “ho ho ho, maybe they might have to enter South Philadelphia High” and think they are being smart, but someone making such a comment would only show themselves to be rather stupid.

The Department of Education has absolutely no defense or law enforcement purpose. Buying guns indicates a perverse mission creep and that those running the department are not really people we want in government.

Education Department Wants Short-Barrel Shotguns

Education Department Wants Short-Barrel Shotguns

Teacher Salaries Listed For Pa. And N.J.

 

The oppressed masses in the Rose Tree Media Education Association — the union the covers teachers, school nurses and guidance counselors in the Rose Tree Media School District — voted to strike Wednesday.

Obviously, the working conditions in the district must be horrible for these caring professionals to take the drastic step of harming a child’s education.

And they are! Consider the plight of Springton Lake Middle School physical education teacher Stephen Adams. His salary was $87,329 in 2009. And that was for 195 days grueling days of teaching gym class. Granted, he also gets benefits but can’t you understand why he might have to vote to hurt a child with working conditions such as that?

Or consider Indian Lane Elementary School teacher David Woods. He  made a mere $95,817  in 2009. I weep for these people.

BTW, this link can give you the salaries of just about every public school teacher in Pennsylvania.

This one can give you the salaries of just about every public school teacher in New Jersey.

Lower Merion Spied On Students Via Laptop

Lower Merion Spied On Students Via Laptop
Blake Robbins being watched at home.

Lower Merion Spied On Students Via Laptop — A federal class action lawsuit was filed Feb. 16  alleging that Lower Merion School District used the webcams in the laptops distributed to students to spy on them in their homes.

The case, Robbins v Lower Merion School District,  is being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

The suit was filed by Michael E. and Holly S. Robbins on behalf of their son Blake, a student at Harriton High School, and the 1,800 or so other students at Harriton and  Lower Merion, the district’s other high school.

The suit  seeks damages caused by school district’s alleged invasion of privacy, theft of private information, and unlawful interception of electronic communications, and alleges the district broke numerous  state and federal laws including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Pennsylvania Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act, along with the defendants’ Fourth Amendment Rights.

Lower Merion distributed the laptops to each high school student. Unbeknown to the students and the parents, the school district had the ability to remotely, and at anytime, activate the embedded webcam capturing the images in front of the camera.

The Robbins learned about this ability Nov. 9  when Harriton Assistant Principal Lindy Matsko told them that Blake was engaged in improper behavior in his home and presented as evidence a photograph taken via the webcam from the laptop the school gave Blake.

The suit doesn’t say what exactly Blake was doing but whatever it was it was not as bad as public officials stomping over duly passed laws.

The case is being handled by the law firm of Lamm Rubenstone LLC of Trevose, Pa. They can be reached at 1-215-638-9330. They were contacted and confirmed the filing of the suit.

 

Lower Merion Spied On Students Via Laptop

Maybe I Was Wrong About St. Joe’s

Maybe the ire of the parishioners of Saint Joseph should be directed at the Philadelphia Archdiocese regarding the closing of their school.

The Delaware County Daily Times’ Gil Spencer has a column today in which members of the parish indicate the pastor to be a real piece of work.

Check the comments after the column.

Parochial School Parents’ Ire Aimed At Wrong Target

The parishioners of Saint Joseph Church in Collingdale, Pa. are outraged over plans by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to close the venerable parochial school on Woodlawn Avenue. The protesters include the police chief and a retired district justice.

The anger is misdirected. Do they really think the Archdiocese wants to close the school? If the money isn’t coming in from tuition or other sources how do they expect the school to stay open. Do they expect the teachers to work for nothing?

Anger is warranted, however, and there is a villain but it’s not on North 17th Street downtown but 60 miles to west and it sits in the State Capitol.

If less money was wasted on our public schools — hey people of Collingdale how do you like that Southeast Delco School District? — people would have more money to spend on the schools the prefer.

The money can be found in different ways. The boldest and probably best would be for the state to collect the taxes now going to the public schools and give it back to the parents so they can send their children to the schools they think best fit their needs.

Or one can consider a less drastic plan to give school boards the power they had before the 1970s to fire striking teachers which would prevent the hostage-holding that gives the educational union members 4 percent or so annual raises regardless of what the rest of the economy is doing. Combine that with eliminating prevailing wage laws and other gouging by the politically connected classes and an noticeable increase in disposable income will occur.

The ones who should be getting an earful from the people of Collingdale are its servants in Harrisburg namely State Rep. Nick Miccarelli (R-162) whose office is 605 E. Chester Pike, Ridley Park, Pa. and who can be reached at 610-534-1002; and Senator Anthony H.Williams (D-8) who has an office at 419 Church Lane in Yeadon and can be reached at 610-284-7335.
 

Pa. Gets A D But School Choice Can Make Teachers Rich

Pennsylvania gets “D” for promoting teacher quality, the National Council on Teacher Quality announced Friday.

The Council  advocates for tougher teacher evaluations and more rigorous teacher preparation.

Most states did as bad or worse.

The Council says Pennsylvania does not require teacher evaluations and tenure decisions to be based on student achievement; makes it too difficult to fire bad teachers; fails to oversee teacher preparation programs; elementary teachers are not well-prepared to teach math; and that the state sets low expectations for what special education teachers should know.

It also says Pennsylvania’s teacher pay and benefits are “inadequate incentives” to attract and retain good teachers.

I’m not sure about the last point but I’m not against a little more carrot for a lot more stick.

Consider this:  Cut the school year from the existing 190 days or so to 120 days and make each child eligible for a $5,000 tax-funded voucher to whatever accredited education facility their parents want per 120-day term

You should not need to be a high school calculus teacher to understand that would make just about any competent educator very rich.

The teacher leaves the public system and starts his or her own office much as a lawyer or doctor might. The office would be a classroom and the clients or patients would be the students. The teacher would have a huge advantage over a doctor or lawyer, however, in that the teacher could see far more than one client at a time. A good one could handle over 30, in fact.

Consider 30 students per class x $5,000 per student = $150,000 per 120 day term = $300,000 per 240 day year minus $50,000 for building rental, insurance, supplies, bookkeeping etc. = $250,000 before taxes.

Pretty sweet.

But the incompetent teachers  are against it so don’t expect it soon.

For those of you concerned about cutting the amount of education per calendar year, don’t be. The plan actually expands it. Re-read what I wrote and do the math.

And the plan might save the Catholic parochial schools.

Choice Is The First Step In Solving Philly’s School Violence

Today’s Philadelphia Inquirer had several stories involving school violence, and with the exception of one rather one-sided whine, all concerned serious incidents involving city schools.

This one, for instance, has girl gangs brawling outside of Bartram High school over comments on Facebook. Their fight ended up with three people — one girl and two boys — getting shot apparently by the boys they brought along. The boys were in critical condition as of this morning.

This one –granted it’s from the Daily News but the Inky had a similar story — concerned a hearing  incidents at Audenried High School in which a mother described how officials failed to discipline a school bully who had broken her son’s ribs, and how a teacher watched helplessly as a group of 20 students barged into her classroom and attacked a girl.

And this is on top of the incidents last December in which parents of Asian students kept their children home because of the unwillingness of officials to act against those attacking them.

If parents were allowed to chose their children’s schools most of these problems would go away. Schools and officials who did not respond to bullying would soon be weeded out because the parents would have the ability to cut off their money simply by  choosing to send their children elsewhere.

This would also apply to incompetent teachers.

The biggest opponents to school vouchers are, in fact, inattentive officials and incompetent teachers.

If the state legislators summed enough courage to oppose the teachers unions and approve school vouchers, parochial schools such as St. Joseph Grade School in Collingdale would be saved, and the kids who want an education in Philly would not have to attend class in fear.

Why The Outrage In Lower Merion?

Why The Outrage In Lower Merion? — Lower Merion fans at a high school basketball game, Tuesday, said some rather nasty things regarding host Upper Darby which brought a response from the Royals side which eventually escalated into some extraordinary ugly and anti-Semitic statements regarding LM, which has a large Jewish population. These ugly statements included things like “We’ll write you letters when you’re in Auschwitz”.

Now, this is not something that should be ignored but since Tuesday the dinosaur media has been tut-tutting over incident and the officials from both schools have been indulging in public hand-wringing and the Lower Merion parents have been calling for the heads of the perpetrators.

All well and good but I remain amazed at the angst aimed at words chanted by ignorant teenagers at a basketball game, especially since all the groups expressing it — dinosaur journalists, school officials, Jewish parents, Lower Merion Township, Pa. — voted overwhelmingly for President Obama.

And President Obama is someone:

–Whose spiritual adviser blamed all the problems in the Mideast — and 9/11 to boot — on Zionism and whose institution bestowed upon Louis Farrakhan, the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award.

–Whose FCC diversity officer called the reign of Hugo Chavez — who appears to be leading a pogrom in Venezuela“really an incredible revolution”

–Who couldn’t bring himself to lend even moral support to opponents of the rabidly anti-Semitic Ahmadinejad regime after they were cheated out of an election. BTW, did you see where Iran just  occupied an Iraqi oil well? What will President Obama do?

You can’t fault people for being fooled which may have been the case last November. By now, however, you would think they would take some of that ire aimed at teenage stupidity and point it at something of consequence.

Why The Outrage In Lower Merion?

So What Does Harrisburg Know About Sex?

So What Does Harrisburg Know About Sex? — KYW1060.com, yesterday, reported that state lawmakers were mulling mandatory sex education in public schools. While the story didn’t mention a bill number, HB 1163 was the only one found in a search for “sex education” at the website for the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Granted we might think our elected officials are experts on the matter of sex due to their amazing skill at finding imaginative ways of, well, giving it to us taxpayers, but one is puzzled at why they think it best to place a new mandate on public schools.

Oh yeah, I forgot, silly me. They are good at finding imaginative ways etc.

Still with this one you would think that they would have figured  that we, their masters, had caught on to this game. Sex education is sold as a means of curtailing unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, yet in  just about every place where it has been instituted those problems increase.

And with revelations of Alfred Kinsey’s motives and the rise of social conservatism which led to success being found in doing the opposite of what Kinsey crowd advocated — even the stupid bill itself recognizes that there have been state and national declines in teenage pregnancy and STDs — it is mind-boggling that this is even being talked about.

So What Does Harrisburg Know About Sex?