Movie shows teachers' unions can be bullies against reform

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  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Oct. 14, 2012 11:19 a.m.

    @ Tolstoy 12:06 p.m. Oct. 11

    She also said we should judge people by the type of music they listen to.

    Seriously... both of my parents were educators and they had issues with Teachers Unions, district bureaucrats & of course the state legislature.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Oct. 12, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    Well, Rifle, I'm sure you enjoyed that other factual movie about education. Surely you remember the one I'm thinking of.

    I think it was called "Kindergarten Cop."

    There are very few "based on a true story" movies that are anywhere near the truth.

    It's important that we all take some time to evaluate the degree of factual information in any movie or other source before trying to convince anyone else that it is true or not.

    That is why we liberals you hate so much are liberals. We are actually conservatives who are able to think for ourselves and then refuse to let anyone fool us.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 11, 2012 4:31 p.m.

    " I support charter schools - and my kids attend them - because they consistently perform better than traditional district schools. Study after study after study confirms this."

    Actually, studies of charter schools show mixed results. The safe assumption might be that some charter schools may be better than some public schools. But how is a parent to sort through the differences? You obviously are a strong believer and proponent in charter schools since your children attend them. I am curious as to what led to you enrolling your children in a charter school? Did they start out in public schools? How did you determine, what criteria did you use to evaluate the school(s)?

  • Voice of Reason Layton, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 3:20 p.m.

    JohnCC - I'm glad you're doing your homework, even if your sources are somewhat limited. I've been involved in charter schools for years. The Stanford study is the well-known outlier to the charter-supporting norm in peer-reviewed research. There are a number of reasons, but the main criticism is that it lumped together predictably low-performing alternative high schools - which are overwhelmingly charters - with other magnet charter high schools and charter K-8 schools. Even the report itself notes that K-8 charters (elem & middle) do MUCH better than traditional schools, while charter high schools do worse, never noting that they're including the large number of alternative charter HS that will always, by definition, do worse than other schools. That skews the results opposite to prevailing mainstream research, which is that charters do consistently better across the board. And no wonder, since they are governed by a highly involved school-specific parent board as opposed to a distant, detached district board members working their way up the political ladder that govern dozens of schools.

    And sweetheart Morley construction deals are just that - construction deals. Those have been happening with district schools since time immemorial.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2012 2:31 p.m.

    Re: one old man Ogden, UT
    "So now the conservatives seem to expect everyone to lap up as "factual" a Hollywood movie."

    If this movie supported your point of view you would accept it as gospel truth. Thank goodness for for girls like Samantha Pawlucy who had the guts to stand up to her geometry teacher who mocked her for wearing a Mitt Romney T-shirt.

    Where there's smoke there's fire.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 1:23 p.m.

    Finally someone questions the union monopoly in education. With all of the Michael Moore and Oliver Stone movies accepted as the truth, not the liberals are questioning Hollywood. The irony is delicious.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 1:01 p.m.

    Voice of Reason, I appreciate your desire to get the facts behind the rhetoric.

    My statistics on charter school performance come from a 2009 study by the Centre for Research on Education Outcomes (Credo) at Stanford University.

    Yes, charter schools are public schools. Their charter depends on state approval and they are funded by our taxes.

    Examples of for-profit promoters of charter schools:

    1. Glenn Way and Michael Morley, who passed pro-charter laws as lawmakers. Their wives, who sat (sit) on ALA's board of trustees, which approved huge contract deals with Charter School Properties V (no-bid), owned partly by Way, Morley, and fellow pro-charter lawmaker Jim Ferrin. Morley's construction company, the no-bid building contractor.

    2. K12, a national profit-making provider of educational services, currently under investigation in Florida and subject to a share-holder lawsuit for allegedly falsifying the certification status of its teachers. Recently approved to provide Utah with online courses.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2012 12:42 p.m.

    So, the law in California says that if 50% +1 parent doesn't like the way a school is performing, they can petition to make the state do their job to fix that school - including turning it into a charter school - which provides no additional funding or resources to the school and in no way addresses any actual issues the school is having - it does, however, give parents who, prior to the signing of the petition were not involved in their children's education, the opportunity to get involved. (Although, why they weren't involved before - who knows.....)

    I do have to question the credibility of the author. He clearly admits that harassment of the parents was out of line and that a Judge ordered those harassing the parents to stop - but first he acts like this harassment is part of the law and supported by progressives and accuses progressives of hypocritically supporting ID here but not when voting.

    This is an unfounded accusation, has nothing to do with the story, and shows the author's bias. What else is he fabricating, stretching the truth on, or misrepresenting?

    Too bad he had to let his bias ruin the story.

  • Salsero Provo, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 12:29 p.m.

    Has the letter writer ever considered the possibility that film can be a medium for propaganda? Many people want to believe anything that reinforces their prejudices and they reject anything that goes against their pre-set opinions. It's just the nature of things. So if the letter writer sees a piece that confirms his views about teachers unions, then that must be "the truth".

    Perhaps the letter writer should stop seeing political advertisements from his partisan perspective and try to get behind the message and understand what is being said. It's difficult, particularly when he's been taught since he was a child to believe the acknowledged authority influencing his life.

    Maturity comes when we can make judgements on our own based on rationality and wisdom. This is where a little street smarts goes a long way.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    I blame Murphy Brown, this all started with her.

  • Voice of Reason Layton, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 10:01 a.m.

    What kind of fantasy world do you have to live in to actually believe that the majority of Americans who consistently support charter schools "despise education and teachers so much"!? In any other context that would be offensive; here it's just sad, since that kind of cheap shot is apparently the best argument this individual could come up with against charter schools.

    John CC's argument isn't much better, but at least it's an argument instead of an empty insult. I'm not a strong supporter of charter schools because of a Hollywood movie. I support charter schools - and my kids attend them - because they consistently perform better than traditional district schools. Study after study after study confirms this. His figures are simply wrong, and probably describe a rare, localized exception to the national trend somewhere.

    And John seems to misunderstand that Charters are PUBLIC eeevil corporations are siphoning off "profits" (from where!? charters are free!) He might be referring to PRIVATE schools, which perform better than both district AND charter schools, which is why vouchers will happen one day, if there's any justice. Those eeeeevil dare they upstage the unions!

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    Ha ha ha, and we all know that everything in movies is true.

    Thanks for the laugh today. There's no way this letter writer is serious, right?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 9:33 a.m.

    So now the conservatives seem to expect everyone to lap up as "factual" a Hollywood movie.

    I honestly don't know what the truth is or isn't in the supposedly "true story" that supposedly inspired this movie.

    But by the time scriptwriters get finished with the facts in almost any movie or TV show, the reality is nowhere near factual.

    Yes, there are problems in education. But they are certainly not going to be helped by any movie like this.

    Hutterite has it right in his post above.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 9:02 a.m.

    I saw a movie once that showed how a car can be equipped to travel through time. The words 'based on a true story' don't lend much more creedence to truth in a film than the idea that we'd like to see a delorean fly. I'm not sure why we despise education and teachers so much here; I think it has something to do with knowledge being dangerous and anathema to the political/religious environment that tries to stay superimposed over our society here.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 8:24 a.m.

    Re: ". . . a remedial course in civics for unionized teachers."

    Something that has been needed for years -- even here in red-tinged Utah.

    A few years back, when Utah teachers violated the law by going out on strike, some union members attempted to use some of the same tactics described in the article -- threats against kids to deal with complaining parents. Others used hackneyed trade-union sophistry to justify it.

    UEA/NEA is a gritty little trade union, seeking influence completely out of proportion to its representation in society, primarily to benefit itself -- NOT students, education, or even teachers.

    It should be recognized as such, and dealt with in policy matters in the same arms-length fashion as one would deal with corrupt bosses in any other trade union.

    That is to say, it should be recognized that NEA/UEA is after exactly the same end as any other corrupt trade union -- benefit to itself, the Socialist International, its bosses, and its less skilled, less motivated members, but NOT education.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 8:20 a.m.

    If you think this movie is anywhere close to realistic, visit your local school. Watch how hard teachers work. Then follow the money behind the movie to those privateers who want panicked parents to trigger schools into the hands of even less accountable, for-profit corporations who depend on even more poorly paid and poorly prepared, and highly expendable teachers. These corporations drive per-student spending down even further, with the goal of making as much profit as possible; whose charter schools have paper school boards dominated by private, not public interests; whose charter schools mostly avoid accepting or retaining those special students who need the most help, 17% of whose charter schools perform better than their similar traditional public schools, and 37% of whose charter schools perform worse.

    With traditional public schools you get administrators who are accountable to the school boards you elect. With charter schools you get administrators whose goal is to funnel money from your taxes to private owners.

    Parents who pull the trigger will find it to be their last act of local influence.

    Again--visit your local school. See the truth for yourselves.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 11, 2012 5:21 a.m.

    I love it!

    two staunch liberal groups going after each other - Hollywood and the teachers unions.

    Not surprised to see the hypocary of the left, voter ID laws supress minority votes, but ID is MANDATORY when you want your kid to succeed but the union obviously doesn't.