The OEA endorsement: a member’s perspective

By Tony Crawford of Canby, Oregon. Tony is a 30-year classroom teacher. He is currently at Ackerman Middle School in Canby.

The purpose of the Oregon Education Association is to assure a quality public education for every student in Oregon by providing a strong, positive voice for school employees. This is the mission statement of OEA and one that reflects the first interest of members, such as me, pursuing what is best for my students. As a classroom teacher, my students come first. As a member of OEA, I believe what is good for Oregon’s educators is good for Oregon’s students.

For these reasons I am excited to have witnessed OEA’s endorsement of Bill Bradbury for Governor of Oregon. Bill Bradbury proves to be the true “Education Candidate.” Earning the OSEA and AFT endorsements on the same weekend certainly reinforce this message. Bradbury’s call to fully fund the Quality Education Model is a campaign that the education community in Oregon has been waiting years to hear. Yes, in the schools and classrooms of our state we are in need of optimism. We are tired of listening to excuses. Bill Bradbury’s plan to fund QEM will deliver the quality of education my students deserve.

As a delegate to the OEA / PIE Convention, I was pleased with the democratic and transparent process used to consider, evaluate, and eventually choose those candidates for office that will best support public education - and the students in my classroom. The Convention, however, was only the icing on the cake.

In the weeks and months before the convention many of the candidates met with groups of educators across the state to discuss the issues important to us. Bill Bradbury was strong in this effort. Bradbury traveled the education road show to not only detail his plan to support Oregon’s schools, but to also be a good listener. A candidate for governor who engages teachers and support professionals individually and in small groups to learn from us certainly earns our respect.

The top priority of the Oregon Education Association is to ensure that all students in Oregon receive a quality education. To meet this goal, OEA will pursue adequate and stable funding for public education. Our goal statement suggests that endorsing Bill Bradbury for Governor is a natural conclusion. A conclusion that best serves the interests of my students.

Comments

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Define adequate funding. It's time for cold hard numbers and a stop to the never ending "we need more money."

  • LT (unverified)
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    First of all, let's get one thing straight. Administrators at the central office level in this day and age don't deserve a salary of over $100,000 AND a car allowance. Until the debate gets off "well those teachers union members are overpaid and underworked" and onto other costs, MP's question will never be answered.

    As was discussed in the legislature back when Republicans were in control of the legislature, there are differences between districts. Portland may have more students of color or of homes where English is not the first language than some small town schools. However, Portland is geogrpahically dense, as opposed to rural schools where kids may have to ride the bus up to an hour one-way because so much of the school district is farmland.

    The cost of bus fuel affects those rural districts in ways it does not affect population-dense districts. If the cost of bus fuel were to be unstable, that could wreck a school budget.

    Adequate funding should address the following:

    Maintaining school buildings (heat, structural integrity, wiring, etc.) because not all districts can pass school bond issues for building maintenance. In recent decades, there have been serious problems with schools falling apart, esp. in rural areas.

    Professional salaries for professional staff. Teachers today need Masters degrees. Should teachers be paid less than other professions requiring Masters degrees? Would the best talent go into a profession where they are paid lower than other professions AND attacked because they have collective bargaining rights?

    Do schools in the 21st century deserve 21st century equipment? Not only computers, but do classrooms have a way to communicate with the office in case of problems?

    Most large high schools now have school security and police presence of some sort. That costs money.

    Is it more cost effective to have things like bus service, janitorial, food service, etc. be district-operated or contracted out? Where are the data which say that?

    MP, you might want to attend a budget committee meeting sometime and see how decisions are made.

    Or you can go to http://www.cctvsalem.org/programs/schedule.php

    look for the Streaming Video section, and then find SK budget committee meetings available.

  • Jason (unverified)
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    The reality is that the OEA and its members are liberal, and don't like conservatives. No Republican ever has a chance of getting their endorsement, even if they were a "Tom McCall" type of conservative.

    There's a reason why Republicans running for office in liberal areas in Oregon have to raise so much money: they are competing with the money, political power, and support of Oregon's unions that historically vote for and only support dems.

    Just an observation...

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    LT

    For me it's not what the number is, but that there is no number. I don't care if they come back with $15k or 20K per student, I just want a number where the education establishment will say they are receiving adequate funds and will stop saying that things would improve if only they had more money.

  • RDurig (unverified)
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    OEA could solve the funding issue today, they don't want to!!!!. Why get off the gravy train?.

    Washington and New Mexico put school funding before pork.

    We put schools last and keep them their, and put $5 billion of pork ahead of schools.

    If OEA priorities funding for schools then why doesn't their ACTIONS support it?

    Their ACTION are to put government ahead of the students. Making the school vote the Ginny Pig, and last before all their special interest.

    Stop using our schools as a vehicle to raise funding's!

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    From Key Largo.......

    Frank McCloud: He knows what he wants. Dont you, Rocco? Johnny Rocco: Sure. James Temple: What's that? Frank McCloud: Tell him, Rocco. Johnny Rocco: Well, I want uh ... Frank McCloud: He wants more, don't you, Rocco? Johnny Rocco: Yeah. That's it. More. That's right! I want more! James Temple: Will you ever get enough? Frank McCloud: Will you, Rocco? Johnny Rocco: Well, I never have. No, I guess I won't......

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    Our next generations are facing enormous challenges from changes in the global economy and rising new powers, like China, which is forecast to have an economy as large as the US by 2035 and perhaps twice as large by 2050. I think teachers are intelligent, informed, thoughtful, and, as Tony says, concerned about what is best for students, so it disappoints me that they are not more supportive of more Mandarin programs or high school study abroad programs that would prepare more of our students for those challenges.

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)
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    Rep Scott Bruun (R-West Linn) Chuck Burley (R-Bend) Chris Telfer (R-Bend)

    All Rs endorsed by and given money by OEA-PIE (People for Improvement of Education).

    I'd have more names but Orestar wasn't wanting to cooperate with my computer.

    OEA is not one entity. OEA is the thousands of members across the state. For State District and Senate races, they hold interviews with any/all candidates that complete the OEA Candidate Questionnaire and then they--the members in that district, decide who to endorse. Yes, in Mult Co that may well be a D since most members (like most citizens) in Mult Co are Ds. But in areas where Rs are more prevalent that carries over to OEA members as well and that is reflected in their endorsements. Trust me, there are many OEA members and OEA-PIE members who are Rs.

    As for statewide candidate endorsements,the lack of R endorsements has more to do with the qualifications of the candidates than with their political party affiliation. OEA members do endorse R candidates. If Rs want more R candidates endorsed, then put up candidates that support OEA's standards and ideals for education.

  • Jake Leander (unverified)
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    Jason wrote:

    The reality is that the OEA and its members are liberal, and don't like conservatives.

    Your oversimplification has cause and effect confused, my friend. First, there is no political homogeneity among teachers. That would be obvious if you talked to several of them.

    As far as teachers and conservatives - since teachers are so well paid [according to conservatives, anyway] they would be statistically more likely to be Republicans. Of course, Republicans, being rhetorically addicted to cutting taxes, make adequate funding for schools problematic. So teachers who belong to the OEA are likely to see Republicans as part of the problem, not because they dislike conservatives, but because they like public education and their own jobs.

    Now, if by conservative you mean anti-science, religiously fundamentalist, homophobic and xenophobic, then teachers as college graduates are statistically less likely to support politicians who support such ideas.

  • RDurig (unverified)
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    Lets forget liberal or conservatism tag lines, lets do what right. Let's put the children before politics, lets do what right with the money we send them.

    Stop the excessive regulation facilitating waste, bureaucracies, while restricting the freedoms in our schools.

    To quote; “OEA is interested in making sure teachers' rights, salaries, and working conditions are protected...But improving education for kids is not their agenda and a lot of the public doesn't get it.” --Julie Fahey | Mar 10, 2010

  • LT (unverified)
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    Drop the talk of the OEA convention for one moment. Someone please tell me which teachers they personally know of in specific schools who are against improving education in ways they think are important, and who don't care about their students.

    That is different, of course, from "anyone who supports improving education supports ___and if you don't support that, then you don't care about kids".

    Academically rigorous instruction identifies the difference between the actions of individuals and the actions of groups.

    "OEA agenda" may be what is adopted at their convention. But if you drive to the nearest school, do you really believe any teacher in that school unquestioningly supports the "agenda" just because a blogger says so?

    How many teachers spend any of their spare time on union activities? Or do they spend their time outside of work with their families, with hobbies, getting additional training, etc?

  • Logan Gilles (unverified)
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    Thanks for the work that you do, Tony. Good to see you on BlueO.

  • Dan (unverified)
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    When the OEA (not the teachers themselves) every start giving a shit about education and what is best for kids....well, that will be the day I might start listening to their "endorsements" for political office.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "When the OEA (not the teachers themselves) every start giving a shit about education and what is best for kids...."

    If you are saying that the OEA as a lobby group does not reflect the views of teachers, I take your point.

    Some teachers arrive early, stay late, use their own money to help buy things for the classroom not in the budget, will talk to individual students to help them solve problems in a way that many lobbyists/ consultants/ activists might never comprehend.

    Which is why I say critics should visit an actual school sometime.

  • richard (unverified)
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    "what is good for Oregon’s educators is good for Oregon’s students."

    What a WHOPPER.

    ESL

    I rest my case.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Richard,

    There are elementary schools in Oregon where more than 10 nationalities are represented in a particular classroom. Could be Hispanic, Asian, or whatever.

    Exactly how do you believe those students should learn English if it is not the primary language spoken at home?

  • richard (unverified)
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    LT,

    Easy, by people other who YOU support and with approaches that work. There's no mystery here and it's not too complex either.

    Why do you think there ar French and Japanese emersion schools? To take 7 years to teach another language? Hardly.

    We have ESL and other horrific programs because of the teacher's unions and the people they elect.

    Whole language, lousy math and ridiculoulsy bad assessment systems all contribute to the mediocre at best public school system your pals run.

    And here you are pretending like you've never heard of the preferable alternatives to ESL.

    The OEA, Defending the indefesible for the good of the children.

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    LT commented: Teachers today need Masters degrees. Should teachers be paid less than other professions requiring Masters degrees?

    Why do teachers today need MA degrees? You are aware that less than half of public school teachers have MA degrees? I hope you're not going to try to tell me Johnny can't read, write, or cipher because his teacher doesn't have an MA degree!

    On average, MA degrees in education bear no relation to student achievement. Masters degrees in math and science have been linked to improved student achievement in those subjects, but 90 percent of teachers' MA degrees are in education programs - a notoriously unfocused and process-dominated course of study.

    Is it teachers today NEED MA degrees? Or that they just go for MA degrees to get that contracturally-mandated automatic increase in their salary? Because of the financial rewards associated with getting an MA degree, it experienced the highest growth rate of all master's degrees between 1997 and 2007.

    And I can tell you first-hand that people with Master's degrees are not paid the same in all professions. It's a supply and demand thing. An MS degree is practically a minimum requirement for an entry-level job in biomedical engineering - yet a BS in computer, electrical, or chemical engineering will generally yield as good if not a higher starting salary... and far more job and salary growth opportunities. Not all Master's degrees are valued equally - no different than for Bachelor's degrees.

    And if we're going to talk about how much teachers are paid... let's make sure we include the value of their benefits package (vs private industry) in the comparison and the fact many if not most teachers only practice their profession 9 months a year.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Why is the discussion always about teacher salaries when it should be about management salaries? As for requiring an MA, I guess that's why all those Indiana voters are so well informed. If you are serious about it, though, wouldn't the smart move be to create a path for existing MAs to enter the system and getting classroom hours without having to get a BA in education?

  • Joshua Welch (unverified)
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    bill maher on education

    "Yes, America has found its new boogeyman to blame for our crumbling educational system. It's just too easy to blame the teachers, what with their cushy teachers' lounges, their fat-cat salaries, and their absolute authority in deciding who gets a hall pass. We all remember high school - canning the entire faculty is a nationwide revenge fantasy. Take that, Mrs. Crabtree! And guess what? We're chewing gum and no, we didn't bring enough for everybody.

    But isn't it convenient that once again it turns out that the problem isn't us, and the fix is something that doesn't require us to change our behavior or spend any money. It's so simple: Fire the bad teachers, hire good ones from some undisclosed location, and hey, while we're at it let's cut taxes more. It's the kind of comprehensive educational solution that could only come from a completely ignorant people."

    the entire piece http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-maher/new-rule-dont-fire-the-te_b_497554.html

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
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    "Why do teachers today need MA degrees?"

    And the race to the bottom begins!

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    I know several good-excellent teachers in our community. I know a few really bad teachers also. That isn't the point. the point is the post states that the OEA is about students; children.

    Tony Crawford, if the OEA is really what you say it is, then they should immediately stop and retract the Redmomd District grievance concerning Sick Leave accrual. In an effort to save revenue, the Redmond District went to a 4-day school week this year. Instructional time was maintained by a longer school day. The teachers still get their contraturally agreed 1520 hours a year. The teachers, through their local agreed to to the change.

    Now, the OEA wants MORE sick leave accrual. Longer days (by about 50 minutes) supposedly mandate more earned sick leave. Sorry, the teachers still work the same amount of hours, a sick day just hits the accrual bank a little heavier. Also, there is a 20% lowere chance of being sick on an instructional day with the 4 day school week. No, according to the OEA, slightly longer days, but a 20% shorter work week means more sick leave accrual.

    Documented usage in the Redmond district shows that Mondays and Fridays are by far the highest useage days for paid sick leave. Fridays are now out of the mix. Usaeage should go down.

    If the OEA is really what Tony says they are, they will immediately drop the grievance. they are wasting the district's time and the Redmond taxpayer's patience.

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "reasons I am excited to have witnessed OEA’s endorsement of Bill Bradbury for Governor of Oregon."

    Basically Bradbury said you're doing fine and I'll throw more money at you and not ask any questions or suggest any changes. Pretty much pandering to the union to get an endorsement.

    I think we are beyond the stage of assuming throwing more money at scchools will fix them. I think we gave schools 20% more in 2007 and absolutely no diff in the classroom and they still want more.

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    ""Why do teachers today need MA degrees?""

    Rephrase - Is an MA any guarantee of being a good teacher for students?

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    perhaps schools would be better if the main user of educational facilities got to vote? Or was eligible at age 18 to hold office in the legislature the governmental body that decides who gets educational dollars. Maybe suffrage should occur whenever someone decides they are ready for the responsibility to vote? One can drive a car long before they can vote or run for the legislature. It seems there is a lot more responsibility and trust needed to drive a car on our roads then there is sometimes in voting or running for public office.

  • rdurig (unverified)
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    Hi Steve.

    "I think we are beyond the stage of assuming throwing more money at scchools will fix them. I think we gave schools 20% more"

    Steve the schools, are not getting more funding. They are taking money from the schools.

    Other government departments have ballooned, With the current state Government budget increasing about ($5 billion), we increased PERS and teachers benny's, launched BETC, Building a cell phone network for only state worker, ect.

    $5 billion more money today, and we cut the schools.

    Why do Government always hurt the ones we claim to help?

    quote Ringo Star- "Everything the government touches goes to crap."

  • LT (unverified)
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    Kurt, thank you for your specific charge against the OEA.

    Your specifics are better than "OEA doesn't care about kids" vagueness.

    Maybe that should go to arbitration?
    If the local took one side and the OEA took another side, who is the current president of OEA? Whose decision was it to intervene?

    Sounds like a job for investigators, not some teacher in another part of the state being held responsible (there are those who don't take responsibility for the actions of groups they don't belong to but by golly every member of any group they oppose is indiv. liable for any action of that group).

    Many teachers are too busy with work and family to get actively involved in union activity even at the local level (bargaining committe, etc.) because of the time and energy involved.

    I hope we can steer the rhetoric away from "Oh, you are a teacher, therefore you agree with everything the union does".

    It is time to dump the notion that every member of a group agrees with the actions of the group's leadership.

    Did every Oregon business person in Oregon agree with the business lobby on 66 & 67? Every contractor in the state agree with AGC?

    Every UFCW member agree with their union? Every AFL-CIO member agree with their endorsements?

    We the people have the right to think for ourselves and not be told a group we might happen to belong to does our thinking for us.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    LT, I'm not sure that I follow your post. Tony specifically posted about the OEA as an organization devoted to what is best for the students and education in Oregon. i responded specifically to the OEA's organizational actions.

    No, the issue should not go to arbitration. The issue should be dropped by the OEA. They clearly want more and are wasting everbodies time.

    I don't buy your thesis that individual members of an organization can not/shold not be held accountable for the actions of the organization. Membership in OEA is not compulsory. Oregon has a wonderful thing called "fair-share". An employee working in a represented unit can declie membership in the collective bargaining unit and give a fair share of what would otherwise be union dues and initiation fees to another charitable entity. Members of an organization can, and should call organizational leadership to account when they do stupid things. To sit by placidly is to give tacit approval.

  • richard (unverified)
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    Scott,

    The "race to the bottom" began around 1974 with the arrival of the Teacher unions. 20 years of electing loons like Vera Katz, Kitzhaber, Roberts and many others brought us to the CIMCAM era of perpetual meddling and failure. Now after 20 more years of assault on public education under the guise of protecting it Oregon is the Mississsippi of the West Coast.

    And what's the answer? To have the same people meddle more on a grander scale.

    There's not a segment of public education which you people have not screwed up.

    The idea that the unions and their (you) libs are protecting it is repugnant.

    And while you use the union millions to re-elect the stench of the status quo we get all sorts of other failure like a State of the art jail that never opens. And the biotech cluster that never was or will be. And the MAX/Round plan thrown in the round file. On and on and on.

    ALL brought to us by the same people the unions claim are vital to protecting public education.

    The OEA reported recently that today's 20 year old is among the least educated Oregon generation in many decades. Of course the union came up with that to demonstrate a lack of adequate "investment". But they revealed the result of 35 years of teacher unions infecting our public education system with their political and self interests.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    So many calls to get real. OK. Let's start at the beginning.

    Posted by: RDurig | Mar 12, 2010 4:20:18 PM

    Lets forget liberal or conservatism tag lines, lets do what right. Let's put the children before politics, lets do what right with the money we send them.

    Educating children is not for the children, it's for us. I can introduce you to many that are actually allergic to school, but we send 'em anyway. It's "good for them" like teaching obedience commands to your dog is good for the dog. It's a lot better than a life of ill-behavior that will only be met with punishment and abuse. But let's be honest. We are the ones inflicting the punishment and abuse on what doesn't measure up, so "educating" them is our agenda, not theirs. Bart Simpson is funny because he is so typical.

    The dog doesn't have a choice about what kind of life it wants to live when it grows up, and our schools increasingly follow that model because the dog's fate is more and more a veridical representation of the lives our children can expect.

    And that's as far as it extends. THAT'S what we're voting money for and discussing policy about. Yeah, there used to be something called a well-rounded education that included liberal arts and was intended to give children the tools to determine what THEY wanted to become in society. Great. Just like Einstein's take on "Western Civilization"...it would be a great idea! But that has nothing to do with why our schools are there and what they are trying to accomplish. Let's have a revolution and retool most institutions. I'm all for it. But that's not what most here are talking about, and if you're not talking about that let's cut the "it's for the kids" spiel.

    Add to that a few good home schoolers, some dedicated liberal arts teachers, a data aware parent here and there, that are boldly pursuing the latter vision of a liberal arts education, just to make a real hash of it all. To what end? Is society that way? When does the alternative, rational track end? Going to start a home cottage industry to give those rounded people jobs? Those on the "domestic" track aren't going to be best pleased to see them rejoin the mainstream when they're looking for their first real job. Ultimately all those approaches and magnet schools and the like are just another version of "white flight". If there's one lesson of Americana that everyone should have learned from the 20th century, it's that moving out and up don't work. You have to stay put and fix the neighborhood.

    And that's why education has always been particularly contentious in the US. If it worked and allowed people to be self-actualizing, they would reject the corporate plutocracy. Look no further than the teaching of creationism in science classes. "It's bad education. It's poor preparation. It's not up to spec. It puts us at a competitive disadvantage as a country". Any of those words ever phase the evangelicals? Of course not. The Jesus Cult that is convinced it owns this country is threatened, and, screw how badly you have to muck up the kids' education, that ain't gonna happen. It is the same exact logic that leads to the educational policies we have today.

    Meanwhile, unable to articulate much, or too intellectually dishonest to care to, most continue to shout words on the subject in some kind of orgy of middle term fallacy. "I think we need to teach kids..." versus "Yeah, we'll teach them!"

  • rdurig (unverified)
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    It's hard to believe but first, New Orleans was, prior to Hurricane Katrina, consistently one of the worst run school districts.

    They open up give the children and parents personal choices, FREEDOM , allowing charter schools close to and even playing field with public schools.

    a couple of quotes from New Orleans

    "Charter schools take away politics... Hiring teachers, for instance, can be done without unions or school boards..." "High marks for New Orleans Charter schools"
    "It's been extraordinary as far as student achievement,"

    Freedom's does amazing things, Dem want social freedoms, for what they want. and I quote-
    "You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom." Malcom X "There is no such thing as part freedom." Nelson Mandela

    But then they demand government control of health care and schools. To me this his hypocritical.

    The rep want free government, but want to control religion ,marijuana, gay marriages,abortion, social issues, also hypocritical.

    I believed this is the best quote I have ever seen-- "Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don't believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others." Coretta Scott King

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "Steve the schools, are not getting more funding."

    In 2007, Teddy raised the education budget by 20%. I didn't notice any improvements in education that year.

  • rdurig (unverified)
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    Hi Steve Marx.

    Currently even though we raised the budget 5 billion we cut schools by 2-400 million. Taxes raised for 66-67 never went to schools, it went to Bio research park, you know all the bankrupt high rises on Macadam, Green jobs where almost all bio energy companies went bankrupt, or 80% of wind power jobs were built outside the US. And you got a PERS funding.

    Steve, sorry if your a teacher, your last to the money. feedbag. Bureaucracy and waste comes before you, 5-7 billion wasted, before you, before the children, sorry!

    But if properly motivated you will help raise money, again, and again.

    Good teachers have more opportunities in a free system, many of the great teachers are opening their own schools, installing best practices, and a fiduciary education model,it's beautiful.

    Another great quote from possibly our countries greatest freedom fighter.

    "Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed." Martin Luther King Jr,

    The freer our society, the higher the living standard, the better the schools! New Orleans schools and educational opportunities, are very impressive!!

  • Lou Fleming (unverified)
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    Hey Kurt Chapman. In my experience, when the employer whines about a grievance, it usually means that they did something wrong and they are concerned about losing in arbitration. Is it possible that you violated the collective bargaining agreement and the Redmond teachers are taking you to task--as they should. Nonetheless, you should stop whining. I believe Tony's post is about OEA and its statewide political process and not about local teachers in Redmond filing grievances against their employer.

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)
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    Kurt,

    Just to clarify----What you're describing is actually called "Fair Share Charity". In OEA, regular "Fair Share" is when you are not an active union member but still pay the same dues as an active member.As "Fair Share" you can request a rebate on part of your dues (those not tied up in bargaining/defending the contract). Fair Share Charity folks ask to not be members, pay the dues and have OEA give the dues to a mutually agreed-upon charity.

    Neither Fair Share nor Fair Share Charity folks are allowed to participate in any union functions/events. They are also not allowed to run for union office and --most importantly--do not get to vote on the union contract which decides their hours, salary and benefits.

    There are some who choose to be Fair Share, very few go the Fair Share Charity route. Some of the regular Fair Share ask for the partial rebate but most do not.

    And most, once they learn that they don't get a vote on the contract, decide to join the union and try to make a difference from within.

  • Julie Fahey (unverified)
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    RDurig - I was citing another commenter (Steve Buel) with that quote you attributed to me. I just thought his comments were interesting, as he said he was a former union president.

    LT - The teachers I know clearly all care deeply about students... But, some of them express ambivalence about unions -- e.g., they can interfere with teachers being seen as professionals (in the words of a National Board Certified teacher I'm friends with) or they make decisions that some teachers may disagree with (in a family member's district, the union voted for layoffs over pay freezes). As others have pointed out, teachers are not a homogenous group -- some will agree with the unions' endorsements and stances, and others will not (obviously... since there were a fair number of delegates at the convention who voted to endorse the other candidates for governor).

    It just seems like there are so many different ideas and opinions about what is best for "education" that there are bound to be disagreements amongst teachers, within the union, within the Democratic party, etc.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    OK. Only soundbites.

    Let's increase teacher's salaries, reduce the education budget, and relieve pressure on PERS!

    How?

  • restructure middle and upper management
  • create policies to discourage upper and middle management career positions
  • create a "service track" to allow highly qualified, chronically unemployed and underemployed Oregonians to fill middle and upper management jobs for nominal compensation.

    Do the math. There's nothing that brings costs down like replacing six figure numbers with a nice fat zero. That would be the service track positions' cost to PERS relative to current middle and upper management positions.

    The reality is that we allow this self-vested group to feed us the data and dictate to us the conditions for change and most accept it as gospel. As long as you're going to allow the mob to run the civic study on the extent of organized crime, you're going to keep hearing that the system is fine, you just need to pay up more. If you really want to help, you can pay up early and stop whining.