Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Teacher sickout to protest being treated like other employees

Gee, wouldn't behavior like this make you want to support guaranteed employment for teachers?
Miami-Dade schools were open Monday and parents were told their kids should come to class as usual, despite hundreds of teachers planning to call in sick to protest controversial legislation that would overhaul teacher pay and tenure.

But 48 teacher absences out of 80 at Charles Hadley Elementary in West Miami-Dade resulted in the school canceling regular classes.

About 8:15 a.m., dozens of parents clustered outside the main entrance, many looking confused. Outside of the school, traffic came to a standstill along Northwest Seventh Street....

About half the school's [Miami Beach Senior High] 2,100 students stayed home Monday, Sidener said, and 36 of the school's 120 teachers called in sick.

Sidener said there weren't enough substitutes to replace the three dozen teachers who called in sick, so some of Beach High's educators have ``doubled up,'' teaching both their class and an absent colleague's class.

Sidener said the large number of absent students also made holding typical classroom lectures and class work difficult, because so many would have makeup work, so the school has created a daylong lesson focusing on the controversy of the bill.
The teachers staged a sick-out to protest the bill that went through the Florida legislature to get rid of tenure for incoming teachers and to tie teacher evaluation and pay to student performance.

So parents had to scramble to figure out what to do with their children that day or heard about the make-work that their kids had to do while their teachers took a day off so that teachers could express their disgust with a law that would make them more accountable for what goes on in the classrooms that they're evading. Great - avoid their responsibilities in order to score a political point against the legislature. In a recession when many people have lost their jobs, why should teachers be the ones with guaranteed employment regardless of their performance? What argument is there to say that they should be so privileged? Will employees who are regularly evaluated by their performance at work think it so odd that teachers' performance should be tied to the results they achieve in the classroom?