Letters to the Editor

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STRIKE: TNT unsupportive of Tacoma teachers

Letter by Jos and Fran Cove, Tacoma on Sep. 21, 2011 at 11:19 am with 17 Comments »
September 21, 2011 11:38 am

We are very disappointed with the lack of support The News Tribune has given to the Tacoma teachers. On two occasions, close to 90 percent of them voted for a strike. The last strike: 1978 or thereabouts, 33 years ago. Does that sound like a strike-happy bunch?

The TNT has crucified Dale Washam over the past year as an incompetent despot, alienating his co-workers and employees. Superintendent Art Jarvis approaches the Tacoma teachers in a similar autocratic manner and this is not considered worthy of a more in-depth report?

We have had four children in Tacoma schools, two now in college, and this has been a very positive experience. We have had good, caring and competent teachers who deserve the full support of the community and the TNT.

Also, please stop publishing anti-strike letters from readers outside the Tacoma School District. The overlying message from these readers seems to be: Teachers do your job and shut up. What an anti-American message that is!

Leave a comment Comments → 17
  1. When you see what the teachers are making for the time spent at work can you justify a strike that you know to be illegal? The Judge should take a stand and make substitute teachers available for the jobs the teachers refuse to do.As long as teachers can ignore the courts edict,the longer the Strikes to continue.I feel this strike is more about who is in control of the school system,The Elected School Board or the teachers And the Union.At this point in time it appears the Union is winning.For myself I feel the TNT is being more than fair to both sides in their reporting.

  2. andreab451 says:

    What an anti-American message the teachers are sending. “We don’t want to be evaluated on how we do our jobs, we want to keep our jobs because we got here first.”

    I have had to deal with incompetent teachers due to placements based on seniority, first as a student in Tacoma schools and now as a parent. I would actually be MORE sympathetic if it were based on money. A teacher’s job isn’t easy, especially with how badly behaved some kids can be. But the system is failing, and making decisions for placement based on seniority contributes to this. Why try harder, think outside the box, find new ways to reach each child, when you know your job is secure based on seniority? A little bit of competition is healthy in the real world that the rest of us live in.

  3. mswendyg1972 says:

    I would first like to say that maybe someone should check the facts before responding. The teachers have repeatedly said that they language used in the district proposal for placement is based on measures that are based on perception. Would you be upset if you were evaluated on what people think of instead of the work you perform? I think you would. I support the teachers 100%. I am anxious for my kids to be in school. Our children are learning a valuable lesson however. They are learning to stand up and fight for what is right and fair for everyone not just a select few.

  4. andreab451 says:

    A teacher grading a student essay is subjective and based on their perception. During my annual review, my boss’ view of how well I communicate with a customer is subjective and based on their perception. This is the case in most every employment evaluation completed by managers all over the country. Welcome to the real world.

  5. andreab451 says:

    Also, if it were just the specific language that the teachers disagree with…..

    Why is it that seniority places FIRST as the basis for reassignment on the ALL TEA proposals, instead of proposing more concrete language and keeping seniority as a tie breaker? Or agreeing to the most recent proposal by the district that doesn’t make any changes to how reassignments are completed and instead forms a committee made of union/teacher/district representatives to create guidelines to be put into effect at a later date?

  6. PumainTacoma says:

    Geez, so unless you live in Tacoma forget about commenting that this teacher strike is ridiculous. I live in Tacoma and for all those that are tired of the same o’l same o’l seniority driven contracts, you might as well pipe down for the letter writer.

  7. PumainTacoma says:

    SEIU Honcho Calls For Mass Civil Disobedience To Create & Spread Crisis Across US

    View (anarchy being promoted by unions)
    http://www.breitbart.tv/seiu-honcho-calls-for-mass-civil-disobedience-to-create-spread-crisis-across-us/

  8. alindasue says:

    andreab451 said, “A teacher grading a student essay is subjective and based on their perception.”

    A teacher grading an essay he or she uses a specific format for grading. There are questions that the teacher answers while grading, questions like:

    Does the essay follow the proscribed format?
    Is the thesis statement clear?
    Does the body of the essay follow the thesis statement?
    Are the sentences formatted correctly?
    Is spelling correct?
    Are footnotes properly notated?
    Is there a bibliography?
    and so on…

    While there is some room for subjective opinion about how well a student may have made the point of the essay understood, the large majority of the essay grade is based on easy to define objective standards. The standards are defined in class and the student knows (or should know) what is expected of him before he writes his essay.

    Is it so wrong for teachers to want their own evaluation standards to be written as clearly?

  9. alindasue says:

    Correcting a sentence in my last post:

    A teacher grading an essay uses a specific format for grading.

    I missed deleting the other words when I restructured the sentence. Sorry.

  10. Yes, the real world. What a concept.

  11. scooter6139 says:

    Wow, PumainTacoma just posted some links from Breitbart.

    Really? Could you find a more skewed, right-wing purveyor of slanderous fiction?

  12. scooter, you beat me to it. Breitbart is anathema to reasoned conversation.

  13. stetsonwalker says:

    So as a state taxpayer I am not allowed to voice disapproval in a matter of an illegal strike of teachers my tax dollar funds? WOW talking about thin skinned!

  14. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Also, please stop publishing anti-strike letters from readers outside the Tacoma School District. The overlying message from these readers seems to be: Teachers do your job and shut up. What an anti-American message that is!

    Anti-American? You mean like the First Amendment?

    Tell me, Jos and Fran, can you point to the language in the Constitution that guarantees teachers the right to strike? Any strikes?

  15. andreab451 says:

    Alindasue, there should absolutely be guidelines for the evaluations. The teachers keep saying that it’s specific language they want changed, not seniority, but every proposal the TEA turns in keeps seniority as the first priority of placements. Change the specific language, recommend firm guidelines, but move seniority to where it should be, as a tiebreaker between 2 or more equally qualified applicants.

  16. harleyrider1 says:

    Jos and Fran,
    Do your teachers really need to be one of the highest paid – per hour – worker in Pierce County?

    Higher than most licensed professionals such as Accountants or Firefighters?

    Really? Is it such a dangerous job here or out in the weather during the winter months that they warrant such a high per hour pay? Do the math.

    And if you believe your own teachers’ statements, your children made it into college because of great parental support and financial ability. Not because of them. They are the first to say success begins at home with the parent.

    Now back to being one of the highest hourly employees in Pierce County during a recession?

  17. old_benjamin says:

    Yeah, NewsTrib, do your job and shut up.

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