Daily Archives: February 11, 2011
1. I will never again shop at Albertson’s
2. I will never purchase a Melaluca product ( never did before. Don’t do Amway either, for similar reasons.)
3. I will never use or purchase an Apple product.
All of these companies support the Luna Plan and the damage it will do to education, bash teachers and teacher’s unions, and in the case of Melaluna, support a variety of right wing causes.
They, of course, have right to their opinions and a right to express those opinions. So do I, and I choose to do that by not letting them have any of my money and I will do all that I can to persuade others to do the same. I will refuse to do business with any business that demeans or attacks teachers, my profession or my union. I will also refuse to support of give respect to any business that opposes the supplemental levy.
Caldwell Teacher Travis Manning started his testimony before the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday but was unfairly cut off by Goedde before he was allowed to finish. As a public service, I provide his FULL testimony here for your perusal.
SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE SPEECH
By Travis Manning
Feb. 8, 2011
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I am Travis Manning, a teacher from Caldwell, Idaho. I appreciate your allowing me to speak to these important educational issues.
In the Laptops Come First bill, also known as “Public School and Modernization and Reform,” I support raising class size. As a teacher I know that having more students in my class will allow students greater socialization, collaboration and cooperation opportunities, all 21st Century skills they must have upon entering the workforce. As a teacher I know that the more students I have in my classes the easier it will be for me to adequately and effectively reach their developing minds, and make for more engaging class learning opportunities.
Just think what valuable skills kids can learn from each other in classes of 35, 40, or even 45 students. I would never trade a pay raise, or due process rights, for the opportunity to teach large classes, because Students Come First. In a class of thirty or forty-something, there is surely room to practice negotiation and tolerance. As human interaction is critical to the socialization and psychological development of each and every student, I praise Mr. Luna’s plan to raise class sizes, slightly.
My favorite part of Laptops Come First is that I can give all students a window to the world, any time. Need an English essay? Control ‘C’, control ‘V’. Is class boring? Just download porn, play games, or log on to Facebook through a proxy website when the teacher isn’t looking, because they are assisting other students. Students do come first.
I also know that when we spend less per pupil that students directly benefit. Spending less means we are teaching our students the value of thrift, another important 21st Century skill. Spending less on education means that our hard-earned money can go somewhere else where we really need it—like roads and prisons.
And I believe that raising a teacher’s minimum salary from 29,655 to 30,000 will help attract and retain the best of the best. That 345 dollar increase in starting salaries will inspire many wannabe teachers. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go into education at a time like this—with class sizes ballooning, spending plummeting, and teacher salaries stabilizing, slightly?
The bill that REALLY excites me, though, is Mr. Luna’s “Teachers Come Last” bill, also known as “Labor Relations and Employee Entitlements.” It is in this piece of legislation that Mr. Luna applies sage advice and encouragement for the teachers soon-to-be.
I say to Mr. Luna, open up teacher contracts and master agreements so the public can see all the Top Secret stuff. Make everything transparent. And when district personnel, school administrators, or board members have personality conflicts or vendettas with those over whom they supervise, I say they have a right to do what they need to do! Give principals the clout to destroy a professional educator’s career at a school simply because they have the right to do what’s best to help children…. Remember, students always come first, and parents should always trust their child’s hearsay over a teacher’s word.
Most remarkable, perhaps, is the requirement in the “Teachers Come Last” bill to tie 50% of teacher evaluations to student growth, even for those schools with high student mobility rates. Teachers should be held accountable, even to factors over which they have little or no control. Students come first.
And limiting contract negotiations to salary and benefits is genius. I mean, who cares about bargaining for Master Contracts in good faith? Good faith between colleagues is overrated. Trust between teachers and board members is glorified. Professional collaboration is overvalued. Who minds if districts can reduce educator salaries for trivial reasons—new turf on the football field, a few laptops, someone’s pet project? Let school boards learn from their mistakes. And if local school district policies accidentally put Students First, by golly, we should do it!
Thank you for your time.
Travis K. Manning
520 East Ash St.
Caldwell, ID 83605