Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Retiring PTF president comments on PPS

On another post Anonymous wrote:


Retiring teachers union chief looks at big picture

“The problems of Pittsburgh Public Schools -- a persistent racial achievement gap, declining enrollment, abysmal graduation rates for certain groups of students and a projected budget deficit of as much as $100 million in 2012 -- are problems for the union and its membership as well, according to Mr. Tarka.”

The Data on these issues reveals that each year since 2005 the problems have continued and many cases have been exacerbated rather than improved.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11186/1158226-298.stm#ixzz1RENjEOfJ

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/localnews/education/#ixzz1RENPuj1F


Anonymous said...

Interesting that Roosevelt is the one quoted about Tarka. Partners in this mess...

Old Timer said...

I read the article and again,am struck by what accounts for 'modern journalism' these days. Just as I abhor the PG, Trib and broadcast media's collective penchant to publish literally anything Ebony Pugh and PPS put out there on an almost verbatim basis, the same goes for the PR arm of the PFT, which might as well share the same philosophies as PPS.
At the outset, let me say again that I don't have any apologies to anyone for being a teacher. None. Zero.
I did my years in school for a degree, was forced to go for a Master's and thanks to scapegoating that comes from government, am forced to do 120 more hours over five years of "teacher updating" because Lord knows, I may forget who my kids are, were they come from, who their families are and how they live and what they need for future happiness in an academic sense, while complete idiots in ivory towers know and will refresh my approach.
And I cannot imagine how much they make.
That said, John forgot a long time ago that union leaders necessarily must be adversarial on many key points with management. This is especially true in the area of wages and benefits.
There's no way a PELA administrator should make more than I do.
There's now way that administrators in central office should make more than I do, or building administrators do.
There's no way a North Allegheny, Upper St.Clair or myriad other local district teachers should make more than I do.
Without my devotion, dedication, perspiration and patience, a large number of young men and women never would have realized their potential in high school. A great many never would have gone to college.
Few if any teachers in the aforementioned districts can say the same.
Throughout my three decade career, I have experienced just about everything one can experience in a school or classroom. Just name it.
Walk a mile in my shoes to think about what such a background does to an individual, and no doubt, why so many have great health concerns as they move towards retirement.
John forgot about people like me a long time ago, as Al did in the second half of his career.
He forgot that the union is not about him, and it's not about his opinion.
He forgot that unions should be all about its rank and file, and that he has no right--none--to circumvent the wishes of the majority.
Thanks to John, we've taken pay cuts over the last three contracts when cost of living and health care costs are factored in.
Thanks to John, we have less rights to combat vindictive, know-nothing administrators who see RISE as a simple way to thin the herd and rid themselves of people they just don't like.
John sought to change the rules when 4 individuals won elections as instruments of change a couple years ago. His tactics acted to mute these new voices, when rank and file's very vote was a mandate that he should have listened to.
John trumpeted the fact that there has been no strike in this district since the early 70's when truly, this alternative was one that could and should have made Roosevelt see the union as a strong group that must be negotiated with--especially with Gates money coming---and not a paper tiger with weak leadership.
John is no doubt a good man, but the combination of his love of his own power, the embracing of the ivory tower mentality and the willingness to capitulate made his tenure an utter failure.
No, I didn't get into teaching for the money, but I didn't get into to be walked over financially or professionally, either.
John, don't let the door hit you in the backside on the way out.
I'm ready to help Nina move out, as well. Just say the word.

Anonymous said...

Did the reporter go to Roosevelt for comment, currently? Why? Interesting. If not, these must be from old, dated interviews with Roosevelt.

Why is no one from the current administration quoted in the article? Odd? Why nothing from Dr. Lane?

I wonder what purpose or who's purpose this article fulfills?

Anonymous said...

My first thought was the same. Why is Mark Roosevelt's name here several times? What exactly is the purpose of this article? Something seems fishy!

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