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Teacher of the year snubbed by teachers union

CommonWealth reports the Massachusetts Teachers Association rejected a motion to congratulate Sydney Chaffee on being named National Teacher of the Year. She's a teacher at the Codman Academy in Dorchester, which is, gasp, a charter school.

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Comments

Keepin' it classy.

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If Boston is the world class city you speak of just know that the BTU not the MTA represents Boston teachers. Different unions.

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Massachusetts Teachers Association not Boston Teacher's Union. Doh!

So - did you even read the article? Several important Boston voices quoted there signaling disagreement with the vote. Also, the National Education Association has asked Ms. Chafee to speak at their annual convention in June...in Boston.

Please go grind yer lazy anti-city ax elsewhere.

p.s. ftr, I think the MTA vote was assinine.

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NEA invited her, which is nice. MassTeacher did not. I don't know if AFTmass did or didn't. I don't know if BTU is in the habit. I imagine they don't want to leave the impression that charter teachers know how and public school teachers don't. They should send her congratulations.

9 out of 10 kids in MA go to public district schools. MA schools are rated the best of all 50 states. Our cities and towns invest their property tax in their kids educations. The state pitches in, especially in poor districts. In all districts with spec ed costs and with the burden of health insurance.

A high percentage of parents in MA are educated, many with advanced degrees. Many kids are taught to enjoy reading at an early age.

Education is a pillar of democracy and earnings power. If you can step back from the perceived slight you can see that MA public schools teachers, many of whom are massteacher members, deserve a lot of credit.

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I have very specific views regarding charter schools/school choice, but this just deepens a divide that benefits no one. It only reinforces the us against them stereotype.

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have declared war on public education and favor diverting taxpayer dollars to private and private religious education. Why would public school teachers support a teacher from a system that contributes to the destruction of public education? We all need to wake up and understand the end plan of the Republican party. It is destruction, not improvement.

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Public education has been doing an excellent job destroying itself since the mid 1960s. Per pupil spending has increased at rate far exceeding inflation for decades for non-existent to negative results.

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Would you send YOUR kids to the public schools that most of the kids at Codman Academy would be going to if it didn't exist? And yes--we know that there are plenty of terrific schools and kids and teachers in the BPS but if you are low-income, non-white, and live in a tough neighborhood it's less likely that you're going to end up in one of those fab schools. You call it destruction but if it were my kid, I'd be praising the skies for that opportunity. And please don't tell me that the schools were great until the charters came along and started siphoning away the money. This has been going on forever.

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from the article, a quote from the union member who put forward the question:

“I was disappointed that, as an organization of educators, we couldn’t for the moment put aside the charter school issue and national politics and just recognize this individual for her accomplishments and her work with children,” said Mili.

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Ask a teacher who works in Boston what charter growth has done to budgets and school closures at BPS. Also note that BPS teachers are BTU members not massteacher members.

When the MA ed reform law was passed in 1993, the pitch was for 25 charter schools for innovation. Last November, the charter assoc put a bill on the ballot that removed the cap on charter schools statewide. The public opposed it 2:1. It lost in 95% of all 351 cities and towns, and in 100% of MA cities.

The record shows that charter schools like districts schools can be great, average, crappy or vehicles for massive looting. MA does a better job than MI on that count. The state closed one in Boston last year, not for looting but for insufficient improvement.

The expansion of charters though represents a decision to build a two tier parallel public education system in MA funded by local taxpayers. I do not oppose that as long as a majority of taxpayers are willing to fund it. Running two systems is more expensive then running one. Giving the state the authority to open new schools without consent of cities and towns means there are two completely independent mechanisms that plan for new schools, the local district and the state, which largely responds to proposals made by private individuals ( in other words, not planned.)

I think the context of the massteacher vote is worth considering. I agree the left themselves open to criticism by not explaining it and I hope they send her congratulations.

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Two is more expensive than one?

Then let's go with the cheaper one that does at least as good a job as the publics and arguably better.

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We just voted on that last November. It lost 2:1.

95% of MA 351 cities and towns opposed removing the cap on charters.

Public funding for charter schools is a function of the funding of the school districts it is in, less transportation and charitable contributions, which are substantial.

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Why should a union honor her?

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...just your regularly-scheduled demonstration of union irrelevance.

How anyone takes these people seriously is beyond me. It's not about the children, it's about them, and them alone.

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every single person i know (republican, democrat, conservative, liberal...etc) is anti-teachers union.

time for the city to step up and dismantle this organization.

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Or would you rather we had the kind of teachers that they get in Oklahoma: high school drop outs, drunks, people who can't read at the high school level teaching high school, etc.

Yes, not having unions to fight for good pay and benefits means sucking the dregs off the bottom.

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As long as the teachers want a union, they'll have a union. That's how the union thing works.

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The Globe and the Herald are often anti-union. The US, especially Republican politics driven by high wealth individuals, is anti-union. They revoke collective bargaining for private unions, repeal prevailing wage law, pass laws that make agency fee optional (right-to-work.) Democrats are not always better. NH is an exception. In NH Rs and Ds together have opposed right-to-work year after year.

My take is that labor should be able to capitalize by forming a union and bargaining with management for pay and work conditions. Labor like capital should be valued.

Organized labor was a foundation on which the US built the worlds biggest middle class. FDR had a hand in the growth of labor unions. As unions in private workplace have decreased, so has the middle class.

Unions in public workplace -- municipal workers, police, firemen, water dept, teachers -- are under attack by the conservative wing of the Supreme Court. Scalia's death turned a 5-4 decision into a 4-4 push. They're not done.

Employee owned businesses are an interesting development as labor takes body blow after body blow but the bottom line-- the gap between minimum and livable wage -- remains wide.

MA passed the first min wage in 1912. The premise of the law was that a wage that did not provide a decent standard of living was theft.

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Of course, the Union Leader has (or at least had) strong unions, but you wouldn't know it reading the editorial page.

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The union serves teachers not children or their parents or anyone else. Are garment worker's unions about the children whose clothes they make?
I do think the union could have been more gracious towards the charter school teacher who won the award. She might someday be in a position to join the union, if we ever put an end to the charter schools.

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They should be ashamed

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Salute again to Ms Chaffee

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Honestly this looks like non-news to me. One member at the state meeting brought up a motion, the members present debated the motion and a majority of them voted it down. I imagine it was a relatively close vote. Snub seems a little harsh.

To me it's bigger news that Sydney didn't snub the Trump white house when they invited her to visit.

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This was an embarrassingly shitty thing to do.

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I don't think it was personal but when you make an organizational decision against pattern, you should explain it.

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I don't understand what the big deal is. What happened to leading by example. The teachers in the union need to focus more on our children's education and not how they feel about someone because where they work. These teachers are literally failing our children and these public schools are the worse. I would never send my kids to BPS. Their schools are unsafe and the education or curriculum is a joke.

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These teachers are literally failing our children and these public schools are the worse.

BPS is the best large urban school district in the US and it is impressively diverse in terms of number of kids who who weren't born in the US and the number of kids who don't speak English at home and the number of kids who come from poor families.

BPS:

Over the past twenty years, the Boston Public Schools (BPS) has been transformed from a failing school district to one of the most renowned urban public school systems in the country. We educate more than 56,000 students in 125 schools — 74 percent of the school-age children who live in Boston.

We are proud to be one of the most diverse school districts in the nation. Nearly one in every two students speaks a language other than English at home, and our students come from 139 different countries. One in five BPS students has a disability, and half are economically disadvantaged.

On the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) – also known as the “Nation’s Report Card” – Boston students’ performance is on par with the national average for all public schools, including suburban schools, in grade 4 Reading and in grade 8 Mathematics. This is the first time since measurements began that any urban school district has met this mark in two subjects and grades. Since 2007, the BPS four-year graduation rate has steadily increased, reaching its highest rate ever in 2015 despite more demanding standards required by the state for graduation; and the percentage of ninth-graders who dropped out before graduation decreased to its lowest point ever for the 2015 Cohort.

BPS is the home of many firsts in the nation: first public school (Boston Latin School, 1635), first public elementary school (Mather Elementary School, 1639), first public school system (1647), first public high school (English High School, 1821).

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