Responding to the ridicule of teachers and the teaching profession by politicians and self proclaimed "experts"!
"Where is Albert Shanker now that we need him?" - Walt Sautter

Saturday, 14 December 2013

There's Gold in Them There Schools - And Wall Street Comin' to Stake Its Claim !

If you think all the "education reform" stuff in really about improving education, think again !
"Education Reform" is just a back door approach to privatization. The claims of inferior teachers and failing schools are used as wedges to crack the door open wide enough for Wall Street carpetbaggers and cronies of connected politicians to sneak in and grab the billions of education dollars just waiting to be scooped up. 
Tenure "reform" (elimination) is a prelude to the takeover by private interests. Teachers who have worked for years to arrive at decent pay levels will be easy to fire and replaced with low cost people thus insuring even greater profits when corporations finally gain full control of the system. 
The elimination of seniority under the guise of keeping "the best" teachers when layoffs occur really means keeping "the lowest paid" teachers, again to increase corporate profits once schools are privatized. (And it isn't that far off!)
How about bargaining rights? 
Kiss them goodbye!
After years of fighting to establish a fair and equitable system for determining teacher rights and compensation future "negotiations" will be "hat in hand". 
The only rights that will remain for teachers will be the right to be continually bullied, defamed and blamed ! 


Sunday, 8 December 2013

A Smell Arises From the Trough at RU

The total cost of this "bullying" incident.

Skadden,Arps,Slate, Meagher & Flom   $   481,685
Connell Foley                                             $     64,000
Rice Settlement (Former coac                        $   475,000
Pernetti (former AD)                                   $1,200,000
New Basketball Coach*                              $5,000,000
Athletic Dir. Search                                     $     70,000
Crisis Management (?)**                              $   150,000
Total                                                                $7,440,685

*The five year contract for the new coach who has roughly a .330 win average.
** I am not for "bullying" anyone but a coach throwing a ball and yelling at a twenty something person who stands over six feet tall and weighs near two hundred pounds;I don't know if I would call this "bullying"? Does this really rise to the level of "crisis"??
Is this person being "bullied" or simply being subjected to a coach's mature tantrum. If the "bullied" person was so offended, couldn't he just have said "I quit" and leave the team? 
Does RU really have to spend this exorbitant amount of money (BTW it is our money, the taxpayers of NJ) to cure the problem.
Why do we have to shovel all this money to high priced lawyers and companies to correct this "bullying" incident?
Is it possible that a word or two to the coach and the athletic director could have sufficed?
Well, I guess not, probably because then all the aforementioned would not be in line to receive the outlandish payouts that were awarded!
And while I'm at it, how about some other RU payouts and financial irregularities occurring over the recent past.

The former president of RU (McCormick) retires and as part of his "contract" comes back to teach 15 credit hours per semester at a salary of $315,000 per year!
The football stadium is renovated at a cost of $108,000,000 and has never been sold out since (not even close). Some of the cost has been obtained from donors but not that much. The rest was financed via bonds and of course RU (us) must pay the interest.
The present president (Barchi) receives a salary of over $600,000 per year and I don't really consider that a problem, it's a big job.
But - he also sits on Boards of Directors that do business with RU and is paid over $300,000 by them. 
Our Governor does not sees a conflict of interest here! 
He must have a serious vision problem or an inordinate amount of faith in the integrity of both Barchi and the companies !!!
I don't know about you, but for me, much of this has a very bad smell !
And meanwhile, tuition and fees* continue to rise. 
* A back door way of extracting even more money from students without calling it a tuition increase. 
Orwellian Newspeak at its best!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

A Pension for Shamelessness

Public workers - set up to be screwed again!
Our government has plenty of money for Iraq and Afghanistan (until 2024) but not for our own cities and states.
Money for $300M jets that not even the military wants, money for troops in Germany, Japan, South Korea, etc.(for over fifty years), all of it pouring out of Washington in a deluge.
Billions of dollars for banks and insurance companies flood from the Capitol while cities and states are left poor and humbled. (And as an aside government officials continually talk of cutting "entitlements" to save money!)

To make matters even more disgusting, judges who qualify for super generous pensions get to decide if others may have their meager pensions eliminated !
If bankruptcy is invoked, I can't wait see the salaries and fees of those who preside over it and which "in bed" law firms and cronies are assigned to it.