Tag Archives: teachers

AAE-Join the Next Generation of American Educators!

We are big fans of the Association of American Educators here at Conservative Teachers of America. They recently released a new promotional video that you must see. Please share with a colleague!

 

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Teachers Must Protect All Students from Bullying to Encourage Critical Thinking and Effective Debate

Teachers are typically caring people who are deeply concerned about the intellectual, emotional, and educational needs of their students. Over the years, many teachers have found protecting students’ rights more challenging as the educational system and the school curricula become more political. A teacher’s commitment to recognize the needs and protect the rights of each student becomes most important at that time.

During my 36 years as a conservative teacher in the classroom, it was difficult to witness the removal of conservative current-events materials from library magazine racks, to witness the removal of conservative ideologies from the text books, and to read the demeaning representations of the few traditional American values that remained in school textbooks. Nothing was more upsetting than hearing from students who supported conservative ideologies that they were bullied by classmates and teachers for their political stands and for expressing their intention to choose abstinence during discussions in health class.

I volunteered to donate two conservative magazines and one conservative newspaper to my school library so conservative children would feel comfortable discussing that side of political issues during current-events classes. The librarian told me, “NO.” She had to present only those items recommended by curriculum guides.* While conservative teachers were upset by this, few were willing to take a stand. It is time we all take a stand. We now must protect political diversity just as we support other diversity issues.

State governments have wasted millions of dollars creating and implementing anti-bullying curriculums which have been destined to failure because of the often unintentional but institutionally accepted bullying practiced by most political and social institutions, including the educational system. If there is any chance of limiting bullying within the educational system, legislation and district policies must include anti-bullying standards for the role models and leadership of the very institutions required to implement the anti-bullying curriculums.

Educators recognize that school libraries set the intellectual and social tone of the school. Librarians have been diligent about including literature that recognizes the contributions made to America by every race and nationality. The current-events materials may include everything from Mother Jones, Monthly Review, Mother Earth News, to Time, and Newsweek; but one typically will not see a copy of a conservative magazine such asThe Weekly Standard or National Review. Censorship is one of the most aggressive forms of bullying.

A Wisconsin teacher brought his fourth graders to the state capitol for a field trip and encouraged those children to participate in the anti-Governor Walker protests that are a well-known daily occurrence. When this instructor used his influence to encourage students to ignore the political views of their parents and to protest a Governor whom their parents support, intimidation was being used to bully young children. Fortunately, most teachers use better judgment.

This teacher, like so many others, was simply following curricula recommendations which encourage student activism. Unless teachers encourage students to become active on both sides of the issue, critical thinking and effective debate are lost.

When a student is met with derision when he responds to discussion questions presented by stating that the he or she intends to practice abstinence, that is bullying. When the instructor does not stop the mocking and/or if he participates, the instructor not only condones these behaviors but becomes a bully. Peer pressure is often used to push children into abandoning their goals and values. A common peer pressure tactic is represented by the false statement that “everybody does it”.

If bullying in schools is going to subside, teachers must support anti-bullying policies which include well-defined examples of bullying, well-defined consequences for any acts of bullying, and standards which must be applicable to adults as well as to students in the educational setting. Once that has been accomplished, legislators must take a careful look at curriculum core standards for every subject area and assure that those standards are fact-based and scientifically sound, that the data is replicable, and that the content encourages respect for the traditions and customs that have served the American people so well for over 200 years.

This is a piece written by Karen Schroeder. Ms. Schroeder is a member of Conservative Teachers of America and President of Advocates for Academic Freedom. She can be reached at 715-234-5072.

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Close Encounters of the Union Kind

We received this from one of our members, he would prefer to keep his identity and school district confidential, so we are going to post it for him.

Excitement always surrounds new beginnings. For the NEA, new teachers and the beginning of the school year is probably about as exciting as it comes. After all, the beginning of the school year presents fresh meat for the union pack.

I recently started at a fairly large school district in a middle sized city in the Midwest. I was certainly excited for the beginning of the year meetings, but I can’t say I was that excited about my inevitable encounter with the National Education Association. I figured why not turn this into a positive and go in as an undercover reporter, so to speak.

The NEA offered new teachers a breakfast and a lunch all on the same day. I decided that I would attend both of them, the ability to act like a liberal doesn’t present itself very often. Free food and the chance to waste NEA resources, what self-respecting conservative would turn that down?

For breakfast I had the option of some granola bars, juice, water, a fruit, and the ever important NEA membership form! You have to love the NEAs brutal honesty, it’s not about education, it’s about money. From a small flyer attached to the NEA membership form:

Research shows that over a ten-year period, school districts in [my state] with an NEA majority have experienced salary increases more than 30% higher than districts with an [other state teacher organization] majority. The higher the percentage of NEA members in a district, the higher the bargaining power for not only salary increases, but for benefits and working conditions as well.

Can we think about this a second? America is broke, but the NEA wants me to sign up so they can get me some more cash! Thanks for the breakfast (which really wasn’t much of a breakfast), but no thanks. The most irritating part of this form shoved in my face in the morning is they didn’t even tell me the cost of the membership. I guess it’s just assumed you don’t care and are going to join anyway. Hey, they were offering a free t-shirt on top of the promise of a higher salary down the road. What a deal!

I escaped the first meeting with no confrontation and headed off to my morning sessions. Lunch arrived, and it was time to head back into the lion’s den (snake pit?). While waiting in line for my sandwich, chips, and water I was given another folder with more exciting NEA information. It was apparent that time was waning for the NEA, and potential new members were escaping their grasp. Inside of this folder was another membership form and a little bright yellow piece of paper stapled to it.

Special New Member Incentive

Any new member who joins NEA between August 8 and August 12, 2011 will receive a crisp, new (or old, wrinkled) $10 bill!

Well, at least they have a sense of humor as they bribe you with money. It got better though, as I was eating my lunch our district’s NEA president marched in and told us that anybody that joined would be entered in a chance to win $100. At this point I was beginning to wonder if I could join, get the $10, have a shot at the $100, and then dump the membership in a couple days. As tempting as it was, I talked myself out of that. I did finally find out the monthly cost. I finished my lunch and headed on out. I actually had to come back down to the NEA area because there was some confusion on our meeting schedule. As was attempting to leave an NEA representative made some comment about filling out our forms. I can’t specifically remember what he said, but it was arrogant and presumptuous. At this point a somewhat heated discussion began.

Now the guy I was speaking to appeared to be a nice person, he seemed genuine anyway. Overall the conversation was semi-professional. As you would expect any NEA member to do he brought up the topic of Governor Scott Walker. I was a little annoyed with him and decided to tell him that I had a lot of respect for Governor Walker. He decided to share with me that he thought Governor Walker was “a douche bag.” Yeah, not kidding. Of course he attempted to bring up the Koch brothers, the left’s boogie men. I changed the topic quickly.

The thing that floored me as I continued to talk to him was just how little he knew about his own organization. I told him I was frustrated with the NEAs partnership with the AFL-CIO. He told me I had my facts wrong. I guess he ought to check their own website: NEA pledges to work with new AFL-CIO president. He told me that he was upset with WADC’s involvement in education. That’s been the result of decades of NEAs influence on education. He shared with me that he feels the country needs more personal responsibility. I mean, really, the NEA is an organization that supports the political left. I know of no other group in American society that celebrates and rewards personal irresponsibility more than individuals of this political perspective. After an hour I had about enough of Mr. NEA and decided to head on about my day. We shook hands, wished each other the best, and agreed to disagree.

At the end of the day I can honestly say my opinion has not changed of the NEA. I still think they are one of the biggest problems we have in education. This is why I am a member of the Association of American Educators.

Oh, one other beautiful piece of this story. I am working with another new teacher who is originally from Czechoslovakia. We are working in the same building so we were hanging out together. She was with me most of the day and saw the beginning of the discussion with the NEA representative. The next day we were talking and she said, “You know what that reminded me of? Communism.” Unprompted, unscripted, brutal honesty.

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Accountability in Education Issue II – Administrators

Recently, a member of our Facebook page posted something that we thought worth sharing. There is much talk about merit pay in our schools. Conservative Teachers of America has not developed an official position statement on the issue of merit pay we can see a place for it, we would like to express caution when implementing these systems. One of the biggest issues is that many of these systems hold teachers solely accountable, not administrators. It takes the whole school and administrators are just as responsible for creating a safe learning environment as a teacher is. A second major problem with merit pay, is the merit component is often tied to a standardized state test. To truly measure student growth by one performance event, on one day, is not the best way to measure learning. No merit pay system should be constructed with the data element becoming a dominant component in the performance review.

Below is a note on this matter from Advocates for Academic Freedom.

Teachers are facing inevitable accountability programs. It is time that we unite to assure that teachers are not held solely accountable for the problems facing their profession.

The May 18, 2011, issue of the Rice Lake, Wisconsin Chronotype article “Schools beleaguered by retaliation” records the observations of Team Works International, an impartial third party hired to identify the problems facing the district.  A few of the problems identified were:

  • Inconsistency among administration
  • Absence of clear directives, administrative oversight and accountability
  • Excessive administrative “ command and control”
  • Absence of creativity and too much compliance
  • Cronyism and manipulation of the system
  • Punishment for teachers who “speak up” at meetings

Unfortunately, the problems identified in the Rice Lake School District are present in many American school districts and represent the reasons pilot programs for merit pay and accountability programs have always failed.  More information is available at Advocates for Academic Freedom (AAF)  http://advocatesforacademicfreedom.org/

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Teachers Speak Out On the Glenn Beck Program

Glenn Beck has to be one of the most unique conservative commentators in America. Unlike many of the others, he uses the power of his microphone to cause change, instead of just talking about issues. Today he gave teachers the ability to speak out. In case you missed this you can swing over to the Daily Beck and check it out.

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Welcome to Conservative Teachers of America!

Hello! Thanks for stopping by! Welcome to the home of Conservative Teachers of America. We are a small but growing group whose focus is on stopping the growth of the NEA/AFT unions and ending the unconstitutional Department of Education. We are tired of seeing our profession dominated by a progressive mentality that has done nothing but harm the quality of education in this nation.

For now, this site is a work in progress. You can come visit us on Facebook in the mean time.

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