Thursday, February 20, 2020

Fwd: school collective bargaining


-----Original Message-----

Subject: school collective bargaining

The Jefferson Journal
school
Collective Bargaining in the Schools: Prescription for Problems
                                                                By Chris Braunlich
 
           Joseph Ocol is the kind of teacher most parents would fight to have teach their daughter.
 
           His Englewood, Chicago girls' chess team won the national championship in 2016 against 60 other schools, an achievement noted in the Congressional Record, by news media and by the mayor and city council. And they've gone back since then, placing 4th last year.
 
           But back in 2016, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) went on a one-day strike and Ocol made the decision that, if they were to have a chance at winning, his chess team couldn't afford to take a day off from training. So Ocol skipped the strike to coach his kids.
 
           For his efforts, the teachers' union threw Ocol out. CTU simply put union needs above the needs of children from a community in which 45 percent are below the poverty line. Those who strayed from the party line were to be punished.
 
           There are lessons in this for Virginia. Those looking at the notion of "collective bargaining" with a gauzy vision of teachers and administrators sitting down and singing "kumbaya" will be in for a rude awakening.
 
Because the reality is significantly different. And with legislation under consideration in the General Assembly allowing for public employee collective bargaining (funny how the General Assembly excluded their own employees), Virginians need to know what they are in for - particularly in the field of education.
 
In testimony before the House Labor and Commerce Committee (the Senate Committee did not want any public comment), Virginia School Boards Association lobbyist Stacy Haney cited numerous studies linking collective bargaining with a negative impact on student achievement, particularly on minority and disadvantaged students. A 2019 study published in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy demonstrates that teacher collective bargaining has negative effects on long-run student outcomes, particularly for black and Hispanic males.
 
Ms. Haney also cited a 2018 study published in the Economics of Education Review, noting that the study associates "collective bargaining with lower overall student achievement and also 'with greater proportions of students scoring at the bottom of the performance distribution and smaller proportions scoring at the top tail of the distribution. These relationships are particularly strong for subgroups of traditionally disadvantaged students ...'"
 
In short: collective bargaining is bad for struggling and low-income students.
 
Why is that? A good part of the reason is that collective bargaining agreements don't just govern teacher pay. They frequently determine length of the school day, the school calendar, class size, and after-school hours. If it isn't in the contract, a teacher or supervisor can't do it. And these are the things that affect classroom learning.
 
Those contracts also set the terms for salary increases and discipline, limiting the ability to reward quality teaching ("seniority only!") or remove ineffective teachers. Do you remember reading about New York City's "rubber rooms?"  The ones where ineffective or dangerous teachers were sent away from children to play games on their phones, salaries paid by taxpayers, while the city spent years in disciplinary action to remove them? That was a consequence of the collective bargaining contract.
 
This is not confined to huge systems like New York City. In Providence, Rhode Island public schools - about the size of Richmond and smaller than 12 Virginia school systems - the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy analyzed the system's devastatingly low student performance and sent teams to conduct interviews throughout the city.
 
Among its conclusions: "Of all the issues raised across all interviews, the (Collective Bargaining Agreement) hiring policies came in for the greatest critique," noting that "it was next to impossible to remove bad teachers from schools or find funding for more than the one day of contractual professional development per year."
 
The team was told by teachers ... that the inability of a school to fire the weakest teachers was a real problem, because there were teachers who "just weren't doing what they were supposed to be doing." One principal reported still going to hearings about a teacher who had finally been put on administrative leave for repeated, inappropriate physical contact with children. The teacher is still on the roster and is still paid.
 
The Collective Bargaining Agreement hurt students. But it also hurt effective teachers seeking to do right by the children they teach.
 
This comes as no surprise to those of us who grew up in collective bargaining states. When the teachers union becomes the legally protected and exclusive bargaining agent and when funds are tight, the priority is building dues-paying membership (more teachers rather than professional development; protecting the teachers you have regardless of competence) instead of building a quality workforce or removing barriers to children receiving the education that best suits their needs.
 
If the collective bargaining agreements working their way through the General Assembly continue unfettered, Virginians are about to learn what that means for their children.
 
Or they could just ask Joseph Ocol.
 
-30-
 
Chris Braunlich, a New York native, is president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy and a former president of the Virginia State Board of Education.  A version of this commentary originally appeared in the February 16 edition of the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star.



Wednesday, February 19, 2020

VA-ALERT: URGENT ACTION ITEM: Contact your Senator about protecting the firearms preemption law!

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URGENT ACTION ITEM

We need to stop Delegate Price's HB 421, which destroys Virginia's firearms preemption law!

Currently gun laws in the Commonwealth are consistent, with the exception of shooting and hunting.  Purchase, carry, transport, etc. are the same state statewide.

HB 421 allows localities to control possession, carry, transport, and storage of firearms!  This will create a nightmare of confusing gun laws everywhere you go.

You need to contact your Senator and tell him or her to oppose HB 421.  Click here to email and (optionally) call your Senator with a prewritten message.

 
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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

school collective bargaining

The Jefferson Journal
school
Collective Bargaining in the Schools: Prescription for Problems
                                                                By Chris Braunlich
 
           Joseph Ocol is the kind of teacher most parents would fight to have teach their daughter.
 
           His Englewood, Chicago girls' chess team won the national championship in 2016 against 60 other schools, an achievement noted in the Congressional Record, by news media and by the mayor and city council. And they've gone back since then, placing 4th last year.
 
           But back in 2016, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) went on a one-day strike and Ocol made the decision that, if they were to have a chance at winning, his chess team couldn't afford to take a day off from training. So Ocol skipped the strike to coach his kids.
 
           For his efforts, the teachers' union threw Ocol out. CTU simply put union needs above the needs of children from a community in which 45 percent are below the poverty line. Those who strayed from the party line were to be punished.
 
           There are lessons in this for Virginia. Those looking at the notion of "collective bargaining" with a gauzy vision of teachers and administrators sitting down and singing "kumbaya" will be in for a rude awakening.
 
Because the reality is significantly different. And with legislation under consideration in the General Assembly allowing for public employee collective bargaining (funny how the General Assembly excluded their own employees), Virginians need to know what they are in for - particularly in the field of education.
 
In testimony before the House Labor and Commerce Committee (the Senate Committee did not want any public comment), Virginia School Boards Association lobbyist Stacy Haney cited numerous studies linking collective bargaining with a negative impact on student achievement, particularly on minority and disadvantaged students. A 2019 study published in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy demonstrates that teacher collective bargaining has negative effects on long-run student outcomes, particularly for black and Hispanic males.
 
Ms. Haney also cited a 2018 study published in the Economics of Education Review, noting that the study associates "collective bargaining with lower overall student achievement and also 'with greater proportions of students scoring at the bottom of the performance distribution and smaller proportions scoring at the top tail of the distribution. These relationships are particularly strong for subgroups of traditionally disadvantaged students ...'"
 
In short: collective bargaining is bad for struggling and low-income students.
 
Why is that? A good part of the reason is that collective bargaining agreements don't just govern teacher pay. They frequently determine length of the school day, the school calendar, class size, and after-school hours. If it isn't in the contract, a teacher or supervisor can't do it. And these are the things that affect classroom learning.
 
Those contracts also set the terms for salary increases and discipline, limiting the ability to reward quality teaching ("seniority only!") or remove ineffective teachers. Do you remember reading about New York City's "rubber rooms?"  The ones where ineffective or dangerous teachers were sent away from children to play games on their phones, salaries paid by taxpayers, while the city spent years in disciplinary action to remove them? That was a consequence of the collective bargaining contract.
 
This is not confined to huge systems like New York City. In Providence, Rhode Island public schools - about the size of Richmond and smaller than 12 Virginia school systems - the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy analyzed the system's devastatingly low student performance and sent teams to conduct interviews throughout the city.
 
Among its conclusions: "Of all the issues raised across all interviews, the (Collective Bargaining Agreement) hiring policies came in for the greatest critique," noting that "it was next to impossible to remove bad teachers from schools or find funding for more than the one day of contractual professional development per year."
 
The team was told by teachers ... that the inability of a school to fire the weakest teachers was a real problem, because there were teachers who "just weren't doing what they were supposed to be doing." One principal reported still going to hearings about a teacher who had finally been put on administrative leave for repeated, inappropriate physical contact with children. The teacher is still on the roster and is still paid.
 
The Collective Bargaining Agreement hurt students. But it also hurt effective teachers seeking to do right by the children they teach.
 
This comes as no surprise to those of us who grew up in collective bargaining states. When the teachers union becomes the legally protected and exclusive bargaining agent and when funds are tight, the priority is building dues-paying membership (more teachers rather than professional development; protecting the teachers you have regardless of competence) instead of building a quality workforce or removing barriers to children receiving the education that best suits their needs.
 
If the collective bargaining agreements working their way through the General Assembly continue unfettered, Virginians are about to learn what that means for their children.
 
Or they could just ask Joseph Ocol.
 
-30-
 
Chris Braunlich, a New York native, is president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy and a former president of the Virginia State Board of Education.  A version of this commentary originally appeared in the February 16 edition of the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star.



Monday, February 17, 2020

VA-ALERT: Gun bills being heard Tuesday at 8:30 am in House Firearms subcommittee!

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Gun bills are going to be heard in the House Firearms subcommittee on Tuesday, February 18, at 8:30 am in the Room 300-A Subcommittee Room in the General Assembly building at 900 East Main St. in Richmond.
 
Bills being heard:

SB 71 - This is an extremely bad bill that will make churches and synagogues which have daycare or preschool classes into gun-free zones!  This would hit synagogues particularly hard.  VCDL strongly opposes this bill.

SB 173 - This bill allows someone with a CHP to have a stun weapon in their vehicle while on school property.  VCDL strongly supports this bill.

SB 436 - creates a "Virginia Voluntary Do Not Sell List," where a person can voluntarily have their name added and, later, removed if desired.  A person on the list cannot purchase a firearm, under penalty of a misdemeanor if they try.  What this bill actually accomplishes is a mystery, but a person could maliciously put another person on the list.  The penalty for doing so, if caught, is a misdemeanor.  VCDL opposes this bill.

Action Item:  Click here to tell your Delegate to OPPOSE SB 71.
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Not yet a Virginia Citizens Defense League member? Join VCDL at: https://vcdl.org/join

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PO Box 513
Newington, VA 22122-0513

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Sunday, February 16, 2020

VA-ALERT: REMINDER: HB 961, the "assault weapon" ban, being heard on MONDAY!

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Turnout needed!  Monday, February 17, at 8 am, the Senate Judiciary committee is going to hear HB 961, Delegate Mark Levine's "assault weapon"/higher-capacity magazine/suppressor/ bump stock ban!

This is a key opportunity to defeat HB 961 and there is a good chance we can do so!

BREAKING:  VCDL has heard there will be an attempt to modify HB 961 to help save it from being defeated.  HB 961 is a disaster and cannot be fixed.  It must be killed in its entirety!

I suggest getting there early, as we will hopefully flood the room and beyond.

After going through the metal detectors, continue straight ahead and go through the glass doors.  Make an immediate right, walk down the hall, and make another immediate right to get to Senate Committee Room A.

Here's what the current version of HB 961 does:
  • Makes possession of a large number of semi-automatic guns, classified as an "assault weapon" by this bill, a felony.  This includes many popular rifles, handguns, and shotguns!  You can keep any "assault weapons" you currently have, but you can't buy any more.  The wording is so poor that you probably won't be able to even fix a broken "assault weapon," as each part is classified as an "assault weapon"!  Gun dealers in Virginia won't be able to sell an "assault weapon" or any parts for one to anybody, include to gun owners in other states.  This will do severe financial harm to Virginia gun dealers. 
  • Bans magazines that hold more than 12 rounds of ammunition.  There is NO grandfathering!  Possession of such a magazine (keeping it at home only) after January 1, 2021 will be a Class 1 misdemeanor.  However, transporting such a magazine is a felony!
  • Bans suppressors, making possession of one a felony.  You can keep any suppressors you currently have, but you cannot purchase any more and you won't be able to fix them if they break.
  • Bans bump stocks.  Any that you have must be destroyed by January 1, 2021.  Possession of one after that date is a felony.

This bill is also up for consideration by the committee:

H.B. 600 

Patron: Hope

Family day homes; storage of firearms. Requires that during the hours of operation of a family day home, all firearms be stored unloaded in a locked container, compartment, or cabinet and that ammunition be stored in a separate locked container, compartment, or cabinet.

See you there!

Items
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Facebook
To join VCDL, click here.  To contribute to VCDL, click here.

To view the archives, click here.

Copyright © 2020 Virginia Citizens Defense League, All rights reserved.

Not yet a Virginia Citizens Defense League member? Join VCDL at: https://vcdl.org/join

VCDL's calendar: http://www.vcdl.org/meetings

Abbreviations used in VA-ALERT: http://www.vcdl.org/help/abbr.html

You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website or you signed up at a gun show or other event.

Our mailing address is:

Virginia Citizens Defense League
PO Box 513
Newington, VA 22122-0513

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