COEUR D'ALENE, ID -- School was closed on President's Day but education was on many minds in North Idaho.
Teachers and supporters held a rally in Coeur d'Alene joining dozens across the state against a proposed plan to revamp Idaho schools."Students benefit when they're taught by talented people who love their jobs, they benefit when they're taught by teachers who are treated with respect," said a speaker addressing a large crowd outside the Human Rights Institute (HRI).
Signs held high shared one simple message: Superintendent Tom Luna's educational reform plan isn't welcome here. Under attack is Luna's "Students Come First" plan. If passed, it would remove tenure for teachers, cut hundreds of teaching jobs to pay for new classroom technology, and require high school students to take six online credits before graduating.
"My biggest concern is we're not thinking about the kids education, we're thinking about money. Luna's plan is not the solution to our money problems and he's attacking the wrong things," said Kelly Howard, a Post Falls elementary school teacher.
Young and old, braved the cold and hit the streets of Coeur d'Alene on Monday afternoon. They walked from City Hall to HRI to voice their outrage.
"I started teaching 34 years ago and I'm outraged about what is happening down in Boise," said Coeur D'Alene educator Mary Ruch.
Luna critics also claim that his education plan is a money-making scheme for those parties who contributed to his political campaign in 2010.
"Mr. Luna is right about one thing, we can't sustain the system the way it is, but his changes are unacceptable to teachers," added Mike Ruskovich.
Not everyone is up in arms. There are groups supporting the educational reform plan including the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans who have gone on the record saying they endorse Luna's proposal.
"It's time to start thinking about the students and making sure that their educational achievement is the focus. If we have to decrease union power in Idaho, that's what we'll have to do," said Jeff Ward, President of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans.
The Idaho Senate is scheduled to look at Luna's plan this week in Boise.
So the best interest of the students is shooting down plans that require technological literacy (aka a basic survival skill to ever hope to get through college or a job in the 21st century) in exchange for ensuring unqualified and unmotivated teachers can keep their jobs forever? Is there really anything that does a greater disservice to our kids than tenure?Answer Question
"Mr. Luna is right about one thing, we can't sustain the system the way it is,but his changes are unacceptable to teachers," added Mike Ruskovich
Just curious, but just what do they think should be changed since the system can't be sustained running like it is now? Nobody likes to think they are a part of the problem. It's sad that students pay the highest price for this idiocy.
At least they used a school holiday to stage their protest instead of leaving the kids without teachers. They are already ahead of WI.
Answer by QuinnMae at 9:00 AM on Feb. 22, 2011
Answer by jewjewbee at 9:03 AM on Feb. 22, 2011
Answer by Charis76 at 9:05 AM on Feb. 22, 2011
Answer by soyousay at 9:42 AM on Feb. 22, 2011
Answer by soyousay at 9:45 AM on Feb. 22, 2011
Answer by soyousay at 9:46 AM on Feb. 22, 2011
The problem is that National Union is working too hard to save the few teachers that need to move on for the good of everyone- they are pandering to the lowest rather than taking a good look at the majority- It has turned into an assault in teaching as a profession rather than admitting like all professions we have some deadwood that needs to be addressed
I think more of us understand that the point you make isn't just about the teaching profession. It goes for many different situations where standards are set low so that they practically don't exist. This is just front and center because of current events. Low standards and saving the dead weight hurts everyone in the long run.
Answer by QuinnMae at 9:50 AM on Feb. 22, 2011
I fervently hope that this pro union wave sweeps the entire country
ROFLMAO what "pro-union wave"? This is coordinated by a national organization grasping desperately at straws because it's on its last breath.
Why do you hate the middle class so much? What are you so afraid of?
BTW Idaho is a right to work state. It means union membership cannot be mandatory
Answer by adnilm at 10:29 AM on Feb. 22, 2011
Next question overall
(Food & Drink)
Do you think wheat bread or potato bread is healthier?