The Denver Public School system does a lot of things that make me wonder about the intelligence of the people in charge. This, in turn, makes me worry about what’s happening to the education of our kids.
Case in point: A recent DPS decision to start schools late on five days this year so that teachers can get in some planning time. Keep in mind that schools already let out early on Wednesdays so teachers can have planning time.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t most working people plan their days on their own time? When I was working, I was expected to work — and got paid for working — during work hours (hence the name). My “planning time” consisted of mental multi-tasking on my own time in the evenings, running errands, cooking, cleaning up the house, while also thinking “tomorrow at work I need to be sure to get this done, so that by Friday I can have that done,” etc.
What are working parents supposed to do on those mornings when little Johnnie doesn’t have school? They’ve already had to schedule around the fact that on Wednesdays, little Johnnie gets out of school earlier than usual. Who is supposed to have the flexibility to pick the kids up and drop them off at two different start times during the year and two different dismissal times every week? Then there are all those pesky holidays that turn schedules into hash. You know the ones, the ones that start or end in the middle of the week, or both, and often aren’t coordinated with the school in adjoining districts (too bad for you if your kids happen to attend different schools). Don’t teachers have kids too? Don’t they understand these things? Or is paid daycare and kiddie chauffeur service part of their union package?
Yes, union! This newest scheduling anomaly is the result of a new teachers’ union contract. Tada! It’s just one more example of why I really hate unions. Sorry, union members. I know it all depends on which side your bread is buttered on. It just so happens that mine has never been buttered on the union side. Unions served a purpose once, back in the days of child labor and virtual indentured servitude in factories with unsafe working conditions, sweatshops, etc.
Today, however, workers don’t need protection from such things. There are laws to deal with them. Unions now persist for purposes of greed, power, and control. They can push employers into financially untenable corners, demanding and getting far more in pay and benefits than they could get in the open job market where the rest of us work. They can even deny jobs to others in the market. Screw the employers. It’s the unions who say who works and who doesn’t.
Here’s how it should work, people. If you don’t like the pay package offered you, you go work someplace else. Simple. You don’t take the job and then join with others to blackmail the employer into giving you more than you are worth, or keeping you on the payroll even if you’re worthless; you don’t strike, or threaten to strike, or literally destroy the organization you work for to get what you want. Where’s the logic in destroying the company that employs you? Where you gonna work then, smart ass? In cases like the DPS, and probably most companies, what the union wrests from management comes out of the cash pool available for everything — including, say, salaries for non-union employees, maintenance of the building where you work, the parking lot where you park, etc.
The head of the Denver school system mentioned they were trying to be fair to both parents and teachers. Excuse me? The teachers work for and are paid by the parents, ultimately. The employees don’t get to dictate to the employers. That’s why we have “employers” and “employees,” if I’m not mistaken.
Oh, and by the way, what ever happened to the kids in these equations? Aren’t they the reason these entities exist in the first place? Isn’t this education thing supposed to be all about them?