Alex Santoso's Comments

@alexx - job protection is the direct result of union battles in the early 20th century. Before then, teachers could easily be fired for both valid and frivolous reasons. So, union protection was a reasonable reaction to the then egregious employment conditions (not just for teachers, but for factory workers and the like).

But now, the pendulum has swung to the opposite extreme. Surely unions realize that it's in their best interest to get rid of bad apples , but if you read the article, protecting its members against dismissals - regardless of the severity of the infractions - is the way of many modern teacher unions.

Sure school administration deserves some of the blame, but the process of firing a bad teacher (which surely exists as anyone who has ever gone to school can attest) is so stacked against them that it's bordering on being ridiculous.

From the article:

The district wanted to fire a high school teacher who kept a stash of pornography, marijuana and vials with cocaine residue at school, but a commission balked, suggesting that firing was too harsh. L.A. Unified officials were also unsuccessful in firing a male middle school teacher spotted lying on top of a female colleague in the metal shop, saying the district did not prove that the two were having sex.

The district fared no better in its case against elementary school special education teacher Gloria Hsi, despite allegations that included poor judgment, failing to report child abuse, yelling at and insulting children, planning lessons inadequately and failing to supervise her class.

Not a single charge was upheld. The commission found the school's evaluators were unqualified because they did not have special education training. Moreover, it said they went to the class at especially difficult periods and didn't stay long enough.

Oh, and by the way, the "many years" you spoke of before a teacher gets tenure is 2 years in California, 3 years in other states. That's hardly "many years" on the job.
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@VonSkippy: "The Japanese are emotionally repressed xenophobic sheeple that couldn’t create/invent their way out of a wet paper bag."

Not everybody needs to be creative. If there's anything I've learned from graduate studies, it is that you need one creative guy (the prof) and many, many, many technically adept people (grad students, post docs) working for him.

Too many creative people actually ruin things (artists colony, anyone?)
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@Skipweasel: You can’t “decimat(e) up to a quarter of the population”.

Decimate also has another (more commonly used) meaning: to kill a large part of a group.

Until today, the disease that decimated ancient Athens has yet to be identified.

@Liz O: Scientists try to identify historical diseases in order to better understand what happened. For instance, the description of the Black Death matches well with the bubonic plague, so most scientists agree that the plague is the culprit in that pandemic.

So far, no one was able to identify the disease described by Thucydides.
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The Interweb is vast and deep. Some of our posts are cutting edge, some aren't. It's the nature of blogging, I think. You can't be ahead in all of the posts ... ;)
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