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Old 03-03-2006, 03:13 PM   #46
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Originally posted by Justin24


Or hell if you put it into that light I bet you would love to say how Hitler is a saint compared to Bush or how Stalin was more of a man than Bush.

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you find it ridiculous, yet if some conservative were to speak his mind, you would bash him I am sure and say he had no right saying that.


Why do you presume to know what anyone here would "love to say" or how they would react to the opposite situation?
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Old 03-03-2006, 03:18 PM   #47
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Bennish's school district policies, like most others, explicitly permit teachers to share their own political views so long as undue time is not devoted to them (like his taped 20 minutes, for example) and it is followed up by discussion entertaining both sides. From what I have read about his classroom, I am skeptical that your comparison to a math teacher's one-sentence pronouncement about abortion, followed by a well-moderated discussion, really gets at the full scope of what happened here. As I mentioned above, I *am* very concerned about students' unlimited freedom to tape classroom happenings inviting spinoff witch hunts here, however.



well, he said a whole lot more than that, and also told us how good he was at shooting down pro-choice arguments. a discussion did follow, but it was a bit more of a Q&A with the pro-life math teacher, but it was respectful -- another difference would be that the teacher in Bennish seemed to want to promote active thinking, however he might have failed in that capacity, whereas my math teacher was specifically advocating a pro-life/anti-choice position.

incidentally, he also gave us a 20 minute lecture on sexual abstinence on another occasion.


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I guess this is not an appropriate place to re-initiate a discussion about Larry Summers, but I am rather surprised that you don't see his remarks about women in science as troublingly implicated in a broader context of administrative unconcern about the dearth of tenured women at higher professorial ranks.

simply because i disagree with his comments doesn't mean that i feel he should be punished for them, the same way i don't think that the University of Colorado professor -- who's name escapes me -- should be punished for his extreme left views. my understanding was that Summers was posing a question, not even advocating a specific position.

but perhaps his comments have been much further pursued by college faculty across the country, whereas my understanding pretty much comes from the media.
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Old 03-03-2006, 04:07 PM   #48
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Why do you presume to know what anyone here would "love to say" or how they would react to the opposite situation?
For the record, I would say the same if it was the other way round and the teacher was getting fired for voicing her conservative views.

I´m old fashioned here :shrug. Its the duty of the teacher to decide what he will teach in which way. Sure, there is a curriculum they have to follow.

One of my family´s friends has taught in the most conservative school of Vienna and in University. I don´t know on which... how should I say.. intellectual level this american high school is operating on compare.

The professor I´m talking about taught English. In his lessons, he followed all the curriculum, but the students had to learn more - from the 4th class of high school (8th grade) they also had to learn supplements.

He thought it was important that the Austrian kids (who will soon be managers, lawyers, politicians - like I said, the most conservative private school here) knew more than what the curriculum told him to teach. So they had to learn about English and American history, about the school system, about the political system of the U.S. etc. - I am sure his political opinion was shining through somewhere, but he was treating the conservatives and liberals kinda equal.

Today, his supplements are still used by several teachers and the school; you can download them in the Internet etc.

If I told you how personal this guy got in his lessons.. and the kids enjoyed it! He made lots of jokes and was the only leftist in that school of conservative Catholics.

Now what is the opposite? A teacher that follows the curriculum straight - a curriculum which is designed by the elite of the country - it always is (or who else decides WHAT the kids learn in school, hmmm? Who do YOU think controls the history books before they get published? Gotcha! The ministry of education, folks!).

So I am ALL for teachers, whatever opinion they are, to add something to the plan.

Getting one teacher fired for that - regardless if her tongue slipped, if it was her opinion or if it was not - speaks volumes about the freedom of society. The PARENTS are such a bunch of assholes - what was their fucking problem? They could have explained to the kid that the teacher is stupid if she makes comparisons like that. They could have gone to school to talk to the teacher. but nooo, what are they doing? Getting the teacher shitcanned. Brilliant. And isn´t it great how all the others play with them? The director of the school who fires the teacher,.. the authorities that probably told the director.. a nice little phone call.

Really, in that aspect I am old-fashioned. It´s not the kids right to record the teacher - the kid should rather learn, and they should learn what their teacher tells them to. If not, school doesn´t make sense - you could keep the kids at home and let them learn it all from the computer if you´re so keen on banging only the curriculum into their poor young brains.
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Old 03-03-2006, 04:17 PM   #49
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Originally posted by Irvine511
simply because i disagree with his comments doesn't mean that i feel he should be punished for them, the same way i don't think that the University of Colorado professor -- who's name escapes me -- should be punished for his extreme left views. my understanding was that Summers was posing a question, not even advocating a specific position.
Summers was speaking as an administrator with the capacity to make or break tenure decisions, Ward Churchill was speaking as a professor. (And Summers, even as he stepped down, was invited to return to the professorial ranks as a University Professor--the highest honor Harvard can bestow on a faculty member--so there was and is no threat to his freedom of speech as an academic involved. He was NOT forced out primarily because of that incident, anyway.) But yes, it is true that many academics across the country, myself included, were angered that he made his women-in-science remarks specifically in a context of speculating as to why there are so few high-ranking tenured women in the sciences, when there is no shortage of women qualified to fill the positions of said type that currently exist. There are fewer female science majors overall, yes, and had he simply been commenting on that it would have been one thing, but there are more than enough women PhDs in the sciences to fill all such currently open positions several times over.

But I recognize this is all off-topic here, so my apologies.
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Old 03-03-2006, 06:25 PM   #50
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I have not heard the tapes, but to be fair to the student's father (whose disbelief was supposedly the reason for the taping), he has stated that all he wants is for the teacher to be reprimanded, then quickly reinstated so things can get back on (the curriculum) track. That said, I was a bit discomfited to read that the school's policy allows students to tape whatever class proceedings they like at any time, particularly since the fallout from this incident might now lead some to encourage students to abuse that privilege to go on witch hunts. I wonder how widespread such policies are.
I agree with this.
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Old 03-03-2006, 06:41 PM   #51
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[Q]i]Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars [/i]


For the record, I would say the same if it was the other way round and the teacher was getting fired for voicing her conservative views. [/Q]

I believe you would!


[Q]I´m old fashioned here :shrug. Its the duty of the teacher to decide what he will teach in which way. Sure, there is a curriculum they have to follow. [/Q]

It is the duty of the teacher to decide HOW to teach, not WHAT to teach.

[Q]If I told you how personal this guy got in his lessons.. and the kids enjoyed it! He made lots of jokes and was the only leftist in that school of conservative Catholics.[/Q]

YOu can get personal within the context of the lesson. This was not in the scope of this teacher's lesson.

[Q]Now what is the opposite? A teacher that follows the curriculum straight - a curriculum which is designed by the elite of the country - it always is (or who else decides WHAT the kids learn in school, hmmm? Who do YOU think controls the history books before they get published? Gotcha! The ministry of education, folks!).[/Q]

Here in the states the curriculum frameworks are established by the states. Each state has its own framework for what is to be taught.

Each local school system, takes the state framework, and creates their own curriculum for the teachers to teach.

Each state is expected to come up with a measurement tool, to report back to the federal government how their school systems are doing getting students to achieve their curricular goals.

Individual school systems, choose their own text books from the privately owned text book companies. Generally the larger states like CA and TX are the big markets for the text book makers, therfore they have the most influence over publishers.

The Minsitry of Education on the Federal Level has very little influence...


[Q]Getting one teacher fired for that - regardless if her tongue slipped, if it was her opinion or if it was not - speaks volumes about the freedom of society. The PARENTS are such a bunch of assholes - what was their fucking problem? They could have explained to the kid that the teacher is stupid if she makes comparisons like that. They could have gone to school to talk to the teacher. but nooo, what are they doing? Getting the teacher shitcanned. Brilliant. And isn´t it great how all the others play with them? The director of the school who fires the teacher,.. the authorities that probably told the director.. a nice little phone call.[/Q]

The parents have a right to see their tax dollars used properly. Property taxes make up most of the money schools take in. To remove and fire a teacher after the first three years is a very difficult process. It can take up to two years of documentation and union hearings. What authorities are you referring to?

[Q]Really, in that aspect I am old-fashioned. It´s not the kids right to record the teacher - the kid should rather learn, and they should learn what their teacher tells them to. If not, school doesn´t make sense - you could keep the kids at home and let them learn it all from the computer if you´re so keen on banging only the curriculum into their poor young brains.
[/Q]

When entire school systems are in jeopardy of being taken over by the state because children are not learning, I WOULD expect that the parents who are worried about their children graduating and going to college, want teachers to teach what they are required to teach.

If a school system fails, through NCLB they can be taken over within three years. Teachers that are not focused on students making progress are putting EVERYONES career in jeopardy. They are putting their student's in jeopardy when to get a diploma, they have to pass the test.

If this teacher is taking 20 minutes a day out of the curriculum...they are wasting their students time and placing that kids entire future in jeopardy.
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Old 03-03-2006, 06:44 PM   #52
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Originally posted by Dreadsox



And five to ten minutes a day off of the curriculum = between 15-30 days of the school years worth of time....

No wonder Americans suck at geography.
Thanks for calling me a bad teacher!
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Old 03-03-2006, 07:01 PM   #53
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Thanks for calling me a bad teacher!
If I did it was not my intent..........

But five to ten minutes here and there...away from your expected subject matter....is tough.
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Old 03-03-2006, 09:38 PM   #54
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
It is the duty of the teacher to decide HOW to teach, not WHAT to teach.

The parents have a right to see their tax dollars used properly.

If this teacher is taking 20 minutes a day out of the curriculum...they are wasting their students time and placing that kids entire future in jeopardy.
You´d make a great director. But if I was a parent, I would choose another school for my kid, not one where a teacher gets fired for that.
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Old 03-04-2006, 12:19 AM   #55
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Isn't the teacher suspended pending investigation.
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Old 03-04-2006, 12:34 AM   #56
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Yes, paid suspension
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Old 03-04-2006, 03:27 AM   #57
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars


You´d make a great director. But if I was a parent, I would choose another school for my kid, not one where a teacher gets fired for that.
Somewhere in this thread I said I would support firing a newer teacher over it.

In this day and age, if it occurred within three years of the hiring, and there had been repeated attempts on my part to correct the situation, I would fire the teacher.

Firing a veteran teacher over it would be tough, but I would begin the process.

And this is what I do for a living Hip Hop.
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Old 03-04-2006, 04:48 AM   #58
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
And this is what I do for a living Hip Hop.
I know.

btw.. if you´re interested in the supplements, let me know and I´ll send them per email. They´re for English and French teachers, high school 4th grade (when the kids are about 13, 14) to last grade.
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Old 03-04-2006, 01:56 PM   #59
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The school district made the right decision here. Those comments are definitely not appropriate for a Geography class, especially considering the length of the comments and how often they were apparently being made.

Now, don't get me wrong -- being a high school student myself, I appreciate it when my history teacher educates us about current events and the like. At least once a week, she allows the class to read a few select articles in the newspaper and then has a short class discussion about them afterward. On top of that, every now and then she'll bring up a current event out of the blue and discuss it, sometimes in-depth, during class. I find all of this completely appropriate because she always gives us the facts about the issues first, and then leaves it up to the class to make their own opinions of it, usually only interjecting with her own views here and there to keep the conversation going. This is very different than the issue at hand, however, because the teacher in the article simply rants on his personal political views for long periods of time during a class where politics aren't really supposed to come into the equation.
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Old 03-04-2006, 04:00 PM   #60
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You're right, politics isn't geography.
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