Shorter Esmonde

Now that my wife and I are nearing the end of our work-life, it’s high time those union thugs that guaranteed our own financial security, good wages, pensions, and benefits, get with the tea party program

Shorter shorter Esmonde:

I gots mine. 


  • The_grass_is_always_greener

    Great summary of the latest column by Donn Esmonde. I am amazed at the hypocrisy in his recent columns. Unfortunately we are seeing more of the “do as I say, not as I do” and “if I can’t/don’t have it, then no one else should either” mentality in society. People have fooled themselves into believing schools and education will be better and they will have more control once teachers (and their benefits and pensions) have been reduced to nothing. They believe they will have more say in how their tax dollars are spent. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Parents/citizens will actually have less say in how the money is spent. There will be no transparency.
    I do agree that AFP’s influence in Clarence is just the beginning and all suburban districts are at risk of having them come in and buy school boards and candidates.
    Teachers are so easily blamed for all that is perceived wrong with public education today. Life in a classroom today is not like the days of Leave it to Beaver. Students do not stand to speak and say, “Yes, Miss Landers,” as Beaver Cleaver did when Miss Landers asked him a question. And when a teacher tries to describe the challenges in the classroom, he/she is decried as a whiner and complainer. He/she is just trying to inform people that education has changed. Does any commenter in any newspaper comment section ever take up an offer to visit a classroom for a week to see what it is like? Not that I have read.
    Budgets are being cut, teachers, services are cut, class sizes are increasing but I know of two districts that have hired administrators to handle the APPR requirements. If two districts have done this, does it seem logical that others will follow? Reduce the number of teachers, use the cost savings from their salaries and hire an administrator. Where is the public outrage over this?

    • Dear Grass,
      A perspicacious post. The Fife and Drum Corps like to decouple programming from staffing in our schools, maintaining that you can cut staff without affecting programming and courses offered, and, most importantly, class size. Common Core expectations and the nightmarish APPR mean nothing to them when they yowl about administrative bloat. In the Clarence dispute, department chairmanships were shifted from staff to administration a couple of years ago, the curriculum coordinator position is being left vacant, and the community service coordinator slot is being eliminated. Clarence students need 32 hours of sanctioned community service to graduate and the coordinator formerly maintained those files. He also certified legitimate service and called attention to those hours which were suspect. As they say, the devil is in the details. His duties are being transferred to administration.

      I can’t speak for the Middle and Elementary Schools, but at the High School, the courses offered slate for 2013-2014 is a badly shriveled husk of its former self. Again, when the Tea Party visits a district near you, be prepared for them to demonstrate little or no comprehension about the connection between staffing numbers and courses/extracurricular offered. Moreover, they will hold that teachers are marginal to a child’s success, and that “good parenting” (whatever that’s supposed to mean pedagogically) will make up for staff cuts.

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