Nathan Sass

The Milwaukee Journal Loves Whiney New Berlin Teachers

In Politics, WI Budget Battle on June 26, 2012 at 9:58 AM

The Milwaukee Journal posted a story on their online edition all about how horribly oppressed teachers in New Berlin are after the evil Act 10 was passed.  (I have no idea where it is, if anywhere, in the print edition because I will never ever pay a red cent for that quasi-journailstic bird-cage liner.)

The headline reads “New Berlin Could Lose a Third of Teachers“.  After reading the story I have one reaction:  good riddance.

The “journalist” (read union propagandist) Erin Richards interviewed several teachers who had the typical sob stories to offer, and plan on leaving the district, if they have not already done so.

Even more ridiculous, Richard’s story conflicts with its own headline.  Specifically: “But whereas other districts are reporting normal turnover, 50 of New Berlin’s 314 teachers have resigned or retired so far this year, according to the administration.”

Ummmm…I guess Erin took math in a public school.  50/314 = 15%.  “A third” = 33.3% .  15% <> 33.3%, Erin.

Oh wait…the headline says “Could Lose”….ok…I get it, because then Erin says “There’s strong speculation that about a third of this year’s staff will be elsewhere by the end of the summer; employees have until Thursday to resign without a financial penalty.”

Ooooooohhhhhh….”strong speculation”!!!!!  From whom, Erin?  WEAC?  The 5 people you spoke to?  Your dog?  Who is speculating, exactly?  Since you never tell us, I can only assume that either you don’t know or if you told us we would laugh.

Aside from all the “journalism” going on here, there are the quotes provided by some of these “professional educators”.

Mark Ertmer, a science teacher at New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School who is leaving not just the district, but the state, spoke out at a School Board meeting on June 11.

“This mass exodus is not politically motivated,” he said. “But the district’s handling of such problems indicates a lack of respect and trust for its teachers. When you devalue individuals, the reaction is deeply personal.”

Translation:

“Waaaa!!!!  My boss changed something and didn’t get my permission first!!!!  I feel devalued!!!!  My mommy told me I was important!!!!  You are big meanies!!!  I’m quitting!”

Then there’s this little gem:

Dale Destache, a veteran math teacher of 23 years who taught AP Calculus and Pre-Calculus….interviewed at Arrowhead High School, and learned on his first visit that the school still offers elective classes in woods and metals, he said.

“They made me feel better in two interviews than I had at New Berlin all year,” Destache said.

Reaction:

Ok, so you are a math teacher….an advanced math teacher at that, and you are all warm and fuzzy about a district because they still teach shop?  Did you even ask if they teach AP Calculus, or after you heard about shop class did you just pass out in ecstasy?

Wow…and we are supposed to feel bad that you are leaving New Berlin’s district?  Sounds a lot like addition through subtraction to me.

And here is my favorite – a nice little editorial from our “journalist” Erin (sarcasm intended):

The day after the School Board meeting where Ertmer, Werner and other staff leaving the district gave impassioned exit speeches, New Berlin’s administration publicly announced that it intended to save about a half-million dollars a year annually by outsourcing custodial services.

The change would result in the termination of nearly all of the district’s 55-person custodial staff.

It was another example of money saved, and employees hurt.

Ummm…..didn’t you just write  a whole long cry-baby piece about how the evil conservatives in New Berlin are not prioritizing the classrooms and teachers?

So how exactly is an internal custodial staff at a higher cost a benefit to learning?

Shouldn’t teachers be happy that the money saved on cleaning the floors could be used on the students (i.e. them)?

Erin, are you seriously making the argument that the guys who put that orange powdery stuff on the throw-up in the hall HAVE to be employees of the district or “education” will suffer and our poor, poor kids will never learn to read again?

Erin, did you just seriously make an equivalence between the custodial staff and teachers as far as education is concerned?

Erin, did you ever stop to think that “money saved” does not mean “employees hurt”?  You do know that the outside custodial staff are employees of someone too, right?  Employees who will now have MORE work?  It’s probably close to a wash where the “employees hurt” are concerned, since you MUST factor in the ones who get MORE work along with the ones who might be losing work.

Erin, did you consider that the “money saved” might just prevent a teacher from being laid off?  Maybe even a shop teacher so the Math department can get all warm and fuzzy about New Berlin again!

Finally, Erin, I wonder if it occurred to you to talk to a few of the teachers (and you know there are some) who are HAPPY to see these things changing, and maybe even happy that math teachers who are more concerned about shop classes than math classes no longer work with them.  Did you even bother to try to interview them?

Nah…..doing that would have hurt your little “narrative”, wouldn’t it?

This entire article should have had a co-author on the by line:  Mary Bell, President of WEAC.

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