A year after rift with teachers, Scot...

A year after rift with teachers, Scotts Valley's Silver still besieged by critics

There are 76 comments on the Santa Cruz Sentinel story from Jul 6, 2008, titled A year after rift with teachers, Scotts Valley's Silver still besieged by critics. In it, Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that:

A year after Scotts Valley teachers took a vote of no confidence against the district superintendent over acrimonious salary negotiations, it appears their relationship with Susan Silver is no better.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Santa Cruz Sentinel.

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formerSVUSD parents

Berkeley, CA

#63 Jul 8, 2008
"if teachers do not support a bond to rebuild the very classrooms they teach in, why pass the bond? That's like offering a new car to your kids and them saying they don't like it. Why buy it?"

The teachers were being realistic. They spoke over and over again of keeping it at the middle school level. Rather than a gas guzzling SUV they realized that what SVUSD needed was a fuel efficient car. The teachers get slammed for being efficient and realistic about the bond then you turn around and slam them for being greedy for pay. Clearly you just don't like teachers. And As I recall there were teachers that wrote letters of support.
sv lady

San Jose, CA

#64 Jul 8, 2008
formerSVUSD parents wrote:
"if teachers do not support a bond to rebuild the very classrooms they teach in, why pass the bond? That's like offering a new car to your kids and them saying they don't like it. Why buy it?"
The teachers were being realistic. They spoke over and over again of keeping it at the middle school level. Rather than a gas guzzling SUV they realized that what SVUSD needed was a fuel efficient car. The teachers get slammed for being efficient and realistic about the bond then you turn around and slam them for being greedy for pay. Clearly you just don't like teachers. And As I recall there were teachers that wrote letters of support.
My mother was a teacher (retired now) and many people close to me are teachers. I love good teachers. I despise unions. Please understand the difference between the two. Unions are typically led by antagonistic, political hacks. I found the union tactic of leveraging the educational well-being of my children for the personal financial gain of the teachers (teaching to contract) despicable. That's the equivalent of holding my child hostage and then expecting everything to be back to normal once the ransom is paid. And that tactic is right out of the union playbook. You will see that being played out in other districts. Shame on those teachers who went along with it.
WOW

United States

#65 Jul 8, 2008
You are attributing the rise out of negative certification to Ms. Silver. You obviously don't know anything about the district. Ms. Silver did not have anything to do with the district getting out of that mess. And for your information, it was the teachers of the district who gave up a considerable amount of their benefits to help aide the district, despite the fact that they had nothing to do with that financial problem. Additionally, the high school started getting organized and on track also before Silver came to the district.
You clearly do not know anything about teachers because most go into teaching because they love kids and helping them. They do not go into it because they intend on getting rich. The profession itself is one that requires constant change and adaptation, after all it's a people business. So to say that "Unions maintain mediocrity through the criteria of longevity" and " Unions provide no incentive to do a better job, because those who do are not rewarded for it." is just plain ignorant. The nature of the teaching profession is anything from that.
sv lady wrote:
<quoted text>
Are you kidding? A well working organization? Does a negative certification mean nothing to you? Before Ms. Silver, there was no hierarchy of leadership at the high school. There was no leadership coming from the district office at all! Meanwhile, the unions with their perennial give-us-more-money stance are like a bunch of whining babies. Supposedly these are educated professionals, but the union leadership can't seem to grasp the concept of "economic downturn" and "budget cuts". Unions do nothing to promote excellence. Unions maintain mediocrity through the criteria of longevity. Tell me, when budget cuts occur and teachers lose their jobs, what criteria is used to determine which teachers get the axe? Performance? No, no, no, we can't use such "demeaning" metrics as those. It's based solely on who has been there the longest. Tenure, senority, whatever you want to call it, it's stupid. Unions provide no incentive to do a better job, because those who do are not rewarded for it. Unions are for manufacturing line workers, not professional educators.
sv lady

Oakland, CA

#66 Jul 9, 2008
I'm wrong and was being an idiot.

How unions help all workers

Unions have a substantial impact on the compensation and work lives of both unionized and non-unionized workers. This report presents current data on unions' effect on wages, fringe benefits, total compensation, pay inequality, and workplace protections.

Some of the conclusions are:

• Unions raise wages of unionized workers by roughly 20% and raise compensation, including both wages and benefits, by about 28%.

• Unions reduce wage inequality because they raise wages more for low- and middle-wage workers than for higher-wage workers, more for blue-collar than for white-collar workers, and more for workers who do not have a college degree.

• Strong unions set a pay standard that nonunion employers follow. For example, a high school graduate whose workplace is not unionized but whose industry is 25% unionized is paid 5% more than similar workers in less unionized industries.

• The impact of unions on total nonunion wages is almost as large as the impact on total union wages.

• The most sweeping advantage for unionized workers is in fringe benefits. Unionized workers are more likely than their nonunionized counterparts to receive paid leave, are approximately 18% to 28% more likely to have employer-provided health insurance, and are 23% to 54% more likely to be in employer-provided pension plans.

• Unionized workers receive more generous health benefits than nonunionized workers. They also pay 18% lower health care deductibles and a smaller share of the costs for family coverage. In retirement, unionized workers are 24% more likely to be covered by health insurance paid for by their employer.

• Unionized workers receive better pension plans. Not only are they more likely to have a guaranteed benefit in retirement, their employers contribute 28% more toward pensions.

• Unionized workers receive 26% more vacation time and 14% more total paid leave (vacations and holidays).

Unions play a pivotal role both in securing legislated labor protections and rights such as safety and health, overtime, and family/medical leave and in enforcing those rights on the job. Because unionized workers are more informed, they are more likely to benefit from social insurance programs such as unemployment insurance and workers compensation. Unions are thus an intermediary institution that provides a necessary complement to legislated benefits and protections.
SV Native

Pittsburg, CA

#67 Jul 9, 2008
Hey SV "Lady" - sounds like you have a bias here. Do you work with/for Susan Silver? Or were you just dropped by a union memeber as a baby. Tell you what, if you don't have kids that are going, or will be going, to SV Schools, THEN JUST SHUT THE F - U - C - K UP and GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!
SV resident

United States

#68 Jul 9, 2008
SV lady - shame on you for being so negative against teachers. Hopefully, your children are homeschooled because I pity the teacher who would have "you" in their face.
timeforchange

Salinas, CA

#69 Jul 9, 2008
sv lady I don't know if your last post is being sarcastic and you feel that the things you listed should not be a part of the public good or if you are really changing your stance on dispicable unions. Just curious.
SV Native

San Jose, CA

#70 Jul 9, 2008
I apologize for being such a rude B-U-T-T-H-O-L-E. Even though I live in Mt. Hermon I hate these jerks that run this place. I guess I'll just go back to surfing porn.
SV resident

San Jose, CA

#71 Jul 9, 2008
I take it back sv lady, you are awesome. You can get in my face any day.
Mark Twain

San Jose, CA

#72 Jul 9, 2008
If we were all rich, we would all be poor.
SVHS

Watson, Australia

#75 Jul 11, 2008
She is not as bad as everyone makes her out to be.She cracked the whip around SV and cleaned some things up. Parents need to BACK OFF..........................
Father Of Student

Sydney, Australia

#76 Jul 12, 2008
I agree if you work your boss is your boss if you don't follow the rules your out she was not hired to be anybodys buddy she was hired to fix some messes and doing a darn good job same with the pres. of the school board.
Parents when you went to school were your parents butting in school stuff
Look at the test scores...
I rest my case.
SV Graduate

Howard City, MI

#77 Jul 12, 2008
I attended the SV school district in the 2nd grade and went through the SV curriculum graduating in 2005 from SVHS. This just sounds like the same ol' same ol' stuff going on. Let's face it, the teachers are under too much scrutiny in every aspect of their teaching profession from curriculum to wages. Now apparently with Susan Silver, things aren't any better; but probably worse. How much longer can the school district afford to continue this cycle of incompetence from the highest positions within the district? My mother once worked for the school district and would often tell me the incompetence that occurred on an almost daily basis when Stephen Fist was the superintendent (Pardon me if I have his name typed incorrectly). This just seems all too familiar. They finally got rid of him thankfully, but instead of remedying the problem, we have only begun to
let the ailment fester even further.

Is it sad that I might only know one teacher from SVHS when I graduated that still works there? Perhaps the fact I had a total of three principals while attending all four years at school? What puzzles me is how people like Susan Silver continue to rise to the top of the district's highest position and yet, alienate the ones that are actually teaching children in schools and striking fear within said teachers that their jobs might be on the line if they say "boo". What is the attraction for high quality teachers to come to this school distract and actually want to stay? For the few rare gems still teaching, especially SVHS' brightest teachers, I applaud you for your will power and staying to try to make a difference.

I agree with "Father Of Student" to an extent. Your boss is not going to your buddy, your boss is someone who will want the work to be done by any means neccesary. But if the boss is heading in the wrong direction, that person's board of supervisors (or of similar position) much more, the workers, will not sit idly. To not have your strongest critics and allies by your side to learn from and gain support is calling for disaster. A boss who is not able to adapt and learn to compromise to an extent, yet keeping the same mission statement to the best of their intentions do not deserve to lead. With education at stake, is this a boss we are comfortable having lead the community's school district?

This just sounds like another moment in SV School District's history of blunders. How many more years can we afford mistakes within our school system before it becomes too much to handle?

Disagree please if you feel I'm incorrect, but recognize that I had first hand experience in the situations nostalgic to when I was graduating a few years back. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
SVHS Athlete

Mililani, HI

#78 Jul 12, 2008
I went to SVHS in the first class and played sports my football memories will last forever from my coach to my football brothers. Yes we did have three principals but we did not care we just went to school and learned.
I am getting ready to go to law school and I loved every second of SVHS and my football family
The parents are the problem not the school district
In the know

United States

#79 Jul 13, 2008
SVHS wrote:
She is not as bad as everyone makes her out to be.She cracked the whip around SV and cleaned some things up. Parents need to BACK OFF..........
Oh yes she is!!! I have first hand knowledge, as I work with her. She instills fear in everyone. The morale of the school district has never been as low as the last two years. That's not good makings of a boss, unless it's a dictator.
jitroha

San Jose, CA

#80 Jul 14, 2008
"I attended the SV school district in the 2nd grade and went through the SV curriculum graduating in 2005 from SVHS. This just sounds like the same ol' same ol' stuff going on. Let's face it, the teachers are under too much scrutiny in every aspect of their teaching profession from curriculum to wages."

It is truly wonderful to read a post that is thoughtful, well-written, and insightful from a graduate of SVHS. As one of those SVHS teachers who stayed for 5 years and then could take the horrendous leadership no more, I deeply miss the amazing students of SVHS. Unfortunately, what the present and past superintendent FAIL(ed) to understand is what wonderful learning is (was) going on in the individual classrooms (aka Falcon's nest). Neither superintendent supported the work of the teachers, or the students at the high school. Inspite of all of this however, it's nice to know that many of SVHS Alumni are doing just tremendously.

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