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New Kensington, PA

You know your in New Ken when

A rolling stop at a stop sign at two am means you don't want anything from the "Street Vendors" if you know what I mean.  (Oct 24, 2010 | post #11)

New Kensington, PA

You know your in New Ken when

Your favorite game driving used to be count the boarded up businesses, now its easier to count the few that are open.  (Oct 23, 2010 | post #2)

New Kensington, PA

You know your in New Ken when

Lets play a little game and poke some fun at the place where we live. You know your in New Ken when...  (Oct 23, 2010 | post #1)

New Kensington, PA

Who do you support for U.S. House in Pennsylvania (Distri...

I believe in Mark Critz. I've called his office and received results. I met the man and I believe he is good for this area. He has the experience. I do have one complaint, I hate the fact that we have a two party system. I have more choices when I buy hamburger buns. I wish he we had six parties so it most people wouldn't think its us or them. I vote for both Republicans and Democrats, I always vote for the best person or the least of two evils in an election.  (Oct 14, 2010 | post #4)

New Kensington, PA

Should Alleg Valley bring in subs?

I say give the Subs the raises and burn the union out. I haven't seen a organization this evil since Dr Evil's crew or SPECTER from the old James Bond movies.  (Oct 6, 2010 | post #31)

New Kensington, PA

Should Alleg Valley bring in subs?

NEA Opposition to Differential Pay for Math Teachers Doesn’t Add Up In a November 2007 report on how teachers unions affect math and science education, National Institute for Labor Relations Research senior research associate Stan Greer pointed out -- using the union’s own words -- how the National Education Association (NEA) stifles a critical education reform: In July 2000, the NEA Representative Assembly passed a resolution that explicitly condemns offering higher pay to math, science, and foreign language teachers for positions a school district is having trouble filling than to any other teachers: “The Association opposes providing additional compensation to attract and/or retain education employees in hard-to-recruit positions….” According to NEA researchers, 41 states are currently experiencing a shortage of math teachers. Forty-three have shortages of science and special education teachers. Fourteen states don’t have enough foreign language teachers, while 10 don’t have enough for English as a Second Language (ESL) and/or “bilingual” education. Meanwhile, just one state has an identified shortage of English teachers. Just one has a shortage of physical education teachers. And not one has a shortage of social studies, reading, kindergarten, or elementary school teachers.  (Oct 6, 2010 | post #30)

New Kensington, PA

Should Alleg Valley bring in subs?

Scholarships for Low-Income Children The New Jersey Education Association, the most powerful teachers union in the state, vigorously opposed in 2008 a bill to provide tax credits for scholarships to allow low-income students to escape failing public classrooms. According to a Monmouth University poll, an overwhelming 74% majority of New Jersey residents supported the measure. Union officials declared the bill too costly to implement, but an independent taxpayers group found that the project would actually save the state more than $700 million while extending a lifeline to students trapped in underperforming and dangerous schools. Nor was this the first time that the NJEA opposed private-school scholarships for kids in need, as Andrew Coulson wrote in Market Education: In late October of 1995, officials of the Pepsi company announced at Jersey City Hall that their corporation would donate thousands of dollars in scholarships to help low-income children attend the private school of their choice. The immediate response of the local public school teachers’ union was to threaten that a statewide boycott of all Pepsi products could not be ruled out. Pepsi vending machines around the city were vandalized and jammed. Three weeks later, company officials regretfully withdrew their offer.  (Oct 6, 2010 | post #29)

New Kensington, PA

Should Alleg Valley bring in subs?

School Choice Stronger medicine for public education brings even stronger anger from entrenched unions. The then-president of the California Teachers Association (CTA), the most powerful state teachers union in the country, gave an incredible rationalization for the extreme measures the union used in 1992 to prevent a school-choice measure from ever reaching Californians for a vote. “There are some proposals that are so evil that they should never even be presented to the voters,” he said. He likened the proposed reform to legalizing the Ku Klux Klan and child prostitution. Forbes magazine reported that the CTA took such a hard-line stance against the ballot initiative in question that it used a variety of unheard-of tactics to keep the proposal off the ballot, including “blocking would-be signators’ access to the petition in shopping malls, allegedly sabotaging the petition with fake names and offering a signature-collecti ng firm $400,000 to decline the account.”  (Oct 6, 2010 | post #28)

New Kensington, PA

Should Alleg Valley bring in subs?

The NEA has been the single biggest obstacle to education reform in this country. We know because we worked for the NEA. — Billy Boyton and John Lloyd, former top officers of the Nebraska and Kansas NEA affiliates, respectively, in Educational Freedom  (Oct 6, 2010 | post #27)

New Kensington, PA

Should Alleg Valley bring in subs?

Charter Schools Opposition to reform has even driven union bosses to reject hundreds of millions of dollars for public education -- when those dollars pay for kids in non-unionized charter schools. In 2002 philanthropist Robert Thompson offered the city of Detroit $200 million to establish 15 charter schools. Until the fall of 2002, according to the Detroit Free Press, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick supported Thompson’s offer. But on September 25 of that year, the Detroit Federation of Teachers led a one-day walkout that shut down the city's schools in protest of Thompson’s offer. The deal collapsed immediately thereafter.  (Oct 6, 2010 | post #26)

New Kensington, PA

Should Alleg Valley bring in subs?

Merit Pay Paying teachers according to how well they perform, a universal rule in the private sector, is consistently condemned by teachers unions. For example: When two-thirds of Los Angeles public schools received failing grades from the state of California in 2000, the superintendent announced his support for paying teachers according to merit. The United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) fought this proposal tooth and nail and eventually killed it. Then-UTLA President Day Higuchi announced that the union would accept the reform only on “a cold day in hell.” Even when unions appear to be working to promote performance-based pay, their leaders may try to scuttle actual reform. When the St. Petersburg Times asked Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association executive director Jade Moore why few teachers were signing up for the merit pay program the union helped design for the school district, Moore replied, “Our goal was to make it nearly impossible.”  (Oct 6, 2010 | post #25)

New Kensington, PA

Should Alleg Valley bring in subs?

Teachers Unions Oppose Education Reform Regardless of one’s view of any particular method of improving America’s struggling public schools (whether it's school choice, charter schools, or rewarding better teachers with better pay), the tactics and rhetoric that teachers unions employ to block any meaningful reform is remarkable. Their motivation is simple: maintain the status quo -- and the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars in dues. Meanwhile, union leaders’ suggestions for reform are best summarized as “more money to hire more teachers,” who are then likely to become dues-paying union members. Click here to read our New Haven Register op-ed on teachers unions’ opposition to accountability reforms. Former top officers at the National Education Association’s Kansas and Nebraska state chapters summarized their union’s stance on reform in a 1994 issue of Educational Freedom: “The NEA has been the single biggest obstacle to education reform in this country. We know because we worked for the NEA.”  (Oct 6, 2010 | post #24)

New Kensington, PA

Should Alleg Valley bring in subs?

true stories of bad teachers protected by the union: “Winner” pulled up, drunk, to the drive-thru window of a fast-food restaurant. After ordering, he became angry that he wasn’t getting his food fast enough, so he took out a gun and started waving it at restaurant employees. After his arrest, he pled no contest to all charges and was sent to jail. His students, meanwhile, were told he was caring for an ill family member. Once he was out of jail he was reinstated for several months before the media got wind of the story. “Winner” had already been accused of fondling a teenage girl when three girls accused him of making lewd comments. Investigators found him guilty of "conduct unbecoming of a school board employee." His punishment: write out the district's sexual harassment policies. “Winner” had sex with two of her male teen students. She was warned by the school principal and colleagues to stop driving students home after school, and she also allegedly bought students alcohol. She now teaches second-graders.  (Oct 6, 2010 | post #23)

New Kensington, PA

Should Alleg Valley bring in subs?

What’s Bad about Teacher’s Unions The worse thing about unions is that they don’t care if they protect a good teacher or a bad teacher. The union will protect a good teacher who’s being fired for no reason and a child molester just the same. The union will give equal representation to both. So this makes it difficult for a bad teacher to be removed and for a good teacher to be brought in as a replacement. A major process has to be completed in order to fire any tenured teacher. Now, before we go any further, we should probably discuss tenure. Tenure is what teachers in most states are awarded after completing about three years of teaching in one school. According to most state laws, a teacher has to either be placed on tenure or the teacher has to be let go. If the teacher  (Oct 6, 2010 | post #22)

New Kensington, PA

Should Alleg Valley bring in subs?

Teachers usually don’t have a choice on whether or not to join the unions in their districts. This is why unions hate non-unionized charter schools: especially the successful ones. Teachers unions in Massachusetts have fought tooth and nail to keep the charter school caps low. They fought to keep Teach for America out of Boston last year despite the program’s accomplishments. The union argued new educators shouldn’t be hired in a recession which threatened teacher layoffs. Ostensibly that seems fair. But, my guess is even in the best economic climate the union would reject Teach for America. Termination is virtually non-existent among tenured teachers in the U. S. In New Jersey, about one in 20,000 teachers are fired annually. In Los Angeles, between 1995 and 2005 only 112 tenured teachers were fired. In 2003, the city graduated only half its high school seniors. Less than one percent of tenured teachers are fired each year in Dallas, Texas. This is largely due to legal expenses firing tenured educators incurs, which can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000 depending on the district. Furthermore, unions (particularly in urban districts) have diluted the teacher evaluation system making it almost impossible for a teacher to receive an “unsatisfactory” review. Union leaders, like mafia bosses, are all about dough. Teachers shell out hundreds of dollars per year to feed the hungry union hierarchy. Union leaders earn six-figure salaries, which is exponentially more than many of the teachers they claim to represent. The fewer unionized teachers there are, the fewer dues these leaders can collect.  (Oct 6, 2010 | post #21)