Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

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Meade
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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Meade » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:49 pm

Careful with that loaded questioning, Detritus. Have you read Impressions of Soviet Russia? If you can find one passage in the book in which Dewey criticizes, rather than gushes about - collectivism, statism, progressivism and socialism - I'd be happy for you to point it out.

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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Detritus » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:21 pm

Meade wrote:Careful with that loaded questioning, Detritus. Have you read Impressions of Soviet Russia? If you can find one passage in the book in which Dewey criticizes, rather than gushes about - collectivism, statism, progressivism and socialism - I'd be happy for you to point it out.

"Gushes" not being a loaded word, I take it?

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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby snoqueen » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:35 pm

Now Meade thinks he's HUAC.

I'd rather get back to discussing John Matthews. Are the teachers better off with him or without him? How about MMSD?

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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:36 pm

At the other end are libertarians who would totally dismantle the public school system.

Prior to the widespread introduction of public education in America (a hundred or so years ago), only the rich finished high school. About five percent of Americans had that diploma.

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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby david cohen » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:03 pm

I think that MMSD teachers are better off with Matthews at the helm of MTI, but I'd quantify that by saying that teachers are better off in general with a strong union, especially during times of economic hardship. Like any other worker, a teacher certainly has the right to be selfish and look after their own family. Is there a delicate balance between a strong union and the health of the institution it's members are employed by? Absolutely. You can find good and bad on both sides of the equation, and I've seen both first hand. Just like Meade's query into the causes of "the gap" (it's clearly more than just academic achievement), there is no simple answer.
Last edited by david cohen on Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Meade
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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Meade » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:04 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Prior to the widespread introduction of public education in America (a hundred or so years ago), only the rich finished high school. About five percent of Americans had that diploma.

So there is a correlation between expansion of public education and the increase in number of people who graduate from school. Good catch, Hen V.

Here's another correlation: During the 45 years that John Matthews has been executive director of MTI, receiving a pay package that has increased to and now exceeds $300,000 per year, suspensions of minority students have increased - to over 65% of total suspensions in 2010-11 - even though minority students make up only about 20% of the student population.

See how that works?

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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Meade » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:10 pm

More than one in four black Madison high school students are chronically absent, meaning they missed the equivalent of at least one day for every five they attended in the 2010-11 school year.

That rate is three and a half times higher than for Madison’s white high school students and almost twice the rate for black high school students in other Dane County schools, according to new data from the Department of Public Instruction.

Chronic absenteeism — which includes full and partial days missed over time — poses a significant challenge for the Madison School District as it spends millions of dollars on various strategies to raise the graduation rates and achievement levels of low-income and minority students.

“To make a major change in something like this is huge,” said Leslie Howard, president of the United Way of Dane County. “We can put a lot of expensive strategies in place in the schools, but if the kids aren’t coming, it’s not going to help.”

The district expects the attendance rate of minority students will improve as a result of strategies adopted in the district’s $7.5 million plan to close the disparity in achievement between minority and white students, said Joe Gothard, assistant superintendent for secondary schools.

The strategies include adding staff to work with parents at four elementary schools, expanding its culturally relevant practices program to help students understand the importance of school and implementing a new, $250,000 early warning system that among other things alerts principals when students are missing too much school. Previously principals had to track the attendance data themselves.
http://host.madison.com/news/local/educ ... z2Og7f0vDc


Why aren't the kids coming to school? Why are they being suspended? Why aren't they graduating? John Matthews has led MTI for 45 years. Is there a correlation? You tell me.

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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby david cohen » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:17 pm

Instead of trolling the thread, how about you explain to us what the correlation is between who is in charge of MTI and minority student attendance rates.

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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby SlayerDave » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:21 pm

david cohen wrote: he's been as strong an advocate for the rank and file union members as any union boss could be. That's his job, and he does it well, much to the frustration of many in Madison.


Exactly.

Roach's article seems to miss the point of what a union head does.

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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Meade » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:26 pm

Galoot wrote:While I was a member of MTI, I would have been completely ok with having the union dissolve, and re-form under new leadership. And I knew other teachers at East who felt the same way, who hated John Matthews so much that they refused to wear any MTI logos or carry an MTI sign during the protests. They were mostly younger or newer teachers, which shouldn't be surprising.

I still regret not standing up at new teacher orientation back in 2005, when Mathews was speaking, and asking him why the hell he thought it wasn't a conflict of interest for him to make $30k a year as a board member of WPS or whatever that insanely expensive health care plan was.

I saw the whole crackdown on teachers unions coming, back in around 2001, and I told many people about it. After my experience with Prop 13 in California when I was in public schools there, it was quite clear that if public servants and their union representatives just blithely ignore public outcry against them, then there will be a huge voter backlash against them. No, I don't think that the Walker plan is reasonable, but I do think that Matthews could have done a hell of a lot to change public opinion about teachers and their union, if he hadn't acted like an arrogant prick for years about the issue of expensive health care insurance.

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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:50 pm

david cohen wrote:...teachers are better off in general with a strong union, especially during times of economic hardship.

Exactly. When I began teaching in the late 70s, starting teachers made under ten thousand dollars a year.

"I consider it important, indeed urgently necessary, for intellectual workers to get together, both to protect their own economic status and, also, generally speaking, to secure their influence in the political field."
Albert Einstein

Einstein was a founding member of the Princeton Federation of Teachers Local 552, signing its charter in 1938.

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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Meade » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:59 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Einstein was a founding member of the Princeton Federation of Teachers Local 552, signing its charter in 1938.

Plus, Einstein believed in G-d.

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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby jjoyce » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:36 pm

Can we give the jackassery a rest for Holy Week? Didn't anyone give up feeding the trolls for Lent? Christ....

Isn't Matthews staff? Isn't there a board he answers to, that approves his office's spending, that determines his agenda?

The whole discussion about whether Matthews should step aside is dumb. He serves at the mercy of the union. Ask the teachers who employ him why they continue to employ him. Galoot's opinion is certainly not unique for Madison teachers, in my limited experience, but it apparently remains in the minority.

Of course, that's part of the actual problem with unions: they tend to reward seniority. Those who aren't pleased with a seniority-based system tend to leave the profession voluntarily or get drummed out for one reason or another (possibly because they're last hired/first fired). The senior members, who benefit from the system, remain. That tends to solidify status quo. The older teachers around here still remember when the union was scoring big victories for them. Younger teachers, meanwhile, have never had to vote to strike.

WEAC staff remains in place as well, despite seeing HUGE losses, both at the polls and the bargaining table. Huge. I wonder how those performance reviews have gone. Maybe there aren't ever any performance reviews.

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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby david cohen » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:04 pm

Well Jason, I'll be happy when Lent/Easter is over, not because I'm a treif lovin' heeb, but because the price of crawfish will return to normal. Are trolls treif? Probably...Stu might know;)

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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Meade » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:06 pm

Fine, Jason. Fine. But there is an election next week. And a vote for Ananda Mirilli for Madison School Board Seat #5 will send a message even John Matthews might hear.


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