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CORNELIUS: REA responds to anti-union legislation

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When Tennessee Teacher Associations signed on to the Race to the Top application in December 2009, one of the stipulations was that the local education associations' presidents also sign the agreement for the local education system to be eligible.

When it was announced that Tennessee had won one of the grants, the legislature went into overdrive the second week of January 2010. They were forcing many reforms under the guise of RTTT, one of which was evaluating teachers using test scores, which is extremely unfair because a teacher cannot choose the students he or she receives.

In fact the evaluation system is still being developed and piloted. Also, a keystone to the RTTT legislation was that if a teacher is to be brought up on dismissal charges, then the case would be heard by an impartial hearing judge. Now, the Republican controlled legislature wants to remove any facet of due process for a teacher facing dismissal.

Plain and simple, this current legislative session has absolutely nothing to do with education reform. That is a buzz phrase being used to hide the real intent. The real intent here is to exact revenge on the Tennessee Education Association for its lack of pumping money to Republican coffers.

So, the Republicans have decided to use children as pawns to get their way and make us the scapegoats. If all of this passes, then I can assure you there will be no negotiations with a local board and teachers will have no voice whatsoever.

Teachers are backed into a corner right now and we are being purposefully set up for failure. What would happen if we did our students that way?

Most of my colleagues are in complete and utter dismay at what is going on currently. We do not understand why we are being stripped of more rights than a common criminal at present. Why do so many feel compelled to think they know what is best for education?

State Sen. Jim Tracy (R, Shelbyville) spent six years in a classroom between two systems, I have more than three times that number. We will not forget this assault on teachers. We will fight this with every ounce of being we have. We did not start the fight but we fully intend to finish it.

KEITH CORNELIUS is President of the Rutherford Education Association
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Jim Tracy, REA, State, Voices
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Members Opinions:
February 28, 2011 at 12:21pm
These evil teachers and their horrible union have got to go.The employer should have the right to fire anyone for anything at anytime.Your day is done. The union is dead. long live the tax payer.
February 28, 2011 at 2:27pm
I have known some teachers that were some of the best people I have known. I have also known people that work at a factory. Why should teachers have more rights than other regular workers... have watched several shows on what unions did to shut down companies and threaten with thugs to force a company to kow tow to their demands. The thugs are alive and well and call theirselves TEA. States are going broke trying to keep people working. The TEA doesn't care about anyone else. They believe, form what i have seen, that they are special and should get what they want regardless of the budget. People, the money is just not there to support your monopoly any more. Just ask GM, where the costs to support union workers bankrupt the company. You are not being stripped of any rights. Your power to control the government finances are being taken away. Who are you going to fight? That sounds so very stupid to read. Stop and look at what this neanderthal has written. The questions is, "why do you think you know more about education just because you have a job that uses a union to hold the people of the communities hostage?" Keith, you probably will not forget this assualt as it is probably going to take away the power you think you have on your throne. I didn't vote for you, so I don't owe you anything. If you do not want to teach, I hear the Teamsters are hiring. Sounds like you would probably do well in that profession and have a throne with a loud horn to blow, besides running your mouth about your having rights. Of course you are smarter than Senator Tracy since you have spent 18 years on the government dole. It never ceases to amaze me to think that people are smarter, to have determined they deserve more rights than any other worker. Mr. Cornelius, yes, you did start the fight and the people with enough guts to stand up to you and people like you, will finish it. Wave bye!
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