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Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

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

Postby Meade » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:12 pm

More from the article I linked to above:
This includes its opposition to collaborative 4-year-old kindergarten, virtual classes and charter schools, all of which might improve the chances of low achievers and help retain a crucial cadre of students from higher-income families. Virtual classes would allow the district to expand its offerings beyond its traditional curriculum, helping everyone from teen parents to those seeking high-level math and science courses. But the union has fought the district's attempts to offer classes that are not led by MTI teachers.

As for charter schools, MTI has long opposed them and lobbied behind the scenes last year to kill the Studio School, an arts and technology charter that the school board rejected by a 4-3 vote. (Many have also speculated that Winston's last minute flip-flop was partly to appease the union.)

"There have become these huge blind spots in a system where the superintendent doesn't raise certain issues because it will upset the union," Robarts says. "Everyone ends up being subject to the one big political player in the system, and that's the teachers union."

MTI's opposition was a major factor in Rainwater's decision to kill a 4-year-old kindergarten proposal in 2003, a city official told Isthmus last year (See "How can we help poor students achieve more?" 3/22/07).

Matthews' major problem with a collaborative proposal is that district money would support daycare workers who are not MTI members. "The basic union concept gets shot," he says. "And if you shoot it there, where else are you going to shoot it?"

At times, Matthews can appear downright callous. He says he has no problem with the district opening up its own 4K program, which would cost more and require significant physical space that the district doesn't have. It would also devastate the city's accredited non-profit daycare providers by siphoning off older kids whose enrollment offsets costs associated with infants and toddlers.

"Not my problem," Matthews retorts.


Everything within the union, nothing outside the union.
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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Igor » Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:44 pm

I would certainly have rather had an MTI and MMSD with approximately equal power, as opposed to Walker' plan. That had no chance of ever happening, however.
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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby bdog » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:44 pm

John Roach: Matthews should step down

First, it has to be asked: Why was Manski even running for the Madison School Board? Kids? No. A passion for education? No. So why? Because The John Father wanted it to be so.

So The John Father, like Don Corleone, unleashed his money and powerful networks. The usual list of progressive endorsers fell in line creating a snapshot for Manski whiter than Ronald Reagan’s cabinet. The Cap Times played its part, never seeming to understand that “all white progressive” is an oxymoron. Did any of them think for a minute that the sea of white faces for Manski communicated something to minority Madison? This is how tone deaf they have become.

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

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:51 pm

Roach is on the board of the Urban League, which is pissed that taxpayer money wasn't used for (Urban League President and CEO) Kaleem Caire's proposed private school. Roach even compared Matthews to Don Corleone of the Godfather. Enough said.
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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Meade » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:07 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Roach even compared Matthews to Don Corleone of the Godfather. Enough said.

Apt comparison.
Hey, Hen V, weren't you once a foot soldier for the MTI family? Or do I have you mixed up with some other foron.
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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby bdog » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:59 pm

Hen wasn't just ANY foot soldier:

I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says... like dumb... I'm smart and I want respect!
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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Mean Scenester » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:50 am

union bosses : mob bossess :: Meade and bdog : fucking geniuses
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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Meade » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:10 am

You left out :: Scott Walker : Adolph Hitler : Jeffery Dahmer.
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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby david cohen » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:00 am

IMHO, Roach calling for Matthews to step down only makes Matthews stronger in the eyes of his MTI members. We all know that many MTI members don't care for John Matthews; however, 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. If you have ever tried to get the MMSD to fire a clearly incompetent teacher (and I have done so), you know how much power Matthews wields and just how delicate the relationship between Matthews and the MMSD Superintendent is. That said, you have to respect what he has created with regards to MTI. John Roach isn't exactly a paragon of virtue and leadership in Madison. He's a dude with a column in a magazine and a video producer. I'm sure he's a nice guy too, but his opinion, no matter what analogies he uses, is still just that- his opinion. And frankly, having had kids in the MMSD for the past 16 yrs (with 2 more years to go) and having been very active in these issues, I don't think MTI is the reason we have an achievement gap. That is what is known as oversimplification.
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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Meade » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:10 am

david cohen wrote:And frankly, having had kids in the MMSD for the past 16 yrs (with 2 more years to go) and having been very active in these issues, I don't think MTI is the reason we have an achievement gap. That is what is known as oversimplification.

Then what, IYHO, is the reason we have an achievement gap?
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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby david cohen » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:39 am

Socio-economics. Upward mobility of caucasian families, downward mobility of African American families. Lack of opportunity, not in the school setting, but in the larger society. For Madison, on a purely statistical basis, we have a huge gap between the haves and have nots (educational levels of parents as well as economic power). Sometimes I think the MMSD is the only institution that actually cares about all of this, but guess what? The public schools were never designed to be a socio-economic safety net. Right now, the MMSD is the front line in the battle and they are outnumbered 20-1.
So. while someone might not like Matthews and his style/power/etc., the folks he represents are the front line.
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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby gargantua » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:20 am

I tend to agree with David Cohen. Public schools, and by extension teachers and their labor union, are convenient scapegoats for larger issues in our society. It is one place where an achievement gap can actually be measured.
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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Mean Scenester » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:27 pm

Meade wrote:You left out :: Scott Walker : Adolph Hitler : Jeffery Dahmer.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you scored somewhere on the autotroph end of the curve on your ACTs.

Your analogy notation sucks almost as bad as those spasmodic videos your wife posts for you.
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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Meade » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:00 pm

david cohen wrote:The public schools were never designed to be a socio-economic safety net.

Depends on what you mean by social/economic safety net.

Since you seem to want to take a racial Marxian class theory pov, let me suggest you go back and re-read your John Dewey who can fairly be called the Father of Modern American Public Education.

The first and more immediate aim is to see whether human beings can have such guarantees of security against want, illness, old-age, and for health, recreation, reasonable degree of material ease and comfort that they will not have to struggle for purely personal acquisition and accumulation, without, in short, being forced to undergo the strain of competitive struggle for personal profit. In its ulterior reaches, it is an experiment to discover whether the familiar democratic ideals—familiar in words, at least—of liberty, equality and brotherhood will not be most completely realized in a social régime based on voluntary coöperation, on conjoint workers’ control and management of industry, with an accompanying abolition of private property as a fixed institution—a somewhat different matter, of course, than the abolition of private possessions as such. The first aim is the distinctly economic one. But the farther idea is that when economic security for all is secured, and when workers control industry and politics, there will be the opportunity for all to participate freely and fully in a cultivated life. That a nation that strives for a private culture from which many are excluded by economic stress cannot be a cultivated nation was an idea frequently heard from the mouths of both educators and working people. (from Impressions of Soviet Russia and The Revolutionary World (1929) by John Dewey


I am 100% certain that a social régime based on voluntary coöperation, on conjoint workers’ control and management of industry, with an accompanying abolition of private property as a fixed institution is the dogma lying at the exact center of John Matthews' heart.
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Re: Time for MTI's John Matthews to retire?

Postby Detritus » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:34 pm

Meade wrote:
david cohen wrote:The public schools were never designed to be a socio-economic safety net.

Depends on what you mean by social/economic safety net.

Since you seem to want to take a racial Marxian class theory pov, let me suggest you go back and re-read your John Dewey who can fairly be called the Father of Modern American Public Education.

Ignoring your peculiar attempt at an ad hominem attack, did it escape your notice that Dewey is describing here what the Soviets were attempting to accomplish, and not, as you seem to think, his own ideals?

Of course it did. If it didn't, then you would simply be lying, wouldn't you?
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