Madison Teachers union receives national recognition for organizing protests

Samuel Schmitt:

A Madison teachers union will receive a national award for its organizational work during last spring’s protests against Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill throughout Wisconsin.
The Institute for Policy Studies, located in Washington, D.C., announced Tuesday Madison Teachers Incorporated would be honored with the Letelier-Motiff Human Rights Award on Oct. 12, said ISP spokesperson Lacy MacAuleyet.
IPS annually presents two awards to honor those who the group believes to be “unsung heroes of the progressive movement.” One award is presented domestically and one internationally, she said.
MTI Executive Director John Matthews said the union has never received an award of this caliber.
“This is a first,” Matthews said. “[The national distinction represents] significant recognition for MTI’s leadership. MTI hasn’t slowed its effort in the movement.”

  • Reed Schneider

    An award for destroying public property, disrupting the lives and education for tens of thousands of people, corrupting the medical profession and lying. And then do all this while presiding over and being solely responsible for an education environment that has devastated the lives and futures for thousands of minority students…people who the progressives handing out this “award” profess to love. For a second, I thought this was an Onion spoof. Winning this award is a disgrace and accepting it would be even worse.

  • What?! Teachers are “solely responsible for an education environment that has devastated the lives and futures for thousands of minority students”?
    This statement is ridiculous hyperbole. These children have parents. These parents share responsibility for the educational environment of their children.
    How can anyone believe otherwise?
    I mean, sheesh! Teacher unions are fair game for criticism, but stuff like this is just goofy.

  • Reed Schneider

    MTI is responsible for the curriculum, the orderliness, the teachers employed, the conduct in the hallways and everything else that goes on in the schools. They are responsible for the entire learning environment at the school. They have experimented with every progressive and untested fad that came along and they have failed at it. Miserably. Keep apologizing for them. Go on. Nope, not the teachers. It’s the diet, parents, video games, lack of money, not enough technology, George Bush, Haliburton, blah, blah, blah.
    There are examples of places far worse off than Madison where children do learn and graduate at higher rates. Btw, Marc, a black man at the head of the local Urban League says the biggest impediment to minority learning in Madison is the teachers union.
    Here’s the International winner of the award and some info on what they do:
    Bethlehem, The Migrant’s Shelter (Mexico)
    Bethlehem, The Migrant’s Shelter (Mexico) works to protect migrants in Mexico from kidnapping, extortion, sexual abuse, and murder. As a voice for the human rights of migrants in transit, it has courageously challenged both organized crime and complicit public officials.
    And the US award goes to a bunch of public property vandals. And then Marc comes along and says I’m goofy. Sheesh.

  • “Reed Schneider” lives in an alternative universe where there are no principals, no assistant principals, no downtown administrators, no activist parents and certainly no school board members guiding the district’s schools.
    In his universe, “MTI is responsible for the curriculum, the orderliness, the teachers employed, the conduct in the hallways and everything else that goes on in the schools. They are responsible for the entire learning environment at the school.”
    I would gently suggest that the operation of the schools is a bit more complicated than his fevered description.

  • Jim Zellmer

    Recent events around the proposed Madison Preparatory Academy IB charter school add to the discussion:
    http://www.schoolinfosystem.org/archives/2011/10/public_comments_4.php
    http://www.schoolinfosystem.org/archives/2011/10/madison_prepara_6.php
    Finally, the millions spent on the Infinite Campus initiative are also worth a look:
    http://www.google.com/custom?domains=www.schoolinfosystem.org&q=%22infinite+Campus%22&sitesearch=www.schoolinfosystem.org&sa=Search&client=pub-3538568741225934&forid=1&channel=2218114178&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&cof=GALT%3A%23008000%3BGL%3A1%3BDIV%3A%23336699%3BVLC%3A663399%3BAH%3Acenter%3BBGC%3AFFFFFF%3BLBGC%3A336699%3BALC%3A0000FF%3BLC%3A0000FF%3BT%3A000000%3BGFNT%3A0000FF%3BGIMP%3A0000FF%3BFORID%3A1&hl=en
    Short link: http://tinyurl.com/icmadison.
    Systems like Infinite Campus can certainly be useful, if implemented and used. I participated in the original system review and supported it, with the caveat that if it was not required, the District should not buy it….
    The implementation of certain Math programs (Connected & Discovery) despite some teacher opposition is also worth revisiting:
    http://www.schoolinfosystem.org/archives/2004/05/math_teachers_s.php
    Finally, the District’s continuing embrace of reading recovery, despite achievement questions raised in a recent report, should be considered as well.
    Reading Recovery on SIS.
    Short link: http://tinyurl.com/rrmadison
    Certain curricular initiatives require additional staffing which perhaps aligns administrative (projects, grants, graduate school, credentialism) and union goals (numbers). Ripon Superintendent Richard Zimman mentioned a “focus on adult employment” during a 2009 Madison Rotary speech:
    http://www.schoolinfosystem.org/archives/2009/08/the_madison_sch_4.php