Friday, March 02, 2007

The Amero Case from the Back of the Room

The other day Steve Jobs provided a wake-up call about Teacher Unions and Marcie Hull wrote an open letter back to Steven Jobs that in part contained the following.

I would also like to ask you what type of people do you think THIS (national average $47,808 in 2005) salary will attract? How can education attract the best and the brightest and this goes for the administration TOO, when the salaries being offered are not a living wage in this country! What person in their right mind is going to weigh their options upon graduation and think that being a teacher is the right move economically!

You may now ask me why I stay because in the private sector my experience could reap WAY MORE! I stay because almost every teacher that I have met is incredibly dedicated, loves their job and loves the kids they teach even more. I learn more in a day as a teacher then in any job I have ever had. I love the interactions I have with kids, parents, colleagues, and administrators. These reasons along with a ton of others is what keeps me going as a teacher.

I have been a teacher in one of the toughest schools Philadelphia and every teacher there got cursed at, spit at, laughed at, made to feel worthless and completely disrespected AND everyday these people showed up! Showed up for the kids!

Steve Jobs I challenge you to spend one hour in my shoes - ONE HOUR! I challenge you to walk into West Philadelphia High or Overbrook High School... meet some teachers there! Go into a failing school anywhere USA, I will wager you that you will find a school full of teachers that care and do the best possible job they can with what they are given to work with!!!!

Mr. Jobs I love your products and I love what you say about form being as important as function, but I totally disagree with what you say about teachers and their unions.

"Go into a failing school anywhere USA, I will wager you that you will find a school full of teachers that care and do the best possible job they can with what they are given to work with!!!!"

I think Marcie has just expressed why so many people have lined up to support Julie Amero as much as they have. These schools are tough places to be.

When we read court transcripts where four of five students who mention where they sat in Julie's class answer that it was the back of the classroom we cannot help but question why the school administration somehow decided that these students had more credibility than the teacher.

You see the administration insists that it was obvious that Julie should have pulled a plug. But isn't something even more obvious?

Isn't it obvious that out of the 60 plus students interviewed a cluster who sit at the back of the class claim the most graphic sex scenes. And these scenes are not visible to the other teacher, Jenny Fagin, sitting at the front of the room or the rest of the classes all of whom sit that much closer? And wasn't it obvious that the vernacular sometimes used on the original police reports to describe what they saw could more likely have come from a New York City pimp as a responsible middle school student?

As Marcie's letter to Steve Jobs states, teachers are targets in tough schools. Teachers aren't corrupting any morals there, they just hold their ground if they can. And, as Marcie says they, "do the best possible job they can" just as Julie Amero claims she did.

The school administration used the poorest of judgment in the Amero case and I think it's obvious they deserve to be fired.

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