State Senate President On Berman’s JCPS Ouster

Rather than say something substantive and to encourage Jefferson County Public Schools, here’s what Republican State Senate President David Williams had to say:

“This is an opportunity for the school system to put bad ideas in the past and move forward with new leadership whose primary concern is improving the quality of the education that children get in every part of Jefferson County. The next superintendent would be wise to distance himself from a self-serving public employee union that has proven time and again it cares more about its political agenda than improving public education. We look forward to working with a new administration to ensure that every Jefferson County family has access to a neighborhood school that provides a quality education.”

David L. Williams

That’s right – continuing to take the stupid advice from a couple Bush folks that trashing unions in liberal Louisville is a good thing. Because that’s obviously going to help move JCPS forward, right?

Message to David: Listen to the smart people around you telling you to temper your message.

18 thoughts on “State Senate President On Berman’s JCPS Ouster

  1. Jake,
    The new person doesn’t need to be in step with JCTA and Brent McKim. Look at what Berman and McKim pulled before the election. How dishonest is that and who did they think about besides themselves? Berman keeps his job and McKim keeps on keeping on with the status quo. JCTA needs to stay but change. For once, I will EVERYONE involved would think about the kids and not themselves or THEIR programs. I am very close to the situation and much more involved than most think. I am not being cliche’ but “we do need to put our kids first” and forget about status, political clout, or our next big thing.

  2. We should always keep in mind that the JCTA does not equal the rank-and-file teachers. If you want to attack a union, fine, but leave the teachers in good standing alone as they have a tough enough job as it is.

    Further, we shouldn’t knock every position the JCTA takes just because it comes from them. After all, this is an organization made up of actual educators. Turning a deaf ear to their positions would be a big mistake in my opinion.

  3. I’m not totally against Williams’s statement, even if I don’t like the guy. Teachers unions in general, and the Kentucky and Jefferson County unions in particular, have made it plain that teachers doing their actual jobs, educating public school students, is not the focus of the union, it’s keeping said job, no matter how good or bad they are at teaching. The focus of this whole ordeal has to be on better education in our public schools, not protecting JCPS employees.

  4. AbG, teachers _do_ need to be protected from administrators. I agree that if a teacher doesn’t measure up, they should be let go. But it does public education no favors to let administrators run wild, firing teachers they just don’t happen to like. And administrators would do that if it weren’t for unions.

    Talk to even the best teachers, and they will tell you tales about administrators.

  5. Jake,
    Are you pro or con when it comes to unions? It seems your post would lean towards protecting the unions and thus the union leadeship? Am I wrong?

  6. Wow. Simple-minded? Let’s agree to disagree and state that everyone involved needs to be honest. Is that fair and expected or just simple-minded again? Not arguing just asking.

  7. EXTREMELY simple-minded, if not ignorant.

    When you say something like, “Unions are 100%, always, forever bad.” ?? That’s pretty dang simple.

    It’s ignorant to suggest that the JCTA is completely responsible for all that’s wrong with Jefferson County Public Schools. It’s ignorant to blame all teachers for the faults of some.

  8. Never said I was totally against unions. I am a member of a union and my father served faithfully for years. What I am saying is that Brent McKim is dishonest and tried to pull a slick one on everyone with Tobo and the pre-election antics. Not all teachers are bad just like all publications or print media isn’t either. Unions nor all leadership caused the mess in JCPS. What caused the mess was dishonest leadership and may they see their way out of town with the former super. What I am saying is that McKim can’t be trusted and when the leadership can’t be trusted then it is time for a change. This was the same case with Berman. Unions serve a purpose but the purpose can’t be outweighed by dishonest leaders and folks looking out for themselves. My questions still stands. When will someone think about the kids and put the selfish adult games behind in an attempt to better the future for our kids? JCPS has a lot of good teachers, administrators, and staff that work long hours for the benefit of their students but some folks need to go just like a Kentucky Newspaper needs to be vaporized and replaced by responsible journalism.

  9. Jake,
    I look back at my first quote and I definitely state that JCTA needs to stay but change. I think you may have been wrong in your response but I might have been simple-minded again without realizing it. Maybe ignorant.

  10. Actually, in my opinion being a former union member of three different unions in this city, I think we have paper tiger unions in this city. When it comes time for the union to get off its collective rear end and actually do something to help its rank and file, they end up folding like a paper tiger. The only unions that will actually back anyone up are the UAW, IBEW, etc. Forget about the Sheet Metal Workers, Machinists and Aerospace, etc. When they work to cut their members pay and benefits to protect the chosen few, then thats when they stopped being a union and become a bunch of pimps.

    In regard to the teachers union, I think they do an admirable job but there are teachers that need to be fired and removed and not have a lifetime job for bad performance. But there needs to be a real criteria for this sort of action, not just on the whims of some middle manager type that wants to get rid of people. We’re talking about real education and real results. Plus a system that is put in place that actually shows results and the consequences for not getting decent results.

  11. JCTA is a big impediment.

    Of the schools we have listed as failing – three should be outsourced to non-profit management- which is an option under the law. Embrace the most experimental approach to find out if it works.

  12. Steve Magruder: I have a suggestion. Take a SECRET POLL (like a voting booth poll) and find out whether the teachers actually want a ‘student assignment plan’ OR a ‘neighborhood school plan’ with the ‘neighborhood school plan’ getting the Title 1 money for the PRINCIPAL to use rather than the school board. In my judgment and from my children (4 of whom teach in the local public schools) such a poll would be OVERWHELMING in favor of the ‘neighborhood school plan.’ The reason the ‘working teachers’ don’t speak out is the fear of retribution. Believe me, that fear is real.

  13. How about if we just blame the really bad teachers in JCPS who allow students in JCPS to do worse than others in our state?

    These people miss the boat entirely. Dr. Berman is a smart guy. However, its not necessary to have a bunch of smart people teaching or running JCPS, they just need to be effective which they are clearly not.

    JCPS students as a whole are about as good as those in Romania when it comes to things that used to be important like math, English, science, art, history and so on. But that’s okay since they are far ahead of the Romanians when it comes to far more important things like, just who is going to win Dancing With The Stars?

    ps. sometimes the trash I throw out is so disgusting I have to sanitize the trash can. The same should be done with pretty much the entire JCPS.

  14. Mr. Williams will never be governor of this state. Looking forward in seeing who the TB run against him. And if it wasn’t for the unions, he (Williams) would have ever been eligible for the KERS.
    Term limits for politicans.

  15. Sometimes, the teachers have to the the best with what they get. And that includes the students.

    I am not defending the poor performance of certain teachers, but one only has to look at the vast majority of the “failing students” family and social situations to see a trend.

    I have friends who grew up in similar settings, but had a strong parent or parents and they came out better than most of their peers. If there is no “strong” parent or family for the child, how can the teacher truly teach in 8 hours what is then ignored the other 16?

    When my child comes home with school work, I celebrate it, and try to get her excited about the subjects she dislikes… As a parent it is part of my God given responsibility.

    I would say the blame game goes to all partners in educating our children.

  16. Anything that comes out of the Ayatollah of Burkesville should be taken with a grain of salt. It speaks volumes for this state when someone of his ilk ends up being State Senate leader. It’s a sad testimony on the quality of the State Senate and the real lack of leadership that would allow a hypocritical buffoon such as that to be the leader. Granted, Berman was a disaster and Daeschner wasn’t much better but could you imagine one of the Ayatollah’s handpicked candidates being the superintendent. I’ve been down to the southern reaches of this state and when you go to a mini mart and ask a local how far is it to Tennessee one of them told me it was 4 hours. I went and picked up a map and it was more like 50 miles and even no more than 2 hours by interstate. That speaks volumes for education in many parts of the Commonwealth. Sad but true that we’re putting these people in poverty for most of their lives with education and common sense not being a priority. Well, the readers of this board are generally quite intelligent I must say and at least have some ideas. Try that out in Southern Kentucky or rural Kentucky and you’ll be branded a heretic or an atheist. Another case of letting ignorance win.

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