On Wisconsin! (Read 2073 times)

MrH


    The schools that do well have better students, not better teachers, generally speaking.

     

    Yes, the single best way to improve test scores for kids is to have them move to a better zip code.

    The process is the goal.

    Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.


    Menace to Sobriety

      In non-union situations isn't it easier to fire the free rider?

       Technically, yes, but it doesn't happen as often as it probably should. I've been with my current company for a little less than 3 years, but there is a huge contingent of folks that have been here for well over 20 years, an a good many over 30. We're non-union and in a right to work state. You'd be surprised at how many people here are being "carried" just because they've been here forever. Maybe it's just easier to see because I'm relatively new. My old company had a couple of union plants that I traveled to on a semi regular basis and they didn't have near the "entitlement" mentality that my current company does.

       

      Union or non-union, all the layoffs that I've seen with my companies have been done on a last in, first out basis. There have been maybe one or two people out of 40-50 people laid off  that bucked the trend, but overall, it's been on a seniority basis. This also has been the case with the layoffs of salaried personnel, who arguably have more control over the overall direction of the company and its success or failure, and they're not under the control or protection of the union even if it's a union plant. Bottom line is longevity, not effectiveness breeds tenure in most workplaces.

      Janie, today I quit my job. And then I told my boss to go f*** himself, and then I blackmailed him for almost sixty thousand dollars. Pass the asparagus.

        Yes, the single best way to improve test scores for kids is to have them move to a better zip code.

         

        Right, which unfortunately doesn't do much for those left behind in the old zip code.  I think we are all agreeing that what kind of home/environment a kid comes from has more to do with a kid's educational attainment than what kind of school or teacher he or she has.  But to be clear, that's not the same as saying the school can't have an impact and that we should stop trying to improve schools.

        Runners run.


        Prince of Fatness

          I would argue that this happens all the time in well run organizations.  Having just lived through two years of atrocious layoffs at my own work place, I would also argue that since these decisions are generally made by human being and human beings are imperfect that it's not always clear cut.

           

          I won't argue this but my comment was directed toward decisions made by higher management.  As a low level manager who had to lay people off in my prior job years ago, I took value into consideration because I knew that I had to process the same amount of work with less people.  Higher up the chain it's just a dollar decision and the consequences are not really tangible to them.  At least that was my view of things.

           

          I agree wholeheartedly with your last sentence.

          Semi-retired.

              Bottom line is longevity, not effectiveness breeds tenure in most workplaces.

             

            I see the opposite too, though.  The longest tenured are often the higher paid.  There is a large employer in our area that doesn't often lay people off, but they do offer retirement packages about every year to everybody over 55 years old.  It's fairly obvious that it's an effort to replace higher paid workers with lower paid workers. While retaining based on tenure doesn't seem like a great option, getting rid of your experienced people to dump salary doesn't either.  Ideally, it would be based upon effectiveness as measured by results. 

             


            Prince of Fatness

              I see the opposite too, though.  The longest tenured are often the higher paid.

               

              This is why I don't think that layoffs are effective with the state workers in the unions.  You eliminate a job and that person will bump another person out of their job if they have seniority.  So you are really losing your cheapest workers.

               

              What I am seeing in NJ are early retirement incentives and reduction by attrition (just don't replace someone if they quit or retire).  Add to that there are many who are retiring on time instead of hanging on because they are afraid of the rules changing.

              Semi-retired.


              Menace to Sobriety

                  There is a large employer in our area that doesn't often lay people off, but they do offer retirement packages about every year to everybody over 55 years old.  It's fairly obvious that it's an effort to replace higher paid workers with lower paid workers. While retaining based on tenure doesn't seem like a great option, getting rid of your experienced people to dump salary doesn't either.  Ideally, it would be based upon effectiveness as measured by results. 

                 + 1 to your last statement. Unfortunately, the people managing the layoff are probably the same people that (mis)managed the company into the position that caused the need for the layoff in the first place.

                 

                I've seen the early retirement deals as well, but I think this is more to avoid age discrimination issues as anything else.

                Janie, today I quit my job. And then I told my boss to go f*** himself, and then I blackmailed him for almost sixty thousand dollars. Pass the asparagus.

                   

                  What I am seeing in NJ are early retirement incentives and reduction by attrition (just don't replace someone if they quit or retire).  Add to that there are many who are retiring on time instead of hanging on because they are afraid of the rules changing.

                   

                  This is exactly what I see going on in the local unit of governent where I work. About every two to three years the county board of commissioners will offer an early retirement package.

                   

                  The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

                   

                  2014 Goals:

                   

                  Stay healthy

                  Enjoy life

                   

                    How do we create good families? Dont the schools play a role in this? 

                     Those are good questions Jeff - I'm not sure this thread is big enough to even try to answer.... So, what's going on in Wisconsin today?Cool

                    2014 - Get 5k back under 20:00.  Stay healthy!

                      But to be clear, that's not the same as saying the school can't have an impact and that we should stop trying to improve schools.

                       +1,  We don't use the public schools, but we feel the same way.

                      2014 - Get 5k back under 20:00.  Stay healthy!

                        In non-union situations isn't it easier to fire the free rider?

                         

                        I realize I've been guilty of this, but can we stop talking about "unions" in general as if every union were the same, they were all either bad or good, etc. The value of unions in some settings, for some purposes may be very positive--for other settings and for other interests not so much.

                         

                        Sometimes it is important to make it hard to fire free riders precisely because it's difficult in principle to distinguish between free riders and those who aren't. The people making this judgment are imperfect, and also sometimes what looks like a free rider that doesn't produce much for a certain school or business according to certain measures MAY be extremely valuable according to other measures.

                         

                        Philosophy programs in particular and liberal arts academic programs in general have this problem. We don't produce anything much of direct marketable value--except for people who know how to think and deliberate in a wide variety of ways. So, are we a free rider on the sciences? Should we be cut because we can't talk directly about how we make money for an institution?

                         

                        Perhaps. Teachers are the same way: in whose judgment is a certain teacher valuable? How exactly do we test this? What's the temporality of the test? Many of the teachers that I did not like in high school are now, upon reflection, some of the teachers that I considered the best.

                         

                        So, just because unions have the effect of preserving some free riders, it doesn't mean that this is not a GOOD effect.

                          The people making this judgment are imperfect, and also sometimes what looks like a free rider that doesn't produce much for a certain school or business according to certain measures MAY be extremely valuable according to other measures.

                           

                           

                          I don't disagree with the above - maybe it gets back to the process itself, as DB said.  What should be clear then is what the measures are for each job/individual.  I have no idea how teachers or philosophers or any number of other professions are measured or benchmarked.  I guess I have no reason to.  But I'd like to believe that those who have determined the jobs, the processes and the expected outcomes would have a means of measuring each participant's effectiveness at his job.  Sometimes it does not appear this is the case, whether that's teaching or other things.  From the viewpoint of someone who is measured in a very direct way (which probably makes me ignorant regarding this topic) sometimes it appears that unions are not aligned with measurement of effectiveness.  Rather, they are aligned with keeping employment and benefits at all costs.   I don't mean to pick on teachers, but how are teachers measured, and what are the consequences/rewards for that measurement?  Could we have a system where teachers that are measured to be outstanding get proportionally rewarded/copied/used to teach the teacher and those that do not measure find something else to do?

                           

                          MTA: then again I guess you have humans doing the measuring.

                           

                          Also, bringing this back to point.  I think singling out public workers for cuts is ridiculous and ultimately probably a drop in the bucket.  The only real solution is cuts across the board in spending (services) and raising taxes.  There will be no other choice sooner or later and it's amazing that people fight this. 

                           

                            I don't disagree with the above - maybe it gets back to the process itself, as DB said.  What should be clear then is what the measures are for each job/individual.  I have no idea how teachers or philosophers or any number of other professions are measured or benchmarked.  I guess I have no reason to.  But I'd like to believe that those who have determined the jobs, the processes and the expected outcomes would have a means of measuring each participant's effectiveness at his job.  Sometimes it does not appear this is the case, whether that's teaching or other things.  From the viewpoint of someone who is measured in a very direct way (which probably makes me ignorant regarding this topic) sometimes it appears that unions are not aligned with measurement of effectiveness.  Rather, they are aligned with keeping employment and benefits at all costs.   I don't mean to pick on teachers, but how are teachers measured, and what are the consequences/rewards for that measurement?  Could we have a system where teachers that are measured to be outstanding get proportionally rewarded/copied/used to teach the teacher and those that do not measure find something else to do?

                             

                            MTA: then again I guess you have humans doing the measuring.

                             

                            Also, bringing this back to point.  I think singling out public workers for cuts is ridiculous and ultimately probably a drop in the bucket.  The only real solution is cuts across the board in spending (services) and raising taxes.  There will be no other choice sooner or later and it's amazing that people fight this. 

                             

                            People are working to produce a system of teacher accountability. Actually, this is one of Obama's big talking points. 

                             

                            Radical free market folks will tell you that there already is a system in place for determining job effectiveness: it's called capitalism. Just take away all regulation and all of a sudden in order to make money, you have to be able to provide a service that people will pay for.

                             

                            It's a good thought in theory--but like communism, it is difficult to work out in practice. Turns out that economic freedom requires (at least some) political freedom as its condition of possibility. This is why budget debates are not just about numbers, but also about values and justice.

                              I’ve lost track of this thread; you guys have more stamina (and time) than I do. 

                               

                              But when I read this smart piece by Richard Kahlenberg —whose one of the best writers about education, IMO—on teacher, unions, etc, I thought I'd pass it along.

                               

                              As you were.


                              Prince of Fatness

                                This would all be easy if we didn't have people in the mix muddying the waters.

                                Semi-retired.