Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Vote No on Everything!

Ms. Cornelius over at "A Shrewdness of Apes" has commented on California's Prop 74. In a nutshell, this proposed law would increase the amount of time needed for a California public school teacher to get "permanent" status from 2 to 5 years, and would make it easier to terminate a teacher's employment.
As I commented there, I'm for teacher quality; I don't like it when other people make my chosen profession look bad through their incompetence. Teachers, like doctors, lawyers, police officers, hell, even gardners and pizza cooks, need to be accountable and held to a certain standard of performance and professionalism. That said, Prop 74, if it should pass, isn't going to help. Principals will be no more willing to let people go if they have 5 years in which to do it than if they have 2. Firing people isn't fun (I know, I've had to do it), and it's too easy to let the classroom door close and forget there's a problem. Or you give them the benefit of the doubt, or dump them on someone else who's going to be just as reluctant to fire them.
I also commented, in response to a comment by Polski3, about my general distrust of this particular election. Governor Schwarzeneggar has found himself unable to work with the state legislature through traditional methods (ie: Compromise), and is thus trying to get the public to do his legislating for him. He's using his celebrity to push through his pet agenda, at voter expense... remember: this is a SPECIAL election, not one that is normally scheduled, and is therefore an extra expense.
So, here's my advice, and I'm going to thank the Orange County, California Republican party for this (it's the exact opposite of the way they're asking me to vote in a "voter guide" I received today): Vote NO on Props 73, 74, 75, 75, 77, 78 and vote YES on 79 and 80. I'm calling it my "Screw Arnold!" ticket.

An aside: Funny story- I'm (no surprise here) a registered Democrat. Have been for many years. So imagine my surprise last year when I received a letter from the chairman of the Republican National Committee asking for a) my help in getting W re-elected, and b) money. I was tempted to fill out the survey they'd enclosed, and maybe effect some change, but then I realized that wouldn't work, so I just threw the letter away and celebrated the fact they'd wasted a few cents on postage that couldn't be used in the campaign. A month or so later, I got another letter. This one I had to respond to! I thanked Ed (I think that was the Chairman's name) for his interest in my opinions, but told him (kindly) that he was wasting his Limbaugh-loving time. Politics. Ain't it funny?

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