Thursday, December 20, 2007

On the next BOE Rep

Update: There was a meeting to debate, discuss and vote on this matter, and naturally less than six people showed up, and none of the people who made the fuss. I told Betty I had it with ACT months ago, but I went tonight for her. Another waste of time.

This post won't be of much concern to non-teachers, but in that group a debate is raging about the next teacher representative to the BOE.

The worst kept secret is that a lot of teachers don't like Ambrose Bennett and haven't liked him for a long time. I am actually not one of those people, though I think he hasn't even been trying as teacher rep for a while. Teachers were trying to get him out of office since he got into office. Last Spring that effort intensified again. ACT comes and mostly goes largely based on whether Ambrose has pissed off many teachers.

Last year was a non-related come. As a result of salary cuts related to Praxis at the beginning of last school year, some teachers wanted to be heard. Given that teachers never did anything for years, there was no organization to assist them. Some small momentum had ACT going again, and then kept alive later on almost entirely via the efforts of Betty Miller. Some members wanted Ambrose out right away, and there was an effort to that effect put forth that never went very far. This effort was not Betty's idea, but she was the person people wanted to replace him. Now Bennett's term is really ending and he is putting up a major fuss because Betty is also serving as acting Vice Principal, he blames Betty and he needs something to write three letters per week about. He related today how he is a well known constitutional scholar and the Constitution is in peril over this nonsense. You heard it John Marshall, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Ambrose Bennett. Here is Ambrose's statement: "Furthermore, I have been recognized by the U.S. Congress as a Constitutional Scholar and only people with "Law" degrees are considered to have a better understanding of our Constitution - meaning the "lay" interpretations that ACT is creating to address the Constitution don't carry any weigth nor will the be considered as a "qualified" opinion."

About six or seven people are out opposing Betty Miller on grounds that she is now serving as an administrator. Anyone interested in this debate can check the ACT blog. Here is my take on this fiasco.

James Yangetmai makes some good points in his email, and if this were a union and we were really doing collective bargaining, his argument would be even stronger. However, this isn't the U.S. mainland, ACT isn't a union, and regarding this statement: "The credibility of our organization and teaching profession are at stake, and I believe that’s what all of us would want to protect," we have no credibility because so many people have sat around and done nothing for years that all ACT is now is Betty Miller trying to herd a group of disinterested cats. No one even wants to run for crying out loud. How sad a statement is that? The last election there was no campaign, no one voted, and we've since had four years of many people being angry that Ambrose won, so they just sit it out. It's only nonsense like this that brings people out of the woodwork.

Remember how last year the salaries were cut over Praxis and people were now upset and they had nowhere to turn? That was because there was no ACT in reality, and even a few months after it was reformed with all that paycut mojo, it has officers that don't show up to help, a membership that doesn't show up at meetings and virtually no one, in ACT or not, that could be bothered to show up at a Board of Education debate and other educational debates that Betty spearheaded.

Betty Miller has gone to those board meetings, actually represented teachers in a fair and professional manner and tried to make something of ACT while 99 percent of you sat on your ass, and now because she got promoted a few people don't want her to be teacher rep and turned this into some Supreme Court procedural argument. It's sad.

And for Ambrose's edification, it was other parties, certainly not me and not Betty, who wanted him removed from office last Spring, so don't take it out on her now, which is obviously happening. And even if you cling to the argument that Betty can't be in that position, the lone alternative isn't retaining Ambrose. There are other choices. The issue is do you trust Betty to relate the views of teachers and watch and relate those interests on the board and back to teachers, and we all know she can. Can we please stop the dramatic Constitutional Convention and show some real world awareness of what we are (a fledgling organization at best) and are not (a union).


Betty said...

Thanks for being there Jeff. The timing was awful, and for what purpose? Those who asked us to reconsider our initial decision didn't even show up to discuss the matter. The last thing any of us needed this week was ANOTHER meeting. UGH!
WHich makes it all the more reason I appreciated your presence and support.
Happy Holidays and thanks for taking time to stand by a friend. You're allowed to say "I told you so" now! ; - )

bradinthesand said...

i hear about those meetings from a lovely teacher. act can work but not if people say a few words and storm out of the meetings.

grow a sack, ambrose. and while you're patting yourself on the back for a job well done, the people who actually make stuff happen (like betty) will make a difference.

"it's common sense. i've been saying this for years. me, me, me. i,i,i." -ambrose bennett

saipanboonieman said...

wow! i had no idea you only needed to have "common sense" to be a constitutional skoler..... :-)

A1 wishes a Merry Christmas said...

Will PAWS take issue with the cat jab? Can't you f&%#49g teachers organize and form a union so your pay will skyrocket and some of you can buy PROPERTY and HOMES. New Caledonia teachers are bringing down 80K per year and that is French soil...I can handle us being behind a Kentucky trailor park but but the Pacific Riviera....can't any CNMI teachers see the reason for UNITY.!!!!!!!!!

Boycott Porky's

Need Property in the CNMI?
Call A1 at 233-1144

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Teachers need a voice, but access to the board in a non-voting setting will probably not get the job done. Granted, having someone at those functions who actually wants to move the teacher agenda forward instead of grandstanding will help. Go Betty.

Need property in the CNMI? Don't buy it from Mr. Sell-A-Swamp.

Boycott A-1.

Party at Porkys!!