I was astounded yesterday (well actually today when I caught the news) that a pink slip means getting fired. I had to correct Mafara Hobson who sent me some ishkabible via studentsfirst.net that a pink slip does not equal being fired and please not use such strong language in what appears to be a political debate rather than one on education. http://www.studentsfirst.org/blog/entry/video-teachers-who-changed-kids-lives/
In hopes of clarifying the situation above, since I am sure people read Ms. Hobson as well as follow Ms. Rhee and her cronies, let me be very clear, PINK SLIPS happen to be the current methodology of a school district telling you your services are no longer needed. A pink slip merely means someone at the district (or charter school office) did not do their budgeting so well and you are being axed. As of March 2011, pink slips were still being issued based on tenure unless you work at a charter school and then it really appears some one messed up the budget and/or not enough students are choosing to come to your charter school.
A pink slip does not mean you are a bad person; quite the opposite in fact. One of my close friends calls a pink slip something you receive from the universe to protect you from something worse and I believe she is correct. A pink slip can be a blessing if you allow it to be.
Being fired generally means you are a bad person and did something naughty, up to and including having your teaching credential stripped. Depending on the state you live in, school you work for and whether or not there is a union, being fired can also mean some one just does not like you or what you are wearing today so they are getting rid of you – for good! Being fired can also be fought legally for cause in the situations where the some one does not like you and is attempting to use some other excuse to get rid of you. In some instances, being fired is a good thing as you can apply to EEOC and FEHA if there is ’cause’ and possibly win against the previous employer, which would make them ‘naughty’. Don’t count too much on winning though as EEOC and FEHA are pretty much in cahoots with employers (see previous blogs of a couple years ago). Accept being fired with grace and walk away. There is quite possibly something better out there – and it may have nothing to do with education (don’t tell Ms. Rhee I said this- she would be horrified).
While Ms. Rhee and acolytes might have you believe that pink slips ruin the lives of children, they might be better served by explaining their ‘alternate’ and even more sinister/subversive plan of having teachers rated, at least partially, by student test scores. I think a great many teachers will only be applying for K and Grade 1 jobs as the ante goes upward the higher the grade you teach.
So, before the heartbreaking videos affect you too deeply, ask yourself the following questions:
(1) Where are the parents of the children who are being ‘affected’ by budget cuts? Who are these parents?
(2) Why aren’t more parents volunteering at the school(s) of said children, especially in the area of fund raising, grant writing, etc.?
(3) Why is an emotional plea being made to us as adults – shouldn’t the plea be an intellectual one?
(4) How is studentsfirst.net/Ms. Rhee using YOUR contributions?
(5) Do you agree with the alternative manner to assess teachers and will you be satisfied in 2012 if even more teachers are let go from the ‘new’ test score strategy?
(6) Is there an alternate plan (the test score thing just did not work well in DC where Ms. Rhee was most recently before her current job) that meets the needs of students and also requires parents to be involved rather than insisting teachers are the only living organism affecting children?