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Friday, August 1, 2014

Luna recall has consequences

Posted Wednesday, March 16, 2011, at 8:38 AM

As much as a recall of Superintendent of Education Tom Luna sounds like a good idea -- and it would be immensely satisfying -- it's important to look at the consequences of such an action.

The recall petition that will soon be floating around has merit in that -- if it is signed by a large number of voters -- it would serve as a wake-up call to Luna and the legislature. It wouldn't even have to be successful to do that.

It needs about 176,000 signatures to result in a recall election. If they only get 100,000, that would be significant and in many ways it would have served its purpose.

But what are the consequences?

If a recall election were to be held, it would cost Elmore County alone about $10,000 to conduct the election.

If the election is successful, the consequences could actually be counter-productive. Most people assume there would be a new election for state superintendent.

They're wrong.

What happens is the state Republican Central Committee -- which leans a lot further to the right than the average Republican in Idaho (remember the embarrassing insanities of the state convention last year) -- would select three candidates to send to Gov. Butch Otter, who would then select one to finish Luna's term.

There's a good chance you could get someone actually worse than Luna -- as unbelievable as that may seem -- someone who has even less regard for public education than he has exhibited.

The problem of Luna could have been solved at the last election and will probably have to be solved at the next election just under four years down the road. A recall is unlikely to actually help.

But by signing it, you at least show your support for public education and our hard-working and under-appreciated teachers. So consider signing it at least a form of peaceful protest, planting a tree of expression so to speak, even it is unlikely to bear any sweet fruit.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Superintendent of Education Tom Luna did not make any of these bills law. His role was to submit proposals to the legislature and let them make laws. If you want to recall anyone, it should be the legislators that vote these bills into law. To advocate the recall or attempted recall, of anyone that submits ideas to the legislature is lunacy.

The time for protest of these bills has passed. It is time to stop pointing fingers at Mr. Luna and hold the Legislature/Governor accountable for the laws of our state.

-- Posted by jtrotter on Wed, Mar 16, 2011, at 9:23 AM

WOW Kelly talk about unbiased reporting from the editor. Guess we can put your journalistic skills in the gossip columnist section of the paper with your slant on things.

-- Posted by Trouble2011 on Wed, Mar 16, 2011, at 9:35 AM

I agree with jtrotter the legislature had a chance to not pass the bill. It is there responsibility now. I may not have agreed with all of Luna's planned but I do know far too many kids are graduating that can not read and write so something was needed to change the system. I also blame the parents for not taking more involved in the teaching of their children and not leave it up to the teachers. As in any other job in the world teachers need to be paid on their performance not just because they show up.

-- Posted by bostonharborlady on Wed, Mar 16, 2011, at 10:12 AM

Kelly, it really seems like you write your editorials just to take up space. They really offer nothing more. This week you advocate supporting an action that, by your own estimation, will fail. "But...you at least show your support for public education and our hard-working and under-appreciated teachers."

What a crock. Who here has said they are against public education? Who thinks the education system would function without teachers? No one. You're talking (typing) just to hear yourself talk.

Are you against pay for performance? If so I can see why. Doing something meaningless just to make yourself "feel better" is crap. But that seems like the best advice you have to offer.

Instead of suggesting people sign a petition that you think will fail -- just to show support, why don't you distribute little Support Ribbons made of burlap to show your support for 19th century education? Then you'd really be doing something! Helping to identify people who are happy with the status quo education system and against modernization that may well better prepare the children in the community for their first step past high school.

-- Posted by VicVega on Wed, Mar 16, 2011, at 12:50 PM

P.S. The previous comment was my opinion.

-- Posted by VicVega on Wed, Mar 16, 2011, at 12:51 PM

Maybe a better article would have been about which legislatures voted for proposal that Luna submitted. A proposal was made. The legislature is the body that denies or grants that proposal.

So Kelly, how about an article regarding who in the legislature voted for the proposal and gave permission for the proposal to be signed into law.

No one else submitted a proposal as far as I or others know of.

At least someone had the guts to try and change the current system. It seems to me you are crying over spilled milk. Did you attempt to send any ideas for submission in how our education needs to change?

-- Posted by midea on Wed, Mar 16, 2011, at 2:34 PM

Pull your heads out of the sand, ostriches. None of Luna's plan is about education...it's about money. The legislators have promised to cut taxes; while maintaining, or get this, even improving government efficiency. They have reduced the tax burden, but the cost of civilization did not agree with their intention. Bread, fuel, medicine, clothing and services keep gettin' mo' expensive. How you feel about that doesn't change reality.

Teachers cost too much, so...let's say they're not earning their pay.

Teachers' unions defend teacher pay/benefits and working conditions, so, let's trump the union and make it legal for school districts to play "take it or leave it" with their teachers.

The argument that no one but Luna has submitted a reform plan makes no sense unless you think the problem is "poor education." If that's your take, then Luna has been lying for years touting the success of Idaho's educators while simultaneously trying to dismantle the system they built. Just what is it that he is trying to reform/improve?

Change for change sake may get you all emotionally charged up; but you folks better understand that changing a round wheel for a square one isn't going to fix a problem caused by a flat tire.

I am a highly regarded (sometimes controversial), well trained , and experienced professional teacher who lives in Mountain Home by choice. On the other hand, I'm actively looking for another line of work.

-- Posted by junkyard dog on Wed, Mar 16, 2011, at 5:47 PM

Spoken like a true liberal there junkyard dog. Just continue to throw money at it but heaven forbid you fix it. As a former state employee I know first hand how the teachers union has been raping the state for years. They deserve decent compensation but they have held children [figuratively]hostage for their own benefit.

I was educated in Idaho public schools and I promise you I got a much better education then than anything available now. Mr. Lunas' plan may not be perfect but it is a start. Tenure has got to go. If you are actively looking for other employment it sounds like you aren't a very committed teacher in the first place.

-- Posted by Runnin Bear on Wed, Mar 16, 2011, at 6:39 PM

I am fairly certain that no one here, including Kelly, is discussing the content of Luna's plan. Mr. Luna was given a task, reduce the cost. He submitted a proposal and it was voted on, in part. The legislators now own education reform.

-- Posted by jtrotter on Wed, Mar 16, 2011, at 6:45 PM

I don't think a single teacher would argue the need for continued improvement of our education system and how we teach our children. That is why teachers attend required and voluntary training throughout their careers, so they can improve their teaching skills as the times and teaching methods change. Luna's plan did absolutely nothing to improve student education. All his proposals did was do away with collective bargaining. How does that improve a child's education? How does de-valuing one of the most critical career fields in our state and nation improve our children's education? I don't see a single part of his plan that will improve any child's education. If saving a few dollars on the states budget is worth lessening your child's education, then we have bigger problems in this state than I realized. For those of you who say this is not Luna's fault because he just "submits proposals", that is just rediculous. Yes, the legislators who approved the proposals bear some responsibility for them, but if the proposals never were submitted to begin with, against large protest, we wouldn't be having this conversation. Don't get me wrong, legislators need to be held accountable too, but let's start with the guy who submitted these worthless proposals and then focus on the rest. One other thing that irks me is when folks write about needing change in order to get rid of teachers who perform poorly. It's like they believe there is a large number of teachers out there that can't teach or just don't do their job. It's an insult to all educators. By the way, like most other jobs out there, there is a system in place to get rid of teachers who perform poorly. I don't know where some people get their information, believing teachers cannot be let go. There is nothing further from the truth.

-- Posted by signalman on Wed, Mar 16, 2011, at 11:30 PM

So what else is new with the one sided and less than factual tales told by the editor and staff? We have had one sided with the WECRD, AEHI, the "Luna Bill," the school levy, the school bond, the CAFO's, etc. This should shock nobody on here. This paper is a great disservice to this community. Reporting in MH, Idaho by the MHN staff is a lost art. Treat most of this like the rags at the checkout stand at WalMart. If you want truth, research the facts for yourself.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Thu, Mar 17, 2011, at 6:55 AM

THE retention of a teacher or anyone for that matter with 5 dui's should not happen period.The person who retained this teacher should loose there job for incompetence,and deriliction.

Zook great summary on what we talked about now we need to get the legislature to listen just as we throw money at a problem cutting just to cut without meaningfull thought doesnt get it either.

Now i dont know if the union intercided on this teachers behalf. IF they did they overstepped there bounds and the administrater who felt they couldnt go up against them should not be in a supervisory position.

There is a place for computers,for me im not so sure they need to dominate the learning process.Yes they are the future my grans show me that everyday.....a 6yr old with a computer is a dangerous person (smile) see ya..........

-- Posted by lamont on Thu, Mar 17, 2011, at 2:17 PM

REMEMBER THIS " stop the war the computer went down" HOW TRUE THAT BECAME

-- Posted by lamont on Thu, Mar 17, 2011, at 5:16 PM

I wont do it,but they are going to force us .I alreafy told my bank i will close my accounts.

We cant even get finance to get to our retirement checks and i think that is garbage.They are working on us,i dont like it either......got to play tonight......so need to get my quite time.........CAL's that should be a trip......havnt played in town here in over 2 yrs......will see what happens.....see ya

-- Posted by lamont on Fri, Mar 18, 2011, at 4:56 PM

Runnin Bear,

Strong language...define "raping the state," "holding children hostage for their own benefit?" An emotional discharge without support lacks rationality...it's like you're shouting, "Kill the Pigs!" without identifying them. In the absence of reason or evidence, your comments equal the impact of a dog barking at the moon or a cock crowing at a sunrise. Furthermore; I was committed to educating our youngsters, but I've grown weary of some of you folks wiping your boots off on my back. I made a good living before deciding to be a teacher, and I'll make a way of it after I get tired of putting up with your bumper sticker enlightened criticism.

BTW, there's not a "liberal" bone in my body. Character, not Party, counts. When you are being violated, does it really matter who your violator votes for?

-- Posted by junkyard dog on Fri, Mar 18, 2011, at 7:02 PM

To MtnHomer

I can tell through your writing that you are firm republican supporter no matter how misguided their policies are. To compare Idaho's process for getting rid of poor performing teachers to Long Island's is ridiculous. Give me something at least from within the state. Why not just compare Idaho's process to London England's? Lol can't believe you really tried to make this Long Island comparison. But you do make me feel sorry for the Long Island children IF what you wrote is true...and that's a big if considering the other stuff you wrote. By the way I too would lose my job if I got a DUI since driving is one of my responsibilities for my company as I'm sure it must be for yours. On the other side of the coin, there are many jobs out there that wouldn't fire an employee for getting a DUI as long as it didn't interfere with them doing their job, getting 5 DUIs I'm sure would interfere with most peoples jobs . For those folks out there that are willing to do a little reading, there definitely is a process for getting rid of poor performers, it's called Due Process. Is it a perfect process? No, but it is there for administrators to use and to protect teachers from being fired unfairly. Teacher's are observed and rated twice a year and their student's scores on State test are scrutinized. Both of these items can be used within the due process to show cause for termination. I see, MtnHomer, you like to use the republican tactic of taking stats that look to support your arguement while leaving the stats alone that actually apply to the topic,in this case "IDAHO education". For instance, you used the education spending numbers for the whole United States as if it applies to what Idaho spends on education. Nothing like clouding the picture for others so they don't see the truth. Yes the US ranks 2nd in education spending, Idaho ranks 49th in the nation. I guess writing that Idaho ranks 49th didn't work to support your argument. I don't think anyone on the opposing side of Luna's proposal is asking the state to "throw more money" into the education budget, something you seemed to have made up.

So shame on you for trying to sell your distorted view as fact.

P.S. Luna's plan does nothing to improve education for our children. That is the bottom line.

-- Posted by signalman on Wed, Mar 23, 2011, at 8:21 PM

THANKYOU....SIGNALMAN....IV BEEN SAYING THE SAME THINGS TO THIS PERSON FOR MONTHS BUT HE WONT HEAR YOU ....I GUARANTEE THE ATTACK JUST A MATTER OF TIME.......HAVE A GREAT DAY

-- Posted by lamont on Sun, Mar 27, 2011, at 2:03 PM

So do you want to pay $10,000 for a recall election, or do you want 1)increased class sizes with 2)fewer teachers because of layoffs? Or do you want to pay extra in your property taxes in order to pay for a tax levy to pay for schools?

Forcing a recall does mean that Otter selects a replacement Supt of Public Instruction. But if he picks a jerk and doesn't honor the voice of a collective 260K people in Idaho, he stands to be recalled also. The Committee to Recall Tom Luna stands to be in a powerful position if the movement gets that far. If you want to be one of those 260,000 that influences the governor, then 1) sign the petition starting on 4/16 and 2)vote FOR the recall.

-- Posted by nomoreluna on Fri, Apr 8, 2011, at 11:09 PM

I have taught at ISU for 12 years now. In those 12 years I have seen a consistent decline in the quality of students coming into college as freshmen. The math skills are terrible, the writing skills have gotten laughable and the overall ability to logically think problems through is almost non-existent so the fact that we have reduced funding to k-12 for those 12 years must be the cause........OH Ya, we've increased funding each of those years except one. The system is and has been broke for along time and until now, none of you have been screaming from the rooftops about solutions that might fix the problems. You have been screaming from the rooftops to give us more money.....hows that been working?

-- Posted by teachISU on Thu, Apr 28, 2011, at 4:55 PM


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