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Civic Minds in The Seattle Times

Program Content for May 22, 2015

Civic Minds in The Seattle Times

Date:  Friday, May 22, 2015

E-Edition Date:  Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Article Title:  Thousands of teachers hit streets; Dems walk out, too

Section:  Main, A1

 

 

Vocabulary Review:   

 

“And though many argue that the law on teacher strikes is ambiguous, Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane and chair of the committee, said he believes they are illegal.”

 

 

Please look up the definition of ambiguous and use in a sentence, using your own words.

 

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Comprehension Questions

 

 

 

 

1.      Thousands of public-school teachers filled Seattle streets on Tuesday in a one-day walkout that caused tempers to flare in Olympia, where Democratic senators walked out of a hearing over a Republican-favored bill that would do what?  

 

2.       Before leaving, state Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, made a short statement condemning the bill — which would dock teachers’ pay for the days while they are on strike — as having what 3 flaws?

 

3.      And though many argue that the law on teacher strikes is ambiguous, Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane and chair of the committee, said he believes they are what?

 

4.      What did teachers call for the Legislature to do?

 

5.      Teachers also want lawmakers to fulfill the requirements of the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision.  What does that ruling state?

 

6.      During the rally, some teachers also mocked lawmakers for receiving a ____ percent raise over the next two years while proposing much smaller pay increases for teachers. Three City Council members — Kshama Sawant, Tim Burgess and John Okamoto — joined the march, too.  

 

7.      But the Washington Education Association (WEA), the state’s largest teachers union, says McKenna’s opinion is not ________, and that the statute he cites doesn’t apply to teachers, who are protected under a different set of laws.  

 

Class Discussion Questions and Essay Prompts:

 

Before leaving, state Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, made a short statement condemning the bill — which would dock teachers’ pay for the days while they are on strike — as having “countless legal, moral and logistical flaws.”

 

 “This bill offers no solutions to our historic funding challenges and it is clearly only useful as a messaging tool,” said Hasegawa, ranking Democrat on the committee. “The message is that there is more will to attack teachers and their families than come up with real solutions to our funding challenges.”

 

·        Do you agree or disagree with Hasegawa’s message?  Why or why not? 

 

 

Marina Pita, a teacher at Concord International School in Seattle, said there’s not enough money in her school’s budget to provide adequate classroom supplies, so teachers reach into their own pockets.

  

 

“We’re out there buying pencils,” she said.

  

 

Pita said lawmakers should take note of the nearly 60 districts across the state that have held or are planning one-day walkouts.

 

 

 

   “If we don’t come out here, everybody thinks things are OK,” she said. “Then the public thinks there is no problem.”

 

·        Do you agree with Pita’s statement?  Why or why not?  Does the public think there’s no problem if teachers don’t take a stand?

 

Essay:

 

  

The bill discussed Tuesday in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee would withhold pay and benefits for teachers on the days that they strike. One main sponsor is state Sen. Tim Sheldon, a Democrat from Potlatch who caucuses with Republicans,

  

 

But the Washington Education Association (WEA), the state’s largest teachers union, says McKenna’s opinion is not law, and that the statute he cites doesn’t apply to teachers, who are protected under a different set of laws.  

  

 

Without a law prohibiting or allowing strikes, they remain lawful, said WEA spokesman Rich Wood.

 

·        Do you feel teacher walkouts are legal?  Why or why not? 

·        Do you support your teachers taking a stand?  Why or why not?

·        If you were a teacher, would you walkout to get the funding your students and school deserve?  Why or why not?

 

 

Newspaper-related CBA activity:  U.S. Policy

 

 

How the United States government interacts with the world affects people across the globe.  Analyze and evaluate the causes and effects of US foreign policy on people in the United States and across the world.

 

·        Using The Seattle Times e-edition, find an article from this week that deals with world politics or foreign policy. 

·        What are the main points of view from someone living in that particular country?  How is that “view” similar and different than your own opinion, regarding the specific issue the article is discussing?

·        Why is it important to study and learn about foreign policy?  How does it help you understand the world we live in, using current issues and events?

  

 

Civic Minds in The Seattle Times is posted to the Web on Friday. Please share the NIE program with other teachers. To sign-up for the electronic edition of the newspaper please call 206/652-6290 or toll-free 1-888/775-2655.

Copyright © 2015 The Seattle Times Company

 

 

 

 


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