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OPINION

THE POST-STANDARD SUNDAY, MARCH 6, 2011, PAGE E-1

PS CONTACT US INSIDE
Ending seniority as a guide to
You can reach Opinion editor teacher layoffs not as easy as it
Marie Morelli at 470-2233 sounds.
or submit letters by e-mail EDITORIAL, E-2
to letters@syracuse.com

TEACHER QUALITY

PAYING IT
TRUMPS SENIORITY
Is your opinion of New York
state’s public school teachers
favorable, unfavorable, or
haven’t you heard enough

FORWARD
about them?
Unfavorable: Favorable:
22% 50%

Haven’t
heard
enough
/no answer:
25%

Generally speaking, do you


believe the teachers’ unions are

NEW LOCAL
playing a positive or a negative
role in improving New York
state’s educational system?
Negative:
51%
Positive:
39%
NOW
Don’t
know/no
CHAPTER
answer:
10% LEADER SEEKS
Some people say that public
school teachers who do an
TO EMPOWER
outstanding job should be
rewarded with additional pay WOMEN AT
THE MARGINS
- so-called merit may. Do you
think this is a good idea or a
bad idea?
Bad idea: Good
33% idea: 64% Linda Jean Trapkin, a pa-
thologist from Solvay, was re-
Don’t cently elected president of the
know/no Greater Syracuse National Or-
answer: ganization for Women.
3% Trapkin, 57, has a private
practice specializing in dis-
Some people have suggested eases of the prostate and blad-
that firing public school teachers der. She has been involved
should be made easier. Do you with NOW for three years.
think this is a good idea or a Trapkin spoke with Post-
bad idea? Standard contributing writer
Good Frank Ordo~
nez / The Post-Standard
Bad idea: idea: Lorenzo Arguello about her
33% new role as president of the LINDA JEAN TRAPKIN, the new president of the Greater Syracuse chapter of the National Organization for
62% Women, at her home in Solvay.
local chapter:
Don’t What areas are you inter-

WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND CNY


know/ ested in working on as chap-
no ter president?
answer: I’m not so much interested
5% in the female lawyers and doc- Central New York has long been a hotbed of women’s rights activism. Some key moments and personalities,
tors. I feel that those women in honor of Women’s History Month:
If public school administrators have successful careers. They 1848:
need to lay off teachers, do you have upward mobility. In Seneca Falls, Susan B. Anthony (left) of Rochester and
think they should lay off teachers Personally, I’m more inter- Elizabeth Cady Stanton of Seneca Falls led a group of
based on their performance or women in the first Women’s Rights Convention. During
based on seniority?
ested in women in the lower
classes. The women who just the two-day convention participants drew up a list of
Performance: barely got through high school grievances and an emancipation proclamation for women.
85% are really not material for ei- 1849:
ther economic reasons, social Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery in Maryland and fled
reasons, just plain ability rea- to Philadelphia. She is believed to have made 19 trips back
Don’t sons, to go to college. And so to help hundreds of slaves flee to freedom. After serving
know/no I’m more interested in the op- as a scout and a nurse in the Civil War, she made her home
answer: Seniority: in Auburn. There she established the Harriet Tubman
12%
portunities for them.
4% home and helped care for the elderly and poor. She died in
And again, looking at my
lifetime, the kind of jobs that Auburn in 1913.
This Qunnipiac University poll men and women who just
surveyed 1,457 registered voters 1849:
in New York state between Feb. barely got through high school Elizabeth Blackwell graduated from Geneva Medical
15 and 21, 2011. Margin of error: would do back then: they College, which later became part of Syracuse University.
+/- 2.6 percentage points.
pumped gas, they cut grass, Nov. 11, 1865:
they were the bank tellers. Town of Oswego native Dr. Mary Walker received the
Those jobs really don’t exist Medal of Honor for her service to the Union Army in the
anymore. So what is there now Civil War. Walker also campaigned for voting rights for
Opinion navigator for these people?
Everyone talks about educa-
women.

tion and I do believe that 1880:


Here are some other per- America needs to look at its Suffragist Matilda Joslyn Gage of Fayetteville participated in
spectives from around the education process and its ex- a school vote which had until then been restricted to men.
She argued that as a property owner she had the right to
Web. You can find the links at pectations of students. For
vote: “Oh wise men, can you tell me why ‘he’ means ‘she’
www.syracuse.com/opinion. people we wouldn’t consider when taxes are to be paid and does not mean ‘she’ when
‘‘great students,’’ what is there taxes are to be voted upon?” Her vote was counted.
for them to do?
4 Paul Amar, writing for I’m interested in looking at 1917:
Al-Jazeera English, provides those jobs that require minimal New York was the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment
insight on the structural causes education, just a high school granting women the right to vote in federal elections. The
graduation with maybe a little ratified amendment took effect in 1920.
of unrest in Egypt, the role of
the business community and vocational training and finding 1970:
the fate of Egyptian women in out where they are. Are those Lawyer Faith Seidenberg, of Fayetteville, becomes president
an opinion piece. jobs being filled? Are the peo- of the National Organization for Women.
ple who train those people able 1976:
http://bit.ly/huXptQ to find those people? Linking Karen DeCrow, a Jamesville lawyer,
up those three things. was also president of NOW.
4 Ariel Bleicher, writing in Any specific programs or
IEEE Spectrum, describes the initiatives you are looking to 1979:
special technological chal- undertake? The National Women’s Hall of Fame is organized
lenges of preserving for pos- in Seneca Falls.
Initially, we were going to
Source: Post-Standard archives
terity the enormous amount of
NEW, Page E-4
material posted on the World
Wide Web. http://bit.ly/heiISF
4 Harold Meyerson, writ-

Wisconsin could be America’s Tahrir Square


ing in The American Prospect,
reports that even in the midst
of stagnant unemployment,
relative to the total national in-
come, American corporations By Matthew Rothschild This is huge. And let’s be demanding in terms of added
are making more money than McClatchy-Tribune Information
they have since 1947. Ameri- Services The governor’s clear: The outpouring of pro-
tests is not primarily about
contributions to health insur-
ance coverage and pensions.
ca’s leading corporations have
found a way to thrive even if
It is difficult to exaggerate bill . . . would budget cuts. It’s about union- But still he has refused to
the American economy
the importance of the mass
protests that have broken out make it busting.
The governor’s bill would budge because at bottom the
doesn’t recover, and Meyerson in Madison, Wis., over Gov. enormously prohibit employers from de- so-called budget crisis is but a
says this is very bad news.
http://bit.ly/fe7zpI
Scott Walker’s massive assault
on public sector unions. difficult for ducting union dues from mem-
bers’ paychecks. And it would
confected weapon to stab
unions with.
4 Mark Harris, writing in
This is the largest sustained
The Associated Press
PROTESTERS SHARE an inti-
public sector require annual recertification
GQ, says movies aren’t going
rally for the rights of public
sector workers that this coun-
mate moment before leaving unions to votes by members of every
single public sector union.
The middle class in Americ
has been suffering for decades
to improve anytime soon,
thanks to sequels, comic book
the Wisconsin Capitol in
try has seen in decades — per- Madison Thursday after a function. Neither of these requirements now. It’s a wonder people
haps ever. judge ordered the building would save the state a single haven’t fought back before.
and video game adaptations, The crowds at the state Cap- to be opened for normal were closed for three days be- dime. But they would make it
and anything else easily mar- But they’re fighting back now
itol swelled from 10,000 to business. cause the teachers refused to enormously difficult for public
keted to under-25-year-old sector unions to function. in Madison, Wis. As one of th
65,000 during the first week, go to work. And many other
males. http://bit.ly/eIny5a all the way up to 100,000 on school districts across the state The public sector unions in signs said, ‘‘This Is Our Tahri
Feb. 26. Hundreds of people closed at least for a day as Wisconsin have called Walk- Square.’’
Would you like to suggest a link?
E-mail it to letters@syracuse.com. occupied the Capitol building ers from around the world or- teachers stood up for their er’s bluff and announced that Matthew Rothschild is the editor of
with a sit-in and sleep-in for dered pizzas for them. rights, even at the risk of disci- they would be willing to have The Progressive magazine is Madison
days on end, and total strang- The Madison public schools plinary action. their members pay what he’s Wis.

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