Tuesday, April 01, 2008

State Teacher Tenure Commission Fails in its Mission to Protect Students

The Birmingham School Board is forced to take back into full time employment a teacher (Michael Zangkas) that has, 1) plead guilty to contributing to the delinquency of minors (multiple students 13 years of age), 2) plead guilty to assault and battery against a student (13 years of age), and 3) in the course of the above events said to the student that he assaulted that “Next time I’ll drown you.” Not to put a fine point on it, but that sounds a threat against someones life.

In light of these facts the Teacher Tenure Commission has set a new bar for teacher misconduct - apparently a teacher actually has to kill a student before the tenure commission heads the recommendations of a school board (the board unanimously had voted 7-0 to terminate Mr. Zangkas for his actions).

So please feel free to thank the following individuals for their complete lack of common sense:
James M. Petire
Gerald D. Dawkins
Dirk F. Zuschlag
Sharon C. Peters
Karen K. Leslie

Write to them at:
P.O. Box 30008
Lansing, MI 48909
Or call at 517-373-8369.

Of course, if history is any lesson, they won’t listen to anything you say...


Anonymous said...

Want to know what's worse? He is currently teaching a full load of "academic lab" classes at Seaholm and Groves.

Academic lab serves as an important class that can help struggling/failing students not fall through the cracks. They learn how to study, work one on one with a teacher and others to pass all classes, and get reoriented to become more successful students.

That said, NO teacher should have a full load of this class that requires absolutely no content specific knowledge nor any take home grading.
This means, a younger, certified social studies teacher somewhere in our district just had his or her job made less secure so someone could take on a full load of classes where he doesn't even teach social studies.

This is just one small example of the workload inequities at the high school level.
We need to start evenly distributing the workload-- some teachers are the workhorses with full loads of difficult, core classes and other teachers are thrown easy schedules w/ little to no planning or grading. This is hugely due to Cronyism in the high school and partly due to athletics (and coaches) taking priority over common sense placement for all teachers.
Some of our best teachers leave because, as the best, they are given the worst schedules while the lax teachers are given easy schedules. Teachers should not be rewarded for laziness but for dedication--and by reward, I don't mean with a full coarse of grading intensive classes while other teachers sit in the hall and check students' passes so that he or she can keep their job--which should be in the classroom teaching along with the rest of us.

Erin said...

He is currently (2009) is teaching at Derby Middle School in the Oakland county public schools as a American Studies teacher for the 8th grade. Oh, and don't forget! I had him as a teacher! He lost his temper and pounded (hit) the white board when he got made a few times. He also yelled at us COUNTLESS time and it FELT threading to us, the students. That's what is important, the safty and effect on the students. This was the school year directly AFTER the "incodent" From this article it says that a inoccent, young, student/child has to DIE before REAL legal actions have to be made. So, some one has to die before a "teacher" is fiered, charged or anything that actually protects the wellfare of the students and people around them are taken care of!

Holly said...

You know...I haven't seen him since I had him as a teacher at Berkshire Middle School...15 years ago...but I have to say...Mr. Z. is an amazing teacher...He definitely was my favorite...had more positive impact on me than any other teacher-EVER...so...don't be too harsh. Yeah...he shouldn't have done what he did...but I am sure he was not serious about next time drowning the kid. He was a very funny guy...there is a such thing as sarcasm. I'm not saying what he did was right...but at the same time...don't be overly critical either. You probably don't know the whole situation of what was going on...and Mr. Z. is a great teacher...I'm glad he is teaching again.

Anne Letscher said...

I agree with Holly. I had Mr. Z. in middle school, and I felt he really cared about his students and was helpful to me particular times of need. He was a compassionate and thoughtful person and an enthusiastic and knowledgable teacher. In fact years later...he stands out as one of my favorite and most influential teachers. What is written here is skewed and inaccurate. It's unfortunate he has been slandered in this way. I, too, am glad he's teaching again.

Ms. DeVine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.