Friday, March 4, 2011

Video: To Surly, With Love: Are Teachers Overpaid?

To be fair, I am not sure we can actually say the rude people in the video are teachers.  There are all types of leftist at the pro-union rallies.  

However, what cannot be in dispute are the statistics.
Reason TV: It's little wonder that parents with little or no choice report the lowest-levels of satisfaction (about 90 percent of K-12 students attend public schools). Despite all the extra resources devoted to public school teachers and students, student achievement has been absolutely flat over the past 40 years. The National Assessment of Educational Progress is "the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas." When it comes to 17-year-old students (effectively, high-school seniors), nothing has changed since reporting began in the early 1970s. In 1971, 17-year-old students averaged 285 points (out of 500) in reading. In 2008, that had risen to 286. For math in 1973, the average score was 304 (out of 500). In 2008, it was 306.
This is why teacher's unions are about to become the whipping boy all across the nation.  No matter what excuse teacher's unions come up to justify their salaries, it is the mediocre product they produce that will cause them to fail under these tight economic times.

How do you justify so much money for absolutely no change?

Via: Memeorandum
Via: Hit and Run


Lisa said...

I don't know what to say anymore. There is no ONE single reason for the sad performance of our schools. But keeping bad teachers on payroll certainly isn't helping. And throwing money at the problem doesn't seem to be helping...

...another reason we're considering homeschooling. The whole way we educate seems to be broken.

Clifton B said...


The list of problems with our public schools is growing endless. So much of the problems are caused by clinging to false beliefs, such as more money will solve the problem.

M said...

I attended public schools in a factory town, multi-racial, there was a lot of poverty. The dropout rate was low, there was little to no illiteracy, the quality of education was superior to what it is today in that same town. In the '70s, ESL was expanded, and within a few years, the schools couldn't afford arts and music education, and dropped them. Then they dropped field trips, then they started cutting funding to school sports. Over the years, the quality of teachers declined, and you'd see teachers teaching courses they had not majored in, especially in math and science, so they were less capable of adequately teaching the course work, and weren't up to the job. Illegal aliens started trickling in, these days they make up almost 30% of the population in my town, though they account for upwards of 70% of the crime rates.

By the time I was married, and my daughter started school, the local public schools were a hell hole. Drugs being pushed outside elementary school yards. By the time she got to junior high, it was a fight to get a child properly educated. Half the schools in the town, didn't have enough teachers to teach the classes and relied instead on substitutes, and almost half the time they couldn't get a substitute, and there's be no teacher. There weren't enough textbooks either. The guidance councilors didn't care either. My daughter was in college prep courses, and there were no required reading lists, her assignments included magazine articles. I'd go in for a meeting, and ask the councilor how they expected college prep students to pass SATs or be accepted to college if they weren't educated to the standards required, and the councilor didn't answer me. She was hostile to me. I've had meetings with the principal, teachers, and on one occasion, found a union representative there at the meeting, when I was complaining about a teacher, caught lying about what they weren't teaching in a science class (it was supposed to be chemistry, and yet she wasn't teaching from the chemistry book, but a "natural science" textbook. The principal was later fired, after being found drunk on the job.

Kids in that town used to be given the gift of education, today, they are stolen of the one precious opportunity to have a better life. They are more frequently illiterate, and denied the opportunity to learn to think and decide for themselves. This is all courtesy of the reforms imposed by the left and teachers unions. The lies pushed in the '70s, that reform was needed to combat illiteracy, actually increased illiteracy. The expanded ESL stole precious resources in working poor districts, diverting them away from real education, to attract more illegals, and the dropout rates went from very low numbers to upwards of 51% in most years. I took alot on myself to enrich my daughter's education. I couldn't afford to take her to museums, but I made use of the public library. I tracked down a retired English teacher I had in high school, and he helped me craft a required reading list, like the one he assigned to his students over the years when he taught. He advised me to read the books at the same time, and have a discussion of each book with my daughter, and assign her writing projects for each, as would have been assigned when I was a student. I had to find tutors for algebra (as that was her weak point) because schools no longer allow stronger students to tutor, they claim for "insurance" reasons.

She's now in college, but I do know that a lot of the kids she went to school with, who should have also been in college, never got the chance. Unemployment is high, since during the Clinton years, all the factories shut down and went overseas. With each new influx of illegals, jobs that weren't outsource-able have been taken from citizens.

Yet teachers make high salaries, get massive benefits packages and lots of perks. They don't care about the kids whose lives they are consigning to the dustbin.

bd said...

ref M: one anecdotal account that is both heart-breaking and frightening while concisely articulating the contributing factors of a downward spiral in a public school system (thanks(?))

kudos to M for the powerful example of dedication, persistence, and courage in such circumstances

the connection between this example of public "education" and the comportment of the wi "protestors"...

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