Educators: Ending 'tenure' no magic bullet
Original post made
on Jun 17, 2014
A court decision last week to throw out state teacher tenure rules may lead people to think that this is the solution for providing quality education for all students, a shortsighted view in the opinion of local educators.
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posted Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 8:29 PM
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Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 18, 2014 at 10:05 am
> The problems are elsewhere, she said, in teachers' lack
> of social status and paychecks that don't reflect their
> value to the community
It's all about the money for these people. They want to work half a year, less than a full day compared to other people, and retire at a lavish 72% of their last years' salaries after 25 years, or so--and it's still not enough! Yet, they won't even promise to insure that our children can read and write when they exit the public education system.
> Society needs to invest in the best and brightest, train
> them well and provide on-the-job support, she said.
In any other industry, people are expected to educate themselves, and to train themselves (within the framework of their employers' needs). But for people working in the Education Industryit's not the individual's responsibility to train, or educate, herselfbut someone else's. No wonder people with any sense of individuality, and interest in achieving as much out of life as is possible, avoid teaching like it were a plague. Who wants to work with, or even be around, people with so little personal motivation?
Wow! Seems we have hit the mother load here!!!
> 'reformers' should confront the real problems with our education system:
> gross inequity in funding based on geography,
Perhaps there is something to be said about this problem in the past, but how prevalent is it today? Since the early 1970s, the State of California has been providing funding for schools (with the exception of a hand full of Basic Aid districts). The funding is not based on geography (which is a codeword for property-tax based funding schemes). The formula of school funding is state-wideproviding about $10,000-$11,000 per student, which is close to the national average.
> the drastic cuts in social spending for the poor,
It's interesting that we have, after a century and a half of public education, a permanent lower class (which educators and government types love to label "the poor"). Why is it that public education hasn't created a state of prosperity that is enjoyed by all?
> the obscenely small amount of money spent per pupil in California,
As noted above, the Legislative Analysts' Officer (LAO) periodically releases reports on school spending. The amount spent on California children is about $10,500/studentwhen all of the spending sources is considered. Given that teachers and staff consume about 85% of all school budgetsthen words like "obscenely small" is just another codeword for higher salaries.
By law, 40% of the State's budget is dedicated to public education.
> the constant attack on teachers from those intent on privatizing the system,
America has produced the highest standard of living, and the greatest per capita wealth of any country over the history of manthrough private ownership. The public education system has always had a place in this system, which provides the funding for public education. The notion that the private sector could not hire teachers, rent buildings, and provide students with a similar, or better, level of education demonstrates how ignorant this "teacher" is of the country that has been so good to her.
> and inherent American anti-intellectualism that is suspicious of science,
poetry, foreign languages, and history.
Wellnow maybe we are getting down the bottom of the well of discontent that motivates this lady. Where exactly in a teacher's education is she taught about "inherent American anti-intellectualism?" Well, certainly this sort of thinking can be tracked back to some elitist education graduate schools. But is it really true?
Are American's inherently more anti-intellectual than Russians, or Egyptians, or the Chinese? America spends about 5% of its GDP on public education. Perhaps this angry teacher/person could provide us with a list of other nations around the world that spend 30%-50% of their GDP, for instance, on public education, and offering up how "intellectual" these countries are, compared to America?
Wellclearly this person is angry, but it's also clear that she is not very well informed (dare one say "educated") on what makes America tick, and why its public education system has the problems that it does.
Getting rid of tenure may not be a golden bullet that will fix everything, or even much of any thing, but it's a start.