Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cutting Back On Teachers – Seeing The Outcome

The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries…

teacher2I don’t usually include politically oriented blurbs in The Teplitz Email report, however, this one may have a long-term affect on the health of teachers and students.

Just listen to the amount of stress that teachers have coming at them.

The quote below was written by Harriet Vines, Ph.D., Age Smart Associates.

“After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said:

          'Let me see if I've got this right. You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning.

          You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self-esteem and personal pride...

          You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job.

          You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the final exams.

          You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Spanish or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card.

          You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps.

          You want me to do all this and then you tell me .... I CAN’T PRAY?'"

A recent rendition of her quote added, “That I'm greedy; that I have an easy job; that my pension is too big; that my salary should be frozen; and that I should pay for my own health insurance. And, also, that my union should not be able to bargain for better working conditions.”

Maybe as a country we need to look closer at the decisions we are making on where to cut the deficit?

ADDITIONAL READING on the subject: The High Cost of Low Teacher’s Salaries

1 comment:

Adam Pizzo said...

I also posted this article on my blog ( Here is an excerpt: “They paint the picture of taxpayers attempting to regain the common sense right to terminate ineffective teachers as “blaming teachers.” They contrast this alleged blaming with the way critics of military planning criticize the leadership, rather than “the men and women fighting every day in the trenches for little pay and scant recognition.” Eggers and Calegari use a rhetorical slight of hand that is all too common among teachers union apologists:
They label any questioning of their pay-and-pension-regardless-of-performance salary system as “blaming teachers” when in fact the blame is on the teachers unions, not on teachers generally.
This diversion is inherent in the union propaganda, as they claim to speak for all teachers. They never spoke for me; I would have preferred to have the liberty to speak for myself. In this "collective bargain," the only winners are teachers who would otherwise be out of a teaching job. If you are looking for victims in the current system, it is not hard to see that the real victims are:

* parents who have no choice but to send their children to failing schools with ineffective teachers who are protected by teachers unions
* effective teachers who would be paid better in a merit system than in a seniority system
* taxpayers whose dollars do not directly connect to their intended use of educating children

The battle metaphor may be interesting, but it is inappropriate since military generals do not have to bargain with a collective bargaining unit that actively takes an insubordinate stance against its leadership. The brave men and women who made us so proud this week show us that it is possible to maintain professionalism and solidarity while adhering to a chain of command to fight and WIN the battle in the trenches. Let that be a lesson to us all.”