Monday, March 7, 2011

What Do You Think About This?

Frustrated teachers say profession is losing respect, they're treated like scapegoats

Read this article and tell me what you think.

I do believe that teachers have a lot to deal with. The kids in their classes have dysfunctional parents and home lives. Some don't have parents. Kids learn at different levels. So yes, I believe it is tough being a teacher.

Is this the whole story though? Is it really a matter of teachers fighting against impossible odds? Are they blameless on the outcome in schools?

What are your thoughts?


Mustang said...

Having read the article, I’m wondering if I’m having one of my “detached from reality” episodes. I’ll try to keep this short, but let me start with this: “... are being blamed for state budgets drowning in red ink, for children falling behind those in other nations on tests, and accused of fighting to keep ineffective co-workers in the classroom.” It is a fact that at the end of elementary school, American children appear at the 85th percentile compared to children at other industrialized nations. At the end of middle school, the percentile drops to 45%. At the end of high school, it is 48%. So given these facts, our children have fallen behind those in other nations and what has anyone done about it? Nothing.

And then, “…Ravitch is a former U.S. assistant secretary of education who was an advocate of charter schools and No Child Left Behind. She said she became “disillusioned” with the movement and is now a union advocate.” No kidding … NCLB was an idiotic idea, and so I guess that makes Ravitch an opportunist of the first order; now she’s working the other side of the fence. Whenever you promise school districts Title One money (IF whatever), you can depend on school districts doing whatever it takes to qualify for that money. Including lie, cheat, steal, and sacrifice an occasional teacher.

So here’s the plain truth: teachers are day-care attendants for “children” who require armed police officers to patrol the hallways. The fact is you can’t teach students who don’t want to learn; thanks to “government knows best,” there is no longer a consequence to failure. This is a perfect world for detached parents: let the government do it. Fact —did you know that the tens of millions of dollars spent on statewide high-stakes testing is a fraud? When test results come in too low (which happens amazingly often), state education agencies tell the testing company to “jiggle” the psychometrics so that it appears that the children did far better on the test than they actually did. Why the dishonesty? Because state education employees are union thugs who want to keep their six figure salaries. Meanwhile, go back and read the statistics I gave you in the first paragraph, and then try to tell me educators aren’t half the problem …

Hayden said...

There is a saying, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach teachers.” This is a valid saying, and so if you want to know why no one respects teachers, the answer could be exemplified by one fellow who, out of a school year consisting of 192 days, showed his classes 182 movies. He also had one of the lowest failure rates on campus. Or perhaps the coach who was drunk on duty for almost 4 years before someone mentioned it. No, he wasn’t fired, but the number of his classes was reduced; less stress, you see. Finally, the science teacher who accepted the school district buy-out to lower their personnel costs, who accepted a teaching position in an adjacent district at twice what he was making previously. Not everyone is like that, but far too many are; under these circumstances, will someone tell me why teachers deserve respect? As the previous poster suggests, if teachers want respect, shouldn’t they earn it?

Euripides said...

It's also the overblown and overpaid administration, the incessant standardized testing, the crappy certification process, poor university standards, and federal mandates stemming from No Child Left Behind.

Other than that, yes, I blame the teachers.

Brooke said...

Mustang completely nailed it, IMO.

Chuck said...

Mustang, good points. I think a big part of the problem is the same as it has been for years, skipping the 3Rs. We are too busy teaching multiculturalism, perpetuating the envirowhacko fraud, and skewing history and geo-politics, there's no time left over for teaching the kids how to read, write, or do basic math. Go into any pizza parlor, have the cash register malfunction, and watch the kid try to figure taxes or make change. It will make your skin crawl.


As the previous poster suggests, if teachers want respect, shouldn’t they earn it?

This is a good point. This the leftism in them in that respect is due to the fact that you are unique individual, not based on any achievements.

Euripides, I live in Michigan and we have the MEAP test, our version of the usual standardized test. Most schools have something called a "MEAP Coordinator". Often a 6-figure job with no obvious function.

Brooke, agreed

Z said...

"This is a perfect world for detached parents: let the government do it."

Mustang's right.....but I place a full 90% of the blame on parents who've raised kids with no respect for ANYBODY let alone their teachers. When I went to school, anything I didn't do well at was ALWAYS MY FAULT, the teacher was right no matter what and I believe that's wrong but it sure did serve my generation well. See my point?

If we don't encourage schooling at home, if our kids hear swearing at home, if they see violence on TV, if they see parents denigrated in commercials like we're seeing Dads slammed now on MANY of them, if our kids can't have heroes because the lefties slam heroes, what do we expect from our teachers? They ARE babysitters and disciplinarians and, in some districts, fear for their very LIVES.

When is America going to learn it's not MONEY that teaches kids?
How much money does it take to teach the 3 R's?
When's a kid going to have to show everything they know about lesbians in our society when they're looking for jobs? Yet my niece has a lesbian instructor in college who has them write papers geared to nothing but gay rights, gay exceptionalism, etc etc..........that's TEACHING?

We're screwed until we get a generation of parents who CARE again....I'm generalizing but when I see kids on the streets walking out of schools, I can't help but see them slouched over, arms draped around each other (boys and girls at 15), shorts up their butts, cigarettes hanging out of their mouths, boy's hair down to the visible crack above their pants and wonder HOW'D THEY LEARN?

sorry for the got me going! This is a 'favorite' subject of mine. Poor America..we were once SO good at teaching our kids.

Always On Watch said...

Part of the problem with teaching today is "career teachers." By that term, I mean teachers who don't really have the calling to teach.

Beyond that problem is that parents often abrogate their own role and duties with regard to their children's education and, yes, their children's behavior.

In his comment, Mustang summed up the issue in his paragraph on the plain truth.

Alligator said...

I can't add a lot more to the telling points made above.
I'm married a teacher, served on a school board for nine years and sent four kids through the public system. Fortunately, we are in a rural district where a fair degree of common sense and discipline still exists. However the feds and to a lesser degree the state, don't make it easy to hang on to that much. NCLB is a farce and simply one more "one size fits all" fix imposed by the feds. A definite black mark of the Bush administration, none of the administrators, board members or teachers in our system had praise for it. In fact, the opposite. The major reason for failure in schools is # 1) Lack of discipline in homes. When you see parents bringing their lawyers to school, you really know things are out of hand # 2) Lack of discipline in schools, mainly because the feds and state are into promoting "self esteem". Which leads me to # 3) Unwarranted intrusion in education by the federal government. The more regulations and federal dollars we've seen over the past few decades, the more we've seen whole school systems decline.

When I was in the public system between 1959 and 1971, I basically got the same messages about personal responsibility at school that I got at home and at church. Those three institutions reinforced each other and the government was scarcely involved at all. Now the government is totally involved, and everything conceivable is being done to consolidate all the power, by completely dividing families, religious institution, and schools from each other.

Chuck said...

Z, I think any kid is teachable if one tries. My kids have a lot of different friends, including some that sound a lot like you described. They are good kids. They look different and act different but some of them are on the honor roll. I think there's is too much emphasis on things like you said (gay rights, environmentalism, etc) and teachers that are too lazy to reach the kids.

AOW, I think it is way past time to get away from tenure. It is designed for nothing but protecting bad teachers.

Alligator, I agree but I still think there is a huge issue with incompetent teachers. We are diligent about going to parent-teacher conferences> Every single time we have went there was a teacher missing for one reason or another that we could not talk to. How is a parent supposed to be involved in the kids education if the teacher is not there to speak to?

Always On Watch said...

I agree with you about the tenure problem.

MK said...

Every time i hear of teachers telling their students to hate conservatives, indoctrinating them with leftist stupidity and trying to have sex with them, it makes me lose respect for their profession.

The last time i walked through a school main room out here, it was filled with posters about global warming and how corporations, companies and manufacturers are evil and are murdering the planet.

The last time a Conservative was PM in this country, the schools here ran campaign after campaign to discredit him and did their level best to get kids to tell their parents to vote for the leftist scum currently trashing this country from east to west.

When they've earned our respect they'll get it. Until then if teachers think their jobs are so hard and that they're really under-paid, feel free to leave and join the rest of us lounging around eating bonbons all day.

Alligator said...

"Alligator, I agree but I still think there is a huge issue with incompetent teachers."

Chuck, I don't really disagree with you. I tend to speak more about personal experience and in a small, rural community like ours, we tend not to have that problem with teachers. There were a couple of contracts I voted against renewing in my time.

The urban school districts especially are in tatters. Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit now Madison, are simply abysmal. There teachers, then there are people who teach for a job. Tenure keeps the bad ones and prevents up and coming stars from shining and making a difference.