Saturday, March 5, 2011

Teachers

Oh, those awful teachers. They’re lazy—they only work 9 months a year, you know. And they make so much money; plus their benefit packages are insane . . . Oh, and to top it off, they don’t really teach our kids very well. Nope.
That’s the Scott Walker-Teabagger-republican party-Cock Brothers-Rupert the Magnificent party line.
Huh??
Why would they adopt such an incredibly preposterous attack on teachers? Hey, you idiots, those are the people who are helping to produce the next generation of Americans. And you’re sliming them?
It’s hard to imagine what sewer system the republicans claim as their home base. How pathetic really to base your whole fiscal policy on attacking teachers. They seem to think it’s ok for investment bankers to take home millions in bonuses, just after having trashed the entire global financial system through their own incompetence. That’s ok, huh? But teachers acting collectively. That’s not ok.
I continue to wonder when and why the republican party got so off the main American rail system that they are now like a bunch of right wing goons, acting robotically to satisfy the richest two percent of our population. And, now Wisconsinites are saying through polls that they disagree with their governor. So, how come you elected the idiot then people?
I have worked with teachers off and on over a very long period of time, watching them with our kids, talking with them about the problems they experience in trying to give their kids the best they can. Almost without exception, I have found teachers to be dedicated to the kids in their care. When the kids don’t/won’t learn, the teachers are as frustrated as all their critics. Lately, in conversations with teachers, it seems they are as demoralized as I have ever seen them. The attacks are telling on them. Their job is getting harder over time, as we cut budgets and thereby increase class sizes—the opposite of what common sense suggests. As we increase testing, forcing teachers to teach testing rather than the substance of learning, the kids are probably learning less and less about the basics and more about how to take tests. We continue not to deal with the uninvolvement of many parents in their kids’ education.
In short, many of the “solutions” (e.g., No Child Left Behind) are solutions in search of a problem. Charter schools, which experience suggests are not a solution, while sucking more money out of the public system, are simply a way of walking away from the real problems of our educational system. Focusing on “bad” teachers, i.e., let’s find all the bad teachers and fire them, is yet another mindless solution in search of a problem. Undoubtedly, there are bad teachers in the public school system. Having worked for 50 years in both for-profit, non-profit and government jobs, it is clear to me that there are bad workers everywhere. They aren’t generally the problem, when something goes seriously awry. Sometimes, as in the financial industry, it is the entire leadership combining greed and incompetence in major displays of the Peter Principle. Sometimes, as in the case of the Iraq War, it is monumental incompetence or corruption at the top of government.
But we don’t go around yelling about how awful the bank tellers are, or how incompetent are our troops on the ground. But that’s what we are doing with our teachers.
I realize that the Koch Brothers hate unions, as do all royal-loyal republicans. But really guys, is this your solution to the Nation’s very real economic problems??? Can the unions and fire bad teachers???

How pathetic.
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