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View Diary: Scapegoating Teachers? (78 comments)

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  •  put real money into evaluations? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ManhattanMan, JanL, LynneK, slowbutsure

    I think that what unions fear is that they will constantly be held to greater standards without any kind of real pay increases.  On the downside, they may protect bad teachers, but on the upside they try to protect the very small income that teachers get.

    Being a good teacher means that you will never be fully paid for the many hours that you put into your students.  Being a good teacher means that you could probably make a lot more money doing something else.
    People who teach and teach well DO NOT teach for the money.    

    I don't teach at the high school level, and so I  am not a member of a teacher's union.  But I think that if I wanted to improve the overall quality of teaching in the United States, I would:

    1. increase all teacher's salaries across the board.  This will draw in better candidates.  This might also make it easier to negotiate with unions about merit pay based on evaluations.
    1. Be very careful in assessing evaluations - be sure to adjust evaluations for race of teacher, race of students, gender of teacher, poverty of overall area, general quality of schools, and any other factors that seem to affect teacher evaluations, independent of that unknown "true" quality of teaching.
    1. Begin to really fund poor schools - find another way to fund schools other than property taxes so you that you are not constantly setting up one portion of the community against another.  Give block grants to help schools reduce class sizes.  
    1. And for those who might argue that pouring money doesn't make a difference, read any one of Jonathan Kozol's  books on education.  Within a county, spending per pupil can vary by thousands depending on the wealth of the district.  Not all states have the funds to balance out funding for poorer areas.

    ..and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. John Donne. Meditations XVII. 1624.

    by bluesophie on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 02:58:06 PM PDT

    •  Are you saying elementary teachers in your state (0+ / 0-)

      are not permitted to join the teachers union?

      •  sorry... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LynneK, sgoya, vito619

        I have taught in a private high school and I now teach at a private college.  I was just trying to say that I have never myself been in a teacher's union - I only know from what I've seen for friends of mine.  Elementary school teachers deserve a medal for every single day of teaching.  In fact, if we really cared about education and children, day care workers and elementary school teachers would be paid at least twice as much.  

        ..and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. John Donne. Meditations XVII. 1624.

        by bluesophie on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 03:55:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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