Shame on you parents who knew you didn’t do enough to instill a love of learning in your children and yet you blamed “incompetent teachers” for your child’s educational failings.
Shame on you politicians who blamed teacher unions for some trumped-up educational crisis when your real motive was the continued destruction of all unions in this country.
Shame on you corporations who dodged paying your fair share of taxes that would have gone to support schools. Not only did you literally take money out of the school’s pockets, but then you went on to publicly blame schools and teachers for a supposed educational crisis.
Shame on you proponents of “merit pay” for assuming teachers are the kind of people who only work hard when there is a monetary reward involved.
Shame on you people who keep pointing out that the best teachers don’t teach in our impoverished schools. Have you ever taught in those schools? Do you have any idea what conditions these inner city teachers face ?
Shame on you people who believe charter schools have some “secret formula” for success. There are no secrets in education. Charter schools are allowed to have strict discipline and have parents who are involved. Wow, some secret formula.
Shame on you teachers who have allowed yourself to be brow beaten into thinking that maybe there is an educational crisis and maybe teachers are the ones who have caused it.
Shame on you politicians who criticize our public schools and then send your children to the most elite academies the country has to offer.
Shame on everyone who claims there is an educational crisis in America and then they spend the majority of their time on forms of entertainment and activities that have absolutely nothing to do with learning. Here is a quiz for the next person who criticizes this country for having an “educational crisis”. 1. Can you name this year’s Nobel prize winner in physics ? 2. What’s the last book you read that increased your knowledge of math ? 3. Can you name America’s top five poets ? 4. What’s the last non credit course you took just to increase your knowledge ? 5. Would you rather have dinner with A, the world’s most renown nuclear scientist, B ,the world’s greatest mathematician, C, Kim Kardashian, or D, George Clooney ?
When the majority of Americans answer A and or B to question #5, and yet our test scores are still behind certain countries in the world, then I will admit to an education crisis. Our children are getting an education equivalent to where education ranks among American values. Do you honestly think we value learning as much as people in Japan or S. Korea ?
I’d write more about this topic but I really want to see the premier of the new television show where a young Christian man who has taken a vow of celibacy until marriage is tempted by a bevy of college coeds. Eat your heart out Japan and S.Korea, you can only wish you had the genius to think up programs like this. Ah, America, what a country!
A university in Canada gets the “Most Useless Research of the Month Award” for July. Their research and lengthy study concluded that children who spend more time outdoors tend to be more active than children who spend most of their time indoors.
I am not making this up. Wow! What a keen sense for the obvious. I’m trying to find out how much money was spent on this study.
Oh happy day ! The Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System is going to receive $33.04 million as part of a $7 billion settlement resolving allegations by federal and state authorities that Citigroup Inc. sold risky mortgage-backed securities that harmed investors, which included pension systems.
The Teachers’ Retirement System needs to find new people to invest its money. The system is getting around an 8 to 10 percent return on its investments these days, while so many other private investment groups are getting a return of 20%.
It’s time for teachers in Illinois to act like big time investors, because we are. It’s our money that is being invested and the return we are getting is pathetic. Now we find out that in the past our fund invested in “risky mortgage-backed securities ? Worse yet, our investment experts couldn’t recognize that the mortgage securities were risky ? As in doomed to fail ?
If the investors in the Teachers’ Retirement System were held accountable like in a private firm, they would be long gone. We would see thousands of teachers protesting at Retirement System meetings and conferences. We would see thousands of teachers irate that their money is not earning a top return. The largest shareholders at many corporations demand changes during shareholders meetings whenever a corporation isn’t paying a large enough dividend or improving the bottom line.
I would suggest the Teachers’ Retirement System take the $33.04 million and think of it as an unexpected windfall. It was money that was lost and they never expected to get it back were it not for the government investigation. Take that $33.04 million and copy what the shrewdest investors in the world are doing. That might be a start.
Teachers of Illinois, it’s time to start acting like big time investors and demand a great return on your money. Let’s get angry about a retirement system where the investments don’t come close to having a return similar to those in a private firm. Act like these investments are important to your future well-being, because they are.
News item : “Efforts to eliminate extra pay for teachers who earn advanced degrees are gaining momentum in a growing number of school districts. Texas’ two largest school districts, in Houston and Dallas, recently eliminated advanced degree pay.”
Please follow these steps if you want to be a well liked teacher in your community:
1. Refuse to accept any pay increase as you earn advanced degrees.
2. Return your portion of any saved future pension money to the state. Be sure to indicate you are doing so because the payments once you retire would be too lucrative.
3. Voluntarily give up any tenure you may have earned. Be sure to explain you are doing that because tenure protects incompetent teachers.
4. Refuse to accept the annual “step” increase in your salary. Explain you are doing so because the property taxes in your community are too high.
5. Indicate that you will voluntarily reduce your salary by 10% for each student in your class who fails to meet state standards.
6. Resign from your teacher union, explaining that unions protect incompetency and strikes are morally offensive and harm the children.
7. Sign a declaration which states that teachers have caused an “education crisis” in this country and apologize for previously defending your profession.
8. Readily admit that parents and outside influences have no affect on student performance. State that you should be able to have your students achieve the necessary goals no matter what other circumstances your students might be facing.
9. Accept the fact that teachers should have no say in matters of curriculum, school-wide discipline policies, instructional techniques, and or motivational tools. Emphasize that such matters are best left to other experts in education, and it’s just your job to implement the guidelines you are given.
10. Admit that it is your responsibility to see that every child in your classroom is happy at all times, receives a daily dose of self-esteem, is psychologically well-adjusted, overcomes any learning or behavioral disability, achieves the necessary goals, has the opportunity for after school enrichment that you will provide, and has a lunch that is both nutritional and pleasing to the taste.
There you have it folks. Follow these basic steps and rest assured that the people in your community will support you 100%. Stop viewing yourself as a professional. People in a profession are trusted and left alone to achieve success in their particular job. Professionals are respected, adequately compensated, and prized by the communities in which they live. Teaching is no longer a profession. Once you come to accept that fact, you will be a much happier individual.
The Obama administration is ordering states to devise strategies to get better teachers into high-poverty classrooms. The Education Department is directing every state to devise a plan by April 2015 to get more good teachers into high-poverty schools.
I’ll save the states the effort of devising a plan by submitting my plan for every state to follow. Here’s the plan:
1. Every teacher gets a million dollar life insurance policy paid for.
2. Every teacher gets a police escort to and from their car every day.
3. Teachers will have a minimum of one full-time aide in their classroom.
4. Each classroom will have a full-time security guard on duty. They will be responsible for dealing with the most disruptive students.
5. The school principal will agree to allow the teacher complete freedom when it comes to curriculum and methodology.
6. Each teacher will receive a $1,000 bonus for every student in their classroom who might be a gang member, come from a broken home, have a drug problem, is pregnant, and has any learning disability and or behavioral disability.
7. Student test scores will have no bearing when it comes to teacher evaluation.
8. A security guard will be available whenever a teacher is having a conference with a parent or child advocate.
9. A security guard will accompany a teacher whenever they leave the classroom for any reason such as to eat lunch.
10. Class size will be limited to no more than 15 students.
11. Each teacher will have 15 personal days per year in addition to all the normal off days. These days may be used at any time as “stress busters”. A round trip airline ticket and condo in the Bahamas will be available for the teacher’s use on any of these “stress buster” days.
The above list should be enough to recruit the best and the brightest teachers to our lovely high-poverty classrooms. The plan is somewhat expensive to implement, but what’s a few more billion dollars in our government’s overall budget ?
Now we just need to figure out how we know what constitutes an “outstanding teacher”. Should we just assume if a teacher works in an affluent school that they are a great teacher ? I guess that’s a good starting point. Let the recruitment begin !
A Golden Chalk Award goes out to Robert Morris University. This university will soon become the first school in the country to offer athletic scholarships to students who play the video game, “League of Legends.”
Even though I have been obsessed with traditional university sports all my life, I have always seen the need for universities to put the promotion of mental skills on a par with the promotion of physical skills. I have always had a dream that one day the University of Alabama’s chess team players would have full ride scholarships and play in sold out stadiums. The chess coach would be paid several million dollars a year, just like Lou Sabin the football coach.
Universities are supposed to promote a love of learning, not necessarily a love of income from intercollegiate sports teams. What a wonderful message about the value of mental skills if the chess team was on a par with the football team.
I want to see 6 foot, 9 inch tall young people competing in a scholastic bowl competition where their knowledge of Greek history propels their team to the Final Four of Scholastic Competition. I want universities to stop the hypocrisy of paying university football coaches several million dollars a year while a physics professor earns $40,000 a year.
Universities need to start doing what they were traditionally set up to do – foster a love of learning. Let’s get creative and find ways to make the skills of mental competitions as popular as physical ones. If a television network can attract millions of viewers to the game of Jeopardy, then universities should be able to promote mental skills on a par with physical skills.
Congratulations, Robert Morris University, hopefully you’ve started a trend that will some day lead to skills of learning being as popular as physical skills.
The Chicago Tribune, (otherwise known as Teacher Bashing Central), felt compelled to write a major editorial about teachers in a Chicago suburban area. The editorial said that teachers at Hinsdale Township High School District 86 have voted to authorize a strike for the fall unless they reach a contract agreement with their school board. The district is one of the most successful high school districts in Illinois.
The Tribune seemed outraged by the fact that Hinsdale high school teachers already have an average salary of around $105,000 a year. The union is supposedly seeking a pay hike of roughly 5 percent a year.
The Tribune editorial went on about the poor tax payers of the district and how it was time for the “fiscally minded board” to protect the tax payers pocketbooks. In short, the Tribune seemed to be outraged that well payed teachers could actually expect more. The nerve of those greedy teachers !
Why is the Tribune writing about a SUBURBAN district that is miles away from Chicago city limits ? Aren’t there enough problems in Chicago schools and in the world of news ?
The Chicago Tribune is a major player in the anti-teacher union movement. They must be so outraged that a group of teachers makes anywhere near $100,000 a year. They must be even more outraged that those same teachers dare to ask for more.
Why can’t the Tribune adopt their beloved Mitt Romney’s famous line about not apologizing for his wealth ? “This is America, we honor success in America.” Why can’t the Tribune honor the success of the Hinsdale teachers ? Why can’t they be happy that somewhere, some teachers are actually fortunate enough to make a wonderful salary ? Oh, no, the Tribune has to be outraged by their success.
Chicago Tribune, you are pathetic. You will stop at nothing in your shameful campaign to destroy teacher unions in this country. I wish some tax payers in Hinsdale would contact the Tribune and tell them, “Leave our teachers alone. This is Hinsdale, we honor success in Hinsdale.”