Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Saving Teaching Jobs

San Diego Unified School District has been facing major budget cuts for months, which has much to do with California’s multi-billion budget shortfall, and all of the talk, every word of the talk, is about the loss of teachers’ jobs. Unbeknownst to any of us, the purpose of our school system changed from education of the young to provision of employment for school teachers.

Last week the school district “reached agreement with the teachers’ union” and the resulting headline was “1500 Teachers Jobs Saved.”

I have to confess to you that the fact that 1500 teachers are keeping their jobs does not, in itself, delight me at all, because I do not support taxation for the purpose of providing jobs for teachers. I do support taxation for the purpose of providing a quality education for the youth of my community and the employment of teachers is secondary to that purpose. If children can be educated with 1500 fewer teachers, then I’m all for that.

If, on the other hand, the loss of those 1500 teachers reduces the quality of education provided for our youth, then I would oppose losing those teachers. That is not, however, what the discussion has been about or what the headline reads. If the discussion had been about the quality of education and the headline read, “Quality of education preserved by retaining 1500 teachers,” then I would cheer lustily.

This is another reflection, I think, on the part of teachers and the NEA, of “it’s all about me.”


Bartender Cabbie said...

Having worked for about 3 years in public schools (paid under a federal grant which has expired), I can attest that there is quite a bit of waste. Sports programs, most of which do not provide revenue, often take precedence over real classes (and real teachers). There are very few programs any more that offer some basic job training for those not immediately heading to college but the football stadium may well put many D2 college stadiums to shame. A good example would be the Pearland ISD (just south of Houston). Their sports complex is state of the art and would be the envy of many smaller colleges.

bruce said...

Having worked in a CCCD for many years, there is a fair amount of waste (physical and human talent) in this area as well.

Question: do the owners of these sparkly stadiums rent them out for additional revenue? Do they become a venue for other things and uses besides 10 football game per year? I would feel a bit better about that if so...

Another issue that the teacher negotiation raises is that the teacher union(s) are very politically powerful and influential, perhaps disproportionally so. Ever hear of the saying power corrupts? Well, I think they (and other unions as well) have tasted that.

If they and other groups did what they do for the common good, okay. Otherwise, sorry to say, yes, it's all about me..

Ema Nymton said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jayhawk said...

Comments about me "sniveling and whining," and similar, will be deleted again.

Ema Nymton said...


"... the purpose of our school system changed from education of the young to provision of employment for school teachers."

"This is another reflection, I think, on the part of teachers and the NEA, of “it’s all about me.”"

Can't see the forest because of the trees, do you? ... Are you so blind? You choose to interpret the teachers' unionized efforts' 'as all about me'?

School teachers are highly educated people. People whom the community trusts to safeguard and develop society's most precious commodity, children. These school teachers are professionals, working diligently at a very demanding and critical profession. They deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

People can beg independently or negotiate united. Teachers are forced to protect themselves by joining a union. The NEA, as a union, protect their members from efforts to beggar them from people who would harm them for reasons less than charitable and more political.

Here you are deriding them and their efforts; questioning their motives and motivation. One gets what one pays for. If it is only about the money, then when one pays the minimum then don't be surprised when one get the minimum.

Ema Nymton

Jayhawk said...

Yes, Ema, I am "questioning their motives and motivation" based on what they themselves are saying, because they are not talking about quality of education, calss size, or their ability to do their jobs effectivelky, they are talking about getting their paychecks. That more than suggests to me that their "motives and motivation" has to do with self interest and income, it is a clear and definitive statement that such is the case.

What part of that is unclear to you? Listen to what they are actually saying.

I don't care if one person or two hundred says to me "I want more money," they are still saying "I want more money." The number of them saying it does not somehow make it more noble.

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