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In defense of school teachers

September 12, 2013

There are a lot of reasons I wouldn’t want to be a public school teacher these day....

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Oct-17-13 11:16 AM

The ‘classroom’ of today is the foci, of a diverse, multidimensional aspect of societies troubles,

and agonizingly poignant and apparent in societies off spring,

which bears the brunt of societal malfunction(s).

Parents today, are the result of more than two or three generations of societal malfunction,

and are spawning children that reflect too many years of societal permissiveness,

and a perverse sense of ‘accountability’ which fail and wrongly ignore parent and parenting in the ’accountability’ equation.

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Oct-17-13 11:14 AM

There are NO standards,

there are no specifications,

there is nothing to compare, judge or to aid in the determination of parenting that is wrongful, sub-par, or ineffective.

But, yet, we conclude that school systems, and teachers bear the brunt of educational responsibility.

We are too ready to place blame at the easiest target,

school systems and teachers.

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Oct-17-13 11:13 AM

Nowhere do we find anyone willing to take a parent to task for his or her mistakes, and poor parenting practice.

Parents and their parenting tend to avoid any legal sense of child accountability.

Do we have to form a check-list of items that parents are providing for their children each day?

Do we have teachers who recognize, every day,

the lack of parenting or the good parenting of each child entrusted to their care each day?

But, nowhere is there a codified system of parental accountability, until the child suffers life threatening consequences?

Lets codify parenting and grade parents on their performance, and thus accountability,

use these figures to judge the ability of public school systems and teachers to perform miracles with the results of poorly parented children.

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Oct-16-13 10:40 PM

Is your kid considering becoming a teacher? Just share these (true) numbers with them: after 5 years of college and then getting hired in a school, 50% of all working teachers quit in the 1st 5 years they teach. Why? Simple; the job is nothing at all like it seems to someone who's only experience in the classroom is being a student. These people would rather kiss their 5 years of college & all that tuition goodbye than spend the rest of their working lives in today's classroom.

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Oct-01-13 10:02 AM

CJSPACK - a voice a reason and intelligence, refreshing

I can agree 100% with everything you said.

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Sep-20-13 8:27 PM

I am a public school teacher and have been for 26 years. I definitely agree that the main problems in our schools are due to the lack of positive parental support and a degradation of the values our great country once possessed. However, following closely behind is the massive federal governmental intrusion in our schools, and the influence of the teacher unions. Schools should be controlled only by local governments because they know what's best for their children. The unions are mainly concerned with protecting their own interests (not the students') and pushing their political agendas. And all this costs us all a lot of money and production.

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Sep-19-13 11:43 AM


Once more, you’re silly-speak is showing.

Answer, document with facts, who, what, where, when, and how, figures and dates:

“teachers in rubber rooms”

“teachers paid for their own misconduct because they are ‘union’”

“teachers who schedule “union meetings” during school hours, and then have to hire substitute”

“wasteful spending” where do you see it


“whole lot of teachers pushing their liberal agenda on our students”

Are you fool-speaking about one, two, or hundreds of ‘teachers’ rubber rooms, liberal agenda pushing, unions, and wasteful spending incidents?

Until you are able to substantiate such foolish rubbish,

your rant is without merit and just more such unsubstantiated nonsense.

Cough up the tales and details!

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Sep-15-13 12:23 PM

The problem isn't how much we spend per se, but the results we get for what we spend/student vs. the continuous call for more money.

Many have seen increases to total dollars spent on education without correspondingly better results on standard test (understanding that both you and I are not fans of teaching to standardized test).

I think part of the problem is much of any increases aren't going directly to education but rather things such as food programs. Part of me just doesn't believe it is my responsibility to make sure another's child get 3 squares a day at the expense of money spent on actual education, be it teacher salaries, classroom supplies, or the like.

There are programs parents can use for food outside the educational system. If these aren't being used by parents who need them why have them and further maybe these parents should be monitored to make sure if using they are spending the money wisely. Thus putting money for education actually into educating.

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Sep-15-13 8:52 AM

Thank you for the link. When I read further into that website it said, "A country’s wealth (defined as GDP per capita) is positively associated with expenditures per FTE student on education at the elementary and secondary level as well as at the postsecondary level. For example, education expenditures per FTE student (both elementary and secondary and postsecondary) for 9 of the OECD countries with the highest GDP per capita in 2009 were higher than the OECD average expenditures per FTE student. The expenditures per FTE student for the 10 OECD countries with the lowest GDP per capita were generally below the OECD average at both the elementary and secondary level and at the postsecondary level." Since we are the wealthiest country listed, it seems logical that we should spend the most. In terms of geography,we are by far the largest. I do not believe any of those countries have publicly-funded bussing, most do not have publicly-funded school sports.

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Sep-15-13 12:57 AM

Lastly, I really don't believe comparing spending based on percent GDP to be a very valid measure. The reason is the US GDP is so much larger than most any other country.

Further, even though we are about equal or behind equivalent countries we still are one of the highest dollars/student of any country.

This is what I mean, per *******

"In 2009, the United States spent $11,831 per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student on elementary and secondary education, an amount 38 percent higher than the OECD average of $8,595. At the postsecondary level, U.S. expenditures per FTE student were $29,201, more than twice as high as the OECD average of $13,461. "

Based on this, it seems to me we should be doing better than we are.

As an aside, I appreciate the information and intelligent dialogue.

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Sep-15-13 12:27 AM

Schools also have the ability to decline enrollment to any student who has been suspended within 2 years or expelled at any time. They have the ability to declare how many students they will accept. Districts can limit the effect of school of choice if it is that costly.

Why don't they? My guess would be state/federal money that is based on enrollment. I would think in areas of declining enrollment school of choice is more a means to keep some funding and not the primary source of money loss to schools.

These are my thoughts, you might be on the inside and have a better view of what's truly happening. If so, it is truly a shame of the misuse of this program. Yet, that is usually the end result of government intervention....good intentions with unintended consequences.

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Sep-15-13 12:17 AM

I'll be perfectly honest, no I haven't seen the billboards, and I don't listen to local radio.

The thing I wonder, maybe you know, is concerning school of choice, districts have the choice to participate. What exactly is the advantage to school districts to do so if it's a losing proposition for the school district?

I will also say, I find it hard to believe that a significant number of students using the program are problem students. I'll grant you some who use it may have problems with the district they're in or used the previous year but what is the numbers of "school hoppers" due to failing in other schools? Also, some who fail may have very valid reasons some you put up yourself, not enough textbooks as an example.

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Sep-14-13 10:13 PM

education. For a list of spending on education as a percentage of a country's gross domestic product (gdp) see *******data.worldbank****/indicator/SE.XPD.TOTL.GD.ZS You will see that our country actually spends quite little on education compared to most countries, especially when you consider that we require that ALL children be educated to age 16 and many countries do not.

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Sep-14-13 9:50 PM

Have you not seen the billboards enticing parents to send their children to the various local schools, the radio advertisements, the television ads, etc., etc? Those cost money. Money that should be spent on education. Schools make decisions to spend their limited funds to keep driver's ed and popular sports programs, while increasing class sizes, reducing student support staff, etc. One-to-one technology is a draw, so money is spent on such endeavors. If a student is failing at one school, parents use school-of-choice to avoid retention and there becomes a phenomena of "school hopping". If I want my child to graduate with a high GPA, then I send him or her to the school that has the most grade-inflation so that he will get into the best colleges. "Tough" teachers -something valued by yesterday's parents - is not a marketable quality when you are treating schools as businesses. When a business model is used, the whole climate becomes something other than true

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Sep-14-13 8:04 PM

I'm with you yoop on standardized testing and the increasing abundance of technology particularly in elementary/middle school.

When I'm talking about spending I'm talking about dollars spent/student. What do we get compared to those that do better. 2010 numbers put us as the second highest spenders/student.

I will have to disagree on the school of choice legislation. This to me was designed solely to give equal opportunity to any student no matter their economic status or their address. I guess I would ask for examples of schools advertising, I have not heard any.

Schools have very little if any choice of who is allowed if they live in their district. Many schools have only a certain number of spots open to school of choice students. As a parent, I really like the ability to send my children to a "better" performing school.

That being said as to politicians, amen! Get them out!

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Sep-14-13 11:40 AM

Continued...their life to education. The business model says -only accept the best product, and push out the bad. The education model says, "What can we do to improve all of the products?" The Schools of Choice model is one of those things that looks good on the surface so it can be sold to the public by politicians wanting votes. That's why politicians need to get out of making educational decisions. These are our children, they need to be off-limits for making political maneuvers.

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Sep-14-13 11:33 AM

Everyone also wishes to make schools into little business-models. Schools can not function that way. A good case-in-point is the misguided "Schools of Choice" legislation. Born out of a need by parents to live in the inner-city, but to be allowed to have a choice to send their children to safer or better schools - this legislation was pushed out to the entire state. Since then, schools all over have had to make the uncomfortable decision to spend money on advertising rather than more important educational needs. They have had to look at the budget with the attitude of "what 'perks' will bring students into my school". Students and their parents are customers - and everyone knows the old adage "The customer is never wrong." Unless of course, the customer is someone who drives away other customers - then it is more cost effective to get rid of them rather than help them improve. Of course, this goes against the core values of anyone who dedicated the

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Sep-14-13 10:44 AM

I understand that some countries do spend less. The states spend $1.7 BILLION on standardized testing alone! The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pushed putting billions of dollars of technology into schools. All of the money spent in these ways, could be spent on things that will really make a difference. Many Asian countries do not believe in technology of any kind in classrooms until high school. When you say "spend less" are you talking education as a percentage of the GDP or in what they pay their teachers compared to other professions or what exactly? We are outperformed by the Scandinavian countries who pay their students to attend high school and college because they do not believe their students should be burdened with having to work a job while they are supposed to be studying.

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Sep-14-13 2:08 AM

Yoop2u, wow are you a fresh air!

I respect your post and most certainly understand and respect the points you brought up.

Most teachers are great and dedicated to task they do. These teachers most certainly need protection to voice their concerns. The concern with the union, any union, is the protection of underperforming members.

Thanks for the website, interesting information. I get that our scores are pretty good in comparison to most countries. The trouble really is we tend to lag behind countries in Asia, which is our big competitor in terms of engineering and technology.

I know one of my big issues is what we get for the money we spend per student. Our scores are good, yet we still lag behind some countries who spend way less. I think this is a big sticking point when we continuously are asked as taxpayers to supply more and more money.

All said though, you do bring up very valid points and concerns.

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Sep-13-13 9:14 PM


I believe wizziwig didn't name or call you a "DIM-WIT",

again, you got things mixed up.

Here, and I quote, is as far as I can see in his last post, is what he said:


deadhead walking".

That's no where's near your description as portraying and calling yourself a:


Don't be so hard on yourself.

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Sep-13-13 8:54 PM

******* In regards to your "facts" about the American educational system statistics, Mark Twain said "Facts are stubborn, statistics more pliable" Therefore, I have provided a website with more statistics that are quite the opposite of the ones you chose.

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Sep-13-13 8:41 PM

When the safety-net of the union protection is removed - or reduced as it was in 2011 in Michigan, many teachers no longer feel "safe" writing letters to the editor, or demanding enough books for every student, or "rocking the boat" in any way. I wish I could say all teachers are heroes willing to risk their livelihood and teacher unions are therefore not necessary - but few people are in the position that they can live without a job.

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Sep-13-13 8:34 PM

Great article again, Andy. Mr. Vauche, many of your ideas I agree with whole-heartedly. NCLB was a failed idea and now, instead of repealing it, it was expanded into the Common Core, Race to the Top, and expanded over-testing of our children. Both parties at the federal level have accepted corporate monies to push these agendas. You can not blame one party. In addition, I do not feel that you can blame the teacher unions. While I, too, have heard the horror stories about the occasional "bad" trades/factory union member who tells others to slow down so he/she does not look bad- the teacher's union, at a local level, has a different function and mindset - it provides a safety-net for teachers to advocate for the needs of children without fear of losing their job by those who have the job of protecting the budget. When those safety nets are removed, teachers can no longer demand that money be spent to help those failing students learn to read, (cont.)

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Sep-13-13 3:23 PM

Well whiz at least I'm not saying the problem is that kids are stupid and there's nothing teachers can do about it.

why our we spending any money on educating these "products coming in"? Just chuck these flawed "products" since with our current crop of teachers it is hopeless to try and educate that class of child....I mean product.

I mean do you see how cold that argument is?

It belittles our children and our teachers, yet you would argue I'm the dim-wit.

I end with this, I see no excuse, despite whatever the child's status is entering the system, that 19% should graduate high school illiterate. That's 19% going 13 years without anyone realizing they were illiterate. 13 YEARS without one teacher noticing and caring enough. Ok, ok, I digress, the system is perfect and the people in it flawless.

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Sep-13-13 8:18 AM

If it is not







money laundering,



tax evading,


gaming the system,

to outwit the feeble minded of us,

Vuachee will claim it isn’t worth while…

Don’t waste your breath

trying to ’reason’

with a


deadhead walking.

Go-to-bed- vuache

- it’s evident you can’t think in the wee hours of the morning when your head obviously needs a rest.

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