Sunday Commentary: State Schools Race Wake Up Call For Democrats

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Torlakson-2014State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson paid a late visit to Davis on Thursday to rally the troops. Earlier in the day he had received the bad news that his race is tied against challenger, and fellow Democrat, Marshall Tuck.

The race is a study of contrasts, as Mr. Torlakson is backed by the teachers, liberal Democrats and union households – in other words the traditional educational establishment. Marshall Tuck is backed by Wal-Mart, Republicans, and forces that Mr. Torlakson claims are on the side of privatization.

Yolo County Democratic Central Committee Chair Bob Schelen explained that they want to destroy public education – that Marshall Tuck “wants to make education private and for profit.”

However, diving down into the poll is something that should trouble Democrats very much – Marshall Tuck leads among all non-white groups including, most significantly, a “33-20 percent margin among Latinos.”

Then you have Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson who recently praised Marshall Tuck. Writes Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Morain, “He’s also the latest embodiment of what Democratic leaders should fear, a wedge between their most influential donor, the California Teachers Association, and their most loyal voters, African Americans, Latinos and Asians.”

Dan Morain’s column, “When will school reform become a wedge issue for Democrats?” explores the interesting development – the divide between Democrats like Tom Torlakson, backed by the powerful teachers union, and those like Kevin Johnson and Marshall Tuck, opposing the union and seeming to join common causes with those on the right.

With Democrats likely to sweep the partisan statewide races and a non-existent campaign for governor against strong incumbent Jerry Brown, the “Torlakson-Tuck race will cost more than any candidate contest in California in 2014, $30 million and counting. That’s three times the sum being spent in the gubernatorial race between Jerry Brown and his Republican challenger, Neel Kashkari.”

Mr. Morain notes that the CTA has spent $11.2 million on Mr. Torlakson on independent expenditures. “Advocates pushing for changes in public education see an opportunity to exchange a union-backed candidate for one who embraces charter schools. They’ve spent $10 million on Tuck’s behalf.”

Writes Mr. Morain: “You might not know it from the frenzy of anti-Tuck ads, but Tuck is a Democrat, like Torlakson. Tuck doesn’t question the need for public education. His mother was a teacher. But he does support the notion of charter schools and the plaintiffs in Vergara v. California.

“The Vergara plaintiffs, public school students, are challenging union-backed teacher seniority rules that result in young teachers, who tend to work in the toughest schools, losing their jobs first when the economy sours. Torlakson sided with the union and is appealing the ruling. Tuck promises to drop the suit, though that decision would not rest entirely with him if he were to win on Tuesday.

“In reality, the superintendent doesn’t have vast power. The State Board of Education, made up of appointees of the governor, makes many decisions about schools.

“The California Teachers Association has controlled the superintendent’s office for years. A Tuck victory would embarrass the union and could embolden other Democrats to challenge the union’s primacy.”

Mr. Morain closes his column quoting Mayor Johnson, “In today’s society, you have far too many kids whose future is decided by the neighborhood where they live and the color of their skin.”

He then writes, “On Tuesday and for years to come, Democrats will retain control of California politics. Public school unions will be fundamental to Democrats’ success. But there will be a cost. Teachers unions have not been a force for change for the better. That’s fine in El Dorado Hills and Davis, where schools work. It’s a problem in inner cities. The question is when, not whether, that divide will become a problem for the Democratic Party.”

Mr. Morain doesn’t really answer the question about the wedge issue and he doesn’t explore the countervailing force here – the Republican Party. In the last two decades non-whites have moved away, not toward, the Republican Party.

Prior to 1994, Hispanics largely split their vote and Asians had largely voted with a slight lean toward Republicans. Mark DiCamillo, the Director of the Field Poll, wrote in November of 2012 that the exit polls in California “showed the President winning among California’s Latinos by 45 points, Asian Americans by 58 points and African Americans by 93 points.”

1994 marked a critical turning point in California, and the Field Poll has “allocated 300-400 additional interviews among Chinese American, Vietnamese American, Korean American, and sometimes Filipino Americans, to obtain a more detailed accounting of the polyglot of voters that comprise California’s Asian American electorate.

“When combined with the poll’s Latino and African American samples, these multi-ethnic surveys help explain the factors pushing them more to the Democratic column.”

Mr. DiCamillo noted that the first explanation “relates to what should be done about the approximately 2.5 million illegal or undocumented immigrants currently living in California. Large majorities of the state’s voters, including 85 percent of Latinos, view this as a salient issue and support government policies that would provide these residents with a path to citizenship.”

That said, “While the issue of immigration usually comes to mind first in discussion about ethnic voters, if I had to cite one area that best explains why ethnic voter support for Democratic candidates is growing, it would relate to their view of the role of government.

“The network exit poll showed California’s white non-Hispanics evenly divided about whether the government should do more to solve the nation’s problems or whether it was doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals. By contrast, ethnic voters believed that government should be doing more nearly two to one.”

While Mr. Torlakson is charging that Mr. Tuck is in favor of privatization of education, Mr. Morain notes that this simply isn’t true. Again, he writes that “Tuck doesn’t question the need for public education. His mother was a teacher. But he does support the notion of charter schools and the plaintiffs in Vergara v. California.”

Naturally, the educational establishment views this as an attack on their province and are throwing mega-bucks to thwart the uprising. However, despite the divide, it seems unlikely, giving the current alignment of the Republicans, that this will become a wedge issue.

The Democrats under the New Deal coalition survived huge rifts for decades before the barriers became too great to overcome. Republicans nationally have a divide between the activist Christian Conservative base and their more socially liberal Wall Street backers.

From our perspective, it seems unlikely that education by itself will create enough of a wedge to break the party’s hold on California, but the Democrats are receiving an early wakeup call on this issue and it would be beneficial to see if they can find common ground, particularly since the threat seems only to be growing.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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34 thoughts on “Sunday Commentary: State Schools Race Wake Up Call For Democrats”

  1. South of Davis

     David wrote:

    > Marshall Tuck is backed by Wal-Mart, Republicans

    This reads like you cut and pasted it from a Torlakson hit piece.

    Why not mention the huge number of Republicans (that make money doing business with the schools in CA) that want to keep Torlakson in power.

    Since I worked tutoring poor kids for so many years I have a lot of friends involved with Democrats for Education Reform (DEFR) and I’m still on an e-mail list.  These people are not “fake” Democrats or people that are “pretending” to be Democrats and most (but not all) are supporting Tuck (who many want to try and trick people in to thinking is not a Democrat BTW).

    Just like the Republican party is not one big happy family (my college roommate the “log cabin” Republican is not welcome at many events) neither is the Democrat party.  Every year more and more Democrats are starting to ask why we need to cut social programs to pay firefighters and other union members $100K+ it looks like more life long Democrats are asking if Torlakson who supports the current “separate but equal” system where poor kids go to schools where about half graduate and rich kids go to schools where almost everyone graduates is the best guy to lead the people who teach kids in CA.

    I recently read an article that Democratic lawmakers are startling to ask why so many school employees are getting paid more than the Governor of CA.  I did a quick search for the article and found this one (from the LA Times) that was even more interesting:

    “James Hammond, the superintendent of the Montclair-Ontario Unified School District in the Inland Empire, was paid $492,077. Jonathan Eagan, the principal of a junior high school in the Bay Area city of Martinez made $279,669. And 31 custodians at California public schools were paid more than $100,000 in 2013”

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-database-public-school-20140723-story.html

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “This reads like you cut and pasted it from a Torlakson hit piece.”

      Yeah and I “cut and pasted” the other part as well which you didn’t point out.  Paraphrased would be better, but yes, that’s what I did.

  2. Don Shor

    California (and Davis!) voters are increasingly independent, regardless of party registration, and thanks to the open primary system we have more opportunities and choices than ever before. That weakens the power of the majority party, and makes the minority party increasingly irrelevant. Overall this will probably lead to more centrist candidates, which was one of the goals of the open primary proposition.

    Centrist Democrats, Valley Democrats, Reagan Democrats, and liberal and moderate Republicans now have choices they didn’t have before. The ability to vote across party lines had exactly the impact both parties feared.

    Take away the “fair share” laws and the power of the CTA will be reduced as well. That’s their biggest issue and fear right now. http://www.eiaonline.com/FairShare.pdf I regret that there wouldn’t be any commensurate reduction in the ability of corporations and mega-donors to spend outlandish ‘independent’ sums on political campaigns. So overturning Citizens United should be a top priority.

    1. Frankly

      Nice psuedo logic.  A wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf.  The ideological and money making interests are still the same.  If you were a registered Democrat with liberal leanings and you are now registered independent, you are still ideologically the same and will vote for the same candidate and initiatives that you would have as a regisetered Democrat.  And because of that, the unions would still have the same advantage.

      If you really want to eliminate big outside money influencing political outcomes, you would advocate for complete campaign finance reform including union donations… and that should include the value of the union labor that works for free on campaigns.  The fact that you point only to Citizens United and private-side money clearly idenitifies your left political bias despite your claim of being registered an independent.

      There are two reasons that people register independent.  One – they are truly independent.  Two – they are fair weather fans… happy to be labeled with party afiliation as long as their party is winning and not doing embarrasing things.

      This Torlakson vs. Tuck election is a definitive identifier of the wolves in sheep clothing. If you claim to be progressive and independent and you vote for Torlakson, you are a standard liberal Democrat siding again with the old public sector union money machine at the detrement of almost everything esle.

      1. Don Shor

        I am not registered as an independent. Not sure why you read that in my comments. I would be perfectly happy to see “complete campaign finance reform,” but for the moment what we are dealing with is the appalling aftermath of Citizens United. So that is the starting point. Plenty of what you are calling “private side money” is coming from the left, and from unions, as well as from conservatives and their affiliated PACs. I would be happy to constrain all of that by whatever constitutional method is possible. So you are misconstruing my comments completely.

        1. Frankly

          Sorry – I think I got you mixed up someone else with similar views that claims he/she is a registered independent.

          I would support blanket campaign reform, but not overturning Citizens United since it would hamstring one type of big money over another.

          I find it interesting how the left is so adamant that Citizens United has corrupted the political process, but the left was completely complacent before the ruling even as unions had been doing the same.  The public-sector unions have held the top-spot in money contributed in almost every category until Citizens United.   Methinks the moral stance coming from people with a left political orientation is simply a manifestation of their disappointment that the old advantage is gone.

          1. Don Shor

            I would support blanket campaign reform, but not overturning Citizens United since it would hamstring one type of big money over another.

            Well, as I noted in my original post, there is a good chance that the Supreme Court will effectively make the whole country ‘right to work’ if they overturn the ‘fair share’ laws. I put both of those in quotes because I consider them classic euphemisms. So if mandatory union dues are overturned and unions have to persuade people to join for the benefits, and Citizens United is overturned, the playing field would be somewhat more level. Still pretty bumpy, but more level.
            I don’t know how you deal with billionaires pumping massive amounts of money into politics. That’s probably constitutionally protected.

            Interesting to note that Jerry Brown hasn’t endorsed either and wouldn’t even say how he voted in this race. http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article3480084.html

        2. Frankly

          Overturning fair share would a step in this direction, but it would not make all states “right to work”, it would only force the unions to respond in ways that compel employees to join instead of them being forced to join.  And this would be good for the employee and make the unions more employee-focused instead of being union-focused.  And in this case I might even become a guarded union supporter.

      2. Tia Will

        Frankly

        f you were a registered Democrat with liberal leanings and you are now registered independent, you are still ideologically the same and will vote for the same candidate and initiatives that you would have as a regisetred Democrat”

        I am wondering if you feel that this is also true for previous Republicans now registered as either independents, as a member of our current city council, or as a Democrat as in the current election ? It would seem to me that you either believe that people are able to change their minds ( or be truly independent) or you don’t. Or is it your belief that only former Republicans can be trusted to be truly “independent” ?

         

        1. Frankly

          Yes.  There are a lot of people strongly aligned with conservative principles that bolted from the Republican party because the GOP started losing elections.   A tiger does not so easily change his stripes.

      3. Jim Frame

        This Torlakson vs. Tuck election is a definitive identifier of the wolves in sheep clothing.

        At least we agree that animal analogies are applicable.  However, while you see Torlakson as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, I see Tuck as an unwitting stalking horse for right-wing backers who want to substantially dismantle the public education system and replace it with a private system in which the kids of their well-heeled (and ideologically similar) brethren get a good education, while the kids of the rabble are left to fend for themselves.  It’s a great way to keep a steady supply of docile low-wage workers on hand.

        1. Jim Frame

          Funny that you describe the present to explain your fear of the future.

          Funny that you project your fear of the present onto my concern for the future.

          While the present if far from perfect, it’s nowhere near as bad as the right-wing ideal would be.

        2. Frankly

          I think what you say is from the perspective of a left-leaning person compared to a right-leaning person.  A see a secular liberal orthodoxy as not dissimilar from a theology.  In fact, my own personal opinion is that spirituality is a human need and so called secular people just fill it with another belief system that is basically their ideology.

          That is why secular left leaning people respond so vehemently to challenges to their political views similar to how a pious person responds to challenges of their religious faith.

          So our kids are indoctrinated into the “religion” of the secular left.

          And I see that at least as destructive and damaging as I would if we were forcing our kids to be indoctrinated into something so terrible from a left perspective as say Christianity.

          But my main point was that the current system is exclusionary of the most vulnerable students and benefits the well-monied and specifically academically-gifted.

          1. Don Shor

            In fact, my own personal opinion is that spirituality is a human need and so called secular people just fill it with another belief system that is basically their ideology.

            Many people who are secular do not have that need that you are describing. That is why they are secular. But people who are self-described as secular range quite a bit, from atheists and agnostics (a small percentage) to a large number who are religious, but are simply not members of any specific religion.

            That is why secular left leaning people respond so vehemently to challenges to their political views similar to how a pious person responds to challenges of their religious faith.

            There is no evidence that people on the left respond any more vehemently to political disagreements than people on the right.

            So our kids are indoctrinated into the “religion” of the secular left.

            This is a myth.

            And I see that at least as destructive and damaging as I would if we were forcing our kids to be indoctrinated into something so terrible from a left perspective as say Christianity.

            Many people on the ‘left’ are Christians. It’s a pretty broad faith category.

            But my main point was that the current system is exclusionary of the most vulnerable students and benefits the well-monied and specifically academically-gifted.

            Equalizing the funding by increasing the funds to lower-income students, as the governor has done, helps reduce this problem.

        3. Frankly

          There is no evidence that people on the left respond any more vehemently to political disagreements than people on the right.

          There is plenty of evidence.  For example, just check the guests on liberal news programming verses conservative news programming.  Conservative news likes the conflict.  Liberal news likes like-minded guests.

          Global warming is part of the religious scripture of the secular left.

        4. wdf1

          Frankly:  Global warming is part of the religious scripture of the secular left.

          How about science?  Is science also part of the religious scripture of the secular left?

  3. David Greenwald Post author

    Posting for Bob Schelen:

    This is my sincere belief, that Private, indeed, even public charter schools get to pick and choose their students. What about the Students left in the public schools. By the very nature of the system that sets up schools that do well in standardized tests get rewarded, those Students left at the public school in their community will/are most likely ignored. Parents that are unable because of economic and social status to push their students to the charter school will have their children (to coin a phrase) left behind. To me, this does not lessen the chance of a two-tier society, it increases it. Moneyed philanthropists with good hearts should look to ways to increase the ability of public schools to educate and enhance schools for all students.

    As you know, it is not really tenure that is the issue with Vergara, but seniority…and perhaps , there should be a different way of assigning teachers to schools. But it needs to be done within the public schools and with teachers as partners. I am not sure when teachers and their representatives became the face of why schools are not what they could be. I know of no one that goes into teaching to get rich. There are far better Ways to that. They are inspired to help children and community.

    Yes, there are bad teachers, I had a few, but not enough to make them the largest problem for the so-called reform movement to focus on. Should there be reforms absolutely, but those that say dollars are not a factor are just mistaken.

    I would posit one reform to look at is getting more funding into the classrooms. Teachers continue to buy basic supplies for their classrooms. How about some of the charter school money going into renewal and construction of schools in inner cities, so students can learn in a welcoming environment.

    So, you see , I actually see this movement to charter schools, vouchers and more funding based on testing as a detriment to improving schools in the Inner city and impetus for creating an even more
    two-tiered society with devastating consequences to Inner city schools, Public education and our society.
    Bob Schelen

    1. Frankly

      Thanks Bob for telling us you are clearly aligned with the old establishment and favoring the wealth of the teachers unions above the welfare of California’s most vulnerable children.  I appreciate the honesty.

  4. Tia Will

    the divide between Democrats like Tom Torlakson, backed by the powerful teachers union, and those like Kevin Johnson and Marshall Tuck, opposing the union and seeming to join common causes with those on the right.”

    I think the key to the above statement is in the word “seeming” to join common causes with those on the right.

    I think that there is a very large difference in motivation although all will say that what they want is the best interest of the children. Frankly probably makes the strongest case for those who see evil in all things governmental and good in all things private. His solution as he has often said is the complete destruction of the current system and presumably complete privatization of eduction ( please correct me for any misrepresentation Frankly). This is because he believes so strongly in the “free market” that he believes that it should prevail in all aspects of life except the military. This I believe has led him to the misguided belief that favoring vouchers for private schools will ensure that all students have access to them even if they were demonstrated to be better ( a highly questionable proposition).

    Since I see the “free market” as nothing more than the aggregate of the individual decisions made by all of us, and thus just as completely dependent upon the wisdom of those individual decisions as is government ( also a composite of the decision making of all of us as we choose to vote, or not ) I do not see either the public or private sector as infallible. I have one child who attended private high school and one who went through DaVinci where similar opportunities were available to both. One cost me the amount of a public university education while the other cost me what ever share of public education I pay through taxes and voluntary contributions. Please ask yourselves if even vouchers would have paid for the highly religion based education that I bought for my daughter ( with its highly selective policies) would be available to all students. The answer in case you are wondering is “not even close”.

    What I do believe ( as apparently does Bob Schelen ) is that public education is the driver of success within our individual communities and with our nation. I see a very different solution to our educational problems.

    My proposals would start with how we treat our teachers:

    1. Respect – start treating the profession as a profession, not as something turned to by women awaiting marriage, or those who “cannot” do something more lucrative.

    2. Compensate teachers on a scale with other professionals.

    3. Educate teachers in much the same way doctors are educated with extensive internships and residencies with gradually increasing responsibilities as more basic competencies are mastered.

    4. Consistently compensate more highly for “hardship” working conditions such as rural and inner city positions.

    5. Offer rewards for excellent performance based on the capabilities of students entering their classroom and what has been demonstrated to be mastered during the students tenure in their classroom. X amount of dollar reward for every student who demonstrates one level of advancement. X more awarded for every student who exceeds expectation and advances above grade level.

    1. Frankly

      Frankly probably makes the strongest case for those who see evil in all things governmental and good in all things private. His solution as he has often said is the complete destruction of the current system and presumably complete privatization of eduction ( please correct me for any misrepresentation Frankly).

      Ok – let me correct you Tia.

      I do not see evil in all things government.  I do not see good in all things private versus government.

      What I do know from decades of experience identifying and fixing ineffective and inefficient (i.e. broken) systems, is that the current public education system is so broken with respect to the current and ongoing need that it cannot be repaired with more spending and minor tweaks.  It cannot be repaired while holding on to a legacy mindset and holding the welfare of the employees of the system at parity to (or in the reality of past and present politics, significantly above) the welfare of the primary customer… who in this case is our most precious social and cultural resource… our children.

      I work in an industry that relies on a federal government program.  The program works… is has been a zero subsidy program since before 2009 when the Great Recession caused the program to suffer and the government had to make up the difference.  But by next year we will be zero subsidy again.  The reason that program works so well (although not perfect… as no system is perfect) is that it is a public-private partnership.

      In my opinion the government should get out of the business of direct customer service for most services, and instead take on the job of overseer and policy-maker contracting to private-side providers of direct service.   The government, working with the private side of the industry, should partner together to develop shared goals and then work together in a never-ending constant-improvement loop to maintain the system so that it never dips below a level of ineffectiveness and material inefficiency.

      The education system is the USPS and it should be Fed-Ex and and UPS.

      My younger brother, when leaning how to swim, would not let go of the edge of the pool for fear of being harmed.   And as a result, he did not really learn how to swim.  He did eventually, but as a young adult.

      This is a similar analogy for what I see going on relative to public education… attempting to learn how to swim (metaphor for modern education needs) while holding on the the side of the pool (metaphor for legacy teaching methods, and the old Democrat-union-controlled education establishment).  Torlakson is who you vote for if you like holding on the the edge of the pool never really learning how to swim.  Tuck is the guy you should vote for if you are ready to truly learn how to swim.

    2. hpierce

      Tia:

      Your point 1 is about 70 years out of date.

      Your point 2 I assume means other professionals including doctors, nurses, engineers, etc. only need to show up for work less than 190 days per year (will assume that with preparation, continuing education, etc., teachers “work” at least 8 hours/day on the days they do show up for work).

      Your point 3 makes sense, but suspect a vast majority of teachers, present and future, would not buy into this.  Would you have beginning teachers earn the same as those with the internships and residencies ‘under their belt’?

      Your points 4 & 5 I have no conceptual problem with, but particularly point 5 is fought by teachers’ unions in how to measure.

    3. DavisBurns

      5. Offer rewards for excellent performance based on the capabilities of students entering their classroom and what has been demonstrated to be mastered during the students tenure in their classroom. X amount of dollar reward for every student who demonstrates one level of advancement. X more awarded for every student who exceeds expectation and advances above grade level.

      I only take issue with item 5.  This reward system would result in teachers focusing on students that would give them the most return on their investment of time. Those kids already have GATE and have the highest chance of academic success already.   However it would address the problem of teachers claiming my child was “making progress” when testing showed at this rate of progress, he would be likely to learn to read by age thirty.  Accountability for effective special education programs for learning disabled students is sorely needed.  While special education includes autism spectrum, emotional problems and retardation, most of the students are learning disabled which means they have at least normal intelligence (and many are far above average intelligence) with performance significantly below ability.  The current system limits the number of  students enrolled in special education to 10% of the school population and the quality of the services they receive is IMO is marginal.  This is a population that is already marginalized and charter schools and privitization of  education will only make it worse.

      one of our educational problems is the reliance on standardized tests which have been shown to predict nothing except how well you will preform in an academic setting.

      1. Frankly

        2. Compensate teachers on a scale with other professionals

        If you really want teachers to be compensated commensurate with other comparable professionals, first you must factor their working 10 months instead of 12 months.  Then you have to accept that pay differentials are based on demonstrated performance.

        Failing to accept those two points, you will lack credibility in your demands to pay teachers on a scale with other professions, and instead just be seen as a being part of the establishment that wants to suck more money from strapped taxpayers to feed the unions for a continued crappy system.

        3. Educate teachers in much the same way doctors are educated

        It is not required.  Just like a population of students completing med school will result in some going on to become interns, and others needing to do something else, and then out of the population of interns, some will become doctors and others will have to do something else, more education is not the answer for ensuring adequate capability.

        Out of a population of people pursuing a teaching credential there will be a percentage that should be filtered out.  But because the filtering out process lacks rigor in the education phase, there will be a percentage of people that SHOULD have been filtered out that make it to a teacher.   And today we just get them to tenure.

        What if we vetted doctors the same way… as soon as they hit five or ten years of service they were locked into their job for life and could never be fired except for the most onerous of behavior?

        1. Davis Progressive

          “If you really want teachers to be compensated commensurate with other comparable professionals, first you must factor their working 10 months instead of 12 months. ”

          baseball players only work for six or seven months, football players less than that, and yet…

          i think we have to stop thinking in those terms and start thinking in terms of what does it take to get the best possible individuals into those positions.

        2. Davis Progressive

          it definitely makes no sense if you infer that i’m stating those are comparable professions while my point was that we judge salaries and professions based on factors other than amount of time or percentage of the year working.

        3. wdf1

          Frankly:  If you really want teachers to be compensated commensurate with other comparable professionals, first you must factor their working 10 months instead of 12 months.  

          My dentist closes his office on Fridays.  52 Fridays/year is equivalent to 2 1/2 months worth of work days/year.  If I’m a bright individual who’s open to a number of career options, there’s far more payoff for me to become a dentist than a teacher.

  5. Tia Will

    Frankly

    First, I deeply appreciate this more nuanced approach to the expression of your ideas. I still do not see this as a competition between Tuck’s ideas and those of the teaching establishment, but rather as a competition between two differing ideologies, neither of which are collaborative, integrated or inventive. All  of these are traits that I see as desirable. I would be curious to hear what you think about the suggestions that I have proposed about alternatives starting with the way we train and compensate teachers. You have posted about this previously, but opinions do change over time, and I am wondering what your thoughts are now.

  6. Tia Will

    hpierce

    teachers “work” at least 8 hours/day on the days they do show up for work).”

    Unless I am badly misinterpreting your placement of quotes around the word “work”, your sentence illustrates far better than my example what I meant about a lack of respect. If you do not feel that attempting to get 25-30 children to be civil, quiet and respectful of one another’s needs and focused enough on the lesson plans that you have created in an effort to adhere to the “testing” ( oh, wait, I meant education) plan currently in vogue so as to actually develop a love of learning as well as actually learn something about the subject in question is “work”, my guess is that you have never been there.

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