This bill is anti-worker trash. Republicans would rather pay to throw teachers in jail than pay them to teach. #copolitics https://t.co/WXxhIUEyFO
— Colorado Senate Dems (@COSenDem) April 23, 2018
Rep. Paul Lundeen (R) and state Sen. Bob Gardner (R) introduced a bill to throw striking teachers in jail. Let that sink in.
Despite a booming economy, Colorado’s school funding lags well below national average
DENVER – As hundreds of educators from across the state plan to walkout Monday to fight for increased school funding and teacher pay at the state capitol, data shows that despite Colorado’s booming economy, our public schools are still struggling.
Colorado’s economy is red hot. The unemployment rate is just 3 percent. New skyscrapers and apartments are going up everywhere as more and more people throw cash at downtown bars and restaurants, but no one invited Colorado’s public schools to the party.
The National Education Association’s (NEA) annual report found Colorado ranks 46th in the country for teacher pay, with an average annual salary of $46,155; seven-thousand below the national average. Wyoming teachers, which ranks 16th for teacher pay, earned an average annual salary of $58,140.
I suspect this will not age well come election time…
But what about all the tax money from legal pot?
I assume this is pure posturing, since it’s hard to think they’re dumb enough to believe it would pass the Democratic controlled state House of Representatives.
Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.)
Once again, it’s time to drag out my favorite quote from my beloved father, John M. Whittock, Jr., who is thankfully not here to see this homunculus now in the White House: I can’t understand what’s wrong with Republicans: They’re for everything that’s bad and against everything that’s good.
@Roger Moore: It ain’t that hard.
[Long-time lurker, first-time commenter here.] Isn’t this a clear first amendment violation? It’s legal sanction for engaging in what I would think is clearly protected political speech. IANAL; can any lawyers (or other legal experts) weigh in?
@Roger Moore: I don’t know they just voted to kill a gay conversion ban. I hate these people.
Although you’re right, this bill will go nowhere. But just the thought they’d do this…
Certainly simplifies the whole vexed question of guilt.
ETA: It’s hard to overstate how much Republicans hate unions.
Denver Public Schools has the backs of their teachers. DPS is canceling classes this Friday so teachers can attend a mass rally at the state capital.
This must be part of an agenda to run Colorado’s public education system into the ground. I wonder what the Republican party will say when businesses start complaining about a shortage of adequately-educated and employable high-school grads.
They’re terrified of the teachers. I admit I didn’t see that coming- Oklahoma teachers striking was not on my prediction list.
They are pissed though, and it isn’t just them. The Oklahoma strike was fascinating because “management” supported the strikers. School superintendents supported them.
They should be mad. 30 states have cut public school funding since 2010 and no one was paying any attention to it. It inevitably started to show. It’s neglect. No one was really interested in what was going on with public schools – they were essentially forced to strike just to get lawmakers attention.
It’s a weird lack of attention to PRACTICAL things- keeping the lights on. It’s bad government. They had all these think-tank schemes for “reinventing” and no one was minding the schools THAT EXIST. What sticks out to me is how ELITIST that is- as if practical concerns don’t matter, are too boring and mundane for our brilliant lawmakers to bother with.
I’ve been working at jobs for decades and the older I get the more I’m shocked to find how easy it is to get WAY off track and literally forget what your job is. Their base duty in state government was at minimum to keep the schools functioning. They ignored that boring work and instead focused on these wild flights of fancy where they were “creating” and some such bullshit. No one actually hired them for that. They lost the plot.
Formerly disgruntled in Oregon
@Amir Khalid: I assume they’ll blame the victim(s), as usual…
I’m hoping that teaching is going to become the new great cause — and not just because two of my kids are teachers, but because I’m a decent fucking person. I want to live in a world where teachers are revered in place of the obscene fetishization of the military/police. Imagine if the education budget were larger than the military budget…..
@ProseAndKhans: Welcome. And yes, it seems very much that.
WRT Colorado: do not forget: eastern Colorado borders what’s the matter with Kansas. In higher elevations: Colorado Springs, with the Air Force and Wingnutz Academy, and Focus on Your Own Damn Family.
This must be part of an agenda to run
Colorado’sall public education systems into the ground.
@TaMara (HFG): Sigh. And I can’t argue with any of the other programs sharing that money. Dangit.
@Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): He sounds like a smart man.
Republicans seem caught up in the notion of 21st century jobs still require as little formal education as jobs did in the 1950’s. That’s my best guess.
Republicans know that if you educate people they’ll be less likely to be Republicans.
@Amir Khalid: That is all part of the long-term Republican plan to create a class of poorly educated workers who lack the critical thinking skills to realize they’re getting shafted. Gotta get the mindless button-pushers from somewhere, right? If you haven’t seen it, look for the longest version you can find of George Carlin talking about the American Dream. Well worth the 10 minutes or so it takes to watch.
I don’;t mean this in a bad way, but teachers are way too nice. That they are striking AT ALL is a real indictment of the state lawmakers in these states- they simply didn’t do their jobs. Teachers picked it up reluctantly and after years of neglect. I bet the vast majority of them would rather be almost anywhere else than on a picket line. Something like 50% of the Oklahoma strikers are registered Republicans. They literally had no choice but to do a labor action. It’s contrary to their ideological beliefs.
The worst part is how shocked state lawmakers are. That is itself of an indictment of their work. If you’re a state lawmaker and you DON’T KNOW a huge and essential state workforce is so fed up they are about to walk then you are wholly disconnected from your constituents. They should have known.
The Moar You Know
@ProseAndKhans: It’s raw, teacher bashing bullshit theater. I think they can write laws saying that their striking is illegal, but not jailable. Definitely fireable, though. I’d like an actual lawyer to weigh in on that.
But the most important thing is to realize it’s theater for the rubes. Dems control the Colorado House. It can’t pass.
You will work for the pittance we offer in the deplorable conditions we created or we will jail you. Yup, Confederacy on the rise all right. Fuckin’ fucks.
@jacy: I think education, and keeping kids and adults safe in schools and public places (reduce gun violence) is a GREAT organizing theme for Democrats.
Jail teachers bill, disgusting even if the reptilian republicans are confident it wouldn’t pass.
CO economy booming probably resulting in a more students in schools. I read that AZ is short about 2,000 teachers. Yet, the top priority of republicans is never ending tax cuts. Education, pfft.
People with families are less likely to move to CO or any other state with a lot of job openings if the schools are going down the tubes. They don’t just consider the wages when moving to another state.
The Moar You Know
@Amir Khalid: Businesses have been complaining about that in this country for the last twenty years. Nobody gives a shit. And that’s a bipartisan “nobody gives a shit”, quite a few of the elected officials pushing charter schools and other such looting of the public good measures are Dems.
I also can’t help but think some of this is connected to the fact that something like 80% of K-12 teachers are women.
It’s always women’s jobs that get the “but you serve people! You should work for free!” treatment. The whataboutthechildren treatment. Women get noble and thankless missions instead of pay. They live on love and hearts and flowers.
The “I love teachers” bullshit really hasn’t helped their bottom line, because it’s offered as a replacement for pay.
The Other Chuck
@Roger Moore: Or not be vetoed by Hickenlooper. At least all CO republicans can really do is waste our time.
They’ll blame the lack of jobs on high taxes.
Bigots hate a system that exposes their children to Them. Evangelicals hate a system that exposes their children to any alternatives at all. Assholes are sick and tired of being reminded facts and critical thinking even exist. The selfish are out of school themselves, so what do they care? Mean shits hate that the government helps anybody. Mix and match, and you have the entire Republican Party. They’ve been trying to destroy the public school system since at least 1980 when the Evangelicals became the base.
I wait for it with politicians, including D politicians. “My mother/sister/wife was a teacher and I love teachers”
Love is not enough :)
Love them. hate them, whatever, let’s talk about funding. No one says “I love electricians” or “I love bankers” – it would be considered bizarre and besides the point.
Paul Krugman on the War on Teachers. (NYT link, right click and open in private window to save burning a free article)
It’s instructive to see how consistently anti-teacher many state representatives are. I suspect there is more than a trace of misogyny here as well, since I think the majority of public school teachers are women.
@The Moar You Know:
Good point. Thing is, this kind of crap shows as much disdain for the rubes as for the teachers. They assume that these suckers will eat up empty displays of toughness.
Oh, wait. This is what the Trump presidency is all about.
Republicans have noticed that better educated people are less likely to vote for them, so their solution is to destroy the education system.
Same as it ever was- at least since the election of the prior washed up has been of stage and screen.
For what it’s worth, there are laws in a fair number of states barring strikes by public employees, including teachers. Usually there isn’t a criminal penalty; instead, the employer goes to court to get an injunction against the strike, enforced by contempt if the strike isn’t ended. (The union leaders generally are the ones who get sent to jail.)
Making it a crime would be, well, criminally stupid.
I think a lot of the assholes think teachers are “elitists” because so many have masters or multiple masters degrees. They are highly educated, mostly women and teach the assholes’ children. Highly suspect people!
Thoughts and prayers!
Teachers should be paid more, but I speculate that Wyoming pays teachers more because it is actually hard to persuade people to move to Wyoming. Doctors also make a lot of money in Wyoming. As for jailing teachers — what it shows you is the hair trigger willingness to criminalize the conduct and speech of people who disagree with them. They have no other solution that does not depend on crushing the opposition one way or another, which is a reason all by itself never to vote for them for anything, ever, no matter how inconsequential the office.
There’s a weird class thing that goes on with that too, though. If you live in a place like where I live, where 25% of people have college degrees, teachers really have a lot of authority and prestige. They’re literally our “community leaders”- you can’t swing a cat on a local board without hitting a teacher or two. But it’s different in higher income areas, where money is the measure- they’re lower status there. That’s where you get into the stuff about how you don’t have to pay them because they have a “noble mission”- like nuns or something. The US has to grapple with their huge class issues at some point. The denial is killing us. We won’t admit that money is how we measure worth, and we do. We could change! But not if we don’t just face it.
It’s not a good measure of worth. It never has been. It measures something, but not worth.
Toddlers have temper tantrums, throw their toys, and yell at everyone when they don’t get their favorite juice.
Republicans have temper tantrums when they realize they may get thrown out of office.
Critical thinking in particular, because that involves asking questions. I’ve bitched about the downsides of a Jesuit prep school education, but one thing the Jebbies have down is teaching critical thinking. As in, among other things, you have to see the world as it is, not as you’d like it to be.
Oh, I’m sure that there are some right wing nut jobs who openly declare their love of bankers. :)
You may understand this and I apologize if you do but wages are only one of the drivers of the actions. Teachers are now measured by student test scores. If states cut funding to schools they are harming students and pushing that responsibility back on teachers. They think it’;s unfair, and it is. You can’t make bigger and bigger demands on them and not add resources so they can meet higher demands.
They don’t control the funding but they are held responsible for the outcome. That’s a recipe for employee discontent.
@Kay: Absolutely. It’s never just teacher pay. It’s not like they vote to give money for books and facilities and specifically try to shortchange teachers. I was just responding to the relative pay scale information.
Also, OT, we sometimes think that NY is safely blue but due to a lot of districting shenanigans and strong arming by Andrew Cuomo in cahoots with various Democrats, the NY Senate is mostly controlled by a “bipartisan” cabal of just a few senators along with, of course, Cuomo.
Steve in the SFO
What he said. Striking is concerted activity that is protected under the Act (the National Labor Relations Act) and therefore cannot be illegal.
Many collective bargaining agreements, including all the ones I negotiate, contain a no strike provision. Unions can waive their right to strike in that way, but obviously a contractual agreement between parties does not give rise to a criminal complaint. As opposed to, you know, disobeying a judge’s order, as Mr. Khan noted supra.
These teacher strikes demonstrate why republicans hate labor rights and unions: concerted activity works, where all their lobbying and voting and bully pulpiting failed.
Yes. I think a lot of higher income parents would be very disappointed if any of their children chose a career teaching in public K-12 school instead of choosing medicine, law or banking.
Steve in the SFO
@bemused: where I live, most of the teachers are the wives of doctors, lawyers, and bankers. The job doesn’t pay enough to be primary income.
The Moar You Know
@Steve in the SFO: Was hoping you’d weigh in on this, you would know.
@Manyakitty: The way the law was worded is similar the way laws get written and interpreted here in Texas.
The law is ‘the tax money will go into the education fund’. The Republicans here in Texas then take it out of the education fund and spend it on whatever the hell they want.
The law needs to be written ‘the tax money will be spent on education’ to help prevent some fuckery.
i read about this yesterday, and it is just infuriating to me.
My work involves a lot of collaboration with the local school divisions here in NoVA, and lemme tell you, the teacher shortage out there is ug-ly and getting worse.
It would help if the school divisions and colleges of ed would work together, instead of clawing at the same shrinking pile of students/new teachers. Ah well.
It’d also help mobilize the parents if they realized that the teacher shortage is really a quality shortage…there are still people in their kids’ classrooms…but an increasing percentage of them are just warm bodies. And you can imagine what the sub pool is like these days…
o/t: Thought all the lawyers here would find this funny:
ALSO, I’m in CLE hell.
@jeffreyw: I’ve been tweeting that article out all morning
@Lee: That nasty trick might actually exceed fuckery. Gross.
Go for it, muthaphuckas ??
Put those teachers in jail.
The Moar You Know
@bemused: Not higher income but am married to a teacher. If I had kids I’d forbid them from taking this up as an avocation and so would my wife. To say that the working conditions (and this is one of the best districts in CA and the fifth highest paid in the state) are “savagely abusive” would not be an exaggeration. A “good” week for my wife is at least sixty hours of work with one day mostly off. But that’s not even the worst part of the job. Mean-ass parents looking for someone to take out their rage over their own failures in life home in on teachers as a natural target, those folks are the worst part, and are a big reason (that and pay you can’t live on) that the average career length of a public school teacher is now five years and falling.
The sweet spot, where your pension becomes decent, tends to happen to most teachers in their early to mid 60s. (you start at 22 out of college and have 40 years of service at 62). I know only one teacher that made it that long. All the rest have left the first year that retirement is an option, even though the hit to your pension is massive. That should tell you what an awful profession it has become.
My daughter works in health care- elderly people are her “population”- and she says health care people get this treatment too.
“But you LOVE your patients!” Right. But I also love my car payment. It’s the “helping profession” …thing. Curse :)
Not teacher related, but Avengers reviews will start appearing at 3 pm Eastern, so be prepared to avoid spoilers if you don’t want to have the movie spoiled.
“No, Captain America. *I* am your father”
It’s the same thing Granny Starver tried to do to Obama, especially WRT the ACA. Pass all kinds of symbolic shit you know won’t ever become law.
@The Moar You Know:
They are bad, some parents. I’m on a school committee and I say this out loud because I think teachers aren’t allowed to say it, or they face social sanction. But I’m a parent so I can say it :)
They’re horrible, some of them, and a different school won’t matter and a different teacher won’t matter because they’re bad at being parents. It’s like the elephant in the room, the parent role in all this. I don’t know how it happened, how we became the only group that no one is allowed to criticize. It’s not realistic.
The premiere was last night. Discussions and spoilers have already started to pop up here and there and everywhere.
One purely non-spoilerly bit. The movie clocks in at 156 minutes. That’s a lot of avenging.
Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady)
@Steve in the SFO: Years ago in Iowa, teachers surrendered their right to strike in exchange for binding arbitration. Last year, the R legislature did away with binding arbitration for public employees. Another example of everything for them but nothing for the other side.
My DIL has been a teacher for 15 years. From what I can see, she’s very good. She’s also looking for a different job. She’s worn down.
@Brachiator: Me and mini-me are seeing in Saturday. I think I already know who’s going to die/disappear…we’ll see!
Businesses have been complaining in other cities and states. Republicans keep oddly quiet.
@The Moar You Know:
I know teachers who in their later 50’s wondering if they can hang on for even a couple more years, weighing whether they can take the stress or lose a chunk of their pensions if they retire now. They sound so exhausted counting down the days for this school year to end.
Teachers are well-respected in countries like Finland. Educators have been visiting Finland for years studying the Finnish system but US legislators won’t change anything.
Well, we can’t have the plebeians think that they can get more crumbs than they already have.
I mean, that would make all of them think they can, too – and we just can’t have that.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@The Moar You Know:
My wife, a gifted and always popular teacher, had a fresh Masters in 1980 and was burned out on the teaching profession by the end of the 80s. I remember reading at the time that the average length of a teaching career was something shockingly short like 5 years. That may, as it turns out, have been an exaggeration, “common” knowledge which isn’t necessarily true. Nevertheless, studies do show that teachers, especially in the US, leave the profession before retirement age at a very high rate. Here’s one:
Fortunately for the students of the world, my wife returned to teaching in the last 10 years, at the university level, after getting a Ph.D.
@Kay: Yeah, and Republicans “love” the military. But what they really love are the defense contractors. The soldiers and government civilians who work for them get the shaft.
They’ve noticed that. And it wasn’t a recent revelation, either – they’ve been at it for quite awhile now, actually.
I had to step away from an office discussion about who’s gonna die, because I wasn’t sure whether one person had read some spoiler discussions.
I was going to try to wait until a little later to see the movie, but have been invited to check it out on Friday. Oddly (or fittingly) enough, my enjoyment of the latest Thor movie, and Black Panther, has increased my desire to see The Avengers. And yet, what, it’s going to be a hundred superheroes and villains on screen at one time? Crazy.
Gin & Tonic
@Brachiator: I can’t see that title and not think instead of John Steed and Emma Peel.
Yes, I’m old. Fuck you.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@Brachiator: The movie clocks in at 156 minutes. That’s a lot of avenging.
I was looking at a poster for it (haven’t seen any trailers). It looks like EVERYBODY is in it, including characters I knew existed but know nothing about (Dr. Strange and I think the guy from the post-credits scene of Black Panther), and at least one I’ve never seen before in any medium (a big red guy).
156 minutes works out to, by my calculations, 47 seconds of dialog and sub-plot for each superhero on the poster.
Edit: Actually I guess I have seen a trailer. I remember seeing a scene where the Guardians of the Galaxy show up and somebody says “who the hell are you guys?” And that one line is my entire knowledge of the contents of this film.
@Brachiator: Should be a bunch of superheroes’ debuts as well (a la Black Panther popping up in CA:CW without an origin story first). I think the new Captain Marvel is supposed to be in there, maybe?
One of these assholes said “strikes are not good for children.”
Republicans are not healthy for children and other living things.
Everything everyone has said so far, with this added about larger economic trends: there is a disconnect between service and other sectors.
There are lots of economies of scale for example in manufacturing and farming: fewer people working are increasingly productive with technological advancements. The “cost per unit” is on a downward trend.
But sectors like education or medicine? You can’t speed up teaching six year olds: it’s one first grade teacher and two dozen of them in a room, not much different than it was a hundred years ago and will be a hundred years hence. You can add bells and whistles but you are not going to speed up childrens’ brain processes.
Medicine is similar: it takes a certain amount of time for a doctor to look you over and review your labs. Some improvements actually take more time: the minimally invasive heart valve replacement surgery Ohio Dad had in December was a couple of hours longer than the older, maximally invasive method. His recovery was faster but the medical staff put in more time in the operating room.
Someone who has a cancer that used to be untreatable now spends months in chemo and radiation. That takes a lot of personnel and equipment, bringing the “cost per unit” up.
As time goes on, the contrast between how much these sorts of service jobs cost vs the cost of everything else will get starker. Dealing with it is going to take a huge societal shift.
The Moar You Know
@Kay: Teachers absolutely can’t say it. My wife and I have to be careful about even discussing it when out at dinner. And parents, who IMO are responsible for about 95% of the discipline issues that teachers face, are fucking untouchable. Nobody is willing to hold them accountable, and and least here in CA, there is a cottage industry of folks (“advocates”) who make quite a nice living making sure that districts and teachers eat the consequences of their shitty parenting, up to and including forcing districts to pay for full-time, in-home 24/7 “tutors” for their sprogs who, for some reason, can’t stop setting things on fire/stabbing their classmates/assaulting their teachers.
@The Moar You Know:
They have billboards up in Indiana and Michigan recruiting both substitute and regular teachers. It’s a little worrisome, because the general tone is “anyone will be hired!”
Just One More Canuck
Not entirely off topic, Bob Dorough passed away yesterday. Composed and performed this classic:
Doesn’t matter if it’s teachers, truck drivers or computer programmers. The bizness folks of the Republican party think everyone but themselves is underworked and overpaid. They think the government should keep their underlings compliant.
My dear departed father was on our local school board in the early 1970’s. He mostly ran heavy construction equipment for a living. I once saw him pick up a washing machine and carry it himself. During one of his first school board meetings a local right wing crank showed up to rail at the board that that they were all dishonest thieves stealing his money. The rest of the board was used to the crank but it really set Dad off. He stood up, leaned over the table and asked “Are you calling me a thief?” in his best we can take this out to the parking lot voice. The rest of the board calmed the situation down and he never saw the crank again.
@The Moar You Know:
The relationship is unique. No one else spends as much time with your kid as teachers do. That’s why it can be so thorny and difficult. It hits so close to home for parents – there’s nothing as personal as “you are a bad parent”.
We rely on teachers here a lot as witnesses in abuse and dependency proceedings and I don’t think parents know how much teachers know about our families, based on spending 8 hours a day with our kids. Kids are blabbermouths, and if they like and trust the teacher they tell teacher a lot. I think there are a group of parents who are really uncomfortable with that, resent and fear it.
@Gin & Tonic: Avengers Comics January 1963 (actually 1962)
Avengers English series (WITHOUT Diana Rigg or Honor Blackman) 1961.
WITH Diana Rigg 1965
@Gin & Tonic:
Well, actually Dr. David Keel and John Steed.
You young whippersnappers think you know everything!
ETA: Actually, Steed and Mrs Peel were my Avengers as well. But I’ve seen pieces of the original show which featured David Keel, and of course, some of the great episodes with Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale. Interesting that both Honor Blackman and Diana Rigg later appeared in Bond movies.
@Kay: There are bad parents, of course, but for most parents it’s more like, there isn’t enough time in the day for you to be the kind of parent you want to be. I would imagine that there is a tremendous amount of defensiveness related just to that issue.
Gin & Tonic
@gwangung: I was never a comics guy. Well, comix later on, but that’s a different story. And I made no arguments about precedence or originality, just that when it sees Avengers, by brain gives me a particular image, and Diana Rigg is in it.
@Gin & Tonic: Heh. They were contemporaneous for me, so it was a tad confusing for my grade school mind.
Except for Diana Rigg. Wasn’t confused about her AT ALL.
@Roger Moore: Likely but here in Buffalo pur union president was jailed during our last strike.
@ProseAndKhans: Striking by government employees is illegal here in NY. The Taylor Law. It still happens when things get bad enough.
That’s true. Looking back though I have to say they were often right about my kids, teachers, right about their strengths and weaknesses. I just wasn’t privy to that part of their day so I would think “really? She SAYS that?” It’s a black box in a way. You drop in there, but you don’t have a real sense of the day to day – it’s this whole community you’re not “in” other than second hand. The community part interests me so I always liked teachers who were like “he has a group and this is what they’re like”- that sort of thing. That’s the info I need. I can read their grades and test scores for the rest.
Oh, no, people discuss it, but usually, at least here in NYC, in a context of “some (implied black or brown) parents didn’t spend time reading to their kid before they were 5 years old, so I don’t understand why those children should get extra help now, while my supremely average (white) child, to whom I read assiduously, and hired a tutor for, doesn’t.” (I just attended more than one meeting about a proposal to help better integrate our very segregated middle schools and the white and Asian American parents had a lot, a lot, of complaints about the idea, all couched under “concerns.”)
I agree that there is no effing way any teacher could be expected to counteract the effects of poverty, but I think the issues are larger than “bad parenting.” Poverty is incredibly stressful, and education is still a system that is overwhelmingly biased in favor of people with money. But, as you, Kay, have said, we expect schools to be the cure-all for social ills that are much bigger than education.
That said, I do think ending the idea of corporal punishment at home as socially acceptable would help. A lot of parents hit their kids (I don’t distinguish between hitting and spanking; it’s all hitting), and the schools, rightfully so, are not allowed to do so, so kids know that whatever punishment they get in school isn’t going to be anywhere near what parents can legally dole out. Teachers are undercut at the discipline level from the get go.
And education and health care are still dealing with the effects of second-wave feminism. Prior to the 1970s, educated women couldn’t do much besides be teachers or nurses, and so the entrenched patriarchy got top-notch teachers and nurses for very little money. Now that women have more options, patriarchy doesn’t understand what’s changed, and is responding with sticks instead of carrots.
(That is not to say there aren’t thousands of top-notch teachers now; just that as the job gets harder and harder, fewer and fewer of the best and brightest are going to go to it, when there are so many more options out there)
A friend of mine is an NYC public school teacher, in a low-performing school, and her opinion is that low-performing schools should offer 2 teachers in each classroom (and keep higher performing schools at 1). She said, in a particularly difficult school, it’s not even about the money (NYC pays teachers reasonably, compared to a lot of other places); it’s the stress of trying to maintain discipline and actually get to teach when the majority of your kids have pretty tough lives and bring those lives into the classroom. She’s had a student teacher in for part of the year and it makes a difference; not just in discipline, but in that it’s pleasurable to not be the only adult in the room. I think it would be a good way to lure stronger teachers into tougher environments, if they had a co-teacher. Because the current system of sticking the newbies in the toughest classrooms is ridiculous. No wonder teachers burn out. They never get a chance to find joy in the career.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@Amir Khalid: I went to Highschool back in the 70s with clowns who maintained even a high school education was unnecessary. That’s the generation that produced these two thought leaders.
No Drought No More
Seeing a photo of Mitt Romney wearing a Jazz basketball jersey is strangely akin to hearing the story of Richard Nixon suggesting that Guy Lombardo’s band play at a White House soiree honoring jazz, because Nixon apparently believed Lombardo’s band represented the pinnacle of American jazz playing (Duke Ellington was still alive and active at the time, I believe). Both incidents are, somehow, revealing and disturbingly laughable, and not in a “Mike Dukakis wearing a silly helmet on top of a tank campaign photo” sort of way, either.
I mean, I bet Romney heartily approved the changeover when the Tampa Bay Rays dropped “Devil” from their team’s name, simply because America’s deranged bible thumpers demanded it. Little doubt Romney would have praised Nixon’s suggestion as perfect for the occasion, too.
I want to follow up that I initially said I thought corporal punishment at home should be banned, but I changed it because that showed the same insensitivity to the stress of poverty on parents that I am complaining about other people demonstrating. I think better that it become socially unacceptable, because that’s more likely to happen (and probably more effective).
I don’t have to imagine it. It’s SOP in Scandanavia and much of Europe.
@Amir Khalid: but, but home schooling, vouchers, and charter schools will solve all the problems!!!!
Of course it won’t really but then today’s Republican has been so weaned on that, that the real world can’t penetrate their magical thinking.
Not the Onion – Der Fuhrer thinks Kim is an honorable man. (sigh)
If it does age well, we’re in even more trouble then I thought.
@bemused: I had instructed my kids that if their choice was between teaching and pole dancing, teaching was not the way to go. Happily, it never came to that. Most teachers do not want their kids to follow in their footsteps.
I’ve come around to think it’s actively harmful. IMO kids interpret it as meaning losing your temper is acceptable – an ordinary part of life, a way to operate in the world and it’s not that it doesn’t “work” as punishment (although I don’t think it does) it’s that it makes kids out of control and reactive, and that affects how people interact with them. It really isn’t a workable way to deal with problems, hitting people. It just won’t fly in the wider world – better to learn that sooner rather than later. People make fun of “use your words” as if it’s coddling but you really do have to use your words in the wider world,because “wacking” isn’t an option and controlling yourself isn’t easy, it’s hard. Get good at it. You’ll be relying on that skill every day. Wacking people? Not gonna be a tool in the toolbox later.
@Kay: While that may be true in a lot of places, here in Northern Virginia (DC suburbs) we have a lot of highly educated, high income folks and the Fairfax County Public Schools are fabulous and the school system is a MAJOR inducement for people to live here. I have long said when you buy a house you buy the school system – assuming you have kids. It’s huge here. YMMV.
@Kay: This is true. My niece works in a (unionized) Catholic hospital. They’re always after them about Jesus’ mission of compassion to their patients. She says “I give my patients compassion ans what they value more: good, highly trained care and I didn’t get that training for free. The laborer is worthy of his hire. “
Tax Cuts, baby!
So did Patrick Macnee (Steed)
To give you an idea of how bad its gotten, I was briefly qualified as a substitute teacher about 5 years ago.
I work for a dental practice in downtown Denver, so we have a number of patients who are from the very gentrified ‘hoods near the botanic gardens and such (most of older Denver is gentrifying quickly it seems), and we see their college aged kids too. I can tell the really idealistic kids because they are the ones going in to teaching. I just treated a younger couple who are both new teachers and they can barely survive on their combined salaries given the skyrocketing rents and home prices here. They only get to see us because one of them has a parent with some $ to cover what their dental insurance doesn’t cover, otherwise dental care would be on their “emergency only” part of their budget. I suspect the parents of the female side of that couple were hoping she’d marry outside of her profession.
We’re about to get a huge increase in our office costs too. Our building is being torn down next year to build something much taller and more profitable, and finding a new office is going to cost my boss $400,000 in build-out and moving costs, plus add on much higher rent and having to pay even more to have enough parking spaces for patients. My boss is close to “fuck it, I’ll sell out and go work for someone else as an employee”; he’s mid-50’s and wondering if he’ll recoup the $400,000 if he waits and sells at his retirement age.
That’s a lot of time to rack up a massive body count.
@Kay: I absolutely agree with you. A person cannot strike their boss, their co-worker, their employee, their doctor, their barista, and, more recently, it’s now unacceptable also to hit their partner. A teacher may not strike a student, nor may a principal. A stranger may not spank a child on the street. The only people we allow people to hit legally are their own children, and what does it say about us as a society that we think it’s acceptable for the most vulnerable of us to be physically struck by the people who they should most be able to trust to keep them safe?
The only thing spanking accomplishes is short-term compliance. Long-term, it teaches kids that hitting someone smaller than you is a way to get them to do what you want. And it’s established fact that kids learn the most about how to behave from observing how their parents behave, not from anything their parents say about how to behave. You’re right; we have to learn how to navigate in society using our words, and spanking does absolutely nothing to encourage kids how to do that.
Feature, not a bug.
Republicans literally do not believe in the role of government. Everything is all about shoving money into their own pockets and fuck everyone else.
Agree 100%. We were spanked as kids and it ingrained an immutable fear of the parents through childhood, which manifested itself thru freezing up with hesitation as to what might trigger punishment.
End the cycle. We never once struck or physically punished our child and I can honestly say I was never tempted to. It’s an abhorrent practice and should be so across cultures.
That ended well for the last Caesar.
@TenguPhule: Reminds me of the debate in Illinois when I was in high school (mid-late 70s) about the lottery. It was promoted as “all the lottery money will go to the schools, they’ll get all this extra money without having to raise taxes”. As soon as it passed the state started decreasing the amount of money out of general revenues that went to the schools. The cost of college tuition went from about $500 a semester at a state university to something like $8,000 now.
They didn’t lose the plot, they have been trying to throw the plot as far as they can get away with.
They don’t like the plot because those people are part of the plot.
That said, I don’t want to be seen as attacking parents who spank for being bad people (except the ones who do it because they say Jesus wants them to. They’re bad). My mother spanked, and my father did not. My mother also grew up poor, and my dad did not. My mom was much more short-tempered, inclined to stress out over almost anything, and want immediate compliance without questioning. My dad was an alcoholic, so no fun there for my mom, also, but having grown up upper middle class, he was more patient, more inclined to want to play with us kids, and more likely to take time to sit and discuss our screw ups with us, rather than spank. We weren’t poor, but my mom’s childhood absolutely shaped her as an adult. I think a lot of working class parents hit because they are too tired and stressed to think they have any other options.
I really think poverty should be considered a learning disability in the way autism and ADHD and dyslexia are.
Republicans are assholes. Also, sun rises in the east.
On a happier note, Detroit and Michigan state cops got some truckers to line up and keep a guy from jumping off a bridge. There is still good in the world, and it is still the better way to go. The message and some of the news stories linking to it are promoting the suicide prevention hotline. This restores my faith in humanity.
@Nicole: I am confident that some of the “discipline” I received from my mother would merit CPS intervention today.
@trollhattan: That’s true. I was much more aware of being afraid of my mom than I was aware of loving her. We’ve told the Wee One flat out that we won’t ever spank, so he knows that’s off the table. He has a few friends who do get spanked occasionally, and, surprise surprise, they tend to be the ones who resort to hitting on the playground when they get frustrated.
@Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):
Does that not then mean they can now strike?
I went to a public high school that had an unbelievable math and science curriculum (back in the 60’s). Within a year we graduated kids who would later become head of software design at apple, another who would be a dean of biochemistry at Harvard who left to open a cancer research center, the guy who designed the software used by Wiki, a good friend who was involved in the design of the Polaris missile. And others. Anyhow, about 1970 they had a teachers strike but the town refused to give a raise to the teachers and threw the head of the teachers union in jail. That teacher was the head of the math department. That was pretty much it for being probably the best math department in the midwest.
Boy howdy, are the NRA and US police unions scratching their heads right now on how to declare this a “bad, bad thing.”
The narrative must be preserved at all cost.
@Barbara: I’m so sorry. Parents are the ones who have the most obligation to make sure their kids feel that home is a safe space, and so often, they fail. My mom, I think, attempted to do spanking “right,” in that it was always private, in our room, with a ritual of bending over and getting thwacked (she never hit us in front of anyone or with anything other than her hand), but I was still terrified of her and doing anything to make her mad at me. She died when I was ten and I like to think if she had known her kids would have remembered her with fear more than love (or, in the case of my brother, who was 8, not remember her much at all), she’d have done things differently. Hitting. It’s not good.
And yet they have no duty to protect the public. As the courts have determined.
@Gin & Tonic: The Avengers TV series debuted in 1961. The Avengers comic did so in 1963. Emma Peel didn’t join the TV series until 1965. Which is older, tell me?
ETA: Dammit, ninja’d.
J R in WV
Essential Local Government Services:
Schools, roads, clean water, sewage treatment (there’s one they love to ignore), law enforcement (can’t ignore that, they carry guns!), food safety, medical care.
How many of these do Republicans hate?
How about all but LEO?
What would our lives be like without clean pure water? Safe Foods? Roads? Schools?
Well, the Rs don’t want schools, because well educated people can see what the Republicans are doing – stealing everything not nailed down!
That’s not going to work since jobs are being automated. In which case, now you have a lot of folks who can only do manual labor type stuff like meat packing and farming. I think instead they’ll just end up with a mob looking for jobs. They are screwed regardless.
@J R in WV:
*And if it can be pried up with a crowbar, its not nailed down.
@J R in WV:
Brownshirts need a large pool to recruit from.
After all, racial violence will always demand that personal human touch.
The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion
@Nicole: THIS! THIS! THIS! Poverty IS a disability, and the mother of a million others. I grew up with two (count ’em!, two!) mentally ill parents who got no treatment because–wait for it–they couldn’t pay for any, and no-one cared. I now work with mentally ill teens (and tweens), and I cannot begin to tell you how many of their issues are caused or horribly exacerbated by poverty. Trauma, hunger, neglect, physical, emotional and sexual abuse, medical neglect, PTSD, all arising directly from the living conditions induced by the constraints of poverty. It IS a pre-existing condition.
@gene108: No, Republicans realize that an educated populace works against their interests as a party. Harder to sell the bullshit when the people are informed and skeptical.
Hold it now, are you suggesting that the workers of Colorado be allowed to share in the benefits of the expanding economy??!!??
Well that is some serious Socialist shit right there! Thank the one per cent that we have some steadfast Republican lackeys around to remind them exactly who all this is for!
Sing it with me brothers and sisters!
“This land is their land, not your and my land; from the private beaches on every shore. From the hills of Aspen to the New York condos, this land is owned by them and those.”
@trollhattan: Its funny in that the CBC just competed a big story regarding police shootings over that last twenty years. While there is not anywhere near the number of shootings as in the US, there were some disturbing findings which identify that there is still plenty of work to be done. The data showed in particular that blacks in Toronto and indigenous people in Winnipeg [out west in general] are shot and killed far in excess of their share of the population.
The findings were generally accepted and prompted some public commitment by police forces and governments to learn from this. Yeah, not something to bank on, but at least they did not attack the data and the reporters that produced this work.
Geez, what I wouldn’t give for just one night of high-stakes poker with Orange Crash. I’d leave him so broke and out of sorts, he’d think he had been a Trump U student.
@TenguPhule: Wow. I mean, WOW.
But also, wow.
When I was teaching, it was a lot easier to deal with minority children with “bad parents” in the sense of being impoverished than with children from wealthy “bad parents” who threatened the school district with a lawsuit when there was any attempt to discipline the child for any degree of antisocial behavior.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@Ceci n est pas mon nym:
Having worked in defense I beg to differ, yes, The Republicans can’t get enough tanks, aircraft carriers and nuclear weapons. but they hate with a passion paying for that stuff. Maybe the GOP pols love Defense Contractor lobbyists for the bribes but as a group conservatives apparently think the Rathyon faerie wishes it all into existence.
@bemused: Part of that is the “anyone can teach” attitude among the Reichwing (a/k/a more sexism at work), which informs much of the charter school push (“running a school isn’t hard”). That, and the advanced degrees and the certifications are perceived as a reason for teacher burnout, not the p!ss-poor compensation and appalling work conditions.
@Citizen Alan: Oh yeah, I hear you. Wealthy kids learn early that having money gets you out of facing any sort of consequences. I had to teach an after-school program in a number of private and public schools for a few years, and I generally found the higher the tuition, the worse the children.
@boatboy_srq: What’s the shitty saying: “Those who can’t XXX, teach…” It’s a total devaluation of the entire teaching profession. My father taught for 30 years and I saw what it did to him, especially the last 5. This is just another part of the unsustainable course we’re on as a country.
@Kay: Right. None of the community leaders where I live are teachers, because teachers can’t even afford to actually live in my town! To your point, even if they could no one would elevate them to leadership positions (although that’s not just because of the wealth = virtue thing; it’s also because 50% of the community has professional degrees and everyone went to a top 40 university and tend to be uber competent).
But there’s yet another exacerbation to the self-reinforcing economic inequality problem at the high end of the strata when it comes to teachers, too. There’s also a bidding war to outspend all the other districts in an attempt to attract only the very, very best and most well-educated teachers. It’s like country clubs trying to outdo one another with golf course and clubhouse improvements as a recruiting tool. My daughter’s kindergarten teacher had a post-graduate degree from f’ing Columbia, for crying out loud. Obviously not a perfect correlation between a teacher’s own academic achievement and their abilities as a teacher, but it doesn’t hurt, and paying 50% more than they do in the middle class towns 10 miles away means the rich schools get their pick of the litter.
Just one more way the system as set up is an inequality feedback loop. Many of the wealthy people I know are aware of and will even acknowledge this, but they’re not ready to see anything done about it, since they’re the ones whose kids are winning the rigged game.
@cain: Yeah, I know. This is going to suck.
The Moar You Know
@NorthLeft12: In the US, you’d have local police unions openly advocating for the murder of whoever did such a study.
Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
Teachers in my district, Peoria Unified School District (AZ), are striking this Thurs and Fri. Gov Douchey says he’ll give them a 20% raise by 2020 but that’s it. Never mind the state’s economy has rebounded to the point we have budget surpluses. Never mind that he’ll take that raise money from other places in the budget (shortchanging the most helpless among us like kids on Medicaid, no doubt). Never mind that the teachers didn’t just demand a raise, they want all of education funding returned to pre-2008 levels and raises for other school workers. The local GOP is trying to make the teachers out to be greedy. Grrrrrrrr
And OT but related, I live in Congressional District #8 and voted for Dr. Tipirneni but the race is close. The AZGOP is getting so desperate they emailed people saying that the Maricopa County Recorder (who happens to be a Democrat) is allowing unregistered voters to vote. Which is utter horsepoop, of course. Good goddess I hate living in this state.
? ?? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ? ?
Yup the Republicans are fascists.
? ?? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ? ?
@The Moar You Know:
Then they would need to be arrested
@Shana: (pretty dead thread at this point, but just to note I agree with you about FCPS being fab – they are a really thoughtful, well-run, professional organization with some truly great people top to bottom)
And I think the quote about the cost is that we’re essentially paying private school tuition through our mortgages!
From the link:
Editor’s Note: Denver7 360 stories explore multiple sides of the topics that matter most to Coloradans, bringing in different perspectives so you can make up your own mind about the issues.
Bothsiderism rears its ugly head. I wish there had been comments on the piece so that I could read the “perspective” of those who think that teachers have it so good that they should be jailed.
@Gelfling 545: Ryan Stiles on becoming a teacher.
@bemused: The GOP is a cult not a functioning political party with interest in governing.
its a fucking shame, i feel they’re trying to ruin/crash/explode/implode the school systems to bring in the privatization, and turn another public institution into the money maker/failure it can be,and was always meant to be…in ma. i had signs in my yard against expanding charter schools, and it failed in the elections, lucky stars. ma. has one of the best public school systems in the country and i would never submit to destroying it… goh frigann friggah librul blu stat…
I did some fast googling: as of 2014, NINETEEN states allow corporal punishment in their public schools!
@Jeffro: Would your lawyer end up paying him $130 grand too after getting screwrd at the table? LOL
“Mrs Gale! How nice of her to remember me! …What can she be doing at Fort Knox?”