Yesterday’s Thoughts

June 28, 2005

Wake Me When Vacation Is Over

Arrrgh!

Dave Eggers and friends weigh in on teacher compensation. They make many good points. Teachers don’t make much for their education and experience. They work under the supervision of politicians and are forced to teach to examinations that have little bearing on education.

Why don’t they address the elephant in the room of teacher’s salaries?

Teaching jobs run from about early September to mid June, with at least three weeks off during the year. They are essentially working 3/4 time jobs, with full benefits. It would be a pretty big surprise it the teachers didn’t need to take jobs in the summer.

Maybe it’s just me, but it bothers me when teachers, and their allies, are innumerate. If they wish to make a fact based argument, it would help if they considered the full gamut of the facts. If they wish to rely on ignorance and illogic, … well maybe that’s the problem with education right there.

This reminds me of an initiative campaign in California in about 1987. The initiative was to get more money for schools to reduce class size. There were advertisements supported by the pro forces saying something along the line of, “In California schools, each teacher has only five minutes per day with each student,” so give more, vote yes.

Did whoever paid for this advertisement realize that if the initiative increase the budget for teachers by 20% that the contact time per day would only go up to six minutes per day? If doubled, it would be only 10 minutes per day.

If you are going to engage it this type of cost accounting you get more bang for the buck if you cut the budget.

The rigor of the teacher’s argument inclined me to think that maybe that wouldn’t be so bad. The less contact children have with this level of reasoning, the better.

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