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Mon Aug 10, 2015, 11:39 AM


Good News: NY Times Acknowledges a Nat'l Teacher Shortage. Bad News:

(You can link to the full Times article from Perdido Street Blog : link below).

It won't tell you why.

Reporter Motoko Rich roots around all over the place. The improving economy. Fewer people in the ed school pipeline. A panoply of other speculations and observations .... generally of the self-evident variety.

But WHY, Motoko Why? Well... as Perdido Street Blog explains..... basically because no one wants to teach since the schools have been redesigned over the last 10 years along the lines prescribed precisely BY the NY Times ( and Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Arne Duncan, George W. Bush, Walmart Foundation, Hedge-Fund Managers, et al. ) Well, these supply and demand geniuses have had their way, pretty much unfettered.

And, to be fair, we've GOT the demand. ( Had it before; have it now.) But where the funk is the *supply*?

Perdido Street explains: only an idiot or a masochist would agree to teach under the conditions the aforementioned ed all stars and pioneers have created in public education.

In other words: not only have they driven talented and experienced people out of the teaching ranks... into early retirement or just plain oblivion; they can't find anyone to take their places.

Alas the lesson is lost on reporter Rich. Or she pretends it is. She'll go far, I'm thinking. The gal knows how to get ahead. No teaching for HER.

Here's Perdido's commentary in part:

>>>Yes, it's true that a rebounding economy leads fewer people to go into teaching - there are more opportunities available for other kinds of work with "better pay and a more glamorous image."

But unexplored in the Motiko Rich Times piece is one big reason why teaching isn't a job with a glamorous image. - the consequences of 10+ years of corporate education reforms.

Every day you open the newspaper or turn on the TV, you see or hear some teacher-bashing crap, some politician like Christie saying he wants to punch teachers in the face, some rag like the Post blaming teachers for destroying the lives of children by using the Three Little Pigs as a DO NOW exercise to teach POV and bias.

Then there are the new "accountability rules" - the constant observations, the evaluation ratings tied to test scores (as high as 50%), the increased work load and stress for the same (or less) money, the decreased benefits, gutted pensions, and diminished work protections like tenure (Kansas is an emblem of this, but it's happening nationwide too.)

I'd say if kids are looking around at the job landscape and saying "Hell, I can do better than be a teacher!", they're right - and smart for saying it.

I teach seniors and I tell the ones who say they want to be teachers to think twice about the major - that teacher bashing and odious accountability measures (most of which simply add more work to a teacher's load without making them better teachers) make the job miserable these days.

I also tell them that teaching isn't really a career anymore, that the politicians and educrats and oligarchs who fund education reform see it as a McJob that can be filled by untrained temps who do it for a couple of years and move on (or get moved on by accountability measures) to something else.

To that end, the Times again:>>>>http://perdidostreetschool.blogspot.com/2015/08/ny-times-covers-national-teacher.html

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Reply Good News: NY Times Acknowledges a Nat'l Teacher Shortage. Bad News: (Original post)
Smarmie Doofus Aug 2015 OP
femmocrat Aug 2015 #1
Smarmie Doofus Aug 2015 #2
femmocrat Aug 2015 #3
Daphne08 Aug 2015 #5
bbgrunt Aug 2015 #4
Smarmie Doofus Aug 2015 #6
bbgrunt Aug 2015 #7

Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Mon Aug 10, 2015, 11:47 AM

1. Teaching is no longer the respected profession it once was.

It has become drudgery thanks to a bunch of powerful, meddlesome "know-it-alls" who never spent one day in front of a classroom. I would never recommend it as a career to younger person.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 10, 2015, 11:58 AM

2. I'm looking for something to quibble with there.


MMMMmmmmm. No. Can't find anything. You pretty much covered the bases.

But the fact remains: they have to put SOMEONE in front of the classroom, don't they?

Who's it gonna be?

"It Ain't Me, Babe."

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #2)

Mon Aug 10, 2015, 12:08 PM

3. Well, they could keep increasing class size! ;)

Oh, I think people will still go into teaching. It still offers a decent salary and good benefits and the work is fulfilling. There will always be well-intentioned, idealistic young people who want to help make a better world (at least I hope so).

When I went to college, there were grants and loans for education majors. That could happen again if there is a real shortage, I guess.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 10, 2015, 02:36 PM

5. You are absolutely correct

I was a long-time teacher and I had to get out! I still admire my friends (most of whom are now retired) who toughed it out.

Such a shame, too, for I loved it the first 15 years or so, and I was a good, conscientious educator.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Original post)

Mon Aug 10, 2015, 12:15 PM

4. It's been more than the last 10 years...

as I remember it started in the 70's--the teacher bashing that is. Before that teachers were considered to be the epitome of society.

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Response to bbgrunt (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 10, 2015, 04:03 PM

6. Wow. I came in in the mid 80's and they were DYING for people.


At least in Special Ed. ( Which was my area.)

They gave me a break on the interview portion of the licensing test. ( I SUCKED... BUT passed anyway.)

Sounds like you go back a bit further. Maybe to the Shanker-NYC Wars? We were really just getting started as a collective bargaining unit and as a profession.

In Shanker's day, race was the unspoken... but very real... central bone of contention.

Not much has changed in that regard... other than that the privatizers and entrepreneurs have recognized that split as a sociological breech that can potentially be exploited economically.

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #6)

Mon Aug 10, 2015, 05:30 PM

7. I'm not too sure about the over all job market, but I came home

from being out of the country for 2 years and got a job immediately in an inner city middle school. I can remember striking at least once but we were affiliated with AFT. The profession was still dominated by women and I can remember the arguments from negotiating teams that we should accept the poor wages, because after all, we were not primary bread earners!

I remember the amazement I felt when I saw teachers being treated as lackeys by admin, parents and press. I had grown up in a poor neighborhood, but utmost respect was always given to teachers. By the early 70's many news articles became derogatory--especially at contract times. I've been acutely aware of teacher-press relations ever since.

I also remember in undergrad school, the people who couldn't hack the regular curriculum went into business or home ec.--the two most disparaged and least demanding majors. Teaching was still considered an honorable major. That changed by the 80's so that business became the most selective major. So now, with teaching hitting the bottom of the barrel, I guess fewer and fewer want to waste tuition on a low-esteem, low-paying job.

After 4 years teaching middle school I left to get a grad degree and ended up in university teaching--where I saw exactly the same process occurring--only slightly delayed. They loaded up on admin and started taking away shared governance, curricular control, tenure track positions and any sense that professors were professional. By the time we got the right to bargain, Scott Walker came in and crumbled what hopes were left. I'm retired now but soon university professors will be in the same boat.

First they de-skill the jobs and then they take away benefits and turn you into a contract hire with no say and no tenure. Who needs an advanced degree for that?

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