Tag: teacher

Teach for Chicago

Well, now isn’t this convenient:

Two lobbyists with no prior teaching experience were allowed to count their years as union employees toward a state teacher pension once they served a single day of subbing in 2007, a Tribune/WGN-TV investigation has found.

Steven Preckwinkle, the political director for the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and fellow union lobbyist David Piccioli were the only people who took advantage of a small window opened by lawmakers a few months earlier.

The legislation enabled union officials to get into the state teachers pension fund and count their previous years as union employees after quickly obtaining teaching certificates and working in a classroom. They just had to do it before the bill was signed into law.

Do I even need to tell you that these two guys lobbied for the very law that will now give them at least a million in retirement benefits?

Look, I have no problem with teachers getting good retirement benefits. Nor do I have a problem with union reps getting retirement benefits, providing they are paid out of union money. I do have a problem, however, when a lobbyist is able to raid public funds based on a single day of teaching. We shouldn’t be paying these guys to lobby for more spending and we damn sure shouldn’t be paying them retirement benefits for lobbying.

Not much can be done — what they did was legal. But it really does illustrate the priorities of the union. In future years, real teachers are going to see their salaries or benefits reduced. But these two suckers will pull in millions.

The system is broke, but we do not really like the fix, so let’s cheat..

The current abysmal state of education is a particular sore subject of mine. While we as parents made good choices and lucked out as far as school systems go, we remain intricately involved in my son’s education, stressing it’s importance and working hand in hand with his school to make sure he is being educated to the best of both his and the teacher’s ability. However, the more I talk to people or read about the subject, the more I am convinced that education here in the US is going to hell in a hand basket. Cases like this one, where educators simply decided to fudge scores for the kids, not only rob kids of the necessary learning experience of consequences to actions or lack thereof, but drastically undermine the credibility of the teaching profession.

Now let me start off by saying that I admit that I feel the bigger problem here is simply that these kids are already disadvantage, not because of their race or economic status, but because of over 50 years of leftists bullshit that has basically convinced both them and their parents that they will always remain excluded from the American dream, and can only get ahead if democrats hand them things. Going to school thus is simply seen as killing time. When your parents tell you school is a waste of time, you are not going to work at it. And let’s face it, no matter how great the teachers are, someone that doesn’t understand or value the education tax payers are providing them – and the fact is that the kids in this story likely all belong to parents that don’t pay any or minimal taxes – isn’t going to care much about it.

Mandating basic education by law is not enough to educate people. They have to work at it. In fact, I often wonder how much the impact of making education mandated instead of something earned, and thus prized and worked for, has been. We have also seen our school budgets become bloated because of the massive bureaucracy needed to do the paperwork that comes with government regulation. Yes, I know this bloated bureaucratic machine heavily abuses the system. And as hist_ed once pointed out in a comment on a post, whenever we need to reduce spending the powers that be never cut that bloated bureaucratic monster, but always target teachers, out of a callous political calculation that people will feel a lot more inclined to let them increase the pool of educators again when things get out of hand or better.

But all these drawbacks and problems with this system, despite the other players and problems, don’t give educators a pass. Especially when they have if not been the main culprit, actively participated in repeatedly and continuously lowering the bar, focusing on self esteem bullshit instead of rewarding hard work, and more importantly, pulling stunts like this one, likely to cover their asses. And the problem here is simply the following:

Cheating is wrong. Cheating by teachers, who are supposed to be role models, is worse. And cheating by teachers that harms students is worse still.

Weingarten, however, is correct that there is a “bigger issue.” It’s not that tests are terrible but that accountability, the principle behind testing, is under attack, and leading the assault are those educators who fear the consequences of being held accountable. If we allow accountability to be undermined, then school reform –necessary for improving children’s lives and for gaining higher economic growth – will wither and die.

Accountability has been the driving force behind school improvement since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in early 2002 on a vote of 87-10 in the Senate and 381-41 in the House. NCLB drew on a broad consensus in America that meeting high standards, verified through testing, was absolutely necessary to the success of every schoolchild.

The parents are uninvolved & kids don’t care about education because the man is holding them down, the bureaucratic machine is consuming the lions share of the education funding and teachers are treated as cannon fodder by the machine. Most of what is called or passes for teaching these days is focused on self esteem and massive feel good liberal indoctrination, instead of teaching kids what we commonly refer to as the “three Rs”. The valuable and traditional classical education that made the western education system amongst the best and helped us create the modern western world is being abandoned and replaced by insane fringe special interest bullshit to make subgroups in society feel relevant and more disconnected from the whole. And as a consequence of all that, the educational system is in shambles. But instead of dealing with the underlying issues, the damage 50 years of pure bullshit and ownership by one political party of the school system has caused, what these teachers did is try to cover their arses from people now demanding results for all the money the system gobbles up, and thus they cheated. That basically removes any sympathy I might have had for their plight. Worse, it arms those that feel and say that the onus is completely with the educator class with powerful ammunition. Of course, the big losers for the last 2 or so decades are the kids pushed through the system. But who gives a crap about them anyway.