Monday, August 10, 2015

After years of vilification and attacks on education, states are now scrambling to find teachers. No way to have seen that coming, right?

Courtesy of the New York Times:

In a stark about-face from just a few years ago, school districts have gone from handing out pink slips to scrambling to hire teachers. 

Across the country, districts are struggling with shortages of teachers, particularly in math, science and special education — a result of the layoffs of the recession years combined with an improving economy in which fewer people are training to be teachers. 

At the same time, a growing number of English-language learners are entering public schools, yet it is increasingly difficult to find bilingual teachers. So schools are looking for applicants everywhere they can — whether out of state or out of country — and wooing candidates earlier and quicker. 

Some are even asking prospective teachers to train on the job, hiring novices still studying for their teaching credentials, with little, if any, classroom experience.

Yeah I think we all saw this coming.

First treat teachers like shit, attach federal funds to test scores and then blame the schools for their "failure to achieve," all while undermining the very idea of public education at every turn, and then wonder why you cannot find qualified educators anymore.

I swear this shit pisses me off like nothing else.


  1. Anonymous4:17 AM

    Yeah, all of these states need teachers. But they do not want to pay them decently or give them good benefits anymore.

  2. Anonymous5:06 AM

    Why is that we never seem to learn anything about education?

  3. AKinPA5:09 AM

    Yes. And bullies like Christie and undereducated Koch puppets like Walker are just so, so proud of putting teachers in their place. Thanks, GOP governors, you're paving the expressway to Third World US. Remember: you built this.

  4. Anonymous5:11 AM

    Didn't Wisconsn just pass a law that the can hire anyone to teach, because an education doesn't matter?

    Sally in MI

  5. Anonymous5:21 AM

    In states like Wisconsin with ignorant governors, the untrained teachers they hire are going to realize the bull shit isn't worth it. A teacher shortage impacts public schools, private schools, and parochial schools. One of these days, the teachers who stick it out are going to finally get paid what they are worth but it will get worse before it gets better. (Hopefully, Trump is successful in bringing down faux news and the gop)

  6. Anonymous5:45 AM

    With your job security and salary tied to test scores, why would anyone want to be a special ed teacher?

    I've worked with some amazing special ed teachers who have been able to help their students achieve 2 or 3 years of growth in a single year, but those students are still below grade level because of where they started. Sooo, according to the black and white test scores, those teachers were complete failures. If you have an entire class of special ed kids below grade level, no matter how much progress they may have made, you're deemed a failure as an educator. In many cases, a student's disability will prevent them from ever reaching grade level, even though they can still make tremendous progress each year with the proper support. By definition, their teachers would be considered ineffective.

    The same idea applies to schools (city and rural) in areas with a high degree of poverty where many of the students are below grade level. Those are often the places where the best and most creative teachers are needed the most, but will end up with the unqualified warm bodies who were desperate for a job.

    1. Anonymous6:01 AM

      You're not quite right. It's the percent of growth that is looked at. In our excellent district with all schools being deemed model schools for the state, we have schools that are considered to be failing because they are so high achieving, they couldn't get the % growth needed. So for clarity, imagine being at say 825 and perfect might be 850, your growth will be smaller and smaller the closer you get to the perfect score. However, the expected growth percentage doesn't allow for that fact. A school at 845 could be considered failing. Ridiculous.

    2. Anonymous1:41 PM

      6:01 You should have seen the look on my daughter's face when I explained that to her. She couldn't understand why the teachers are her daughter's school were in a panic about the test. The whole darn school was in the 90%ile, even my Granddaughter who was in SpEd for neurological difficulties. Yup, under No Child Left Behind they could be a "failing school" if they didn't make progress.

      Elizabeth 44

    3. Anonymous2:56 PM

      6:01 - It depends on the particular rules of the state you're in.

      How the scores are used, what percentage of the teacher's evaluation is determined by test scores, how teachers who teach subjects not measured by state tests are evaluated, and how the evaluations are used to reward/punish teachers vary by state.

      What none of the lawmakers, at least in my state, bother to address is the lack of accountability for students. If there are no consequences for students who do poorly on tests, there is no concrete incentive for them to try their best. In fact, students who dislike their teachers can intentionally fail in order to hurt that teacher's evaluation.

      Until experienced educators are included in the policy decisions, our state and federal laws will continue to hurt teachers and, in turn, students and schools.

      But, then again, the aim of too many lawmakers is to destroy public schools so that education can be privatized. They are getting ever closer to accomplishing that goal.

    4. NCLB was designed so that all schools would eventually fail. That way it would "prove" what Republicans were claiming all along and they'd then be able to privatize schools for profit. That was the intent all along. The teachers tried to tell the media but no one would listen. Because, you know, they're just teachers. They're prejudiced and what do they know anyway?

  7. Anonymous5:55 AM

    Pisses me off too. I discourage people from going into the profession now. I have taught for over 40 years.

  8. Anonymous6:17 AM


    Tried to visit the pond this morning but get the following error:

    Error establishing a database connection

    Perhaps the moderators got tired of babysitting and walked away.

    1. Anonymous6:52 AM

      It is up, but only had 21 comments when I checked a few minutes ago. The majority there have moved to palin4america. If you read today's posts, TBo is dragging her conflict and drama and her poutage to p4a. It is hysterical!

  9. Anonymous6:18 AM

    They could always tap into the pedophile population. Kasich seems to be okay with it.

  10. Anonymous6:35 AM

    We send highly dysfunctional children to school and overcrowd them into a classroom. We then give the underpaid teacher long nights and weekends of work, expect them to buy supplies out of pocket and the bonus is that the parents of these kids won't help their child or support the teacher, but will raise hell/Sue, if their child is asked to sit down, behave and learn. After spending time in the classrooms, I decided I would rather dig hand.

    1. Anonymous9:00 AM

      yeah....but they get summers off and only "work" until 3 or so, and a whole lot of them tend to be liberals anyway

    2. Anonymous10:07 AM

      So true. I worked in retail while putting myself through college. I couldn't believe how many of my middle-aged coworkers were former teachers who had taken retirement early or just quit.

    3. Anonymous5:22 PM

      9 am, you better be kidding. If you leave school at 3, you're carrying hours of paperwork for the night. During the summer, you're planning, writing, learning....and earning extra money. If it's so easy, you try it.

      Liberals? Mayne because they're smart? Or have seen the real world?

      25 years in education

  11. Anonymous7:05 AM

    Here's what presidential candidate Scott Walker is serving up.

    Gut educational funding, bust teacher unions, break teacher contracts, demonize teachers, oh and

    "It’s gotten so bad when it comes to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his allies in the state legislature, that little comes as a surprise anymore. Until now, that is.

    Under a provision slipped last month into the state budget proposal at 1:30 a.m., anyone with a bachelor’s degree could be licensed to teach the sixth- through 12th-grade core curriculum: English, math, social studies and science. Currently, licensure requires middle and high school educators to have a bachelor’s degree and a major or minor in the subject they teach, completion of intensive training on skills required to be a teacher, and successful passage of skills and subject content assessments.

    Most alarming, the provision would allow individuals who have not earned a bachelor’s degree, or potentially even a high school diploma, to teach any non-core curriculum subject, provided the district, public school or private voucher school determines that the individual is proficient and has relevant experience.

    Mission accomplished!!!

  12. Anonymous7:17 AM

    Each Child Left Behind.

  13. Every legislator that votes on education matters should be paid the going teacher salary and made to follow an assigned teacher around for a week.
    And where did the expected growth/No Child Left Behind geniuses learn math?

  14. A nony mouse7:56 AM

    I taught back when tests were just an assessment tool to determine what the kids still needed to focus on. Not a determination of a teacher's worth.

    There is no way I could teach in the toxic word of 'education' today. I said back then and maintain today - "You've got to reach 'em, before you can teach 'em". There is no time for teachers to actually form any kind of relationships with the square pegs they must force into round holes. It's all about molding them to take tests.

    As public education is decimated by the f'ing politicians, more kids are being 'home schooled' by parents who are just marginally literate. Only the strong/highly intelligent/ self sufficient kids will survive this trend

    1. Anonymous11:53 AM

      The whole homeschooling movement is part of the long term agenda of the christian reconstructionist/dominionist movement.

      It's all laid out here (and in many of his other writings) by Frank Schaeffer, son of Francis.

      The dominionist numbers in state legislatures and on state and local school boards has grown dramatically in the last decade or so.

      In case you missed it, both Texas and Alabama now have chairs of their state boards of education who are home schooling dominionists.

      And what do I hear over and over from lib's and progressives about this? Nothing. Nothing. No concern. Wave it away like there's nothing there.

      We very much need to pay attention to what these people are saying.

      We need to take them at their word....because they really do mean it.

      We need to respond accordingly.

      Head in the sand is not an appropriate response.

      All this gutting of public ed and attacks on teachers are not random. These people are a minority, but they are focused, dedicated, long viewed, and they are making plenty of steady progress in achieving their goals.

      You'd think we'd learn.

      TUESDAY, JAN 20, 2015 03:15 PM MST
      The right’s home-school conspiracy: How I helped GOP launch a religious war
      I helped start the religious right. This is how we sought to undermine secular America -- and build a theocracy

  15. Money buys the best doctors, lawyers, athletes, homes, automobiles, etc., but that same argument never applies to teachers. Paying teachers more is just throwing good money after bad. After all, look how many students in a given classroom fail to succeed or rise wildly above expectation. Clearly the fault of teachers, so why pay them for anything but babysitting?

    By way of analogy, I suggest this experiment. Every pro football team should be required to let anyone on the team who wishes to play football, irrespective of talent, ambition, and physical and mental capabilities. And then hold the coaches responsible for the failures of their teams. Disgrace them, humiliate them, slash their pay, and the fire them without due process. Shouldn't a good coach be able to turn everyone into an on field success?

    That's pretty much how education is--everyone gets on the team regardless of ability, and yet, unlike other professions dealing with human beings, you don't get to cut the players.

    The reality is critics really don't know very much about education nor do they want to. Because if you look too closely you might successes in places where you don't want to find it.

    1. Anonymous11:40 AM

      TC @8:23
      " why pay them for anything but babysitting? "

      Do the math.

      Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10 months a year. It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do – babysit. We can get that for less than minimum wage.

      That’s right. Let’s give them $3 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan– that equals 6 1/2 hours).

      Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.

      However, remember they only work 180 days a year. I am not going to pay them for any vacations.

      LET’S SEE…That’s $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on. My calculator needs new batteries.)

      What about those special education teachers and the ones with master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

      Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here. There sure is.

      The average teacher’s salary (nationwide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days = $277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student– a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!)

    2. I have two masters degrees and am National Board Certified.

      Could I have $10 an hour?

  16. Anonymous8:48 AM

    This will be used as one more "reason" to decrease the licensing requirements for teachers, one more step in the effort to turn teaching into just another mcjob.

  17. Anonymous2:00 PM

    We are not just seeing the dumbing down of America, we are seeing the splitting of America. America still has pockets of some of the best education in the world. Look at the kids doing original science research for example. Some come from public high schools. There are public high schools in big cities that are doing wonderful things. Then there is "red" America who is sliding precipitously towards third world status. There is an incredible waste of potential talent out there. We have no way of finding the potential superstar living in rural America. The kid who might have found an important answer to the effects of climate change isn't getting the encouragement he/she needs to get out on the internet to learn instead of relying on a poorly run high school. I took a Coursera course in behavioral genetics online. There were high school students from all over the world in the class, but none from America. If you know a bright kid whose school can't do it for him/her encourage the use of the internet and learn with them. Don't knock homeschooling. You can be sure my great-grandson will have a first rate education. The family will see to it.

    Elizabeth 44

  18. The improving economy has nothing to do with the lack of teachers.

    Disrespect, de-professionalization, low pay and all of the attacks on public education are more to blame.

    Who in their right mind would go into the thankless job of teaching when they could make more money with less work and more respect in just about any other profession? You'd be a fool to pass up six figures in accounting or architecture or any other white collar job to take the abuse of being a teacher.

    Unlike priests and nuns it is not that kind of calling and you do not take vows of poverty and obedience when you get your credential.


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