Category: Teachers

Pay teachers more? Absolutely, but let’s do it for the right reasons

Pay teachers more? Absolutely, but let’s do it for the right reasons

Now Texas Governor Greg Abbott wants to pay “good” teachers $100+K. With workers’ wages stagnating, and teachers being historically underpaid, how is this not great news? Don’t teachers deserve bigger paychecks? Who would turn down a 6-figure salary?!? Well, as always, the devil is in the details… For instance, who will determine who the “good” teachers are? Their principals? School […]

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Please stop with the “heartwarming” teacher stories: this is no way to treat professionals

Please stop with the “heartwarming” teacher stories: this is no way to treat professionals

You can listen to Mitchell Robinson read and discuss this now-viral essay here: https://www.eclectablog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Mitchell-Robinson-Stop-with-the-heartwarming-teacher-stories.mp3 It seems like every day now we see another one of these stories that are supposed to be “heartwarming,” or show how “dedicated” teachers and other school personnel are… this superintendent spent 90 hours per week this summer repainting his school to save $150,000! this teacher […]

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Schools aren’t “fast-food franchises,” charter schools aren’t public schools,and education isn’t a business

Schools aren’t “fast-food franchises,” charter schools aren’t public schools,and education isn’t a business

              Recently, our oldest son got his first job–or, more accurately, he got his first 2 jobs: one at a fast-food franchise popular in the Midwest (let’s call it “McBurgerQueen”, or McBQ—note: it’s not McDonalds, Burger King, or Dairy Queen), the other at a family-owned Korean-Chinese restaurant in our town (we’ll call this place […]

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The Politics of Teacher Walkouts Make Mike & Randi Uneasy Bedmates

The Politics of Teacher Walkouts Make Mike & Randi Uneasy Bedmates

A recent editorial in USA Today (“We can expect more from teachers when we pay them like pros: Bloomberg and Weingarten”) presents an object lesson in how the politics surrounding the recent wave of teacher walkouts is creating some very troubling alliances in the nexus between business and education. Under the guise of presenting a “unified front”, former NYC mayor Mike […]

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An “Achievement School District” Primer, Or Why Charterizing Your School District is a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea

An “Achievement School District” Primer, Or Why Charterizing Your School District is a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea

“Achievement School Districts” are a recent phenomenon in the corporate education reform movement. These “school districts” are designed to guarantee “rapid improvement in the state’s low performing schools”, although specific methods, techniques and strategies to accomplish this goal are rarely mentioned. ASDs have sprung up all across the nation, under various names and guises, from the “Education Achievement Authority” in […]

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How Trump’s tax scam fuels the red state education revolts

How Trump’s tax scam fuels the red state education revolts

If we can afford to give the Kochs $1 billion a year, maybe your kid’s teacher shouldn’t have to drive an Uber at night Around 125 teachers and their supporters marched from Oklahoma City to Tulsa this week to demand the state restore funds to the state’s starved schools. The Guardian’s Mike Elk reported that the marchers were met with […]

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Betsy DeVos says charter schools are the Uber or Lyft of “school choice”–and that’s not a good thing

Betsy DeVos says charter schools are the Uber or Lyft of “school choice”–and that’s not a good thing

Secretary of Education and Saturday Night Live fixture Betsy DeVos is fond of saying that picking a school should be as easy as choosing an Uber or a Lyft. She bases this belief on the economic theories that buttress much of the neo-liberal and conservative approach to education reform: As economist Milton Friedman had theorized decades earlier, Ohio legislators believed […]

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James O’Keefe’s group busted infiltrating school union in Michigan to set up fake sting, judge issues restraining order

James O’Keefe’s group busted infiltrating school union in Michigan to set up fake sting, judge issues restraining order

James O’Keefe, the “film” producer who spends his life trying to take down any organization valued by progressives with heavily-edited videos of “stings” he orchestrates has been spending time in Michigan this year trying to bring down the American Federation of Teachers. Fortunately, a combination of an O’Keefe operative’s stupidity and the intelligence of the AFT’s staff resulted O’Keefe’s crew […]

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The predictable result of demonizing teachers: Detroit schools face massive teacher shortage

The predictable result of demonizing teachers: Detroit schools face massive teacher shortage

If you’ve been watching the ever-increasing demonization of teachers in Michigan over the past decade, you probably have asked yourself at one time or another, “Why the hell would ANYONE want to be a teacher in Michigan?” It’s a fair question. Republicans in our state legislature have cut their benefits, based their advancement on student progress when much of what […]

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Who suffers when charter schools fail? (HINT: It’s not the banks or the authorizers)

Who suffers when charter schools fail? (HINT: It’s not the banks or the authorizers)

It’s becoming an all too familiar news story in Michigan these days: A “failing” public school system faces “competition” from a charter school that sucks even more resources and students away from the traditional schools and then, when they can’t make enough money, the charter school closes and things are worse off than they were before. For example, it happened […]

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Some unpopular thoughts on teacher evaluation

Some unpopular thoughts on teacher evaluation

I’ve been working on teacher evaluation for most of my career as a teacher, administrator, and teacher educator; first being evaluated, then doing the evaluation as an assistant principal and subject area coordinator, then helping design a state-wide beginning teacher evaluation initiative. After nearly 40 years in education, all I can say is that the current system is the worst […]

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