I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Friday, July 22, 2011


But... but... but... gold-plated benefits!

Attracting the best students to teaching -- and keeping them -- is tough for schools across the country. Average starting teaching salaries are $39,000, and rise with experience to an average of $54,000, according to "Closing the Talent Gap," a 2010 report by McKinsey & Company. Teacher salaries can't compete with other careers, the report said, and annual teacher turnover in the United States is 14%. At "high-needs" high schools, it is 20%.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development data from 2007 said the United States ranks 20th out of 29 for starting teacher salaries, and 23rd out of 29 for teacher salaries after 15 years.
But it's not just the pay, DeRegnaucourt said, "It's the way we're treated."
Her colleagues have waited until just before school starts to learn what courses they'll be teaching, she said. Uncertainty makes it impossible to prepare, hard to succeed.
"Five years ago, 10 years ago, kids would ask me, should they become teachers? I was like, 'Oh, God, yes, I love what I do,' " she said. "Now, I tell my kids, 'You're really, really bright. Why don't you think about going into (this or that?)' They have the potential to be doctors, lawyers, nurses, CEOs and scientists . Why would I recommend to my kids, who I absolutely love, to struggle for years?" 

What we obviously need is a program of unpopular governors, filthy-rich plutocrats, and corporate-reform hustlers running around blaming our "failing schools" (which aren't failing) on "bad" teachers (even though they say most teachers a doing a good job). And let's make sure to cut teachers' health insurance and pensions.

That's SURE to keep good teachers in the profession, and encourage the best and the brightest to join as well. Who wouldn't want a career where you can make less than the average college-educated worker's salary as long as your kids do well on a secret test?

Oh, and unpaid summers off!

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