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

Saturday, March 5, 2011

(Some of) My Commenters Rock!

In response to my first reading of the NJ Educator Effectiveness Task Force Interim Report, a commenter decided to use his Jedi mind powers to probe my brain and tell me what I was really thinking:
Theses unions created a fantasy planet where they believe they are entitled to same job for life no matter what their performance, pensions, healthcare, 3 months vacation, on taxpayers back. Go start a business that produces value as much as you want. Instead they elect democrats who easily and with love dole out taxpayer money. NOT THEIR OWN. They will shut down state govts to get their way? EVALUATE THE TEACHERS. FIND A WAY. OFFER A BETTER ALTERNATIVE. You just attack. Admit it, You dont want them to be evaluated at all, period. You'll attack ANY evaluation method.
This is fairly typical of the argument I hear on NJ 101.5 or in the comments section of nj.com. Fortunately, another anonymous poster replied so I don't have to; he/she sets things straight far better than I could:

Anonymous said...

Teachers are evaluated-every year. Teachers are removed when evaluations are not up to standard. Teachers and the Union do not care if they are evaluated, as long as it is a fair evaluation. When research is completed by individuals/groups with different agendas, from across the spectrum, that point to the same findings: charter schools are not any better than public schools, merit pay does not entice teachers to work any harder than they already do, standardized testing are not accurate indicators of what a child can do or what a teacher taught/how well they taught it, etc, etc....why would that be seen as valid and fair instruments to evaluate teachers for decisions of retention?

Society forgets that every job has perks: typically 4-8wks vacation,pension, healthcare,etc. The teaching profession has it too. Teachers were not the ones who dictated when school was to be in session and not. If their vacation time comes consecutively then what is it to you or anyone else.

Society also forgets the times when it was difficult finding teachers because there were very few people who wanted to work that job with such poor pay and benefits. Any paychecks, benefits, and/or pensions created by the state and individual districts were specifically designed to entice individuals to become teachers. No one had a problem then. So why do people have a problem now? It is interesting to hear how many people will say "I could never be a teacher-I could never do that job" yet, society feels it is not a profession worth rewarding the individuals who try. Not to mention the number of teacher who leave the profession (whether let go, fired, own choosing) who very easily transition into different careers,but not many people successful transition from a non-teaching career into the teaching profession.

Teachers, along with other public employees under attack (firefighters, police officers, etc) are being scapegoated by a governor who may be "fixing" the budget like he promised, is also pushing for his way. He is about privatizing and protecting the businesses and richest of the rich. When it is not "you" or your profession under attack, it is very easy to hop on band wagon and point the finger of blame or shame without completely finding out the facts or alternatives. If the governor was simply up-front, honest, and non-bias,I think the state would see a much different atmosphere in which professions and classes were not being pitted against each other.

From an educational perspective-he says he is about public education, but supports charter schools and all the data/research that makes public schools worse. He seemingly ignores the information that says charter schools do not prepare children any better nor do public school children perform any better than public school children. He seems to ignore all the data that states standardized tests are not good indicators for teacher or student capabilities and fail to take into account the effects of external factors that could and do alter the results of those scores.

How can anyone believe that this man and his plan is really beneficial to educators and our children, to our towns, to our state?

1 comment:

czarejs said...

Perfect, common sense response. Unfortunately, that means the knuckle heads who listen to 101.5 or comment on NJ.com won't ever be able to understand it.