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, April 8, 2011

Who Lives In A "Rathole"?

My week of forcing myself to listen to Former Education Commissioner Jim Gearhart ends now. After hanging up on someone who apparently is not anti-teacher enough for Gearhart, he said giving money to the Abbott districts is like putting it down a "rathole."

Rats live in "ratholes," Jim. Is that what you're calling the kids who attend these schools?

I've started a page to list NJ 101.5's sponsors. Every teacher and their family in the state should ask themselves if, given the choice, they should spend their money with these businesses.


thinker said...

Many thanks for that page Duke. I will think long and hard before I spend any cash at any of these businesses.

Anonymous said...

When people complain about teachers, a lot of times they trot out the statistics about how teachers are "low acheivers" who couldn't hack an engineering/science/math degree, they had low GPAs etc. Looking back, I'm exactly the kind of person that you would WANT to go into teaching: in the top 5% of my graduating class. National Merit Scholar. High SAT scores, lots of honors/AP classes, high level of specialization in courses, tons of extracurriculars. Outgoing and bubbly, enthusiastic about learning. I got my Masters degree in my specialization before I went into the classroom. When people look at Finland and other outstanding systems around the world, I'm the kind of teacher they recruit. I'm the person who heard ad nauseam "Why do you want to teach? You're wasting your brain and you'll never make any money."

With the exception of my first 3 years teaching, I have ALWAYS taught in Abbott or almost-Abbott schools. For many different reasons, I have always felt most drawn to teach the students who I feel need me and my subject most. I work hard, I do my best for my students. I am glad to have tenure, not because it makes my job easier, but rather because I do my best work when I have the freedom to try new things without worrying about being fired because an observer came in on the day an experimental idea didn't go according to plan.

So I've spent the last year listening to the Governor and his favorite radio station excoriate me in the press for being a "lazy, greedy, overpaid, underworked thug" who teaches in "ratholes" as part of a "failed social experiment" and doesn't deserve tenure because I should be evaluated on "more than breathing."

And then he wonders why I'm not willing to negotiate?