Since I was a kid I was tired of teachers striking. They make a lot of money. And they can't be fired very easily because of a load of crap called "tenure". I am ashamed to say I wrote an article years ago about this and I deleted it because I felt it might offend someone. This is not my nature. So I'll give the gist of it, because it applies to this situation.
1) No teaching position should be salaried. A very large hourly wage is sufficient.
2) There should be no tenure whatsoever for any teacher anywhere for any
reason. They earn their job every single day of their lives. If they
fail to do so, they are fired.
3) There should be no health care provided. They pay for it out of their wages.
4) Teacher evaluations should be done by students who are voted upon by
their peers. This evaluation process would be done in concert with local
college students studying to be teachers as a result of auditing
classes in local schools as part of their thesis or regular class work.
5) NO UNIONS. Any wage increase is based entirely on merit alone.
6) Teachers are to sign confidentiality contracts stating they will not
discuss individual students outside of the work environment. I say this
because I was in a social situation this past week where there were
numerous local teachers. These people were mentioning young people by
first and last name, while being around people who have no connection
with their school. They should have been fired and sued for that. And I
told them so.
7) Only people who are charismatic, talented public speakers should be
hired. They develop their own curriculum, no State curriculum should be
allowed. State curricula opens the door to plug just any hack into it.
No creativity is possible.
8) Teachers should be regularly drug tested, hair tested if necessary.
9) No pensions. Teachers open their own retirement accounts when they begin.
10) No Boards of Education. No longer will we have to deal with parents
who have no lives so they feel they can influence the direction of
education based entirely upon their lonely lives.
No, this is not meant to be a harsh tirade on teachers. This is to
ensure that only those who are REALLY dedicated to the COMMITMENT of
teaching. Teaching is a calling, it is not a job. The sooner we weed out
the lifetime hacks, the better off we will be. I also recognize there
is a concern about security, especially in large cities. And I really
have one suggestion about this:
1) One Marine. One Marine is stationed in these tough schools. You don't
hire a bunch of morbidly obese security people, or bother the police
with this. Just one Marine. He will be stationed at the school, and
would be granted the opportunity to recruit. Police are nothing but
derided by students in the inner city, and are subject to Internal
Affairs investigation and discipline, not to mention lawsuits, for even
the slightest perceived infraction. A single Marine who responds to
difficulties, and granted immunity from frivolous lawsuits, would be the
immovable object . A Marine commands respect simply because what he
does is almost unattainable. And most inner city kids can't fathom
commitment or ultimate respect or sacrifice. They will learn it by
example. And this Marine is an instrument of the government and will not
be accountable to lawsuits or unreasonable discipline in the carrying
out of his duties. Trouble would end pretty quickly.
It's time we got serious about education. Now it is merely babysitting,
hoping you don't get shot. Much of what I just wrote comes from my
experience as a counselor in one of the most affluent school districts
in Upstate New York: Brighton School District, part of Rochester, New
York. What I saw when I worked there astounded me. I am not an easy
candidate to be surprised. I used to go into crack houses and so-called
"shooting galleries" and teach drug users how to clean their needles
with bleach and water so they wouldn't get HIV/AIDS. These people at the
Brighton Middle School made me sick. Talk about entitlement! The kids
were great, and many of them graduated DESPITE their teachers.
I urge, and always will urge that there be a non-PC crackdown on
education. Teaching should be an ultimate commitment; a calling. Much
like ministry. And if it's not your style to do it, then please STAY OUT
OF THE FIELD.
Copyright 2012 by Andrew T. Durham