The Truth about Teachers and why they are protesting!

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mykcob4's picture
The Truth about Teachers and why they are protesting!

In recent years most of the states have been gerrymandered to win elections for republicans. All of these states have seen republicans not only win Senate and House seats but also governor and state legislator seats. In every single state where republicans have won the majority funds for education have been drastically reduced. Schools have been closed and money has been shifted to private education programs that pay teachers minimum wage or even worse religious schools. This is a concerted effort to break Teachers unions and do away with public education. It is a direct attack on minorities and the poor. Finally, teachers have had enough. In West Virginia, the teachers held the state hostage until they got at least a 5% raise but also classroom funding was increased. Kentucky followed suit and now Arizona. Soon you will see even Texas bringing down the republican anti-education machine.
Years of whittling away public school funding doing away with art and physical ed programs and syphoning off public school funding for private education for profit has decimated our schools. The biggest and best investment we as a society can make is the education of all children,...yes even the illegal aliens. What do you think happens to those illegals when they get a quality education? They become very productive citizens!
This is another issue that I am sick and tired of hearing how bad our schools are, and the ones complaining are the ones stripping the schools of resources to educate. Yet football gets not only fully funded but gets treated like a professional team!
Academics, art, physical fitness, should be the priority in that order. Sports and extracurricular activities should come WAAAAY down the list!
Oh, and I don't want to hear ANY fucking libertarian bullshit about education for profit. they tried on a city-wide scale in Philly and it was a huge failure!

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Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Myk

@ Myk

With you 100%. Our Lieberal (read Neo con) govt have been trying to do the same thing here. Overfunding wealthy private schools and underfunding schools that are in most need.
It is a self defeating policy but the right wing are so fucking stupid and accustomed to privilege they don't get it. Quality secular education should be an enshrined right not a privilege for the very few.

Sky Pilot's picture


"This is a concerted effort to break Teachers unions and do away with public education. It is a direct attack on minorities and the poor."

The reason for the sad state of public schools is that the powers that be (PTB) are pissed that the schools are no longer segregated. And just like their grandparents they are not interested in spending their money on educating black people for any reason. The PTB really don't care if the average white kid suffers because they can afford to spend money to send their own kids to private schools or else they don't have any school age kids.

When college was fairly cheap the whine was about the need to eliminate affirmative action. But once they figured out that they could jack up the price into the hundreds of thousands of dollars there's hardly any news about affirmative action anymore. That's because the increased cost has decreased black enrollment.

"Black Enrollments in Higher Education Continue to Decline
Filed in Breaking News, Enrollments on November 21, 2016

New statistics from the U.S. Department of Education show there were 3,811,079 Black or African American students enrolled in degree-granting institutions of higher education during the 2014-15 academic year. Blacks made up 13.9 percent of all students enrolled in degree-granting institutions.

Last year the same data report showed there were 3,954,120 Black or African American students who were enrolled in higher education during the 2013-14 academic year. The same report issued two years ago found 4,082,004 African Americans enrolled in higher education. Thus, over the past two years, African American enrollments in higher education have decreased by more than 270,000, or 6.6 percent. The Black percentage of total enrollments has dropped from 14.4 percent to 13.9 percent over the past two years."

sodette's picture
Blacks make up what, 17% of

Blacks make up what, 17% of the US and you feel that 13% of college students being black is not right? It's reflective of society, not race but makeup. I don't get why education or any issue has to become a race issue. Sometimes, these issues are just issues and race has nothing to do with them.

Since public education has been available - every student who attends school has the opportunity to do well - or not. Every family has the responsibility to make education a priority, or not. My parents were a mechanic and a hairdresser... nobody in my family ever graduated college. My younger sister did... but with loans, help, and because she was a straight "A" student and qualified.

I read recently where a young black man told his story about going to school... how he would get robbed or raped on the way to school, was so afraid at school, had to go through metal detectors in the school, hadn't had food for days before tests, when he got home his father beat him, his mother was strung out on drugs and he had no lights or running water.

Holy shit... that poor child. No wonder he didn't do well in school. Nobody would do well in this environment, it's a losing proposition from the start.

Is that a black issue or is that a poverty, drug and disfunction issue? Is it all of the above?

What is the fix for this young man's situation?

This happens in white, hispanic, and other poverty stricken areas of the US as well... how can it be fixed and who is responsible for fixing these things? Is the community where poverty lives responsible for helping themselves? Can they help themselves? Is money the real issue here or access? I don't know the answers but, to me, to say it's a "black" issue is shortsighted and myopic. It's a poverty issue and affects all races - maybe black more than others in your mind or experience but even if that is true - haven't there been ways to escape this or avoid it? Are there no means to recognize the disfunction and get out?

Why is it the fault of the wealthy? Why is it their responsibility to fix it?

I am not jumping on either side here... but certainly, I am not for fanning the flame of racism or inequality - the world is not a fair place to exist, it's not kind in many respects and we are all dealt what we are dealt - have to make the best of it. I understand it would be a beautiful thing if we all took care of each other and shared everything equally, however in all of human history this altruism doesn't work, this ideal is proved not achievable or if so, sustainable, even in small groups. So the solution is not what everyone thinks... what then is the solution? What will work? What would be fair for all involved in the solution or is their a universal solution to any of this?

It's easy to point out the shit - much harder to decide how to clean it up, get rid of the stench in the process and prevent the shit from coming back, in my experience.

Sheldon's picture
State education in the UK is

State education in the UK is a bit of a postcode lottery. The Labour party under Tony Blair reneged on a longstanding promise to never allocate state funds for faith schools, now they're everywhere.

The results are predictable and sickening to see. Unlike the US the UK also has a state religion, the church of England rankles doubly with me since I'm neither religious or English.

Sadly wealth and privilege have been enshrined in British culture for much longer, and it's not easy to convince people that wealth privilege the monarchy and aristocracy are things we'd be better off discarding. The royal business (that's what it is)have an effective PR campaign and many people are simply scared of change...

ZeffD's picture
As if Blair's R Catholicism

As if Blair's R Catholicism wasn't enough, we have the Tories trying to introduce 100% faith schools. Religionists here are keen that their schools are paid for by the state and so are willing to support new Grammar, free, independent, whatever schools regardless of the evidence for what is best or most inclusive.

I think the real problem with British schools has always been lax discipline. That is why religious schools in the UK remain so popular. They attract those with conservative attitudes. The children are safe and motivated. If children with learning difficulties, or with attitude or behavioural problems are denied the support they need in faith schools it still leaves a situation that is easier for teachers and remaining, well behaved, already well supported pupils. That seems to be why in some geographical areas their results are often as good or better than non-denominational schools.

I didn't go to secondary school for more than 50% of the time for the first three years. I wasn't bullied personally, but it was a place few children went with enthusiasm on my housing estate.

I think this sums up the atmosphere well....
Them and us. (Click to 1:38 mins in)

ZeffD's picture
Parental role should be

Parental role should be mentioned too. We have had the "boys don't read" problem which seems in part because parents didn't read to their children or ensure books were a part of their lives. Parental choice of school is important too.

sodette's picture
Since the original post

Since the original post already assumes a very clear position and states, essentially, that argument is not invited it's challenging to find an approved foothold upon which to climb. If you wish to insult the opposition before allowing them to make or state a case, well... isn't that what religion does?

I think education in the US is broken - this, is something about which we probably agree. As to the solution to the problem - I've only got glimpses, parts and pieces of suggestions that would be good for conversation but a complete solution? Nope.

Let me start by establishing that my wife and I owned a tutoring company for years. We offered in home tutoring services by more than 50 teachers (and music lessons from more than 25 music instructors) in the homes of students who struggled from all classes of society. The stories I could tell you... the things we saw... ugh.

Here are some of my perspectives... for what they are worth:

~ Establish a curriculum that is beneficial for what is needed in the world today - things like creative thinking, problem resolution, critical thinking, reading, writing and arithmatic (of course), science (lots of science), art, music, physical conditioning, nutrition, relationships (all kinds), CONSTITUTION AND LAW, history (as an elective), Spanish and other foreign languages, "Reward and Consequence" class - which teaches you get what you give (sometimes) and you are not getting anything you haven't earned by providing value and if you do stupid shit, there is a consequence, etc. Whatever - but things that are relevant to life and living. Teaching thinking and the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Law, etc. is not what government wants - ignorant people who do not think are much easier to control - but I digress.

~ Establish criteria for grade levels - and hold to those criteria. Nobody passes until they prove competent in the areas they are required to understand - age doesn't matter. You don't go to 1st grade until you get through kindergarten, etc. But, don't base this on ages, base this on aptitudes... have adults who cannot read in classes with kindergartners, why not?

~ Mix ages in classrooms... offer electives like History and let anyone take those classes who has an interest - from 4th grade to 100 years old... whatever. Make the classes as diverse as the world we live in - this would not only give a better class makeup but potentially a better result, in my opinion (just an opinion).

~ Children and families who do not do well in the academic environment - who do not perform well - need to find alternatives. Establish trade schools again, provide alternatives for youths who do not want education past basic literacy and fundamental learning. Do not allow them to distract the students who want to learn or the parents who focus on education. Now, before you shoot me for this - remember that they can return any time they choose to DO THE WORK, learn, try, make the effort, etc. But if they are only in school to disrupt or distract or if they really don't want to be there - they can come back when they are ready. Or not... however, they need to find a way to support and be of value to themselves - because I don't feel it should be my job to support them. Their choice... their parents choice...

~ Get teachers who care, stop with this teachers should get more money and stop with tenure and stop with paying teachers who do a shitty job TEACHING. Having a college degree does not necessarily make one a good teacher. I have a 30 year old, 16 year old and 14 year old and I can tell you - a good 60% of the teachers are not teaching because they love it... or want to influence the next generation of thinkers. I am in the South and education is not, obviously, our forte' here but still... it's pretty sad. Would more money attract better teachers? Maybe. Still, I find that most teachers are quite comfortable using predesigned lesson plans, prewritten curriculums and books and have never created one thought on their own or taught how to do so to the youth of tomorrow. "Sit still, shut up, memorize the shit in the book, fill out the copies of predone forms, etc. and you'll be rewarded. Think outside the box or ask me questions or be contrary or anything else and I'll fail you."

~ Pay for education... with SOME taxes - and yes, privatize. Offer public schools, yes.... but allow private schools as well. Nobody says you have to go to a private school but they should be allowed. Private schools should not get public money... I don't like or believe taxes are a solution to the problems of the world but I'm all for a basic tax that teaches everyone to be of SOME value to society and not a burden upon it. So yes, trade schools, basic education, whatever - taxes of some kind, no problem. However, teach what will give each student a way to be of value - not an education in bullshit that leaves them ignorant and unemployable.

I don't know... these are just some ramblings... but, I do agree the public school system is broken. Many parts of the world are passing the US up on academics and even in creative thinking. We used to be proud of our entrepreneurs, proud of our original thinkers, those who were not afraid of taking risks or challenging the status quo - now, like religion, all it seems society and government wants is corporate success, larger businesses employing more drones who shut up, don't think outside of any box or ask any questions, who get a piece of paper that is somehow supposed to have an intrinsic value to ?? What? and who do not think or question or oppose the majority.

I'm not angry, I'm frustrated and see where we are heading - dumbing down America and the next generation is no exception. Yes, they can do IT and computers but who is using these things to create more originality? Much of what is valued is distraction and lack of thinking, more entertainment and less challenging or doing our own homework. Less smart. Less non-conformist. Less thinking or questioning. Less outside of any box.

To me... all less.

But, I'm hopeful.

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