Daily Floggings of Teachers Dept.: Utah


Sign on the door of the mishipmen’s mess:  “The daily floggings will continue until morale improves.”

In an effort to raise teacher morale to a level at least as high as that of the British Navy back in the day when everyday brought “flog and grog” — though, admittedly, we work in education today without the grog — policy makers continue in their efforts to blame teachers for every problem of education, and they pledge to “hold teachers accountable” regardless the issue.

In November 16th’s Deseret News from Salt Lake City:

Utah senator says teacher morale is low and lawmakers need to address teacher perceptions

SALT LAKE CITY — A freshman state senator, who held a series of tell-all meetings with Utah school teachers, relayed to his colleagues Wednesday a common theme among public educators: Teacher morale is low.

“They are discouraging new teachers from entering the profession. … They feel classroom size is an issue. … They feel that they don’t have the professional development support they need,” said Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, at an Education Interim Committee meeting. “That’s what they feel. I’m not validating it or invalidating it. I’m communicating it to this group.

Osmond went to teachers to get feedback on his controversial proposal that would make it easier to fire teachers. His legislation would dismantle current state orderly termination laws that require districts to have a specific, documented cause when firing teachers and allow teachers a chance for recourse. The proposal would also give more control to local districts so they can develop termination policies based on what works for them and institute one- to five-year contracts at the end of which schools could let teachers go without cause.

Osmond held four meetings where public school educators could give him a piece of their mind. Hundreds of teachers attended.

“Our public employees feel that there is a major morale problem in education,” he said.

No kidding?

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4 Responses to Daily Floggings of Teachers Dept.: Utah

  1. Jim says:

    Dear Ed,

    You say, Kids aren’t widgets. Teachers are not factory workers.

    And Ayn Rand and her army of Paulbots would agree with you. Instead, they would assert that kids, while maybe not widgets, are certainly qualified factory workers. Perhaps they could even manufacture widgets.

    Those little hands are perfect for cleaning inside dangerous machinery. Adult arms and hands are just too bulky. Also Ed, kids can be paid much less than adults. This would save billions.

    They would also agree that teachers are not factory workers. Believers in Anarcho-Libertarian fairy dust would see that as a total redundancy. The kids are the factory workers…the schools are all closed (schools are tyranny, remember Ed?)

    The teachers can do something else. Perhaps they can repair the refrigerators and wheelchairs the greedy Occupy Wall Street elderly don’t seem to be sufficiently grateful for.

    Jim

    Like

  2. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    There are plenty of good measures to use to determine classroom progress, and there are a lot of good ways to measure performance of teachers.

    There is an nearly infinite number of ways to teach and learn – all of which will satisfactorily educate our youth.

    However, of that multitude, the vast most of these methods will cost more than the benefit of the outcome.

    Without a profit/loss calculation somewhere you have no idea the education of the child to degree “X” cost you vastly more than by some other methodology – or even more then the benefit of having an educated child

    You are trapped in having to guess “which one” out of mix of near infinite, and the odds that your guess is “right” is nearly zero.

    Thus, your method – mere political measure – will most probably end in bankruptcy.

    We measure the quality and benefit of economic goods by price and by demand.

    Education is merely another economic good and obeys all the laws of economics like any other economic good.

    No different then your computer, its quality has been constantly increasing and its cost decreasing, the same conditions could occur in education – there is NO fundamental economic theory that states otherwise.

    Unfortunately, measuring classroom performance is not a good measure of teacher performance, nor does it contribute to school and student achievement enough over the long run. Plus, it tends to corrupt the processes, providing incentives to teachers and students both to do the wrong things.

    Totally agree.

    By placing political measurements, which are arbitrary, you have no fundamental means to measure quality and value, which are economic quantities

    Kids aren’t widgets. Teachers are not factory workers.

    Education is an economic good.
    It has value and it has a price.

    To believe that it holds to some different laws of Economics is bizarre and irrational.

    Like

  3. Ed Darrell says:

    There are plenty of good measures to use to determine classroom progress, and there are a lot of good ways to measure performance of teachers. Unfortunately, measuring classroom performance is not a good measure of teacher performance, nor does it contribute to school and student achievement enough over the long run. Plus, it tends to corrupt the processes, providing incentives to teachers and students both to do the wrong things.

    Kids aren’t widgets. Teachers are not factory workers.

    Like

  4. Black Flag® says:

    As with any government run system, there is no objective method of determining the value of its service – government is immune to profit/loss calculation, thus only uses political calculations.

    But politics is whimsical – its measures of success changes with the whims of the random public perceptions, and the responses in trying to keep up with the changes in whimsical demands always lags far behind the demand.

    Quickly confusion dominates, costs go up, “quality” and “performance” goes down, no one is happy and the system collapses.

    This occurs in all government run institutions as no economic measure is assigned to them.

    Like

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