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When Did School Teachers Become The Enemy?

When Did School Teachers Become The Enemy?


Written by Kris Broughton, a Big Think blogger

If families who make $250,000 a year are not considered to be rich, then how the hell can a teacher who makes less than $60,000 a year to educate our nation’s children be overpaid? You would think, the way some of the state legislators in Michigan are acting these days, that public school teacher unions have replaced Al Qaeda on the nation’s most wanted list.

As part of a significant education reform package sponsored by Senator Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), schools could privatize their instructional services, giving district a way to avoid the perceived high-dollar packages pushed by the teacher unions.

“I look at it as offering options,” Pavlov said. “If there is something out there that can offer school officials the same options at a lower cost, schools need to take a look at that. It needs to part of the conversation on reform.”

Pavlov said he’s still ironing out the details on the language of a bill, but it is slated to be part of a package that also includes lifting the cap on state university-chartered public academies and creating a mandatory school of choice program for the state.

The privatization piece would require teachers from a private firm to have all of the same qualifications as current instructors. The difference would be that school districts could take bids for instructional services once an existing contract expires.

Michigan Association Of Secondary School Principals website

A school teacher is not a fry cook. A school teacher is not a customer service representative. A school teacher is a highly trained professional who literally holds the future of our nation in their hands. The blogger whose link caught my eye this morning does a better, and much less profane job of expressing his displeasure than I am capable of right now, so I will give them the honor of having the last word on this today.

Maybe what we can do is hire teachers in China or India to telecommute into our classrooms. Then we just hire some tough guys at minimum wage to control the kids in the room and maintain the proper “decorum” for “learning”. I hear there are a lot of unemployed “union thugs” they could hire.


If you think this bloggers comments are over the top, think again—Louisiana has already begun importing its own teachers from the Philippines, teachers who have been exploited by their for profit sponsor virtually since they set foot on American soil.

This post was republished with the permission of Big Think.


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Photo from breity via flickr creative commons

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10:31AM PDT on Sep 14, 2011

It's no better here in Britain either.

8:30AM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

leanne m

When I was a teacher, I found that the first people to blame the teachers, were the worse parents, who did little or nothing to help their own children, but were mostly looking for a scapegoat.

8:28AM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

When the teachers pull up their socks and are accountable then I for one will be alot more sympathetic to higher wages - the teachers know they can get away with not doing a good job as the unions, school districts, teacher federations protect the ineffective ones - the ones that are great should be held in the highest of esteem and the ones that are bad should get the boot - watch your back bad teachers because the day will come that there will be education reform!

6:49PM PDT on Sep 5, 2011

The day the conservative movement put Reagan in the White house in 1981!

11:22PM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

Robert F. made many salient points. The exchange b/w Roger B. and Patrick F. is noteworthy, because Roger doesn't seem to SEE. The "hatred" he speaks about, actually comes from the repubs who want to disadvantage the average person. Patrick's "hatred" is really anger and frustration that the "right" doesn't seem to "get" it. Roger, liberals are frustrated, because at EVERY turn, repubs turn to ways of minimizing what people get -- PRIVATIZING PUBLIC EDUCATION?!! Teachers have always been underrated in our society, yet they are in charge of our most precious resource, our children's education and growth. It is so discouraging to see what repubs have done, and are trying to do, to our nation.

9:39PM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

How unfortunate Roger. Hatred bounces off mine

7:55AM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

Correction, Patrick. I thought you meant "hatred" when I said that I do not want to give it or get it. Giving it pains the heart deeper than getting it. I am tired of a pained heart.

7:40AM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

Patrick, I neither want to give it or get it. Giving it is no "better" than giving it.

10:39PM PDT on Sep 3, 2011

Respect Roger, you have to give it to get it....bye bye

9:46PM PDT on Sep 3, 2011

There is just too much hatred here. I can't take it anymore. Hatred from me, hatred to me, hatred all around. You liberals are full of just as much hatred as the conservatives. I just feel like my heart has been pounded from the outside and the inside. Politics seems like nothing more than a game of hatred. I am leaving this site and going to more spiritual sites, like NDE sites or yoga sites or Sufi sites. I just can't take it anymore. I don't want to take it anymore. // I think that our country is headed toward civil war between conservatives and liberals. I see just as much hatred at; it's just not directed at me so much; but it is still there.

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