We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The Feds have no business tinkering with education, which is properly a local responsibility and for which no responsibility has been given, and over which no power has been granted, by the Constitution.
It is nothing but Fed payoffs to teachers, teacher's unions, and academia. Feeding the Beast.
Sorry TB, but I've got to strongly disagree. It's not the NEA's fault that education has gone down the crapper - it's the local boards who hire crappy teachers and write stupid contracts preventing the firing of lousy teachers. Its ill considered and totally incompetant professors at the university level who develop theories of teaching forgetting that half of education is rote memory and applying silly social engineering standards to the educational process.
One example? "Mainstreaming" children who are mentally or physically challenged and averaging their results into the class/group average does exactly what for the educational process other than lower class scores. If you have to teach down to the lowest common denominator, what does that do for the educational process? Is it the teacher's problem or is it a huge hole in the educational thought process?
Want to "pay for results"? Fine. How do you make a "results" system fairly balanced when one class might not have handicapped/challenged students and the other has four or five? How do you pay a teacher with 40 years of experience who has a class with challenged students who gets average results compared to a 4th year teacher who has a class of above average learners?
Its also lazy administrators who don't want to do the detail work nececssary to build a case for firing an inadeguate teacher. The Union will protect it's own as it should, but if faced with properly documented issues, it can't.
I'm married to a teacher with 40 years of experience, works 10 hours a day developing lesson plans, teaching, dealing with parents, after school remediation/help and she gets paid just under $65K a year with two Master's degrees and a dissertation short of her PhD. I know Jr. Engineers who make more than that with six years of experience. I made $80/yr 25 years ago with just a Masters in the business world.
Let's put the blame where it belongs - the local school boards, idiot administrators and university professors with their "social learning" crap.
Er....sorry, I get a little hot under the collar when I see posts like this. Nothing personal you understand. :>)
The NEA does not have the impact on the development of teaching skills and treads as you might think. They are a collective bargaining organization of teachers and for teachers. Do they have input - certainly, but I think if you go back to positions papers past, you'll see that their positions aren't as arcane as they are cast.
While the NEA exists as an organization in every state, their actual impact is miniscule in most. It's only in the larger, more Union oriented state and in urban areas that they have any impact and while they may be politically active, they are less involved than one might think and certainly not to the point of raising teaching standards which, contrary to popular opinion, are the responsibility of local boards subject to state and Federal mandates as they interpret them.