Voucher programs have not been shown to increase student achievement. Merit pay and basing teacher evaluations on student test scores is inaccurate. Charter schools have not done better than regular public schools, and collective bargaining is not the cause of the shortfall in Indiana's budget.
The purpose for all these new laws in Indiana is, plain and simple, to break the Indiana State Teachers Association and push Indiana's schools one step closer to corporatization and privatization. The same thing is happening all over the country...in places like Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, and New Jersey.
Teachers are angry...and Angela Beeley, an English teacher at Alta Loma (California) High School has written to explain why.
In the Education Week article titled, This Teacher is Mad as Hell, Ms. Beeley wrote,
I am a public school teacher and a member of a union. Contrary to popular political rhetoric at play in Wisconsin and elsewhere, I am not, however, a leech on society, nor am I a lazy incompetent who shows up to collect a paycheck, not caring whether my students learn.Cutting teachers salaries won't balance the budgets of the states. Taking away our collective bargaining rights won't reduce the deficits, especially when at the same time, states are granting huge tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations.
The outcry against unions and collective bargaining is a complete red herring. The unspoken message is: Let’s make the average American forget that Wall Street crooks set up our economy for a meltdown and that, not only are they not in jail, they made money on the deal. Let’s make them forget that the richest 400 people in the United States make more than the entire bottom half of all earners. Let’s hide the fact that CEOs today make several hundred times what their employees make, rather than the 20 to 30 times more they used to earn. Let’s snicker as the workers rip each other’s throats out, scrabbling for the privilege of going to the doctor when they’re sick.Where are new teachers going to come from?
I love my students, but who on earth does the public—which is accepting these political shenanigans— think will choose to become a teacher now? No one in his or her right mind would go into this profession. After seeing teachers beaten up in the media for our society’s failings and being portrayed by our elected officials as lazy fat cats when we are working our butts off to having to “teach” to a test, no student with two brain cells to rub together is going to want to become a teacher. I would challenge anyone—including Wisconsin’s governor—who thinks that teaching requires little effort, no summer break, or no decent salary to spend a year in the classroom. Get in there, Governor Walker. You wouldn’t last a week.Read more about it...
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