As expected, her detractors are making sure that she gets an earful for every post. It’s one of the few blogs where most of the commentators are negative, and StudentsFirst should get credit for leaving them up there. (Show me a pro-teacher union blog that allows comments of detractors, and I’ll give you a shiny new dime.)
Regardless, the blog’s latest post highlights the plight of a young teacher who fell victim to the “Last in, First out” insanity of our current education system. My comment, after reading the pointless debate of the commentators, is below.
All the comments here point out (yet again) the insanity of today’s education system, and the need to dismantle it and transition to something new.
While I’m clearly in the “get rid of seniority” camp, the fact is that debates about seniority, tenure, certification, etc., are all absurdities of a system designed around mandates, money, bureaucracy, and a worthless 19th century legacy system that does nothing to improve the education of our children.
Let’s start with this idea of “layoffs.” Why would a rational system even have such a problem? To be sure, money ebbs and flows, but mass of layoffs? In schools? The fact itself points out the need for dismantlement.
In the district system, under virtually every state’s school code, the political clout of the education industry commands an out-sized share of not only revenue, but revenue increases. With ridiculous policies like “51% of every new dollarbgoing to education payroll” (NOT connecting neurons in kids’ heads), the system is always growing, regardless of actual need. As property values expanded, the obscene feeding frenzy became even bigger.
Along comes the “great recession,” and there isn’t enough money in the world to fund the needless expansion of buildings (debt) or the constitutionally guaranteed pensions and lifelong benefits (more debt). As more and more people retire into a shrinking economic pie, the first thing to get squeezed is the actual education of children – hence lay offs.
Here we are arguing who should get laid off, when, in fact, we ought be dismantling the system that brought us this insanity.
Schools should be independent. They should be devolved out of districts, which need to be phased out of existence. Schools need to be independent entities with their own assets and budgets. They should receive state funding based upon the number of students attend, and that per/student funding should be capped at inflation.
Depending on how they are re-organized [501c(3), for profit, or as part of some charter agreement] they can raise funds from the community or philanthropy. If the community grows, and needs more infrastructure, there are 100s of ways to supply it without greedy builders and bond dealers to get their fingers in the pie.
The amount of administration should be cut by about 90%, and teachers should have the right to bargain individually, as well as collectively, meaning that they should be allowed to negotiate directly with their potential employer, should they choose to do so.
It’s nice to have these discussions, but the fact is that if we are debating layoffs, we aren’t serious about transforming education for the better. If we never get rid of the “district” model, and start having the money follow the child to a vast new array of education options, our progeny will still be engaged in this same absurd debate 10, 20 & 30 years from now, and the USA will be a 2nd tier nation that looks like “Idiocracy” (a movie you should rent or buy).