Teachers are not the Bad Guys.

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In the midst of the school choice debate, the free-market folks point out problems in the public school system.

It is almost reflex for public school teachers to take the criticism personally.

Public school teachers, we are not criticizing you or any particular person in the public school system. We are criticizing the economic structure of a monopolistic system.

Most employees in the public school are trying hard to do a good job in spite of the monopolistic system.

I don’t know of all the difficulties that public school teachers deal with, but I know a few.

  1. You are not rewarded financially for doing a good job.
  2. You have to teach things that you don’t believe are true.
  3. You have pointless paperwork that eats up your time.
  4. You have out-of-control and scary students that you can’t discipline. They cause chaos in your classroom. You have no discipline support from their parents or the school administration.
  5. The teacher down the hall that doesn’t know how to teach and isn’t interested in learning, gets paid the same salary that you do.

Both you and your students are victims of a monopolistic system. It a system where excellence cannot be rewarded and incompetence cannot be discouraged. That is a system destined for mediocracy.

The only people that anger school-choicers are those that defend the system when they know better. These people (most union leaders) are desperately holding on to their political and financial power and don’t care about how it affects the students or teachers.

I know it is difficult to “come out of the closet”, because you fear retaliation from administration above you. Just remember that that fear is another symptom of how you are being oppressed by the monopolistic system.

Most Democratic legislators feel the same way. If they speak out about how market competition can improve a monopolistic system, the unions will retaliate by voting them out of office. They are oppressed by the system also.

Retired teachers, help us speak up for the teachers still suffering in the system. Please join the school choice movement so that the union leaders cannot say it is about public schools vs. private schools. It’s about a monopolistic system with no freedom vs. a free-market system where choices abound.

Bob in Texas

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One Response to “Teachers are not the Bad Guys.”

  1. Manny Says:

    1. You are not rewarded financially for doing a good job.

    Actually, I’m rewarded for becoming a better teacher, through taking seminars, workshops, and college courses, which I’m also a eligible for reduced tuition at a local university. More education I have, better pay I get.

    2. You have to teach things that you don’t believe are true.

    I am not forced to teach things that I believe are false, instead, I point out what society says is “right” and then I teach the students to think for their selves based on their own ethical reasoning and deduction whether it is morally right or wrong.

    3. You have pointless paperwork that eats up your time.

    The point of the paperwork is so that I do not get sued. Police men, doctors, insurance salesmen all have to deal with it too.

    4. You have out-of-control and scary students that you can’t discipline. They cause chaos in your classroom. You have no discipline support from their parents or the school administration.

    I’ve taught in bad schools like that, and I left that district and state b/c I knew I wouldn’t be able to continue there. But I found that not all districts are created equally.

    In my current district we have school choice, along with great alternative program for students who do not fit into the scope of the traditional classroom.

    Who made this possible? Teachers and families working together.

    And while I have students that are problems, believe it or not, we either chose to keep them, or their RICHer parents make sure we’re kept in line, as they would if they were PAYING with their own money, RICH kids still get a free pass in private schools.

    5. The teacher down the hall that doesn’t know how to teach and isn’t interested in learning, gets paid the same salary that you do.

    Again, I get paid for professional development. My woe here is that he’s not getting paid less than me, I’m not very capitalistic. My woe is that his or her instruction ruins mine, much like a child who’s test scores would reflect my pay, yet I could not ensure that the child goes to bed at a decent time and eats a great meal before his test (even though we usually pay with school funds to make sure every student can eat breakfast on testing day)

    The fact is the business model really seems to bother us on many different levels. But the main one is, we went into the public sector because we are not usually driven by the spirit of capitalism to reap better rewards. Trying to dangle money in our faces (as is the generally republican manner of doing things) is a kick in the teeth, as we knew we weren’t going to go into education to make it rich.

    All merit based pay does is make sure that those jerks down the hall will “follow suit” and skimp along doing as little as it takes to still get by.

    No thanks.

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