Visalia middle-school English teacher Jennifer Garza says teachers with intern credentials are unfairly criticized.

Just as California school districts are facing new pressures to implement the Common Core State Standards and other key educational reforms, many of them are struggling with what some officials are calling the early impacts of a long-feared teacher shortage.

In a common sign of the emerging problem, districts throughout the state have been hiring more teachers with provisional intern credentials – that is, with significantly less training and experience than normally required. They’re also recruiting more aggressively than in past years. Additionally, some districts are having a harder time finding substitute teachers, as more substitutes are finding full-time jobs in a seller’s market.

“Are we feeling it? Definitely,” said Tamara Ravalin, assistant superintendent for human resources development for the Visalia Unified School District, with 32,000 students in the San Joaquin Valley. Ravalin said she was concerned that as fully credentialed teachers become harder to find, the district will need to lower its expectations for quality and experience. “If these trends continue, we’re going to be in big trouble, because there’s just not the same pool of people as there was before,” she said.

In a recent series of interviews, human resource officials in six school districts and a statewide charter school system reported a variety of ways and degrees to which schools are being affected by a shortage that many predict will worsen. EdSource Today is tracking the six unified districts – Elk Grove, Garden Grove, Fresno, San Jose, Santa Ana and Visalia – and the Aspire Public Schools charter system as a regular feature of our coverage of the Common Core State Standards.

A range of impacts

The emerging shortage appeared to be hitting particularly hard in some schools in small, rural districts, and in affluent metropolitan areas such as San Jose, where housing costs are beyond the reach of most teachers’ salaries.

From the early 2000s through the recession, the number of new teaching credentials issued roughly paralleled the decline in estimated numbers of new teachers hired. But the lines crossed in 2013-14, and now demand is exceeding supply. The Department of Education's estimate of 21,483 new hires in 2015-16 would equal the 2006-07 pre-recession level.

SOURCE: May 2015 presentation by Patrick Shields, executive director of SRI Education; data from California Department of Education and Commission on Teacher Credentialing

From the early 2000s through the recession, the number of new teaching credentials issued roughly paralleled the decline in estimated numbers of new teachers hired. But the lines crossed in 2013-14, and now demand is exceeding supply. The Department of Education’s estimate of 21,483 new hires in 2015-16 would equal the 2006-07 pre-recession level.

 
“Small districts have always had a problem with teacher supply, but there’s no question the problem is exacerbated now,” said Kevin Gordon, president of Capitol Advisors Group, a lobbying firm that represents the Small School Districts Association. He said an increasingly common emergency tactic for hard-hit small schools is to combine two classes of students under a single teacher. “They make do, but it’s sure not ideal,” he said.

Several of the officials surveyed by EdSource Today said they’ve been having a particularly hard time finding qualified teachers for math and special education. Yet others said the crunch hadn’t yet hit their districts. Santa Ana Unified School District Superintendent Rick Miller said his district was finding all the fully credentialed teachers it needed, although he added “with so few people in the spigot, things are going to be dramatically different in about three years.”

By “the spigot,” Miller was referring to California’s supply of teachers in training, which has steadily declined over the past decade. From 2008 to 2013, new enrollments in the state’s teaching preparation programs dropped precipitously, by 55 percent.

Potentially further shrinking the state’s teacher supply are anticipated new retirements, as increasing numbers of Baby Boomer teachers reach retirement age.

A 2005 report by the Center for Teaching and Learning, part of the nonprofit educational research group WestEd, said that back then nearly 100,000 teachers in California were more than 50 years old. The report predicted that one-third of the teacher workforce would retire in the next decade – meaning by now. This hasn’t happened yet, possibly because so many teachers put off retiring during the recession. But the worry remains.

Added to these supply-side difficulties are increasing demands for new teachers. Many districts need to hire more teachers to comply with new state-government pressure to reduce K-3 class sizes to 24 students. The districts have also been receiving large new infusions of state funds due to the surging economy, allowing them to rehire some teachers who were laid off during the recession, and making the overall market all that more competitive.

A vivid indicator of the growing need for teachers can be seen on the website EdJoin.org, a national educational job board. In June, the total number of posted openings throughout California, the majority of them for teaching jobs, was nearly double that for the same date in June of 2013, rising from 5,058 openings to 9,826.

Buyers in a seller’s market

Officials in all but one of the six surveyed districts – Santa Ana – said they’ve been seeking new hires earlier and more aggressively than in the past, planning larger job fairs, strengthening relationships with nearby teaching schools, and even, in some cases, raising salaries.

In Visalia, Ravalin said district officials raised all teacher salaries by a total of 1.5 percent above the scheduled cost of living increase last year, in part to help with recruitment. The Visalia district also awards teachers $1,000 for giving ample notice before they retire.

Both the Fresno Unified School District and the Aspire Public Schools system have gone so far as to develop their own teacher-training programs in the quest to meet expected future demand. Assisted in part by a grant from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Fresno established a teacher residency program that last year produced its first cohort of 25 teachers with credentials in science and math. Cynthia Quintana, Fresno’s human resources administrator, said the district is also creating a new pipeline for credentialed teachers in three other ways: with an academy for high school students interested in pursuing teaching, an outreach effort to encourage local parents to consider teaching careers, and teacher-training partnerships with local colleges.

Similarly, Aspire Public Schools has established the Aspire Teacher Residency program, a partnership with the University of the Pacific that pairs a teacher candidate with a master teacher in a year-long tutelage culminating in a master’s degree in instruction and a preliminary teaching credential.

‘They don’t know what they’re getting into’

Another strong sign of the emerging shortage has come in a recent statewide uptick in the hiring of teachers with provisional, short-term credentials – the majority of them “interns” from university and district programs. About 2,600 of those credentials were issued throughout California in the 2013-14 school year – an increase of 17.6 percent over the previous year, according to an April report by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Teachers with “intern” credentials may teach classes after a minimum of 120 hours of preparation, on condition that they continue with their training, en route to receiving their preliminary credential within two years. After that, they must complete a teacher-induction program and obtain national board certification to get their clear credential.

Whether they come from universities, district credentialing programs, or Teach for America, applicants for such intern credentials must also have earned an undergraduate degree, passed the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) developed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and undergone a background check, including fingerprinting.

The districts’ reliance on interns has certainly not reached the “crisis” proportions predicted by sources including the California Teachers Association, which warns on its website that California is facing a “perfect storm” of pressures on its teaching ranks, even as it already places last among states in terms of average student-to-teacher ratios. The state suffered far more serious problems in the late 1990s, after districts responded to new mandates to reduce K-3 class sizes to 20 students for every teacher by issuing provisional credentials to tens of thousands of teachers.  In 2001-02, more than 14 percent of teachers had provisional credentials, according to research by Patrick Shields, executive director of SRI Education.

Even so, Linda Darling-Hammond, chair of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, said she worried about the impact on the Common Core implementation if the trend toward hiring relatively inexperienced teachers continues. In particular, she said, experienced math teachers are needed now more than ever, due to the new standards’ emphasis on deeper understanding of mathematical concepts.

“Hiring teachers who aren’t fully credentialed is something we don’t allow in medicine or law,” Darling-Hammond said. “They’re simply not prepared.”

In some districts, teachers with intern credentials made up a significant share of new hires last year. Fresno Unified, for example, the state’s fourth-largest district with 73,000 students, hired 95 teachers with intern credentials ­– about a third of its new hires and twice the norm, in response to anticipated retirements combined with a quick phase-in of state-mandated class size reductions in K-3 grades, said Quintana, the district’s human resources administrator.

Similarly, San Jose will need to hire at least 40 teachers with intern credentials this September, about a dozen more than for the past school year. Assistant Superintendent Jason Willis said his district’s recruiters were having increasing trouble hiring special education, bilingual and high school math teachers.

James Willcox, CEO of Aspire Public Schools, which has 35 schools in California, said he tries to avoid hiring teachers with intern credentials but currently has 21 teachers – 3.3 percent of Aspire’s teaching force – in that category.

At the Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest in California, Bryan Johnson, assistant director of human resources, said the district had hired 350 teachers on provisional credentials, still a tiny fraction of the 25,000-strong staff. Johnson said his biggest challenges were finding qualified substitutes and special education teachers. Demand for special education teachers is growing, he noted, as children with special needs are being identified in greater numbers than ever before.

The increased hiring of teachers with provisional credentials has raised worries among some district officials about the future quality of teaching staffs.

“I’m not saying that interns can’t walk in and be great teachers, but we’re looking for consistency in performance, and it’s in the internship where you get the variation,” said Santa Ana Unified School District Superintendent Miller. “They don’t know what they’re getting into and you don’t know what you’re getting.”

Ravalin, the human resources administrator for the Visalia Unified School District, said she was also concerned about the new teachers’ relative inexperience. In many cases, she said, they have to take over classrooms without having finished their required classes or without training alongside a veteran teacher – an experience she described as “becoming captain of your ship while you’re still reading the handbook.”

At the Green Acres Middle School in Visalia, however, Jennifer Garza, a former industrial saleswoman who teaches 7th-grade English on an intern credential, vigorously disagreed with that portrayal.

Garza acknowledged her teaching experience has been difficult, but said that was only because of how tired she has been from racing from her classroom to grade homework, finish her own homework, staff after-school activities, and attend night classes. That has left her with very little time for her two young children, even less time to rest and a lot of frustration with people who imply that teachers on intern credentials are unqualified.

“It’s a very broad statement that I don’t think is true,” said Garza, who recently completed her second year of teaching classes while attending night school through the Tulare County Office of Education IMPACT intern program.

Like many other new teachers, Garza spent time – in her case, six months – as a substitute teacher before taking over her own classroom. Yet as a general rule, she argued that more experience alone doesn’t make teachers more skillful. “I’ve seen some very experienced tenured teachers where I’ve wondered, ‘How is this person still employed?’” she said.

Moreover, she said she felt more qualified than many veteran teachers to teach the Common Core State Standards because “I didn’t have to make a switch. Also, I can try out things in the classroom that I’ve learned the night before.”

Her students have appreciated her fresh perspective and energy, Garza said, while she believes their shared experience as learners gives her an opportunity to model good behavior: “I’ve told them how I always get my homework done on time.”

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  1. Cgib 6 months ago6 months ago

    My daughter still can’t get a job at public schools. Only charter schools are biting. Yikes

  2. Robin L. Ellington 1 year ago1 year ago

    I am an experienced, qualified, certificated teacher since 1998; CLAD emphasis, NCLB certified whom recently also completed and personally paid in full for the "IMPACT" program to bring my practicum current with Common Core, yet I am unable to secure a teaching contract. I am finding it difficult to jockey for position amongst younger intern candidates. Any recommendations out there? I am 55 yrs. old in remarkably excellent health that has been … Read More

    I am an experienced, qualified, certificated teacher since 1998; CLAD emphasis, NCLB certified whom recently also completed and personally paid in full for the “IMPACT” program to bring my practicum current with Common Core, yet I am unable to secure a teaching contract. I am finding it difficult to jockey for position amongst younger intern candidates. Any recommendations out there? I am 55 yrs. old in remarkably excellent health that has been non-contracted since 2004. Please advise. I could sure use some direction after 5 years of dedicated substitute teaching recently for the same county and several interviews. Continually remaining proactive in keeping myself current with curriculum, standards and technology.

  3. Eric Johannsen 1 year ago1 year ago

    I have been searching for three months for a teaching position and don't even get called for an interview. I am highly qualified and have fourteen years of experience as a classroom teacher. I have filled out 27 applications and have no responses. All of my recommendations are great and all of my job performance is excellent. There is no teacher shortage. Jobs posted are only there because they have to be … Read More

    I have been searching for three months for a teaching position and don’t even get called for an interview. I am highly qualified and have fourteen years of experience as a classroom teacher. I have filled out 27 applications and have no responses. All of my recommendations are great and all of my job performance is excellent. There is no teacher shortage. Jobs posted are only there because they have to be posted by law. Districts just move teachers around to fill vacancies.

  4. TeacherM 1 year ago1 year ago

    I completed 4 years of undergrad work, earning a B.A. in Liberal Studies, and did a 5th year of school for my teaching credential (Multiple Subjects) before being hired as a teacher. I wonder if there will always be a somewhat awkward gap in the supply and demand as this somewhat "traditional" route takes a few years to complete. I also wonder about the estimations for new hires. It looks attractive now, but is … Read More

    I completed 4 years of undergrad work, earning a B.A. in Liberal Studies, and did a 5th year of school for my teaching credential (Multiple Subjects) before being hired as a teacher. I wonder if there will always be a somewhat awkward gap in the supply and demand as this somewhat “traditional” route takes a few years to complete.

    I also wonder about the estimations for new hires. It looks attractive now, but is it likely to last? Is this figure based on/tied to LCFF? Are these changes likely to remain in place more than 10 years out, all things considered (i.e. teacher retirement, attrition)? If I were a high school student in 2015 considering my future, I may not want to invest 5 years in university, incurring education-related debt, just to enter into a profession where I may be out of work after a few years because the funding has run out.

    Replies

    • Paul 1 year ago1 year ago

      TeacherM, just to be clear, your "somewhat 'traditional' route" to a teaching credential is the ONLY route in California. You may be implying, and others will assume, that some favored group is catapulted into the classroom. Not so. Even candidates who elect the internship pathway (including all Teach for America candidates in California) must possess a bachelor's degree and complete a minimum of one year = 31 credits in a post baccalaureate teacher preparation program to … Read More

      TeacherM, just to be clear, your “somewhat ‘traditional’ route” to a teaching credential is the ONLY route in California.

      You may be implying, and others will assume, that some favored group is catapulted into the classroom. Not so. Even candidates who elect the internship pathway (including all Teach for America candidates in California) must possess a bachelor’s degree and complete a minimum of one year = 31 credits in a post baccalaureate teacher preparation program to earn the preliminary (5-year, renewable only after 2 years of BTSA) credential awarded to all new teachers in California.

      An infinitesimal number of candidates enroll in postbaccalaureate courses during their undergraduate years. These can fill elective slots in the undergraduate program, or can involve overloads (extra courses taken during the year) or summer courses. This “blended” approach, once again, is exceedingly rare.

  5. John Dewey 1 year ago1 year ago

    I have applied for various teaching positions in Lucia Mar and San Luis Coastal School Districts for the last 4 years. There's no shortage of qualified teachers here. Many wish to move to this area from Bakersfield/Fresno areas. I am retired and doing a second career teaching math in middle or high school. For each position advertised there are hundreds of applicants. For many of the positions, I don't even get an interview. … Read More

    I have applied for various teaching positions in Lucia Mar and San Luis Coastal School Districts for the last 4 years. There’s no shortage of qualified teachers here. Many wish to move to this area from Bakersfield/Fresno areas. I am retired and doing a second career teaching math in middle or high school. For each position advertised there are hundreds of applicants. For many of the positions, I don’t even get an interview. People who are hired are either 1) young and right out of ed school or 2) have about 10 to 15 years teaching experience. People like me don’t fit the profile: likely viewed as too old without saying so, since age discrimination is against the law.

    I’m tired of hearing about teacher shortages, particularly in math.

    Replies

    • Paul 1 year ago1 year ago

      A legitimate argument could be made that teachers in all subjects, and in particular teachers with responsibility for English Language Arts or math instruction, are more effective if they have completed a California teacher certification program within the last decade. Regulatory changes have added computer skills, practices for teaching English Learners, and a more rigorous and more uniform final assessment (TPA) to credential program requirements. Very recently, the Common Core has been incorporated into subject … Read More

      A legitimate argument could be made that teachers in all subjects, and in particular teachers with responsibility for English Language Arts or math instruction, are more effective if they have completed a California teacher certification program within the last decade. Regulatory changes have added computer skills, practices for teaching English Learners, and a more rigorous and more uniform final assessment (TPA) to credential program requirements. Very recently, the Common Core has been incorporated into subject matter exams (CSET) and credential courses.

      Training or testing were offered as options for incumbent teachers to add the CLAD or ELA now required for most positions, but the quality might not be the same as when teaching English Learners is embedded into the credential program. There is no requirement for incumbent teachers to demonstrate computer skills or complete the TPA. Limited Common Core PD is offered at the local level, but there is no state requirement applicable to individual teachers.

      All of what I’ve said is beside the point. I know of districts that laid off math teachers as recently as last 2013-14. Is anyone aware of math layoffs in 2014-15? (The state does not track such data — anecdotes, supported by school board meeting records, are the only source.) You are right that there remains a state-level oversupply of math teachers. This will change someday, and even today there will be gaps in rural, dysfunctional, or ultra-low-salary districts. In the main, commodity hiring is alive and well. With starting salaries still as low as $40,000 in some districts, I’m amazed that people are signing up. One of my former districts, with dirt-poor salaries and a record of illegally staffing classrooms with a series of substitutes, just sent me an e-mail advertising that the substitute rate will rise from $100 to $140/day next year. Have at it, folks!

      • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

        Pay should include merit bonuses so it's win-win. For instance, what if they averaged the sub costs and if you don't cause them, you get it as a bonus, but if you do, you don't? And if a 70th percentile teacher teaches twice as much as a 30th percentile teacher, why not let said teacher earn double? If we align pay with productivity, more will want to enter and more will really … Read More

        Pay should include merit bonuses so it’s win-win. For instance, what if they averaged the sub costs and if you don’t cause them, you get it as a bonus, but if you do, you don’t? And if a 70th percentile teacher teaches twice as much as a 30th percentile teacher, why not let said teacher earn double? If we align pay with productivity, more will want to enter and more will really push themselves and go the extra mile such as with young doctors and lawyers and engineers and sales professionals. We need to be smarter about how we determine compensation than blindly following seniority.

      • Manuel 1 year ago1 year ago

        $140/day? If you just show up, that’s $23/hour. But if you really pull your weight (at least 2 hours outside of the classroom work), that’s closer to $18/hour. For someone with a BA/BS and one year of extra studies? That, in a nutshell, is why people don’t want to be teachers…

        • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

          Manuel: The discussion reminds me that old story that used to be circulated by paper and then on the net: "Letter from Angry Parent/Taxpayer" Let's stop all this nonsense of overpaying those classroom teachers and burdening the taxpayers! Let's just pay them babysitter wages, because that's what they really do. Let's see, that would be $7.50 per child per hour and the average CA class size is about 30 kids. So that's $225 per hour (?!) And those lazy … Read More

          Manuel:

          The discussion reminds me that old story that used to be circulated by paper and then on the net:

          “Letter from Angry Parent/Taxpayer”

          Let’s stop all this nonsense of overpaying those classroom teachers and burdening the taxpayers! Let’s just pay them babysitter wages, because that’s what they really do.

          Let’s see, that would be $7.50 per child per hour and the average CA class size is about 30 kids. So that’s $225 per hour (?!)

          And those lazy teachers only spend six hours a day with the kids, No compensation for any of this phony “planning time” or meetings, or grading papers. Not in my book. So that’s $1,350 a day.

          And they only teach 180 days a year, no compensation for phony work days or so called progressional development. So that pencils out to $243,000 per year.

          Hey, wait a minute. I need to put new batteries into my calculator!

          • Paul 1 year ago1 year ago

            Though I don't usually see eye-to-eye with you, Gary, I love the idea of paying teachers per child. It sounds like a great antidote to common proposals for merit pay! Manuel, thanks for distinguishing the two kinds of substitutes. Let's also note that substitute work is unbenefitted,* at-will, and variable, just like driving for Uber. There is no guaranteed amount of work. * Substitutes are eligible to have districts pay the employer portion of STRS if they … Read More

            Though I don’t usually see eye-to-eye with you, Gary, I love the idea of paying teachers per child. It sounds like a great antidote to common proposals for merit pay!

            Manuel, thanks for distinguishing the two kinds of substitutes. Let’s also note that substitute work is unbenefitted,* at-will, and variable, just like driving for Uber. There is no guaranteed amount of work.

            * Substitutes are eligible to have districts pay the employer portion of STRS if they know, if they ask, and if they can afford their own 8% employee contribution. As far as health benefits, LAUSD and OUSD are the only exceptions I know of, in which limited numbers of substitutes can join, and be assured of enough work to remain in, incentive pools that allow access to district health insurance. District health plans aren’t free, so substitutes’ low base pay may further limit access.

            • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

              Pauls: Not sure how you missed this, but my comment was (mostly) facetious. I would never recommend a policy that paid teachers on a per student basis, increasing the incentives for large classes. I firmly support the one school reform that has been demonstrated to improve learning, especially for disadvantaged students, and that is low class size. Under the current conditions of CA's abysmal (if slightly improving) school funding, class sizes in the state … Read More

              Pauls:

              Not sure how you missed this, but my comment was (mostly) facetious.

              I would never recommend a policy that paid teachers on a per student basis, increasing the incentives for large classes. I firmly support the one school reform that has been demonstrated to improve learning, especially for disadvantaged students, and that is low class size. Under the current conditions of CA’s abysmal (if slightly improving) school funding, class sizes in the state may improve, but not to levels in other states nor to levels shown in research to improve learning: 18 students and fewer per teacher.

            • Paul 1 year ago1 year ago

              Gary, I'm not sure whether you're implying something by addressing "Pauls", but my name is Paul singular, I follow the guideline of always posting under that name, and it's clearly distinguished from another Paul who uses his last name. I realized that your message was facetious; so was my reply. I fully support a hard limit of 18 students per class in all classes, but a limit of 24 with no enforcement for several years yet, … Read More

              Gary, I’m not sure whether you’re implying something by addressing “Pauls”, but my name is Paul singular, I follow the guideline of always posting under that name, and it’s clearly distinguished from another Paul who uses his last name. I realized that your message was facetious; so was my reply.

              I fully support a hard limit of 18 students per class in all classes, but a limit of 24 with no enforcement for several years yet, only soft enforcement after LCF is fully funded, and no restriction whatsoever in Grades 4 to 12, is what we got. It’s step backward from K-3 CSR and 9 Academic CSR, both of which had softly-enforced (funding claw-back, not elimination, and funny math involving combo classes) limits of 20.

            • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

              San Francisco is easily big enough to give some substitutes full benefits. I just feel there should be bonus incentives for teachers who don't use their off days because I feel the quality of education is lower with uncertainty. Some teachers show up every day they can and others feel they have the right to take off 11 days because it's in the contract and it isn't immoral. I say, give a … Read More

              San Francisco is easily big enough to give some substitutes full benefits. I just feel there should be bonus incentives for teachers who don’t use their off days because I feel the quality of education is lower with uncertainty. Some teachers show up every day they can and others feel they have the right to take off 11 days because it’s in the contract and it isn’t immoral. I say, give a bonus to those who show up every day, instead o across the board raises. Substitutes should get benefits and teachers and subs should get full health care for their families, which SFPD gets now and teachers don’t, despite SFPD pay being double.

            • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

              Paul:

              Just a typo. No need for upset.

  6. Andrew 1 year ago1 year ago

    Become a California high school teacher, get paid 25% more than the national average salary, to live where the median home price is 233% of the national average, and you get to carry double the student load of the national average. Sounds like you need a union. Oh, wait, you have a union, and you also have supposedly sympathetic democrats in political control of the state.

    Replies

    • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

      Andrew; You have finally caught us out. We, the teachers' unions in CA, have worked diligently with the Illuminati as well as the Trilateral Commission to corner the market on CA real estate prices. We failed. Working within the context of one of the worst funded school systems in the nation, and certainly the worst of all the major industrialized states, we have established the most reasonable salary accommodations possible. Certainly, as the data shows, CA's teachers … Read More

      Andrew;

      You have finally caught us out. We, the teachers’ unions in CA, have worked diligently with the Illuminati as well as the Trilateral Commission to corner the market on CA real estate prices. We failed.

      Working within the context of one of the worst funded school systems in the nation, and certainly the worst of all the major industrialized states, we have established the most reasonable salary accommodations possible. Certainly, as the data shows, CA’s teachers are underpaid in relation to other states. What seems lacking is simply to team up with yet one more figment of the conspiratorial mind to alleviate that problem.

      The alternative is, as was done with Prop 30, to work hard politically to overcome the decades of anti-tax hysteria that has overwhelmed the state since Prop 13 passed. In fact, Prop 13 is next on the agenda.

      So, there is the choice between depending on the efficacy of working with conspiratorial figments of the imagination, as well as other figments of the imagination like putting CA’s abysmally underfunded schools at the feet of its teachers’ unions, or doing the hard political grass-roots work of changing the state’s taxing milieu to reflect current realities. Those realities include the state’s changing demographics. The time will soon pass when the average voter in CA will be “older and whiter” and more likely to reject appeals to increase revenues and school funding.

      There are many who this possibility on the horizon. Hence the far right, anti-minority, supporters of lawsuits to handicap the teachers’ unions abilities to operate efficiently in the political sphere. That too, “we shall overcome!”

      • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

        Gary ...referring to your sarcasm on failing to corner the real estate market, you didn't fail to corner the market on job security. That success relegated millions of California students over decades to a certain percentage of subpar teachers and devalued the profession to the point in which it finds itself today - under fire and disrespected to the great misfortune of the many wonderful teachers who now want out. All because … Read More

        Gary …referring to your sarcasm on failing to corner the real estate market, you didn’t fail to corner the market on job security. That success relegated millions of California students over decades to a certain percentage of subpar teachers and devalued the profession to the point in which it finds itself today – under fire and disrespected to the great misfortune of the many wonderful teachers who now want out. All because the unions were more concerned with their bottom line than the integrity of the profession.

    • Paul 1 year ago1 year ago

      Thank you, Andrew. Nail…head…as always!

  7. Roger Grotewold 1 year ago1 year ago

    I read the many comments that followed the Dwindling Teacher Supply article and came upon a number of comments by one particular individual, Floyd Thursby1941 that seemed to be so negative towards teachers in general, especially those who had many years in the profession. As I continued reading Mr. Thursby's comments, it seemed as though they were increasingly more negative towards veteran teachers with each new posting. After reading many more comments by … Read More

    I read the many comments that followed the Dwindling Teacher Supply article and came upon a number of comments by one particular individual, Floyd Thursby1941 that seemed to be so negative towards teachers in general, especially those who had many years in the profession. As I continued reading Mr. Thursby’s comments, it seemed as though they were increasingly more negative towards veteran teachers with each new posting. After reading many more comments by Mr. Thursby, I came upon one that finally exposed the root of his animosity towards educators. Sure enough, a teacher for his son had not done a good teaching job during the year that his son was in that class.

    I do understand that this has bothered Mr Thursby a lot, but it certainly shouldn’t be a reason for him to condemn all veteran teachers, which he seems to be doing in his many comments. Yes, Mr Floyd Thursby 1941, I am a veteran teacher, now retired after 34 years in the classroom. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to help educate and prepare young people for a constructive and happy adulthood. I would like to mention the saying I always tried to uphold and follow when I was teaching. “A teacher affects eternity, they never know where their influence ends.”

    Mr Thursby 1941, I feel that your negativity towards teachers would most likely result in ending many good teacher’s careers before they would be able to affect eternity in a positive way for their students. I am sorry your son had a bad experience with a teacher, but please don’t paint and judge all of us with the same brush…………………………………MrG

    Replies

    • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

      Roger, Floyd Thursby is a fictional character from Hammett's Maltese Falcon. He's never seen in the movie and thus the name is an apt pseudonym for a person writing anonymously on a blog. You are correct to say that his policy ideas are driven by personal experiences. Most everyone of this forum ignores him for the simple reason that he mind-numbingly repeats the same list of about 5 grievances in every single comment day after … Read More

      Roger, Floyd Thursby is a fictional character from Hammett’s Maltese Falcon. He’s never seen in the movie and thus the name is an apt pseudonym for a person writing anonymously on a blog. You are correct to say that his policy ideas are driven by personal experiences. Most everyone of this forum ignores him for the simple reason that he mind-numbingly repeats the same list of about 5 grievances in every single comment day after day – month after month.

    • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

      Mr. G, I agree with you. I think the vast majority of teachers are good. My problem is with the union defending those who aren't, making them into a cause celebre so to speak, and defending them to the end of time. I spoke with a woman recently who said that if they allow a bad teacher to be fired, ever, then the floodgates will open and all older teachers will be … Read More

      Mr. G, I agree with you. I think the vast majority of teachers are good. My problem is with the union defending those who aren’t, making them into a cause celebre so to speak, and defending them to the end of time. I spoke with a woman recently who said that if they allow a bad teacher to be fired, ever, then the floodgates will open and all older teachers will be fired for younger replacements like happens at many corporations. I think we need to find a middle ground. Absence is pretty high for the profession, about double that at private companies which is a lot considering you have Summer, Winter Break, Spring Break and some other days to take care of personal matters. I think most should have 100% attendance most years and no one should take a day off unless sick, but some take days off for fun and that reduces the quality of education. You’re right, the kids benefit a lot from teachers and most are very good. It’s just that older engineers, lawyers, salespeople, etc. can be fired and they don’t fire them all. It hurts us when no one can, and I do mean they treat all teachers like a noble cause. The union defended Mark Berndt so hard LAUSD had to pay him 40k before he got a 25 year prison sentence. We need a system in the middle where if a teacher is more experienced and being paid more, they have to be more effective than average to earn the step increase. The studies show kids with a 70th percentile teacher learn twice as much as those with a 30th percentile teacher, and 60% of teachers are more extreme than that in one direction or another. We as a society need to recognize not all teachers are identical or equally beneficial. It is nothing against teachers. I would oppose any profession in the world being judged by seniority. Our children deserve better. The union has stacked the world view so extreme that there is a huge difference in teacher quality and many take unneeded days off and many bad ones are protected, that even though most are good, if you say anything about the first three issues you are anti teacher. If the only way I can be considered pro teacher is to say all teachers should be paid only by seniority, it should be virtually impossible to fire any teacher and it should be considered acceptable to take unneeded days off and stick the kids with a substitute or not come to back to school nights with no consequence, then I would rather be considered anti teacher. However, by that standard, I would be against each and every profession because I believe such a policy would reduce productivity for every single profession. I can’t imagine a profession which would not lose productivity if you offered 11 of 180 days off paid with no consequence, or a guarantee against firing. Human beings are the same in all professions. Name a profession which wouldn’t suffer under such rules.

      As for the Maltese Falcon, I’ve seen it over ten times and read the book twice. I wouldn’t choose a pseudonym from a movie I have never seen.

      • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

        While UTLA's support to defeat SB 1530 was an absolutely shameful scourge on the teaching profession and the vast majority of its members, teachers should have demanded better of their leaders. But it isn't true that the union defended Berndt. He made a legal settlement with the district after privately hiring a firm to defend him. It was LAUSD that failed to take action when problems with Berndt were known long before. At … Read More

        While UTLA’s support to defeat SB 1530 was an absolutely shameful scourge on the teaching profession and the vast majority of its members, teachers should have demanded better of their leaders. But it isn’t true that the union defended Berndt. He made a legal settlement with the district after privately hiring a firm to defend him. It was LAUSD that failed to take action when problems with Berndt were known long before. At least get your facts straight rather than incessantly repeat this falsehood. Well, you’re entitled to your fantasies, even if some naive people might take them as facts.

  8. Douglas W. Green, EdD 1 year ago1 year ago

    As a retired elementary principal I get to talk to a lot of teachers and retired teachers and visit a lot of schools as part of my blogging activity. Thanks to the Common Core test and punish reforms, the typical veteran teacher says "I can't wait to get out." The typical retired teacher says "boy am I glad I got out." These people also say that given the current system, they would never go into … Read More

    As a retired elementary principal I get to talk to a lot of teachers and retired teachers and visit a lot of schools as part of my blogging activity. Thanks to the Common Core test and punish reforms, the typical veteran teacher says “I can’t wait to get out.” The typical retired teacher says “boy am I glad I got out.” These people also say that given the current system, they would never go into teaching if they had to do it all over. They also tell me that they advise young people not to go into teaching. With many people retiring as soon as possible and fewer young people considering the profession, it’s no wonder we see shortages. There is no reason for achievement to improve since the quality of our teachers is in decline. When will our policy makers realize how much damage they are doing?

    Replies

    • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

      Douglas: On what do you base the statement "the quality of teachers is in decline?" Do you mean because districts need to hire more interns and others without full credentials? Most of the veteran teachers I have talked to suggest they look forward to CCSS because they remove instructional straight-jackets created by the older standards and the scripted curriculums and pacing guides, etc. They are anxious about any return to the high stakes testing aspects of the … Read More

      Douglas:

      On what do you base the statement “the quality of teachers is in decline?” Do you mean because districts need to hire more interns and others without full credentials?

      Most of the veteran teachers I have talked to suggest they look forward to CCSS because they remove instructional straight-jackets created by the older standards and the scripted curriculums and pacing guides, etc. They are anxious about any return to the high stakes testing aspects of the old system.

      And being a 35 years classroom teacher (retired) I encourage bright young people to go into the profession. I consider it one of the most satisfying careers anyone could possibly have had.

    • Andrew 1 year ago1 year ago

      My observations regarding the traumatic burnout of career teachers in California tend to confirm what your comments express, Douglas. This is especially true regarding California high school teachers who carry the worst student load in the nation, twice the student load of the national average. I have had the opportunity over the years to work professionally with several thousand California residents who were at or nearing retirement age. This has included individuals … Read More

      My observations regarding the traumatic burnout of career teachers in California tend to confirm what your comments express, Douglas. This is especially true regarding California high school teachers who carry the worst student load in the nation, twice the student load of the national average.

      I have had the opportunity over the years to work professionally with several thousand California residents who were at or nearing retirement age. This has included individuals from all walks of life and all occupations, everything from physicians and executives to to police, correctional and military officers to miners, roofers, sanitation workers and septic pumpers. No occupational occupational component of those I’ve worked with has been as burned-out, frustrated, and discouraged as the California teachers, especially the high school teachers. And I am not talking about teachers who are by nature chronic “whiners,” but about those who were most dedicated, intelligent, industrious and resourceful. I have struggled to understand this situation because it seems so inhumane and unfair. To their heroic credit, these teachers did all that they could to shield their students from what the teachers personally were enduring in the California system. To a certain extent the problem is obvious, give a high school teacher double the national average student load and burn-out is inevitable.

      It is hard to square all this with Gary’s Pollyanna-ish view of the situation, expressed in his comment. If this is the union view, maybe denial is one reason that such problems persist.

      • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

        Andrew:

        In my case i actually was a teacher who actually worked with actual teachers. I don’t find you statments at all accurate.

        Hint:

        If you’re not inclined at all to be Pollyanna-ish, you should likely stay out of the profession. Lucky all around that it appears you did.

  9. Jennifer Garza 1 year ago1 year ago

    The teacher (and sub) shortage is definitely felt in Visalia Unified. There have been several instances in which teachers were not allowed to attend professional development offered by the district due to these sub shortages. I am so grateful that my school site and district took a chance on me as an intern. The district truly does not know what they are going to get, but this uncertainty applies to any teacher: intern, fully credentialed, … Read More

    The teacher (and sub) shortage is definitely felt in Visalia Unified. There have been several instances in which teachers were not allowed to attend professional development offered by the district due to these sub shortages. I am so grateful that my school site and district took a chance on me as an intern. The district truly does not know what they are going to get, but this uncertainty applies to any teacher: intern, fully credentialed, and veterans alike. Administration and other teachers should visit classrooms regularly and help strengthen areas that could use improvement. The school site environment should be such that a teacher feels comfortable to reach out to colleagues and administration for help.

    As I begin my third year teaching seventh grade English Language Arts, I am more confident in my classroom than year one. Again, I think this is true of all teachers, intern or not. Just like the veteran teachers around me, I learn by trial and error on a daily basis. If a strategy works well, I recreate it. If a lesson fails, I analyze my lesson, locate the problem(s) and reteach. I have been successful because I am surrounded by a supportive veteran staff, new teachers that are also enrolled in Tulare County Office of Education’s IMPACT program, and new teachers that have earned their credential the traditional way. As part of my credential program, I have a supervisor and veteran instructors. I am also blessed to work with an admin team that focuses on constructive criticism versus punitive action. Before stepping in to my own classroom, I still had to pass the rigorous content specific CSET, same as other teachers. As an intern, I still hold a Bachelor’s degree in my content area. I have to complete the same coursework (with high grades) as teachers that earn their credential the traditional route, all while full time teaching. I am considered by the state a “highly qualified teacher” because of the coursework I have already completed. The term “intern” has a negative connotation that suggests inexperience and naivety which can be unfair. Even veteran teachers can be skeptical of interns. I understand this skepticism and work hard to prove myself as a colleague.

    Every teacher should be held accountable as an individual. There are teachers that love teaching and their students, and those that do not. There are teachers that get up early and stay up late, striving to deliver the best content and engaging lessons to their students, and those that do not. As a district, we should invest in a mix of new teachers and veteran teachers. We should encourage cross training of proven classroom strategies and new approaches. As a parent, teacher, and active member of my community, I want what is best for students. Children should have teachers that love learning and have high expectations for themselves and their students. What is important to remember is these attributes can be found in individuals with various levels of experience.

    Replies

    • Tom 1 year ago1 year ago

      Thank you Jennifer for your thoughtful discussion of this issue, and for your honesty and willingness to point out that no all teachers are the same, most good, some bad, and there needs to be accountability. Keep working hard to improve yourself with the goal of having a positive impact on the kids you teach.

  10. Cynthia 1 year ago1 year ago

    You have an error in your information about interns. You state that an intern must "obtain national board certification" to receive a clear credential. This is not required in California and in fact, interns are not eligible for NB certification. One needs a minimum of three years experience to begin the process of earning NB certification. I work in teacher preparation and I do appreciate your bringing the coming shortage to the attention of the public. … Read More

    You have an error in your information about interns. You state that an intern must “obtain national board certification” to receive a clear credential. This is not required in California and in fact, interns are not eligible for NB certification. One needs a minimum of three years experience to begin the process of earning NB certification.

    I work in teacher preparation and I do appreciate your bringing the coming shortage to the attention of the public. There are rough waters ahead!

  11. MSG 1 year ago1 year ago

    Maybe they should do away with all of the damn fees of being a substitute. Or give some kind of bonus. If you become a sub, and pay all these idiotic fees to become one, and you sub more than 10 days, we will pay you back all of your fees!

    It’s no wonder people don’t want to sign up for that madness.

  12. Jeff Krause 1 year ago1 year ago

    This article puts the lie to the Vergara suit’s claim that urban districts can somehow replace “bad apple” veteran teachers with young geniuses if only tenure would go away. While I don’t oppose changes to the current system such as a three year probationary period, taking away job security will only make the teaching profession less attractive to young graduates.

    Replies

    • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

      False, if you are overpaying some people, power to control that allows you to not underpay others. If you are forced by an outdated seniority system to pay some teachers more than they are worth or could get in private industry, or accept less effort, resources are being expended based on what is good for the union and teachers and not what is best for kids. You would attract more young teachers who … Read More

      False, if you are overpaying some people, power to control that allows you to not underpay others. If you are forced by an outdated seniority system to pay some teachers more than they are worth or could get in private industry, or accept less effort, resources are being expended based on what is good for the union and teachers and not what is best for kids. You would attract more young teachers who want to be judged on ability and performance rather than years on the job, and that always leads to better productivity. I don’t think a lot of people would call in sick on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving or take a day off to extend a weekend if they had to worry their boss might decide they are overpaid and not pulling their weight and let them go. Fear makes us all work harder.

      • Concerned parent 1 year ago1 year ago

        Good points Mr. Floyd, this is why teachers do not want testing anymore in my opinion, because testing shows that children are regressing in learning, teachers will need to be scrutinized more too.

        It is a madness that too much power is given to teachers and administration which is to,oversee teachers…and it seems that parents place too much trust in a broken system.

        California is ranked 42nd in learning in the U.S.A.

        • Tom 1 year ago1 year ago

          Madness indeed Concerned Parent, and more kudos to you Floyd for speaking the truth. This public school system has gone horribly wrong and not just a tenure issue as some try to limit the issue to. It is worker protections related to tenure and just extending tenure to 3 years does not solve the issue of the difficulty in correcting bad behavior from a relatively small number of teachers who after many … Read More

          Madness indeed Concerned Parent, and more kudos to you Floyd for speaking the truth. This public school system has gone horribly wrong and not just a tenure issue as some try to limit the issue to. It is worker protections related to tenure and just extending tenure to 3 years does not solve the issue of the difficulty in correcting bad behavior from a relatively small number of teachers who after many years lose their motivation to do a good job of teaching. This hurts the students, Districts have a very difficult time dealing with it thanks to employee protections. I’m in the trenches and have seen if first hand so nobody out there try and tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about!

    • MathAppeal 1 year ago1 year ago

      Jeff-I agree that lack of job security tends to shrink the size of the qualified pool of career teaching candidates. However, it seems to me to make teaching more attractive to those for whom job protections have little or no meaning because they don’t intend to remain long enough to earn tenure.

  13. Karen Stout 1 year ago1 year ago

    I hope someone will rehab the system. I went to CSUEB (formerly Hayward) in CA. I worked full-time during my intern year in two schools, two grades, and moved at least twice due to budget reasons. No one can survive the student teaching without pay portion. The BTSA after the intern year needs to be reorganized and simplified. It is like everyone who is not a teacher thinks they know what teachers need, when in … Read More

    I hope someone will rehab the system. I went to CSUEB (formerly Hayward) in CA. I worked full-time during my intern year in two schools, two grades, and moved at least twice due to budget reasons. No one can survive the student teaching without pay portion. The BTSA after the intern year needs to be reorganized and simplified. It is like everyone who is not a teacher thinks they know what teachers need, when in reality, they have no clue. I have been a teacher for ten years. I am not a fan of CSET, RICA, CBEST, or the intern programs at CSU, or of BSTA. EVERYONE AT THE TOP NEEDS TO JUST SIMPLIFY THINGS AND QUIT BLAMING THE BRAVE, COURAGEOUS SOULS WHO ASPIRE TO BE A TEACHER IN THIS DAY AND AGE.

  14. Concerned parent 1 year ago1 year ago

    My opinion is that older teachers are not hired and instead intern teachers are preferred by schools because they are cheaper to hire. I ask Ed source to try to do a survey of all teachers who are older, looking for work, but turned away. I think no intern teachers should be hired. I have a suspicion that often school,districts get vast applications,turned,in on line, but hire,interns instead of fully vetted credentialed,teachers,,so the profession has sold,itself out... Especially with … Read More

    My opinion is that older teachers are not hired and instead intern teachers are preferred by schools because they are cheaper to hire.

    I ask Ed source to try to do a survey of all teachers who are older, looking for work, but turned away.

    I think no intern teachers should be hired.

    I have a suspicion that often school,districts get vast applications,turned,in on line, but hire,interns instead of fully vetted credentialed,teachers,,so the profession has sold,itself out…

    Especially with second rate intern programs I have been told of that hire people,who know nothing

    America,corps I think,it is called

    Michele,rheem

    Replies

    • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

      Let's judge every teacher individually. America Corps produced some great teachers. You can't paint it with a broad brush. Judge each teacher as an individual. Analyze their students' test scores with controls for past scores and demographics and race (we know poor Asians don't complain about it and use it as an excuse to do poorly in school as much as pretty much everyone else does, including whites), include reviews from … Read More

      Let’s judge every teacher individually. America Corps produced some great teachers. You can’t paint it with a broad brush. Judge each teacher as an individual. Analyze their students’ test scores with controls for past scores and demographics and race (we know poor Asians don’t complain about it and use it as an excuse to do poorly in school as much as pretty much everyone else does, including whites), include reviews from principals, students and parents, whether they attend back to school nights consistently, how much extra effort they put in to work with students one on one and motivate them, and their attendance records year in and year out. Look at the whole picture. Some tenured teachers with 40 years’ experience are great, worth every penny. Some are not as good as some America Corps teachers. Let’s find statistical and factual and creative ways to judge every teacher as an individual, not a category or a stereoytpe. Seniority would be far less accurate a judge than such a method.

      • Concerned Parent Reporter 1 year ago1 year ago

        I disagree Mr. Floyd because you are saying, let us cheapen the teachers by using new people who often have had less than three months of prep to know how to teach,,and let us give perhaps some kind of hidden incentives to school,districts , maybe tax breaks, to run emergency credential teachers from cleaver teacher non profit intern programs, to,flood schools,and take or steal jobs from fully credentialed teachers waiting in the wings,... . . . So why should … Read More

        I disagree Mr. Floyd because you are saying, let us cheapen the teachers by using new people who often have had less than three months of prep to know how to teach,,and let us give perhaps some kind of hidden incentives to school,districts , maybe tax breaks, to run emergency credential teachers from cleaver teacher non profit intern programs, to,flood schools,and take or steal jobs from fully credentialed teachers waiting in the wings,…

        .
        .
        .
        So why should our ,42nd ranked California be flooding schools,with teachers who hold emergency credentials?

        .
        .
        .
        And to,help,parents and othersmthere is a mandatednSARC report for each school,that must transparently show the public how,many teachers are interns,,I think,mbut maybe his is hidden, not sure,,
        .
        .
        .
        Plenty of older fully credentialed teachers applymformteaching jobs and are, often, notminterviewedmdue to,age,discrimination and cheaper hiring of inexperienced interns,
        .
        .
        .
        And the students suffer and are not taught well by interns.

        • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

          I don't wish to flood the schools with inexperienced teachers and I don't think a large number of teachers should be fired. America Corps was a good idea and got some good people. Couldn't we require night school and a credential within a couple years? Some, but not most, older teachers take it for granted, take off the maximum number of days off they can each year, causing unqualified subs to teach … Read More

          I don’t wish to flood the schools with inexperienced teachers and I don’t think a large number of teachers should be fired. America Corps was a good idea and got some good people. Couldn’t we require night school and a credential within a couple years? Some, but not most, older teachers take it for granted, take off the maximum number of days off they can each year, causing unqualified subs to teach the kids 11 days instead of the honest 2-3 or 0 (I’ve gone 10 years in a row without missing work twice in my life and believe you should stay home sick on a weekend day to recover before missing a Monday or Friday, which are more common than other days off, and only miss work if it is unavoidable, not to have a day off). I don’t think anyone should have a near ironclad guarantee to never be fired. If an occasional teacher seen relaxing on a day they call in sick or who does a bad job or trails peers on test scores is fired, even just 1-2% over 5 years, all the others will be nervous and work harder and take criticism from Principals very seriously and dig in to improve. You wouldn’t have to fire many people but the possibility needs to be there due to human nature. If there is a case where the America Corps Teacher is less expensive and clearly better than some of the teachers on staff, and I have seen very clear cases, you should hire them instead and let the mediocre teacher go and let them get their credential at night. Pay should be based on contribution, not seniority.

          • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

            This is a quote from one study, and it is not just about how long you have taught? Kids learn double from a 70th percentile teacher than they do from a 30th percentile teacher. There are many factors to being a good teacher, focus, charisma, understanding kids, diligence, honesty (only missing days when it's unavoidable), intelligence, knowledge: Goldhaber (2015) summarized this research and noted that in upper elementary grades (under NCLB, required tests … Read More

            This is a quote from one study, and it is not just about how long you have taught? Kids learn double from a 70th percentile teacher than they do from a 30th percentile teacher. There are many factors to being a good teacher, focus, charisma, understanding kids, diligence, honesty (only missing days when it’s unavoidable), intelligence, knowledge:

            Goldhaber (2015) summarized this research and noted that in upper elementary grades (under NCLB, required tests begin in third grade), having a lower-performing teacher (one at the 30th percentile of teachers) is roughly equivalent to a student learning half as much in the school year compared to having a higher performing teacher (one at the 70th percentile of teachers). These differences have been measured only for reading and math, but these are core subjects, and there’s little reason to believe the magnitudes would differ for science and social studies.

    • Andrew 1 year ago1 year ago

      The problem is not necessarily the quality of a teacher who actually finishes a good internship, though as with conventional credentialing programs some are good and some are notoriously lightweight. A problem is that a lot of interns start and never finish credentialing. Sometimes nobody really expects them to. So the district not only gets to pay rock bottom salary to the intern until the intern drops … Read More

      The problem is not necessarily the quality of a teacher who actually finishes a good internship, though as with conventional credentialing programs some are good and some are notoriously lightweight. A problem is that a lot of interns start and never finish credentialing. Sometimes nobody really expects them to. So the district not only gets to pay rock bottom salary to the intern until the intern drops out of the internship in a year or two, but gets to start the whole process over again with the next intern who fills the slot. A district can perpetually fill a slot on the cheap with a succession of emergency credential holders, who morph into interns, who drop out and are replaced with another succession of the same. It actually helps the district in this dishonest process if the posted position is made to appear very undesirable, with rock bottom salary, to keep real applicants at bay.

    • Concerned parent 1 year ago1 year ago

      Floyd you are not seeing the trees nor forest. Merida Corpy robbed and continues to rob credential teachers their opportunity to teach due to some cost saving loop of a hole that the C.D.E. allows and also perhaps tax incentives in hiring Merica Corpy people . so why not mandate fully credentialed teachers to teach , especially when they apply, why not put the fully credential led teachers ahead of the line? why the madness of … Read More

      Floyd you are not seeing the trees nor forest. Merida Corpy robbed and continues to rob credential teachers their opportunity to teach due to some cost saving loop of a hole that the C.D.E. allows and also perhaps tax incentives in hiring Merica Corpy people .

      so why not mandate fully credentialed teachers to teach , especially when they apply, why not put the fully credential led teachers ahead of the line?

      why the madness of allowing not qualified teachers to teach.

      Floyd, look for the forest which is really a cheapening of hiring non qualified teachers to work in public schools…

      interns are bad .

      • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

        I agree with you in this case, but I don’t think the LIFO / Seniority system with no penalty for missing days without being sic and no benefits to performance is good either. The status quo is also bad.

        • Concerned parent 1 year ago1 year ago

          Mr. Floyd,
          .
          .
          .
          I think others such as Gary R. On this site can learn from your intelligence in how you have the ability to back off a view and do this with good solid information.

          Let us all be open to changing views, attitudes, and beliefs.

          I will listen harder to your views Mr. Floyd, for you are flexible in learning and you seem to be able to listen to other points of views rather than closing the door on facts and data.

          Thanks Mr. Floyd.

          • Tom 1 year ago1 year ago

            Ah ha, so you are starting to see Gary R’s biased commentary! Too bad really. He could be much more effective in solving the obvious problems with public education which harms so many kids in the name of job protections for adults. Reminds me of Don Quixote fighting windmills, and a losing cause in the long run. When the public finally sees how bad it has gotten, going to be a backlash, big time.

            • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

              Tom: Thanks. Actually, Don Quixote, is an admired figure in classical literature because of his commitment to "fighting windmills." In my case the "windmills" are Silicon Valley billionaires who through some alchemy of hubris and an obsession with seeing their tax breaks protected find it convenient to attack schools, teachers, and their unions. Then there is the usual "schools suck industry" that present themselves as dragons fighting for kids, but actually are against the best interests of … Read More

              Tom:

              Thanks.

              Actually, Don Quixote, is an admired figure in classical literature because of his commitment to “fighting windmills.” In my case the “windmills” are Silicon Valley billionaires who through some alchemy of hubris and an obsession with seeing their tax breaks protected find it convenient to attack schools, teachers, and their unions. Then there is the usual “schools suck industry” that present themselves as dragons fighting for kids, but actually are against the best interests of children. Don’t agree there? Go to their web sites and, as the wise man once said, ‘follow the money.”

              And then there is the cohort of non-education trained or experienced general public who come loaded with opinions, but little background or knowledge. As a 35 year classroom teacher I have always had a commitment to try and educate those without knowledge and it has been a real “joust with windmills” when encountering those who don’t want to learn. Sometimes it was students, and sometimes parents. Though retired I haven’t lost that drive to educate.

              So, yea. The whole windmill thing is frustrating and all too often a losing proposition. But I will never give up because the stakes are too high. Just like the windmills.

            • Concerned parent 1 year ago1 year ago

              Dear Tom, The sad thing about many who support common core current implementationmwithout testing and lots of pbl spread all,over with happy talk is, if you can believe it, they are against assessments , test assessments, quizzes, tests, and old fashion checks for understanding, so that parents will be able to know if their child got a load of grade inflation on his/her report card in grades 1-12. The parents are not speaking out on this issue … Read More

              Dear Tom,

              The sad thing about many who support common core current implementationmwithout testing and lots of pbl spread all,over with happy talk is, if you can believe it, they are against assessments , test assessments, quizzes, tests, and old fashion checks for understanding, so that parents will be able to know if their child got a load of grade inflation on his/her report card in grades 1-12.

              The parents are not speaking out on this issue because it has been the American Way to trust, trust, and trust the teachers, and perhaps more than half of all teachers are truly lost in how to teach AND ASSESS with math.

              I would say that some teacher union leaders want to speak out, some teachers too, but this has not yet occurred, so…

              We must tie in teacher reviews to the wonderful and expensive SmarterBalance(not an accurate title for the test) CAASPP test. By timing in teacher performance assessments to this we will get honest and open discussions moving forward instead of talking about windmill attackers.

  15. Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

    Question to Ms. Garza: "Just how much more competent than experienced teachers are you?" Ms. G: "Wow! I can't even express how much, but it's so awesome." Ms. G mischaracterizes the assertions made by the human resources (experienced!) by the way. They are saying considerable experience is needed for a teacher to be comfortable in front of a classroom and, in fact, if you read what Ms. G has ti say about her first years she … Read More

    Question to Ms. Garza: “Just how much more competent than experienced teachers are you?”

    Ms. G: “Wow! I can’t even express how much, but it’s so awesome.”

    Ms. G mischaracterizes the assertions made by the human resources (experienced!) by the way. They are saying considerable experience is needed for a teacher to be comfortable in front of a classroom and, in fact, if you read what Ms. G has ti say about her first years she confirms it. It’s a comfort level, for teachers and students, that comes with time…and experience.

    She is also not the first new teacher to have family and school and work commitments. It’s part of the “dues” you pay to be in the profession.

    All I can say is, good luck to her and I hope she is successful. She will need to lay off the judgmental aspects of her outlook a bit. until she has the “street cred” to be taken seriously.

    Not a bad article in many ways. I’not sure how the authors could write of so many instances of districts have trouble finding suitable candidates and then question CTA’s assertion that a “perfect storm” is here or on the near horizon. How bad do you want things to get? (Of course we have Friedrich’s and Vergara in which case we have the the potential for things getting very, very, bad indeed.)

    Could have done without the various insertions of infomercials for Aspire, but oh well.

  16. Roxana Marachi 1 year ago1 year ago

    The following piece published by Elizabeth Harris of the New York Times is also relevant to this discussion, "Tough Tests for Teachers, With Question of Bias" http://sco.lt/92nsxd While changing policies and performance tests may differ by state, there are national trends toward increasing barriers to the profession (which will likely continue to lead to further declines among interested candidates at all levels). Readers considering the heavily marketed Teach for America routes to certification are … Read More

    The following piece published by Elizabeth Harris of the New York Times is also relevant to this discussion, “Tough Tests for Teachers, With Question of Bias” http://sco.lt/92nsxd

    While changing policies and performance tests may differ by state, there are national trends toward increasing barriers to the profession (which will likely continue to lead to further declines among interested candidates at all levels). Readers considering the heavily marketed Teach for America routes to certification are encouraged to read “TFA Counter-Narratives: Alumni Speak Up and Speak Out” edited by Jameson Brewer and Kathleen DeMarrais.

  17. Rob 1 year ago1 year ago

    I think on of the main issues here is the credentialing system. There is a situation I find myself in that I know others are in. Basically I have my out of state license and things are good for the state I got them in, however here I have a preliminary credential. That in itself is ok but when you pair it with the reality that many schools aren't hiring you if that's all you … Read More

    I think on of the main issues here is the credentialing system. There is a situation I find myself in that I know others are in. Basically I have my out of state license and things are good for the state I got them in, however here I have a preliminary credential. That in itself is ok but when you pair it with the reality that many schools aren’t hiring you if that’s all you have and being in a classroom is part of getting your clear you see the catch 22. To get a clear you need a job to get the job you need the clear. its getting to the point where I would have had an easier time if I went to school for something else and just got an interim credential. I feel like fixing this would help some.

  18. Melissa V Rentchler, MLIS, MEd, Teacher Librarian in CA 1 year ago1 year ago

    Don't forget to add that teacher's retirements are taxed in CA. Also, Social Security, if it has been earned, may be reduced under the "windfall" provision when you finally do take your retirement. I recommend that anyone considereing any public teaching or higher ed, you do a return on investment of money, years, psychological distress, education costs, lost family time, dead end job opportunities unless you want to go into administration to name a few … Read More

    Don’t forget to add that teacher’s retirements are taxed in CA. Also, Social Security, if it has been earned, may be reduced under the “windfall” provision when you finally do take your retirement. I recommend that anyone considereing any public teaching or higher ed, you do a return on investment of money, years, psychological distress, education costs, lost family time, dead end job opportunities unless you want to go into administration to name a few highlights. These are highlights which I would’ve been appreciative of receiving before I started this, my 3rd career.

  19. Beth 1 year ago1 year ago

    I find it interesting that whenever a substandard teacher is mentioned in the media the criticism always falls on her/his peers instead if his/her boss. There is a process for getting rid of bad teachers but administration has to stand up and admit there is a problem.

    Replies

    • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

      Beth, it is way too burdensome, read the whole process in the article about the Vergara Lawsuit. It's incredibly onerous. I can't think of another job where it is more difficult to fire someone. Most parents would be racked with guilt and extremely afraid to take a day off and not give any explanation when not sick. This is routine with teachers, shown by the huge absence rate the Tuesday before … Read More

      Beth, it is way too burdensome, read the whole process in the article about the Vergara Lawsuit. It’s incredibly onerous. I can’t think of another job where it is more difficult to fire someone. Most parents would be racked with guilt and extremely afraid to take a day off and not give any explanation when not sick. This is routine with teachers, shown by the huge absence rate the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. It needs to be easier. Principals need to be able to have power over teachers and push for harder work, more after school tutoring, less absences, and have power to back it up. If a 30 year old shows up every day and gets rave reviews and a 60 year old has mysterious, no doctor absences and poor reviews, the former should be retained. If a principal can benefit the school by firing a teacher and finding a replacement, even a new teacher, they should have that freedom.

      Children need to come first. Read about how burdensome is. I suspect you are a teacher to write this because you show no understanding of the intellectual discussions in ‘Waiting for Superman’ or the Vergara suit. This isn’t about billionaires, I’m a regular middle class guy and my son had a 1st grad teacher who showed up 70 days out of 180 and wouldn’t resign so they could replace her with a full time teacher, and the union reps and other teachers and union bureaucracy and bureaucracy pressured by the district all defended her like she was the most liberal and noble cause since Dred Scott. She wasn’t, she was a bad person who all 22 sets of parents wanted fired, who was seen hanging out in cafes days she called in sick and was over 55, and had been pushed out of her last school. She was lionized by the teachers in the union, protected at every turn. There was no focus on the kids, only on the teacher. These are the facts, and they are undisputed.

      • Frank 1 year ago1 year ago

        Another thing, What facts do you have that show that teacher's take the day off the Tuesday before Thanksgiving? How do you know they are taking a sick day? Teachers are allowed to take personal days( and despite what you hear) most do not. I do notice many small business owners and others in the private sector that close shop on that day. #2 Do you go to the doctor every time you are sick? … Read More

        Another thing, What facts do you have that show that teacher’s take the day off the Tuesday before Thanksgiving? How do you know they are taking a sick day? Teachers are allowed to take personal days( and despite what you hear) most do not. I do notice many small business owners and others in the private sector that close shop on that day. #2 Do you go to the doctor every time you are sick? Many people are sick for a day or two and then go to work. You don’t need to prove that even in your “precious” perfect world known as the private sector..I know because I worked in that area too. You do not know what this teacher had going on. They may have had a severe illness and it is none of your damn business. Don’t use that lame argument about it being all about the kids because the teachers and parents are the only ones that care. So please quit using kids to push across your agenda of destroying unions.

      • CarolineSF 1 year ago1 year ago

        Floyd Thursby, I’m eager to learn if the first-grade teacher you mention was at Lakeshore Elementary in SFUSD in about the 2003-04 school year. Because if so, I’m very familiar with the situation, and your account definitely misplaces the blame.

    • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

      Good point, Beth. One of the unanswered questions about "getting rid of allegedly bad teachers" is why so many successful districts in CA do quite nicely under the existing statutes. These districts don't seem to hire "bad" teachers much and if a teacher for whatever reason in found to be doing unsatisfactory work the management seems more than capable of doing their homework, and more often than not are able to convince teacher to retire … Read More

      Good point, Beth. One of the unanswered questions about “getting rid of allegedly bad teachers” is why so many successful districts in CA do quite nicely under the existing statutes. These districts don’t seem to hire “bad” teachers much and if a teacher for whatever reason in found to be doing unsatisfactory work the management seems more than capable of doing their homework, and more often than not are able to convince teacher to retire early or resign without going through the legal process.

      Some of the prevailing myths about dismissing teachers is it take “years” and “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

      During the Vergara trial, attempting to do away with teacher due process rights, sworn testimony (during discovery) was given that, as stated above, thinking administrators were able to successfully ease teachers out of the profession, careful scrutiny of beginning teachers by competent administrators prevented districts from hiring teachers who did not fit the district, and the average time to dismiss a teacher via the legal process was months and tens of thousands of dollars.

      It also became clear that in actual trial testimony that a working PAR program in a district almost did away with the need to dismiss teachers at all. Another educational expert stated that by his estimate 1% to 3% of teachers might have their effectiveness questioned. He went to write an elaborate explanation of this figure in a New York Times editorial where he explained that 1% to 3% was far too small a number of teachers to threaten the due process rights, and thereby destabilize the teaching force even further, by threatening the 97% to 99% of teachers whose effectiveness should not be questioned.

      The primary testimony for the plaintiffs in Vergara was the former superintendent of LAUSD, whining that the due process statutes paralyzed his ability to manage (when he wasn’t bragging about how many teachers he had managed to dismiss), who within a few months of the trial was forced to resign because of several major incidents questioning the effectiveness and competence of LAUSD management. So what was his testimony worth? He was, of course, countered by several administrators who quite effectively managed their districts and for whom the statues were no obstacle to competency. The judge ignored the latter testimony.

  20. Lowell 1 year ago1 year ago

    California should be in the top ten in education funding if not number one. The best and brightest do not become educators because the starting salary and salary range is not competitive for the workload and demands of the job.

  21. ann 1 year ago1 year ago

    “I’ve seen some very experienced tenured teachers where I’ve wondered, ‘How is this person still employed?’” she said.
    Haven’t we all? Beware Ms. Garza you will be a target for speaking that truth.

    Replies

    • Tom 1 year ago1 year ago

      Ann, What I find important about Garza'a comment is that she is immersed in a public school and is a witness to the problem with teacher protection laws. I have three young kids and also have witnessed at our school teachers that are problems for young kids year after year yet still retain their jobs. The system we have favors the adults and the kids well being are clearly secondary. If … Read More

      Ann, What I find important about Garza’a comment is that she is immersed in a public school and is a witness to the problem with teacher protection laws. I have three young kids and also have witnessed at our school teachers that are problems for young kids year after year yet still retain their jobs. The system we have favors the adults and the kids well being are clearly secondary. If the unions and the politicians don’t change this, the parents and the courts will change it one way or the other, and hopefully sooner rather than later.

      • Jann Geyer Taylor 1 year ago1 year ago

        Tom, I feel like you have no understanding of the job teachers do nor of the increasing demands. When people continue to demonize and punish teachers, piling more children into our rooms, providing less materials, and increasing the work load, I cannot in good conscience recommend a career that has been intellectually challenging and rewarding on many levels to anyone. Young people, the education field in California is inhospitable, but the posiibilities for … Read More

        Tom, I feel like you have no understanding of the job teachers do nor of the increasing demands. When people continue to demonize and punish teachers, piling more children into our rooms, providing less materials, and increasing the work load, I cannot in good conscience recommend a career that has been intellectually challenging and rewarding on many levels to anyone. Young people, the education field in California is inhospitable, but the posiibilities for intellectual growth and satisfaction are alive and well in many other states. Look there-New York, North Dakota, Connecticut-for better conditions.

        • Tom 1 year ago1 year ago

          Like I said, I have two kids in elementary school and spend time in their classroom, am a member of the Site Council, the PTA so am aware of what teachers do. Would still argue that teacher protections in CA are too stringent.

          • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

            Tom: Those of us who have 35 years (and more) everyday in the classroom tend to disagree with your assessment. Actually, one thing we know is that too many people who have spent time doing the actual job in the classrooms are not listened to about what should happen (or not) in classrooms. And way too many people who do "drive-bys" of some kind for a few days, weeks, years, etc., have way to much to … Read More

            Tom:

            Those of us who have 35 years (and more) everyday in the classroom tend to disagree with your assessment. Actually, one thing we know is that too many people who have spent time doing the actual job in the classrooms are not listened to about what should happen (or not) in classrooms. And way too many people who do “drive-bys” of some kind for a few days, weeks, years, etc., have way to much to say and rarely want to take advantage of the legally required forums where their “say” has a legitimate place. Some listening might help here. (Though you assert you are doing that.) And, too, these people are often dupes for the anti-public education forces who exert political and economic pressure in the legislature to undermine the schools.

          • Jann Geyer Taylor 1 year ago1 year ago

            Tom, It sounds like you are a very involved and caring parent. Since you are a member of your school site council, you have oversight responsibility to make sure that the budget supports the school site plan. You also participate in writing that plan. Since a usual portion of the plan involves teachers providing challenging curriculum and support for learners, you could focus on that section. Then, you could ask that … Read More

            Tom, It sounds like you are a very involved and caring parent. Since you are a member of your school site council, you have oversight responsibility to make sure that the budget supports the school site plan. You also participate in writing that plan. Since a usual portion of the plan involves teachers providing challenging curriculum and support for learners, you could focus on that section. Then, you could ask that the site council add a discussion item to their agenda about allocating principal time to adequately supervise and document teacher adherance to the plan. Principals have the power to observe, document, coach and ultimately terminate teachers. They have to make the time to do this aspect of their job, which requires knowledge of curriculum, methodological skills and organizational skills. This is how struggling teachers can improve-with knowledgeable support, or receive documented and periodic records of attempts to help which can lead to dismissal. Though tenure protects teachers from unwarranted attacks, it is not a prrotection for failure to teach. Look to your principals to do their jobs.

            As for teaching, though you are an active parent, I still question what you understand about the workings of my profession. Are you active in our summer book groups as we plan and develop new curriculum for Common Core Standards, thinking how we will address the needs of each of the 32, or 64, or 192 writers, readers, historians and mathematicians in our classrooms? Are you imagining how all the threads must work together-did we teach the several aspects of successful group work including communication skills so that each team works to increase everyone’s literacy abilities? –Is the content challenging for all, but accessible for the newest English speaker or the fabulous athlete who is two years behind in reading? Most of us do this work 365 days a year, thinking about children developing as citizens and community members as well as writers and thinkers, not expecting much understanding, but also not deserving of castigation by the community we work to support every day of our lives.

          • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

            Tom, there is no way a parent can know what a teacher does without themselves becoming a teacher, even via being involved as you are. Less as an SSC member, but surely as a PTA volunteer it’s probably beneficial for parents to understand that.

        • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

          No one is demonizing teachers. Let's be honest, teachers who exist who take days off just because they can despite having many more days off anyways and not actually being sick. Some teachers are bad. Some members of any profession are bad. People always say you're trashing teachers if you don't say all teachers should have a guaranteed job for life with income based on seniority. Some teachers are great … Read More

          No one is demonizing teachers. Let’s be honest, teachers who exist who take days off just because they can despite having many more days off anyways and not actually being sick. Some teachers are bad. Some members of any profession are bad. People always say you’re trashing teachers if you don’t say all teachers should have a guaranteed job for life with income based on seniority. Some teachers are great and some are awful and there is no profession not like that. Congressmen, salespeople, engineers, architects, doctors, nurses, police, firemen, factory workers, fast food workers, security guards, clerks, secretaries, muggers, crack dealers, prostitutes, strippers, accountants, embezzlers, professors, teachers, dancers, actors, actresses, comedians, taxi drivers, bus drivers, store clerks, cashiers, stockers, stockbrokers, ballerinas, janitors, scientists, seamstresses, dentists, mafiosos, baristas, models, Abercrombie guys, porters, CEOs, COOs, waiters, waitresses. All these professions have good and bad performers. No one is attacking a group of people by speaking the truth, that some are trying very hard and some don’t try their best and some have more natural abilities than others.

    • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

      Ann:

      Ever occur to you that many teachers ask themselves: “Wow, how and why did this person become a parent?” Just asking.

      • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

        Gary, this can't be compared. Lest we have totalitarianism such as Hitler or Stalin or Mao would approve of, we have to allow anyone who can attract a mate and purchase food be a parent, and that is nearly everyone. Teachers should have a standard, because it is a profession. We require a college degree and a credential. I believe there should be requirements to score well in student, principal and … Read More

        Gary, this can’t be compared. Lest we have totalitarianism such as Hitler or Stalin or Mao would approve of, we have to allow anyone who can attract a mate and purchase food be a parent, and that is nearly everyone. Teachers should have a standard, because it is a profession. We require a college degree and a credential. I believe there should be requirements to score well in student, principal and parent reviews and teach to decent test scores for the demographic. We can have more or less stringent requirements to become a teacher, but requiring people to be sterilized who don’t meet your or someone else’s criteria, and to pass a course to be desterilized, this seems wrong to me. I am not sure what your exact proposal is, but it seems to be headed in this direction.

        • Concerned parent 1 year ago1 year ago

          Mr. Floyd, Well thought out, well stated, makes good sense too, but, it seems that with regard to ensuring proper teaching is going on in a classroom that with regard to many getting paychecks from education or non profits pro common core ... It is very clear that with these radical thinking people with a rollout of radical ways to try to teach, without much proof of success... It all,seems that there is an educational madness going on … Read More

          Mr. Floyd,

          Well thought out, well stated, makes good sense too, but, it seems that with regard to ensuring proper teaching is going on in a classroom that with regard to many getting paychecks from education or non profits pro common core …

          It is very clear that with these radical thinking people with a rollout of radical ways to try to teach, without much proof of success…

          It all,seems that there is an educational madness going on and common sense is not common.

          Part of the problem is lots of so called “Doctors,” in education got their doctorate by an on line college that should not be accredited and these people are paid too much to speak “Feel Good Babble Talk,” and by doing so, they want to twist how children are educated in new untested experimental ways.

          We are paying too high a wage for workers in education.

          $$$ has created this monster of,edubabble and testing is panned off as a bad tool.

  22. Ridgeley 1 year ago1 year ago

    There is no national board certification requirement for a teaching credential. That is an optional add-on once a teacher earns the state credential and has a few years of experience.

    Adding to the shortage is the lousy way teachers are treated. Politicians and “reformers” put the onus of not just academics on teachers, but the raising and rearing of children: feeding them, discipline, psycho-social needs. The job has simply become impossible.

  23. Andrew 1 year ago1 year ago

    The huge increases in the cost of obtaining a college education and teacher training are dynamics that will also be in play here. An article I read recently pointed out that the average cost of a year at a private college, for example, had risen from about $1,800 in 1972 to $32,000 today, outstripping inflation by far. The article pointed out that a frugal student working part-time could emerge from even private … Read More

    The huge increases in the cost of obtaining a college education and teacher training are dynamics that will also be in play here.

    An article I read recently pointed out that the average cost of a year at a private college, for example, had risen from about $1,800 in 1972 to $32,000 today, outstripping inflation by far. The article pointed out that a frugal student working part-time could emerge from even private college without debt in 1972, all but impossible today.

    Today’s California public school teacher salary schedules, like those of the 70’s, are steeply pitched to favor long tenured teachers. California salary schedules tend proportionally to start lower and end higher than many others. But California starting salaries fail to provide a starting living wage for today’s newer teachers in view of the realities faced by those teachers, including the hugely increased cost of gaining an education and the dramatically increased cost of housing, especially big city housing.

    What you have now is long tenured teachers who obtained their educations debt free, when education was relatively cheap, and who purchased homes when housing was much less expensive, but who are being paid twice as much as financially struggling newer teachers faced with grossly out-of-proportion costs. A lot of smart young people will decide not to pursue teacher educations or teaching in face of this. Financially, they would do as well foregoing increasingly expensive teacher educations and working at Trader Joes or Costco. They would do much better financially becoming CHP officers or correctional officers. Add to all that the abuse of new teachers through layoffs during the recession. A lot of recruiting salesmanship will be needed, but will ultimately often net only those who are most easily sold, not exactly prime teacher material.

    Replies

    • SactoJim 1 year ago1 year ago

      Agreed & more. Attempts by people like Michelle Rhee and others to eliminate what perks do exist for teachers like job security and pensions will only add to what you've listed above. We've blamed teachers for results equally or more tied to stuff like bad genetics, bad home & social environments. We've essentially made teachers the sole responsible party for whether a child turns out ok, all while at the same time demonizing teachers as … Read More

      Agreed & more. Attempts by people like Michelle Rhee and others to eliminate what perks do exist for teachers like job security and pensions will only add to what you’ve listed above. We’ve blamed teachers for results equally or more tied to stuff like bad genetics, bad home & social environments. We’ve essentially made teachers the sole responsible party for whether a child turns out ok, all while at the same time demonizing teachers as lazy govt criminals while expecting them to be motivated.