Sunday Links

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

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154 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  albatross | 


    I’ve always suspected teachers get beat on a lot for failing to solve problems (the black/white performance gap, the large gap between middle class + and poor kids, kids screwed over by their parents bad choices or bad genes) that were fundamentally too big for them to solve. And also for failing to make every parent and interest group happy, from parents with advanced kids they want pushed, to parents with special-needs kids, to parents with normal kids they want to have a pleasant and useful education, to parents whose kids are beating on the other kids, to parents whose kids are getting beaten on, to parents who want some information excluded or included on the basis of their religious or scientific or other beliefs. There is simply no way to make them all happy, or even to solve multi-generation social pathology in a classroom.

    Now, teachers’ unions are negotiating on the teachers’ behalf, not the students’ or the citizens’. And so it’s not surprising if they want more pay and less accountability. But most of what p-sses people off about the public schools seems to me to have much less to do with teacher quality and feedback than it does with dumping unsolvable problems and irresolvable disagreements on the schools, and demanding some kind of solution.

  2. #2 |  EH | 

    While I obviously would prefer that teaching be both more prestigious and better compensated

    You’re a liar, a bully, and your logic is weak. I don’t know what the public school system did to you, but it doesn’t deserve your derision.

    And my point was that teachers make less than idiot cops. This point doesn’t seem uncontroversial to me.

  3. #3 |  KochSister | 

    “The Kochs spend money to fight public sector unions because they’re libertarian ideologues.”

    Funniest thing I’ve read in a while.

  4. #4 |  BSK | 


    Great points, all around. Further up the thread, I pointed out that we often expect the teachers union to act in ways we don’t expect other unions to. I don’t fault the union for protecting teachers’ (even bad teachers’) jobs… that is what they are paid to do. I’m just railing against the general system. But you are spot on that we expect teachers and the schools to solve problems that the rest of society cannot or will not.


    Please provide some evidence. How am I a bully? What have I lied about? Where is the weakness in my logic? I’m happy to engage your argument, but you don’t seem to be presenting one. And basing your understanding of my position on an incomplete quote is just nonsensical.

    I understand full well that teachers make less than idiot cops (among many other professions). But when there are still areas where you can become a teacher with an associate’s degree and a passing grade on a test that requires a 7th grade education, it is hard to argue that, as a whole, the profession is underpaid. Many great teachers are severely underpaid. Most are probably paid appropriately (especially when you factor in benefits and the work schedule, which isn’t as comfy as most people presume but still allows 2-3 months to earn additional salary). And many are grossly overpaid.