March 05, 2009
WEA = status quo - UPDATED

The below takeoff on Dr. Suess was sent out by a WEA VP Mike Ragan to some folks within the union. Short version of the message: as long as there are budget cuts on the table, we're not interested in changing a damn thing:

Those bills-we-are Those bills-we-are We do not like Those bills-we-are!

Do you like
Green dregs and scam?
We do not want them
They should scram!

Would we like them here or there?
We would not like them here or there
We would not like them anywhere.

Would we like them in the House?
Will we take them with no rouse?

We do not like them in the House
Click here now to get them doused.

We do not like them here or there
No House, no Senate anywhere
We do not like green dregs and scam
We do not like them
They should scram!

Would we change evaluation?
Would we change our compensation?

Not right now
No way, no how
Not evaluation
Not compensation
Not accountability
Or certification
Not in the House
Not in the Senate
Not with $1 billion in cuts
No ifs and or buts.

Tell legislators we don't want to spar,
But it's time for them to get rid of these
Bills-we-are.

How magnanimous of them. Their message is essentially "we're not interested in reform until we get more money." Well, since no one is predicting that the fiscal situation at any level of government will become rosy anytime soon, the WEA's position shows the union is perfectly content to leave an imperfect system as is rather than try to find ways to improve student learning with the resources that are available.

Remember that the next time you see a WEA-funded ad claiming it's all about the kids.

UPDATE: here's some contrast: the Washington Policy Center is highlighting an Education Reform Plan to improve public schools, a number of which don't rely on pouring more money - which isn't available anyway - into the system. Highlights include:

1. Put the principal in charge
2. Give parents choice among public schools
3. Let teachers teach
4. Double teacher pay
5. Replace the WASL with another standard
6. Create no-excuses schools
7. Transparency - put school budgets and teacher qualifications online
8. Make the Superintendent of Public Instruction an appointed office
Posted by Eric Earling at March 05, 2009 08:54 AM | Email This
Comments
1. They're as 'sing-song' in their communications as they apparently are in their constructive creativity efforts. :)

Posted by: Duffman on March 5, 2009 08:48 AM
2. If you're going to to double teacher pay, strip them of their classroom assistants/paid staff and increase class size to 30+. Doing so would return schools to pre-1960 student/teacher ratios, back to when teachers, y-know, actually taught their students.

Posted by: Saltherring on March 5, 2009 12:05 PM
3. Spot on Saltherring.

Posted by: Paddy on March 5, 2009 01:34 PM
4. Sorry... but with these abysmal outcomes, a dramatic pay CUT should be under consideration.

Teachers are not God, and need to be held accountable for their outcomes... and considering the outcomes we get, when kids aren't dropping out of school, that is... they need to consider themselves damned lucky they get a check at all.

Posted by: UKiddenMe? on March 5, 2009 05:40 PM
5. Pre 1960. That's an interesting number to look at. Let's look at the 1950 census:

http://www2.census.gov/prod2/decennial/documents/21983999v2p1ch3.pdf

Out of a population of 87,570,575 people over the age of 25, 29,237,025 had completed 4 years of high school or any amount of college. That's about 33%.

In 04-05, the graduation rate was 71%.

http://www.all4ed.org/files/National_wc.pdf

So....why go back to pre-1960?

Posted by: Ryan on March 5, 2009 09:06 PM
6. Here's some contrast: the Washington Policy Center is highlighting an Education Reform Plan to improve public schools.

4. Double teacher pay

Double teacher pay? How generous of them? What does that cost, and where would the money come from?

More important, why? Where is the evidence that such an astronomical increase in teacher compensation would have anything like a proportional return in higher student achievement.

WPC says more spending hasn't done much to schools. Yet they propose doubling teacher salaries. What do they think we spend money on in schools, if not teacher compensation?

Bad idea, poorly supported.

Posted by: friar on March 8, 2009 06:21 PM
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