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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Oregon makes a Bottom 10 list

Go by streetcar and light rail! The Beaver State's priorities certainly don't seem like they're "for the children."

Comments (16)

C'mon, you know as well as I do that if Oregon has an extra 1B lying around (like last legislature, like most of the stimulus money, like the tobacco settlement) the LAST place it goes to is schools. Top of the list is ALWAYS employee benefits.

The state has $250 million for the Mystery Train to Milwaukie.

Truth is, quality in education is not ipso facto correlated with the amount of dollars spent. Instead, what the latter is more correlated with is the number of teachers retiring at age 50, drawing more $$$ in retirement than they made while "working."

You are both right. Jack, more than anyone in the state, has exposed the wasted monies Oregon spends on bikes, trains and BETC foolishness. And PERS, Cadillac Healthcare and other lavish benefits do little to nothing "for the children"!

But c'mon...mediocrity in education gets beaten by a long shot...we're #4 in drug use for people over 12 yo nationally....something to really hang our hat on. Better living through chemistry.

...while "working."

Really? "Working" with sarcasm quotes? My high school senior has 47 other kids in his AP English Lit class. That particular teacher has three AP classes of that size each day plus other non-AP classes as well. While I think we can all agree that there are good teachers as well as bad - as in every walk of life - I think it's heinous to paint them all with your irksome anti-union paintbrush.

"The state has $250 million for the Mystery Train to Milwaukie."

Add the Convention Center Hotel - You just knew it wouldn't die.

As Ex-bartender notes, there are quite a few good teachers within our schools, but they may suffer because their professional organization (unions) protects all at the expense of the good.

This video describes the situation well:
The Teacher Machine

It's definitely NOT for the children.

When a teacher has a large class, such as what Ex-Bartender described, there is a definite dis-incentive for the teacher to assign essays or other longer-to-grade assignments. That directly affects the quality of education.

"I think it's heinous to paint them all with your irksome anti-union paintbrush."

Fine - What are they doing to fix the system then? If at the end of the day, the goal is better students, how the heck is the OEA helping to make that happen? AFAIK, the OEA's only concern is getting more benefits and to hell with the students.

Prove me wrong - Please.

Howzabout the OEA proving you wrong, Steve? Other than it ain't gonna happen.

Hey, Oregon is better than Washington at 3rd. Give us a break, Jack.

Many decades ago, teachers often met to discuss how they could improve things for students. I'm sure many still do. Unfortunatly, most of the media coverage centers on the union PR releases about wages, benefits and money issues.

I have several teacher friends. Some retired, some with years of experience, and others who recently joined the profession.

One thing learned very early on is: "we don't do things that way here" whenever a newcomer suggests an efficiency or different method. The more experienced, good teachers quickly learn that change is near impossible.

I have also observed how the teachers lacking classroom management or teaching issues are shifted to a new assignment, if these deficiencies are discovered during their probationary period to give them a second chance. However, once tenure is earned, seniority rules the day and performance is rarely, if ever cited for action. A principal told me specifically it was near impossible to remove a teacher unless soething illegal was done by the teaher.

Personally, I'd like to see the unions lead the charge to improve things for the students, or get out of the way. If they want to be perceived as a professional organization rather than a group of laborers then they need to shift the focus from wages, benefits, and work conditions, to matters that are "for the children". They need to develop standards for teachers that have some teeth, and assure that their members have more than a piece of paper saying they are certified and a good educator.

This could all be old news if we just vote to build The Grange casino.

Wow. If some high school teachers have classes with 48 students in them, then it sounds like those big, bad unions aren't that bad-a$$ after all.

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