The problem with education…
…is three-fold. First, unionized teachers. Second, administrators. Third, the politicians who employ them.
OK, got the message on the sign?
We don’t pay teachers enough. At least according to this American Federation of Teachers picket. I’m sure the larger and leftier National Education Association agrees. As does every Democrat elected official or wanna-be-elected-official in the country, given that the NEA and the AFT fund Democrats and in the 2007-08 cycle,
The National Education Association has earned a reputation for using campaign contributions to purchase the loyalty of lawmakers at the federal and state levels.
In the 2007-08 election cycle, for instance, the union, through its political action committees, spent a whopping $56 million on various candidates and state ballot proposals. That ranked the NEA as the largest political contributor in the nation, outspending the second-place donor by more than $12 million.
The smaller American Federation of Teachers doesn’t give as much, but it’s still a major player in the purchase-a-politician game. In 2007-08 the AFT spent about $12 million on candidates and ballot proposals. The two teachers unions even combined to form a third PAC, “NEA AFT,” which spent more than $3.3 million on campaign contributions.
As one writer recently put it, “America’s two teachers unions outspent AT&T, Goldman Sachs, Wal-Mart, Microsoft, General Electric, Chevron, Pfizer, Morgan Stanley, Lockheed Martin, FedEx, Boeing, Merrill Lynch, Exxon Mobil, Lehman Brothers and the Walt Disney Corporation – combined.”
OK, you got that? More than fifteen of the largest corporations in the world, evil corporations that the Democrats are constantly railing about, give to political parties. Oh, and virtually every dollar of the NEA/AFT money goes to Democrats. I didn’t look, but I’d be willing to bet the money given by corporations is closer to 50/50. And just where do you think the money comes from? Well, that would be from dues the unions collect – for the most part on a mandatory basis – from teachers who are required to join the union and pay the dues. Bottom line, unions launder taxpayers money through teachers to Democrats so Democrats will pay teachers more and hire more administrators.
So, what’s all that got to do with “education”? Thanks for asking. From the New York Post…
The Department of Education pays about 1,500 teachers for time they spend on union activities — and pays other teachers to replace them in the classroom.
It’s a sweetheart deal that costs taxpayers an extra $9 million a year to pay fill-ins for instructors who are sprung — at full pay — to carry out responsibilities for the United Federation of Teachers.
With Mayor Bloomberg calling for thousands of teacher layoffs to balance the 2012 budget, critics say it’s time to halt the extravagant benefit.
That $9 million would cover the salaries of 198 new teachers at the current annual $45,530 starting pay
The DOE lets 40 experienced teachers collect top pay and fringe benefits, but work just one class period a day.
English teacher Tom Dromgoole, for instance, collects top teacher pay, $100,049 a year, from the DOE for his slot at Leadership and Public Service HS in downtown Manhattan. But he is relieved for most of the day to serve as a UFT high school rep. The UFT supplements his salary by $50,461…
Read the whole article if you’ve got a strong stomach or access to lots of alcohol.
And then there’s the Central Falls High School in Central Falls RI. Last year the school district announced they would close the HS because it was a complete failure and had been for a long, long time. Graduation rate was less than 50% and 93% of students scored below “proficient” on standardized tests. There was great howling and gnashing of teeth by the teachers – who average $76K in a blue collar town where the average Vinnie makes $22K – and the district negotiated a plan to make everything nice-nice. The teachers all got raises. You can read about the initial announcement here.
Well, last week the district announced that CFHS had risen from the ashes and was a transformed school. Here’s what a five-year transformation plan looks like:
The percentage of students scoring proficient or above in math was 12 percent in 2010, but the 2011 target is 25 percent and the 2012 target is 40 percent. in reading, 65 percent of students were proficient or above in 2010, while the 2011 target is 75 percent and the 2012 target is 85 percent. The district committed to improving the school culture created a Parent-Teacher-Student Organization.
Got THAT? Instead of firing the idiots who are being paid three times the average wage in the town to teach kids and move the kids to a currently successful school or open a charter school, they keep kids in this pit for another five years. And instead of the 88% who couldn’t add a column of numbers last year, only 75% will be unable to this year. According to the plan. No report on reality yet.
Posting guidelines for a family site prevent me from expressing how I really feel. But I will note that Florida Governor Scott has the right idea – shut down public schools entirely, provide parents with vouchers and use them in private/charter schools.
Governor Walker, in a side note, don’t back down in Wisconsin.
- National Education Association to Double Members’ Dues Spent on Politics (chicagonow.com)
- NEA to Double Member Dues Contribution to Political War Chest (hotair.com)