Monday, June 27, 2005

from the new york times

Reading, Writing, and Retailing

By DAVE EGGERS, NINIVE CALEGARI and DANIEL MOULTHROP
Published: June 27, 2005

THIS is a bizarre and unsettling time in the lives of students, parents and teachers. It is a time when school lets out, and hundreds of thousands of teachers start their second jobs to keep their rents and mortgages paid. One day they're shaping minds, a moral force in the lives of the young people they teach and know, and in some ways the architects of the future of the nation. The next day they're serving cocktails and selling plasma TV's at the mall.

In your community, you might spot your son's Advanced Placement biology teacher working in the summer as a travel agent. Or perhaps your daughter's English teacher is painting the house down the street. Not counting those who teach summer school, about 20 percent of the country's teachers have second jobs (often during the school year, too), and the majority of those jobs could not be construed as enhancing universal respect for those who teach.

I want to read more.

here's a good excerpt for those who don't want to read the whole thing:

Meanwhile, President Bush's education law known as No Child Left Behind insists that by 2006 all teachers be "highly qualified." A laudable goal, clearly beyond debate. But while school districts must find increasingly qualified teachers, the legislation does not provide enough money to substantially increase teachers' earning potential.

Imagine that scenario in the private sector. A chief executive decides he wants better performance from his company. He issues a mandate that all employees be highly qualified. Then he proposes, as No Child Left Behind does, that the staff members be more tightly controlled, that they conform closely to his top-down directives and that they be tested yearly to keep their jobs. And he wants all of this without raising salaries a penny. Who would want to work for such an outfit?

3 Comments:

Blogger la maestra said...

hey, if you want to read teachers have it easy, stop by my house... i forgot that it would be delivered while i was out of town, so it's probably been sitting on my porch for days!

5:33 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Thanks for the link! I posted this on a message board I frequent for the teachers there to read. It got some good talk going.

5:45 PM  
Blogger MommyProf said...

Thanks, that was fascinating.

6:32 AM  

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