• Keith

    I wonder how Wisconsin’s statistics compare to NJ’s after Chris Christie broke the stranglehold of the teacher’s union there? Mr. Meiksins’ bullet points sound as anecdotal as his thoughts about the AP tests later in the article (he does not disclose the graduation rates, which might afford more concrete evidence). First, the fact that teachers leaving “spiked” is no surprise. Sounds like they realized that the gravy train was finished, and took the money and ran. He also makes it sound as though having teachers with less than 5 years of experience is inherently a bad thing. However, one of the worst features of the teachers’ contracts, at least in NJ, was that seniority protected even the worst teachers, as it was “last in, first out” if there were ever any cutbacks, making it very hard to get fresh ideas and creativity into the ranks. I think a much more comprehensive assessment of the Wisconsin results needs to be done before deciding that weakening teachers’ unions is a bad thing. I happen to support education in numerous ways, including continued education for teachers and scholarship funds for students, but shaking things up in the public school system may be beneficial for all.

    • Jack Covey

      “I happen to support education in numerous ways, including continued
      education for teachers and scholarship funds for students, but shaking
      things up in the public school system may be beneficial for all.”

      It’s not “beneficial or all.” When your public school child is being taught by someone with a only a high school diploma — someone with no degree at akk, let alone a teaching credential — you won’t find it all that “beneficial.”

      Then when you ask the principal, “Why is Goober Pyle being allowed to teach my child? The guy can’t even speak a grammatical sentence, let alone write one,” and she/he replies, “Given the way teaching has been degraded by right-wing politicians to a low-paid, untrained service job comparable to fast food, Goober was actually the best person who applied for the job,” you’ll start to understand why what’s going on will be a disaster for the children of the middle and working classes.

      “I think a much more comprehensive assessment of the Wisconsin results
      needs to be done before deciding that weakening teachers’ unions is a
      bad thing.”

      Keith! Dude! In some states, they’re allowing people who have only a high school diploma to teach kids … all of this arising from the right-wing attacks on teachers.

      Get something through your head: The Koch Brothers and the rest of those scum DON’T GIVE A SH#@ ABOUT THE EDUCATION OF MIDDLE AND WORKING CLASS CHILDREN. They backed puppets like Walker to destroy public education, and make themselves even more insanely wealthy than they already are. This is all:

      1) To less taxes paid by wealthy people and corporations

      2) To allow money-motivated scum to get rich of the privatization of schools.

      Listen to this radio podcast for a great overview of all this:

      http://haveyouheardblog.com/tag/gordon-lafer/

      Click the PLAY button on the embedded podcast.

      Please listen to this podcast with an open mind, and report back.

  • Jack Flanagan

    Rob,

    Like you I’d like to see more actual results of student achievement, even if the standardized tests have changed several times since Act 10 passed. Why not provide that with the appropriate caveats.

    You also note wrt an increased number of students taking AP tests “…that argument seems weak. In logic model terms, they are proposing an output, not an outcome, as the measure of success.” That said in logic model terms, don’t your various bullet points discuss (a decline in) inputs as opposed to outcomes ?