The Teachers Have Their Hands In Our Pockets

Here we go again.  The teachers say they aren’t paid enough, and that shows how little we value public education. They claim they’re worth more than the pittance we pay them.  They have advanced degrees, and they don’t make as much as other professionals with equivalent degrees. And so on.

Cry me a river.

This post on the Charlotte Observer website got my blood up. Let’s overlook the fact that the “reporter” outright lied in her headline and lede.  (The chart she talks up actually purports to rank the inflation-adjusted change in teacher salaries.)  Look at the comments! Complaining about not getting cost of living raises, having to take work home, working more than 40 hours a week.

What world do these people live in?

Most of the people I know in the private sector do the exact same things!  If they’re blessed enough to have a full-time job, that is.  As I write this, it is Wednesday night.  I have already worked 33 hours this week.  That’s just at the office.  I’ve put in another 5 hours at home.  I’m not alone in this. I got my first raise in years, and I’m still not making what I was 7 years ago when the recession took hold. But I’m not demanding that the state use force to take my neighbor’s property and give it to me.

Then the comments about how the so-called “best and brightest” are leaving the “profession”.  Here’s a fact: the real “best and brightest” are not teaching.  They’re in the hard sciences, engineering, business.  They want nothing to do with education.

Here’s another little publicized fact: high-school seniors who state they want to major in education have the lowest mean aggregate scores on the SAT. (Go to the College Board’s website and look it up.) Let that sink in: the average student in education has SAT scores that couldn’t get him or her into any other field of study.  And these are the “best and brightest”?

(I know there are teachers who score high, &c.  Please don’t hold up this teacher or that one as an archetype for the field. Familiarize yourself with the concept of “the mean”.)

I haven’t even examined the grammar and style, if any, of the comments.  Suffice it to say they do not reflect well on the teachers who wrote them.

I’m going to write more on this…there’s just too much that remains to be said. But I’ve gone on long enough for now.


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