A short history of Extortion…

Today, there is universal arm chair social media outrage over Rep. McDugle’s video post.  I watched it – what was so unreasonable?  Please advise.

It is concerning to me that nobody is questioning the teachers, in the land of supposed conservatism.  They are a special interest, like any other group lobbying at the capitol.  I’m not writing this to be edgy; i’m genuinely puzzled that there seems to be no questioning the teachers demands.

If at the outset, the teachers had come together and said, okay, this is how much we need to educate your kids, that would be a start and we could negotiate from there.  But they didn’t, to my knowledge.  Therefore, the discontent could be perpetual.  As I pointed out in my last article, what dollar figure would magically make everything better?

No matter what the legislature budgets, the teachers can always demand more (as they have already) because they are in an ideal position to do so.  Also, we’re under republican leadership and it’s always fun to kick sand in the eyes of republicans, right?  If the democrat party was the majority party, there is no way that the strike would be permitted to happen.

A few photos of some tattered textbooks on social media is enough to convince everyone that the school system is physically deteriorating before our eyes.   Is it realistic?

Posts and interviews to this effect are calculated to receive an emotional response.  Give us what we want.  We want more.  

A $5-10,000 pay raise, and increased classroom funding.  Not enough

For nine days, schools in West Virginia were shut down due to similar demands, and because the state government allowed it to happen.  This emboldened the teacher movement in our own state.  Honestly, why is the state permitting this?  Sure, it was fun to let the teachers have their day where they made cute signs and had their picket line, but anything more than two days is absurd.

I hope it does not happen, but what will we do five years down the road when this is forgotten and teachers decide again that it’s not enough?  We’ll give in, we’ll raise taxes, anything for the teachers.   Teaching, a nine month job with Christmas and Spring breaks, will become the most lucrative job in the state…

 

 

 

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It isn’t good enough – or ever will be

Teachers today descend en masse on the Capitol.  Why?  Even after getting what they wanted, a considerable pay raise – the temper tantrum continues.  They have their soapbox, people are listening, and it’s clear they are going to milk it for all it’s worth.

Not that a pay adjustment wasn’t deserved, especially given the length of time and the increase in inflation since the last teacher pay raise.

What dollar figure would magically make everything okay?

Attempting to satisfy a hunger that can never be satisfied will only lead to waste of taxpayer dollars.  And these taxes are not sustainable; and it’s something we’ll forget about later, so they can nickel and dime us again.  But the real problem here:

It is clear that teachers exert a lot of influence over our children, and perhaps this is regrettable.  What are the teachers of Oklahoma teaching our children today?  Simply: if you don’t get what you want, skip out on your responsibilities and skip work until you do.  And even if you do get what you want: skip your responsibilities and throw a tantrum anyway.  For attention!

 

A few points:

  •  No one is under any illusions that teaching can make one rich.  Surely when all these teachers signed up for education degrees, they had to have looked into numbers and statistics regarding pay rates.  If they did, they knew about low pay rates, and have limited room to complain.  If they didn’t, well, that’s almost worse…
  • If people in my peer group knew about this article, i’d be roasted on a spit.  My only consolation is that people in my peer group don’t read these articles.  People worship at the feet of teachers – and yes, of course, there are great teachers.  But by and large, teachers are there to regurgitate a predetermined curriculum in largely a cookie cutter way and are easily replaceable.
  • They say that if we have better teachers, we’ll have more students going off to ivy leagues but really, this isn’t the case.  A student’s attitude towards education is largely determined by cultural and social circumstances in the home.  If a student is destined for an ivy league, he’s destined for it regardless of the teachers he has.  There are exceptions always, of course, but don’t act like spending more money is going to improve outcomes in this way.
  • Nobody is talking about how teachers get long vacations.  Summers, spring breaks, Christmas breaks – employees in the corporate world would kill for such lengths of time off.