Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Future Of Education In Fitzwalkerstan

Sometimes, our commenters leave a comment that is so spot on that they deserve their own post.

An example would be this comment left on this piece about how good teachers are leaving in droves because of Act 10 and all of its intended and unintended consequences:
I can tell you what happened to me--it's how educators are being treated now. In my school, a teacher with 19 years of experience (read: teacher at top of the salary scale) was non-renewed. I was told that next year, I would be teaching "his" classes as well as mine--two separate subjects with well over 300 students. I was also at the top of the salary scale; feeling as though I was being set up to fail (merit pay, anyone?), I retired. The teacher who was hired to take my place is a new, unexperienced teacher (read: bottom of the salary scale). In effect, my district got rid of two highly paid teachers and replaced us with one very low paid teacher. This is the future of education in WI.


  1. Kids right out of college are getting positions that would have warranted at least 3 year of experience in the past. Why? Because they are complex subjects requiring not only teacher training but skill and talent. Districts are only looking at the bottom line now and not how to preserve and built quality programs.

    Teachers with 3-5 years experience cannot move to different jobs because they have "too MUCH" experience.

  2. This will be extremely damaging in science and math. Children with learning disabilites will be especially screwed.

  3. Remember a few things concerning this. One, this attack on teachers is happening just as the country is looking at education and saying, "We've gotta do a better job". Two, this is all Scott Walker's fault. Without the massive, unprecedented, nation leading cuts to education, this would not be an issue. Districts are simply scrambling, trying to figure out what the heck they're going to do with millions less in state aid and a cap on their own taxing ability. This is Scott Walker's vision for education.

  4. And no currently employed teacher with experience can switch jobs. No district can afford them. Almost all new hires are at bottom of pay scale.

  5. After 20+years in a private sector job, I made the switch to becoming an instructor at Technical College in 2008. Trust me, the wages weren't better, but the desire to teach a trade that I had learned, became proficient at, and was passionate about trumped the financial factors. What I didn't count on was having friends refer to me as being on the "dole", or being a Union Thug. Dare I return to the private sector and take away a job that probably now take two employees?

  6. Anonymous 11:54, you know that is not true, so why try to put that lie over on readers of this blog? and of other sources that show it's a lie? State your source for your statements that teachers are not switching jobs? That contradicts what we have read in direct quotes from teachers, named in stories in the Journal Sentinel and other media and on this blog.

    We know that many of the teachers leaving the New Berlin school district, for example, are taking jobs that pay less elsewhere. Teachers don't go into the field for money. Respect for their experience and expertise matter more, so many are not staying in a school district whose board bashes them and whose residents spit on them at a school board meeting.

    We also know, from stories such as one in the JS just this week, that some districts are deciding that they can't afford not to pay for experience and expertise, as in the case of the hiring (in Glendale, as I recall) of a kindergarten teacher for $63,000 and a math teacher for $55,000, far above the norms. Some districts know that the first teacher that a student will have can have huge impact for years to come. And many districts know that Walker's Act 10 law cannot override ye olde law of supply and demand, and math teachers are in low supply and high demand.

    So much for almost all new hires at the bottom of the pay scale. Perhaps that is so, though, and those stories are news because they are exceptions. So what is your source re the rest of the thousands of new hires now? Of course, if the new hires are new to the field, they will be at the bottom of the pay scale. (Uh . . . give us a "duh.")

    But as for that bottom of the pay scale, it may not be where it has been in past. I happen to know of several hires new to the field this fall, and I am intrigued in seeing that, for example, the West Allis-West Milwaukee school district has upped that bottom of the pay scale by a lot -- by $5,000 more than in past -- because the impact of Act 10 has not been what Walker planned in some cases.

    Again, in causing thousands of resignations (some teachers switching out of teaching, of course, to other fields that can afford them), in addition to the thousands of layoffs of teachers owing to his cutbacks to school districts, he forgot the law of supply and demand.