Saturday, March 28, 2009

Is Anybody There? Does Anybody Care?

The superintendent dropped the bomb yesterday - they are looking at a 2% pay cut across the board. Of course, he couched it with we're trying to save teacher jobs, so if you complain you're getting a pay cut, you look like you'd prefer that someone would lose his job. He also said that 12% of the central office was going.

The central office is top heavy. Fifty percent of the central office could go and no one would miss them. I pulled the district website up the other day and opened up department after department and looked at the number of assistant superintendents, associate superintendents, area assistant superintendents, directors of curriculum (which are broken down by subject and grade level) and the sheer number of secretaries that each of these people have. But have you ever tried calling one of these people? You never get a real person. I don't know where their secretaries are but someone's voicemail always picks up.

In a related story, I read today that Teach for America applications are up by 42% this year. I jumped headlong into teaching without any teacher prep and it was a huge mistake for me; I don't think anyone benefitted from my first year teaching.

My gripe: TFA teachers get paid by the local school districts. I'm sure it's cheaper to pay TFA teachers than it is to pay regular teachers who have been around for years. I'm facing a pay cut and college grads with no experience are getting teaching jobs because it will look good on their resumes for grad school. And please don't start griping to me about Michelle Rhee - she doesn't have any background in education, either. Her Bachelor’s degree in Government from Cornell University and Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University don't impress me. She taught for three years in TFA. If you want to impress me, dig in and stay with a classroom for a while. Get your freaking credentials. I could probably go and fire a whole bunch of teachers and principals if someone appointed me chancellor or superintendent of a school district.

I've been trying to get a seat on the Professional Standards Commission but as I have found, it isn't what you've accomplished, it is who you know and how much money you've donated to the campaign.

So, imagine how much dollar Michelle dropped to get where she is today.

All this to say, I'm getting a pay cut, but college grads are getting our jobs with no credentials so they can "make a difference." What the hell have I done every day for twenty years?



Blogger John Deere Mom said...

Pay cut? That sucks. The entire situation sucks, actually. If you figure out the whole riot thing...let me know.

3/28/2009 11:06 AM  
Blogger Quotes from the Queen said...

I have been a teacher for several years and noticed many district in my area cutting back. From jobs lost to salary freezes, the education profession will definitely experience many changes due to the economy.

I hope the situation gets better soon for all of us.

3/28/2009 12:06 PM  
Blogger Melissa B. said...

I feel your pain. In fact, I was at a recent inservice that was led by--count 'em!--20 "central admin" types, all who pull in 6-figure salaries. If each of those suckers makes the minimum $100,000 per year, that's 2 million you can cut, right there! I don't know what these people do, but they perturb me immensely!

BTW, I'm celebrating One Year in the Blogosphere with a special 2-day Sx3 today and tomorrow. The winner gets a $50 Tar-Jay Gift Card. Please say you'll play!

3/29/2009 10:05 AM  
Blogger cupcake said...

So far - knock wood - pay cuts aren't headed our way. But there is a hiring freeze, so if a teacher leaves, we can't replace him or her, which means class sizes and all that stuff are affected. It also means that we may lose our planning periods, which The Pro says is like a pay cut because it's more work for the same pay.

I share in your outrage. I teach some thugs. They can, um, take care of things. If you know what I mean. Let me know if you want me to put you in touch ...

3/29/2009 6:22 PM  
Blogger The Vegas Art Guy said...

I am this close to my degree so I am right there with you. Hopefully I'll get a job this fall but the the jackasses in Carson city who knows when they'll have a budget...

4/18/2009 2:22 AM  

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