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Re: “Why Teachers Are Leaving (And New Teachers Aren't Replacing Them)

@Kudos to long-suffering teachers who stay in the game

You have no idea of my background in public education, especially at the political level of board politics or supportive parent-teacher groups. None.

My comments concern why I decided not to pursue teaching as a vocation and focused on the negative role played by the teachers union in Philadelphia and the level of instruction in Temple's teacher preparation program.

I didn't disparage teachers, I called the teachers union out for what was then a preoccupation with reducing hours of instruction and concerns unrelated to teaching their students. The instructors in the teacher prep courses were, again in my opinion, unqualified hacks. The parents? What do you say when one or two show up for parent teacher conferences and the rest never show or take any role in their kids' educations?

One city, one teachers college, one teachers union. That was the critical mass that turned my away from public school teaching. There are people like Safier, who dedicate their lives to teaching because they love seeing the lights come on in their students' eyes and are willing to put up with the ongoing distractions that impinge on their ability to teach. All praise to them. They are heroes.

6 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 09/27/2017 at 10:30 AM

Re: “Why Teachers Are Leaving (And New Teachers Aren't Replacing Them)

Dan Kennedy, you are by my count the third professional educator (sounds like that's the position from which you write) who has pointed out the invalidity of the math "teaching" methods Huppenthal repeatedly cites as an "achievement" in these comment streams. Kudos to you. The situation we are in in Arizona is not a good one. People who flaunt Huppenthal-style ignorance of education have not only been given free reign to do this to students whose parents have no way of knowing that this is not real math education, but they are also architects of education policy.

Rick Spanier, is someone dabbling in public education and then getting out when the conditions change so that they are no longer agreeable something that could be described as "service"? As for your own choice, exiting the profession and then disparaging everyone you came into contact with in the field -- parents, teachers, and teacher educators -- what kind of stance is that for a citizen in a democracy where more than 80% of those who vote will graduate (if they graduate at all) from public schools?

In politics and in education, seems like democracy cannot work when too many stand on the sidelines, with no skin in the game, no child in the schools, and from there make condescending commentary about how the beleaguered runners in the race they observe are beneath them. Meanwhile the citizen advocacy tasks that would make a concrete improvement to the educations of the majority of our fellow citizens have too few people willing to move them forward, or even take enough interest to know what they are.

I will never forget canvassing for a school board candidate in an affluent neighborhood of retirees most of whose homes were vacant (not cool enough yet in those early fall months to get on a plane and return to Arizona, no doubt). Of the few that were in residence and answered their doors, most didn't even know what school district they lived in. Skipped that part of their ballots when they voted, no doubt. One of them actually argued with me that he was in a more affluent district than he actually was, not realizing that he'd gotten a deal in his retirement home price precisely BECAUSE, the way the boundaries were drawn, he was NOT in that district. There's a small glimpse of the REALITY of "democratic control" of public ed in Arizona. It bears little resemblance to the beautiful theories of Safier and his fellow Supporters of Public Ed.

Depressing. None of this -- not Safier and his camp, not Huppenthal and his, not Spanier and other disengaged sideline commenters and voters like him -- bodes well for our children or for the collective future of this state.

6 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Kudos to long-suffering teachers who stay in the game. on 09/27/2017 at 9:33 AM

Re: “Can High School Athletes Take a Knee?

Frances Perkins-In eight years you will come to realize just how much Americans thrived under President Trump. That is the great part about the strength of our nation. One person can not define us or do enough damage to become irreparable. Obama didn't, Trump won't.

But it's citizens could. Let's come together.

4 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Wayne Olson on 09/27/2017 at 9:26 AM

Re: “Can High School Athletes Take a Knee?

At my high school graduation in 1971 when the National Anthem played I remained seated in my chair along with a small number of my fellow students protesting the events in Viet Nam. I was soon to receive my draft card. Few took notice of my protest in a graduation class near 400, except of course for my parents. My father was a WW2 veteran and very unhappy with my stance/seated position to say the least. In later years he came to be of the same opinion regarding Viet Nam, Nixon, etc.
High School is a significant time when the young person is in transition to adulthood. Children are often smart, sensitive and honest as long as they are nurtured by love and not by fear. We could learn a lot from them if we only listen.

I love this country, always have and always will, even with the current woefully narcissistic and inept president who doesn't understand our history, or how government works. Combine that fact AND a dysfunctional congress and you have the worst possible scenario politically speaking. Our constitution both protects and encourages the right to speak freely with responsibility, the right to protest peacefully, and the right to criticize our government regardless of age, race, gender, sexual identity, or economic privilege. Our leaders are after all, working for us. All of us. Our taxes pay their salaries...sometimes with regret.

17 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by ronko on 09/27/2017 at 8:15 AM

Re: “Can High School Athletes Take a Knee?

Olympic athletes stand for the playing of another countries anthem. We stand for Canada's. Whatever you think, just be respectful.
Anyway, it's time to do away with playing the anthem every time at sports events, that's not what it's about. Play it on special occasions,
Would mean more than.

4 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Deborah McGeary on 09/27/2017 at 7:11 AM

Re: “Can High School Athletes Take a Knee?

Ah, what would a comment about immigration be without a reference to the good old Irish. Different time, different population level.

2 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 09/27/2017 at 6:23 AM

Re: “Why Teachers Are Leaving (And New Teachers Aren't Replacing Them)

" My students don't need homework. When you do 600 math problems while at school, you've done as much as practice can do for you."

And the first time they come across a problem that takes them more than a minute to solve, what will they do? Throw a fit?

You are kidding yourself if you think your students doing 600 problems is evidence of sound math education.


12 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dan Kennedy on 09/26/2017 at 11:56 PM

Re: “Can High School Athletes Take a Knee?

Who defeated the Roman Empire? It must of been because all those Croatians, Hispanics, North Africans, Brits, Greeks, Syrians and Franks who did not raise their arms to SPQR chanting, "Hail Caesar!" There were those who felt when this country let the Irish in the country, that would be the destruction of the United States. There must have been those who felt freeing the slaves was the end of America. There must have been those felt the end of America was imminent when African Americans were let into public schools, unsegregated. I seem to recall the end of "don't ask, don't tell" , would be the destruction of effective armed forces. But can we survive Trump?

19 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Frances Perkins on 09/26/2017 at 8:18 PM

Re: “Why Teachers Are Leaving (And New Teachers Aren't Replacing Them)

Teaching in public schools requires people like Safier who eloquently describes what turned him on in the classroom (well said) and what today would presumably turn him off. He also mentions Teach for America, something I view as old wine in a new bottle. In 1969, one of TFA's predecessors was the Teacher Corps. Same premise. I enrolled and stayed in the program for a year as an intern in one of Philadelphia's toughest neighborhoods. The kids, 6th graders, were great, their parents less so, but the end gamers for me were two distinct groups. The first was the PTA, the teachers union. The second was the instructors in Temple University's teacher preparation program. What a deplorable bunch of coconuts. Substandard would be a compliment to these folks whose collective interest and experience in the classroom was self-serving at best and a con game at worst. I remained in Education for over 10 years, received my degrees, but never set foot in a public school classroom as a teacher again. The exodus from the teaching profession has been in the works for decades and likely will continue for decades more as the only new entrants will be those who could not find better, more satisfying careers paying more than a bit above the minimum wage.

David, thanks for your service.

9 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Rick Spanier on 09/26/2017 at 4:20 PM

Re: “Can High School Athletes Take a Knee?

It never ceases to amaze me of the excuses people conjure up to do, or not do something, based on what they think it means or what they believe.

It will be the unravelling of the greatest nation on earth.

Who defeated the Roman empire?

Between AD 406 and 419 the Romans lost a great deal of their empire to different German tribes. The Franks conquered northern Gaul, the Burgundians took eastern Gaul, while the Vandals replaced the Romans in Hispania.

Answer: Everybody

7 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Wayne Olson on 09/26/2017 at 11:35 AM

Re: “Film On Poisoned U.S. Soldiers Coming To Loft

It is a particular detail of fascism that soldiers are glorified by the very same ruthless generals, greedy entrepreneurs and heartless political hacks who also put them in harm's way for no good reason, poison them and then deny them decent health care when they return from their overseas ordeals.

I'm sick and tired of right-wingers squawking about "disrespecting the troops" just because someone doesn't slavishly stand at attention for bombastic jingoistic rituals when a ballgame is about to begin.

You want to respect the troops? You can start by bringing them home from the theaters of torture that we send them to for no good reason, and then maybe try treating them like human beings rather than disposable killing machines.

14 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by skinnyman on 09/26/2017 at 9:35 AM

Re: “Why Teachers Are Leaving (And New Teachers Aren't Replacing Them)

Meanwhile back at the TUSD ranch, let's take a look at what drives teachers away.

13 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Wayne Olson on 09/25/2017 at 2:37 PM

Re: “Why Teachers Are Leaving (And New Teachers Aren't Replacing Them)

Doug Martin, I can't respond to your statement that teachers are going to charter schools "in droves." I don't know what the nature of teacher shortages are at Arizona's charter schools, if they exist. Maybe you have information I don't which you can share. But here are some facts to put your statement in perspective.

You don't need a credential to teach at a charter school, and never have. So far as I know, there are no education requirements in state law. That means charters can draw from a larger pool of people, making it easier to find teachers.

Charter school teachers leave more frequently than district school teachers. At many charters, there is a very high turnover rate. That doesn't sound like the teachers have found a wonderful place to teach.

Teach For America is a program which takes college grads straight out of school, gives them a six week summer training course and puts them in teaching positions in district and charter schools around the country. The purpose of TFA has been to help supply teachers to underserved schools, mainly those with children from low income families. Over the past few years, TFA has become tightly connected to the charter school network. Though nationally charters educate something like 7 to 8 percent of students, more than 30 percent of TFA teachers go to work at charters. If charters had an easy time attracting teachers, it doesn't make sense that, proportionately, 4 times more TFA teachers end up at charters than at district schools.

10 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by David Safier on 09/25/2017 at 1:23 PM

Re: “Why Teachers Are Leaving (And New Teachers Aren't Replacing Them)

There is yet another issue, not mentioned in the article, nor addressed in the comments. Our son had to leave school to provide for his family. He returned, received his BA while working at a full time job, has 2 years of classroom experience in Middle School Special Education and Title 1 as a Teaching Assistant, and genuinely wants to teach. He does not have his certification, although that ,according to the state, is not required. He applied to every school district in Tucson and did not even receive one offer. Not even a temporary or probationary opportunity. I may be naive, but a 40+ year old male, with teenage children of his own, willing to teach at any grade level, not a fresh young graduate who may barely be older than the students to be taught, would seem to be a pretty decent commodity. So, the school districts can gripe all they want, but when someone who wants to work in a less than desirable profession gets no consideration, the districts are equally culpable.

10 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Steve Bresler on 09/25/2017 at 11:56 AM

Re: “Why Teachers Are Leaving (And New Teachers Aren't Replacing Them)


What you say might be true, but it is not measurable on the large-scale measures that we use to take the temperature of education.

In the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress, Math scores for the nation fell for the first time in 40 years. Arizona led the nation, number one when comparing 4th-grade test scores to 8th-grade test scores 4 years later.

On the 2015 Gallup survey, parent's rating of the quality of their child's school fell nationwide to the 2nd lowest rating in 47 years.

We have any number of districts which hit all-time highs on their internal measurements in 2015, way above the national measurement. Measurements which have been done the same way for more than 20 years.

Quality is more than gains in math and reading scores and an excellent relationship with parents. It's decent food in the cafeteria, dance classes, history, science and a thousand other things. But, some districts, such as Chandler, are reaching excellence in all these things. And, parents see it.

2 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by on 09/25/2017 at 11:48 AM

Re: “Reign in Tacos

I wish the new business good fortune, but I'm gonna miss Delectables great salads.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by laddderflappy on 09/25/2017 at 10:12 AM

Re: “Reign in Tacos

Remember when the University area had something to offer for Tucson's working folk? This place is for spoiled rich kids, and I guess their parents. And once again the Weekly, which was once a place to look for good deals, is cheerleading for places too rich for the blood of the regular people.

8 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by average joe on 09/25/2017 at 8:48 AM

Re: “Why Teachers Are Leaving (And New Teachers Aren't Replacing Them)

Wow. It is incredible to me that anyone who hasn't done/isn't doing the job of teaching even comments. I would hardly consider myself qualified to comment on the techniques a surgeon uses to remove a gall I would just shut up about it.
I have taught for 31 years-27 in Arizona. I am now in another state, and the morale and respect for teachers is MUCH higher-as is the pay. Yet I am still the same teacher I was in Arizona-where I didn't get one penny of a raise for 10 years. One of my very gifted, amazingly talented former colleagues (in Arizona) left the public schools this year-against her wishes. But she received a $10,000 raise, so.... Yeah. It is criminal what is happening to public education-the bedrock, the great equalizer, of our democratic society, in Arizona.

31 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Naomi Varga on 09/25/2017 at 7:00 AM

Re: “McCain: "I Cannot in Good Conscience Vote for Graham-Cassidy"

I agree with McCain, if the two parties would talk to each other, we might get more workable bills.
The only problem is that Obamacare was not passed through "regular order" either.

4 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 09/25/2017 at 6:52 AM

Re: “Why Teachers Are Leaving (And New Teachers Aren't Replacing Them)

And where are teachers least satisfied? Public schools.
What we need is more illegal immigrants and low-wage immigration in general. More people, lower wages, fewer benefits. It's a recipe for great improvement.

6 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by bslap on 09/25/2017 at 6:47 AM

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