Wednesday, June 25, 2008, 08:14 PM ( 22 views ) - Posted by AdministratorThe New York State legislature usually spends its time either on vacation or passing obnoxious laws, like ones requiring me to pay taxes on stuff I buy over the Internet even if the vendor isn't based in New York. My Internet purchases just became 8.25% more expensive. Good job, state legislature; that's the way to save the economy from its imminent death.
Anyway, once in a while the legislature tries to do stuff that's worthwhile, like prevent school districts from blowing tons of money on teachers' salaries and other illegitimate stuff. Unfortunately, none of the good laws ever come to fruition, since the New York State United Teachers lobby, the AIPAC of state politics, would never tolerate a law that might cut into teachers' salaries.
Public school teachers need to get over themselves and realize that they're already getting way more than they deserve. Teachers whine all the time about how hard they work for such little pay. In reality, teaching is one of the only professions in the country that offers absolute job security once you get tenure, steady annual pay increases, a six-hour workday and half of the year off. If teachers got what they deserved, they would have to worry like everyone else about losing their jobs or not getting raises and would actually work forty hours a week all year. Even French people almost work harder than teachers in this country, which is sad.
Moreover, teachers like to talk about how they deserve their gravy train because their role in society is so crucial for bringing up the next generation of skilled Americans, which makes everyone happy by keeping our corporations profitable, et cetera. When I was in high school, however, most of my teachers were pretty incompetent. With the exception of the one teacher in the school who taught introductory calculus, my math teachers knew little more than the algebra and geometry that they taught. I had history teachers who couldn't come up with a grammatically valid sentence no matter how long they tried. I was once told that the Second World War ended in the 1960s and that the Magna Carta was signed by Bolsheviks in 1932. My economics class taught me a lot about playing monopoly, but I still don't understand basic economic concepts. A handful of my teachers did know stuff and worked pretty hard, but they were few and far between. If teachers want to be taken seriously, they should take the time to learn stuff before telling us how American education will fail if we don't preserve the current system.
Anyway, the bill to stop teachers from being ridiculous is dead, and the state legislature is back on vacation, so I don't think it's worth pretending that things will ever change.