Archive for the ‘politics’ Tag

WRAL’s Coverage on North Carolina’s Treatment of Teachers

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Link to WRAL video

Teachers say they feel state officials don’t respect them

 

This past Monday our local media outlet WRAL afforded me the opportunity to share my motivations on leaving the teaching profession. During our conversation, Laura Leslie displayed an honest concern for the plight of educators.  The story highlights the disparaging treatment of teachers by the current Governor Pat McCrory. With edits aside, I know all the individuals interviewed for this piece had a lot to share in their discontent of current treatment by the GOP led North Carolina government.  The following are some further thoughts on this topic:

All Educators deserve the right to fair compensation and a livable wage as professionals. And by fully recognizing the power of education, policy makers could better address the diverse societal challenges in North Carolina.

I believe that:

1. A Well funded Education system brings significant benefits to society: skilled workforce, greater employment opportunities, income tax contribution, and an improved social status.

2. Education is a profession of lifelong learning. Highly qualified and trained teachers will generate successful student outcomes. Attainment of additional degrees and certifications should be compensated

3. Its not just about “doing more with less.” Teachers are amazing problem solvers so thats not the issue. Teachers are asked to do more and more with less and less and teachers have reached the breaking point

My Background:

– both parents teachers/admin with 30 and 35 years of experience in Education

– 13 years in the teaching profession with 4 years of teaching experience in Canada

– Master’s Educational Admin

– designed and facilitated 2 magnet elective courses in Physics – Skateboard Science the Physics of Motion and Cosmology

– School based Technology Coordinator

– Presented at NCSTA this past November on Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) as well as Integrating Technology into the classroom inservice training at the school level

– secured Donors Choose grant for new laptops

– Last teacher evaluation I scored a majority of “Distinguished” level attributes/indicators highlighting a high level of my effectiveness as an educator

Working conditions:

– Mon Wed Fri – 14 work hour days at Brain Balance Achievement Centers

– Tue Thurs – stay at school to keep up to date on grading, parent communication, lesson prep, discipline reports etc..

**The second job for many teachers is not a choice, its survival**

– class sizes grew each year, money for classroom supplies fell each year.  30+ is not an environment conducive to providing students the attention they deserve as being a part of a learning community.

Morale

– altruism (coaching, arts performances, academic clubs, and all donated time activities) is a part of teaching accepted by all those who teach.

– the reality of being able to provide for ones family carries significant weight when planning for the future. When both time and money are monopolized it leaves very little quality time with ones family.

My position with respect to the NC governments view of education…

A budget that does not include a pay raise, eliminates extra pay for advanced degrees, phases out teacher tenure and cuts funding for teacher assistant positions is not placing the future of North Carolina as a priority. Teachers are; venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and are the ultimate job creators. Teachers deserve to be shown our appreciation with a respectable wage.  

 

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Politics in Education

Monday, October 11th, 2010

The following is an excerpt from a discussion about the role of politics in educational research. If allowed I hope to post my fellow classmates responses as they further this conversation.
In the political system “what counts as worthwhile knowledge is determined by the social and positional power of the advocates of that knowledge. The link here between objects of study and communities of scholars echoes Kuhn’s (1962) notions of paradigms and paradigm shifts” (Cohen, 2000). Governments place a lot of focus on the education system however, it seems the political swings of new pedagogy that govern our educational system tend to fluctuate to extremes as a means of distracting those attempting to draw attention to greater issues in education like a lack of authentic funding for public school programs. Many of the misguided reformations in education stem from third party research findings whose data is used for guidance in policy reform. Perhaps the style of research taking place in education is more of an ongoing evaluation of the system rather than the diagnosis that lager systemic changes are needed. Morrison provides one definition of evaluation as: “the provision of information about specified issues upon which judgments are based and from which decisions for action are taken”(Cohen, 2000). There is currently a large movement to connect educational research to policy making, which also brings into play the funding connected to educational research. Policy makers believe if research is kept separate from politics it loses much of its intended purpose and becomes a frivolous evaluation of a new set of programs.
On both a macro and micro level education is tied into the political system. On a micro-political level Usher and Scott argue that micro-politics, influence the commissioning of research, the kind of field-work and field relations that are possible, funding issues, and the control of dissemination of the research findings. Morrison suggests that this is particularly the case in evaluative research, where an evaluation might influence prestige, status, promotion, credibility, or funding (Cohen, 2000). In a profession where community opinions weigh heavily one must give the utmost consideration to the politics of the system. All decisions in education can and will have longer lasting, further reaching consequences than we can currently predict with any accurate measure. A continual evaluation of the system and the persistent reinvention of the system can only work to provide thoughtful feedback and hopefully some guidance in assessing academically sound teaching practices.

Source

Cohen, Louis, Manion, Lawrence & Morrison, Keith. Research methods in education.
London; New York: Routledge/Falmer, 2000