June 14th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

District's 'Teacher of the Year' laid off

by John Martin, CNN

(CNN) - As many as 33,500 teaching jobs nationwide have been lost since September, according to a recent analysis by the Washington Post. Sutterville Elementary School 6th grade teacher Michelle Apperson joined the ranks of those unemployed educators when she was laid off by the Sacramento City Unified School District.

Apperson isn't a new teacher, and she's not considered the bottom of the barrel. She taught at Sutterville for nine years, and was selected as this year's Teacher of the Year for the entire district. That distinction did not prevent Apperson's pink slip.

The district was facing a $43 million budget shortfall, which it addressed in part through cuts in its workforce – including teachers. A district spokesperson said the way teacher layoffs are handled is mandated by state law, and that the layoffs were based on seniority. Gabe Ross, the district's spokesman, called the situation "awful" and said, "It's another sign of how education's funding really needs an overhaul."

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Filed under: Economy • Elementary school • Policy • Teachers • video
soundoff (867 Responses)
  1. divide and CONquer

    Let's end the emotional arguments and instead try to use some logic and reason.

    Someone here should take the time to read the history of the American education system, and find out precisely what happened, when it happened, who did it, who continues to corrode the educational system, and why. Enlighten yourselves, and get ready. Even the Senate could not find this out in 1950s with the Reese commission. I dare you learn!

    http://voluntarysociety.org/conditioning/conspiracy/g.edwardgriffin/

    June 15, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  2. pablo

    good teachers lose their jobs all the time because of union seniority rules and tenure. The unproductive and lazy who have been there the longest benefit from such rules.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • bpuharic

      And in non union states they lose them for politics, personalities, etc. Non union states generally have worse educational results than unionized states

      June 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
  3. Mark

    The problem is not really the Unions either, they would want more teachers, and collect even more union dues...

    The problem is that people in powerful positions do not want you, your children, or their future children to be smart. They like dumb people that can not organize, protest, fight back. Uneducated people are easier to confuse, control, manipulate, and take advantage of.

    Every year they cut education, take away your rights, and make mothers and fathers work more hours and spend less time with their children to make ends meet. Its a long term plan of power, control, and greed at the highest levels. Education is too low quality to out-smart the powerful and greedy now, and people are too distracted with debt and are too divided to resist and fight back with organized force. As the population grows, the iron fist clenches tighter...

    June 15, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • HPN

      Your statement leaves questioning your education and reading comprehension. The context of the article is referring to a standard practice of labor unions to lay off by seniority versus merit. You have missed the whole point of the article.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:44 am |
      • bpuharic

        Since when has it been proven that non union layoffs are the result of 'merit'? Got proof?

        June 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  4. Jay

    The MAJOR point of this story was merely brushed aside: She was laid off b'c of... tenure. THAT is the major problem. Teacher's unions/State laws allow poor performing teachers to keep their jobs as long as they've worked longer than newer, more capable teachers. Such a sad state of affairs. The teacher's unions should be ashamed for such a wretched policy of rewarding poor performers. The kids are the one's losing out.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • jlaud

      The problem is clear. The Teacher Unions don't care about performance period. They only look at seniority. They'll throw the baby out with the bath water. The process for teachers need to change and it can't be based solely on test scores.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:36 am |
      • bpuharic

        So where's the proof non unionized school districts outperform unionized ones? TX has no unions and ranks 47th. So, other than your faux news mythology, where's the PROOF?

        June 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  5. MillieBea

    You very rarely hear about administrators being laid off- hmmmmm

    June 15, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • hypatia

      Of course not. Administrators are the entire problem and if they'd cull that herd, there would be a lot more $ for the classrooms.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Ann

      You're right; they just move them from school to school within district or give them glowing recommendations so that they move on to another district. Murphy's Law-Adms rise to the highest level of their incompetance. Of course the good teachers and all students suffer because of it.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  6. Jay

    Keep spending, libs.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Reggie

      How about spending billions invading a country looking for imaginary weapons of mass destruction

      June 15, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • hypatia

      troll

      June 15, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Xenia

      Who taught you to be so smart?

      June 15, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • bpuharic

      Biggest spenders in history are conservatives. Obama cut the size of govt. Reagan blew it up. But right wingers love their fairy tales!

      June 15, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  7. BD

    The fact that we are firing teachers rather then hiring them as a means to deal with the current economic climate is the saddest fact of all.

    Its no different than a bankrupt business selling off its physical assets.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  8. Jen

    Everyone blasts bad teachers, but if you actually look at it, the number of good and hardworking teachers far outnumbers the bad. It is always so frustrating to hear about all of these "bad teachers" who collect these amazing benefits and read the paper all day. Florida has an extrememly weak teacher's union compared to other places. Teachers are working like crazy to comply with the ever changing stream of mandates, curriculum changes, and policy shifts. For those who say that there is no accountability, we have a 10+ page evaluation with 10 observations per year. 52% of my evaluation is based on test data, 47% is based on my observation/performance, and 1% is based on other stuff. Please tell me when I have time to sit on my butt and read the paper. (the sad part about my evaluation is that because I teach graduating seniors and they don't test, my score is based on the 10th grade FCAT. My value as a teacher is determined by kids I have never seen before).
    The new shift is to charter schools. THIS IS WHERE TAXPAYERS SHOULD BE OUTRAGED! PRIVATE CHARTER COMPANIES ARE ALLOWED TO TAKE THE BUILDING FOR FREE!!! THEY PAY NO RENT, NO LEASE, NOTHING!!! What is happening in my community is the schools get renovated (taxpayer dollars), and then the very next year they flip charter. So the private company gets an upgraded school for FREE!!!!! It is a state statute. Look it up.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • hypatia

      "charter schools" and vouchers are the fascisti's way of trashing public education. After all, they don't want an educated population-that would be like pulling aside the curtain and exposing the wizard as a humbug.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  9. Adam

    Dewey is exactly right. He made me think and I appreciate his post. Good on ya mate.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  10. DonJuan1943

    We pay a teacher $29,000 per year. We pay a drug addled, tattooed, Cadillac Escalade driving professional basketball player/thug $15,000,000 per year. And we cannot afford to rehire the teacher. Excuse me while me head explodes.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • You are correct

      If people would quit watching basketball, the players would not get paid that much.

      Maybe we can start broadcasting math class on tv to bring in sponsorship money?

      June 15, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • GypgyGal

      That's right – 1 professional basketball player is worth over 500 teachers. Such a sad reflection of our society.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Dan

      The professional basketball player isn't paid for with taxpayer dollars, DonJuan.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:33 am |
      • CosmicC

        Really? Who pays to build the arenas they play in? What about the costs of teaching them to play in public high schools and colleges, where a disproportionate amount of budgets go to sports programs rather than academics?

        June 15, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Mike

      That would be frustrating if our tax dollars paid those basketball salaries, and my reason for not going to the games to contribute. Too bad the public spends so much to see sports to support massive salaries, while so little of our taxes get routed to Education...

      June 15, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  11. Andy Wang

    I taught for a couple of years in the Los Angeles Unified School District as well as just completing my Masters in Education. I am no longer working in public education as there are too many holes in the sinking ship. You can point your finger in a lot of directions but after studying the statistics I can tell you that our system is in crisis. There are some high schools in Los Angeles that have only about 10% proficiency rate in Reading and Math. Brutal.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  12. pgh

    Reply to Dewey who's currently kvetching that no posters like unions: Many of the union contracts specify first hired, first fired. That is how unions control who's laid off if layoffs are needed due to economic turndowns. The teacher could've won a Nobel Prize but still get canned in preference of a 60 year old half deaf pedophile, simply due to first hired first fired clause in most contracts.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Mike

      I think you mean last hired first fired

      June 15, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • JM

      And the reason the do that? So that the administrators don't get rid of the older, higher paid teachers when they are out of money. Older (experienced?) doesn't mean bad. If the administration is doing its job well, the more senior teachers should also be good.

      The saddest part of this story is that a teacher whose been there 9 years is low on the seniority list. Think of the number of good teachers who have been lost. And think of the kids who suffer.

      This is not a union/non-union issue. This is whether we care about our kids.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • local

      It is last hired first fired numbnuts.................Yer we have principal's here in the burgh that pull down 6 figure salaries and are absolute idiots. Unions are worthless except to protect the poor excuse of crappy employee's and pay union officials outrageous sum's.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  13. saywhat?

    I have a much better idea, stop using taxpayers money, period!

    If you dont like that, How about user tax??

    June 15, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Mike

      You seem to be missing a significant point. "Free" public education is much cheaper than other options. You want an educated workforce to do the work. If you want people to each have to pay for educating their children on their own, you will have to pay them significantly more so they can afford it. If you say that they should just not have kids if they can't afford it, what are you going to do if they do have kids anyway? Take the kids away? Jail the parents? Force them to have an abortion? Those first two options are going to cost you a lot more than a public education, and that third option is going to get you in trouble with a large segment of the population. Even if you did prevent people who couldn't afford to have kids from having them, look at what that would do...the population would decline fairly rapidly, and you'd have to bring in a lot more immigrants to do the work the wealthy few wouldn't want to do...

      June 15, 2012 at 11:26 am |
      • Dan

        The alternative to "free" public education is having individuals pay for their own education. Explain how me paying for your education and you paying for mine is cheaper for both of us? Does getting the government involved as a middleman somehow make the process more efficient?

        June 15, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  14. low on the totem pole

    Administrators have a very clear way of firing teachers they do not want. Education faces the same problems as all businesses in America, greed, politics, poor leadership. My super is fighting for a raise for us this year because she wants a raise. How does that make sense in this economy? We would be better serving our kids to have a pay freeze and use those funds to replace critical staff that has retired.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  15. pgh

    This is what happens when unions, not school districts, control hiring and firing.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Ken

      Exactly. Laying off based on Seniority is a crock of crap! Typical union BS.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:09 am |
      • THETERP

        First, I'm not in a union. So Ken, since there is no fool proof way to grade teachers how would you lay teachers off? Good golf buddy, maybe takes you to dinner every paycheck, your children are good friends, maybe they buy you tickets to see the football or baseball game, or you're sleeping with some of them. Being non union I've seen the results of layoffs based on what I've mentioned. It's not alway what you know but frequently who you know. How would you do that Ken and if you're not sure ask Barbie.

        June 15, 2012 at 11:38 am |
      • bpuharic

        And redneck states like TX and MS...where they have no unions...uh...how they doing? Oh. They suck.

        June 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Leslie

      Union = Employment Mafia. There was a time and a place for them. And it's not now.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Onthelines

      That is a fallacy. Incompetent teachers can be fired no matter their level of seniority. I love that the right trots out this old saw every time they want to knock a union. Maybe you should actually learn something about education before you expound on a system about which you know nothing, or at best, very little.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • buctrain

      Exactly. And the scary thing is the PE teacher with more seniority might now be teaching Physics, not that he or she is qualified, just more seniority.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • hypatia

      Keep telling yourself that

      June 15, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  16. Dewey

    All you complaining about unions are asking the wrong questions. First, if the unions have as much clout as you say, why are there layoffs?

    More importantly, you should not be asking why teachers get protections – there are a heap of compelling resons - but what you need to be asking is why YOU DO NOT? YOU should organize your workplace and start demanding better treatment. YOU should have some job security. YOU should have a pensions. 401K plans were never ever ever intended to replace pensions. they were designed to ENHANCE retirement in addition to social security and pensions. Your boss figured out he could throw you scraps and pocket the rest of your retirement money. It is the biggest scandal in American employment of the last 3 decades. They are taking what you produce – YOUR property (your labor and talent is your property) and keeping it for their luxury.
    And those same bosses who are pocketing YOUR retirement money are sitting on their yachts laughing their behinds off as they watch you attack teachers and cops instead of directing your anger at them. They think you are fools and suckers and they have your money in their pocket as their proof.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Brian

      Average American has not a clue. Your boss wants you alone and helpless. Divide and conquer.

      Terrible unions... fighting for your rights. How dare they attempt to speak up for the average worker!!!

      But in a country where workers wear as a badge of honor, that they didn't use any vacation days last year, I guess we're getting EXACTLY what we asked for. Working like so many chattel, until we're too sick to enjoy retirement.

      WAKE UP, America, you fighting against labor unions is much like a lower/middle slass American voting Republican. Oh wait YOU already do THAT too...

      Get a clue.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Colinmb

      I don't unionize because I'm educated, paid well and don't have to have someone fight my battles (while pocketing my money under the heading "dues"). Guess I could have taken the easy way and become lazy, uneducated and dependant on others to take care of me as you suggest.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:20 am |
      • MnTaxpayer

        Right, unions are the easy way. An educated teacher, with 9 years experience, recognized as a top performer is laid off. The unions wielding their awesome power. You are just a self satisfied fool who probably works 60 hours a week, skips his vacation, and is tottaly at the mercy of his compnaies quarterly earnings numbers.

        June 15, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  17. saywhat?

    How about blaming the Boards.. You know, those board members that makes 100k+ saluaries...thats not unions doing that. Teachers are getting paid 30k while boardmembers are overpaid, superintendents are making 200k+....BLAME the BOARDS

    June 15, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • pgh

      reply to 'Teachers are making 30k'. Please remember to prorate that for: They only work 9 mos out of the year; Are you including the healthcare plan, pension, innumerable days off, holidays, in service days, half days?

      June 15, 2012 at 11:07 am |
      • formerteacher

        As a former teacher, I have to reply to this. I am so tired of hearing the "teachers only work 9 months a year" incessant drone. I NEVER worked simply 9 months a year, neither did most of my colleagues. I worked holidays, vacations (those innumberable ones you are talking about), summers, weekends, until midnight most nights. Oh, and my health care? For a single person with HMO, I paid $100 a week. I was constantly "on" I currently work at a college and pay only $11 a week for health care and actually get to have weekends where I am not lesson planning, grading, responding to parents, and otherwise worrying about everything! Furthermore, your statement doesn't even have anything to do with the article and you are simply trying to get out anger you have toward the teaching profession. Hmm, maybe you should have considered going into teaching if you wanted that 9 month job? Or could you not even pass the tests?

        June 15, 2012 at 11:23 am |
      • Charles

        "They only work 9 months of the year." Of course, many of them put in 60 hours a week during that 9 months, which is 80 hours more than the typical 52 x40-hour work week.

        June 15, 2012 at 11:31 am |
      • Jack

        I am tired of hearing about this, I have a friend who is a Public school teacher who works 10 months a year, not 9, and she is required to be at school by 7, and ususally cannot leave because of her duties until 430, with only a 25 minute lunch period, so thats 9 hours a day. Not to mention she can usually never go out or do anything with us during the week because she is at home, continuing to work grading papers. I'm not one of those whining that teachers are drastically underpaid, but its not like they don't put in the hours for it to be considered a full time job.

        I work in the legal industry, 45 – 60 hours a week, 50 weeks a year. If I had to deal with teenage brats all day, I'd need two months off in the summer too.

        June 15, 2012 at 11:31 am |
      • ursul

        No student go for 180 days, teachers are 185, there is your first mistake. Medical, we pay for that, our pensions $700 out of every check. I have enough quarters for social security but because I get that pension I forfeit all of that. My average work week 60 to 70 hours a week, and I am not the exception most teachers do the same and this is after 10 years of teaching. So please inform yourself before you continue to spew lies and 1/2 truths.

        June 15, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • dgb

      Where do local board members get paid 100K? Not on Ohio... and I DO blame the unions on this one point - they protect seniority and fight against ranking teachers based on performance.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • CosmicC

      Sorry. In NJ, at least, school board members are not paid. We don't even receive the stipend that town council members get. Nice try. Would you like to play again?

      June 15, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  18. papaw3705

    Remember seniority is a union demand during layoffs. Who should be able to work at the expense of unemployed taxpayers? In our county we have unemployed home owners/taxpayers paying so public employees, including teachers, can keep jobs and even raises. What makes them immune to what happens to other workers? Are they some kind of gods?

    June 15, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Katherine

      All thanks to a Teacher's Union. They have ruined public education in the US which has in turned ruined our economy by making us unable to compete with the rest of the world. If you are unemployed, thank your local teacher's union.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:02 am |
      • Caroless

        You are totally wrong, and obviously don't do your homework (just like when you were in school?). I'd be interested in your fact gathering, and statistics to support your position. Please reply and provide.....

        June 15, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • saywhat?

      No its not, people demand that...if you have 15 yrs, and I have 5.....do you want random? proformance?

      June 15, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • DB

      Lern to reed: "A district spokesperson said the way teacher layoffs are handled is mandated by state law" – not unions

      June 15, 2012 at 11:04 am |
      • dgb

        Exactly, because that practice was put in after union lobbying of the CA legislature.

        June 15, 2012 at 11:13 am |
      • local

        Is that phonetic spelling. Get a dictionary.

        June 15, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • jeremy

      No, but they do provide a needed public service. By your logic, we'd shut down not only schools but fire departments, police departments, national guard units, city water departments, and any other government expense because the economy is doing poorly and too many tax payers are unemployed.

      As for blaming unions, contracts are with school districts and not the states. The article said that state law dictated who got let go first. Granted the teacher's union may have played a role in the lobbying process of that legislation, but they would of been more likely to push for a first in, first out approach, rather than those with the greatest seniority.

      Citizens in tough economic times may not like paying raises or even decent wages to public employees, especially in tough economic times. The reality is though to get the best or even decent workers within any sector you often have to pay more than you want to. The moral of the lesson is "you get what you pay for" and I sadly it will be a few years before the realization of poor education performance from cuts in education all across the board causes Americans to realize the disservice done to the next generation.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:07 am |
      • local

        Locals do not mind paying decent wages and benefits, compare the teachers pay and benefits to a non taxpayer funded employer. I reallt do not care if the freakin shop teacher has a masters degree in woodworking, he does not deserve 85k a year with a lifetime finger replacement policy for bandsaw errors.

        June 15, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  19. Sacrificed Public Ed Waif

    So...the district can afford to pay a "spokesman" to speak on camera, when the Superintendent can certainly make time to respond to the occasional media question (even if it's the thirty seconds to respond while dashing through the mob to their car)?
    This is the Circuit City mentality so many use: cut the highest paid (ie: most efficient & skilled) staff, which leaves the less efficient/skilled workers. Productivity drops, prompting more cuts, eventually leaving nothing but the dregs & those with no ambition to really try. A year later, you're out of business, or near enough, if you happen to still have public funds trickling in for life support (which is where public ed is at).
    Doesn't really matter anyway; the last generation of students that were sacrificed for the greater good of the public school administration's pockets are now raising this generation's students slated to be sacrificed. Don't worry Superintendents everywhere; we have you covered!
    Go go Pubilic Ed!!!

    June 15, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  20. Scoobie

    Why be a teacher if the best get laid off. Sends me an employment message.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • TWM

      All Unions doing, they hand Districts a list of those to layoff.
      unfortunately many of the better teachers don't have the time in to be kept, so we are stuck with the OLD out of touch been there forever wastes of space trying to teach our children

      June 15, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  21. ren1a

    Your Teachers' Union at work...

    June 15, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  22. wasserball

    Place the blame on the union in agreeing by contract how teachers are released. It's not the school district fault.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • saywhat?

      Yes, lets blame the unions..who doesnt control the overly spent Boards of Education. You know, those board members that makes 100k+ saluaries...thats not unions doing that. Teachers are getting paid 30k while boardmembers are overpaid, superintendents are making 200k+....BLAME the BOARDS

      June 15, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • local

      Who the he ll do you think gave that concession to the union. What a bird brain....the union gets nothing but what the schoolboard has given away in negotiations. GET REAL PEOPLE. FIRE YOUR SCHOOL BOARD WHO IS GIVING THIS CRAP AWAY.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  23. afgveteran

    This is why states like Wisconsin abolished collective bargaining for public employees. Union protect the weak and must go!!!! We as taxpayers are allowing this. Our taxes are paying for lousy teachers, higher pay and higher benefits because of unions. Call your congressman to express your disgust with policies such as this.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • local

      FIRE YOUR SCHOOL BOARDS WHO GAVE THIS STUFF TO THE TEACHERS DURING NEGOTIATIONS OF THE CONTRACT.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  24. mark

    Dallas ISD recently got a new Superintendant; teachers laid off, but executive staff got big fat raises.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Jack

      Is this guy's last name perchance Bedden??? He did something similar here in Georgia, then wanted a raise in pay which the board didn't pay him, because they knew it would look bad, so he cut and ran to Texas.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  25. Katie

    The problem isn't the teacher's union, isn't the astronomical pay teacher's supposedly receive for hardly doing any work during only 180 days, and it isn't lazy teachers. The problem is the entire system that allows non-educators to decide how much money can be allocated for what reasons, parents who don't raise their children with even a hint of manners or propriety, and a society that wants children to be born but doesn't want them to have homes, nutritious food, health care, or access to any kind of social services that might have the power to remove them from neglectful or abusive parents. Unions are legal in this country (and some of them go by other names such as 'associations', 'lobbies', 'SuperPACs', and 'political parties') and while they aren't perfect and there are some people who WILL use them to defraud and deceive, there is a reason they exist in the first place. Show me a rich teacher and I will show you someone who was either born rich or married someone well-off, or whose spouse has a great paying job. Public education is funded by the public – that doesn't mean the educators are your slaves and should work for next to nothing.

    If you can read this, and if you can form a coherent reply to it – THANK A TEACHER.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • digruntledteacher

      Thank you, Katie, this is exactly what I'd like to say to people who go at me about teachers/teaching. May I copy and reprint this and share with teachers at my site?

      June 15, 2012 at 10:47 am |
      • local

        Typical teacher, unable to put together a intelligent thought so has to copy.

        June 15, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • History Bear

      Tell it sister. I was in the field for 26 years and finally had enough because of uncaring parents, money grubbing companies and a society that cares more about a 'reality' TV show than their kids real future. You are so right.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:53 am |
      • local

        How about money grubbing teachers.

        June 15, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • KDK

      Katie, I agree with you 100% we were brought up in an atmosphere where teachers were respected they were "GURU" that means what ever they expressed was right. My parents will not accept a negative word about the teacher ever. Same with my kids ( I have two grown up and gone – Dr & IT ) they were also brought same way. If you want the society to develop and improve start respecting teachers. Don't treat them like a trash, they are the educators. If any one needs to be blamed – it should directly go to the parents – who have no time to improve their kids. They are the one who brought these kids in this world and should be held accountable; kids spend only 6 hrs a day in school rest they are at home let mom/dad spend their time – like we did. FYI (me and my wife) never left kids alone even for a min – only time they were away was when they were in school. We not only educated them but gave those values, honesty and fear of God. And above all how to be a good citizen.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • SJB

      Teachers overpaid and hardly working – year right! I am married to a teacher and here's the reality. No union (so you can't blame them, sorry), uses my health benefits because theirs are expensive, when we go to dinner seeing teacher colleagues working as waiters to supplement their income. It is summer "vacation" for teachers, where is my wife – at school working, yes! There are so many illusions out there about teachers, even I had them before I got married, but I tell you now, you don't become a teacher in Texas if you want to get rich and have an easy life. Another statistic for you, for every 1% you cut from education, the following year the prison system needs a 1% increase in funding – interesting relationship don't you think?

      June 15, 2012 at 11:13 am |
  26. Michele

    I live in a small community and everytime some kind of tax proposal to help fund the schools comes up it is defeated...why? because this community is full of retired people and they feel like why should they have to pay for some other kids education...they already paid for theirs! & yes I have heard that said right out of someones mouth! & for most of the proposals it would have amounted to something like $38 a year each !!! WOW just because you are retired doesn't mean the rest of the United States of America is !! Without increasing and updating our education system, it will not be long before we become another 3rd world country behind the eight ball in everything...we have already dropped to something like 17th in math & science....shouldn't a country like ours be at least in the top 5 ?!! Hope & pray we can figure out a way to fix so many things that seem to be going wrong...Health benefits,,,social security ( & YES I will NEED mine when it is time (15yrs))...

    June 15, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Joe

      A quick web search of the National Center for Education Statistics shows 2008-09 (last year of data) as a year where 49,266,000 students were in K-12 and the total revenue spent was $593,061,000,000. This divides out to $12,038 per student spent per year. In adjusted 2010 Dollars this is $11,339, up from $9,466 in 2000, up from $8,500 in 1990, up from $6,342 in 1980, up from $4,682 in 1970. I’m not saying this $11,339 is too high or too low, but when will we figure out what is enough? These are adjusted dollars spent per student, so any increase is above and beyond inflation.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:48 am |
      • comppro

        This sounds like a lot of money until you find out that it is not spread evenly across all schools. Some schools have a lot more than the others to spend. Results obtained are not always directly related to funds spent, but there is a minimum level of funding required to get good results. As pointed out above, schools are only one piece of the puzzle. Parents and communities have their role in the educational system.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:59 am |
      • Cole

        Joe -

        It's pretty nice and tidy when you can point to one statistic and try to tell an entire story, isn't it? Have you considered other factors for the drastic increase in per student cost? How about rising health insurance rates? Special education laws, enacted in the 70's and updated in the 90's and again with NCLB, that protect special needs students from discrimination and ensure equal education opportunities. I'm not saying that's not the right thing to do, but these students can cost districts hundreds of thousands of dollars – each. And the number of students in SPED programs has doubled since 1976 – and that's the year AFTER the anti-discrimination laws were passed. Before then, many students with severe disabilities were not allowed in schools. What about the English-language programs that have grown rapidly in size over the past decade? This is the reason costs have risen. Do so more research, and you will find that teacher salaries have declined when adjusted for inflation over the same time period. Funny, in the public school in which I was taught, and the school in which I now teach, students learn(ed) to use critical thinking skills and question the "facts" they read.

        June 15, 2012 at 11:02 am |
      • Caroless

        And you don't think our children are worth it?

        June 15, 2012 at 11:07 am |
      • Joe

        These are all good points, and Cole, for the record, I wasn't saying $11,339 was too high....I have no idea at what number it will eventually average out. However, I was looking at the trends and noticed the average teachers pay did this: 1970: $49,492. 1980: $44,585 (went down). 1990: $53,541. 2000: $53,523 (went down). 2009: $54,845. So it did go down in some years/decades, but overall it still went up, even when averaged for inflation (and I'm not saying this is too much....it is probably too little, and I wonder how the teachers are getting less when class sizes are up and the amount spent on each student is also up). I am pretty sure these salary figures are pay before taxes, but after insurance and pensions are removed. I just worry that when the average per student becomes $25,000, we will still be seeing teachers getting laid off while getting an average pay around $55,000ish. I think at that point we will still be hearing 1/2 the people say we need to raise taxes and pay more because the system is great, it's just underfunded.

        June 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
      • Joe

        http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d11/tables/dt11_035.asp

        June 15, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • David

      No, my dear we vote no because we are older and wiser and know that you youngens are fooled by the idiots in charge-in to voting yes–as tho the only way to help is to raise tax'e-I am sure if yhou dig deeper in to this story you will find that this teacher was given a layoff notice-required by the union-9 months in advance of any actual layofrf–so if your desired tax's do get voted in she will not actually get laid off-this accomplishes the Unions goal-It get's the story in print and it fools you in to voting for tax's-how about weatching "Waiting for Superman"-how bout the many teachers in NY that show up evry day to their detention center-and get paid forever because they CANNOT be laid off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      June 15, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • History Bear

      As both a senior and a former educator i'd say the problem isn't so much that many don't want to educate some one else's childern, but that they look at the kids and say- why bother. As to 17th, yup, society values looks, athletic ability and other"flash" assets over knowledge . We've decreased the emphasis on math, science, history and cut PE. Now we're developing a group of people who are fat, lazy and ignorant. Wonder who that benefits?

      June 15, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • 0Patrick0

      In my town I hear the same kind of nonsense from seniors my age, that they already paid their kids' share of school taxes. I got news for them. Last time I checked, each kid costs 7K a year for 12 years in the system. With 2 kids that means I owe the town some $168,000. to put my kids through high school (and I'm not counting kindergarten). Since my taxes run 4K a year, I figure I gotta pay the town back 42 years of taxes before I pay off my indebtedness. Oops. I forgot, the school budget is only 2/3rds of my tax bill. Add another 14 years onto that.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  27. CalDude

    It's those greedy rich people's faut. If only they paid more taxes.....

    June 15, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Habs316

      No – that would be a union's fault because to them years of service is more important than actually doing a good job. When they wake up – or go away (thank you Wisconsin :) ) – the education system and more importantly, the students and their futures, will greatly improve.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Cynthia

      I agree!! The wealth disparity in California is disgusting!! While California has the extreme wealth of Hollywood and atletes and businesses this state is financially out of control. I can't believe there is not Hollywood or athlete tax, but Obama would rather party with the rich of CA then support education. It is disgusting and the fact that the poor and middle class of CA support a President that loves the wealthy of our state is beyond me. The people need to rise against the rich in our state.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:45 am |
      • colloctor

        you are an idiot!

        June 15, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • David

      yeah, right!!!

      June 15, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  28. Teoftx

    I live in a border state. Just as an example school 1 has a budget for 20 teachers who can teach science, math, etc. They have ten students in the class. Guess what we just had fifty students who cannot speak english come to the school Federal law requires ESL classes...no way around it. The school cannot afford to hire more teachers so we have to take teachers from other subjects to teach ESL. If none are certified, we will have to lay teachers off and hire new ones. So we have to lay off five teachers and hire five more. The remaining 200 students will now have 14 students per class instead of 10. This is simplistic but true as in border states the ratio of ESL students is actually much higher that one to four.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • David

      Maybe you should take one of those math classes-10 students per class-alarming-2.5 students added to hteir work load-get a clue babe-this should be a 25 student work load!!!!!!!!!

      June 15, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • History Bear

      ESL is a joke. Our grandparents and their parents had to learn english to prosper and grow. They are the ones who buit this nation to it's greatest heights, they were the foundation and members of the "greatest" generation. Single biggest complaint I hear on immigrants -primairly illegals- is they won't bother to learn english.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  29. 1ofTheFallen

    It's not about the money because the US spends more money per student than any other nation and we are ranked last. We rank 17th in the world behind every 1st world ranked country and many 2nd world countries. This can only mean that our education is broken and needs to be overhauled and changed.

    We have lost our common sense because we keep repeating the same processes but expect different results.

    More teachers and money is not the solution. Only a lawyer without any science background would expect different results from the same unions who give them money but have destroyed our educational system.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • David

      Bravoo!!!!

      June 15, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  30. Shuffler

    Until unions are abolished the US will keep going down hill. It is one of the major anti-American problems. It had it's place at one time... it is a dinosaur now.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Ted Ward

      Absolutely! "Teachers unions" like NEA have ruined public education in too many ways to count. Basically, the unions make themselves and their grasp and power the main priority of schools, relegating the students and their education, the whole purpose of the shcools, to third tier importance, behind the union and the teachers. People and even politicians have so lost confidence in these union dominated public schools that we are all now effectilvey paying for the creation of a second parallel school system called charter schools, since the union is too powerfull to accept useful change in public schools, so parents and politicians have written public schools off as hopeless but politically impossible to close. It's an outrage!

      June 15, 2012 at 10:41 am |
      • History Bear

        To Ward- obviously you are a product of this broken educational system, because there wasn't a coherent sentence in the entire ramble.

        June 15, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • cigarman

      Maybe the United States should just close ALL Schools. That would get rid of all of the Teachers Unions and Then the Republican Party would have the Money to start more WARS.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:43 am |
      • TWM

        Maybe the dumbest comment on here today.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  31. UTGRAD

    I'm I the only one that finds these threads hard to follow? Why can't CNN come up with a system similar to Yahoo where comments are under the original post?

    June 15, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  32. demogoat

    Why is it not the school administration that gets blamed. They run the school system, not the teachers. Superintendents and the 5 or more superintendent assistants make more than teachers. If your boss runs the company into the ground and blames the employees, would you buy that excuse.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • History Bear

      It's politics and law. Administrators are constrained to follow board policy and if an administrator tries to change things he or she is canned. There are no protections or unions for administrators, so they have to kiss ass and do as they are told if they want to stay and try to keep things from getting worse. And small school administrators are not paid so much more and do many jobs besides supervise.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  33. Chipmunk

    My daughter's favorite science teacher (in Massachusetts) was laid off last year - my daughter would come home so excited and enthused about what she was learning. The problem was the teacher had only been on the job for 5 years, and as with this article all cuts were determined by seniority. It makes no sense to me why seniority should be a factor in these decisions, much less the *only* factor. Retention, as with any job, should be based solely on merit. Otherwise the tendency will be for the senior teachers to start coasting, and service suffers for it.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Jim

      Unions

      June 15, 2012 at 10:32 am |
      • CalDude

        Over priced pensions.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Captive Audience

      When you work for the government there is really no incentive to keep the best and the brightest. A school or agency can have the smartest most dedicated people in the world but after a while they become apathetic. Decisions are made by somebody else, like administrators and legislators. The idea spigot turns off and there is no incentive to change the way things are done. There are no benefits or consequences. Government agencies do not shut down. The people at the top really do need to be more accountable.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:49 am |
    • David

      Like the commercial say's "I don't have to work hgharder-I don't have to make an effort-my contract says you pay me NO MATTER WHAT"

      June 15, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  34. flymoe

    In today's society, teachers have turned into baby sitters. Seems like people don't care if teachers are good or not, just that their kids are watched while they are at work. I have a friend who's a teaches, and he feels that most parents don't care about their kids education. The stories he tells me about the kids in the class room amaze me: kids not turning in their home work, kids disrespecting him in the class room, he calls their parents and they don't care, etc.. It's definitely not the same school system that I went through.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  35. Bobby

    this isn't about unions...it is about what the school administrators agree to in their contracts with the unions. They will take what is gven to them. In addition, this is not about school funding as this school's spokeman indicates - this is about what JP, the first to respond on this blog, writes: as long as seniority is more important than quality we will have poor decisions such as with this case. If the school board or administration agreed to a "seniory" pecking order for layoffs with their unions, that is a disgrace. Finally, this highlights the fact that neither the board nor the union has the best interests of their employees and members in mind and if this is the case; there is liitle evidence that they have an consderation for the students.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Bewbies

      @Bobby – Well when you think about it, those in the Union the longest have paid the most dues to said Union, that's where the Union's interest lays.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Spencer

      You are completely right. I am sick of seeing one side – and the wrong one – get blamed for this. Management should be negotiating with unions, unions are a a good device for negotiation, but it is high time that administrations stop wasting our money by agreeing to foolish rules.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Jeff of Peor ia

      Sorry Bobby – It is about the law. Why do you think there was such a blow up in WI. Walker changed the law so he didn't have to deal w/ the UNION and you have the same laws in CA. I'm in IL and on a school board and we have the same issue here. Forced into a contract BY THE LAW.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • David

      Right, who cares abvout the student this is a job–mo money-less work-the american way-the most successfuol do nothing and make the most-look at Micheal-50K for underwear!

      June 15, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  36. Russell Hammond, Hollywood

    Those awards mean nothing. I was named "employee of the year" for my contribution to the company the year I was laid off along with hundreds of other employees. I left that award plaque on the wall when I cleaned out my office.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:12 am |
  37. Obvious Guy

    When Romney gets elected President, we'll have even MORE layoffs. Romney is an enemy to teachers, cops, and firefighters

    June 15, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • DAVID

      The president has no control over teachers, cops & firefighters. Those positions are all controlled at lower levels with state or local government.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • It'sallthesame

      Although I disagree with what you are saying, I think there was a more important point to this story. That was that the layoffs are done by seniority rather than skill and ability. A good teacher is let go, while rotten teachers remain. That is the problem with unions.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:34 am |
      • Katie

        If you're going to blame unions for rotten teachers, you might as well blame them for letting of the good ones too. Anything to keep the blame off the government officials who think nothing of cutting funding for teachers and schools but insist they deserve all of their own taxpayer-funded salaries, pensions plans, and benefits. Most of your highest elected officials have worked their way through publicly funded positions to gain their power, and most of them get more than one taxpayer-funded pension.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • David

      U Obviously do not know what yhou are talkjing about-every tax plea is preceeded with-"We might have to lay off (enter your favorite indespensable public servant)"-if U vote NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      June 15, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  38. Mike

    The problem isn't education funding. Economies expand and constrict. The problem is the concept of SENIORITY being the only determining factor in position elimination.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Grant

      You hit the nail on the head

      June 15, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Dave

      I totally disagree with you. It all comes down to funding. In the district I live in they have done away with seniority and have made a list of qualifications that rank you ahead of other people. Seniority is still on the list but last. The first (I believe) is advanced degrees (masters), additional certifications, so on and so forth. My wife was in her second year and avoided a lay off because of her masters degrees. Unfortunately this also back fires as their department head is a royal lazy a$$, but keeps her job because she wants the insurance...doesn't care about the kids/education

      Not to get off topic but it comes down to 1) the schools and academia in general needs better funding 2) teachers need to be held accountable for what they teach, how they teach, are they using best practices, etc. I know you can't make every student learn, but you can actually make an effort and not sit in the back of a class room reading a paper with your feet on the desk while you show movies... /end rant

      June 15, 2012 at 10:36 am |
      • David

        Yeah, if we just had more money-all would be fine!!!

        June 15, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  39. phearfactor

    They need to stop basing things of seniority and go by talent of the teacher. Some of these "teachers" with seniority are bitter and are just waiting for retirement. They could care less about teaching kids.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Grammar man

      Please remember that it's "couldn't" care less. Just one of my peeves. Thanks!

      June 15, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  40. rarod

    When times are good, few pay attention to a public school teacher's modest living, in bad and hyper-politicized times, we are public enemy number 1. Teachers are and have always been disregarded and disrespected by much of the public at large.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • AmesIA

      A GOP boogieman doesn't need to be real. If hundreds of congressmen, senators, governors, talk radio pundits, cable commentators, think tank analysts, bloggers all repeat the same lie. The legitimate news sources (rather than do their historical job of researching the source and varacity of the statement) repeat it with the preface "Governor XYZ said ..."

      Teachers in (....) arrive at school in taxpayer funded limos and lounge on velvet couches while the students feed them peeled grapes. Repeated x10,000 it becomes reality counter to fact.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  41. jhharvie

    And that, in a nutshell, sums up the state of education in the US.....

    June 15, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Sablier925

      Amen!

      June 15, 2012 at 10:07 am |
  42. JP

    As long as seniority is more important than quality education is doomed. Public sector employee unions need to be banned. Even an extreme lefty like Roosevelt understood this.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Ben w

      In this case, she was senior, an excellent teacher I got laid off anyway. This had nothing to do with seniority, so I fail to understand your point.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • Katie

      As long as we continue to nurture the idea that teachers don't deserve a decent wage and that it's ok to constantly take away their benefits and reneg on promises made to them, we will continue to have crappy schools taught by idiots. No intelligent human being will stay in a position where no one values them.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  43. djan

    I can relate. Once at work I was selected as being a top performer and recieved an award. 3 months later I was laid off. Still chaps my backside when I think about it. Glad I work somewhere now where my efforts do not go un-noticed.

    June 15, 2012 at 10:00 am |
  44. Gary

    The problem is the teachers' union. If any private companies lay off their employees based on seniority, they will be left wilth a bunch of dead-woods and they won't stay in business for very long. Our public schools lay off teachers based on seniority, so the bright, young teachers were laid off instead of the dead wood. We can thank the teachers' union for that. Get rid of the teachers' union, and we won't be hearing this kind of story anymore.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • michael

      Umm not so gary Florida has No unions, and there layoffs there, texas the same. so no not true. stop blaming the victims, private industry lays off, because your benefits are about to mature and they don't want to pay increased benefits, seen this and experienced this, private lays off because salaries are to high , or you are too senior and regardless you are good at your job you hurt the bottom line. gotta go, greed is greed.. whether in private or union it should be recognized and stamped out.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • TrueSubmariner

      Its easy to blame the union, but not really accurate. As the article stated, the process for laying off teachers is mandated by state law, not the teachers union. I agree with a quality check being required, but by whom? What objective system is available to perform such a quality check? Absent such a system, how else do you lay people off?

      June 15, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • DlinLA

      So experience is now "dead wood?"

      June 15, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  45. Antique

    Just a comment on how it seems the repubs and Mitt feel- We don't need no stinkin police, fire fighters or teachers.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Tom

      @antique – - – this is absolutely a comment on how the Dems feel about public unions – quality be damned, full seniority ahead. Want to see the Republican position, come to Wisconsin, where teachers of quality can be saved, and the public union isn't protected, since it's MY tax dollars that support them.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:03 am |
      • Thinkstr8

        Once you pay your taxes they are no longer your dollars. Whereas I do not believe in the unions totally; they do help the education system in some respect. They help keep class size down and that is directly tied to performance. Not all Americans can pay for their children to go to private schools where class size is 8-16.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Bewbies

      Well duh Antique, of course we don't need police, firefighters, or teachers. Mitt can replace all of those with private sector jobs where his friends have control of the companies of course!

      June 15, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  46. LinR

    Where does it say anything about unions? It says the STATE LAW mandated layoffs based on seniority. In our state, there IS no teachers" union. I

    June 15, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • LaLa

      And who lobbied for the law ? The unions. They contribute heavily to political parties & individual politicians here in CA.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:03 am |
      • UTGRAD

        @LaLa, so what you are saying is that teachers are the only ones not allowed to have a voice in our Democracy? Corporations do, senior citizens do, gun owners do, so why not teachers?

        June 15, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  47. Time to change

    It's time to change the system. Why should a few people pay for all of the educational needs while many people live a life of social services. This includes public housing, food stamps, welfare, healthcare, and schools. If you can't afford things you should not expect the rest of America to pay you for these things. Our educational system is just like our healthcare system in that our taxes cannot carry the load for people to live their entire lives and pay nothing back. Most black kids who are "forced", yes forced, to go through schools with poor grades and only passing due to lowered test requirements are not going to pay back anything to our society that is good. The few that do are not worth the total money spent on these peoples.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • bpuharic

      People complain about unions, but TX has no unions and ranks 47th in the country in education. Americans hate unions even though they strengthen the country. They love Wall Street even though it destroyed our economy. Go figure

      June 15, 2012 at 9:55 am |
      • UTGRAD

        Great point

        June 15, 2012 at 9:57 am |
      • Tom

        My daughter has blue eyes and doesn't like meat, therefore blue eyed people don't like meat. See the flaw in your logic?

        June 15, 2012 at 10:19 am |
      • Eric

        Hardly does that prove cause and effect. China has no union and pay their treachers very little yet they kick our butt. States in the mid-west (well, anywhere away from the cities and coasts) also pay low but they do well in school (conservative/strong families, low divorce rates). So maybe it's the people in TX that are the problem (and tons of non-english speakers cannot help – imagine how much that cost takes away from the rest of the kids). All you need is a chalk board and a few books to teach kids.
        My wife's position was eliminated. She switched positons last year, so she had the fewest years in her new posiition (middle school math versus elementary this year – not a huge move). BTW, tunure means nothing if your postion is eliminated. But the school must call back laid off workers first so she got the same job back due to a teacher moving away. Hopefully the layoffs will stop for a few years so somebody will be "under" her, but thi area (upstate NY) is dieing/shrinking so who knows.
        Pay sucks – $52k-$54k after 15 years of teaching (at various schools due to cranking out a couple of kids – she woudl have made $5k-10k more if she was at the same school the whole time, esp. at a higher paying school). She grades papers all weekend, so that's another 36 weekends * 2 days = 72 days + 180 = 252 total. 95% of office/professional workers work around 230 days per year, yet make more than that (if they have a master's, which is req'd in NYS). She graduated first from her HS, and perhaps first in her college class as well.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:20 am |
      • Teoftx

        That is not quite true. Texas ranks lowest because so many students cannot speak English. If you take those same test results and remove "migrants", Texas actually jumps to the top of the list. Now if we use funds again for education for the citizens instead of ESL classes schools would do even better.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:22 am |
      • UTGRAD

        @ Eric, the difference is the culture. Parents value education. Many do not here, and the grades reflect that.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Tony

      More .... ALOT more white people are on welfare and suckling on the govt than blacks and Hispanics combined. I can't even call you racists. Your just ignorant and believe the conservative media hype.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:01 am |
      • Eric

        What a retarded comment (Obama voter obiously) – there are more whites than any other group is why knucklehead, it's the percentage that is noteworthy. For whatever reason, minorities lead in every bad statistic there is. Would be interesting to compare low income whites with minorities with similar incomes though – maybe the percentage on welfare would be similar...or maybe not. Jamaicans (and many others) come here and do well (and last I checked they have dark skin), so the racism excuse is BS. Asians come here not speaking the language and do well too.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:25 am |
      • WIlliam

        ALOT is not a word. "Your" is not a contraction of "you are", it denotes ownership. You shouldn't cast ignorant stones in a glass house of ignorance.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • bpuharic

      Welfare? Food stamps for the poor? How about the Wall Street bailout? The 25 richest hedgefund managers on Wall Street made 3 times more than all 80,000 NY city school teachers. When you right wingers start complaining about the REAL problems with the economy...which is your screwed up way of running it, you let me know.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • Dark Knight

      WOW...really??? Please inform us where to find any data to support this premise. There are numerous examples of individuals completing public school becoming extremely successful. The article is about how a Teacher of the Year could be laid off. Please try to watch the bouncing ball and response in context.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • LMC

      Well, we could separate out all groups that are deemed "unworthy" and that would take care of that problem. Oh wait, nazi Germany already tried that. I'm a teacher and I see children from many different backgrounds succeed. Children of poverty have a much harder time, but we don't give up on them. Countries with lower poverty levels than the US have better success in education. Poverty is a key factor in determining educational success. It's hard to be successful in school when one is constantly moving, wondering if they will get to eat, or worried about abuse. Those are the things we need to work on instead of worrying if the 1% is getting enough in tax cuts.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • JP

      DON'T FORGET TO INCLUDE THE WHITE TRASH IN MOBILE HOME PARKS, SPI CS FROM THE FARMS. Dude you are screwed in the head. It has nothing to do with race but everything to do class/wealth. As long as there is a system set up to ensure the wealthy will always remain wealthy and a lower class of people who cannot afford the education or take up so much debt that they are in a way indentured servants paying higher interest charges to these unethical banks, you will never see people coming out of the addiction of dependence.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  48. J

    I feel bad for this teacher especially if she is that good but whenever I hear the word seniority I immediately think of unions. That's the game they play in any work environment. I worked for a company that had 6 different unions represented and I watched so many good employees get laid off because of seniority. Didn't matter if they had excellent ratings and the more senior employees had sub par.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Paul

      what I am confused about we are laying off all of our teachers in in The United States and spending billions to other countries to build schools and they do not want them. Take Afghanistan, we are trying force the children to go to school and the adults are either setting the school on fire or killing the girls for going to school. We need to keep this money and educate our children.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  49. NewTab43

    FYI-Not all states (GA) have unions. Makes no difference. We still see crappy teachers keep their jobs while good ones go. It's also sad to see the teachers who actually teach leave due to all the administrative BS that comes down from admin that has nothing to do with education.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  50. Da Maestro

    @ The Movie Fan & @ Walmart Conservative–LOVE IT! The kind of sarcasm that pushes me to watch Colbert every night. BTW as a teacher in one of the largest school districts in the nation I would like to say there is no such thing as PUBLIC EDUCATION. In Chicago, the business approach to education has completely taken over under the guise of TURNAROUNDS. A term simply applied by "independent" corporations that have financial ties to the mayor and many of his chronies. That being said, a change is needed in the way our nations schools work. The achievement gaps between our schools is unsettling, but maybe no more so than the allocation of resources that typically accompanies it. Also, the sheer number of bitter and out of touch teachers is a problem. Their methods are outdated but it is not entirely their fault (with the exception of growing old). In education we experience shifts in philosophy at such a rapid rate that the term TURNAROUND should be applied to the philosophy. Like many other professions, teachers must under-go constant professional development and acquire new certifications almost annually simply to validate their worth. A Masters in education alone is worth a small bonus and nothing more. It guarantees you no security. On the contrary you are seen as expendable and over paid as evident by this story. Businesses are ruining our education system. They continue to cut where they should instead invest. The claim to know whats best for a classroom without ever having set foot in one. And when a majority of urban teenagers enter our secondary school system with a 4-5 grade reading level how can you expect them to perform well on standardized test that rely so heavily on reading passages. It is absurd and unforgivable that a HS teacher should be assessed on the performance of his or her students' test standardized test scores. I love my job. No one goes into teaching for the money. It is possibly the greatest public service and I know I am good at it. I enjoy making my kids smile and showing them what they can achieve if they just put forth any effort. I am not opposed to classroom observations that are factored into my possible retainment for the following years. I am not against using data to build a better classroom and guide instruction/ reteaching concepts not fully mastered. But do not demand my kids mark at a certain percentage nation wide when they must first be taught simple skills they should have learned in grammar school and AT HOME. Give them a fighting chance. Im not saying most of my students will go onto college and to become noble prize winning scientist ( although a teacher can dream). I simply hope to prepare my students for the real world. To be functional and productive members of society.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  51. bang

    Great way to fight a recession and help lay out the best hope for the nation's future by firing the people who will be training our childrern to compete with a globel economy. You really have to wonder about how our legislators think. Whenever there is a debate about raising teacher's pay there is a cry about the quality of their work. When someone proposes building a sports arena law makers are falling all over each other to see who can vote yes for it first.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Fladabosco

      It's pretty obvious that our leaders, especially on the right, have been dismantling our educational system for many years. When I was a kid we had the best system in the world. Now we have huge drop out rates (50% in California) and a system that cares more about test scores and rote learning than real education and thinking.

      I believe it is done on purpose to dumb down the electorate.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Sith Empire

      The best hope for our nations future rests in the Parents teaching their children, especially in their earlier years. Teachers jobs are just to reinforce and help those who are falling behind. The reason why our country is always falling behind now is because so many people feel it's the government's responsibility to raise their children for them.

      Every night when I cook dinner, I have my 6 year old sit at the kitchen table and go through math cards which works on addition and subtraction. I'm teaching him the math skills that he will need for the 1st and 2nd grade. When I read to him and his brother at night, I have him read a page or two of the book, even if it takes an extra 15 min. When it finally comes to reading at school, he will excel. We sit down all the time and bring up Google Earth, which, by the way, is absolutely fantastic. Focusing in on a specific area brings in lots of pictures, which can really peak a child's interest.

      The point I'm trying to make is I am the one teaching my child. When he finally gets these subjects in school, he will already know the basics, will excel, creating a positive feedback loop. Praise and involvement from a parent is an extremely potent drug for a child. Use it generously.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  52. laurajakers

    Jesus, after reading the comments here, it's no mystery why our best people don't go into teaching, thus making our school system crappier with each generation: who the hell would want to become a teacher when teachers are talked about as incompetent, unskilled social parasites?

    June 15, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • LinR

      Exactly.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  53. Joel

    I love the idea of collective bargaining – it's the only way most individual workers can hope to match the power of their corporate or government employers. Individual unions, however, are run by people, and thereby subject to failings, mistakes, and sometimes monumental screw ups, just like any other human organization. Always room for improvement. This seems like a place where improvement could be made.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Frank G

      I fail to understand your logic when it comes to government. When their boss negotiates with the unions, the boss gets what they get. Its a win/win situation for the both. The taxpayer is the one that takes it in the shorts. When a public sector union negotiates, unlike the private sector, the person or people paying are not represented. That's why we have public workers paid and benefited far beyond equivalent workers in the private sector. In Virginia there is no collective bargaining for teaches and guess what, they have a far better education system than their collective bargaining counterparts.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  54. mickey

    to be a teacher you need a degree in education and certification. once you have the job you are required to constantly upgrade your credentials to keep it.

    to be on the school board that makes all the decisions regarding education, you need absolutely zero educational credentials and simply have to win a popularity contest to get elected.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • UTGRAD

      Sad, but true. In my town, all you have to do is be a member right church to win a school board seat. They have no experience in education.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  55. Jim Buss

    Oops, I found it at the very start. I guess I didn't get enough sleep last night.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  56. Rick

    The funding of schools isn't the federal governments job. That falls under local and state jurisdiction. Same with police and fire fighters. There are lot of teachers out there who deserve to be fired. They have gotten so wrapped up in the "we don't get paid enough" thing it makes me sick. The worst are the older ones who are just hanging on for the retirement. The key isn't in more taxes, it's in getting our so called political leaders to spend OUR money wisely at all levels.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Ben

      Rick I totally agree.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  57. Jim Buss

    Where is this? I couldn't find the location of this school. What town and state is it? I think it was a local story that didn't need to clarify the location, but CNN picked it up and didn't pass this info along to those of us who read it elsewhere. If it's there, I missed it.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • buffalogal013

      Hello....did you even read the first few sentences "Sutterville Elementary School 6th grade teacher Michelle Apperson joined the ranks of those unemployed educators when she was laid off by the Sacramento City Unified School District."

      June 15, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  58. Frank G

    This is just another case of why unions must be extricated from the public education system. Instead of giving credit for good teaching and dumping the marginal teachers, the union "steel mill" rules say cuts have to be based on least time on the job. Its done that way to make downsizing nearly impossible as you have to gut your least expensive and up and coming labor, rather than more expensive marginal workers. Hopefully some private school picks this teacher up and she'll be free of her union enslavement.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • crbrianb

      According to the "steel mill" union rules, they are ALL making the same wage. You don't save any money by laying off the senior employees. If anything, you keep your crew as experienced as possible by laying off the least experienced.

      That being said, following the union rules of laying off the least experienced you run into a different problem. From years of economic changes causing hiring sprees and lay off sprees, the new hires keep getting layed off, and over time your entire working crew aproaches retirement, and you have nobody that is young still working. Suddenly your crew retires, and you are left with a crew of new hires with little experience.

      Union rules should allow for laying off senior employees with lower job performance than those with low seniority to prevent this problem. Instead of looking for a crew that is as experienced as possible, they should be looking for a crew that is the most qualified to do the job. If this teacher gets called back, what incentive is she going to have to be teacher of the year again, if she is next on the lay off list? What did her hard work get her? Why should she work harder than a senior teacher who is not going to get laid off?

      June 15, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  59. Elliot

    Good ol' unions...

    June 15, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  60. Doctor e

    There are many salient points here, but also many comments that seem to be more about the one writing it than the issue of making a good teacher redundant.

    First, let me ask a question. Of the posters who are not in the education profession, how many of you would be "okay" with everyone outside of your profession telling you that you are an awful, overpaid drain on society and that you had no business fighting for your rights or for good working conditions or for basic respect?

    Second, how many of you would be happy if the government intruded into your personal lives because it was part of your job descriptions to be around children? That means any leisure activities, any personal relationships, anything you do would be potentially a risk to keeping your jobs.

    Third, how many of you would fight daily to impress young minds when those young minds were told that "teachers are idiots","don't listen to the teachers", "if they were any good at anything they wouldn't be teachers"?

    Fourth, well, you get the point. The best thing for education would be for everyone who isn't a teacher to butt out, shut up, and let teachers try to fix the mess that the rest of you have made by deciding you know better.

    Oh, one other thing. The comment about California teachers with 20 years experience making 80K? The cost of living varies from state to state. If you correct for the differences in cost of living across the country, a teacher with 20 years experience makes about 55-57K excluding higher degrees or certifications.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Bill

      Again, tell us how 90% of the country gets by without the protections teachers and other union members have. We're listening.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:37 am |
      • Eve

        Start a union at your place of employment. You'll be targeted at every turn because collectively all the employees will have power.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:41 am |
      • Eve

        Start a union at your place of employment. You'll be targeted at every turn because collectively all the employees will have power.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Dave

      As long as teachers are paid by the tax payers, you can't tell them to "butt out". Homeowners hate to have the Government tell them they are raising their property taxes for school systems that rate poorly. Poor performing schools drive down property values. And that's not cool, especially if you don't have kids. Tell us to "butt out" and we'll butt out and take our tax revenue with us and pay for private or charter schools.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Rick

      You have to be kidding. Leaving teaching to the teachers is what has made this mess happen. The more parents have been pushed out of the class room and allowed teachers to do their thing the worse the problem has become. We have 9 year old kids coming home and telling their parents how to vote. That came from a teacher. Maybe if the teachers spent more time teaching and less time spreading their political agenda the kids would learn something.

      Teachers yelling about low pay is funny too. I know kids getting ready to continue their education after completing high school who are asking "what will I make in this career field". These people knew when they decided to be teachers that the pay was low. So why did they chose that? Because they thought they could make a difference? Well they made their life decisions and now they need to pull up their big girl panties and live with it and turn in an honest days work for a days pay like they said they would when they were hired!

      Rick

      June 15, 2012 at 9:50 am |
      • Randi

        Teachers are pushing out parents? I have to beg my student's parents to get involved. And that is the number one problem with education today. I spend hours sending emails or making phone calls trying to get parents to take an interest in their child. Most of the time my requests go ignored, other times I am told they don't have time to deal with it. The "it" being their child.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  61. Walmart Conservative

    I am against all unions and labor laws because i know big corporations will treat us all fairly. Look at China where they make the Apple products, workers were committing suicide jumping out of the top floor of the gigantic slave camp I mean factory and the big corporation because they cared they put NETS out all around the building – TRUE. See given the chance big corps will care on their own, CEO's will not steal and rape companies while making workers suffer.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:32 am |
  62. CD

    Got to love unions. Keep the weak and send the proven high performers packing.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  63. CAsinking

    Absurd. It begs the question what is the role of the Sacramento City Unified School District? Because it clearly isn't to ensure that the children of Sacramento receive a quality education. If it was then Michelle Apperson would still have her job.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Bill

      Thankfully, this is hopefully coming to an end, as the Los Angeles USD is being sued over this very practice, being that the seniority based firings are a violation of the students' rights.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  64. corbett

    Folks..the sonority laws were enacted in the 70's because prior to the laws, older master teachers were laid off first because they made more, or were critical of the school district administration (in other words, the cuts became arbitrary). The system does have to be changed but not the sonority system. Look into how much the head administrators make..plus their pensions. Why is it that in a district that is cutting 12-20 teachers and staff (btw I'm one of those teachers being cut with an excellent record), the administrators can still keep their $260,000+ salaries? All the pensions that are outrageous are retired administrators or district lawyers that double dipped or something. Our last head administrator left taking over $450,000 with her. The media and conservatives are going after the wrong set of professionals...the administrators at the top district level epitomize the word GREED. BTW...the unions have no power in the cutting process...it’s all discretionary and done by department (they will cut one department 2 teachers and another 3 its all up to administration not the unions. Regulate administrator pay now! (You should also know they have their own unions separate from the teachers!)

    June 15, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Luther

      Excellent point, and even more sickening. Again, emphasize is on padding their wallets not what's best for the kids (or deserving staff). They need some younger teachers to relate to as well.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:32 am |
      • Brenda

        They need good teachers; age shouldn't be relevant.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Bill

      Again, tell us how 90% of the country gets by without seniority based layoffs. We're listening.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Brenda

      I completely disagree! In the non-unionized world, people are let go based on performance, not seniority. No one should EVER be guaranteed a job based on seniority. Once that happens, what is the incentive to do a good job. I've got tenure, I can't be fired, I could give a crap about the kids. I've seen it happen at all levels in the education system and, as a parent, I think it sucks. I've seen good and bad teacher, old and young. And the bad ones need to go. If you can't enrich, enlighten and encourage my child to learn, you are in the wrong profession.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Ruthie

      "Sonority?" I hope you're not a teacher.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  65. Frank Garrett

    Vetern teachers, and teachers of the year are getting laid off under this current administration, its time for change.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  66. TheTruth

    We need to just do away with schools altogether. You can get everything you need online to teach yourself everything you must know. This would save our country an enormous amount of money. I also feel that we should only allow parents to have one child in this country.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • nilla

      As the husband of a woman who was an only child, I will say this is a HORRIBLE idea!

      June 15, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Ralph

      Now there's a plan, idiot.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • chris

      Yeah it would save money....But at what cost

      June 15, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • lenny

      You are a perfect example of why we need better schools.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • UTGRAD

      Who would hire you? Not me.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  67. Luther

    This is nauseating.. if the goal is what's best for the kids, why let go of the best educators simply because they have less time in? It's already pathetic pay given the importance, we pay an actress more money for pretending to work with kids then most people who actually poor their guts into it will see in a lifetime. This is why other countries look at our society as a joke, but let's keep giving millions to the athletes and entertainers and become a nation of complete idiocy. Kids are only our future. I could vomit.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Dave

      We (tax payers) don't pay athletes and actors/actresses a dime. They are paid by private businesses and owners based on revenue that these athletes and actresses bring in. That's capitalism. What countries look at our country like a joke? Europe – with their struggling economy? In England, only 20% of kids go to school past the age of 16. The teachers union should be disbanded so good teachers can be kept and bad teachers fired. Our education system needs to be overhauled as they are failing our kids.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:37 am |
      • derp

        "The teachers union should be disbanded so good teachers can be kept and bad teachers fired"

        I often hera how teachers unions are the reason that schools are so bad.

        Yet, I have never heard one person ever explain why it is that the states with the strongest teachers unions have the highest standardized tests scores year in and year out.

        If the unions are so bad, then why do kids in strong union states score so well, and the kids where there are no teachers unions score so poorly?

        June 15, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Person of Interest

      While I agree with your actress and actor comment, what's nauseating is the first thing government cuts when faced with hard decisions are two things you shouldn't: Education and Public Safety. I'm not saying the education system doesn't need an overhaul, but when the banks are in trouble we bail them out and their CEOs (with tax payer money) still got their bonuses (for failing at their job).

      The Tea Party is all cut cut cut so that's what happens. And you know what? This situation was bound to happen. I'd like one person here to say they wouldn't get laid off even if they were a better employee compared to: 1) someone who had 10-15 years more experience than them, 2) had better connections within management, etc. The private sector is just as harsh and callous. I have 3 years experience at my current job. I get calls from several people in other states that have worked this job for 10-15 years. I'm on the chopping block way before them.

      Fair has nothing to do with it, who's better has nothing to do with it...well maybe it does. I mean afterall those CEOs that took our money are the same ones wanting cuts to these programs but not wanting their taxes raised even though their wealth has doubled in a decaded. So it is about being better...the CEOs being better than the rest of us. Because obviously they are since we let them. Bailout the banks, -F- education, right?

      June 15, 2012 at 9:44 am |
      • Dave

        Local and State Governments don't have a lot flexibility when facing a budget shortfall. When property values were over-inflated and property taxes at a record high, then there was funding for extra nice to have activities in the schools. With property values returning to what they should be, then governments have faced massive short falls in revenue. Without cuts, the only way to increase revenue is increasing sales tax, property taxes, city income taxes, or place speed cameras on every corner and street in the city or rural community.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:52 am |
      • Luther

        That's what I was attempting to convey, not that we are paying tax dollars to support million dollar do-nothings, but that our priorities are skewed. The money is out there, debating on percentages and such is not so much my forte, buy it is going places less deserving than education. Warren Buffet, one man, has bought and bailed out banks on his own while school districts crumble and talented teachers sit unemployed. What I was hoping to spark was more of a moral debate, when does this change, and how

        June 15, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  68. Al

    The problem is not that she was laid off, the problem is they were required to let her go simply because of seniority.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  69. Walmart Conservative

    NO forced education, NO EPA, NO Unions, NO National Parks and NO Sharia and NO takin my guns. The big corporations will treat us right and they will not pollute our air and water on their own oh and the CEO's won't steal and rape companies and banks like the unions plus that muslim needs to go so my guns are safe from Sharia

    June 15, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • progressive

      Don't feed the troll

      June 15, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  70. Instructor weld 035

    The College of Southern Idaho is an example of how endemic the good ol boy's roll, it does not matter if you cannot teach at the level the students deserve. A welding instructor @ this college is not able to instruct at the 6th grade level let alone college level,they just let another highly qualified Instructor slip through their grasp due to this idiots inability,yet he is still there and will continue due to his "senority" ....he sucks and he knows it...what a Pariah to the community.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  71. Willya Pat McGroin

    so, now – are there classrooms full of kids that have no teachers ? I doubt it. Also, does that figure of 33,500 teaching jobs which have been lost include teachers who retired, or decided to do something else ? Teachers are important, but they are not gods, or demi-gods. Their jobs are just as vulnerable as anyone else's.

    Also consider, the schoolboard must have decided it was more important to have nice pretty football fields and feed every student breakfast and lunch, regardless of need. Dinners too. When the Prez announced the financial bailouts a couple of years ago, it was SUPPOSED TO save teachers and other civil servants. The money went somewhere else, God only knows where ......... maybe it went to all those shovel-ready jobs ?

    So the best way to FIX this situation is to make a change at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Start healing the economy and see housing improve again – then the tax base will improve. IF we make some smart choices, we can start fixing things.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • laurajakers

      Much of the money was given straight to the state who then decided what to do with it. Many states, for example, decided to use that money to pay down their debt, not on the job-saving measures it was intended for. That's on the states, not Obama.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • chris

      I don't even know how to address this.... I didn't know that it was possible for one person to be this wrong..

      June 15, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Laid Off Teacher

      The stimulus money ended at the end of the 2010-2011 school year. That money was and couldn't be used on football fields. It allowed schools to keep teachers around for a few more years. I was one of the cuts made after the money went away. I found another job after a year being unemployed but not as a teacher. The fact of the matter is most school districts are shrinking due to fact that people are having fewer kids. When older teachers retire most are not replaced. Teachers work very hard to educate you children. Administrators don't make too much money. My wife went to school to get a 4 year degree to teach and then 2 years for masters and is almost finished with her doctorate. She goes into work before 7 and doesn’t come home until after 6. The private sector would pay her more money but people who work in education aren’t there for the money. As the districts HR manager she just had to let go off 400 teachers in her district. I watched her go through those sleepless nights due to stress about the situation. She stayed at work until after midnight trying to find ways to save any teacher she could. But the class size was somewhere around 1 teacher to 13 children. That is how her district was trying to save jobs but unfortunately with the budget cuts made this year by the state government they could no longer justify those class sizes any longer. Our economy is improving but it is going to take a while before we recover. I hope for a stronger and more ethical economy when things finally settle.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • UTGRAD

      @Willya Pat McGroin- Why are you blaming the President for your school boards bad decisions? We do not need housing cost to go back up. Those over inflated prices is what started this whole mess.

      June 15, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  72. Walmart Conservative

    So all you union haters how do you feel about JP Morgan's Mr. Dimon getting 23 million bonus package while saying "we did not understand the risk" I mean you know they have only been a big bank for over 100 years who would expect them to understand risks and banking.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:15 am |
  73. formerteacher

    TOTY amounts to not much more than a popularity contest anyway. The teacher's selection was not based on objective numbers like sales or even test scores. She was probably nominated by a teacher or student based on that person's relationship with the teacher. She is probably a good teacher, but TOTY means little in terms of objective skill or accomplishment.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  74. Mike

    Without layoffs based on senority schools would constantly be firing older more experienced teachers and replacing them with younger less experienced ones. Doesn't make for much of a career track or incentive to get into the business, does it? These practices were adopted for a reason. They make sense. It is regrettable that this teacher of the year, however that distinction was awarded, was let go. If she persists, like many before her, she will be rehired in time and establish enough senority to complete her service.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Bill

      Oh please.

      Tell me again how 90% of the workers in the US get by without seniority based layoffs again?

      June 15, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Oswald

      Teacher retention and promotion should be based on merit, not seniority. Just because someone has been teaching for a long time does not make them a good teacher. This woman was named Teacher of the Year for a reason. To let her go in order to retain another less qualified teacher is one of the fundamental problems with our education system. The main people hurt by this policy are the students.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Sam

      That is why this continues..... Your faulty thinking of may or may not happen. So to protect the older teachers from may not happen, lets just set up a blanket rule. If every company ran like that, nothign would get done.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:23 am |
    • CES

      What ever happened to performance-based decisions? Mike, sorry, but no, not all older, more experienced teachers are the most EFFECTIVE. Age or lenghth of employment has no relevance to effectiveness. Many times, it is counter-productive since 'experienced' folks are on road with eyes on retirement. You will never see a non-union organization make decisions based on seniority, it is always based on performance. Fortunately, unions are on the decline and hopefully that mindset in gov't as well.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Dave

      Have to disagree with you Mike. Seniority and tenure based employment make it difficult to get rid of poor performers and to groom up and coming hard workers. The government is full of poor performers that employers put off in the corner because the EEO and Human Resource regulations makes dealing with them not worth it. They just come in and get a pay check.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • jose

      Newsflash to Mike......... many companies routinely cull out 5% of their non-productive workforce yet union thugs have no problem in foisting some of the worst on our kids. Why should we tolerate that?

      June 15, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • kake79

      School districts need to do layoffs the way any good company does. Most companies use layoffs to get rid of underperforming workers. Firing the teacher of the year because she doesn't have seniority is the unions way of doing things and is stupid. Glad to know the school district was looking out for the best interests of the kids.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:18 am |
  75. SteveinMN

    Its all good as long as the kids of the Job Creators can still get a great education so that they may continue the aristocracy and throw crumbs to us.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  76. Mike Tyson

    That's too bad, but I bet the football team still gets its money . . . .

    June 15, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Mike L.

      That is sad, but true. We have a new astro turf field, but the teachers are being asked to cut back on supply requests.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  77. DM

    Another reason every teacher's union in the country should be disbanded. If they really cared about education and our children they would never let this happen. Absolutely pathetic

    June 15, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • chefdugan

      That's 33,000 few "teachers" to screw up our children's educatio. Now, when the start rehiring they should hire teachers with degrees in their subject matter not from a "college of education" and while they're at it disband that horrible union that is the cause of all the problems.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:09 am |
      • lolatyou

        Wow, just read your post. You have no business making ANY statements for or against education.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:23 am |
      • Mike L.

        @ chefduan- Maybe if they paid like the private sector did, they would have more applicants. Starting teacher pay in TX is 27K. Why would you want to teach when you could go into the private sector and double your income?

        June 15, 2012 at 9:28 am |
      • amusementmgmt

        Your post only confirms that you know very little about education. What is scary is that by reading this thread, one can discern that you are not alone. I have a degree in Communications and am striving to become a teacher. From my vantage point, unless you're teaching advanced math or science (i.e. Calculus, Organic Biology) classes, the most important component of education is the effective transferral of knowledge to our youth. That is followed closely by instilling, or better yet, inspiring a desire to learn and the importance of education. How many of you have had teachers in your past who knew the subject matter inside and out yet could not convey that information in such a way that neither you nor your classmates were learning?

        There are folks on this commentary page who profess the abolition of schools. They would like the implosion of our educational system in lieu of home schooling in order to save money. Those, to me, are the ramblings of someone who has never been in a classroom, or has at least loss some touch with the other redeeming social skills that education provides. As a society, I'm sad to say that as opposed to evolving and being compassionate to our fellow man, we're going the other direction.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Sam Dobermann

      The union hardly controls what the administrators do. Nor do they have any influence over what he says. This teacher was there for 9 years; that ought to be more than enough seniority. I suspect something else was going on and it is just convenient to blame the union. It is likely she was more highly paid.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • chris

      I love your logic... We allow the teachers unions to be ground down to a nub, then when they can no longer defend themselves you blame them for being ineffective. How can you be this clueless

      June 15, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • UTGRAD

      Sorry you are do uninformed.....

      June 15, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  78. jose

    Welcome to the Alice in Wonderland world of "unions". Unions are "thug machines" that search for the guilty and punish the innocent.......now you know why Wisconsin voters kept Walker...because without his type, the thugs would continue to rape the taxpayers wallet....

    June 15, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  79. W.G.

    Romney was laughing at Obama´s desire to hire more policemen and teachers and firemen .
    This layoff is just an example of what the republicans have in store for everybody that makes
    less than a million a year .

    June 15, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • jose

      WOW...I see that you never let facts get in the way of your pre-conceived position..... Clue to the clueless: those that feed at the tax trough are laid off when the trough runs dry. Also, I didn't see you complaining when these same people were hired knowing full well that the system could not sustain them yet here you are whining when they are laid off........let me guess...you are a liberal...... ????

      June 15, 2012 at 9:23 am |
      • Sam Dobermann

        uhmmm, teachers are taxpayers too. So are all the other state employees including police, fire fighters and even garbage men.

        And unions don't set salaries and benefits; they sit down and bargain with administrators , all of whom are taxpayers and all of whom have an interest in schools functioning. If you think administrators just role over then you need to pick a fight with them.

        The big problem, a real drain on tax money is the politician who set their own salaries or manipulates a small council to set them really outrageously high and then retires on an inflated pension based on the last few years inflated pay.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:33 am |
      • Mike L.

        Jose, do you think teachers do not pay taxes?

        June 15, 2012 at 9:44 am |
      • jose

        Mike L posted two posts below me and asked this:

        Jose...do you think that teachers don't pay taxes?

        but what Mike L's post does not permit is for me to reply (there is no "reply" button for me to use to answer his question). How convenient, Mike......

        To answer your question though, of course they pay taxes but 100% of their pay comes from the taxpayer coffers. This means that when those same coffers run dry, they get laid off. You having a hard time comprehending this???

        June 15, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Ron

      Right... If you have $50,000 in credit card debt and it is driving you bankrupt.... Try to fix that problem by spending more and more money and see how that works out for you,

      June 15, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  80. TheProfessor

    So you are telling me that a school district in the United States is stupid enough to use "seniority" over "performance"? Last I recall, that violated Department of Labor guidelines for equal opportunity. I mean, be realistic. A non-effective teacher possibly retained their position because they have been there longer over someone that has DEMONSTRATED the ability to inspire a will to learn in students???? The superintendent and the entire school board need to be canned immediately. In fact, the governor of the state should have already called them out. Obviously, they don't have the education nor the knowledge to be leading the people that are responsible for teaching our children.

    June 15, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Ron

      You are exactly right. What can we do to reverse this system?

      June 15, 2012 at 9:08 am |
      • john

        Follow Florida's lead and reduce the union power and give the young teacher a chance.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Mike L

      The school systems have to deal with the teacher unions. I would imagine that is why they go by seniority and not performance. Teacher unions carry a lot of clout to the detriment of the schools.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:09 am |
      • jose

        No Mike.....they go by what the union wants because most school administrators and those city officials who supposedly represent the tax-payers in talks with the union, are really nothing more than spineless, weak-willed cowards who won't stand up for the taxpayer and this is precisely why the voters in Wisconsin had to do it for themselves as they voted in reform, thereby bypassing the cowardly administrators. No more forced union membership.......no more fat paycheck sent from the state to the unions as the state dutifully collected forced union dues from 100% of teachers.........no more strong-arm thug tactics used against the taxpayer who was forced to pay ever-increasing taxes so that fat union thugs could continue to rape the taxpayers wallet........... It's a sad commentary when those who want a right to work state (meaning people can't be forced to join a union as a requirement to work) are demonized yet when union thugs MANDATE FORCED PAYMENT OF DUES BY ALL WORKERS, well, that's somehow "OK".......no more! The Gravy Train of endlessly feeding at the trough has finally ended. The last vestige of raping the taxpayer (Government workers at all levels) has finally been exposed for what it really is and the taxpayers don't like what they see....... and now that it's coming to an end, liberals are squealing like stuck pigs.....

        June 15, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • praja37

      Unfortunately, labor union policies take priority over school boards, superintendents and/or parents. Seniority has always played a key factor in deciding who stays, who goes and who gets promoted. Saw it first hand in the late 70's/early 80's during the fall of the steel mills in Pittsburgh. Workers who were known to sleep on the job had to be called back from layoffs because of seniority, over workers who were known to work hard and do the job right.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Bill

      Layoffs are based on seniority because it's the way teachers want it, and the districts agree to it in collective bargaining.

      Whenever you hear a teacher utter a phrase similar to "But it's for the children," know that it's not about the children, but about keeping grossly incompetent teachers employed.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • SirDirtiness

      That's how unions work. Makes them so functional doesn't it? Many unions around the country have members/workers who are "untouchables". Think they still need to prove themselves on the job?

      June 15, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • TNPatriot

      THE PROFESSOR???? HA HA HA Must be a prof of BS or simply an ignorant tea bagger. It's obvious that you are clueless regarding 'dept of Labor guidelines'.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • asdfq

      Talk to the union – they negotiate for that stuff because (shocker) the union reps are the senior people.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • Mike L.

      @TheProessor- Did you even READ the article? It said the rules are set by the State, not the local School Board or administration, so get off your high horse!

      June 15, 2012 at 9:48 am |
  81. freedomringingnow

    This is great as America does not need education for high tech or knowledge jobs. They just need to cut all teachers pay, retirement as they are overpaid for producting jobs seeking kids. The new republican way is to offshore everyone and no taxes or revenue generation is allowed which includes those offshoring like GE! I can't wait till ROmney gets in and just closes down many schools and the non wealthy are not worthy of eduction..... Get a clue America and vote republican!

    June 15, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  82. Walmart Conservative

    Vote Republican, lets stop this elitist forcing education on our kids, lets stop the EPA from making our air invisible and our water Non Flammable – their excessive regulations are putting us behind China where you can see every breathe you take in. We can compete with China if we get rid of EPA and cut min wage to 1.72 a DAY.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Steve

      You are obviously crazy.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • Jeff

      Yeah, why would we want our kids to be educated? Vote Republican and put the stupid back in the whitehouse!

      June 15, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • AmericanMarbles

      We are in the top 3 in spending on education, yet our kids rank outside the top ten in everything except confidence. Basically, the schools have done nothing. I don't know who is at fault, but it has to be a combination of: Parents, teachers and the school system. All of them need to be overhauled.... Watch waiting for superman to see the level of bureaucracy and waste in our current system.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:08 am |
      • comonsense

        Well I guess if it is in a movie then it must be true.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:38 am |
      • Sam Dobermann

        Actually we are not in the top 3 or even 10 in overall spending on education. And a lot of what is spent is on top heavy administration. Another thing we waste a heck of a lot of money on testing. Most tests used aren't even validated as to what they measure. But it is very profitable to a few favored companies. There is a lot of waste in American education. The money spent on sports certainly outstrips every advanced country. It is hard to see any argument for such elaborate and expensive athletics which just distorts and crowds out any other activities.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Dub1045

      Duh, Gov Moonbeam is a Demo......It is happening on the Democrats watch........

      June 15, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  83. me

    Based on the literacy level, lack of common sense, and complete lack of any reasoning ability of 95% of HS graduates, I say we give them all pink slips at the end of each school year. You then must earn your job back by competing against peers in your field via tests/presentation skills.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Tim C

      States can't even afford to keep teachers they have now! Would you have them raise taxes to introduce an enormously expensive program like the one you propose? What about the people who would evaluate the teachers? Should they have to re-interview every year for their jobs, too? Or maybe every district will have a lot of unbiased, middle-of-the-road folks like yourself rendering a verdict on all these overpaid, underdelivering teachers???

      June 15, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Giants Fan

      Yeah, that sounds great. How about if they do that at your job too! I am sure you would keep your job with hundreds of thousands of younger, more qualified people willing to take less pay standing in line to take your job.
      Idiot.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Ron

      The reason we don't have good students is because we do not have good parents. True that our education system needs help but when you have the kind of kids that our society created it is nearly impossible to teach.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:12 am |
      • Giants Fan

        I agree, the problem with the falling test scores is directly related to the fact that parents no longer are involved in thier child's education. If you are going to evaluate teachers then you need to evaluate parents also.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  84. S-HUG

    IT'S NOT JUST TEACHERS. You put in ten years at a company and do an exemplary job. You make the corporation and its executives looks good. Then they hire some no-talent "consultant" to come in and tell them how to run their business (hint: they'd already be out of business if not for the hard-working staff). Then, they lay off the very people who made their business function and prosper—all so the execs can get huge pay increases and land with a golden parachute when it all goes down the drain. This is the new America. The execs continually talk about how their hard work has led to their success. Truth be known, they haven't gotten where they are without stepping on toes and toying with good people's livelihoods.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • eric

      Is that you, Peter Gibbons?

      June 15, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Ron

      True, US corporations are not about US jobs or good products, they are about the quickest way to make money and have it end up in a few pockets. This era is about sharks swimming and gulping up all that is in their way and leaving all else to die.
      The whole consulting era is a systematic method of laying off people without it being the company's fault.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:19 am |
  85. wwrrd

    That's what Unions get you. They protect the mediocre at the expense of the stars.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Mike

      Exactly.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • rock123

      Unions had their place in history and served a good purpose in their heyways. 2012 is not place for a Union. They cause companies to have to pay to much money and protect the work in ways that cause the works to not have to perform in the manner they would if they were not protected by the Union. They are a part of the past that needs to let go and move on to the way things work in the current economy.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:18 am |
      • Sam Dobermann

        But the economy in the past was very good. Things were humming, people were inventing things and building things and providing good schools and growing great universities and going to the moon. Bankers were hardly heard of. Hedge funds weren't the most glamorous things ever.

        Unions made us strong. Unions fought for the 5 day, 40 hour week. Unions fought for pensions and for health care insurance. Unions fought for decent working conditions like adequate ventilation and all sorts of safety measures. Union teachers fought for smaller classroom sizes, one thing that has really shown an important effect in learning.

        So now we have Bankers, investment fund managers, and vulture capitalism where a medium size business with a nice pension fund can be bought at 5% down or less, cut out a bunch of workers, turn the pension into a 401k, suck out all the value of the pension fund, and load the company up with debt which you can then use to payout huge dividends and then if it doesn't collapse into bankruptcy right away, sell it and walk away.

        And corporations have figured out ways to kill of the unions and swap pensions for 401k investments which enrich Wall Street, (and beggar employees in the periodic meltdowns) so that they can work on killing the last vestiges of security for employees. And they have you all so well trained you are cheering them on.

        Middle America has been screwed and now is turning on any one they see with an ounce more of security than themselves. We should be making more efforts for unity to pull all of us back up. There is no reason for workers wages to stagnate when CEO compensation increases by millions.

        June 15, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  86. Ricky

    The problem is that too many school boards approach education with a business mentality. That is not a complement because businesses are by definition selfish, meaning that they pursue personal gain regardless of the costs to others.

    The problem, however, is more cultural because most Americans have an ideological belief that businesses are BY DEFINITION efficient. That is far from the truth because many businesses are corrupt, inefficient, and most of all incredibly selfish. The pro-business ideology is second to the BIBLE and so any critique of the business approach to education is dismissed.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • steve rey

      That's not right, Ricky. If school boards approached education with a business mentality, they would fire subpar workers and replace them with good ones. By signing teacher contracts that allow for personnel moves to be based on seniority, that's actually an ANTI-BUSINESS, and pro-union, mentality. Schools need to be more business-like. If they were, this good teacher would still have her job.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:00 am |
      • Giants Fan

        The problem Steve Rey is that most traditional businesses are very different than teaching because a teacher's performance has as much to do with their effort as with the parents effort. If a parent is not involved in a childs education that child will not be sucessful. Why should a teacher be fired because she has a class full of students who's parents's do not value education.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Scott

      "The problem, however, is more cultural because most Americans have an ideological belief that businesses are BY DEFINITION efficient. That is far from the truth because many businesses are corrupt, inefficient, and most of all incredibly selfish."

      And the GOVERNMENT MODEL is the sunshine and daisy alternative? ROFL! If anything is corrupt, inefficient, and serves only to grow itself and its own influence it is government at every level.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  87. Walmart Conservative

    You have to love us Walmart conservatives. We hate Obama so much we'll help the republicans destroy unions, cut and lay waste to EPA, Education, First responders and more. Later on when we realize we are still poor walmart conservatives but can now see the air we breathe and have to wonder why our kids have to share books in school with 100 kids to a class we can blame Obama for at least a few years after he is gone. In the end we will find out we have no retirement because corporations stop any form of contributions and cut our pay to next to nothing so we cannot save anything but we get to work 60-70 hours a week with no overtime until we die we'll still be happy because we got rid of that muslim who wants sharia and our guns.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Wisconsinator

      @Walmart Conservative – "Tinfoil hats on sale in aisle 12 .. thank you!"

      June 15, 2012 at 8:47 am |
      • Dr. B

        Please look up the definition of "sarcasm" and "irony" before you comment and show the world how truly stupid you are.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • TheMovieFan

      Nice posting. Unfortunately it will be lost on the people it was targeted towards.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  88. Willie12345

    " layoffs were based on seniority. " - No wonder our school systems suck.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • TheMovieFan

      CA education sucks because of proposition 13. Before Prop 13, CA had the best public schools in the country.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:46 am |
      • rharrisphd

        Been saying this since they passed Prop 13. Was in California at the time - forced to leave because of education and mental health cuts. They've never recovered.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:11 am |
      • Da Maestro

        @ The Movie Fan & @ Walmart Conservative--LOVE IT! The kind of sarcasm that pushes me to watch Colbert every night. BTW as a teacher in one of the largest school districts in the nation I would like to say there is no such thing as PUBLIC EDUCATION. In Chicago, the business approach to education has completely taken over under the guise of TURNAROUNDS. A term simply applied by "independent" corporations that have financial ties to the mayor and many of his chronies. That being said, a change is needed in the way our nations schools work. The achievement gaps between our schools is unsettling, but maybe no more so than the allocation of resources that typically accompanies it. Also, the sheer number of bitter and out of touch teachers is a problem. Their methods are outdated but it is not entirely their fault (with the exception of growing old). In education we experience shifts in philosophy at such a rapid rate that the term TURNAROUND should be applied to the philosophy. Like many other professions, teachers must under-go constant professional development and acquire new certifications almost annually simply to validate their worth. A Masters in education alone is worth a small bonus and nothing more. It guarantees you no security. On the contrary you are seen as expendable and over paid as evident by this story. Businesses are ruining our education system. They continue to cut where they should instead invest. The claim to know whats best for a classroom without ever having set foot in one. And when a majority of urban teenagers enter our secondary school system with a 4-5 grade reading level how can you expect them to perform well on standardized test that rely so heavily on reading passages. It is absurd and unforgivable that a HS teacher should be assessed on the performance of his or her students' test standardized test scores. I love my job. No one goes into teaching for the money. It is possibly the greatest public service and I know I am good at it. I enjoy making my kids smile and showing them what they can achieve if they just put forth any effort. I am not opposed to classroom observations that are factored into my possible retainment for the following years. I am not against using data to build a better classroom and guide instruction/ reteaching concepts not fully mastered. But do not demand my kids mark at a certain percentage nation wide when they must first be taught simple skills they should have learned in grammar school and AT HOME. Give them a fighting chance. Im not saying most of my students will go onto college and to become noble prize winning scientist ( although a teacher can dream). I simply hope to prepare my students for the real world. To be functional and productive members of society.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  89. Go Figure

    Maybe if Romney and the Teavangelical / less-govt folks get in we can eliminate compulsory education completely and solve the problem in the budget?

    June 15, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Walmart Conservative

      Yeah that would be best, lets stop the elitist forcing of our kids to have schooling. There is nothing wrong and no shame in letting YOUR kids work instead of elitist edumication. We don't ne no firemans either we have buckets and water oh wait the water will be flammable without EPA.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  90. Wisconsinator

    Wisconsin recently had the courage to make those tough choices.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  91. MartyB

    How can these two sentences be in the same paragraph, yet people be so blind to the destruction that Unions can have??? It sure is an example of how the system needs to be overhauled! Where else in a capitalistic society can the best person be cut just because someone has been there longer? What a system!!!!

    .."layoffs were based on seniority. Gabe Ross, the district's spokesman, called the situation "awful" and said, "It's another sign of how education's funding really needs an overhaul."

    June 15, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  92. Angry Taxpayer

    This shows how the teachers unions are hurting our kids. They probably laid her off to save the job of another teacher who had seniority.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Educator2311

      As a teacher in Wisconsin I will have to agree that the unions do protect some teachers that need to leave the field. There are many passionate, educated and creative teachers still waiting to get jobs. Teachers worried about losing their jobs are ones that obviously are not doing theirs in Wisconsin.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:39 am |
      • John Comstock

        Thank you for and honest evaluation. We need more like you.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Frank

      Well they basically said that in the article. Its not really the unions fault, they are doing that because thats what the majority of teachers want. Its the states fault for allowing the union to put in the contract, as its not in the best interests of the state taxpayers.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:41 am |
      • Wisconsinator

        Frank .. I agree .. It IS the states fault for not doing the tough thing and go against the teachers union .. no matter what the teachers want. It's the responsibility of our elected officials to look out for the best interest of ALL of us, not just the union money and desires of the few.

        June 15, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • tom

      Hello.. Did you read this artical. The last few sentences tells you that.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • Ummm...

      Did you even read the article? That's EXACTLY what they did.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Ron

      I believe that teachers do care about their students and they should vote to overturn the unions.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  93. Educator2311

    This whole situation just makes me sick.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  94. FirstOneHomeWins

    “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
    ― Warren Buffett
    They can afford to send their kids to private schools and are not concerned with our public school system and the middle class teachers, students and parents who continue to struggle as the middle class is driven downward.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • teacher

      You are probably correct that most wealthy people do send their children to private schools. This is not the case in Warren Buffett. I went to school with his youngest son. Both of his children went through the public school system.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  95. Mitt Romney

    I like firing people.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Lee Downie

      No good deed goes unpunished.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:51 am |
  96. winkum

    Tenure, an archaic system originally put in place to prevent state-sponsored political control over what teachers taught is now a refuge given not for excellence in the classroom, but just punching the clock for more years than someone else.

    Until tenure can be eliminated, our classrooms are in danger of being run by mindless drones instead of dynamic, exciting mentors that lift their students toward excellence.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Howard

      The real problem isn't the relative quality of teachers, but the entire basis for funding public services in states. There is too heavy a reliance on taxes based on property values rather than income. Property values, as we've seen twice in the past few decades, can fluctuate wildly, leaving state and local governments in the sort of bind in which many now find themselves.

      If Americans want quality K-12 education for their children, and reliable police and fire protection, they're going to have to demand their elected representatives come up with a more stable source of income than property taxes.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:42 am |
      • Dr. B

        @Howard: Exactly! Finally, someone speaking sense on this board. The property tax base for education funding is antiquated and economically insane. That's what needs the overhaul. But in my state (FL) there is no state income tax and we rely on sales tax and property taxes. In bad economic times, when people are cutting back on spending and traveling, and property values plummet, voila! We have a funding crisis in our state. But don't mention the words "state income tax"! It is MIND BOGGLING how short sighted, ignorant, and selfish people can be.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • TNPatriot

      Winkum, it's really SAD that you and so many other posters have no clue how teacher tenure works. Teachers are not automatically tenured, simply based on years on the job. The school officials decide which teachers are tenured and which are not. On average, tenure is given after 4-5 years of service and this is where the administration and NOT the unions make the call. In fact, in most (if not all states) tenure is a process established by the STATE, not any UNION and not part of the collective bargaining agreements.
      But that's OK folks, keep following like SHEEP, the dictates of the elitist who own the GOP and want to dumb down YOUR kids while they send theirs to private schools.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  97. vert2013

    Cutting money from education is never a solution. The teachers who are actually good at their job (and make more money) get laid off and children are left with teachers who are either new and inexperienced or have consistantly underperforming classes. We need to find other areas to cut money from because education is too important.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  98. Albro

    I've personally been teaching for 13 years, and it's been heart-breaking. America drops all of it's ills at the schoolhouse steps and yearly adds to the administrative workload, and then cuts budgets, fires teachers, AND COMPLAINS THAT THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IS FLAWED. Essentially, they're right: it IS flawed because it's controlled by politicians and 'bean-counters', rather than educators. In most states, teachers earn less than a UPS driver annually. They work in classrooms only 40 weeks/year, but at an average nationwide of over 54 hours per week, they work more hours than a 40 hour/week, 50 week/year job. Every year Americas students fall further behind, AND AMERICA KEEPS ASKING "WHY?", but they know why.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • A

      I'm a teacher as well and could not agree with you more. Add to that the current climate of union-busting that's slowly eroding the few protections that teachers have left and there seems to be very little reason for optimism.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • MAK

      @Albro
      "America drops all of it's ills at the schoolhouse steps"
      Scary that you have been teaching for 13 years and haven't learned the difference between its and it's. I've been an educator for 23 years and am constantly amazed at the ignorance of teachers who are in front of our children and don't even know correct English usage. I hope your administrator works with you on that.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:38 am |
      • JR

        You don't think it a little bit nit-picky to devalue not only this person's entire argument, but his entire teaching skill set, based on this misuse of one apostrophe? Even knowing all of the rules, have you seriously never accidentally made an error when writing or speaking? If this is what you're like as a teacher, I feel sorry for your students. Knowing that they aren't allowed to make a mistake without being ridiculed will leave them either a nervous wreck or detached and unmotivated.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • MartyB

      Maybe because you didn't factor in your healthcare and pension?? Maybe because you need to bust up the unions so we can increase quality?? Are there not teachers are private schools??

      Great logic moron.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:45 am |
      • JSBoat

        Did you know that private school teachers get lower pay and fewer benefits?

        June 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Mark

      Well put Albro. I taught in inner-city LA during the 90's, and we couldn't get enough teachers then. I was illegally "run out" by a corrupt administrator, for playing guitar and rocking my kids. A GOOD way to get kicked out of education is to be better than other teachers. I wrote way back then, "Society brings ALL of it's problems to the education system, and those not solved are unkindly given back." If Romney wins, we won't have any public education at all, it will be more gutted than it already has been. Public education is what made this country great, what separated us from others historically. Horace Mann is rolling in his grave. Denver is now advertising a teacher program which requires that "you've never held a teaching license in any state." I've lost all hope

      June 15, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • J Tanner

      I agree with everything you wrote except for stating that we keep falling behind in education. That is not true. Our students across the land are doing much better than ever before. However, our news sources refuse to report those facts. We are led to believe, without hard evidence, that our education is failing. NOT TRUE! When citing statistics, investigate how our news sources do not inform us about the "studies" they use: Who is researching? Who is being researched? What methodology is being used? None of that information is ever given. Instead, we are given rhetoric that is not necessarily true and almost always skewed. It is interesting to note that very little coverage was given to the International Science Fair whereby 2 USA public school students took the top 2 prizes. Yes, we have our issues to fix, but the system is not broken. Far from it.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Kdg

      Agree and well stated.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • It'sallthesame

      @Albro–almost everyone works more than 40 hours per week. An average of 54 hours per week is nothing. Especially when it's done only 40 weeks per year. Teachers earn less because they work less. However, I agree with you, education shouldn't be controlled by the politicians and unions. It should be controlled by people who actually care about the education of our youth.

      June 15, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  99. dap pet

    It's not the funding that needs to be overhauled , it's the selection process of who looses their job. I can tell you that there are teachers left in the ranks of that school district that lack most of the skills necessary to remain a teacher and there have been many more much better at their profession laid off. This is a union provision carried over to protect the unskilled or untrained or unmotivated workers. Teachers need to meet a review board with measurable performance standards met to retain their jobs and not by seniority alone.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • vert2013

      They're cutting the teachers that make the most money. Unfortunately, they are also the ones that are good at their jobs. They get paid more because they've proved that they can have classes that meet performance goals for the year. The students are than left with either crappy teachers or new, fresh out of college "I've never done this before" teachers.

      June 15, 2012 at 8:37 am |
      • wut

        Did you read this article? Or are you just regurgitating a rhetoric that you have said a hundred times before? If it was based on who was paid the most then it would not be a teacher that has only been there for nine years. Plus they are not going to be adding teachers, they will be increasing classroom sizes and removing any special programs.

        June 15, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  100. iceload9

    We legislated that the schools systems must educate everyone. Sounds nice if you have endless money. Also we heaped on food programs, endless testing (all we care about is data), transportation (not just buses but special needs), we must mainstream everyone and now esl (English as a second language). And if we weren't laying off we would still be heaping on the next level. What we lack (and have always lacked) is the courage to make choices.

    June 15, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • CosmicC

      Load, If you are suggesting that we not educate everyone, how do you decide who gets educated and who does not? What do you do with the people who do not get educated between now and the time we have to spend 10 times the cost of education for incarcerating the criminal we have created? Since you don't appear to have the compassion to understand the moral imperitive behind the social contract to provide an education, try the cost-benefit analysis. You will see that a sound public education system is far more beneficial economically than the alternative you seem to be advocating.

      June 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
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