Friday, February 22, 2013

Teachers continue to leave what was once a profession.

From Whitefish Bay Now comes this sad slice of reality about teaching under Republican control, and Scott Walker's disdain for public education. Holding true to freeloading conservative form, instead of improving failing schools, the Republican message is to RUN from them. It's lots of "work" to solve problems.

Meanwhile dedicated professional teachers are vilified and blamed for everything. When I've gone to my own kids elementary and middle schools, I've always had a voice in their efforts to work with my kid, and never saw an ounce of resistance in their ability to help.

The following is tough to take, and tougher to see happen over and over:
Danielle Switalski Tearful resignation gives glimpse into life after ACT 10 in Whitefish Bay. When Act 10 hit, 10-year math teacher at Whitefish Bay High School Christine Kiefer was four classes into her master's degree. Because of funding cuts, she was forced to quit her program … Since Act 10, she has waited patiently to see what would happen to her livelihood, while continuing to educate Whitefish Bay youth every day. Kiefer said she can no longer wait and tearfully announced her resignation to the School Board last week. "Here's my problem: When I started, I had all these incentives to improve and now I am completely stuck," Kiefer told the board. "I have no master's degree, I have no way to increase my salary and there are no incentives in place for improving my practice. " Kiefer said she cannot get to the level of compensation as some of her peers in the district because of the current system in place.

For three years, she said her class sizes have increased as she and her colleagues are asked to do more in light of Response to Intervention, new MAP testing and a new teacher evaluation process.
"I love teaching kids and I love the kids' families and I love my colleagues and I love Whitefish Bay, but I cannot wait any longer," she said. "I can't stay at a job that sacrifices all my time for my own family - at least two hours every school night and between six to 12 hours every weekend - time after the bell rings, time that produces such good results when there is no good faith effort on the part of the district to pay what I am worth, to pay me what you would probably have to pay an equivalent replacement for me."

Kiefer's speech was met by a round of applause from a room mixed with parents, teachers and high school students. School Board President Kathy Rogers, said, "It is painful beyond words to lose a teacher of Christine's caliber." School Board members echoed this sentiment.

High school math teacher Erin Best is one who is compensated "very well." Best said they are burned out. "I can't keep doing more. The class sizes keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger and I'm exhausted, and this job is preventing me from being the wife I want to be, a mom, a human. I just want to share that," Best said. "I know for Christine she deserves way more money, but even with the money I make this job is really difficult to do."

High school English teacher Lindsey Ashlock began her master's degree two years before Act 10 was enacted. Though she has been teaching for 15 years, with her personal student loans, she said she can't make ends meet financially with her current paycheck.

School Board Member Cheryl Maranto said. "I know the reason we are surviving is because of what happened to your pay and benefits."

The board is ramping up their lobbying efforts, meeting with state Sen. Alberta Darling, in the hopes that this can change, she said. "Who the heck is going to want to go into this profession?"

Here's a sample of comments, that demonstrate how "teacher" has been added to the Republican list of enemies, for no real reason other than envy:
This is just the latest of many that will inevitably see that their "mission" to educate will be met with indifference and "so what" by the current batch of conservative members of our state legislature. But hey, if it helps the "hard working taxpayers"...

Yeah well my wife was hired at a private sector business with the promise to pay for her education. They had to take that away, also took away matching 401k and now said insurance will have to cost 4 times as much. They told her if she doesn't like it they will hire someone else. Be glad to have a job. It is not roses out in the private sector. But why don't we see those stories?

Boo Hoo!! Sounds to me like Christine is finally dealing with every day decisions that those of us in the private sector have faced years ago. No tears shed here.

Boo fricking hoo. The gravy train is no longer overspending. welcome to the reality the rest of us already deal with.  IT's time some of your who are unhappy in your jobs stop making teachers the scapegoat: in the long run it's YOUR kids who will suffer.

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