Radical solution to CA's education crisis: lay off 40% of CA teachers?
Original post made by Sandy Piderit, Mohr Park, on Jan 29, 2010
Gunslinger proposed this as a solution to California's education funding crisis in another thread (typos below are his or hers, not mine):
"Lay off 40% of californias teachers and allot a few billion to their reeducation for the private sector. The teachers we keep we give 20% raises to, so that capitalism ensures we have good minds at the helms of these classrooms. We still come out fiscally ahead by far"
How does laying off teachers and then giving raises to those who remain ensure that we have good minds at the "helms" of public classrooms?
I'm all for restructuring teacher seniority, moving away from rigid step-and-column pay schedules, and adding incentive pay for teachers who demonstrate that they provide consistently high educational quality. (However, I do not believe that any proposal that ties incentive pay directly to test scores and test scores alone will ensure that the highest quality teachers will get paid the most.)
What I'm *not* in favor of is massive increases in class sizes (which would result from 40% layoffs, unless those are combined with hiring 30% or 40% of new teachers). Is there some other part of gunslinger's plan that I missed, that would not involve massive increases in class sizes?
I'm also not in favor of the massive privatization of public education -- corporations running multiple charter schools and trying to squeeze profits out of "cost savings" and "efficiencies", while receiving their revenue from the state and not being held accountable to their local communities for educational quality.
I think locally-run charter schools set up as nonprofits can sometimes provide appealing alternatives to neighborhood schools, especially in areas with low-performing students.
But privatizing public education by handing it over to corporations running multiple charter schools in LA, San Diego, SF, Chicago and NY? No, I'm not in favor. Are you? And if so, why?
I hope that others will join this debate as well, though I will go back and forth a few rounds with gunslinger alone if no one else steps forward.
And to state my background up front, so as to head off any speculation or innuendo about why my self-interest might or might not feed into my beliefs:
-I'm a parent of a Pleasanton child.
-I'm a college professor of business management and I teach MBA students (not in the UC or CSU system, though.)
-I was a member of a union for graduate student assistants for two years, when I was earning my Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in the 1990s. I have not been a union member in the last decade.
-I am an independent voter (not a registered Democrat or Republican.)