Sunday, March 12, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: Frontline: Your Large Brotherly Data Service + Can You Afford To Become a Teacher?

CURMUDGUCATION: Frontline: Your Large Brotherly Data Service:

Frontline: Your Large Brotherly Data Service

I recently covered the launching of The Line, a new website helmed by Disgraced LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy and dedicated to the proposition that Chiefs for Change should have an avenue to keep pumping out warmed-over education reform baloney.

As soon as I started digging, I realized I already knew about Frontline, the company behind the website. That familiar logo had started popping up on our screens at school this year because Frontline just bought out Aesop, the software service that has been managing our teacher absences.



Like many districts, a few years ago we shifted our substitute system from the traditional Harried Secretary On The Phone from 5 AM until Two Minutes Before School Starts System to an on-line service that lets teachers enter absences and substitutes pick them up, all on line, like a scholastic match.com. It's a vastly superior system to the Frantic Phone Call system. But, boy-- if one company was doing that for many school districts, wouldn't they collect a ton of data.

Well, yes. Yes they would.

Part of Frontline's pitch is just having all sorts of data at your fingertips to run your school efficiently-- their promotional video shows an administrator walking through the halls of a school carrying a table and looking at numbers on a display that must mean something helpful because 
CURMUDGUCATION: Frontline: Your Large Brotherly Data Service:

 Can You Afford To Become a Teacher?

For the past few years, there's been regular conversation about the sad discovery that many professions are only accessible to the wealthy. If you want to enter the world of Hollywood, Wall Street or many writing gigs, the path is through an unpaid internship which is, you know, unpaid. Other areas may attract the non-wealthy, but there entry-level "jobs" are still unpaid. If you want to break in, you need a second job, supportive and well-heeled parents, or someone willing to foot your bills.
  



But a conversation with an aspiring teacher last week led me to wonder-- is teaching suffering from the same problem?

I'm not just talking about how, once you land a job, you discover that the lay is low and that you are going to have to pump some of that income back into your own classroom. The first financial obstacle, however, appears before you even start your first job. Depending on where you decide you want to teach, getting a job straight out of college may well be possible. But for many proto-teachers, that is not going to happen.

Instead, many teachers have to work their way into a district by substituting. My wife and I both spent years doing day-to-day subbing and covering leaves before finally landing our own job.

But I worked on this path during the early eighties. Subbing in my region paid $50-$60 per day. I was living in a mobile home and paying $75/month for rent, so my sub pay, while unspectacular, 
 Can You Afford To Become a Teacher?

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