Monday, June 19, 2017

Genius | Teach for America Tricks Young People into Being Scabs | Benjamin Studebaker

Genius | Teach for America Tricks Young People into Being Scabs | Benjamin Studebaker:

Teach for America Tricks Young People into Being Scabs

Image result for big education ape Teach for America

Last month, we talked about how Mike Pence ran down the schools in Indiana while he was governor, slashing state educating spending by about 11.5% (relative to GDP) and creating a massive teacher shortage as good teachers defected to neighboring states and fewer Hoosiers elected to go into education. Today I want to talk about the pivotal role programs likes Teach for America play in aiding and abetting these efforts to annihilate the public schools.
When a governor like Pence decides to starve the public schools, many districts respond by early retiring their most experienced teachers and replacing them with young, inexperienced cheap hires. When there is a teacher shortage, they may not even be able to find many of these, so they instead turn to long-term substitutes and student teachers.These substitutes and student teachers can be paid at a rate that is cheaper than the union rate for a real teacher, even one who is fresh out of school. When an employer hires a nonunion laborer to avoid paying the wages negotiated with the union, that employer is hiring a scab, and that nonunion laborer is a scab.
Scab teachers are a problem for two reasons:
  1. They undermine the negotiating power of the teachers’ unions, making it more difficult for teachers to earn a decent living.
  2. Because they make it more difficult for teachers to earn a decent living, they discourage people–especially talented people with other options–from entering the education profession, lowering both the quantity and quality of professional teachers, exacerbating shortages and lowering standards. This hurts kids.
Now, what does Teach for America do? Teach for America offers recent college graduates the opportunity to teach for a two year period, usually in a school in a low income area. The students get to feel like they’re making a difference–they think they’re helping underprivileged youth. Meanwhile, the school districts get to avoid paying union rates, and the governors and state legislators get to avoid paying the political price of a prolonged teacher shortage. This helps the districts and the state governments engage in a race to the bottom to deprofessionalize and deunionize the teaching profession, and that means that it helps them reduce both the quantity and quality of professional teachers. By stepping in to fill a void, the students are making the void bigger.
Of course, the students don’t realize that they’re being scabs. Nobody tells them thatGenius | Teach for America Tricks Young People into Being Scabs | Benjamin Studebaker:
Image result for big education ape Teach for America
Image result for big education ape tfa

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