Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Hidden Cost of "School Choice"

I think it is professionally unsustainable and bad policy to require the teachers in your system to be superhuman individuals who work a 60-80 hour work week in the first place, and pay them as if they work a normal work week in the second.

So, I'm glad to see this article in the Times-Picayune.

I discontinued teaching not because I am lazy and do not have a work ethic. I stopped teaching because I was asked to go from my usual 65 hour work week to an 80 hour work week with no increase in pay, while attending (and paying for) less-than useful teacher certification courses at the same time.

I don't blame my boss at the time for asking me to do that. Lord knows she worked 80 hour weeks, too. She was just trying to make the school work with the paltry resources she was allocated.

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2 comments:

Leigh C. said...

I constantly question how sustainable building the reworkings of public schools on young people's backs is, and what you just pointed out is a big reason why, in the long term, it just won't take. Just wish the people making the big decisions would realize this and adjust accordingly - like, you know, give teachers better pay and benefits as a start.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Well, my pay and benefits were OK. My problem was the whole "never leaving work" thing. Constant stress is rough, and even times I wasn't at work, I worried about what was going on at work.

And forget about attending meetings for the union or the "public input" townhalls - conveniently scheduled during school hours.

The shame of it is that teachNOLA & Teach for America focus on this "you vs the world" ideology. While necessary, it does not affect long-lasting change.