Las Vegas Sun

August 22, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Teachers are getting a bum rap

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What profession is mentioned more in political debates than teaching? A profession that requires a college education to procure a position and ongoing education to keep it is now regarded with utter disdain by a vast amount of society.

Patient, kind people who love to help children are somehow now scapegoats.

People have mistaken our kindness for weakness. We are not volunteers — yes, you have to pay us. There are a certain number of teachers needed to teach a certain number of students. Simple math. Same as there are federal, state, county and city employees needed based on population needs. When some politicians look at the spreadsheet and see a lump sum that goes to pay teachers, it seems like an audible scoff can be heard. As far as I am aware, not one politician donates his or her service for free or reduced rates. Why should I?

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  1. I don't disagree with the point of your letter. But I will answer your question about politicians donating their service free. Governor Mitt Romney. He collected no salary as Governor for his 4 year term. His Lt. Governor didn't either. For the Governor, it amounted to $140,000 per year. He recycled the funds back into the state budget and to his staffs' salaries and bonuses.

    Also, Forbes magazine recently did a study and estimated that by entering public service, Mr. Romney lost almost $2 Billion in personal wealth accumulation. It looked at the companies under the management of Bain Capital, their profits and losses since Romney left, and the share Romney would have received. $2 Billion lost.

    I opine as president, Romney will waive his pay too. Do the math.

    CarmineD

  2. Governor Romney made an excellent point at the first presidential debate in Denver. If President Obama didn't allot $90 Billion of taxpayers' funds to green energy companies, mostly big time democratic donors, there would have been enough money to hire and employ 2 MILLION teachers nationwide. Sadly, most of that taxpayer money went to companies that have gone out of business or on the verge of doing so. President Obama and fact checkers never disputed the governor's claim.

    CarmineD

  3. What other job in Las vegas would a person spend 5 or more years getting a bachlers or masters degree, and start out with a pay of $33,000 a year. This does not take into account that most teachers take out student loans for tens of thousands of dollars to educate themselves,which they have to(loans) pay back.

    Teachers have always been underpaid,and it seems they have to beg for pay and benifit increases,most of the time.It's time to wake up and pay our teachers a better wage and benifit package that they deserve.I can think of a lot of other jobs of clark county workers that pay much more with no college degrees required.

    We should not only have a teachers day honoring them for a job well done. But maybe a teachers month were we highlight a different teacher every day for his or her contribution to help educate our children in this tough job.

  4. To the writer, Tiffany Pellegrini, when any profession is politized, their relevence soon becomes distorted, and then is subjected to all manner of attacks. Historically, this is especially true for those who are public servants, because their positions are funded by the taxpayer.

    One way to address being a "scapegoat" is to take control of the dialog/conversation and redirect the conversation to one of redefinition and change. In other words, talk about what change you WANT to see, and what you want others to start thinking about. There is no power is being or feeling like a victim, so, to coin a popular phrase, "Flip the script." People who denigrate and devalue others in order to elevate themselves are bullies.

    Politicians who bring up education and teaching, really need to be specific about the problems they see and expound exactly their position, and HOW they intend to solve any perceived problems. Voters need such information to decide, then hold them accountable to perform what they said. Otherwise, to save one's sanity, one should dismiss them. Thankfully, all this election stumping is soon coming to an end and reality will be taken off pause and life will resume.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  5. The GOP cries "class warfare" every time the wealthiest 2% is threatened with a tax increase. Yet they have no problem villifying middle class worker such as teachers. Another of their favorite targets seems to be firefighters and police officers.

    The Republicans would have us believe that the heroes of 2001 are today's greedy villains and the greedy villains of 2008 are today's heroes.

  6. Our education system is in shambles. First culprit is parents. Children learn how to behave at home, not act school. Second culprit is teachers and administrators. And teachers along with their unions trying to milk their communities. Teaching has to be a passion, not a job.

  7. Joan,
    If you think teacher's are milking the system thru their union,you are way off target.The teachers are under paid and well educated for what they get in return.Could it be that you are speaking of teachers in another state other than Nevada?

  8. Teachers have the choice to go into the profession or go into another profession. The perks are generally good benefits ( health ins,pension ) and about 3 months a year off from work allowing them to peruse other things. Some teachers go on to be professors at higher education centers, others become part of the administration. I personally think parents should give much more of their time to help teachers. The pay is what it is, and there are plenty of new entrants into the pool so as a teacher you must work harder then others to achieve your goals like any other job or profession.

  9. @ Chuck: Las Vegas is one of the least educated cities in the nation (referring to adults). I suspect you won't be impressed too often.

  10. Tiffany: We OBJECT to paying for teachers for 25% of the kids who are ILLEGALS. We object to paying for CSR since it's not needed and ineffective. We object to paying for teacher retirements that are 4-5 times what the private sector provides. We object to job protection despite performance. We object to the FAILURE TO PERFORM the job, failure to get decent results--graduates who can read and write.

  11. You get what you pay for in life. If you want goods or sevices for free or very cheap, that is exactly what you'll get....

  12. With 46% of the public believing the Bible's creation theory and 4.5 hrs/day being the average time a TV is turned on, the learning process at school is being destroyed. Understanding the technique of using rationality to achieve a decision verified by reality rather than from a look up table out of a memory archive requires discipline.

    I believe that many creation theories, say the Big Ten, should be explained but not taught. There is the Ying and the Yang of the Chinese; the Scandinavian theory of the two Gods, Muspell and Niflhiem; the Mayan's theory of the original people, Tepeu and Gucumatz; the pyramid builders of Egypt. Many will be surprised to learn that Islamic Creation Theory is nearly the same as the Bible. Scientologists also have a creation theory which is a real kick and should not be left out.

    The students should compare several theories in essay form and compare the origins of each, including that of the First Expansion, or Big Bang as it is known. They will immediately see that all theories except one depend solely on culture, belief and Era of conception. They might even concoct their own creation theory to balance against the others.

    Learning mythologies does not instruct with the rationality required for mathematics, deductive reasoning - or the philosophy of the Greeks. If parents want their children to learn they cannot use the home environment to degrade that of the classroom.

    Bill Nye, the Science Guy was right when he said that teaching Creationism is not appropriate for Children. However, it is not dangerous when many Creation theories are explained, not taught and compared together. Home life should also be improved to accommodate academics over sports and video games.

  13. @ Tom Allison...

    "You get what you pay for in life. If you want goods or sevices for free or very cheap, that is exactly what you'll get...."

    BINGO!!!

    @ SunJon...

    "Home life should also be improved to accommodate academics over sports and video games."

    You mean, actual PARENTING???
    A true lost art here in America.

    The letter writer is correct...
    and the patently absurd notion of commenter 'Joan Respondi' that "Teaching has to be a passion, not a job" is beyond the pale...
    Most teachers ARE extraordinarily 'passionate' about their gigs...but 'passion' does NOT PAY THE BILLS, nor does it inspire brilliant young college-bound minds to choose teaching as a profession in large enough numbers; the MATH doesn't ADD UP. If you're going to pay a King's ransom for a college education, you ought to be COMPENSATED in kind in the workforce...or at least have a shot at it at some point in your career.

    Until we VALUE teachers to the extent that we should, we will get exactly what we bargain for.

  14. I don't believe many folks put the blame for the failure of public schools to do their job primarily on teachers. Rather, it's a combination of things from administrators on down. The waste in the public school system is phenomenal; from bussing to "counselors." Every school day, I see a neighbor waiting with her kid for a school bus to pick up the rug-rat. When they leave, she gets in her car and drives off, presumably to work. Why can't she, along with thousands of parents, drive their own little tykes to school, then continue on to work or shopping or whatever else it is they do? Why has a parental responsibility become one for taxpayers? Then there are the modern day "Witch Doctors" employed by the school system. A kid scrapes his/her knee and a "grief counsler" has to make kissy-kissy with it? Millions wasted on nonsense and the nanny-state that could be used to upgrade the facilities and pay the frontline, the teachers, more. It's why we need more, not less, freedom of choice in which parents send their children to facilities that actually spend their money, effort and time on education - not on "feel-good" political correctness and indoctrination!

  15. After nearly a full week of Parent/Teacher conferences, one thing becomes abundantly clear: education and learning are the summation of parts. Throughout a lifetime we learn---from every experience that crosses our path. It is true that some parts have more influence on the individual than others.

    Even though there will always be negatives in life, the fact remains that the positives, still are there to celebrate: the high school graduations, the college graduations, the productive life that ensues. There are so very many people who contributed to each and every one of us, our "education", that where would one begin to thank? You cannot single out any ONE contributing factor in success. Success is summation and the climax of the experience. It stops when we cease to be.

    We all are "teachers" to someone in life's way. Some formally make teaching their preoccupation/profession and path for life, others continue to informally educate all those around them.

    Our American society has always seem to put a pricetag on what "someone is worth." Each person has a valuable contribution they share to others to make the world a better place, or a person, a better person. How can you put a "price" on that?

    We hope that the good we share with others will be the good that is carried on into successive generations. Any and all good we do will surely outlive us all. For that we celebrate.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the writer and Commenters here all share because they care. They bring forward seeds of constructive thought meant only to educate and improve our human condition. Thank YOU!

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star