They do what they do.
Thinking about schools and peers and parent-child attachments....I came across one of my favorite posts .
Do other unions (in other areas of employment) have a better understanding of public relations?
Catherine, some do. But in the world of collective bargaining, there's just the reality that it's somewhat dangerous to be an outlier. And, in the realm of evaluation of the workers' performance,teachers up until now have been outliers -- there has been no recognized way to compare performance, or even dismiss total incompetents. Teachers are rightly upset that the public wants to judge them based on outocmes over which they have very limited control -- and let's be honest, there are no occupations I can think of where that is so blatantly true -- but they are being drawn inexorably into a world where taxpayers and parents will insist on some level of accountability including test results.
Hi anonymous!I would ***hate*** to be featured in the paper, by name, with my photo (!), as an ineffective teacher.In this post, though, I'm thinking about the way in which the union presents itself to the public as well as to the media that covers it. Calling for a boycott of a newspaper and allowing such a photograph to be the 'face' of the teacher's union ---- wow. That's not a friendly face.A couple of years ago, an attorney for a state school board association told me that school boards typically get no training in public relations at all, and that's what I think we see in public education across the board. In so many cases, public education doesn't seem to having itself as having a public.
Another example of public education not experiencing itself as having a public: the WSJ ran a story on affluent parents in Manhattan suing to have their SPED kids educated privately. In the story, a SPED official objects to the situation on grounds that the money spent on tuition for SPED students "could save or create jobs for nearly 1,200 teachers."Even if that's the way you think, that's not something to say to a reporter.The line to a reporter should be: effective education first, last, and always.Not "jobs saved or created for 1000 teachers."Wealthy Seek Special-Ed Cashby Barbara MartinezAugust 18, 2010
"Teachers are rightly upset that the public wants to judge them based on outcomes over which they have very limited control..."Fair enough up to a point, but if this is true, then the arguments lobbying for higher teacher pay are weakened quite a bit. If the teachers have very little control over the outcome, then my inclination is to go for lower wage teachers and spend the money elsewhere...-Mark Roulo
Fair enough up to a point, but if this is true, then the arguments lobbying for higher teacher pay are weakened quite a bit.Exactly.Of course, I would like to see a big color photograph of teacher 'John Smith's' building principal on the LA Times web site, too.
oops - correction: the photo was taken by the LA Timesnevertheless, a publicist would advise on clothing and facial expression
Good point, Mark and Catherine. However, even if there is much that is not under the control of teachers, what is under their control matters a lot, and is difficult to master. Plus, the working conditions . . . having been a teacher, many years ago, there has never been any other job I've done that came anywher close to the difficulty of teaching well.
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