Monday, July 26, 2010

Hayward gets life back, teachers get unemployment line

Is it just me or does today's news just look like more of the same wide divisions between the haves and the have-nots? It was announced today that BP executive Tony Hayward will be asked to step down for the gaffs in handling the oil spill in the Gulf. I will be waiting to see what his severance package looks like.
My guess is it will just provide Hayward with more free time and plenty of resources to enjoy the yacht races for which he has already revealed a fondness. Top screw-ups often leave with all the stock dividends and hefty cash buyouts in place.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Michelle Rhee fires 241 teachers while putting an additional 735 on notice to improve their practice. The fired teachers do not have a golden parachute, of that I am sure.

OK, what's the problem? Poor performers should be fired whether they are Tony Hayward or classroom teachers, right?
Right.
But for the past 30 years, teachers have been at the bottom of a top-heavy system that has often scripted what should be taught and when, has either provided professional development or not, given teachers latitude to select class loads (Oh? Not.), provided support for strugglers in the form of mentors and time to collaborate (oh, wait a minute, not.), asked teachers how to resolve problems in the classroom - wait, not. Teachers have been able to demand textbooks, classroom supplies, heated buildings.
Wait.
Not. Not. Not.

Are teachers professionals with control over their workplace or their own development as professionals? Not. Most survive on what business-types would consider entry-level salaries that cap, after thirty years, at the bottom rung of what executives would expect in the early stages of a high powered career.

But maybe Tony Hayward and the teachers have something in common.
He said he was never a part of the decision making process either.
For sure, though, he will not be standing in an unemployment line facing financial ruin.
Not. Not. Not.