Monday January 17, 2022
May-28-2008 19:55TweetFollow @OregonNews
By Henry Clay Ruark for Salem-News.com
Photo courtesy: theeducationaladvantage.com
(EUGENE, Ore.) - "Yes, Virginia, your teachers love you and what they do, too!" Can you easily envision a parent thus reassuring a reluctant youngster, caught in any one of those many confrontations and conflicts with which every parent is all too familiar?
Never a week passes without precisely that profound and crisis-promoting need, in far too many families these days.
It is a true statement, Virginia. Historically, culturally, socially and on the public record, it is a fact that most in the teaching profession are there --and continue "on active duty"-- simply, and sometimes solely, because they have to come to love and fully appreciate the demanding process of which they are the major part.
Without the teacher, subtly controlling and guiding the process, what is left is only "group process" --and we know how that works out, far too often, in City Council, Legislature and Congress.
That love-of-process and participants MUST be true, since it has become highly obvious --especially in the past thirty years or so-- that it can surely NOT be the compensation in dollars that most teachers usually are reluctantly granted.
That reluctance, all too often not made completely open and on-record, comes from the perhaps too-stingy controllers of the bankroll --AND the conscience, too !!-- of far too many communities in this country, both large and small.
Reluctance-to-pay and other damaging attitudes have arisen from a diversity of deep and damaging misunderstandings, often further promulgated and even promoted by the now highly evident failures of our "free press" to tell the truth to power where education --and its providers-- is at stake.
That has surely happened, despite the overall easy projection from those same sources of the oft-repeated and now common phraseology about “education as the heart and operating principle” of any true democracy.
Despite continual painful complaints that "teacher pay is too high"; that "concentrated teacher-union power now controls education"; and that further largesse "will do-in with decided-damage budgets beaten down and plentifully plagued” by many more important problems --in education, more than any other budget item-- “you get what you pay for or DON’T pay for".
Even from the union-side, for too long a competitor for higher wages, thus a cause of business and corporate reluctance to provide properly-proportioned public funding, now cometh full support and leadership from dedicated, well-informed colleagues in other very demanding work-and-learn processes.
That is, of course, the major reason why union strength has become a welcome weapon and sometimes even an organizing pattern among teachers seeking some way, somehow, to set straight what nearly all agree is overwhelming priority for the kids, the community, the state and the nation --while gingerly holding tight-shut the snaps to that public wallet, too.
If YOU, too, found yourself immersed in the flood of demands for time, attention, understandings and motivations that most teachers must face every day, would you not, too, seek out strength and support from similarly-positioned and impacted friends, neighbors, and other workers?
Especially if, after turning to more-well-paid other professionals you found yourself pushed back --and even OUT-- for any such presumptuous action?
Does this protracted process for procuring the well-earned and obviously essential stronger support seem somewhat unequal and over-delayed to many, many teachers, these days?
The answer is written for all to see in the public records covering teacher employment and, especially, in those laying out the painful facts of teacher preparation, too.
Go there to "see with your own eyes" --and then consider the facts-on-the-record re teacher pay, given for your convenience in depth and detail in the OCPP report found here.
No single Op Ed, nor any single salary-status report, can substitute for a full term or two of Ed.101; but reality is easily identified and described in this local, state and national situation, and we present it here for your full and mature consideration.
Never forget: It is the LOCAL education board that fundamentally shapes and supports local education. That’s their American-system responsibility --and it is to them one must turn for any appreciable progress.
What Juan Carlos Ordonez of OCPP stated in that report is strikingly sensitive and reflective of reality as experienced and recorded by literally many thousands of teacher-neophytes, entering this honorable and often less-than-honored profession --but staying all too short a time. (See the OCPP report for documented detail.)
Most who leave do so reluctantly --reflecting the consequences of actions by those who put up rational, reasonable funding under the same hampering attitude.
BUT they DO leave --now in increasingly serious numbers and at an increasing pace of departures, too.
Given the absolute-essential required-demanded support for democracy at any level from the coming generation(s), that is also "unsustainable" now for our nation.
How will the newcomers learn to understand and fully appreciate first what they are inheriting --and then what THEY must DO, in their turn, if that great and freeing concept under which we have luxuriated all these decades falls to them to carry on and perfect?
"Educational system", by definition, must and cannot possibly succeed without a full, active, skilled --and loving !-- supply of true teachers, surely as well-compensated as other professionals serving the commonweal.
No teacher-supply, no “system”. It is truly as simple as that.
What we get is what we are willing to pay for. The wit, wisdom and will of the American people should make very short work of this now-threatening and extremely serious situation.
We MUST now say: "Yes, Virginia -- We do love education, too -- and we guarantee your fully deserved opportunity."