McAuliffe and Oemig Road Show

I went to one of the presentations by Senators McAuliffe and Oemig, and I came away thinking that what they say sounds nice and makes the public happy to hear, but they don’t have anything specific to say except that “the system is broken.” “Thanks, but what can you do to help me?” is what I kept thinking.

I got the sense that Oemig does not understand how levies hurt poorer districts much more than his (Kirkland) and that McAuliffe is scattered in her thoughts sticking mainly to agreed upon talking points. However, both appear to want to help, and I appreciate this. At least they are listening.

Oemig really wanted the teachers to define what a “master teacher” is, but of course no one could do it well. Reminds of the definition of obscenity: know it when I see it. Felt like people trying to define their love of one artist over another: lots of feeling words and appreciation without any quantifiable data.

And Oemig is definitely a data guy. He repeated his desire for good data for teachers without naming what it is. All I know is that I’m inundated with data but receive very little usable information from it most of the time. Plus, I have to fight for so long for access to data that it’s normally useless by the time I get it.

I think I echo Ryan’s thoughts when he said, “it’s very easy to see a path to what the WEA feared all along–the good that made people like the bill will evaporate away a section at a time, and what we’ll all have left is onerous new certification requirements and more bureaucracy.” Everything suggested was followed by “but we have to find the money to do it” with no definites detailing from where the increased revenue would come.

I spoke once for about five minutes near the end of the session about the following items, each very briefly:

  • the lack of trust in teachers and the collegiate certification process (thus so many extra requirements),
  • attacking symptoms instead of diseases (i.e. adding certification requirements when not satisfied with the collegiate certification process instead of fixing the problem at the collegiate level),
  • how schools are microcosms of the societies in which they reside,
  • solving social ills must be alongside solving educational ills (pay now for the play pen or later for the state pen), and
  • how time is critical for teachers (grading time, prep time, large class sizes require extra time, useless extras like state required culminating projects, etc.).

Anyone else seen the presentations?


2 thoughts on “McAuliffe and Oemig Road Show

  1. Amber

    I just stumbled on your site looking for reading stats. I am a first year English teacher, having just come out of the credential program. I actually don’t even have a placement yet, going into the third week of school. The district has me helping out in a library while they try to find me a school that needs a teacher. Why they hired me in July without a specific place…who knows. At least I am getting paid. I have enjoyed reading a few of your posts and can totally relate already. The system has so many flaws, but no one is willing to go above and beyond to figure out solutions. I went to SIOP training recently which is very similar to Bloom’s Taxonomy and SDAIE strategies but it is the new buzz word. They assumed teachers were going into the classroom with no objective or activities to support it. It was like teaching 101 training. Waste of time. I have also seen admin and teachers talk in circles. One or two people suggest new ideas and solutions, and one or two people shoot down every idea while complaining about the current situation. Education is a beast. Despite all that I am still excited to teach and will keep up with your blog!

  2. drpezz Post author

    Good luck to you in the field and thanks for stopping by my small piece of cyberspace. 🙂

    Keep your chin up and keep your ears open. Things open up all the time, especially long-term substitute positions. This could be your way into a full-time job.

    You know, overall things in education are ok; however, things could be better. I haven’t met the deluge of bad teachers people say plague the system, but I also know every school has them too. Ideas and administrators come and go, but the teachers are the ones who tough it out over time.

    I went to a SIOP training as well and thought it was basic ED 101 too. Wait ten years and it will have another name. Good teaching is just good teaching.


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