Editorial: Pawlenty kicks off education debate

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  • Updated: September 23, 2008 - 7:27 PM

Governor pushes for reform but doesn't address funding issue.

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bernice2Sep. 24, 08 3:18 PM

Does anyone believe that Governor Pawlenty will recommend (or allow) a tax increase sufficient to cover his proposals -- or to address the needs in areas such as early childhood education? No. He will budget cuts in areas where there are (ha ha) surplus funds lying around and move them over to cover his proposals.

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gwluttonSep. 24, 08 4:12 PM

Dear Gov. Pawlwenty, I need your help. I just left a meeting with my empathic Principal who sadly informed me that for the third year in a row I will not be getting a pay raise. He said that the Compensation Committee feels my students haven’t achieved that statistically significant increase in their end of year state test scores to merit a pay raise. Every year I know I am becoming a more effective teacher. I feel so blessed that these last 3 years have been in 2nd grade and I’m beginning to know the weaknesses and strengths of the reading and math materials that I’m required to use. But I beginning to think that it might take 25 years to learn how to deal with my little one’s family problems and parents. I’m tempted to beg for your intervention and help in transferring to another school in the city where the children generally come into class each year at about grade level. It’s tough to make a statistical difference when more than half the class is a year behind. Don’t blame the last teacher either because these little ones are born into families that are generally disorganized and in chaos. I have decided to give it two more years. But the bank wants me to pay back my college loans and I might have to move to Wall Street to see if I can make enough to pay all the interest and principal that I owe. The nation really value Wall Street workers and they get the big bucks and I miss being valued.

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gwluttonSep. 24, 08 4:15 PM

Dear Gov. Pawlwenty, I need your help. I just left a meeting with my empathic Principal who sadly informed me that for the third year in a row I will not be getting a pay raise. He said that the Compensation Committee feels my students haven’t achieved that statistically significant increase in their end of year state test scores to merit a pay raise. Every year I know I am becoming a more effective teacher. I feel so blessed that these last 3 years have been in 2nd grade and I’m beginning to know the weaknesses and strengths of the reading and math materials that I’m required to use. But I beginning to think that it might take 25 years to learn how to deal with my little one’s family problems and parents. I’m tempted to beg for your intervention and help in transferring to another school in the city where the children generally come into class each year at about grade level. It’s tough to make a statistical difference when more than half the class is a year behind. Don’t blame the last teacher either because these little ones are born into families that are generally disorganized and in chaos. I have decided to give it two more years. But the bank wants me to pay back my college loans and I might have to move to Wall Street to see if I can make enough to pay all the interest and principal that I owe. The nation really value Wall Street workers and they get the big bucks and I miss being valued.

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JvonkorffSep. 25, 08 8:27 AM

The letter above illustrates why teacher compensation reform is not as simple as putting teachers on commission, as if they were selling used cars or stocks. Reforms in the teaching profession are desperately needed. But they need to be smart reforms, ones that really work. The overwhelming evidence coming from people who really want reform is that systems like the one that gwlutton describes is that they do not work well. Compensation reform can, and should be, a major component of needed progress, but far more important is meaningful research based reform in the structure of schools in a way that actually improves delivery of instruction.

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rebeccalhooverSep. 25, 0811:45 AM

Since "reform" is such a popular Republican word, Pawlenty is just jumping on the band wagon. He does not really want reform. If he really wanted reform, he would clean up state agencies that are overrun with political cronies--he would at long last order the position by position audit of positions used in Mn/DOTs so staff who lack the basic skills needed for their jobs would be given the boot. If you want reform Pawlenty, clean up state government! You could even save the taxpayers some money by doing this.

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