Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Thank a teacher, not a politician

I usually stay away from politics and politicians, but I couldn't help but express my opinion on the "opportunity" to pay more taxes.

We’re having a great debate here in Arizona—to tax or not to tax-that is the question. Our elected officials have been misspending our tax dollars for years, and surprise, they’ve finally run out of money. *blush* Now they want us to pay more taxes.

It’s only 1%, they say. We can all afford an extra 1% for education—can’t we? Ah, but they’re being sneaky, the legislation talks about a percent of this and a percent of that, but in total, we’ll be putting out more than 1% of our personal dollars per year to the very people who misspent our money to begin with.

It’s more than that, though. I don’t really like being threatened by my government. “Pay us more taxes or we’re going to start firing teachers. Well, we’ll fire teachers anyway, but just not as many.”

Our lawmakers have teachers all across the state afraid for their jobs; most teachers feel like they have no choice but to vote for more taxes because they’ve been told that if they don’t, they’re out of a job for sure.

Of course this propaganda (the propaganda of saying that the extra tax money will benefit our state educators) makes everyone feel bad for voting down the tax—we’re un-American—we’re anti-education if we don’t vote for more taxes.

I disagree.

Our state’s education system is top heavy. We need more teachers and fewer state employees over education. We need more teachers, not fewer teachers. So, in the true interest of education, let’s chop off the mighty head in order to save the tender roots. But, will any of the unnecessary ‘higher-ups’ stand down in favor of our state’s youth? Doubtful. What they’ll do for us though is fire a few more teachers, and do away with more programs that teach our children how to succeed.

What I wonder is, after they fire all the teachers, will they step up and teach our children?

The situation reminds me of the story of the flea and the scientist. In this instance the scientist is our state lawmakers/ state board of education etc. etc. etc.. The flea represents the local school districts, and the flea’s legs are our teachers.

Here’s how it goes:

A scientist was using the inductive method (logic generalizing in order to produce a universal claim or principle from observed instances) to observe the characteristics of a flea. Plucking a leg off the flea, he ordered, “Jump!” The flea promptly jumped.

Taking another leg off, the scientist again commanded, “Jump!” The flea jumped again.

The scientist continued this process until he came to the sixth and final leg. By now the flea was having a little more difficulty jumping, but it was still trying. The scientist pulled the final leg off and again ordered the flea to jump. But the flea didn’t respond.

The scientist raised his voice and demanded, “Jump!” Again the flea failed to respond. For a third time the scientist shouted at the top of his lungs, “Jump!” but the hapless flea lay motionless.

The scientist then made the following observation in his notebook: “When you remove the legs from a flea, it loses its sense of hearing.”

When the state gets down to two or three teachers per district, they’ll wonder why the teachers aren’t teaching effectively anymore and they’ll allocate more funding to look into the matter—that committee will decide that the teachers need another test to help them regulate their time. Or, perhaps they’ll decide that our wonderful AIMS test needs revamping so the kids will be absolutely sure of what they need to learn in order to succeed. Because of the money spent on that committee and that test, they’ll have to fire the remaining teachers in each district.

If you can read this ranting blog—thank a teacher, and no one else (except your mom).

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