All private employees at all levels must demonstrate increasing productivity and
effectiveness or risk pay cuts or job loss. The fact that public employees
don't face that same risk to the same degree is a problem we need to address,
especially when you consider that public sector employees make, on average, the
same or more than private sector employees. Entry-level teachers don't get paid
very well. That's true. But neither do customer service employees,
manufacturing employees, and many others -- all of whom risk their livelihoods
every day if they don't perform well.
Government jobs are run by the entitlement crowd. That will never change. So,
incompentence will forever rule government jobs of all kinds.That's
one reason I like small government! One reason I don't like socialism (big
government required to make that work).
Truly the students are the players and the Teachers are the coaches. The coaches
hands are tied with requirements that prevent them from coaching properly and
every player is expected to play every game and run every touchdown. It's really
So many people think students are widgets that you just push harder and harder.
And that they will respond like turning up the throttle on a machine. If parents
and society don't expect more of our youth, how are teachers going to continue
to fight. Teachers can't do everything for parents and every special interest
group that comes along. My 7th and 8th grade classroom is open to anybody
that thinks they know what should be done. Don't just tell me, come into my
room. You will be locked in a room with 30 boys and girls for 90 minutes at a
time, with 6 different groups. You are responsible for discipline, behavior, and
teaching the mandated curriculum to all students - both regular and special ed.
If they don't learn, it's not their fault, it's yours...right? Why is it no one
takes me up on this offer?
So, should the teachers bargain for better working conditions like the NFL
players association? Should teachers threaten to cancel the school year because
their demands are not met? Should teachers get training and preparation for
four to six days of the week and only teach 2-1/2 hours every week? Should
teachers be able to work 4-10 years and then be financially secure for the rest
of their lives? Should all teachers be given full ride scholarships before
entering the workforce? Should teachers be allowed to be arrested at a higher
rate than the general population and still expect to not only retain licensure
but continue to be courted by more prestigious, higher-paying institutions?See, some of the analogies might fit, others are ridiculous...much the
same as Mr. Tarkenton's and Mr. Limbaugh's support of Mr. Tarkenton's arguments.
Until you walk in the shoes of a teacher every day, you may not be
qualified to address education issues knowledgeably.
The "No child left behind" enactment has ruined the educational
standards in this country. This mandated curriculum by the federal government is
unfair to teachers and it keeps our students at a comfortably ignorant level.
Monopolies have no place in the education system. There are too many things on
the mandated list that have nothing to do with individual student learning that
teachers are required to check off or they risk losing things (money) that are
vital in providing the tools necessary for them to be able to do their jobs.
This country is in trouble because of the government and their regulations.
Something needs to happen and it needs to happen now! At the least Mr.
Tarkenton's article is bringing attention to an important issue that seems to
have been put on the back burner for the last thirty years.
How many of you in private sector jobs have had a legislator tell you to your
face, "You're not worth the money we pay you." That happened to my
colleague. The legislator's daughter was struggling in the teacher's calculus
class and the parent was angry the girl wasn't earning an A. I have taught 15
years and have four times worked with children of four different school board
members. Only one of the students was a typical student. He was responsible
student and a joy to work with. The other three were tougher. Two were really
nice, but would make veiled threats regarding their children. The final parent
verbally berated a whole team of teachers at a parent meeting because his
daughter was a complete mess, including suicide attempts and absolute refusal to
work in class. The mess was all our fault, and had nothing to do with his
chaotic home. Tenure is not ideal, but some protections are necessary with
vindictive power players. We have some parents in our area who brag about
getting coaches fired. Do you want the teacher who refuses to countenance
cheating fired because it's the school board president's child?
Tarkenton's analogy just doesn't work on so many levels! Try again, Fran. This
English teacher gives the essay a D for faulty logic and insufficient evidence.
The problem is politics. Administrators can be bias and play favorites when
The problem is in teachers who do not make an effort to improve themselves. As
such, they do not have any reason to work to improve their students. In
essence, it makes them just glorified, overpaid, babysitters. Those who fit
this catagory know who they are, and they are hurting the entire education
system in this country.
I can imagine it..... we would have sky rocketing teacher cost, lockouts or
strikes every few years, and still have schools the year after year under
perform. I love football, love the players, but having people with
personnas anything like football players in the class room would be ridiculous.
Sorry Fran, but you got it all wrong. I really wish we could have
a direct pay for performance wage scale. But to do would require the teachers
to have far more control over their own performance than they do have now. They
would have to have the ability to remove underperforming kids from their classes
where parents don't help their kids. The hardest thing teachers face is the
task of taking kids from far ranging previous backgrounds who have wildly
support systems, and try to get them all to the exact same place after 9 short
months.In the NFL, players are hand picked to work together, to
compliment each other, to work as a system. Classrooms are the polar opposite,
nothing like a planned team of people all working toward a common goal.
Since when does Fran Tarkenton know anything about education? Would you publish
an article that I wrote about how the NFL should work, when I've never even put
on shoulder pads?Pay teachers what they pay the NFL, and then you
can fire them whenever you want! Costs have increased as people have become an
entitlement, anti-family society, and have increased demands far in excess of
the extra funding.This article does nothing but tell those in the
public who don't know about teaching or don't care about their children that the
public education system doesn't work. That's false. What doesn't work is doing
everything we can to destroy the system that HAS worked for over 300 years,
helping make this country what it is. This is just part of the coordinated
attack on this country in an attempt to destroy it.
This is the dumbest correlation I have ever read. First off if you are Tom Brady
and you are leading your team to a super bowl every other year you are making
the franchise money. The franchise can not afford to lose you. If a
public or private school had the best teacher in the world they are still
replaceable and would be replaced if they demanded a high salary.Why
do people think merit pay is the solution to education? I know employers can
hold merit raises over your head and you as an employee can work your tail off
and still not get a good raise or even a raise at all. It is the proverbial
carrot stick. Don't you think the bigger problem is the constant attacks on
teachers from our mighty legislators.
Fran should spend 1 day, then 1 week, even a month with 30 busy 4th graders and
see if he has the answers. Let him do the lesson plans, teaching, correcting
papers, parent interaction, discipline, etc. All of it. Then more would
listen. We need to get a more supportive environment for educators.
Anyone can say the kind of things he says, but he would have far more
credibility if he spent a month in the classroom first, then spoke out.
Well thank you Mr. Tarkenton... Why is this news? I think NFL players should be
more like teachers. Instead of working 16 weeks, you work 36. Then instead of
running around making news by raping, robbing, and boozing, they should spend
the other 16 weeks in training at .75% pay. Instead of making 15 million a year
as a rookie, NFL players should be payed a MAX of $40,000, even if they've been
in the league for 35 years. The other 14,960,000 can be used to fix several
roads, build 60 more schools (to cut class sizes) or something else that
actually matters to the betterment of society. I don't mind the fact that this
gentleman is under the impression that his ideas are good ones. What bothers me
is the fact that it's actually news.
If the NFL were ran like schools then Mr. Francis Tarkenton would only have
played 1 quarter per game, because his 3 back up quarterbacks would require
equal treatment and attention just as our students do.
I loved Fran Tarkenton as a QB growing up. But I would have to ask him as an
educator/coach?Unlike a NFL GM/ Coach I can't CUT my students that
have disabilities, that are ELL, that are lazy, that have uninvolved parents,
that have criminal records, etc. I have to teach them.And I think
the critics above said all that I could really say. I mean the NFL pays rookies
millions of dollars often guaranteed money and haven't done squat. And who is a
better player Barry Sanders or Emmit Smith? One never won any rings while the
other won several. But like two good teachers, maybe one doesn't get the best
results because he is teaching challenging students in a challenging work
environment while another might be teaching in an area where there is money,
involved parents and top rate facilities.Again, I respect Fran as a
great former NFL quarterback and even more as a business person, but because
somebody is rich or whatever doesn't mean his opinion on the subject is worthy.
Maybe we should be talking to the most outstanding EDUCATORS and seeing what
they SAY could be done to improve education.
The main problem is students who think they have to be entertained or they are
not learning and think they can simply sit in class and put forth no effort, yet
go home and seldom put in time studying and are surprised when they don't
understand the subject matter the next day, all the time thinking they need to
cheat to get a good grade. Students get off your rear ends, put in
the time and you will find the subject matter is more enjoyable. Quit cramming
for exams, because research shows that if you do you will forget the information
in several weeks, nor will you be able to recall it later on. The
teacher simply cannot compete with the media the students surround themselves.
I have been in classrooms where the teacher presented a fantastic lesson, very
interesting and challenging to the thinker, yet so many of the students sat
their nonplussed. They were not being entertained so they did not connect. Yes, tenure is a problem, but a diligent, and I mean diligent
administrator, can eliminate the lazy, poor teacher. I have done it. It takes
Fran Tarkenton is good at comparing apples to oranges. The person who selected
this article for publication should receive even more criticism than Fran
Everest, how can teachers "demonstrate increasing productivity and
effectiveness?" We aren't dealing with widgets, we are dealing with
children. Can you define what good teaching looks like? No one has been able to
because what works for one teacher, doesn't work for another. Some use humor,
some can't catch a joke. But both might be highly effective. Is it the teacher
with the quiet classroom? Or is noisy a good thing when children are actively
learning? Is it the teacher who uses worksheets to practice for the state test,
or the teacher who uses projects and varied activities to meet the needs of
students? Are the students better off because their test scores might be higher
with the first type? Teaching is highly complex work and as a mom, I'd rather my
children NOT be tested, for their sakes. My kindergartner came home years ago
and said he didn't like school. Through clenched teeth he said, "Too many
tests." I can tell if a teacher is doing a good job when I look over the
quality of work my children have done, and how well it's graded. Test scores
mean little when so much more influences test results.
CougarBlue, you bring up an important issue. Are we damaging children by making
all coursework enjoyable? When I was a child, we did our work because we were
told to. We complained sometimes, but we did it, or we faced consequences at
home. Now, kids say they are bored, so the parents don't worry about their bad
grades. An effective education requires several different levels of
responsibility: legislators, administration/school board, teachers, parents, and
students. The problem is all the responsibility it placed on teachers. We give
schools report cards, what about legislators? What if they were
"graded" by the number of people living in poverty? Crime rates? Road
conditions? School buildings? What about school boards? Are they serving solely
to benefit their children, as a step towards political career? To really benefit
all students? To get teachers fired? What about parents. Are they expecting
children to work, or are they making excuses? Or, are they too busy to worry
about school for their child? And what about students. When they fail a class,
are there consequences? How serious? If they still get to have their video games
and tv, why should they try harder?
We need to stop saying "THE problem is"....Ther are
numerous problems. In fact each group participating in the education process is
responsible for some part of the struggles of the system. Teachers, parents,
legislators, students, admin....No single approach will "fix
it." instead of pointing and blaming, or getting offended when pointed at,
try and think of the big picture and for each thing you want to change with one
group come up with a change for each participating entity.Teachers... Better pay, easier terminationParents... Required
participationStudents... Held back when not up to parAdministration... Reduce pay to be equal to that of a teacher+10%, merit pay
and easier terminationLegislators.... Who knowsAnd so onLong story short... Not just one problem, please think before assigning blame
to one faction.
It's interesting that conservatives decry how movie stars' opinions on the
environment get so much attention, when they know nothing about what they are
spouting about. But when a popular athlete-entertainer shoots off his mouth
about something he knows nothing about, education, they fall all over it!
Maybe I should get even the median pay of say, a player for the New York Jets,
at $890K/year. If I was getting paid that much I might be willing
to listen to Fran's ideas. Of course, if I made that much, I wouldn't have to
work more than 3 years before I would have made a lot more than what it will
take me to earn for a 30 year career in education.I am not saying
athletes don't deserve their pay, but what Fran has to say is not analogous to
the situation. Students, as was said earlier, are not products, and education
is not supposed to be run as if schools were listed on the NY Stock Exchange.
Seems that point has been missed here. First: I've met Fran Tarkenton before my
freshman year in high school. Second: Level of a business organization starts
from the top down. CEO, President, Management, and Employees. NFL Players are
the employee same can be said for NBA Players and etc. Employees seem to think,
that they know everything about the whole business. There Unions want a larger
share without the full picture. Third: Teachers need to leave there believes at
home and teach without there Unions Believes in the classroom. Why should the
Shareholders have to paid for sub par teaching. Shareholders are equal to
parents, community, state, and country. One product doesn't fit all. We have
taken out this country unskilled, skilled, and traders, because everyone wants
there children to be something they may never want to be. One child is good at
math, another one is good with computers, another one is good at welding,
another one is good with mechanics, another one is good with child welfare, and
etc. One size doesn't fit all.
There are so many problems with this analogy it's hard to know where to start.
First of all, what if everyone was required to watch football, whether they
wanted to or not, and then, were tested on the events of the game or polled to
see if they were entertained enough? Test scores would reflect whether a
football player should be kept on the team. The number one predictor
of a student not graduating from high school is being held back in any grade.
Holding a student back solves nothing. Finding out what the learning problem is
and remediating it is what helps students. This of course takes time, individual
attention and smaller classes. We remediate with reading, we need to remediate
with students in math as well.
Really? Teachers are so micro-managed. They're told what and how to teach.
Education is broken because of law making legislators. We spend billions on
unproductive standardized testing. Has education prospered from this? Why do
our children need to be accountable to the state or feds? This is not the
America of 1776.
Just makes me want to get up and go to school monday morning :( Anyone that
starts teaching will find the real problems. If everyone that had the solutions
would just teach for 7 years it would change a lot of thoughts. (maybe since
some can't think straight, but then the schools will be blamed for that for
mattwend:When I'm no longer judged by test scores, I'll stop
teaching my kids how to test. Until then, expect test practice.
Goet, I've taught 15 years and have done my share of teaching children how to
test. Some test prep is useful in life situations, including for students who
eventually go into careers that require entrance tests. My concern is when low
performing students where my children attend school had to take an extra English
class to help them prepare for the grammar and composition test because the test
tests in ways that don't fit the way students use grammar and especially
composition in any real environment. So the class was entirely for teaching test
skills, not anything that will help them anywhere else. I am also not happy with
the idea that because teachers have job protections, they will automatically
become bad employees. I believe when people choose the career of teaching, it's
not for money, except as a living. For most of us, it is to make a difference in
the lives of children. I assure you I don't spend every day thinking I can slack
off now because I have tenure. I'm too busy planning, grading, and coming up
with interesting ways to help my students learn. I worry excessive testing is
leading to reduced thinking skills.
"Teachers must be more like NFL players." Now there's a solution that
few have put forth. I wonder why? It must be nice for Mr. Tarkenton, having
all the answers to life's problems. And to think, all this time, instead of
taking my children to Church, I should have had them signed up for football.
They probably could have skipped college then, too. Perhaps Mr. Tarkenton had a
few too many hits to the old noggin. Meanwhile, in the real world,
here in Wisconsin my teacher husband's take-home pay has been cut by $400 /
month in an attempt to balance the budget. Over a billion dollars was cut from
the education budget, yet our so-called conservative Governor still managed to
outspend the last governor. Naturally, there has been a flood of retirements
and resignations. Somehow, this is supposed to improve education. This brave
new world of propaganda-spinning, greed-inspiring, high-spending so-called
conservative nonsense is destroying our country. Unfortunately, too many of my
friends and neighbors are too busy OD-ing on Fox News to notice.
Teachers get laid off all the time. There is no tenure in our system; only a
just-cause provision in the employment contract. Teachers can be fired for
cause. This lie of tenure and "job forever" garbage is propaganda at
Evaluation of teachers is way too biased, all factors are not considered,
administrators have agendas. If teachers could be evaluated fairly without
prejiduce, then perhaps Tarkenten's analogy would apply. When you your career
opportunities are determined by people who have their own agendas to fill, you
do not get a fair deal, the best teachers are not rewarded as they should be.
Thus the unions try to protect them to some degree.
DRay,Also, football players are evaluated by the number of wins and
money a team can make. Teachers are evaluated by how well they follow
procedures, and by student test scores. This hinders creativity. Being micro
managed, invites bias evaluators as it doesn't account for differences of
talent, and points of view.A parent once said, teachers are like
robots. "They all sound alike and say the same things".
In a free country as ours, why is it mandatory for our children to attend
school? Education and schools are important, but mandatory in a free country?
Accountability to the state and feds? NO!