Heritage and Reason deflate myths in PEU debate

posted at 2:15 pm on February 25, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Are public-school teachers underpaid? Is the Battle of Mad Town really not about money?  Heritage Foundation and Reason TV take a look at both claims coming from the protests in Madison, Wisconsin, as well as a more fundamental myth that only Republicans are talking about cutting budgets and reducing the power of PEUs.  Nick Gillespie focuses attention on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a staunch Democrat who is also telling constituents hard truths about the unsustainable levels of public spending in his state and the need for reform.  Don’t expect this impulse to remain localized to Wisconsin, New Jersey, and New York, either — not with massive state budget shortfalls across the US:

Given the circumstances, perhaps a compromise can be worked out.  Let’s allow the teachers to retain their collective bargaining rights intact — as long as Wisconsin taxpayers have the ability to opt out of the education monopoly entirely through fully-funded school vouchers.  If the public schools deliver a quality education under the current union-run paradigm, with tenure protecting poor performers, then the teachers will have nothing to fear.  If parents believe that they can get a better education for less money at private schools where the customers control the process and the prices, then taxpayers will have the ability to vote with their feet.

When the unions offer that as a compromise, then perhaps Governor Walker might amend his approach.  However, Republicans in the state Senate have blocked any more changes to the current proposal in the absence of their fleebagging colleagues:

State Senate Republicans gave preliminary approval Friday of a budget-repair bill that eliminates most collective bargaining for public unions, but they were unable to send the bill to Gov. Scott Walker because of a weeklong boycott of the session by Democrats.

The vote came just hours after the representatives in the sleep-starved Assembly approved the bill. Their debate lasted 61 hours and was the longest in living memory.

On a voice vote, the Senate put the bill in a state where it can no longer be amended. Twenty senators must be present to pass the bill, but Republicans have just 19 seats.

There had been some suggestion that one or more Republicans in the upper chamber were willing to offer a few changes, such as a sunset clause on the collective-bargaining reforms.  That opportunity expired, however, as state Senate Democrats continue their refusal to return to work, demanding that the bill be tabled and that Walker negotiate with unions instead on the budget.


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slickwillie2001 on February 25, 2011 at 5:06 PM

LOL!
Well no Boltes here in ND :(
But I have puffpalls, meadow shrooms, Lepiotas, candy cap, etc.
Want to find MORELS! :( Have no yet.
I try & pass a little of this on to my students.
I agree-this is wonderful knowledge that so many cannot appreciate bcs society frowns upon foraging when you can just go the store & buy a tasteless mushroom off the shelf.
Pity.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Except, of course, that they average $50,000 a year in pay.

ernesto on February 25, 2011 at 3:15 PM

A credible cite would prove it. So far, the majority of the evidence indicates WI teachers are paid much more than that.

Remember, they don’t have to work 12 months a year like everyone else does. They work 9 months a year when you count the assorted vacations during Christmas and in February.

Del Dolemonte on February 25, 2011 at 5:31 PM

My grandmother was amazing, she would pick the most godawful scar

y looking thing, and throw it into the bag. That level of knowledge is being lost.

slickwillie2001 on February 25, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Thanks Badger and slick! I am teaching myself how to grow and preserve food, keep chickens and how to sew. I want to learn how to make cheese and soap. I have been feeling the need to return to basics and become self reliant. My great aunt was wise like your grandma, unfortunately I forgot much of what she tried to teach me, but I am going to get it back and teach it to my child. I want to set an example for her that if we desire to learn how to do, we can do. And we must keep the “lost” arts alive.

kringeesmom on February 25, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Wow how many Straw men did Ernie post today? Sheesh.

CWforFreedom on February 25, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 5:31 PM

I wish that you had been my science teacher. It sounds like you are very committed to the art of teachiing. I’m sorry that you are constrained within the system.. The problem with our education system is the system. It makes my blood boil thinking of all of waste that the system has put out for the sake of the system, and the destruction of the joy of teaching and learning. So much that goes on in schools has so little to do with education and more to do with feeding the system. It really is shameful.

kringeesmom on February 25, 2011 at 6:09 PM

…My 1st 2 years, I came hours early & stayed hours late, but then eventually, I became adept enough at planning that now I take NO work home.
I work constantly throughout the day & never have to take home papers to grade…..

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 5:29 PM

My mother (for the last 26 years or so of her career) taught 7th grade math. Six classes a day. She was my 7th grade math teacher. I don’t recall the class involving a lot of free time for her to grade papers at school. I do recall that she taught with authority. Of course, back then (the 1970s) they all taught with authority.

tgharris on February 25, 2011 at 6:37 PM

kringeesmom on February 25, 2011 at 6:00 PM

I love canning. I can all the meat that I am able to.
We butchered a pig not long ago & we get sausage & I can that.
You cannot believe how wonderful canned sausage is. So tender & yummy!
Here’s a tip: old meat in the freezer can be canned & made to taste great.
We butcher steers every year & it’s easy to lose track of things like roasts & hamburger. I ran across 3 old roasts, like 3 years old, & thawed, cut them up, & seared them in a little bacon fat & then canned them in some tomato juice I had canned from 2 summers ago & it tastes wonderful!
You prolly have it, but the Ball Blue Book is the one to have.
It’s all you need to can & preserve.
I also can potatoes & chili etc.
When you have a leftover dish, I often can it, like a chicken stew or something, & if I get a coupla pints, it’s a wonderful quick meal for some other day.
I also have sometimes taught my kids at school to can as part of biology lessons.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Of course, back then (the 1970s) they all taught with authority.

tgharris on February 25, 2011 at 6:37 PM

I try.
It’s very frustrating for me when I am constantly getting pressured & bullied by my admin to pass kids or make things easier for kids so that the can pass.
But I refuse to do that.
Actually, it is easy to pass my class, provided you do the work.
If you get a D-, then you passed.
You want an A, you better do A work.
Not everyone is capable of an A.
And I do not give them out like candy.
There are some parents that hate me for that bcs they want their kids to get scholarships.
An A is an A.
You want it kid-do A work.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Remember, they don’t have to work 12 months a year like everyone else does. They work 9 months a year when you count the assorted vacations during Christmas and in February.

Del Dolemonte on February 25, 2011 at 5:31 PM

And then a lot of times teachers can get summer contracts teaching like Driver’s Ed or summer school classes.
For a summer school class, you can get paid maybe an avg of $2500 or more to teach a class for another month & a half.
Teachers, for the most part, do get paid well bcs the BENEFITS are worth MONEY.
That is why I work where I do for now bcs we’ve still got 2 kids at home & I gotta have a family policy.
It’s a good gig & any teacher complaining about it is an idiot.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 6:47 PM

It’s a good gig & any teacher complaining about it is an idiot.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 6:47 PM

What I certainly do not believe, is that teachers get paid too much.

ernesto on February 25, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Badger actually they are pretty smart. You see there are plenty of Ernestos around . It is a game that most teachers play. They know they have it pretty good.

CWforFreedom on February 25, 2011 at 6:57 PM

You want it kid-do A work.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Very…well…put.

tgharris on February 25, 2011 at 6:59 PM

You see there are plenty of Ernestos around .

CWforFreedom on February 25, 2011 at 6:57 PM

I teach with a few of them.
It’s disgusting.
Which is why no one at work is my friend.
Yucky people.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 7:01 PM

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Wow, foraging, canning, teaching canning (cooking is science and art!!) I think I may be falling in like. I am about ready to ask you to go steady (pst. don’t tell my hubby).

kringeesmom on February 25, 2011 at 7:04 PM

kringeesmom on February 25, 2011 at 7:04 PM

LOL! I *heart* you, too.
It’s very hard to find good women friends out here in ND.
Most women I know here in SW ND are b!tche$.
Or they have nothing in common with me.
Plus I work on the ranch after school & have no time for city pursuits.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 7:12 PM

You want it kid-do A work.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 6:45 PM

I’d like to see kids try their hardest. To me it is not about grades, some kids can try so very hard and just not get it, and that’s ok there may be something else they are good at. I wish that schools were better at teaching to the strength of of the individual student rather than “to the test”. We had this conversation on a prior thread, about testing and my foster kid (Got an A for reading a stop sign at age 17) There is more than one way to skin a cat (always skin before canning lol). Who says every kid must know a particular thing, teach what the kid loves and he will take off. Thomas Edison’s first teacher called him an idiot and suggested that he be institutionalized. An honest mechanic who knows his art is just as important as a rocket scientist. A carpenter who loves to build is just as important as a computer programmer. And so on and so on.

BTW have you ever read Charlotte Mason??

kringeesmom on February 25, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 7:12 PM

citi folks are sissies. times are coming for like minds to stick together.

kringeesmom on February 25, 2011 at 7:16 PM

BTW have you ever read Charlotte Mason??

kringeesmom on February 25, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Sort of. I get what she was doing.
See I think if you have a diploma you’re going to give out, then the state ought to decide what getting that diploma would basically entail.
It isn’t necessary for people to all get one.
And often the diploma means very little considering the state of education.
Testing is only one way to determine what a person knows. But it shouldn’t be what a kid is measured by.
I have experienced time & again students who cannot pass my tests, but CAN exhibit the knowledge BETTER in other ways than the students who get an A on the test.
This usually ends up with the boys knowing things better than the girls.
I’ll be honest-the kids who get straight As are usually the same kids that can’t think their way out of a paper bag.
The kids who get Bs down to Ds, & some Fs are usually smarter in the long run about most things.
Being ‘highly educated’ doesn’t really mean much in the end.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 7:32 PM

It’s very frustrating for me when I am constantly getting pressured & bullied by my admin to pass kids or make things easier for kids so that the can pass.

(snip)
An A is an A.
You want it kid-do A work.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 6:45 PM

That last sentence is the one that ended my only-ever teaching gig, about 30 years ago.

The local community college was offering a night course in geology that was a fill-in credit for their students. They lost their science teacher (who was actually a geography teacher by trade) due to illness, after the registration was filled. Somebody gave them my name. They called and said they needed somebody with a geology degree who could quickly fill in for two two-hour night classes per week, for eight weeks and two local field trips.

I had two big projects going, one all the way out in the Nevada gold fields, but I said I’d try to fit it in, since it was winter and things were slowing down.

Ended up failing two people. One just never came to class. The other came a few times, failed both exams she bothered to show up for, and skipped both field trips. She also happened to be the granddaughter of the president of one of the local unions.

I was informed the students just did not fail fill-in credits. I said F work got an F.

I wasn’t invited back, but that was OK: I was probably a terrible teacher. I never could have been a teacher.

Yoop on February 25, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Perhaps private sector unions should have negotiated for better benefits, rather than sitting jealous and angry while someone else gets a decent standard of living.

ernesto on February 25, 2011 at 3:16 PM

They did that at GM, Chrysler and Ford. The Airlines, steelworkers……

Vince on February 25, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Yoop on February 25, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Didn’t know you were a fellow ‘geo buddy’ Yoop!
I was at UWYO for my undergrad geo education.
Best $$ I ever spent.
I learned a lot.
For structural geo I had Art Snoke.
I’m not dissing on the other Structural prof, Barbara John, but here class was ‘easier’ than Snoke’s.
Snoke made you go on at least 4 all day Sat field trips around the Laramie area & worked us all day long.
We were required to go.
I took the class on purpose bcs I knew I’d learn something.
I did struggle. Got a C+. It was hard. But I cherish that C+ more than I would have getting an A or B in John’s class.
My 1st teaching job was hell bcs the suptd was a pr!ck & tried making me out to be a bad guy bcs they were making me teach 2 different chemistry classes during the same period.
He acted like he didn’t even know I was doing such a thing when they are the ones who told me to. It was bizarre.
I wasn’t asked back there.
Yoop-you dodged a bullet.
Secondary education is frustrating as hell bcs when I get them, they are already pretty much past the time I can teach them how to read & write & think basicly.
I’m trying to teach them subject matter & further hone skills they should already have, but they arrive without those skills.
There’s just not enough time in the day for me to go back to like the 5th damned grade.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 8:11 PM

No. Fire them all. You don’t feel sorry for bedbugs and cockroaches.

Coronagold on February 25, 2011 at 8:26 PM

Yoop-you dodged a bullet.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 8:11 PM

Oh, I know that. But I was one of the lucky ones. There aren’t many geologists who were able to work in their chosen field for their entire career, if at all. I went into the underground mines right out of school, then bounced back and forth between mining and exploration for nearly 50 years, the last 20 in consulting contracts in an association of peers.

Got to meet some of the old giants in the geology and geophysics world before they passed on. Humbling, they were.

Retired now, but every once-in-awhile the phone rings with that “come on, please, one more short one”. Problem is when you get as old as dirt the legs don’t work and the health wanes.

But, wouldn’t trade it for anything else I could have done. HAD A BLAST. :-)

Yoop on February 25, 2011 at 8:33 PM

Oh Yoop IDK you were a seasoned person!
I bet you have awesome stories to tell.
I never worked in the field bcs I was a divorced mother.
All my fellow grads went into mud logging & stuff.
That wasn’t a life for a divorced mom.
Now I’m married to a rancher & geographically challenged.
Plus I’m the hired hand.
So I gotta stay close.
But I have been hinting that maybe I should look into trying to work in petroleum.
Even if I had to go get my Masters, it would prolly be more than worth it.
Just not sure I want to go back to hell-uh- I mean college.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 8:38 PM

It would be tough going back to school. Things have changed a lot. My profs and mentors in school had worked in the mines and field themselves. Their teaching was from a viewpoint of practical applications of the science to discover and exploit the raw materials needed for a robust economy.

From what I’ve experienced in the visits back to the alma mater much of the old department has been melded into other disciplines and the profs have no experience in the real world and not a clue as to the economics of the field.

They are all academics that went from graduation directly into teaching. Everything is directed toward research and tenure. I would not do well around that culture.

The oil business could be interesting, but very competitive. I did some work for the mineral divisions of oil companies back in the 70′s and 80′s when they had expanded into copper and gold. Different kind of folks with a different perspective.

Yoop on February 25, 2011 at 9:28 PM

I think Walker has the right solution. If unions want increases to exceed the Consumer Price Index (CPI) the demand has to be voted on by the taxpayers, in a referendum

Walker’s solution has the unions bagaining with the public, which is their true employer

Vouchers do not stop the inherent taxation without representation caused by collective bargaining for tax dollars without taxpayer input

Those with kids will take the money and run, while the remaining taxpayers will have no recourse

Right to not pay union dues, right to secret union ballot, and requirement to hold scheduled union elections are also forcing the union to treat members as the citizens they are, instead of serfs

entagor on February 25, 2011 at 9:32 PM

The oil business could be interesting, but very competitive.

Yoop on February 25, 2011 at 9:28 PM

I’m sure.
I will admit, it’s easy to teach. I find it natural & easy & interesting.
It requires little effort, at least for me. I can be creative, which I love to do &, & working with kids is better than working with adults.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Vouchers do not stop the inherent taxation without representation caused by collective bargaining for tax dollars without taxpayer input

Those with kids will take the money and run, while the remaining taxpayers will have no recourse

Right to not pay union dues, right to secret union ballot, and requirement to hold scheduled union elections are also forcing the union to treat members as the citizens they are, instead of serfs

entagor on February 25, 2011 at 9:32 PM

That’s my fear, too. Entitlement leaches would do this.
I don’t have any answers. The states need to decide how to educate their citizens-not the Federal govt.
But I fear that people think they are entitled to a ‘free’ education, that it is a right, & so I look at vouchers as better than what we have now.
Each state does have a vested interested in making sure their citizens are educated.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Can’t wait to see the Public Employee Union thugs get thrown under the FISCAL Bus by the Dems.

Hey, Suckahs………….When it’s about power and money and the Politicians want more do you think you’re immune?

BTW, Note To self:
My 401k and Private Sector Pension…..mmmmm, but they won’t come after THOSE to pay off the national debt will they?

They won’t come after that when they need more $$$$ to spend……naaaaah, could never happen. Nevermind.

PappyD61 on February 25, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Leeches.
Those damned leeches.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 10:28 PM

Good grief! It looks like friggin’ Greece.

Murf76 on February 25, 2011 at 10:57 PM

So, let me see if I understand this. Instead of the Wisconsin Democrat Senators doing their job, they’re ordering the Governor to negotiate with the unions? Is that part of the Wisconsin Constitution?

bflat879 on February 25, 2011 at 11:21 PM

I guess the recent election flipped most of the marginal districts Republican already, but isn’t there at least one of the Fleebaggers that might be vulnerable to a recall election? Even if they are all in fairly safe seats, it seems likely that a determined minority in each state senate district could gather enough signatures to initiate the process.

There’ll be a stampede back across the Illinois border if their (empty) seats in legislature are at risk…

LagunaDave on February 26, 2011 at 7:22 AM

The compromise won’t work. Why? Because you’re really trying to autsmart the devil. These people have no moral compass. They are professionals at deceit and manipulation of truth and reality: INCLUDING (in case you haven’t noticed) the misuse of power. They will merely tighten the noose on who gets to teach (licensing, and curriculum – think eco-worship as science etc.)in those voucher schools until they become mere proxies of the government left. They will also clamp down on home schooling (coming soon to a place near you -your home)

The battle needs to be about,(in addition to dues check off) who sets the curriclum (never the NEA which is mearly an agency of the cultural and fiscal left) Concepts such as multiculturalism (Western Judeo-Christian heritasge be damned), biodiversity(a boy is a rat), choice, the sexualization of children, etc. all need to be removed from school. History, must be taught as it happened not as it has been falsely rewritten -etc. Unless this happens -then the noise from the right is merely about money and is doomed to fail. The culture is the marketplace and without a moral foundation in truth, financial integrity and preservation is but a pipedream.

Letting the left continue to contaminate education and create little leftists in the schools is to insure that the marketplace will soon be controlled by the leftist big government permenantly.

Don L on February 26, 2011 at 9:55 AM

That opportunity expired, however, as state Senate Democrats continue their refusal to return to work, demanding that the bill be tabled and that Walker negotiate with unions instead on the budget.

Then he should just fire your sorry arses along with your staffs. It is your job to set the budget not the Unions. Once a budget is set then the Unions can negotiate for their limited piece of the pie.

chemman on February 26, 2011 at 10:59 AM

I agree-this is wonderful knowledge that so many cannot appreciate bcs society frowns upon foraging when you can just go the store & buy a tasteless mushroom off the shelf.
Pity.

Badger40 on February 25, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Badger shroom hunter here in addition to dhunter. Have been hunting morels since I was 6 49 years and two years ago I began teaching my father how. the man who got me started. Showed him stuff he never knew. He just walked the woods randomly and assumed if he didn’t find any they were not up yet.

Much more to it than that in western Ia. They go from sand to pasture to open woods to darker woods over a period of 6 weeks or more.

dhunter on February 26, 2011 at 10:45 PM

dhunter on February 26, 2011 at 10:45 PM

I just know there’s morels in ND.
But I have to go where the trees are & there are none near my house.
I’m hoping this spring I might find some.
But I’m always tied down during that time bcs we’re calving.
Here’s to all of us shroom hunters, good luck this spring!

Badger40 on February 27, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Yea Badger they have to be there by recently dead trees just last year or two dead. Of course soil temp has to be right too thats’ why we get almost 6 weeks sand warms first then pasture then open woods then darker woods

dhunter on February 27, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Given the circumstances, perhaps a compromise can be worked out. Let’s allow the teachers to retain their collective bargaining rights intact

No ED, this won’t work. Your idea assumes that many people are like yourself and will take the trouble to pull their kids out of the public schools and voucher them into others. It also assumes that your policy will be cheaper in the long run. It also begs the question of parents of special needs kids opting to send their kids to even more expensive schools out of state etc. More expensive, not less. It simply shifts unsustainable costs into other arenas.

jeanie on February 28, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Teachers are EMPLOYEES: they are not legislators.

The ONLY people who are supposed to be passing a budget are the legislators. And the ONLY people who should be telling the governor and/or the legislature what to do are taxpayers.

Any other arrangement is illegitimate under both federal and state constitutions.

If unions want to create a dictatorship with union bosses in charge, let them start their own country – somewhere far away from the USA.

landlines on February 28, 2011 at 6:56 PM

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