Important Links and Random Thoughts…..

The Cheddarsphere has been going crazy these last few days, and many blogs have done a great job covering the fine details of this and keeping the conversations going. I especially want to give huge Kudos for Zach right here at Blogging Blue for doing yeoman’s work on this important issue. Also an h/t to our friends at Blue Cheddar and Uppity Wisconsin for doing great work and being very informative these past few days(no offense to those I have not mentioned).

Here are some links that are relevant and I have found interesting dealing with the topic of the moment!

1. Vikki Kratz wrote a great column for the Isthmus:

My district has never required us to pay anything into the pension or for health care. We took those benefits in exchange for a lower salary. People accuse state workers of having cushy jobs, with exorbitant benefits, job security and fantastic salaries. So while admitting this makes me uncomfortable, I’m going to do it so you can see just how ridiculous that accusation is: My salary as a second-year teacher, with a Bachelor’s degree and one class short of a Master’s degree, is….$36,000.

Most of my friends in the private sector had starting salaries of much more than that. I know people who have less education than I do, who made $50,000-$60,000 in their first year.

It will take me about 15 years on the salary scale before I make that kind of money.

Walker’s proposal would cost me about $400 a month. Frankly, I won’t be able to survive. Because not only do I have the usual debt — mortgage, car payments — I owe tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. Getting a Master’s degree is actually kind of pricey, but I assume you want a highly educated teacher in the classroom, right?

2. The Washington Post on \"why teacher bashing is dangerous\".

But when it comes to student achievement—and especially the narrow, culturally-slanted, pseudo-achievement captured by standardized test scores—there is no evidence that the test score gaps you hear about constantly can be traced to bad teaching. And there is overwhelming evidence that they closely reflect the inequalities of race, class, and opportunity that follow students to school.

Teachers count a lot. But reality counts too. Reformers who discount the impact of poverty are actually the ones making excuses for their failure to make poverty reduction, and adequate and equitable school funding, a central part of school improvement efforts.

The federal government has put more effort into tying individual teacher compensation to test scores and pressing states to eliminate caps on charter schools than encouraging them to distribute more fairly the $600 billion they spend annually on K-12 education.

At the same time they want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to create more tests based on the new common core standards and use those tests to implement merit pay plans.

3. The EPI asks \"Are Wisconsin Public Employees Over Compensated?\":

When comparing public and private sector pay it is essential to consider the much higher levels of education required by occupations in the public sector. As a consequence of these requirements, Wisconsin public sector workers are on average more highly educated than private sector workers; 59% of full-time Wisconsin public sector workers hold at least a four-year college degree, compared
with 30% of full-time private sector workers. Wisconsin state and local governments pay college-educated employees 25% less in annual compensation, on average, than private employers.

4. I argue that we should get our local elected officials \"on the record\" as to if they support this bill or not.

5. Finally, just for fun, this headline speaks for itself:

Mystery bug claims more victims at Playboy mansion

I hope this week’s protests are as big as I think they are going to be and huge KUDOS to everyone who attends. Last but not least, before you go show your support in solidarity of the rest of middle class WI – GO VOTE TOMORROW!!!

“In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right-to-work.’ It provides no ‘rights’ and no ‘works.’ Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining…We demand this fraud be stopped.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.


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