"pooping in your living room and then telling you that cleaning up that poop could be damaging"

You mean like writing about how all workers should be at least $15/hr to live in Seattle and pretending to be on the side of the union while this paper has no unionized labor force and remains mum on a minimum wage hiring policy being above the small business minimum (well, mum in total actually) ?
I feel angry about Jesse getting sprayed, of course; but there is something so hilariously incongruous about that picture that makes me chuckle every time I see it. Here's this man calmly walking along talking on his phone, and at the same time, here's this crazed aggro cop angrily hosing him down with pepperspray. If I didn't know it was real, I'd swear someone photoshopped it.

Clarification: The US spends more money per student, and a higher share of GDP per student on primary & secondary education than any developed country (source: OECD).

A teacher in the Everett school district with a Masters and 15 years experience makes $90,000 per year (working 182 days (or 1,456 hours) – versus "full-time" which is 2,000 hours), and gets a pension that kicks-in at age 45.

You've carefully played with words to say "isn't funded by the legislature. In fact the court ruled that the issue wasn't the AMOUNT of funding, it was the SHARE of funding between state and local taxes/levies. And for those that think Bellevue has more money, and therefore pays teachers more? Seattle teachers make the same amount. This isn't about teacher pay. This is about hoarding resources in a failed, monolithic union scheme.
President Obama is a smart man.
Following up on what @2 said, Isn't that cop who sprayed an innocuous cell phone talker going to be suspended and investigated in addition to the lawsuit????
@3 Liar
@4 jealous much?
You meant $150 million a day, right?

A teacher in the Everett school district with a Masters and 15 years experience makes $90,000 per year

If that's true, the AWESOME! They should make that much.
@9 Yes it's awesome – except for the kids who get stuck in the shitty Everett & Seattle school districts.
@9 its not true.
@10 so your argument (made with lies) is that Bellevue teachers should be paid less? What an asshole.

@11 In fact it us true (link). And consider that under the contract teachers work 182 days a year – 1,456 hours (many more, some less), compared to a full-time US salary worker who does a scheduled 2,000 hours a year (many more, some less). As an FTE, that puts a veteran Everett teacher at $123,000 for full-time work. And a pension.

No, I'm not saying the teacher in Bellevue should be paid less. In fact, I think the people in Bellevue should be able to pay their teachers more, which is difficult to do because every time a community shows that it has more money, the unions/districts effectively seize it and put it into paraprofessional and support staff, keeping weak, activist teachers mad – and politically pliable.…
Funny thing is my husband's wages after figuring in all hours worked is well over full-year full-time even with (supposed) summers off. Add together all the unpaid mandates, unpaid prep and grading, mandatory pre- and post- school year meetings, continuing education classes and trainings and he's earning the equivalent of just over $20 per hour. With an NTSB (newer professional cert equivalent to masters) and 20 years experience. The Legislature has suspended voter-approved salary COLAs for school employees for six years straight. But an 11.5% raise for the politicians - who work 120 days a year IF they work special session - is apparently all good!

In the US we spend the most per capita on healthcare in this country too when averaged out, and our outcomes are far often worse. How the money is spent is key. What most of these teachers resent is that the money is NOT actually going where it improves outcomes for the students. We've known for 50+ years that smaller class sizes, well trained professional teachers and involved, supportive parents are best for learning. Instead, at the state and national levels we get huge amounts of money thrown at assessment testing and many kids get to make do with Teach For America folks with little training and no professional chops. Assessments and tests are important, but they are the cart driving the horse. All they are is a snapshot; money thrown at testing does not help individual students.

We've proven ourselves absolutely unwilling to do what works in favor of blame, whining and throwing egregious amounts of money to private companies (SBAC test produced by Amplify, owned by Rupert Murdoch) to produce tests that don't affect student outcomes. So yeah, they're striking for a single day to bring attention to the stupidity. To raise to the voters the question of 1) why is our state legislature in special session and in contempt of court for not doing their job (budget) to fund education? 2) why are class sizes so large even though state passed voter-initiatives mandate smaller? 3) why are teachers not getting the pay raises the voters approved also via initiative years ago? 4) why do the lawmakers get a raise before the other state workers whose wages were frozen & cut more than six years ago? 5) why do we continue to throw millions of $$ at testing that demonstrably does nothing for our kids while hijacking their instruction time and resources?!? We know what works, we have lots of studies that illustrate it. We're categorically unwilling to do the heavy lifting without for-profit corporate sausage making apparently.
Barking up the wrong tree: The WEA and the Education establishment has figured out that keeping teachers impoverished makes them a potent political weapon.

According to the US Dept. of Education: Education spending has outstripped every inflation and cost index. Since 1950 the number of students is up 96%. The number of teachers is up 252%. But the number of paraprofessionals and administrators are up 702%! There is now a full-time office staff member for every 20.5 students. Why the fuck does it take 7x as many bureaucrats and 2.5x teachers to get one kid through school?!

The pay raise for teachers is sitting there. When are good teachers going to rebel against their union overlords and coconspirators in the state employee unions? If we simply (simply!) kept the amount of administrators and micky mouse "experts" and "specialists" to the same generous jump in the number of teachers, we could pass-on a 30% raise TOMORROW to teachers.

If teachers are working far more hours than their contract – then FOR SURE that would be an issue they would protest. But have you noticed the union isn't! No, because there's so much more to gain with these "teaching to the test," "legislative raises" side-shows.

The reason healthcare cost are high is because – like the education system – choice for consumers about the plan they want and the doctor they see has been removed from the system by government. Put school vouchers into the education system (like they do in many high-performing countries) and let choice determine the best system.
Hear, hear! 2flyingmonkeys @13 Thank you for you comment. The way teachers and students are treated is maddening.
Zok - our experience with the union is diametrically opposed to nearly every one of your contentions... You realize that they don't make any of the staffing or pay decisions for a school or district, right? The union has gone to bat for us when my husband's district was trying to *require* unpaid time, and consistently lobbies for processes, curriculum and staffing policies that benefits the students and support the teachers. Districts hire para's because they are in a budgetary bind set out by the taxpayers and legislature. The WEA has no power to change this. While I agree to a degree with your second paragraph, even part of your third, the logical fallacies in your arguments are enormous. Studies, evidence and our experiences all counter your voucher contention. *IF* differential economics and poverty were absent then vouchers could be great for kids. Absent SERIOUS restrictions and controls on how they roll out we simply end up with the South's old "separate but equal" - measurably worse outcomes for entire communities.

I agree about the top-heavy bureaucracy, but you realize that much of this arises out of the capitalist/democratic sausage of laws and legal mandates on the books? If you want true systemic change, then help strike the stick based national policies like NCLB and SBAC/Common Core. If you really want what's best for our kids, then invest in the societal changes that actually improve outcomes! This means lots of social supports to their parents if needed (without this, abject poverty persists), ensuring they have food/clothing/shelter, providing enriching opportunities beyond desk/whiteboard and teaching problem solving and critical thinking. SBAC does none of this. Vouchers only help frustrated parents in single instances, they perpetuate the problems without offering actual solution and just kick the can downstream of the user. Shortsighted solution to preventable problem.

You're right that education costs more per student in the US, nearly everything non-tax subsidized does here. But just like with healthcare outcomes, the highest correlation to success is affluence. Once we alleviate the shortcomings that saddle kids in poverty at the outset the rest follows. The countries with the best outcomes that spend far less per capita also actually put their values into laws - paid parental leave, livable minimum wages, fully-funded early childhood learning and education and on and on. This is truly the least expensive course of action for the nation (best long term outcomes for least investment) but requires that we not see social supports as evil and as throwing money at the undeserving. If we see our people and communities as valuable assets and resources to be invested in and supported, the successes in productive tax-paying citizens that do not need the public teat far outweigh the early investments. Shorthand: fully funding head-start is WAY cheaper than funding the prison industrial complex but our problem seems to be that large corporations don't make money on the former.
@12: To be accurate, the ~$90,000/year figure is for teachers with 15 years of experience, a Master's degree, AND an additional 45 credits.
While teachers' unions do have their problems, they are in the area of rewarding seniority over quality. Your allegations of unions conspiring to spend money on administrative staff to deliberately keep teacher salaries low is fictitious at best.
@16 And all those countries with such fantasy land economies are:
1) Comparatively homogenous cultures in geographically remote areas (Sweden, Australia, New Zealand)
2) Unsustainable oil/timber/fisheries natural resource economies (Norway, Canada)
3) Global Banking Centers (Switzerland)

The rest – the European Union – have run out of credit cards and are on the brink of sovereign default, with 20% employment, and pushing (this week) to privatize the collapsing National Health Systems.

Nice examples.

As for the theory held that "alleviating shortcomings that saddle kids in poverty at the outset" solves problems? The 'National Head Start Impact Study' was a longitudinal study involving
5,000 3- and 4-year-olds. It showed no net benefit by the time kids reached 4th grade. After BILLIONS wasted. Unless and until Liberals realize that parental involvement and empowerment – occasioned by choice – is the only way to improvement, you will continue sentencing poor (often black) kids to shitty schools with no hope for relief, in the interests of defending some antiquated job scheme dreamed-up by white educators and Democratic apparatchiks 50 years ago.
@18: Um, the NHSIS official report found strong evidence of improvement in certain areas, particularly in children who entered at age 3 rather than 4.
Also, "alleviating shortcomings that saddle kids in poverty at the outset" ≠ Head Start. Nice strawman, brah.

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