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Teachers are not paid too much. Great teachers are paid too little and bad teachers aren't let go to make room for good and great teachers. The administrative offices have become bloated at the expense of teachers pay. Here in DC, they would take incompetent teachers and send them to the worst schools (making them worse) or give them a do nothing job as an "administrator", sucking down valuable funds. DC spends more per student then other cities and produces dumb graduates. When Michelle Rhee came in and started firing bad teachers and administrators, people where shocked. How could she?!

Overall, I believe the unions are detrimental to students, but I don't believe it is because of the pay and benefits teachers get. I believe it is because of the inflexibility the institute and the bogus practice of seniority and tenure. Why do teachers get a tenure guarantee after so many years. Do janitors, or scientists, or basketball players or nurses get tenure? Why? We have all heard of the young teacher that wins teacher of the year, but is the first to get laid off when the cuts come because some really bad teacher has seniority and/or tenure. So wrong. That is why people should not want to become teachers. I don't have seniority or tenure. I come go work every day knowing I need to work hard to provide value and best situate myself to keep my job. I am judged every year relative to my coworkers. If I get a high rating, I get a bigger raise, if I get a low rating, I would get a 0% raise and get put on an improvement plan. If I don't improve and get another low, I am out of a job. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I saw a story of a young teacher, I think in California, she wanted to work late to help some of her students, but union "rules" prevented it. How is that right? How does that help the kids? How does that encourage energetic, loving teachers?

I had great teachers, and respect them immensely, I would hope every kid in the world could have such good teachers. One day I am going to try and do some research and see how the city worked with them and how we got and maintained such good teachers throughout the entire school system. I know we paid well for a small city of 35,000 people and I don't recall any strikes or disputes about pay or teacher flexibility. Would be interesting to know how it all really worked.
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