Is Stepping on Teachers Becoming a National Pastime?

Arizona Bill Would Restrict Teachers’ Speech – Proposed legislation would punish those who violate FCC standards

Arizona doesn’t want its teachers cussing in class—and new proposed legislation would actually make it illegal to do so. GOP state lawmakers are behind Senate Bill 1467, which would require public school teachers to adhere to the FCC’s TV and radio standards. That means certain limits on obscene, indecent, or profane language, the Arizona Republic reports. One teacher notes that the bill applies to teachers’ language not just in the classroom, but even if they are with a colleague.

Arizona Bill Would Restrict Teachers’ Speech – Proposed legislation would punish those who violate FCC standards

About one hundred years ago there were three groups of professionals, the opinion makers, in small towns all over the United States. They were  lawyers, doctors and teachers. Doctors and lawyers have retained their status. Teachers are barely one step above a sixteen year old with a MacJob. How did this come about?

There are a lot of reasons. I suspect the increasing demonization of teachers as the destroyers of educational excellence is a key factor. The strange idea that motivated teachers can overcome massive income inequality to produce high test scores in all populations. The teachers’ inability to produce this utopia of educational success results in constant attacks and ridicule. It takes its toll after a while. Further, teachers are divided in their political loyalties making their backing in a political campaign of questionable value. I estimate teachers’ union endorsement to be worth no more than sixty percent of their votes. Teacher fragmentation has been devastating to their political influence for decades. I remember listening in class to my teachers attacking unions and evolution. I grew up in Oklahoma. Defying teacher unions and refusing to even ask for an endorsement became standard politics long ago.

I don’t get it. Teachers by education and position ought to be opinion leaders but have apparently given up the job to do some version of independent politics on an every man for himself basis. Benjamin Franklin once told his fellow revolutionaries, “We must all hang together or else we shall hang separately.” The teacher unions are dying fragmented and ineffective.

Unless this fragmentation ends, there is only one end to the story, the minimum wage.

James Pilant

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