Friday, November 04, 2005

Teachers and professional status

Supporters of Proposition 74 assert that teachers must be held to the “same standards” as other professionals. If we use this logic, then we should start with: raising teachers’ salaries to a level commensurate with other professions that require a B.A./B.S. plus 3 additional semesters of post-baccalaureate study, 150 hours of professional development each year, and passage of at least 3 licensure exams. As long as we are creating uniform standards across the professions, why not hold other professionals to some of the “same standards” that teachers labor under? For example, we could take away the phones and internet access of other professionals, so that they, like teachers, could try to do their jobs without these important tools. We could underfund their programs so that they lack proper materials needed to do their jobs adequately. We could create great instability in their ranks by giving them with pink slips each March only to hire them back again in July, once the unpredictable state budget is figured out. And, we could undercut their professional expertise by putting a range of propositions on the ballot so that the average California voter could weigh in on all kinds of matters related to their professional work life.

Prof. Pia Wong.
College of Education. CSU-Sacramento.
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