Saturday, August 22, 2015

Teacher "Shortage"

Someone asked for responses to the recent New York Times piece about a nationwide teacher "shortage." This is my response:

The big problem, of course, is with the various licensing
requirements that make it extremely difficult for out-of-
state teachers to get jobs. It used to be districts
would hire teachers from out of state who didn't yet have
clear credentials in the new state, but with NCLB's
requiring "highly qualified" teachers to teach in school
districts, out-of-state teachers were and are screwed.
They have to spend hundreds of dollars to get clear
credentials before any principal and school district will
even consider them for interviews. In states like
Oregon, the TSPC is openly hostile to out-of-state
teachers, putting up stupid requirements for testing even
when the teachers have several years of teaching
experience (but not "five years in the subject area") and
have been out of college for decades. If you are broke,
like I am, it is very difficult to find the funds to pay
for the licensing fees and testing. I had to go the
classified route after subbing for years and not
having consistent work to rely upon. I make peanuts and
it is only part time, with some building subbing to
augment it, but at least I know where I am going to be
every day.

I will admit, however, this past year even in Oregon the
state is having a tough time to recruit, especially
substitutes. This state has NEVER before in its entire
history had trouble finding teachers, including subs, who
are paid some 170-plus a day to sub a full day if they
can find openings. There was always a glut, and there
still is in many parts of the state, but the sub lists
have bottomed out. It has gotten so bad TSPC has
suspended the PDU requirements for subs to get their
licenses renewed. So has the enrollment plummeted in the
the teacher education colleges. Just a few years ago
some of the colleges in Oregon closed off elementary
education applicant enrollment because of the near-
impossibility of new grads finding jobs. That is
changing, folks.

Cynic that I am, this is exactly what the reformers want,
a massive, REAL teacher shortage so they can repeal
licensing requirements and get anybody off the street to
do the job, or, force kids into online "academies." I
can't think of anything worse.


Tammy Callahan said...

Dear Susan,
I was wondering whatever came out of your filing of the EEOC? I was a teacher for twenty-three years for WCSD and was a whistelblower as well. It all came crashing down in 2010. It has been five years of being bullied, although my reputation with parents and students remains strong. My strong spiritual faith and my reverence for profession of teachers kept me going. I became an Educational Coach with Enphasis on Advocacy, after finally realizing the District was never go to hire me back, and they gave me NO letter of recommendation after 23 of exemplary teaching. My suit is in Federal Court as of Jan. 28th. I understand what happened to me is not unique. I am just grateful that I went outside the District. I had good guidance. I pray for justice for teachers that are brave enough to address ineffective leadership and stand up to extinguishing corruption in a system that needs to be protected.

OTE admin said...

Tammy, as crazy as it sounds, I never filed a complaint with EEOC. I didn't even KNOW about it. The one person I should have told about my firing was my brother, who worked in a unionized environment as both an employee and in management. He couldn't believe what I went through. He couldn't believe the association neglected to tell me about filing a claim, which I later learned that I couldn't really proceed with a lawsuit against WCSD without the notice of the right to sue. I was totally ignorant, Tammy, and I made the mistake of trusting people, the WEA, instead of trying to get an outside attorney. I missed all of the deadlines, so here I am, 60 years old, having to move to another state and living on a fraction of what I made as a teacher at WCSD. The district was completely in the wrong, both the then-HR chief officer and my last principal there, but it was time to cover up, so I was thrown out into the streets. I will never be able to retire because of what happened down there. I have no spouse to cushion the economic blow.

OTE admin said...

Good luck on your lawsuit, Tammy. I saw that notice there on, but I don't have an account with them anymore to be able to read the documents.

Tammy Callahan said...

Dear Susan,
I am so so sorry! I almost made the same mistake, but an Afrian American woman forced me to file! I knew when I did my career would be over, but it looks like either way they were going to try to screw us! My attorney is Ken McKenna. You should see if there is anything you can do. Bullying in our District is rampant! It was so not like this for many many years!

OTE admin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OTE admin said...

Since this happened to me in 2008, the statute of limitations pretty much screws me over. I had two really terrible principals, but they were nothing compared to the central office during that time. Instead of just admitting they screwed up with my sick leave and just settle the matter, they just went ahead and rigged my hearing, throwing all kinds of filth at me. WEA was worse than worthless and their lawyer didn't say one word about EEOC. Not one word. Had I told my brother at the time, I would have done it. It was years later that he knew of the circumstances of why I was dumped.

I would have gotten a big settlement out of this had I known. The way it was, I couldn't get anybody to take my case, no doubt because I hadn't filed a claim with EEOC. I think I could have gotten them for negligence, which was even more blatant than any federal claim. However, I just didn't know what to do then. I wasn't allowed to contact anybody in the district when I was kicked to the curb.

It was all about saving money for that outfit. I had five years into PERS, which I collect the giant sum of 312 a month, but I think HR thought I wasn't vested at the time.

OTE admin said...

For the record, those last two principals who were so bad are still there. One is at Incline High School as a site administrator, and the other one, the one who fired me illegally, is now in the central office again doing some make-work job doing "professional development" or some leadership thing for principals. Incredibly enough, she was president of the principals association, probably as insurance against being dumped herself.