State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout
Op-Ed

The New Bidding War for Teachers

Act 10 has opened door to bidding war and smaller, poorer districts losing out.

By - Sep 3rd, 2016 01:03 pm
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Tony Evers

Tony Evers

“Who will be my teacher?” my son asked me years ago. For a brief point in time, the teacher was the most important person in his young life.

As children head back to school and parents scramble with new schedules, schools are facing their own scheduling headaches. This year a teacher shortage hit many local schools. Around the state, school districts have hundreds of vacancies.

Recently, I presented an overview of state education budget issues in Viroqua. At least a dozen local superintendents, school board members, principals and teachers were in the audience. Following my presentation, the conversation turned to the teacher shortage.

Educators described an environment in which teachers in certain high demand subject areas move from one school district to another based on the best offer.

Two superintendents from neighboring school districts laughed when they realized they spent the summer bidding against each other to snag the same teacher. “Now we have teachers who come back [to our school] and say, ‘I’m getting a $6,000 increase in an offer from another school.’”

A staff member paid a $12,000 raise creates problems in districts where teachers went seven years with little raise in pay. John, a local teacher, told the group, “The impact on morale is just horrendous.”

Many superintendents, including State Superintendent Tony Evers, saw this crisis coming. Mr. Evers took a number of steps, including the creation of a Working Group on School Staffing Issues.

“Act 10 created a ‘free agency’ environment where competition for high demand and talented teachers is fierce, and financial and geographic differences put many districts at a competitive disadvantage,” stated the group’s final report submitted this summer.

I recently spoke with former Durand Superintendent Jerry Walters who now administers CESA 11, a regional cooperative sharing educational services. He explained post-retirement benefits tended to “give teachers a sense of loyalty.” After Act 10, and the loss of benefits, teachers are like sports player – open to the highest bidder. Few districts can compete in this new world.

School districts have state-imposed revenue caps limiting what they can spend. People are the heart of the school and make up nearly 80% of a district’s budget. Some districts are very short on funds. They gave few raises for many years.

“But some have money to do this,” Mr. Walters told me. “Some Minnesota schools [for example] offer a $10,000 signing bonus… For districts left behind this creates attraction and retention issues…Ultimately it’s the smaller, poorer school district at the bottom of the food chain.”

Rural schools are at a particular disadvantage. Many rural school districts pay ten percent of their budget in transportation costs and have a low revenue cap, which means they don’t have the money to make special offers.

A teacher who worked in Milwaukee, Oconomowoc, Tomah and Westby said, “As long as there is a Middleton, we will lose teachers in Westby.”

To compound problems, fewer students are going into teacher education programs. An April 2016 Journal Sentinel story reported some teacher education programs have 20% to 40% fewer students than a few years ago.

At the Viroqua event, a local elected official, Karen Dahl told the group, “Young people don’t want to go into education because [some in] Wisconsin denigrate the profession and the value of education.”

State Superintendent Evers’ working group offered some solutions to the teacher shortage: cultivate “grow your own” teachers especially in rural areas; make it easier to hire in an emergency; add flexibility so teachers can take on new roles; strengthen ties between K-12 and university teacher education and change recent laws that limit retired teachers from part-time work.

But the simplest part of the solution starts with each of us. I spoke with a math teacher who closed her Facebook page because of negative comments about her profession made by “friends.” She said, “I was in the grocery store and a neighbor came up and said that he didn’t want to pay my salary because I ‘wasn’t worth a dime.’”

Words hurt. And you can help.

Providing every child a great education means getting great people to enter and stay in teaching. We must appreciate the work educators do every day. Our children need an answer to the question, “Who will be my teacher?”

Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, is a member of the Wisconsin state Senate.

Categories: Education, Op-Ed, Politics

83 thoughts on “Op-Ed: The New Bidding War for Teachers”

  1. John says:

    I’m telling all my Wisconsin teacher friends to do one thing: GET OUT OF THE STATE. Pay and benefits are better in many other states. What Walker and private interests have done to corporatize education has done huge damage all across the country. There is little in the way of empirical proof that private-owned charter schools do better than public schools, and in Wisconsin, we’ve seen some major failures among Charters. I used to be proud of public education in Wisconsin. My father was a teacher in the state for forty years. I’m glad he can’t see what has happened since we lost him.

  2. WashCoRepub says:

    This is great news… teachers are being treated like professionals, where high-quality ones are in high demand, and this will create upward pressure on salaries. Individual communities can pass referendums to exceed spending caps, if the residents of their area feel it’s worth it to pay more.

    We have the best of both worlds: Reduced property taxes and tax increases, health insurance and benefits that are more closely in line with the private sector, and steadily rising wages for the talented teachers.

  3. Justin says:

    Just more evidence of the severe teacher shortage across Wisconsin caused by the effects of Act 10. Fact of the matter is that Walker’s Wisconsin is the WORST state in the nation in which to be a public school teacher. Thousands of great, often experienced teachers have already fled this cesspool of a state, now the millennials are also seeing the light (darkness) that casts a pall over their teaching careers in Walker’s Wisconsin.

    Millennials are fleeing their teaching jobs after 5-8 years of teaching in Walker’s Wisconsin when they come to the realization that teaching in Walker’s Wisconsin is truly a “Dead End Job” since Walker took office and rammed Act 10 though. Over 90% of the teachers hired since 2010 will never earn more than about $45,000 in rural areas to $55,000 urban/suburban areas as their HIGHEST salary in their career if they remain in Walker’s Wisconsin for the next 30 years. Contrast that to top salaries exceeding $75,000 in every other Midwestern state after 10-15 years of teaching.

    I regularly counsel and educate new teachers in my district to the benefits of fleeing Walker’s Wisconsin within 5 years of beginning their teaching careers. Most new teachers who flee Walker’s Wisconsin for the MUCH greener pastures of Minnesota will earn an immediate $10,000 raise to begin with, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional compensation throughout their teaching career in Minnesota’s schools. Plus teachers in Minnesota aren’t demonized and even HATED to the degree teachers are in Walker’s Wisconsin.

    One teacher in my district was the beneficiary of 2 retention bonuses, boosting his salary to $58,000 after 4 years. This year he saw the light and fled to a Twin Cities suburb with a starting salary of $62,000 and the potential to earn $90,000 in 10 years. In our district, his $58,000 salary was one of the top salaries and would not increase above the rate of inflation for the remainder of his career. Another great physics and calculus teacher that has fled Walker’s Wisconsin due to the effects of Act 10.

  4. happyjack27 says:

    WashCoRepub,

    “teachers are being treated like professionals, where high-quality ones are in high demand, and this will create upward pressure on salaries.”

    I don’t think you understood the article. High quality teachers aren’t paid more. Nor do they have any control over salaries.

    What they said is teachers are moving, leaving some schools – and thus some students – with poor quality education.

    Also that teachers that teach subjects that demand a high degree of expertise – presumably math and science – there’s a shortage of them.

    I don’t see how any of that can be interpreted as good.

  5. mbradleyc says:

    Competition is good. If there is a vacuum, it will be filled.

  6. Justin says:

    I have found that another great motivator driving the exodus of wise teachers from Wisconsin is that these young teachers see the severely relaxed teacher standards that Wisconsin is resorting to in order to staff classrooms. Basically in Walker’s Wisconsin, since Act 10 the only real qualification to TEACH 3rd grade, is that you had to PASS 3rd grade.

    The severe shortage of teachers in all of the difficult subjects has led to a dearth of teachers with expertise to teach these difficult areas. Except for district which still value quality education, most districts’ teachers in math,science, computers, tech ed are teachers with 1-5 years of experience who are just learning their craft.

    The low pay and lack of career salary growth has spawned a continual turnover as these young teachers either flee the profession or flee Walker’s Wisconsin by the time they turn 30.

    The young teachers that are fleeing Walker’s Wisconsin often cite the dramatic decline in quality of the K12 public education as a primary reason for leaving. They don’t want to live and raise a family in the worst state in the Midwest for quality public schools. They want their children to have a great education, and they know that won’t happen in Walker’s Wisconsin.

  7. Vincent Hanna says:

    Talk to people at organizations like PAVE (which works with private schools) or the WASB. Talk to people who lead teacher prep programs. There is a crisis on the horizon (if it’s not here already). Rural districts cannot compete. The only people who interpret stories like this as good are right-wingers who make a hobby of bashing teachers and their unions (and then have the audacity to say “hey look teachers are being treated like professionals”). They have no idea what they are talking about because they never actually talk to people on the front lines.

  8. Michael says:

    So simultaneously people are complaining that teachers are underpaid and that districts are having to pay more to attract teachers? Do you not realize that the second ‘problem’ is a solution to the first?

  9. happyjack27 says:

    “Competition is good. If there is a vacuum, it will be filled.”

    Competition will help drive down prices, as producers will have to adjust their prices to meet the supply and demand curve optimum.

    Wrong economic model, try again.

  10. happyjack27 says:

    So simultaneously people are complaining that teachers are underpaid and that districts are having to pay more to attract teachers? Do you not realize that the second ‘problem’ is a solution to the first?

    Some do, some don’t. Those like Scott walker her are slashing the budget and causing a shortage of teachers, among other things, clearly don’t understand.

    But I think many of us see the problem for what it is and our very frustrated that our children’s future is being destroyed by some politicians’ lack of respect for education.

  11. mbradleyc says:

    “Wrong economic model, try again.”

    Wrong economic model compared to what? Socialism?

    Socialism rewards laziness and penalises productivity.

    Don’t bore me now.

  12. Vincent Hanna says:

    mbradleyc are you one of those folks who believe schools should be run like a business? https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2013/07/09/why-schools-arent-businesses-the-blueberry-story/

  13. happyjack27 says:

    “Wrong economic model, try again.”

    Wrong economic model compared to what? Socialism?

    Socialism isn’t an economic model. A model is framework used to analyze a system.

    You don’t need to compare something to a different model to see that the model doesn’t fit.

    The model you used was a model for the pricing of commodities.

    But a person doesn’t go to a store and by 10 educations because that’s where diminishing returns set in.

    Now does a factory ramp up production of education, taking advantage of economy of scale until diminishing returns set in.

    The demand is fixed. The supply is constant per teacher.

    Wrong model.

  14. Former teacher says:

    Some teachers leave after 5 years. Another fact that leads to this is the fact that a first year teacher working for 5 years in an “at risk” school or district can have their government student loan “forgiven” when those 5 years are served. Many who take advantage of this leave those districts for “safer environments”. There is much more to what is truly happening than Walker haters write here. Check things out for yourself instead of relying on liberal gossip.

  15. Vincent Hanna says:

    So there is no problem with bidding wars and smaller, more rural districts losing out? Your comment doesn’t address that at all. It’s also helpful if people actually provide sources and evidence rather than merely declaring “check things out for yourself.” That is first cousin to “just Google it.” Doesn’t inspire much confidence in the person giving the suggestion.

  16. mbradleyc says:

    I could go on for a long time explaining the minutiae of market function, but you would have all the correct responses, so there is no point.

    Really, there is no point.

  17. happyjack27 says:

    Because we already know all that.

    Glad you realize that. Spares us a rather dull conversation.

  18. Vincent Hanna says:

    Teacher turnover is not good for students. That’s one of the reasons districts and ed leaders are concerned about districts poaching teachers. It also costs a lot of money for school districts to constantly recruit and hire new teachers, money they often don’t have or need for other things. So yes the free market is wonderful but a school is not a business.

  19. happyjack27 says:

    Let’s say each teacher teaches 5 1-hour classes a day, each with 20 students. So that’s 100 student-hours a day.
    Now lets say you have 50 good teachers and 50 bad ones. That’s 5000 quality student-hours and 5000 poor student-hours.

    Now let’s add salary competition into the mix – and let’s say it’s 100% efficiency. Half the schools pay a higher salary than another half, and they get all the good teachers, and the other half get all the bad ones.

    So now how many quality student-hours do you have, and how many poor student-hours?

  20. AG says:

    The issue with this article is not that it is wrong that some rural districts have a disadvantage in competing for top talent in harder to fill subjects… since that’s true. The problem is that it leads the reader to believe the problem is that districts are competing for those teachers. Rather, the issue is the initial problem… that the rural districts can’t compete.

    The solution lies in fixing the funding formula or finding another way for the playing field to be leveled and NOT in stopping districts from competing for teachers. The winners here are the best teachers and the teachers who’s specialty are the higher demand fields. This will only serve to help attract more to those fields in the future as their pay and incentives increase through this competition.

    In the end, a rural community doesn’t have to pay the same as a larger district since the cost of living and the median incomes in those areas are lower anyway. If salaries are in line for the area this situation is only a good thing for teachers. This will all work itself out in the end.

  21. AG says:

    happyjack27 comment #9, you’re looking at it backwards. The competition is among the school districts to attract teachers, not competition between the teachers.

  22. AG says:

    Vincent comment #18, I think you make a very good point. However, I think this is only the “market” finding itself right now as the salaries and benefits find equilibrium. Eventually districts and teachers will know what a proper wage and benefit package looks like. It’ll take a little time and certainly some disruption, but it’ll settle down in time.

  23. Vincent Hanna says:

    Speaking of funding and teachers, I wish this had been an option when I was teaching. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/d625e0f2c4f14255982341d755bf17a1/crowdfunded-classrooms-teachers-increasingly-solicit-online

    “The solution lies in fixing the funding formula or finding another way for the playing field to be leveled”

    Since you claim it will work itself out, you assume one of these will happen?

  24. Vincent Hanna says:

    AG ed leaders and district officials and those on the front lines of this issue do not agree with you. They know much more than you or I do about it. I am not as optimistic. You tend to dismiss every single problem that someone points out on education in this state and always claim “it’ll work itself out.” That’s not encouraging.

  25. happyjack27 says:

    AG comment # 21: No, I understand it perfectly.

  26. AG says:

    Well it’s already working itself out… evidence in that teachers in high demand areas are getting paid more and more as districts compete for them. These higher salaries will help draw new future teachers into the fields needed most. It certainly won’t happen over night.

  27. AG says:

    HappyJack, then clearly you need to take a basic micro economics class.

  28. happyjack27 says:

    AG: That, or you’re not listening.

  29. Vincent Hanna says:

    AG you sure are quick to dismiss the concerns of people who actually work in education. The concern is genuine and widespread. People who work for school districts and public schools and choice schools and teacher prep programs all agree (for a change). Yet you think you know better. I don’t think you do. I think it’s mostly political, that you want to believe it’ll get better because you dislike unions and are down on public schools and support ACT 10.

  30. AG says:

    Vincent, which part do you think I’m dismissing? That we’re seeing/will see a shortage? I’m not disagreeing with that…

  31. Vincent Hanna says:

    They do not share your belief that this is merely a short-term bump that will magically work itself out soon.

  32. AG says:

    It’s not magic, it’s higher Salaries and benefits.

  33. AG says:

    It’s not magic, it’s higher Salaries and benefits. What would your solution to the shortage be for the high demand / difficult to fill positions be?

  34. Vincent Hanna says:

    Way to ignore the point. Like I said, those who know better don’t agree with you, and they are more trustworthy as they work in education. I think this is political for you. We shall see and I hope I’m wrong.

  35. happyjack27 says:

    AG, if you’re saying that we should spend more on education (including more per teacher on average), you won’t find any disagreement here.

    Among other things, that will help with the teacher shortage. And we won’t have to fill gaps will poorly trained/educated workers.

  36. AG says:

    HappyJack, that’s pretty much exactly what I’m saying. I believe the the difference in our view is that I support higher pay for the highest performing teachers and teachers in high demand fields, rather than across the board increases (I’m assuming that’s where you stand, but you can correct me if I’m wrong).

  37. happyjack27 says:

    I can support higher pay for teachers in high demand fields.

    Performance measures however are notoriously difficult. There’s a lot of variables to factor out. Not to mention how do you measure performance – e.g. route memorization vs. deep understanding.

    Not a lot of motivational benefit there, either. Teachers tend to be motivated by just wanting to teach. If they were motivated by wealth they’d choose a different profession.

  38. AG says:

    Vincent, I’ve seen plenty of evidence that it can work. The potential downsides of a poorly designed merit pay system are real, but when done correctly can have very powerful benefits. There is certainly a bad attitude towards merit pay for a lot of teachers… even among my teacher friends the arguments can get heated in both directions. Although the supporters, who were definitely in the minority, tend to end the “debates” by saying it’s the best performing teachers that support a merit pay system… but it only ends because the detractors typically like to end the discussion there… to put it politely. This kind of attitude of “I can do better than you” certainly goes against the union’s culture, I’m sure.

    http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct08/vol66/num02/When-Merit-Pay-Is-Worth-Pursuing.aspx

  39. Vincent Hanna says:

    Cherry pick all you want AG, but the overwhelming evidence is that it doesn’t work. Listen to your teacher friends, please. It’s OK to admit that sometimes they know more than you about, you know, teaching, the thing they do and you don’t.

    “The most rigorous study of performance-based teacher compensation ever conducted in the United States shows that a nationally watched bonus-pay system had no overall impact on student achievement—results released today that are certain to set off a firestorm of debate.” http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/09/21/05pay_ep.h30.html

  40. AG says:

    I’m not sure why you say I’m cherry picking… I just gave an example of support for merit pay, as you did for your position. The POINT study was interesting and we learned a lot, but it was also lacking in many answers for many questions. Plus it contradicts many other studies. This has been studied far more in other countries and they found positive results. Do you think only US teachers are altruistic in their desire to teach children and not caring about pay? (as if that was really a thing)

    You make the assumption that I’m closed off to listening, but that’s not the case. I’ve already validated many of your points as having merit. But apparently I’m the only person here who really wants to explore all sides, since you’re telling me to shut up and just listen to my teacher friends (even though I already mentioned several support merit pay) since I have no idea what I’m talking about.

    http://andrewleigh.org/pdf/PerformancePay.pdf

    http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ795876.pdf

  41. happyjack27 says:

    “Do you think only US teachers are altruistic in their desire to teach children and not caring about pay? (as if that was really a thing)”

    If this was directed at me, I do not think anyone doesn’t care about pay. So the answer is no.

    Generally speaking all teachers in all countries are motivated by a desire to teach children.

    Like anything, though, until a person’s basic needs are met, they are motivated primarily by meeting their basic needs.

    After that their motivators switch to self-direction, mastery, and purpose. The purpose aspect is where the teaching children and alturism come into play.

    This is a real thing. Known for centuries by psychologists. The general topic area is “Motivation”, and it’s a broad topic with many factors. But the relevant part here is that up to a certain point, money is the primary motivator because you need it to fulfill basic needs. But after that point it drops off and is supplanted by more emotional factors, such as the desire to care for children and the hope and excitement of creating a better future generation.

    This of course is not specific to a given country – it’s a universal human trait. (Well, near universal – excepting sociopaths and what not, whose motivations are a-social — power and ego.)

  42. Vincent Hanna says:

    AG, if someone looks hard enough they can find evidence to support almost anything, including that merit pay works. However, the evidence that it doesn’t work is overwhelming. I’m sorry if that doesn’t align with your worldview, but that’s reality. It isn’t going to improve education.

    This is related to the discussion here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-01/teachers-face-a-17-percent-pay-cut-when-they-join-the-noble-profession

  43. AG says:

    HappyJack, it was actually directed to Vincent in the comparison of the study he cited vs the ones in other countries that show merit pay has positive effects. Should we really believe that only US teachers care solely about teaching children while other countries care about money as well? Of course not. Which means you need to equally weigh the findings in the international studies on the topic.

    Although if you want to talk about motivation and needs, following Maslow’s hierarchy of needs one’s self esteem comes before their self actualization stages… which happens to be where the desire for more money would come into play. Teachers are human, humans generally (but not always) desire more money. If they didn’t, the signing bonuses and pay increases from switching districts would not be a factor.

  44. Vincent Hanna says:

    Another problem here for not just smaller districts but all districts is the lack of new teachers considering the drop in enrollment in teacher prep programs and the drop in the number of classroom teachers. Part of that is due to what the Bloomberg story discusses. So yes money is a factor.

  45. AG says:

    Sure Vincent, the evidence is overwhelming when that’s all your echo chamber tells you.

    Meanwhile I know real life teachers that work/worked in challenging schools who find themselves demotivated after years of no additional benefit for their work vs some of their apathetic peers. They’ve either left for other districts, jobs or unfortunately become resolved to their state of permanent low morale regarding the issue… which I’m sure affects their teaching.

  46. happyjack27 says:

    “Should we really believe that only US teachers care solely about teaching children while other countries care about money as well?”

    I don’t see anyone making this claim. This appears to be a straw man.

    “Which means you need to equally weigh the findings in the international studies on the topic.”

    That doesn’t follow. You should weigh each study in its proportion to it’s relevance, rigorousness, sample size, etc., and take care to take into account differences in the environment, such as teacher pay, wealth, avg. education, etc.
    Weighing everything equally would by definition fail to do any of these things.

    “following Maslow’s hierarchy of needs one’s self esteem comes before their self actualization stages… which happens to be where the desire for more money would come into play.”
    i don’t think it’s accurate to equate self-esteem with greed. Not everyone measures their self-worth in dollars.

    “If they didn’t, the signing bonuses and pay increases from switching districts would not be a factor.”

    This doesn’t follow, either. The pay increases may be a factor because they are struggling to make ends meet, and that helps them out.

  47. Vincent Hanna says:

    That simply isn’t true AG. I didn’t say no evidence, I said overwhelming evidence. And that is accurate. http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/dec10/vol68/num04/Merit-Pay-Misfires.aspx

    Other countries treat teachers a lot better than we do. It’s a highly respected profession and they are treated accordingly.

    I am a teacher AG, and I used to teach in MPS, in a very challenging school.

  48. AG says:

    “I don’t see anyone making this claim. This appears to be a straw man.”

    One of his links specifically said you can’t take international studies into account and could only look at US based studies (which are few)

    “That doesn’t follow. You should weigh each study in its proportion to it’s relevance, rigorousness, sample size, etc…”

    I agree, I was only stating you couldn’t discount them solely because they were not done in the US.

    “i don’t think it’s accurate to equate self-esteem with greed. Not everyone measures their self-worth in dollars.”

    Certainly not everyone, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge our increasingly materialistic society. Many people do indeed equate their success and sense of accomplishment with the material items they have and the salary they make. It’s quite unfortunate. Although I will say that a desire to make more money doesn’t have to be greed. The whole debate we’re having now is essentially about paying teachers more, isn’t it? I don’t think teachers are greedy because of that.

    “The pay increases may be a factor because they are struggling to make ends meet, and that helps them out.”

    You’re making an assumption here. Do you have any evidence to back that claim up?

  49. Vincent Hanna says:

    Pay is a factor. It’s partly why we are heading to a teacher shortage in this state (and we’re not the only state facing this). Students see a profession with pretty low pay that doesn’t garner the respect it does in other countries.

  50. happyjack27 says:

    “I don’t see anyone making this claim. This appears to be a straw man.”

    -“One of his links specifically said you can’t take international studies into account and could only look at US based studies (which are few)”

    –Okay, did any of the links specificaly say that “only US teachers care solely about teaching children while other countries care about money as well”?

    “i don’t think it’s accurate to equate self-esteem with greed. Not everyone measures their self-worth in dollars.”

    – Certainly not everyone, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge our increasingly materialistic society. Many people do indeed equate their success and sense of accomplishment with the material items they have and the salary they make. It’s quite unfortunate. Although I will say that a desire to make more money doesn’t have to be greed. The whole debate we’re having now is essentially about paying teachers more, isn’t it? I don’t think teachers are greedy because of that.

    — so you are retracting your argument. okay.

    “The pay increases may be a factor because they are struggling to make ends meet, and that helps them out.”

    -You’re making an assumption here. Do you have any evidence to back that claim up?

    –I’m not making any assumptions. I’m saying that there are alternative explanations to consider. Assuming is precisely the opposite: failing to consider alternative explanations.

  51. Thomas says:

    Flat teacher pay + the routine dissing of educators by our governor have discouraged many young people from pursuing careers in teaching in WI. I know this from remarks made by young people in my house and in my neighborhood.

    The fact that anti-intellectualism has made teachers second class citizens nationally is evidenced by the fact that teachers in places such as San Francisco and Seattle cannot afford to live in the cities where they teach. It is one thing to allow airlines to let their pilots live in RV’s in the parking lots of airports. It is something else to allow teachers to camp on the outskirts of the towns where they teach.

  52. AG says:

    Would someone mind giving me some links to direct quotes of Scott Walker dissing teachers or talking about them negatively?

  53. Vincent Hanna says:

    When he said teachers need to work harder, that upset a lot of people, for good reason. He also compared union protesters to ISIS, so there’s that.

  54. AG says:

    Can you provide me with direct quotes of disparaging comments he made about teachers? We can debate the professor thing later and I’m sure the death threats he got sure felt like he had terrorists on his door step… but those aren’t related to my question.

  55. happyjack27 says:

    AG, I suspect Thomas was speaking metaphorically.

    Nonetheless I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s literally true, as well. Seems to be the thing to do among conservatives, to dis teachers. And hell – Trump, that’s all he does is insult people and lie. And Republicans seem to think that’s really cool.

  56. Vincent Hanna says:

    Those qualify as talking about teachers negatively, which is exactly what you asked for. He suggested that they are lazy and not working hard enough, and knowing full well that union protesters consisted of a lot of teachers he compared them to ISIS. So, negative, like you requested. Are you revising your question AG? Moving the goalposts?

  57. happyjack27 says:

    To be fair, Walker wasn’t implying that the teachers were as bad as terrorist, he was saying that they were WORSE – that ISIS was EASIER to “handle”.

  58. AG says:

    This idea that Walker says all these negative things about teachers has been said for long before his presidential run (which is where your points that don’t meet my question come from). This is just a story created by the left to create extra discord politically based around ACT10. However, it was never true. He never said anything negative about teachers like Thomas is saying.

    If you want to equate calling out the union’s thug tactics as being derogatory against teachers I can’t stop you… but in reality it is hardly the same thing.

  59. happyjack27 says:

    There’s certainly nothing derogatory about the claim “thug tactics”.

  60. happyjack27 says:

    To be clear, that wasn’t a personal attack or mockery, it was sarcasm.

  61. Vincent Hanna says:

    AG as much as I dislike Walker and ACT 10, I don’t believe he has routinely made anti-teacher statements. I was merely trying to answer your question, which asked for examples of negativity. Those qualify.

    AG you are a massive and shameless hypocrite. Equating union members to ISIS is deplorable vitriol and you would lambaste a liberal for making a similar statement bashing conservatives in such a ridiculous and over-the-top manner.

    Thug tactics. You repeat right-wing talking points a lot.

  62. AG says:

    Union members and others who were blinded by their anger sent many death threats and physically intimidated the Governor and other republican law makers and their families. Some even went so far as to assault lawmakers… remember Vos’ stalker who eventually dumped beer on Vos’ head after harassing him for months? Own up to what they did and denounce it… don’t get mad when someone calls out those actions as being actions of thugs.

  63. happyjack27 says:

    I notice you’re not disputing that the term is derogatory.

  64. Vincent Hanna says:

    No one defended death threats or physical assaults. I was talking about the comparison to ISIS, which was deplorable and which you’d decry had it been made about conservatives. Death threats and pouring beer on someone’s head are bad and wrong. Comparing protesters to ISIS is bad and wrong. If you can’t/won’t acknowledge that then stop feigning outrage.

  65. AG says:

    The word thug is as derogatory as bully, criminal, or jerk. If you think it’s “mean” to call someone any one of those terms when a person is in fact being one of those types of people… well, sorry but I’m not sorry. If you need it, I’m sure there is a safe space for you to recover in.

    Vincent, the ISIS example is extreme… but you and I have debated here long enough to know I don’t go crazy about stuff like that even if it’s liberals making them against conservatives… plus we know he didn’t actually think the union protesters were anything like ISIS.

  66. happyjack27 says:

    AG, so do you think calling a group of people “thugs” is “talking about them negatively”?

  67. Vincent Hanna says:

    No safe space needed but thanks for your concern. Yes thug is mean but the real issue is that it has been used so often to label teacher’s unions it’s lost all meaning. It’s a right-wing talk radio talking point that became useless through overuse. I also find it curious that it’s never used to describe law enforcement unions despite the fact that they often engage in deplorable behavior (saying Obama wants cops dead and hates cops; defending cops convicted of heinous crimes; etc).

  68. happyjack27 says:

    …not to mention Trump rallies.

  69. AG says:

    Hey Vincent, that safe space was for HappyJack, not you! You’re not allowed. 😉

    I do agree though that the word thug has been popularized by the right in the last few years. Not that it wasn’t around or used before, but it’s part of a host of neologisms that politicians and politically driven groups have created. Knowing what popularized it, does it make it incorrect? Do you equally discount “dog whistle” for the same reason? Or dozens, if not hundreds, of other words created or popularized in the same manner?

  70. happyjack27 says:

    I think what Vincent is saying is that it’s use here is out of proportion.

    For instance it’s never used to describe law enforcement unions despite the fact that they often engage in deplorable behavior (saying Obama wants cops dead and hates cops; defending cops convicted of heinous crimes; etc).

    But it has been used so often to label teacher’s unions that it’s lost all meaning; it has became useless through overuse.

  71. Vincent Hanna says:

    Well good I didn’t want to be in the safe space anyway. :(-

    I think people just tune out, correct or not, because of its overuse. It sure doesn’t change minds or get someone who doesn’t already agree with you to take you seriously. It continues us talking past and not to one another.

  72. Vincent Hanna says:

    And yes Jack that’s essentially what I meant.

  73. Thomas says:

    I was not speaking metaphorically in post # 52. I was speaking anecdotally. To repeat, I have heard young people in my house and in my neighborhood who were discouraged from pursuing teaching careers in part due to the low esteem awarded to that profession by Walker. A.G’s pretense that Walker did not speak negatively of teachers was shot down by Vincent and others. The “union thug” epithet used by the Act 10 promoters was so ubiquitous in 2011 that a petite kindergarten teacher who wore a shirt at a rally in Madison at that time with the words UNION THUG on it drew immediate laughter from protestors and press alike. A.G. appears to wish to rewrite history from an alien universe, a place where the sun does not shine.

  74. Thomas says:

    Correction to post # 74: the word “alien” in the last sentence should have been “alternative.”

    Back to the op-ed we are responding to, there are reasons for the teacher shortage in WI right now, and low esteem for teachers from our governor and his followers may be one of those. Walker clearly followed the Sykes line when he cut funding to our universities and suggested that professors could fix his problem by teaching more sections. Sykes was embraced by anti-intellectuals when he wrote a stupid book about how university professors don’t work hard enough …
    Defenders of that book say that it was scholarly because it contained numerous foot-notes. Footnotes do not make an argument. The Sykes argument is stupid in that book because it promotes ignorance. Promoting ignorance = stupidity in my book.

    We need to promote learning and reward intelligent application of learning if we want our state to attract and retain good teachers.

  75. AG says:

    ACT10 protesters were angry and they came across exactly how they intended to come across… as angry, loud, and intimidating. They knew what they were doing and strove to become exactly the thing that they were eventually labeled. You cannot conduct yourself in a particular manner and then act offended when others point out how you acted.

  76. Vincent Hanna says:

    All of the protesters? Were you at any of the protests to witness this for yourself or are you basing this entirely on media accounts? Is that really any different than say a tea party rally? Those people were also angry and loud and intimidating. Do you view them the same way? Do they both have legitimate concerns/complaints?

  77. AG says:

    For the record though, I am surprised no major violence broke out. Things can easily switch from trying to be intimidating to actually assaulting others at a moments notice and that didn’t really happen. That is commendable considering the large number of protesters. When you compare ACT10 protests to those protesting Trump… it’s quite different. I suppose we’ll have to wait for them to come up with a harsher word than “thug” for those people.

  78. happyjack27 says:

    We’ve been over this a few times already AG,

    * Firstly, trying to justify the use of derogatory language does not negate the fact that the language was used, which proves your assertion that it wasn’t false, and Thomas’ assertion that it was, true.

    * Secondly, the use of that langauge is way out of proportion.

  79. AG says:

    Vincent, you bring up a valid comparison. I have never attended a Wisconsin Tea Party rally nor the ACT10 protests. I have only seen video’s which from what I saw from generally unbiased sources (read: news media, not internet posts). The tea party rally’s always seemed very subdued and not much of a protest but more of a demonstration? Not sure if that makes sense?

    I don’t recall any Wisconsin Tea Party rally’s where doors and vehicles were blocked, loud chants meant to shut down government, or other such items. I’ll admit that could be my own bias that sees the situation that way… but if you can point out evidence that Tea Party rally’s in Wisconsin were different, I’m open to hearing about it… but in generally it seems the two groups had different game plans.

  80. happyjack27 says:

    And when you compare ACT10 protestors to those SUPPORTING Trump at a rally, it’s night and day.

    It helps to keep a sense of proportion.

  81. Vincent Hanna says:

    I was not living in Wisconsin at the height of the tea party rallies (2008-2010). I was in another state in another part of the country. I know out there the tea party rallies were often much like how you describe the ACT 10 rallies. They were much more like a Trump rally. That might not have been true in Wisconsin. I also remember a lot of tea party folks disrupting town hall meetings. That was happening quite frequently and many of those people were loud and pissed.

  82. Thomas says:

    Thanks, AG, for acknowledging that you never attended an Act 10 protest. Your take on them appears to have been influenced by the WTMJ & WISN talk radio spin on them. The fact is that most of the sometimes massive protests in Madison in 2011 and 2012 were remarkably peaceful. There was some anger in some of them, but it was genuine anger in response to outrageous assaults on progress which had been made for middle class Badgers. There was more joy in community and in common purpose than anger at those protests. Anyone who watched any of the Ed Schultz MSNBC programs filmed in Madison during that time witnessed warmth and good humor much more than anger.

    Own your own anger, AG, and recognize that you are more closely aligned with those blinded by anger (such as the tools of the Tea Party) than the largely fun loving yet seriously appalled protestors of Act 10 in Madison in 2012.

    I recommend reading UPRISING, by John Nichols, if you did not attend the Act 10 protests in Madison.

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