By Fred Owens
I am not getting involved in this issue. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and I have a long-standing survival policy — when they’re fighting downtown, stay away. Chicago fights can get nasty. Then you throw in teachers and parents getting into these fits of self-righteousness about who really cares about the precious children — bystanders can get injured.
The timing of the strike is terrible for President Obama. There’s a hundred ways he can lose and no upside. But I have more concern for the parents of the school children. I remember when my two kids were small and in grade school and the summer vacation drags on and on, and by late August you’re ready to kill them or abandon them at the nearest bus stop and your only salvation is that the little brats will be going back to school after Labor Day and someone else will be watching them for a while. So this is a vulnerable time for parents. Teachers should strike in the middle of the school year — it would be more of a fair fight.
But don’t ask me about the issues — performance reviews, wages, co-pays on pensions & insurance, class size, curriculum content — I have nothing to say.
Except maybe one thing. I can’t teach, but I admire people who can teach. It’s a special skill. I couldn’t be the principal of school either, having to deal with students every day and making judgments on the spot. But I could easily be a school superintendent. It takes no brains for that job, and you get paid enormous amounts of money. That’s the whole key to success in education. Teaching is a job for suckers. The real money is in the overhead.
Seriously, teachers are on the front lines of education — they work for their money. It’s the people upstairs who put a strain on the budget.