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Oregon Education Scores Low

Do you remember high school and talking to teachers about your future.

Did they say be a teacher and get the summers off?

Good idea. But something happened between then and now.

Baby boomers like summers off. Everybody likes summers off. Few get summers off.

Growing up Oregon and going to college in the 60’s and 70’s meant working summers.

The best money job in a saw mill town was the saw mill. Double shifts pulling green chain and cleaning out veneer dryers meant fewer student loans.

Paying for your own school had a certain effect…you wanted your money’s worth.

Students who worked the hard jobs all summer to go to school and learn how to be a teacher changed over the years.

A college degree wasn’t enough. They needed a Masters.

Once they became teachers, the classroom became the sawmill and retirement became the summer goal.

Then they could roll up their sleeves and enjoy the fruits of their labors.

There’s nothing wrong with a work attitude that sees a job as a stepping stone to something better, except when you step on students and their dreams of using education for a better life.

There is still a sense of fairness that goes beyond dollars and cents and union deals.

If a teacher wants more money, they specialize, or go into administration. Once that’s done they can look down on classroom teachers as lacking ambition.

Maybe it’s an unspoken truth, but no one likes that tag.

If money is the biggest issue, look back on the cash Ben Canada and his people left town with.

Look at the windfall Steve Goldschmidt collected and the job Vicki Phillips stepped up to after her Portland time. These were smart people working the Oregon education system, not working with kids.

The silver lining in Oregon scoring so low is that three states couldn’t even respond correctly to be included.

For those who kick the results up to a political level and point a finger at President Obama, check the rear view mirror for President Bush’s No Child Left Behind.

If you want to point a finger at Rob Saxton, he’s a former teacher, the child of teachers who grew up in a house that prioritized education.

He knows the drill, and he also knows the business of education is reorganization to keep things busy.

Some people work their job, some work their career, and still others find a way to get it all done. But what does this mean:

“How we rank in the nation is really, truly surprising to me,” said Oregon schools chief Rob Saxton.

When the shock wears off, check the new scores for Oregon education.

Will they be better, or just re-organized?

About David Gillaspie
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