GOOD

Why Is the Secretary of Education Proposing Teachers Receive $150,000 Salaries?

If states can't afford to keep teachers at the relatively low salaries they're paid now, why are we even discussing the possibility of more money?

\n
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan used his SXSWedu keynote address earlier this week to advocate for more professional development and higher salaries for teachers. Duncan argued that teacher salaries should start at about $65,000 a year and range up to $150,000 a year for highly rated veterans.

That sounds good in theory—teachers work incredibly hard, staying at their school sites long after students have left the building, taking student work home, and planning lessons on the weekends. Many work second jobs over the summer and pay for professional development events out-of-pocket—of course they deserve to be compensated at the same level as other highly trained professionals. But considering the draconian budget cuts that have led to thousands of teacher layoffs nationwide, every teacher who hears Duncan's suggested salaries has to be asking themselves where that money is supposed to come from.


According to the the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 29 states project budget shortfalls in 2013, for a total of $47.1 billion. California, the eighth-largest economy in the world, will be hardest hit, with a projected $8.4 billion shortfall. And because California's largest school system, the Los Angeles Unified School District, receives 80 percent of its money from the state, 11,000 additional LAUSD teachers will receive preliminary layoff notices this week. If states can't afford to keep teachers at the relatively low salaries they're paid now, why are we even discussing the possibility of more money? \n
Several educators took to Twitter to express their displeasure and disbelief. One teacher, who uses the Twitter handle mblorenz, criticized Duncan for denying federal grants that could help prevent layoffs to states that won't adopt the Common Core standards. Robert Schwartz, executive director of the Level Playing Field Institute tweeted, "Anyone else think this speech by @ArneDuncan is antithetical to what's happened the last 3 years at the DOE?"
Duncan is already quite unpopular with educators, and a new national survey of teachers shows that only only 44 percent are very satisfied with their jobs, down from 59 percent in 2009. A soundbite proposing an unrealistic pay scheme doesn't help. Sure, teachers should be paid more, but the primary goal should be keeping the ones we have. Duncan should stop talking about paying teachers the big bucks until he can keep them from being pink-slipped.
\n
Articles

McDonalds sells a lot of coffee. Over a billion cups a year, to be exact. All that coffee leads to a lot of productive mornings, but it also leads to a lot of waste. Each year, millions of pounds of coffee chaff (the skin of the coffee beans that comes off during roasting) ends up getting turned into mulch. Some coffee chaff just gets burned, leading to an increase in CO2.

Now, that chaff is going to get turned into car parts. Ford is incorporating coffee chaff from McDonalds coffee into the headlamps of some cars. Ford has been using plastic and talc to make its headlamps, but this new process will reduce the reliance on talc, a non-renewable mineral. The chaff is heated to high temperatures under low oxygen and mixed with plastic and other additives. The bioplastic can then be formed into shapes.

Keep Reading Show less

For over 20 years, our country has perceived itself as more divided than united, and it's not getting better. Right after the 2016 election, a poll conducted by Gallup found that 77% of Americans felt the country was divided on the most important values, a record high.

The percentage of Americans who agree that we disagree got higher. During the 2018 mid-term elections, a poll conducted by NBC News/Wall Street Journal found that 80% of Americans felt the nation was "mainly" or "totally" divided.

We head into the 2020 presidential election more divided than ever. A new poll from USA Today found that nine out of ten respondents felt it was important to do something about the conflict in our country. We can't keep on living like this forever.

Keep Reading Show less
via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

Keep Reading Show less