New Rules to Support Educators

By Barry Edwards of Gresham, Oregon. Barry is a community college instructor of over 20 years and a labor leader in OEA and AFT-Oregon.

Back in 2007, I wrote a piece for BlueOregon called "Treating part-time faculty with fairness" that was modeled on a segment from Bill Maher's show, Real Time, called "New Rules". As a labor leader in both the Oregon Education Association and the Portland Community College Federation of Faculty and Academic Professionals (an AFT-Oregon affiliate), I have seen how the last 20 years has effected funding, class size, fairness and equity for all teachers, and a plethora of other issues in the PreK-20 education environment for Oregon's students and education professionals. Often in a negative manner.

Seven years later, with the potential for strikes soon in both K-12 and community colleges in Oregon, I thought it was time for some more "New Rules" in the style of Bill Maher, but without the offensive language that keeps it on HBO.

New Rule!
If you want Oregon teachers to do a profession job, you have to compensate them as professionals. Would you hire a doctor or a lawyer that makes $50,000 a year? When you look at the current pay rates for certified child care, these child care professionals would make two or more times what a teacher makes based on hours worked and children in attendance. AND, teachers educate your kids how to do the three R's, none of which means indoctrination into Republicanism or Respect your corporate masters. But they DO try to teach them how to think for themselves, admittedly not a conservative concept.

New Rule!
If you think the "fruit of your loins" is important or a person of value (which all teachers believe to be true), then you must support class sizes in Oregon schools that are small enough to give your child the individual attention they need to succeed. The corporate cattle-car method of production is great for mass producing things, but your child is a person, not a Ford Focus. Treat the little carpet monkey like they're important. They will thank you some day. They might even visit you in the nursing home when you're 95 years old.

New Rule!
No more union busting allowed, effective immediately! Don't you realize that the middle class and the unions that helped make them were a big part of what made this nation great? Without unions, you and your spouse and all your kids would be working for pennies a day and you would truly "owe your soul to the company store". If you don't get that ... as a popular Facebook post says, "You are a special kind of stupid, aren't you?"

New Rule!
You have to stop complaining about paying taxes to support schools and colleges when you haven't attended them or had your kids attend them. EVERYONE benefits from a free public education where students learn about the world, learn a trade or profession, and learn to think for themselves. Or do you want to live in a carbon copy of the world from the movie "Idiocracy", where the geniuses have an IQ of 102? So, if you are weary of idiots in your everyday life, shut up and pay those taxes gladly!

And finally, New Rule!
If you can't get your ballot measures passed in a half dozen tries, you have to move out of the state for at least twenty years. You can't come back, even for a visit. And if you try again through a proxy, you go to jail for twenty years ... in Mexico! We have enough of that kind of "jackassery" in Washington DC. We are sick and tired of the Bill Sizemores of the world trying to force their personal vision of a Wall Street utopia on the citizens of Oregon through the intellectual laziness of some of its voters. Supporters of people like Bill need to move out of their parents basement, buy a kitten or a puppy so they have someone to love, and maybe even kiss a girl for the first time in their 40-something year life. And shut off the TV when Fox News is on!

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