Those Who Cannot Do, Teach. And Those Who Cannot Teach Can Go Back To Being Whores…


In Oregon, anyway. Via the always-entertaining and often-enraging Nobody's Business comes this AP account of how Beaver State law keeps former prostitutes out of K-12 klassrooms:

A handful of times in the last few years, the members of the Oregon commission charged with determining who will get a license to teach in the state's public schools have found themselves faced with an application from a former prostitute. But under state law, commissioners have had to turn down the applications, regardless of any potentially mitigating circumstances. Unlike in the neighboring states of California, Nevada, Idaho and Washington, in Oregon, it doesn't matter if the prostitution conviction came at a tender age, if the woman herself was a victim of sexual abuse or forced into prostitution, or if she has since managed to right herself and her life.

Whole thing here.

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  1. Brilliant idea. There’s such a glut of qualified teachers in this country that schools can afford to be choosy.

    But seriously, I know that schools won’t give you a certificate if you were convicted of a sex crime, but what if you were a legal prostitute from Nevada or Amsterdam?

  2. By the way, in the state where I used to teach, you also can’t get a license if you have ever been convicted of any drug offense. After all, if you’re caught smoking pot when you’re seventeen, then you are clearly not suitable to teach young’uns when you’re thirty.

  3. You gotta problem with that? They’re only thinking about the children.

    And besides, Tricks are NOT for kids.

  4. While we’re at it, can we ban former concentration camp guards from being gym teachers? I’m pretty sure that one of my high school gym teachers was in the SS. Or at least that’s how he seemed.

  5. Wait, there’s a difference between working for the public schools and being a whore?

    *apologies to Jennifer.

  6. Number 6–
    The difference is, whores actually deliver on what they’re paid to do.

  7. Number 6-

    Maybe they’re competing unions.

  8. Good point Jennifer. And thank you for my first out-loud laugh of the day.

  9. This is only mildly off topic: Ex-FBI official W. Mark Felt says he’s Watergate’s “Deep Throat” in Vanity Fair.

  10. In California we need more whore teachers.

    In this May 27 Sac. Bee story on Schwarzenegger offering higher pay to work in challenging schools, a teachers’ union spokesperson in LA says that offering teachers more money for performance or challenging assignments is akin to treating them like “whores”.

    “Does he think teachers are whores – that you have to pay them more to do this?” asked Steve Blazak, a spokesman for United Teachers Los Angeles.

    This comes originally from

  11. Lisa-Merit pay implies excellence, and that some people do a better job than others. The public skrewels are devoted to relentless mediocrity and the notion that merit is an illusion.

  12. I can’t stand to see a public-school-bashing thread die out so early, so lemme try and pour some gasoline on a dying flame, here. Lisa and Number 6 brought up talk of merit pay. And yes, it DOES sound good, but there’s one very legitimate reason many unions have for bashing it–who decides which teachers qualify?

    Consider this: my first year of teaching I had a 19-year-old senior who’d already been in adult jail three times; God only knows what his juvie record was like. He did El Zilcho in class; many students told me that the only reason he came to school at all was because that’s where he met the customers for his street pharmacology business. So should my pay suffer because he learned nothing?

    Consider also when I taught Honors English. No false modesty here–I was a DAMNED good teacher, and I did a lot for those kids. And yet those kids were so motivated that they likely would have learned a lot with no teacher at all: just give them the textbook and the syllabus, and give them their exam in June. How much credit do I deserve for the achievements of my Honors kids? How many penalties should I suffer for the non-achievement of my student criminal?

    Or, more succinctly: how can you determine how much student achievement or lack thereof is because of the teacher, and how much because of the student?

  13. Let the parents vote on it.

  14. Does anybody here doubt that the Kansas School Board would, purely by coincidence, award a lot of merit pay to teachers who incorporated religious themes into their lessons? Who “taught the controversy” about evolution?

  15. Doug,

    “I’m not voting for that jerk. She gave my little darling three detentions last semester.”

  16. Joe’s 3:52 message: Bingo. Welcome to public ed.

  17. Well, gee, I counter your bingo with a boingo.

    I’m just wondering, didn’t you ever notice when you were a student how much schools suck?

  18. Douglas-
    Yes, I did notice it. I’m still ticked off about age-segregation; why was I forced to sit through grades two through eight when as a seven-year-old I was tested and found to read at an eighth-grade level? Why are countless other gifted students forced to waste years of their lives sitting in classes far below their abilities? Why did I, as a teeacher, have to waste time trying to “teach” a sixteen-year-old genius who should have been a junior in college, not high school, by the time I knew him? And why is it that the majority of school districts account for over HALF the total budget of their respective cities, and yet our students, when tested, do worse than students in third-world countries like Cyprus?

  19. Doug,

    I noticed that I didn’t like them very much. I disliked the private high school at roughly the same level that I disliked the public K-8 I attended. But I done got goodly larnin at both.

    Jennifer, don’t you think being the only seven year old in a class of 13 year olds would sort of, I don’t know, screw you up for the rest of your life?

    And Cyprus is a modern, western democracy.

  20. Joe-
    I’m a pothead atheist misanthrope. You think being a seven-year-old in junior high would have made me worse?

    But seriously. Maybe being the only seven-year-old in a class of thirteen-year-olds would have been problematic for me. But why were those my only two choices? If I had been the only seven-year-old in history to be smarter than what we now call “second grade level,” that would be one thing. But I wasn’t and I’m not. Why don’t schools segregate kids by ability rather than age? Instead, my public-school education consisted of being told to put down my copy of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” so I could Learn How To Read “Sally the Sea Slug Goes Shopping.”

    Outside of school, when was the last time you were in a situation wherein everybody except the Authority Figure was within six months of your own age?

  21. Good point, Jennifer. Though changing the entire system of class composition is a differen animal from plucking one kid out of his class, and dropping him in with a couple hundred much older kids.

  22. I think the point was, the whole system DOES need to be changed. Seriously. But no one really cares, everyone just trusts the “professionals” whose work no one ever really sees except for small children who don’t know that there are other possibilities.

  23. I’d go so far as to say the system needs to be gutted. You know what’s funny, most people who advocate regular school over home school talk about the importance of socialization, yet the socialization you get in public school is useless. At the schools I attended and the school I taught, the more likely a person was to be a success in life, the less likely he was to be respected. Schools have a clique hierarchy that is completely absent in the real world (except possibly in prisons).

    Before I was a teacher I used to think that for all its flaws the public-ed system was at least better than nothing; I no longer believe it. Thanks to dumbed-down curricula, and age segregation, and zero tolerance and self-esteem and all that happy crap, modern public ed basically involves sacrificing the cream of the crop, and even the whole milk, in hopes of salvaging something useful out of the half-curdled skim milk. And it fails miserably at that, too.

  24. Merit pay is needed – I think it would be great if local school principals bid higher salaries for the “good teachers”.

    We have a great science teacher (the students, teachers and principals know who these teachers are) who should be paid 3 times a much as your run of the mill teacher. Will he/she get paid more – no – not in our socialized system. You only get paid for you PhD in guess (Education) useful for the science teachers you think ?

  25. Lets stop with the negative comments about public schools. Without them I wouldn’t have anything to blame for my poor spelling and grammer ability that I showcase everytime I post here.

  26. dagny,

    The professionals want to change everything, too. In education, there is no one arguing for the status quo – except maybe George Bush, since at this moment, he was the driving force behind that most recent reforms. What we have are a thousand different forces pushing the ball from a thousand different directions, cancelling each other out.

  27. Jennifer, I know where you’re coming from. The first time I took the standard achievement test my reading level was ranked as twelfth grade ninth month. You know an eight year old does not get cake and ice cream for that, but I sure did hear, “You have so much potential. Why don’t you turn in any homework?” I guess years of pointless busywork are more important than allowing a student to work at his own pace.

    I was taking classes with high school seniors when I was twelve. How did that screw me up, Joe? Packing kids into lousy schools is screwing up more than just a couple high achievers.

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