A gulf between teachers and the public on what works best in our schools, including merit pay and end to tenure

A new survey shows a gulf between the broader public and teachers on the best ways to improve America’s schools. (It is a gulf we often see here on the blog between parent posters and teachers.)

The fourth annual survey  by Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance and Education Next found that while the public supports merit pay for teachers, teachers strongly oppose it. (And we clearly see that on the blog.)

Conversely, while the public opposes teacher tenure,  teachers favor it.  And teachers are more opposed to the federal Race to the Top program, from which Georgia just won $400 million yesterday.

As usual, Americans think that public schools are bad, except their own.

Among the noteworthy findings:

-  Only 18 percent of survey respondents give public schools an “A” or a “B.” More than one-quarter of respondents give the nation’s schools a “D” or an “F.”  Only 28 percent of teachers give the nation’s schools an “A” or a “B,” while 55 percent give them a “C” and 17 percent a “D” or “F.”

- The grades improve, however, when people are asked about their own schools. About 65 percent give their local elementary school the highest grades; 55 percent do so for their local middle school. Only 6 percent assign their local elementary school a “D” or and “F,” while 12 percent assign those low grades to their local middle school.

- Support for basing a teacher’s salary, in part, on student academic progress on state tests rose, increasing from 44 percent in 2007 to 49 percent in 2010, while opposition declined from 32 to 25 percent. However, only 24 percent of teachers support the idea.

-Those who oppose teacher tenure outnumber those who support it by a margin of almost 2:1. Forty-seven percent oppose the idea, while 25 percent favor it. But among teachers, 48 percent favor tenure.

-Thirty-two percent of Americans think Race to the Top is necessary to improve education, but 22 percent believe it is an intrusion into local government. However, 46 percent of those polled had no opinion. Teachers oppose RttT by a 2:1 margin, with only 22 percent saying they like the program.

-There was a surge in support for virtual schooling. Between 2009 and 2010, the percentage in favor of allowing high school students to take an online course increased from 42 percent to 52 percent, while opposition fell from 29 percent to 23 percent.

-Support for charter schools remained essentially unchanged between 2008 and 2010 —rising from 42 percent to 44 percent, while opposition increased from 16 to 19 percent. The remaining group—36 percent— remained neutral. Among teachers, charter support fell from 47 percent to 39 percent.

- Support for school vouchers has fallen. While 45 percent of the American public supported vouchers in 2007, only 31 percent did so in 2010.

-Fifty-eight percent of the public thought states should toughen their testing and standards, but only 33 percent of teachers felt that way.

-More Americans (62 percent) believe Congress should continue testing requirements in math and reading than oppose the idea (12 percent), with 26 percent taking a neutral position. But only 50 percent of teachers supported maintaining these requirements.

126 comments Add your comment

South Ga Teacher180

August 25th, 2010
1:14 pm

I think each school system should have their own merit system based on the revenues they collect in their local area. I like the pay for performance model that was used in Ga back in the early 1990’s where the school was awarded money and the principal gave the faculty discretion on how to use the funds.

Tony

August 25th, 2010
1:14 pm

Imagine if we ran hospitals and doctors offices based on public opinions.

Tonya T.

August 25th, 2010
1:24 pm

Tony: THANK YOU!!

My last job was in education (not in the classroom though). I’ve worked since I was 15, but never in a public sector before then. The sheer amount of crap that employees in the education sector must take from the public is crazy. And the perceptions are so skewed you wonder where in the world they get their information from.

I know PLENTY of sub-standard doctors, lawyers, and accountants —but they never get called on the carpet. heck, a teacher can lose their certificate for a Facebook post but a doctor can be found guilty of malpractice and go on to practice for 20 more years.

And who is being surveyed? What is the SES, ethnic, and age makeup of the respondents? How many have children (or grandchildren) in public schools and regularly visit or volunteer in the schools? As I’ve been told before, perception is reality absent any other evidence.

Hey Teacher

August 25th, 2010
1:36 pm

I had a parent ask me yesterday if I could call her every time her son didn’t turn in an assignment. What I was thinking was “would you like fries with that too”. What I said was that she could check the online parent gradebook system for that information because with over 100 students it would be impossible to make that offer to everyone.

Tony — absolutely correct. In my district, we are not viewed as professionals (would you call your doctor at home?)

Tonya T.

August 25th, 2010
1:41 pm

@hey Teacher:

Why can’t she just check his planner like I do? I continue to sign off on it (my son is a new 6th grader) just to show the teachers and my child I give a dang. Or the teachers’ websites available on the school webpage?

jj

August 25th, 2010
1:45 pm

Teachers don’t mind accountability, their problem stems from 100% accountability with only a fraction of time actually in their control. A little math….Let’s say the teacher has a student for 2 hours a day, times 175 days = 350 hours a year. 365 days x 24 hours = 8760 hours per year. 365 / 8760 = 3.99% of the year. Name one profession where less than 4% of input equals 100% of responsibility.
I am not a teacher and am the first to admit it is not a job I would be good at, but we need to stop chasing away the ones who are good at it.

LLL

August 25th, 2010
1:49 pm

What are the reasons for teacher tenure? Why should parents and the general public want teachers to have the tenure system?

Maybe I’m wrong, but many (most?) hospitals and doctors offices are not run by the tax money. Since the public provides the money – even those who don’t have children attending schools – I think they have the right to, at minimum, voice their opinions.

HS Teacher

August 25th, 2010
1:49 pm

With the economy and the education budget crunch, teachers can no longer be expected to cater to every whim of the students or parents. We are not the parents of these students, we are their teachers.

In high school, we teach specific content areas. We do not feed them, clothe them, etc. We should not have to teach them manners. We should not have to continuously remind them to do their work. We should not have to sign off on every planner for every student. They MUST be STUDENTS. They must be responsible and accountable for their own work and their own actions.

Sorry, but teachers simply cannot be everything to everyone all of the time.

Hey Teacher

August 25th, 2010
1:54 pm

Tonya — one would THINK that would be the logical solution (I also keep a web cite) but this parent wanted more personal service. I routinely get blasted from parents when I don’t answer e mails within the hour (even though I’m supposed to be teaching their children).

HS Teacher, Too

August 25th, 2010
1:57 pm

Society does expect too much from teachers. Whenever there is an idea for the ‘community’ the responsibility inevitably falls into the laps of the schools. This is not right because the schools do not suddenly get more money to accomplish the new task. Schools must just force teachers to work more hours for free.

Bus duty after school? Kids miss the bus because they were fooling around (smoking behind the building) so the teacher must stay with the kids until their parents come to pick them up. Add another 2 hours to the teachers day.

After school programs? Make the teachers ‘volunteer’ to help the kids because their parents certainly want to delay picking them up. Add another hour to the teachers day.

Parents have an early shift at work? Make the teachers ‘volunteer’ to come in early so that the parents can drop off their offspring. Add another hour to the teachers day.

Wonder why GA test scores are decreasing? Really, you wonder? Think about the teacher that spends 12 hours a day at the school but is only given thirty minutes to really plan their lesson. Will she do a good job? Ya think?

Tonya T.

August 25th, 2010
2:01 pm

@LLL

Teacher tenure was originally set in place so that they could not be terminated at the whims of administration (for a variety of reasons). Teacher tenure really doesn’t exist in GA, at least not the way that it was intended to. Here it mostly promises a fair hearing if you are terminated so you can state your case.

Most hospitals and doctors offices are funded with public monies in the form of medicare, medicaid, heck even the student loans doctors take to get through school. And people actually have a personal relationship or interaction with these facilities, yet they act far less superior when speaking about their knowledge of them. How many people believe their doctor knows best, regardless if he/she graduated cum laude or last in their class?

Many teachers would be open to a change in so-called tenure for better pay, but that ain’t gonna happen. Education, although the foundation of civilized society and American global dominance, is ran on the cheap for the most part. At least where it counts, which is in the actual classroom.

justbrowsing

August 25th, 2010
2:01 pm

Education has been falsely marketed to the public for PR reasons. The reality of education in Georgia is that teachers who are liked are those who keep their jobs, while those who are disliked would lose them with tenure taken away. If you thought education was bad in Georgia because of the “who you know” mentality, remove tenure and parents would most definitely see worse.

Lisa B.

August 25th, 2010
2:03 pm

I think the word “tenure,” is misunderstood. In Georgia, teachers become “tenured” after they sign a fourth teaching contract in the same school system. “Tenure” simply means that teachers must be allowed a hearing if they are fired. Non-tenured teachers may be fired without reason, and with no explanation. When I worked in the private sector, I earned the right after one year, to receive an explanation if fired. Tenure does not mean teachers are guaranteed a job forever. In reality, teachers earn the right to due process after three years.

HS Teacher, Too

August 25th, 2010
2:03 pm

@LLL -

The purpose of teacher tenure for public schools starts with the same purpose it is given in colleges…. for academic freedom.

In college, professors earn tenure after a number of years of proving that they know their subject matter and are not forced to lecture ‘in sync’ with others. The tenured professor is allowed to bring in outside sources and to be more creative with lessons to reach all types of students and to differentiate teaching without fear of repercussion. The same is for public school tenure.

In addition, tenured public school teachers are empowered to speak up against injustices in the school, in particular those by administration. Tenured teachers know that they cannot be fired for calling out the principal that is misusing funds, or the administrator that tells teachers to cheat on the CRCT (see ATL public schools), etc. Without tenure, the ‘big bosses’ know that they can intimidate teachers like sheep to do what they want no matter what.

Does this help?

Doc

August 25th, 2010
2:04 pm

My wife is a teacher at a very good HS in Dekalb County. She works long hours including Saturdays and Sundays. Parents should assume some responsibility for their child’s education. Teachers cannot make your student study or make you check their grades before the end of the year.

Tonya T.

August 25th, 2010
2:04 pm

@HSTeacher, Too

Don’t forget school supplies. But you can’t demand them from students who don’t bring them.

HS Teacher, Too

August 25th, 2010
2:05 pm

@Lisa B. – You are correct in the definition of today’s tenure. However, I think that this topic is about the old definition of teacher tenure.

Been there done that....

August 25th, 2010
2:08 pm

Teachers, I thought, in Ga lost tenure rights about 10 years ago. (Barnes) I also know teachers except responibility over things we can control. I sould control what went on in my room. I could not control anything outside of that. Friends, home, family, and many other factors influence all children in this world.
I believe school choice would improve schools. The poor one would be put out of business.

Been there done that....

August 25th, 2010
2:08 pm

EnoughAlready

August 25th, 2010
2:08 pm

There are many occupations where employee raises, bonuses, etc…. are based upon circumstances they have absolutely no control over. I’ll use my position as an example; I work in Business Intelligence, analyzing the performance of our organization. It’s a huge organization based upon the sale of products we do not own or control the volume produced. There are internal corporate employees and external employees all over the world. The goal is to increase sales (revenue) and keep the expenses down. We have two types of customers (the buyer and the sellers). The number of customers outpaces the school systems in most areas by thousands; just to paint a picture of the size. The internal and external teams include, but are not limited to (Sales, Accounting, Marketing, Technology, Customer Support and BI). We all have to work as a team to meet the expectations and each of our pay is based upon reaching that goal. If we lose a customer, we all take one for the team. My job is to keep an eye on what is happening across the board and it will not matter what happens on the other teams; if I’m not doing my job. I’m paid based upon the performance of our organization and that includes the performance of buyers and sellers.

If our customers are hurting; we are in pain.

HS Teacher, Too

August 25th, 2010
2:13 pm

@Enough Already -

Your example is in no way parallel to education or the job of a teacher.

You work in a TEAM for your customers. A teacher is ALONE in the classroom.

Your teams work impacts your customers directly. A teacher only sees the student a fraction of their day.

Your customers have a desire to succeed. Not all students are motivated to learn.

I could go on, and on, and on.

Tonya T.

August 25th, 2010
2:15 pm

@EnoughAlready

Teamwork is permitted and encouraged on your job; education is not the same racket. trust me. I worked in corporate and education and the differences are vast. You and your internal and external teams work in sync to promote and achieve the goals in the company; nah, not in education. You can know your customer and your target market; learning enough about them to anticipate various behaviors; teachers don’t know who they get or what issues they come with from year to year.

Merit pay is great and I could see it with a year-to-year growth model with pre- and post- testing in aptitude and cognitive development as well as subject knowledge. But the current plan being sold only uses sub-standard standardized testing to measure.

Springdale Park Elementary Parent

August 25th, 2010
2:16 pm

Doctors and lawyers don’t get tenure. It’s a meritocracy. Perform or you’re out. Screw up and you’re out. Maybe you should compare yourselves to college profs instead, except tenure for them is under fire now too.

I think most of us parents are willing to fight for teachers to be free of burdensome, worthless paperwork; to get more planning and grading time, to not have to endure unruly, disruptive students, and especially to have more leverage in dealing with vindictive, petty principals.

But teachers, when you fight the idea of merit pay; when you fight against federal “interference” in education (as if GA is doing such a bang-up job); when you argue for job protections unavailable to 99% of the rest of us, you don’t do yourselves any favors, because it looks like you’re trying to protect the weakest among you, and what we want to do as parents is reward the strongest among you.

EnoughAlready

August 25th, 2010
2:30 pm

Our customers are not in front of us all day long or five days a week; in some cases they are local, state, regional and worldwide. We work very hard to obtain the same goals, but that is rarely the case. Customers usually have their own objectives and since you are all customers, I am sure you are aware of this.

It’s a cop out to say that you can’t know or identify your target audience. I worked in marketing for five years and every group can get information on their customers. Most of your customers are within 20 miles of their local schools, but what’s most important is that they are directed to your classroom each day.

H.S. Teacher TOO – not all customers are motivated to succeed, but we work hard to identify those that are losing ground. In the corporate world, if you lose customers; you go out of business. That’s the big picture in my JOB.

Dekalbite

August 25th, 2010
2:32 pm

DeKalb County Schools have 1 Central office employee for every 5 teachers. If you count our support numbers in, we have 1.25 employees for every teacher. Is it any wonder teachers are stretched to the breaking point and students get less and less in direct instruction services each year? There is absolutely no accountability for the non-teaching employees, and they outnumber teachers and in many instances make on average a substantially higher salary. DeKalb is an extreme example, but all of the other metro systems (notable exception is Decatur City Schools) are top heavy in the admin and support area as well. This has to change.

Tinsel

August 25th, 2010
2:43 pm

Some of you claim to be teachers.

Quiz me this. Are you blogging when you should be teaching?

LLL

August 25th, 2010
2:51 pm

@ Tonya

You must admit that public schools are funded by public money much more than most hospitals and doctor’s offices.

Most general public really don’t see any difference in the quality of education even if teachers are terminated by the whim of an administrator.

@ HS Teachers,

I really don’t see the argument about “academic freedome” applies to K-12 teachers. I suppose some biology teachers in GA might risk their jobs if they teach evolution or social studies teachers teaching anything critical of US foreign policies. But beyond that, I don’t see how a teachers teaching 7th grade math, for example, must have the protection from “academic freedom”. In colleges, particularly at the upper level and graduate level, situations are very different.

Mike

August 25th, 2010
2:53 pm

We tend to forget that teachers deal with ideas and tenure protects ideas. Tenure protects one in its diluted Georgian form from being fired because one spoke up at a faculty meeting and disagreed with something stupid. More administrators would be likely to fire teachers who disagree with them (usually your better teachers anyway) than those who suck as teachers but make no waves. The little that tenure guarantees before one can be summarily dismissed is worth protecting.

Tonya T.

August 25th, 2010
3:10 pm

Not a teacher. At all.

Maybe because I’ve seen the belly of the best, I can identify. Maybe because I have a kid with aspergers who has had some great teachers help him along the way DESPITE his tendencies to irritate the heck out of them, I’m amazed. But most of all because teachers taught me or taught me how to find out everything I know, so I’m forever in their debt.

I’ve seen the inside of the education system. I think there are some bad teachers, but I know bad in each and every class of job on earth. They are no more in classrooms than their are doctors in operating rooms or financial advisers in management firms. The real problem in education is education reform leaving out the very people who are to affect it…the teachers. Although I voted for Obama, I am less than impressed with his performance on educational issues and his choice in the leaders of so-called ‘reform’. He knows as much about K-12 public education that I know about plumbing, and beyond telling you where pipes are located I know nada.

I worked in the corporate sector and the people who advised me how to do my job, the industry leaders who set benchmarks all were IN my field. Not business school leaders, not veterinarians, and dang sure not politicians.

The schools can’t be failing everyone, everywhere and they are not failing all segments of society. So the question needs to be deeper than “What can teachers do?” to change that.

Tonya T.

August 25th, 2010
3:10 pm

I meant ‘belly of the beast’. Sorry ;)

Tonya T.

August 25th, 2010
3:12 pm

By the way, are we speaking of the same general public that continues to believe President Obama is a Muslim or that he isn’t a US citizen? Hmmmmm, interesting :)

Shar

August 25th, 2010
3:13 pm

As a society we seek to circumscribe behavior to certain norms. Time was, this was done in neighborhoods, in churches, in the many public arenas where we met on more or less equal footing. Most of those arenas are outmoded now, and those that remain are certainly not universal nor egalitarian. Plus, twenty first century adults, regardless of how poorly behaved, react poorly to any effort to infringe upon their “rights” by attempting to restrict behavior.

This has left schools as the big exception. The children have fewer choices when confronted by behavioral requirements, and with education compulsary until age 16, schools are the last near-universal arena where disparate groups can be forced to conform to approved group ethics. Therefore, schools have become the avenue for every social reform of the last forty years, which accounts for all of the various interest groups’ endless efforts to push their own agendas into education as well as the ballooning school budgets and the increased workloads of teachers and administrators. In the process, their educational mission has been all but obscured by the social engineering, and school employees – particularly classroom teachers – have been forced into the role of substitute parents while far too many actual parents consider their job done if their child shows up at the school door.

The teachers on this blog are correct – if they are to be rewarded based upon their students’ academic performance, that is what their responsibility should be limited to. Parents are right, too – taxpayer dollars should be heavily weighted toward those teachers who are the most engaging, motivating and effective in the classroom, and job protections should never shield poor performers. The problem is mission creep: How can teachers earn merit pay for academic excellence when they are expected to compensate for poor policy or curricular decisions and parental abdication?

While free public education is guaranteed until age 18, there is NO guarantee that the public at large will assume the parental responsibilities of shirkers or will give extra perqs to those who demand them the loudest. My kids’ public schools are known throughout the city for the level of parent involvement and the students’ high performance on standardized tests. Having been one of the involved parents, I know that the thousands and thousands of hours and dollars donated for tutoring, school supplies, assistance in the classroom, money and chaperones for enrichment activities etc came from about 35% of the schools’ parents while the remaining 65% coasted on the contributions of others.

In fairness to the students who depend on them and the taxpayers who fund them, teachers deserve the right to be judged and compensated on how well they do their jobs. That means that we as a political entity have to define those jobs as TEACHING, not as social work, and that taxpayers’ investment in future generations be amplified by parents of current students, who are reaping the immediate reward of that investment, by requiring them to donate time and/or money at school and to present their children at the door healthy, rested, with their homework done, fed and ready to behave in such a manner that teachers can teach and students can learn.

EnoughAlready

August 25th, 2010
3:16 pm

Mike

August 25th, 2010
2:53 pm

The rest of the working population doesn’t have “anything” to protect them from being fired if they speak up at a staff meeting. We all have to deal with ugly situations and the fact that not everyone is going to agree or like what we have to say. It’s the facts of life.

@Tinsel

August 25th, 2010
3:16 pm

And what is yuour profession?

@Tinsel

August 25th, 2010
3:17 pm

Maybe you should get back to work or supervising your children or whatever it is you do.

Hey Teacher

August 25th, 2010
3:18 pm

The problem is that most teachers aren’t ever ASKED what we think. BTW, most of my students are on a field trip today, which is the only reason why I have time to respond to this blog before 3:30.

Tonya T.

August 25th, 2010
3:21 pm

Shar:

Your last paragraph says it all. That will never happen and I believe (can’t speak for ALL teachers, just the ones I know) is what makes merit pay so distasteful to educators. In all this hype, you consistently hear that they should be able to reach ALL children regardless of parental involvement or influence (or lack thereof). In addition, the public wants teachers held to higher moral and professional standards than the parents themselves, many times to outlandish levels. Not realistic at all.

The best and the brightest of our graduates don’t go into teaching due to the current conditions. Add another layer upon layer of bureaucracy and the pickings will get even more slim. Because if merit pay becomes the standard and teachers perform up to it, someone has to pay the piper. And we’re struggling to do that with the system as it is.

EnoughAlready

August 25th, 2010
3:29 pm

Tonya T.

August 25th, 2010
3:10 pm

There are many occupations where the boss isn’t necessarily from that field, mine included. Mrs. Obama was a hospital administrator in her last position, but was a lawyer. It is my understanding that she was exceptional in that position. I’m not a farmer, but I have a green thumb. I have a computer science degree and I spend my days performing analysis. My mother was a nurse, but should have been a financial planner. My point is that we can do many things that are outside of what we obtained our undergraduate degrees in, as a career choice.

Tonya T.

August 25th, 2010
3:33 pm

And I can summarily clarify an issue in the comments that seems rampant:

TENURE IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA ONLY MEANS YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO A DISMISSAL HEARING AFTER A FOURTH CONTRACT. IF THE PRINCIPAL WANTS TO REMOVE A TEACHER FOR POOR PERFORMANCE, THEY HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO DO SO BY DOCUMENTING THE ISSUES AND PLACING THE TEACHER ON A PDP (PERFORMANCE DEVELOPMENT PLAN). THIS IS PRETTY MUCH THE SAME AS A WRITE-UP IN THE CORPORATE WORLD. IF THE TEACHER FAILS TO IMPROVE, OUT THE DOOR HE OR SHE WILL GO.

Thank you for your attention. Back to regularly scheduled programming…

Logic

August 25th, 2010
3:34 pm

Hmmm. What if doctors did what the general public thought best? What if hospitals had to take polls of the community in order to service its patients?

Does the public ALWAYS know what’s best?

Why not leave answers to specific questions up to the experts in the field? Or, is that too logical?

Logic

August 25th, 2010
3:35 pm

@Tonya T. (aka the all-caps lady),

We know. That is today’s definition of tenure. We know.

The word ‘tenure’ in this blog is the old definition where teachers had real protection and job security.

Logic

August 25th, 2010
3:37 pm

@Tinsel – Are you unemployed?

@Tinsel

August 25th, 2010
3:39 pm

Nope. I am getting ready to leave school to pick up my children. I am planned up for the week and had a few extra minutes to read/blog.

Tonya T.

August 25th, 2010
3:39 pm

Logic, you know but like the ‘Great Union Myth’ the general public seems to have ZERO knowledge what their talking about. And no matter how many times people type otherwise, the term is still getting thrown around like a volleyball on Labor Day.

Logic

August 25th, 2010
3:47 pm

@Springdale Park Elementary Parent – You are wrong, just plain wrong. Doctors get paid REGARDLESS of their performance. A doctor can be found guilty of malpractice and still practice medicine until retirement. A doctor can ‘kill’ a patient with no repercussions (he died in the operating room). I’ve had a doctor over bill me for work never perform – and if I hadn’t caught it, my insurance was ready to pay up.

Teachers can only do our job – teach. We cannot force someone to learn. Learning is the job of the student. There is a clear difference that you need to understand.

Parents need to help their child understand the job of the student. Period.

If students do not do their job, you CANNOT penalize the teacher with this merit pay crap. If GA goes this route, there will be a mass teacher exodus from this State. What will parents say then when the class sizes average 75?

Good luck with that.

South Ga Teacher180

August 25th, 2010
3:50 pm

I do not have a problem being evaluated by my principal for a bonus or increase in pay…what I have a problem with is some legislature writing and laws that tell me how I am going paid and evaluated….again, the wrong people are making these decisions for us educators.

Logic

August 25th, 2010
3:50 pm

@Tinsel,

So then, if you are a teacher and had time to blog, why do u call out other teachers doing likewise?

HS Teacher

August 25th, 2010
3:54 pm

@South GA Teacher180 -

I agree. I do not mind at all being evaluated for a pay increase. However, do not use other people’s performance (students) to justify it. Use MY performance only!

HS Teacher, Too

August 25th, 2010
3:59 pm

@Enough Already –

I do not see my students “all day long”. I see one student for 55 minutes a day for 180 days a year for one year only.

While you have time to develop relationships with your customers over a long period of time, we do not have that luxury with our students. While your customers may use you exclusively, my students attend 6 classes with 6 different teachers. And so on….

You really need to stop comparing your corporate job to education. It is apples and oranges. You are in no way an expert in education and obviously haven’t a clue on how to improve it.

@Tinsel

August 25th, 2010
4:01 pm

Not me. That was Tinsel asking us what we do. I called her on it. I think that teachers on planning or lunch have every right to blog away. I simply called out Tinsel for askimg teachers why they are blogging when probably he/she is on the job right now, too. It’s a general public thing: “I can blog during work hours, but YOU can’t, teacher…get back to work!”