TIME

Survey: Americans Would Pay $2,700 For An Extra Hour a Day

How much would you shell out to have more time?

Ideally, you would have been reading this article three hours ago.

But it couldn’t even be written before now. There was a deadline. And another. And the dog wouldn’t stop coughing so there was a vet appointment to be squeezed in. There were Halloween treats to be rushed out the door. And a phone call with an editor. And an urgent text from a friend locked in a dressing room in desperate need of first-date fashion advice. Dinner should be started at some point. There’s a Halloween costume to mend (or, more realistically, duct tape on the inside so no one can tell) before tomorrow and another list of deadlines starts lighting up the iCal. Perhaps most indicative of the current state of affairs—a promising email titled “Need More Hours in the Day? These Calendar Apps Will Find Them” has been unopened in my inbox for three days. An article titled “How to Achieve Work-Life Balance in 5 Steps” seems both inspirational and aspirational, based solely on the title, anyway as there has been no time to read the rest of it.

There’s too much to do in just 24 hours and it’s hard not to fantasize about adding hours to do the day. How much would you pay for an extra hour to work or sleep or read a book or, hey, finish the last season of Orange is the New Black (no spoilers!)? A new survey commissioned by Zico Coconut Water, says that more than half (58%) of Americans who were willing to pay cold hard cash in exchange for one more hour in their day, said they would be willing to fork over $2,725 to have that extra hour in their over-crowded day.

That’s no small change you could find in the couch (if you had time to vacuum the couch, which is on the priority list right below brushing the dog’s teeth and above washing the curtains).

The fact that people are willing to shell out that kind of cash is, well, sad, but also indicative of a larger problem that is unfortunately hard to buy your way out of: An out-of-whack work-life balance. For most of us, the work-life balance is unbalanced as the sad kid at the playground who can’t find anyone to sit on the other side of the seesaw—you’re just sitting on the ground wondering when the fun starts. It’s like a unicorn who lives in the pages of Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP or those mystical beings living Oprah’s Best Life.

According to the Zico survey, out of the 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+ surveyed, 74 % of them say they don’t feel “completely balanced” and actively seek ways to counteract their busy schedules, hence with the whole take-my-child’s-college-savings-for-a-measly-extra- hour thing. Only 27% of those surveyed said they are “completely balanced.”

As a person who is solidly in the other 73%, one can only imagine these 27-percenters who tell a pollster that they are “completely balanced” must send their last work email precisely at 5:30pm, arise from their ergonomic chair to walk the eight flights down to their spotless car with nary a fast-food wrapper in site. They arrive home in time to cook a well-balanced meal of superfoods for their children who are eager to finish their homework before diving into a delicious plate that is up to the FDA’s latest nutritional standards. The kids brush their teeth in tiny circles for two minutes, floss and then head to their organic-sheeted beds to read their bedtime books in Japanese, their third language. They fall asleep immediately giving their parents plenty of time to watch the final episode of Orange is the New Black and get a full eight hours of sleep without once checking their work email.

Being “completely balanced” sounds like you’re living in a catalog, which is great but some of us don’t have time to peruse a catalog. Some of us are too busy meeting deadlines, mending costumes and searching the couch for change in hopes of buying an extra hour in the day.

Besides, haven’t you heard? There’s no such thing as a work-life balance, so do the best you can and save your money for vacation. Or, you know, vet bills.

TIME Education

Campbell Brown Responds to TIME Cover

TIME

The founder of the Partnership for Educational Justice responds to Time’s “Rotten Apples” cover.

This is one part of a series of readers’ responses to this week’s cover.

The label and imagery of “Rotten Apples” at the front of the magazine has driven much of the debate about the article. That is a shame, because it has overshadowed the substantive reality explored in the piece.

We know the vast majority of teachers are committed, caring and conscientious. They are not rotten; they are the core of our success stories in public schools.

The real issue is covered in the body of the story itself, and in the victorious Vergara case on which the Time piece is based: tenure, dismissal and seniority laws that work to keep grossly ineffective teachers in class. The most telling anecdote came from the superintendent whose singular request to improve his schools was not more public money or supplies but “control over my workforce.”

Why? Because states with flawed teacher laws are doing the unfathomable. They are working against their own stated mission of teaching all children well. In New York, the courts have found that access to at least a sound, basic education is guaranteed by the state constitution – and yet state laws actually undermine that.

It happens because tenure is granted to teachers long before school leaders have a reasonable chance to determine if those teachers are effective. It happens because dismissal laws make it nearly impossible for schools to fire teachers deemed grossly ineffective or even dangerous. It happens because teachers are laid off based solely on their level of seniority, without regard to their quality.

That fact that it happens in a minority of cases still amounts to hundreds or thousands of children in a large district. And if it happens at all and we know about it, is that not a problem we should fix? Otherwise, what is the message sent to students who are taught by teachers who brazenly fail to lead or control their class, let alone inspire their students? Sorry kids, better luck next year?

Parents are turning to the courts as a last resort, as a matter of inspiration out of desperation. Years of legislative inaction and inertia inside school systems have offered no other choice. If elected leaders will not lead, parents are justified to question whether these laws causing such problems are even constitutional.

The Time article mentions the New York case supported by my organization, but unfortunately describes the litigation in shorthand, calling it my lawsuit. It is not. I use my platform as a former TV journalist to draw attention to the cause. But the case belongs to the families who serve as plaintiffs, and they do not do it casually. It is not easy to take on the state government and the teachers’ unions.

These parents are fighting because they want more good teachers in our schools. Turns out that, they, too, are trying to fix this. And they deserve our support.

In search of more perspectives on TIME’s cover?

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, responds here.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), Senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, responds here.

Christopher Ciampa, a teacher from Los Angeles, responds here.

Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association, responds here.

Courtney Brousseau, a high school senior from Thousand Oaks, Calif., responds here.

Billy Easton, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education, responds here.

Gary Bloom, former Santa Cruz City Schools Superintendent, responds here.

Educators from the Badass Teachers Association respond here.

Stuart Chaifetz, a New Jersey parent, responds here.

TIME Education

A New Jersey Parent Responds to TIME’s Cover

TIME

The New Jersey father of a student with special needs responds to TIME's "Rotten Apples" cover.

This is one part of a series of posts of readers’ responses to TIME’s “Rotten Apples” cover.

When I saw TIME’s cover saying it was nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher, I whispered “thank you.”

This is a very personal issue for me. My son, Akian, who has Autism, was verbally tormented by his teaching staff. I know this because I placed an audio recorder in his pocket after seeing him suffer emotional pain when he was in school. When I heard what had been done to him, my life shattered.

I released a video telling Akian’s story which has been seen nearly 5,000,000 times. I received thousands of emails from victims of teacher bullying and desperate parents seeking help because their children were suffering in school just as Akian had. I realized then how pervasive this plague of teacher bullying was and the vast array of people who have been severely damaged by it. In the end, tenure protected the teacher and she got to keep her job.

Tenure has become a weapon that is used to protect bad teachers and hurt innocent children and families. For Akian, for all those who have been abused, for all those yet to be abused, we must fight against tenure that protects cruel teachers and we must win.

In search of more discussion about TIME’s cover?

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, responds here.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), Senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, responds here.

Christopher Ciampa, a teacher from Los Angeles, responds here.

Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association, responds here.

Courtney Brousseau, a high school senior from Thousand Oaks, Calif., responds here.

Billy Easton, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education, responds here.

Gary Bloom, former Santa Cruz City Schools Superintendent, responds here.

Educators from the Badass Teachers Association respond here.

TIME

Badass Teachers Association Responds to TIME Cover

TIME

Educators representing the Badass Teachers Association respond to TIME's cover.

This is one part of a series of readers’ responses to this week’s cover.

As delegates of an organization that represents the collective voices of 53,000 teachers, we take issue with the cover selected for the November 3 edition of Time. We believe that the image is journalistically irresponsible because it unfairly paints teachers and teacher tenure in a negative light.

The gavel as a symbol of corporate education, smashing the apple – the universal symbol of education – reinforces a text applauding yet another requested deathblow to teacher tenure. Instead of clarity, this continues the misconception that tenure ensures a job for life. It does not. It ensures “just cause” rationale before teachers can be fired.

In addition, the cover perpetuates the pernicious myth of the “bad” teacher and tenure as the prime enablers of larger failures in American education. This is a false narrative. These failures are due to structural inequalities and chronic underfunding in our educational systems, not due to teachers and teacher tenure.

The cover feeds this narrative with the misleading statement, “It is nearly impossible to fire bad teachers.” A few months ago talk show host Whoopi Goldberg made similar statements suffering under the same basic misunderstanding of teacher tenure as something akin to what college professors enjoy rather than a simple guarantee of procedural due process which is its function in K-12 education.

Nevertheless, opponents of teacher tenure have consistently invoked the “bad teacher” argument as pretext to attack not only teachers but also teacher unions, arguing that they place the needs of students second to the protection of underperforming teachers.
In fact, teacher tenure has served as an important protection to allow teachers to advocate for students— especially with regard to maintaining manageable class sizes, safe instructional spaces, the needs of students who are English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities.

Given the massive increase in student enrollments, one of the greatest shortfalls is in the number of teachers themselves. A simple accounting of all the teaching positions lost in the great recessions reveals that the nation would need 377,000 more teachers in the classroom just to keep pace not to mention combat the shameful shortage of teachers of color.
In its haste to disparage teachers, the cover inadvertently tells a larger truth. The instrument used to destroy teacher tenure is wielded against the entire profession. It seeks to obliterate due process for all teachers rather than to ensure its proper use.

More significantly, the cover uncritically situates the tech millionaires as saviors without revealing their own self-interest in the tenure fight, the creation of a nation of corporate-run franchise schools taught by untrained teachers and measured by high stakes test developed and administered by those same millionaires.

In an age where transparency in politics and journalism is sorely needed, we regret Time’s decision to proceed with a cover so clearly at odds with the truth.

In search of more perspectives on TIME’s cover?

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, responds here.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), Senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, responds here.

Christopher Ciampa, a teacher from Los Angeles, responds here.

Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association, responds here.

Courtney Brousseau, a high school senior from Thousand Oaks, Calif., responds here.

Billy Easton, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education, responds here.

Gary Bloom, former Santa Cruz City Schools Superintendent, responds here.

Stuart Chaifetz, a New Jersey parent, responds here.

TIME Education

Former California Superintendent Responds to TIME’s Cover

TIME

The former Superintendent of Santa Cruz City Schools responds to TIME's cover.

This is one part of a series of readers’ responses to this week’s cover.

Everyone on every side of Vergara agrees that nothing is more important to K-12 education than effective teachers. And most teachers and every teacher union leader I have ever spoken with about the topic agree that California’s teacher tenure laws are highly flawed. Unfortunately and despite these agreements, there has not been the political will to reform these dysfunctional laws and we are left to litigation as a means to correct a system doesn’t serve students or teachers well.

Virtually every year in my thirty-four years of service as a school leader in California, I was faced with the requirement to decide if a teacher was to receive “permanent” status after only fifteen months of work as a novice. This decision had to be made with the knowledge that once “permanent” it was virtually impossible to remove an ineffective teacher unless he or she engaged in truly egregious behaviors. Sometimes, we released promising teachers who had not quite met our standards but might have if given a longer probationary period and additional support. Sometimes, particularly in specialty areas where there is a shortage of teacher candidates, we allowed teachers to be granted permanent status even though we hesitated more than a little when we asked ourselves the question “Would you want your own child in this teacher’s classroom?”

In tough economic times, when California schools were forced to layoff teachers, teachers and administrators agonized as some of our most hardworking and enthusiastic teachers received “pink slips”. Weak teachers, even teachers on remedial “improvement plans” remained in their classrooms. And schools in low income, challenging environments experienced damaging high turnover as young teachers were “pink slipped” year after year.

Most school administrators, most teachers, and many union leaders agree that these problems need to be corrected. It is unfortunate that the politics of the California legislature, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers have made it impossible to reform California’s tenure laws. It is too bad that it has taken a court challenge to shake this tree, but I am thankful that the tree has been shaken.

In search of more perspectives on TIME’s cover?

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, responds here.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), Senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, responds here.

Christopher Ciampa, a teacher from Los Angeles, responds here.

Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association, responds here.

Courtney Brousseau, a high school senior from Thousand Oaks, Calif., responds here.

Billy Easton, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education, responds here.

Educators from the Badass Teachers Association respond here.

Stuart Chaifetz, a New Jersey parent, responds here.

TIME

New York Educators Respond to TIME’s Cover

TIME

Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education responds to TIME's "Rotten Apples" Cover.

This is one part of a series of readers’ responses to this week’s cover.

Once again, TIME has chosen to play the teacher bashing blame game with the rotten cover titled “Rotten Apples.” TIME is parroting the assault on public schools and teachers being promoted by hedge-fund and Silicon Valley billionaires seeking to privatize our public schools. This latest TIME cover is a head on attack on the profession of teaching. It ignores the real issues impacting quality of students’ education, resulting from the systemic inequality and severe underfunding of public schools.

The anti-teacher blame game is playing out in an increasing number of states, from Campbell Brown’s bogus lawsuit in New York, to the Vergara case in California. There is one common denominator behind these efforts: self-interested hedge-fund billionaires who claim to want to help, but only end up damaging those very students and their families. Their agenda promotes more high-stakes testing, more school closings that result in the warehousing of high-needs students in schools, more public schools converted into privately-run charter schools, and expanded opportunities for profit off publicly-funded schools. This agenda has become the new status quo in education policy and it is failing miserably.

These corporate elite are using their money and their muscle to insist that our schools are run like businesses with a bottom line. In this case the bottom line is test scores. Is it any wonder that we have test score cheating scandals to rival Enron? These elites are clueless to what is happening in our classrooms, and most of them have no children in public schools. It’s simply vulture capitalism at the expense of children, and it needs to stop.

Not only are hedge-fund billionaires bankrolling this anti-teacher corporate reform agenda, they simultaneously finance conservative efforts that hurt the very families they claim to want to help. In New York, they have been caught putting millions of dollars behind a GOP-effort to control Albany which would block: increases to minimum wage, the passage of the DREAM act, access to affordable housing, campaign finance reform and other progressive efforts.

So, who are they really putting first? Only themselves, not students. TIME magazine can correct this controversy by covering the real story of how these corporate reformers are locking in inequality in schools across the country, like New York State, which is billions of dollars behind court-ordered school funding levels, and how their agenda is wreaking havoc on public education.

In search of more perspectives on TIME’s cover?

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, responds here.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), Senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, responds here.

Christopher Ciampa, a teacher from Los Angeles, responds here.

Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association, responds here.

Courtney Brousseau, a high school senior from Thousand Oaks, Calif., responds here.

Gary Bloom, former Santa Cruz City Schools Superintendent, responds here.

Educators from the Badass Teachers Association respond here.

Stuart Chaifetz, a New Jersey parent, responds here.

TIME Education

A High School Student Responds To TIME Cover

TIME

A high school student from Thousand Oaks, Calif. responds to TIME's "Rotten Apples" cover

This is one part of a series of readers’ responses to this week’s cover.

TIME’s coverage of the challenge to California’s teacher tenure laws has sparked a debate involving many teachers, parents, administrators, and policymakers, but the most important perspective—that of students—continues to be overlooked.

This lack of student representation is why I founded Students Transforming Education (STE) last year. My goal with STE was simple: to involve students from all over California in reforming teacher tenure by collecting signatures in favor of common sense reforms. After a year of outreach, 2,500 students have signed the petition, demonstrating that students are engaged and want sensible reforms that will help keep the best teachers in their classrooms.

I didn’t create STE from personal experience with bad teachers, unlike the 9 of my fellow California students who sued the state in Vergara v. California. In fact, as I reflect on my high school career, I realize that I have been incredibly fortunate to have had many excellent teachers over the past 4 years. Teachers who have been instrumental in encouraging my natural curiosity, influencing my view of the world and ensuring that I have the knowledge and skills I will need to be successful in college and later in life.

I also have come to realize, however, that many students are not as fortunate. California’s current permanent employment system, known more commonly as teacher tenure, often leaves students—especially those in impoverished communities—trapped in classrooms with underperforming teachers.

I know, from extensive research and personal experience, that teachers are the foundation of a quality education. For many students, teachers can mean the difference between graduating from college and dropping out of high school. But instead of working toward common sense solutions, policymakers in Sacramento have neglected to address the issue for years and maintained the status quo.

This failure to act on the part of our state government led to Vergara v. California, which has sparked a much-needed public conversation on the importance of teachers. When my phone vibrated with a news alert stating that California’s teacher tenure, dismissal, and layoff laws had been declared unconstitutional, I was ecstatic. With Vergara, we can finally move toward solutions that elevate the quality of teachers, prioritize the needs of students, and promote access to quality education for all.

In search of more perspectives on TIME’s cover?

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, responds here.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), Senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, responds here.

Christopher Ciampa, a teacher from Los Angeles, responds here.

Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association, responds here.

Billy Easton, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education, responds here.

Gary Bloom, former Santa Cruz City Schools Superintendent, responds here.

Educators from the Badass Teachers Association respond here.

Stuart Chaifetz, a New Jersey parent, responds here.

TIME Education

Lily Eskelsen García Responds To TIME’s Cover

TIME

The president of the National Education Association responds to TIME's "Rotten Apples" cover.

This is one part of a series of readers’ responses to this week’s cover.

A fabulous friend recently said to me, “I’m just so tired of the new national pastime – Beat up a Teacher.” She had seen the nasty cover of Time with a court gavel about to smash an apple (a good one by the way). She had seen the title she knew was a lie: Its nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher. But I think what pushed her over the edge was the subheading: A group of Silicon Valley investors wants to change that.

The irony drips. The Wolves of Wall Street woke up one day and decided simultaneously that all the problems with American education could be solved by…firing teachers. Seriously? My dear friend could not even muster outrage. She was just tired. She saw prestigious Time as next up to bat in a long line of cheap swings at teachers. Time could have written about any number of ways to improve our schools–restoring school funding, actually ensuring equity, and ending the insane and costly No Child Left Behind testing regime, which has replaced real classroom instruction with tests, tests, and more tests. Instead, Time decided to write about tenure. They came to the astonishing conclusion that the one critical reform we must make is to make it easier to fire teachers.

Due process policies like tenure exist in almost every state. Although timelines and appeal processes differ, the concept is the same: After passing a probationary period and satisfying performance expectations, teachers get two basic things before they can be fired: (1) The teacher gets to know why. (2) If she feels she is a good teacher being fired for a bad reason, she gets to defend herself and tell her side of the story. That’s it. States continually review whether their tenure policies are fair, efficient, and effective. More than 31 states have revised their tenure and dismissal policies in just the last few years. Policies are changed all the time. But the purpose of tenure – to protect good teachers from being fired for bad reasons – is the constant.

I had a hot argument with a guy who truly believed that if you were a good teacher, you didn’t need tenure. He said, “Teachers used to be fired for their religious or political beliefs. That never happens anymore.” His point: Only incompetent teachers are at risk. His conclusion: Take away tenure because incompetent teachers should not have the right to defend themselves. So I told him about Jennifer.

Jennifer asked me not to use her last name because she is afraid of being fired. Jennifer is a Special Education teacher who talks about her students with such pride and such love. But there were tears in her eyes when she told me what mandated testing did to her beloved students. Parents started asking her questions about these tests. Jennifer talked to me as her union leader to ask if she could get fired for giving parents information about their right to opt out or whether she could be terminated if she gave them her professional opinion about how these tests might negatively affect their kids.

She is right to be afraid. She could get fired in some states for telling parents the truth. We get questions from teachers about whether they could get fired for refusing a parent’s order to change a student’s grade. Teachers all over the country have wondered if they can be fired on the basis of the now widely discredited VooDoo Value-Added-Measure, which pretends to place a human child into a test tube and magically tease out all the factors that could affect that particular child’s score on that particular day with the remaining numbers being the “value” the teacher “added” to the score. There is, of course, no such equation.

My friend may be tired, but I am not. Time needs to celebrate the real heroes of our schools: the teachers who greet students every day at the school house door and take them as they come. Tenure lets teachers challenge students with demanding curriculum choices, and to grade students fairly based on the students’ work rather their parents’ connections. It allows teachers to speak out when school districts cut corners or cut budgets. Good teachers know the Blame the Teacher game is a distraction from talking about real solutions like reducing class sizes, giving our students time for meaningful one-on-one instruction, and funding great schools for all kids regardless of their zip code. I love all my tired and frustrated friends, but we won’t be sleeping through this debate. The public wants real, common sense solutions. Teachers have them if only Time would ask.

In search of more perspectives on TIME’s cover?

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, responds here.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), Senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, responds here.

Christopher Ciampa, a teacher from Los Angeles, responds here.

Courtney Brousseau, a high school senior from Thousand Oaks, Calif., responds here.

Billy Easton, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education, responds here.

Gary Bloom, former Santa Cruz City Schools Superintendent, responds here.

Educators from the Badass Teachers Association respond here.

Stuart Chaifetz, a New Jersey parent, responds here.

TIME Education

A California Teacher Responds to TIME’s Cover

TIME

A Los Angeles teacher responds to TIME's "Rotten Apples" cover.

This is one part of a series of posts of readers’ responses to this week’s cover.

On Saturday afternoon as I sat in Starbucks with a former student of mine, assisting her with one of her college essays, I kept thinking, “I wish I was still her teacher.” I am no longer this bright young woman’s teacher, however because I was laid off from the high school she currently attends.

Reading TIME’s November 3rd cover story brought me back to that layoff. I was standing in the principal’s office being told I had done a great job while simultaneously being handed a Reduction In Force notice. The same principal later wrote me a glowing recommendation letter. It was clear she wanted to keep me but had been left no choice but to let me go.

For five more years it was more of the same. I worked tirelessly to innovate new programs, build literacy, raise test scores, and despite support from my students, their families, my administrators and colleagues, I was laid off every year due to my lack of seniority. While I was called back at the end of each summer, that notice was always a harsh reminder that my work with students actually didn’t matter. And, eventually, the uncertainty became too much and I decided to teach at a charter high school, where my work rather than my date of hire would be valued.

In economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, like the ones where I’ve always taught, an energetic, enthusiastic, dedicated teacher makes a world of difference. Multiple studies have shown that teacher quality is the number one in-school determinant of educational effectiveness. Quality teachers are the foundation of a quality education. Yet, year after I year, I saw the best teachers laid off and saw my union turn a blind eye to me and other teachers most in need of their representation.

While TIME correctly points out that entrepreneurs like David Welch have funded the reform effort, parents, students and their teachers have really been the spear tip of this movement. And, they were driven to take action by an immovable state legislature that has accepted the status quo for far too long.

This movement’s sole purpose is to create educational equality for the most underserved children in our state. Why shouldn’t David Welch, Bill Gates and others want to restore the same kind of quality public education they received, which helped them become the economic and technological leaders they are today? Why shouldn’t my former student expect the same?

She should have those expectations—all students should. She should expect a modern system, based on research and best practices that elevates teacher quality, raises the prestige of the teaching profession, and promotes access to a quality education. Such an education should not only be available to students lucky enough to win a lottery and attend a high performing charter school, like the one where I currently teach. That pathway to prosperity should be open to every child, in every school.

In search of more perspectives on TIME’s cover?

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, responds here.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), Senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, responds here.

Courtney Brousseau, a high school senior from Thousand Oaks, Calif., responds here.

Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association, responds here.

Billy Easton, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education, responds here.

Gary Bloom, former Santa Cruz City Schools Superintendent, responds here.

Educators from the Badass Teachers Association respond here.

Stuart Chaifetz, a New Jersey parent, responds here.

TIME Education

Rep. George Miller Responds To TIME Cover

TIME

The ranking Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee responds to TIME's "Rotten Apples" cover.

This is one part of a series of readers’ responses to this week’s cover.

I strongly support Judge Treu’s decision in the Vergara case and found Time’s story about teacher tenure and dismissal policies generally informative and balanced. But the headline and cover art – “Rotten Apples,” 11/3/2014 – is grossly unfair to teachers and further polarizes an issue we must resolve. As someone who has been trying for years to bridge the divide in the education debate, I know as well as anyone that hyperbole only serves to continue to deny poor and minority children a better education. All parties in this debate, whether Time, the teacher unions, or the reformers, must drop the rhetoric and focus on the kids.

The fact is, California schools desperately need to improve. We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect different results. It is important to note that no other state in the country uses the confluence of laws challenged in Vergara in the way California does. Additionally, the case would not have been brought nor would the plaintiffs have prevailed if poor and minority students were achieving at high levels.

However, my home state can have a system that guarantees all students equal access to effective teachers if we get students and teachers the supports they need to learn and teach effectively and if we make reasonable and necessary changes to California’s tenure and dismissal policies to make them fairer to all involved. Vergara should be seen by all stakeholders in the state as an opportunity to move teaching further into a modern profession – not as a reason to dig in and cling to the past.

Calling teachers ‘Rotten Apples’ is grossly unfair and only serves to hurt the children who need effective teachers on their side. Now, for the good of students in California and education as a whole, we should drop the hyperbole and not let the inappropriate cover of Time detract from the critical issues Vergara highlighted and the barriers to equity it challenged.

In search of more perspectives on TIME’s cover?

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, responds here.

Christopher Ciampa, a teacher from Los Angeles, responds here.

Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association, responds here.

Courtney Brousseau, a high school senior from Thousand Oaks, Calif., responds here.

Billy Easton, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education, responds here.

Gary Bloom, former Santa Cruz City Schools Superintendent, responds here.

Educators from the Badass Teachers Association respond here.

Stuart Chaifetz, a New Jersey parent, responds here.

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