Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children. - George Bernard Shaw
Question #91219 posted on 05/03/2018 5:36 a.m.
Q:

Dear Alta,

Want to explore your feelings on Arizona's protest?


-Mr. Teacher

A:

Dear Señor Teacher,

I assume you're talking about my brief mention of the Arizona teacher strike in Board Question #91112.

So on the one hand, I feel like it's awesome that they're working to help less visible school employees (like bus drivers) who may not otherwise be able to stand up for themselves with any real results. I'm also a fan of people taking action to stand up for things they believe in, and working to make schools better, so I want to say good on them for that.

On the other hand, the timing of it was a little weird, because it started after Arizona teachers had just been promised a raise. I get that simply raising teacher pay isn't the only problem schools face, but I wonder if a strike was the best way to address their other concerns, or if they could have achieved their goals if they had sat down with lawmakers and had a civil conversation, without disrupting student learning so much. It almost feels like they just jumped on the bandwagon because so many other states were striking. Yet because Arizona's education problems pale in comparison to some of the other states that went on strike this year, I don't know if they're almost trivializing the problems those states are facing. 

Overall I'm not really sure if I'm in favor or not of the protests in Arizona, but I guess the good news is that my opinion on it doesn't really have any tangible effect on the world, so in the long run my opinion of it probably doesn't matter that much anyway.

-Alta

posted on 05/04/2018 6:15 p.m.
Arizona teacher here just wanting to clarify some misinformation:
"if they had sat down with lawmakers and had a civil conversation"- our legislature refused to let our representative of AEU testify in the legislature, and our governor refused to meet with AEU as well. We saw no response to our requests until we threatened to strike, and even while on strike they still refused to meet with our leadership.

"Arizona's education problems pale in comparison to some of the other states"- while not the worst in everything, 50th in the nation for elementary school teacher pay, 48th for per pupil funding, 48th in small class sizes, and see https://www.facebook.com/joe.dana.5/videos/2090562164495355/ for some examples from teachers in the trenches- class sizes in the 50s in elementary.

-AZ teacher