Do a great job and get fired. Huh?

I am an advocate of public schooling.  I don’t believe in home schooling as I don’t believe that it is regulated enough. I speak from experience.  I knew some folks who “home schooled” their children but the dad could only count to 21 with both shoes off and his pants down.  His wife could manage 22, but she had to be shirtless.

You guffaw, but I’m not kidding.

I have also known parents that are amazing home schoolers and they do a terrific job with their kids.  But it’s seriously hit or miss.  And here, in New Jersey, there is almost NO regulation on who teaches their children. 

I have serious issues with that.

However, this post isn’t about that.  It’s about the public school system that is in serious need of an overhaul.  I’m not stating that I think that the public school system in this country (and especially in some states) isn’t in dire trouble. 

I know it is.

In fact, this story out of California illustrates this very fact.

*Before we start with the bashing of California, I wish to tell you all that I graduated High School out there and that my senior English teacher, Mrs. Baker, was responsible for my being able to write pretty well.  I’ve honed that talent since then, but she was my basis.  So, no bashing my public school education, K? (A little shout out to all my Wheatland High peeps~*muah*)

Everyone is broke these days, and I understand fully that budget cuts mean that jobs have to be cut.  I don’t agree with it and in a perfect world our schools would be a number one priority for everyone.  But this is just the reality of our country right now.

So, last hired, first fired, right?


This woman, Michelle Apperson,  was named Sacramento’s Teacher of the Year and she got FIRED.

Ready for why our schools are failing?  I’ll give it to you in a direct quote from the school district spokesperson:

School spokesperson Gabe Ross told News 10 that who gets laid off is mandated by state law and is based on seniority, not performance.   *underlining mine*

What the hell kind of thing is this?  Why is the person that performs the best laid off?  I understand it, but it logically doesn’t make any sense. 

Now, don’t start screaming about unions and stuff.  I don’t want this to devolve into a political discussion.

I just wanted to point out the absolute, utter lack of logic applied to this situation.

And there are laws to make this happen.


The injustice of this, to the teacher and to the children that she could have been shaping, is palpable. 

I seriously have a bad taste in my mouth.

The fact is, the education system needs an overhaul.  And that won’t happen until the politicians in every single state house and in Congress understand, fully, that public school is where 90% of their country is being educated and assign it the importance that they seem to assign to my uterus or my BMI.

We need to make them hear what we are saying.  They need to understand that not all of us can afford to send our kids to the schools that they are sending their children on my dime.

I want my dime to go to MY children and to MY community for their education and their future.

I want teachers like Ms. Apperton to keep her job and influence so many little, maleable minds.

This is a disgusting shame.  Truly.




18 thoughts on “Do a great job and get fired. Huh?

  1. budget cuts are completely ridiculous. I understand we need to save money but it makes so much more sense to get rid of the teacher that isn’t teaching the kids anything then the one that is succesful. And I get really sad about them cutting the arts from school to. It is like being well rounded is no longer important. I understand not everyone is going to be a great artist but hell at least let them have art in elementary school to find out if they like it. Here in Beavercreek the public failed to pass a levy and now there are no busses for high school students or middle school students if they live within a two mile radius of their school. They have cut a crap load of classes. All because the majority of the people that live here are retired and didn’t want to pay a few extra dollars in taxes…I mean seriously it was lik $12 a year.

  2. Yeah, they’ve done the same thing with the buses in many school districts across the nation. And I agree that cutting “electives” is horrible. Children need a chance to try stuff out before they get into the real world. And I’m sick and tired of hearing, “Well, my kids don’t go to school anymore, so why should I pay for it??” Really? Do you think the retired folks in your town had kids in school when YOU were going to school? When did people get so short sighted??? Awful.

  3. It never did make ANY sense to me that when they did budget cuts they went for the schools first. Say What?! Then turn around and complained that scores across the board were in the failing percentile . SAY WHAT!!!!!!!?Didn’t just raise holy hell during the “worst of the recession” about CEO’s and such getting bonuses while laying off 100’s of people? IS this NOT what our Government is doing? They vote to give THEMSELVES a pay raise but yet our Country gets flushed down the toilet. This system is sooooo F’d in the head I cant even fathom us being able to dig it out ANY time soon.
    As for homeschooling? HA! I find it utter ridiculous that these people are paying the large sums of money for these good programs ( cause the good ones ARE expensive) and jumping through all the state hoops where home schooling is concerned. ( * note some states do not have regulatory concerns when it comes to home schooling) all the while STILL paying into the public school system, in the form of property taxes. seems like a big ole DUH to me. But what do I know? I Graduated from a California High School ( even though I think I got a pretty good education)

    • Well, I think I got a pretty good education, too! 🙂 I don’t understand homeschooling, either. Not just the money issue, but the socialization issue and the exposure to other opinions that is so important to a child’s education. And I’m with you. I can’t fathom digging out of this any time soon, either. We are currently making the hole deeper, in my opinion.

  4. If you didn’t want to get political you probably should not have posted this. The reason for last hired, first fired and things being based on seniority instead of performance IS because of unions.

    I won’t say anything further about it in respect to your request, but that’s why things such as these happen.

    • True. However, I agree with Rich that the unions do serve a very good purpose. The question is, how do we cut back their power and still make the best decisions for the children. People seem to forget that the ones that suffer are the children. And the politicians (including the board of education) are just as much at fault as the unions. No, I didn’t want it to get too political because this is a hot button issue that people feel very strongly about, including myself. However, to let this injustice pass without any comment at all is another injustice. To make people aware that changes need to be made is the responsibility of everyone, political or no.

  5. the reason we need laws regarding hiring in public education is because of the idiots who get elected to the board of education. without unions, they’d all hire their friends and relatives and whomever they wish instead of whomever deserves it. also, they’d constantly fire people who have many years of experience so that they can save money and not pay the higher salary for the more experienced teachers.

    • I agree with this assesment. Although, I do not agree that we should keep senior teachers simply because they are senior. If they are no longer meeting standards or are just phoning it in (and I had a few teachers like that in my academic career) then they should be let go. To let go of a teacher that was voted the Teacher of the Year is a disgrace. Something needs to change. And quickly.

      • i’ll tell you what needs to change – the board of education. as long as any seven or nine idiots who manage to get votes are then in charge of millions of dollars, education will always be in trouble. we need to reform the system so it runs like a business model.

    • Here here. Our school board is ridiculous here. I think they make decisions using the “spin the bottle” method or is it the “pin the tali on the donkey” way. I’m not sure, but it’s sad.

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  7. Well done, and well written (with an able assist by Mrs. Baker).

    There are so many levels to this problem. The one I take offense at first, I think, is that so often education is not valued. Being smart isn’t valued. You see it all the time. Congressmen scoffing at “elitist” Obama because he went to Harvard. (Without being a legacy, I might add) Well, shouldn’t it be our dream to send our children to the best schools in the world. Therefore, shouldn’t we have the best schools in the world right from the start? So that they can get there and compete in the very big, scary world out there.

    Instead, we celebrate ignorance. And we do it at our peril.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. We celebrate people like Lindsay Lohan and Snooki, but the fact that the first Southern poet laureate in many years was chosen, and it was an African-American woman, barely gets any notice. We do this constantly. We celebrate celebrity and ignorance and money and noteriety. We are already suffering the consequences.

  8. I do agree with that assessment rich. Our education system here in Wyoming isnt bad at all, although to hear it be told….blah blah blah. However, they do make stupid decisions regarding our children. BUT we have a voice! We can go to those school board meetings and FIGHT for our children. I may not do any good, but, we got up, we voiced our opinion and if we continue to do so, there is no telling what we can accomplish. But if you dont, you have no voice. Those without voice get rail roaded.
    I have to give kudos to ours, just a little. One man…just one fought for a good 10 years and he got what he wanted. He brought career academies to our high school system. Granted there are only two ( Energy and Health) but they are the biggest thing going around here. Chances are most kids are going to wind up working oil field, or in one of our several mines ( coal and trona and by products of trona) others in the health care field. Made complete sense. I am very proud to have a graduate from the very FIRST Energy academy classes ( they start sophomore year) and even prouder to have my son starting them in the fall. If that wasnt enough I am very proud to have known Mr Shroeder, the brain behind the whole thing. Kudos to a man with a dream and knows how to make things happen…we need many more of them in our school systems.
    Oh! I didnt mention…the teachers associated with these academies are hand picked and work as a group, the kids have the same set of teachers throughout the rest of their high school careers….thus having a set of teachers that care, set up tutoring and are available any time for counseling, help or whatever you may need. Although part of me thinks, shouldnt all teachers be like this? Isnt that what they are paid to do? Like Robin said, some are just calling it in and going home. Sad, but true.

  9. Back in my native Texas, most of my family lives out in the boondocks, outside of any city limits. Why? Because there are no school taxes out in the boondocks, even though they have children who actually cost more to educate because they have to be bussed into the school. So they basically get a free education on city folks’ tax money. Now you know one of the many reasons why I am estranged from my Texas family.

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