The DP recently published a column that supports higher compensation for teachers. I’m all for that, but it doesn’t address the core issue of teacher turnover.
The number one reason why teachers quit the profession after about five years is the lack of respect for their positions. That’s not me talking, that is a fact, and there is a link in the exchange below where you can read about it.
The lack of respect has been evident here in Newport-Mesa for years. And despite the Trustees proclaiming how much they love our teachers and hand out awards like Halloween candy, teachers know the truth.
Here is an exchange following the column that highlights the misconceptions about what teachers want and what needs to be done:
Steve Smith 

Teachers don’t get into the profession to make a lot of money. They do it – most of them – because they have a passion for the profession. What they have told me they want more than increased compensation is more respect. Along with greater respect comes greater compensation. Funny how that works.

But getting respect in a district such as ours is difficult when the administration and the board profess to appreciate our teachers, then fight them over small concessions in contract negotiations and expand their high-salaried positions instead of putting the money into classrooms. Read about it on my school district blog here:

Kevin Ellis 

our state is 49th in education, they are the highest paid, this does not add up. why pay them more? until the union and the department of education gets out of the way this is will continue. as to a shortage, this again is the own creation, teachers want to teach, yes it is a passion, but the higher ups, and outside influences stop them.
Steve Smith 

Yeah, that’s it – the big, bad unions did this with no help from politicians who approved the deals. Deals that are so magnificent that teachers leave the profession after about five years.

Scapegoating and finger-pointing gets us nowhere.

Kevin Ellis ·

Steve you said it in your words, They don’t get into profession for the money, yet they only last less than 5 years. maybe it is something else? yes the politicians are just as much to blame. Between the politics of this profession and the union thugs of this profession this is why they leave.
Steve Smith 

It’s not why they leave. Here it is again: They leave because they do not get enough respect. This is a fact, not an emotional response:

“One of the big reasons I quit was sort of intangible,” Ingersoll says. “But it’s very real: It’s just a lack of respect,” he says. “Teachers in schools do not call the shots. They have very little say. They’re told what to do; it’s a very disempowered line of work.”

Here’s the link:…/why-do-teachers-quit/280699/

There are other studies showing the same thing. Try attending school board meetings, as I have for years. There are no union “thugs” in the N-MFT (that’s the union) but there are a lot of Trustees who speak with forked tongues.

See you there next Tuesday at 6.

Me again. That’s the way it is with so many discussions on current topics: People rely on their emotions to make decisions and form opinions instead of looking at the facts. Locally, we have had more turmoil and disruption in the three years of the reign of Superintendent Fred Navarro than at anytime I can recall in the 28 years I’ve lived in these parts. And that includes the Steve Wagner embezzlement.
But instead of taking an objective view of this mess, the Trustees rely on their emotions to make key decisions. That’s why you hear the words fabulous, exciting, amazing, love, and wonderful sprinkled throughout their comments. Rarely do you hear the rational-based words such as we, need, a, strategic, turnaround, plan, for, Costa, Mesa’s, Westside, schools, and, we, need, it, now.
Strategic planning is hard. Putting on blinders to avoid a serious data review is easy.
Steve Smith