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Press edit: Teachers take that fair offer

Great teachers are worth their weight in gold.

But all teachers aren't equal.

That's the fundamental problem when teachers' unions - when any public unions - push for across-the-board increases. All employees don't produce the same results, so they should be evaluated individually and they should be rewarded individually.

As Coeur d'Alene School District negotiators continue their back-and-forth “discussions” now well into the 11th hour - anybody notice that the new school year is about to start? - several disrupters have become apparent.

For one, union negotiators are either oblivious to or simply disregard the tremendous boost they received from the school district last year. Teachers received an across-the-board increase of 2.5 percent last time around, the biggest raise of its kind in the entire state. It was not one-time bonus money, either. It's now baked into every teacher's annual wages going forward. Yet there's no acknowledgment of that windfall as teachers pursue another 1 percent across-the-board increase this time around, plus additional raises based on other criteria. Complete editorial here.

Agree or disagree? Should teachers/negotiators accept the offer?

Journos Paid Less Than Average Guy

Americans hate the media with a passion. So they'll be happy to know that the average U.S. journalist—grrr, the MSM!—is paid even less than the average American. Do you know how much the average U.S. journalist makes? How much would you guess? Just guess. Take a few minutes and think about it. Now. How much would you guess? $31,580 per year, as of 2011/Hamilton Nolan, Gawker. More here.

DFO: Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be journos.

Question: Do you have a journalism degree? How did it help you in life? Do you have a child who wants to go into journalism?

Stapilus: Dorn Is No Cliff Lee

Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, pictured, (first elected not all that long ago, in 2008), evidently isn’t happy about his annual salary of $121,618. (Well, that was before he called it “a good salary,” maybe after rethinking his words.) Speaking to the House Ways and Means Committee a few days ago, he pointed out that he is paid less than 121 local school superintendents around the state – that’s not just larger urban district, but getting down into small rural ones with few kids, teachers or staff. And he compared his pay to the $9 million that Cliff Lee is paid by the Seattle Mariners to play baseball/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Do you get paid what you’re worth?

Dorn apologizes (sort of) for Cliff Lee comparison

OLYMPIA — State Schools Superintendent Randy Dorn is sorry he compared his salary to Mariners’ pitcher Cliff Lee’s salary last week.

Which isn’t too surprising, considering he’s been taking flak for it for the last week on talk radio and elsewhere. It probably doesn’t help that Lee is proving to be well worth his salary these days, what with last night’s third consecutive complete game victory. If Dorn put up numbers like that for school test scores or graduation rates, he might be able to get a raise, too.

The background: Last week at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Dorn was telling legislators it was time for the nation to rethink priorities and put more resources on education.

“I don’t want to tell you how many pitches my salary would pay for, for Cliff Lee from the Mariners. It would be embarassing. Somebody who’s responsible for a 1,050,000 kids. It would only add up to a few pitches,” Dorn said. “We have our priorities out of whack.”

“It should be embarassing to our state, and the citizenry of the United States, that we’re only willing to spend, basically, a half a game, to be responsible for 1,050,000 students.”

Gov. Chris Gregoire was asked this morning what she thought of Dorn’s comments, and she declined to get involved in comparing  the SPIs and ERAs. But she didn’t support giving out raises, either.

“Every family that I know of in Washington state is struggling,” she said. “Nobody that I know of in public or private sectors is expecting pay raises now.”

Today, Dorn issued a statement about his previous statement, insisting that he was merely trying to make the point that we need to spend more on education by comparing it with what’s spent on professional sports.

“Unfortunately I made the mistake of using my salary as the point of comparison.  It was a poor analogy and I regret using it,” he said. “But I don’t regret pointing out the absurdity of our current lack of commitment to education funding.  I strongly believe we need to reset government and actually dedicate ourselves to fully funding a basic education for every child in this state.  Our future as a society depends on it.”

So here’s the problem with the logic in today’s statement…