I Have a Gripe

May 19, 2010

I’m Sorry Mr. Cavuto, You’re Wrong

Let’ me start out by saying I am a long-admirer of Neil Cavuto.  He is both incredibly articulate and intelligent. He has overcome multiple health problems with grace and honesty. He is certainly someone of personal and professional accomplishment and a great role model.

On the way home each day, I listen to Your World on satellite radio. Each show ends with a personal commentary by Cavuto called Common Sense. I will say I agree with his point of view on politics, business and every day life more than a majority of the time. However, today, I must say I was very disappointed with his commentary about the “thin skinned teachers of New Jersey.”

He spoke of merit pay and compared it to other jobs that receive pay increases based on job performance. First off, if you, Mr. Cavuto, have received fair increases based on your performance, good for you. Like most of the people I know, that is not normally the case and has not often been my personal experience. Most increases in the private sector (in my experiences) are more related to playing the corporate game, sucking up to management and other under-handed office-politic maneuvers. While I have, on rare occasion, like others, received fair increases for performance, it is as I said earlier – well, rare.

Now let’s look at the public sector, like teachers. You said that teachers should be held to the same standard. That teachers are doing their students a disservice otherwise “that when they grow up, they either perform on their job, or they loose their job.”

Let’s think about that statement for a moment. I know many teachers who try to teach values like these in their classrooms. That there are winners and sadly, losers, in all aspects of life. Unfortunately, you are forgetting one important factor – the parents. The parents that often bully teachers into overlooking their child’s poor behavior, half-hearted homework assignments and failed tests. The parents that often make excuses for their children. The parents are the ones that are creating this “touchy, feely” environment today. Where, to quote you from an earlier commentary, “every kid gets a trophy for simply showing up.” The parents that are teaching them no matter what, someone else will fix it for you.

You also used the example of “the CEO that seeks his company’s stock swoon, then his corner office soon gone.” Well, we both know, if the CEO’s company’s stock declines, the CEO will get a golden parachute and continue to live the good life. So, this is not the best analogy either.

I completely agree that teachers should be held accountable, but how do you handle merit pay? More standardized testing? We all know how great that works. What about fine and performing arts? How do you determine if an art teacher is doing a good job? If the kids are all Picasso’s? And what about music? Is the music teacher only doing a good job is the child can sing like Pavarotti or play cello like Yo Yo Ma? Last time I checked, there’s no standardized test for fine and performing arts, so I guess that will continue to be decimated by the public school program.

You tell teachers, “this is the real world.” Well, I say teachers know better than most what the real world is. Teachers are expected to repeatedly do more with less, often purchase supplies for their classroom with their own money and are regularly the butt-end of jokes and abuse by people who have no idea what it is to manage a classroom or, God forbid, protect students in a Columbine-like attack.

Teachers know all too well, what the real world is all about Mr. Cavuto. On this one, you’re wrong.

1 Comment »

  1. […] I’m Sorry Mr. Cavuto, You’re Wrong May 2010 4 […]

    Pingback by 2010 in review « I Have a Gripe — January 2, 2011 @ 3:53 pm | Reply

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