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Obama is in Boston tonight pushing his brand of education reform the president wants more money for technology in the classroom including virtual teachers.
The biggest battle right now is over real teachers and we're seeing in Wisconsin cash strapped states.
Looking for ways to cut their budgets teachers have been criticized for high salaries pensions benefits in ten year.
The crisis in our public school system was the subject of the award winning film waiting for Superman with a former DC public schools chancellor Michelle -- Expose the harsh reality of our nation's classrooms.
There's complete and utter lack of accountability.
And for the job that we're supposed to do in which is producing results for kids.
Now Michelle -- students -- she is the founder and CEO welcome great to have you here.
Thanks for having me.
Well I want to start with this -- speech the president made today.
Calling for reforming the nation's classrooms.
Wants to spend a lot of money on what sounds like very trend he.
Technology -- ideas digital teachers.
-- -- to reform our education process.
Well look I think that anyway you -- you slice it education system in this country is not over and so I think we need to be.
Willing to explore all of the options and certainly.
Learning and technology is one way to ensure that our kids have better access to high quality teachers all the time.
The -- and also his state of the union called for hiring a 100000 teachers.
Lot of people say that the criticism that you make up.
Educational systems across the country would be would be fixed if there were just more teachers you agree with that.
No I don't think that we need more teachers I think we need to change the system and change the culture.
That teachers are operating under right now and and right now doesn't work we don't have a system.
That is going to ensure that the best people come into and stay in teaching so for example you be a great teacher in this country and there are.
Hundreds of thousands of them -- across the nation.
And if you are doing wonderful things for kids.
You there's actually no recognition and reward for what you're doing every day so you'll get paid the same amount of money as somebody that authority you.
Who's actually taking kids backwards as long as you've been teaching the same amount of time.
We have outdated systems in place that dictate how teachers are laid off so that -- last in first out.
Scenario where the newest teachers are laid off first.
Just because they haven't been in the system long enough and it's -- -- you know it's blind to how good they are in the classroom as long as we have those kinds of policies in place.
We're not going to be able to create the environment with the best people want to come Wednesday.
And we certainly -- at New York last in first that's very controversy all.
A lot of people criticized and that's really the reason that's really the motivating factor behind students first that your first goal right to get rid of these policies.
Absolutely we started a campaign two weeks ago called save great teach first.
And basically what we want to do is insure that as the as the country is facing these economic.
Woes as we know layoffs are gonna happen across the country the least we can do for our kids.
Is make sure that the best teachers are staying in the classroom and as long as we are doing layoffs by.
Seniority instead of quality.
We're not gonna live up -- that promise for our kids.
Those those policies make absolutely no -- whatsoever we can't be laying off some of our highest performing teachers which is exactly what happens when you do the layoffs by seniority.
You lose more teachers because the -- junior teachers are paid the least amount of money so in order to make up the budget deficit you actually have to.
Lose more classroom teachers and lose more jobs those things that makes us for kids.
Well you know we have low literacy rates.
Math and science scores are -- -- -- What kind of reform do you think we do need -- what is that what is the one thing that would make the difference.
Well I don't think there's any one thing that you can point to but the three things that we're focused on its students vs.
Number one making sure that we're treating teachers like the professionals they are making sure there's a high quality teacher and every single classroom.
The second is making sure that parents have real information and real choices we don't believe that anything and we should be trapped in a failing school.
And then the last is that -- have to be accountability for every child and every dollar.
If you if you look over the last three decades we have more than doubled the amount of money that we are spending per child.
A public education in this country but the results have either stagnated or gotten worse.
And so we we are not creating a system that people are saying all it makes more sense to invest more money.
An education -- that's actually it's it's actually the exact opposite and so until we have some accountability.
Around the taxpayer dollars that we're spending.
I don't think that we're gonna see significant gains trust but verify I -- you about Wisconsin Scott Walker in a lot of ways.
I I think that the unions are being targeted here.
With the responsibility.
At fixing the state budgets you think Walker's gone too far when it comes to teachers how would you grade him.
Yeah I think in many ways both sides have gone a little bit too far from you know what we can't we can't blame teachers for the problems.
That exist right now individual teachers did not cause.
These issues at the same time you know I hear a lot of union leader saying the teachers are being demonized I don't think that's happening -- the bottom line is if you look at things like.
The pension and benefit systems we have in place right now we have billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities for public employees across this country.
If we don't do something to fix it right now.
Then it you know a few years no one's going to be able to receive the pension after working a lifetime in the system so that's.
That's just -- problem that we need a solution to.
And I think that just by asking for pension reform that's not demonizing anyone that's just saying this is what we have to -- So I think that it's important for -- for each side not -- -- overplay the hand here and and and you know cry foul on things that that actually we need a more balanced approach -- Gerri great to meet you gotta come back on the show thanks absolutely think you.
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