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John Chuckman


I nominate Sam Hammond as the most tiresome, uninteresting person in the news.

Drone, drone, drone – the same inaccurate phrases, over and over. Never a word that isn’t predictable, and all of it just about getting more, wrapped in insincere phrases about education and children. He’s about as engaging as an old Soviet apparatchik giving the official party line.

As a teacher, he undoubtedly put many students to sleep.

No teacher worth anything as a teacher could possibly threaten to strike against children.

Striking by teachers is effectively outright blackmail by playing with the anxieties of parents.

I only wish our politicians were not so cowardly.

If they even once called the bluff of intellectual stevedores like Hammond and took a strike, it wouldn’t last long and proper order would be restored.

Teachers are employees, already considerably overpaid in light of the qualifications they have: general BAs, no specialist knowledge, and an academically-worthless piece of paper from a teachers’ college where studies include unscientific notions and attitudes passed off as rigorous professional content. Half of them cannot even use a computer.

Not one elementary teacher out of ten could obtain a job with those meager qualifications that paid two-thirds of what they earn now. Many would find their next best opportunity to work at Wal-Mart. Moreover, nowhere could they obtain similar benefits and privileges, as twelve months pay for about nine months work and a six-hour day.

The economic pressure generated by teachers’ unions is only speeding the day when the current model of public school will literally collapse.

Our model is outdated, inefficient and costly, and there are several better ways of doing things.

Finally, it is just a hard fact that our Ontario public schools do not in any way stand out for achievement. They are nowhere near world-class while costing a great deal of money, almost all of it going to salaries and benefits.