First Round Educator Draft Day Coverage: The Lottery For The Future

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Round Educator Draft Day Coverage:

The Lottery For The Future

 

Original Broadcast Transcript

For

Closed Captioning (CC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Property of Public Broadcasting Service

Copyright©, 2014

 

 

 

 

[Roll VTR]

[ ♪♪]

Jim, narrating:

There is the beautiful sunset on Hollywood Boulevard this Tuesday evening and a shot of the spectacular Kodak Theater where tonight’s first round draft coverage is looking to have a lot of shake-ups after weeks of speculation. Here from the balcony you can see the goings on as we get ready for the most exciting day of the year for those looking to go pro. This draft day is a big event bringing  stars and celebrities out from all corners of the business. In attendance is Margaret Spellings, who we see here, the former Secretary of Education under George W. Bush. She is best known for bringing us the “No Child Left Behind Act” in 2001, and for having one of the most profession-appropriate names since Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 World Series of Poker. Here we can see two winners of National Teacher of the Year. On the left is 2001 winner Michele Forman and on the right there is the 2010 winner Sarah Brown Wessling; teachers of Social Studies and English respectively. And of course the voice of the 2007 documentary “The War,” the one and only Keith David.

 

Jim:

Good evening, and welcome to first round coverage of Educators Draft Day 2014: Lottery for the Future, here at the beautiful and historic Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California. I am Jim Lehrer.

 

Judy:

And I’m Judy Woodruff. This has been a long awaited day in the world of education and a landmark moment as far as national non-sports unions. Also with us today we have correspondents on the floor and on satellite feed. For interviews with draft picks and prospective schools with a chance at some of our top picks, we have the host of NOVA Science NOW here on PBS, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Neil.

 

Neil:

Hello Judy, Jim. Very excited to be here. There are some wondrous and amazing discoveries everyday, and these are the most talented professionals on the cutting edge of sharing that information with boys and girls everywhere.

 

Judy:

Also our guest expert sports draft analyst from ESPN and founder of Kiper Enterprises, Mel Kiper, Jr.

 

Mel:

Glad to be here, Judy. Been working around the clock and have some exciting last minute Big Board changes in the Top 25 after the last pro days and the teaching combine. We have a lot of talent this year and I think we can expect to see some great teachers in the science fields coming off the board early, going to some middle schools that are in need after some tough finishes the last few years thanks to the standardized testing and the free agency trades that went on just before the Spring Break trade deadline.

 

Judy:

Finally, with color commentary and reactions from the floor we have our resident Muppet, Elmo. Elmo.

 

Elmo:

Hello, Elmo’s friend, Miss Judy. Elmo so happy to be here. [laughter] Elmo can not wait to talk to so many special and smart people. [laughter] Elmo is going to do the best job Elmo can, today. [laughter]

 

Judy:

I’m sure you will do just fine, Elmo.

 

Elmo:

[laughter]

 

Jim:

Now Neil, I’d like to start with you. We all know the events that led to this day, but for those that don’t know how this came to be why don’t you recap this for those watching at home.

 

Neil:

Sure, Jim. This was a long road to Draft Day. Years and years ago there was the CBA debacle in Wisconsin, a state known widely for it’s dairy production and quality cheese. After the state approved dissolving their bargaining rights, the teachers union coordinated the statewide strike in September 2011 that quickly became a national strike through the remarkable media platforms of Twitter and Facebook. It was three long weeks which resulted in a crippling breakdown in the education system.

 

Jim:

What was the issue that brought it to a head?

 

Neil:

It was the raging and violent black hole, that even light cannot escape, that was a lack of substitute teachers and educators, able to fill the positions. It was only then that the teachers agreed to return to work when a National Teachers League was formed. The NTL officially came in to existence in January of 2012, during the winter break in schools.

 

Judy:

What does the NTL offer the teachers that local unions and non-union jobs don’t allow?

 

Neil:

The NTL has the amazing ability to collectively bargain the national average salary that Public Schools are required to pay their employees. The teachers saw that there was a need to work together to guarantee the growth and stability of the national education system. This large, and expansive system that involves schools with some many different problems and technical and financial issues was able to be tackled by a committee that is able to provide a platform for discussion of these issues amongst administrators, federal officials, and the people that would know best, the educators themselves. It also provided a concessions. Now teachers are able to be rewarded based on student performance through a bonus structure written in to contracts. A system a lot of analysts thought would provide incentive for educators to work harder, but this way they are not penalized if student performance does not improve. The best of both amazing worlds.

 

Jim:

When did the Draft idea come to be?

 

Neil:

It was an interesting concept taken from the professional sports leagues. Teachers saw a work force able to get the best positions based on the previous experience and a set of grading criteria. This novel idea rewards the hardest workers and guarantees that the best teachers are able to join the education system with innovative ideas, new systems of teaching, and allow for the most competent teachers to be where they are needed most, the most struggling schools. It really is a great innovation combining test scores, funding, and other grading criteria to find out the schools who need the most help, and giving them the most competent educators; the NTL called it the “Only As Strong” Act, referring to the old adage that you are only as strong as your weakest link. This will be the first year of the draft and second year of the free agency systems in place, neither of which are dissimilar to the systems found in smash-mouth world of professional sports.

 

Jim:

Thank you, Neil. Mel, I would like to go to you on that note. What kind of criteria are these recent grads being graded on as they have decided to go pro? And explain a scenario to our viewers of what a school might have done to free up salary cap space to afford these highly coveted, rookie teachers?

 

Mel:

Well, Jim, they devised a three-prong system. Graduation ranking, educational diversity, classroom performance. With the new system, a graduation ranking is put through an algorithm that takes in to account the school, classes, age, and new standardized testing to pump out a number not dissimilar to the RPI you find in NCAA Basketball. Educational diversity consists of the different background specialties a teacher accumulates. With multiple minors in their undergraduate work, going for a double major, or continued education from a Masters Degree to a highly coveted Ph. D. in Education, or a specific subject, this can drastically effect the draft placement of the educator. The final criteria is the classroom performance. All prospective teachers are required to spend multiple semesters or summers student teaching if they want to enter the draft instead of taking their chances as a walk-on. Through scouting reports and peer reviews we get a great sense of their ability on the field.

 

Judy:

And how are these schools finding funding and clearing space for the top prospects?

 

Mel:

They are able to work this out through what is now known as teacher free agency. Schools are able to trade teachers now based on inherent value through the new  contract teaching system. What this allows is for a school in a tougher district to trade away teachers in sometimes multi-school deals, acquire talent in specific fields, and able to move the guaranteed salaries around to free up the room to acquire these rookies. For a scenario, if PS 197 in Brooklyn, NY wants to trade away two 5-year contracts with two intermediate math teachers and a music teacher to be named later in a trade with PS 206 in Brooklyn for a 23 year Social Studies veteran about to retire to the substitute teacher D-league, this would allow them to trade away the heavy salaries to a school with three times the students who has the funding to afford to take on the burden. PS 197 can now afford to offer a promising young mind like Carrol Delavive with an undergrad double major in Physics and Chemistry, out of Ohio University, to beef up their science department.

Jim:

Ok, thank you very much you two. Our apologies to Mr. Baumgartner. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our generous sponsors for today’s events. We are sponsored by a generous donation from BP Oil. “BP, We’re still working on that ‘thing’ that happened.” By a grant from the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation, “Using our PC money to help PC causes.” And as always, from viewers like you. Judy.

 

Judy:

You’ll notice at the bottom of your screen, as with every broadcast on PBS, there is the toll free number, with operators standing by, so you too can make a donation to keep quality programming, from PBS, on the air. Go ahead, make a donation, we are the network that brought you Nova, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Frontline, and Masterpiece Theatre. Our very own Neil deGrasse Tyson is the host of another new show in it’s fifth season, Nova Science NOW-

 

Neil:

That’s my show!

 

Judy:

Yes, thank you, Nei-

 

Neil:

I’ve been on the Daily Show!

 

Judy:

Thank you, Neil, we’ll get to you in a minute. So please call now to make a donation to keep quality public programming on the air. Jim Lehrer and I host “the most trusted news show in America” according to a recent poll in 2010. If that’s not worth ten dollars, I don’t know what is.

 

Jim:

Here, here. And if you donate $25 dollars or more you will receive this newly designed PBS tote bag with the PBS logo on it and a water bottle with Neil deGrasse Tyson’s face on it with the inscription, “I’m better than Bill Nye ever was.”

 

Neil:

Well, I am!

Elmo:

Oh, Elmo’s friend Judy. Elmo is soooooo happy to be here with you. [laughter] Elmo can’t wait to give a teacher a shiny red apple. [laughter] Look at this apple. Oooooh, sooooooo red. You like this color, kids? Apples start with the letter “A.” Apples are such a tasty and healthy snack. Right, Elmo’s friend, Randy Newman?

 

Randy:

That is right, Elmo.

 

Judy:

Ladies and gentlemen, Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee Randy Newman.

 

Randy:

Hello, Judy. Jim. I just wanted to say hello to my friend, Elmo.

 

Elmo:

How are you, Elmo’s friend, Randy Newman?

 

Randy:

I am doing very well, Elmo.

 

Neil:

What is this? Elmo gets Randy Newman!?

 

Elmo:

That is right, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Elmo pulls in the big names, space man.

 

Neil:

This is crap, Jim, Judy. What is this, really? The musty Muppet pulls down Newman and I’m out here, giving you Astronomy-pun gold and I’ve got nothi-

 

Elmo, interrupt:

I’m sorry, Neil deGrasse Tyson. I live on Sesame [expletive] Street, and NOVA Science Now is for shut-ins wearing tin foil hats. [laughter]

 

Randy:

It’s true. [♪♪] Elmo’s got a friend in me, Elmo’s got a friend in me. [♪♪]

 

Elmo:

[♪♪] Elmo’s got a friend in Randy, Elmo’s got a friend in Randy. [♪♪]

 

Jim:

Sorry to cut you off with such penetrating insight, Elmo. But Arne is approaching the podi-

 

Neil:

I want a song from Randy Newman!

 

Jim:

Neil! Please. We’ll get back to you in a minute, but right ScienceNOW-Oh he’s got me doing it-Secretary Duncan is about to announce the first overall pick by TBCS in the 2014 educators draft.

 

Neil:

I’m not done here.

 

Elmo:

Eat my apple, Tyson.

 

 

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