The Opinion Shop

June 17, 2014

What did poorly compensated teachers of 1950 do? Stop all unpaid work

Got an interesting letter from Fay Beebe of Cary about her experience in a Bronx High School in 1950. Teachers, it seems, were unhappy with their paltry pay, a situation that had deteriorated over an entire decade. When no raises were forthcoming, they simply stopped doing all of their voluntary, unpaid work, such as leading clubs, planning concerts and staging plays and dances.

Got an interesting letter from Fay Beebe of Cary about her experience in a Bronx High School in 1950. Teachers, it seems, were unhappy with their paltry pay, a situation that had deteriorated over an entire decade. When no raises were forthcoming, they simply stopped doing all of their voluntary, unpaid work, such as leading clubs, planning concerts and staging plays and dances.

An appeal went out to parents to write the mayor and city officials “with the hope that it will FORCE action by public opinion.”

Beebe found the appeal among her boxes of mementos and wanted to share it with her fellow North Carolinians, given that teacher pay has been quite the topic of late.

Beebe writes: “When I read this, I thought this is still an issue for teachers in 2014! Will it continue for the next 74 years? t would be interesting to know what percentage of politicians’ children go to private schools. If they all attended public schools, would teachers be valued more? ... I can’t begin to tell you how shameful I find all this to be.”

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