Thursday, November 08, 2007

Government schools gone wild

Teacher sex abuse in Oregon: More common than you might think
The commission annually posts on its Web site a list of teachers who are disciplined. In the years 2001-2005, a total of 360 teachers were disciplined. Besides sex abuse, offenses ranged from concealing arrests on applications for jobs or licenses, theft and abusing students in ways other than sexual. Drug and alcohol abuse were common.

Its investigative files, however, are sealed by law.

Break the unions, offer vouchers and give more public disclosure. It's time to protect our children.


Anonymous said...

it's time for parents to step up and provide education involvement. spend some of the duck hutting money on your kids

Anonymous said...

First response of the day, and it's a personal attack on Daniel.

No honest discourse. No rational debating. Just throw stones.

That's why people like me hate people like you.

Anonymous said...

Hate? I thought you guys weren't haters! I thought WE were the haters! Im confused now. But Daniel, there's lots and lots and lots of the "people like me" who think "people like you" are perfectly able to balance the time spent championing your children's education AND the time spent duck hunting. Sorry you "hate" but at least now it's documented next time "people like me" are accused of being the ones who "hate."

Anonymous Geronimous

Anonymous said...

Do a post on Social Security, Daniel!

Stevie said...

Daniel, your argument is completely bogus. Here’s why:

Oregon has about 70,000 licensed teachers. In any given year, about 40,000 of those are actually teaching in the classroom. So, if 360 of these teachers were disciplined over a period of four years, that averages 90 teachers a year. Out of 40,000. Put another way, in any given year 2/10’s of one percent (.002%) of Oregon teachers have some sort of discipline problem. And of course, not all 90 of these annual offenses are actually sex abuse. Most are probably the substance abuse and other disciplinary problems you reference. So, if we assume that 10% of those 90 offenses are sex abuse, then we could conclude that .0002% of Oregon teachers have engaged in this offense.

So here’s what you’ve done Daniel. You’ve taken a situation (sex abuse by teachers) that is, as the numbers above show, actually quite rare. From that rare situation, you’ve concluded that the situation is instead “more common than you might think”. And then, you use this ridiculous red herring argument to pound the drums of a political agenda that suggests we should bust unions and create school vouchers…all because approximately nine people have engaged in this act that you deceptively claim is “more common than you might think”.

Actually Daniel, it would not surprise me that nine teachers, out of 40,000, might engage in sexual abuse. That’s because whenever you have ANY organization that employs 40,000 people, you are going to have some bad apples. (Even a few really bad apples like this.) Heck, I spent 10 years in the military. There were plenty of bad apples when I was serving. And from my military experience, I’d bet that if we applied your same deceptive analysis to the military, we’d find that serious disciplinary problems in the military constitute a higher percentage of overall military personnel than what we’ve seen here with teachers in Oregon schools. So, could we then use your analysis to conclude that the military needs to be fundamentally overhauled because of this? Or would you just acknowledge that the bad apples in the military are a relatively small number of people, and that we just need to sternly deal with those relatively few bad apples instead of overall the entire military?!? The answer to this question further points out how deceptive your argument is with regard to Oregon teachers

Daniel, there is enough wrong with Oregon schools that you can rightly criticize them without resorting to half-truths and deception. So why do you choose the less credible route?!?

Anonymous said...

As the Roman Catholic Church has demon-strated so ably, sex abuse can never happen in church-affiliated organizations.

eddie said...

Stevie, one problem with your analysis... you can't divide the issues by year the way you have unless you get a completely new crop of teachers every year. So looking at incidents over a multi-year span is reasonable, given that individual teachers generally teach over a multi-year span.

It's still a small percentage... a result of 0.9% rather than the 0.0002% you came up with.

Stevie said...

Eddie, the stats Daniel cited only said that over a four year period, 360 teachers had been disciplined. Because that number was not broken down further, I did the only reasonable thing that could be done…I averaged. And that gets us to 90 per year. I then further speculated that probably only a relatively small percentage of those (10%) were actually sex abuse issues, meaning that I was guessing there were about 9 actual sex abuse cases each year.

And to get to your point, do you know what? After I posted that, I actually looked at the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission website ( to see if my estimates were in the ballpark. Turns out, I was very, very close. In 2006, there were exactly six disciplinary actions taken in Oregon for sexual contact with students. In 2005, there were exactly eight. Again, out of about 40,000 teachers. This is 2/100’s of one percent (0.02%) of the entire teacher population. And even if you factor in that the pool of teachers doesn’t turn over 100% in any given year (actual turnover is about 15%, I think), this number is still very, very small.

So Daniel’s claim that teacher sex abuse is “more common than you might think” is still baloney. And think about it…we have all seen news stories where a teacher is implicated in some type of sexual abuse. And do you know why we see those stories on the news in the first place? Precisely because they aren’t very common! The relative rarity with which those things happen makes them newsworthy.

I’m still curious as to why Daniel would want to push such a deceptive idea. I wonder what he thinks there is to gain by painting a false picture of the situation? I certainly know one thing he stands to lose by doing so: his credibility.

Anonymous said...

This dead horse has been beaten so many times! The number of abuse cases in Oregon ARE very low. Even with pitching numbers that take turnover into consideration, the math is hardly variant to what the overall average is. And that is also ASSUMING that the turnover has any real effect; turnover just makes it more variable. It could go up or down. Another thing to keep in mind is that TSPC does not always give sanctions based on good evidence. One teacher recently had his license snatched based on the ad hoc implementation of "proponderence of evidece." This was after the teacher was acquitted on all counts. TSPC has a reputation for abusing teachers, so the numbers might be even less than one might think. So quit trying to justify saying that it is "more common" than one might think by simply giving a few examples while shading, as Paul Harvey might say, the rest of the story.