Category Archives: Education

A California Teacher Just Retired at 61. His Salary Made Me Audibly Gasp.

no Twitter with current idA few weeks ago I was in Laguna Beach checking out the sights and decided to pick up the local newspaper, The Laguna Beach Independent. What I saw made me reach for my phone to take a picture of this story:


Photo: Laguna Beach Independent
Photo: Laguna Beach Independent


The story was about a dedicated teacher who, after 25 years, is retiring. It was also about the see-saw battle over who would replace Mark Dressler at his dual job: full time teacher at the local high school and a 40% job at the local middle school.

His former principal was amazed by Dressler’s dedication:

Mark was pretty well tied up for every hour of his day.

Dressler worked 8 hours a day. By teachers’ standards this apparently qualifies as extraordinary.

To be fair, however, Dressler’s job meant some after school and evening work.

Why? Was he a STEM teacher? Did he teach hard sciences or math? Did he lead his students to the Intel awards or even the local science fair? Maybe he led the high school students to win the Constitution Debate contest which required occasional weekend competitions. Could that be it?


Dressler was a drama teacher.

And now he has been enticed to retire at age 61 at a salary of $208,982.56.

Reg Pay              Extra Pay   Benefits         Total

Laguna Beach Unified, 2013
$168,778.00 $3,380.00 $36,824.56 $208,982.56

Source: Transparent California

If you look at the graph below from , you’ll see how California teachers pensions are quite generous. By year 30, teachers make a fortune in their pensions for the typical salary. The pension dwarfs their salaries.

The graph below expresses the total financial compensation a hypothetical teacher in Oakland receives each year, including each year’s increase in promised lifetime STRS pension benefits. This example is based on the Oakland salary schedule in 2006, a suitably representative example.


The organization makes anyone with eyes to see who and possesses a pulse ask: Can California afford this?

Well, actually no.

Photo: YouTube
Photo: YouTube

The LA Daily News reports the unfunded liability from the teachers pensions are up to $70.5 billion.  And if you count all public employee pension plans, the number grows to a staggering, at $198 billion. Billion.


That’s 31 times the unfunded liability 10 years earlier.

Which brings us back to Mr. Dressler.

According to The Independent, Dressler was given an offer he couldn’t refuse:

At 61, Dressler is taking advantage of an infrequent retirement incentive that kicks teachers retiring early into a higher pension bracket.

Photo: YouTube
Photo: YouTube

Here’s the description of the incentive the California Teachers Association was granted by negotiators on behalf of the tax payers:

The employer pays the benefit’s costs and associated administrative fees to CalSTRS. The terms of the Memorandum of Understanding may place additional, more restrictive eligibility requirements on employees, or may specify groups of employees eligible to receive a 2+2 benefit, a retirement incentive to provide two years of service credit and two additional years of additional age factor.

Dressler got some variation of this deal. He’d be stupid not to take it.

And what did Laguna Beach schools get?

The loss of a beloved, experienced (and, yes, highly paid) teacher.

And they’re hiring two teachers to take his place. Those teachers get pensions, too.


I checked salaries at some of the other districts in California 2012/2013:

San Diego’s Grossmont School District:

teacher grossmont

Santa Barbara School District:

teacher santa barbara



The Oregon Myth the New York Times Won’t Report

Nike’s Phil Knight said in 2010, with its recent moves, Oregon could be in an economic death spiral, and, if voters approved two anti business measures on the ballot at the time, would be committing economic assisted suicide. Knight easily could have been talking about any of the multitude of moves made by Oregon leaders over the past 30 – 40 years which put a kibosh on economic growth. 

Beyond the Oregon Myth. Produced by Third Century Solutions.
Beyond the Oregon Myth. Produced by Third Century Solutions.

Now some smart people I know have put together an entertaining video showing how Oregon’s leaders have ‘sold out’ some of their most vulnerable citizens. Enjoy it. And tell the New York Times, won’t you? 

Dennis Richardson would deal with same-sex marriage law more ethically & respectfully than John Kitzhaber ever has.

The Oregon Republican Governor candidate Richardson would honor the law Kitzhaber conspired to subvert.

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 9.52.07 PM
A whip smart, decent man who knows what it means to honor and uphold the law–something John Kitzhaber has refused to do.

Continue reading Dennis Richardson would deal with same-sex marriage law more ethically & respectfully than John Kitzhaber ever has.

Blackfish, anti Sea World ‘documentary’, taught in California schools

black fishAnti Sea World film shown to “thousands” of middle school kids 

The anti Sea World movie called “Blackfish” is being taught in school rooms around California according to the LA Times. The movie’s director, Gabriela Cowperthwaite, has been “with thousands of kids, touring middle schools,” screening her movie and answering students’ questions. 

As the LA Times catches up with her, Coperthwaite is on a train ride down to Monroe Clark Middle School in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood. An assembly is planned for eighth graders, according to the school calendar pictured nearby. The title of Cowperthwaite’s presentation is, “Animals in Captivity.” 

The school introduces the movie director as an expert on "animals in captivity"
The school introduces the movie director as an expert on “animals in captivity”

The documentary has been criticized for factual inaccuracies and for its anti Sea World point of view. Sea World has issued an open letter correcting the errors and defending itself against the film’s assertions–including the death of a trainer. It’s unlikely Sea World’s point of view is presented in the assembly.

Furthermore, the director attempts to cloak herself in virtue by telling students the movie was done solely out of love, certainly not money. 

“Um,” the teenage girl [8th grader] began, “How much money did you make from making this movie?”

Cowperthwaite smiled tellingly, pausing before she answered.

“Wait,” the girl said, “are you saying you didn’t make any money?”

“Zero,” the filmmaker responded.


The fact that Sea World has issued a fact check listing all of the falsehoods in this documentary is apparently not a deterrent to school administrators hoping to ‘educate’ students. The show-it-first-ask-forgiveness-later pattern of screening leftist movies in public school classrooms continues as it did for the whopper telling “Inconvenient Truth” (complete with its CGI created calving icebergs passed off as real, and the fakery surrounding the single polar bear on a small ice chunk) and “Sicko” (an anti capitalist polemic showing how socialism is good for people), among others. These films, er “documentaries,” were passed off as true by hopeful, trusting, dumbed down and leftist educators.

Hollywood is falling in line after getting heat from the animal rights crowd. The list of  acts cancelling gigs at Sea World locations includes Willie Nelson, Cheap Trick, Heart, Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, Barenaked Ladies, REO Speedwagon, Trace Adkins and 38 Special.

As the LA Times divulges about director Cowperthwaite“The movie has changed the way she looks at the world. She feels bad for keeping her two dogs in a small backyard, half of which is overtaken by a pool.” [emphasis mine]

I see the same school has a couple of trips planned to the San Diego Zoo. I wonder how those will go after the indoctrination by the expert on “animals in captivity.”

*Video* PDX teachers expect parents to feed them during strike

teacher strike if you cared you'd crossIn the strategy session for the possible Portland teachers strike set for February 20th (see another post here), Citizen Journalist Daylight Disinfectant discovered teachers expect parents to feed them after the same teachers walk out on their children.

And do you know what? Some parents are dumb enough to bring food to the very people who would abandon their kids. Some parents are dumb enough to believe this possible strike isn’t about money. Some parents are dumb enough to believe this possible strike is about teacher toshanker student ratio. That’s baloney. We know it’s baloney because at the first sniff at funding reductions teachers will throw under the bus any new teachers they claim they need now, ‘for the children.’ They want more union members. That’s it. 

Who sits at the bargaining table? Teachers and former teachers. Who bargains for the kids? No one.

*Video* PDX teacher walk out: Board doesn’t have “spang” for this.

Portland Teachers who have already voted to strike are planning what they hope is a massive protest Thursday, February 20th. In a strategy session recorded by Citizen Journalist Daylight Disinfectant, teachers say they plan to protest from 8am-to-noon on the 20th. However, as you’ll note below, they haven’t bothered to reserve the space for their hoped for protest.

I remember how the board ran away when 50 or 60 of these guys turned up at the school board meeting running like nobody’s business. I just don’t think they have the spang for this.

The teachers believe the mere threat of a protest will force the Portland school board to fold. The issues are money and hiring more teachers. Watch the video and listen to one of the teachers say she doesn’t think the Portland School Board has the guts–the ‘spang’– for a major protest. 

The word ‘spang’ sent me to the authority on these things, the Urban Dictionary, where I found,


1) The sound of someone being hit in the face, or over the head, with a shovel. Onomatapoeic.

“‘E was like, “Your bird’s a right munter!”, but I’ve got me shovel ‘andy, so I goes SPANG! Right in the chops. Wicked.”

School board members forced to flee when angry mob shows up to meeting. From video by Laughing at Liberals
School board members forced to flee in January when angry mob shows up to meeting. From video by Laughing at Liberals

The teacher rightly makes reference to the Portland School Board running like little girls in January when confronted by another batch of whackadoodle unionistas agitating for teachers. Citizen Journalist, Laughing at Liberals captured the take over of the meeting which was memorialized on this website. Who can forget their educated chants on behalf of the teachers, 

“Bulls**t, get off it, education’s not for profit!” Well, unless you’re a teacher, apparently.

It should be noted the teachers have not bothered to book the space for their protest as every right pcsleaning group must do. I checked the Pioneer Courthouse Square calendar and there’s nothing booked for the 20th.
The union members voted February 5th to back a strike which would start one week from today.