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A Broken Paradigm and a Dirty Little Secret

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Coot, Oct 31, 2002.

  1. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Throwing more money into teacher's salaries isn't going to fix bad administration. Administrative positions are extremely political, with the Dandy's and those of her ilk winning out almost exclusively. As these positions already pay well into the 6 figure range for large urban school districts, money isn't going to fix that either...nor is the pontification and 'education' on the part of the soft sciences faction...as has already been demonstrated.
  2. pupowski

    pupowski Banned

    Don't declare victory yet Misu, because your premise is questionable as well. Frankly, it has the tired ring of similar excuses educators have been hiding behind for years.

    Catholic families normally send all their kids to Catholic School, not just the brightest. Admission is not by test scores, other factors apply, including what parish the parents attend, and if siblings are enrolled. Demographics of the Catholic schools I attended are similar to public high schools in the area. That is fairly typical across the US and Canada. I know children with Autism attending Catholic schools in my area and Canada. They get some accommodations, but are generally expected to keep up with their class.

    Public schools, on the other hand, often slow the better students for fear of hurting the slow student's self esteem, or to practice "diversity". The % of intellectually or physicly challenged special needs students is small, and does not explain the disparity in outcomes. The % challenged by bad attitudes, appears to be the greater factor, by far. Higher salaries for teachers don't improve student attitudes, discipline, measurable performance standards, peer pressure, and community values do that.
  3. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    Okay first of all what was the author of that book smoking when it was being written? I know lots of good people in my school of all races including African-American. I don't remember them screaming at teachers or anything. Then I know bad kids of all races. they talk back to teachers all the time. They only stop when threatened with suspension or office detention, sometimes they don't care about that either. It's not about the races. It's about the parents and how the kids were raised.

    As far as the schools go, I think one of the biggest problems we have is tenure. Once a teacher gets into a school system they get 3 years of "danger" where they have to act good if they want to get tenure, then as long as they do nothing illegal they teach until retirment. If you are lucky and have a good guidance counselor (I do), you can get switched out of these classes. However we need to remove tenure and get rid of the bad teachers that aren't effective at educating, and are unable to control the kids or are mentally unstable. I have one teacher who I swear has bi-polar or something like, the class isn't that fun. Second step is we need to scale back on tests. No longer is it about the three R's or the arts, but about getting the highest possible score on standardized test XYZ so everyone can get their raises and bonuses while the school gets to pat itself on the back. In fact I feel that a teacher needs only to give quizzes, plus a mid-term and final to make sure that the students know the material. If a student is dedicated (s)he will go to the teacher for extra help or whatever. In fact I believe that classroom time be reduced, and that there be time at the end of the day (basically a school wide study hall) where students can go for extra help in subjects that the teachers have determined that they are weak in. Sure you could go after school, but many kids are involved in clubs or sports which they feel are more important then their education, and having a period dedicated to helping students with weak subjects would probably raise the quality of education the student recieves.

    As far as the school uniform goes, I do not feel that the <i>extreme</i> step of a school uniform needs to be implemented, however a dress code does. We do not need to see women in bras and their thongs all day (although I know most males would be unopposed to seeing this;)) and men in their underwear.
  4. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    However, I am willing to bet that if you replaced all of the Catholic school students with a random sampling of the current public school students, suddenly the Catholic schools would not be doing better. Let's face it, it is not the administration or the teachers that make Catholic school students better academically - it is the parents of those students. Why would anyone pay extra money to send their children to private schools unless they actually CARED ABOUT and VALUED their children's education? Catholic schools generally do not need to deal with the children who have the worst behavioral problems and who are the most academically challenged.

    I'm sorry, but as a former teacher and someone who knows more than the average person does about the current situation in our schools, I will have words with anyone who says that Catholic schools are "better" than public ones. On the contrary, only people who value education send their children to Catholic schools. The students are expected to do well, so they generally do. Public schools, on the other hand, get children from all types of parents, including the ones who don't give a flying FUCK about their kids, let alone their kids' education.
  5. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    Thank you very much for saving me the research, tke! It is "common knowledge" that teachers are poorly paid, but this is one of the biggest lies you will ever hear from most teachers. Are there teachers who are not paid well enough? ABSOLUTELY! Any decent teacher(even first year ones) earning less than $30,000 per year is underpaid, in my opinion. However, the majority of public school teachers earn much, much more than that. Last I heard, the average teacher salary here in Pennsylvania is around $48,000 per year.

    Teachers certainly were much worse off back in the early '80s, but times have changed. Next time you hear a teacher whining about their pathetic salary, vacation and benefits, ask them how bad they actually have it. Chances are, most people will tell them to get over it. After all, the median salary in the USA is somewhere in the mid 30K range. Why do so many teachers compare their salaries to those of doctors and lawyers? Honestly, many teachers are delusional when it comes to this.

    My salary increases are based on merit - not some lame ass scale. I can't force my employer to give me and my coworkers raises simply by walking out and striking, and I don't have "tenure" or a union to protect me when I step out of line with my employer. I don't have summers off, and I don't get a Spring break or a Fall break. Things have only gotten better for teachers in proportion to other professions, and I feel that salaries are, on average, very fair for them. I understand that there are states where this is not generally true, especially southern states and poor South Dakota. :)

    In my opinion, the most important change that needs to occur in order to improve public education, is to give administrators more power and force them to grow a spine when it comes to dealing with parents. It is the attitudes learned from bad parents and later brought into the schools by children that is ruining our education system. If a student does poorly, he gets an "F." If a student cheats, he gets an "F." If he gets a whole collection of F's, he doesn't play in the big disctrict finals football game agains the school's biggest rival(I was once forced to pass a student so that he could play football), and he certainly doesn't get passed along to the next grade. If he tells teachers, "Fuck you!" and constantly disrupts classes, he gets kicked out of school. If Suzie doesn't understand what a sentence fragment is, maybe she shouldn't be in AP English? Am I wrong for suggesting these things?

    Anyone who thinks money alone will solve our public education problem needs a reality check. If Bill Clinton didn't prove this, then Al Gore must have really invented the Internet.
  6. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    That is an understatement, ethics! Teachers have tenure, they have a union, they have wonderful benefits and vacations, and they are guaranteed pay raises each year, regardless of merit.

    I do not lose sleep at night worrying that publc school teachers are going hungry.
  7. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    And what if everyone wants to go to the same school because it is "better" than the others? Who decides who gets in and who doesn't? Who provides the chaotic transportation? What if people start resegregating themselves? I don't have the answers...just pointing out potential problems I see with vouchers.

    I stand by my earlier statement that it is the students who make the schools shit. Parents make their kids shit, and the kids make their schools shit. Some of our schools may in fact be failing, but I think the bigger problem is that our parents are failing.
  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Whoa! 41K a year on average with all those days off!??!!?
  9. Ugly

    Ugly Fish is Brain Food

    What are the salaries when adjusted to a full-time schedule?
  10. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Don't know, perhaps someone could calculate that in, Ugly. :)
  11. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    $41,000 x 4/3 = $54,667.
  12. -Ken

    -Ken Guest

    Let's see, so if both husband and wife teach making the average
    salary they would gross roughly $110K/year. Sounds like a lot of

    In the Boston suburbs, they would not qualify to own a home. In
    fact, in most of the communities around Boston, they can't afford
    to rent a home.

    Two professional people, working full time, cant' afford to rent a
    home in the town they teach in? Hey, yes that sounds fair.

    But forget the teachers, let's talk administrators. Yes, their salaries
    do range into the low six figures. This is with a masters or perhaps
    a doctorate and several years in the field.

    Of course, the same level of education and experience would pay
    off much better in just about any field.

    Let's talk facilities, been inside many schools lately? You might be
    surprised to know, they look pretty much like they did when I went
    to school 30+ years ago. They still use chalk, just like they did in the
    1890's. Computers? One or maybe two computer in each classroom
    and very little understanding as to how to use them.

    Internet connectivity? Cut me a break, half of the schools are afraid
    of porn and most of the rest wouldn't know how to use the net if it
    was a life and death scenario.

    Let's look at the numbers quoted by pupowski. He says they spend
    $6,400/year per student for public schools . My first grade math tells
    me it will take ten students to pay for one teacher including benefits.
    Now we need someone to have these classes in and a library, cafeteria,
    administration, books and probably 1000s of things I won't name here.

    At $6,400/student, I guess we are looking to keep the class size
    to that optimum 30 to one ration.

    No, money certainly won't help the problem.
    Its revenge of the "C" grade students.
    We all deserve to get what we pay for!
  13. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Sounds extreme. They would be able to even rent out an apartment in Manhattan out of all places with that type of income.
  14. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Ken, rather than quote your entire post, I'll respond to a number of items here. $110K a year will buy you a house in Southern California, which has the highest median priced housing in the country...about $336K.

    Administrators, as I pointed out, are largely political positions...at least here. If a school board decides it's time to replace the top administrative position many of the other staff administrative positions are on the block also as a new top administrator is free to replace staff as he or she sees fit. The issue here, and this the key log if you will, is scatalogical nonsense these people are doing their graduate work in. They then bring it into the administration of our schools. Pay is not the issue here. An engineer with a Master's and a Professional Engineering License makes about $120k per year unless he chooses to start up his own engineering firm.

    Facilities are a huge issue on the left coast. That is where money is sorely needed. However, planning for schools never envisioned that over 20% of the K-12 student population are from illegals. The money to pay for schools here comes from property taxes paid by homeowners and companies. Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of large corporations don't employ illegals, it's the small service companies that do it...and by and large these small service companies are usually owned by citizen hispanics.

    That $6400 per student that has been cited as well as the student/teacher ratio and the facilities goes quite a bit farther if we stop giving away the farm.
  15. -Ken

    -Ken Guest

    While you may be able to rent an apartment in Manhattan if you were teaching
    in suburban Boston and you needed a three bedroom house to raise your family,
    you would expect to pay roughly $2,000/month.

    While there are some less expensive homes listed here, they are few and probably
    are either the exceptions or have something wrong with them.

    Back to the numbers, shall we?

    $110K/year - Gross
    $ 84K/year - Net?

    $ 24K/rent
    $ 6K/utilities
    $ 8K/automobile
    $ 46K for all else?

    Daycare will set you back a big portion of what is left.


    Houses where I was raised start at $500K needing work. In one of the neighboring
    towns, houses start at $700K. I don't think too many new teachers are buying homes

    Please understand, I am not suggesting entry level teachers should be paid
    enough to buy a home in the most exclusive neighborhoods but rather the
    need to evaluate what a "decent professional wage" needs to be.

    Regarding administrators, in order to achieve the excellence in education I
    believe we all support, we will need some of the best people working on
    this problem. I would like to think our elite would take on this problem
    (since they have achieved financial success) but the politics is enough
    to keep anyone from wanting to touch this.

    Who in their right mind would take on the continuing conflict of educating
    kids with the bullshit which goes along with it.

    Should we teach evolution, creationism? How about sex education? Just
    as our smartest are smart enough to stay out of politics, they know a
    thankless job when they see one.

    Personally, I can't blame them.
  16. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member


    Why the high standards, Ken. I've never had more than 2 bedrooms and it was more than enough to raise my family.
  17. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Yes, but you are a talented American Immigrant fleeing the tyranny of a communist system ;)

    Whereas Ken is so close to Canada that they need three bedrooms to live. One is for the Pet Cow.
  18. -Ken

    -Ken Guest


    For the example cited, let's assume our ficticious couple have a teenage
    son and a teenage daughter. It is traditional in Bible Belt America to give
    them separate bedrooms.


    I will have to ask you to stop making fun of my family! Bovine or not, we
    love her! To further add insult to injury, I think she votes Republican!
  19. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Boston is part of the Bible belt?

    I grew up in a home sharing a bedroom with my brother throughout my child and teenage life. It was actually fun, minus a few fights.
  20. fritzmp

    fritzmp Fire Fire For Effect

    That is so funny. Todays eductors like approaching problems that they cause like spelling out incantations over the cauldron of ignorance. Eye of newt and bucket of money.

    After my fathers illustrious 26 years of service to our country he went and got his Masters and teaching credentials and worked for the San Francisco Public School System for 16 years as a High School Teacher. Never was a man so deionized for his beliefs and attention on teaching children. He was accused of militarizing students because he used topographical maps and gave kids artillery equations to real world use of math and algebra.

    He never complained about the pay and told the AFT to shove it ware the sun don't shine. His feeling is that people like this have no business teaching children anything. Their corrector and concern stops at their pay check.

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