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Old 11-26-2011, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Virginia
7,894 posts, read 12,160,298 times
Reputation: 3554

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Quote:
Originally Posted by a34dadsf View Post

Good teachers should make more than bad teachers. Bad teachers should be fired. If there is a glut of teachers on the market then this oversupply should be reflected in the wages. We need to provide maximum value for the taxpayer.

I say the solution is a voucher system with a very competitive marketplace. Good schools attract more students and make more money. Bad schools go out of business. Then there is a never ending battle to get higher results to attract more students. The incentive for profit is one of the most powerful motivators out there. We should use it in the education sector otherwise we will continue to see dismal results. The cost of these dismal results is too high.
When I hear this I think, "Whew! Thank goodness I'm at a school which is already considered one of the better schools in a system that is widely considered one of the best in the country". Throughout my career the vast majority of my students have come from a two-parent household. Most of the parents have advanced degrees and work with their children. They travel with the kids (often out of the country), discuss their school day, show up for conferences, and always want to know what they can do at home to help their children and support what is happening in school. Less than 7% of our student body qualifies for free/reduced lunches. They bring a lot of background knowledge with them to school. They arrive knowing their job is to learn! I work hard, but rather than trying to get scores up, I am often trying to keep the passing rates from dropping from the upper 90-100% range. Want to increase my pay based on me being a "good teacher" in a "good school"? Go ahead. But it wouldn't be fair to those who have students coming to school with fewer advantages outside of school and come to school unprepared to participate and learn.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,736,370 times
Reputation: 14499
Quote:
Originally Posted by tgbwc View Post
When I hear this I think, "Whew! Thank goodness I'm at a school which is already considered one of the better schools in a system that is widely considered one of the best in the country". Throughout my career the vast majority of my students have come from a two-parent household. Most of the parents have advanced degrees and work with their children. They travel with the kids (often out of the country), discuss their school day, show up for conferences, and always want to know what they can do at home to help their children and support what is happening in school. Less than 7% of our student body qualifies for free/reduced lunches. They bring a lot of background knowledge with them to school. They arrive knowing their job is to learn! I work hard, but rather than trying to get scores up, I am often trying to keep the passing rates from dropping from the upper 90-100% range. Want to increase my pay based on me being a "good teacher" in a "good school"? Go ahead. But it wouldn't be fair to those who have students coming to school with fewer advantages outside of school and come to school unprepared to participate and learn.
ITA! Those who deserve the most pay are those who are teaching in the worst schools. A great teacher in a poor school can have students who perform poorly while a mediocre teacher in a good school can have students who perform great.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,043,518 times
Reputation: 2725
I think honesty is missing.

Some teachers have gotten a free ride for way too long.

-I.e. They want tenure and benefits, but they wouldn't want to go through the system now, vs when they went 30 or 40 years ago! I think its a moral failure to put students in a system you yourself wouldn't want to go through (inferior to what you had)....yet you're fighting for every nickel of benefits and every nickel of tenure. That's crazy.

I think honesty has been missing for a long time in the system.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:20 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,161 posts, read 39,263,926 times
Reputation: 40654
Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post
I think honesty is missing.

Some teachers have gotten a free ride for way too long.

-I.e. They want tenure and benefits, but they wouldn't want to go through the system now, vs when they went 30 or 40 years ago! I think its a moral failure to put students in a system you yourself wouldn't want to go through (inferior to what you had)....yet you're fighting for every nickel of benefits and every nickel of tenure. That's crazy.

I think honesty has been missing for a long time in the system.

I've said this as a teacher but here's the thing: Teachers didn't design today's system nor were we consulted about implementation. The educational bureaucrats and researchers who advocated getting rid of tracking, vocational programs and college for all may have at one time been teachers but they got out of the classroom (sometimes for good reason, most were ****ty teachers) and went to recommending and imposing policy. School boards bought into most of this because everyone lives in Lake Woebegone where everyone is above average.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:36 PM
 
15,762 posts, read 13,199,215 times
Reputation: 19651
Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post
I think honesty is missing.

Some teachers have gotten a free ride for way too long.

-I.e. They want tenure and benefits, but they wouldn't want to go through the system now, vs when they went 30 or 40 years ago! I think its a moral failure to put students in a system you yourself wouldn't want to go through (inferior to what you had)....yet you're fighting for every nickel of benefits and every nickel of tenure. That's crazy.

I think honesty has been missing for a long time in the system.
I am not sure what you are talking about here.

I for one would have loved to go to my school, exactly as it is now. It is a far better program than the ones I went to (part of which included a year at a prep school).
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:52 PM
 
12,456 posts, read 27,102,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
I am not sure what you are talking about here.

I for one would have loved to go to my school, exactly as it is now. It is a far better program than the ones I went to (part of which included a year at a prep school).
I agree. I think the curriculum and course choices and rigor that my kids had is much better then I had, save for a couple of classes. I'm also jealous of most of the teachers. I have no clue about the honesty comment. There are lousy, slacker people in all jobs - education does not have a corner on that.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,043,518 times
Reputation: 2725
Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
I agree. I think the curriculum and course choices and rigor that my kids had is much better then I had, save for a couple of classes. I'm also jealous of most of the teachers. I have no clue about the honesty comment. There are lousy, slacker people in all jobs - education does not have a corner on that.
I think honesty in a lot of ways.

-Who's paying for those bad teachers to stay on board? It's not going to be the 50-65 year old group.

I think there's a huge wealth transfer going on behind the scenes...from the 18-30 year olds to 50-65 year olds.

-Standards are a lot lower in many cases than 30-40 years ago. Are they honest about that? Why was my highschool class able to learn math (relatively easily)....now little Johnny needs new math, and everyday math, and this book that covers a lot of breadth, but no depth.

I think some (not all) see teaching as a subway ride, well, I'm on 20th street, I'll just stay until 40th (i.e. retirement or close). But the cost is going to come out of somebody's pocket. Isn't it true, someone has to pay for an inefficiency?

If you have a plant that's inefficient, you either have to change the workers, the product, or you're going to go out of business. You can't just deny reality in the private sector (at least for very long).
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:49 PM
 
12,456 posts, read 27,102,172 times
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I don't know that standards are lower now. Now, this could be just my kids school compared to mine, but my kids have much harder classes then I did. I think it's hard to really compare because of the many technical classes that my kids had and the computer knowledge that is compulsory. Yes, there are bad teachers, but what business does not have some bad workers? The majority of teachers are very good as far as I'm concerned.

I'm not sure what you mean by this
Quote:
Why was my highschool class able to learn math (relatively easily)....now little Johnny needs new math, and everyday math, and this book that covers a lot of breadth, but no depth.
Elementary schools do the weird math, but once they get into HS, it's still Algebra, trig, calc, etc. I confess that I did NOT learn math easily in HS and I know I'm not alone. My sons got as far in HS math as my husband did...
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:50 PM
 
12,456 posts, read 27,102,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhpartridge View Post
What is the profile of a teacher that would satisfy most people? What do you want from teachers?

This is what I gather from the comments of posters and commentators from a variety of sources:

Teacher candidates will be graduates from the top of their class, even in math, science, and foreign language, who are eager to work long hours for low pay and limited benefits.

Teachers will not take part in unions or professional organizations. Teachers' unions can be dissolved or prohibited from engaging in collective bargaining. Teachers who go on strike can be replaced with other top-quality candidates due to the employment crisis.

Tenure will be eliminated. All contracts will be on a year-to-year basis. Some states have been doing this for years.

Contract periods will increase from around 190-200 days per year to 250 days per year with little to no increase in their yearly contract salary. Consequently, schools can increase class size to improve the efficiency of delivery of instruction. This is also a strategy for dealing with the shortage of qualified teachers.

Additionally, the school day will be lengthened for teachers so that meetings and professional development can be added to improve the teachers' quality.

Teachers will not receive any regular increase in salary due to experience or earning advanced degrees. They will be paid based upon the test scores of their students, and those in schools with large numbers of disadvantaged children who score lowest on such assessments will be paid least of all. Teaching in such schools is a calling, and anyone willing to teach there doesn't care about money. Therefore, there is no need to pay them well.

Teachers in economically prosperous districts will receive merit pay based on their students' test results. Districts will be prevented from paying their teachers more just to attract better candidates. This practice only conveys the idea that more money influences teachers to choose better schools. The only incentive for choosing to teach in an affluent district should be the reward of teaching children who are better prepared to excel at school. It's about the teaching, not the money.

Teachers will no longer be able to retire and serve as part-time staff while drawing their pension. Pensions will be eliminated, including for those teachers who had been covered in pension systems. There is precedent for this in private industry. The ability to live on a meager income and still save responsibly for retirement is essential, as retirement plans should be made completely the responsibility of the employee.

Anyone who does not like the pay and working conditions can go to work in the private sector. If they are willing to give up teaching for twice their salary and benefits, and enjoy less stress and a better standard of living, then maybe they weren't cut out to be teachers in the first place. The state of the economy assures that there will still be a steady supply of top graduates that will want to take the positions vacated by those who left.

I'm sure I have omitted more than half of the desirable characteristics that teachers should present, as this list is just off the top of my head. What do you want in a teacher?
Bringing back the OP ^
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,414 posts, read 9,571,292 times
Reputation: 8577
Quote:
Originally Posted by John23 View Post
I think honesty in a lot of ways.

-Who's paying for those bad teachers to stay on board? It's not going to be the 50-65 year old group.

I think there's a huge wealth transfer going on behind the scenes...from the 18-30 year olds to 50-65 year olds.

-Standards are a lot lower in many cases than 30-40 years ago. Are they honest about that? Why was my highschool class able to learn math (relatively easily)....now little Johnny needs new math, and everyday math, and this book that covers a lot of breadth, but no depth.

I think some (not all) see teaching as a subway ride, well, I'm on 20th street, I'll just stay until 40th (i.e. retirement or close). But the cost is going to come out of somebody's pocket. Isn't it true, someone has to pay for an inefficiency?

If you have a plant that's inefficient, you either have to change the workers, the product, or you're going to go out of business. You can't just deny reality in the private sector (at least for very long).
You're just not connecting the dots in this post. You talk about math from 30-40 years ago then complain about new math - guess what? New math came out in the '60's. As far as everyday math, it's a curriculum, one of several that are commonly used. What particularly do you not like about it? I have a couple of criticisms of it and no curriculum is right for everyone, but for the most part it's based on solid learning theory.

I don't get the part about 18-30 year olds transferring wealth to 50-65 year olds. Where I live, most of the school budget comes from real estate taxes, and I'd venture a guess that a far higher percentage of 50-65's own homes than 18-30's.

In your comparison to business, you are missing a key ingredient - the raw materials. Businesses work with far more standard materials to create their products than schools do. If every kid walked into school with the same experiences and skills, it would be far easier to educate them. Trying to force schools into a business model ignores this part of the equation.

There are plenty of reasons to have concerns about schools, and bad teachers are one of them. But to put all the blame on teachers while ignoring administrative bureaucracy, political shenanigans, ineffective parenting and societal misunderstandings shows a willful effort to focus on a very narrow part of the story.
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