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Old 08-22-2008, 01:16 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
3,859 posts, read 9,980,420 times
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With all of the complaining that goes on about New Jersey teachers, it makes me wonder, what would make people STOP complaining?

Complaint #1: Teachers only work 10 months a year.

Ok, the way I see there are two solutions. Either sentence teachers to hard labor for July and August, or opt for year round school. Do you really want your kids to go to school year round? Or better yet, do you really want to pay to retrofit every school building with air conditioning? Its one thing to sit in a stuffy room for six hours in early June-it's quite another to do it in mid August.

Complaint #2: Teachers are paid too much.

Let's assume that teachers are still working their normal 10 months per year. What's a fair salary for that amount of work? Before you throw minimum wage out there consider this. A cheap 4 year degree is going to cost at least $40K these days and of course you can't teach without one. How many highly qualified folks are you going to get if they can't start at a half decent salary? This is precisely the reason why we have such shortage of math and science teachers-anyone who is reasonably good at math, biology, chemistry, etc...can easily command a starting salary of $50K+ right out of college in the corporate world-so why the hell would they ever want to teach!? So what's the solution? Halve teacher pay? Quarter it? Put teachers on chain gangs during the summer? Rob children of their summers?
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Old 08-22-2008, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
13,404 posts, read 28,733,488 times
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Badfish,

It's not so much the teachers but the administation....every little school district does not need a superintendent at a 6 figure salary..consolidate & put that money back into the schools....also teachers get a bad rap because Trenton is controlled by NJEA, the word compromise is not in their vocabulary
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Old 08-22-2008, 01:25 PM
 
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Good post. I'm sure a lot of great teachers appreciated it.
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Old 08-22-2008, 01:32 PM
 
173 posts, read 818,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfish740 View Post
With all of the complaining that goes on about New Jersey teachers, it makes me wonder, what would make people STOP complaining?

Complaint #1: Teachers only work 10 months a year.

Ok, the way I see there are two solutions. Either sentence teachers to hard labor for July and August, or opt for year round school. Do you really want your kids to go to school year round? Or better yet, do you really want to pay to retrofit every school building with air conditioning? Its one thing to sit in a stuffy room for six hours in early June-it's quite another to do it in mid August.

Complaint #2: Teachers are paid too much.

Let's assume that teachers are still working their normal 10 months per year. What's a fair salary for that amount of work? Before you throw minimum wage out there consider this. A cheap 4 year degree is going to cost at least $40K these days and of course you can't teach without one. How many highly qualified folks are you going to get if they can't start at a half decent salary? This is precisely the reason why we have such shortage of math and science teachers-anyone who is reasonably good at math, biology, chemistry, etc...can easily command a starting salary of $50K+ right out of college in the corporate world-so why the hell would they ever want to teach!? So what's the solution? Halve teacher pay? Quarter it? Put teachers on chain gangs during the summer? Rob children of their summers?
Good post. I think NJ teachers do a great job as a group, but there are some things I would change. The salaries are fine by me.

1. I would like to see tenure abolished. Period.

2. I would like to see some degree of merit pay for teachers that consistently do "well." How to measure this would take some working out, but it would be based in part on test scores.

3. Teachers should have to pay more of their own money for benefits. Teachers I know get unreal benefits.
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Old 08-22-2008, 01:33 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
3,859 posts, read 9,980,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njkate View Post
It's not so much the teachers but the administation....every little school district does not need a superintendent at a 6 figure salary..consolidate & put that money back into the schools....also teachers get a bad rap because Trenton is controlled by NJEA, the word compromise is not in their vocabulary
LATELY the focus has been on the administration because of a few well publicized stories. Education has LONG been top heavy (which, to most people's surprise is to the chagrin of the NJEA), and you can ask any rank and file teacher what they think of that. My solution? Knock the superintendents down a few pegs, the teachers up a few pegs, and get back to work.
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Old 08-22-2008, 01:58 PM
 
619 posts, read 2,200,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravy Boat View Post
1. I would like to see tenure abolished. Period.
The problem with abolishing tenure outright is that teachers are currently employed by Boards of Education, which are (I think completely, in NJ) elected officials. In theory, this means that every time there is a change on the BOE, teachers would be subject to those political agendas. Teachers that didn't share the political leanings of a particular board would be on the chopping block. There needs to be something in place to allow teachers to teach without fearing political retribution. JMO...
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Old 08-22-2008, 01:59 PM
 
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I do agree with doing without tenure and adding merit pay. I also strongly believe in vouchers.
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Old 08-22-2008, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Jersey
2,098 posts, read 6,330,009 times
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I think teachers need to get paid a lot more than they are. Look at what doctors make to "save lives". Well, why aren't teachers up there in that category/pay rate? They may not "save" lives, but they help create them. And many, many people (unfortunately), tend to treat teachers like they are babysitters. My b/f is a teacher in Elizabeth. Do you have any idea how many times parents show up 30-40 minutes late because they "forgot" to get their kids and my friend is there with the child? Or how many times, when that is done, the parent will say "did you help so-and-so with their homework while you were waiting?" Or how many children come to her and vent their life stories and what kind of household they are living in, etc? No, not all areas are like that, but no one on here should be able to argue that teachers spend a heck of a lot of time with our children, sometimes, more than the kids' own parents. They are not compensated nearly enough for what they have to deal with, especially in this day and age. I think if anyone has complaints or ideas about what a teacher should do, maybe they'll do it when they have a better incentive to work under.
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Old 08-22-2008, 02:07 PM
 
Location: High Bridge, NJ
3,859 posts, read 9,980,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mczabe View Post
In theory, this means that every time there is a change on the BOE, teachers would be subject to those political agendas. Teachers that didn't share the political leanings of a particular board would be on the chopping block. There needs to be something in place to allow teachers to teach without fearing political retribution. JMO...
Trust me, it's not just theory. Before the advent of tenure it was well known that a teacher on your payroll was a vote in your pocket. As for merit pay? How do you judge the effectiveness of a teacher in say, Camden who teaches children that come to class wearing the same clothes two days in row, who may or may not have had breakfast (or dinner the night before), and who will go home to an absentee or drug addict parent after school? Are you going to judge that teacher in the same way that you judge a teacher at Princeton High School? Why or why not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixieshmoo View Post
I think teachers need to get paid a lot more than they are. Look at what doctors make to "save lives". Well, why aren't teachers up there in that category/pay rate? They may not "save" lives, but they help create them. And many, many people (unfortunately), tend to treat teachers like they are babysitters. My b/f is a teacher in Elizabeth. Do you have any idea how many times parents show up 30-40 minutes late because they "forgot" to get their kids and my friend is there with the child? Or how many times, when that is done, the parent will say "did you help so-and-so with their homework while you were waiting?" Or how many children come to her and vent their life stories and what kind of household they are living in, etc? No, not all areas are like that, but no one on here should be able to argue that teachers spend a heck of a lot of time with our children, sometimes, more than the kids' own parents. They are not compensated nearly enough for what they have to deal with, especially in this day and age. I think if anyone has complaints or ideas about what a teacher should do, maybe they'll do it when they have a better incentive to work under.
Ha! I feel inspired by this post as my fiancee is a teacher. To all those who don't think teachers work hard-try being married to one!
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Old 08-22-2008, 02:52 PM
 
173 posts, read 818,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfish740 View Post
Trust me, it's not just theory. Before the advent of tenure it was well known that a teacher on your payroll was a vote in your pocket.
I don't think the solution to the politics is a guarantee of employment with removal only for just cause. Every healthy organization has to cut underperformers year to year -- with tenure, schools just can't do that. To get away from the BOE politics problem, you could either place hiring decisions in a different entity, like the principal. You could also have teachers on multi-year -- not lifetime -- contracts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Badfish740 View Post
As for merit pay? How do you judge the effectiveness of a teacher in say, Camden who teaches children that come to class wearing the same clothes two days in row, who may or may not have had breakfast (or dinner the night before), and who will go home to an absentee or drug addict parent after school? Are you going to judge that teacher in the same way that you judge a teacher at Princeton High School? Why or why not?
You wouldn't have to compare Princeton to Camden. Each district could get a certain amount, and then that pot would be divided according to some criteria -- like improvement in test scores, attendance, evaluations.
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