Education is a Right that is easily compromised by teacher pay

Discussion in 'General Education' started by AlwaysAttend, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    Hi Everyone,

    I started this discussion in another thread and I realized it wasn't fair to continue it in that thread which had a different audience so I started a new thread (first time I ever agreed with that by the way).

    Education is a right for all students. Whether they take full advantage or abuse it, they are entitled to it. In some states, this right is threatened by low teacher pay. As a teacher in NJ, you will never hear me complain about salary, benefit costs, or the fact that I have no shot at a pension being there when I retire. Others will argue these points, but I'm a realist. I knew what I was getting into when I went into education and never expected to get rich.

    I was discussing the plight of Arizona with others where there is a legitimate teacher shortage to the point that they take random UBER drivers and hire them to teach math (I wish I made that up). The article I was reading talked about a variety of issues but really there is only one that matters and it's the pay scale. Teachers are treated pretty much the same everywhere else in most areas. Below is a list of states with their average teachers salaries adjusted for cost of living. If you live in one of the states at the bottom of the list, is this affecting the amount of qualified teacher candidates you have? If so, what is your union doing to correct it? If you don't have a union, what are you waiting for to correct this issue?

    http://kahlerfinancial.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Teacher-Salary-Chart.pdf
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I'll play. My state is one step above AZ. Teachers have different pay throughout the state though, depending upon the district.

    We do not have much of an issue filling positions in my district, but I imagine other districts aren't so lucky. I do expect that the pool of exceptionally qualified teachers is shrinking. Our universities are lowering the bar so they can accept and graduate more education majors. And we can play fast and loose with qualifications in order to get people into classrooms.

    We do not have a union and never will. Our legislators do not care about teachers' voices/opinions. They are quite content allowing education to die in our state.
     
  4. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Devotee

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    Teacher pay is only part of the problem. Having society honor teachers and teaching is another part of the issue. When I taught in a low income school with a highly transitory, highly stressed, student population, I was part of a "failing school" despite all the daily miracles the dedicated staff performed.

    When I moved to a high income school, I was suddenly a highly effective teacher due to the high scores of my well-nurtured students.

    In Finland, all teacher education is paid for by the state. As a result, there is heavy competition for slots in the teacher training programs. Candidates are carefully chosen from a wide and deep pool of applicants. This creates tons of prestige for someone who finishes the teacher ed program.

    Here in the US, we have 6-week wonders (Teach for America) touted as the solution to "failing schools" instead of highly trained, professional teachers. We use test scores to "punish" failing schools to shame their "lazy teachers" into taking their heels off their desks and doing some work. We use vouchers and charters, of which 80% underperform the public schools, to draw money away from the public schools.

    There is no nation on earth with high performing students, who got that way by underfunding public education.

    It's not just teacher salaries, but that's part of it.
     
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  5. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Companion

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    I agree with Tyler that it isn't just about pay. I would add that I think the issue underlying teacher pay is the presence or absence of unions. Places where unions have not been stripped do typically pay teachers better. With that high pay comes a great deal of interest in going into teaching. The university I attended for my Education degree turned down 7 students for every student they accepted in the year I applied. Once through the program, it typically takes teachers 5-10 years to secure a permanent teaching position (depending on their qualifications) and some candidates never get a position. So teaching is a highly desirable and highly competitive profession.
     
  6. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    I disagree with you. There is no mass mob out there denegrating teachers. In states with high teacher pay and salaries, there are complaints about the high salaries and benefits. People aren't throwing garbage at teachers. If you see how people treat anyone in society, they treat them equally. So if you have a person who treats a teacher poorly, they treat the police, their dentist, and the garbage man the same way.

    People have a right to challenge poor performance in schools. Certain populations fall out of bed proficient but obviously the way we measure teachers should be based on growth rather than the performance of the population.

    Oh and cite the stats for your charter bashing please.
     
  7. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    Right to work states do not outlaw unions. Members just can't be forced to join and pay in.
     
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  8. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    There is no state i know of where good teacher pay doesn't come with a strong union. Without one doesn't come the other.
     
  9. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    I must ask how old this data is. I've seen this same list for years.

    Indiana outlawed graded pay schedules in 2011. There's no way in hell the average teacher pay is $51K. Indiana teachers start around $35K, and for many that is the most they will ever make, with pay cuts each year disguised as increased insurance costs. And, it must be mentioned, Indiana unions are no longer allowed to bargain working conditions. Teacher moral is at a historic low.

    I am seeing schools lose most of their staff over the summer and have to replace them.

    This means schools are hiring people they would never have hired years ago, and that the people they hire are fresh out of school and unable to get better jobs elsewhere; are marginally qualified; or simply not qualified beyond their ability to show up to work.

    This drives discipline problems into the stratosphere, which some schools counter by implementing PBIS and under reporting issues.

    All of which in turn drives the overall quality of the system into the dirt.

    I know Arizona is bad. Indiana will be the same way in a couple of years.

    But that's OK. Charters and vouchers will save the world.
     
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  10. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Companion

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    AlwaysAttend,

    I'm trying to understand what you are saying. In the other thread you said we couldn't compare American results to Canada's or Finland's because the population is different and in this thread you are saying that people have the right to challenge poor performing schools. In the other thread you said teachers shouldn't be allowed to teach outside of their subject area and here you are calling Tyler's perspective charter bashing. Aren't charters allowed to hire outside of credentials? Can you explain how these fit together for you?
     
  11. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    You need to hold urban districts accountable and can't dismiss their students as incapable of learning because it's not true. If teachers aren't showing they can move students they shouldn't be working there. Maybe they are great but not for that population. You can't treat America the same is Canada when we have 300 million more people and a population that is far more diverse.

    Good charters only hire credentialed teachers. NJ requires charter schools to hire credentialed teachers. I work in a state that values education so I can only speak to my expertise in this state. You have charter schools in this state and NYC which I'm also familiar with easily outperforming local public schools in the state by a lot dispite what my union says is student cherry picking. It is not. In Newark for example they don't even do lotteries anymore at most schools, NPS assigns the student to the school based on parents top choices public or private.

    All charters are not equal and NJ has no problem closing the bad ones down. I wish they did that with public ones too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017
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  12. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    These numbers are from 2015 and reflect median pay. It's all based off of public record so if you have a source with more recent data lets post it rather than just dismis the data I found.

    Indiana wasn't exactly at the top of any education lists before these changes were they? I saw them ranked below Florida and that says something. We get a lot of kids from Florida schools in NJ. I wonder what our kids experience when they move down there.

    Charters and vouchers can be part of the puzzle. If schools aren't performing, everyone should have a chance to improve their education. Not just rich and middle class kids.
     
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  13. 2ndTimeAround

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    True, you can join a union. But laws make it so that unions are ineffective. You cannot have a union with any power, I should say. It is against the law to strike, have a sick-out, or such. There is no such thing as contract hours.
     
  14. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Companion

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    Okay AlwaysAttend, what about the US is unique in its need for charters? I agree that every region can't do things the same way. If we look at the top 10 countries, we see diversity in how those countries approach education so there are certainly diverse ways to be successful. However, I do not personally see how charters are the solution.

    To me in the context of a western democracy, the solution is higher pay, better working conditions, more support - all of which are dependent on unions. That seems the opposite of charters. Some of what you've said in terms of what unions should do and what you would do if you ran a charter seem inconsistent with my understanding of what unions or associations can do in certain US states and what charters can feasibly do with their budget.
     
  15. a2z

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    It is not true about contract hours. Non union states have contract hours and teachers will routinely work to the rule to get what they want. Unions "negotiate" by holding students and families hostage.
     
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  16. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    I didn't know about striking. Do you know how they regulate it? Could they do a "sick out" since it's technically not a strike?
     
  17. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    How so?
     
  18. 2ndTimeAround

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    It is true about contract hours. Not all non-union states work the same. Don't tell me what isn't true about my area, lol. Teachers are expected to be at school from X to Z and any other times as determined by principals and school needs.
     
  19. 2ndTimeAround

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    No. They can require doctor's notes if you take sick leave and they suspect you aren't sick or tending to a sick/injured family member. You cannot take other leave without prior approval.

    Rumor is you could actually be jailed for striking, but I doubt it would ever come to that. The state would have no problem recalling licenses and firing employees. They recall licenses now if you leave with less than 30 days notice and you don't have your lead principal fighting to keep it for you.
     
  20. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    Have you ever been in a well run Charter School? They can be incubators for change in schools by implementing new strategies, often provide more instructional hours, and routinely show far greater growth than their local counterparts. They do this with less per pupil funding and the need to fund their own building.

    Teachers jobs are way harder in charters usually than public so the turnover is typically greater. One school near me required their teachers to be accessible by school issued cell phones until 9pm at night for student questions! I don't know why anyone would work their but student performance there was excellent.

    Like public schools there are good ones and bad ones.

    To the top 10 countries, there is no country on earth that is similar to the US and none are fair comparisons.
     
  21. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Enthusiast

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    I think a union really needs to sue and see if they can move that into an appeals court. I wish I knew more about law as it stands with unions. It probably would go through the labor board rather than the courts, at least initially.
     

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