Detroit Public Schools to Increase Teacher Pay 33%

Discussion in 'General Education' started by RainStorm, May 21, 2020 at 10:21 PM.

  1. RainStorm

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  3. Mr.history

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    May 21, 2020 at 11:35 PM

    That is such a different area than where I'm from, so I cant say if it will work.
    I do think it's a good strategy though. It sounds like the school system has been struggling to keep experienced teachers and paying them for their skills will make them more likely to want to go there.
     
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  4. futuremathsprof

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    May 22, 2020 at 1:26 AM

  5. futuremathsprof

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    May 22, 2020 at 1:28 AM

    [​IMG]
     
  6. waterfall

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    May 22, 2020 at 3:19 AM

    While this is great for new teachers, I hope they are also honoring the teachers who have been there and stuck it out in those difficult schools. From the article it doesn't really sound like that's the plan, but there weren't a lot of details, so hopefully I'm wrong. They speak to wanting "experience" but it seems the "experience" they want is only 1-5 years. It says they'll raise salaries for people who weren't yet at $51K to get them there so that 1st years don't leapfrog them, but does that mean that perhaps an 8 year veteran and a 1st year teacher are both making $51K? They also speak to saving money by replacing more expensive teachers with newer teachers, which doesn't speak to respecting experience at all.

    We've had this issue in my district. The COL has risen exponentially over the past several years. They keep raising starting salaries to keep up, which makes sense, but then they don't do anything for the veterans. It's been quite the sore subject.
     
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  7. a2z

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    May 22, 2020 at 5:40 AM

    The article does say that 1/3 of the teachers are retirement age and another 1/3 are eligible in 4 years. So, it seems they are hoping to move out the "retirement age" teachers which in many places doesn't mean what the rest of society sees as "retirement age" particularly if the teacher started out of college. They are hoping to replace their 70K plus salaries with 51K ish salaries.

    But I agree that the article was devoid of mentioning those in the middle who will certainly get the squeeze.

    Iti is no fun to have years in to only have a new hire straight out of school come in making almost as much as you do because they raised the base dramatically and barely budged the middle.
     
  8. MissCeliaB

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    May 22, 2020 at 6:13 AM

    Are you not doing the same job? I definitely think that there should be large raises for obtaining additional education or training. Teachers who take on additional responsibilities/roles, such as mentoring new teachers, should get additional compensation. But why should you make more than a newer teacher just because you've been there longer if you are both doing the same work? At least where I work in order to move up on the salary scale you have to have not just worked the time, but had satisfactory evaluations for the years to get credit for them.
     
  9. a2z

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    May 22, 2020 at 6:26 AM

    I was just pointing out what will happen in Detroit when they do what they are planning. The middle will be squeezed. Whether that is right or wrong, beyond what is happening in the current situation, not what should or should not be done in all schools across the country.

    Are you suggesting, other than pay bumps for being a grade level lead, club sponsor, etc, all teachers should have the same base salary and the only difference is if they take on more tasks beyond their regular teaching responsibilities? That also means that they should be working longer hours if they take on more because they are still expected to do their "base job" and are getting paid extra for their additional responsibilities.

    Does that also mean that there should be no degree bump for teachers who take more coursework since job is the same whether or not you are over-qualified for it or not.

    They are all doing the same job, so they are all equal?
    This example doesn't show that they are being paid more because they do a better job, it just shows that as long as you are doing your job correctly you get a pay bump just because you were there longer. Aren't these teachers doing the same job as the second year who had a satisfactory evaluation in their first year? No one should be moving up steps if all is equal. Wasn't that your point? We know that step increases are the same as "raises" that are also given along with step increases when in a good economy or where a strong union negotiates raises.

    It seems this is where the idea of "effectiveness" and student growth has grown. The idea that one should be paid more if they produce more growth from the students since all else is equal.

    I'm trying to get a good read on what you are saying because I wasn't posting to start a discussion about what is the right way to pay teachers. I was just pointing out how people would feel working in their present situation working under the pay scales they have become accustom to.
     
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  10. MissCeliaB

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    May 22, 2020 at 9:24 AM

    I'm saying I don't understand why it should matter if less experienced teachers are making the same amount as more experienced teachers under the new pay scale. They are doing the same job. As long as cost-of-living raises are happening frequently, and people are being paid more for earning additional degrees/certifications, I have no problem with all teachers making the same base salary, then being paid extra for taking on extra duties. We have a serious teacher shortage in my district. If that helps us get more and better qualified people into classrooms, that makes working conditions better for all of us.
     
  11. waterfall

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    May 22, 2020 at 4:12 PM

    Wow. I could not disagree with this more. Do you seriously think a ten or twenty year veteran brings the same thing to the table as a first year teacher?? Really?? I just can't even fathom how anyone with experience thinks that. I remember thinking something similar when I was a brand new teacher- I'm doing the same job, so why is this person making so much more than me? Now that I have some experience I realize how ridiculously naive that was.

    I'm on year ten and one of my teammates was on year 19 this year. We got a first year sped teacher and a 1st year psych new to our team this year. SO much of the responsibility fell on the two of us because we're the ones that know what we're doing. We had to do so much training and hand holding with our newbies. So much of my time was spent explaining things to them, reviewing and revising their work, before even beginning my own work. Any time a "weird" situation came up with an IEP or something, I was more likely to be able to help because I've seen something similar before. If I hadn't, likely my 19 year veteran teammate had. Two years ago I got a teammate that had 17 years of experience and thought I was off the hook as far as "mentoring." Nope- I still had to do so much help with how things work in our district.

    When we get a student with very significant needs who really doesn't belong in our program, I now know the interventions and accommodations/modifications that need to be put in place right away and the kind of documentation that needs to be done, because I've seen these students before even though I'm technically in a mild/moderate program and have taken no classes on severe/profound. The first time I had one of these students, I was SO lost and had no idea what to do. I did my research the best I could, but ended up putting things in piecemeal and not in a timely manner because I didn't know what to do up front.

    Besides all of that I have learned so much more about all aspects of the job and I improve greatly every single year. Experience is incredibly valuable. WAY more than things like extra degrees or classes. I've done the extra degrees and classes because on our salary scale one has to have their MA to keep moving up. I've also taken 40 extra credits to make some lateral moves- not a huge raise but will add up over time. While those classes helped me reflect on my practice, the information presented wasn't that different than what we do with PD at school. When I think what I know now vs. what I knew even my 5th year of teaching- it's incredible. Not to mention the fact that I get better at implementing what I know with more and more practice each year. My AP did my formal eval this year; he'd also done it 2 years ago (P did last years). He mentioned how 2 years ago he thought I was so strong with management/environment and how it was really cool to see how I've gotten even so much better than that in 2 years.

    I also can't imagine what a district can offer as far as "extras" to allow people with experience to make extra money. That seems like a difficult system that would leave a lot of people out. Is this really how your district works? You must be outside of the US. Can people really get enough "extras" to make 10,20,30, 40K more over time?

    I sign up for any extra PD my district offers outside of contract time. We do get paid, but the absolute most I've ever made is about $600 per year when things that are held in the summer. With budget cuts, I'm sure nothing like this will be offered for a long time. This year I was asked to be on a district curriculum adoption committee, where I get paid for each hour worked outside of contract time. At best, this will add up to about $800. This is currently the only "leadership" thing I know of being offered for money in my district. While I'm happy to have the extra money, this is a one time thing (committee won't be needed until next time they want a new curriculum) and doesn't hold a candle to regular step raises, which are about $2K and permanent. If you're talking about moving to administration, there are very few positions available for that in my district. And it's not feasible for every teacher to just move into admin at some point- we need good people doing the actual teaching work, not just moving to admin because that's the only way to get a raise.

    Why on earth would anyone stay in a profession where they can't grow their salary over time? Offering people one time bonuses here and there for doing "extras" isn't even going to begin to cut it. No wonder you have a hard time getting teachers. There is absolutely no incentive to stay and I'm not sure why anyone would go in to that field in the first place knowing their salary is stagnant for life.
     
  12. bella84

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    May 22, 2020 at 8:41 PM

    I was going to say the same thing. I'm also finishing up year #10, and it has recently dawned on me how much more I know now, how much better I am now, than I was early in my career when I thought I was already doing pretty well. There is absolutely value in experience, and teachers should rightfully be compensated for it.
     
  13. a2z

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    May 23, 2020 at 6:05 AM

    I want to mention one thing though. Neither of you were implying that all 10 year teachers are the same, but I wanted to point that out. That is where evaluations over the years should come into pay. I know evaluations are hit or miss, but that really isn't any different in teaching as it is in many other professions.

    However, almost every 10 year teacher has so much more to offer to the students than almost all year 1-2 teachers. If they don't, the question is why are they still there.
     
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  14. a2z

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    May 23, 2020 at 6:38 AM

    Are you trying to say experience counts for nothing?

    You also didn't answer my question. For those who take on additional responsibilities (in your model), should they have to work longer hours for their pay? If they do not, that means they shirk some of their "base" responsibilities at which point should they be getting their full base pay?

    I agree, a teacher who is teaching a full load and then takes on the management of a club or additional coordination duties that requires the planning period to be given up and the planning done after typical contract hours should get more pay. But what about those schools where in exchange for that different duty the teacher teaches one less class period. Does that teacher deserve the pay increase since their base job was just reduced?

    Should a MS or HS teacher who has 3 preps be paid the same as the teacher who only has one?

    Should a physics teacher be paid the same as a number of other courses? Most people can't get physics degrees no matter how many want to argue that they can.

    I could go on all day.

    But what I will say, in almost every job or profession, people who have more experience get paid more even if their base job is the same.
     
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  15. MissCeliaB

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    May 23, 2020 at 7:27 AM

    I'm saying that currently, in most places, years of experience is the greatest factor for determining salary. If you want to make more money, the most efficient way is to just keep teaching. Adding additional degrees can move you to another lane, but those bumps in salary are not always even as big as the equivalent of one extra year of experience. You can take on extra duties, but you are not paid as much for your time as you would be for just having an extra year of experience and not contributing anything extra. Years with successful evaluations should be a factor in salary, but it should not be the main factor.

    And yes, I think that teachers who teach more preps should be paid more, or get additional planning time during the day. Teachers who take on additional duties outside of the classroom (sponsoring clubs, coaching, mentoring new teachers, etc.) should be compensated more extra than they currently are. In the state where I live, you don't necessarily need a degree in physics to teach it, so I don't think we should start paying teachers more based on what they teach (unless it requires some specialized certifications, maybe.)

    Certainly, experience is, and should be, valued on faculty. This is year 15 for me, and I'm becoming one of the more senior teachers at my school. But I don't think that I should be making $10,000 more a year than a first-year teacher, which is how our current salary schedule is set up (and this is after they front-loaded raises a few years ago...)
     
  16. a2z

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    May 23, 2020 at 7:44 AM

    So you would be ok with a first year straight out of college being paid more than you because you prep for two classes and they prep for 3?

    I agree paying first year teachers more will attract, but I do believe that making teachers into widgets will not hold teachers in their current position. They may keep you if newbie college hire gets paid the same or more than you, but I don't think most teachers with seniority will feel the same.

    Please don't take my questions as being dismissive of your opinion. I am just having trouble understanding why you believe that a year 15 teacher has no more value than a first year, except if they are taking on a club.
     
  17. bella84

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    May 23, 2020 at 8:19 AM

    I would be appalled if, 15 years in, I was only making $10K more than a first year teacher. I don’t understand how you find less than that acceptable, unless you truly don’t believe you’ve grown at all in your 15 years.

    Also, if you don’t think that years with successful evaluations should be the main factor in salary, what do you think it should be? How should teachers with the same role but differing levels of experience and expertise (because more experience almost always leads to more expertise) have their salaries determined?
     
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  18. MissCeliaB

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    May 23, 2020 at 9:07 AM

    I guess I just don't see why y'all are so intent on underpaying new teachers. They are doing the same job experienced teachers are doing. Often, they are in the worst schools with the most difficult kids to teach (though that is a whole other conversation.) They are still expected to do the same work as someone with more experience, but for 1/3 less pay? It doesn't make sense to me. I think that more evenly distributing the money among teachers makes sense. I think I should be making more money than most starting teachers at my school, but not because I've been teaching for 15 years, but because I have 4 preps, one of which has an associated CLE, and two that come with competitions I must coordinate and plan at the school level and attend at the regional and state level all for no extra pay. So yes, I should make more money than our 2nd year biology teacher who teaches 1 prep all day, but not because I'm more experienced, but because I do 4x the work she does as far as lesson plans and prep.
     
  19. bella84

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    May 23, 2020 at 9:12 AM

    I was wondering if you were a secondary teacher... It seems that you are. I can see how things may be different in the secondary world, but this doesn’t happen in elementary. Everyone is doing the same number of “preps” in all the same content areas (apart from departmentalizing situations, which generally still amounts to the same certification/education level and workload). Experience truly is all that distinguishes one elementary teacher from another, because that experience usually leads to more expertise. How would you suggest salaries be determined for elementary teachers, if not based on experience?
     
  20. MissCeliaB

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    May 23, 2020 at 9:25 AM

    Base it on experience then, but I do not think that anyone should be making twice what another person is making for doing the same job at the same school. Experience is valuable, yes, but the current system is ridiculously top loaded. I know when I taught elementary (4 years, three different grade levels) I worked way more hours than the more experienced teachers. My coworker made more than twice what I made and arrived with the kids and left with the kids each day. She had it down so easily that she didn't need the extra prep time. And that was awesome for her! But I worked probably 10+ more hours a week than she did, and made literally half what she did. It almost made me quit teaching. It definitely made me move to high school. I don't know what the solution is, but the current system is not attracting new teachers.
     
  21. YoungTeacherGuy

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    May 23, 2020 at 9:34 AM

    I wholeheartedly disagree with this. Makes no sense to me. We would not be able to retain teachers using this type of model.
     
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  22. bella84

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    May 23, 2020 at 9:34 AM

    I see your point. But I also see this as there being a payoff that comes in the long run. I agree that I wouldn’t have stayed in teaching very long if I thought that I’d be working as hard as I did the first few years for such little pay. But I always believed that, eventually, it would get easier and I’d get paid better. That has turned out to be true, and I think it’s because of experience.

    I agree that the current system is not attracting teachers as it should. But I don’t think the answer is paying experienced teachers less overall or reducing the gap in pay between novice and veteran teachers. I think the key is offering more support to new teachers. Maybe new teachers shouldn’t be doing the same job as veteran teachers. Maybe they need more direct coaching that involves working under or with a more experienced teacher. But I think we’d see a lot of teachers leave the profession after a few years if a significant salary increase wasn’t a guaranteed part of sticking with it. It just wouldn’t be worth it long-term otherwise.
     
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  23. Tyler B.

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    May 23, 2020 at 11:29 AM

    New teachers are typically the least skilled. Competence rises sharply after the first five years and continues upward on a slow slope until year 20, where it levels off. Experienced teachers should get paid more.

    School districts should want to attract candidates who are willing to stick it out and gather their highest skill levels. You want to pay teachers enough that they can afford to live in the area and send their own children to college.
     
  24. futuremathsprof

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    May 23, 2020 at 3:46 PM

    You are, of course, 100% correct. It builds resentment among the tenured staff!
     
  25. swansong1

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    May 23, 2020 at 3:56 PM

    What other occupation does not reward years of experience with higher salaries?
     
  26. waterfall

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    May 23, 2020 at 5:00 PM

    First of all, they're not being underpaid. As a teacher, even in a state with crappy pay, I made more my first year out of undergrad than the majority of my friends in other fields. Teaching actually holds up fairly well compared to other entry level jobs requiring just a BA. The difference comes over time- while my salary has gone up, it's not nearly as much as my friends in those private sector fields. They stared outpacing me within the first 3-5 years.

    And second of all, my entire point was that the teachers who have stuck it out in Detroit Public Schools deserve more pay. They are in "the worst schools with the most difficult kids to teach" and they've chosen to stay there. It's one thing to go there for a year because you see an attractive higher starting pay. It's a whole other thing to be able to survive long term in that environment.

    Many years ago I worked in what is considered the "worst" inner city district in my state. I lasted one year (truly, I didn't even want to stay that year- but I knew I'd never get hired anywhere else if I quit). I had a teammate who had somehow stuck it out there for 23 years, and is actually still there right now. Yeah, she made more than double my salary, and she earned every penny. I would be okay with her earning $200K a year. To this day I am in awe of her strength to be able to stay in that environment year after year, training new teammates every year and trying to fight consistent poor leadership, poor treatment, and getting blamed for the ails of society while advocating for the kids and doing some amazing teaching.

    I don't see how you can think this would attract more teachers to the profession. Like I said before, why on earth would anyone sign up for a job where their salary is stagnant for life? Even if someone is so short sighted as to be attracted by the higher base salary, they're not going to stick around once they realize that's all they're ever getting and that their only hope to make more is to try to get the couple of thousand extra for doing things like coaching or leading clubs. I started out at $38K. Yes, I would have been thrilled to get $51K as a first year teacher. But if you told me that $51K was set for life, no way would I be dumb enough to stay in that district. I'd maybe spend a couple of years there saving up my higher salary and then I'd go to a district where my expertise was going to be respected and valued long term. And if just hypothetically, every district were to run that way as you seem to wish, I would have never gone into teaching in the first place. Who would?
     
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  27. MissCeliaB

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    May 23, 2020 at 5:53 PM

    A teacher with their bachelor's degree maxes out at $60,000 or so a year here, on step 30. They start at $48,000 or so. I think that is a reasonable difference between max and min salary. It encourages you to obtain additional degrees to move over a column on the chart.

    I think that's some of why we aren't agreeing. The numbers where we are are very different.
     
  28. bella84

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    May 23, 2020 at 7:15 PM

    My district has a relatively low maximum salary for having only a bachelors degree too. And teachers with no more than a bachelors degree max out at step 10, instead 25. Yes, it does encourage teachers to take additional coursework and earn higher degrees. But, even as teachers move over lanes on the salary schedule, they are still moving up steps based on based on experience. They are earning a higher salary simply by having experience. I already had a masters my very first year teaching, but I still wasn’t paid well enough to that I would have been satisfied with that salary my entire career... and rightfully so. I’m a much better teacher now because of my experience. Additional education has added to some of what makes me a good teacher, but my experience has played a huge role, as well.
     
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  29. futuremathsprof

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    May 23, 2020 at 7:47 PM

    IMO, that is low on both ends...
     
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  30. waterfall

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    May 23, 2020 at 8:06 PM

    We have something somewhat similar here. Ours actually maxes out at step 7 for just a BA with no extra credits. But once you get your MA, you get the lateral raise and you continue to get experience step raises as well. Personally I don't feel that my MA classes were all that beneficial. Maybe I would feel differently if I were in a district where frequent PD isn't already done. Like I said in a previous post, they helped me reflect on my practice a bit more, but it wasn't new, earth shattering information in most cases. I would consider my experience to be significantly more valuable in building my expertise. The way our salary schedule is, you basically have to get your MA if you want to stick around long term. I likely wouldn't have spent the money to get it otherwise.
     
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  31. a2z

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    May 24, 2020 at 5:53 AM

    But isn't a third grade teacher with a bachelor's degree doing the same job as a third grade teacher with a master's degree? Shouldn't they be paid the same based on your argument? Shouldn't all teachers in your district max out at 60K unless they take on additional work that requires them to work more hours beyond their contract?
     
  32. MissCeliaB

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    May 24, 2020 at 7:13 AM

    I never said that. I definitely said that earning additional education/certification/training should definitely be considered. I'm just going to leave this thread alone because y'all are taking what I'm saying and skewing it.
     
  33. a2z

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    May 24, 2020 at 7:22 AM


    How is asking why education should provide a raise skewing what you said? You said you think education should give you a bump, but you also argue that if you are doing the same job you should be getting the same pay. To me the two aren't compatible arguments. If experience doesn't warrant more pay because you are all "third grade teachers" doing the same job, why should a master's degree provide more salary when you are both teaching "third grade" and doing the same job and there is no distinction between what a teacher with a master's degree is supposed to teach vs a teacher with a bachelor's degree.

    I'm just asking for you to explain your own argument.
     
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  34. MissCeliaB

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    May 24, 2020 at 7:44 AM

    Education/degrees/training should count some. Experience/years with successful evaluations should count some. But none of that should count so much that two people can make such different salaries for doing the same jobs.
     
  35. a2z

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    May 24, 2020 at 7:45 AM

    But why? What is your reasoning?

    And should you really get a pay bump if in return for your added responsibility your "regular teaching duties" are cut to offset the difference?

    Should teacher pay be al-la-carte?
     
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  36. MissCeliaB

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    May 24, 2020 at 9:56 AM

    Y'all keep asking me the same question and I keep giving you the same answer. I had no idea that the concept of more equity among teacher pay would step on so many toes. I've been a member of these forums long enough to know how this plays out, so I'm done with this conversation.
     
  37. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    May 24, 2020 at 10:05 AM

    That is right. I keep asking because you are not answering why. You are giving me your opinion that it should be a certain way, but you are not giving a reason. So, I ask again. Why do you think a degree matters or should mean more pay if everyone is doing the same job?

    You present two opposing concepts.
    1. People should be paid the same for doing the same job. I can actually see your point. If students are receiving quality education from any teacher who is getting an acceptable evaluation, pay should be the same.
    2. People should get more pay just because they have a higher degree. Why? What does a master's provide to the students that the bachelor's doesn't? If a higher degree means better teaching, why does experience not provide the same?

    I'm really surprised that instead of answering why you have that opinion you are walking away from the discussion. I haven't insulted you. I am not skewing your opinion. I am just stating it and asking for you to support your opinion with reason.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020 at 10:24 AM
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  38. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    May 24, 2020 at 11:22 AM

    You are ignoring what I said when I said that experience should be a factor but not the main factor. (Similarly, education should be a factor but not the main factor.) I have said several times that I don't know what the solution is. Obviously, there is not a way to pay teachers in an equitable way that will satisfy the veterans and the newer teachers. But you keep asking me why and I have been very clear that people doing the same job should get near the same pay. No two people should have the same job description and one gets paid twice what the other person does. That is why.
     
  39. RainStorm

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    May 24, 2020 at 11:23 AM

    I can so easily see both sides to this.
    • I don't think any school district is going to attract teachers with the attitude that "here is your base pay -- and each year you'll only get a tiny cost-of-living increase." COLA is usually 1 to 1 1/2 percent. How would that ever attracted anyone new to the profession.
    • I think there is great value to experience in two different ways. A teacher with 5 years of experience in THAT school district not only has improved as a teacher, but knows the ins-and-outs of that district. If a teacher with experience in a different district joins a new district, they do have the teaching experience, but they do not have experience with this specific district, and it takes time to build up this experience. This is why many districts are changing their pay structures, and will only pay for 5-7 years of experience no matter how long you have been a teacher (so a 20 year veteran who moves to a new state, will start in as a 5 year teacher, which means an enormous pay cut.)
    • I think that a teacher with experience is more valuable than a new teacher in many ways. I'm not discounting new teachers -- they are often full of excitement, enthusiasm, and new techniques which can be a huge asset. However, there is a steep learning-curve the first five years. That being said, and I know this will be a wildly unpopular view, I think after a certain number of years, there is very little difference between teachers simply based on years of experience. What I mean by that is a teacher with 20 years of experience really doesn't have that much more to offer than a teacher with 10 years of experience. That being said, no person is going to be tempted into a profession where, after say 5 years, you never see a pay increase, other than cost of living. I think that is an unreasonable pay structure, and it will not attract new, qualified applicants to the field.
    • I do think an advanced degree can equate to being a better teacher. I know not everyone agrees with this, but I think someone who takes the time to spend years taking graduate courses in teaching, can end up being a better teacher than one who does not. You notice I say "can." Like you, I've known many teachers with master's who were still very clueless, and I've known many teachers with only a bachelor's who were spectacular. But I have to say overall that someone who devotes 2-3 years (or more) honing and adding to her knowledge base, will be a better teacher than one who isn't.
    • I think teacher evaluations, as the they stand now, are not a sufficient way to judge the merit of a teacher. There is more than one way to be a good teacher, and right now, because only a single principal or a principal/asst principal team evaluate teachers, it is so seriously flawed that the results cannot used to justify or not justify an increase in salary. I think test scores are a ridiculous way to evaluate teachers because the teacher has no control over the level of the students given to her in her class. Teachers who are considered miraculous with struggling students are often given more of these students. They do a fabulous job, but their test scores will never be the same as another teacher whose class consists of mostly average and above average learners. Principals are evaluated on whether them met testing score requirements, on keeping the number of referrals and suspension down, etc. Their perspective is skewed by that fact. If they really want to fairly evaluate teachers, they need to come up with a better system, such as having evaluation teams for an entire district whose own evaluations are not associated with higher test scores and reduced suspensions. (I could spend pages writing about this, but I won't.) I will say that in most of the places I've taught a few struggling teachers get negative evals as a part of the "non-renewal" paper trail process. The rest of the teachers? They all tend to get ridiculously high evals. (I'm saying this is my experience -- yours may vary.) So if there are 100 teachers, and 80 of them have proficient or higher evals, and there is only a small portion of funds set aside for merit raises, how does that improve anyone's morale or wanting to go into this profession? I know when I was in Virginia, as a tenured teacher (and most districts don't even offer tenure anymore) I had the highest test scores in the entire district, and I received "merit pay!" Sounds wonderful. It wasn't. I actually only received an extra $220. And, all of my co-teaching partners (other certified teachers -- like the special ed teacher who did push-in and pull-out, the reading specialist who did pull-out, etc) they didn't get anything! And they should have! This led to some very hard feelings. (I personally took my whooping $220 merit pay and took all my teaching partners and support staff out to dinner.) My point is that it is very hard to quantify "exceptional teaching practices" and it is very hard to determine every one's contribution to success.
    • I also think the rules to maintain your certifications are also a burden that keeps many from joining our ranks. How many of us are still paying for at least half of our professional developments? (raising my hand!) How many of us are still "required" to attend professional developments on days were are not under contract, and are not compensated for it? (raising my hand!) I mean Certified Public Accountants have to take professional development just like us, but their companies pay for these, including flight and hotel, and they are held during work hours, not during the CPA's two week vacation time. Hello? I remember taking a one week Marilyn Burns course that certainly benefitted my school district. They did pay the registration fee. But I had to take it over the summer (with no compensation for my time) and I either had to take it when it came to a city near me or pay for my own transportation and hotel. The district also limited the number of teachers who got to go to this training (because it was expensive) so many who wanted to go, didn't get to, and had to find other PDs on their own. This fact does not make teaching, as a profession, desirable. I also remember going to a NASA training. NASA covered the training fee, but again, it was on my own time, and I had to get a grant to cover my hotel and gas. I could not fly, because I couldn't get that reimbursed, so I had to drive 9 hours to get there (which took me two days, and I had to pay for hotel for that myself.) It was Monday through Friday. It finished at 4pm Friday. The grant I got (which is typical) would not pay for a hotel for Friday night, so after being in a training for 8 hours, I had to either go on to drive for 9 straight hours more or pay for a hotel room myself. I agree that teachers need to keep current, but we are not set up (at least not in non-union states) to do this. Even schools that do offer lots of PD, offer most of it "on the teacher's time."
    • Until conditions improve for teachers, recruiting and keeping teachers is going to continue to be a problem. Detroit is offering higher pay for teachers with 5 years of experience. That is one tiny thing, that has a domino affect on other teacher's satisfaction, and it does not address the majority of reasons why teachers don't stay in the profession, and why teachers in really tough districts leave as quickly as possible.
     
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  40. RainStorm

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    May 24, 2020 at 11:38 AM

    I totally agree with this statement, MissCeliaB. Experience is valuable, but after a certain point, a teacher is proficient. I don't believe a teacher with 25 years of experience is a better teacher than a teacher with 20 years of experience. You get to a certain point where you are "as good as you need to be." It is called proficiency.

    I also agree about education. I have a master's degree and I think I should be paid more for that -- I spent years obtaining it, and it increased my knowledge base. On the other hand, I've known one teacher with only a bachelor's who was so fantastic I can't imagine anyone being a better teacher than she. I also had a colleague one year who had a PhD (and was a 2nd grade teacher.) She had done her entire program on line. She got paid so much more than other teachers because of the PhD, and she was a complete dud as a teacher -- Clueless with a capital C. They non-renewed her right out that year. She didn't put grades in the gradebook, and then couldn't find her written sheet. She missed progress report deadlines. Every time there was a progress report or report card due, she was late, held up the entire school's printing of them, and then had to be walked through the process every single time because she claimed she couldn't remember how to do it. And she contributed nothing to our grade level planning, even after admin noticed and pointed it out to her, insisting that she "step up." Education is not, as you say, the determining factor of what is a good teacher.
     
  41. futuremathsprof

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    May 24, 2020 at 12:43 PM

    No, they should *not* be paid the same. The vast majority of non-minimum wage jobs and non-farming jobs pay based on education, experience, and performance. This holds true in the private sector for the most part, so why should the public sector be any different?

    A new teacher should NOT be paid the same as a veteran teacher.

    I have a colleague who possesses a Bachelors degree, a Masters degree, a Doctorate degree, an administrative license, has multiple teaching credentials and endorsements, and is Nationally-Board certified. This person makes the highest of any staff member at my private school ($143,000) and is truly one of the best educators I’ve ever seen. Plus, this person has been teaching for over 25 years. (And even though the max in this person’s lane is $100,000, they are able to go over because of longevity pay, stipends for extra duties and services rendered to the school, and yearly percentage increases for having advanced degrees and her National cert).

    No, all teachers should not max out at the same. Teachers in the same lane should max out at the same amount.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020 at 6:26 PM

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