Education is a Right that is easily compromised by teacher pay

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

  1. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Perhaps you should go back and read the quote I quoted from in the quote you pulled. Wow that sounds confusing. That's not what you said in that quote. You described your school to which I replied that the point you were making was there are good public schools and dismissive of a one paragraph summary on a charter school.

    I understood you clearly.
     
  2. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I don't think the analogy is effective. Some small district admin might have more work, but some might have less work (less students, less parents, less problem).
     
  3. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    You are not correct. Actually that's not fair. I can't speak to one room schooling houses across the country. I know the requirements and school structures in NJ. Typically one school districts are busting at the seems. If they don't have a big enough population to fill one building, they pay to send their kids to a neighboring district. Usually for 10-15 grand a student as they pay a per pupil rate. Plus bussing of course.
     
  4. AlwaysAttend

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    Also, our one building districts would be K-8 or K-5 usually. I don't think we have any k-12 one building districts. Someone else might be able to chime in on that though.
     
  5. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    I think you have to look both at pay and working conditions when figuring out why there is not enough interest in going into teaching in some areas.

    I find all this talk about bonuses is really disturbing to me. Yes sometimes I know I worked more hours than other colleagues but I don't want to be looking at my work in terms of some bonus structure. I really think a system where we all get paid a decent, steady wage with clearly defined hours - no bonuses, no additional pay for science teachers - is key to making the job desirable. I love teaching in a collaborative field and I just don't think you can have both.

    I still think the major issue underlying all of this is the lack of agency unions have in certain US states. In my experience, full participation in unions with teeth = good working conditions = competitive job market.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
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  6. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Isnt longevity pay a bonus?
     
  7. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Wait, what? I didn't understand what you just said at all. Don't bother to clarify. Just keep arguing with everyone else. I have work to do.
     
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  8. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Sorry AlwaysAttend, I am not following. What is longevity pay?
     
  9. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I'd personally just say "my mistake" but we all can't be honest.
     
  10. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    We raise salaries every year in America automatically. So you move up steps on the salary guide based on years of work. We also have steps for additional degrees sometimes but I know that's not universal so I didn't bring it up.

    I think somebody from Indiana though said that isn't happening there anymore but I could have misunderstood
     
  11. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I am also in NJ. Again, yes and no. I know the school district where I grew up had a superintendent, a principal, and a vice principal for a single K-8 school building of 350-400 kids. I think those admin had a very reasonable workload. Again, I am not saying it is always like this. I get that some small districts may be at capacity. But you can't say that all small district admin have more work than large district admin. That type of generalizing is no good, and really strays from the discussion about charters to begin with
     
  12. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    From a technical perspective, I think that would depend on how you define a bonus. I don't see the grid as a bonus and I don't think the grid is negatively impacting people's willingness to go into the profession. I do believe that teachers with more experience bring something of enhanced value. In Canada most grids are 10-15 years in length. I think there is a huge difference between the development of a teacher who is 5 years into their career and 10 years into their career. I think that mastery is about 10-15 years so I think that's a good place to stop the grid. I don't think teachers should need 25 years to get to the top of a grid - that is really just an attempt to keep salaries low.

    But that really wasn't my point or what I was trying to share. I see bonuses as things that people earn based on a judgement that someone makes and typically are set up in such a way that not everyone can 'hit the bar.' So I don't see the grid as a bonus. I see it as a clearly defined standard that everyone has equitable access to.

    What I see as problematic in creating competition - situations where there are winners and losers: signing bonuses, situations where teachers who are new to the district get paid better than those staying with the district, evaluation structures that only allow a certain % of teachers to earn the highest salary in an environment where that structure is constantly changing.

    I'm also okay if you see grids as bonuses but I would highlight that my point is that competitive based pay structures are what I see as part of the problem.
     
  13. AlwaysAttend

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    True about generalizations but theres no other way to have this specific conversation without generalizing.

    Are you thinking back to the workload they had at the time you were a child? You used the word had.

    40 kids would be at least two sections of each grade at 9 levels so that's 18 teachers. Let's throw a SPED Pre-K in and we have 19 teachers. Lets throw in special area teachers, child study team members, etc. Does 30 teachers sound fair? Lets just say 10 aides, 2 office people, and a few custodians and we are at about 45 people. Since theres 3 admin we can say they each are responsible for observing each person once. Granted some are only getting observed twice but I'm just making it simple because I'm including walk throughs in that time too.

    I think in NJ they budget for 15% of the student population for SPED costs. So we can approximate 60 SPED students all with various meetings throughout the year.

    Each grade level has meetings every week that hopefully they are getting in on twice a month, meeting regularly with data team, meeting with parents, etc.

    The admin I know in small districts end up working 6 days a week to keep up with the work load. Of course they aren't paid for the extra day. It's just needed to get the work done. That's one of the reasons the small districts are used as stepping stone jobs for people. Personally I'd rather work in a small district.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
  14. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    I agree with you, i was just asking how far you wanted to go. Bonuses are really only in place in urban districts (from what I know).

    I do know hard to staff positions can negotiate higher steps on the salary scale and that is necessary because there just aren't enough of them. You incentivize people to choose those positions by paying more. It's also a way to lure people away from the private sector.
     
  15. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    I still believe that if you provide good enough working conditions: solid pay, reasonable benefits/pension, good working conditions you don't need to provide incentives. I think incentives are the sign of a sick system.
     
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  16. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Good point. Is a perfect system possible though? It requires so many different variables, all of which have limitations that can't be controlled by policy decisions alone. You can't force people to choose certain majors or certain jobs. As you point out, all you can do is set up a healthy environment and hope for the best.
     
  17. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    No you can't create a perfect system but you asked about what conditions were needed for a healthy system and my viewpoint is that incentives are not part of the solution. A better system is one that has solid pay, reasonable benefits/pension, good working conditions.
     
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  18. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Ah, got you.

    Nope, I don't get that impression with my charter and friends who work at other charters in the state. We work about the same number hours and I have much more planning time than in my last position. We don't have a union, but there is an association so... however you run that.

    That said, there is one charter company I've heard of that is notorious for the long hours and low pay and such. On the student side, I suppose there's a benefit to the long school day and near-constant teacher access, if I were in a very low SES.

    But that's not what I know of the charter world.
     
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  19. AlwaysAttend

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    If I had to define my better system it would be one that meets the needs of students based on existing limitations.

    For example salaries aren't the same everywhere because of cost of living differences. Likewise, some student populations simply require more so the workload on the staff must be greater. If anything, I'd say the work load in those public schools need to be boosted rather than seeing the charter schools as needing to cut theirs. At that point you can raise pay to make people accept those working conditions.

    Hopefully the changes coming to pension/benefits won't discourage too many from becoming teachers. I'm sure it will for some though.
     
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  20. Backroads

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    It depends on how they're used. I just barely got a bonus for no other reason than the principal apparently asked the board to give us bonuses and it was approved. I'm not complaining.

    My grade doesn't test and I haven't heard of anyone getting bonuses for test scores.

    I am against bonuses that try to make up for other lousy factors.
     
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  21. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Actually, charter schools want to be public schools when it suit their purposes. If they want tax payer money, they are public. When it comes to oversight, they do not want a democratically elected school board to set policy and hire leadership.

    They want to be public when they want space in public schools without paying rent, but they don't want to be public when it comes to showing how they spend the public money.

    This system is fraught with opportunities for fraud and corruption.

    In our state, public schools can be held accountable for waste or fraud, but there is no way to sanction charter schools. We have over 28,000 students taking money from taxpayers and no way to monitor it. Some of the charters have a 12% graduation rate, spend millions on TV ads, and tout choice as their reason for being.

    No effective school system in any other country has a crazy system like this.
     
  22. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    All charter schools are public schools. Their board meetings are open to the public. Not all public schools have elected school boards. It depends on the setup of their local government. All government money has accountability measures in place. I don't know how it is in your state but in NJ charter schools don't recieve money for facilities. They need to rent their own space. Sometimes they rent space in office buildings, former Catholic schools, or unused public school space.

    Denying reality doesn't make your position stronger, it makes it weaker. We had a charter school run by a local civil rights leader where they were scamming money by renting space from a building they owned. They were able to find out because of accountability measures and the school is now closed.

    Public school and private school employees are also arrested yearly for stealing money. You can't legislate morality. There are bad people everywhere.
     
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  23. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    You can't legislate morality but you can create a system that is more or less transparent. So are there different rules for what public school boards and charters are required to make public? I'm not actually talking about what you can find out from attending a school board meeting - I'm curious if there are differences between what public boards and charters must publish in terms of accounting and measures of student success. I'm also curious AlwaysAttend where in the US public school boards are not elected?
     
  24. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    In terms of a better system (post #99), I thought we were talking about the question of how pay impacts hiring (not what makes the best education system). Of course, we want to meet the needs of students but when talking about teacher pay, my point was that it isn't just pay - its also working conditions, the right to strike, etc. So to clarify when I was talking about the system being sick/ the best system possible, I'm not talking about the entire education system. I was talking about the hiring/ employee retention system.

    In terms of funding, my impression is that one major difference in the US is the commercialization of education. Everything from ads for schools to the amount of money spent on programs created by private companies to the idea of TeachersPayTeachers. I think there is enough money in the US system to pay teachers well and provide them with good working conditions. It's just that a lot of that money is being spent elsewhere

    By contrast, when teachers in my province started spiraling math, they posted their entire course for free online so teachers from across the province could use it. There are about 5 teachers who have done the majority of the legwork on this and now there are 1000s of teachers using the material. Why are they willing to do this? Because they work in a place that pays them well and provides for them and they just don't see a need to make a bucketload of money. They want to share it. I don't think this is a sign that teachers in Canada are "better." I think it highlights a different culture that comes when you treat employees well. The expectation where I work is that we share and learn from each other.

    So I do think the current system can look after its teachers, pay them well, treat them well. It just has to take precedence over other budget lines.
     
  25. tchr4vr

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    "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. "

    Now I can only speak from my experience, but the lottery school I worked at did cherry pick, to an extent. Yes, you made the lottery to get in, but there was a zero-tolerance policy. The slightest infractions got you kicked out. Tardies did not exist at my school--3 tardies and you were out. A single referral, and for the most part, you were out. We did have special ed, but not to the extent of most public schools. And again, not to bad mouth charter and private schools, because there are many that take special ed students, but they are not required by law to, but public school do--so if you are in a school that is 25% special ed (my school now), you are looking at an uphill battle.

    My poinit is--if you can choose who comes to your school and who stays, you will outperform others.
     
  26. AlwaysAttend

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    In cities where they are appointed by the mayor. It deals with local government structure, not anything to do with education. Some also have appointed toun council members while others have to be elected.

    Everything they do is public record despite what is being said in this thread.
     
  27. AlwaysAttend

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    Some districts in America buy their curriculums while some write their own (paying teachers to do it).

    If people in my state are fighting tooth and nail for every job opening doesn't that suggest your sickness argument is only applicable in some school systems? No matter how much work a position has, people still want it. If it became unreasonable based on work or salary, they wouldn't have candidates.
     
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  28. AlwaysAttend

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    They are required to take special education students and failing to do so is illegal.

    Is your argument that we should lower the standards and expectations in public charter schools to match traditional public schools?
     
  29. AlwaysAttend

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    Here is an opinion piece written in the NY York Times. It shows just like this thread, people see things through the lense they want to see them. I read it and immediately understood the bias of each example. For example, they used the difference in cohort size as an example of how they are removing students and not filling seats to keep scores high. It couldn't be more of a rediculous argument. Charter schools get money based on fannies in seats. They don't get anything out of empty ones. Anyone who knows urban education understands the transient nature of the population. The suggestion that all these kids left because their standards are too high is laughable. It is definitely true for some, but most students likely moved.

    https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordeba...n?referer=https://www.google.com/&nytmobile=0
     
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  30. AlwaysAttend

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  31. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Privately owned for profit charters can take public money and do not need to report how they spend the money. These businesses claim the rights of privately owned corporations when it suits them. In some places, like Ohio, NY and Florida, these for profit schools get more money per pupil than public schools and are not accountable for how they spend it.

    This is not democracy. Schools should have elected school boards and open books.
     
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  32. AlwaysAttend

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    Admittedly I don't know much about for profit charter schools except that I don't think they should exist. We can agree on that at least.

    I got this off of a charter website from California
    Are charter schools run by for-profit corporations?
    The vast majority of charter schools are operated by non-profit public benefit corporations. Many others are unincorporated, but governed by their school districts. To CCSA's knowledge, for profit charter schools represent less than 1% of charter schools in California. Out of almost 1,200 charter schools in the state, there are only six (6) charter schools that are organized as limited liability corporations. Regardless of how they are structured, they are subject to the laws governing all charter schools. Charters schools are public schools that must be non-sectarian, tuition-free and open to any student who wishes to attend. Their fiscal operations and compliance are overseen by their public entity authorizer.
     
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  33. AlwaysAttend

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    I've never heard of a charter getting more money per pupil than a public school. Can you show me where I can find that info?
     
  34. Tyler B.

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    Here's how these for-profit charters make themselves look like non-profits in my state: One of the worst [K12.Inc] will set up a non-profit board in a small school district. Then this board "hires" K12.Inc to manage their on-line charter. K12 charges far more money per pupil than the new non-profit gets in state revenue. Quickly the non-profit goes into deep debt, but when K12 "forgives" some of the debt, K12 suddenly shows a loss and doesn't need to pay state corporate taxes. Their test scores and graduation rates are the worst in the state making them basically dropout factories that make hundreds of millions in profits, but pay little or no taxes.

    Be skeptical when you hear a charter is a non-profit.
     
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  35. Backroads

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    WHy doesn't your state seek to change it instead of whining about it?

    My state monitors charters schools like a hawk. We have one that catered specifically to the needs of teen moms that wasn't able to hold its own, another that failed on helping those with autism. The state had them shut down after a probationary period. There was monitoring, there was oversight.

    Or is just easier to complain instead of the state doing its job?
     
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  36. Backroads

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    I do want to take a moment to play devil's advocate on "cherry-picking students". I actually do know a small group of parents at my school that mistakenly thought the school DID have higher selectiveness, or at least ease at kicking students out. Hence one of the main appeals of the charter.

    Our school is Title 1, a majority of minorities, lots of poverty, gang and drug violence, the whole 9 yards... and a huge SPED program.

    One dad was horrified when he realized the home lives of some of our students.

    I know of 5 students who have been expelled. 4 of them were for HUGE HUGE HUGE misbehavior on the 9th grade Spain trip. One was exceedingly abusive to other students in the bullying manner and was kicked out for pretty much the reason any school would kick out a violent student.

    Other than that, no. We try to teach bullies, our SPED department is awesome, but as far as I can tell there is no significantly desire to boot kids out.

    But this dad, who was a nice guy but a little naïve, was hoping his kids could attend school without lots of distractions from problem behavior. Bullies and violent kids would be promptly expelled, class wouldn't be disrupted by emotional meltdowns...

    Now, is this so terrible a desire? Is it wrong to want your kids to have a mostly peaceful and focused school session? Isn't this one reason some parents pick private school where they can reasonably hope disruptive students are simply removed?
     
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  37. Tyler B.

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    I would appreciate your advice on how to do this. I prepared an annotated report on the issue and met with my state senator and representative. This is an hour drive for me. They were polite but distant. Later I looked it up and noticed that K12 had given $5,000 to the senator and $3,000 to the rep. I feel helpless.
     
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  38. Backroads

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    I have a neighbor in politics. I could talk to her for suggestions.
     
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  39. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    We all desire this. Where did those expelled students go? To the public school? Then your school is cheery picking. In my state, when a charter takes a SPED student, they get twice the per pupil money. As a result, the charters eagerly take the soft problem students and dish the hard ones to public. Why should this be allowed?
    btw: I'm certain you are a dedicated teacher, working on a sincere, dedicated staff. I completely respect the job you do every day. I just think it's wrong to have a parallel school system that won't accept the hardest kids and takes money from the already underfunded public system.
     
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  40. Backroads

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    That is the problem. In our situation, it becomes the student's local district's problem. If we worked for the district, there is protocol for ensuring an education plan for the expelled student. We are a lone wolf school. Sure, we report the expulsion to the state, but then what? They still kick it back to the student's family to look at their local district. It's not like we have a sister school or alternative charter school to send the kid to.

    But is it cherry picking? If a regular district-controlled public school can expel a kid for the same reasons, why should a charter school be required to keep him? Why should a regular public school be able kick out a violent student in the name of protecting the other students and a charter school not?
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
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