Getting Laid Off

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Math, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. Math

    Math Cohort

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    I just wanted to know in order of preference what teachers should be let go when a district can't afford the teachers?
    I also agree the last one's hired are the first one's to go.

    For example my preference would be:
    Physical Education
    (Any extra classes like Computer Programming, TV & Film, Cooking, Art, Music, Family Consumer, etc...)
    (If a core subject)
    Science Teachers (Just like 1)

    I chose science because last year when I was in Middle School they laid off EVERY Science teacher that taught 8th Grade.. just to hire new people to do it. Only one teacher that has taught for 30 years just had went up to the High School.

    In my school there is a new requirement as well for all students graduating in 2014 to take one semester of Economics... BORING!!!!

    WHAT IS YOUR PREFERENCE? TOP 3
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Wow. So glad I'm not the one to make such decisions. It's distressing that you posted 'the arts' and other 'specials' high in your preference list...sometimes these are the ONLY classes where som kids experience success. These classes also help teach the 'whole learner' and open up ways of looking at the world differently than 'traditional' classes might.
    Cutting ALL the science teachers hardly makes sense to me, nor would ENTIRELY eliminating any core content area...in high school, such drastic cuts will clearly have ramifications in terms of student 'competitiveness' for college.
    Economics can be fascinating...our country could be in better shape fiscally if more people understood the basic principles of this subject.
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I don't think that laying off any teacher by type is wise. PE teachers are value members of the staff and teach students valuable skills, just as a reading/math teacher would.

    I think that the school needs to look at where their needs lie and then decide who to lay off. This could be fourth grade teachers if the third grade class is smaller. Or it could be a math teacher, if there are more students in self-contained special education math. It could be a resource teacher or intervention specialist if there are less students in these programs. But, just cutting a department is not wise as these classes should be considered just as valuable. Just because they are not state tested, doesn't mean that they are not valuable for the students.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I would much prefer to see one or two administrative positions cut that teachers. As I've mentioned before, there's simply so much redundancy in those offices. And two or three six-figure salaries would go a long way in preserving the quality of education at the classroom level.

    The study of economics is the only thing standing between our nation and total economic collapse.
     
  6. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I don't think any one department should get cut entirely and instead have all departments lose one or two teachers and unfortunately have class sizes go up. Different students excel in different areas and I don't think it's good for the overall school if too many electives are taken away.

    Now, in my department we have some classes that almost always get the full 30 students and some that get more like 12-16. The courses that aren't being filled should be the first to get cut or reduced in number of times offered.
     
  7. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Oh and a big yes to reducing the amount of administrative positions to save money.
     
  8. Math

    Math Cohort

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    I don't understand how it is distressing.. I think that was a bit harsh.. I'm a student in High School.. cut me some slack please. From my viewpoint right now that is how I would do it.. Science was if for some reason they had to lay off all other extra curricular activity teachers.
     
  9. marcus903

    marcus903 Companion

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    Why would they lay off Science teachers?
     
  10. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    I heard something about this in TX during spring break. It appears that's one of the criticism/problems they see among districts. They are suppose to follow some ratio about admin vs teachers (not sure what it is). The news commentary was basically saying that there are too many admin positions that don't appear to be justified.
     
  11. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Math---I don't think that any of us are trying to be harsh. We are just unsure of cutting the arts for many students. As teachers, this is a reality in many schools, the arts are being cut! It is hard for teachers to hear others having this opinion as we value these teachers and the curriculum that they teach.
     
  12. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I'd cut admin too! There is a lot of redundancy there.
     
  13. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    For those favoring cuts in administration, are you talking about at the building level? High school? I'm curious how many different administrators you have, and how their positions overlap? Having worked mostly in elementary, though some in middle and high, I often see that there are far fewer administrators on staff than are needed. I've never worked central office, so I'm not sure how much redundancy might be there?
     
  14. Math

    Math Cohort

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    I'm not a teacher... I'm a HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT!!! Well maybe I guess the arts shouldn't be cut.. but I still think physical education isn't really that important personally now health is. I didn't mean to attack people that teach the arts.
     
  15. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    We are sure that you didn't, it is just such a touchy subject in education now because it is happening all over the world.

    PE is so important for our students! Without this many students do not get involved in any exercise. I know students who go home and spend every waking moment sitting in front of a TV or computer. They are not active. Without PE, there would be no exercise for these students.
     
  16. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Math---you are grappling with the same budget cut areas that many teachers, administrators, and politicians are grappling with. It is not an easy area and it does not have an easy solution.
     
  17. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Well I don't think you should be forced to participate in Gym.. especially when your not good at any sport it's embarrassing! If I were teaching gym I wouldn't force students to participate. There are always people that want to play and others that do not... I'm not talking about being lazy I'm saying the one's like me who don't want to embarrass themselves.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    How are you embarrassed? Surely you aren't the only non-jock in PE class.
    Surely, there are those who see no use for grammar, spelling, or punctuation...is it ok that they can turn in papers without proofreading? I wasn't a fan of statistics or as Peggy Sue says:
    "Mr. Snelgrove: And what's the meaning of this, Peggy Sue?
    Peggy Sue: Well, Mr Snelgrove, I happen to know that in the future I will not have the slightest use for algebra, and I speak from experience...".but the reality is that school opens up your mind. You do need PE, and grammar, and good spelling, and excellent math skills, and a basic understanding of science and economics...and an appreciation for the arts will give you a deeper understanding and view of the world around you. I don't say these things because I'm a teacher....I'm a teacher because I passionately believe these things.
     
  19. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I think that is why more PE teachers might be necessary. Maybe schools could offer different gym sessions...my school offered basketball, soccer, DDR, etc as classes that students could sign up to take. Then for a semester you learned how to play that sport or those games, etc. With more gym teachers, this might be possible.

    Maybe with a few more teachers, schools could offered beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes as well. You might not be as embarrassed to participate in beginner basketball if all the advanced and intermediate students were in a different class.
     
  20. Math

    Math Cohort

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    What do you mean how am I embarrassed? When all the unprepared students are commenting about how you suck! I hate going to gym... it's the worst.
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Have you spoken to your PE teacher?...
     
  22. Math

    Math Cohort

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    Spoken to my PE teacher about what? We are FORCED to play end of that story.. the gym teachers in my school have the worst attitude.
     
  23. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Talk to them about the other kids...are you feeling bullied? NJ has mandated bullying policies in all schools.
     
  24. Math

    Math Cohort

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    I don't feel bullied.. but I have been unprepared before and I hear the things people say about kids who aren't good at certain activities... but I just wish I could just not have a gym class.
     
  25. Math

    Math Cohort

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    I'm in JROTC and we do exercise in that class every Friday plus run a mile after or do push ups, sit ups, etc... at my school we have Health Mon. & Tues. and Gym Wed. Thurs. Fri.
     
  26. Math

    Math Cohort

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    In JROTC at least we don't get laughed at.. if someone can't do something we motivate them to try and do it or show them if they don't know.
     
  27. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    And that is what should be happening in gym class!
     
  28. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Math, I hear what you are saying. PE is different, and differently judged, than one's performance in other areas, because there's a different psychological connection kids/teens make between athletic/physical ability and academic ability. In addition, it's more visible - it's quite easy to see who's clumsy, but more difficult to see who is isn't the best speller.

    I do think that physical activity is huge, but at the risk of offending any PE teachers here, I think there are alternatives if we were faced with having to let a reading specialist go vs. a PE teacher. I think there are ways that classroom teachers could be expected to incorporate physical activity or lead more active games in the school gym - not teaching PE/sports, but leading active physical games. I'm not saying there isn't any value in PE, but there is quite simply more value in a reading specialist, or an administrator who is able to provide much needed support to teachers like some of the other ones on this forum who have been posting about not receiving the training/support they need in other areas in schools.

    I am NOT advocating that PE be let go, or that physical activity is not important. However, back to Math's original question, if I were an administrator and I had to make that tough choice, I might consider letting the PE teacher go, and asking classroom teachers to lead their own active games during PE.
     
  29. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm not certified to teach PE. PE is a prep period for me...if PE was cut entirely, the district would be contractually required to 'find' that prep time for classroom teachers.
     
  30. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Math, I think the things you're referring to are the reason that many PE classes are going away from organized sports and towards fitness. I've seen this in most of the schools I've been in. The students do more workouts than sports, and its much more individually based. That way, students who aren't as coordinated athletically aren't embarrassed. It also teaches kids how to excercise and be fit for themselves. I've never been athletic in terms of organized sports. I was never a fan of gym either. It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I discovered fitness- that I could do! Even though I'm not "athletic" I work out frequently and I'm very fit. I wish someone would have shown me how to do that sooner! Even if kids enjoy the organized sports, thats not something that will always be available to them. If they know how to work out on their own- they can do that anywhere. I'd have to say that I think PE is one of the most important classes out there, especially given the obesity crisis in America. Some of these kids may not get excercise anywhere else. Our PE teacher in highschool used to joke that his class was the most important we'd ever take. He would say, "Are you going to drop dead of a heart attack because you can't do an algebra problem? Nope. But you just might if you don't know how to eat right and excercise."

    Anyway, getting back on track, EdEd, you asked about admin...for a school of less than 150 students, we have a principal, an assistant principal, and a master teacher who does not teach students at all but serves as only a coach for teachers. Don't get me wrong, they're all nice people and I like them- but for a school our size we don't need that much admin. We only have 11 teachers! We're cutting music next year while all the admin get to stay- I think that is much more important. Don't even get me started on the district office! I have a secretary for the sped department that manages my online IEP system. I have to e mail her when I need packets opened and when I need them archived. This is a ridiculous position- I could easily do those things myself. In fact, it's more work, time, and energy to have her do these things then to just do them myself! We have 10 of those positions in our district.
     
  31. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I absolutely agree.
     
  32. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm talking about the district level.

    I cut and pasted this from my own response to another thread on a similar topic:

    "Let me take the contact list from our one-middle-school, one-high-school district from the website, just to give you a sampling of what's typical:

    Central Administration

    Superintendent of Schools

    Assistant Superintendent for Business

    Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction

    Assistant Superintendent for Personnel

    Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessments

    Director of Educational Technology & Grants

    Director of Facilities and Operations

    Director of Phys. Ed., Health, Athletics, Driver Ed. & Recreation

    Director of Special Education & Pupil Personnel Services

    Those, of course, are just on the district level.

    The high school has:
    Principal -
    Asst. Principal -
    Asst. Principal -
    Asst. Principal -
    Asst. Principal - And a department chair for each department.

    The Middle school has:
    Principal-
    Assistant Principal-
    Assistant Principal-

    And each of the 7 elementary schools has a principal.

    To the best of my knowledge, NONE of these people teaches a single class.

    And from my house, I could walk my out of shape, 52 year old body to at least 4 other districts."
     
  33. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    AGREED! :thumb:
     
  34. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    My fiance has taught high school science in two school districts both of which are suburbs of Chicago. His first school (4,000 students) had one principal, six assistant principals, six deans, one main superintendent, and four assistant superintendents. His new school (2,100 students) has one principal, three assistant principals, five deans, one main superintendent, and five assistant superintendents. Typically in these districts the assistant prinicipals and deans make over 90k a year, the principals make over 150k a year, and the superintendents make over 175k a year.

    The majority of the these administrators can be seen walking around the building drinking coffee and having spare time in their schedule. High school administration should be consolidated to save money!
     
  35. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Seriously, in a district with one high school and one middle school, do ALL these jobs really need to exist to determine what our kids learn????? Exactly what do these people do at work all day?


     
  36. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    Alice, the district my fiance is in now has an assistant superintendent to serve as an assistant to the main superintendent! And the assistant superintendent of the superintendent makes 210k a year! It's beyond unbelievable.
     
  37. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Yeah, seems a bit top heavy at your school!
     
  38. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Yeah, I don't know much about district level operations. I will say that I can't imagine removing most of the positions above. Having run a nonprofit myself, I can testify that even very small operations can be very time consuming with "behind the scenes" stuff going on. I know that I spent a lot of time doing behind the scenes work - from grantwriting to accounting - to enable our front lines folks to be able to teach and do intervention.

    I will say that I agree that in a district your size that admin pay @ $150,000+ would be high, but then again how many times do we complain as educators that salaries aren't high enough? I realize this usually is a complaint about teachers' salaries, but in many cases you get what you pay for. Someone with the leadership, organizational, and visionary-oriented characteristics that would be desired for district-level leadership might be able to apply those same skills for salaries of $300,000+ easily in other sectors. Same argument as with teachers - you get what you for.

    I can see how folks would cut administrators given some conditions - such as waterfall's school, or when an admin makes $150,000 in a district with only a few schools (or heck, $150,000 anywhere!). I'd be more inclined, though, to reduce salaries or cap salaries rather than let people go, though.

    Still, I'm not totally opposed to what's being said here.
     
  39. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    $300,000+ isn't unheard of here for school administrators.

    If I remember correctly, our Superintendent makes in the $250,000+ range.

    I'm not suggesting eliminating most of those positions. Eliminate just ONE of those assistants (let's assume $175,000, since I'm not suggesting we eliminate-- or even touch the pay-- of the Supt. of Schools.) You could pay, what, 4?? maybe 5?? first year teachers? (Oh, and the grant writing and the accounting are done by other jobs on the list.)

    In my school, EVERYONE teaches. The president, the principal, the director of guidance, the chaplain, all the department chairs, the AD. Yet somehow they manage to also run a school of over 2500 kids.

    Why is it that in the public high school of roughly the same size a few blocks away, it takes all those administators working full time to determine what should be taught? Then it takes another whole cadre of administrators for the grant writing, the accounting, the transportation, and so on.

    Then, at the public high school half a mile away, it happens all over again, with another set of administators in the $200,000 -$300,000 range, simply because that's a different district. Go a mile south, and it happens again, a mile east, and it happens again.

    From the house I grew up in, I could walk to at least 7 school districts within a 30 minute walk-- in addition to being able to reach the fringes of the NYC district.

    NYC is ONE district; Long Island is 124.

    The redundancy is mind boggling.
     
  40. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    OK---my two cents, I think that if you want to cut "fat" there are easier ways.

    *Teachers driving a bus would cut fat...they could earn the same salary as a bus driver, but that is insurance and other benefits that could be cut.

    *Administration subbing randomly, that would cut "fat" and be an effective way for administrators to keep their foot in the door.

    *My husband has a welding class. The kids need projects. He has a relationship with the coachs that he has spent time building. They have broken equipment, instead of buying new or sending it out to be fixed; his ag class does it. It is a win/win situation. This year they have built cages for the baseball coach, new bases for the baseball coach, weight holders for the football coach, fixed the football dummies, fixed "big Bertha" (I don't know, but she is important to my son at football), fixed bleachers, and worked on holding pens for the school farm. They build panels and gates for local farmers that allow them profit to buy metal for other projects.

    Our district is ran with many cut saving objectives in place. Our Supt. points out we might not have the latest gadgets, but we have what we need. And when we come back in Aug. it is nice to get a check that has the money we saved the previous year made out to us. He has been able to do that 4/5 years since I came to work here.
    Our school had to cut art this year...we were having to RIF teachers and the art teacher retired. I hate that we lost that program. My son would never have taken an art class, but that is because it is not one of his interest. But my daughter might have. Kids need specialist as much (and in a lot of cases, More) than a core subject teacher.

    My husband's FFA judging teams are what drives many of his students. He gets scholarships for all of the kids that judge for him and stays committed. It might not be for a four year college, but "free" education at a junior college beats not going.

    So be careful what you consider getting rid of in schools. Some of those programs do so much more than you think.
     
  41. rbschreiber@gma

    rbschreiber@gma Rookie

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    Mar 28, 2011

    I'm sure this has already been said somewhere in this thread, but you can't just cut out all of PE or any department. Despite what you may think of PE or the teachers (and though in school I HATED PE, I absolutely see the need for it) - most states require some form of it!

    So you can't just close up the gym.
     

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