Wow! So Scary Out There Right Now

Discussion in 'General Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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  3. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Apr 21, 2010

  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I agree 100% Major.

    I think this is a time for teachers to return to basics.

    We need to replace spending with creativity and good solid teaching.

    Sure, all the bells and whistles were great when there was money.

    But it's gone now. It's time to stop asking the public to fund tax increases for education, and time for teachers to show just how good they are-- to make do with less and still get results. To show why not just anyone can teach.
     
  5. sequence

    sequence Rookie

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    In a way I agree, but I have no "bells and whistles" that I can take away. This year I had to duct tape my textbooks from 1986 back together so I could get another year out of them. I don't have enough for my 22 kids per class, so I have to copy out a couple extra for each classroom. I don't think cutting the "bells and whistles" if what you mean is technology (a computer lab that worked would be nice) is feasible to me (if I had it in the first place) because to me, how can I expect my students to compete with the world out there if they don't have at least a basic knowledge of it? I don't know, I'm probably just rambling. I agree that the way we teach does need to change, as in the art of teaching, but cutting isn't the answer to me, using money wisely is.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    What money?

    I think the point that so many voters are trying to make is that there is no more money-- the well is dry.

    One of my friends from work is also in my district; our kids go to school together. Her husband was laid off in January. She's supporting a family of 5 (On Long Island no less) on a Catholic School teacher's salary.

    So if our school budget shows an increase, she's going to have to vote against it. Would she like all sorts of improvements, and smaller class sizes and new libaray books and more field trips? Sure. But "likes" are one thing. "Needs" include paying the mortgage and putting food on the table for 3 boys, two of whom are teenagers.

    I don't know a single kid in our middle class neighborhood who doesn't have that working knowledge of computers; most could easily put me to shame. And our libary has a whole computer lab.

    If the state budgets slash education funding as they're expected to do, districts have two choices: make more (tax increases) or spend less. People facing double digit unemployment are going to vote down tax increases-- the old "blood from a stone" thing. So it seems to me that the only viable solution is for schools to spend less.
     
  7. OedipaMaas

    OedipaMaas Rookie

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    This is a vicious cycle, though. Because of layoffs and stagnated growth, local governments see their tax revenue drop, so they layoff employees, which further depresses the economy and lowers the tax base, etc.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Absolutely.

    So, until this mess somehow gets sorted out, teachers are going to have to rely on good solid teaching, creativity and teamwork to replace the hemoraging of funds we've enjoyed in years past.
     
  9. Grover

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    Bells and whistles = teachers. About 90 per cent of most districts' budgets goes to salaries. They are trying to force a 7% pay cut on teachers here.
     
  10. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    And how is that going over, Grover? The teachers I know are militant about not giving up a single per cent for anything or anyone. Last I heard they won't budge an inch. Could get ugly before it is all said and done.
     
  11. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Nothing I am about to say is news to anyone- but, it would make such a huge difference if the higher ups got paid the same level as teachers. No one should be exempt from pay cuts, including administrators and legislators. I am glad I am in college right now and not facing the job market yet. Yet, my tuition will raise by 9% next year... sad state of affairs.
     
  12. Grover

    Grover Cohort

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    Not real well. My wife is a second-year teacher, but didn't get the bump last year because they had a pay freeze. So, she'll be getting 7% less than a starting wage- which isn't much to begin with. She's thinking of moving to New Jersey and becoming a cop. ;)

    Anyway, it seems to me that at some point we need to decide whether we'd rather buy a new cruise missile or fund a school. Our national priorities are screwed up.
     
  13. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    I completely agree.
     
  14. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Public education is the same as public health care. Everyone is for it until it comes time to pay the bills and then it becomes the reality of a socialist system in a capitalist economy.


    Then again, we haven't actually paid our bills since the year of my birth (1969) outside of a few of the Clinton years.





    I teach exponential growth using the national debt as an example. IMO, this country is already in bankruptcy. Its only a question of when do we accept it instead of putting it off to the next generation.

    The Greatest Generation gave birith to the WORST Generation (aka the Baby Boomers.)
     
  15. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Two things: one is not everyone lives in the middle-class neighborhood-about 1/2 of my students don't have computers at home-or if they have a computer it's more for word processing, they don't have an internet connection. And unfortunately, just knowing how to work a computer worked when I was in high school -but now it's only one facet of the technological world. I watched a documentary once that interviewed some kids in college who were floundering in a basic chem class because they never had access to a lab in school. Not being exposed to those skills leaves them behind other kids whose schools do spring for those "bells and whistles".

    I've even said it before, I believe a great teacher could teach on a deserted island-but I don't know if that's going to prepare our kids enough for their future in the workplace.

    I think the administrators even on the state level are far from being in the actual classroom and seeing how damaging their cuts can be. To them, raising the class size of a Kinder class seems like a viable option but it makes it that much harder for the kids to learn. Cutting art, music and extracurriculars because they aren't necessary in their eyes. Decisions are being made without much input from the people on the front lines.
     
  16. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I'm always amazed how limited students who seem like they can use a computer actually are. Sure, they can download music, use a proxy to get around the web filters, etc. But they didn't know how to send a file as an attachment. Or how to uninstall a program from the computer. And while they can text a mile a minute, their typing skills are poor. most can make Powerpoint presentations, but few can use Excel, or other business software. Being able to play solitaire proficiently isn't going to cut it in college. My college, in 1999, assumed that I came to school able to do all of those things, and that I had a basic proficiency in one programming language. And I wasn't a computer science major! The only way to teach these things is on a computer, which costs money. It seems like a very wise investment to me.
     
  17. TiffanyL

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    I'm not sure if you are saying that the "higher ups" should receive the same pay as teachers, or just the same pay cut.

    In our district, classified employees agreed to a 6.8% pay cut, all admin and management agreed to a 6.8% pay cut and teachers agreed to a 0% pay cut. We are still facing 75 teacher lay-offs.
     
  18. Grover

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    I wonder why nobody talks about the cost of the military budget in these discussions. Is that sacred? Why is education always looked at as some kind of optional extra when other multi-billion dollar programs are automatically refunded (or at least authorized- the wars we are currently engaged in are 'off the books' to a large degree. We'll just let the kids figure out how they're going to pay for them). In my house, if we don't have money for food, light, heat and rent, we don't buy a new car.
     
  19. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    Tiffany- Actually, I don't think I was specifying either way. In the districts around me, no admin salaries were cut. They are somehow exempt. So I guess I would be pleased with either! Even just cutting their pay would show that they are trying to help. My local district's superintendent released a report detailing the 24 Million dollar cuts for next year. NO where in that report did it mention cutting any of the admin luxuries. But they cut some sports, teachers, paras, transportation, the number of credits high schoolers have to take, extra clubs, etc. Its just disappointing.
     
  20. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Our problems-as a nation-are frightening. I just pray-day after day-that we will be survivors. It is going to get ugly. :eek:
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I agree totally.

    I'm starting to get concerned about our stability as a nation and society. For real, I wish I could go live off the grid for a while until things cool off or whatever.

    I really feel like something is brewing and it makes me uncomfortable. It almost seems like we have two balls and three strikes in the bottom of the ninth with bases loaded...whatever happens at this point is either going to make the game or destroy it completely.
     
  22. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Here we had to take a furlough day. Everyone in the district took one including the super. But he also had a raise in January, and was giving a mileage budget. That just doesn't seem right. Teachers did not get a raise this year. We stayed put. I believe we are going to end up having to pay more for health insurance next year and again we aren't taking a raise.
     
  23. Simba

    Simba Comrade

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    We are pins and needles waiting to see if our Levy passes in May. Here in Ohio levies are the way school districts receive the majority of their funding.

    A good friend of mine teaches in Ohio and she is STILL without a contract for THIS school year. They haven't passed a levy in 14 years and she's only received a 1% pay increase within the past 8years total.
    Her benefits have also increased each year and they haven't replaced the past 5 teachers that have retired in her department alone.

    It's really scary everywhere.

    Hang in there everyone!!
     
  24. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I have that same uneasy feeling..and as much as I try to just live my life and not worry about it, the cloud is still there. Honestly, my comfort is found when I pray!
     
  25. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    As a fellow Ohio teacher, you and your friend are in my prayers as of right now!!!
     
  26. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

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    Apr 22, 2010

    Seen on an old poster: Wouldn't it be great if schools had all the resources they needed, and the air force had to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber?
     
  27. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    The military budgets get nailed too. You hear about the big stuff outside the military, but no one outside the military heard when Ft. Rucker (home of Army Aviation school) didn't have enough money to buy fuel to fly their helicopters.

    Kind of hard to teach someone to fly when you can't start the engine.
     
  28. Grover

    Grover Cohort

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    Yeah, the question is whether that's a more significant priority than educating children.
     
  29. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    I would vote no. National security is important, but education should rank closer to the top.
     
  30. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    What's comes first in your classroom? Management and safety or pedagogy?

    If you can't control the room, no teaching strategy will work. Same with our country, if we can't defend it no amount of education will help.

    I'm agree with you FutureTeacher, education should rank higher. They keep pushing to get more done but are giving us less funding to do it.

    Back to the military comparison, they are in the same boat. Budgets are tight, but the deployment rotation is it's highest since Vietnam and has been that way since we pushed Iraq out of Kuwait during Gulf War I 20 years ago.
     
  31. Grover

    Grover Cohort

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    Safety is important, of course, but I wouldn't hire a full time cop for my classroom unless there was a demonstrated need for it. If you accept that we NEED to be fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to maintain the world's largest nuclear arsenal, and to support the world's largest high-tech military force, okay- that's your answer. I'm personally not convinced that the external threats to our long term safety are anywhere near the internal ones we create by undermining an already seriously troubled educational system.
     

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