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Do you think decent pay in light of the education requirements might encourage more teachers to enter the field?
Or how about more benefits, and legislators not trying to break their unions, and someone coming to their senses and getting away from testing kids who could care less about the results, and quit thinking you'll get better teachers if you tie student test results to the teacher who happens to have them at the time of the testing. The list could go on and on.
No! Tax breaks for the rich! They'll come in droves, then!
WHY hasn't any kind of petition made it to the Capital to get this idiot OUT? He can be removed for incompetence...
Seems to me that there are probably many people out there who could teach at the elementary level, but don't have a teaching degree. After all, most parents out there could teach grades 1-5. I understand the need for a masters degree to teach something specialized like chemistry, physics, high level math and calculus, programming, etc. But you don't need a masters degree to teach 3rd grade spelling and reading. Think about it, who knows more about English (for example), an English teacher or the editor of a local newspaper or magazine? But the editor can't teach because he doesn't have a degree in teaching. Maybe lighten up on the requirements for a teacher and the schools out there in the rural areas would attract more prospects.
Seems like your attitude toward "almost anybody could teach" is part of our problem in our communities. The devaluation of the teacher. Teaching requires more skills sets than just "knowing" the subject. By suggesting we "lower" our standards or "lighten up" on requirements is ignorant. Sounds like you think teaching is easy, which couldn't be further from the truth. Brownback and his budget is the main problem. 32 kids in my sons honors 8th grade math class. 32!!!????
That idea of having untrained subject matter experts swoop in and teach things would be great if it hadn't already been tested and shown to not be as effective as using experienced teachers. It's true that a lot of private/parochial schools use non certified teachers, but they also have more motivated students.
PS - you don't actually need a masters to teach most subjects. You need the masters to get a pay raise.
That getting a pay raise thing might be the problem in a nutshell. People with bachelor degrees get paid more on average than teachers do, so if you open up the qualifications to include non-certified BS holders, you're mostly attracting people who couldn't get a good job in the private sector. Is that where we want to set the bar?
I don't think you understand much about education.
I don't understand much about education policy in this country, no. It's based on ideology instead of evidence, and the pendulum has swung in the direction of people who would rather destroy public education than improve it.
I don't understand your point. It seems obvious that experienced teachers are better than inexperienced teachers at teaching. But when experienced teachers are retiring, we can't magically create more experienced teachers to replace them unless we recruit inexperienced teachers and... you know... let them get some experience.
And I disagree that you'd get mostly people who flunked out of the private sector. What you'd get in Kansas, for the most part, are educated stay at home mothers who want a job that allows them to be home when their kids are. Teaching would give them the flexibility they needed to re-enter the workforce, as long as they weren't required to go back to school and get a degree in Education.
This is ridiculous. Teachers are highly trained professionals, and there is a lot more to the job than just knowing subject matter. I suggest you spend one day in an elementary school and just get the tiniest inkling of all it entails.
del888, how about YOU walk into an elementary classroom and take over - see how easy breezy it is for you.....
I would use the newspapers and magazines as bad examples of proper English. They are always using "less" instead of "fewer" for example. I knew an English teacher who gave awards for students finding English errors in the newspaper, but had to stop there were so many.
And some of the teachers are among the worst offenders at using wrong words and lousy spelling.
They did this once during a teachers' strike in NYC. 95% wouldn't come back the second day. Elementary is very challenging, perhaps more than secondary in many ways.
del888, You don't need a Masters degree to teach anything in K-12.
Having friends and relatives who teach, I can only tell you your idea sounds good, but when you look deeper into what is required to be a teacher these days, that degree is necessary. Education requirements today aren't anything like the 1800's when anyone with a high school degree could teach in a one room schoolhouse.
Del, Have you ever heard of the word "pedagogy?" My guess is you haven't a clue as to its definition.
this is to be expected as teachers are bashed, underpaid, and forced to deal
with parents who don't raise their kids. My late mother was a career teacher
she experienced all of this.
Recruit from conservative states.
As Kansas places zero importance on education, and teachers are paid a pittance to perform a job that requires a skill-set that includes performing miracles on the regular, is anyone surprised by this?
"Won't somebody think of the children," cry the pearl-clutching conservatives, but they do not mean it.
And why would anyone in their right mind incur tens-of-thousands of dollars in debt so that they could enter into a profession that does not pay enough to pay back those loans within a reasonable period of time?
A typical school year in Kansas is 185 days. Add a week before and after the "year" starts, equals 190 working days for a teacher.
A corporate job, say an accountant, is a 260 day year, less 13 days holidays and 21 vacation days. Or, a working year of 226 days.
Do you think the 36 working days per year difference has anything to do with "low" teachers pay?
Benefits? Consider the cushy KPERS retirement .
You obviously do not know any actual working teachers, because those "36 days" you are counting as "teacher fun days" are not days of leisure. Teachers spend hours and hours a week working outside of school hours (grading, lesson planning, etc.) and weeks during the summer where they are finishing up from the previous school year and preparing for the next year. For many of those "corporate jobs" you are talking about, when a person is clocked out for the day they don't have to work any longer. That is not true for teachers. Just because school is not in session does not mean teachers are not working.
Before you make assumptions about what qualifies a workday, perhaps you should see for yourself just how much work it takes to be a teacher.
KPERS "cushy retirement"? Not true. Try working for the government of a state, and then try to retire. It can be done--if you are willing and able to survive on little--a lot less than you made as a government employee.
My spouse is a teacher for 20 years, and in KPERS. I am well aware of the numbers. Of course retirement pay is less than working income. What do you expect, full salary for your lifetime? Get serious.
It is cushy when compared to a typical corporate retirement plan. That is if a company even has one.
You dont think corporate people bring work home year around? You are clueless.
Does your wife know they've changed KPERS twice since she got hers? There's a reason the teachers remaining in the field are old. The new hires don't get nearly the "cushy" deal she did, and Brownback is playing awfully hard to try and make sure they turn KPERS into a 401k plan, which... let me check my bank account. Nope. Definitely not cushy. Hope your wife is already retired, because if she isn't, I don't think I'd bet on retirement being there when she's ready for it.
Changes are minimal for already vested employees, and more significant for new hires.
I wouldn't bet much that KPERS isn't going to be changed to a 401K plan at some point. It transfers the risk from the employer to the employee, which is very attractive for employers.
From a philosophical standpoint, the legislature would have and could have changed KPERS to a defined-contribution (401k-like) plan at any point in the last 30 years. It's not like the GOP hasn't run the state for that long. It's not like the state employee unions are tremendously powerful. Hell, Sebelius probably would have signed it herself.
You will notice, though, that despite 30 years of GOP rule, KPERS remains a defined-benefit pension. Why is that?
Simple. Anything that removes new contributions to the system (i.e., making new KPERS employees go into a 401k system) would accelerate the inevitable day of reckoning for 30+ years of KPERS underfunding and overestimation. If new state employees keep contributing to KPERS, that day of reckoning is still 10-15 years away.
Several states did go 'defined contribution' over the years. Michigan, even... union-heavy Michigan... has been for a long time. But, they all did that change at a point in time when their existing pension obligations were fully funded. That's not something that has ever been true of KPERS.
Well, we've had moderate leadership in KS for the most part, and now we have radical right wing leadership in the legislature, and a governor that likes that as well.
You're right about the math, of course, but these folks don't seem to grasp math or consider it important, and ideology is much more of a driving force for them.
As already pointed out, no, you don't understand the system. You can bet on KPERS not going anywhere. In a way, you are, but they've had presentations and bills under consideration the last couple sessions to turn it into a 401k system. If it were my retirement, I wouldn't be making that bet.
I am serious. It is hard enough to live on a government salary in Kansas, let alone try to live on retirement income. Of course I don't expect to get as much in retirement as i did when working. I am not stupid, and I resent the implication that I expected to get as much in retirement as i did when working.
"...if you are willing and able to survive on little--a lot less than you made as a government employee."
no, Sam Crow, YOU are clueless.
"Last spring, the Lawrence district had 33 certified teachers retire, but it hired 121 new teachers to fill those and other open positions."
So....33 retirees, but 121 open positions. So, why did openings exceed retirements by 88? Could those 88 perhaps have left Lawrence for greener teaching pastures? Or perhaps left teaching altogether for greener professional pastures? Looks like there's a lot more to this shortage than simply replacing retirees.....
"At the start of this school year, district spokeswoman Julie Boyle said, the district had only eight positions remaining open, and most of those were in special education, a commonly hard-to-fill area where the district is almost always accepting applications.
"As I've gone out to recruit, I find people wherever I go who have some sort of connection to Lawrence and are always willing to come to Lawrence," Stubblefield said."
Somehow starting the year with EIGHT unfilled positions doesn't look to me like people are "always willing to come to Lawrence." Looks more like a shortage to me.
I have a friend who is a teacher and opted to move to another state this year. One that isn't run by the insane.
You missed the part where most of those openings are for special education teachers and that the district is always looking for special ed teachers. She basically stated that if you want to work in Lawrence, don't get your hopes up unless you're interested in teaching special ed.
How about ranking the teachers and doubling the income of the top 20% . Then get rid of the bottom 10%.
But the education establisment refuses to allow comparison.
Exactly how do you measure them? By test score? Well, there went all the teachers for low income districts and the hard to find special ed teachers. Gee, thanks? Not to mention, exactly how do you rank gym and music teachers?
I can assure you that those top 20% teachers know how to differentiate different levels of competency. And they want the incompetent ones out. However, the education establishment will not allow comparisons of teachers, classes, schools, or districts. By doing so some look good and some bad, and the establishment is for equality in reviewing performance.
This one doesn't know much about the 'education establishment'.
So you're saying the teachers are going to vote each other off the island using an arbitrary quota of teachers you've deemed incompetent - because reasons?
And that teachers want this but the "establishment" - and from your previous posts I gather you mean the teacher's union wouldn't allow this? Exactly who is it that you think makes up the teacher's union?
PS - look it up. KNEA does want to get rid of incompetent teachers. They just don't want to see teachers arbitrarily fired without cause - you know, like if you were to randomly assign a percentage of teachers that must be incompetent without any rational basis.
Teachers can be fired for incompetence now. If you're seeing a teacher slip through the cracks, blame a lousy administrator for not following the proper steps to get rid of them.
Wow....you just...wow....don't understand economics or basic management do you?
KSManimal, Tip o hat to you, Mr. or Mz Manimal you a very dedicated instructor.
We must remember our most complicated group of youth, the Exceptional Children of the district when thinking about teaching numbers.
Not in the way so much money is wasted, but think about this group from a core philosophy. LPS spends plenty on a small population of students. Tossing money at problems, but not making progress.
LPS...........hires far far far too many temp. licensed instructors for the huge task of educating this group of high potential students. This equates to the bad policy of not hiring teachers trained in Special Education. Why?
IEP instructors are in great demand now and since fido was a pup. Yet, LPS constantly hires staff who promise to work for certification. Nice way of saying, the district like many others in Kansas hire English, History, Science, PE, and ? Majors when they can not fill the position with a certified licensed instructor.
Some states know the investment in At-Risk-Exceptional Children is well worth the effort.
KU/K-state acting arm and arm with our State Board of Education know why we lag so far behind forward thinking states which surround Kansas. Why?
Our state does not have an undergraduate teaching degree in Special Education. Emporia State is now starting a program I hear.
For those of you who think it's a simple field, schools like U of Arizona have 15 different bachelor degrees in teaching to specific learning disabilities.
In short, there is no such thing as a SPED student.
In other words, all learning problems from gifted to the lowest functioning students, all seen in our schools are so so different. All take expertise to maximize the potential these wonderful students have.
Unlike English teachers, even Science and Mathematics undergraduates, all very important, our IEP population deserve the same attention. I may add, the state provides great young teachers in these areas. Lawrence can boast of of having some of the best general education instructors, more than hold our own with any district in any state.
Exceptional Children majors require clinic schools, much more psychology instruction, abnormal settings including medical education, and a deeper investment in real life placements. In moving to this area was shocked to find not a state institution hosted a clinic school.
A medical education, and a deeper investment in college student real life placements. In moving to the area was shocked to find not a state institution ho Not unusual for a college student to have 5-7 graded student teaching placements just to gain a teaching degree.
Oh my! A school where the toughest of all our youth/parents from anywhere in the state have the best education while providing our young teachers a chance to learn in real time.
I must say that many years, I bit on the story going around that there was a shortage of teachers (not in Kansas) I immediately went back to school to work on a graduate degree. Guess what happened? I got my teaching certificate back (undergrad education major) and there was no shortage of teachers. I do not, however regret one cent of what I spent on grad school. I enjoy learning.
Forced to teach to tests that measure so little and cost a fortune to administer along with my favorite, being called a thug, led me to leave the teaching ranks. Knowing that there are many in our state who would like to see public schools "fail" so that education can be privatized is beyond scary.
Teacher Retirement is really very good in spite of what you have read here. If someone starts teaching at 23 years of age and teaches every year until age 65, they can retire with a pension of 73% of their highest three years salary. And with social security they will make more in retirement than while working. Seems like a good deal to me and one that could could stand to be reviewed for taxpayer savings. Teachers have a better pension plan than most Kansans do, so quit whining .
Yep. As I posted earlier.
The typical retirement, if they have one, from a Fortune100 company, would be 1.25% of income foreach year. In this case, it would pay 53%. If you stayed with the same company for the duration. In Kansas teachers can change districts and maintain vesting in the program.
Let's throw out the companies on that list that employ a lot of low-skilled retail workers and look at employee pay for Fortune 100 companies that mainly hire skilled workers with collage degrees. That means Walmart is out, but Oracle is in. Employees at Oracle, Cisco, Microsoft, and Google earn a median salary of around $110,000 per year. If they only offer a "typical" retirement as you define it, 53% of that would still be higher than the average median salary for teaching, let alone the amount they'd get in retirement.
Chootspa, you don’t know what you are talking about.
First, the four companies you name here are all relatively new. None have defined benefit retirement programs (DBRP) but instead have an aggressive match to the legal limit in 401k plans, and some with stock options. For the most part, only the old line, stodgy, stagnant companies have DBRP and most of those are phasing them out for 401k programs. Smart employees embrace such a change. Its been shown many times that investment gains over, say the last 30 years, outperform any DBRP future income.
Second, my previous post you refer to makes the assumption an employee stays 40 years with a company. In fact, in the private sector the average time someone stays is 9 years. In the four high tech companies you referred to, an employee can walk away to another job because of the portability of their 401k, and not hang around simply due to retirement handcuffs. They are able to take their talents to another company and enhance their careers.
I personally know many, many teachers that don’t like their jobs anymore that are just hanging around to maximize their KPERS retirement to the fullest. And that is sad.
And the vast majority of corporations embrace the pay for performance plans in their 12 month jobs, where if one cant handle the job, away they go.
Possible gains in performance are outweighed by the risks of investing in the stock market, and defined benefit plans offer a much safer and more predictable income stream for retirement.
The fact that many businesses no longer offer them isn't any indication that they're not desirable, it's an indication that wages and benefits haven't kept up with the costs of living over the last 30-40 years.
Also, the loss of employee loyalty is a negative, in my view - things were better in many ways when people worked at one place for many years, and were treated well, rather than moving around so often from one not great job to another.
Suggesting that the public sector emulate the private in reducing wages and benefits is called the "race to the bottom", and I don't like it at all. Why not suggest the reverse, that the private sector improve instead?
Being financially astute, I will take 30 years of investment gains, yes even in the stock market, over the safety of the predictable stream of a retirement plan. It is a changing economy.
I wrote nothing about reducing wages, and in my opinion moving to aggressive 401k plans is an increase in benefits.
That's your choice if you like. However, the numerous folks who just lost huge amounts in the 2008 crash might wish they had defined benefit plans instead now. The "changing economy" is exactly why db plans are more suited for retirement.
That's right, you didn't, but you speak of current corporate culture as if it's a positive thing, and in my view it's not, and includes reduced wages and benefits, and the elimination of defined benefit plans.
If you want to take the extra risk, that's your choice, but many employees would prefer a db plan. Perhaps employers should offer a choice of those to employees and let them choose which they like.
So you're arguing simultaneously that teachers get great retirement benefits because they are defined benefits plans and that you'd be a fool to take such a plan?
Meant for SamCrow.
That, and, hey, who CARES if you get paid now... You don't need silly things like a roof or food now! Just think of how it will be when you retire! You'll be able to afford groceries! And the fact that you think you should be allowed to eat now, well, that's just an overblown sense of entitlement.
Actually, "smart" employees value an old fashioned pension and were sold a bill of goods when those were converted. I know someone who retired with such a plan, and let me tell you, he's a big fan. It was one of the reasons he stuck with the company for as long as he did. Another company would have to offer quite a bit more compensation to lure him away - and that's more often a handcuff for the new employer, not the employee.
The conversion to a 401k system is one of the very reasons someone doesn't work at a company for 40 years. It's worth a school's time to reward longevity in a way that it may not be worth a company's time.
I know many people working in all sorts of jobs that are sticking around for the benefits, whether those benefits are compensation, health, or retirement. Or because they're just too scared to leave in the current job market. You can look up charts. There's very little churn.
Koch Agriservices (Yep. THOSE "Koch" people.) did that to my dad. The company he worked for was bought by Koch when the owner retired. They closed the office he was working in, moved him to a different state, and gave him a 6,000 dollar a year cut in salary. Their pitch was, "We're investing it in this really huge retirement fund already built for you, having been at this company for 18 years!"
Long story short, they "laid him off" a year later. That retirement account he'd built over those 18 years? Gone. "Re-absorbed", since it wasn't 18 years with Koch, but with the company purchased by them.
That sounds not only morally bankrupt, but also probably illegal.
If he was willing to work for them until retirement, and they laid him off (which means they didn't fire him for cause), I would think he has some legal claim to the money in his retirement account.
Did he look into that at all?
It's actually an average of their last five years salary and no bonuses according to KPERS. And it's not a certain percentage of their salary. It's their years of service times a multiplier. The multiplier is going up in 2014, but so is the amount that will be taken out of their paycheck. I think I've also read here that the payment does not go up with inflation, so it's a decreasing benefit over time.
So you could look at it as an awesome percentage of the amount they've earned in exchange for working at the same job for 42 years, or you could look at it as deferred compensation, which is pretty much how teachers look at it.
I've got to save for my own retirement in the private sector and rely on the whims of Wall Street for a lot of it, but I guarantee you the starting salary was a lot higher.
Public education is not failing our children. It is the ALEC right wing Kansas GOP that is failing our children and public education.
The problem is the republican party and has been for the past 30 years. This ALEC right wing party wants to do away with the public education and turn it over to those who fund their elections.
The next step will offering up new textbooks that subscribe to ALEC right wing fundamentalist thinking.
K-12 virtual school model is sponsored by the right wing thinkers as a tool to break down the public school model.
These ALEC thinkers cut more and more dollars from the public school budgets then come back and tell us public education is failing. It is the ALEC right wing GOP party of Kansas that is failing our children and sinking the system.
ALEC cannot be trusted = Sam Brownback cannot be trusted.
Behind the scenes at ALEC, the nuts and bolts of lobbying and crafting legislation is done by large corporate defense firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon. A law firm with strong ties to the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries, it has long used ALEC’s ability to get a wide swath of state laws enacted to further the interests of its corporate clients.
ALEC’s campaigns and model legislation have run the gamut of issues, but all have either protected or promoted a corporate revenue stream, often at the expense of consumers. For example, ALEC has worked on behalf of:
Oil companies to undermine climate change proponents.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers, arguing that states should be banned from importing prescription drugs.
Telecom firms to block local authorities from offering cheap or free municipally-owned broadband.
Insurance companies to prevent state insurance commissioners from requiring insurers to meet strengthened accounting and auditing rules.
Big banks, recommending that seniors be forced to give up their homes via reverse mortgages in order to receive Medicaid.
The asbestos industry, trying to shut the courthouse door to Americans suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
Enron to deregulate the utility industries, which eventually caused the U.S. to lose what the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) estimated as $5 trillion in market value.
First we have to quit cutting education dollars and pay teachers comparable wages to the private sector for their college degrees. Two the education is what brings economic growth people moving into a community check out the education system.
We need to pay teachers a lot more than we do now, but we also need them to have a Master's in their subject matter. They not only need to be able to teach the material to the students (and know when the textbook has errors and be able to prove it), but they need to be able to explain the lessons and defend their teaching methodology to ignorant and hostile parents.
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