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Should teachers get paid more for learning new skills or using new teaching strategies?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on August 1, 2005

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Photo of Chuck Wood

“Yes. My mom is a teacher and she kept going to school to increase her skills. It seems to have paid off. Students always come up to her and tell her how much she meant to them as a teacher.”

Photo of Karen Matheis

“Yes, they should. If we expect teachers to learn new things, we should give them an incentive to do so.”

Photo of Chris Hillman

“I think so, if they undergo a significant amount of training that is applicable to the classroom.”

Photo of Jennifer Chang

“It depends if that opportunity is available to all of the teachers who want it. If they show that they are using those skills, then I think they should.”

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Comments

lunacydetector 8 years, 8 months ago

...just some thoughts....

perhaps the school boards and school administrations should be held accountable for their spending. use the same architectural drawings used for southwest jr. high and the neighboring grade school and use those plans for the replacement of south jr. high school/broken arrow grade school, and that goes for whatever other schools get built.

i remember the p*ss poor teachers i had when i attended public schools in lawrence. there were more bad than good. i didn't need to have the liberal indoctrination jammed down my throat in almost every class i took. no, i am thinking if they did pay teachers more money it would drive the 'do gooders' away from the teaching field. it might bring more savvy conservatives into the teaching arena. the liberal fringe teachers couldn't claim to be doing 'it' out of the goodness of their hearts anymore. it would also make it more competitive when hiring new teachers.

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windex 8 years, 8 months ago

So, North Lawrence Dude, when was the last time you and your wife got raises, and how did you get them? Did you ask for a raise? Were they just given to you automatically? Are you both nurses? How does this work in nursing?

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Jayhawk226 8 years, 8 months ago

offtotheright does have a point about teachers using up their sick leave.

I know most teachers save their sick days and cash in before retirement for additional salary to count toward their pension. The majority of teachers try hard to never miss a day.

I on the other hand will openly admit, the 10 sick days granted to me this year were very wisely used. I believe I had one remaining of the original 10.

Don't get me wrong, I was legitimately sick probably 3 of the days...comes with the territory of a first year teacher trapped in an environment with kids who don't have the slightest clue about hygiene or because their parent(s) are required to work all day and can't find suitable daycare while their kids can get healthy at home.

But the other days I called in a substitute teacher were great--one day snowed in Philly to watch KU get mauled by Villanova. Several Chicago Cubs games and the Royals home opener rounded out the rest.

Funny thing is, I don't feel guilty a bit.

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Richard Heckler 8 years, 8 months ago

Larry, You offer a lot of speculation. Perhaps the reason there are/maybe more pregnancies is that there are more teenagers on the planet than there was back in the 50's. Perhaps the percentages are the same??

Actually the right wing conservatives keep sex on peoples minds because they consider sex to be taboo. By constantly keeping sex in the headlines it might raise curiousity and teenagers love to rebel. It is after all the right wing conservatives who bring this matter up for political reasons in every campaign lately?

How exactly does aids keep abortion numbers down?

When should our children be introduced to the facts?

Once again if a daughter of mine becomes pregnant it's no business of yours, any legislator, preacher or my neighbors. Strange laws have been on the books forever and people are still becoming pregnant.

There have been very intimate seens in the movies at least since the 50's so nothing new there. The fact of the matter is no one knows if teens are more engaged in sex now than any other time in history. Speculation tells me that teens do not reveal their frequency of sex as a matter of routine.

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ms_canada 8 years, 8 months ago

OMB - if you don't know about celcius compared to f.
40deg. below is the same in both. We can get 38 deg. below. I don't ever remember lower than that, but I am sure those peats will keep my house just toasty. So, I will take delivery anytime after Nov. 1. Thank you. Now will you be delivering those yourself?

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one_more_bob 8 years, 8 months ago

I just looked at world climate for Edmonton. Yup, that qualifies as hard winters to this southern-raised lad.

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one_more_bob 8 years, 8 months ago

ms_canada, they'll be as dry as they're gonna get by then. To be on the safe side, don't expect to get a whole lot of BTU's out of them. Do you guys get hard winters up there?

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offtotheright 8 years, 8 months ago

Over a million dollars was paid out in 'substitute teachers' last year.

Maybe if the teachers would go to work, the cash paid out to the substitutes could be allotted for the salaries?

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ms_canada 8 years, 8 months ago

OMB - oh but what an imagination! You would relate very nicely to the lady with the knitting needles. I must say, I could never find a better bargain than the deal you offer on the peat bricks. Will they be nice and dry come Nov. when I need them to stay warm?

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

Thanks Jayhawk 226. I figured part of it was older more expensive teachers fearing for their job. Seeing how Union leaders are probably ex-teachers of the same generation they would have concern.

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one_more_bob 8 years, 8 months ago

ms_canada, seeing as how them there peat bricks exist solely in my fevered imagination, I can let you have them for nothing down & nothing a month. Shipping will be very cheap. BTW, how did you know I smoked a pipe?

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Jayhawk226 8 years, 8 months ago

Man OTR...you're better than me, I'd be bitching if I were you.

I've already had a beer, a brief 45 minute nap and JUST DID MY JOB.

Maybe your position is easily disposable? I don't know what you do, but I'd be long gone...with complaints hours ago.

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offtotheright 8 years, 8 months ago

Ceallach "OTTR: ...Thank goodness the nightmare of a teacher you met with is not typical...."

I believe you were meaning that for someone else, and I am not about to re-read all of this crap.

It is 7:10pm, still working here. No overtime, no special comp time, JUST DOING MY JOB and not bitching about it!

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Larry 8 years, 8 months ago

Merrill, Education, MTV and Hollywood equals more sex, not prevention. Compare teen pregnancy rates from the 40's and 50's to now. What are we doing differently now that has caused such an increase. EDUCATION! Sure kids were interested in sex back then, but the number that participated was far lower than it is now. When talking about sex with teens, you just increase their level of interest as well as their confidence that they can have sex without getting pregnant. The threat of AIDS has probably had more of an impact on the decrease of abortion than education.

GreenEyedLiberal - your response tells me that you voted for Gore, then Kerry. Any time you disagree with someone, you bring up discrimination. Nice job!

rhd99 Great idea on holding administrators accountable by holding their pay raise or firing them. In addition to that, we can hold parents and the kid accountable as well. How about if a kid doesn't carry a 2.0, he loses his/her drivers license and the parents lose their tax deduction. In fact, parents only get a tax deduction if the kid stays out of legal trouble and pulls a 2.5.

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Jayhawk226 8 years, 8 months ago

Actually the more I thought about why tenure is necessary, we have to remember that our schools are actually run by a school board that is comprised of lay individuals voted upon by the community's members.

Though a school district's administration is in charge of the hiring/firing process, they can only make such recommendations to the school board, where they have the final authorizations on such acts.

Where there is power, there is corruption. It doesn't take much for some overly-zealous first grade kid who doesn't care for his/her child's schoolteacher to try and get them fired, for whatever reasons. Though many would argue that this "never happens," it does quite often and is just an example for why a teacher union would fight for the protective work rights for its teacher members.

I think alot of people assume that tenure = untouchable...which in many cases is true. But teachers undergo routine teacher evaluations and observations...in addition to enough "barking" by enough parents, it's amazing how quickly a school board and/or the administration can "force out" a teacher.

Tenure makes us feel a tad more comfortable, since obvioulsy everybody thinks they can do our job just ecause they attended 12 years of school. Well...most of them attended at least 12 years of school. I mean, we babysit kids for just 10 months in year, right? Anybody can do it.

Pssssh.

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Jayhawk226 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm guessing it dates back to the historical foundations of teaching when the teaching field was predominately all unmarried women, who the moment they showed/spoke of ever being pregnant...were canned. Heck, you could go back to the 70s to find proof of that.

And I will confess, as pro- Chicago teacher union guy that I am...I do not understand the union's rationale for why tenure is necessary, other than, a fear of a school district clearing out all the veteran, higher-paid teachers, to save tens of thousands of dollars.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

I understand tenure in the university world but I never understood why a 3rd grade teacher needs it.

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Bowhunter99 8 years, 8 months ago

Why can't be pay good wages to good teachers?

A: TENURE.

which is English for 'the longer you stay at your job the more you get paid regardless of how worthless you are.

Teachers thrive on it...

Let's get rid of it and pay good money to good teachers and FIRE the worthless ones that (currently) can't be fired because they're tenured...

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ms_canada 8 years, 8 months ago

OMB - I would be interested in some of that peat for next winter. I hear it burns plenty hot and I know for a fact (from a trip to the Emerald Isle) that the scent of peat smoke wafting on the evening air gives one a hint of the cosiness of a stone cottage with a much used hearth. Picture two cosy chairs fireside, he with a pipe, she with her knitting. How much do you want for a load of peat bricks? I'll pay the shipping cost.

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Jayhawk226 8 years, 8 months ago

A few people asked for clarification regarding the salaries I posted earlier. Those were indeed teacher salaries and it is no hidden secret that teachers, protected by the teacher's unions in Illinois that allow us to strike for higher salaries, do indeed make a fantastic living.

The link if you are interested is: www.thechampion.org

>

The following are the top 15 or so educational administrator salaries in IL as of the 2003-04 school year.

Top 100 Administrators 2003-2004

Name District Salary

Hintz James ADLAI E STEVENSON DIST 125 $302746

Rauch Lynne E SCHAUMBURG C C SCHOOL DIST 54 $289404

Bangser Henry S NEW TRIER TWP H S DIST 203 $288000

Howard Robert T COMM CONS SCH DIST 59 $285780

Patton Ronald C BLOOM TWP HIGH SCH DIST 206 $280828

Longo Margaret W PUFFER HEFTY SCHOOL DIST 69 $280417

Ward Christopher J. LOCKPORT TWP HS DIST 205 $277215

Baskin Lawrence M COOP ASSOC FOR SPEC EDUC $277206

Mckinzie Gail INDIAN PRAIRIE C U SCH DIST 204 $276385

Kersten Thomas SKOKIE SCHOOL DIST 68 $268534

Smoot Michael WOOD DALE SCHOOL DISTRICT 7 $255744

Bers L Mitchell MEDINAH SCHOOL DISTRICT 11 $252508

Miller Roger HINSDALE TWP H S DIST 86 $251040

Maier Allan SKOKIE SCHOOL DIST 69 $249682

Weber Dorothy M GLENVIEW C C SCHOOL DIST 34 $248803

Ennis Elizabeth A TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL DIST 214 $248355

Upchurch James D ARBOR PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT 145 $246027

Vanderbogert M R WINNETKA SCHOOL DIST 36 $244457

Murray Laura HOMEWOOD FLOSSMOOR C H S D 233 $244422

Conti Dennis R WOODLAND C C SCHOOL DIST 50 $238422

Guziec Scott S LINCOLNSHIRE-PRAIRIEVIEW S D 103 $236837

Parks C Douglas APTAKISIC-TRIPP C C S DIST 102 $236802

Hyland Timothy F. GLENBARD TWP H S DIST 87 $236758

Catalani Gary COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DIST 200 $232511

Kelly Dennis G LAGRANGE AREA DEPT SPEC ED-LADSE $231996

Marks Linda GOLF ELEM SCHOOL DIST 67 $229869

Neale Connie NORTHERN KANE CO REG VOC SYSTEM $228571

Manning Tyra L RIVER FOREST SCHOOL DIST 90 $226264

Giles J Kay PRAIRIE-HILLS ELEM SCH DIST 144 $225279

Mcgowan William E CITY OF CHICAGO SCHOOL DIST 299 $224196

Mcgee Glenn W $WILMETTE SCHOOL DIST 39 223833

Struck Teddy S PALOS HEIGHTS SCHOOL DIST 128 $222964

Logan Alf E FENTON COMM H S DIST 100 $222954

Burns Kevin G COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL DIST 218 $222666

Morrissey James PALATINE C C SCHOOL DIST 15 $221385

Malito Robert T TOWNSHIP H S DIST 211 $221013

Curley Mary C C SCHOOL DIST 181 $220633

Fiore James T DOLTON SCHOOL DISTRICT 149 $220109

Again, just a sampling....you can check out teacher and administrator salaries at www.thechampion.org

>

It's a conservative watchdog site attempting to kill the misconception that teachers are underpaid. Well...in Illinois anyway.

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one_more_bob 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm waiting for the bog to firm up a little so I can go spade out some peat. I can't post & spade at the same time.

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NorthLawrenceDude 8 years, 8 months ago

ok, point taken. LOL Sorry, but don't have time to proof read my posts, because I am at work. (at my 47k yr job) Hey, that brings up another interesting point........maybe we ARE ALL TEACHERS and are off today doing these posts!

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Tom_FooIery 8 years, 8 months ago

wills use turd burglars quite flerting with each udder on there board

I its stoopid

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one_more_bob 8 years, 8 months ago

Good afternoon to you too, comrade in bobness.

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one_more_bob 8 years, 8 months ago

"I can tell your a teacher", I think you meant "you're". "They make UNER 30k a year" I think you meant "UNDER" "moran", snort, giggle....

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

Windex - You went back to the original question and then ended your post with a question. You gots lots of splaining to do. Even if it is rhetorical in nature.

NLD - And way to answer that question. Same here. I pay for my CEU's. The wife (a teacher) pays for her stuff. It's called continuing education. Should be a lifelong pursuit for everyone. It's a personal responsibility... not the school districts/state.

OMB - Good afternoon.

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NorthLawrenceDude 8 years, 8 months ago

"Quitcher" is was a joke you moran.

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one_more_bob 8 years, 8 months ago

NLD, I can tell you didn't pay attention in English.

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NorthLawrenceDude 8 years, 8 months ago

Ok Windex, the answer to your question is NO. They are not worth more. I hold a professional license, as does my wife (Nursing). We pay for our own education hours because we want to keep working, and be the best we can be at our jobs. The State requires certification for most professionals, not just teachers. Quitcher-whining, and pay for your own cont. ed classes like the rest of us. Shzeeeesh (I can tell your a teacher..PLEASE!)

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windex 8 years, 8 months ago

Back to the original question: Should teachers get paid more for learning new skills or using new teaching strategies? Because here's the deal. You're a teacher. You have to take a certain number of classes and workshops on your own time in order to keep your certification. You can do this on weekends or during the Summer. You have to pay for it out of your own pocket, and, depending on how specialized the class is, you may have to pay to travel to another city or state and pay your expenses while you're there. Obviously, some teachers will do the minimum amount of continuing education necessary in order to keep working. Others will spend a great deal more time and money - partly because they're committed, but partly because they can afford it; maybe their spouse earns a good living. Say one of these teachers masters a second language. Or becomes an expert in teaching writing to autistic kids. Or develops an extensive network of associates in higher ed and devotes 10 extra hours per week to helping high school artists find scholarships. Are those teachers worth more?

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

"Sadly your children's education level will not control how the country is run in the future. The globalist are controlling it now and are not going to give it back to your children, but they will use them for slave labor."

Nice. I truly and completely enjoy this board some days.

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one_more_bob 8 years, 8 months ago

If we could trap all the heat being generated on the internet regarding CAFTA, we could pop popcorn for everybody. Yes, even the French, if they wanted some.

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Tom_FooIery 8 years, 8 months ago

Liberty: I agree with you 110%. If we don't watch out for those globalists they will soon start to imprison us in cages and harvest our organs for the creation of the master race...

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Liberty 8 years, 8 months ago

The next big power grab is going to be the FTAA. Learn about it and resist it. Your children's future depends on what you do now.

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NorthLawrenceDude 8 years, 8 months ago

I say have the Lawrence teachers rotate to KCK for one day a month. I bet we never hear another peeep out of them. They are spoiled, period. One of the best schools in the nation is just 20 minutes north. Yep, Redbook Magazine has rated Mclouth one of the nations best schools for the last 7 yrs straight. You don't hear those teachers complaining, and you guessed it...they make UNER 30k a year.

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Liberty 8 years, 8 months ago

Sadly your children's education level will not control how the country is run in the future. The globalist are controlling it now and are not going to give it back to your children, but they will use them for slave labor. Our country is in serious trouble now. Raven, the best thing you could do for your children and their future is pay attention to what Congress is doing to our country now and work to wake up others.

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NorthLawrenceDude 8 years, 8 months ago

Its all about money. Joan Finney saw it coming, and tried to convince Kansans to endorse casinos for school funding. Everyone thought she was crazy, so the INDIANS did it...and are MAKING MILLIONS.

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Richard Heckler 8 years, 8 months ago

Larry,

I love Lucy was TV not real life. Do you honestly believe that Ricky and Lucy were not having sex?

Abortions are on the decrease...that's a plus. Education pays off.

Legislators cannot prevent sexual activity nor pregnancies. Some of them create pregnancies and have affairs. If I had a 13 year daughter who became pregnant it's none of their business. If parents want sex education in their school district so be it. Sex education is about more than sexual intercourse in case you did not know. If what creates babies is not presented explicity at some point how will young people know? Education=prevention.

I'm very certain teenagers(11 years of age) in the 50's were very playful starting with a game called Post Office. Parents after all could not watch us every second...that has not changed. All of my playmates to the best of my knowledge became very fine people.

Do you have children?old enough to engage in sex?are they?how would you know? Most parents likely do not know whether or not however honesty about the matter is about all you can do.

Part of that honesty is advising them of the time,money, and love required in raising a child. Our children learned first hand because of a very young sister who they love and adore.

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Tom_FooIery 8 years, 8 months ago

The city commision should cut property taxes on owner occupied homes to next to nothing. Then they should close two-thirds of the schools. More private schools will open and homeowners will have a little extra money to send their kids there.

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raven 8 years, 8 months ago

I think it is sad that we are all so willing to allow professional athletes and movie stars to be paid millions of dollars but the second a public school teacher mentions a raise everyone freaks out. Our priorities are so wrong, personally I would rather see many more professions making millions of dollars. I think teachers work hard and there is nothing more important to me then the education of the children of this country. They will be the ones running this country when I am old and I hope that they are properly educated so that things will still be ok.

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Liberty 8 years, 8 months ago

The pay of a teacher should not hinge on things in which the teacher does not have full control over. That is like saying that the part time person at a cash register is responsible for the success of sales in a business.

The real issue today is why Congress passed CAFTA. This will adversely affect every person in this country. Both Senator Roberts and Brownback voted FOR it and refused to listen to the people in which they are supposed to represent. The CAFTA bill is very evil by instituting the UN International Criminal Court over our court system and is contrary to this country and it's future sovereignty. It is not free trade. It is managed trade.

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one_more_bob 8 years, 8 months ago

Carmenilla, I just knew somebody was gonna say that. Glad it was you & not me.

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Carmenilla 8 years, 8 months ago

I thought it was pretty sexually suggestive when June said to Ward: "You sure were hard on the Beaver last night, honey."

Why is everyone acting like teachers don't have a hard job? Have you seen the way kids act nowadays?

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rhd99 8 years, 8 months ago

OB, your 1:52 posting at the beginning, I wrote that because I want us to hold everyone in positions of leadership accountable. That was not fact, it was just an opinion of mine that it is time to throw out incompentent administrators of schools (not Mr. Weseman). We cannot continue to fund salaries of administrators (again not Mr. Weseman), but school officials elsewhere who don't perform.

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Redneckgal 8 years, 8 months ago

Larry I would love to have been able to raise my kids back in the Lucy and Beaver era but its just not possible to go back. Those days are gone for good and we just have to roll with the punchs. Thats the way it is.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

"if school administrators DO NOT show adequate progress in educating our children for the challenges of tomorrow, they will NOT receive a pay raise &/or they will be fired"

That's a pretty vague statement. What's adequate? What challenges are tomorrow? It's easy to spew rhetoric. That's what politicians do. Supposedly, Lawrence has one of the better school systems in the state/country. (sorry, whoever typed that did not cite where that info came from so I can't be for sure.)

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one_more_bob 8 years, 8 months ago

When white guys with skinny ties ruled the earth, let's not go back there.

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GreenEyedBlues 8 years, 8 months ago

That's right, Larry! The good ol' days. "When women and blacks knew their place." "What's a homosexual?" You are SO Amurrican. Get real.

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rhd99 8 years, 8 months ago

Folks, if we want & need to hold administrators & politicians accountable, starting in 2006, we need to add this caveat to whatever governs our school boards: "if school administrators DO NOT show adequate progress in educating our children for the challenges of tomorrow, they will NOT receive a pay raise &/or they will be fired". This also includes TOPEKA in this way, politicians who FAIL to vote for proper funding mechanisms in education for Kansas children will face a re-call vote before their next re-election campaign. Draconian measures? Maybe, but it's time for LEADERS to WAKE UP!

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Ceallach 8 years, 8 months ago

I would like to note that I believe our teachers are underpaid and teaching positions should carry a better salary and benefits package. Regarding extra training -- part of my job description requires that I keep current on softwares and resources that could benefit the office. I do not get paid extra for attending the seminars, workshops, etc., required to keep current. However, I am not responsible for registration, accommodations, etc., while attending. Maybe with better pay, accompanied by administrative support for their extra training, more teachers would welcome the opportunity to learn new skills.

On the other hand, I have never understood the outrage generated if someone dares to request that teachers be tested to assure they are educationally competent to teach at the given level they are being paid to teach. It is more than a little ironic, in an environment that rises and falls by test scores, some if no all, of the major players feel they should be exempt from tests.

The School of Education at KU, which is a good school when compared to other universities, is not one of the more challenging curriculum available to students at the university. It also does not pretend to offer great financial rewards to it's graduates. Many would-be treachers complain about requirements for many math and science classes. Even though their math requirements are the same or lower than other schools at this university.

KU offers summer institute workshops for Kansas teachers. They offer stipend and accommodation incentives. Yet they repeated find themselves short of the number they can accommodate and end up cajoling people to attend. They even receive credit for the wkshop. There are incentives to attend.

Those who want to learn and improve their teaching will, those who do not will continue to function with the "once I get a degree I should never have to learn or prove anything about myself again" attitude.

OTTR: This is my second time around with the Lawrence Public School system. First my children, now my grandchildren. Thank goodness the nightmare of a teacher you met with is not typical. They make it very hard for their colleagues and for parents. The difference in the system now, as opposed to the system when my children attended, is extreme and today's system definitely needs a makeover.

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hottruckinmama 8 years, 8 months ago

larry...um..there havin' sex cause their teenagers and they like sex. always have always will. no sense stickin' your head in the sand and pretending it don't happen.

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BDub 8 years, 8 months ago

Anyone who truly believes that teachers only work a shortened workday and only work for 9 months a year is just flat wrong. The teachers I know often work longer than regular business hours (e.g., 6:30 or 7:00 am to 4:00 pm or later with only a 20 minute lunch), not to mention evenings spent grading papers, chaperoning after school activities, lesson planning, etc. Their "summers off" often include many days of meetings, training and other kinds of work. Yet, this idea that teachers don't work as hard as the rest of us is still out there, and still used as an excuse not to pay them what they're worth. It's just flat wrong.

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Larry 8 years, 8 months ago

Merrill,

You're opening up another can of worms. Sex education! Teen pregnancies, although they did occur, were far less common back in the 30's, 40's and 50's. In the old days, the topic wasn't discussed in public schools and society didn't have T.V. or Hollywood promoting promiscuity. Do you remember when the characters on "I Love Lucy" slept in twin beds. In those days, society had morals which prevented many (not all) from engaging in such behavior. Now days, we present all this information to kids, make them feel comfortable with the subject and we let MTV and Hollywood dictate what is deemed appropriate behavior. When legislators with common sense attempt to put an end to inappropriate television, the liberals and ACLU go crazy. Then we wonder why our teen-agers are having sex. It's like the ACLU and liberals like to throw gasoline on the fire in hopes of putting it out. I know that I'm old-fashion, but the times don't lie.

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unllawstudent 8 years, 8 months ago

teacher's joke from http://www.jokefrog.com/joke/0937.shtml

Teachers' Pay

Teachers are paid too much! I'm fed up with teachers and their hefty salaries for only 9 months work! What we need here is a little perspective. If I had my way, I'd pay teachers babysitting wages.

That's right. Instead of paying these outrageous taxes, I'd give them $3.00 an hour. And, I'm only going to pay them for 5 hours, not planning time. That would be $15.00 a day. Each parent should pay $15.00 a day for these teachers to baby sit their children. Even if they have more than one child, it's still cheaper than private daycare.

Now how many children do they teach a day - maybe 20? That's $15.00 x 20 = 300.00 a day. But remember, they only work 180 days a year! I'm not going to pay them for all the vacations: $300.00 x 180 =$54,000. (Just a minute my calculator must need batteries.)

What will teachers say about those who have 10 years of experience and a master's degree? Well, maybe (just to be fair) they could get the minimum wage. We can round that off to about $6.00 an hour, times 5 hours, times 20 children. $6.00 x 5 x 20. That's $600 a day times 180 days. That's only $108,000.

Wait a minute! There is something wrong here...

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nomorebobsplease 8 years, 8 months ago

I count myself and my children very lucky to live in the school district we do. The teachers at the elementary school we attend have been phenomenal. My younger son is, while not actually bad per se, has just enough devilment in him to make him a challenge. His teachers K-2 have been wonderful, exactly what he needed in terms of discipline and patience.
What these educators are teaching our children will last them throughout their lives. How they view learning and the skills they aquire are what they will be building on later and directly influence many of their future choices.
I work lots of voluntary overtime and if that becomes unavailable, I'll get that second job. I want better for my kids, and that will be directly tied to the education they receive. I think most teachers around here are underpaid and I fully support them getting raises. The administration, however, may be a different story.

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rhd99 8 years, 8 months ago

If you'll pardon me for just a second, as I know this is way off the subject, but when Bush decided to by-pass the Senate to put a recess appointment for John Bolton's U.N. ambassadorship, I knew of one thing that is clear about how this & our discussion on teachers has something in common: WE elected our legislators to do a job, THEY FAILED MISERABLY! They failed in D.C., & they failed in TOPEKA. Again, I make an earnest plea to anyone who is concerned as I am, to find out the records of our elected officials, esepcially in Topeka, & let's take back our education system.

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Richard Heckler 8 years, 8 months ago

I also concur with rhd 99. The State Board of Education is about to make national news again. Basically the narrow minded majority want to discontinue Sex Education in the public school system. Abstinence will be the only method of birth control allowed for discussion. Yes this happening this week. Abstinence is all children hear from parents and it's also at the of the Planned Parenthood's list.

IMO this should be put to a vote in each school district.

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Richard Heckler 8 years, 8 months ago

In answer to the question...absolutely. Being creative and keeping current deserves incentive to stay in the district.

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Richard Heckler 8 years, 8 months ago

Fangorn and John 1945

Both consistently negatively remark as to the quality of our school system. Could you both present some data or a link. Both of my children performed beyond expectation. We always made it a point to attend the parent teacher conference. Oddly enough the majority of other parents were consistently the same faces.

The rumors were that so often the parents teachers wanted to see likely would not show. The Lawrence school disrict ranks among the top 10 in the country. What's up?

Changing building designs in the middle of the stream deserves a public explanantion. South Junior High going from one story and becoming a two story is rather extraordinary. This is the concept that was defdeated in the previous bond issue vote. What's on their mind's? Will new boundaries be staked out again?

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rhd99 8 years, 8 months ago

Folks, the problem with teachers pay & new skills is summed up in one word: ADMINISTRATION. No, I am not talking about getting sanctions in place against superintendents whose teachers fail to reach higher skill sets. I am talking about US, you & me, whether we live in Lawrence or in Shawnee Mission, we VOTE OUT the lunatic conservatives in Topeka who have NOT given even one LOUSY inch in funding our schools, prior to the Supreme Court's & Governor Sebelius' threats. Then we throw out the incompetent bureaucrats in Topeka at the Board of Education (& also I believe at the State Department of Education). These may be extreme, but if you think about it, our boards of education in Lawrence & elsewhere have had their hands tied because of Doug Mays & that group of extremist REPUBLICANS! 2006 is around the corner. The time to act is NOW!

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offtotheright 8 years, 8 months ago

KLM, in almost every job there are new things to learn. One can sit there and be left behind, or they can better their knowledge and learn new skills which in turn makes them a better employee.

"if teachers dont get paid to learn a new skill, they may or may not do it".

My response to that is, they should be fired if they don't do as they are told and learn 'this new skill'. Just like every other job! Why should they be paid extra? How many employers do you know pay out extra money to learn a simple new skill? In the long run it could be a personal benefit.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

Thanks for explaining your statement KLM. We get all the room we want to rip apart comments made "on the street." You guys get a soundbite.

Anyhow, nice to know good idiocy is still alive and well in Lawrence. Enjoy... http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/jul/31/homeless_car_wash_shut_down_city/?city_local

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KLM 8 years, 8 months ago

This is Karen Matheis responding to offtotheright's comment about my comment in today's paper. His comment was "figures Karen is a teacher in Lawrence! It's a damn good thing I haven't been thinking the way she has all of my working career. I would still be making minimum wage." First, I do not work in Lawrence, I work in the Shawnee Mission school district. I chose to work there because the pay is significantly higher. Many good teachers are leaving Lawrence to go to higher paying school districts. Second, when I answered this question, I was interested in teachers learning skills in many areas including technology. According to my son's principal at Cordley, a class monthly website (similar to one I create in the school I work at and would be helpful to parents) is not possible because there is lack of technology available. I was told that Cordley does not have a computer program that makes a website accessible to teachers. When a program is bought by the Lawrence School District to create a template for a class website for teachers, teachers will have to be trained on how to use this program. If teachers don't get paid to learn this new skill, they may or may not do it. You can argue whether it is right or wrong that teachers may not learn skills that would benefit their students. However, with an incentive, it would be more likely they would learn new skills.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

"I resent that my tax dollars are going to pay someone like." Redneckgal

That's really what it all comes down to. Everyone, (well mostly, there are people who choose to be poor in this town) wants to make more money (which does not equate to wanting to be filthy rich). Good for them. It's just that when teacher's get those raises it's coming out of our pockets.

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Redneckgal 8 years, 8 months ago

Last time I went to a teacher conference for my kid it was more like a huge gripe session for the teacher this is all she talked about: 1)the awful kids 2) the awful parents 3) the principal sucked (according to her) 4) this was the worst class she's ever had (said the same thing about my daughters class 3 years before that!) 5) the 25 year old building is falling apart and she can't teach in it. I don't think I even got a report on my kid. She was to busy complaining about her job. And telling me why she couldn't educate my kid or anyone else's. If any of the rest of us did our job like that we'd be looking for another one pretty damn fast. I resent that my tax dollars are going to pay someone like.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

"Don't misunderstand me." I kill me. I must have read too many Bushisms on slate.com this weekend.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

Tom - don't misunderstand me here... I'm against teachers getting these substantial raises (I kind of alluded to that in my 8:17 post). It's just too many folks don't even know what they are arguing about because they are operating off an assumed and incorrect premise.

However, they only get paid for the time they work. I know, my wife is a teacher and we go through this every year whether she should take the money over 10 mos and invest the extra or spread it out over a year. Now, folks may believe they get paid too much, fine.

Currently, the Wichita teachers are asking for a 10% raise. Completely asinine. The schools almost got shutdown last month.

This is my biggest beef with Teachers and Salaries. I've known since I was 5 that teachers bitched about salaries. They liked to always remind students of that all throughout K -12. So, everyone knows this, yet people still get teaching degrees and then bitch about it like it is a surprise.

This all having been said, teaching is a tough job and don't take it out on all the teachers. Like most things in this world, it is the Union leadership that is giving these teachers a bad name.

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Tom_FooIery 8 years, 8 months ago

is that the day they finally grew enough balls to remove the queen from their penny?

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one_more_bob 8 years, 8 months ago

Happy Heritage Day to ms_canada.

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Topside 8 years, 8 months ago

I can't believe anyone posted anything after "Larry". He put it down! He stated a lot of points that would be hard to dispute. I think Jayhawk226 should take a few post graduate classes and get her facts straight. If....he/she even graduated at all?

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Tom_FooIery 8 years, 8 months ago

How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if the wood chuck worked at the bank?

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offtotheright 8 years, 8 months ago

Bitch bitch bitch!

If I bitched to my employer like the teachers do here, I would be fired!

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Tom_FooIery 8 years, 8 months ago

TOB: you left out the hours that teachers get to grade homework or do whatever they want when their students are at gym/computer/art/music.
And they are on a yearly salary, it is not like they are unemployed for the summer, despite the fact that they can get paid over ten months if they want (I can't beleive that some teachers choose to defer some of the earnings till the summer).
At my high school we had one teacher who worked full time and still had enough free time to coach football at aquinas, own/manage a tree trimming business, and manage the pool at hallbrook (a $30K summer job). For a job that pays fairly well is sure provides a lot of free time.

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Staci Dark Simpson 8 years, 8 months ago

I agree with Jayhawk about KS teachers leaving. My cousin moved to Texas to get more money. She is not making 6 digits but she is making a darn lot more than she would here. Also my aunt is a para and has to work 2 jobs to make ends meet. That is insane!! As for getting paid for extra classes, that would be nice but not reality. When I worked in an office I got no pay raise for extra training. My benefit was my job paid for the training that would have been about $500 out of my pocket for the seminar. Our house in Topeka needs to get off their arses and do something!!!

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rhd99 8 years, 8 months ago

NLD, you're right. The people here in Lawrence who work 2 jobs are struggling big time. I never realized the plight of those who work two jobs & still struggle while the teachers complain. That union president, I hope the courts force him to pay back ALL of the money he stole.

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NorthLawrenceDude 8 years, 8 months ago

If they want more money, let them get it from that union president that stole it all last year! People get real. I work 12 months a year, and work a second job to live the way I want too. Teachers should quit whining, and be happy making 30k. After all, they can work in the summer and make additional money if they want too. (Like the rest of us working 2 jobs) SHZEEEESH

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

There is obviously misconceptions about the salary and months out of the year worked.

  1. It's closer to 10 mos, but whatever. Just because your kid isn't in school doesn't mean the teacher is out also. Additionally, a lot of teachers do grading at home after 3:00. Once again, kind of nitpicking, but some of you seem to think they work 5 hours a day. Most teachers are at work by 7 am and have at most a 20 minute lunch. That's pretty close to an 8 hour day at school much less the extra work they put in at home.

  2. Teachers DO get paid for their 10 mos. of work. They just have the OPTION of pro-rating that amound out over the whole year which makes sense. They are not paid for not working.

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extreme_makeover 8 years, 8 months ago

Nonetheless, i-tching's reference to, "Two-headed polar bears walking down Vermont St. in July singing old Abba tunes..." is downright HILARIOUS!

Very much enjoy your posts :)

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tell_it_like_it_is 8 years, 8 months ago

Pay the teachers for the 9 months that they work out of the year. And then IF they have training/extra duties during the summer put them on an hourly rate.

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Tom_FooIery 8 years, 8 months ago

most corporations tie all of their exec's compensation to performance via stock options.

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Fangorn 8 years, 8 months ago

Jayhawk226: I realize I struck something of a nerve by using a term as strong as "incompetent". But I will point out that I assert there are "few incompetent teachers". I did not paint with the broad brush of "all" that you seem to imply in your 6:53 post. And even a weak union will protect the jobs of those few.

i_tching: What is "rare and extreme" are those CEOs who are "destroying the companies they direct". Yes, we can point to Enron and WorldCom. But I can also point to Jayson Blair, formerly from the New York Times, and Patricia Smith and Mike Barnicle, both formerly from the Boston Globe. Would you consider all writers to be unethical frauds because of these three? Probably not.

Further, running an entire company requires much more skill than running a machine, a department, a branch, or even a whole product line. If such men and women were in abundant supply, they would certainly be paid less. As it is, companies will pay what is necessary to keep these leaders from being lured elsewhere.

Could corporations tie CEO compensation to performance? Absolutely! And some corporate heads would make even more money because of it. Jack Welch ran General Electric for 20 years, starting in 1981 when the company was on the brink of collapse. His leadership raised the company's value from $14 billion to $500 billion before he retired. Now he made a few hundred million during that time, a sizeable sum to be sure. But had he been paid 1/2 of 1 percent of the increase in value he brought to GE (i.e. compensaion directly tied to performance), he would have made nearly $2.5 billion.

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Tom_FooIery 8 years, 8 months ago

kpippen: what a great response. Your argument was well thought out and informed. You have made me realize that teachers should have the summer off and get paid more. I do have problems thinking quickly some times, maybe it is my blue valley education.

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rhd99 8 years, 8 months ago

All the training in the world that the Superintendent of Lawrence Schools (My former junior high Assistant Principal) tries to sell, I am sorry, but if our damn LEGISLATURE in Topeka would WAKE UP, we would not have some of the lowest salary averages of school districts all across the country. Now I am walking into a trap here, but the fact is some of our tenured teachers have LEFT because our district in its $97-$100 million budget years still does not have enough to pay those teachers who, thank you very much, have all the skills they need to compete in our education system, & they still get LEFT BEHIND!

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Larry 8 years, 8 months ago

Even More Good News

Computers Highly Available: There is one computer available for instruction for every 2.4 public school students in Kansas, making Kansas one of the top 3 states in computer availability for students. Furthermore, there is one classroom computer available for every 6.3 public school students in Kansas, making Kansas one of the top 3 states in computer availability for students. MDR

Widespread Internet Access: Almost all of the public schools in Kansas (97%) have Internet access. MDR

Internet Use In Kansas Schools: Students per Internet-connected computer: 2.9 Students per Internet-connected computer in classrooms: 6.0 Percent of instructional computers with high-speed Internet access: 85.9

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Larry 8 years, 8 months ago

Jayhawk226- a link to the Kansas Department of Ed. How are schools in Kansas performing? http://online.ksde.org/rcard/searchpage.aspx

Good News about Public Schools in Kansas Math Scores Are Among the Nation's Best: Kansas 4th graders score 2nd highest in the nation in math in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). 8th graders score 8th highest in the nation in math in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). RCM

Among the Best in the Nation in Students Going on to College: The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education gives Kansas a grade of 99 for the proportion of students who go on to college, the 2nd highest score in the country. Kansas is one of the top 6 states in the percentage of high school graduates going on to college. HE

Among the Best Gains in the Nation in Students Going to College: The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education ranks Kansas as one of the top 9 states in the gains made over the last decade in students attending college. HE

More Students Are Taking ACTs: Since 1996, the proportion of Kansas graduating seniors taking the ACT college entrance examinations has increased by 7%. ACT

ACT Scores Are Rising: Since 1994, ACT college entrance examination scores in Kansas have risen four times as fast as the national average. ACT More Public Schools Offer AP Courses: Since 1997 the proportion of Kansas public schools offering AP courses has increased by 18%. AP

AP Scores Are Among the Nation's Best: In Kansas, 70% of public high school students taking AP exams earn a score high enough to qualify for college credit. Kansas is one of the top 7 states in the proportion of public high school AP exam takers earning such high scores. AP

Public School Students Outperform Private School Students on AP Exams: Kansas public high school students are more likely than private and religious school students to receive grades on Advanced Placement (AP) exams that qualify for college credit. AP More Teachers Nationally Certified: The number of Kansas teachers being honored with certification from the prestigious National Board of Professional Teaching Standards has increased more than four-fold since 2000. NBP

Gifted and Talented Program Among the Nation's Largest: Kansas leads the nation in the size and scope of its gifted and talented program. It is one of the top 4 states in the nation in the percentage of public secondary schools with a gifted and talented program. ESR

Among the Leading States in School Attendance: Kansas is one of the top 10 states in the country in the percentage of public school 8th graders attending schools without an absenteeism problem. EWQ

Schools Are Safe: No schools in Kansas were identified as "persistently dangerous" under the new "No Child Left Behind" law. EWQ

http://www.ksde.org/pre/kansas_profile_and_demographics_2005b.doc

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Larry 8 years, 8 months ago

Jayhawk 226 - I believe if you visit the Depart. of Ed. website, you'll see that most school districts in Kansas are indeed meeting AYP. See my next message for a link to this site. My wife utilitzes this site often as she helps people relocate to this area. If you are referring to the difficulty in meeting AYP in the future (say 2010 or further down the road), I would agree that it will be difficult for schools to meet AYP. There are too many variables that teachers can't control in helping students reach AYP during those later years. Consider this! Could KU, KSU, WSU, ESU, or PSU meet the requirements for AYP? These institutions supposedly have the most talented and qualified teachers in the field. In addition, these institutions have the cream of the crop when it comes to students. Yet, we know that students continue to flunk out due to various reason which the professors cannot control. Public school teachers are responsible for educating every student in the district regardless of background, potential, or learning difficulties. Seems a bit unfair, doesn't it. Imagine this! What if we held the medical profession to the same standards as educators. If your doctor doesn't have 100% of his patients illness free by 2010, he/she will lose his/her license. Sure, doctors have to deal with genetic issues just as educators do. Doctors have to try to convince their patients that eating right, exercising and getting plenty of rest are important practices to stay healthy. Can doctors force their patients to do these things. No! Can teachers force their students to do what it takes to master the district curriculum. No! It only seems fair to place the same standards on the medical profession. How about the Lawrence Police Department. They have a duty to educate the citizens of Lawrence. If citizens continue to break laws, it is time to hold the police department accountable. If the doctors and police officers are failing to get their message across, then I say we force them to go back to school and learn new and more efficient methods to educate our citizens.

Jayhawk226 - please provide a resource for your Illinois salaries. I tend to agree with Topside that the salaries are possibly administrative salaries. Combine the cost of living in comparison to Kansas and our administrators are probably doing just as well.

As for tenure, the last time I researched tenure laws in Kansas, a school districts in Kansas can grant immediately tenure to a teacher as long as that teacher has earn tenure within another Kansas district. A ten year veteran teacher in Lawrence can apply and be offered a job in Blue Valley and ask for immediate tenure. If BV wants this teacher bad enough, they can legally grant it.

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kpippen 8 years, 8 months ago

"dream world?" tom fool, you are an idiot.

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Tom_FooIery 8 years, 8 months ago

cause they are not really part of working america. They are in a dream world where you get off work at 3pm and take the summer off.

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offtotheright 8 years, 8 months ago

"Yes, they should. If we expect teachers to learn new things, we should give them an incentive to do so."
Karen Matheis, art teacher, Lawrence

Figures Karen is a teacher in Lawrence! It's a damn good thing I haven't been thinking the way she has all of my working career. I would still be making minimum wage.

Why do teachers think they are different than the rest of working america?

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Topside 8 years, 8 months ago

AMen T_O_Bob, that is exactly correct. Now, if they get a master's or doctorate that is a different story.

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megorama 8 years, 8 months ago

You are right neopolss...I wonder how many parents 'out there' take an active role in their child's schoolwork. I wonder how many parents 'out there' actually know what their child is learning in school. Teachers can be paid millions of dollars and have the upmost credentials, but if it is not reinforced and valued at home, it becomes 'almost' pointless...I say 'almost' because, yes, you will have the Good Will Huntings, but this is the exception, NOT the norm.

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The_Original_Bob 8 years, 8 months ago

Isn't it a requirement of all professionals to learn new skills and strategies? I don't think a teacher should get paid more merely for that reason.

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Topside 8 years, 8 months ago

Hey JAyhawk226. Are those actual teacher salaries or perhaps are they principal or administrator salaries. I would think if those were just public school teacher salaries every teacher I know would be lined up at the border to get into Illinois.
I think making 30,000+ for a job you only work 9mo.(+/-) a year is pretty good. I work 12 mo. a year and barely make that.

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neopolss 8 years, 8 months ago

I simply love how we have a system that places all of the pressure of a passing grade onto the teacher, and again lacks all parental responsibility. It doesn't matter if the parent doesn't get invlolved. it's the teacher's fault he/she is failing! Oh, for shame. Public education is a gigiantic bloated mess.

On the other hand, at least today's question is not light and fluffy like it has been.

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macon47 8 years, 8 months ago

I could easily support any program that would reward to the better teachers for their efforts. This being the case, I think they should take a hard look at the number of teachers that repeatedly don't make it to work on a Monday or Friday, and a subsistute needs to be hired. The money we pay subsistutes is appalling. On the same line, arley allens Sunday Letter to the editor raised a few questions. Why is the school system Budget nearly as large as the complete city of lawrence annual budget? While austin turley was on the school board he requested several times for some type of accountability. He was stonewalled every time. What are they trying to hide? Why do we need a two story building full of Administrators and co-coordinators on mcdonald drive?? Does any of your tax dollars every get to the teachers, or more important to the students??

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i_tching 8 years, 8 months ago

Why pay teachers according to their merit, as measured in the production of passable students? We do not pay the CEO's of large corporations in this manner.

Quite the opposite: corporate leaders are regularly rewarded with unbelievable amounts of money for destroying the companies they direct, and for scamming customers, taxpayers, and shareholders alike. (Of course in rare and extreme cases such corporate criminals do obtain some punishment. Two-headed polar bears walking down Vermont St. in July singing old Abba tunes are just as likely to be seen, though)

Government leadership is similarly skewed in its reward system. If you completely blow the reconstruction of an invaded country, the President himself hangs a medal around your neck. George Tenet comes to mind: he got one after resigning from the CIA when it was blamed for producing faulty intelligence regarding WMD's in Iraq.

Why the outrageous double standards? Why hold teachers to standards we refuse to apply to our corporate and government leaders?

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Jayhawk226 8 years, 8 months ago

I would love to continue to write more...

...but I'm actually attending a 3-day training session all-day, DURING MY SUMMER VACATION, to learn of a new research-based literacy curriculum geared toward our students with special needs, adopted by the district. Not because it's new, trendy and fashionable...but because we are required to educate using proven, founded techniques and strategies.

But let me guess...all these teacher's are incompetent and doing public education an evil by being in the system, right?

The ignorance of many of you makes me laugh...but the ignorance of many, and a hefty teacher salary (in Illinois anyway), is what lured me to the field. Our country, including the "already-educated," really need to continue to be taught.

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Jayhawk226 8 years, 8 months ago

Top 100 Salaried Teachers in Illinois---2003-2004

Name District Salary

Kniaz Ronald E CITY OF CHICAGO SCHOOL DIST 299 $173077

Duffey George L LEYDEN COMM H S DIST 212 $167389

Gregorin Thomas ADLAI E STEVENSON DIST 125 $161189

Isleb Jo Ann ADLAI E STEVENSON DIST 125 $158539

Colmar Darlene NORTHFIELD TWP HIGH SCH DIST 225 $157905

Taylor Robert L ADLAI E STEVENSON DIST 125 $157781

Plank Margaret ADLAI E STEVENSON DIST 125 $154340

Sullivan Eugene OAK LAWN COMM H S DIST 229 $152914

Hoffman Jack J MAINE TOWNSHIP H S DIST 207 $152731

Poznansky Steven R NILES TWP COMM HIGH SCH DIST 219 $151969

Killinger William G TOWNSHIP H S DIST 211 $151608

Kay George Arnie COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL DIST 155 $151113

Carpenter Albert S NEW TRIER TWP H S DIST 203 $149450

Urick Ronald ADLAI E STEVENSON DIST 125 $149325

Blundy Douglas M COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL DIST 155 $149223

Raffaelli Philip ADLAI E STEVENSON DIST 125 $148544

p>www.thechampion.org (This list only includes the first 16 of a list that is ongoing.)

The aforementioned school districts represent some of the most successful school districts in the country like Stevenson, New Trier and Maine East...which have received national attention each year. They make Blue Valley look like KCMO.

I am a graduate of Leyden High Schools, the #3 paying school district on average in Illinois. I can assure you that teacher salary cannot be directly tied to student academic performance, however, the higher you pay a teacher, the more skilled and competent a candidate a school district will receive and they can truly be choosy.

It's such a great feeling in Illinois when I know as a 2nd year teacher, I'm making more money than my friends in the health, business and even legal fields. And it's well-deserved too. 2 master's degrees, 1 bachelor's degree and countless hours of professional development under my belt in only my 2nd year of teaching.

KS treats their teachers like garbage providing no incentive. Teachers, like everybody else are human, and we need to look out for ourselves first. The best of the best teachers wouldn't even consider teaching in KS because there are no perks and true offerings for them.

Each year the KU School of Education battles losing it's top quality teacher graduates to other states--Illinois, Texas, California and Colorado. And why stay anyway? Higher salaries, better performing schools, and higher culture in the community.

Do yourselves a favor in KS, start funding your damn schools and teachers now....PLEASE!!!!

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Jayhawk226 8 years, 8 months ago

By placing performance goals on our teachers is no different than the already, nearly-impossible expectations imposed by Bush's No Child Left Behind.

I can assure and promise you even the top-performing school districts in the country struggle to even come close to making adequate yearly progress (AYP).

As for "new" and "fad" teaching styles, again under the No Child Left Behind legal requirements, teachers are required to teach using research-based, already-proven strategies on a daily basis. This has resulted in school districts spending way too much $$$ on literacy and math programs, which have been showing evidence to be effective.

And lastly, folks in Kansas...be corrected that there is no union in the State of KS, there is a teacher's association. It is illegal to strike in KS and the teacher's association will collectively bargain for all teachers and not represent them until they gain their full tenure after 3-5 years of service anyhow. This weak teacher's union in KS isn't protecting all the "incompetent teachers" that exist...it's an ineffective, powerless organization as is.

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extreme_makeover 8 years, 8 months ago

Let's face it. If teachers were perfect, our kids would freak out once out in the 'real' world.

Continuing education is good.

Teachers don't get paid enough. So, yes, give 'em a raise.

(The way the question of the day is worded, however, implies I should choose if they should get paid more for learning new skills OR if they should get paid more for using new teaching strategies--flip a coin?)

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John1945 8 years, 8 months ago

Let's dispense with tenure and put performance goals out in front of them. Fangorn is right about the "new" bit. Public education has been going downhill for a long time and it's time to clean up the mess.

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GreenEyedBlues 8 years, 8 months ago

Offering a carrot-on-a-string to get teachers to improve their skills only further incorporates the crooked rat race with the education of children.

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Fangorn 8 years, 8 months ago

Hey, I have a grand idea. Let's pay teachers for successfully educating students and using effective teaching strategies. "New" is too often a euphemism for "fad" or "untested". Whole Language is certainly a newer teaching and there are some idiots who have abandoned Phonics in order to use it. We now have an entire generation of semi-literates as a testament to Whole Language.

We should use a merit pay system. The only reason the idea is "controversial" is the teachers' unions. The purpose of a union is to protect jobs. Covering this naked truth with fig leaf platitudes about "education" or "the children" does not change the nature of the beast. A merit pay system would put at risk the jobs of the few incompetent teachers we employ. Worse yet, it might actually attract a higher calibre of teacher that would expose the ineffective nature of our current system. And that is the absolute last thing a union can allow.

Looking at "more direct measures of professional knowledge" (as Weseman puts it) is a sham way to measure effectiveness. Merely regurgitating the latest offerings of our colleges of education does not make one an effective teacher. Well educated, knowledgeable students are the only meaningful measure.

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