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What do you think the state can do to attract more new teachers to Kansas?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on January 5, 2008

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Photo of Andrew Hodgson

“They could offer them better pay, of course, or possibly have an arrangement where the state helps them pay off their student loans. That or make the Kansas job market stronger in general.”

Photo of Teresa Hiatt

“They need to find out why teachers are going elsewhere and what is attracting them to those places. Then they can try to offer something comparable.”

Photo of Shawn Stottlemire

“If other states have higher salaries or better benefits and retirement plans, then the state needs to do what it can to match those offers.”

Photo of Josh Patterson

“How about improving the science standards? I think science education in Kansas has gotten a black eye in the last 10 years, and it puts our education system in general in a bad light.”


jonas 10 years, 5 months ago

Permanently drop intelligent design.

kneejerkreaction 10 years, 5 months ago

What can the state do to have more attractive teachers? Let me think......

mick 10 years, 5 months ago

Kansas has enough teachers. This is just part of the neverending hype about teachers being underpaid- they are not,

rabb 10 years, 5 months ago

If you can read the ignorant statement that Mick has written - thank a teacher.

Logan5 10 years, 5 months ago

"How about improving the science standards? I think science education in Kansas has gotten a black eye in the last 10 years, and it puts our education system in general in a bad light."

  • Josh Patterson

We have a shortage of qualified math and science teachers (those with an actual degree in math or science) at the high school level. Why not pay these teachers more? Why should a teacher with a math degree be paid the same starting salary as one teaching welding class with a teaching certificate?

kramdorf 10 years, 5 months ago

This question only addresses a fraction of the issue. As any HR professional will say, attracting quality is only a practice in futility if you cannot RETAIN that talent. And as those same professionals will also tell you, pay isn't even in the top five reasons why someone leaves a position or organization. Employees join companies, but they "quit" people. Unless you are willing to take a long hard look at what, (who), is driving quality teachers away, "more pay" is just a feel-good band aid on a festering wound.

salad 10 years, 5 months ago

Good luck finding a high school that has a program that teaches welding! How about get rid of 3/4 of the administrators and for the ones remaining, cut their pay by 1/2. Money is actually a small part of the solution, but the main thing is that people go into teaching to make a difference, and they quit when they realize the system is rigged so that making a difference is all but impossible. If you have high standards and give lazy high school kids the grades they deserve for doing nothing, you better get ready for a steady stream of parent and administrator complaints. These days, everyone is an "A" student, no one has to work hard, and every kid is college material. God help the teacher who disagrees.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 5 months ago

Pass a state-wide smoking ban and enact tighter controls on the ownership of vicious dogs.

Crossfire 10 years, 5 months ago

................................................................... ..........................Fridays off............................ ...............Longer summer vacations................. ...........Teachers lunches at The Dirty Bird........ ...............................and....................................... ............Mo-Money.Mo-Money.Mo-Money........ ................................................................... ............................................................

Shardwurm 10 years, 5 months ago

We don't need any more teachers. What we need is to purge the system of the lousy ones we already have.

Tell you what...we taxpayers will pony up more money for teachers under the following conditions:

  1. The parents and students have a say (a certain percentage) in each teacher's evaluation. (i.e. the teachers are held accountable to those whom they serve.)

  2. The teachers waive 'tenure' and allow administrators to hire and fire based on performance. (i.e. if you suck you're the rest of us.)

  3. Teachers stop acting like they're more important and know more than parents. You're not and you don't.

  4. Allow good teachers to be rewarded with higher percentage raises and bad teachers be fired or given low or no pay know...paid for performance like the rest of us.

Until then I'll fight every effort to raise the salaries of teachers. Way too many are nothing more than day-care providers who hold us hostage because they are untouchable and not held accountable for their performance (or lack thereof.)

Any takers?


That's what I thought.

jonas 10 years, 5 months ago

  1. Teachers stop acting like they're more important and know more than parents. You're not and you don't.

I think this is more the reverse.

Merit based pay would be a good place to start, though.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm going to agree with jonas' comment; teachers catch a lot of unnecessary crap from parents. I'd say the biggest villains in teacher/parent interaction are parents who are convinced their kids are exponentially more awesome than they really are.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 5 months ago

Reacquire the western part of the Kansas Territories that stretched to somewhere around Creede, Colorado?~)

Jason Bowers-Chaika 10 years, 5 months ago

Here's one for starters. Stop this idiotic unofficial don't ask don't tell policy that keeps qualified persons from either entering the field of teaching or gets them fired if they get outed for being gay. Schools, students and society are on the losing end because of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Qualified teachers and workers in general will avoid places that are not considered to be welcoming to diverse populations. Get with the times Kansas adopt a nondiscrimination law protecting gay people in employment, housing and public accomidations.

teachks 10 years, 5 months ago

Money will definitely bring people into the profession. But, are all of those competent enough to actually teach? I have some pretty smart friends who would entertain the idea of teaching if it paid more. Fortunately for us, they chose other paths. Not everyone has the ability to teach. Yes, you all can master the concepts that are required to teach, but you also have to have the ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with students. Students are more interested in learning from someone who they like and respect. Several of you have mentioned paying those that perform well. Exactly!!! I'm not sure why the education system is so jacked up! I have only been teaching for 4 years but I know I am a better teacher than some in my own building so I think I should be rewarded for that. Will that ever happen? Probably not while I'm alive. Am I going to quit what I love doing because they don't pay enough? No. I love my job and yes it would be nice to get paid more, just like everyone would say, but I'm not going anywhere.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 5 months ago

Drop NCLB and take a hard look at administrators. Interview the teachers. Has this always been a problem for USD 497? Again why are the teachers leaving for JOCO positions? Is it only money? Commuting cannot be that much fun unless there is an all around sweeter deal on the other end. JOCO is considered one of the best available. USD 497 at one time was receiving high something different now? =================================== Leavenworth school district implemented their virtual school because of a shortage. The virtual school curriculum offered is one of the best home school programs on the planet. Calvert was their choice which has been around for about 100 years. The administrator comes from a home school family.

toefungus 10 years, 5 months ago

NCLB has been very successful at destroying our local schools. A neocon initiative driven from the belief that education is for the upper classes and should be private.

Larry Bauerle Jr. 10 years, 5 months ago

As a teacher for 24 years, I would love more pay, but there are other things I would love even more. One would be the respect I feel I do deserve as a professional. I work with parents and value their suggestions and input, but ultimately I do think I am supposed to be the expert and make what I feel are the best decisions for kids. You want to do away with tenure? Fine, I have no trouble with that. If I'm not doing my job, I should be fired. You want merit pay? Fine. Just be sure to establish a just way of determining how you would evaluate teachers who teach different subjects and different kids. The biggest drawback of teaching isn't the pay, though that does keep many out. The biggest frustration is the apathy of students and parents. If I have high standards and demand the best, then I catch heat for being too tough and demanding too much. It pains me that when my son went into teaching I was a little disappointed.

bearded_gnome 10 years, 5 months ago

NCLB has been very successful at destroying our local schools. A neocon initiative driven from the belief that education is for the upper classes and should be private.

bush derangement syndrome again. regarding NCLB, that's news that Ted Kennedy is part of the "neocon" conspiracy? zowie batman. btw, if you listen to the "neocon" conspiracy theoristis long enough, it always comes around to biggotry class warfare and antisemitism.

personally, if all you want to do is attract more teachers, then repeal those out moded laws forbidding teacher-student affection and sexual contact. then, you'll get lotsa teachers coming to kansas.

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