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Apple's Jobs blasts teachers unions - Page 2

post #41 of 294
How many of you who are saying teachers don't get paid enough and only work 9 months of the year actually personally know a teacher well?

When they work for those 9 months they WORK! Most of them go to work at 7:15, get home around 5, grade papers for a few hours, create lesson plans. Then in the summer they still have to go to meetings, and get ready for next year. They have to prepare for any special ed students they might have (which seems to be an increasing amount btw) and learn next years curriculum if there have been any changes.

And then they have to get supplies. They don't have much of a budget for supplies, and most end up spending a few hundred of their own money each year on supplies. How would you like to go to an office to work and then realize you have to buy a computer, and if anything goes wrong with it, pay for it to be fixed and maintained? That's how it is with teacher's supplies.

What I have generally discovered is that the good teachers are the teachers who want to make a difference on kids lives. The ones who work hard with that one person so they can learn that one math technique. The others just don't care. I know a teacher who IM's her boyfriend all day long and puts history movies on and expects the kids to learn? She can't be fired though, oh noooooo shes way too important. I know one who is sexist and racist and if you don't agree with her your wrong. There are a lot of bad teachers out there that can't be fired.

For the most part, I agree with Jobs that principals need the power to fire bad teachers.
post #42 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Slayer 26 View Post

How many of you who are saying teachers don't get paid enough and only work 9 months of the year actually personally know a teacher well?

When they work for those 9 months they WORK! Most of them go to work at 7:15, get home around 5, grade papers for a few hours, create lesson plans. Then in the summer they still have to go to meetings, and get ready for next year. They have to prepare for any special ed students they might have (which seems to be an increasing amount btw) and learn next years curriculum if there have been any changes.

And then they have to get supplies. They don't have much of a budget for supplies, and most end up spending a few hundred of their own money each year on supplies. How would you like to go to an office to work and then realize you have to buy a computer, and if anything goes wrong with it, pay for it to be fixed and maintained? That's how it is with teacher's supplies.

What I have generally discovered is that the good teachers are the teachers who want to make a difference on kids lives. The ones who work hard with that one person so they can learn that one math technique. The others just don't care. I know a teacher who IM's her boyfriend all day long and puts history movies on and expects the kids to learn? She can't be fired though, oh noooooo shes way too important. I know one who is sexist and racist and if you don't agree with her your wrong. There are a lot of bad teachers out there that can't be fired.

For the most part, I agree with Jobs that principals need the power to fire bad teachers.

This argument is not about the good teachers; its the bad. There are plenty of very dedicated teachers, who do spend the time grading, who do dip into their OWN salary to pay for supplies.....but with the direction going what it is, the bad teachers far outnumber the good.

If the principals had the power to fire bad teachers (not that there wouldn't be some politicizing and good people get canned; welcome to an unfair world), if there was accountability, if education was treated like the rest of the free market, than the good teachers would get paid more and we would attract those who would inspire and make a difference.
post #43 of 294
"When you're young, a little bit of course correction goes a long way. I think it takes
pretty talented people to do that. I don't know that enough of them get attracted to
go into public education. You can't even support a family on what you get paid. I'd
like the people teaching my kids to be good enough that they could get a job at the
company I work for, making a hundred thousand dollars a year. Why should they
work at a school for thirty-five to forty thousand dollars if they could get a job here at
a hundred thousand dollars a year? Is that an intelligence test? The problem there of
course is the unions. The unions are the worst thing that ever happened to education
because it's not a meritocracy. It turns into a bureaucracy, which is exactly what has
happened. The teachers can't teach and administrators run the place and nobody can
be fired. It's terrible. "

"One of the things I feel is that, right now, if you ask who are the customers of
education, the customers of education are the society at large, the employers who hire
people, things like that. But ultimately I think the customers are the parents. Not
even the students but the parents. The problem that we have in this country is that
the customers went away. The customers stopped paying attention to their schools,
for the most part. What happened was that mothers started working and they didn't
have time to spend at PTA meetings and watching their kids' school. Schools became
much more institutionalized and parents spent less and less and less time involved in
their kids' education.

What happens when a customer goes away and a monopoly gets control, which is
what happened in our country, is that the service level almost always goes down. I
remember seeing a bumper sticker when the telephone company was all one. I
remember seeing a bumper sticker with the Bell Logo on it and it said "We don't
care. We don't have to." And that's what a monopoly is. That's what IBM was in
their day. And that's certainly what the public school system is. They don't have to
care.

Let's go through some economics. The most expensive thing people buy in their lives
is a house. The second most expensive thing is a car, usually, and an average car costs
approximately twenty thousand dollars. And an average car lasts about eight years.
Then you buy another one. Approximately two thousand dollars a year over an eight
year period. Well, your child goes to school approximately eight years in K through 8.
What does the State of California spent per pupil per year in a public school? About
forty-four hundred dollars. Over twice as much as a car. It turns out that when you go
to buy a car you have a lot of information available to you to make a choice and you
have a lot of choices. General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota and Nissan. They are
advertising to you like crazy. I can't get through a day without seeing five car ads.
And they seem to be able to make these cars efficiently enough that they can afford to
take some of my money and advertise to other people. So that everybody knows
about all these cars and they keep getting better and better because there's a lot of
competition."

But in schools people don't feel that
they're spending their own money. They feel like it's free, right? No one does any
comparison shopping. A matter of fact if you want to put your kid in a private school,
you can't take the forty-four hundred dollars a year out of the public school and use
it, you have to come up with five or six thousand of your own money. "

"I believe very strongly that if the country gave each parent a voucher for forty-four
hundred dollars that they could only spend at any accredited school several things
would happen. Number one schools would start marketing themselves like crazy to
get students. Secondly, I think you'd see a lot of new schools starting. I've suggested
as an example, if you go to Stanford Business School, they have a public policy track;
they could start a school administrator track. You could get a bunch of people coming
out of college tying up with someone out of the business school, they could be
starting their own school. You could have twenty-five year old students out of college,
very idealistic, full of energy instead of starting a Silicon Valley company, they'd start
a school. I believe that they would do far better than any of our public schools would.
The third thing you'd see is I believe, is the quality of schools again, just in a
competitive marketplace, start to rise. Some of the schools would go broke. A lot of
the public schools would go broke. There's no question about it. It would be rather
painful for the first several years"

I tend to agree with everything steve had said regarding education in that interview, that would be the one from 1995.
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Originally Posted by addabox

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Quote:
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post #44 of 294
The educational system in the USA is completely fucked.

Good teachers get screwed over and the working environment is so shitty that schools sometimes have to hire bad teachers because they've driven away all the good ones.

Teachers are often overworked and spend a ton of time nights and weekends prepping lessons. Due to NCLB, teachers are required to constantly be taking classes (which usually is only partially covered, if at all), so that eats into summers. Teachers often have to pay for supplies out of their own pocket, which can be expensive.

Tenure is a double edged sword, but it's the only thing keeping many good teachers in the profession. Getting rid of it would require many tradeoffs to make teaching more appealing. Without it, many of the best teachers would probably be fired just because they're too expensive and they'd be replaced by newbies with no experience fresh out of college. Hell, even now there are districts that fire all teachers on the verge of getting tenure just to keep costs down and to have the ability to fire anyone for any reason (regardless if they're a bad teacher or not).

Not to mention that generally a teacher is kept from doing a good job by nonsense like NCLB which basically forces them to focus all attention and effort to the kids with the most problems, to the detriment of the average and above average kids. It's all goverment mandated lowest common denominator. And kids are so "protected" by laws that there's tons of red tape making it difficult and slow to be able to do anything about kids who are disruptive and even violent.

It doesn't help that most parents don't give a shit and don't lift a finger to help their kids with education or discipline.

There's certainly room for improvement in the union/tenure situation, but it needs to be something that still protects good teachers and limits "firing bad teachers" to teachers that are actually bad, and not just too expensive.
post #45 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowHunter View Post

My buddy's wife is a very good teacher and she structures her time efficiently. She makes use of teacher in-service days, she uses strategy's of homework and class participation that minimize massive every night grading, her principal is good and keeps meeting to a minimum.

Even so, if a teacher works hard during the week; she gets every 3-day weekend imaginable, 2.5 months off in the summer, 2-3 weeks at Chrismas, 1 week at Easter, PLUS the usual personal time, sick time, and vacation time.

I call shenanigans on your numbers....they don't match up with my friend's at all.

I'm not sure I agree with the numbers either, but those 3 weekends and vacations are UNPAID. We are paid only for days worked.
post #46 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by bavarde View Post

I'm not sure I agree with the numbers either, but those 3 weekends and vacations are UNPAID. We are paid only for days worked.

Sorry, that should be 3 day weekends.
post #47 of 294
He's right. Having a union to get better pay is ok, but when an incompetent person can't be fired they've gone too far, gotten too greedy.
post #48 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by bavarde View Post

I'm not sure I agree with the numbers either, but those 3 weekends and vacations are UNPAID. We are paid only for days worked.

Maybe you should investigate other districts. My friend gets the same paycheck all year round.
post #49 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by marden72 View Post

Sigh. This has to be one of the biggest misconceptions out there. Most teachers work 10 months out of the year - they have a lot of meeting before and after the end of the school year. AND, in those 10 months, they work more than most Americans do in 12 months. My fianace works on a average day from 7:15 till 5:30 at school and them comes home and grades papers a couple of hours every night. Then, throw in extra-curricular activities like track coach or drama.

Some math:
10.25 hours at school + 2 hours grading = 12.25 hours/day.
8 hours/day * 4 weeks of meetings = 160 hours
12.25 hours/day * 180 days teaching = 2205 hours
160 + 2205 = 2365 hours/year

vs.

45 hours/week * 50 weeks (52 - 2 weeks vacation) = 2250 hours/year

Are you for real, or are you just trying to be funny? The average teacher doesn't work anywhere near 12.25 hours a day. Perhaps your fiance is the exception, but come on teachers do not work over 12 hours a day on average. Plus, including all of the hours at school is a bit of a farce. Does your fiance not get a lunch break or have any periods during the day when she is not teaching?

Google "are teachers underpaid" to find a long list of articles that point out some of the facts involved. Here's a link to one of them. Among the facts pointed out are that many teachers work no more than 7 hours a day at school (including their paid lunch hour) due to union contracts.

http://www.nationalreview.com/nr_com...ment061603.asp
post #50 of 294
I'd have to agree with those who are saying that we won't have good teachers in the US until we are willing to pay enough to attract good ones. When I started my undergraduate career I was sold on going into secondary/high school education. I was very fortunate that in one of the first education-related courses I took, the professor had us go out to schools and research how the system worked, interviewed teachers, principals, administrators, etc. After that one class, I changed majors. There was no way I was going through 4 years of college to make that little money and put up with all the BS teachers have to put up with. The way the system works right now anyone with the math and science backgrounds we would want teaching children ... well those same people could make almost twice as much starting out in some other field. The public schools get whoever is left, which is mostly people who care deeply about the kids, but don't think they can or want to study higher level math/science.

Most teachers don't make $40,000 starting out either. I don't know where that number came from. It probably averages around $30,000 with plenty starting out at closer to $25,000. There are some higher starting salaries out there, but only in high income districts (where the competiton for teaching jobs is high and the cost of living is equally high) or some poorer inner city schools (where they they are forced to offer incentives just to get people to work there). Most teachers also work about 10 hours a day during the school year as well. Teachers ought to be getting paid far more than most people make out there, but instead, it is usually around, if not less than, their community's average.

If you want good teachers, you have to be willing to pay for them. Anything else is just talk.
post #51 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sladuuch View Post

I see you've never taught and never known anyone who did. As someone who's taught kids and adults and whose parents are both teachers, I believe I can say with some authority that you haven't a clue what you're talking about. You're describing university professors here when you say that starting salaries are decent and you can work your way up to a damn good one.

Starting salaries in 8 districts of maryland are now $40K. Yes, K-12. There's a push in this direction and most counties, except those with declining student populations and tax revenues, are expected to do this eventually.

NEA and AFT are pushing for $40K starting nationally.

Quote:
You're also partially wrong about this; only in CS are salaries as high as you describe. My parents are in the humanities, and they started out at closer to 30K; 30 years later, they're making nowhere near 100K a year, and they both constantly publish and get on the Excellent Teachers List every single year. I know a lot about academic politics and I can confidently say that college profs who make more than $100,000 a year are few and far between, and they're likely in CS or they're really famous, or both.

My father was a prof that retired a decade ago with at 70K salary at a so-so uni teaching education...not CS. AVERAGE salary at PUBLIC doctoral insitutions are $97K at the full professor level. $127K at private.

http://www.insidehighered.com/workplace/2005/04/25/pay

Heck...there are COMMUNITY colleges that pay 80+K AVERAGE for full profs.

As well "educated" as you are evidently you can't use a research tool as simple as google.

Quote:
It's also a myth that teachers have a lighter workload because they only work 9 months out of each year. The difference is this: teachers take their work home regularly and mandatorily, and I felt the sting of this growing up when my parents couldn't pay attention to me because they were spending hours bludgeoning themselves against the deluded ramblings of beer-swilling frat boys whose academic ambitions were as small as their brains.

BS. My ex wife was a teacher, my current wife was a TA and taught classes as a post-doc, my dad a prof and I've worked at a uni as a researcher and am thinking of trying my hand as an adjunct instructor for night school.

Yes, they took work home during the school year but after you've done it a year or two and all your lesson plans are stable the workload at home IS light. And if you don't work the summer session you can relax OR find another job.

Quote:
At a normal 9 to 5 job, you're finished when you come home.

Yes, because no one else brings work home with them.

Quote:
Sure, there's overtime and work you have to do at home, but most of the time you you get paid for this! Teachers get paid precisely zero dollars for the literally countless hours they spend grading homework and preparing lesson plans.

No, salaried folks don't get paid for casual OT or working at home. Same as teachers and it ain't "countless" hours anyway.

Quote:
As for the summer, there are usually a couple weeks of mandatory meetings and planning sessions. On top of this, many teachers are required to take training classes, and many who don't do so voluntarily at their own expense. Sure, many don't, and they tranish the profession and help spin the myth that teachers are lazy and overpaid. Teachers may only technically work 9 months a year, but those months are filled with much more unpaid work than your average profession.

Most other professions don't get the summers off. The only real downside is that taking time off during the school year is tough meaning typically vacations are all in the high-season rates.

And teachers aren't the only ones with continuing education requirements.

Quote:
The real problem is that K-12 education is a dead-end career, and everybody in it knows this. Most bad K-12 teachers are bitter because they were once aspiring academics who couldn't make the cut for college work. They know they have few opportunities for advancement, and they know they're going to be poorly paid for the rest of their lives.

This is the most arrogant, incorrect and demeaning thing you've written. None of the K-12 teachers I've known were bitter and most INTENDED to be K-12 teachers to begin with. Those that couldn't cut it in a "academics" and "fell back" into K-12 teaching are the tiny tiny minority.

So much for your "authority" to call someone else clueless.

Vinea
post #52 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowHunter View Post

Maybe you should investigate other districts. My friend gets the same paycheck all year round.

Yes, the school systems we've dealt with will allow you do do either full pay during school year OR spread your pay across the entire year. Your yearly salary is your yearly salary.

If you can't budget well then you do the "spread out across the full year". Otherwise you're better off just getting paid during the school year and remember that you aren't drawing a paycheck during the summer unless you take a second job or teach summer session.

Vinea
post #53 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowHunter View Post

We've come a LONG way from the hard labor of mines with grossly negligent employers who don't care if one gets killed.

Just about 13 months ago 13 coal miners died from a mine explosion. The mining company was found to have been negligent in keeping up with safety requirements. So much for a LONG way, huh?
post #54 of 294
Just to put this in focus a bit. In Texas, where this comment was made, the state starting salary is $27,320. You can top out after 20 plus years at $44,270.
There are many school districts in Texas where this is all you get. There are some in the metro areas that pay above this.
post #55 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

He's right. Having a union to get better pay is ok, but when an incompetent person can't be fired they've gone too far, gotten too greedy.

Yup, it's hard when you can't fire incompetents. Teachers and presidents, same problem.
post #56 of 294
If the public schools are consistently failing in any district, there should always be an option to bring in private management. I've seen education corporations come in and really turn schools around.
post #57 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Just about 13 months ago 13 coal miners died from a mine explosion. The mining company was found to have been negligent in keeping up with safety requirements. So much for a LONG way, huh?

1 company, 1 time? Get real man. We live in a PARADISE compared to 100 years ago. A negligent mine company is by far the exception, not the rule.

We live in an extremely spoiled rotten time. It is more than conceivable that somebody can be born, live a rich childhood with all the toys and experiences, easily go to college, perform mediocrely at work, live a long time, and die with virtually no real hardship in their life. People working a dangeous line of work and getting killed by negligence due to greed is a statistical zero, not a statistical probability.

There's no military draft. Police are less than 5 minutes away. Food is abundant. Medical care and educaton is a stone's throw from you at any point in time, and is even provided free if you can't hack it on your own. We're saturated with every type of entertainment and activity possible, and virtually all of it is risk-free. Get some perspective man....we live in the best damn time possible, and there are billions in the world without these qualities of life.....and you want to shoot down my entire point that labor is a 180 degree turn from 100 years ago based on 1 example 13 months ago?
post #58 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

AVERAGE salary at PUBLIC doctoral insitutions are $97K at the full professor level. $127K at private.

I think that engineering, business, and CS program skew those averages. Social science academia is a whole different game, especially if you're not dealing with a tier-1 research institution.
post #59 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Yup, it's hard when you can't fire incompetents. Teachers and presidents, same problem.

At least you can get the chance to re-elect the president every 4 years. If its REALLY bad, you can impeach him/her.

It takes more than an act of congress to can a bad teacher.
post #60 of 294
Reading through the string of comments concerning teacher pay stemming from JOBS,s comments, I get the distinct impression that teacher's pay is misunderstood. Last time I taught secondary and college level classes I worked 9 months out of each year. If I chose to teach summer school, my salary increase proportionately to the number of months additional I taught. State and city governments set teachers pay. Not the Federal government. According to USA Today, the average teachers pay in FY2004, was $46752 (9 Months). That is the equivalent of $62,336 for a 12 month work year. Not all teachers have the opportunity to teach 12 months out of the year so they either get a summer job or live on their 9 month salary. Teachers who don't make the average can, like me early in my career, continue their education during nights and summers. Masters Degrees make more than Bachelor Degrees and Doctor Degrees make considerably more than Masters. Another way to increase pay is to move to a state and school district that pays more. The bottom line is, if you want more pay for the hours you work, you have to continually improve yourself.

Teachers don't like Bush's approach to education because it measures teacher performance through student academic achievement. A "GOOD" teacher performance is rewarded. A "POOR" performance is not. Does that mean we need to fire the POOR performing teacher? Probably not, but they should not expect pay equivalent to the better performing teachers.

Steve Jobs suggestions for innovation in the tools we use to teach with while, at the same time, cutting the cost, is commendable. This is a person who offers solutions to problems that have plagued our educational system for as long as I can remember. It's a breath of fresh air in an institution that can get pretty stuffy at times. Educators should pay attention and learn from a successful business people offering alternatives to the status quo.
post #61 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowHunter View Post

I applaud you for your sacrifice; you have obvious dedication to the youth of America. I respect education.....not endless administration and mediocre performance.

However, you are the exception....not the rule. I invite you to check out some school districts in the central valley of California; another friend of mine makes more than you with only 10 years of experience and no extra credentials.

I don't think I am the exception. I am in Maine and really only know about New England schools. My daughter teaches in MA. The salaries are better there, but nothing like what you are describing. Maine recently mandated at least $30,000 as starting pay, but did nothing for those at the top.
The lack of respect is the real problem. Teachers are not respected by sociey and therefore they are not respected by the students. It is a myth that teachers cannot be fired. They do have to be fired for just cause and that requires documentation. The principals, who are REALLY stuck in the middle and are underpaid, do not have the time to do that. They have to deal with discipline and paperwork. NCLB has added an incredible layer of bureaucracy to the whole mess. Just to meet "qualified" status many teachers had to go back to school. It was mostly because in a middle school teachers often teach 3 or more subjects. No one has a college major in all 3. How humiliating to be told you can't teach 7th grade math because you only have 18 college credits!
To answer a little bit some of the other points on the thread--- Good teachers are leaving. Many are retiring early (like me) because the stress is too much. The new teachers coming in are a product of the same system that needs to be fixed!!!
The solution is certainly not a simple one. Telling teachers they are the problem will not work. We won't be scapegoats anymore. This is a NATIONAL issue, a societal issue. Hopefully the next president will be one who can see colors other than black and white.
post #62 of 294
Schools cant be run like corporate america. Teachers cant choose their students, the students just sign up - they can great, average or awful students. It's a roll of the dice. Its not the teachers fault.

Imagine if companies didnt have a say on who they hired?
post #63 of 294
Thank you Bavarde! I think your post is wonderful as it illustrates the issues for good teachers of which there are many. I think and hope what Jobs was speaking to was the unfortunate fact that so many in education just plain do a terrible job. It happens both at the administrative side and the delivery side of the business. Yes it is rooted at the legislative level also.

The pay no way justifiably compensates the best and way overpays the worst. I'll focus on the worst because I think it is a bigger problem. As proven by the number of teachers we have lots of people will work for the pay. The pay along with the security and the pension is enough to have attracted millions. Now that we have a system that attracts many how do we weed out the poor performers. Currently we are stuck with them and every school has some. Jobs is right to point out who of quality wants to aspire to manage a group when their tools to manage prevent rewarding excellence and punishing poor performance.

I live 20 miles from a state border, MA-CT, that divides a pay variance of major proportions. A short commute can offer a 50% pay increase. Yet we still attract and retain excellent teachers. So money alone is not the problem. The big thing here is not offering permanent contracts to new hires as a tool for administrators to release poor performers. That is of little use with all the long term employees.

My fear in giving more tools to the current administrators is that we have lots of poor ones that fear the best teachers. These great teachers have the kind of power that most principals can only dream of, they are loved, wanted, respected and valued.

I for one see a problem and the only solutions I can envision will bring short term upheaval and fear. We have to accept that the problem is bad enough to warrant the turmoil of change that can bring about a better situation. Unfortunatly some great people are bound to get hurt in the process. Is the current pain bad enough that we are willing to risk the pain of change.

Bless Jobs for speaking up. Let heads roll as our kids deserve better than what we are giving.
post #64 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wil View Post

I disagree with your assessment and I find that what Steve Jobs had to say in regards to teachers unions is correct . Teacher union are fast becoming the number one boondoggle of American education because of one simple fact . The union is not interested in teaching american kids , many of the NEA leaders are interested in indoctrinating american kids to their political point of view in spite of the objections of a lot of competent , non-political teachers in their rank and file . Correct in if I am wrong , but isn't there dozens if not hundreds of articles in US newspapers that complained about bright HS graduates that went to college and failed to even finish their first year because their high school education was very much inadequate for them to tackle college courses ? I think that is what Jobs is talking about and throwing more money to the problem as a temporary fix will make things worst .

Here are some of the solutions I think will help American education

1) Change the way how people enter into the teaching profession . To do this , prospective candidates entering into the college of education should be a college graduate with a degree mathematics , sciences , literature and sciences and had gained experience working in the real non-education world for at least three years in their respective fields or for those people who did not have a degree and wishes to enter the teaching college should have actual and verifiable work experience ( and should be highly regarded by his or her peers) for at least 5 to ten years pertinent to the subjects they wish to teach.
2) Do away with fad teaching solutions , teach using methods that work time and time again and avoid using school children as experiments for some newly develop and politically loved school theory .
3)Leave your politics and beliefs in your house when teaching students . Indoctrination whether political , religious and others have no room in the classroom.
4)Restore old fashion discipline in the classroom by having the teaching staff , the student body and their parents create a school that will not tolerate real wrongdoing by any teacher or student .
5) Remove the government from the school system gradually , but surely .Nothing creates more waste of money than having the Federal and State heaping more useless non teaching bureaucrats to the already bloated school system,
6) Let union members decide where their union dues should go and teachers who refused to be a member of the teachers union should not be threatened with losing their jobs .
7)Teachers are required during summer to attend workshops/expeditions pertinent to the subject that they are teaching and take CEUs in order to renew their teaching license.
8) After school or summer English classes are mandatory to non-english speakers for a small inexpensive fee . They will be taught English grammar , spelling ,speech by teachers or volunteers to help them cope with their American counterparts.

you should also have parents engaged and in the halls, helping to some extent. plan days off from work to volunteer at school. nothing helps the students more than seeing parents engaged and watching out for them.
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post #65 of 294
Tenure does NOT guarantee a job for life.

In my state, tenure gives poorly performing veteran teachers the right to a 3-month remediation period and a hearing. If such teachers don't get their act together within those 3 months, their fate is in the hands of their bosses. Administrators who really want to fire bad teachers most certainly can do so. It's just a matter of them following through.

Most teachers I work with do quality work and do care. It's the minority of bad teachers who give the quality ones a bad name. And yes, lack of good parenting and lack of respect are very real problems these days.

Also, kids have waaaaaaaay more distractions now than previously. Cell phones/text messaging, the Internet and all that comes with it (YouTube, chat rooms, and other time wasters), video games, hundreds of television channels, just to name a few...And speaking of television, what I saw on TV during the 1980s was pretty tame compared to what kids are exposed to now.

I've noticed over the years that people think that having been a student in a school at one time automatically qualifies everyone as being an expert on education. By that logic, having been a child raised by adults at one time would automatically qualify everyone as being an expert on parenting. Mr. Jobs, being a rich CEO does not automatically qualify you as an expert on education. Students are human beings going through sometimes volatile development stages. They're not electronic gadgets rolling off an assembly line.

Teaching in a public school classroom is not the same as something like coaching. A coach can hold tryouts, make cuts, and keep the worst players who make the team on the bench. A public school teacher cannot choose which students he/she has a in a class, drop a poorly performing student on a whim, or choose a "starting lineup" of students to take the standardized tests that our country has become obsessed with as a result of the badly flawed No Child Left Behind law -- a law that labels an entire school a failure when students in just one subgroup (e.g. low income subgroup, special ed subgroup, Hispanic subgroup, African-American subgroup, etc.) don't perform up to snuff on one standardized test. And don't get me started on the fact that my state requires special ed students to take the ACT, of all things (yes, you read that correctly) along with regular ed students. The ACT is also used as part of the criteria for deciding whether or not a school is "failing" under No Child Left Behind. But I digress...

Concerning the idea that using public taxpayer money to send children to private schools via the use of vouchers will magically result in higher achievement...Hogwash! Private schools educate students they choose to admit, and the students they admit primarily come from families who value education very highly. Parents in those types of families keep after their kids when they go astray. Public schools accept virtually ANYONE, including expensive special education students who they're required by law to educate (special education classrooms require more staff than regular classrooms do). Frankly, public schools are even more open than Ellis Island ever was. There's no such thing as an entrance exam to be admitted to a public K-12 school, and private schools don't have the litany of other government mandates that public schools do. Therefore, judging the quality of a private school teaching staff against the quality of a public school teaching staff based on standardized tests given once a year is a badly flawed approach.

Please try to keep the above in mind before ignorantly bashing public school teachers. Teaching is hard enough as it is, and continually attacking teachers will likely 1) drive good ones away from the profession and 2) discourage talented people from changing careers to enter the teaching profession. Currently, 50% of teachers already leave the profession by the end of their 5th year. If teaching is so easy, why would this be the case?

Whoever thinks teachers are underworked and overpaid, please feel free to jump in and become full-time teachers yourselves to see what it's really like. Then we'll talk.
post #66 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by intlplby View Post

this is two fold....

1) yes they should be allowed to fire teachers
2) teachers should be paid more.

currently there is very little incentive for good people to turn to teaching.... in this country there is too little respect for teaching and the paid is too little to lure enough good people to do it...

we'll drop millions of dollars on bombs and the military, but are unwilling to pay teachers a decent salary.

When I have kids you can be sure that they are not going to be in the US public schools which with a few exceptions are a disgrace....

we've created an environment that ends up being an outlet for many people that graduated from university but were not great students themselves and then we give them a job that we can't fire them from for low performance....

Honestly, I've had some excellent teachers who I respect a LOT.

BUT the overwhelming majority of teachers were mediocre at best and made me dumber at worst.

I'm sure anyone that's been to university can attest that practically none of the best students ever choose to become teachers

I agree partly with your statement.

My wife is a public teacher, she works in a great wealthy district in Southern California and has been doing it for over 14 years. Her salary is very good for a teacher but new teachers just make nothing. (public teachers pay is based in the amount of years worked on the same district, if you move from one district to another you lose most of the years worked and go back to zero, At least in California) They have little support from the government and few years back she got a Mac from school and they never helped her in using it. Thank god she has me so I could help.

I think Steve Jobs should shut up his mouth in this one. The problem here is not the teachers but mostly of our school system, government and lack of better salaries, support and infra structure in many schools.
I believe teachers are our heroes because they have to endure such a suck situation and they prepare the next generation with a bad salary and no respect.
Plus on top of that the benefits for teachers are just getting worse, Health care that use to be 100% paid is not 50% paid and the quality got worse, Salaries don't raise as much as used to be and lack of support from the school board is just a joke. Hey, I am talking about a wealthy good district that my wife works. Imagine in a poor bad district.

Sure there are "bad" teachers out there like in any professions there are bad apples, but the majority is just trying to survive and do their best. I believe most teachers are good, they just lacking support so they can't do a 100% job. If you want to fire a teacher then raise drastically their salaries and make it a corporation management style school system. IMHO, I don't think this will be any better.


Hopefully one day our government will invest billions of dollars in the education instead of spend it in killing people abroad. Until then, we should salute the people who try to make this country better everyday. Teachers!
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MacPro 12 core
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PowerBook G4 550, MacBook Pro 2.2
Ipod 1G and 5G, Shuffle 2G, iPhone 3G
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post #67 of 294
I am in my first year out of high school so I have a fresh opinion on this. There are some downright horrible instructors in our public secondary education system, but also there are the few that inspire students to live up to their potential. Honestly, it depends on your demographic. My family moved many times during my k-12 years so i was able to experience several demographics ranging from predominantly amish and middel to uppermiddle class white al the way to the majority being very underprivaleged minorites. The inner city school teachers are the worst. If you are one, I don't apollogize. Stop letting kids fall through the cracks. Your apathy and your "Oh well, we can't fix these kids" attitued is getting old and causing our literacy rate to fall. It's pathetic and frankly, why aren't we fed up with it? I can name at least ten teachers in the inner city school system i attended that should have had their pink slip fed to them by a rabid dog. On the other hand, all of the instructors in the rural areas I lived in (sans a spanish teacher and my second semester 9th grade English teacher) cared about the students. I strongly believe that despite the fact that it's been nearly 40 years since the beginning of the Civil Rights movement of the sixties, that at least 60% of inner city teachers are subconsciously and or consciously racist or racially prejudiced. In my years in the inner city school I attended I was able to observe other schools around me. I was in all the honors/AP classes or whatever you will call them. Do you know what I noticed? Not one black male. Excuse me, my Senior year the grandson of Ellie May Daggett transferred into my high school. He went on to get a full ride to Cambridge University. Other than that, the only minorities in my AP classes were females. African american males seem not just to slip through the cracks, but forced down through the cracks by inner-city teachers. To say that my overall feeling on this matter is one of apall would be a grave understatement.


I apologize for how winded that was.


Not only do bad teachers need to be fired, but inner city education needs to be redone. Not reformed, redone. Start over. Fire them all. Have the teachers' unions absolve their memberships or something along those lines and fire them.
post #68 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowHunter View Post

Maybe you should investigate other districts. My friend gets the same paycheck all year round.

We get the same paycheck all year round, but it is prorated. If I take an unauthorized (I have 2 personal days a year) day off, I am docked 1/184 of my salary. Also, I have no paid holidays.
post #69 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by bavarde View Post

I don't think I am the exception. I am in Maine and really only know about New England schools. My daughter teaches in MA. The salaries are better there, but nothing like what you are describing. Maine recently mandated at least $30,000 as starting pay, but did nothing for those at the top.
The lack of respect is the real problem. Teachers are not respected by sociey and therefore they are not respected by the students. It is a myth that teachers cannot be fired. They do have to be fired for just cause and that requires documentation. The principals, who are REALLY stuck in the middle and are underpaid, do not have the time to do that. They have to deal with discipline and paperwork. NCLB has added an incredible layer of bureaucracy to the whole mess. Just to meet "qualified" status many teachers had to go back to school. It was mostly because in a middle school teachers often teach 3 or more subjects. No one has a college major in all 3. How humiliating to be told you can't teach 7th grade math because you only have 18 college credits!
To answer a little bit some of the other points on the thread--- Good teachers are leaving. Many are retiring early (like me) because the stress is too much. The new teachers coming in are a product of the same system that needs to be fixed!!!
The solution is certainly not a simple one. Telling teachers they are the problem will not work. We won't be scapegoats anymore. This is a NATIONAL issue, a societal issue. Hopefully the next president will be one who can see colors other than black and white.

You are right that respect from students and parents are a big part of it. That might return if you had the power to discipline in the classroom, instead of categorizing them with psychobabble. However, I get "respect teachers' sacrifices" rammed down my throat daily. I'd make the claim that they are respected even more than those who put their lives on the line; police, military, etc. Our society worships education.....the more letters you have after or before your name, the more important you are. How much more respect can society really give? At least congress and the media don't daily threaten to undercut your very mission and livelihood.

I'm sorry if the NCLB made a few teachers feel "humiliated." But if they aren't qualified to teach because they don't have the right credentials, then that is the way it works I guess.

I'm going to be a little harsh here; forgive me ahead of time. I'm going to make a small leap here and guess you are pretty liberal. You take on the mantra of a "victim." You blame the NCLB act for all the troubles...but looking past its faults it is not much more than an accountability measure and it is working ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Chil...vor_of_the_act ). You blame the current presidential administration.....which at least has made a substantive attempt fixing the system, more than ANY previous administration has done. You strike me as a typically self-centered, condescending liberal, thinking that if only everyone "looked up" to you more (respect, avoid accountability, and never ever do anything that might challenge a teacher's pride), threw more money at the problem (more pay, more benes, more more more), and thought just like you....then we'd have a magically perfect system. 1 room schoolhouses with multiple grades and 1 teacher did a far better job than today's system, without 10% of the tools granted today.

Again, forgive me for being harsh, and I do have the utmost respect for your years of service to our future; but I don't have the share your opinions.
post #70 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idle View Post

I think that engineering, business, and CS program skew those averages. Social science academia is a whole different game, especially if you're not dealing with a tier-1 research institution.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/03/06/cupa

By discipline (new assitant to full prof)

Engineering - 68K-107K
Business - 80k-102K
CS - 68K-98K

philosophy - 46K-82K
liberal arts 47K-74K

I dunno but $74K seems pretty decent to me and "close" enough to 100K given the average US salary.

And yes, AVERAGE implies that some folks make more than 97K and some folks makes less. These numbers show a $30K spread at the full prof level for different fields throwing out the two outliers: Law vs Theology. Presumably the latter will reap their rewards "later" while the former head for "warmer" climes.

The average for a full prof at a community college is $66K but for any 4 year college you're a least in the 70K range again.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/04/24/salaries

No, I didn't go to the AAUP to verify these numbers or looked at their survey methods but one hopes something as "peer reviewed" as salary reports is reasonably well done.

Vinea
post #71 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by elpparedisni View Post


Students are human beings going through sometimes volatile development stages.

Oddly...so are programmers...

Vinea
post #72 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Starting salaries in 8 districts of maryland are now $40K. Yes, K-12.

In what, the 8 districts with the highest cost of living? In those districts, it's probably impossible to get an apartment, eat, and make car and college loan payments for $40k without scraping by. And for what, to work 10-12 hours/day, know that you might get terminated in a year or two before you get tenure, and clearly have no respect from people that you're getting paid what you deserve?

Wow, there's a dream job for you.
Quote:
My father was a prof that retired a decade ago with at 70K salary at a so-so uni teaching education...not CS. AVERAGE salary at PUBLIC doctoral insitutions are $97K at the full professor level. $127K at private.

http://www.insidehighered.com/workplace/2005/04/25/pay

Heck...there are COMMUNITY colleges that pay 80+K AVERAGE for full profs.

As well "educated" as you are evidently you can't use a research tool as simple as google.

Average university pofessor salaries are around $65,000. You really should take a lesson at learning to use Google yourself. And good grief, there are about 1600 community colleges out there, so you use a web page that tells you there are ONLY 14 that pay over $80,000 to make a point (the average pay is actually around $52,000)? And once again, those schools are almost all in places where the cost of living is high.

And what's your point bringing up university salaries anyhow? To show that teachers make half what they do? So it's OK to pay teachers squat to teach kids during their most formative years?

Next I'd suggest you Google how much teachers make in other countries. What places like Germany, Japan, etc. pay teachers (in particular at the high school level), make the pay in the US look like a joke.
post #73 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowHunter View Post


I'm going to be a little harsh here; forgive me ahead of time. I'm going to make a small leap here and guess you are pretty liberal. You take on the mantra of a "victim." You blame the NCLB act for all the troubles...but looking past its faults it is not much more than an accountability measure and it is working ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Chil...vor_of_the_act ).

Well wikipedia is not an authoritative source and second I'm conservative and I think NCLB was a dumb idea. Teaching to tests was the obvious predictable result and just dumb. The primary advantage that the US has over "better educated" countries is that we are a bit unstructured and willing to step outside the box.

That doesn't come from teaching to the test.

In any case, NCLB is kind of a contract...one the administration reneged on the funding side. I also thought it was us "conservatives" that didn't like federal dictates to states anyway.

With respect to the military and related issues I believe that belongs to AppleOutsider but I shan't deny myself the comment from the conservative side that any current damage was inflicted by the conservative and not liberal side of the fence. A self-inflicted wound so to speak. You can't also decry victimization and then play the same card (wah evil liberal congress threatening funding...wah wah). Well, I guess you can with our current "conservative" leadership.

Vinea
post #74 of 294
... and how did Steve Jobs represent Apple as a solution to the issues confronting education?
On Apple's time Steve Jobs should propose methods and procedures Apple is capable of bringing to the challenges faced by members of EDUCAUSE.
What ever his personal philosophies may be that influence how he prefers to spend his own money I wish he'd check them at the door.
Steve was invited to showcase Apple's vision for the education market. He was not invited to quarrel with or slander attendees.
On this day he was part of the problem, not part of Apple's solution. He needs to keep these Bad days to a minimum.
post #75 of 294
When he came back to Apple, he was firing people by the bushel. He's an autocrat. Fine, for making beautiful things to use.

Turning out young minds, however, is a different thing. Firing people more easily might be one thing you could go for, and if Steve ran a school system, maybe he would fire the right people for the right reasons. But teacher's unions have no choice but to make it more difficult to fire people. Principals may fire dead wood in one school, or fire good people to hire friends in another; or fire people arbitrarily in another.

In retail, or manufacturing, you can see productivity day to day. If somebody's no good, there are objective criteria. You've got a lot harder job at a school. As "No Child Left Behind" proves, trying to make schools better by supplying these criteria just makes kids into test-takers and many principals into liars. Nobody wants their school declared a disaster zone.

He's on much firmer ground, however, when he talks about eliminating textbooks. Textbooks are a massive boondoggle for stupidity. Much cheaper to give each kid a computer, and set up a statewide lending library of, you know, real books. Give the kids research projects in their chosen fields. They can research on the net, and take out books that come the next morning (I can dream) like Netflix. The computerization of education is the right way to stop the mechanistic idea of school as a factory.
post #76 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Well wikipedia is not an authoritative source and second I'm conservative and I think NCLB was a dumb idea. Teaching to tests was the obvious predictable result and just dumb. The primary advantage that the US has over "better educated" countries is that we are a bit unstructured and willing to step outside the box.

That doesn't come from teaching to the test.

In any case, NCLB is kind of a contract...one the administration reneged on the funding side. I also thought it was us "conservatives" that didn't like federal dictates to states anyway.

With respect to the military and related issues I believe that belongs to AppleOutsider but I shan't deny myself the comment from the conservative side that any current damage was inflicted by the conservative and not liberal side of the fence. A self-inflicted wound so to speak. You can't also decry victimization and then play the same card (wah evil liberal congress threatening funding...wah wah). Well, I guess you can with our current "conservative" leadership.

Vinea

Bush isn't the best conservative ever, and I'm not a fan of the Feds dictating to the states, but at least the NCLB act was a stab at something; again, more than ANYONE has done to date. You can talk about how Bush didn't fulfill his end of the bargain, how it is too "inside the box," and etc etc....but at the end of the day, if more children are reading better and doing math better, then I'm perfectly happy to "teach to the test." It'd be one thing if it was a 10 question test and we only gave them 10 facts, but we're teaching them skills here.....if "teaching to the test" means imparting useful skills, then I'm all for it.
post #77 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

In what, the 8 districts with the highest cost of living? In those districts, it's probably impossible to get an apartment, eat, and make car and college loan payments for $40k without scraping by.

Oddly, I managed when I wasn't making the "princely" salary of today. Yes, obviously the 8 districts with the most money and the highest costs of living. How many other professions start out much higher than $40K?

Quote:
And for what, to work 10-12 hours/day, know that you might get terminated in a year or two before you get tenure, and clearly have no respect from people that you're getting paid what you deserve?

My wife never regularly worked 10-12 hours per day as a teacher but I do as a developer. And programmers never get tenure.

Both her parents were teachers (one community college and one K12). They sure weren't pulling 10-12 hour work days.

Quote:
Average university pofessor salaries are around $65,000. You really should take a lesson at learning to use Google yourself. And good grief, there are about 1600 community colleges out there, so you use a web page that tells you there are ONLY 14 that pay over $80,000 to make a point (the average pay is actually around $52,000)? And once again, those schools are almost all in places where the cost of living is high.

Because the AAUP is going to make up salary survey results? And $97K was for full professors...which after 30 bleeding years teaching I hope one could make that leap from associate to full.

Average for community colleges were $66K for a full prof. Yes, they use fewer of those with a lot of adjuct profs and instructors.

Quote:
And what's your point bringing up university salaries anyhow?

Because the previous poster was obnoxious and talked about the salaries of his parents who were professors to refute someone else. Maybe reading the quoted text is sometimes useful to determine the context?

Vinea
post #78 of 294
If you read any biography or his history he has a disdain for unions, whether they be in tech, business, China, or government. He is a CEO why would he like any union???
post #79 of 294
Jobs had me until the encyclopedia Wikipedia bit. Wik is a joke and should be kept as far away from students as possible forever.

It's hearsay history and bogus.
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post #80 of 294
On this nice presidents day weekend, I am happy to hear Steve Jobs mention 1 of the thousands of problems in education in the U.S.

I agree that there are a lot of bad teachers out there and unfortunately the good ones give up because they bust their ass every day while others ruin it for them.

I am a band teacher of 10 years that used to teach in a private school and moved on to a public school when I changed states. I have no intentions of quiting, but honestly when you look at the money per hour (which they don't do), we would be better off financially working for MacDonalds.

I have always told myself that I didn't become a teacher to become a millionaire, so the money thing doesn't bother me, until I can't afford to live comfortably.

Here is my list of things that might "IRRITATE TEACHERS", causing them to loose their passion for the job:

1. CONTINUING EDUCATION RULES - I have no problem with going back to school, taking tests to update my certification, but college costs a lot of money. Just when you think you are starting to get ahead of your student loans, you find yourself sinking further into debt.

Many people see this as being the same as Doctors continuing on in education, but I highly disagree. Let's say a doctor makes $200,000 and a teacher makes $50,000 a year. Either way, 1 CREDIT at any given school is going to cost the same amount for any student applying. So if a teacher takes a continuing education course, it costs $500, and the doctor goes to a convention and takes a class costing the same amount, who is really paying more? The doctor has this taken care of his continuing ed class in the first three patients he sees that next morning. A teacher will eat a third of their paycheck that month just to cover the cost of the one class.

So, I am not saying doctors are overpaid or anything like that. I feel they are miracle workers, but there needs to be something done to help cover teacher costs for continuing education. When is a teacher supposed to start saving for his children's education?

2. CONSTANT STATEWIDE TESTS - When I went to school, you had two tests that you cared about if you were going to college, the SAT and ACT tests. Some schools only needed one or the other. Everybody isn't going to go on to college or trade school after high school, it's a fact. No matter how much we shove state tests down the throats of students, they are only going to learn if they are ready to learn. Survival of the fittest (smartest). Nature works things out on it's own. The world needs ditch diggers too. Anything I missed?

Stop wasting money on tests. In the state of Washington, they spend nearly $1,000,000 per question on their WASL test. This includes coming up with the question, approval of the question at multiple levels, printing of the questions, keeping the question a secret, administering the question, and grading the question. Total crap. Total waste of money. It's not making kids any smarter.

3. PARENTS NEED TO SUPPORT TEACHERS - Parent these days enable their kids to get away with doing anything. Instead of letting their kids get in trouble, or accept the F for cheating on a test, they go in there like they are lawyers. They start talking about personality conflicts with the teacher. I hope I have a personality conflict with most teenagers since I am twice their age. These are parents trying to get kids into the best college or for some ANY college, but don't realize, they are really just helping develop poor life skills.

The statistics show more and more kids going to college, but they are not showing the number of kids that drop after the first semester because they couldn't hack it.

BACK TO STEVE JOBS FOR A MOMENT:

I agree with him 100%. I think bad teacher should be fired, or there should be a series of checks an balances throughout your time at the job. The problem with the statement is, there becomes this expectation that every science teacher is going to go in and jump around like a circus monkey blowing things up or constantly entertaining the kids.

In this unbelievably sophisticated/technological world we live in, kids are just overstimulated by everything they have. It is hard to keep up with something that keeps doubling in speed every year (computers, video games, etc.).

When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to go home and try to beat Maniac Mansion on my Commodore 64. It was on my mind constantly. NOW compare that to anything that is available now... hell... most calculators are more exciting now.

The job of a teacher has changed significantly since STEVE JOBS has been to school. It has become EDUTAINMENT rather than education. Half the battle is just getting kids to stop texting on their phones in class, listening to their iPODS in class, putting test answers on their iPOD for class, texting test answers to one another on their phones.

Sure... take away a kids property and you are looking at a meeting with a parent, now multiply that meeting by the average class size (30+) and multiply that by 5-6 class. Now find time to teach, grade, give positive feedback etc.

If you don't teach, YOU DON'T KNOW. Trust me.

Now, the PROBLEM WITH CEOs of CORPORATIONS is, they don't have UNIONS, they have FAT WALLETS, so they can feed their FAT FACES, while paying FAT LAWYERS, to take care of their FAT EMBEZZLEMENT/STOCK OPTIONS PROBLEMS so they don't get thrown in prison and have their FAT A S S E S taken advantage of by a FAT CELLMATE. Let's not look at teachers for the world problems. If anything they are the ones that care.

Happy President's Day. I hope all of my fellow teacher friends enjoyed their day off.
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