The reality is that most teachers take their jobs seriously. There are very few who get tenure and then try to do nothing. What many fail to understand is that tenured teachers are evaluated by their superiors multiple times throughout the school year. If the principal is worth their salary, they will get every teachers to perform. Simply put, principals have creative ways to make teachers life miserable if they dont comply. I dont know of ONE situation where a principal walked into a classroom filled with students and the teacher was doing nothing and told the principal "you cant do anything, I have tenure." I know that many of the teacher bashers want to think that but that is far from the truth.
Firemen, cops, sanitation workers all have tenure as well. They just dont call it tenure. They all have the same job protection with less waiting period (90 days) and FAR less education requirements.
Last edited by copernicus; 03-07-2013 at 08:55 PM.
1) Yet it also protects the status quo in bad schools.
What is the definition of a "bad school?" In all cases it includes a higher percentage of parents who dont care about the kids education. Sometimes bad teachers, but always bad parents. Rarely to never will you see a bad school in a good community. All the change in faculty and making conventional public schools into charters will not change a thing in low income areas untli the parents are made accountable. When 100% burden falls on the teachers and the parents have 0% accountability nothing will change other than good teachers losing their jobs unjustly.
2)There is NO excuse for schools with a 25% graduation rate or high school kids with a 5th grade reading level.
I work in the heart of Flushing, Queens to say that it is predominantly Asian is an understatement. One of my six classes has 35 students, 30 of which only speak Chinese, 2 that speak Spanish, 1 that speaks a Middle Eastern language that no one in the school can translate. There are 2 Asian American students in my class that can speak English somewhat to communicate with the others. Most of these students are not encouraged by their parents to learn English because currently the can survive because most of the store fronts and community speak Chinese. Think any of them have the desire or ability to graduate? BTW, they ALL take the state exams. They can barely write their names because their language doesnt use the same alphabet (minus the 2 Spanish kids). Most of the these students have a pre school rated reading level. Think they have a shot of getting to a 5th grade reading level with barely any parental support to learn English at home? Oh yeah, their scores on the state exams count towards whether or not I am an efficient teacher or not.
3) That is a useless argument when the rest of the world makes leaps and bounds due to competition, innovation and change.
More fabricated numbers from politicians looking to justify firing all teachers on the backs of students.
The US accepts immigrants from all over the world. The countries that "lead" in scores do not come close to dealing with the immigrant issues that we do.
The US forces ALL students, even if they are in the country for less than 6 months, to take mandatory state exams. Its a money maker for the US. Other countries value education more. They know that every student is not "college ready" and do not have an agenda to cut budgets in education. Other countries also "cherry pick" specific students who qualify for state exams. Finland, the model country that everyone turns to when it comes to matters of state exams does not have their students take state exams until they are 17 years old. In the US, we start testing at 5 in kindergarten. Finland also has close to 100% of their students speak one common language and no immigrant issue at all.
As far as "the sky is falling" agenda politicians scream about when it comes to the US "falling behind" to the rest of the world; really? We lead the world in space technology, warfare technology, some of the greatest hospitals and doctors, great minds when it comes to technology as it relates to computers and the internet, and creative minds in the arts like music, theater, and movie making.
The rest of the world is making leaps and bounds because of change and competition? More like they dont have to deal with the same challenges that the US does and their government doesnt appear to have a hidden agenda making them look bad purposely over greed.
How far behind the rest of the world can we be if we are at or near the top in all of these departments?
Last edited by copernicus; 03-07-2013 at 11:16 PM.
Last edited by copernicus; 03-07-2013 at 11:14 PM.
As for the competition comment I was referring to the rest of the world outside of teaching. If it works for every other industry to the point that the government breaks up monopolies then why is it right to create them in education?
Finally, I think school choice encourages some families to get some skin in the game or at least gives the parents that care enough to move their kids to give the kid a fighting chance. Look at New Orleans. After Katrina they were smart enough to look at their school system that was one of the worst in the country and try something new rather than trying to rebuild something that didn't work. They allowed charters to come in. The kids, the same exact kids that were failing in the old system are now succeeding. Also the charter schools got up and running in much less time than the government could ever have done. It works.
That said... the entire country outside of civil service has NO security.
Google anounced 1200 layoffs this morning. Thise people are probably extremely well educated. They have no pensions either.
the real world.
Charter schools are funded by big business but get to use public spaces free of rent. Tax payers pay for the charter school that is currently "housed" inside my public school. There are no union rules so they can do whatever they want. Often they hire their "friends" in positions that they are not qualified for. With no rules, just about anything goes; No space for phys ed? No problem. No services for children with disabilities? Who cares? Skewed lottery system that only takes good students that have parental support? Absolutly. In the public school system, teachers need specific qualifications to step into the classroom, charter schools dont. It is also much easier to "fudge" the numbers in charter schools because they do not have to comply with many of the educational requirements that a regular public school has to. Charter schools have an agenda, to push the product that is funding it. You think charter schools funded by BP will encourage students to research information about alternative energy sources? Not as much as a regular public school with no agenda.
Here's an idea; Let's keep big business and politicians out of the classroom and attack the problems of the public school system like the government attacked the problems they thought they had in Iraq and Afghanastan.
Charter schools are the ideas of big businessmen looking to make profit selling their product to kids all day long.
Often they fail
Last edited by copernicus; 03-08-2013 at 11:38 AM.
It all comes down to choices. I chose to make less but I was rewarded with some job security. Now my government continues to come up with creative ways to fire me simply because I have a pension and have a higher pay scale than someone who is brand new. It has nothing to do with being effective or ineffective. All about money.
The people who chose to work for Google possibly had thoughts of gambling to make millions. Hopefully in times like this, they've made enough to put away so they can survive. Its the choice they made. One of the draw backs of big business is that you can be fired at anytime. One of the positives is that if you are hard working and lucky, you have a chance to make millions.
I will never make millions or be able to put away money in case I am fired. It's the choice I've made.........
Inner city education isn't working for a million reasons. I don't think the teachers are the reason. I do think that if they could make changes like cutting the bad teachers, as I said earlier, the bottom 10% or so, and make changes it would help. Yes the system sucks. Yes a lot of the parents suck. You aren't going to change the parents but charter schools let them get outside of the system a bit.
In NJ you can start your own charter school. I know this because a friend of mine (who is a teacher) and I looked into it about 5 years ago because the High School my town was sending our kids to one of the worst High Schools in NJ. We wanted an alternative. Thankfully with NJ school choice half the kids the town used to send are going to better public schools. No big business, nothing but a person with an idea on improving education. Charter schools aren't the boogyman you want to believe they are.
Another problem for teachers pay is the high amount of kids getting out of school that want to be teachers. That waters down the market just like outsourcing overseas did to IT workers. It is how the market works.
New Jersey’s teachers are the fourth-highest-paid in the country, behind California’s, New York’s and Connecticut’s, and make nearly $10,000 more than the national average. But not quite 2 percent make more than $100,000, and the average salary in New Jersey is in line with other Northeastern states with similar costs of living.
I work in an overcrowded atmosphere with little heat in the winter and no air-conditioning when the temperature is hot.
I cant use the bathroom whenever I feel the need.
Often I must supply children with the most basic school supplies out of my own pocket.
I get little support from parents and when unruly, violent students feel the need to curse me out they do with little to no consequence.
I do my best to keep them safe and teach them a skill that will prepare them for life.
If I received only $5 each per student, per 40 minutes I'd be a wealthy man.
I am not, and dont even come close.
Let's not act like America's inner-cities are thriving, and it's those darn, pesky schools that can't keep up.
Spend one day in a high school that has half their students graduate. One day. Your tune will change.
None of your arguement has anything to do with allowing parents that do want to make a difference for their kids to use charter schools, school choice or vouchers to get out of these horrible schools where societal apathy has made it so even the good kids can't learn. That is what the OP originally discussed before the thread devolved into the standard "poor teachers" rhetoric. Your point seems to be, "inner city schools suck because the people don't have traditional American value for schooling so we should just throw our hands up, maintain the status quo, and continue failing these communities.
To use a term from business, (god for bid), we need to change the culture of these schools and these communities. I think allowing parents that want to try something new to have access to choices would be the first step. Yes that is going to make the bad schools worse since the better kids and families will go elsewhere but I think that is better than imprisoning good kids with parents that care but can't afford to move and can't afford private school in a bad situation.
Another thing you will see if you research charter schools is many hold the kids and families accountable. There is real discipline which is sorely needed in these schools. I think another thing public schools could do to help would be to take a page from the catholic school handbook and require parents to volunteer at the school or pay a fine. You have to volunteer for X hours each school year or you owe $1000 toward tuition. I know our current model won't allow that but it should. It would give everyone some skin in the game and force parents to be at least a little involved.
Philadelphia is doing all of the things you are talking about and it hasn't gone well to say the least. Charter schools have opened all over the city and so have the federal investigations. It's a mess, but one thing hasn't changed when it comes to CEO compensation of the school district.
The Republican vendetta against teachers and all civil servants is losing the battle.
Pendulum is about to swing in a different direction.
I just feel terrible for students who had to endure the ideas on No Child Left behind and now Common Core where they were tested in place of being taught.
Hopefully America is beginning to wake up, thank god
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Discipline is sorely needed? When have you walked into a failing public school and evaluated their discipline procedures?
Research charter schools? Research public schools. Any child who attends a school in the NYC school system can attend any high school in any borough. There is access to choice. It isn't working.
You can't solve an entire socioeconomic crisis that has spanned decades, if not centuries, with your big-business, white America ideals.
All we need is parents who care more! Plenty do, and then there's plenty students who don't know who their parents are; who's parents are dead. Who's big brother or big sister is dead. Who have no incentive to learn because they are plagued with the idea that they will be dead or in prison by the time their peers reach college.
And you want to blame this on the unions?
I've taught in two different "struggling districts" and I've seen plenty of parents (especially single moms) who do care but flat out cannot control their child. I don't blame the parent for the child's refusal to learn, but I also see the negative impact it has on the rest of the class and that is flat out unacceptable. If you don't agree with charter schools to give the "good kids" a chance, you at least have to agree to some sort of alternative education for the troubled ones because they're not doing anything but wasting tax payer $$ being in class and keeping classmates from getting the education that money is supposed to provide.
Somewhere along the way schools became foster homes. That might be good for the troubles that ail our society, but it has destroyed what we once called education . . .