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Thread: 180 School Days

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCCH View Post
    Not gonna bother quoting statistics, just personal experience:

    1) Left tenure in one district in 2007, had no problem getting tenure in my new one in 2011, even though I'm M +32

    2) The overwhelming majority of teachers I "came in" with were also not rookies (so didn't start at the bottom of the scale) but also got tenure. To their credit I find most of them to be exceptional in their field, but I didn't see $$ being an issue at all

    3) We've currently been without a contract for two years, so it's not like we have money flowing all over the place. Yet quality of education seemed to take a MUCH higher precedence than is implied in this thread

    4) While the "old guys" complain about the direction education is headed (and rightfully so), NONE of them left/are leaving for any other reason than their own personal finances ("Christie wants to raid their pensions"). This idea that "we just can't help the kids anymore" is ridiculous and nothing short of a pity party. If anything, kids need quality teachers now more than ever to find a way to give them a quality education AND prepare them for whatever hoop the state wants them to jump through.

    5) I can understand the logic behind early graduation, I just don't think it's what it's cracked up to be. We know what the "real world" has in store for these kids, and unless you're truly one of the top of the top, I don't think rushing into it is in the best interest of the child. In my experience, too many graduating Seniors aren't ready for the next step as it is, never mind 6-12 months sooner.

    6) The only "real" solution to the education problem is to get rid of the students who don't want to be there. Whether you call it alternative education or whatever, we can't help the kids who are willing to learn if we're always focused on the ones who aren't. If that sounds like a whiny teacher excuse, guilty as charged. I'm not saying everyone shouldn't be given the opportunity to learn, but they shouldn't be entitled to it. Something like "maintain a C average or you're out". I don't care how many bleeding hearts would cry foul -- I GUARANTEE you education results would go through the roof. We've set a bar so low that students trip over it as they grab for their diploma. We say how important education is, but then don't back it up. No wonder the kids (and many parents) could care less.

    Well, that's my $.02. We'll see if anything changes over the 20+ years I have left. I already know I won't be pushing my kids toward teaching, so with my luck they'll probably all become ones and I can listen to the debate until they drop me in the grave . . .
    This is the thing that truly makes sense. I also think that there needs to be a vocational track available earlier in life. If kids starting in middle school could focus on skills that interest them while still getting basic core (English/math) criteria out of the way maybe they would be more engaged.

  2. #82
    More...

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/201...n_kids.html#/0

    Is your brain on break? Research, programs, address 'summer learning loss' in kids

    WEST ORANGE — The front steps leading to the gymnasium just got a fresh coat of bright green paint. The crayons, paper and other supplies are ordered.

    It’s late June, and while most schools across the state are packing up for the year, educators at Valley Settlement House in West Orange are gearing up for opening day.

    "Schools are winding down. We’re winding up," said executive director Marcina Fox.

    The West Orange program, which also operates after-school and preschool programs, is one of countless summer day camps around New Jersey that offer kids a mixture of field trips, recreation and arts and crafts. Now many are beefing up educational components — adding book groups and science lessons, talking math packets and "journaling" — to combat what’s called "summer learning loss" or "summer slide."

    Although many kids and parents welcome summer as a refreshing break from homework, exams and other school-year demands, experts say that when kids spend summer days lounging around, some of the learning they’ve gained slips away.

    In a new survey of 500 teachers conducted by the National Summer Learning Association, based in Baltimore, 66 percent said they spend three to four weeks in September reteaching the previous year’s skills. About 24 percent spend five weeks or more.

    Other research shows that most kids lose two months of grade-level equivalency in math and that low-income children also lose that much in reading, according to the association. Middle-class and affluent kids gain some reading skill, thanks to things like summer reading lists they’re encouraged to tackle.

    A 2007 report by researchers at Johns Hopkins University also said that for low-income kids, the losses pile up — so much that by ninth grade, two-thirds of the achievement gap between poor and higher-income students can be explained by "summer slide." Summer learning loss also can affect whether students will aim to go to college, researchers found.

    "We’ve known for a long time that summer learning loss is a problem, particularly for low-income kids," said Gary Huggins, chief executive officer of the National Summer Learning Association.


    But although "summer learning loss" may be the buzzwords creeping into conversation, is it anything new?

    Many educators — and parents — say it has been a part of life for generations.

    "I don’t think it’s a new thing," said Verona School Superintendent Steve Forte. "This is an agrarian calendar. It’s been an issue for a long time."

    Verona offers a summer enrichment academy for students from prekindergarten through high school, and even two college-level classes. But Forte’s summer advice for kids — even his own two children — is to pursue academics "in moderation."

    "I don’t think we should take a kid’s whole summer," he said.

    Huggins said that what’s new is increased awareness of the issue. He said research also shows kids who are in summer programs fare better than those who are not.

    "I think what’s happening is a recognition that despite what we’re investing in education reform, improving teacher effectiveness, higher expectations, the progress we’re making is diminished if we’re not addressing the summer," he said.

    Not all parents can find summer programs for their kids, however. The state Department of Education does not require or fund summer schools, and some school districts have been forced to cut programs because of budget constraints. Many nonprofit programs say it’s difficult to find enough funding for all the children who would like to attend.

    Diane Genco, executive director of the New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition, said there are other places kids can find summer learning, however, such as museums and free library reading clubs.

    At the Valley Settlement House in West Orange, a nonprofit agency housed in a cluster of old Victorian houses and a two-story gymnasium, some 90 kids, mostly low-income and all with working parents, will start camp July 1.

    The camp offers everything from science labs to beach trips, with learning embedded into the day. A few years ago, for example, Fox said teachers began asking kids to bring a book along on bus rides to excursions.

    "Sometimes we’re on a bus for 50 minutes. Rather than just ride a bus, we’ll read while we ride," she said. "If we called it a learning program, I don’t think the kids would be as interested."

    The camp is funded mostly through Essex County and private dollars. Parents also pay on a sliding scale, based on income.

    One recent afternoon, teacher Sidney Flournoy sat with fourth- and fifth-graders at child-sized tables in the bright orange recreation room. Although a few kids smiled at the idea of field-trip books — one said the books "might as well get lost" — they said they like the mix of learning and fun.

    "Sometimes I forget what I learned during the school year," said Thania Piercin, 10, of Orange. "I like that we do math and social studies."

    Dayanara Machado, 10, of West Orange, agreed.

    "I like to go to learn," she said. "As long as we don’t have homework."

  3. #83
    Any real educator knows how burned out school kids are from the abuse our government has brought down on them with over testing through Common Core Standards.

    There are thousands of free, enriching programs through the summer for all kids.

    What most people dont realize is that "more" is not always better when dealing with the amount of work we are forcing on students.

    Here's a noble idea, how about asking the classroom teacher if most students would benefit from a longer school year and not the politicians/Pearson (nationwide testing company) who are pushing more te$ting..............

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by copernicus View Post
    Any real educator knows how burned out school kids are from the abuse our government has brought down on them with over testing through Common Core Standards.

    There are thousands of free, enriching programs through the summer for all kids.

    What most people dont realize is that "more" is not always better when dealing with the amount of work we are forcing on students.

    Here's a noble idea, how about asking the classroom teacher if most students would benefit from a longer school year and not the politicians/Pearson (nationwide testing company) who are pushing more te$ting..............
    It couldn't be more obvious that you didn't read the above article. That, or that you value your summer vacation so much that facts don't register.

  5. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by copernicus View Post
    Any real educator knows how burned out school kids are from the abuse our government has brought down on them with over testing through Common Core Standards.

    There are thousands of free, enriching programs through the summer for all kids.

    What most people dont realize is that "more" is not always better when dealing with the amount of work we are forcing on students.

    Here's a noble idea, how about asking the classroom teacher if most students would benefit from a longer school year and not the politicians/Pearson (nationwide testing company) who are pushing more te$ting..............
    Interestingly... I just went to my best friends sons graduation on LI. Kid was valedictorian, HIS best friend was salutatorian.

    Their prom was Friday. All the couples were Asian except 2. The top of the graduating classes in Nassau county are almost all Asian. Theses kids work hard, study, go to workshops etc. These kids were going to Yale, Columbia, RPI, Carnegie Mellon. Not a SUNY amongst them.

    The average kids go to Oneonta etc and become teachers and the mill continues. Full disclosure. I went to a state school. I was average too.

  6. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by southparkcpa View Post
    The average kids go to Oneonta etc and become teachers and the mill continues. Full disclosure. I went to a state school. I was average too.
    So if the average kids are churning through the mill and becoming teachers, whats the answer to attracting the above average and exceptional students to the teaching profession?

  7. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn Jet View Post
    So if the average kids are churning through the mill and becoming teachers, whats the answer to attracting the above average and exceptional students to the teaching profession?
    I don't believe the problem in our schools is teachers per se as individuals. Our teachers, in general, are fine. Our society is crumbling, lets face it. We value Jersey shore guys, all tatted, can barely put a coherent sentence together etc and the Valedic who goes to Columbia is not talked about.

    IMO, when you read things by COP and IJF, these are good guys with their hearts in the right place.

  8. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn Jet View Post
    So if the average kids are churning through the mill and becoming teachers, whats the answer to attracting the above average and exceptional students to the teaching profession?
    from what I've heard here, it's breaking their union and reducing their compensation.

  9. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by FF2® View Post
    from what I've heard here, it's breaking their union and reducing their compensation.
    LOL but clearly the problem with education is NOT teacher pay. Here in the south, the results are similar to nationwide. We have no unions and teachers are paid squat.

    BTW..I am now in CHOWD country. Mt Washington hotel, New Hampshire.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn Jet View Post
    So if the average kids are churning through the mill and becoming teachers, whats the answer to attracting the above average and exceptional students to the teaching profession?
    That's not really a big problem, IMO.

    This country has plenty of outstanding teachers. They may or may not have been academic achievers in high school. What makes them outstanding is their genuine concern for the outcomes of the children they work with. That alone motivates them enough to work hard in their jobs to reach the kids who are reachable (as we can all agree they need the willing participation of their students and their parents as well).

    Of much bigger issue is how we avoid attracting people unfit for this important role in society. You know, the ones we all know exist who are in it for the wrong reasons, and who are more beholden to their union than they are the students and taxpayers that they work for.

    I give extra props to the good teachers out there that have to tolerate these people who sully their profession. At least in my industry, most professionals would not tolerate a working environment in which accountability is valued so little and incompetence is protected by law. Goes to show how truly selfless the goods ones are, the type that proves they're willing to make sacrifices for the betterment of the children, the ones that are willing to at least engage in a conversation that potentially means a disruption to their traditional routine. Perhaps more "quality" would join them if they knew they didn't have to work side by side with the leaches who won't ever consider input for improvement from anywhere but their union.

  11. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    That's not really a big problem, IMO.

    This country has plenty of outstanding teachers. They may or may not have been academic achievers in high school. What makes them outstanding is their genuine concern for the outcomes of the children they work with. That alone motivates them enough to work hard in their jobs to reach the kids who are reachable (as we can all agree they need the willing participation of their students and their parents as well).

    Of much bigger issue is how we avoid attracting people unfit for this important role in society. You know, the ones we all know exist who are in it for the wrong reasons, and who are more beholden to their union than they are the students and taxpayers that they work for.

    I give extra props to the good teachers out there that have to tolerate these people who sully their profession. At least in my industry, most professionals would not tolerate a working environment in which accountability is valued so little and incompetence is protected by law. Goes to show how truly selfless the goods ones are, the type that proves they're willing to make sacrifices for the betterment of the children, the ones that are willing to at least engage in a conversation that potentially means a disruption to their traditional routine. Perhaps more "quality" would join them if they knew they didn't have to work side by side with the leaches who won't ever consider input for improvement from anywhere but their union.
    I don't think its a big problem either - I asked more because I was curious why "teacher" was chosen as the profession in the sentence
    "Average kid goes to state school and becomes X."

    I bet there's more than a few very good teachers, who were average students and went to state schools, teaching the aforementioned Asian valedictorians.

    I personally think the bigger issue is parent involvement, setting boundaries and priorities, etc.. I remember my Asian friends in high school, a long time ago now, and remember their parents being no nonsense. Homework got done, extra curricular stuff had to wait.

    Maybe its oversimplification, but I think successful students come from safe school environments with limited distractions, and involved parents.

  12. #92
    Some things I'd love to see:

    1. Less teachers.

    Sounds counter-intuitive, but I believe one solution to poor education and uneuqla quality of education is less teachers teacher FAR more students via technology. We live in a time where the tech exists that one brilliant top 0.0001% teacher can (and perhaps should) be teaching 10,000+ students at once with the aid of advanced technology. No, the teacher would not be there to handle each student as a special snowflake per say, but that elite teacher would be far better at disseminating their brilliance to the kids as a base.

    2. More Babysitters.

    To address the other issues far fewer teachers (see above) would create, is the requirement for discipline and well, babysitting. These folks would not need to be as great, but would also not play a primary role in education. Their job would be to 1. maintain class discipline and 2. Assists the students as support for the elite teacher's lectures.

    3. More Technology.

    Simple, kids should be being educated on the current-level tech. Yes, it's expensive, but I'd rather spend here than elsewhere. Caveat is a hardcore focus on making sure this tech doesn't walk away (as so often happens now). More, the entire education system/plan needs to be based around technology and it's use by the teacher.

    4. No Tolerance Policy

    When Kids Misbehave, they are removed from class. No exceptions, no forgiveness. If it happens enough times, the Parents are issues a citation (i.e. a court summons, like a speeding ticket). Parents will either manage their kids, or pay for it if they don't.

    5. Complete Overhaul of Materials being Taught

    This will spark a ton of debate, but IMO the entire system of what gets taught and what doesn't needs "comprehensive reform" to suit the modern family, students and world.

    6. A British Style Division of Students at various Points via Testing

    Simple, at Grade X, everyone takes a test. Pass it and move on, fail it and you go to a different (lesser) path. Repeat repeatedly as you progress through school.

    7. Eliminate Team Sports from Public Schools, from K thru College.

    Far too much is spent on Team Sports. Schools are here to teach, not to raise the next generation of injured kids or professional athletes. Sports (organized team) is a luxury, not a right. Physical Education would change from a focus on sports type activity to one focussed on health, fitness and a healthy lifestyle exclusively. Team Sports can (and would) contineu to exist as a community-based non-profit thing, a la Babe Ruth league baseball, Little League, etc. we can talk about if we should subsidize that elsewhere.

    There is more, but this would be a great start.

  13. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by GandWFan View Post
    Test papers, essays, and daily lesson plans can easily happen during the school day. You are NOT in the classroom from 8am until 3:20. There are free periods designed for just that sort of work. And if you have taught the same class before, you can re-use lesson plans and test from previous years. The material does not change that much.

    Workshops and higher education are part of all knowledge workers jobs. The only difference is that non-teachers have to study real subjects, not basket weaving and bubble gum chewing, just to accumulate credits for their automatic raises.

    And you are correct. 8am to 3:20pm is 7 and2/3rds hrs per day. Of course, that includes lunch and all free periods. I could be wrong, but I think that city HS and JHS teachers actually teach in front of students 4 periods a day. That would be approximately 3 hrs per day of actual teaching.

    But let's go with your number. Still just over 38 hrs a week, for 36 weeks a year. That would be almost 1380 hrs per year.

    Most knowledge workers these days are working 10 hr days, but again, lets use the 9 - 5 8 hr day for comparison. Of the 52 weeks, most people have 10 holidays, so we are down to 50 weeks. Most people start at 2 weeks vacation, but let's throw in an extra week for an average worker, so we are down to 47 weeks. 47 weeks times 40 hours per week = 1880 hrs per year.

    The difference is a little over 500 hrs, or 12.5 weeks, per year. As a percentage, teachers work approximately 26% less than a 9-5 job. Which, btw, don't exist. 9-5 jobs in the private sector have gone the way of the dinosaur.

    Of course this 73% part time job has other perks as well. YOU CAN"T GET FIRED. No pressure. Even if you molest a child, they only move you out of the classroom SO YOU DON"T HAVE TO TEACH AT ALL!

    So please stop crying about your guaranteed part-time job. Those of us who work for a living and pay for your unions excessive demands take offense.
    I love this post.

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn Jet View Post
    I don't think its a big problem either - I asked more because I was curious why "teacher" was chosen as the profession in the sentence
    "Average kid goes to state school and becomes X."

    I bet there's more than a few very good teachers, who were average students and went to state schools, teaching the aforementioned Asian valedictorians.

    I personally think the bigger issue is parent involvement, setting boundaries and priorities, etc.. I remember my Asian friends in high school, a long time ago now, and remember their parents being no nonsense. Homework got done, extra curricular stuff had to wait.

    Maybe its oversimplification, but I think successful students come from safe school environments with limited distractions, and involved parents.
    Not an oversimplification at all. Those things are the biggest factors, although there certainly kids who overcome a lack of them on their own. Few, but it happens.

    That said, there's not much we can do to make parents more involved with their kids. What we can control is their institutional learning environment. Unfortantely, we clearly have some people in those institutions who want involvement only on their terms, and we're expected to keep our mouths shut and "leave it to them" (regardless of what the research says). Your tax money is welcome, but any input beyond that is not.

  15. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by GandWFan View Post
    Fox News? Republican Party? What the heck are you talking about!

    I got my info from you. 180 Days is in your title, although that number is as ingrained into taxpayers brains as the 162 games in baseball. The hours came from you as well.

    When I talk about "free" periods I meant free from teaching not free to do nothing. I am sorry that since NCLB you now have to use that time preparing for class instead of coffee clotching with your fellow teachers.

    Then, on top of that, you have to endure meetings with management during your day! MEETINGS? Are they kidding? And preparing STATUS REPORTS? Wow! You HAVE it really hard. You should strike. Again.

    And overcrowded classrooms! And yet when I went to Catholic school there were 50 kids in a class and the Nuns had no problem. I guess they had a crappy union.

    The problem is not Fox News or the Republicans. The problem is that you have always lived in your academia bubble and have gobbled up all of the teachers union propaganda about how you have it so tough.

    News Flash! You have a guaranteed job for life. Then you want no accountability. Evaluated by graduation rates? Nope. Test scores? No, can't have that.

    You get raises not by merit but by attending graduate school. Classes about your supposed area of expertise? No, any class will do. You just need the credit count.

    In today's world of 401Ks, you have a pension.

    AND,as the title says, you work 180 days a year. And you still complain.

    People in the real world laugh and shake their heads.

    Sorry I joined this thread late but I have to say that GrandWfan, I haven't seen you here before but you are fast becoming one of my favorite posters. Spot on.

  16. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by copernicus View Post
    Any real educator knows how burned out school kids are from the abuse our government has brought down on them with over testing through Common Core Standards.

    There are thousands of free, enriching programs through the summer for all kids.

    What most people dont realize is that "more" is not always better when dealing with the amount of work we are forcing on students.

    Here's a noble idea, how about asking the classroom teacher if most students would benefit from a longer school year and not the politicians/Pearson (nationwide testing company) who are pushing more te$ting..............
    So we should poll teachers about extending their work year without additional pay and use that as a basis for action? Me thinks they will say 180 days is plenty.

  17. #97
    Quote Originally Posted by FF2® View Post
    from what I've heard here, it's breaking their union and reducing their compensation.
    Depends where you live but this would help. In Long Island and Westchester and Rockland Counties it is almost impossible to get a teaching job. There are thousands of applicants for each position and in most cases you literally need to be politically connected to get a foot in the door. I have relative here in Rockland. She has her masters in education and is a bright person that loves children. She had been looking for a teaching position for more then 7 years since she graduated. Still no job. She finally took a position with a private school and even that was through connections.

    Caveat for FF - I know its different in New England. This is a local type issue. In areas like New York and NJ where the compensation for teachers is incredibly high its incredibly difficult to find a job. We have the same issue with our local police force. Thousands of applicants and no jobs. Our police make over 100K before benefits with many making over 180K with overtime.

  18. #98
    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    Not an oversimplification at all. Those things are the biggest factors, although there certainly kids who overcome a lack of them on their own. Few, but it happens.

    That said, there's not much we can do to make parents more involved with their kids. What we can control is their institutional learning environment. Unfortantely, we clearly have some people in those institutions who want involvement only on their terms, and we're expected to keep our mouths shut and "leave it to them" (regardless of what the research says). Your tax money is welcome, but any input beyond that is not.
    Broken homes, divorce, full-time jobs and had kids because they thought it was neat. That pretty much sums up 80% of the parents in America. Parents pass down their BS to their kids and God forbid you intervene when their child acts like a spoiled brat.

    Teachers and waiters/waitresses deal with these azzholes daily. Their jobs suck because of the parents. Now the parents hide behind political BS. SAD

    There are bad teachers just like every other profession, but few professions are as trusted as the teaching profession. When the tornados hit in Oklahoma, the students were with their teachers, who protected them as if they were their own.

  19. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    Depends where you live but this would help. In Long Island and Westchester and Rockland Counties it is almost impossible to get a teaching job. There are thousands of applicants for each position and in most cases you literally need to be politically connected to get a foot in the door. I have relative here in Rockland. She has her masters in education and is a bright person that loves children. She had been looking for a teaching position for more then 7 years since she graduated. Still no job. She finally took a position with a private school and even that was through connections.

    Caveat for FF - I know its different in New England. This is a local type issue. In areas like New York and NJ where the compensation for teachers is incredibly high its incredibly difficult to find a job. We have the same issue with our local police force. Thousands of applicants and no jobs. Our police make over 100K before benefits with many making over 180K with overtime.
    So how does breaking their union or decreasing their benefits improve education?

  20. #100
    Quote Originally Posted by FF2® View Post
    So how does breaking their union or decreasing their benefits improve education?
    First it would make it easier to get rid of poor performing teachers. Next it would open the jobs up to proplr that want to do it for love of teaching rather than because of how lucrative the job has become (at least here in my state/area). I have another friend that is a teacher in Boston and she makes crap money so as I have said many times this is a local issue.

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