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post #11181 of 13343 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 01:13 PM
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Re: Vote em out!

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Originally Posted by shortspark View Post
We need an inspiration right now, someone who can show us our commonality and instruct us in the benefits of social cooperation. Not so much specific new ideas because they are a dime a dozen and they will all fail unless we really, really, really want them. That is how the ideas will succeed in practice. Not because we are told we "need" them but because we want them and are willing to work for them.
That certainly doesn't describe anyone that I'm seeing as an elected official in Washington. IMHO Ron Paul came the closest but, while his message is on target, he lacks the delivery capability or visual appeal that's almost certainly going to be required. It's sad that someone with the right message but the wrong appearance didn't have a chance.



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post #11182 of 13343 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 01:32 PM
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Re: Vote em out!

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Originally Posted by cdepuydt View Post
“When school children start paying union dues, that 's when I'll start representing the interests of school children.” (That notorious quote was from Albert Shanker, President of the Teachers Union (United Federation of Teachers) from 1964 to 1984 as well as President of the Teachers Union (American Federation of Teachers) from 1974 to 1997.)

I don't think anybody is saying that there aren't talented teachers out there. I don't think anybody is saying that teachers should not be paid well and have good benefits. It's a tough job and they should be paid well for the work.

With that being said, I think what most people are saying is that teachers unions are, if have not already, ruining public education. We need to get the unions out of the schools and teachers should be judged on performance, not longevity.

I think the average Joe, who has seen his net worth go down...with receding wages, increased health coveage costs (because of Obamacare) and increase taxes....sees that average teacher salaries are higher than the national salary average...when they have summers and every holiday off...and they see them beaching that they are not making enough money...or walk off the job when asked to pay towards their benefits...they are a little put off.

In the largest local school district here, the average teacher salary, including benefits, is $105,000 per year. They don't hire teachers here at "Tier 1" salary ranges, as they say they can't get talented teachers here because of the competition nation wide, so teachers start at "Tier 3" wages...which works out to around $65,000 per year.

So, when the teachers are complaining they are not making enough money...I think that is starting to fall on deaf ears.
I didn't mention unions, nor did I complain about salary. You brought those things into the conversation.

How, specifically, would you judge teacher performance? That seems to be the catch.

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post #11183 of 13343 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 01:48 PM
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Re: Vote em out!

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Originally Posted by Stardiver View Post
I didn't mention unions, nor did I complain about salary. You brought those things into the conversation.

How, specifically, would you judge teacher performance? That seems to be the catch.

*
No, but you were responding to a post that sarcastically said, "A teaching job is the gravy train job with biscuit wheels!", and I was continuing along those lines. Plus, like I said, I have nothing against the teachers...it's the teachers unions I have a problem with...and the teachers become whipping posts because of what the unions do. You cannot talk about the education system, their sucesses or lack thereof, without talking about teachers unions.

Why can't you judge teacher performace just like every other person is judged in their job...?...success. If the children are successful and learning what they are supposed to be learning, then the teacher is successful. If not, then the teacher is not successful.

I would think testing the children, and making sure they are able to pass baseline requirements, would be a reasonable way of testing the teacher, wouldn't it? I mean, the kids have to pass baseline requirements to get from one grade to the next...why shouldn't the teachers have some sort of baseline requirements to make it from one year to the next? I don't know, I am just asking the question.

I think that would have to be better than anything based on union criteria...ie, longevity...especially when we have teachers unions who are able to get fired teachers reinstated...with full pay and benefits...even if they are doing things like (for example) viewing porn on school owned computers.

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post #11184 of 13343 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 01:57 PM
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Re: Vote em out!

I have never heard of any teacher returning to a school system after being fired for viewing porn, etc. etc. It does happen, like a lot things happen, probably more likely in private schools.

When my wife was first looking for a job in local schools when we moved, she also applied at some private ones. Once she got a call from religious affiliated school that was short a teacher and asked if she could start that week, even on a temporary basis. No fingerprints, no background checks, they were happy with her resume and credentials, and would waive the rest later if she wanted to be permanent.
She said she would not take a job at a school where she was not comfortable sending her own children.



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post #11185 of 13343 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 02:17 PM
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Re: Vote em out!

Ah, now it all makes sense....

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci...-united-romney
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post #11186 of 13343 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 04:03 PM
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Re: Vote em out!

Hmm. Is this where we're heading?

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/...190210006.html


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post #11187 of 13343 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 04:50 PM
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Re: Vote em out!

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No matter who wins you get these ... just different people filing. Would be a interesting experiment to let TX go. I have a house in south west Texas but I already speak Spanish so I'm prepared.
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post #11188 of 13343 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 06:43 PM
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Re: Vote em out!

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Originally Posted by cdepuydt View Post
No, but you were responding to a post that sarcastically said, "A teaching job is the gravy train job with biscuit wheels!", and I was continuing along those lines. Plus, like I said, I have nothing against the teachers...it's the teachers unions I have a problem with...and the teachers become whipping posts because of what the unions do. You cannot talk about the education system, their sucesses or lack thereof, without talking about teachers unions.

Why can't you judge teacher performace just like every other person is judged in their job...?...success. If the children are successful and learning what they are supposed to be learning, then the teacher is successful. If not, then the teacher is not successful.

I would think testing the children, and making sure they are able to pass baseline requirements, would be a reasonable way of testing the teacher, wouldn't it? I mean, the kids have to pass baseline requirements to get from one grade to the next...why shouldn't the teachers have some sort of baseline requirements to make it from one year to the next? I don't know, I am just asking the question.

I think that would have to be better than anything based on union criteria...ie, longevity...especially when we have teachers unions who are able to get fired teachers reinstated...with full pay and benefits...even if they are doing things like (for example) viewing porn on school owned computers.
First, understand that teachers more than anyone want a reasonable evaluation system.

Years ago, when teachers were still thought to have professional judgement, we could look back over all we'd asked each student to learn for the year and state that yes, the child had sufficient skills and knowledge to go to the next grade. A knowledgeable administrator would lend support and balance so that the learning was appropriate for kids to show growth. Not any more.

At first glance, testing children might seem to be a reasonable measure. But there are issues.... none which benefit children. Due to the past few decades of mandates such as No Child Left Behind, and IDEA, we now have to test all children at the same level, with variations from state to state. This means that a child with disabilities, a child who is still trying to learn English, psychological issues from being bounced from one family to another, you name it, are all expected to have the same level of achievement at the same chronological point in their lives. There are no tests for some subject areas, so how will those teachers be measured? Our school tests science in November. We have an AB block, which means that when my students are tested, I've seen them in class maybe 20 days, out of 95. They're essentially being evaluated on what they learned the year before. Students are also no longer retained from one grade to the next, so we get children in the 9th grade who read at levels as low as 2nd grade. An accomplished teacher might be able to get that child to gain 2 years, but by standardized tests, the child would still not be meeting standard.

The tests themselves are often invalid. I've worked on various stages of test writing, from standards setting to scoring decisions, in 3 states. The test items are often, because of government mandates and the hiring of private industry to assist, not all that well-constructed. When 8 accomplished science teachers can't agree on how a certain item should be scored because it has ambiguous wording or maybe even contains an error (that was New York, last school year), student scores aren't going to be valid.

Then, there's pure statistics. Many teachers have class sizes of 30+ now, generally considered to be the lowest value of n for which correlational statistical methods are valid. Sampling, however, isn't random. Special ed students are often loaded into a particular teacher's class because that teacher is the most skilled at working with kids who need her/him the most. School elective courses often cause an imbalance of gifted students because of a single advanced course. Some class sections, then, are loaded with high achievers, while other courses have mostly low-achievers.

Student attendance is also an issue. At day 20 this year, the only students failing my classes were those who had 9 or more absences and had made no effort to catch up. I have no clear, convincing evidence that those children are learning, much as I go out of my way when I see them to make sure that they do.

It's actually not that difficult to fire teachers now. It doesn't take a major misconduct episode. Not many administrators are willing to document and counsel and start the process to terminate a teacher. Those who will are worth their weight in gold. I've seen teachers fired, in a fairly short time, for simply being ineffective, and every other teacher in the building was grateful. Yes, the union steps in to make sure that the process is followed, but facts are facts. I've also never worked in a really large city school district, and that's been a conscious choice.

I hope that gave you a better picture of the complexities involved with evaluating teachers, and more importantly, student learning.

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post #11189 of 13343 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 06:48 PM
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Re: Vote em out!

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Originally Posted by rollinhonda View Post
I have never heard of any teacher returning to a school system after being fired for viewing porn, etc. etc. It does happen, like a lot things happen, probably more likely in private schools.

When my wife was first looking for a job in local schools when we moved, she also applied at some private ones. Once she got a call from religious affiliated school that was short a teacher and asked if she could start that week, even on a temporary basis. No fingerprints, no background checks, they were happy with her resume and credentials, and would waive the rest later if she wanted to be permanent.
She said she would not take a job at a school where she was not comfortable sending her own children.
Wow.

There are many "ed reformers" who are working pretty hard to minimize certification/licensure requirements. This seems to be the practice in most private and charter schools. I'm not sure the public is aware of the implications of this practice on their children.

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post #11190 of 13343 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 08:39 PM
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Re: Vote em out!

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Originally Posted by Stardiver View Post
Wow.

There are many "ed reformers" who are working pretty hard to minimize certification/licensure requirements. This seems to be the practice in most private and charter schools. I'm not sure the public is aware of the implications of this practice on their children.

*
I'm not either, we were both taken back with their response. I don't know what controls are in place, but any area where the welfare of children (or any population segment that does not have control over it's destiny due to age, disability, etc.) is at stake, some oversight is not just a good idea, it should be mandatory.



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