Letters to the Editor

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EDUCATION: Teachers need to earn raises

Letter by Janis S. Johnson, Tacoma on April 25, 2011 at 9:55 am with 20 Comments »
April 25, 2011 10:23 am

I believe all teachers need to start out at an average salary and earn their way to raises and benefits based on the performance of their students. I bet our children would get a much better education, and the good teachers would be rewarded for their hard work.

I think teachers work hard, but so do a lot of other people in the private sector. Unfortunatly, most businesses are not in a position to reward their employees with raises and benefits.

If you want to be in business, you have to worry about the bottom line and live within your means. Hopefully the state will figure that out before it’s too late.

Leave a comment Comments → 20
  1. commoncents says:

    Most professional businesses the size of a school district pay equivalent or higher salaries and have similar benefits to teachers. Comparing a school district and their employees to the 40 person small business outfit is ludicrous at best.

  2. Resident01 says:

    Really? Most professional businesses the size of a school district have similar benefits to teachers? First day on the job, you are very wrong. How do you get 3 months off a year? Nurses sure don’t. Not after 100 years of service do they get that.
    Teachers are overpaid now. Teachers should not have any influence concerning the subjects that are taught. The taxpayers should be the ones to set the standards and goals. Like any other business.
    We have let the inmates rule the asylum for too long. Time to get back to basics.

  3. Resident01,
    Teachers can teach a subject matter in the way they think is appropriate as long as the final objective meets that state standard.

    Writing 2+3=5 a thousand times does not teach WHY and HOW that concept is used in life. All that does is tells the student that teacher said two plus three equals five. It is in isolation, not interconnected with application of that problem to other concepts.

  4. The problem could be that we have over focused on the HOW and the WHY at the expense of the WHAT.

    For 99.9% of high school and college grades what is important is that they konw 2 + 3 = 5.

    How would teaches be evaluated. Test Results? Not all subjects were covered in the old wasl, or in it’s repalcement.

  5. The bottom line in education is how well students have learned the concepts the teacher teaches. It doesn’t matter if the students are SPED, live in Bellevue or Aberdeen. What does the teacher teach? If it is AP math, how well are the students making progress in the course outline? Same for any other course. What has the student learned while that student is in that teachers classroom? The teacher should be able to take what the student knows and build upon that to what the goals are.

  6. cclngthr says:

    The issue is kids don’t know how to use 2+3=5. If it is taught in isolation, they don’t have the concept of how it is used. It is the disconnected form of learning that disrupts the process of learning how to apply the concepts.

    Students ask me constantly why they are taught the skills in the textbook. What they are looking for is why they are taught the skills, and looking for answers to connect the isolated concepts to real world situations. Telling them I said they need to learn it won’t answer their question. What the answer they are looking for is how that 2+3=5 is connected to situations that they aleady connect to and need to know once they are adults.

    To you and Resident01, who prefers to teach concepts by teacher telling does not automatically mean students will suck up that information and effectively use it. That won’t happpen. It will never happen.

  7. Fibonacci says:

    Janis, Janis,Janis. The schools are not a business and can’t be run that way. A business and a School have different goals and purposes.Education is a three-legged stool that needs all three legs to be most successful. There is the role of the teacher, the role of the student, and the role of the parent. The teacher alone can’t ensure a student is educated. Our society puts all the blame on the teachers when students don’t do well. Just ignore the fact that the student does not work outside of class, or that they are taken out of school for a week for vacation, or that they got 3 hours of sleep the night before. Just ignore the fact that they come to school hungry, or have been beaten, or have no one that cares at home whether they learn or not.

    You get what you pay for pal. One of the highest paid jobs in Finland is a teacher. There is competition to get into teacher trainign programs and they have one of the most highly educated populations in the world. Teachers here have an average of 5 years in teaching because they can’t live on the salary. It is not teachers fault the school year is 180 days, and they do have to pay bills 12 months a year.

    How so you measure the learning of a 4th grade student in Bellevue, versus a Special Ed student in White Center, versus an AP student in Federal Way, versus a ESL student in Sunnyside to determine the teachers pay?

  8. “How do you get 3 months off a year?”

    Teachers don’t. They are obligated to teach 180 days a year and are at the school on other days when the students are not. Administrative staff is on location addition days that the teachers are not there.

    In addition to the onsite days, teachers must complete educational work to keep pace with their requirements.

  9. They do, Janis, they absolutely do, every day of their lives.

  10. bobcat1a says:

    “earn their way to raises and benefits based on the performance of their students.”
    One more time: How do you plan to measure that for each one of the many subjects taught in our schools? Do you have any idea how many millions of dollars are spent each year creating the WASL or MSPE or HSPE for just 4 subjects? In just a basic middle school there are over 20 different courses taught. You want to guess how many courses are taught in an average high school?
    ccingthr: I’m still waiting for an answer to that measuring performance question from you. After many requests.

  11. Obviously some of these children should not be moved to the next grade, so for that I ask, “Why are the teachers passing them along?” I think teachers are quick to always blame the parent or the student for low grades, yet never want to accept partial responsibility for any off it. I find many teachers attitude as arrogant and judgmental. I think they believe they are the only ones in this world that work hard.

  12. If teachers were required to fail the bottom 1-10% of the class, they would get the respect they deserve from the students and the parents.

    As it is now, when a student fails they blame the teacher.

  13. BigSwingingRichard says:

    Unfortunately public education has become a lot like public transportation, people with a choice choose to void it.

    Until public education begins to break from the traditional ways of the past and makes itself relevant in todays world, it will continue to be avoided.

    One-third of the customers quit using a service that is free to them each year at the high school level. What does that tell you about how high school students value the education they are receiving?

  14. If everyone sent their children to private schools, we wouldn’t need public schools. As a taxpayer and concerned citizen, I would welcome that level of parental involvement.

  15. “earn their way to raises and benefits based on the performance of their students”
    As a teacher I am all for earning our raises based on the performance of my students. However, I have not seen a way to measure that. I teach Special Education, can you compare what I do to what an elementary PE teacher does?
    Or my classes, 80% free/reduced lunch to someone in a rich neighborhood?
    Or my parents that don’t care about their child’s education to my child in his classroom who has full support. I’m going to speak for all educators, find a fair way for merit pay, we will all gladly support it.

  16. “KARDNOS says:

    “How do you get 3 months off a year?”

    Teachers don’t. They are obligated to teach 180 days a year and are at the school on other days when the students are not. Administrative staff is on location addition days that the teachers are not there.”

    In addition to the onsite days, teachers must complete educational work to keep pace with their requirements.”

    Teachers are paid extra for the so called “extra work and time they claim to put in. It would.be nice for you to be transparent in your posts.

  17. school out june 20, starts back up last week of august….not three months
    plus school out june 20, district requires classes the following week
    starts last week of august, in school getting ready minimum of two weeks before that.

  18. And…

    You did not address the extra pay (TRI.or PRAD).

    Regardless on avgerage 182 of contracted work days vs the average 245 work days.for private sector.

    I apologize for grammatical errors, I use my phone during the day to communicate.

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