Letters to the Editor

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TEACHERS: Base pay on performance

Letter by Donald J. Fritz, Tacoma on Nov. 25, 2011 at 11:52 am with 90 Comments »
November 25, 2011 11:52 am

All of the discussion of teacher and principal pay during the recent Tacoma teachers’ strike and since has missed a critical point: Pay should reflect performance.

Americans pay more per student than any other country to have our children educated, yet we are not getting nearly what we pay for. Using baseball as an analogy, we are equivalent to the Yankees in paying our “players,” yet we are akin to the Cubs or Mariners in resulting performance.

We are not only failing our children, but we are failing America, since our nation has been experiencing severe shortages of graduates in science, mathematics and computer science, and the short- and long-term outlook is for continued shortages.

This issue is even more critical than the debt issue hanging over us, and it is related to the jobs issue since we cannot provide sufficient unmbers of qualified graduates for the jobs available.

Charter schools, public “magnet” schools, and vouchers to permit students to attend parochial and other private schools can all help. But they are not enough if America is to actually achieve the goals of George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” initiative.

Am I a fan of our former president? I am not, but his education initiative constitutes an instance where both his priorities and his plan were right on target.

Leave a comment Comments → 90
  1. cclngthr says:

    I agree. Teachers should be paid based on their ability to perform, which is to teach kids, and get them to perform.

    NCLB requires students to apply what is taught. Clearly, students are not taught how to apply basic facts in real life.

    The problem here is students are taught concepts in isolation. Regurgitating information isn’t applying that same information in different ways. That is exactly what the tests ask students to do. The tests do not require students to memorize facts, dates, and other information. It asks students to USE/APPLY that information in multiple ways.

    People want kids to memorize a lot of information. What they don’t consider is that memorizing of that information doesn’t constitute application of it in multiple ways.

  2. SwordofPerseus says:

    Don;

    It seems as though you understand pro baseball much better than you understand the problems concerning public education in the US today. True that much more money is spent per child in the US than any other country, however only a tiny fraction of that money ever gets to the classroom.

    No child left behind is a cruel reptilicon piece of #**t legislation perpetrated on the education system by a group of self serving politicians bent on destroying the education system while enriching private for profit corporations for which they have a vested interest in.(http://nepc.colorado.edu/files/EPSL-0506-114-EPRU.pdf)

    The problems are so very deep and systemic in the US education system that if I had about three hours and twenty or thirty thousand words we might cover most of the problems adequately. That said, most, not all but, but enough children come to school every day ill prepared to learn so that it makes teaching those who are ready very difficult if not impossible. Education is a process and it requires the combined effort of everyone the student comes into contact with on a daily basis. From his/her parents, grandparents and teachers, to the principal and the school board members. If the single parent is too tired or too busy to help with homework or to teach the child how to read before kindergarten; what chance does a teacher in a room with 28 children have? Money does not solve every problem in this case, not at the classroom level.

    We should also look to society to blame as well, we do not appreciate the highly educated or intellectually adept in our society. In print and electronic media they are labeled geeks or nerds. Instead we look to the handsome or athletically gifted as our misplaced heroes and reward them with fame and fortune for their great contribution to society, to look pretty or catch a ball proficiently. Ask any fourteen year-old if they would rather be a famous actor or help find a cure for cancer and studies say they’d rather be famous.
    http://www.jakehalpern.com/famesurvey.php
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/06/01/earlyshow/main20067933.shtml

    There is much more wrong with our country than just how much teachers are paid, we have a sick society and too few people are willing to admit it. Until then, I’m betting nothing changes for the good.

  3. SwordofPerseus says:

    The Heritage Foundation was no doubt opposed to NCLB because it was not destroying the education system quickly enough.

  4. SwordofPerseus says:

    As usual larry you have nothing to add to the conversation, what do you know about public education and the problems we are facing? Can you refute a single point I made, I doubt you can, go ahead and try if you think you are up to it. BTW I am not Kard, ya poor simple minded bumble.

  5. LarryFine says:

    I did… unless you believe Ted Kennedy (along with a host of other democrats) was “bent on destroying education”.

  6. LarryFine says:

    btw, I didn’t really think you were kard… I was just jabbing you. If you were, kard, there would be about 4 other monikers posting here…. agreeing with each other.

    You’re name calling doesn’t bother me in the least.

  7. SwordofPerseus says:

    The R’s love to point to some useless legislation and claim what a great job they are doing for America, all the while knowing the project is doomed due to lack of funding. Kennedy was not in the House, which is where all appropriation bills come from, without the money NCLB among other reasons is useless or worse damaging.

    Various early Democratic supporters of NCLB criticize its implementation, claiming “it is not adequately funded by either the federal government or the states. Ted Kennedy, the legislation’s initial sponsor, once stated: “The tragedy is that these long overdue reforms are finally in place, but the funds are not.” (The American Conservative. Retrieved 6/7/07.)

    Susan B. Neuman, U.S. Department of Education’s former Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, commented about her worries of NCLB in a meeting of the International Reading Association:

    “In [the most disadvantaged schools] in America, even the most earnest teacher has often given up because they lack every available resource that could possibly make a difference. . . . When we say all children can achieve and then not give them the additional resources … we are creating a fantasy.”

  8. Pacman33 says:

    “Charter schools, public “magnet” schools, and vouchers to permit students to attend parochial and other private schools can all help. But they are not enough ….”

    The criticism of alternatives by teachers and their apologists would have leg to stand on if not for the embarrassing results delivered by the naysayers. Results that could only be considered acceptable by individuals conditioned by the weak standards consistent with those of unions.

    The quality of public education is so low, it would be nearly impossible for an alternative to perform worse. I think most would be surprised in the results if the power of choice was allowed a legitimate chance.

    Unfortunately the concept of “choice” is the embodiment of liberty and freedom. Thus, making it intolerable to leftists like ShankofStalin as does anything that separates the U.S. from the oppressive socialist nations they would wish to reshape our nation as.

    Along with attempts to thwart any action to reform the mess leftist teachers and unions have made of our public school system, proposals for the freedom of choice are also feverishly fought by these leftist groups. Fighting to solidify the greatest civil right oppression of this era.

    An American student’s right to an acceptable education.

  9. bobcat1a says:

    Enough with the finger-pointing based on political party. NCLB and most every other educational innovation are proposed by people who have only a drive-by acquaintance with classrooms (if that much). The difference between our best students and the mediocre rest is parents, parents, parents. Even pitiful teachers occasionally get good results (from students who refuse to be inferior), and even the best teachers have many more mediocre students than stars. Regardless of the quality of teacher, most students will be average to poor because they see no reason to work hard at being anything else. Until someone can come up with a way to make students WANT to be successful, nothing will change.

  10. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Butterknife- while complaining about a society driven to the left by extremists, you offer no solutions.

    First off, encourage traditional families. Second and easier, you acknowledge most money does not make it to the classroom. That fix is 100% doable. It takes politicians with a sack. It takes someone standing up to teachers (unions) and administrators and holding their feet to fire.

    Last is vouchers. Make schools compete And end the monopoly of lower education.

  11. sandblower says:

    More nonsense from concerned. Stick to what you know..calling Democrats communists or socialists etc.

  12. LarryFine says:

    It’s common knowledge that Ted Kennedy was a champion of No Child Left Behind… “swordof”.
    So we all agree, based on the following statement BY “swordof” that “swordof” is calling Ted Kennedy (along with a majority of democrat senators AND congress people) a “self serving politician bent on destroying the education system while enriching private for profit corporations for which they have a vested interest in.”

    Groovy… “Kennedy was not in the House, which is where all appropriation bills come from”…

    Let’s break it down now…

    House total 384 aye 45 no
    Republicans 186 aye 34 no
    Democrats 197 aye 10 no

    Senate total 91 aye 8 no
    Republicans 43 aye 6 no
    Democrats 46 aye 2 no

    So CLEARLY, the democrat party, in both the house and senate, voted for the “piece of #**t legislation” (as colorfully stated by “swordof”)by a larger margin.

    In light of these varifiable facts, my 2:00 pm stands as written ;)

  13. SwordofPerseus says:

    Voted for or not by whom does not matter, NCLB was never funded, so the point is moot as to which party voted for or against it. The point is Congress has proven for decades to be incapable of solving any problems we face. They prove it time and time again. Larry I know YOU pulled your 2:00 p.m. post from your arse, I am not into defending useless politicians, especially dead ones.
    First of all, why would we expect congress to solve anything like the problems facing education, politicians are trained to do one thing, to get re-elected. They are mostly lawyers, people who argue, not people who negotiate for the good of all. Not surprising since politicians spend most of their time trying to raise funds to get re-elected which solves nothing but keeps a monkey in DC that is highly overpaid and mostly ineffective.
    Secondly everyone that cares about the future of America should be concerned about educating our children. I personally volunteered hundreds of hours of my time in classroom and after class, when my two children were in school. Let me tell you not many people do. Sadly many cannot because most families have to have both parents working or many are single parent families. I could easily see the difference in children that had parents that participated and those that did not. If we had more parents involved directly in their children’s education it would help measurably. I don’t have all the answers but competition is not what works, cooperation would be much more effective at helping to better the schools and educate our children, that is the goal after all.
    Third; Education is not just about the three R’s, it is also about art and history, music and science. Those lessons are being left out of most public education curricula these days, somewhat because of budgetary restrictions but mostly because of the mandates regarding NCLB and the funding requirements placed on school districts to perform to a non standardized test in other words “Teaching to the Test”. But like most things that are desperately in need of attention and repair, like education, health care, jobs, the department of war, politicians will kick the can, and the Larry’s of the world will blame their partisan adversaries.

  14. sandblower says:

    NCLB legislation was supported by a wide majority of politicians who, it can be comfortably stated, knew little about education reform. The legislation was pie-in-the-sky and it was underfunded even though a massive amount of money was committed. Lots of people back then and even today think that testing is the way to measure performance and they are totally wrong. I think the legislators who approved NCLB were drawn in the same way they were drawn in to giving Bush nearly total freedom to invade Iraq. They were sold a bill of goods and did not have the ability to discover the fallacy being perpetrated.

  15. SwordofPerseus says:

    Pacman;

    You don’t understand how public education works. I don’t have all night but in a nutshell…The school board (a publicly elected body)sets the curriculum for the teachers and decides what will be taught to the students. The Teachers unions represent the Teachers when it comes to negotiating salaries and working conditions with the School Board. The teachers and unions that represent them are not responsible for the all of the problems, for that look to the School Board. You can run for public school board if you like and try and make a change you would like to see.

  16. There is no evidence that performance pay results in improved outcomes for kids. If you think that teachers should be payed for performance out of a sense of fairness, or to align with what the private sector is doing, then I suppose you are entitled to that opinion. The best evidence thus far, however, is that it doesn’t accomplish anything for the kids.

    In-school factors overall account for only about 20% of student achievement, the rest comes down to family, upbringing, and socioeconomic factors. If we really wanted to change the lives of american kids, we’d work on what’s going on at home, first.

  17. SwordofPerseus says:

    Well said Jen. Bravo

  18. Thank a teacher if you are able to read these comments! How about that?

  19. Rollo_Tomassi says:

    jenyum

    “There is no evidence that performance pay results in improved outcomes for kids.”

    If that statement were really true, then why bother paying more experienced teachers more money? Why not save tax dollars and pay all teachers minimum wage – the end effect will be about the same right?

    The truth of the matter is that statements such as this one are so full of BS that they barely rate responses. Experience matters. Performance matters, and Temperament matters. If they didn’t, no one would want longer term higher paid teachers at all.

  20. LarryFine says:

    Nice backpedal sword (on several levels)… those stubborn facts… “not funded” ?

    Since the enactment (of NCLB), Congress increased federal funding of education from $42.2 billion in 2001 to $54.4 billion in 2007. Funding tied to NCLB received a 40.4% increase from $17.4 billion in 2001 to $24.4 billion. The funding for reading quadrupled from $286 million in 2001 to $1.2 billion.

    kooky

    So co-sponsor Senator Kennedy wanted to destroy education yadda yadda yadda.

  21. Sword, thanks for being “kard” this morning. ehill, mukibr, me and a host of others are tired of the title.

  22. Let’s just cut through all the bull. All the long winded comments can’t change the fact that on average, a person educated at a private school will receive a much better education than those educated at a public school. Keyword here is “public”, and another reason why public sector unions must be destroyed.

    All decent citizens should do anything they can, anything, to personally punish any member of a public sector union. Do anything you can do to make them hate their union.

  23. From the Rush Limbaugh Report – “Since enactment, Congress increased federal funding of education, from $42.2 billion in 2001 to $54.4 billion in 2007. Funding tied to NCLB received a 40.4% increase from $17.4 billion in 2001 to $24.4 billion. The funding for reading quadrupled from $286 million in 2001 to $1.2 billion.”

    From LF “Kard” – “Since the enactment (of NCLB), Congress increased federal funding of education from $42.2 billion in 2001 to $54.4 billion in 2007. Funding tied to NCLB received a 40.4% increase from $17.4 billion in 2001 to $24.4 billion. The funding for reading quadrupled from $286 million in 2001 to $1.2 billion.”

    Now does Rush know how to use those talking points they mail him or what?

  24. LarryFine says:

    I’m still having intermittent issues posting… I had to make an adjustment to my connection to post. No e-mail from the moderator warning or banning me. Very odd.

  25. lanq, as the parent of a privately educated child, I won’t disagree on quality of education. Why does this happen? For starters, we parents cough up about $15,000 extra for our child’s education and we stay in touch with teachers and administrators on our child’s progress. This doesn’t happen in public schools where you have a sector of society that uses the school district as everything from babysitter to law enforcement.

    Of course, as the parent of a privately educated child, I’m sure you already knew this, right?

  26. My spell is working. Muahahahahahahah

  27. Sword… like RW… I also thank you being the “kardnos” target of the day. I know it gets tedious having to tell these kardnos-paranoids that you are not kardnos, but hang in there as their attention span is very limited and they will move on to accuse someone else fairly soon.

    However, I must say that kardnos must have really done some serious psychological damage to these people who keep bringing him up over and over. Their self-mage must bear very deep emotional scars from their obviously failed attempts to deal with him. In some ways I hope kardnos does come back to this forum someday, soon.

    TO THE TOPIC: I don’t see anything wrong with basing teachers pay on performance, but then I would have to say the level of pay should be commensurate with the amount of work they put into their jobs and the true value of their overall results. By that I mean, teachers should probably be paid a hell of a lot more than they get now if all things were fair.

    I think we all know and realize, and some of us who do our own thinking even admit, that the high cost of education is mostly due to the extremely high cost of overhead ie: administrative costs in addition to administrators, such as buildings, maintenance, supplies, and of course security. If we could get that under control, maybe there’d be more money to pay teachers closer to what they are worth.

    Thank an teacher if you can read this!!!

  28. muck: “Thank an teacher if you can read this!!!”

    Way too funny! :)

  29. Cite me a US study that shows performance pay to have any positive impact on student outcomes. Go ahead and look for one.

  30. LarryFine says:

    LOL !

    From wiki… Since enactment, Congress increased federal funding of education from $42.2 billion in 2001 to $54.4 billion in 2007. Funding tied to NCLB received a 40.4% increase from $17.4 billion in 2001 to $24.4 billion. The funding for reading quadrupled from $286 million in 2001 to $1.2 billion.[5]

    Based on the Nov. 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm post above and the voting record from the house and senate it’s safe to say democrats want to destroy education while enriching private for profit corporations for which they have a vested interest in.

    Right sword ?

    Have fun kids… I have to get busy enhancing the corporate coffers and do some Christmas shopping.

    ;)

    “limbaugh talking points” LMAO !

  31. jen: “Cite me a US study that shows performance pay to have any positive impact on student outcomes”

    I know you can’t be serious with that. Think about what you wrote.

    Here’s a clue: you go faster after you push the accelerator down, not before.

  32. Now – I wonder – did the Heritage Foundation manipulate the wiki and provide Rush with the talking points? Nope. Couldn’t be. They never do that.

    Even when something is on “RushLimbaughReport” they try to deny.

  33. “I hope kardnos does come back to this forum someday, soon”

    muckibr, box seats are great, but there is something to be said about the right field bleachers.

  34. in other words, jen, lanq has no facts to support the allegation.

  35. cclngthr says:

    lanq,
    Basing teacher pay will require teachers to pay more attention to the final outcome of student learning. That final outcome is getting students to apply what they learn outside the classroom.

    RW98512,
    One problem with public schools is a lot of teachers working there do not want parental support because they don’t want to be questioned on their ability to teach. I had a sub principal at Crecent Heights ES tell me that he did not like the parental support in that school. His notion was to reduce parental support because parents question the antics of the school district. Districts also at the administrative level also hate being questioned.

    I remember when I was in college doing a SPED internship at a school in the Clover Park SD and I was working with a kid with high functioning autism, ADHD and Tourettes. The district was insisting he be placed at Western State due to his behavior, which the teacher and the district viewed as uncontrollable and physical restraints were regularly used on him. When I worked with him, I used a calmer tactic which for him was successful, and he responded appropriately. I was in the district and university’s mind, unprofessional because I questioned the antics of the school discision.

    Private schools have a mindset that they work for parents. Public schools do not.

  36. itwasntmethistime says:

    bobcat — I’ve come up with a foolproof plan to make kids want to succeed. It’s so simple. All we have to do is not promote kids to the next grade when they haven’t mastered the necessary skills for the grade they are in. The fear of being the only 11-yr old in the 3rd grade will make any kid crack a book once in a while, regardless of whether his parents give a rip or not.

  37. RW: “in other words, jen, lanq has no facts to support the allegation.”

    What allegation? That performance pay does not effect student outcome? It’s a non-question, since performance pay would be awarded _after_ a rise in student performance, hence the name. What they choose to do with their better education ten years down the road is up to them.

    What you two seem to be implying, however, is that paying teachers more money doesn’t really do anything, so I have to ask, why don’t we just pay them less, then?

  38. cclngthr says:

    itwasntmethistime,
    Only problem with that is that kid may have a learning problem that makes learning harder on them.

    A better way is to assess WHY the kid is not learning and use a method that works. If they don’t complete work out of laziness, they should automatically fail.

    Teachers can give a zero to students who fail to meet the deadline. A lot of teachers are wishy-washy when it comes to meeting deadlines.

  39. lanq, YOU GOT IT!!!

    Nobody commented on my similar post at 12:36 am, so I thought I’d do something to catch your eye. YOU GOT IT! Way to go!

  40. lanq – here is jen’s challenge:

    “Cite me a US study that shows performance pay to have any positive impact on student outcomes. Go ahead and look for one.”

    We’re waiting on the citation of the study, not your next baseless assertion.

  41. As to why pay teachers more or less –

    You get what you pay for. Try telling people that they need $50,000 in education for a $10,000 job and see how many people are standing in line.

  42. RW, is that it? That’s all? You have nothing, so you harp on a question with a phony premise? You really need to re-take Prog Dufus 1.01, because you’re an epic failure on this one there, homey.

  43. LarryFine says:

    Not one of the facts I presented have been refuted… “RW”. Your lack of any citation to counter the ones I presented seals it.

    Thanks for playing tho.

    ;)

  44. yabetchya says:

    Muckibr says…”In some ways I hope kardnos does come back to this forum someday, soon.”

    When did he leave?

  45. LarryFine says:

    He’s in Hawaii… where there is no internet.

  46. WOW….Larry hauled out all the characters!

  47. lanq – so you can’t cite a study?

  48. Larry, where’s “took14″ and “saduj”? Did you leave them at the Walmart corndog stand?

  49. did LF present “facts”?

    When? I want to mark my calendar.

  50. cclngthr says:

    RW,
    There is absolutely no study where performance based pay increases student performance because there has been no study which researches it effectively and without variables as parent income included. There are incentive studies, which is not the same as performance based pay.

    The closest study I found is this one:
    http://www.caldercenter.org/PDF/1001069_Individual_Teacher.pdf

    All studies which try to tie teacher performance to student performance eludes to the conclusion that parent income and education alters the outcome of student performance and teacher performance cannot change these atributes. Studies like this are abound and no study, in sense ties teacher pay to student performance without including parent influence. Removing all parent influences in a study is necessary here.

  51. SwordofPerseus says:

    Larry, lanq et all…

    You have simply proven that congress has poured in billions of dollars for education. Does that mean that NCLB was funded adequately to meet the outcomes required, doubtful. Again your point is moot. To get a more positive outcome in public education everyone has to be pulling in the same and correct direction. As I have tried to explain before, for students to do “better” the students must have the resources required at HOME and at school to enable learning to happen.

    Paying the teachers more or less (the subject of the LTTE) will have no discernible effect.
    In the US we seem to be incapable of honest self examination, thus we will continue to fail to identify the true nature of the problems we face and as well as finding the practical solutions to rectify the situation.

  52. cclngthr says:

    SwordofPerseus,
    Your argument is not valid regarding teacher pay vs student performance. No study has been done that provides accurate documentation that ties student performance directly to teacher performance without saying parent income/education is the only factor that improves student performance.

    Your argument suggests we dictate who becomes a parent solely based on parent education and income in America. This leads to the only people becoming parents are upper income, mostly white people.

    Remove the parent influence standard, and only looking at teacher and student factors is what Don suggests.

  53. A recent large-scale longitudinal study of US charter schools showed no academic impact for practices such as performance-based teacher compensation. (In addition, 40% of charter schools underperformed in relation to their public school neighbors)

    http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/PDFs/Education/cmo_final.pdf

    What does make a huge difference? Reading to your kids when they are little, and remaining engaged with them through their teen years.

    http://www.pisa.oecd.org/dataoecd/4/1/49012097.pdf

  54. cclngthr says:

    jenyum,
    Those studies rely heavily on parent influence. Remove the parent influence factor, and only focus on teacher pay/performance to student achievement, and you will see a different view.

  55. took14theteam says:

    RW98512, I would insist that you use my entire name, took14theteam. It is very childish to refer to other people with a derived version of their “Moniker”. If muckibr can insist on that, so can I. If you cannot respect my wishes, then I will be forced to put you on a “list of the TBIs (To Be Ignored)”

    Now back to the topic of the letter: TEACHERS: Base pay on performance

    Hello? Isn’t the pay of the 99% based on “performance” Are Teachers now part of the 1%?

  56. sandblower says:

    The question for took1 is how do you fairly measure teacher performance? Everyone in the entire world awaits your answer, because nobody has so far come up with a method that works, much less is fair.

  57. LarryFine says:

    This thread went sideways a while ago…

    I’m on “ignore” and being ‘abstaining from responding’ … kooky… you’d never know by all the alt attacks

  58. sandblower says:

    Oh, and on an international basis there is a strong correlation between student test performance and teacher incomes in actual dollars or in purchasing power or in percent of GDP. South Korea is near or at the top of the heap.
    The private school comparison I saw back a few posts was totally uninformed.

  59. I have said it before and will say it again. Someone, anyone, please show me a way to base teacher pay based on performance that can honestly show how a teacher has done.

  60. spotted1 says:

    lanq, the statement is simple, prove your point. If teacher performance pay increases student performance, then research is present to support that allegation. As it has all ready been done in other states.

    Others…

    Don’t compare education in other countries to the United States. We simply do not value education here to the leve that it is valued in other countries. Other countries value and respect their teachers. Here they are ridiculed and abused on a routine basis by the media, parents, and politics.

  61. took14theteam says:

    So you are admitting that teachers are part of the 1% then. Since they deserve their pay regardless of their performance, kind of like those evil CEO’s. I think some OWS protestors should camp at the schools demanding some of the teacher’s pay like they are doing with the rich…

    Aloha

  62. cclngthr says:

    took14theteam,
    The answer to the question of teacher performance, is can that teacher take ANY kid, including those in poverty and teach them so they will master the concepts they teach, and that student can go in a testing situation outside of that school environment and pass that test?

    If the teacher is successful at that, then they get paid more. The teachers who can’t should be immediately fired and barred from teaching again.

  63. I cant help but read this drivel and take it as my morning read of the comics! Sheesh! We are awash in experts and the country is going down the can…..Maybe we need PLUMBERS!

  64. stradivari says:

    The purpose of charter schools, vouchers, and home school is mostly for re-segregation and sometimes to blur the speparation of church and state in regard to parochial schools. Even if religion is not specifically taught, such programs sequester like minded kids together. I think they are basically UnAmerican. Public school teachers are the real and true heroes in America and under attack for not being prejudice enough for many.

  65. You have to know something in order to critically think about something. Memorization is a dirty word now-a-days. After spending a few years teaching in Europe, it became immediately apparent how much those kids knew. They are required to both memorize and critically think. It’s embarrassing how little Americans really know about their history or the world.

    In addition, American kids have grown a bit lazy. Often, high schoolers aren’t completing assigned homework or assignments. Kids are also going to have to step it up in order to improve our educational institutions. Otherwise, we are going to be left behind in the global economy.

  66. SwordofPerseus says:

    CC;

    Sorry to be argumentative but yes, my argument is valid. It is a moot point to argue that parent involvement can be removed from a study regarding the education of students. We do not operate in some theoretical vacuum. Unless you would advocate boarding school for all students in the country, parental involvement in student learning will continue to be the determining factor in the outcome of a student’s academic achievement. Furthermore to say that only upper income white families will have the only chance to succeed in children’s education is very prejudiced and bigoted.

    As I stated earlier…“There is much more wrong with our country than just how much teachers are paid, we have a sick society and too few people are willing to admit it. Until then, I’m betting nothing changes for the good.“

    Susan B. Neuman, U.S. Department of Education’s former Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, commented about her worries of NCLB in a meeting of the International Reading Association:
    “In [the most disadvantaged schools] in America, even the most earnest teacher has often given up because they lack every available resource that could possibly make a difference. . . . When we say all children can achieve and then not give them the additional resources … we are creating a fantasy.”

    “In the US we seem to be incapable of honest self examination, thus we will continue to fail to identify the true nature of the problems we face and continue to be at a loss for finding the practical solutions to rectify the situation.”

  67. cclngthr says:

    SwordofPerseus,
    What you are advocating is prohibiting parenting to a very specific group of people. This group is limited to those with full time jobs earning over $50K, mostly white, and owning their home.

    Lower income people are always considered mutants because they are considered to others, uninvolved. It is this mindset (particularly with teachers) that those who are disadvantaged by income are always going to be disadvantaged, and often are encouraged by society, particularly the schools, to end up in prison. The schools are not using the right tactic to get parents involved; and some schools even want to LIMIT parental involvement because they hate being questioned by parents about what they are doing.

    I think with disadvantaged families, teachers must use a different technique to have them be successful. We now use the exact same form of education for everyone which obviously does not work. We have to tailor the education to each and every student, and do this in a way that it is done in a classroom aetting.

    One problem I often see as a teacher, particularly with kids on DSHS medical is DSHS dictates what and when prescriptions are filled, even if the kid needs such medication. Kids with disabilities such as ADHD, OCD and other behavioral disabilities often are on class 2 narcotics, and other psychiatric medications to even out their behavior. There are more of these kids in high needs schools than upper income, low needs schools. I am currently working with a young 5 year old boy with Aspergers and ADHD, and DSHS is refusing to allow the pharmacy to refill the Vyvance medication without preapproval he needs to stay calm. Vyvance is a class 2 narcotic and is used to treat severe ADHD. He now will be at a disadvantage due to a flaw in the medical field of not having access to medication he must have.

  68. Pacman33 says:

    stradivari states using the un-American union tactic of projection~

    “The purpose of charter schools, vouchers, and home school is mostly for re-segregation”

    What a lazy and baseless statement that is simply projection, a tactic standard with the communist origins of unions. These options don’t encourage segregation, but brings an opportunity to neighborhoods that are already segregated due to institutional and individual racism and other prejudices of teachers.

    Despite being unqualified and un-elected, the teachers and their unions have hijacked the critical decisions of our administrators and boards. Even though teachers are failing at their jobs, they have rendered elected school boards barely relevant and have neutered principals along with other administrators. Yet, teachers display no shame in turning around and passing off blame for the failures in public education to the people they directly hand-cuff with pretentious demands, including staffing rules, found in their collective bargaining agreements. These staffing rules are inconsistent with a sensible approach to reason and accountability, taking the power to improve the quality of teaching in a building out of principal’s hands.

    Self-serving language inserted into union contracts for the petty whims of teachers are the largest least understood barriers to transforming schools and improving student achievement. These contracts allow experienced teachers with more seniority to stay planted at, or transfer to schools that serve more middle-class children. As a result, poor and less desirable schools are often forced to hire teachers regardless of students’ needs, even if they are not the right match for the job. Thus thwarting any sustained attempt to significantly improve teacher quality—the single greatest school-based factor in increasing student achievement. Predictably this nonsense creates a disparity with a abundance of talent in the upper scale schools with a shortage at the more urban schools in the district. Only the more privileged student are removed from these poorly staffed schools by their parents who can afford other alternatives. What we are left with the segregation, single-handedly, created by the teacher’s unions.

    The process has become not about the best-qualified candidate but rather satisfying union rules. These selfish contract demands fail to serve student’s best interests and ultimately fail to serve teachers. Despite teacher deceitful claims, motivation for a change in these rules is not about politics or not supporting unions; rather, it is about the needs of students and the desire to provide them.

    Meaningful reform is possible, and quality can replace seniority in determining who will teach our students.

  69. sandblower says:

    The ignorance here is incredible. The idea that teachers are not paid enough does not suggest that we go out and immediately raise teachers’ pay. The point is that by selectively paying teachers more in the future we can attract the cream of the graduating crop who would otherwise go into other professions.
    How much of this do we need to think out for you in advance instead of your being able to “get it” yourself?
    The Korean model has many aspects which could be applied here successfully. All it takes is the will and a few dollars.
    My gut feeling is that smart folks know the answers, but they are held back by the………!

  70. sandblower says:

    ……………! probably is pacman33. Check out its past posts for a comprehensive view of an extreme right wing individual.

  71. spotted1 says:

    sandblower, you forget…the model that the government has pushed is that every student will go to college. There is no other model.

    Foreign models are based on the knowledge that not every student will go to college. Yet, they must be educated and trained for the work they will do in the future. In Washington, anything that is work related has been pulled from the classroom and moved out of the schools.

    Also, the basic understanding of education between us and overseas is one of entitlement. We see education as a right and that we are entitled to it. Thus, everything revolves around that basic philosophy of “you own me an education”, but the student does not have to work for it. Overseas, the philosophy is one of “I need this to get ahead in the world and I must work hard to do so”. Not to mention that educators are valued and respected by the kids, parents, and society. Education is not a right, it is something to be valued and you must work for it.

    Until our core belief in the value of education changes, nothing will change in the US.

  72. commoncents says:

    pacman – have you considered the fact that districts actually WANT that language in their contracts as a benefit to their employees? If I’m a quality teacher and I have a choice between two districts: one that has such language and one that does not. All other factors considered equal then I’m going to go to the district that allows ME control over my own work location.

    It’s exactly the reason that no district will even consider eliminating athletics during this current economic crisis. Their student-athletes would simply flee the district to other districts causing even more economic hardship on those remaining.

    Nothing would hurt a district more than instituting such a policy and nothing would help a neighboring district more…

  73. commoncents says:

    cc – what tactic would you advocate using to encourage parental support? There are classrooms that encourage and solicit parental support on a weekly basis and yet they end up with the same parents on a repeated basis.

    Either the parents want to get involved or they don’t. If they want to get involved and support their kids then they will take the steps necessary to do so. If they don’t then they will do or say whatever is necessary to convince themselves that they can’t when in reality they won’t. You know the old saying “excuses are like holes…everyone has one.”

    Parental support and involvement does not have to be limited to in-classroom support. Ask your child’s teacher if there is anything that you can do after-hours to contribute to the classroom success. You might be pleasantly suprised when the teacher takes you up on that offer. And if not, spend 2 hours each night with your kid doing homework — even homework you make up — and you will be suprised at the progress your child makes. Work nights? that’s ok, spend a few hours on the weekend…You just may find your child is in that top 20% instead of the lower 20%. And, this is true no matter what school your child attends.

  74. sandblower says:

    “…..you forget…the model that the government has pushed is that every student will go to college. There is no other model.”
    Spotted, you are incorrect twice. First, I did not forget anything you mentioned and second, the model is to give every student the ‘chance’ to go to college. Putting primary emphasis on training students for the workplace is an error. Students are, first and foremost, to be trained to be good citizens of a democratic society and to further that democracy. If that complex task is accomplished, they will automatically be valued in the workplace. Technical school comes at the end.

  75. cclngthr says:

    commoncents,
    Teachers “require” parents to always read to their child, a common tactic which often fails. However, they don’t have a 1:1 commonication with that parent. I often have required notebooks (an idea I stole from a parent with 4 disabled foster kids) where daily notes were written and required responses from the parent is necessary. Another tactic I’ve used (but no longer used due to inappropriate actions of some teachers) is home visits. Teacher visits the home to meet with the parent, and an informal observation made about the family. Looking around, how does that family function? Another tactic I’ve used is to keep that kid after school for extra help.

    There are some parents who feel education is a complete waste of time, and many of these parents have criminal backgrounds. Sometimes it is necessary to use fear/scare tactics in getting parents to do what the teacher wants them to do. Sometimes, with these parents CPS referalls are necessary, and needed. Are they really being a parent?

    In Japan, teachers are the first to know when the student gets in trouble outside the school. Home visits are very common.

    Around here though, teachers are told to keep students separated from the teacher at all times. Other countries don’t do this.

  76. cclngthr says:

    sandblower,
    If you think about it, most jobs now require at least some college education to even qualify. That, there is what many people don’t realize. At one time it was easy to find good paying jobs with a high school education. This no longer exists now.

    I often am questioned by students about why they have to learn history and other subjects related to citizenship. Not much is done about telling kids about proper citizenship. They think they are automatically considered citizens because they live in the country, and don’t need to know topics related to citizenship.

  77. commoncents says:

    cc – So let me get this straight…each school typically has a curriculum night and then a follow up Parent – Teacher conference that allows the teacher to get your 1:1 communication. At this time it is made clear (and in association with numerous written communications) that the expectation is that the parent will read/work with their child – in essence creating an educational team. And if the child does not do the assigned reading/work – and assessments will bear this out – then the teacher is to threaten the parents with calling CPS on them? 1) How in the world is this conducive to a good educational team? and 2) What do you think CPS is going to do when Teacher Jane calls up and says Little Johnny Baker is not doing his nightly 20 minutes of reading. I’ve had a talk with his parents about this and it hasn’t helped. Could you go talk to them? Now, multiply that out 6 or 8 times per classroom and 15 classrooms per school. I’m sure they’ll appreciate that.

    And, no – as the spouse of a teacher I would not let mine go to a parent’s home…and I would not open my home to any of my child’s teachers either. I will and do go to their place of employment but I would never go to their home and I would expect the same courtesy coming back.

    It gets back to personal accountability. Those that want to will make the effort to involve themselves in their child’s education. If they can’t make the P-T conferences then they can call or email. They can do the work with their child. If they do, they and their child will be rewarded. If they don’t then their child will mire in mediocrity or worse whomever the teacher is.

  78. commoncents says:

    In many cases that job can be done by someone without a degree far cheaper and just as effectively. However, someone in power has decreed that a degree is required. All it serves to do is raise the level of compensation being paid to the employees. In many cases it doesn’t raise the quality of work being done and the only upside is a pool of internal applicants for other positions…ie a training ground.

  79. BlaineCGarver says:

    Lazy, stupid students = low teacher performance. That plan is DOA. Set the standard high and don’t use outcome based results. You know, just like private and Catholic schools (they have the best results in America…even with the free ride poorer students)

  80. cclngthr says:

    commoncents,
    What I mean by 1:1 communication is DAILY communication with the parent. Parents and teachers have to have communication each and every day. Not every once in a while, or even once a week. Communication must occur each and every day that student is in school between the teacher and parent. Daily notes home and weekly progress reports stating what must be done to complete class/homework is a start.

    If the parent either refuses to work with the teacher, or fails to assist the kid whenever homework is assigned, there is something stopping that, and it may be the responsibility of the teacher to figure out WHY the parent is unwilling to work with the teacher and student on school. If the parent views education as a waste of time, yes, it may be necessary for CPS to look into this, because what we have here is educational neglect by the parents (for refusal to work with teachers and students).

    Home visits are protocol in Asia and Europe. Home visits were common here before WWII. Here, teachers made an effort to communicate daily with parents and made a point to inform parents about the responsibilities of school activities. Teachers also were community members and were expected to be directly involved with the community, which includes students and their families. In Japan, a teacher is notified about the behavior of a student before the parents are, and that teacher is expected to work on behavior/citizenship with that student. School also is in session much longer in Asia as well. Classes may be 6.5-7 hours, but evening classes are often required and used.

    Now, there is a disconnect between teacher and student/family. That disconnection has been created when society decided it is best that teachers should only communicate during school hours and at school. Curriculum nights and quarterly P/T conferences cannot replace daily communication.

    With many jobs, on the job training cannot replace workers knowledgeable and trained to do the job when hired. Jobs now require skills that are beyond the knowledge of workers that were hired years ago. Car repair now is beyond simple mechanics. Simple electrical circuits now on cars are much different than what was used years ago. Instead of a simple circuit for a power window going from battery->switch->window motor->ground, the circuit now looks like (A) Battery->BCM-> window motor->ground; (B) BCM->switch->ground. A circuit is a 12 volt circuit, and B circuit is a low voltage 5 volt circuit.

  81. cclngthr says:

    BlaineCGarver,
    Private schools use outcome based assessments. They measure for an outcome, which is why they work.

  82. spotted1 says:

    Sandblower, whose version of “good citizens” are you advocating for? Liberal? Conservative? Democrat? Republican? Educated populace? According to popular belief (the public and the media), educators are liberals and only teach the liberal agenda. Yet if you want educators to teach “good old fashioned values” they are accuused of being too conservative. You can’t have it both ways. And right now, that belief is not existent in the schools as history and social studies take a back seat to all other subjects, except maybe HPE and the Arts.

    And fine, if you want to split hairs over words, go for it. All kids have a chance to go to college, which is what education preps kids for. So what are you going to do with those kids who graduate, can’t afford college because of the cost, and can’t afford jobs training that they did not get in school. Not to mention they can’t get an entry level job because their are few if any that they could get to support themselves, much less even get training in.

    In your opinion, as I understand it, we want a knowledgeable democratically trained, educated, populace that has no job skills graduating from our public education institutions. Sounds like a great way to keep welfare in business…

  83. Lanq – “person educated at a private school will receive a much better education that those educated at a public school”

    First, public schools take all comers, private schools are self filtering.

    Second, many religiously focused private schools down grade math and science in favor of their dogma.

    CC – all schools should work for the students.

  84. Private schools use outcome based assessments. They measure for an outcome, which is why they work.

    That’s a pretty big generalization there – I’m assuming you have researched this and can provide links to the studies…..

    Couldn’t it be that private schools work because the population is skewed do to the fact that parents take the effort to enroll their children, and pay the tuition? The parents of private school kids put a much higher priority on education.

  85. “due to the fact” – not “do to the fact”.

  86. redneckbuck says:

    You base a teachers pay based on improved test scores, and I would be rich! My wife has the highest scores in the Bethel School district! I teach Physics for a living, tough to grade improvement if students have never taken a Physics course before….wait I could give them a test before they take the class….assuming they all bomb that test, I would look like a great teacher.

  87. How did I miss this?

    “btw, I didn’t really think you were kard… I was just jabbing you. If you were, kard, there would be about 4 other monikers posting here…. agreeing with each other.”

    At all given times, LarryFine has about “5 kards” and isn’t playing with a full deck

    “You’re name calling doesn’t bother me in the least.”

    Ain’t touchin’ this one.

  88. cclng…you say “Home visits are protocol in Asia and Europe. Home visits were common here before WWII. Here, teachers made an effort to communicate daily with parents and made a point to inform parents about the responsibilities of school activities.”

    Then later you explain how things are different today than they once were with regard to vocational occupations.

    You seem to want to reclaim something from the past that is no longer viable (safety issues alone would prevent many teachers from visiting in kids’ homes — and it’s virtually impossible to communicate with a parent who won’t engage in the communications process) while at the same time you recognize that things are quite different today than they were, say before WWII.

    We live in a very different world than the one where parents and teachers lived, worked, worshipped and shopped in the same community.

    Anecdote: When it was proven that my brother’s 10th grade English teacher had falsely accused him of plagiarism, the teacher came to our home to apologize and explain why he had presumed plagiarism on my brother’s part. In other words, a dialogue occurred that went miles toward improving the situation in English class. It is hard to imagine such a scenario today.

  89. Americans pay more per student than any other country to have our children educated, yet we are not getting nearly what we pay for.

    And yet….Americans don’t have a problem paying more per capita for health care than other countries (by far) and getting less….

  90. beerBoy says:

    How about basing tuition charges on performance? Parents of low performing students would have to pay more taxes.

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