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Teachers paid not to teach

Discussion in 'Education Policies' started by The Scotsman, May 7, 2009.

  1. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    California is one State that does not exactly boast the healthiest current account balance sheet indeed the Governor himself made this statement late last year

    Obviously this problem is not just confined to California but consider the following................


     
  2. ASPCA4EVER

    ASPCA4EVER New Member

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    I'd smack my fore head in frustration but as with my local USD teachers union, I'm not surprised and after smacking my fore head in extenuous frustration I'm sure to have a 'self inflicted concussion'...soon, real soon!

    OMG...that is appalling...UNIONS aren't they GRAND! Which is worse Unions or the School Districts that just waste the tax payers money...Hmmm???
     
  3. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    School districts do what they do BECAUSE of the union that backs them!


    I work for the biggest school district in my area, and boy oh boy can I tell you some stories.


    By the way do you get the day after thanksgiving off paid?

    I do :)
     
  4. ASPCA4EVER

    ASPCA4EVER New Member

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    No, I'm just a lowly Paraprofessional that works via a contractual agreement with the school district. 6 HOURS A WEEK NO MORE NO LESS, everything else that I do is strictly volunteer duty and I support 3 different teachers with my extra time - 4 free! :)

    I get loads of days off but very few of them are paid! Right now I'm off because of elder care of my mother...and when she was released the school district had a hiring freeze on...still loads of special needs children but not money! Or so I'm told! Wait until summer before reapplying for contracts...last summer they weren't ready until 2 days before school started...GOOD GRIEF!
     
  5. ASPCA4EVER

    ASPCA4EVER New Member

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    Obama's education secretary seeks parents', educators' comments on No Child Left Behind law

    LIBBY QUAID | AP Education Writer
    8:01 PM EDT, May 5, 2009

    BUNKER HILL, W.Va. (AP) — Special education teacher Lynn Reichard has a problem with the federal No Child Left Behind law: Some of her kids cannot read, never mind pass its required state test.

    Reichard told Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Tuesday that she works all year long to boost the self-esteem of mentally impaired students at Bunker Hill Elementary, only to see them fall apart over standardized tests.

    "They feel so good about themselves, and then they look at a two-paragraph reading passage, and they know six words," Reichard said. "I have one child here that's a nonreader, and she's going to have to take the test, and she's going to cry.

    "There's just got to be another answer for that," Reichard said.

    No Child Left Behind pushes schools to boost the performance of low-achieving students, and Duncan gives the law credit for shining a spotlight on kids who need the most help. Opponents, however, insist the law's annual reading and math tests have squeezed subjects like music and art out of the classroom and that schools were promised billions of dollars they never received.
    Duncan wants to hear how the program works from educators, parents and kids, and he began a 15-state "listening tour" at Reichard's school in the eastern panhandle of rural West Virginia. President Barack Obama has been vague about much he would overhaul the law, but on Tuesday, his ideas began to take shape.

    The teacher was right, Duncan said later.

    While the law does make allowances for different tests for severely impaired kids, many don't fall into that category.

    "To have a child taking a test that it is literally impossible for them to pass and having that humiliation, and holding schools accountable for that, that doesn't make sense," Duncan said in an interview with the Associated Press.

    Duncan used Reichard's tale as an example of how the federal government should be "looser" about how states meet goals. He fought the government on similar issues in his last job, as chief executive of Chicago's public schools.

    At the same time, he said, the government should get "tighter" about goals, insisting on more rigorous academic standards that are uniform across the states.

    "What I mean by loose is not getting away from accountability at all," he told the AP. "What I mean by loose is giving folks more flexibility in how they achieve their goals."

    Duncan made time to visit with kids, reading the book, "Doggie Dreams" to first-graders at Bunker Hill and having lunch with fourth-graders at Eagle Intermediate School in Martinsburg, where he ate a cheesesteak sandwich and onion rings but finished only half his vegetables.

    "Who's the president now?" Duncan asked the first-graders, one of whom correctly identified Obama.

    Duncan said little about the law Tuesday, preferring to listen to the concerns of teachers in more intimate sessions at elementary schools and a larger forum at Blue Ridge Community College in Martinsburg.

    Both schools are high-performing and rely heavily on sophisticated data systems to explain not only what kids don't know, but why they don't know it, something Duncan wants to see more. Federal dollars in the economic stimulus law can be used for those kinds of systems.

    Duncan said he won't hesitate to visit struggling schools, too.

    Whatever the administration decides to do, it needs the approval of Congress, which passed the law with broad bipartisan support in 2001 but deadlocked over a rewrite in 2007. Lawmakers plan to try again in the fall.

    While the law has helped improve the academic performance of many minority kids, English-language learners and kids with disabilities, critics say the law is too punitive: More than a third of schools failed to meet yearly progress goals last year, according to the Education Week newspaper.

    That means millions of children are a long way from reaching the law's ambitious goals. The law pushes schools to improve test scores each year, so that every student can read and do math on grade level by the year 2014.

    http://www.newsday.com/news/politics/wire/sns-ap-us-obama-no-child,0,2886321.story
    ******************************************

    I would have cut & condensed some of this article but it was just so 'SPOT ON' and shows some hope for the horrible impact that "No Child Left Behind" has done. {I know, I know...this topic is about teachers getting paid to do nothing but if I had been able to start my own topic I would have} Seems as though there are some places a 'newbie' can't get a new topic going...So you have my apologies but this article is excellent!
     
  6. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    That is very nice of you to volunteer. I have an idea that I wish could happen. Schools have become too expensive to support for the tax payers and the wages and retirement plans for the school district employees is the main cause. Its all for the kids but the money always seems to go to payroll.

    Teacher’s aides get at least 17 dollars an hour to start without any experience, Secretaries start at a much higher number than that and office assistants about the same as teacher’s aides.

    So this is my idea. Any person (who can pass a background check) that is willing to volunteer gets a certain amount of a tax deduction equivalent to if the were actually a paid school district employee. These people could volunteer with currently paid teachers aides and office assistants and eventually once those teachers’ aids and office assistants retire or quit the volunteers can take over the job as a volunteer. There would be a need for someone in each school to verify if they really did volunteer and if so how many hours so they would know what they could write off on their taxes.

    This would save literally millions of dollars over time and get people back to being connected with the schools. Lowering the tax burden for the citizens and since the volunteers would not be taking the jobs away from the people outright but rather taking over once those people who are currently there are retired, I see it as a win win situation.

    What do you think? It would help you I am sure with an extra very nice tax deduction.
     
  7. ASPCA4EVER

    ASPCA4EVER New Member

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    What a novel idea...see great minds think a like...there is no other place that a good group of volunteers could help give back to our community and those children/over worked teachers/staff would all benefit from my generations experience and numbers! And as a tax deductible way to work that, then the people on Social Security could still work and not impact their retirement $$$. Excellent idea...get your teachers union behind that and you'll get the ball rolling...this could really, really work!

     
  8. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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  9. ASPCA4EVER

    ASPCA4EVER New Member

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    Well, that explains much of this B.S. our minimum wage is just at $5.75 a/hr and it is supposed to go up this year another .50¢..WHOOPIE

    Thank you for that insight into the union and whose scratching whose back to get what they want at the negotiations table...sure explains a lot!!!

    There are staff within our CO-OP that are so inept at their jobs I've had to explain how they continue to mess up on my pay checks; I have always asked for the 9 month contractual salary and with my deductions...2 years, 2 years in a row they've messed up on my sick leave hours, my in-service time and my deductions...last year we didn't get it straightened out until Christmas Break!!!

    Where I moved from {9 years ago} Paraprofessionals earned $13.00 an hour but I relocated to help care for my mother and moving back into this middle of Kansas was like stepping back into history 20 years...good grief!!!
     
  10. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    I think the volunteerism in schools could work if the unions would let it happen. This same sort of thing could be done through out the government. When my son was first born I was dirt poor and I was on welfare for about 2 years. It was terrible to get money when I had not earned it. I asked them if they would let me volunteer there cleaning the office or doing something to help make up for the money and medical help they gave me but they said no they could not do that. So I ended up volunteering as a secretary for a small business and got some skills under my belt and eventually got off welfare.

    But let’s say there was a program that when people came in needing welfare they instead said ok, we will pay you the min wage (and that works out to be more than a welfare check) you show up at the welfare office to answer phones, or clean the office or clean DMV or the post office or sort mail at the post office or answer phones at the county clerks office or file papers exc.. You get the idea.

    The person getting the welfare is getting actual experience to help them get out of the welfare trap, the government hires fewer employees because they have many people doing the job and gaining experience and the person doing it feels a whole lot better about their self because they are earning what they are getting.


    The minimum wage is another story. I do not approve of our high min. wage for a number of reasons. Not sure how it is where you are at but here they have made it illegal for kids to pick fruit here. When I was a kid in the summer I would make extra money picking beans, strawberries and peas. Now only illegals and old people do it and kids have no real way to make money till they are 16 and then its in fast food where the managers don’t want to hire them because why should they want to pay 8 something an hour for an inexperienced person to have to train and they can only work certain hours and not use the fryers. So basically kids don’t have very many choices for where they can work.

    Also, I remember when the min wage went up the first time in my adult life. I was at min wage there and was pretty excited about the wage going up. I was on a very tight budget so I knew the price of just about everything in the store I shopped at. When min wage went up so did the price of hamburger, veggies, fruit … everything. It ended up costing me more than my new wage to buy the same stuff I had been buying, in short I was worse off.

    The second time the min wage went up I was just above min wage and the increase put me back at min wage. My boss could not afford to pay the new min wage for all the people plus up my wage so again I was at min wage and again the price of everything went up again and I was worse off again.

    Now I make a little over 14 dollars an hour. I have been with the school district for 20 years and our min wage goes up approximately 50 cents a year, so I figure in the next 6 to 8 years I will be back at min wage and I won’t be able to afford to go to McDonalds because if you are paying people that much money to make fast food the cost of those items are going to have to increase too.

    I think there has to be some kind of rule about a min wage because some would do slave labor if they could but there should be exemptions like fast food because kids need to be able to work and they are not supporting a family they just need extra spending money and a chance to learn skills and understand how the real world works but everyone in the United States that works does not need to raise a family so the min wage should not be thought of as an income you can support a family on.
     
  11. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    A little perspective, from a 38 year veteran of California's public schools.

    First of all, I totally agree that the opening post highlights a situation that is ludicrous to the extreme and needs to be ended. I couldn't help but notice that it is happening in the state's largest and least manageable school district. One of many reforms needed is to decentralize and cut some of those huge districts down to size.

    I won't take the time to list all of the reforms that are needed, as the post would be very long and no one would read it.

    Let's take a part of the link posted by ASPCA4EVER (must be an animal lover???)

    That it does, the kids who need the most help passing the test.

    Tests, however are but one measure of performance, and not a very reliable one at that.

    I don't know about those billions, or just what was promised but not delivered. NCLB is costing the taxpayers a mint, though.

    It certainly has spawned a test centered curriculum, that part is indisputable. If it is not on the test, it simply isn't stressed, perhaps not taught at all. Music, art, and vocational education are all casualties.


    The feds are listening? Well, that's a hopeful sign, maybe.


    Here, they are talking about students with learning disabilities, sometimes severe disabilities, who nevertheless have to pass a difficult academic test. If they can't do so, then the school is a failure.

    Of course, it is permissible for the teacher to read questions to learning handicapped students in some situations. That is one "allowance" made. Another is that students who have about as much chance of passing the test as I would have of passing one written in Mongolian can be given a little more time to do the impossible.

    I got a new student once, about a week before the big test my fourth graders had been preparing for all year. This student was fresh from rural Mexico, where she had had no opportunity to attend school. She could not read, write, do even basic math, or speak English.

    She was nevertheless required to take the test, one week after enrolling in school here.

    Of course, we were not allowed to ask her parents for a green card, or any proof of legal immigration status.

    The federal government doesn't need to get looser or tighter about goals, but does need to get out of education entirely, close down the Department of Education, and focus on what is should be doing under the Constitution.

    Taking care of illegal immigration, for example.

    I've got lots more stories, as well as some ideas about how we could really improve schools, despite the decay in our society, but will save them for later.
     
  12. ASPCA4EVER

    ASPCA4EVER New Member

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    Excellent post PLC1...I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and those of Pandora's as well.

    Maybe we need to start a topic about: How to fix our 'LAME EDUCATION SYSTEM' and then take those ideas and fine tune them and forward them onto the Educational GURU! Hell, it really couldn't hurt!
     
  13. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Great idea.

    Just who is our educational GURU, anyway?

    I wonder if he/she reads blogs?
     
  14. ASPCA4EVER

    ASPCA4EVER New Member

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    Education Secretary Arne Duncan

    We really could come up with some wonderful cost effective ideas and a 'PLAN'...we have the knowledge!!!
     
  15. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    I wonder what he would think of my idea of closing down the Department of Education and leaving the job up to the states?

    Maybe if we offered him unemployment benefits.....
     
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