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Thread: Should Teachers Pay Be Linked To Student Grades

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by katladyd View Post
    i am a teacher, and performance pay makes sense, until you are the teacher with all the students with special needs in her classroom. You are not going to look as good on paper as the teacher with more seniority who may not be as good a teacher as you are, but has many gifted students in her class. I am a special ed teacher who puts in many more hours than my fellow teachers in mainstream classes, but according to merit pay, I would get paid less. Now, I used to work in the legal profession, my boyfriend is an attorney of 30+ years experience, and the two are so unrelated to each other it is silly! I am thinking of going back into the legal field. It pays more and the hours are fewer...they really are.
    I think you make a great point. I have two neices who are special Ed.
    teachers. They both have shared their experiences at family gatherings.
    I think it sure takes special gifts to be teachers in that field.
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  2. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by lizbud View Post
    I struggle to like any disagreeable person mad or otherwise.
    Well, in which case you're going to have to either:

    a) ignore me

    b) accept the fact that I'm not a cheerleader for the left or the right and will continue to be "disagreeable" when I don't agree with an opinion.

    Discussion is a good thing.

    If everyone is nodding their heads in agreement then there's a severe lack of thought.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  3. #48
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    I hope these people get this worked out for the betterment of Indiana's
    school kids.This state needs to do better. Today's Editorial........

    Our Opinion
    Right message, wrong tactics

    Posted: April 21, 2010

    Tony Bennett has brought passion and vision to his job as Indiana's superintendent of public instruction. He's also infused a sense of urgency into the state Department of Education, which before Bennett's election was too far complacent in its acceptance of the status quo.

    With so many students in Indiana failing to grasp the basics in reading and math, the stakes for this state and its children are enormous. Bennett understands those stakes far better than most within the education establishment.



    But Bennett's brashness also can undermine his effectiveness, turning disputes into personal battles that overshadow policy. Such is the case with Bennett's current squabble with the presidents of two teachers unions.

    On the merits, Bennett is largely correct. Teachers should be rewarded financially based more on student achievement rather than how long they've filled a classroom. Seniority also should be only one factor that administrators use in determining which teachers to lay off because of budget cuts or decreasing enrollment. More relevant is -- or should be -- teacher performance.

    Yet, by engaging in a public dispute, including mass e-mails and press releases, Bennett has managed to make union leaders appear to be victims in a hard-hitting political fight.

    It's not the first time Bennett has forgotten the need for diplomacy. He triggered an unnecessary spat with district superintendents last year by issuing new orders on the school calendar without consulting with administrators or even warning them that changes were imminent.

    When it comes to communicating the need for reforms in Indiana schools, including new teacher work rules, Bennett's enthusiasm and energy are valuable assets. He need not back away from delivering the message that change is critical for a state with one of the least-educated work forces in the nation.

    Bennett's work is too important, however, to squander his political capital by sinking into a personal fight with the unions, superintendents and others.

    Press ahead, Mr. Superintendent, but be smart in picking your battles
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  4. #49
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    Editorial from today's Chicago Tribune

    The only problem I see with this is that the kids can leave, but the schools don't seem to be given an incentive to improve.


    "Liberate the Kids"

    The Illinois House Executive Committee will hear a bill on Thursday that could give 22,000 Chicago elementary school students those stuck in the weakest 10 percent of the city's public schools an escape hatch.

    The bill, which passed the Senate 33-20 in March, would offer state-funded tuition vouchers to kids who are enrolled at 49 elementary schools in Chicago. The kids could use the vouchers at any private or parochial school that admits them.

    The Senate vote was instructive. Almost all Republicans voted for the bill. A majority of Democrats voted against it.

    But look more deeply into that vote. Many Democrats from relatively affluent areas opposed the measure. But a majority of the African-American and Latino senators those whose constituents' kids would directly benefit voted yes. Good for those senators. They put their children first.

    This has the makings of a genuinely bipartisan effort. On today's commentary page, Democratic State Sen. James Meeks and Republican Andy McKenna Jr. explain why it has broad appeal.

    Here's why we think it does. It would give students and their parents better options. It would save the state money because the voucher would cost less than the state spends to educate a child in public schools.

    And there's evidence that vouchers improve public schools. A 2009 report by The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice examined 17 studies on the impact of voucher programs. Sixteen studies found that vouchers improved student achievement in public schools; one study found they had no positive or negative impact.

    In other words, competition works. These vouchers would be a win-win-win for students, taxpayers and public education.

    So you'd think lawmakers would be expressing full-throated support for the bill. But House Republican leader Tom Cross of Oswego and Rep. Dan Burke, D-Chicago, who chairs the executive committee, have been pretty quiet. It would be a tremendous help if they gave this bill a vocal boost before the hearing. It is going to take another bipartisan effort to get this through the House, because it does shake the education status quo.

    There are reasons for all lawmakers to back this bill:

    Chicago lawmakers should support a bill that gives Chicago kids in failing schools a shot at a good education.

    Suburban and downstate lawmakers should support a bill that saves the state money as much as $44 million over five years if roughly half of the students eligible for vouchers request them. (That number assumes the average voucher would be worth $4,000 per school year.) Over 12 years, the savings would total $242 million, according to the Illinois Policy Institute. How so? Private school tuition is less than what the state spends on Chicago Public Schools students.

    What if student performance doesn't improve in private schools? Simple: Parents will vote with their feet. They'll re-enroll their kids at neighborhood public schools. "At some point," Meeks says, "we have to trust parents with their own children, and trust parents that they're not going to make a bad choice concerning their child. If they want their child out (of a failing public school), they should have that option."

    Meeks is right. There's little risk, and much reward, in liberating kids from the city's worst schools so they can go find the best school for them.

    Members of the Illinois House: Liberate them.
    I've been Boo'd ... right off the stage!

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  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady's Human View Post



    2 years of preschool prior to Kindergarten? Not only no, but hell no. Leave the creche to diploma "education" to the countries which already practice it, thank you. China has a wonderful system, kids learn to sing the praises of Chairman Mao before they can read.

    I spend enough time as it is removing and challenging politically biased teaching in the classroom as it is, and my children are 5 and 8. The sole advantage to starting them in classrooms earlier is to get the programming started earlier. Ain't happening. Prior to the election I was listening to how great it was going to be to have a black man as President. Why in hell is that crap in elementary school? Then I heard how wonderful President Obama was.....before he had done anything. Then they learned about his Nobel gift..........and add to that to all the junk science being foisted on children in school. Speaking with other parents in other districts in NY state, it's not district wide, it's state wide.

    Nope, 5 is early enough.
    LOL, politically biased teaching? J must not be getting his fair share! He will have spent 3 years in preschool, before he enters K this fall (as a 6 year old). His first 'year' was 2 days a week, for 2.5 hours, each. Not exactly rigorous by anyone's standards, I am sure. He then went to 3 days a week, again, 2.5 hours, the following year. Both of those years were less than the traditional school calendar, with a little extra at Christmas break time. They were both in a church based program. So, no politics, but some religion.

    Now, he is in a 5 morning a week program- at his public school. He is in a 3-6 aged grouping, (Montessori). It is about 2.75 hours a day (with 35 minutes either outside or large muscle room).

    He has done remarkably well, and frankly the shift from NO school to full day kindergarten (what our district offers) would have been pretty tough on him. I am in his classroom every other Friday. I have never heard anything 'political', no junk science, etc. Every child is different, and my child was one that benefitted from a graduated progression into school.

    My final thoughts- as I feel we were ganging up a bit on our resident teacher, is that I firmly believe teaching to be one of the least regarded and most important professions there are. I also think that there are horrible teachers out there (we have all had them, seen them, etc). Those teachers should be removed. The current system doesn't really provide for that. There is little accountability.

    I know ALL professions have bad apples. But, most other professions bear the brunt of the market influence. If someone doesn't do their job, they are fired. f a company isn't making money, people are let go, shut down, etc. That just doesn't happen in education. It is rare that a school district closes down, even though many of the markers are deemed unacceptable.

  6. #51
    LOL, politically biased teaching? J must not be getting his fair share! He will have spent 3 years in preschool, before he enters K this fall (as a 6 year old). His first 'year' was 2 days a week, for 2.5 hours, each. Not exactly rigorous by anyone's standards, I am sure. He then went to 3 days a week, again, 2.5 hours, the following year. Both of those years were less than the traditional school calendar, with a little extra at Christmas break time. They were both in a church based program. So, no politics, but some religion.
    That's by your choice, which you, as a parent should have.

    PC mentioned mandatory, not optional preschool. Axel was in a 1/2 day program for a year before he went to kindergarten by our CHOICE, not a mandate from a politician.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  7. #52
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    When I was a kid, back in The Dark Ages, there was no K or pre-school. I started school in 1st grade and went thru grade 12. However - way back then, we learned a whole lot more each school year than the kids do now. We were learning "cursive" writing in 2nd and 3rd grade, and I can remember, plain as day, blowing my 3rd grade teacher away when I correctly spelled "carbohydrates". No big deal now, but it sure was when I did it. And we learned by repetition. Maybe not much fun at the time, but it will always stick with you learning it that way - especially the math. I always thought it was fun. My 14 year old grandson can't seem to grasp it, and I believe it's the method of teaching that is his biggest problem. I lost it with the "new math" that was taught when my kids were in school - a dozen or so steps to come up with the same answer I could come up with in 2 or 3 steps. What was the purpose of that - other than a waste of time???
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  8. #53
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    ^^ I absolutely shudder to think of J and math. I will probably have to get a tutor for him beginning in the 3rd grade if I am expected to help him at all. OR, I will have to order a book and teacher's text and get some tutoring myself. No joke. Math was and still is a huge struggle for me. I think I have a form of math dyslexia.

  9. #54
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    They have a system in Japan, not sure what they call it, but if children can't grasp a particular lesson then they stay back after school with the teachers, who tutor them. They are allowed to go home after they have displayed that they have fully understood the lesson. Some kids grasp it quickly, others don't.......and they are not allowed to go home until they have achieved the desired result.
    Think about the advantages............
    These lessons are cutting into the kids free time, so they are gonna really try and understand the lesson so they can get on back home for dinner and their TV's.
    And of course, one on one tutoring/learning has got to be more advantageous than one on forty.
    And......the teachers don't like staying back after work either, so that in itself would give the teachers more impetus to ensure they did their job more effectively in the classroom.
    I admire that system....beats our system hands down.


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  10. #55
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    LH- While I don't agree with what you are saying exactly, I think I understand and agree with the principle behind it. You want your children to be able to think for themselves and not just believe what they are told. Critical thinking, in my opinion, is one thing schools ARE NOT teaching enough of, and I think this a big failure of schools which is caused from thoughtless mandates like NCLB and linking a teacher's pay to a student's letter grade. (Grades do not necessarily measure real learning). Also, I think it is great that you actually care what and how your kids learn. Many parents do not. Or they are so busy/distracted/whatever that they may act like they care but actually do nothing to ensure their child's success in school. This is why I believe there needs to be free, high quality daycare (yes, I think it should be mandatory) because there are many kids who probably have never been read to before school starts, so they have missed out on a HUGE learning opportunity that most likely, they will never be able to "make up" for with later education.

    Also, I wanted to point out that education/ the world is changing. You can google anything and have an answer to your question in 30 seconds. Education is shifting so kids know how to understand and synthesize information in a changing world. It's great if someone found drilling in school beneficial to them, but research shows not everyone learns this way. There are only a few good hours in a school day and teaching kids to write perfect cursive is not a good use of time in today's world (especially since there is so much pressure to get your students to perform in other areas).

    Also, if I may share a big pet peeve of mine, it's that a lot of people think they are experts on education who have no training or background in it. Being a student and the study of pedagogy are very different things, and many teachers today are highly qualified to teach. Yes, parents know their kids best, but a good teacher will communicate with parents in order to help their students more. Teaching is based on science, not anecdotes or feelings or how we were taught as kids.

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cataholic View Post
    ^^ I absolutely shudder to think of J and math. I will probably have to get a tutor for him beginning in the 3rd grade if I am expected to help him at all. OR, I will have to order a book and teacher's text and get some tutoring myself. No joke. Math was and still is a huge struggle for me. I think I have a form of math dyslexia.
    I was always good in math - at least the way it was taught to me. Fortunately my kids were good in the "new math" which was Greek to me, or I would have needed tutoring just so I could help them.

    Quote Originally Posted by wombat2u2004 View Post
    They have a system in Japan, not sure what they call it, but if children can't grasp a particular lesson then they stay back after school with the teachers, who tutor them. They are allowed to go home after they have displayed that they have fully understood the lesson. Some kids grasp it quickly, others don't.......and they are not allowed to go home until they have achieved the desired result.
    Think about the advantages............
    These lessons are cutting into the kids free time, so they are gonna really try and understand the lesson so they can get on back home for dinner and their TV's.
    And of course, one on one tutoring/learning has got to be more advantageous than one on forty.
    And......the teachers don't like staying back after work either, so that in itself would give the teachers more impetus to ensure they did their job more effectively in the classroom.
    I admire that system....beats our system hands down.
    Sounds like a winner Wom, but I don't ever see that happening here. Too much opposition from teachers and parents alike. I'd love to see my grandson have to do that, and his parents would too. It would be worth my while to have to pick him up from school everyday if it would help him.
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    The clock of life is wound but once and no man has the power
    To know just when the hands will stop - on what day, or what hour.
    Now is the only time you have, so live it with a will -
    Don't wait until tomorrow - the hands may then be still.
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  12. #57
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    Am I the only one who thinks the problem lies not in school, but in society as a whole? I learned to read when I was 3. Well before I started school. We didn't have cable, we didn't have playstation (though we did have atari), we didn't have cell phones or facebook or email to keep up on, we didn't go to the mall every other day. Both of my parents actually had time to sit down and read with us or do learning things. Now I have little sisters and they don't read or do math as well. They've got a single mother who has no time and they have a tv for a babysitter. They spend hours on the computer daily. This is just how society is now. We've got no time to devote to teaching children. No, machines do the work now. They don't have to learn anything. Its just that point in our culture's evolution where we can stop teaching math because computers do it for us, we can stop teaching reading because we have e-books that fit in our pockets and can read for us, we can stop teaching history and science and everything else because we have internet. Kids know this. They may not consciously choose this way of thinking, but they grew up in a time when they could refer to the internet if they needed an answer. The attitude of "why should I sit through school and learn the old-fashioned way" is built right in.
    "There are two things which cannot be attacked in front: ignorance and narrow-mindedness. They can only be shaken by the simple development of the contrary qualities. They will not bear discussion."

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  13. #58

    Also, if I may share a big pet peeve of mine, it's that a lot of people think they are experts on education who have no training or background in it. Being a student and the study of pedagogy are very different things, and many teachers today are highly qualified to teach. Yes, parents know their kids best, but a good teacher will communicate with parents in order to help their students more. Teaching is based on science, not anecdotes or feelings or how we were taught as kids.
    I beg to differ. What, praytell is the educational equivalent of Ohm's law?

    Calling it a science doesn't make it one.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady's Human View Post
    I beg to differ. What, praytell is the educational equivalent of Ohm's law?

    Calling it a science doesn't make it one.
    Have you never heard of the social sciences? Still perfectly possible to use the scientific method and gather empirical data.

  15. #60
    I've heard of them, however, I've yet to see an equation to quantify them.

    Calling something a science doesn't make it one. Some people call astrology a science.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

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