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Chicago public school teachers on strike


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#61 Clak

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:01 PM

If you can stand conversing with irritating posters who spout false equivalencies.
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#62 dmaul1114

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:04 PM

We're in a recession. Benefits are being cut, facilities are being closed, and people lose their jobs. Why should teachers be immune to the effects of the recession?


Because of their importance to society and our future.

It's already largely a thankless job that's hard to attract the best and brightest to, when they have so many other career options they can pursue.

If there aren't perks like stronger job security, less risk during recessions etc., even fewer of the best and brightest will choose to become teachers rather than businessmen, lawyers, engineers etc.

Edited by dmaul1114, 11 September 2012 - 08:31 PM.


#63 chiwii

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:14 PM

Not to mention that juries are usually well behaved, not throwing shit at each other or trying to choke each other to death. Any with the patience to deal with kids deserves whatever pay they're able to negotiate IMO. If it's more than XYZ profession makes, fine. If you can wrangle a classroom full of kids 5 days a week and not kill one of them, you deserve the best.


A big problem with allowing civil servants to unionize and negotiate pay and benefits is that school boards and local governments will agree to higher and higher pay and benefits to keep the unions supporting them in elections.

Retirement benefits are an especially large problem, because the politicians can agree to great pensions, the citizens generally have no idea, and the reality of the pension obligations won't be revealed for years. Then, the new school boards and local governments have to clean up the budget mess left behind.

I'm not totally against unions for public employees, but I do expect them to be reasonable. And, I don't think they should be able to strike.

#64 dohdough

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:36 PM

The main issue I have with pensions is companies (and their current employees) shouldn't foot the bill for retired employees.

I much prefer a 401k type system with a generous match/employer contribution combined with employee contribution. The school system then is still contributing a lot toward retirement, but aren't stuck with an ongoing bill when someone retires in their 50's after 30 years and lives to 100.

I had a choice between a state pension plan and a 401k type plan (357b or something like that) with my job and opted for the latter. I want more control of my money, and I don't plan on staying in this state long term anyway.

The 401k type plan is pretty generous here as well. I have to contribute 5% (going up to 6% next year) of my salary to it each paycheck, state contributes 9.24% of my salary each check. Can't complain, been here for 3 years and last I looked my retirment account was around $35k already.

K-12 teachers should get a similar retirement package to that IMO.

I don't completely disagree with you philosophically, but we don't live in a perfect world with adequate social safety nets especially in the area of healthcare, which you know, takes a larger chunk of your money as you get older. Not to mention that the nature of investing pension funds has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. With education loans being the next bubble to burst without stronger financial regulation, it's only a matter of time until we see something like 2008 again with people losing half their retirement.

I'm leaving a lot of detail out investing and bubbles, but I'm sure you get the idea.

The CPS teachers are already making a living wage.

We're in a recession. Benefits are being cut, facilities are being closed, and people lose their jobs. Why should teachers be immune to the effects of the recession?

Because being in a recession has nothing to do with how many students need to be educated.

I think that it's ruthless for civil servants to go on strike. We're not talking about workers that need food stamps because they make so little, don't have health insurance, work in dangerous conditions that management refuses to address, etc. These teachers make great wages compared to the citizens of their city and compared to other teachers in the US, they have a great pension plan, and most have very secure jobs.

Despite this, they're on strike, depriving kids of an education because they want more money and more job security with less oversight
.

You sure about all that stuff? The public education system is becoming more and more privatized every year. In Chicago, and many other cities, private/public charter schools are popping up like weeds that close down schools in vulnerable districts. mykevermin can probably go a lot deeper into this than I can. The job security you talk about simply doesn't exist in this environment. How secure is the job when the entire school is being closed and replaced with a for-profit charter school funded with tax dollars? Unions are bypassed, tax dollars are being siphoned out of the system, and educational outcomes are inflated and over-hyped because charter schools aren't required to try and educate all of their students? A big part of CTU demands were in regards to school closings, moving away from high-stakes testing, and funding more arts-related programs. I mean shit, in what world is closing a school a GOOD idea when problems should never be allow to get so bad to make it look like one?

#65 yourlefthand

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:40 PM

If you can stand conversing with irritating posters who spout false equivalencies.


Is that directed at me? I'm not saying that ANY of those comparisons are completely valid, just that anyone can claim that any profession 'deserves the best' depending on their own skills, abilities, preferences, and biases.

There are some people who would find my job mind-numbing and terrible but would love nothing more than to spend the day with a batch of unruly kids.

#66 dmaul1114

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:48 PM

I don't completely disagree with you philosophically, but we don't live in a perfect world with adequate social safety nets especially in the area of healthcare, which you know, takes a larger chunk of your money as you get older. Not to mention that the nature of investing pension funds has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. With education loans being the next bubble to burst without stronger financial regulation, it's only a matter of time until we see something like 2008 again with people losing half their retirement.

I'm leaving a lot of detail out investing and bubbles, but I'm sure you get the idea.


Oh I agree. We need a full on health care system for all etc. for sure.

But we'll always differ on a lot of this as I'm a bit more on the personal responsibility side of things when it comes to this stuff. Plus I view retirement as a luxury. If you don't invest wisely (or have bad luck) you work until you're not longer physically able to do so. Though again our safety net for the truly disabled should be stronger.

#67 dohdough

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:22 PM

Oh I agree. We need a full on health care system for all etc. for sure.

But we'll always differ on a lot of this as I'm a bit more on the personal responsibility side of things when it comes to this stuff. Plus I view retirement as a luxury. If you don't invest wisely (or have bad luck) you work until you're not longer physically able to do so. Though again our safety net for the truly disabled should be stronger.

I don't want to give the impression that I'm saying that people should just stop contributing to the pot and just sit around rotting and that everyone is "entitled" to a rest, but that there's actually a very pragmatic economically based reason to encourage retirement and that's to make room for new ones. Older workers not retiring has a very real effect on depressing wages and stifling job opportunites/advancement that we're seeing in this economic climate.

I might be the so far on the left that I refuse to write with my right hand, but I'm still not that dogmatic.:lol:

#68 dmaul1114

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:30 PM

Oh for sure.

But I'm not convinced pensions are the way to do that. As long as someone makes smart investment decisions there 401k should leave them at least as well off as most pensions--with potential to be better off.

And it doesn't even require being very active or informed about it. Just put it in a re-balancing mutual fund that's getting adjusted quarterly to minimized losses and maximize gains, and in a fund that gets less risky the closer you get to your retirement date. That should give most people who work at least 30 years plenty to retire on, especially with social security (if the program is saved and kept around) on top of that.

With the bonus that current workers aren't being hurt by companies/the public sector being strained paying pensions of retirees who are living longer and longer and exhausting pension funds.

#69 slidecage

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:36 PM

Because of their importance to society and our future.

It's already largely a thankless job that's hard to attract the best and brightest to, when they have so many other career options they can pursue.

If there aren't perks like stronger job security, less risk during recessions etc., even fewer of the best and brightest will choose to become teachers rather than businessmen, lawyers, engineers etc.



ummm if 80% of the students fail reading and math it does not seem they are attracting the best and brightest people to become teachers

any other job if 80% of your products fail you would have your ass FIRED
WOOOO I STINK

#70 dohdough

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:58 PM

ummm if 80% of the students fail reading and math it does not seem they are attracting the best and brightest people to become teachers

any other job if 80% of your products fail you would have your ass FIRED

That's a horrible analogy. All students don't learn exactly the same way or at the same pace. If the education system was actually focused on educating students and not turn school into tax-payer funded daycare/memorization factories, we'd have different results.

I know I know...slidecage...:lol:

#71 dmaul1114

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:21 PM

On top of that, he's using that argument to say we don't attract the best and brightest to teaching.

Which is the point! We need to value education more, pay teachers more, give the job lots of perks etc. so we get more of the best and brightest so outcomes are better.

So even if his inane analogy wasn't full of shit, it still doesn't support his arguments against investing in education.

#72 Clak

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:22 PM

Is that directed at me? I'm not saying that ANY of those comparisons are completely valid, just that anyone can claim that any profession 'deserves the best' depending on their own skills, abilities, preferences, and biases.

There are some people who would find my job mind-numbing and terrible but would love nothing more than to spend the day with a batch of unruly kids.

1. The why did you use them if you know they aren't valid?
2. No offense to what you do, but you aren't as important to our society. This coming from someone who studied and works in IT, we aren't as important to the future of society as those who TEACH the future citizens of our society. My job is mind numbing, and it drives me crazy sometimes, but while I do feel underpaid (hell, who doesn't really?), I still don't think I deserve a great deal more because my job simply isn't as important to society at large. We don't have to worry about information technology if most of the population can't read.
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#73 Clak

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:25 PM

That's a horrible analogy. All students don't learn exactly the same way or at the same pace. If the education system was actually focused on educating students and not turn school into tax-payer funded daycare/memorization factories, we'd have different results.

I know I know...slidecage...:lol:

I'm going to take advantage of the fact that he's posting in this thread and just say folks, if slidecage isn't proof that we need to attract better teachers, I don't know who is.
Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that. -George Carlin

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” -Mark Twain

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#74 yourlefthand

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:32 PM

1. The why did you use them if you know they aren't valid?
2. No offense to what you do, but you aren't as important to our society. This coming from someone who studied and works in IT, we aren't as important to the future of society as those who TEACH the future citizens of our society. My job is mind numbing, and it drives me crazy sometimes, but while I do feel underpaid (hell, who doesn't really?), I still don't think I deserve a great deal more because my job simply isn't as important to society at large. We don't have to worry about information technology if most of the population can't read.


Because it illustrates that your argument about how much teachers should be paid is invalid.

Teaching children may or may not be as important as what you or I do. During the course of your work you may eventually invent something that will revolutionize teaching, or healthcare, or whatever. A poor teacher can actually reduce the future possibilities for hundreds or thousands of students.

I am not sure that higher pay and benefits will do enough to attract the best and brightest. No matter how much you pay someone, if they don't have a passion for teaching kids they probably won't be very good at it. I guess the real solution in my mind is to teach people to value education so much that they are passionate about teaching. I'm not sure how we do that, though.

#75 dmaul1114

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:40 PM

The problem is that a lot of good teachers do leave because of low pay, the seniority system (not getting rewarded while crappy older teachers do) etc.

Wish I had numbers at hand, but read something recently that talked about this. About how high attrition rates were for young teachers with solid ratings--both in terms of leaving city schools for higher paying districts, and just getting fed up and leaving public education all together.

We're an extreme capitalist society. We'll never have enough people who sacrifice earnings because they love teaching to solve our education gap with the rest of the world (not implying that teachers are solely or mainly to blame for that). In our society, money drives everything.

If we're going to get more of the best and brightest to teach, they have to be attracted by the salary, benefits and perks of the job (security if they're good, flexible schedule in the 3 summer months etc.). Otherwise most people will opt for higher paying professions. It won't solve the problem, but it will help.

#76 Clak

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:47 PM

Because it illustrates that your argument about how much teachers should be paid is invalid.

You used invalid comparisons to show that my argument is invalid?

Here we go again, folks.
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“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” -Mark Twain

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#77 Spokker

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:07 PM

The aversion to being evaluated based on student performance seems to imply that the environment of the classroom is not as important as the nature of their students as they get them in their classes.

Okay, fair enough. But it does downgrade the importance of teachers as related to the success of students, and it might be more worthwhile to spend scarce public funds on other things that could help students achieve greater success or just give the money back to taxpayers if nothing seems to work. In this sense, $70k a year seems more than reasonable. After all, no matter how good these teachers are, and we don't know for sure because they oppose merit-based proposals, students will fail for other reasons.

In other words, teachers are implying students need to be better prepared before they enter the classroom. Probably true, but this would belie arguments that they are so important that they need to be paid more.

In any case, I would give them 48 hours to get back to work or they would be fired, as in the Reagan video that is making the rounds. Throwing more money at the problem probably is not going to fix it.

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Destroying the teachers unions would also help. These are the same kind of people who ran Jaime Escalante out of the LA public school system.

#78 dmaul1114

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:15 PM

It doesn't belie anything.

To make up an example for illustrative purposes:

An outstanding 8th grade teacher gets a student who's at the 5th grade level and busts ass and gets them up to the 7th grade level by the end of the year.

A poor or mediocre 8th grade teacher gets a student who's at the 5th grade level and busts ass and gets them up to the 6th grade level by the end of the year.

Based on evaluations by standardized tests, both teachers would have simply failed in that case as the student wasn't up to 8th grade level by year's end. When the first teacher clearly did a much better job.

We need a better evaluation system that judges teacher's based on how much students improve from a beginning of the year (or end of the prior year) baseline by the end of the year they teach them. That's the mark of an effective teacher.

You can't expect teachers to work miracles and get students who are grade levels behind by the time they get to them up to speed in 9 months.

If there was that type of fair evaluation system for teaching effectiveness, I think a lot fewer teachers would be adverse to the idea. Unions would still be an issue, as they never like to give up anything that could lead to people losing jobs.

#79 Spokker

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:21 PM

Clearly, teachers who teach early grades should be the most important to evaluate so that students do not fall behind once they get to eighth grade.

Standardized tests should not be the sole factor in teacher evaluations, but they should be a factor. Test taking is a fact of life when you want to get licensed to practice in a certain industry, and until it's changed, you need to have SAT/ACT/GRE test taking skills if you want to go to college.

Written tests are also important, but they are more difficult to grade. Would teachers be willing to accept evaluations based on how well students communicate ideas and concepts, no matter what those ideas are? Scantron tests appear in lower division college classes, but all but disappear once you get to the upper division classes.

Or we could stop this flawed notion that every high school student is going to college and track some students into vocational career paths by the middle of high school.

#80 yourlefthand

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:26 PM

You used invalid comparisons to show that my argument is invalid?

Here we go again, folks.


You stated that teachers should earn a lot of money simply because they do a job that you don't want to or couldn't do. I gave several examples that illustrate that that is not a valid argument.

There are plenty of reasons why teachers should be well paid. That simply isn't one of them.

#81 slidecage

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:36 PM

I'm going to take advantage of the fact that he's posting in this thread and just say folks, if slidecage isn't proof that we need to attract better teachers, I don't know who is.


you can make fun of my typing skills or how i talk all you want but I can hold my held up and say at least

At least i pay my own fucking way and not on welfare

Just on the news tonight love the lady in Chicago

quote i glad the schools are at least open so my children have something to eat

she has a 8 year old, a 6 year old and SHE IS EXPECTING ANOTHER KID



IF YOU CANT AFFORD 2 CHILDREN STOP HAVING fucking KIDS


this is what is wrong with this country ... people on welfare Know if they keep having kids they will NEVER NEED A JOB and the goverment will GIVE THEM ALL THE CASH THEY EVER NEED


I take that back if Obama wins the white house in November for the 2nd time Im quitting my JOB come Jan 1 2013 and DEMANDING the government Pays for my housing and everything else i need

Why the Fuck should i work when these )*)*#$%#%# just sit on their asses fucking anything and everyone and getting everything for free...
WOOOO I STINK

#82 chiwii

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 12:13 AM

Because of their importance to society and our future.

It's already largely a thankless job that's hard to attract the best and brightest to, when they have so many other career options they can pursue.

If there aren't perks like stronger job security, less risk during recessions etc., even fewer of the best and brightest will choose to become teachers rather than businessmen, lawyers, engineers etc.


How can school districts and states continue to fund schools and teachers at the same level when tax revenues are dropping?

Teaching is naturally more secure than law, engineering, etc., even without the union protections. Teachers are rarely let go in the middle of a semester, so they can feel secure through the semester. Their jobs can't be outsourced, and the majority of schools will stay open, despite the recession.

Oh, and they get summers off, lots of nice long breaks around the holidays, etc. That's a perk. Seriously, who hasn't been stuck at the office on a beautiful summer day and thought about how they could be at the beach, if only they had become a teacher.

Because being in a recession has nothing to do with how many students need to be educated.

You sure about all that stuff? The public education system is becoming more and more privatized every year. In Chicago, and many other cities, private/public charter schools are popping up like weeds that close down schools in vulnerable districts. mykevermin can probably go a lot deeper into this than I can. The job security you talk about simply doesn't exist in this environment. How secure is the job when the entire school is being closed and replaced with a for-profit charter school funded with tax dollars? Unions are bypassed, tax dollars are being siphoned out of the system, and educational outcomes are inflated and over-hyped because charter schools aren't required to try and educate all of their students? A big part of CTU demands were in regards to school closings, moving away from high-stakes testing, and funding more arts-related programs. I mean shit, in what world is closing a school a GOOD idea when problems should never be allow to get so bad to make it look like one?


Of course, you're right that the recession has nothing to do with the number of kids that need to be educated. But it certainly affects the tax revenue available to spend on educating the kids.

CPS says the average teacher salary is $76,000, the union says its $71,000. Based on the CPS data, they are the highest paid city public school teachers, earning more than even NYC teachers. If you use the union numbers, they're #2. So, compared to other teachers in the US, they seem to be doing fine.

According to the census, the average household income in Chicago is about $47,000. So, compared to the citizens in their city, they're doing well.

If these teachers are so concerned about funding for art-related programs, school closings, and lay-offs of fellow teachers, why are they still demanding a raise?

With "high-stakes testing", are you referring to the teacher evaluations where 25-40% of the evaluation is based on test results? It doesn't seem outrageous to me that a portion of a teacher's evaluation should be based on test results. Is the method of teacher evaluation really something that at teachers union should be able to strike over? It seems crazy to me that an entire city school district is shut down because the teachers don't like the way they're going to be evaluated.

#83 RealDeals

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 01:51 AM

you can make fun of my typing skills or how i talk all you want but I can hold my held up and say at least

At least i pay my own fucking way and not on welfare

Just on the news tonight love the lady in Chicago

quote i glad the schools are at least open so my children have something to eat

she has a 8 year old, a 6 year old and SHE IS EXPECTING ANOTHER KID



IF YOU CANT AFFORD 2 CHILDREN STOP HAVING fucking KIDS


this is what is wrong with this country ... people on welfare Know if they keep having kids they will NEVER NEED A JOB and the goverment will GIVE THEM ALL THE CASH THEY EVER NEED


I take that back if Obama wins the white house in November for the 2nd time Im quitting my JOB come Jan 1 2013 and DEMANDING the government Pays for my housing and everything else i need

Why the Fuck should i work when these )*)*#$%#%# just sit on their asses fucking anything and everyone and getting everything for free...


You clearly have some kind of paranoia/ego complex. I WORK SO GODDAMN HARD, WHY DO THESE PEOPLE GET FREE STUFF RADDA RADDA! Grow up, you sound like a broken record. Face it pal, the vast majority of people work (or atleast think they do) hard. It's true, there are people who abuse the system (at most for a few years since unemployment dries up and welfare covers food and not much else), but they are far and few between. Truth is, every major statistic on unemployment/welfare use shows people use it between jobs/careers or when the main provider has died suddenly and the family has to scramble to move on. Get past your boogieman perceptions and come into the 21st century.
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#84 dohdough

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 02:02 AM

Of course, you're right that the recession has nothing to do with the number of kids that need to be educated. But it certainly affects the tax revenue available to spend on educating the kids.

So cutting wages, eliminating jobs, closing schools, increasing class sizes, and reducing/eliminating programs is somehow a better idea than raising taxes by 3% on people making more than $250k? Do you really think that there's so little money out there that we simply just can't afford to properly educate our populace?

CPS says the average teacher salary is $76,000, the union says its $71,000. Based on the CPS data, they are the highest paid city public school teachers, earning more than even NYC teachers. If you use the union numbers, they're #2. So, compared to other teachers in the US, they seem to be doing fine.

According to the census, the average household income in Chicago is about $47,000. So, compared to the citizens in their city, they're doing well.

Do those numbers include benefits as well? And personally, I don't give a shit that they make more than the average household. I'm glad that they make that wage and the fact that the average household makes that little is a fucking shame. Wages have been stagnating for decades and you think having a crab mentality somehow provides better outcomes? Maybe instead of saying why they have "so much;" we should be asking why we have so little. Some job security and a fair wage is something we should all be entitled to as a worker. Does $24k sound like a good wage to you?

If these teachers are so concerned about funding for art-related programs, school closings, and lay-offs of fellow teachers, why are they still demanding a raise?

Why the hell not? Are things getting cheaper? Are those raises going to cover new programs, keep schools open, and prevent lay-offs? Of course not because that would be stupid. Those things are systemic problems bigger than the teachers and the union that represents them.

With "high-stakes testing", are you referring to the teacher evaluations where 25-40% of the evaluation is based on test results? It doesn't seem outrageous to me that a portion of a teacher's evaluation should be based on test results. Is the method of teacher evaluation really something that at teachers union should be able to strike over? It seems crazy to me that an entire city school district is shut down because the teachers don't like the way they're going to be evaluated.

Of course it doesn't seem outrageous because you don't know shit about the education system in this country.

Lemme let you in on a little secret that CEEB keeps on the dl: THE SAT/ACT ARE TOTAL BULLSHIT.

If those tests are bullshit measures of aptitude, what does that say about requiring tests to move up a grade or even graduate? Is it then fair to tie those results to their employment?

Teachers and their unions are not the problem; the entire education system is.

#85 Clak

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 02:38 AM

You stated that teachers should earn a lot of money simply because they do a job that you don't want to or couldn't do. I gave several examples that illustrate that that is not a valid argument.

There are plenty of reasons why teachers should be well paid. That simply isn't one of them.


Several invalid examples by your own admission. I'm through here.
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#86 chiwii

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:14 AM

So cutting wages, eliminating jobs, closing schools, increasing class sizes, and reducing/eliminating programs is somehow a better idea than raising taxes by 3% on people making more than $250k? Do you really think that there's so little money out there that we simply just can't afford to properly educate our populace?


Isn't the Chicago school district funded primarily with property taxes?

I agree that federal income taxes on the wealthiest should be raised, but that's not going to help the CPS budget anytime soon.


Do those numbers include benefits as well? And personally, I don't give a shit that they make more than the average household. I'm glad that they make that wage and the fact that the average household makes that little is a fucking shame. Wages have been stagnating for decades and you think having a crab mentality somehow provides better outcomes? Maybe instead of saying why they have "so much;" we should be asking why we have so little. Some job security and a fair wage is something we should all be entitled to as a worker. Does $24k sound like a good wage to you?

No, those numbers do not include benefits.

I agree that it's shame that the average household doesn't make more, but these are the households that fund the schools in the Chicago. Should property taxes be raised on the people of Chicago to fund the ever increasing salaries of the teachers? How will another tax increase affect the low and middle class in Chicago, who have already seen wages and property values decrease?

We can ask why workers wages are low, but, really, what can the teachers union, the school board, or the mayor of Chicago do about that?

Why the hell not? Are things getting cheaper? Are those raises going to cover new programs, keep schools open, and prevent lay-offs? Of course not because that would be stupid. Those things are systemic problems bigger than the teachers and the union that represents them.


The budget won't allow the school district to continue operating as it has in the past, plus give the teachers relatively generous raises. Foregoing raises might not save everything, but they could keep some programs going, keep some schools open, and prevent some lay-offs.


Of course it doesn't seem outrageous because you don't know shit about the education system in this country.

Lemme let you in on a little secret that CEEB keeps on the dl: THE SAT/ACT ARE TOTAL BULLSHIT.

If those tests are bullshit measures of aptitude, what does that say about requiring tests to move up a grade or even graduate? Is it then fair to tie those results to their employment?

Teachers and their unions are not the problem; the entire education system is.


I don't know that it's factual to say that I don't know shit about the educational system, but whatever. What's your source for the secret that the SAT/ACT (and therefore all standarized tests) are bullshit?

The immediate problem is that the teachers are on strike, and kids in Chicago who depend on public schools aren't able to go to school. There are problems with the entire educational system, sure, but they aren't going to be solved in these contract negotiations.

#87 dmaul1114

dmaul1114

Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:19 AM

How can school districts and states continue to fund schools and teachers at the same level when tax revenues are dropping?


As dohdough noted...raise taxes on the wealthy.

Moreover, education should be one of the last areas of the public sector to get cuts when times get tougher, given it's importance to the future. Instead its one of the first areas to get cuts.


Oh, and they get summers off, lots of nice long breaks around the holidays, etc. That's a perk.


I'm not going to lie and say that summers aren't a perk for educators--be it K-12 or college. But the notion of "summers off" is BS. Only the completely worthless teachers and professors aren't working a lot over the summer. For teachers that's the time to update your knowledge, update course presentations, assignments exams etc. And time to prep any new courses. Shit they don't have to do when they're working 8 hour days of classes/meetings and grading shit nights and weekends. There are also meetings to attend over the summer usually.

For professors, you have that stuff, but it's also the major time to catch up on research work since you don't have the distraction of classes and administrative meetings etc. At least at a research university. At a teaching college most faculty are teaching summer courses for extra money (and even in my department a lot of my colleagues do--I don't like teaching enough, nor need the extra money enough, to teach in the summer personally).

That said, a lot of that stuff is on their own schedule, so it's easier to take trips etc. than it is when working a normal 9-5 jobs with a couple weeks of vacation a year. So it's still a perk. Just not the "summers off" BS people not familiar with what the careers are really like tout.

It's a nice perk--and one of the reasons I'm still in academia vs. having taken one of the higher paying private research jobs I've been offered, but teachers/professors hardly have summers off. And even that isn't much of a perk when you factor in that a 40 hour work week during the 9 month year is a rare thing for most teachers and professors.

I don't know that it's factual to say that I don't know shit about the educational system, but whatever. What's your source for the secret that the SAT/ACT (and therefore all standarized tests) are bullshit?



I can't speak to those, but I can anecdotally speak to the GREs since I review graduate applications. There just doesn't seem to be a whole lot of relationship between students with higher GREs being the best students in our MS or Ph D programs.

The one exception is those with higher scores on the quantitative section to tend to do better in our statistics courses. So it's more just that the rest of it just isn't particularly relevant to doing well in a social science graduate program. It just doesn't get at their ability to comprehend research, design and conduct their own research, write quality academic papers etc.

#88 yourlefthand

yourlefthand

    Daddy Gamer

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:28 AM

And even that isn't much of a perk when you factor in that a 40 hour work week during the 9 month year is a rare thing for most teachers and professors.


It's not a common thing for ambitious people who aren't teachers to work well more than 40 hours a week year round.

I would even go so far as to say that many people who are working 40 hours or less are either public employees or in a union.

#89 dmaul1114

dmaul1114

Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:31 AM

It's not a common thing for ambitious people who aren't teachers to work well more than 40 hours a week year round.

I would even go so far as to say that many people who are working 40 hours or less are either public employees or in a union.


I didn't mean to imply otherwise. And some people work long hours for less than teachers, and others work long hours for far more than teachers make (lawyers, business execs, doctors) etc. But when talking perks, a lot people with college degrees (especially masters) are making more than teachers and working the same or lesser hours. So it's still a trade off of pay vs. more flexible summer schedule.

The issue is how do we get more people to take the trade off of flexibility, doing work that's meaningful for advancing society etc. instead of just chasing the most money they can make.

Edited by dmaul1114, 12 September 2012 - 03:52 AM.


#90 ID2006

ID2006

    "Klaymen, up here!"

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:35 AM

Moreover, education should be one of the last areas of the public sector to get cuts when times get tougher, given it's importance to the future. Instead its one of the first areas to get cuts.



Which public sector areas should receive the earliest cuts?