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Education and Teacher Unions

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There is a lot of interesting reading in this forum and I'm going to have to disagree with many of the posts. NCLB is an unfunded mandate that all schools will perform at a 100% success rate for reading scores. (By the way I am a teacher and a certified school administrator and a scout leader.)


There is a flaw in the formula which is that all of us are created equal and that is false. If it were true, we'd all be doctors and lawyers or NBA basketball players at our discretion. The other countries that we "are lagging behind" only test the students who are in the "higher math and science" track for comparison to other countries. We test them all. Unfortunately the ONE entity that we are testing is not held accountable for their actions. If a student fails a test or a grade level, it is not mandatory that they be retained until passing. They are moved on and that is not the desire of any teacher I know. It is established by the courts and parents who don't want the self-esteem of their child damaged. I am reasonably certain that a ruling which said that "all citizens of the United States must be able to to prove proficiency on all exit examinations of the public school prior to attaing employment in the US workforce" would have more "teeth" in it than any other. Incentive pay is useless since we hold the teachers accountable but not the students.


My children are products of public education and I would say that they get the same opportunity as any other student. They both excel in school and they don't attend school in the district in which I teach. Part of that is because my wife and I realize that the kids must know that our expectation is that they excel and there is a partnership which is sorely lacking in many parents.


Teachers "unions" have NO effect on public education. They are there to protect and serve good teachers.

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"When public servants can earn like a stock broker or private professional you'll achieve the kind of parity you suggest"


Interesting comparison using stock broker, as it highlights a larger differences between public and private than just pay.


Stock brokers lost their jobs when technology made on-line trading possible. Customers moved to self service or discount brokerages, and stock broker jobs were eliminated. They have a higher risk of losing their jobs.


Stock broker (and its relative, investment advisor) is the ultimate pay-for-performance job. Those that preform well get paid very well. Those that dont perform well make very little money. The average pay for brokers is very low; the relatively few very highly compensated few are more than balanced by those that enter the profession and don't succeed.

In my area, the public unions I am aware of actively oppose pay for performance.

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You keep responding as if I'm in disagreement. Am I not getting through to you? Remove the salary cap. Most public servants are already NOT in unions. If you're that concerned about the few who ARE in unions, firemen, police, etc., no problem, take 'em. But remove the salary cap and then let those with top performance command top salaries.

While you're at it, I'd be interested in reading your performance metrics for determining that performance.


BTW, any stock broker who WASN'T raking it in during the boom years OUGHT to be slinging hamburgers or living on the street, homeless. The ones I know were practically printing money. They had really nicely feathered beds to fall back in during the crash. The really, really good ones made a pile of money during the crash as well.

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I'm sure you've all seen this before. I still think it has some merit in the big picture.. I've grown up with both parents being teachers my whole life. My dad has coached which provides (a little) extra money on top of his regular salary and my mom works a part-time job from April-October. People would think that we should be living high, but we're definitely not. We're not downright poor, but we can't spend like people believe teachers are able to do....




Teachers' hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10 months a year! It's time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do - baby sit! We can get that for less than minimum wage. That's right. Let's give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan -- that equals 6 1/2 hours). Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children.


Now how many students do they teach in a day...maybe 30? So that's $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day. However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations. LET'S SEE.... That's $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master's degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 15 children X 180 days = $140,400 per year. Wait a minute -- there's something wrong here!


There sure is! The average teacher's salary (nation wide) is around $50,000. $50,000/180 days =$277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student--a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!



Obviously this idea has its flaws and I'm sure some will be able to name plenty of them. I wonder, though, how close to something like this a taxpayer pays each year?

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I love it. Thanks for the real eye opener. Never thought of it from the perspective of individual students. Send it to your local pols. If any actually respond, perhaps they might try to move positively. But don't hold your breath.

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But the babysitter I have for my kids doesn't bring along a superintendent, principal, secretarial staff, janitorial staff, kitchen help, report to a "sitters board", charge me for capital improvements, constantly barrage me for donations/fundraisers, etc.


Some say the most important job in the world is being a mother (Dad's shortchanged again!). While possibly true, there are some that excel at that job and others who do a poor job. The problem is - the pays the same for both. Public school teaching is the same in many cases. Poor teachers and good teachers get paid similar salaries and I would think that unions would work hard to change that.

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Credit Neal Boortz for this perspective:


Do you really think that this fight between the unions and Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin was about collective bargaining?


The real issue was something called a dues check-off, not collective bargaining. That's a system whereby your employer, in this case the government, deducts union dues from your paycheck before you actually get paid. The dues are then forwarded to the union. Unions, of course, love this because they know that sometimes people just aren't all that thrilled about paying their union dues; especially when those dues get close to $1000 a year as they do for some Wisconsin teachers.


Under the old law, union dues were collected by the employer - the government. Now the workers will get to make up their own mind whether or not they want to pay the union dues. That is because they're going to have to write a check for these dues every month, every quarter, or however they pay them. What really troubles the union leaders is the fact that about 50% or more of union members have clearly indicated that they would rather not be paying union dues, and, in fact, would rather not be union members at all.

In these tough economic times, many of these government union members can find a lot better things to spend their money on than union dues. They know that their jobs are protected by the Wisconsin civil service system. They also know that, generally speaking, they're making more than their counterparts in the private sector. The new law provides that they will pay what amounts to a pittance toward their health care, and they're going to be paying towards their own retirement just as private sector workers do. So all-in-all they know that they don't have it quite so bad.


This presents a big problem for the union leaders, and an even bigger problem for Democrats. The problem for the union leaders is that most of them earn salaries in the six figure range -- salaries that come from union dues. Without the government collecting these union dues from the workers, the union leaders may find the financial cupboard running a bit bare. But there's an additional problem. Union leaders also derive a huge amount of power from how they decide to spend union dues. We're talking about political campaign donations here. Surveys during the midterm election process of 2010, showed that Wisconsin government union members pretty much split their vote between Democrats and Republicans. The union leaders weren't quite so bipartisan. Wisconsin government employee unions made about 93% of their campaign donations to Democrats. This might sit well with the union members who supported the Democrats, but remember about half of them supported Republicans. These might be the very union members who will rethink this idea about paying union dues, especially if they can't control how those dues are spent. So now you see why this is a huge problem for Democrats as well.


It's really a shame that the ObamaMedia won't explain why these union leaders are much more concerned about dues check-off than they are about collective bargaining. The collective bargaining argument was quite easy to sell to the public during the controversy. Trying to protect the dues check-off system wouldn't have been quite so easy.

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Top ten ways to tell if you might be a member of a public-sector union:


10.) You take a week off to protest in Wisconsin and your office runs better.

9.) On a snow day when they say non-essential people should stay home you know who they mean.

8.) You get paid twice as much as a private sector person doing the same job but make up the difference by doing half as much work.

7.) It takes longer to fire you than the average killer spends on death row.

6.) The worse you do your job, the more your boss avoids you.

5.) You think the French are working themselves to death.

4.) You know by having a copy of the Holy Koran on your desk your job is 100% safe.

3.) You spend more time at protest marches than at church.

2.) You have a Democratic congressmans lips permanently attached to your butt.

1.) You pay more in union dues than you do for your healthcare insurance.

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