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Merit-Based Teacher Pay Rewards Everyone
Capitol Confidential ^ | 7/1/2012 | Michael Van Beek

Posted on 07/04/2012 3:57:12 PM PDT by MichCapCon

Two more Michigan school districts have earned praise for implementing merit-based teacher pay.

Blissfield Schools and the St. Clair intermediate school district join Oscoda and Suttons Bay in transitioning away from an industrial-era assembly line worker type compensation system to one that recognizes and rewards teachers as motivated professionals. There are reasons to think this may be the start of a trend.

It’s estimated that 85 percent of school districts nationwide still use the outdated uniform single-salary schedule that pays teachers like factory workers, rewarding them only for years on the job and accumulating more pedagogic credentials and certifications. This has been the norm since teacher unions were granted collective bargaining and “exclusive employee representative” privileges beginning in the 1960s.

The world has changed in ways that make this model increasingly untenable. For example, a 2009 law signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm and inspired by President Obama’s “Race to the Top” initiative requires new union contracts to use student performance as a “significant factor” in determining teacher pay. By itself that law does not ensure that districts will ditch the old model (for example, see Mt. Clemens), but it makes preserving it more difficult.

The 2009 reforms also improved teacher evaluations, and combined with additional reforms enacted in 2011, should encourage more districts to pursue merit-pay systems. Reform efforts are still threatened by defenders of the status quo, but will nevertheless require measuring how well teachers are performing in the classroom. The very existence of such information creates pressure for change.

Other state reforms passed in 2011 will have similar effects. The longstanding practice of using seniority as the sole determinant in school job placement and teacher layoff and recall decisions (“last in, first out”) is now prohibited. School boards that base these decisions on performance may increasingly ask why they shouldn’t also base compensation on similar measurements.

Finally, a new law enacted last year prohibits teacher unions from bargaining over the “development, content, standards, procedures, adoption, and implementation” of performance-based compensation. This means school boards won’t need the union’s permission to implement merit pay or be forced to negotiate whenever they want to tweak their performance-based system.

As always, getting the devilish details of implementation right is crucial, but the pieces are in place for school districts to begin rewarding excellence and discouraging mediocrity — in other words, treating teachers like professionals.

Teachers should welcome the changes. As one union official said about the change to merit pay in her district, "But we also could see there was potential for the staff to be rewarded for their hard work as well."


TOPICS: Education
KEYWORDS: meritpay; schools

1 posted on 07/04/2012 3:57:26 PM PDT by MichCapCon
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To: MichCapCon

I still don’t get how merit pay can work for teachers. The teacher who gets to teach AP courses filled with motivated and intelligent students will always look better on a merit sheet than the teacher who’s stuck with the sweathogs.


2 posted on 07/04/2012 4:18:57 PM PDT by Melas (u)
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To: MichCapCon

The push to privatize public schools by corporations and well funded foundatiions, is on. Unions will be marginalized. Tenured,mature,great teachers will be replaced by “Teach for America” newbies who are non-union, low salaried, short term,non-certified classroom” monitors “of the transformation of public education to an e-learning, computer generated top down system of life long learning (control) takes over.


3 posted on 07/04/2012 4:37:16 PM PDT by codder too
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To: codder too

You sound like a unionistsa. You want to keep education just like it is now?


4 posted on 07/04/2012 5:59:19 PM PDT by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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To: Melas

That’s the problem - merit is extremely hard to measure in that field. The solution? I have no idea, and I’ve given it a great deal of thought. Even popular teachers who are liked by kids, by parents, or by the principal are not necessarily great teachers in the sense that their kids actually learn “better” (whatever that means for each field).


5 posted on 07/04/2012 6:07:02 PM PDT by Pollster1 (Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. - Ronald Reagan)
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To: Melas
it would be very difficult to "judge" teachers, because those that are good, strict teachers, demanding, don't always get the rave reviews from students or their parents...

but the big problem I see is that merit pay is on top of already inflated wages/benefits/pensions....

people in business get bonuses...teachers and nurses and cops and firemen do not....(among that group, the only group that usually doesn't get a defined pension plan are the nurses)

6 posted on 07/04/2012 6:48:36 PM PDT by cherry (Catholics for Romney)
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To: MichCapCon

A lot of planning will have to go into distributing the crack-babies and transients evenly among the classes in each grade so teachers have an equal shot.


7 posted on 07/04/2012 7:10:42 PM PDT by FrdmLvr (culture, language, borders)
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To: Melas

Precisely why I don’t like the idea much. That, and knowing that any such merit will generally accrue to the teachers who kiss the principal’s butt the most. Or, those who are most left-wing, etc.


8 posted on 07/04/2012 7:35:03 PM PDT by GenXteacher (You have chosen dishonor to avoid war; you shall have war also.)
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To: Melas

“I still don’t get how merit pay can work for teachers. The teacher who gets to teach AP courses filled with motivated and intelligent students will always look better on a merit sheet than the teacher who’s stuck with the sweathogs.”

Please quit being logical, you will give a lot of people heartburn. Didn’t you know that everyone comes to kindergarten these days can count to 100 and know their ABC’s. If you don’t the Federal/State government education experts say so. If not ask Bobby Jindal, he says so. It’s the fault of public education.


9 posted on 07/04/2012 8:04:58 PM PDT by A Strict Constructionist (We're an Oligrachy...Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. Thomas Jefferson)
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To: codder too

“will be replaced by “Teach for America” newbies”

That’s OK, we can get teachers from India...like we’re getting for freshman classes at universities. I’ve come to the conclusion that most to the business community that is pushing this have marketing or management degrees and couldn’t build a dog house with instructions. They think all starting materials are the same and give the same quality product if you market it right.


10 posted on 07/04/2012 8:15:58 PM PDT by A Strict Constructionist (We're an Oligrachy...Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. Thomas Jefferson)
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To: FrdmLvr

“A lot of planning will have to go into distributing the crack-babies and transients evenly among the classes in each grade so teachers have an equal shot.”

Their vouchers won’t be worth anything when they get kicked out of the private schools and sent back to the public schools so the teacher that gets them can be berated for not doing a good job.

There are many levels of Oligarchy.


11 posted on 07/04/2012 8:19:32 PM PDT by A Strict Constructionist (We're an Oligrachy...Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God. Thomas Jefferson)
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: codder too

You sound like a unionistsa. You want to keep education just like it is now?


13 posted on 07/05/2012 5:10:00 AM PDT by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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To: MichCapCon

Yes in principle, no in practice. A teacher stuck in a ghetto school with the spawn of uncaring “parents” will not look good on paper; a teacher in a neighborhood with citizens who value education and demand performance of their children can’t help but look good. Unless, that is, you use a baseline unique to each school. But that would require a whole new bureaucracy to establish.


14 posted on 07/05/2012 7:35:06 AM PDT by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of LibertyI'm st! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: sgtyork
No unionista here. Watching the profits flow into the coffers of the Common Core constructors of curriculum,assessment tools, computer programs, computers, Charter schools and on and on.

Any doubts as to who is driving the reform, go to erinproject.org and check to see who the top ten funders are in nearly every catagory.

Public schools and teachers are soon to be a thing of the past.

15 posted on 07/05/2012 12:38:04 PM PDT by codder too
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To: codder too

Don’t care. The current system is broken. Any and all possible improvements need to be tried.

Who is driving the reform is people who aren’t going to take bullshit excuses anymore.


16 posted on 07/05/2012 3:01:58 PM PDT by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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To: sgtyork
You mean to say that Gates is the knight on the white horse.. He is not taking BS from anyone. It's his way or the highway. Then there are the "we answer to no one" charters that care only about profit.

Who are the "TAKE NO BS FOLKS"?

17 posted on 07/05/2012 4:40:53 PM PDT by codder too
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To: sgtyork
You mean to say that Gates is the knight on the white horse.. He is not taking BS from anyone. It's his way or the highway. Then there are the "we answer to no one" charters that care only about profit.

Who are the "TAKE NO BS FOLKS"?

18 posted on 07/05/2012 4:42:26 PM PDT by codder too
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To: codder too

I don’t have a hard-on against anyone who seeks to improve the current system. It is a total disaster.

The charter schools answer to the parents who choose them. If parents choose unwisely, that’s sad but it may lead to self correction. They showed they care about education by making the selection to go with a charter.

Unlike the socialist innercity warehouses. As opposed to your statement, they are the institutions that truly answer to no-one. Who can fire a pedophile public school teacher?

http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-02-04/news/31025909_1_lewd-acts-district-plans-child-abuse-case

Rubber rooms where teachers retire with millions?

http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-02-10/news/31048116_1_rubber-room-problem-teachers-teachers-union

You are on the wrong site if you think you can defend the national disaster that is education in the US.


19 posted on 07/05/2012 5:33:45 PM PDT by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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To: Tzar

We could improve the schools by instituting a draft for teachers. Random selection of college graduates would be an improvement over “colleges of education”.


20 posted on 07/05/2012 5:36:58 PM PDT by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: Tzar

Do I want to force the “guy” or woman who could cure cancer?....

I want to do anything that will improve education. Anything, including having your fantasy cancer scientist spend a year teaching.

What we have now a disaster and could not possibly be made worse. You and codder are apologists for the status quo. Is the NEA paying you to be here?


22 posted on 07/05/2012 6:47:29 PM PDT by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: Tzar

-——I also disdain parents who selfishly raise latch key kids and then blame the schools and drug their kids.
Our nation is suffering from a crisis of the family.

No argument that the family is in crisis. But as a taxpayer I can demand that the schools for which I pay taxes function properly. We are going to stop excusing failure on the part of schools and playing the government / union game.

Another year, another instance of multiple-arrest bedlam in a Milwaukee Public Schools high school, this time Vincent on the northwest side.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/64097482.html#!page=5&pageSize=10&sort=newestfirst

• 11,152 police calls to Milwaukee schools during the 2005-’06 school year. The Milwaukee Police Association and Ald. Robert Donovan released the figure, obtained by the union in a public information request to the Police Department.

• Dozens of students and adults involved in a fight Monday at Bradley Tech High School, as described by the Milwaukee Public Schools safety director. He said one was an adult who carried a young child under her arm as she hit people.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/29302334.html


24 posted on 07/05/2012 7:46:06 PM PDT by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: Tzar

Its not funny at all. As a taxpayer in the suburbs I have to worry about Milwaukee becoming Detroit. I have to live with the pitiable kids in the innercity being given crap for an education. Thank God some of them can use vouchers to get to a sane, safe school. I am proud that Milwaukee pioneered reform and Scott Walker expanded it even further. His budget reform has already led to some school districts choosing to introduce merit pay and quietly under-performing teachers will be encouraged to find a more suitable career field.

I educated two of my three children outside of the public school system. One had mild disabilities and it was staggering how much the school systems didn’t give a crap about meeting his needs. We had to fight every school “system” we entered with him and we always selected communities with the ‘best schools’.

‘Teachers can’t do anything’ ....You are again making excuses for — not teachers but— an institution built to fail. Reform schools and expulsions should be part of the equation to address violent students.

Maybe if ‘da union’ had been addressing workplace safety and discipline instead of always looking for the next creamy benefit our schools wouldn’t be as violent as they are. Oh, but then the dues wouldn’t have been as high....

Consider that there might be less violence if the children sensed commitment to their needs from the teachers from their early days. It is now clear that union zombies cannot convey this commitment and the kids know they are written off.

I care nothing for your puerile entreaty that I become a teacher to know what they face. If I or any successful engineer, scientist, businessperson were to try to become a teacher we would have to expend significant time in “education certification” instruction. Its just another scheme to maintain the institution which is clearly failing us.

Oddly, my mother got would now be an associates degree and taught in a one room school house. The literacy in the state was statospherically higher then.

We won’t survive as a country if we don’t fix our educational system.


27 posted on 07/05/2012 8:43:27 PM PDT by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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To: sgtyork

I have spent 20+ years researching and warning parents and educators about what was happening to public education. Charlotte Iserbyt has published The Deliberate Dumbing Down of AMERICA (Charlotte and was generous to acknowledge my research. The key word is DELIBERATE. The book is available to download.. Huge volume....New updated smaller version for sale at Amazon.


30 posted on 07/06/2012 7:03:46 AM PDT by codder too
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To: sgtyork

I have spent 20+ years researching and warning parents and educators about what was happening to public education. Charlotte Iserbyt has published The Deliberate Dumbing Down of AMERICA (Charlotte and was generous to acknowledge my research. The key word is DELIBERATE. The book is available to download.. Huge volume....New updated smaller version for sale at Amazon.


31 posted on 07/06/2012 7:04:07 AM PDT by codder too
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To: Tzar

——That’s not because of the unions or the politicians. It’s because the parents will demand his head on a platter.

A good argument for privatizing the entire massive fail. If that’s what you are saying then we agree. Since we live in this real world, lets use the political tools we have thus far e.g charter schools. How can you keep working in that environment while thinking that it is an unworkable massive fail?

——Merit pay is predicated on the idea that you can quantify good teaching.

Wow, we have discovered the only area of human endeavors that cannot be measured. Prominent lawyers, doctors, physicists, businesspeople, military leaders, politicians, plumbers, tradesmen, chess players, truck-drivers, artists can all be assessed for excellence but not teachers.

Horsefeathers. This is just the standard educational evasion of accountability, with the unions molding of research in the area for a couple of generations now. I’ll bet you could name 3 substandard teachers in your school right now and one or two that stand out. Just jettisoning one or two poor performers would make a big difference in any organization. Distribution of excellence is the human condition, only lefties try to deny it and level everybody to mediocrity.

I’ll bet after charter schools reach critical mass they will develop a competitive market for those excellent teachers, voila - effective merit pay.

——What do you do to make inner city kids feel loved?

You set standards of behavior that make an environment that shows them that the system is actually geared to educate them and make them a success rather than warehouse them and provide jobs for education graduates. This is why the union industrial-model is so toxic. This is why expulsion and schools for reprobates are needed. This addresses your drug dealer-prostitute laden classroom. Keeping the psychopaths and criminals with the percentage of kids that might want to learn is devastating it tells the 95 percent of the good kids that they are unloved (exploited, warehoused, discounted...).

Of course loving is why parochial schools are so valuable in the innercity. Tell me again why Democrats want to strangle them?

You are right, politicians and ‘system’ administrators have proved they cannot do this, privatize the massive fail.

——I believe in personal responsibility. That means that once a person is 16 or 17 he is responsible for his own actions. The problem with reform is that it eschews personal responsibility.

No, you mischaracterize it. Reform will bring back personal responsibility lost when we adopted the industrial-age socialist learning factory. Charter schools will attract the students and families that want to dedicate themselves to learning. The disappearance of unions will clear the way for dedicated and talented teachers to make their invaluable contributions. It will also clear the path for those that don’t contribute to be moved out of the system. Not everybody is suited for every profession. Instead of focusing on grievances professional teachers will join professional organizations (like all other professions) that will document the best techniques (rather than union protecting fads (whole word anyone?) Expulsion will also align with the personal responsibility of the students.

-—The vast majority of inner city youth will remain right where they are. That is a function of the illegitimacy rate and dependence culture, not education.

There is a chicken and egg paradox here. I wish that our fellow citizens in the inner city had not developed as they have. But as a taxpayer, I can control the chicken (the school). For too long we have given up on inner city kids and that is racist. We have allowed the unions to make education a jobs program rather than a critical civilizing mission. ((the district faced severe budget shortfalls, in part, because previous union contracts were fudged in order to make it appear that the pupil growth in the county was going to rise faster than could reasonably expected. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2903415/posts))

Here’s the counter to your ‘excuse’. One of my Army classmates came from the worst ghetto in Chicago. If you listened to him you would think he was ignorant and hopeless. The Army recognized his potential, sent him to a respected midwestern religious university. After 30 years in Special Forces he would have made general were it not for marital obstacles. He assisted Petraeus in writing the recent Counter-Insurgency doctrine. Also see Dr Ben Carson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Carson. There’s a greater percentage of salvageable children than you think because you are reflecting your immersion in a failing system. Time to let a charter - privatization approach triage the ones that can be saved. And let the hard-core experience the consequences of their anti-social actions.

And since you are there you can tell us, how much has an embedded socialist cant to education in the innercity contributed the break down of the family? chicken and egg.

——The poor will always be with us. I have that on good authority.

Yes, of course so why are you a teacher in an inner city? Just rent-seeking? (Here’s a hint, Jesus wasn’t talking about giving up on the poor...).

I would hope that the answer is that there is much potential in that population that we as a nation are wasting. That these are our fellow citizens and we must all succeed together. At the same time we are spending immense amounts for practically zero return. Milwaukee’s annual per pupil costs are higher than tuition at the University of Wisconsin.

Privatization or vouchers is the answer. The dead hand of government, especially as it has frozen a socialist education system has devastated our country. And when the educational workplace is made free, there will naturally be financial rewards to teachers who have special talents to move kids in the right direction.


32 posted on 07/06/2012 12:15:50 PM PDT by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

To: Tzar

-—You are free to have your own opinions but not your own facts.

Of course, you may be getting your (uncited)facts from charter-school hostile union sources...

The highest quality studies have consistently shown that students learn more in charter schools. In New York City, Stanford economist Caroline Hoxby found that students accepted by lottery to charter schools were significantly outpacing the academic progress of their peers who lost the lottery and were forced to return to district schools.

Florida State economist Tim Sass and colleagues found that middle-school students at charters in Florida and Chicago who continued into charter high schools were significantly more likely to graduate and go on to college than their peers who returned to district high schools because charter high schools were not available.

The most telling study is by Harvard economist Tom Kane about charter schools in Boston. It found that students accepted by lottery at independently operated charter schools significantly outperformed students who lost the lottery and returned to district schools. But students accepted by lottery at charters run by the school district with unionized teachers experienced no benefit.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123985052084823887.html

-—In fact, I think that our current military leadership is an example of the Peter Principle.

Granted. The military is government-socialistic. But with all the crippling ineptitude it is light-years ahead of the educational system in terms of mission accomplishment. Probably the only organization of government that could be considered effective. Indeed, the military runs the world’s largest, most effective system of education.

——I wouldn’t mind you or any other citizen making disinterested assessments of teachers and firing the bad ones. The fact is that firing descisions are inevitably made by fools for opaque and bureaucratic reasons.

(you misspelled ‘decisions’)

This is where you demonstrate that accountability to educators is like kryptonite to Superman.


Alex Padilla, a Democratic California state senator, has sponsored S.B. 1530, which would make it easier for school districts to dismiss teachers accused of sex, violence, or drug offenses involving children. The bill was a response to a scandal at Miramonte Elementary School, where the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) paid a suspected child molester $40,000 in a settlement when it tried to fire him.

The bill passed the state senate with bipartisan support, but an assembly committee stopped it. How could it do such a thing? An editorial in the San Bernardino County Sun gives the answer:

Debate in the Assembly Education Committee took on an ominous tone when the opposition — teachers union officials and a busload of local teachers — took the floor. They said there already are sufficient rules to protect children, that the bill lacks due process, and that the bill was meant to give cover to the LAUSD officials who are to blame for the recent Miramonte scandal. Someone even called it un-American.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner?page=1

The video, taken by Wisconsin’s conservative MacIver Institute, shows students from Madison‘s East High School claiming their teachers brought them to protests at the State Capitol and also openly admitting that they really don’t know why they’re there:

http://www.maciverinstitute.com/

Voces de la Frontera - an anti-Walker immigrant rights group - enlisted the help of Racine high school students to canvas highly democratic neighborhoods for the June 5th recall election. Voces’ student arm called Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES) had actively recruited students at Washington Park, Case, and Horlick High Schools by sweetening the pot with volunteer credit for classes and free pizza and T-shirts afterwards.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/purple-wisconsin/159975615.html#!page=1&viewAll=0&sort=oldestfirst&pageSize=50

Protecting child abusers, taking kids out of school to join in political protest, giving kids credit to walk the street during an election. Whining about ‘teaching to the test’. Demanding a utopian work place where hiring and firing decisions are made by philosopher kings ‘with experience on the ground’.

Fantasy world.

Somehow your profession has gotten the idea that it is above measurement, above the judgement of the taxpayers, administrators and even the law. Sorry if you don’t like it but there is no one who isn’t accountable for performance and contribution. We have a clear record of forty years of education system failure, continuously proclaiming that performance cannot be judged and demanding more money to fix it and taxpayers are fed up.

One of my friends runs an ER in a big city and has shots going of in her ER. Should she tell the staff ‘oh don’t worry if you get the dosages right in the hypos, we’re in a war zone’,’oh, don’t worry about entering treatment notes in the treatment records we’re in a war zone and after all these people won’t know if we’re treating them acceptably or not’?

—when we refer to ‘industrial’ age schools we refer to kids being grouped in year groups and processed through a learning block despite the wide range of individual differences. Measurement of education via seats in chairs, running the school via bells etc. TREATING TEACHERS AS INTERCHANGABLE ASSEMBLY LINE WORKERS. Inputs and outputs, just like you would run a factory. Pretty comfy to stick with a turn-of-the previous century model -huh?

http://www.janebluestein.com/handouts/info_age.html

I’m sorry you work in such a dangerous environment. Frankly that is something I think about when I tongue in cheek talk about drafting teachers. Your exposure to danger (and yes to kids from a no-learning culture) has to cause burn-out and extinguishes what you went into teaching for in the first place. There should be a way to rotate you to a safer place and continuously bring in ‘fresh troops’. I am concerned that you unconsciously transmit your burn out and that you have no expectations for your kids to them to their detriment. I don’t blame you, it is a natural result of the government and union dominated industrial system that has been developed. But if we are going to continue to spend vast sums of money, then we are going to have to find a way to make it work, else blow the thing up entirely.


34 posted on 07/07/2012 4:07:26 PM PDT by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: Tzar

“””Indeed, you found a typo”””

Just say what you are really thinking...

You can’t judge my spelling, I’m a teacher. There is something mystically hope and unicorney about spelling and only teaching professionals can judge it, Only those with experience on the ground not the school administration and especially not taxpayers. You are expecting me to spell to the test and that destroys the magical part of teaching.

.....

Oh, and send more money (Obama:: “””we need to invest more in education””” http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/07/07/Obama-urges-targeted-federal-spending/UPI-56101341655320/

because $14,000 per student per year is just not enough...

...and we need to have free bedtime snacks to promote learning.

http://www.kmbc.com/news/kansas-city/Kansas-City-Schools-expand-free-breakfast-lunch-program/-/11664182/14499220/-/domkfe/-/index.html

(while at the same time expanding food service jobs for SEIU)

Just think, in 10 years (if we survive) we’ll be having this exact argument about government health care.


36 posted on 07/08/2012 10:48:52 AM PDT by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: Tzar

——Let’s look at one of the studies instead of relying on hit pieces.

Yes, any discussion regarding reform of schools is a “hit piece” (there’s that kryptonite factor again)

——One is an observational study which they admit is not methodologically rigorous
While, as authors must do when presenting their research, the authors discuss their methodology. I find no specific statement casting self-doubt on the methodology. There is discussion of baseline metrics that could suggest that there was a lack of randomness in selection of kids via lottery, but given the large number of metrics they –reasonably – postulate that the variances (whiter, more female) that are found are the result of chance (see the underwear below).

Wow….. The estimated impact on math achievement for Charter middle schools is extraordinarily large. Increasing performance by .5 standard deviations is the same as moving from the 50th to the 69th percentile in student performance. This is roughly half the size of the black white achievement gap.

-——D.C. has 700 open seats at charter schools this year and it is months after the application deadline for 2012-2013 for most charters……..These charters can’t convince parents to transfer their kids in from DCPS despite it being arguably the most challenged school district in the country.

What a brutally cynical and false talking point. This discusses the DC situation as if somehow the strictly government controlled voucher program creates a market. In reality it is clearly a socialist government monopoly, like the Post Office, threatened by a potentially successful competitor. Therefore it was killed.

Who would have not predicted that President Seas-Will-Stop-Rising killing the DC voucher program would lead to a reduction in demand for charter schools among a population with increasing poverty 50 percent unemployment?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/02/obama_and_vouchers.html

http://reason.com/blog/2009/05/04/reasontv-barack-obama-the-dc-s

****The program is (((was))) wildly popular with parents and children—there are four applicants for every available slot—and a recent Department of Education study found that participants do significantly better than their public school peers. Indeed, after three years in private schools, students who entered the program at its inception were 19 months ahead in reading of applicants unlucky enough to still be trapped in D.C.’s public schools.***

——Linear regressions, long the domain of unimaginative researchers, are better for writing papers than getting meaningful results in this context.

Oddly, my professor in graduate statistics, and following Operations Research-Systems Analysis (management sciences) made exactly the opposite point. He disdained the touchy feeley approach with multitudes of variables for reasons . Education as a discipline would do well to avoid throwing-lots-of-underwear-against-the-wall-and-seeing-what-sticks research. Perhaps if ‘da unions’ leave the field and research would be allowed to orient on what works instead of avoiding accountability, education research would not be a joke like ‘responsible journalism’.

———The Boston Foundation is a huge organization and I imagine it is connected to the reform movement in other ways. They are joined in their support of TechBoston by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which is a huge driver of school reform.

‘Oh, it’s a conspiracy to sell more computers. Education is perfectly fine – butt out you can’t hold us accountable.’
When you compare the U.S. to countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the results are even worse. Education reform activist Bill Costello points out that our annual “per-pupil spending in 2006 was 41 percent higher than the OECD average of $7,283, and yet American students still placed in the bottom quarter in math and in the bottom third in science among OECD countries.”

— Similarly, NCLB defines success as 100% proficiency in English and math by 2014…. mathematically and statistically misinformed policy makers…

There’s that kryptonite again. It’s a massively failing system and it is destroying the lives of our fellow citizens. What would you suggest our government should state as a goal? “We should have 98 percent proficiency in education except for black people”? “We should have 85 percent proficiency because we know that some of our citizens are ineducable?” That’s some real shoot-for-the stars stuff.

Why even bother? Privatize/voucherize the massive fail.

——Teachers shouldn’t recruit their students for political purposes…. I personally think it degrades education in unmeasurable ways

The point I was trying to make was not specifically regarding politics, it was about unaccountability and lack of focus on the educational mission. There are laws for how many days kids should be in a classroom, there are laws regarding the curriculum. These teachers were embezzeling the money we are spending for education. In addition to putting their political beliefs first, taxpayers were cheated of the investment that we are making in developing an educated productive fellow citizen.

Degrades education? Really, how could it possibly get worse? ‘Unmeasurable’ – there’s that kryptonite again. “I just feel like my kids are getting it”

——Hopefully our legislature will soon mandate that her ER has a 100% survival rate for all patients by 2014…. how things in their sector will work will be supplanted by beltway bureaucrats. Joy of joys

Seems like you are making my point for me here. Today’s semi-private health care system is fairly oriented toward excellence and highly evaluated via outcome metrics. Already though, my friends in that industry have seen a degradation over the last 15 years due to the rising level of government controls. In addition to some market forces, accountability is very direct in the form of malpractice suits. A 100 percent success rate is nearly enforced in obstetrics. I can tell even in your sarcasm that you know via commonsense that when government control is maximized quality will plummet. Wanna bet how long it will be before doctors and nurses are fully unionized?

-——The administrators and other non-teaching staff at your disabled child’s school are not unionized and union busting will not make them more responsive..

You are shooting in the dark here. My kid was and is dyslexic. Despite our (informed from masters-level courses related to neurological functioning) inquiries from 1st grade onward we were told that he was lazy and unmotivated. Until the 6th grade when his writing performance was MEASURED (there’s that kryptonite again) and at that point he was written off. “What are you upset about, he’s passing -—he’s getting ‘D’s?”. I will never forget the blank look on the psychometrician’s face when I pointed out that his report’s observation that “it is notable that XXXX does not read phonetically (as a junior in high school!!!)” was a big deal considering that XXX’s parents had two Masters degrees between them.

My wife did research and learned that gifted boys with disabilities are hugely at risk. We were able to overcome the government education bureaucracy. He graduated with an engineering degree from one of the top undergrad engineering programs in the country. He still misspells but can read.

This success was in spite of the educational bureaucracy, which would not measure and was quite willing to apply low expectations while as parents we had more information upon which to set appropriate expectations.

Privatize/voucherize the massive fail. T

BTW - I was sincere about your (potential) burnout. Schools could be reformed for the betterment teachers as well.


38 posted on 07/11/2012 10:39:13 AM PDT by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: Tzar

-—School reform has now been embraced wholesale by the elites in both parties

Yes because American education is indiputably a disaster.

*The most recent NAEP assessments indicate that less than one third of U.S. fourth graders are proficient in reading, mathematics, science, and American History.
*More than half of low income students cannot even demonstrate basic knowledge of science, reading, and history.
*U.S. eighth graders ranked 19th out of 38 countries on mathematic assessments and 18th in science.
*U.S. twelfth graders ranked 18th out of 21 countries in combined mathematics and science assessments.

-—It is nearly impossible for random chance to account for demographic differences in charters and traditional public schools in a system

The authors were verifying the randomness of the specific lottery which they were relying on to “eliminate both observed and unobserved background differences between the students who attend different types of schools” in the specific groups measured in this study. It has nothing to do with the larger comparison of student populations you address. The elimination of systematic differences (sampling bias) between a control group and an observed group is not just sound, but critical, scientific methodology.

— The Post Office is required by law to serve all Americans while FedEx gains advantages by servicing profitable routes an denying service to unprofitable ones.

You were using the depressed demand for charter schools as a surrogate for measurement of educational quality.

Contrasting the Post Office and Fedex is actually a good analogy because the vast majority of customers use Fedex rather than use the Post Office because of its extremely high quality service. ((((BTW Fedex ((((and UPS (this market is not a duopoly)))) does serve remote service areas via cartage agents http://images.fedex.com/us/services/pdf/CartageAgents.pdf)))))))

Fedex’s concentration of service has very little to do with their dominance in express service vs the Post Office, I can assure you since I am in that industry.

To extend your analogy if the government decided to kill Fedex (which is what happened since obama killed DC charter schools) to bring its business volume back to the Post Office, this would not provide evidence that Fedex’s quality of service was not satsifactory. Rather it would be an indication that the Post Office knew it could not compete. You are aware that the Post Office’s 9 billion dollar losses are structural from pensions right?

— Statistics is a mathematically science. It is a tool and not an answer.

Not sure what you are trying to convey here. Perhaps it goes back to your reluctance to work in an environment that uses measurement for accountability.

-— Bill and Melinda are underwriting third world sterilization campaigns. Sorry if I distrust them

Yes I realize that the Gate’s have some initiatives that are vile and objectionable. Somehow in this case they have aligned themselves with the better interest of failing innercity kids. We can’t wait for a mythical, ultra-rich morally unimpeachable philopher king to address the national disaster that is our failing school system.

-—Your dyslexic kid would stop a school from getting 100% reading proficiency. He might stop them from getting 100% math ....

My situation far preceded no child left behind. I had not heard that ‘No Child Left Behind’ would lead to eugenics. That is indeed troubling.

-— How do think teachers were embezzling funds? Stealing field trip money? You had to be an administrator to steal funds....

This is very revealing. I have worked in a company with Activity-Based-Costing. Each action, move, engine start, oil fill, hour-to-hour staffing decision etc etc had dollars and cents associated with it. Lets say taxpayers were spending 12000 per year per kid and the teacher was paid 60000 per year. Building energy, maintenance, insurance. Translate the cumulative taxpayer spend per hour and that is what the teacher was draining from the educational process. Possibly it isn’t a large amount but it was unethical to take what really belongs to the kids and the taxpayers. Perhaps teachers really don’t see any value in the time that their students are in the room and doing what they are supposed to be doing - learning. I certainly wondered about that when my kids came home from school and told me that they had watched yet another entertainment video that day.

-—Is there a difference between performing surgery on a patient who has a good work ethic and one who has no work ethic?

Can the doctor measure work ethic? Will it show up on some blood test? an x-ray? (Putting on glove... bend over Mr Patient, I’m going to manually palpitate your work ethic) The only similar behavioral metric I can conceive of a surgeon assessing is ability/predisposition to follow post operative instructions which might influence readmissions which is an important metric. Might lead the surgeon to decide on surgery vs complex medication schemes. Are you trying to say a doctor would withhold appropriate care based on patient behavior? of course that is happening in the UK and will happen with Obamacare? Yeah, don’t see how this makes your point.

— millions for specialty school....?

All we wanted was for him to be given more time for reading intensive tests and similar classroom accomodations. This shouldn’t have required threatening lawsuits.


40 posted on 07/12/2012 5:09:08 PM PDT by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: Tzar

-—Race to the Top is an Ayers adventure via Obama and Duncan.

I agree that Ayers is an evil marxist bastard and my impression of ‘Race to the Top’ is negative, an Obama legerdemain that he gives a (** about real education. My expectations were so low I haven’t bothered to learn about it. It was just an excuse to get rid of Bush’s No Child Left Behind and satisfy Obama’s union backers.

-—Obama hasn’t killed DC charters. He strongly supports them and the percentage of students in the charters has remained steady since Henderson took over

This is your profession, you should understand what’s going on better than you do.

EDUCATION SECRETARY Arne Duncan has decided not to admit any new students to the D.C. voucher program, which allows low-income children to attend private schools.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/10/AR2009041003073.html

Despite a track record of sterling success in moving children in low-income families from failing public schools and giving them a chance at academic success — and a brighter future — Democrats cut funding to the DCOSP and consigned the children of the District of Columbia to the public-school monopoly.

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/03/09/video-boehner-budget-to-restore-dc-opportunity-scholarship-voucher-program/

While Obama always talks up the value of non-ideological solutions to bad public schools, he was quick to sign a bill last month that cancels a federally-funded D.C. school-voucher program after the 2009-2010 school year, unless Congress and the District government act to reauthorize it.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/181391/how-obama-killed-d-c-school-voucher-program/veronique-de-rugy

The practical effect of this bill and the fact that Congress has delayed re-authorizing the program is that private school vouchers will cease to be an option for more than 1,300 students. But we learn today that the impact of President Obama’s decision to limit access to new entrants is even greater than we thought.

http://www.examiner.com/article/president-obama-kills-d-c-voucher-program-and-washington-scholarship-fund

The president is expected to announce his proposal Thursday. The plan would fund the program for $12 million in the upcoming school year and keep the vouchers running until the 1,700 children currently in the pilot program complete their studies. The program would not be extended beyond that, according to the White House.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/05/07/obama-extend-dc-voucher-program/#ixzz20TQXu38m

——Buddy, they found out that the charters have more girls and white kids.

I can see how you would miss the nuances in this study. It is rather complex because it combines an observational component (where your sex and race differences WOULD confound the results) AND a Lottery study (where they would not).

They state the LOTTERY STUDY “controls for all differences in students’ background, including unobserved differences” They reviewed the results of the lottery (because the state could conceivably screw up/bias a lottery in some way (favors, bribery?), but I read the indications that the lottery results (randomization) did not show significant bias (page 24).

Their stated results are that “””The estimated impacts of middle schools and high school Charters are similar in both the “observational” and “lottery-based” results.””

So your sex and race factors DID NOT APPLY to the statistically significant lottery results (which paralleled the observational results).

Happy to discuss race and sex in an objective manner using statistics and science. That’s how we will improve education for our kids.

-— Much of stat and modeling is merely an exercise in mathematically intimidation.

Quite a revelation of your ideology. This mind set is probably a major part of the massive fail of your ‘profession’. Sadly, it also probably reflects self-selection of many future teachers into education who cannot really cope with math and science but end up teaching it to our kids.

I’ll bet Ayers would agree with you that statistics and metrics are tools of the 1 percent ruling class.

-— What are charters? Let’s see, they are tightly regulated industries where the private sector owns the means of production but the government dictates how they are run That is called fascism.

Yes. And as one who is as afraid of socialism as fascism, the government turns everything it touches into shit. Government feels the need to control this system but doesn’t feel the obligation to make it succeed (jobs program). We need to avoid the -isms and privatize the massive fail.

—Eugenics is already common in the U.S. Half of down syndrome kids are executed before birth. At least they won’t pull test scores down that way.

I am pro-life. I am not sure I would casually use selective abortions as a talking point.

—Apparently they are good enough for you dyslexic son. Why didn’t he go to the private ... ....Why don’t we take accountability a bit farther? Aren’t you accountable for your kids both socially and genetically?

And now we reach the level at which a liberal is most comfortable arguing, at the personal level.

==Why would I keep any of my kids in public school? Because just like the black innercity folks there have been times when I felt I had no economic choice. We pay taxes and the government says they are providing an education, why shouldn’t we be able to expect that it does? When we strong armed the District into classifying him as both gifted and learning disabled, he was the first kid ever classified that way. Some of the staff remarked that they had learned more about this phenomenon from us. Presumably it was easier for the next parents in that situation.

When the school system began to also fail my 3d child (who was doing 6th grade math in the second grade), we commenced home-schooling. That child just graduated cum laude with an honors BA.

==Accountable for your kids both socially and genetically? Well since my son’s dyslexia was ideopathic, but he had convulsions leading to hospitalization after a household head bump mishap, I’m not really going to blame myself for it genetically. And since we overcame the school system to make him a successful college student and corporate IT guy then I guess we took our accountability at an appropriate level. That meant we had to stop listening to the experts who said he was lazy and unmotivated and kick the school system’s bureaucratic ass for six straight years.

-—I still have no clue what you are saying about embezzling funds.

Yes, I can see that the world view in which you exchange value with an employer escapes you. I consult on an hourly basis and I feel a very strong obligation to provide economic value commensurate with the dollars I receive. I think that’s more commonly true in private industry contrasting with my experience in government work.

I have always heard that teachers regard education as a big jobs program. Since you can’t conceive of the fair exchange of teaching value for taxpayer educational spending, I can see how that jobs program orientation plays out. It means its ok to waste kid’s time in those 180 days that they are in school. If the class time is economically worthless then why not take the kids out to politically demonstrate, show them movies all day, politically support one party (the one that keeps the jobs program going)?

According to a new study out today from the Center for American Progress, which picked over three years of data collected by the Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress, 37 percent of fourth-graders say their math work is “often” or “always” too easy, 57 percent of eighth-graders says the same about their history work, and 39 percent of seniors say they rarely have to write papers on what they read about in class.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/07/10/center_for_american_progress_kids_say_school_is_too_easy.html

The kids are just props. You see no obligation in return for your salary, the building you teach in, the resources the taxpayers provide, the trust of the parents and the time and future of the kids to spend your in-school working hours actually, measurably teaching the kids.

Privatize the massive fail.


42 posted on 07/12/2012 9:32:41 PM PDT by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

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