Again........we fall further and further behind.

Discussion in 'Education and Academia' started by the shelts, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. the shelts

    the shelts Member+

    Jun 30, 2005
    Providence RI
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Well our teachers unions, administrators and politicians have let down the American child yet again. For the 12th year running.......the USA came in dead last in the English speaking world in most test scores.

    My personal favorite was the testing scores for 15 year olds in English.....ah yes, our mother tongue.
    Kids in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Liechtenstein trounced our kids in English. Yes, its their 2nd language and our first, but no matter. The happy English-as-a-second-language speaking kids also joined the happy kids in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, UK and Ireland in also pounding our kids in test scores.

    All blame can be firmly laid at the feet of teachers unions.
     
  2. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    All? Troll.
     
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  3. the shelts

    the shelts Member+

    Jun 30, 2005
    Providence RI
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Still dismissively ignoring the problems huh wankler. We know you don't care, the teachers union will ensure you can retire at 48 with a full pension so you can stay at home and "think". Maybe do a little consulting, maybe teach a course at the local JV.

    Meanwhile the rest of us are lumbered with the two pronged monster you have unleashed, an endless pension and a poorly educated young person. You ever think about maybe paying into society rather than be on the public sector union gravy train?
     
  4. Aaron d

    Aaron d Member+

    May 15, 2005
    Wooster
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What about the non-union states? Did they do exceptionally better?

    No they didn't because teachers are only one part of the equation. Once parents and students share in the responsibility, then we can start getting somewhere.
     
  5. the shelts

    the shelts Member+

    Jun 30, 2005
    Providence RI
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Aaron - I like your thinking, however I just don't think we can say that the kids are to blame or the parents are to blame.

    I don't blame the teachers. I feel its this collection of hangers on who make policy and their apparatchiks who are there as a counter balance to the unions.

    The unions are single handed in their disregard of all things education focused. They blindly are responsible for this mess we are in with our education system. Their existence belies this huge yoke of do-nothings who soak up tax dollars and contribute nothing.

    I want the unions off the teachers backs so they can actually teach.
     
  6. Aaron d

    Aaron d Member+

    May 15, 2005
    Wooster
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't really think we should be blaming at all. It wastes time and creates animosity between the groups involved. We need to focus on improving education with each group: parents, teachers, students and administrators. When one group blames the other, they imply they are not in the wrong, when each aspect could shoulder some blame.
     
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  7. cleansheetbsc

    cleansheetbsc Member+

    Mar 17, 2004
    Club:
    --other--
    Nope. Just stupid.
     
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  8. the shelts

    the shelts Member+

    Jun 30, 2005
    Providence RI
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Another informed response.

    For someone who has a big stick why do you call yourself clean sheets?

    :thumbsup:
     
  9. NHRef

    NHRef Member+

    Apr 7, 2004
    Southern NH
    Which teachers union are you talking about? The national one, state one, or hte local one that actually negotiates the contracts, so my town vs yours? You hint at "endless pensions", bull. Maybe in some places, but not all.

    The ONLY thing I have issue on teachers unoins with (and I'd bet I have more experience than you) are the stonewall on anything merit based.

    The rest, toss at the feet of the administration and parents. Add on top of that incredibly STUPID programs like No Child Left Behind (which BTW I've never met a teacher who liked it), way to much "testing" and teachers suddenly can't teach, their hands are tied.
     
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  10. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Troll OP. None of that is true.

    As a side note, the good public schools in the U.S. are world class. My son spent a lot of time during his freshman year of college talking to the Chinese, Indian, Swiss etc. students who attended private high schools in their countries. My son's public U.S. high school was better, in most cases much better.
     
  11. Iceblink

    Iceblink Member

    Oct 11, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    Ipswich Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ridiculous. Union busting is rampant throughout the U.S. Charters are popping up everywhere. Neighborhood schools are being shut down in favor of these charters WHICH AREN'T DOING ANY BETTER! The charter schools are non-union.

    The blame can be firmly laid at the feet of the people with opinions on education with no background in education who think they know the new, best way to teach students (which, coincidentally, was the old, best way to teach students from 3-4 years previous) and blame unions on an unfounded basis.

    And for NHRef, the reason they stonewall merit-based pay is because it isn't fair to lump teachers in selective enrollment and high socio-economic schools with diminished neighborhood schools.

    It makes no sense to think that every teacher who goes to one of the latter schools suddenly becomes a bad, unqualified teacher, but that's what the numbers seem to suggest.

    The logic is faulty. If you took a teacher from a selective enrollment school who consistently has students with ACT scores of 31 and put him/her in my school.... that teacher's pay would be lower, and that teacher would look like a failure. How is that fair?

    You could put me in a selective enrollment school and watch my pay rise and rise.

    I read an article recently that spoke of two students from the same class at a high school who got perfect ACT or SAT scores. Comments below said, "Wow, they must have had great teachers." Ridiculous. They must have been good students. They probably had good parents. At that level, the teacher makes little difference. Many of the teachers I know wouldn't score that high... didn't score that high.... couldn't score that high.

    I am fairly confident that I can manage a 36 (unless I make a single stupid mistake) on the ACT English portion. I'm National Board certified. I have ten years of teaching experience. That said, my school's average ACT score is abysmal.

    People aren't willing to look at the real problems. It's too easy to blame the teachers and the unions. Scores will continue to plummet until someone recognizes and is willing to address the disparity in buildings, resources, etc.
     
  12. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    More like, they had parents with similar scores.

    The high school a few miles down from me had 14 perfect ACT scores last year. A public high school, not selective enrollment. Those teachers are in unions, too.

    But more to the point, those students have a whole bunch of parents who had perfect or near-perfect ACT scores. ;)
     
  13. NHRef

    NHRef Member+

    Apr 7, 2004
    Southern NH
    I agree with everything you said here. However I still think merit based pay/teacher selection is needed, but WITHIN a single school. You can't compare across schools, you change the environment, you change the playing field. You also can't compare by test scores alone. Some students are better than others (for a variety of reasons, many having nothing to do with the school and teacher).

    However, you mention you are a teacher. If I asked you "who is the best teacher in your school?" Could you tell me? If so, can you then tell me the opposite? "who is the weakest teacher in your school?" As with ANY profession, you want to keep the best and either remove or improve the weakest. You can do this in many ways, merit based pay increases is one. However head in the sand is not one. There simply are bad teachers and good teachers. There are also former "good" teachers who aren't good any longer, and former weak teachers who are now good teachers.

    However this is only one aspect of a large problem. YOu want to improve schools? It's some balance of:
    - the right teachers
    - the right family attitude
    - support of the administration for the teacher (my wife is a teacher and has been "influenced" to change grades for a variety of DUMB reasons - including "we already ordered the honor role plaque for that student, you can't give him a C" and "You will be the 3rd F they get, so they can't participate in the graduation ceremony, if you don't change it I have to call the family and tell them" - That one is my favorite, with 3F's why the heck is the kid graduating?)
    - get the government out - this covers your point about unqualified people deciding how to teach

    It's not a single point solution. It's many. I am FAR from a union fan, teachers unions included, but I can't honestly say the union interactions I've had contribute much to the weak education.
     
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  14. the shelts

    the shelts Member+

    Jun 30, 2005
    Providence RI
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    The unions will never go for merit based pay. It goes against their stance of lifetime members = lifetime dues.

    Oh and the No Child Left Behind program is an abysmal example. It has since been renamed the No Sick Day Left Behind as teachers enjoy unlimited sick days, all at taxpayer expense.

    It has to end, we are failing our kids, the union just laughs.
     
  15. Auriaprottu

    Auriaprottu Member+

    Atlanta Damn United FC (f***ing CHAMPIONS)
    Apr 1, 2002
    The back of the bus
    Club:
    Atlanta
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    Are these homeschool "teachers"?
     
  16. NHRef

    NHRef Member+

    Apr 7, 2004
    Southern NH
    Not sure how you get unlimited sick time. They do NOT have unlimited sick time, at least my wife doesn't. They have way to much in my opinion, and it banks over a couple of years, but there is an upper limit and then they stop building it. Maybe its local union to local union, but that's how it works where my wife teaches.

    Curious how you got to the tie between NCLB (which is terrible) and sick time?
     
  17. msilverstein47

    msilverstein47 Member+

    Jan 11, 1999
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    yeah, neither does my wife...I do think that the Shelts is full of sh*t and really needs to to back into his deep dark Forest.
     
  18. the shelts

    the shelts Member+

    Jun 30, 2005
    Providence RI
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    The No Sick Day Left Behind policy is but one of the unions tricks.

    Silverstein, maybe look into the annuity that your teachers union keeps trying to push on your wife. It will be a heavily fee laden policy with lots of sales loads, 12B-1 fees, networking costs, trailing fees and processing fees. A healthy dose of which will end up in the union pockets as they are the "finders". Don't just blindly trust them as they tell you they are "looking out for their union brothers and sisters" like your wife.
     
  19. JohnR

    JohnR Member+

    Jun 23, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I'd be delighted to see somebody doing the work to compare the fees paid for 403b plans for local school districts to the fees paid into 401k plans by private nonunion companies of a similar size.

    In the absence of such a report, I'm saying there's no difference.
     
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  20. the shelts

    the shelts Member+

    Jun 30, 2005
    Providence RI
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I didn't mention 403b. I mentioned the annuity that the teachers union tries to sell the teacher. Now some teachers unions will send the annuity kit to the teacher to put the 403b money into after the teacher retires. But what I am talking about is the annuity packages that the unions try and peddle on teachers. Not a 403b and not a pension.

    Most teachers don't put money into 403b's either. They have a full ride pension.

    Most annuities peddled by the unions are outside of 403b, not within.

    To your point though, most mutual funds that are available to a 401k owner will be the exact same as are offered within a 403b. Thats NASD law though, not a teachers union decision that can be influenced.

    You can buy an annuity within a 403b though, they are a scam too. Teachers unions getting rich ripping off teachers you ask...........see below

    http://www.latimes.com/news/la-fi-retire25apr25,0,628714.story

    Please understand, I am anti teacher union. Not anti union. Not anti teacher. I think teachers unions are kaka.
     
  21. usasoccerhooligan

    May 1, 2005
    That unlimited sick days thing is a crock of sh*t. I'm close to three teachers, all in different school districts. None of them get that. It's not a good look to just make things up.
     
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  22. Iceblink

    Iceblink Member

    Oct 11, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    Ipswich Town FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I can confirm that we do not get unlimited sick days. However, if we did get unlimited sick days, it would probably save the district money.

    What happens when a teacher is sick? If I am out of school for a day, and I use a sick day, what happens?

    Well, I am paid for my sick day.
    The district has to hire a substitute teacher.
    That teacher has to get paid in addition to my salary.

    When sick days are carried over, teachers don't miss days of school. Yes, there might be a payout at the end of a teacher's career.... sometimes after 35-40 years, but if a teacher has to use those days, if they're "use 'em or lose 'em," then of course the teacher would choose to use them.

    Who wouldn't?

    As for pensions, I guess when I retire, I'll get a pension. Of course, that will be after 35 years in the same district.

    I also will not get social security.

    I have a 403b. When I was in the private sector, I had a 401K. My company matched a certain percentage of the 401k. My district certainly does not. I merely have money deducted from my check every couple weeks, and it goes into my 403b account. I'm lucky enough that the amount of money in my 403b is now slightly higher than the amount I put in over the last 10 years.

    You are a teachers union hater. You are also woefully misinformed.

    You also would quit your job as a teacher after about a week if you ever became one.

    If you want to go after some people with an unfair advantage, try congress. They have some amazing benefits and magnificent pensions. Strangely, no one is fighting to have their pensions taken away like they're trying to do to ours.
     
  23. Auriaprottu

    Auriaprottu Member+

    Atlanta Damn United FC (f***ing CHAMPIONS)
    Apr 1, 2002
    The back of the bus
    Club:
    Atlanta
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    It's funny, really- people complain that they want better teachers, better teachers, better teachers, and then they offer compensation that doesn't often match jobs requiring less education and responsibility (if we're to believe that our children are more important than, say, an unclogged sink or toilet or a poorly functioning heat/air unit).

    Depending on the school and district, you've given him about two days longer than I would have. And that's only if he started on a Monday.

    Well, the long hours and unappreciated work has to count for something ;) But seriously, I'd vote the same perks for myself were I in that position. I suspect most people with bills to pay and ambitions to create more bills to pay would do the same.
     
  24. msilverstein47

    msilverstein47 Member+

    Jan 11, 1999
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  25. the shelts

    the shelts Member+

    Jun 30, 2005
    Providence RI
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC

    ummmmm.......yes.

    Public employees scamming the system to get bigger pay and higher bonus'????

    If a court finds this collection of "educational professionals" guilty I hope they all do 10-15 years of jail time and pay full restitution.

    Don't worry though, I'm sure the union is backing these "educational professionals" and they are fighting tooth and nail for these peoples benefits like

    -full Cadillac pension
    -ability to retire at 50
    -unlimited sick days
    -full ride, no deduction health care
    -all summers off
    - 2 weeks holiday during the winter
    - computer and book reimbursement
     

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