Well, that's a no brainer. A classroom partially comprised of
ill-behaved kids vs. a nice quiet office and more pay. No taking tests
home for grading, fewer whining parents. What's not to like? Not
having kids, I don't know the current breakdown for salaries, but I
have little doubt it is bloated and rewards are based on politics
rather than genuine performance.
The disparity you mention has exponentially increased in the past 15
years or so. It seems to me that attitudes have changed considerably
since I first entered the work force. Avarice appears to have become
the philosophy of modern business. Why? Who knows - probably a
variety of reasons, including television, unpredictable, vacillating
costs of doing business and living, and political trends. Healthy for
As an aside, what I find appalling and befuddling is the 42 million in
salary plus bonuses that are routinely awarded to CEO's who run the
company into the ground or bankruptcy. Then they move to another
company and continue the trend. What the hell is with that? Why are
we rewarding corporate raiders and incompetence so handsomely?
Now is as good a time as any to ask why so many school districts are funded
thru property taxes. This of course results in smaller, wealthier cities
getting far more of their share of state funding than they need per student.
A good example is here in Los Angeles county CA. There's a small
incorporated city named San Marino that has one of the highest per capita
incomes in the state that borders the city of Pasadena. The San Marino
school district spends far more per student than does the Pasadena Unified
District yet they're held to the same testing standards by the state. Is
spending more necessarily better? Maybe, maybe not but giving students in a
publically funded school more of the means to succeed than others merely
because they get more money from the state is simply wrong.
To my mind, public schools should be funded as needed on a per student
basis, not on what the value of the homes are which surround the school.
You get that passed, Bubba and I'll kiss your ass anywhere/time/place you
want and give you time draw a crowd.
Don't get me started on property taxes ... I'm ready to f*&^$$ murder over
that issue ... I'm going to cough up in excess of $14K in three weeks (75%
of that going to "school taxes), while my neighbor across the street will
pay 1/4 of that for the same SERVICES!!
Gimme a f(*&^ break!
That doesn't work either. Took all of two contracts to eat up a doubling of
per student funding in our district when they went to your system.
The property tax still comes up for anything but "operating expenses," so
there's no running from that, either.
Competition......making the public schools compete in both product and
price. Society (rightly so) has decided to fund education (approx. half of
most states budgets)....realistically the cost is based on number of
students.....taxes pretty much come from everybody including parents......If
a private school is taxpayer supported or a public school the money doesn't
really care.....By adding competition to the mix with required quality
standards, education can only improve.....Rod
Amen to that. Along those same lines, my sister teaches an advanced science
course (8th grade level) as well as the 'normal' level for the same course.
On parent night, 100% of the advanced students' class came to talk to her.
Only one parent of the 'normal' level class showed up. Hmmmm....... Maybe
there is something to this whole parent-involvement thing.
True, but today's kids, "hewers of wood,..." ain't exactly accurate.
Maybe if these kids had some meaningful chores as was the case 100
years ago and earlier, they wouldn't be so hard to teach. They'd
already have some self-esteem, and deservedly so because they earned
Today's kids are too often handed money and ignored. Too many parents
that I've seen confuse discipline with punishment, too, so never
discipline their kids. Parenting is in the toilet today in far too
Well since we've tried, and are still trying, to spend a BUNCH of money
to keep THEM in jails and prisons, and away from US (last I heard it was
about $40,000 per year per inmate), it seems like the ROI on education
would be a great deal better than the ROI of incarceration - which,
coincidently, works like a criminal college. And some of our
graduates learn really, really well - and apply what they've learned.
They're not as good as the "real college educated", like the ENRON
folks, but still pretty good.
Wonder what would happen if we paid the best teachers the most money
to teach in the "worst areas" - AND provided them with the resources
they'd need. At $150,000 per year in salaries and overhead, it'd only
take four Not Bound For Prison Graduates per teacher per year to
become cost effective.
Wouldn't do a damn bit of good ... throwing more money at the problem will
get you more of what you've got already. Teachers, and their salaries, are
only half the problem ... and we have about two generations of irresponsible
parents to overcome..
Better to give parents an economic choice by letting education funds follow
the kid, instead of the school.
IOW, open up education to competition and let the parents decide where to
best spend education dollars by giving them the economic choice to send
their kids to schools that have a proven ability to actually educate, public
Once that $150,000 in your plan above is free to reward those who actually
_educate_, is when you will finally see a "ROI".
... tuppence provided, free of charge.
You present some intering twists so I'll take one last shot at this thread
by offering you the example of the East St. Louis school system.
A Federal judge forced the city to spend 3 billion dollars on new schools,
equipment, and programs.The ROI on that money was that test scores went down
and the school system was offering free daily taxi rides to suburban
students who would transfer to the city system.
Allow me to present a personal example. I started 1st grade in 1937 in
Fairmont, WV. What kind of financial shape do you think the WV schools were
in during the Great Depression?
A memory I have is that the text and library books were plastered with
Scotch tape. That early tape was not transparent, but had a milky
translucent quality that forced you to tilt the book in order to read
through the tape.So we tilted and read and learned because we knew our
parents expected us to.
Charlie, looking for new ways to spend money as you suggest is not the
Cast a glance around at the rest of the world and you'll discover that it's
not the price of education, but how education is valued that counts.
The parent in the box with the colorful face is the one that counts most,
and it's not even a parent any more as when Wally and the Beeve were growing
up, but a peer, where kids are already smarter than elders as preteens. Add
that to the hormonal mess called adolescence and it really can get tough.
Yes, and in Biology class I had to teach a bit of Greek and Latin to help
them understand and internalize the vocabulary.
In History I had to remind them that there were more white people involved
in the underground railroad than black, that the preponderance of invention
was accomplished by males, and that assimilation not separation was how
immigrants became Americans.
I answered the question of "what use" in literature by pointing out that the
themes are universal, and tell us a lot about ourselves as human creatures
even when its Hercules or a couple of kids in Verona who are really the
descendants of many others in tales where the parents don't understand the
love of two who should by culture hate one another.
I have to do this because it's not in the books nor the curriculum. I can
still remember my first encounter with the "whole language" advocates who
were going to by God teach Johhny to read using this new method, and weren't
interested at all in finding out how McGuffey readers, phonics or Dick and
Jane, became the basics for generations of readers. Most of the wholes are
out now, but our reading texts still carry some of their stamp when females
are not portrayed as mothers and nurturers, but professionals, each minority
of color is represented as often as the majority, and Joe and Mary are now a
letter longer at Jose and Maria.
What are we teaching?
You are a better man than I. A bit over a decade I got I had the
great joy of teaching graduate school for a bit. Now grad school
is a place you go "on purpose". Mommy and Daddy are not making you
go, and it takes actual effort and money to get there and survive.
Imagine my horror in discovering that a good many people had poor
writing, spelling, and thinking skills. Even the most elementary
math skills (this was a computer science course) were a stretch
for some of these students - all of whom had undergrad degrees
or the equivalent thereof. And this was at a fairly well-regarded
big city university, BTW, not Swampwater College. Even more
disheartening was the fact that it was almost universally
true that my foreign-born students worked way harder than their
U.S.-born colleagues - not just to overcome the language barrier,
but for the sheer desire to *learn*.
For decades, we've been accommodating the tender sensibilities of
the *students* in K-12, we've failed to hold parents accountable
for their end of the education process, and we've let the NEA
mafia hijack the process to serve their political ends. We now
reap what we've sown. The only fix is to go back to local/private
schools and make the connection much more clear between those
who pay for education, those who conduct education, and the
results they produce.
Tim Daneliuk email@example.com
I thought the solution was more money. All we ever hear is how we don't
spend enough on education and how we need new buildings and new computers.
Education sure went to hell when the draft dodgers became teachers to avoid
Viet Nam, later became administrators, and the politically correct factions
came in. We really have to get back to basics and demand an education and
don't push kids ahead that have not learned in the grade they were in.
I just hope I did not hurt anyone's self esteem with my post. That would be
bad for them.
You may have also failed to properly norm for socio-economic
variations, gender bias, the oppressive white males, and
the general lack of transgressive inclusivity, nor have you
demonstrated sufficient multicultural sensitivity. I, for one,
am shocked, just shocked by this display ...
Tim Daneliuk firstname.lastname@example.org
Buzz buzz. Gotta have those buzz words. Lots of folks out there care not a
bit for education as a pursuit or children as individuals, but they know
They learn them while getting their "advanced degrees in teaching" rather
than in subject.
I'll buy your last premise, but the draft dodger bit is pure nonsense.
First, there were not all that many draft dodgers. Second, it is
difficult to figure which ones could become school teachers; for the
most part, they had to run like hell away from the law for most of
their college years, so they weren't licensed to teach or do much
else. You may be confusing draft evaders with draft dodgers--draft
evasion, such as mine (I enlisted in the Marines) is legal, as is
coming up with specious excuses for not enlisting or being drafted:
just ask Dick "Five Deferments" Cheney ("I've got better things to
No, but there were a lot of anti-establishment "poor little rich
kid" radicals who avoided the draft serially by getting student
deferments or their equivalent. I recall fairly vividly that
one strategy for staying out of 'Nam was graduate school. So
we produced a generation of "educators" who were radical in their
politics, suspicious of Western intellectual tradition, and
not honestly interested in teaching particularly. The results
speak for themselves. Go peek under the covers of pretty
much any state or secular private university and see what
is being taught in the schools of Liberal Arts and it
will make you want to puke.
Tim Daneliuk email@example.com
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