Video: Do public-school teachers make too little?

posted at 11:36 am on March 3, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

For most of my adult life, politicians have asserted that public-school teachers are underpaid and underresourced. But even if that was true at one time, is it true any longer? Reason looks at the facts and intersperses the data with some now-familiar scenes of teacher protests, set to a particularly apt piece of music:

Teachers have a lot to lose. According to Department of Education statistics, in 2007-2008 (the latest year available), full-time public school teachers across the country made an average of $53,230 in “total school-year and summer earned income.” That compares favorably to the $39,690 that private school teachers pulled down.

And when it comes to retirement benefits, public school teachers do better than average too.According to EducationNext, government employer contribute the equivalent of 14.6 percent of salary to retirement benefits for public school teachers. That compares to 10.4 for private-sector professionals.

Those levels of compensation help explain why per-pupil school costs have risen substantially over the past 50 years. In 1960-61, public schools spent $2,769 per student, a figure that now totals over $10,000 in real, inflation-adjusted dollars. Among the things that threefold-plus increase in spending has purchased are more teachers per student. In 1960, the student-teacher ratio in public schools was 25.8; it’s now at a historic low of 15.

Among the things all that money hasn’t bought? Parental satisfaction, for one. Despite public teachers’ much-higher salaries, parents with school-age children in public schools report substantially lower satisfaction rates than parents with children in private schools. In 2007, the percentage of parents with children in assigned public schools who were “very satisfied” with the institution was 52 percent. For parents whose children attended public schools of choice, that figure rose to 62 percent. Parents sending their children to private schools, whether religious or non-sectarian, were “very satisfied” 79 percent of the time.

At the end of this 40-year period of ever-increasing investment in public education, have we improved the actual productNot exactly.  Here are the average scores for reading at three different grade levels from 1971 to 2008 from NEAP:

In mathematics, the trend is the same. Note that the averages for the two earlier grade levels increased slightly over the last 40 years, but that the competency of graduating-age teens has barely budged:

Despite the vast amount of money sunk into education at state and federal levels since 1971, the product has not improved at all in the government monopoly.  Those are the facts, and it’s time that taxpayers demanded more control of the system — or real choice for all parents to take their money and opt out of it.

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Comment pages: 1 2

To Surly, with facts

Ha! You are on a roll, Ed!

publiuspen on March 3, 2011 at 11:39 AM

It was reported that over 30% of the certain elementary school students in Wisconsin cannot read. If that statistic is anywhere near correct then the so called teachers are making way too much money.

rplat on March 3, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Overpaid for poor performance. Should be paid half what they currently get in pay and benefits.

andy85719 on March 3, 2011 at 11:41 AM

That was great. The singer actually sounded like Lulu or whoever the original was.

OmahaConservative on March 3, 2011 at 11:41 AM

The problem isn’t how much money teachers make. Frankly I think if they made more the profession would be more attractive to the best & the brightest.

The problem is all of the money we sink into education which doesn’t go into teaching. The bureaucracy in the education system is so gargantuan that it chews up a huge chunk of every dollar. Add to that the union stagnation and the “no fault” society we foster and it adds up to monumental waste.

Number 2 on March 3, 2011 at 11:44 AM

The proof of the pudding is in the testing.

Christien on March 3, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Didn’t I see that Wisconsin teachers make nearly $90,000 with all the benefits considered?

My impression is that the mid-west is not a particularly expensive place to live.

The unions over reached and are now paying the price.

petunia on March 3, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Obviously they don’t make too little. Every protest video coming out of Wis and every supporting one from other places show one thing. These struggling teachers are all FAT as hell.

We keep hearing about the obesity epidemic in the US but it seems to me that it hits two groups the hardest, Civil Servants and the Poor. What do these to groups have in common? They don’t do much work and they are heavily government funded.

Rocks on March 3, 2011 at 11:44 AM

It was reported that over 30% of the certain elementary school students in Wisconsin cannot read. If that statistic is anywhere near correct then the so called teachers are making way too much money.

rplat on March 3, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Yes and with that wonderful education these children will finance the teacher’s retirement.

That is criminal.

petunia on March 3, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Excellent run-down of the public education and government employee unions’ rip-off of taxpayers.

As if the financial side of it weren’t bad enough, it’s churning out generation after generation of little socialistas… and we taxpayers have to pay them to do it.

petefrt on March 3, 2011 at 11:48 AM

The problem isn’t how much money teachers make. Frankly I think if they made more the profession would be more attractive to the best & the brightest.

The problem is all of the money we sink into education which doesn’t go into teaching. The bureaucracy in the education system is so gargantuan that it chews up a huge chunk of every dollar. Add to that the union stagnation and the “no fault” society we foster and it adds up to monumental waste.

Exactly.
Think about the bureaucracy our education tax dollars support. Huge administrations are needed to make sure districts are complying with federal regulations.
How many people does it take to fill out the paperwork to try to “win” tax dollars back from the federal government through “Race to the Top”?

MayBee on March 3, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Can’t pay a great teacher enough, can’t pay a bad one too little. Problem is, merit pay is not allowed and we have way too many of the latter kind- especially in urban areas. Of course, parental support carries the most weight in terms of kids performing. That needs to improve as well.

michaelo on March 3, 2011 at 11:49 AM

???

SHARPTOOTH on March 3, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Yes, overpaid in the big picture. The pay itself isn’t the main issue, and is misleading. The class size is a big issue, because that means that there are more of them to pay.

That was the big PR push for years. “We need smaller classes to give more attention to your kid.” Right.

OK, they’ve had their smaller classes to give each child more attention and the results don’t add up.

reaganaut on March 3, 2011 at 11:50 AM

See, part of our mistake is in thinking they care about “parental satisfaction”…

j2kp0t on March 3, 2011 at 11:51 AM

“those who can do – those who can’t teach”

Dr Evil on March 3, 2011 at 11:51 AM

I’m the daughter of a teacher and I just spoke to my sister who used to be a teacher. She agreed that something needs to be done about teacher benefits and tenure. The days of teachers being grossly underpaid are mostly gone. They need to accept that they can’t expect the taxpayers not to object to footing so much of the bill for health care and pensions. Though she also objects to teachers being blamed for the fact that many kids don’t perform – teachers are not miracle workers. It’s too easy to ignore the fact that parents and the kids share some of the blame for poor performance.

katiejane on March 3, 2011 at 11:52 AM

but they do such a great job of indoctrinating Liberal turds who learn to live off the gubermint….and tell us man is warming the earth….

SDarchitect on March 3, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Though she also objects to teachers being blamed for the fact that many kids don’t perform – teachers are not miracle workers. It’s too easy to ignore the fact that parents and the kids share some of the blame for poor performance.

katiejane on March 3, 2011 at 11:52 AM

True. Teachers should also be protected to some extent from law suits from parents.

darwin on March 3, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Ed, do you mean to tell all those years of Main Stream propaganda were wrong!

Seriously, I would like to know if everyone is getting the same impression that I’m getting from the Leftists:

They seem to have only one real solution to every problem and that is to tax the Rich into the concrete.

That appears to be the only thing they have to this fiscal insanity issue, it’s almost like they don’t even want to solve the problem and just run the country of a cliff, but that can’t be the case, can it?

Chip on March 3, 2011 at 11:55 AM

owned.

blatantblue on March 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

We need more Sidney Portiers in the schools.

The 800 lb. gorilla in the room is the fact that teachers work 9 months of 6 hr. days. Ask any prospective teacher what the biggest selling point of their chosen profession is and they’ll tell you it’s the summer vacations.

Calculate their salaries on an hourly basis and you’ll get a truer picture of how overpaid they are.

walkingboss on March 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Despite the vast amount of money sunk into education at state and federal levels since 1971, the product has not improved at all in the government monopoly. Those are the facts …

LOL. Um, no, those aren’t “the facts,” and your attempt to mansplain it as such is grotesquely political. Misleading generalizations, angry ideology, and a fierce desire to increase page views — those are “the facts.”

A “government monopoly?” Hahaha. Thousands of independent schools and home-schooling parents across the country beg to differ.

Vast amounts of money? Some countries that spend more on education by % of GDP:

1 Cuba: 18.7%
2 Vanuatu: 11%
3 Lesotho: 10.4%
4 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: 10%
5 Yemen: 9.5%
6 Brunei: 9.1%
7 Mongolia: 9%
8 Denmark: 8.5%
9 Guyana: 8.4%
10 Malaysia: 8.1%
11 Cape Verde: 7.9%
12 Saint Lucia: 7.7%
12 Sweden: 7.7%
14 Saint Kitts and Nevis: 7.6%
14 Barbados: 7.6%
14 Norway: 7.6%
17 Israel: 7.5%
18 Namibia: 7.2%
19 Swaziland: 7.1%
20 Kenya: 7%
21 New Zealand: 6.7%
22 Morocco: 6.5%
23 Finland: 6.4% =
23 Tunisia: 6.4%
25 Belgium: 6.3%
25 Bolivia: 6.3%
25 Cyprus: 6.3%
28 Slovenia: 6.1%
28 Jamaica: 6.1%
30 Malawi: 6%
30 Belarus: 6%
30 Iceland: 6%
33 Lithuania: 5.9%
34 Switzerland: 5.8%
34 Portugal: 5.8%
34 Latvia: 5.8%
37 Estonia: 5.8%

Education as a “product?” What the? Who are you, Karl Marx? Since when did education become a “product.” Knowledge is not a product! Are you one of those people who wears their cell phone on their belt?

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Teachers on Long Island New York make over $100,000 BASE PAY – They are GROSSLY overpaid !!!!

LODGE4 on March 3, 2011 at 11:59 AM

The 800 lb. gorilla in the room is the fact that teachers work 9 months of 6 hr. days. Ask any prospective teacher what the biggest selling point of their chosen profession is and they’ll tell you it’s the summer vacations.

Calculate their salaries on an hourly basis and you’ll get a truer picture of how overpaid they are.

walkingboss on March 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Yup, what other profession gets that amount of vacation time?

Vacation time that can be used to work a second job and make even more money.

Chip on March 3, 2011 at 12:01 PM

My biggest complaint with teachers in general is that with rare exceptions they know little outside of the classroom. They spend the first part of their lives as students and then move on to be teachers with no real experience at anything else except if they had to work as a waitress or something while attending college. In essence they are professional students who can’t or won’t grow up and seek the safety and security of halls of academia.

Being a computer science type guy I remember how we used to joke about Business Management degrees were for the jocks and teaching degrees were for those who couldn’t get Business Mgm’t degrees.

Just A Grunt on March 3, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Despite the vast amount of money sunk into education at state and federal levels since 1971, the product has not improved at all in the government monopoly. Those are the facts, and it’s time that taxpayers demanded more control of the system — or real choice for all parents to take their money and opt out of it.

This is the beginning and end of the story. I may be wrong, but the more that money comes from DC rather than locally, the more that educators can snub their real constituents so long as they can keep the gravy pouring from DC. Sure, there will likely be disparities in school funding depending on the affluence of the community. But shouldn’t that be addressed by states or regions within states, each of which could better determine whether poor performance is a money problem or a parent problem or an educator problem or a combination of two or three of them.

BuckeyeSam on March 3, 2011 at 12:01 PM

bifidis: Education certainly is a product. All colleges view it in this way, and they view it as big business.

walkingboss: Yes, teachers only work for 9 months of the year. However, I will take exception to 6-hour days. Maybe that’s only 6 hours in the classroom, but that homework doesn’t grade itself.

Sure, there are teachers who don’t care and don’t give homework because they don’t want to grade it. But there is more to teaching than just sitting in a classroom.

Just a little issue.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 12:01 PM

I’m going to show bifidis’ list of nations to some public school kids and ask them to find those nations on a map.

saint kansas on March 3, 2011 at 12:02 PM

I think the averages may be somewhat skewed by seniority. The new teachers make a pittance, but as they stay with it, their salary continues to increase. I know in Illinois, if they get an instant raise if they acquire a masters degree. By the time they are ready to retire, they are usually above 6 figures, and their pension is 80% of that.

moc23 on March 3, 2011 at 12:02 PM

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Why do WI unionized teachers hate black students?

http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2011/03/longhorns-17-badgers-1.html

a capella on March 3, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Hey, at least they spelled Hitler’s name right.

Remember the signs on the NYC buses?

I forget what it said, but it was something like …

“Education is Paramound”

… or some other misspelling.

Tony737 on March 3, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Now just imagine if Tea Partiers acted like this!

Tony737 on March 3, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Calculate their salaries on an hourly basis and you’ll get a truer picture of how overpaid they are.

walkingboss on March 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Yes. Anyone seen a salary break down by hour? With all the minimum days, national holidays, movie days, ski weeks, spring breaks, and summer vacations, the hourly wage must be pretty high!

LASue on March 3, 2011 at 12:09 PM

So the client isnt happy.
The net results are poor.
Less students per pupil.
And the clients backers (parents) also aren’t happy.

So folks, the successful method to get more money for less work is to run your business in this manner:

Piss off your clients, while making sure you increase their price – while giving your sales folks less leads and make sure any parent company of said client is also disgusted with your companys performance.

As a wise mentor once told me in business “If you want to know what you are doing wrong, ask your clients. If you want to know what you are doing right, ask your clients.”

Odie1941 on March 3, 2011 at 12:09 PM

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

When you produce something, it is a product. The ‘product’ here is the education (Theoretically) of our children.

But is that the best you can come up with, quibbling about facts without providing contravening figures – with citations and links?

Chip on March 3, 2011 at 12:10 PM

The bureaucracy in the education system is so gargantuan that it chews up a huge chunk of every dollar. Add to that the union stagnation and the “no fault” society we foster and it adds up to monumental waste.

Number 2 on March 3, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Well done, #2, well done!

Bigurn on March 3, 2011 at 12:11 PM

I have two public school students, and over 12 years of school, the best teachers they have had were older ones who did not have degrees in education but began their careers in the days before schools required teachers to have education degrees.

This is the real problem in public education today. Young people who want to teach have to major in education. These education programs are generally not very rigorous and are mostly liberal indoctrination programs. Students come out with a useless degree, little knowledge of the subject matter they end up teaching, and full of liberal propaganda.

Private schools still hire actual subject matter experts who know what they teach, and oftentimes have been actual practitioners before going into teaching. I have a very good friend who went from being a CIA analyst for several years to being a teacher at a very prestigious private school where he teaches government. He could not get a job in any public school today because his degree is in political science, not education. His wife now teaches Spanish and she is a native Spanish speaker, also without a degree in education. They make half the salaries of teachers in their local public school district, but they love their jobs because their students are smart and motivated.

rockmom on March 3, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Sure, there are teachers who don’t care and don’t give homework because they don’t want to grade it. But there is more to teaching than just sitting in a classroom.

Just a little issue.

Scott H on March 3, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Scott,

I’m glad there are teachers like you who care about what they’re doing. Don’t stop, please.

HOWEVER….

How many hours a week do you (or are you forced to) spend on PC nonsense at the expense of teaching kids to read and write, calculate and think for themselves?

The deal about school time is that it’s a zero-sum game. Every hour preaching about politics and Heather’s Two Mommies is an hour not spent giving kids a real education, and can never be regained. Even ignoring the pernicious effect of propagandizing children via the NEA agenda, expending energy on this crap is an egregious waste of time and resources.

That’s the real horror of union-defined education.

warbaby on March 3, 2011 at 12:17 PM

When you produce something, it is a product. The ‘product’ here is the education (Theoretically) of our children.

Which makes poop, carbon dioxide, piss, flatulence, and mucous all “products,” too — since they’re “produced.”

Moron.

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 12:17 PM

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Do you Leftists actually have a solution to this problem Besides Taxing people to death?

Chip on March 3, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Education as a “product?” What the? Who are you, Karl Marx? Since when did education become a “product.” Knowledge is not a product! Are you one of those people who wears their cell phone on their belt?

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Vast amounts of money means a large stack of money. The US GDP dwarfs that of Lesotho. But if you want your kids to have that great Cuban education, go for it.

You’re right that there are lots of other ed options. But only for those who can afford to pay twice for their child’s education. Our current system discriminates against poorer students who can’t afford to send their kids to private schools or stay at home and homeschool.

Government is keeping the poor in poverty by forcing them into public schools that deliver poor results. The only people benefitting from our education system are teachers and Democrats.

hawksruleva on March 3, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Those are the facts, and it’s time that taxpayers demanded more control of the system — or real choice for all parents to take their money and opt out of it.

And change the dang laws so schools have some control over the students behavior, which at the moment, is very little. School ought to be a privilege, not a right, and if you abuse the privilege, you can take your voucher dollars and try to find a non-public school who will take your kid.

Bob's Kid on March 3, 2011 at 12:18 PM

bifidis: Education certainly is a product. All colleges view it in this way, and they view it as big business.

Oh, how nice. You’ve read the latest issue of College Administrator.

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Which makes poop, carbon dioxide, piss, flatulence, and mucous all “products,” too — since they’re “produced.”

Moron.

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 12:17 PM

I think you’re confused. CHILDREN produce the things you list. Education does not. Education isn’t the same thing as a child. “It’s all about the children” is just a slogan wealthy teachers use to get more money.

hawksruleva on March 3, 2011 at 12:21 PM

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Looks like your public school education failed you. Perhaps you should revisit the term denominator.

Vashta.Nerada on March 3, 2011 at 12:21 PM

This is the real problem in public education today. Young people who want to teach have to major in education

Yeah, that’s what’s so silly.
I also don’t see why an education degree has to be a 4 year degree, especially for elementary education teachers. Or why masters degrees are encouraged. It all creates a huge expense for people who wish to go into teaching, a profession which will always have a limited income.

MayBee on March 3, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Vast amounts of money? Some countries that spend more on education by % of GDP:

1 Cuba: 18.7%

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

A cite for your stats would be nice, especially since other reference sources say Cuba only spends half that percentage.

Besides, what are they teaching their students?

The curriculum in primary and secondary schools is based upon principles of “hard work, self-discipline and love of country”

In other words, they are being “taught” to love their Dictator. That’s not an “education”, it’s State-Sponsored Brainwashing.

F-

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Moron.

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Way to stay classy and ‘Civil’ there bifidis.

Moreover, thanks for showing everyone your intellectual bankruptcy as evidenced by your use of petty insults.

Let’s try my question again: Do you Leftists actually have a solution to this fiscal sanity problem Besides Taxing people to death?

Chip on March 3, 2011 at 12:24 PM

The new teachers make a pittance, but as they stay with it, their salary continues to increase. I know in Illinois, if they get an instant raise if they acquire a masters degree. By the time they are ready to retire, they are usually above 6 figures, and their pension is 80% of that.

moc23 on March 3, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Yes. The huge raise for a totally useless Master’s Degree in Education. I call it the Teacher’s Hajj. Teacher’s get the equivalent of civil service paradise after they make the obligatory trip to the Education Mecca, graduate school.

Rocks on March 3, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Moron.

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Translated: “I’m losing the debate.”

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Do you Leftists actually have a solution to this problem Besides Taxing people to death?

Chip on March 3, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Here’s my solution for you: quit whining and feeling sorry for yourself. You already have double the number of brain cells thanks that toes. Stand tall!

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 12:26 PM

The 800 lb. gorilla in the room is the fact that teachers work 9 months of 6 hr. days.

walkingboss on March 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

One of the biggest problems in our scools is the knowledge loss among lower-income students over the summer. Poor kids actually learn as well as the rest of the students, but they don’t retain the knowledge as well over the break. Theories on WHY this occurs abound; perhaps richer households make their kids read more, or take them to state parks.

Bottokm line is that eliminating the summer break would help poor kids more than throwing money at the current system. But you don’t hear teachers calling for that, do you? I guess it’s not all about the kids, after all.

hawksruleva on March 3, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Want some facts about the rank and file teacher… at least the fifth-grade teacher I’ve been married to for 31 years?
During the school year, rare is the weeknight where she’s out of work before 7 p.m. (with the exception of the one night every other week when she volunteers at a pro-life organization from 5 to 8 p.m.). Rare is the night that she’s not working on school-related stuff for at least an hour or two after dinner. So you figure that’s 4 to 5 hours a night off the clock Monday through Thursday. Throw in two hours on the weekend to prep for the coming week and that’s 18 to 22 hours off the clock, on the average.
Part of that is on herself — she’s known (and not always affectionately) as “the homework b—-” because she demands performance from her students. And it takes time to go through that homework and grade/correct it.
And she tells me that the bureaucratic demands have more than doubled since she began teaching the year before we were married.
I’m not going to argue that there are no slackers in the profession — there are, and quite a few.
Just don’t lump ‘em all into one boat.
And I don’t oppose the existence of a professional organization to protect teachers from the whims of politicians. It used to be that good teachers could get axed just to give a school board member’s relative a job. Married female teachers who were pregnant would get canned. The teachers’ unions came into being to combat those abuses first. Then they morphed into the same kind of organization-eating monsters that helped ruin the auto industry in this country.
Sorry to rant, but some comments here just sent me off.

either orr on March 3, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Can anyone substitute the teachers union argument of more money per student equals better results to any other endeavor? How about the farmer who wants more money to grow potatoes with the promise that they will be bigger and tastier but leaves out the part about how much it will cost you at the grocery store. Or maybe a carpet maker who begs for more money to produce his product.

You see the bottom line is somewhere, somebody is going to pay a higher price for that expenditure and in the case of the teachers it is the taxpayers, unfortunately in that case it is on both ends of the equation.

Businesses have to compete to not only produce a better product but one which is affordable. Those that deal in high end products instead of concentrating on the mass production concentrate on marketing. All other businesses must balance several external influences to remain viable but the education system seems to be ignorant of these variables. They produce neither a good product at a reasonable cost, and not just dollars here, zero tolerance anyone, nor do they produce an exceptional product, which while pricey would hold some appeal to end user.

I like the idea of merit pay until you stop to think about who is doing the evaluating. Teachers grading teachers would turn into office politics and just further ingrain the institutional idiocy since teachers would only be doing what the administrators wanted.

For me the only way out of this mess is push further alternatives for education through private schools, vouchers, charter schools, home schooling, you name it. Once public schools and their cronies get the message that they ain’t special nor are they the only game in town real reform can start to take hold.

Just A Grunt on March 3, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Yes. Anyone seen a salary break down by hour? With all the minimum days, national holidays, movie days, ski weeks, spring breaks, and summer vacations, the hourly wage must be pretty high!

It’s not. Very few teachers only work their contract hours, and I can assure you that most spend time during their summer break preparing for fall. We have a lot of days off, but we don’t get paid for them, even if we work, which a lot of us do.

Conservatives, stop complaining and become teachers! If it’s that easy and we’re so overpaid, join us, please! We need more of you! Broken record here: it is the only way we can take back our educational system!!!

Bob's Kid on March 3, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Translated: “I’m losing the debate.”

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Translated: I actually think that net-based circle-jerking with a huddle of fellow rightists constitutes debate.

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 12:29 PM

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

link?

mankai on March 3, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Virtual High Schools are nice option to direct home schooling; My daughter’s virtual HS cost less than $2000 per year, and resulted in multiple scholarships and acceptance at all colleges she applied to. The new books for each class were another bonus–No hand-me-downs.

Dasher on March 3, 2011 at 12:33 PM

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Maybe I need to rephrase the question, given your predilection for insult instead of honest debate.

Do you Leftist actually have a solution to the Fiscal Sanity issue that doesn’t involve burdening the people with even more oppressive taxation?

Chip on March 3, 2011 at 12:34 PM

MayBee on March 3, 2011 at 12:23 PM

I I thought the same thing when I found out an education major was teaching 6th grade science.

I understand the fact that there are specific techniques and strategies – skills – required to be an efective teacher. The Navy teaches it’s teachers (instructors) a specific set of skills required for those “on the podium”. It takes about a month, but then a Sailor is ready to be “certified” by his peers (takes about 3 months of observation). Once that’s done, that’s it – For everything from Nuclear Power down to tying knots. The only other criteria is that he or she needs to be a subject matter expert on the course.

So, I can see Education as a certification to go along with professed and earned expertise, or at most a minor that grants equivalence to that certification.

JeffWeimer on March 3, 2011 at 12:35 PM

During the school year, rare is the weeknight where she’s out of work before 7 p.m. (with the exception of the one night every other week when she volunteers at a pro-life organization from 5 to 8 p.m.). Rare is the night that she’s not working on school-related stuff for at least an hour or two after dinner. So you figure that’s 4 to 5 hours a night off the clock Monday through Thursday. Throw in two hours on the weekend to prep for the coming week and that’s 18 to 22 hours off the clock, on the average.

I call BULL SHIT on that.

I live within 1/2 mile of two schools. One is k-5, the other is 6-8. School gets out at 3:10 for both. I drive by both schools several times a day. By 4:00 if there are 5 cars left in either of the school parking lots it’s an odd occurrence. Teachers leave school right after the kids leave.

And it seems like every 3rd Friday is an excuse for a day off. Teache development day. Student appreciation day. This or that day, in addition to every single federal holiday off. When’s the last time anyone in the private sector got Columbus Day or Veterans Day off? But those 2 holidays = school’s closed.

So spare me this nonsense about teachers staying at school late. It’s a myth, like every other union myth being thrown around these days.

Oh and for the prep work, again BULL SHIT. Teachers prep for their classes the first and second years. After that it’s on auto pilot. 2+2=4 every year. You don’t need to prep to teach that.

angryed on March 3, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Translated: I actually think that net-based circle-jerking with a huddle of fellow rightists constitutes debate.

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Translated: “Del is right. And I will prove it with this Alinsky-inspired post.”

Now, kid, I asked you a simple question back at 12:18 that you seem to be afraid to answer. Namely, a URL for that list of countries and how much they spend on education.

Speaking of which, another one of the countries you list is

28 Jamaica: 6.1%

Ever been to JA? I have. A major part of their “education system” there is solely designed to “educate” students to train for careers as waters and waitresses and chambermaids in the tourist industry.

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 12:37 PM

link?

mankai on March 3, 2011 at 12:31 PM

The first result after Googling “education spending by GDP”:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_edu_spe-education-spending-of-gdp

Don’t know much about the source itself, so judge as you may.

Dark-Star on March 3, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Now, kid, I asked you a simple question back at 12:18 that you seem to be afraid to answer. Namely, a URL for that list of countries and how much they spend on education.

Oops, got the time mixed up. My post was actually at 12:24 PM.

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 12:38 PM

From the headlines

Longhorns 17, Badgers 1
http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2011/03/longhorns-17-badgers-1.html

Iowahawk addressed this issue well and I though that this added to the bogus “union schools fare better” meme that liberals are pushing:

Teachers’ Unions and Test Scores

Jonathan H. Adler • March 2, 2011 8:32 am
http://volokh.com/2011/03/02/teachers-unions-and-test-scores/

I keep hearing the claim that the five states that do not allow collective bargaining for teachers have the lowest standardized test scores in the country. If this were true, it would be worth investigating the connection between teacher unionization and student performance, only it’s not. As Politifact documents here, the claim is false.

UPDATE:

Politifact’s analysis of ACT scores was based on 2009 data. It turns out that in 2010 non-unionized Virginia had higher ACT scores than unionized Wisconsin (data here), although a significantly smaller percentage of Virginia students took the test.

The “throw money at the problem” does not hold water either:

Why does California spend more per pupil, yet have a higher dropout rate? And why does New York spend even more per pupil than California and Texas, and also have a higher drop-out rate? And why does the District of Columbia spend almost twice as much money per pupil as Texas, and yet have a much higher dropout rate than Texas?

There are so many variables that determine education success (ethnic make up,social status,parental support,percentage and education level of students that took the tests,quality of teachers…and so on)…it is impossible for numbers to make any credible determinations.

Personally my wife and I believe that our consistent involvement in our daughter’s education combined with open communication and support of the school’s administration make more of a difference than unions or money ever will.

There are lies…dam# lies…and their are statistics.

Baxter Greene on March 3, 2011 at 12:39 PM

The teachers striking and protesting in WI are selfish greedy scum, IMO. That being said, and what follows are just the highlites, we should be careful about averages regarding teachers’ pay and benefits. There are significant differences among the various states and states like WI and CA to name two that skew the averages upward. Those private sector pay and bennie averages include people making minimum wage and without college educations who will never make as much as a college grad unless they are in business for themselves. During booming economic times the private sector pays much better than the public. I know this from personal experience. It’s only during bad times that teacher salaries and bennies look so good. Student to teacher ratios are another average we need to be careful of. Those teachers include librarians, PE teachers, IT teachers, and various specialist teachers like Reading Specialist teachers. Your kids’ regular classroom ratio is still near 25 to 1. Public school vs. private school salaries is another average to watch out for. Those private school teachers, more likely than not, have no certification, or training or an education beyond HS. Also, Mr. Private School owner is pocketing the money he doesn’t pay for teachers etc. but does no teaching himself. That $10G spent on students is about equal to what it will cost you to send your kid to a better private school. Private schools are a mixed bag. The elite schools ($10K/yr) with the high scoring students are from high IQ/achieving parents etc. The typical private school affordable to the middle class tells parents what they want to hear and the kids come back into the public school systems BEHIND grade level. (Those are some more statistics the “Hang the teachers” crowd should consider). Again, I know this from personal experience. Yes, 79% of parents are very satisfied with private schools,… until their kids reenter the public school system and find out their kids aren’t at grade level like they were told, or until their kid needs special attention that is unavailable at their private school. The typical student at a private school comes from a family with higher IQ parents who are motivated (see “Chinese Moms”) for their kids to achieve. The public schools HAVE to take everyone, including the disruptive problem kids from dysfunctional families and lower IQs. That skews the scores down. And don’t blame the teachers for no discipline in schools. It’s the fault of the whining, dysfunctional, tax paying parents of the “problem kids” who vote with a vengeance. Teachers do want discipline. But just try and instill it or get rid of the incorrigible children. Easier said than done. I look forward to the day when all families get vouchers for private schooling if they choose. Me and mine will open a private school, get the kids educated, dump the problem people (if they gain admission in the first place) and make BIG money doing it.
See the following link for good info on schools: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=40846

JimP on March 3, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Enlightening! These teachers will blame it on everyone and everything except themselves.

jeanie on March 3, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Ever been to JA? I have. A major part of their “education system” there is solely designed to “educate” students to train for careers as waters and waitresses and chambermaids in the tourist industry.

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 12:37 PM

In that cr@phole of a country, that’s probably one of the best careers available to them. US nations won’t even outsource to there.

Dark-Star on March 3, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Yes. The huge raise for a totally useless Master’s Degree in Education. I call it the Teacher’s Hajj. Teacher’s get the equivalent of civil service paradise after they make the obligatory trip to the Education Mecca, graduate school.

Rocks on March 3, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Love this!!!

How useless do you have to be to be a professor of education in a graduate program? Talk about the blind leading the blind…

rockmom on March 3, 2011 at 12:40 PM

*US companies

My bad.

Dark-Star on March 3, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Dark-Star on March 3, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Since bifidis can’t seem to answer this question, why don’t you take a swing and a miss at it:

Do you Leftists actually have a solution to the Fiscal Sanity issue that doesn’t involve burdening the people with even more oppressive taxation?

Chip on March 3, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Do public-school teachers make too little?

If you really want to come up with the right answers, you have to be asking the right questions.

SOME teachers make too little and SOME make too much, if any sort of product vaule is considered. The entire problem with the union approach is that it is designed specifically to protect the bad ones by showing off the good ones.

MikeA on March 3, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Education as a “product?” What the? Who are you, Karl Marx? Since when did education become a “product.” Knowledge is not a product! Are you one of those people who wears their cell phone on their belt?

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM

LOL troll. Spoken like a typical liberal fool who thinks service output can’t be measured.

Teachers provide a service. No different than an accountant, architect, lawyer, doctor.

The service they are supposed to provide is teach children how to read and write. They are failing miserably, ie they are not providing the service for which they are paid. In any other industry, those teachers would be fired on the spot. But since they are unionized, they stay on the job for 30 years providing nothing of value.

Imagine the same standard were applied to doctors. Every patient a doctor sees dies the next day. Instead of firing that doctor, you’d be advocating giving him a 10% raise.

angryed on March 3, 2011 at 12:42 PM

My Mrs is in special education and I can attest that while she routinely leaves at her contractual time, she regularly puts in an additional 5-10 hours per week writing her reports. She is paid quite well on the scale but the system she works for (metro Boston area) is quite demanding. What is frustrating to her is that she has to cancell treatment time for endless mandated meetings for kids evaluations, updates, progress reports. If she actually had to read the 200+ emails a day she gets that would further crimp her time for treatment. The Ed laws in MA are almost crippling her ability to deliver services. Its quite frustrating for her.

Rich on March 3, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Ever been to JA? I have. A major part of their “education system” there is solely designed to “educate” students to train for careers as waters and waitresses and chambermaids in the tourist industry.

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 12:37 PM

And most of those schools were built by church groups from America. I have friends who just returned from a mission trip in Jamaica where they helped build such a school in a remote town where the nearest public school is 50 miles away. The government of Jamaica actually provides very little funding for education.

rockmom on March 3, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Yes. The huge raise for a totally useless Master’s Degree in Education. I call it the Teacher’s Hajj. Teacher’s get the equivalent of civil service paradise after they make the obligatory trip to the Education Mecca, graduate school.

Rocks on March 3, 2011 at 12:25 PM

It’s a great scam.

Teachers are in a union.
The union decides pay scales.
Pay scales increase with Master’s Degrees.
Universities get a guaranteed income stream from teachers who have to take master’s classes.
Universities churn out more teachers who then join a union, and are guaranteed to take master’s classes in the future.

Rinse and repeat every year.

angryed on March 3, 2011 at 12:44 PM

katiejane on March 3, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Parents aren’t miracle workers, either, but that doesn’t stop far too many teachers for blaming them for poor student performance and accepting those parents’ money. A lot of teachers need to get over themselves and admit that, as a profession, they are spectacularly failing…on someone else’s dime.

Christien on March 3, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Here’s my solution for you: quit whining and feeling sorry for yourself. You already have double the number of brain cells thanks that toes. Stand tall!

bifidis on March 3, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Hilarious….

bifidis wants to crack on someone’s intelligence level but can’t even compose a complete sentence.

Completely stuck on stupid…
…you really can’t make this sh!t up.

Baxter Greene on March 3, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Wish I could take off for a couple of weeks and beat drums to get in touch with my inner child – and not get fired.

BowHuntingTexas on March 3, 2011 at 12:46 PM

The first result after Googling “education spending by GDP”:

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_edu_spe-education-spending-of-gdp

Don’t know much about the source itself, so judge as you may.

Dark-Star on March 3, 2011 at 12:37 PM

It’s put out by a web design company in Australia.

Unfortunately there is one sentence in their “FAQ” section that makes this entire GDP list basically worthless, namely this:

Poor countries have small GDP’s and thus their spending for a particular indicator can be high without the real figure being high.

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 12:46 PM

In 1960, the student-teacher ratio in public schools was 25.8; it’s now at a historic low of 15.

The Student:Teacher ratio is much much lower in Wisconsin.

According to Wisconsin Dept of Public Instruction (https://apps2.dpi.wi.gov/sdpr/spr.action), the ratio in Madison is 10.6, statewide it’s 12.7 (08-09 data).

pablo5108 on March 3, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Do you Leftists actually have a solution to the Fiscal Sanity issue that doesn’t involve burdening the people with even more oppressive taxation?

Chip on Shoulder on March 3, 2011 at 12:41 PM

When you’re an Ann Coulter-level rightwinger, I do suppose ‘leftist’ includes people like me…

And here’s the painfully honest answer to your loaded ‘question’: any real solution will have to involve both cuts and tax increases. We’re too far gone for either one alone to get the US out of the hole we’re in.

…unfortunately, that makes the reality unpalatable to both sides, hence why it isn’t happening.

Dark-Star on March 3, 2011 at 12:47 PM

either orr on March 3, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Let’s say I buy this, and I don’t really (especially the at school till 7pm stuff), it pretty much get’s offset by the ideas that you can “retire” at 55 at 80% pay doesn’t it? Let’s not forget the pay out for the accumulated sick days either which can amount to 3 months pay. Or the fact that many teachers then go right to work for another school district, at premium pay levels, while enjoying their “retirement”.

Rocks on March 3, 2011 at 12:47 PM

The Principal at our local school refers to the “product” of education. That we have superior teachers and therefore have a superior education product to offer the students.

The superintendent refers to closing a plant to save money (ie: a school)

I think I was the only one who caught the irony between the principal exhorting that we have “the best” school district in Wisconsin, then segueing into the need for reading resource teachers at the high school!

Daisy_WI on March 3, 2011 at 12:48 PM

pablo5108 on March 3, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Do those numbers even account for the proliferation of Teachers Aides?

Rocks on March 3, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Who in the private sector has an employer that contributes 10% to a retirement account???

We all have 401Ks now, my employer suspended matching money 3 years ago, they match 0%.

orbitalair on March 3, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Baxter Greene on March 3, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Don’t waste your time on wastes of DNA.

Christien on March 3, 2011 at 12:51 PM

To Surly, with facts

Ha! You are on a roll, Ed!

publiuspen on March 3, 2011 at 11:39 AM

heh. heh.

wi farmgirl on March 3, 2011 at 12:52 PM

I do suppose ‘leftist’ includes people like me…

Dark-Star on March 3, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Finally a libtard says something truthful.

angryed on March 3, 2011 at 12:53 PM

orbitalair on March 3, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Mine mathces 5%, and I consider that very generous. I’d like to find a company that matches 10%!

JeffWeimer on March 3, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Sure wish my daughter was in that group of “average” teachers. She’s a fourth year high school teacher at a rural school, making 32K a year and has to resource her own classroom. She is NOT a member of a teacher’s union.

As a single woman in her 20s, she’s definitely living paycheck to paycheck. So maybe we just need to make the generalizations less sweeping. She’s not greedy; she just wants to be able to pay the rent, the car payment, the insurance and maybe have a little left over for food.

Tennman on March 3, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Mine mathces 5%, and I consider that very generous. I’d like to find a company that matches 10%!

JeffWeimer on March 3, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Key word there is “matches”. As in you have to put in some and your employer puts in some.

For unionists, it’s not a match. It’s a gift. They put in $0 and the tax payer puts in 10%.

And yet somehow to the libtards of the world, that seems perfectly fine.

angryed on March 3, 2011 at 12:55 PM

I call BULL SHIT on that.
I live within 1/2 mile of two schools. One is k-5, the other is 6-8. School gets out at 3:10 for both. I drive by both schools several times a day. By 4:00 if there are 5 cars left in either of the school parking lots it’s an odd occurrence. Teachers leave school right after the kids leave.
***
So spare me this nonsense about teachers staying at school late. It’s a myth, like every other union myth being thrown around these days.
***

angryed on March 3, 2011 at 12:36 PM

I agree. I volunteer at our (very good public ) high school — A LOT — and have never seen a teacher there past 4:00 (unless they are coaching a team). Teachers who don’t have a 6th period class are gone by 2:00. Most have at least one period off and do their paperwork then. Average hours are 8 am-3 p.m., for 9 months/year. Even with a few hours/week grading papers at home and/or prep work, this is not what most people consider hard labor.

LASue on March 3, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Exactly.
Think about the bureaucracy our education tax dollars support. Huge administrations are needed to make sure districts are complying with federal regulations.
How many people does it take to fill out the paperwork to try to “win” tax dollars back from the federal government through “Race to the Top”?

MayBee on March 3, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Privatize it, competition makes for leaner more efficient businesses. Merit pay for teachers, decent benefits too. The charter schools and private schools should be given advantages just like public.

wi farmgirl on March 3, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Finally a libtard says something truthful.

angryed on March 3, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Taking your cues from the MSM again, I see, cut-and-pasting quotes until it fits whatever you want to say. How unsurprising.

Dark-Star on March 3, 2011 at 12:59 PM

But many of our kids are not learning–undeniable fact. I’ve never seen any studies on the various reasons and percentages of reasons why they are not. This, of course, is not all the fault of teachers. But, it IS, in part their fault. I think many use the pat, ready made excuse that it is family values and society. For many, not all, this allows them to let themselves off the hook. Please note the long post above where state laws are named in the mix. Undoubtedly, but teachers are the front lines and somewhere along the line many have failed…too many…and they do not admit it even to themselves. When you’re job is as protected as that of union teachers there is little incentive to improve or institute change. This will continue and get worse if something stern and demanding is not done.

jeanie on March 3, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Look, most of my relatives are teachers… and most of them aren’t talking to me right now.

The biggest problem is that they work for nine months, but want paid for twelve.

When confronted with this fact, they always point out the number of hours they spend (grading papers, etc) outside of work. However, they don’t like it when I point out that I work the same outside hours, so what’s their point?

I’ve fact-checked salary ranges, and teachers at the top of their range make more than I do per hour. But it takes them 30 years and a Master’s degree to get there. Most of my relatives are jealous of my pay because I’ve earned accelerated increases so that I achieved the top of my pay band before the age of 38, when they won’t hit theirs until in their 60′s.

They are jealous of the pay increases I’ve had, but don’t want to play in my world to achieve it. They will do everything to defend their system, even as they suffer under it.

dominigan on March 3, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Do you Leftists actually have a solution to the Fiscal Sanity issue that doesn’t involve burdening the people with even more oppressive taxation?

Chip on Shoulder on March 3, 2011 at 12:41 PM

When you’re an Ann Coulter-level rightwinger, I do suppose ‘leftist’ includes people like me…

And here’s the painfully honest answer to your loaded ‘question’: any real solution will have to involve both cuts and tax increases. We’re too far gone for either one alone to get the US out of the hole we’re in.

…unfortunately, that makes the reality unpalatable to both sides, hence why it isn’t happening.

Dark-Star on March 3, 2011 at 12:47 PM

So, that’s a No then?

Can you understand the fact that people are already taxed too much and that it’s time we try something different?

You’re proposing that we do that same thing we’ve always done that has driven us to this point, correct?

Chip on March 3, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Dark-Star on March 3, 2011 at 12:59 PM

How do you know when you’ve won an argument with a libtard?

1. He calls you a racist
or
2. He goes off on a nonsensical tangent having nothing to do with the topic at hand.

angryed on March 3, 2011 at 1:03 PM

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