Thursday, February 24, 2005

Americans Not Ready to Give Up on Public Schools

This was copied from the Gallup Poll. It was kind of interesting. Seems to indicate that Americans prefer continuing the effort to improve public schools instead of giving up on them.

Starting in 2000, the poll began to ask the public how it expected improvement in schooling to come about. The choices offered were reforming the existing system or finding an alternative system. The public has consistently opted for improving the existing system.

Link

Scroll down to Table 5 I think it is.

18 Comments:

At Thursday, February 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Questions Gallop might have asked:

1- as a parent of school age children, would you like the freedom to select which school your child attends? Yes or No

2- if you had the freedom to choose and had a voucher accepted at ANY area school -- public or private -- would you send your child to the school they are now attending? Yes or No

3- do you believe the Teacher's Union will ever allow freedom of choice in education? Yes or No

4- whose interests do you believe the Teacher's Union best serves? A- Students, B- Teachers, C- the Union itself

 
At Friday, February 25, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderfully entertaining read! The truth hurts, so one might as well laugh through the pain.

Thanks !

 
At Saturday, February 26, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some other questions that Gallup might ask:

5. Do you think taxpayers should have the freedom to choose which private charitable and/or religious organizations should receive any of their money? Yes or No

6. Do you believe that any school, public or private, that receives tax dollars should be subject to the same rules, regulations and laws that apply to public schools? Yes or No

7. Do you believe that any school that receives tax dollars should be required to meet AYP since that is the basis for the voucher proposal currently before the Indiana General Assembly? Yes or No

8. Do you believe that all elected officials should be held to the highest standard of truthfulness and honesty when making public statements to the people of the state of Indiana Yes or No

 
At Saturday, February 26, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sense from the first comment on this topic a bit of frustration with teachers' unions. Certainly within any organization (except perhaps private industry) there are examples of poor behavior and excesses. At the same time, I wonder if just giving money to people so they can have extra bucks to send their kid to a church/private school is the best solution. Sure, some may feel better at having "gotten" the union, but what exactly is the goal here? Is it to punish teachers who belong to a union or is it to increase education achievement for all students?

If the United States is to continue its decades long history of leading the world in achievement, we need to focus our efforts specifically on achieving greater results in math and science. The simplistic answer to that challenge would seem to be to just give parents "choice" and that rising tide of "competition" will lift everyone's boats.

Here's my question. Has anyone bothered to check the wages of science and math teachers in public schools? Would sending public money to church/private schools significantly impact the pay for math and science teachers to the point where those wages are anywhere close to being competitive in the marketplace?

If we want to get serious about increasing achievement in math and science we had better take a hard look at how important it is to us to attract skilled mathemeticians and scientists to become teachers of our students, whether they are in public or church/private schools. It doesn't appear to me that simply redistributing the same dollars is an effective solution to that problem.

In my opinion, all of this other discussion about vouchers and "choice" is just noise at best and a smokescreen at worst.

The more time and energy we divert going down trails like those, the longer it will take to agree upon and implement solutions that are effective in producing the results that are critical to the future of this greatest nation on the face of the earth.

 
At Saturday, February 26, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen. Well said.

 
At Monday, February 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My children go to a private school where we have struggled to recruit and retain high quality math and science teachers.

We had a terrific science teacher, but he left for significantly more pay in private industry.

At a parent-administration meeting, several people suggested we offer higher compensation to those positions -- science and math -- that are harder to recruit.

You would have thought that we had proposed the overthrow of democracy. Administrators and teachers went nuts! Paying one teacher more than another -- blasphemy!!

The suggestion was soundly rejected -- either everyone gets as much as the highest position requires or no one gets it.

The reaction didn't make sense to us in private industry where you pay more for hard to recruit talent.

Rather than fight the culture, most of us just hired private tutors in math and science for our kids.

Are we looking at this the wrong way? How do teachers believe pay should be set, if not by market demand?

 
At Monday, February 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been trying to find what math and science teachers are paid in the public schools, but I can't find it. Can anyone help?

 
At Monday, February 28, 2005, Blogger Indiana Public School Superintendent said...

Sadly enough, Math and Science teachers get paid the same as other teachers. Which means the only way to get paid more is to grow older. And you can't grow older any faster although it feels that way these days.

Check any local school corporations cerified pay scale and you will know what a Math or Science teacher makes depending on their years of experience in education and their degree.

This is public information.

The IDOE website will provide some data for individual school systems.

Hope this helps a little. Beginning pay is probably around $30,000 in most locales.

 
At Monday, February 28, 2005, Blogger Indiana Public School Superintendent said...

The comment several posts above about the administrators and teachers going nuts over the suggestion that one teacher might be paid more than another troubles me.

I agree with the comment that public educators have to get over this - and soon.

Some of the commentators on these boards think that all of us administrators think alike. Wrong.

It is time for educators to realize that growing older and automatically getting paid more is not any more fair than any other system.

The big difference is that private industry can protect the privacy of their wages - and we can't. It is ALL public information. This makes the public politics side of it more difficult.

Private industry can give a raise to an employee and say, "Keep it to yourself. Your partners didn't get as much."

 
At Monday, February 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I know there are some in education who understand abstract concepts like supply & demand, the US public educational culture is never going to accept such a radical concept as "paying market" for math and science teachers.

Parents are better off finding solutions for quality math & science education on their own, outside of schools.

Perhaps top notch math and science teachers should offer their capabilities to paying customers in the private market.

 
At Monday, February 28, 2005, Anonymous tammy said...

What percent of teachers are union members? Is it a majority?

 
At Tuesday, March 01, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most superintendents have a general idea. It varies by school district and local cultures play an important role. In highly unionized towns with large manufacturing unions you will probably notice a higher percentage of union members in the schools. At least that was my experience.

Some of the comments on these threads indicate that there is an anti-union attitude prevalent, mostly directed at NEA. Most of these people would be surprised to know that a large majority of teachers are not very familiar with NEA's national agenda and in most cases probably wouldn't agree with it if they knew it. Most teachers in our area belong initially because they are told by colleagues they should get extra liability coverage. I am guessing 60-70% of teachers are members in the school districts I am most familiar with.

A few districts have pulled out of NEA and ISTA and have formed a local group just to bargain. They have stayed out of the national political debates.

 
At Tuesday, March 01, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, 60% of the teachers belong to the union, a majority don't know what the union stands for, but 100% of the members pay their dues -- and most wouldn't agree with the NEA's position.

How does that make sense?

How much does a teacher pay in union dues each year? Why don't they quit the union?

 
At Friday, March 04, 2005, Blogger Indiana Public School Superintendent said...

Probably 600-700 dollars.

Why are you surprised that they wouldn't know the national platform of NEA?

Most community people don't know their legislator's name either.

 
At Saturday, March 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

100% of the members do not pay dues. Only the teachers who join the union pay dues, unless schools have negotiated a different arrangement called "fair share" with their union.

 
At Thursday, March 10, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who's interests does the Union serve?

 
At Saturday, March 12, 2005, Anonymous NEA Observer said...

IPS Super -- here's your Union's stance on paying more for hard to recruit positions --

"The NEA opposes providing additional compensation to attract and/or retain education employees in hard-to-recruit positions. The NEA also believes that local affiliates can best promote the economic welfare of all education employees, regardless of source of funding, by following the salary standards developed at the state and national levels."

So, while you and other teachers might believe paying more to attract quality math & science teachers would be in the best interests of children, the NEA (with a $250,000,000 annual budget) doesn't agree with you.

 
At Saturday, March 12, 2005, Anonymous NEA Observer said...

IPS Super -- here's your Union's stance on paying more for hard to recruit positions --

"The NEA opposes providing additional compensation to attract and/or retain education employees in hard-to-recruit positions. The NEA also believes that local affiliates can best promote the economic welfare of all education employees, regardless of source of funding, by following the salary standards developed at the state and national levels."

So, while you and other teachers might believe paying more to attract quality math & science teachers would be in the best interests of children, the NEA (with a $250,000,000 annual budget) doesn't agree with you.

 

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