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View Diary: I Attend a Tea Party Forum About Schools (139 comments)

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  •  The 54% real salary increase since 1959 is correct (13+ / 0-)

    according to this research from the American Federation of Teachers:

    Survey and Analysis of Teacher Salary Trends 2007

    Honestly, I question whether this diary is a good choice for Community Spotlight. It's full of emotion but short on facts.

    I say that as the son of two public school teachers who fully approves that 54% salary increase over four decades. Teachers were paid terribly when my father started out.

    •  I thought it might...but then, so might any (21+ / 0-)

      profession since 1959.

      I think it is very misleading to not compare it to any other professional pay increases.

      59% is not the same as a 100% increase...but the fact that the slide went by so fast and the audience was so gullible, any increase would have angered them.

      Character is what you are in the dark. Emilio Lazzardo in Buckaroo Bonzai

      by Temmoku on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 05:11:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  54% increasse since 1959? (21+ / 0-)

      OKay. Now, show me the charts covering inflation and buying power.

      How does that salary increase compare to inflation? What is the buying power of the current salary, compared to the buying power of the1959 salary?

      And THAT is where the tea party argument FAILS miserably - which is why they never, ever show that information.

      On the whole, I prefer not to be lectured on patriotism by those who keep offshore maildrops in order to avoid paying their taxes. - Molly Ivins

      by Lashe on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 05:32:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually the numbers are adjusted for inflation. (15+ / 0-)

        But in 1956 the average teacher's salary was $30910 in 2007 dollars and in 2007, it was $51009. So teachers don't make too much now; they made way too little in 1956.

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 06:00:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  By the way , the unadjusted salary in 1956 was (12+ / 0-)

          $4055. And teachers' salaries have grown at a slightly lower rate than other workers according to the report.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 06:06:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not arguing - I grew up a teacher's kid (15+ / 0-)

          and my sister and her fiance are teachers!

          I am very well aware of how little teachers are paid, given the long hours and difficulty of the work they are expected to do! (Anyone who claims teachers only work 6-7 hour days and get whole summers off is totally full of shit.)

          I remember what it was like to grow up in a single-income family, and that one being a teacher's pay. We weren't poor, but we were definitely on a very tight budget.

          My point was that inflation - cost of living - has gone up a LOT since 1959, but teacher's pay hasn't kept up with it in terms of buying power.

          Another primary reason salaries appear to have increased so much between 1959 and now is that back then, teaching was considered a "women's job", and "women's jobs" were paid a lot less than their male counterparts.  

          Plus, many teaching jobs now require advanced degrees, which wasn't always the case back then. Start adding in factors like that, and you''ll quickly find that teachers make MUCH less than their counterparts in business.

          Teaching is just not valued by current society - especially by these idiotic tea party morons who are determined to stay ignorant, are proud of being ignorant, and are doing their damndest to keep everyone else ignorant as well.

          On the whole, I prefer not to be lectured on patriotism by those who keep offshore maildrops in order to avoid paying their taxes. - Molly Ivins

          by Lashe on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 06:38:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I absolutely agree. (4+ / 0-)

            As I recall, the main difference between us and Finland and Sinagapore is that Finland and Singapore value teachers. What does it say about us that we entrust our children's  education to people we then call -well, the things we have heard lately. Then there's the canard of "those who can, do, this who can't, teach.

            When hard working people who do a difficult and important (perhaps THE most important job) hear those things, what must it do to their morale.

            My point was only that even adjusted for inflation, teachers are not being paid too much and that in the past, they were paid a woefully inadequate amount. And I also totally agree that it was (is) because it is a female dominated profession.

            In my opinion, we should pay teachers at least 50 percent more than we do now.

            You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

            by sewaneepat on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 07:49:15 AM PST

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          •  Teachers' Student Loans (7+ / 0-)

            And how much debt was taken on in student loans in 1956?

            My daughter teaches fifth grade in an inner city school and will be paying off her $43,000 student loan debt for the next ten years.

            She can't afford to live on her own with her 2011 salary.

        •  even in 1956 (11+ / 0-)

          teachers at elementary and high school were predominantly women, and underpaid as a matter of course everywhere in the working world.   A 54% increase just begins to make up for the 'being female' factor in salary.

          Plus if you took out coaches and reran average salaries it would probably drop a couple thousand dollars a year for the strictly classroom teachers.   Unless Illinois is a lot more egalitarian in coaches' pay than down here.

        •  Use Wage index, not pure inflation (4+ / 0-)

          They are trying to use the same arguments they used to cut Social Security.  Wages (believe it or not) usually (historically at least) go up faster than price inflation.  I don't have a link to the numbers, but over that time period, (avg.) wages probably went up 30% more than inflation.  So, when they compare your wage increases to inflation, sure, it looks good, but compared to the rest of the population (wage inflation), probably not any better than anybody else.

      •  Cost of education (5+ / 0-)

        They also are not taking into consideration that a college education has become more expensive for a low paying profession to begin with. It is crap that the Teabaggers want to eliminate public education. I don't think they really want stupid.

        •  Don't want stupid? (8+ / 0-)

          They are stupid, and proud of it, too. Some are seniors with no kids in school, or they send their kids to a private or religious school, or they home school, and they don't care about the public system. Some believe, in the face of all the evidence, that schools are awash in money and just waste it all. Some think education--the kind with critical thinking and all that stuff--is a liberal plot, and that we ought to teach the Bible in biology class.

          These people are clowns. Thirty years ago, they were the John Birch Society, and nobody would give them the time of day. Now they run the Republican party.

          "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

          by happy camper on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 09:03:02 AM PST

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    •  Good grief! (9+ / 0-)

      Haven't these people heard of inflation?  I could buy a bottle of coke for 5 cents in the 1950's too.

      •  And gasoline was 17 cents a gallon! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dejavu, PsychoSavannah, Temmoku, Mike08
      •  I am trying hard to understand what is (7+ / 0-)

        so awful about a 54% increase over that stretch of time.  Everything has gone up at least that much. That's not even a big increase.
        If they started at 20K, it means they've gone all they way up to - $30K?
        I don't think there is a reason to get defensive here.

        "I've taken up sculpting recently. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 05:55:57 AM PST

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        •  My parents bought a house for 19,000 (7+ / 0-)

          dollars in 1961.....today same house sold for 150,000.

          Yes let's talk about the buying power of those salaries...

          and as others have stated...let's look and compare all professional salaries and how much they have risen during the same time period.

          Context is essential, but teabaggers and their sockpuppets don't bother to provide it because then it makes their arguments and statistics just look bogus..

          I repeat, teabaggers and sockpuppet defenders don't do context because it makes them look like flaming fools.

          "When will the American teachers follow the lead of Wall Street and start making some sacrifices for the children"..Jon Stewart

          by emal on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 06:30:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ahem (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Temmoku

            The missing context in your post is that the 54% increase is adjusted for inflation.

            •  Ahem (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Temmoku

              the  missing context in your post is that most likely other professionals wages with similar educational backgrounds rose at similar or higher rates as well..ahem ahem...

              Ahem,...it's all relative to other peoples' wage growth.

              Then there's the context of how this one sole chart is cherrypicked the data point start from 1959....hmmm, why not compare/also show the difference from a different starting point, like say fromthe great stagnation, or since 1979 or 1999? Yeah and compare it to Wall street or hedge fund managers wages?

              And how about the context that teachers in 1959 could teach without a master's degree, which is now a requirement in many states....bet that context was missing in that teaparty chart.

              Yeah speaking of ahem...and context, you might want to talk bigger picture. How about mentioning the wealth gap? Bet there were no slides about that factor that has grown to the worst levels since the depression.

              Or how about talking about how the top 400 billionaires in this country and the fact that they own more wealth than the bottom 50% percent of the population now.

              400 people (including teaparty backer Koch Bros) have more combined wealth than 155 million people.

              Yeah ahem ...ahem...you're willing to spout a minute cherrypicked statistic that is really meaningless in the bigger economic reality/narrative on the state of the financial well being of the middle and working class people in this country. It would make it much more meaningful providing that narrative is important. Leaving it out is intentionally misleading and wrong.

              And lastly, I was in a bar last night where the average income was 1 million dollars....1 person made 10 million dollars and the other 9 had run out of unemployment and had no income. Yeah lies, damned lies, and statistics...context...ahem.

              "When will the American teachers follow the lead of Wall Street and start making some sacrifices for the children"..Jon Stewart

              by emal on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 10:55:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ahem (0+ / 0-)

                That's not what this exchange is about.  The point is not whether teachers get the pay they deserve in comparison to others. It's whether teacher pay has in fact gone up by more than 50% since 1959 in inflation-adjusted dollars.  According to the AFT it has.  It's a simple point.

                •  Bull (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Temmoku, bekosiluvu

                  bull...without context "that point"  is  meaningless. A meaningless statistic standing on it's own.v That is why baggers use that approach...cherrypicking data, that's what started the Iraq War...cherrypicking statistics is dangerous. And that is why I believe baggers and wingnuts do it.

                  It means a very different thing if they've risen 50%  during that time frame if say other professionals/wages went up 200% or compared to if other professionals/wages went up only 10% during that same time period.  And yes it's important if the educational entry level also changed during that time frame. (master degree..it compared to other master's degree profressions).Context is important and very necessary to give correct meaning.

                  That's "the point" I'm making and the one you are definitely (deliberately?) missing. Context is part of analysis and critical thinking and is very important and necessary for correct interpretation and reasoning.

                  Context...you might want to provide it and use it when you are sighting statistics...imo you're acting irresponsible trying to argue one data point in isolation as these things do not occur in a vaccuum ..that one statistic is meaningless without much broader context. You know it and if you don't than you most certainly should.

                  oh and ahem...ahem.

                  "When will the American teachers follow the lead of Wall Street and start making some sacrifices for the children"..Jon Stewart

                  by emal on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:00:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  You imply (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PsychoSavannah, Temmoku, mamamedusa

            that at some level they must know that they look like flaming fools or they wouldn't try so hard to cover it up.

            I just get the feeling that what they are aiming for is not what they say they are aiming for and they know it.  But what are they aiming for?   A society that oppresses everyone but them?  Except that they will be oppressed too.  

            I talked to an old woman last night who was stunned that Texas Gov Perry was planning to opt out of Medicade and therefore close down some enormous number of nursing homes in this state.   But she was also upset because she had thought that he was one of the few republicans who could "beat Obama" and now she wasn't so sure.  She identified herself as a staunch republican.  I have to wonder at the dissonance she must be experiencing.

      •  I bought candy bars for a nickel! (0+ / 0-)

        And I thought THAT was a BIG deal! Of course I was only 10.

        Character is what you are in the dark. Emilio Lazzardo in Buckaroo Bonzai

        by Temmoku on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 07:00:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The 56% increase IS adjusted for inflation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Temmoku

        Please look at the link.

        •  see my top-level comment, below. (6+ / 0-)

          there's some seriously weird misinterpretation of the data.

          (51,009 / 30,910) = 1.65, which is a 65% increase.

          however, almost all of that increase was achieved by 1972. this was followed by a long retrenchment, and a long recovery.

          "real" teacher salaries increased a whopping 6% from 1972 to 2007, and a simply staggering 1.5% from 1993 to 2007.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 10:22:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My original comment was directed at the diary's (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Temmoku

            expressed doubt about the 56% increase in real pay since 1959.  

            As you point out, the actual increase appears been higher than that, not lower.

            I'm all for teachers getting better pay.  I know what the job entails; both of my parents were teachers.

            However, if we are going to discuss this issue in public we have to be accurate.  High emotion plus inaccuracy is a sure way to get your arguments dismissed.  I'm shocked by the number of scornful responses "pointing out" that the figure didn't take inflation into account when, of course, it does.

            •  Sure -- (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              emal, Temmoku, bekosiluvu

              but the REAL point is that teacher's salaries have been essentially stagnant for almost 40 years, and certainly so for the past 17 years. Talking about it relative to 1956 or 1959 or whatever is just effing stupid, as if the catastrophe that has struck our schools over the last 20 years has something to do with skyrocketing teacher salaries, when in fact it is simply that we refuse to tax the wealthy in order to pay for public schools for everyone.

              To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

              by UntimelyRippd on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 11:47:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  and of course, as several have (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Temmoku, Larsstephens

              observed, what this mostly underscores is just how dreadfully teachers were paid before the age of good teacher unions and feminism.

              in 1956, minimum wage was $1 an hour, or $2080/year for a standard 40-hour work week. the average teacher salary was $4055. presumably, beginning teachers made rather less.

              To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

              by UntimelyRippd on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:02:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, I agree (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Temmoku

                To be a public school teacher in 1959 was to be poor.  

                The theme of this diary is that the Tea Party is spreading horrible lies about teacher pay.  One of the very few specific Tea Party lies mentioned in the diary is that teacher pay has gone up 54% since 1959.   Which turns out to be . . . true.  Which makes me wonder about the alleged lies mentioned in the rest of the diary.

                This is not about supporting the Tea Party tactic of blaming teachers.  It's about getting things straight.  If we try to argue in public this way we'll lose.  

            •  You're "concern" is duly noted (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bekosiluvu

              "When will the American teachers follow the lead of Wall Street and start making some sacrifices for the children"..Jon Stewart

              by emal on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 12:29:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  "Real (8+ / 0-)

      salary increase" is real rubbish stat.

      Let's all take a look at the following sections, from that doc:

      Annual Inflation-Adjusted Earnings for All Workers; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services Workers; and Teachers

      Average Teacher Pay Versus Comparable Professions

      Trends in Teachers' Salaries Compared with Inflation

      Teachers do more, contribute just as much to society, if not more (in most instances), do it with fewer resources, and for less pay, and now, for a lot less respect than they have earned. They've earned it.

      We must use what we have
      to build what we need. -Adrienne Rich

      by Xapulin on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 06:00:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My dad's 1959 engineer's salary vs today's (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PsychoSavannah, Temmoku, bekosiluvu

      I guarantee that the salary increase for GE engineers between what my dad got in 1959 and what an engineer gets now is greater than 54%.  

    •  You could cherry-pick the starting point (5+ / 0-)

      to say 1972, and teachers' pay only went up 6% between 1972 and 2007.

      I bet teachers' pay has gone DOWN significantly since 2007.

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