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Education Secretary Arne Duncan
Education Secretary Arne Duncan
The Obama administration is announcing a new push on teacher equity, which at first glance appears to be less cringeworthy than most education policy coming out of this administration:
There are three parts to the effort: By April 2015, states must submit "comprehensive educator equity plans" that detail how they plan to put "effective educators" in front of poor and minority kids. To help states write the plans, the Education Department will create a $4.2 million "Education Equity Support Network." And this fall, the Education Department will publish "Educator Equity profiles" that highlight which states and districts fare well or poorly on teacher equity.
"Effective educators" language can be a red flag, since the administration has pushed some extremely questionable measures of teacher effectiveness. However, there are inequities by some very solid measures:
Students in high-poverty schools, a national survey has shown, are twice as likely to have their most important classes taught by teachers without proper certification. And federal data shows that minority students' teachers on average have less experience than the teachers of their wealthier peers.
The lesser experience of minority students' teachers is likely increased by the pushing of inexperienced Teach for America teachers into urban classrooms and the fact that high-poverty schools are increasingly subject to closings or "turnarounds" in which all their teachers are laid off. It would be great to see a policy acknowledging that teacher experience and specialized qualifications are actually a good thing and that youthful energy (and willingness to work for low wages) is not a magic bullet for deep and pervasive educational inequities. I wouldn't hold my breath for that, but at least the initial reports on this push for teacher equity don't suggest that it's yet another new way of blaming teachers for educational inequities.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:29 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Boy I Sure Don't Want to Hear any New Statement (17+ / 0-)

    from a Presidential Administration of either party right now, on the topic of any kind of education reform.

    I'd rather flip back to Nancy Grace.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:39:09 AM PDT

    •  Politicians need to stop using education as (12+ / 0-)

      a political football.

      •  Less a football than an revenue source -- (16+ / 0-)

        the providers being the for-profit education lobby and, of course, the for-profit education business itself, as some of our politicians are investors in same.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:14:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  pay (10+ / 0-)

        Is it a coincidence that rich schools pay their teachers more--and that's why they seem to have more experienced teachers?  Also, many teacher "failures" are the result of home/society failures.  It's so much easier to get things done when there's money around to correct any problems.  Money makes shit smell better and poverty buys day old bread.

        Actions speak louder than petitions.

        by melvynny on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:15:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They pay more... (4+ / 0-)

          ...and the kids are easier to teach. They have smaller class sizes, also. And on top of all this, they shovel out cash.

          If every adult New Yorker paid $1000/year, we could raise NYC salaries to the same level as Scarsdale and duplicate their class size.

          Great things can be done if we lay out huge sums of money.

          •  not huge sum (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis, alwaysquestion, 4Freedom

            In NYC, real estate taxes are much much lower than those in the suburbs--bingo--raise them and there would be enough money to increase services and lower class size.

            Actions speak louder than petitions.

            by melvynny on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 10:39:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How will you raise... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alwaysquestion, 4Freedom, Babaji, AlexDrew

              ...real estate taxes without raising rents, leases, and mortgages? At the end of the day, New Yorkers will pay for it, just from a different pocket.

              But the real question is will it work? Does Scarsdale have better schools because they spend more? Or because the parents there are better educated and more likely to be married?

              To answer this, lets pick the worst 10% of NYC schools and raise salaries and cut class sizes there. If we see improvement, we roll it out to the rest. If not, well, we have leaned something.

              •  Do you also mean to provide (5+ / 0-)

                classroom materials and environment (air conditioning, etc.) to test that theory?

                1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

                by alwaysquestion on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 11:29:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sure! (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  alwaysquestion, AlexDrew

                  Those costs are trivial compared to salaries. Salaries suck up the bulk of every education budget.

                  •  It seems to me that the way we fund (5+ / 0-)

                    schools is a major problem.  Property taxes are subject to change and when that goes down, it leaves the school district in the lurch.  In addition, we do not address the problem in that some schools need more money.

                      I have a friend that now has police officers in the hallways of the school that never had a police officer anywhere near the school 15 years ago.  Pay for that and now where is the money for other things?  Also, try to talk a teacher into staying in (or joining) that environment.  She is leaving for more money, safer work conditions and fewer hours in the day.  Good luck to that school replacing her.

                    1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

                    by alwaysquestion on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 12:35:53 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  good (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ManhattanMan, 4Freedom

                Good points--how about we just raise real estate taxes on office buildings?  The rich will always outperform the poor, as a whole.  Just the use of outside paid tutors gets that result.  In the 1960s, NYC had "more effective schools,"  it was discontinued before it could be adequately scrutinized.  I worked in one of the -- it was much nicer and the kids were much better behaved--but one school is not an adequate sample.  Let me just say, poor kids usually need more attention, we called it compensatory education.

                Actions speak louder than petitions.

                by melvynny on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 11:34:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  NYC is a net payer of taxes to upstate New York (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  melvynny

                  Campaign for Fiscal Equity won a great deal of money $ Billions that NYS is supposed to pay to NYC and NYC is supposed to use to lower class size where students perform poorly.

                  Unfortunately Bloomberg wasted the money on 'small schools' (destroying classrooms to do this) and consultants and standardized testing.

                  There was no oversight of NYC DoE on this. One hearing a year where the DoE just ran out the clock stonewalling on its crappy 10 page report.

                  Then in 2008, state stopped paying due to the 'crisis'.

          •  Not necessarily true anymore. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            alwaysquestion

            You can't keep defunding public education and attacking unions without increasing class size, cutting teacher pay, charging students to play sports, eliminating parapros, etc.   The higher income the community, the more demanding the parents and chicken shit the administrators.  They bring in another whole dynamic and set of politics for teachers to cope with.  

            My statement assumes state funding and state control of schools and not local property taxes and local control.

            I will not vote for Hillary.

            by dkmich on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 06:26:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Rich schools are being destroyed, defunded, and (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, jbsoul, nosleep4u, alwaysquestion

          teacher pay and benefits decimated in the name of education reform.  Experienced highly skilled teachers are fleeing When they all reach the lowest common denominator, only the rich will be able to afford the transportation and tution to go to whatever good schools emerge.

           It is nothing more than the privatization of the commons for the benefit of the 1%.   If they were concerned about failing schools, they wouldn't be dismantling excellent schools in the process.  

          I will not vote for Hillary.

          by dkmich on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 06:17:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The burden on poorer schools is worse (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            METAL TREK

            I live in NYC.  In our upper middle class neighborhood schools we have had terrible cuts to many things and terrible focus on many wrong things.  But most of these kids have come through ok, if a little burned by the two wasted months a years.

            But the kids in poorer neighborhoods are just screwed by all this bullshit.  They are starting out unprepared for kindergarten and this just heaps more obstacles on them.

            •  worse??? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alwaysquestion

              Now we're rationalizing which kids it is OK to hurt?  

              Nobody said schools in poor neighborhoods don't need to be fixed.   The point is you don't blow up the f'ing house to stop the roof from leaking.    Unless you are a Third Way and Democratic partisan or a wing nut.

              I will not vote for Hillary.

              by dkmich on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:37:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm just saying how the chips are falling (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                alwaysquestion, dkmich

                Wasting two months of a kids schooling on this crap does less harm to my bairn, in the long run, than is done to kids who start school behind.

                I think it's all a terrible waste.

                The impact is worse on the poor kids. I agree that turds like Duncan and Rahm and Cuomo are part of the problem.

        •  Also, are they prepared to ban Teach for America? (3+ / 0-)

          They should do that. The initial alleged goal was to provide teachers for hard-to-staff areas where experienced teachers weren't available. But if your goal is to provide the neediest kids with the best teachers, TFA sabotages that. And parents in affluent areas would riot if you sent such undertrained temps to their schools.

          If you're going to jaw about experienced teachers in needy class rooms, you practically HAVE to come out against TFA.

          I'm waiting.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

          by anastasia p on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 06:58:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If we ban... (0+ / 0-)

            ...TFA, who will replace them?

            Send me a list of veteran NYC teachers who will leave:
             - The Upper East Side
             - Park Slope, and
             - Riverdale...

            ...and accept a transfer to Harlem, Bed-Stuy, and/or the South Bronx.

            Oh...and they get no pay raise. NYC Union Contracts forbid paying teachers more for going to a hard-to-staff school.

            When you submit this list of names, the TFA kids will be banished. (TFA kids are easy to get rid of, because they don't have tenure).

            You don't need to send the names to me. Just send them to any beleaguered NYC principal who will welcome such teachers with open arms.

            The children and their parents are waiting.

    •  This! ^^^ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rexxnyc

      Light is seen through a small hole.

      by houyhnhnm on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 12:15:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a strong supporter of the President but (6+ / 0-)

      on the issue of education he has done at least as much, if not more, harm than the precious incumbent. He needs to just keep quiet about it since he clearly doesn't have a clue. Maybe if he'd ask to some actual teachers.... but, silly me, that's just crazy talk.

      “Poverty wants much; but avarice, everything” Publilius Syrus

      by gelfling545 on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 03:27:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Since the nation's future is based on the quality (0+ / 0-)

        of education, then how do we square that with strong support of the President?

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:04:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I could not agree with you more, Gooserock (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      assyrian64, nosleep4u, emal

      which is surprising, because you are so much more pessimistic than me.

      Education is a topic on which I think ALL politicians are failing.

      They need to throw out everything they've been doing for the last fifteen years, ban charter schools as a failed experiment publicly apologize to teachers, and start over.

      Yeah, like that'll happen.

      You been following the Gulen mess here in Ohio? I'll bet they've paid of the Ohio Republican Party big-time.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 06:55:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  To be perfectly blunt, I would like (14+ / 0-)

    the conversation to switch from "effective teachers" to effective students.

    I have a friend that is leaving teaching after 15 years teaching the hard sciences.  She can make more money and get more respect and see the results of her hard work.  She went from having a classroom full of middleclass kids that had parents who supported the homework load and sent their kids to school knowing their manners, well fed, dressed respectfully, showered, teeth brushed and well rested.  She was considered a very "effective teacher" and won awards and piled up great teacher evaluations.

    Now she has kids that are exactly the opposite.  Hmmm.  What do you think she is now?  An "effective teacher" with great evaluations or a teacher at risk?  Can you guess?  She actually has a basket full of fruit for her students so their stomachs stop rumbling with hunger.  Out of her paycheck, by the way.

    I am sick of all of this.  Teachers will pair up a good student to "tutor" a bad student.  Which is really an attempt to show the bad parent and student what they should be and how that whole parent/student thing is supposed to work.  I had to pull my kid out of one of those pairings because the kid she got stuck with was not behaving respectfully around my daughter and both that kid and her mother refused to agree to some ground rules, like no smoking.  Can you imagine that?  No smoking was a rule that parent said her kid didn't have to respect.  Instead of babysitting that kid, what could my kid be doing?  Something worthwile or even just plain old relaxing to get a refresh for the next wave of work that hits her.

    When are we going to start grading the parents?

    1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

    by alwaysquestion on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:55:29 AM PDT

    •  I think you do get at a real problem here... (13+ / 0-)

      ...even if I think you're probably going to receive some pushback due to some troubling class implications you're pressing up against.

      When I was in elementary and high school, on the (rare :-) ) occasion when I came home with a bad grade, my parents taught me to see it as my fault—I should have tried harder, studied more, spent more time doing the homework, etc. My grades were seen as a reflection of the work I'd put into learning the material. I was supposed to take responsibility for my own learning. And this wasn't back in the '50s; I graduated from high school less than 20 years ago. The change has been that sudden.

      Because now, the attitude I'm seeing in the wider political culture is that if kids get bad grades, the parents, superintendents, and politicians are going to tell the kids that it's their teacher's fault rather than their own. If they didn't learn anything, then it's the teacher's fault; even if they didn't care about the material and didn't bother to do the homework or pay attention or even show up for class, it's because their teacher failed to inspire them, not because they need to practice self-discipline.

      Our political and social conversation about education seems to have abandoned the idea that parents should teach their kids to take responsibility for their own learning; any problem at all with the student's learning, no matter how easily it could be solved if the student put in a little more effort on his or her end, is the fault of the school—and the responsibility of the school to fix, whether or not they actually have the power to do so.

      And please don't misread this as being another one of those right-wing screeds about how kids in the suburbs succeed because of their culture—because from what I've seen, this line of conversation seems to be worse among the middle and upper classes, whose children are learning that they are entitled to everything and that there is no such thing as a problem that isn't someone else's fault. If Johnny comes home with a bad grade then mom or dad need to go to the school and ask why the teacher isn't teaching him, rather than asking him why he went to the mall with his friends instead of staying in and hitting the books. After all, this could hurt his college chances. Who gives a damn if he's actually willing to put in any effort; that's the school's job.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:12:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You guys are both right, BUT... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alwaysquestion, METAL TREK, tubacat

        ...the government doesn't have the authority to make people into Good Parents.

        I wish they did. But they don't.

        The best we can do is use the things we can control: Funding, teachers, buildings, textbooks, administration.

        We need to make things better using the limited power we have. We can't go into those houses and take away their TV sets -- even if that would probably boost test scores more than any reform proposed by anyone.

        •  Listen, I get what you are saying (14+ / 0-)

          but the idea of giving a teacher a grade based on the student performance is insane.

          Set up a tutoring program that is after school and on weekends and make it available only to parents that sit through the tutoring program.  Somehow, parents have to be brought back into it.  Some how, some way.

          The idea of trying to make teachers responsible for the kids makes no sense whatsoever.  Are we basing Obama's or Duncan's pay on kid performance?

          1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

          by alwaysquestion on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:26:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are so right about the parents. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            alwaysquestion, 4Freedom, METAL TREK

            Yes, some kids have parents who are never going to care about their education, and some have parents who simply don't know how to show they care because they had parents who didn't know either. Parent training might be an effective tool for increasing student success -- in every school.

          •  Some means of teacher evaluation is needed, even (3+ / 0-)

            if it is not very precise.  Better precision has its biggest impact in having evaluations appear to be fair, as well as to increase the rate and level of improvement.

            However, even modest levels of precision can improve a school system.  To result in improvement, what is needed if to have a higher rate of below median teachers either leaving, or improving to above median, than above median teachers leaving or declining to below median.

            The impact needs to 1) encourage better performance across all teachers (encourage does not mean cause), 2) encourage underperforming teachers to either improve or leave and 3) give recognition to strong teachers to encourage them to stay.

            The above is a rough approximation, but in my view precise enough for a comment.

            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

            by nextstep on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 12:20:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yep. So true. (5+ / 0-)
        And please don't misread this as being another one of those right-wing screeds about how kids in the suburbs succeed because of their culture—because from what I've seen, this line of conversation seems to be worse among the middle and upper classes....
        Yes, I also agree that the lack of taking responsibility crosses over all the classes.

        1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

        by alwaysquestion on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:19:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I teach at the college level & I agree! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alwaysquestion

        I'm a roving adjunct, teaching at several colleges since colleges aren't hiring full timers (but we'll leave that for another time).

        I teach at two colleges in urban areas (with mostly African American and Hispanic students) and others in suburban areas (with mostly white students). In my experience, the students at my two urban colleges are harder working, better prepared, more disciplined, better behaved, and smarter than the students at my suburban colleges. I usually teach Eng 101 & 102 so my students are pretty much fresh out of high school!

        On a side note, I also teach courses at Rahway Prison here in NJ (where the film Scared Straight was filmed!). I think I like THESE guys even MORE! They're hard working, inquisitive, ask questions, and generally make efforts to work harder when they get a grade they don't like!

        A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

        by METAL TREK on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:06:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have no more respect (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alwaysquestion, ManhattanMan

      for the generalization that parents are to blame than I do for the same generalization that teachers are to blame. Teachers, parents, students are all individual human beings with as many needs, problems, limitations, abilities, disabilities, etc. etc. as there are people in the world.

      Playing this blame game gets us absolutely nowhere but deeper in the hole.  The solution will come when people work together, not against, each other.

      •  Fair enough. (0+ / 0-)

        But.....if you are trying to say the two things are equal, let's say in percentages, that there are as many bad teachers out there as there are bad parents/students out there....going to have to go with my lying eyes on that one.

        Would love to see solutions to improve the lives of students everywhere.  Seems involved parents would be a good place to start.

        Any suggestions as to how it gets solved?  Besides the generalized working together idea.

        1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

        by alwaysquestion on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:23:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  involved parents (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alwaysquestion

          Another generalization that has no meaning.   The term "involved parents" means something different to nearly every teacher and school I've come across, depending on the particular school, it's location, the types of parents and socioeconomic situation.   Just another way for schools and teachers to pass the blame when there are problems they are either unable or unwilling to address.

          Schools and teachers working together with parents and communities are more successful.  This has been my experience.

          •  Another generalization: (0+ / 0-)
            Schools and teachers working together with parents and communities are more successful.
            Guess this just goes in circles.  It appears the problems are undefined and a solution out of reach.  This is where I sign off and get back to doing for my daughter what I need to do to help her succeed.  I leave it to you to make that happen for the other kids.

            1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

            by alwaysquestion on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:01:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Schools and teachers working together (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bryduck

              ...are what we had before the late 1970s/80s and the growth of education "reform".  These were the public schools I grew up in, where (union) teachers were respected, parents were respected, and communities were involved in raising children (it takes a village).

              The problems that arose didn't come from teachers gone bad, or parents gone bad.  The problems come from growing inequality in school funding, changing socioeconomic conditions in cities and rural areas,  and changing expectations of both groups on their duties and roles as a result of the so-called reform.

              I first noticed problems in the schools with the rise of what was originally called tracking, and what is now the separation of students into class levels by ability, or by how much pressure their parents put on the school to have their child singled out as exceptional or worthy of special attention.  I was told in the 80s by a school principal that this was just how it works -- "the squeaky wheels get the grease."  Everyone else can just sink or swim.

              In a public school, your child's education should not depend on how much you advocate on behalf of the individual.  The school is there for all students, not just the ones with the loudest or most obnoxious parents.

      •  Parents are are... (0+ / 0-)

        ...90% of the problem, but we only have 10% control over them.

        Teachers are 10% of the problem, but we have 90% control.

    •  do your job (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alwaysquestion

      One part of being an effective teacher is teaching the kids you have. It make no sense to complain that the kids can't read, can't add, and you as their teacher can't be responsible for what they learn. A teacher has to take the students and move them as far as possible in the time they have.  It is hard, it is painful, it is not an easy job.  If a teacher does not want to this, then finding another job, even it does not pay more, is always an option.

      There are kids that are very easy to teach, and teachers who have those kids have a very easy job.  The reality is that if all students were easy to teach, if we could just put them on an assembly line and let them fill out worksheets, there would be fewer teaching jobs just like there are few manufacturing jobs.  Students like that can be put in front of a computer and complete all objectives.  In less time that if she were in a classroom. I have seen it.  We would have one teacher and two assistants with class sizes of 100.  The fact that kids are not widgets are why teachers get a middle class income, in most cases

      As far as your specific situation, that is exactly what active parents are supposed to do in public schools, if you may forgive my bluntness.  They are supposed to push their kids so the are not in a classroom where they are not being challenged.  I see this all the time as well, bright kids who are in classes that do not challenge them. Their parents do not push them to do work.  The kids go home and complain how bad the teacher is, how they are not being respected, and instead of taking this a sign that the kids needs to be challenged more, not coddled, the parent moves them to another, often less challenging class, thus telling the kid that complaining, not hard work and facing challenges with courage, is the way to live.  My concern is that when the parent is not there, and the kid is working, and is paired up with someone who they do not find suitable, how are they going to cope.

      It is almost never just the fault of the parent, student, or teacher.  Parents are doing the best they can to get the best results with the resources they have.  For instance, my upper middle class friends were all did recreational drugs, and the parents did not see it as a priority to make them stop as it was not going to change anything in their future. Kids are always angry and always in a bad mood.  Teachers if they are good will take the mix they have and get them to learn.  I was lucky because I was pushed and my learning was always my responsibility so by the time I got to high school I was able to be with a diverse groups of kids who all knew that education was the ticket to a more solid middle class life.  There was no hijinks in my public school.

      She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is doing. -Kurt Vonnegut Life is serious but we don't have to be - me

      by lowt on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:46:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alwaysquestion

        If the parents are strong enough right, the kid will be OK no matter what the schools and teachers do.

        If the parents are not doing their job, no matter what the teacher does, there will be only limited improvement.

      •  Can't get to where you are: (0+ / 0-)
        Parents are doing the best they can to get the best results with the resources they have.
        from what I've seen.  Parents can do better.  They can make their kids do homework.  They can make them study for tests.  They can keep their kids off the streets.  They can take away the cigs.  They can discipline their kid for the back talk instead of joining, which gives their kids the go ahead to do more and no example of what an adult is supposed to be.

        I have to believe my lying eyes.

        1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

        by alwaysquestion on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:23:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, this. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alwaysquestion

      Teachers are only one part of the system. In fact, they're only a modest part of why failures occur. Yet the current conversation always gives them 100% of the blame.

      That needs to change. Until it does, we'll continue to see these irrational attempts at "reform". And ... that's exactly why the money interests are pushing the idea that it's always the teachers' fault.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:11:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Irrational" presupposes that the goal is the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nosleep4u

        improvement of education, and not the privatization of education. From the viewpoint of profiteers, their efforts are entirely rational.

        Non-profiteers who support their ideas are either deluded or ignorant, take your pick.

      •  I think the solution is nearly impossible (0+ / 0-)

        given what I think it is.  Earlier I part of what I said was:

        Teachers will pair up a good student to "tutor" a bad student.  Which is really an attempt to show the bad parent and student what they should be and how that whole parent/student thing is supposed to work.
        I am at the point of thinking what we really need is a ratio of one teacher/one student.  What so many students need to hear is this message: if you want to end up like your parent(s), do as they do; if you want more, find a better model.

        I am serious.  Effectively, that pairing my daughter's teacher did was to achieve exactly that goal: one-on-one for a better model of what to do and what path to take.  It was a smart way to show that kid what they could become if only they took a different path.  Which means getting off the path their parents took.

        I think kids need the attention that 1-1 gives to them to take the place of poor parenting.  We need to raise incomes above poverty level, but even when we do that, we haven't solved the problem with these kids.  Taking their parents out of poverty does not solve the lack of respect and lack of training in life to aim higher than their parents.

        I pulled my kid out of that pairing.  But I did leave the kid with something to think about.  I told the kid, in a quiet moment, that she was going places and that her mom was the perfect model of how to get there.  That her mom was on her way to greatness and if she followed her mom's example, she would do as well as her mom.  The kid looked at me with tears in her eyes and said  "I don't want to end up like my mom."  If I had told her outright to not be like her mom, that would have given her something to fight against and she would have felt she had to protect her mom.   I wanted the fight to be within herself to decide what path would win out.  I cut off the connection at that point.

        I can't raise someone else's child, but is seems to me that if we ask our schools to be successful, we are asking them to do just that.  And that looks impossible to me no matter what school those kids go to.

        1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

        by alwaysquestion on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:34:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another issue is high turnover. (8+ / 0-)

    I know many former Chicago Public School teachers who were just burned out by the BS of the administration and dealing with problem students who have parents that don't care or don't have the time to be there.

    How do you fix this?

  •  You can bet your sweet bippy that TFA will NOT (8+ / 0-)

    be affected by this one. tiny. bit.

    And that somehow music, art, and pe teachers will be mysteriously excluded from this.

    "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:01:26 AM PDT

    •  Which is bizarre (0+ / 0-)

      because the description of teachers who shouldn't be at needy schools is Teach for America scabs to a tee. Why do they even exist anymore with so much talk about needing higher quality teacher education and with so many teachers laid off?

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:06:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's the irony-- (20+ / 0-)

    You can take the the teachers rated as "developing" in the urban poor schools, switch them wholesale with "highly effective" teachers in rich suburban schools, and almost immediately those "developing" teachers will jump to "effective" or higher, and those "highly effective" will drop in their evaluations.

    Because no matter what they do, they haven't addressed the root cause--the POVERTY.

    "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:03:39 AM PDT

    •  Not if you use Value Added Measurments. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alwaysquestion, johnny wurster

      VAM gives extra points to teachers who are in tough schools.

      That is why VAM scares the establishment so much. It forces them to stop blaming everything on Poverty and forces them to focus on their own contributions (or lack thereof).

      •  I cannot even begin to imagine how (5+ / 0-)

        VAM can control for all of the factors of poverty as well as fewer dollars for classroom materials, etc..  Frankly, if you can switch out teachers and they get opposite scores, I would be suspicious of any evaluations that pointed to poor performance on the teacher's part.

        I am not saying there aren't any low performance teachers out there.  Same as in any industry.  But the idea that we can control for poverty when we are still discovering factors that are not only direct but indirect strikes me as disingenuous.

        1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

        by alwaysquestion on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:38:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Teaching is NOT an "industry" and should NEVER (5+ / 0-)

          be compared to ANYTHING resembling a business.

          EVER.

          "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

          by zenbassoon on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:44:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We can control for poverty. (3+ / 0-)

          There are huge stacks of research going back for years on what factors affect student learning. Big studies with huge sample sizes and tight regression coefficients.

          There is also the anecdotal evidence from teachers (just ask them).

          It's always the same stuff that predicts poor performance:

           - Kids on free lunch
           - Kids with single parents
           - Kids in high-crime areas
           - Kids with English-as-a-Second-Language
           - Kids who are boys
           - Kids who are poor
           - Etc.

          VAM is simple: Look at the kids, add up the risk factors, and you get an amount of bonus points. Add the bonus points to the test scores. Credit the teacher with the gains.

          It's just like a golf handicap, only with more sophisticated math.

          But the Entrenched Educational Establishment pretends it is difficult because it is scary to them. They would no longer be able to blame everything on the kid's environment.

          •  I think what would be interesting (5+ / 0-)

            is if you took a very high scoring eval teacher and put them in a poverty classroom and used your regression model to see if you get back to the same high score after awarding bonus points.  I think that would be a fair way to test the VAM model.

            Going after teachers is way low on my totem pole.  Offer better pay and see where that gets you.

            1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

            by alwaysquestion on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 10:20:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alwaysquestion

              It may be that different teachers have different skills that are better suited to certain types of students.

              Maria Rainer may be an excellent music teacher for the suburbs, but maybe not for the inner city.  That doesn't mean she's a bad teacher, just that she's not right for that particular school.

              But you never know! Perhaps Maria will surprise us...!

          •  VAM is crap. I can't believe you are still pushing (8+ / 0-)

            VAM in any form, unless you are not actually serious in the sense that you want school improvement.

            I've posted many, many links that demonstrate the inability of VAM to provide any significant degree of accuracy, yet here you are pushing it again.

            Why?

            Do you not believe the ASA?

            I'm not going to repost every argument against VAM again; you've seen them, you simply ignore them. But your continuing insistence that VAM is appropriate for teacher evaluation is an extremely pointed tell.

            •  You have posted... (0+ / 0-)

              ...many criticisms of some of the existing VAM models.

              But every model is different and all of them can (and should be) be improved. Just because you have a problem  with one model used by one district doesn't mean the whole idea of VAM is flawed.

              (Climate change deniers use the same logic. They pick one climate model that was wrong. Then they say that all models are wrong because of it. It's intellectually dishonest).

              Also, your link to the ASA(pdf) paper doesn't say what you think it says. The ASA just says that if you build a VAM model you need to do it carefully.

              If you build an Obamacare website you also need to do it carefully. If the website crashes on the first try, it doesn't mean the whole law is a failure. But politically-motivated, intellectually dishonest people might try to make that claim...

              •  You didn't read the ASA link, did you? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                emal

                Or, to be fair, possibly you only gave it a surface skimming.

                VAMs are generally based on standardized test scores, and do not directly measure potential teacher contributions toward other student outcomes.
                If what you are suggesting is that it is possible to create a VAM method that actually works, more power to you. Go right ahead. Be sure to submit it for review before use.

                However, incremental improvement of crap will result in crap. The ASA, while careful to avoid a statement that VAM is crap, nevertheless divulges enough detail about current VAM usage to ensure that a reader will understand that they are crap.

                The measure of student achievement is typically a score on a standardized test, and VAMs are only as good as the data fed into them. Ideally, tests should fully measure student achievement with respect to the curriculum objectives and content standards adopted by the state, in both breadth and depth. In practice, no test meets this stringent standard, and it needs to be recognized that, at best, most VAMs predict only performance on the test and not necessarily long-range learning outcomes. Other student outcomes are predicted only to the extent that they are correlated with test scores. A teacher’s efforts to encourage students’ creativity or help colleagues improve their instruction, for example, are not explicitly recognized in VAMs.
                Bold and italics are mine, of course. Just being helpful.
          •  All this does is put a thumb on the scale (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nosleep4u, alwaysquestion, emal, sngmama

            It doesn't do anything to help students in poverty to receive a better education. If you give "bonus points" for all the factors that actually impact learning the most, on top of the students' actual test scores, that just means you let those factors continue, rather than addressing them.

            "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

            by tubacat on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 12:09:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Seriously? You're not joking? (13+ / 0-)

        When the kid is too busy worrying about where he's going to sleep or if he's going to eat dinner, he's not going to be concentrating on that test.

        If she's worried about a stray bullet or being evicted from the homeless shelter, she's not going to be worrying about her homework.

        If he's been up all night taking care of his sick baby sister because his mother has to work the graveyard shift and he's the oldest one at home, he's not going to be paying attention at school.

        Poverty is EVERYTHING and VAM has been PROVEN time and time again NOT TO WORK.

        "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:42:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  VAM has not been disproven. (0+ / 0-)

          There have been some problems with specific implementations. But the idea is sound.

          In fact, I think you may be mistaken about what VAM is. VAM accounts for poverty. It is non-VAM methods that ignore poverty!

          •  Bzzt! Wrong! Thank you for playing! (9+ / 0-)

            Again, the American Statistical Association disagrees with you.

            VAMs should be viewed within the context of quality improvement, which distinguishes aspects of quality that can be attributed to the system from those that can be attributed to individual teachers, teacher preparation programs, or schools. Most VAM studies find that teachers account for about 1% to 14% of the variability in test scores, and that the majority of opportunities for quality improvement are found in the system-level conditions. Ranking teachers by their VAM scores can have unintended consequences that reduce quality.
            VAM does not do what you claim it does.
            •  Hey... (0+ / 0-)

              ...I'll take 1% -14%.

              Especially since those gains can be had with no additional funding, just by changing our Human Resources policies.

              I think 1% -14% is significant and worth trying for. But if you think it is trivial then why have trained teachers at all? (snark).

              Look, either teachers matter or they don't. I say they do.

              The anti-reformers try to have it both ways, though. At contract time, they say, "Teachers matter! We need to pay them more!".

              But when the kids don't learn, they say, "Teachers don't matter! Teachers are only 1% - 14% of the problem!",

              Ya can't have it both ways. Not anymore.

              Can we just agree that teachers do matter? Can we agree that even if it is only 1% - 14%, it is still important to get the best teacher? Especially in the toughest schools? C'mon, man.

              I don't think we really disagree on how much Value teachers Add. We can agree to disagree on how to Measure that value. The measurement is a discussion for math geeks, anyhow.

              •  Yes, you've already made it clear that you are (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                emal

                ready and willing and willing to destroy careers based on as little as 1%, which itself is based on a measure that has as much correlation as student heights. No need to belabor the point.

                But if you say that teachers matter, which teachers are you talking about? Charter school teachers, which more and more are TFA temps? How exactly does that square with your stance of experienced teachers being valuable and necessary?

                I think 1% -14% is significant and worth trying for.
                Fine, we've already got that. Problem solved.

                Except you want to replace public schools with charters, which are overwhelmingly for-profit institutions whose sole concern is their own bottom line. Charter schools, by and large, are not unionized - and thereby undercut some of the major benefits that experienced veteran teachers have given up monetary compensation for. And somehow, this will result in - better teachers.

                You're just a mass of contradictions, aren't you?

          •  "Accounts for poverty" doesn't mean (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emal, sngmama

            doing anything about it - it's just artificially trying to remove it from a formula for evaluating teachers that's not valid in the first place.

            "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

            by tubacat on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 12:11:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  WTH? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ManhattanMan, Babaji, bobtmn

          Next you're us that the community I actually live has bullets flying by 24/7.

          Racist much.

          We're not living some after school special. We are real people who are tired of teachers and administrators making excuses and blaming everyone and leaving themselves out of the causes. Teachers are public employees who should be assigned their assignments period. Our tax dollars pay their salaries and not the other way around.

          If experienced "good" teachers don't want to teach our kids - and want to work in the suburbs away from us - then we should have the choice to choose whatever public or private forces who want to be there. If the teachers union doesn't want their members to be "forced" to teach our kids, then go away and we will find forces who will.

          •  No. YOU lilsten. I've taught in urban schools (21+ / 0-)

            virtually my entire career. I've SEEN it. I've had to pay for kids' meals. I've had my heart broken listening to my kids talk about what's going on at home.

            I've been teaching when the gang violence has come INTO MY BUILDING.

            Don't you even DARE lecture me on "good teachers". You put YOUR ass in front of 30+ kids for 7 hours a day.

            "Assigned their assignments". Fucking BULLSHIT. "Pass these papers out, read this script, and everything will be perfect" is what you're saying.

            Don't continue to embarrass yourself with your ignorance about teaching.

            Before you troll me again, read this to start.

            Then read Ruby Payne and Johathan Kozol.

            "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

            by zenbassoon on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 10:43:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Dude, you have a troll on your six. (6+ / 0-)

              He said:

              Teachers are public employees who should be assigned their assignments period. Our tax dollars pay their salaries and not the other way around.
              And that makes me think he is a troll that has the military confused with teachers.

              This guy is looking for the nearest recruiting office, not a school.

              1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

              by alwaysquestion on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 06:00:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Are teachers public employees? (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bobtmn, METAL TREK, ManhattanMan

                They were the last I checked.

                •  How often do other workers give their customers (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  assyrian64, tubacat, emal, cville townie

                  things they don't like?

                  When I fail a child, it's because the CHILD did not succeed. Not because I did not succeed.

                  And that's the way it happens for about 95-99% of teachers.

                  Example--New York has one of the STRICTEST evaluation systems in the country. Last year only one percent of teachers were rated as "ineffective" (two consecutive years of ineffective ratings gets you fired, no matter how long you've taught).

                  ONE. PERCENT.

                  92% were rated as "highly effective" or "effective".  The rest were "developing"

                  Don't give me no bullshit about "bad teachers".

                  "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                  by zenbassoon on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:02:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You called another poster a racist. (0+ / 0-)

                  I will have no further discussion with you until you walk that back and apologize.  You overheated.  Cool off and fix that for your own reputation if nothing else.

                  1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

                  by alwaysquestion on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:28:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  This guy was mega-trolling my Vergara diary. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                emal

                I had to open up a case of Badass Teacher.

                "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                by zenbassoon on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:06:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And yet your side is losing (0+ / 0-)

                  You've won nothing here. There are more people who side with me than you in the court of law and public opinion. Our kids matter to me. To you, they seem to be a hard paycheck.

                  So who is winning what chief?

                  •  Ultimately, when you start a war on teachers (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Mlle L, emal

                    everyone loses.

                    Because answer me this:

                    When you treat teachers like shit, take away their rights, give them shitty working conditions, force them to teach from scripts, and generally blame them for everything, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO RECRUIT SO-CALLED "GOOD TEACHERS"?

                    Not with money. You read stories everywhere about teachers turning down raises if they have to exchange their rights. Because here's a clue: Teachers GAVE UP THEIR PAY TO GET THOSE RIGHTS.

                    And we are NOT giving them up willingly.

                    Just like North Carolina is going to use the 26th Amendment, we'll use the 6th if we have to.

                    "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                    by zenbassoon on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:07:22 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Don't agree (0+ / 0-)

                      Your side loses. At the end of the day, there are people willing to come in and teach us. If the union wants to fight parents, politicians, and the public at large, your side will lose.

                      No one wants to treat teachers like anything. Parents in my community want more accountability from all parties involved. We want and deserve to know what the problems are and how they can be fixed. Tenure and accountability are part of a long list of issues. At this date, the status quo is not working.

                      Instead of the union doing dumb things like passing meaningless resolutions seeking the dismissal of the Duncan, maybe they could come to the table with a better plan in all this. All I see and hear now is racist memes that our children can't be taught or they are living in war zones. It's all nonsense.

                      •  You are both wrong if you are not both (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        ManhattanMan

                        working together for the kids' benefit.  This is one of the saddest things I see in education - teachers and parents facing off, instead of working together.

                        Our education system didn't get the way it is now (especially in poor neighborhoods) overnight, and it is just wrong to blame teachers as the main cause. The main predictor for poor school performance is poverty. Period. Read Diane Ravitch (who used to work for George HW Bush) if you don't believe me.

                        Because poverty seems like an impossible nut to crack (and because they don't know the research), parents look for someone or something else to blame. And they are told to look at teachers, by politicians, who would love to be able to "solve" education problems without raising taxes or doing anything about poverty. But there truly aren't enough "bad" teachers to account for the problems in education. And the problems in education are not spread around evenly - they are (guess where?) in the poor areas. It is true that schools in these areas also tend to have the least experienced teachers, and higher turnover (the ones that don't leave the profession will often move to "easier" schools). I haven't seen the details of the new proposal, but if it manages to bring more experienced teachers (who are also culturally competent) into schools with high needs, then it might be a good thing...

                        But mainly I wanted to say please stop shooting at each other, and aim at the real sources of the problem - economic inequity and selfish politicians.

                        "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

                        by tubacat on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 12:29:26 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  That's what I'm saying. I'm just not going to sit (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          emal, tubacat

                          and take being blamed for everything anymore.

                          And think about this--when a person like Rahm closes schools, the teachers that get fired are the teachers you WANT in those schools--experienced MASTER TEACHERS OF COLOR who have taught IN THE COMMUNITY for years. In many cases have taught three generations.

                          And what are they being replaced with? TFA SCABS with five weeks "training" and who are more often than not White and with NO ties to the community.

                          "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

                          by zenbassoon on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 04:21:21 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

            •  Well I LIVE here now (0+ / 0-)

              If you have such a hard time in my neighborhood, then leave. It's tough in my neck of the woods and we don't suffer fools. I know the situation very well. After you leave us unwashed masses for your home in the suburbs, we still are living the reality that your crass descriptions can never fully appreciate or capture.

              You are not entitled to jack nothing but good working conditions to assist you in your job. Don't like the conditions, then go. We have the right to change directions to people and entities who wish to.

              The good old days of no accountability and lack of progress are over.

              You "taught in urban schools"? I thought they were just schools. How white of you for lending you pinky to help us.

          •  And don't even think TFA scabs are the answer. (12+ / 0-)

            Barely even half of them ever make their TWO YEAR committment.

            That's right. They only stay TWO YEARS then they go off and be self righteous bankers and what not.

            And of course, there's that exhaustive FIVE WEEK TRAINING they get to learn how to read from a script.

            Would you want a surgeon with FIVE WEEKS "training" to operate on you? Then why would you want someone with only five weeks "training" to teach your children?

            Didja ever think that HIGH TURNOVER is also a problem?

            "Good teachers" ain't ever going to fix that.

            "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

            by zenbassoon on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 10:47:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And you want to talk race? (6+ / 0-)

            How about the fact that all the teachers--the EXPERIENCE MASTER TEACHERS that are getting fired in urban schools are ALL TEACHERS OF COLOR and they're being replaced by WHITE teachers--mostly from TFA.

            Look THAT up.

            "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

            by zenbassoon on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 10:48:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I recc'd... (3+ / 0-)

            ...but I don't think it's fair to call zenbasson racist.

            Kids in tough neighborhoods are more difficult to teach -- and it's not the kids fault (I live in the inner-city, so I know).

            Where she's wrong is that she doesn't understand that VAM reflects these facts. Teachers in the inner city have harder jobs. They should be credited because of this.

          •  You are way out of line. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cville townie, corvo, jbsoul, emal
            Racist much.
            I appreciate that you have a position, but you are getting heated and are way far out of line.

            You are getting very heated and saying calling other commenters names that do not apply.  Please rethink and if you can manage an apology, that would be in order.

            1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

            by alwaysquestion on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 12:25:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  There are schools that have "turf issues." That is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alwaysquestion, Teiresias70

          one part of the school is controlled by one gang and is a no go area for everyone else.
             Lots of schools have metal detectors and razor wire fences around them.
             "Bad teachers" isn't the major problem here.

      •  VAM is a scam. (6+ / 0-)

        It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

        by Desert Rose on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 10:09:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  VAM scares teachers because it's RANDOM. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tubacat, Mlle L, nosleep4u

        A teacher's actual ability accounts for no more than about 30 or 40 percent of a pupil's progress. The rest is mostly influenced by the child's home life, in particular socioeconomic status.

        Suppose you, as a doctor, were paid according to "value-added" measurements—the longer your patients live, the more you get paid. Wouldn't you think that method somewhat unfair if a chemical corporation suddenly started dumping cancerous toxins in your patients' water supply?

        That's what poverty does to kids. It's a toxin dumped into their ability to calm down long enough to learn things. But VAM proponents would have that and all other outside influences attributed solely to the teacher, and set her pay accordingly.

        "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

        by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:16:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Worse than random. According to the ASA, (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tubacat, Mlle L, Geenius at Wrok, emal, sngmama

          (American Statistical Association),

          Most VAM studies find that teachers account for about 1% to 14% of the variability in test scores, and that the majority of opportunities for quality improvement are found in the system-level conditions.
          I keep posting this link, but some VAM pushers just don't care. They like their own reality, I guess.
          •  Test scores aren't the only measure of success (0+ / 0-)

            which is why I attribute a little more influence to the teacher. I was such an unstoppable test taker that there was no teacher who was ever going to make a dent in my scores, and there was almost no room for even the best teacher to raise them. But there were definitely teachers who inspired me to push myself and grow -- and teachers who inspired me to tune out and coast.

            If I'd had to endure the current "reform" regime when I was in school, I would have done nothing but tune out and coast.

            "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

            by Geenius at Wrok on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 04:59:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  VAMs are a fraud. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emal

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:33:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's a reaction to the California Tenure ruling. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep, METAL TREK

    If we keep an open mind about what the President is saying, it may give us a way to preserve much-needed teacher tenure.

    The Teacher's Union lost in California on -- let's not forget -- Civil Rights grounds.  Their tenure system resulted in Black kids getting the worst teachers.

    If we let Black kids get a fair share of the good teachers, the case goes away and tenure is preserved.

    (This has nothing to do with Teach For America, by the way. Black kids have been getting the crappiest teachers for years. That's what the 1968 NYC strike was about. It is an old, old, story).

    We need to find a way to get senior, experienced teachers from rich schools to go to poor schools.

    Any suggestions? More money (aka "combat pay")? Spruce up the school buildings?

    I am a big advocate of tenure and believe it is necessary. But we also need to get the best teachers in front of the toughest kids. How can this be done?

    •  MM - Teachers who work in very poor districts (5+ / 0-)

      should receive a compensation premium.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:42:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No (0+ / 0-)

        They should work where they are assigned period. If they need more resources fine. But I'm not into this combat pay meme.

        •  I am a big fan of economic incentives (6+ / 0-)

          Apparently merit bonuses don't seem to work well in K12 education but I think this idea of differential pay is a good one. In theory the pay should be structured so that a teacher would indifferent as to where they are assigned providing a high enough premium to the most difficult teaching assignment that the supply and demand would find a market clearing price. Schools in more affluent areas with engaged parents would pay less, and those in poor areas would pay more. It's worth a try.

          "let's talk about that" uid 92953

          by VClib on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 11:09:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A large share of better performance from (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib, ManhattanMan

            better pay comes from changing which people get the job - this is the case across labor markets.

            Increasing the pay of an underperforming employee generally results in a better paid underperforming employee.

            The biggest impact of performance based pay comes when an underperforming employee can make more money going elsewhere (and decides to go elsewhere), while a highly performing employee would have a difficult time getting a position that would pay significantly more (and stays showing consistent high performance).

            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

            by nextstep on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 12:04:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  And when the teachers who are assigned... (12+ / 0-)

          ...to the roughest schools get jobs in suburban districts for more money, more job security, and better working conditions, your plan is to replace them... how, exactly?

          Because otherwise, it seems to me "no extra pay for rough schools" is a recipe for urban school districts to lose all of their best veteran teachers.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 11:20:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If you start randomly assigning teachers (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nosleep4u

          and giving them even less control, if possible, over their careers, you're pretty much going to decimate the profession. All other professionals get to choose to some degree what jobs they will apply for and are willing to accept. Treating teachers like they have no autonomy whatsoever is going to assure we get only the worst in the profession in the future. This is insulting.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

          by anastasia p on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:08:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The California case was absurd and the plaintiffs (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dicentra, quill, emal

      claims were inaccurate.

    •  Give them support. Give them autonomy. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ManhattanMan

      Teachers don't go into their profession for the money. They're not motivated by money. They're rarely persuaded by money. Ask them what they want, and they'll tell you they want to teach, free from administrative interference and ridiculous mandates that contradict everything they learned in school about effective teaching practice and educational psychology.

      And these are exactly the things that the "reform" regime will not allow them to have.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:11:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, there are always Charter Schools. (0+ / 0-)

        Teachers who are sick of, "administrative interference and ridiculous mandates that contradict everything they learned in school", should band together and start a Charter.

        If they did that, the teachers would control the budget, evaluation, hiring, schedule, everything.

        Of course, "With great power there must also come — great responsibility".  If the kids don't learn, parents will be free to leave.

        But teachers will spend much less time playing kiss-ass with bureaucrats and administrators and more time teaching, which is what they say they want.

        •  And is this model replicable on a large scale? (0+ / 0-)

          There's a reason most teachers don't go into administration: they don't like it, and are not suited for it.

          You're promoting some pie-in-the-sky teacher commune as if it were a viable nation-wide plan.

          •  We don 't need... (0+ / 0-)

            ...most teachers.  We only need two or three per (new) school.

            And we don't need all the schools, just enough to create an option.

            In my NYC neighborhood, when a charter opened, the nearby public schools immediately responded with better course offerings.

            Fires must be lit under Fat Asses at rest...
            ...otherwise those Asses will remain at rest.

            Newton proved this in 1687.

        •  Why should teachers have to start charters (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ManhattanMan

          in order to follow best practices?

          Why should best practices have to be an exception to the public school system, standing outside it and competing with it?

          Best practices should be the norm. Federal mandates are making best practices impossible to follow, except in the most privileged districts.

          "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

          by Geenius at Wrok on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:00:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because we don't live... (0+ / 0-)

            ...in Perfect Rainbow Unicorn-Land.

            Parents don't have the political power to force "best practices" on the big city bureaucracies. So we must do what we can.

            Charters are one of the few realistic options inner-city parents have.

            •  Inner-city teachers had MORE freedom (0+ / 0-)

              to follow best practices before the "reform" regime kicked in and before the explosion of charter schools. They have steadily been forced to supplant those best practices in favor of scripted programs, stripped down curricula and endless test prep. Of course best practices weren't used everywhere before NCLB, and lots of inner-city students had to endure boring rote teaching and narrow curricula. But now it's no longer possible to practice good teaching in a watchlisted high-poverty school.

              "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

              by Geenius at Wrok on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 10:08:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  LOL (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alwaysquestion
      We need to find a way to get senior, experienced teachers from rich schools to go to poor schools.
      And that's why you support VAM and charter systems, which explicitly push better teachers out of poorer schools?

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:43:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think the question is (7+ / 0-)

    How can the government encourage teachers to want to teach in low-income schools. I would wager that most prospective teachers, new teachers, and veterans want to avoid the poor schools and all the problems that come with it. Should they receive significantly better pay, perhaps?

    •  Unions are against higher pay. (0+ / 0-)

      In general, Teacher's Unions don't like the idea of "combat pay". They usually prefer that any additional funding be spread equally across all teachers, not just the ones in the tough schools.

      I am not sure why this is so. I suspect it has to do with the (small "d") democratic nature of the Unions. Since it is one-worker-one-vote, the incentive is to treat teachers equally (if not equitably).

      I could be wrong, though. Is there anyone with Union experience who knows why Teacher's Unions generally oppose "combat pay"? By "combat pay", I mean paying significant bonuses to teachers in hard-to-staff schools.

      •  Actually, it's not the unions that are against the (11+ / 0-)

        idea of "combat pay". It's the teachers.

        Teacher's unions are made up of teachers.

        But don't let that fact get in the way of your rhetoric.

        •  Voters = citizens = government?? (0+ / 0-)

          I wonder if you make the same argument about government in general?   That citizens elect other citizens to govern them, therefore the citizen IS the government?   If so, I would beg to differ, as a person who has voted in every single election since 1970, I definitely DO NOT feel this government represents my interests or values.

          Ideally, every democratic organization represents the sum total of the best intentions of their members.   In reality, corruption and self interest must be guarded against in every organization.

          Teachers are not born with some special gene that makes them beyond criticism.  This kind of argument that tries to create a bubble of protection around people who happen to work a certain job is not rational.  You are just beating down criticism.

          •  Nope, I didn't make that argument. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nosleep4u

            You did. It's called a strawman.

            What I was pointing out is that teachers unions generally respond to the will of the people who make up the union -- i.e., teachers. Teachers are against merit pay, and it is usually because such so-called merit pay is coupled with reduction of rights.

            Teachers aren't stupid enough to fall for that horseshit.

            •  Close enough. (0+ / 0-)
              It's not the unions that are against the idea of "combat pay". It's the teachers.   Teacher's unions are made up of teachers.
              •  The idea of comparing teachers unions (0+ / 0-)

                being made up of teachers with the government being made up of voters is laughable. The government is made up of politicians, and there is very little in the way of homogeneity in our government today, let alone our voters.

                D-, but only to encourage better attempts at creating analogies in the future.

            •  Merit pay isn't the same as what's (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ManhattanMan

              being called "combat pay" here. I'm not taking a stand on it, but to clarify, merit pay usually refers to extra pay because of some kind of "better" performance (and we know the difficulties in trying to measure that). Teachers don't generally support merit pay. But I don't know how they would feel about extra pay for teaching in underperforming schools or schools in poor neighborhoods. I think whatever plan there is would have to include more support (not just extra pay) for helping the teachers succeed in these schools. It should actually be part of a poverty reduction program, because that's what influences student success in school the most.

              "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

              by tubacat on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 12:37:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Fine. It's teachers. (0+ / 0-)

          I'll accept that.

          Can you tell me why teachers don't want to have higher pay for hard-to-staff schools?

          This isn't a snarky or rhetorical question, I'm genuinely baffled.

          •  See above comments. (0+ / 0-)

            If you are still baffled, then you are not reading.

            If you are saying that unions have consistently refused the offer of higher pay for hard-to-staff schools with no strings attached, you'll need to provide some links.

            •  Here is a link (0+ / 0-)

              This is from the NEA 2014 Handbook (huge pdf).

              See page 285, Resolution F-9-i.


              "The Association opposes providing additional compensation to attract and/or retain education employees in hard-to-recruit positions"
              They don't say why.
              •  Has nothing to do with the issue. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Darth Stateworker

                In response to your bafflement as to why teachers oppose higher pay for particular areas, it has been pointed out that invariably those offers come with strings attached. I see no response germane to that topic.

                I might point out that your bafflement noted above could be due to a basic misunderstanding of what "hard-to-recruit positions" actually means.

                Hint: it has nothing to do with geographical location.

                •  If you think it... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...means something else, tell us. Don't be so mysterious!

                  Remember that in California, Combat Pay was proposed and the Union rejected it.

                  "Combat pay isn't embraced by everyone, however.

                  Sandra Jackson, a spokeswoman for the California Teachers Association, said the union opposes the idea.

                  'We don't think that's the answer,' Jackson said. "We understand those particular schools do have some problems, (but) it's not just about money. It's about all kinds of resources; money is just one of them."

                  The question is, "why"?

                  I don't know the answer. Ask your shop steward (assuming you are a teacher) and write a Diary on it.

                  •  Okay, okay. Don't get your knickers in a knot. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Darth Stateworker

                    "Hard to staff positions" refers to teaching positions within a school, i.e. a school has difficulty in hiring a math teacher or a science teacher. The stated position is opposed to offering differential pay within a school based on subject area.

                    It has nothing to do with school location.

                    You might have figured that out just from reading the surrounding material, instead of cherry-picking an ambiguous phrase.

                    As far as the Great California Combat Pay Affair, you might look at the bottom of the article:

                    Combat pay isn't embraced by everyone, however.

                    Sandra Jackson, a spokeswoman for the California Teachers Association, said the union opposes the idea.

                    "We don't think that's the answer," Jackson said. "We understand those particular schools do have some problems, (but) it's not just about money. It's about all kinds of resources; money is just one of them."

                    If Arnie was ready to deal with the underlying issues, teachers might have been more willing to support him. Otherwise, it's just Merit Pay by another name. Which in the same article, contains obvious strings attached:
                    Among his proposals, Schwarzenegger has advocated scrapping the way teachers are paid -- by seniority -- and instead using measurements like student test scores and evaluations to pay the best teachers more money. He is sponsoring legislation to enact his merit pay proposal and backing a ballot initiative that would do the same.
                    •  I've seen... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...nothing from the NEA saying that they were referring only to specialties. (But even if they were, what's wrong with paying Math teachers more? Really?).

                      I guess the real proof that there is NEA opposition to Combat Pay is that it never happens.

                      The UFT and AFT talk about combat pay (just like they talk about facilities and textbooks), but when it comes down to real negotiations the issues are the same:

                       - Money for teachers
                       - Job security for teachers

                      We both live in reality. C'mon. If unions were OK with combat pay don't you think that somewhere in the US there would be a district that has implemented it?

                      •  Uh, this (0+ / 0-)

                        isn't reality:

                        We both live in reality. C'mon. If unions were OK with combat pay don't you think that somewhere in the US there would be a district that has implemented it?
                        You do realize that there are wide swaths of districts down south and such that are not unionized, right?

                        If "combat pay" was such a great thing being blocked by unions, then it should be rampant in poor southern school districts - yet it doesn't exist there either by what appears to be your own admission it doesn't exist anywhere in the US.

                        It isn't all that wise to talk about "reality" while, well, ignoring reality.

                        "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

                        by Darth Stateworker on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:57:34 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Obviously you aren't a teacher. (0+ / 0-)

                        It's normal nomenclature. And the problem with differential salaries based on academic area should be obvious.

                        If it's not - obviously you aren't in education as any kind of academic.

                        Which raises the obvious question - just what is your connection with education?

                        Former Wall Streeter.

                        Now works in education...some may think this implies a "vested interest" in educational policy, so it's disclosed here.

                        Lives in Manhattan with wife and daughter.

                        Is also a landlord.

                        It clearly isn't as an educator. Your posts make that clear.
  •  I applaud these changes. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ManhattanMan

    There is nothing wrong with accountably. Transparency and accountability should always be welcomed. Testing is just a way to see if our kids actually learned something. Teachers and school districts are both on the hook if the results are positive or negative.

    If teachers and their union wish to not be "forced" into teaching poor and minority children - while using the most vile stereotypes to explain their opposition - then they shouldn't. However, if we choose to go with private sources, these same people who oppose being forced to teach kids like mine have no right or reason to complain. If they want to teach in the comfort of the suburbs, fine but don't get miffed if we are forced to choose forces who want the challenge to help our kids. They should get our tax money and not the folks who want to fight us.

  •  In Hawaii we have "good schools" and "bad' (6+ / 0-)

    schools. The teachers union and the State DOE(yes, statewide here) are rock solid in control. Teachers w/o 'connections' get shuttled to bad schools. Usually these teachers are haole transplants. Once they get enough seniority they are out of there in most cases.

    Too many stories to tell of Hawaiian mixed race kids beating up teachers and the teachers being told, "Kawika was having a bad day. You've got to let him back in your class."

    Now, how much respect does a teacher get when the kid in row 5, seat 2 beat the sh*t out of him last week?

    Hawaii ranks no higher than 48th in either math or science.

  •  Another waste of money by an administration (12+ / 0-)

    that has done more harm than good for education.
       "Effective educators" are presumably going to be so designated by the test scores of their students, so, by and large, they will be from the 'burbs.
       How do you get them to teach in low income poorly performing schools? Pay them a lot more? Right, that'll happen. Right now, the talk is already turning to compulsory reassignment.
       A good way to drive "effective educators" right out of the field.
        The best way for the Obama administration to help education is to fire Arne Duncan and quit micro-managing education. States and localities are perfectly capable of running school systems.
       The problem with education in the US is not the teachers. The problem is poverty and the accompanying social milieu.

    •  We can pay them more. (0+ / 0-)
      "How do you get them to teach in low income poorly performing schools? Pay them a lot more? Right, that'll happen. "
      The main forces blocking higher pay are the Teachers' Unions.

      Every time big-city districts propose paying more money to teachers in difficult schools, the Unions shoot it down.

      By "more money", I mean significantly more money.

      •  What strings are attached? (3+ / 0-)

        From my reading, the strings attached to the funding are the reasons the teachers oppose the money.

        If you know of other reasons, by all means break a habit and post links.

      •  Because it is always tied to merit pay (4+ / 0-)

        "YOU" do a good job and "YOU" will get paid a lot more.  That is a singular you.  Teachers are team players and are categorically against merit pay because they know that all teachers affect students and help them learn.

        Teachers want fair pay, decent benefits, enough supplies to do their jobs effectively and an administration that works with them not against them,

        Then they will do whatever it takes to help their students be the best they can be.

        •  The California... (0+ / 0-)

          ...proposal was not tied to Merit Pay.

          It was offered instead of Merit Pay.

          Schwarzenegger previously signaled he was open to other education overhauls instead of merit pay, and on Monday, he made a strong commitment to push for "combat pay."
          ...
          The proposal is designed to reverse a trend that sees some of the most experienced teachers seek and receive assignments to work in more affluent schools.
          ...
          Combat pay isn't embraced by everyone, however. Sandra Jackson, a spokeswoman for the California Teachers Association, said the union opposes the idea...
          •  Ah, a link - that doesn't say what you say it does (0+ / 0-)
            Schwarzenegger said he remained committed to paying public school teachers based on their performance rather than years of service. Such a "merit pay" system, which the governor wants voters to approve through an initiative, has been fiercely opposed by teachers unions. Through another initiative, he proposes to make it harder for teachers to get tenure job protections.
            School districts across the state that are working with teachers unions now can offer incentives to lure teachers into low-performing schools. But the districts would have to provide the money from existing budgets. Educators said other priorities have been more urgent.

            "What we need are safe and clean schools, lower class sizes and all the best, up-to-date textbooks," said Barbara Kerr, president of the California Teachers Assn. "It's not about an extra $5,000 for teachers. It's about having the stuff kids need to learn."

            No strings, eh?
      •  Seriously? (6+ / 0-)
        The main forces blocking higher pay are the Teachers' Unions.
        Utter nonsense.

        You refer to merit pay, which is just another in the "reform" movement arsenal to fight against teachers unions.

        On the other hand, setting merit pay aside, NO union is going to say no to a district simply implementing district-wide payscale increases.

        You don't attract the best teachers by saying "Hey, we might offer you merit pay.  If we feel like it.  If too many parents don't complain.  If you can get these poverty-stricken kids with horrible home lives and parents who dropped out of school before graduation to score well on tests."

        None of them are stupid enough to fall for that, because even the best of them knows its already a setup for failure.

        OTOH, if base pay is higher than that of wealthier suburbs....

        "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

        by Darth Stateworker on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 06:50:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am specifically... (0+ / 0-)

          ...not talking about merit pay.

          I am talking about "combat pay": Significant extra money paid to veteran teachers who choose to go to tough schools.

          All of the times I have seen it proposed it has been shot down or the bonuses limited to an insignificant few thousand dollars per year.

          •  "Combat pay" (0+ / 0-)

            is essentially merit pay by another name.  Essentially, you're arguing semantics.

            I reiterate what I stated above: if urban districts want to attract the best teachers, they do it by beating the suburbs on base salary.

            Any other idea to attract them is doomed to failure.  Any kind of "incentive pay" paid after the fact - regardless of how you label it - won't work at all.  Why?  How many countless districts have we read about that have reneged on contract terms or promises of future payment for current work?  Pensions being decimated and reduced is a perfect example of that, but there are plenty of other examples.

            No teacher is going to fall for the "I'll gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today" shtick.  Too many of them saw how that whole "Wimpy" thing played out watching cartoons during their childhoods, and have little no faith anymore in future promises after watchibg those future promises get yanked in headline after headline.

            Base pay.  Period.  No gimmicks.

            "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

            by Darth Stateworker on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 11:33:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We mostly agree. (0+ / 0-)

              This is about base pay. Money. Green dollars.

              But it is not about suburbs vs cities. It is about higher salaries for teachers at certain schools within the same city.

              The Unions have blocked proposals that allow a district to pay more at School A than School B. I want to know why.

              To be clear, it's not NYC vs. Scarsdale. That is a separate (and very important) issue. It's Harlem vs. the Upper East Side.

              •  Links? (0+ / 0-)

                Details on why such blockage took place, if it has occurred, matter.

              •  I'd disagree. (0+ / 0-)

                It's almost entirely about suburbs versus cities.

                Yes, there are outliers to that in extremely large cities like NYC, where there are great public schools and horrible ones, but you need to remember that the nation as a whole is far larger than NYC alone.

                Even in New York, one can point to the rest of the cities around the state - Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, etc - and see the issue is largely cities versus suburbs.

                The Unions have blocked proposals that allow a district to pay more at School A than School B. I want to know why.
                That comment is another reflection that you need to broaden your worldview outside of just Manhattan.  NYC is an outlier due to its size.  However, I will concede that due to the fact NYC is an outlier, there may be a case that within NYC schools, UFT should be agreeing on salary schedules that have a location pay component.

                However, again, NYC is an outlier due to is size.

                "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

                by Darth Stateworker on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:24:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The big cities... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...are where the problems are.

                  The public schools in suburbia are pretty good. Parents are satisfied.

                  (That is another reason why inner-city kids get screwed. Most Americans are very satisfied with their local public school. There is not much political will to change the status quo...especially since change only benefits those brown kids in the city.)

                  •  Wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                    Take a look at the graduation rates in the mid-sized cities upstate.  Just as bad as NYC, if not worse.

                    Again - expand your worldview beyond the NYC borders, because most of the rest of the state (and the nation) doesn't function like NYC.

                    As a partial product of a suburban school and subsequently a city school, I agree that most suburbanites and those in smaller cities without a large problem with poverty are essentially happy with their schools.  Even most in rural districts are satisfied.  I will say this - there was more poverty in the city district I finished out my high school career in, and my education suffered for it, as many more students required the individual attention of the teachers during class time than in the 'burbs - and class sizes were larger to boot.  This was a couple of decades ago, so surely the problem has only gotten worse.

                    In fact, since there are so many who seemingly are satisfied with "their" schools, I'm shocked at how many are still pissed off at how "bad" education is in this nation.  Like with politicians, people think every other school except their own, well, sucks.  Too many fail to link the issues with the concentration of poverty in a district - and poverty is largely concentrated in mid-sized and large cities.

                    Here in NY, if you look only at the graduation statistics for schools without including the statistics of our major cities, our graduation rates are pretty damn good.  NYC, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, etc drag those statewide rates down significantly because their cumulative percentage of the student population is so large.

                    "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

                    by Darth Stateworker on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 09:12:45 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Let me also add (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ManhattanMan

                that UFT has never been offered a true "location pay" deal, and I suspect if they were, they'd likely accept it.

                Location pay isn't a "bonus", "combat", or "merit" pay payment.  It's a supplement to ones salary directly on the existing salary schedules, paid out proportionally with each paycheck.

                Essentially, it's simply a bump in the base salary schedules for choosing to work in certain locations.

                If the city offered that, my money would be on UFT biting.

                "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

                by Darth Stateworker on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:28:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The UFT... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Darth Stateworker

                  ...actually has taken a deal, but it's only $5000.

                  Not enough to make a teacher move, but a nice bump for the teachers who are already there.

                  Trouble is, the ones who are there are the ones we want to switch out!

                  •  No links, though, huh? (0+ / 0-)
                    The Unions have blocked proposals that allow a district to pay more at School A than School B.
                    C'mon. Be a sport. Link something that actually substantiates your claims.
                    •  I linked... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...the California proposal. The union said specifically that they were against combat pay.

                      Also I linked the actual Resolutions passed by the NEA, where they said they were against such proposals. You tried to twist the NEAs words and claim (with no documentation) that they meant something other than what they said they did.

                      •  The article linked did not show that the union (0+ / 0-)

                        blocked a proposal that allowed a district to pay more at School A than School B. It did show that The Governator was proposing a number of things that including offering combat pay in return for substantial concessions on the part of teachers. Not at all what you claim. So, yeah, still waiting for evidence of your claim.

                        As far as the NEA resolution, I can't help it if you are unaware of standard professional terminology. The resolution simply doesn't mean what you claim it does.

                        •  Even worse for your position is the preceding (0+ / 0-)

                          paragraph:

                          g. Assure that salaries paid in early childhood, nontraditional, adult, and alternative programs are on par with salaries paid in traditional programs and that any personnel serving lower socioeconomic groups not be paid less than equivalent educational professionals providing similar service to higher socioeconomic groups
                          See that? In the entire section, including the "smoking gun" you are incorrectly interpreting, the NEA is talking about salary schedules. In section g, they specify that teachers serving low-income students must not be paid less than teachers serving high-income students -- without specifying the reverse!

                          Still want to claim I'm wrong?

                          This diary is effectively dead, but I am still very curious as to the answers to a couple of the above questions that you ignored:

                          Why do you, someone who wants to "get senior, experienced teachers from rich schools to go to poor schools", promote VAM and charter schools, which explicitly push better teachers out of poorer schools?
                          and:
                          Which raises the obvious question - just what is your connection with education?
                          You might bring the answers to another education diary sometime.
                  •  So then that (0+ / 0-)

                    is on the city for failing to make it enough to attract the best and brightest.

                    One other thing to consider, however, is that not everyone is motivated by money, and even for those that are - everyones price is different.  So that's an additional item to consider.

                    "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

                    by Darth Stateworker on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 09:00:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Seriously? (2+ / 0-)

        Here in Cleveland, the teachers union has been beat up for pay giveback after giveback, mostly under pressure and threats. I see no teachers rejecting higher pay, for which the money doesn't exist because our governor has stolen it all to give to his charter school buddies to run their failing trash schools.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

        by anastasia p on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:12:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Excuse you ... what? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darth Stateworker
        The main forces blocking higher pay are the Teachers' Unions.
        Teachers are against higher pay for teachers?

        Do you any any idea how stupid that sounds?

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:47:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The curse of my district (0+ / 0-)

    has always been that they came out with a bran new "initiative" every year and before anyone could figure out what the heck it meant they'd dropped it in favor of a bran new "initiative".  I think now we were just ahead of the curve.

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 12:14:13 PM PDT

  •  To say I have little faith in this would be an ... (9+ / 0-)

    To say I have little faith in this would be an understatement. My scores dripped like a rock this year and I fully expect to be hammered on that next year. I have 20 years' experience, which means I am expensive.

    I taught a totally different socio-group this year and it showed in my scores. I will regroup, but Arne Duncan would rather blame ME than than accept that there is a difference in being a middle-class white kid and a lower middle-class minority.

    I am so disgusted with the administrations in my profession that I am always seeking other job options. If I did not love my kids, I would have quit by now.

    •  This ^^^^ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emal

      I'm sorry to hear about your situation, but it does provide a really excellent illustration of what the research shows - that the factors related to poverty are much more impactful on school success than other factors. Same teacher, different SES, different scores. This in itself shows the invalidity of value-added...

      On the other hand, with 20 years experience, I would look into this new initiative to see if it could help you. Given that experience, and the fact that you love your kids, I'm sure you are a really good teacher and it would be a shame to lose you from the profession!

      "The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -Muriel Rukeyser

      by tubacat on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 12:44:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  skeptic (2+ / 0-)

    Why do I suspect Michelle Rhee has her filthy fingers in this?

    •  I hope you are wrong (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geenius at Wrok, Badger84, emal

      That criminal should have been run out of the education field long before now. She's evil, corrupt, and I call her group Students First "Students Last If At All."

      And HELL yes, it's personal now. A wonderful friend of mine just ran in the primary for the state legislature against a do-nothing Democrat who was endorsed by very few progressives or progressive groups but did manage to snag the endorsement of Ohio Right to Life at precisely the point where we can not afford a single Democrat to vacillate on being 100% pro-choice. Jill worked so hard campaigning for nearly a year and half, getting to know people all across the district, knocking on doors, going to every event and meeting, raised money. The incumbent did virtually nothing — no website, didn't update his Facebook page for months, never returned calls, raised little money for a handful of people.

      And then in the final two weeks, Rhee came surging  into the district and dumped – we don't know how much yet, but it was six figures for sure. Multiple mailers to the whole district, ads on the air, a big blitz. And this pliable stooge won (although not by much and I think Jill is planning to run again).

      Our legislature is so gerrymandered that it's 2/3rds Republican even though Ohio voters pretty much always split down the middle. We cannot afford legislators like this guy.Thanks a bunch, Michelle Rhee. You've help women lose their rights, helped weaken labor across the board, helped raise taxes and spending to a crushing level while slashing local services, helped weaken our economy, helped increase government secrecy and corruption. Yes, a big thank you and stay the fuck out of Ohio in the future, OK?

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:23:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Competition raises quality and lowers cost. (0+ / 0-)

    Perhaps it is time to stop the DOE/union monopoly... Vouchers for all! Freedom, use it or lose...

    2 years to fire a bad teacher in California, sheesh.

    $16,000 per kid! 16x20 = nuff said!

  •  If you ask me (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbsoul, Teiresias70, upstate NY, rexxnyc

    this whole thing is simply a way for this administration - which hasn't been all that much a friend to teachers - to provide back-door support for the Vergara decision and the so-called "reformists" pushing it.

    Arne Duncans recent comments in support of the Vergara decision are pretty much proof of that.

    "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

    by Darth Stateworker on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 06:44:14 PM PDT

    •  Arne Duncan can bite me (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darth Stateworker, emal, jbsoul

      right after Rahm Emanuel, who closed the school where my grandmother taught for 45 years. Not that it matters; all the kids there are Hispanic now, so they are garbage to Rahmie.

      This is personal too, as a product of the Chicago Public Schools.
      Screw you, Rahmie. Screw you, Arne. This diary is getting me pissed off.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:28:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So equalize education funding. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geenius at Wrok

    If teaching positions in poor districts have comparable salary to those in wealthy areas, you'll have better and more experienced teachers.

    Not saying there's any political will for that, just saying that's what it would take.

    There are thousands hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. -Thoreau

    by Frameshift on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:57:08 PM PDT

    •  They are equal. (0+ / 0-)

      We aren't talking about differences between cities and suburbs. It's about the differences between poor neighborhoods and rich neighborhoods within the same district, usually a big city like LA or NYC.

      It would be great if we equalized funding across cities, but that would be too much like Justice. Don't look for it anytime soon, lol.

      •  No, they aren't equal. (0+ / 0-)

        As I noted in my response above, you need to check out of the NYC box and realize there is a whole lot of poverty in not-so-mega cities as well - and those cities do indeed have to compete with wealthier suburbs who offer far better salaries in a far less stressful working environment...

        ...and a far shorter commute to work.

        "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

        by Darth Stateworker on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:44:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Additionally (0+ / 0-)

        even NYC competes to a certain degree with suburbs that pay better.  Many schools in Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties pay far better than NYC schools do.

        Living in or commuting to a job in a mega-city isn't for everyone.  So that right there limits the number of people that are even going to be willing to look for a job in a mega-city in the first place without enticement like a far fatter salary than they'll get in that tony suburb they'd prefer to teach and live in.

        "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

        by Darth Stateworker on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:49:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Put an effective educator in a high-poverty class (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nosleep4u, bryduck, Darth Stateworker

    and you'll see her transform into an "ineffective" educator overnight.

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:05:25 PM PDT

  •  Teaching in wealthy districts is easier (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ManhattanMan, Darth Stateworker

    They're usually more prepared and more motivated.  The facilities in which you work are more pleasant.  And the pay is better.  Is there any wonder at all why wealthy districts tend to have more experienced teachers?

    If you want to hire somebody with extremely high qualifications to work long hours in terrible conditions doing a largely thankless job, you have to pay them -more- than they'd get in a comparable position under better conditions.  Not less.  Unless, of course, you crater the economy, destroy unions and labor power, and arrange to let employers dictate the terms of employment throughout the entire economy.

    "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

    by libdevil on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 12:44:47 AM PDT

  •  Help Kids Without Hurting Teachers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alwaysquestion

    I don't think this is a terrible idea, but the devil is in the details. You need to post bonuses for experienced teachers to teach in these schools as well as provide bonuses for the staff already at those schools. (Anything else will create divisiveness.)

    Then maybe we need to start increasing funding at disadvantaged schools. (What a concept!) And while we're at it, stop testing kids to death. But since I'm making these kind of wishes, I'll have a pony farm delivered to each of my children's schools.

    It's hard to take the Obama administration at face value when they say they want to improve kids when they've done so much to hurt teachers and the educational system in general. Arne Duncan praised the Vergara decision that stripped away teacher tenure. How can we trust someone who believes this?

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