We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Average pay for Chicago teachers is $76,000 for 9 months' work with many vacations, not including benefits and defined-benefit pensions. Student performance is terrible, with only 15% of grade school students reading at grade level. In other words, it's not working. If this were a competitive business, it would be out of business but it is a government monopoly, controlled by a wealthy and powerful union.
1. The highest-paid public school teacher in Illinois is a physical education teacher making $191,124 per year (I'm assuming this is a 9-month teaching "year").2. Six of the top 12 highest-paid high school teachers in Illinois teach physical education, each making $170,000 or more. 3. Six state employees teaching driver education make $150,000 or more. 4. Six high school teachers make more than the Illinois Governor's salary of $177,500.5. 14,048 Illinois high school teachers made salaries of $100,000 or more in 2010, which is up 13% over last year.
But it's not their fault! No matter what they did, they couldn't educate the kids, because [insert societal problem here]. Which is why they should be paid more to persist in this senseless, hopeless task.
Like so many other government jobs, it doesn't exist to perform a service. It exists to create a compensation package.
Does anyone have demographic statistics for the students in Chi-town's public schools, i.e., whites vs. non-whites, two parent families vs single parent (mom) families, household income levels, native English speaking family vs non-native speaker, etc.? Sometimes the problems with educating kids start in the home. On the other hand, as Clint Eastwood said, if the gal (no sense saying guy, since most teachers are female) is not doing the job you hired her to do, you might just have to let her go. I wonder if TippyToes Rahm has signed on to that suggestion?
The salary listed is too high a wage, agreed. My wife has a Master's and 30 years and is way short of that average. As to whether they are succeeding or failing, I doubt they have that much control. Don't fall for the idea that if we just got some really good teachers and schools in there it would turn around. Things would improve mildly, no more. It is the quality of the student that matters more than the quality of the teacher, the administration, the pedagogic method, or the physical plant.
I'm not giving you theory here. That's what the data tell us.
Assistant VIllage Idiot
I teach at a Texas community college, and get the students right out of high school (and sometimes as dual-credit students taking the class for both HS and college credit). Some are ready to do the mental work needed to read a textbook and glean the important info, others aren't. I lecture for pretty much the whole time I have them in class and they almost universally tell me that they have NEVER had to take serious notes in HS or junior high up until they take my class. That never ceases to blow my mind because as recently as the mid 80s when I was in HS, our teachers lectured to us for most of the class period. Some were great and others couldn't teach their way out of a wet paper bag. But we were generally prepared for college.
I say this as a qualified statement, though, because I only get the dual credit students who are deemed most likely to succeed in college classes, the best of the worst if there is no best of the best any more. The stats generally say that the average public school student in the big urban school districts are much less prepared than the overmatched little balls of fluff that I get.
So while I think that teachers have reason to be upset about being judged by how their students do on standardized tests, I think the real blame for the state of American schools goes in equal measures to the failed government policies that got us here and the lack of personal responsibility that is plaguing our country.
What I mean is that our government has subsidized illegimate families for at least three generations now. I have sympathy for anyone trying to raise children as a single parent. But by subsidizing it the goverment encourages men to donate sperm and then abandon the woman and child. When that kid gets to school he is much less likely to respect authority or see the need for education if he has been abandoned. How can you effectively teach a school full of these kids?
My parents held me accountable at home for my actions at school. I knew I had to do my homework and stay in school or they would spank me and/or take away my privileges. Thankfully some parents do enforce this discipline at home, but some of my friends who work in public education tell me that more and more parents don't even try to help their kids or keep them in line. One of my favorite former principles recently retired because he was tired of parents who ALWAYS assumed that their little angels hadn't hit the teacher or beat up a fellow student. So they'd show up at school to tell the principal that he had no right to punish their perfect little darling who was clearly being picked on. I guess this sort of thing occasionally happened in the past. But it seems to be the new normal.
Is there a way to stop this car from plunging off the cliff? I don't see an easy way.