Posted 28 February 2006 - 10:54 PM
Why does everyone think paying teachers more will fix the problem ?! Teachers already make a minimum of 30K a year to start. Sure, that isn't as much as a doctor or executive, but it is a starting salary. Teachers are GUARANTEED raises every year regardless of skill level. Teachers can not get fired. Teachers also get 3 months of paid vacation PLUS all school holidays off. Now on top of that, they also do not work 8 hours a day anymore in most places. More and more schools are changing over to the block schedule with 4 two hour classes per day, and one of those blocks is spent in the Teachers Lounge. So in essence, teachers are paid their salary for 180 - 6 hour work days. I know, I know, they have to grade papers and all kinds of other things, but once a teacher has been in the same subject for two years, it is all the same thing, same lesson plans, same Scan-Trons, etc...Another problem with American education is the education of its educators. I went to a 4 year university that had 60% of its students in the Education Program. Let me give you a run down how half of those people wound up in the Education Program... The Engineering Student would flunk out of Engineering and change his track to Math. This student would then flunk out of math and realize that he only needs a few more education credits to become a math teacher and be guaranteed a job upon graduation with benefits and lots of holidays. Now this student has absolutely no interest in becoming a math teacher yet sees it as an easy out. I am speaking from experience here. Almost all of my friends followed this path as well as a lot of their acquaintances in the program.As far as the education in this program, the department consisted of the same group of teachers it had the past 30 years as they all had tenure and no reason to leave (don't even get me started on tenure / education). Sooooo since ALL the tests, projects, and group work had rarely changed if at all, the cheating was rampant. There were copies of every exam and project assignment all over campus, and if for some reason you couldn't find one, just ask a TA for it, they would be happy to see you pass with flying colors.So now, you have a person with little interest in actually teaching wanting a raise ?! You've got to be kidding! As others have mentioned, salaries should be dependant on merit! If you are good at what you do, you get paid better. This is of course a "professional" position as many others have mentioned and should be treated as such versus a government job where you can't get fired and are guaranteed raises no matter what.I have more friends than I can count that are currently teachers, as well as 2 of them that are principals. My principal friends are always coming to me with stories about how helpless they are when it comes to incompetent / lazy teachers. Both friends have employed the same strategy: make the teacher as uncomfortable as possible and give them a rave recommendation when another school calls for a reference on them. They can do nothing more than pass the horrible teachers off to other unsuspecting schools. I understand teaching is a difficult job, but so is mine, and yes I WANT MORE MONEY. But how do I do that?! I get side jobs, I expand my knowledge / skills, etc... I don't tell the government that I deserve it. Yes, as with everything, there are exceptions to the things that I have posted, but after being so close to our education system, it is hardly the salary that is the problem here.One funny thing I read not too long ago in the local paper, only 37% of all High School Teachers in our area could pass the state tests given to the students. That is sad, the people teaching our students don't even know the material!To sum it up, money is not to blame, lack of educated educators and motivated people in the field hurt it more than anything. Parents, that is a whole issue in itself!