×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Higher Pay for Math and Science Teachers

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the thank-the-union dept.

Education 471

Coryoth writes "Following up a previous story, it seems that the Kentucky effort to provide increased pay to teachers with qualifications in mathematics, physics, and chemistry has been gutted. Teachers objected to differential pay, and that portion of the bill was removed. At the same time California has just put forward a similar measure, with differential pay for teachers qualified in mathematics and science. Shockingly 40% of mathematics teachers in California are not fully qualified in the subject — a higher percentage of unqualified teachers than any other subject. Is the Californian effort any more likely to succeed, or is it destined to be similarly gutted? Is there a solution to the woeful lack of qualified mathematics teachers that the Teachers' Union will find acceptable?"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

471 comments

wow (5, Funny)

Washizu (220337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281240)

"Shockingly 40% of mathematics teachers in California are not fully qualified in the subject "

Wow, only 70% are fully qualified?

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281340)

LOL Funny. If wasn't an anonymous coward I would mod this up.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281446)

No. 70% are qualified in some fashion - not necessarily fully.

This is not a situation for the application of propositional logic.

Re:wow (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281452)

If they're graduates of the California school system, they're fully qualified upon graduation. Although the standard test may say otherwise.

How Bout Higher Pay for Teacher's Not in Unions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281246)

nt

Re:How Bout Higher Pay for Teacher's Not in Unions (3, Informative)

niloroth (462586) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281496)

Seeing as it was the teachers unions that helped to create mazes like this [cgood.org] when trying to remove a bad teacher, i think you might have a really good idea.

hm. (3, Informative)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281248)

Perhaps not surprisingly, California ranks almost dead last [morganquitno.com] in education.

Education (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281294)

Maybe we could save some of that money spent on establishing military control of nations on the other side of the globe and use it to fund our educational system.

Re:Education (4, Funny)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281346)

Nah. If capitalism has taught me anything, it's that it's easier to force someone else to be educated and do all the thinking for you. That way you can be ignorant of actual effort required to do a particular task and solve all problems with a whip.

See how easy that is? In mathematics it's called reducing the problem. The Americans are *behind* in education. Any attempt to catch up by improving the education system would necessarily require a period where the Americans admitted somebody else was better than them. Solution: build bigger and better bombs and enslave weak, intellectual societies.

Hmmmm. I think they need to invade smarter, more advanced countries though. Time to get out of Canada, I guess.

It makes so much sense (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281386)

The system you propose has an added bonus: If you can effectively squelch the real source of the thinking then you can take credit for the solutions to promote yourself.

Brilliant!

Re:Education (1)

DBCubix (1027232) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281366)

Maybe we could save some of that money spent on establishing military control of nations on the other side of the globe and use it to fund our educational system. Nah, it costs more to teach kids Arabic and qurans cost money too.

Re:Education (0, Flamebait)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281798)

Maybe we could save some of that money spent on establishing military control of nations on the other side of the globe and use it to fund our educational system. Nah, it costs more to teach kids Arabic and qurans cost money too.
Learn how to quote. Your pathetic attempt to put a carriage return makes your reply mix in with what you're replying to. Makes you look like a retard. (try wrapping your quoted text with <blockquote> tags or at least put in line breaks)

Are you seriously implying that if we didn't destabilize Iraq we'd be an Islamic country? How so? Saddam Hussein was a secularist.

Hmm, perhaps you are retarded.

Re:Education (2, Funny)

endianx (1006895) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281458)

Nah, keep the military control of other nations, and draft anybody who doesn't get a certain GPA. That would motivate the hell outta me!

(I'm kidding though. Horrible idea.)

Not a good idea (5, Insightful)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281706)

I, for one, would definitely like to keep control of the schools away from the federal government.

Look at the No Child Left Behind debacle? Slowly, county by county, districts are telling the Department of Education to "shove it". My county is among those who have done so, and I'm proud of that.

For now, the federal government only funds like 2% of school budgets, so schools can defy the feds relatively painlessly. But what if the federal government provided 20% of the funding? 80%? You'd get the same mess we are in with the highway funds. As it stands right now, all congress has to do is tell a state, "Change XYZ state law for us, or you can build your own damn roads." I don't want to see that happen with education.

Empathy (2, Insightful)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281836)

I completely agree with the sentiment that we should keep the federal government out of our schools. If they are going to take the money, and if they are going to go to great lengths to squelch (or infinitely regulate) private and home-schooling, then we might as well have some say on where that money is spent.

The federal government may only directly fund 2% of the average school budget but through their control of the distribution of money they can influence the other 98%. All money (well, a vast majority) goes to DC before it comes back to the states and the money which doesn't go directly to DC is controlled by DC through any number of other systems.

Ideally, yes, we taxpayers keep our money and use it to locally decide how things are done. That was the spirit of the 9th and 10th Amendments and the restriction of the authority of the federal government. Until we can move back to that system, though, we can at least hope that the money comes back in salaries.

Re:Education (2, Insightful)

antarctican (301636) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281826)

And this is exactly the solution. Instead of only paying certain teachers more, how about paying them all what they deserve and raising the standard of eduction in all subjects?

Re:hm. (2, Informative)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281520)



one of the reasons for this is a.) competitive pay, b.) suitable work conditions. I actually considered going into teaching ( BS in architectural engineering) The process involved taking a rather intensive multi discipline test. A test that dealt with college level concepts in everything from math, to the arts, to humanities. You also have to be enrolled in a teaching program. So in order to be a teacher in California you have to a.) have a degree in some field of study. b.) pass the qualification exams (see link) and be must be actively enrolled in a teaching program. or have a teaching degree.

If I did all this i probably would be making around $40,000 a year if I chose to teach in the most volatile schools. After all this I decided to stick with my career, where in pay wise i've faired much better. long story short for what you have to do to get what your paid its not worth it. not to mention the unpaid overtime ... bringing papers home to correct, lesson plans. etc.

California Teaching Credential.
http://www.ctc.ca.gov/credentials/default.html [ca.gov]

paying based on seniority encourages laziness (4, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281284)

Is there a solution to the woeful lack of qualified mathematics teachers that the Teachers' Union will find acceptable?

I don't see why paying people based on merit (versus seniority) is unacceptable. That's how most of the real world works.

Re:paying based on seniority encourages laziness (5, Insightful)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281362)

People ALWAYS say this and it's crap. That's not how the real world works. Maybe that's how it works at burger king, but in almost every industry I've dealt with there are people whom aren't in their current positions because of merit. I work in government now and people constantly complain that "X person should be fired, that's the way it works in the private sector". News flash, I've worked extensively in both private and public sectors, and the same crap goes on in each. There really isn't a whole lot of difference. People know people and get promoted unfairly. Unions exist and make it hard to fire people. People sleep with their boss. People obtain cushy jobs where there work isn't noticed and do nothing all day. It happens everywhere. I'm not saying it's right, but I am saying that's how the real world works. Not this fantasy land of moving people and salaries and resources like a commodity.

Re:paying based on seniority encourages laziness (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281404)

That's how most of the real world works.

quoted for emphasis, because it sounds like you missed that part.

Re:paying based on seniority encourages laziness (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281772)

People ALWAYS say this and it's crap. That's not how the real world works.

I've worked in both and I'm currently working in the public sector. It DOES NOT work the same way in the private sector as it does in the public. People here do absolutely nothing but wander around complaining how busy they are. As I've said twice in recent memory including on the last thread about this topic [slashdot.org], the only thing that the vast majority of public sector workers are good at is pretending they're busy.

These people would not survive for 10 minutes where I've worked in the private sector. They would fucking die if they had a 30 minute lunch break and two 15s that were mandated by schedule. They would seriously break down in tears if they were evaluated on hard data instead of gut feeling about their success rates. "Oh wow, I only converted 8%? It really felt like 80%. Something must be wrong there with that data."

Re:paying based on seniority encourages laziness (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281412)

I don't see why paying people based on merit (versus seniority) is unacceptable. That's how most of the real world works.

All levels of government is run almost exclusively on a seniority basis. Not only that, but it's next to impossible to fire most government employees. That's why government workers tend to be some of the most dim-witted people you've ever met. They're the people who have or would be fired from jobs in the private sector, and have gotten to the positions that they hold simply because they're a warm body that has managed to show up to work for an extended period of time.

Re:paying based on seniority encourages laziness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281840)

They might be dim-witted, DogDude...

...but you fuck dogs.

Re:paying based on seniority encourages laziness (3, Insightful)

pogopogo (464296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281422)

How would you determine teacher merit?

Test scores? Student evaluations?

The problem with comparing education to the "real world" is that education is not a business. Teachers have to take every student that shows up in their class. Businesses get to define their own market.

Re:paying based on seniority encourages laziness (4, Insightful)

Copid (137416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281616)

Well, I wouldn't say that math and science teachers have more "merit" that warrants higher pay, but the price for a good generally correlates with its value at its next best use. Somebody who is good at math or science (hopefully a qualification for teaching math or science) usually has pretty solid pay options should they choose to go elsewhere. Not acknowledging that in your pay scale is just begging for a shortage of qualified people.

It's not a matter of "merit" or "fairness." It's a matter of acknowledging that most people who leave serious technical jobs to teach incur a serious opportunity cost. Limiting your candidate pool to people who would do the job at any price is not really a good idea.

Re:paying based on seniority encourages laziness (4, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281578)

> I don't see why paying people based on merit (versus seniority) is unacceptable. That's how most of the real world works.

But you don't understand. The schools aren't about the students, they are all about the teachers unions. In exactly the same way the big three automakers slowly morphed from being about making cars into social programs for union autoworkers. It is what unions do, and when it is a union in control of a government monopoly like education it gets insane. The schools now exist for the benefit of the teachers, students are at best a useful prop for lobbying for more money. Reality has long been divorced from what goes on inside government schools. Untested fads by fashionable marxists intellectuals get rolled out into classrooms nationwide without any sort of testing, political correctness runs rampant, etc. Accountability is almost non existant. Unless a teacher gets caught in a politically incorrect belief or having sex with a student their odds of being fired for malpractice isn't measurable.

And yet the beauracy is so wretched that no sane person wants to teach even with the fairly good pay (and it IS fairly good pay in most states for the hours worked and the level of education required) in most states and the all but certain job security mentioned above, A doctorate in math or science is not good enough to qualify one to teach unless you can first endure a couple of semesters of mind numbing 'teaching' courses designed to both indoctrinate politically correct views and raise an artifical barrier to entry into the profession.

Re:paying based on seniority encourages laziness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281738)

Untested fads by fashionable marxists intellectuals get rolled out into classrooms nationwide without any sort of testing, political correctness runs rampant, etc.

Uhm, if you look at the braintrust behind "No Child Left Behind" [huffingtonpost.com], I'm sure you'll rethink that statement.

Hmmm...capitalism not all the rage in academia? (3, Interesting)

scuba_steve_1 (849912) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281736)

Yes, skill-based compensation appears to be a radical concept in the halls of academia...or at least the public school variant thereof. Of course, we are talking about PUBLIC schools and teachers' UNIONS. Perhaps we are not in a dialog with a bastion of capitalists. ;-)

Some are trying:

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion /oped/articles/2006/03/29/taking_on_the_teachers_u nions/ [boston.com]

Perhaps my favorite line from that article is:

Catherine Boudreau, president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, predictably criticized Romney's proposals as ''inequitable, divisive, and ineffective." The MTA denounced the proposal as ''uniquely designed to destroy collegiality in a school," ignoring the fact that performance pay is routine in such other professions as medicine, law, and engineering, not to mention in the Commonwealth's first-rate universities, including those that are unionized by the MTA.

*sigh* Some folks need to leave the castle every now and again and see what life is like on the outside.



On that note, I have a couple of friends who are teachers. Yes they work hard and shape young minds. Granted. Good folks. That said, their stress level is about 1% of mine (working in a s/w dev field). Are they paid less? Yes, but their pay is not abysmal. Both make mid 50s...for a job with three months off in the summer, a holiday and spring break, a half dozen snow days, etc. Sure...they bring work home...and so do I. In general, they seem happier and more satisfied with their career choices than my friends in IT. So they make less. It's a choice.

We pay folks what we need to in this society. It's a fairly complex equation, but factors include skill sets, time to acquire those skills, desirability of the work, career potential, quality of life, and...yes...supply and demand. If we need better math and science teachers, we should pay for them. These are critical skills...and we should not let the grumbling art teacher get in the way of giving our children what they need (and deserve). Perhaps the economics and civics teachers should hold a brown bag on one of the snow days. They could discuss how autoworkers unions contributed to the quality of the American automobile industry...and how competition from the Japanese did nothing to help motivate the Americans to improve quality...and then discuss sarcasm.

BTW, I loved my art teacher. ;-)

Re:paying based on seniority encourages laziness (1)

pete.com (741064) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281862)

Because that's how unions work in the real world.... and why the US will continue to lag far behind in education.

Solution (4, Insightful)

timtwobuck (833954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281290)

Gutt the union? They're preventing progression and have become too in control. We're letting them run the show.

Re:Solution (2, Interesting)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281358)

Gutt the union? They're preventing progression and have become too in control. We're letting them run the show.
Sure you can say "gut the Teachers' Union", but that simply isn't a practicable solution - it simply isn't going to happen, not in the real world. It might be reasonable to suggest measures that weaken the clout of the union, but one way or another you're going to have to work around unions if you actually want to provide a pragmatic, practical, solution that you can can reasonably expect to see implemented and have noticeable results. One proposal in California would see student loans waived for math and science students if they teach high school for 4 years. Whether that is sufficient incentive is hard to say. Certainly it is a little easier for the union to swallow.

Re:Solution (1)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281608)

Really?

Teachers in many southern states (no idea about others, but I know its true in Texas) are not allowed to strike, so the unions really have no meaningful threats other than sick-outs which just get taken from the pool of bad-weather or vacation days. And when a union is powerless like that, people just don't join because they see it as a waste of money, so the union is effectively gutted.

Not saying it's right, but it is absolutely a practicable solution in many states.

Re:Solution (4, Interesting)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281806)

Sure you can say "gut the Teachers' Union", but that simply isn't a practicable solution - it simply isn't going to happen, not in the real world.

That's exactly what 11,000 air traffic controllers were thinking back in 1981.

At least California has a governor that's packing enough brass to make this practicable, assuming he wants to gamble essentially all of his political capital on this move.

Re:Solution (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281380)

If both the Union can be gutted and the school administration / states not screw with the teachers. I hear plenty of first-hand reasons why there is a union in the first place.

That said, I also hear plenty of reasons why many teachers unions are ineffective. You'd think teachers would be smarter...

Re:Solution (1)

Sylver Dragon (445237) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281606)

I also hear plenty of reasons why many teachers unions are ineffective.
#1: Required membership. Make the Union actually have to work to keeps its members and it will get a hell of a lot better at representing its members.

On the other hand, the Union is needed, as the States have been showing with the "No School Left Behind Act" they are dead set on centralizing control over them, then fucking them all up equally. After all, there is no last place when everyone is at the bottom.

I see no problem with the idea of differential pay for teachers in different subjects. Yes, it would suck to be an English teacher and make half as much as the Math teacher, but I'm willing to bet that we can find twice as many qualified English teachers as Math teachers. The moral of the story, pick a more in demand subject.

Re:Solution (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281860)

I see no problem with the idea of differential pay for teachers in different subjects. Yes, it would suck to be an English teacher and make half as much as the Math teacher, but I'm willing to bet that we can find twice as many qualified English teachers as Math teachers. The moral of the story, pick a more in demand subject.
It's this way in Universities. Business, medical, and science professors wouldn't be professors if they were paid the small amount the English and Philosophy professors are paid.

Re:Solution (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281442)

What possible reason could you have to believe that things would be better without the union? Will the teachers magically get smarter? Will the administrators magically pull qualified people willing to work for low wages out of thin air? Or will schools in fact use the absense of unions to lay even more stupid and demeaning crap on the already overworked and underpaid teachers?

Think for a minute before posting.

It's a question of priorities (5, Insightful)

zCyl (14362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281300)

What's more important? A perception of equality between teachers of all subjects, or setting the salaries at the level required to attract teachers qualified to properly educate children in each subject?

Re:It's a question of priorities (1)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281388)

The priorities in this case are the voters inclination to do something. Here in Los Angeles, the voters haven't done much of anything besides give the school district construction money. Other than that it's business as usual. As much as some may talk about better schooling (whatever that means) class sizes haven't gone down, graduation rates have even gone down despite perceived low bueracracy (sp..!) performance.

As a parent, I can tell you that even middle-income parents have abandoned LAUSD public education with the exception of maybe one or two public schools ideally situated.

No one cares.

Re:It's a question of priorities (2, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281424)

What's more important? A perception of equality between teachers of all subjects, or setting the salaries at the level required to attract teachers qualified to properly educate children in each subject?
I think a more pertinent question is who is more important, the teachers, or the students? Ultimately it is the students that are losing here and it appears that, based on difference in demand (apparently qualified math teachers are very hard to come by in California), the most effective solution is going to be incentives to attract more qualified math teachers. What is needed, apparently, is some way to manage to sell that to the unions, or, at the least, a way to muzzle the union on this issue. The former is hard, and the latter is going to result in a head on clash with the union, which won't be pretty. In the meantime the kids continue to lose out.

Re:It's a question of priorities (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281572)

Ahhh, that is the simplistic view. Mine is probably just as bad, but if unions were not the rule, it would be possible to give merit pay increases to those teachers that do raise the quality of teaching in the school system. For those that are not teaching math and sciences, they should also be able to participate in merit increases. If the merit payments were done on a tiered level, one for qualified certifications, and one for quality of student learning. If the English/language test scores go up, those teachers should see a merit increase etc.

That, of course, always brings in the difficulties; how to judge the quality of learning. From what I can tell with experience and the media, the current methods (NCLB included) are insufficient/ineffective on the best of days.

Colleges and universities have (1)

Ogemaniac (841129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281762)

differntial pay. So does every corporation on earth, despite plenty of jobs where it is difficult to quantify performance.

It is not a real issue to determine teacher performance. Everyone knows who the good teachers are.

Re:It's a question of priorities (3, Insightful)

ranton (36917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281756)

Actually the true question is more direct:

Is the perception of equality more important? Or is the education of our children more important?

--

Re:It's a question of priorities (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281866)

A perception of equality between teachers of all subjects

and this is probably at the root of the problem. Since physed teachers make exactly the same salary as math teachers and physed courses basically just require that you show up while mathematics actually requires some work to master, more people try to be physed teachers than math teachers.

The truth of the matter is, we have far too many physed teachers and not nearly enough math teachers. Frankly, we could do without any physed teachers at all. Math teachers are worth more than physed teachers and should be paid accordingly.

Awesome (3, Insightful)

iridium_ionizer (790600) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281308)

Wouldn't it be great to just read a bunch of novels for college and get paid the same ammount as the person that racked their brain while trying to solve differential equations?

Re:Awesome (2, Insightful)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281440)

Yes, because literature is pointless. The people who wrote those novels should be ashamed at writing something with so little use in society.

How do you rank the "usefulness" of someone's study? By time spent in school? Well then my Ph.D. in Linguistics is more "useful" than your MBA. Just because you're good at differential equations doesn't mean that the world needs to pay more for math and science than art. I can influence the masses a hell of a lot better with good writing than with a carefully deduced solution to a differential equation.

I think what you're trying to say is that people should be rewarded according to the market value of their work. That makes sense, but the guy who read all those novels can still turn around and write one himself. If it's a best-seller, he'll do better than the guy who hasn't solved a differential equation in 10 years.

Reframe the question (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281824)

I think what you're trying to say is that people should be rewarded according to the market value of their work. That makes sense, but the guy who read all those novels can still turn around and write one himself. If it's a best-seller, he'll do better than the guy who hasn't solved a differential equation in 10 years.
I don't like the odds on the novelist, though.

Rather than dream about best-sellers, I'd frame the question a different way: "Take one guy who read a lot of novels and one guy who solved a lot of differential equations. Which one is more likely to be able to feed his family?"

Two types of teacher (2, Insightful)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281320)

There are definitely two types of teacher in the Scientific fields.

There are certainly plenty of "those who can't", but there are a small subset who believe in the importance of what they are doing to forgo industry and take the lower pay. I was lucky enough to have a few of them in my high school and it probably encouraged me to head into the field i'm in now. One of our math teachers taught us advanced courses that covered things like Number Theory and Abtract Math; he had us demonstrate how to implement and break RSA encryption and why it could be done in a reasonable time. Our two man chemistry department was entirely staffed with Ph. D's, my favorite Physics teacher could at least explain the basics of quantum theory.

I'm not convinced that salary is everything. It'll certainly solve the "we need more science/math teachers" problem, but it'll probably entice people who were otherwise going to become teachers to specialize in teaching a different field.

This kind of effort will surely cause rifts in the teaching staff, but offering slightly more money isn't going to entice any experts away from industry or tertiary academia.

Re:Two types of teacher (5, Insightful)

bendodge (998616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281492)

My father has been a teacher for almost 20 years, and describes the life cycle of a teacher like this:

1. Someone becomes a teacher, not for the pay, but in order to better the world.
2. They are very enthusiastic, and spin their wheels with enthusiasm.
3. About 5-10 years into it, they get cynical. But with that many years behind them, they are not going to switch careers.
He also discussed the government programs issue:

1. A program is created and deployed with high hopes (except for the cynical teachers who have been through the last 3 programs.)
2. It generates a lot of (fake) steam, then is loopholed and "special-ed"ed out of commission, at which point everybody forgets the name.
3. The program is about to expire, and everything will go back to traditional mode. This creates a lawsuit hazard, as tens of thousands of students suddenly must pass a test or miss their diploma.
4. A new program is hastily implemented to keep the scores inflated and keep to the students rolling through (read: no lawsuits).
Another problem is "special ed". Here is the story behind 85% of the students in special ed:

1. A student is ultra-lazy and isn't passing.
2. Parents roar at the teacher, and send their kid to the school shrink. At this point the student pays attention and dons his worst intellect, in order to pass the evaluation.
3. He is assigned a monitor who is specially responsible to keep an eye on his school (read: make sure he passes).
4. The student has a lot less work to do (the basic package is 1/2 the homework, and it gets worse as you go along), and the teacher is given a dossier (they have some politically correct name for it) on the kid's "condition", and he is required to tailor his lessons for that child's benefit. (There is naturally no way a teacher can tailor the class for a dozen individual kids.)
5. The student passes with good grades, and gets his diploma. He got by with minimal work, the parents are happy, and nobody got sued.
5. Since you can't discriminate against the handicapped or retarded, the diploma has no mention of the fact that the student didn't actually do the work, or that he has any condition.
Now, the program does do much good for the truly handicapped people, but there are very few people who have anything wrong with them, except for their work ethic.

As for classroom discipline:

1. You cannot touch or search a kid without getting sued by the parents or the ACLU.
2. You cannot dock their grade without the parents getting zealous.
3. You may only send them to the office, where the overworked principle (who spends "half his time making sure we comply with regulations") tells the student to behave or face staying home from school (sounds silly, but it really irks the parents, who suddenly have a kid to babysit).
4. If the teacher saw the kid's drugs, the principle calls the students mom to come (no way will he tell the kid to drop his pants for a search without a parent present). The kid is then sent to the school police officer, and I don't know what he does with him.
5. There isn't much else to do.
It is a general case of lazy kids, a lawyer-happy ACLU, terrible parenting, and staggering bureaucratic overhead.

What about language? (2, Insightful)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281330)

Math and Science teachers getting higher pay would be a wonderful thing - but could we not also include Language teachers? I mean, being able to understand and use math and science is one thing, but the ability to take the ideas from those areas and properly communicate them seems to be a dying art. If we can't get these teachers higher pay, then can we at least give them some teeth in the classroom and the ability to enforce stricter standards of written and spoken language?

Re:What about language? (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281456)

Excelent point. Maybe we can get rid of thie Ebonics [wikipedia.org] thing once and for all.

California not only recognized it as a primary language for blacks but tried to teach it as well.

Re:What about language? (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281714)

Wrong. Ebonics was used used in one school in Oakland. They tried to get it to qualify as a second language so they could get ESL special funding, but that that was smacked down big time.

Did the math teachers complain? (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281332)

Most likely it was mainly the unqualified, or those with history - and other low-dollar skills - that were complaining

Sure, history etc are important, but they have no significant earning potential outside of teaching. It's a buyer's market. Qualified scientists have far better prospects.

Short answer (4, Insightful)

lazlo (15906) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281336)

"Is there a solution to the woeful lack of qualified mathematics teachers that the Teachers' Union will find acceptable?"

No. Because among the Teachers' Union's membership there are 40% of mathematics teachers who would become unemployed if a solution were found. A good solution would help two groups of people: Qualified people who are not currently teachers, and students. Neither of those groups is a part of any Teachers' Union.

Re:Short answer (4, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281398)

You missed the fact that it would also help the 60% of math teachers who *are* qualified, by giving them larger paychecks.

It might also provide incentives for the 40% that aren't qualified to take the courses necessary to become so.

Re:Short answer (1)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281536)

There are already financial programs in place to encourage potential teachers, but they avoid union wrath by being add-ons rather than base pay incentives. Some teachers get loan reprieves, grants (that go into teacher's pockets, etc). I don't side with the unions on this, but they are very powerful, and districts are sidestepping base pay in favor of these extras. Currently these extras are available for teaching inner city schools, etc. I don't see why they can't so the same for much needed academic subjects.

My fiancee was a math teacher in california (2, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281348)

Its very difficult to find work teaching math or science unless you have a single subject credential in those areas. The problem California has it that they do not like hiring math and science teachers. Why? Money.

They can hire an intern for half the price and just get rid of them every year or what they do is put in a permanent sub and recycle them just to meet quotas so they don't get sued. Its disgusting.

The problem really is paying more for math and science teachers. If the schools must pay more for these teachers then they will fire them to save money and use interns.

So why should a teacher get a credential in a subject that could damage his or her career?

Also whats great about unqualified interns is that they do not have to comply with no child left behind. They can claim they could not find enough qualified teachers to fill the position and the schools will no longer have to be held accountable.

As a result she plans to teach in Texas next year. Pay is only a few thousand less a year and the bean counters do not run the schools and do borderline illegal things like what I described above or putting 50 kids to a class room and then change all the teachers in October so they can get away without paying teachers salary for 1 whole year. My jaw dropped when I heard about that.

Re:Problem is not Money (1)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281552)

The problem is that voters want nothing to do with the system. They love to complain, but won't do anything.

So, your fiancee goes off to (let me take a wild guess) some proto-suburb that currently is running a budget surplus on an annual basis where she can afford to live and have a few bucks left over at the end of the month. e.g. There's plenty of money to go around.

The last bit about no child left behind is a hostile jab at the school system. It probably is poorly run, but the voters clearly don't care because nothing has been done.

The Union is hardly the problem (2, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281356)

I lived in Appalachian Kentucky, in one of the two or three poorest counties in the country. The problems with education didn't come down to teacher unions, it came down to political pork barrel.

In a nutshell, the way you get elected in those parts is to deliver relatively cushy government jobs to your friends and supporters*.

Since funding for schools is already pitiful, the usual strategy is to have lots of low paying teacher jobs, rather than fewer good paying positions. If you pay less per job, you create more porkbarrel positions that will bring you votes.

Kentucky really isn't interested in spending more on schools, and is just using teacher unions as a convenient excuse.

* or hand out fifths of whisky on election day. Or indulge in good old fashioned vote buying. [newsbank.com]

Discrimination! (2)

giverson (532542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281368)

You can't discriminate like that. It's sexist!

Re:Discrimination! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281654)

Its not discrimination. It leaves some people out, though. I teach Technology Applications (official name) in a high school. I teach AutoCAD, 3D animation, Engineering Structures, and several other programs. I would not be eligible to receive any bonuses. On paper I am a shop teacher. Go figure! I used to teach science but got out of it. (I hate doing science fairs)
Their bonus system would leave out computer education of any kind. We all have specific jobs to do in educating students.

Well, maybe it SHOULD be gutted. (1, Interesting)

DarkVader (121278) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281372)

I'm sorry, it just sounds like a bad idea to me for math or science teachers to be paid more.

It's just asking for personnel issues, and it's creating a teacher economic hierarchy where none currently exists, and none needs to exist.

Re:Well, maybe it SHOULD be gutted. (1)

guaigean (867316) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281476)

But why not? If they went to school, studied hard, and succeeded in a difficult field, how do you encourage people to do the same unless there is some sort of reward? Paying everyone equal is akin to communism. The hardest working suffer at the hands of the lazy and incapable.

Re:Well, maybe it SHOULD be gutted. (5, Informative)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281786)

I'm sorry, it just sounds like a bad idea to me for math or science teachers to be paid more.

It's just asking for personnel issues, and it's creating a teacher economic hierarchy where none currently exists, and none needs to exist.

But It does need to exist. The problem is that the teachers union sees them all as the same thing: teachers. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that it's a hell of a lot easier to teach 3rd graders to spell than it is to teach 11th graders calculus. What kind of idiot marxist do you have to be to insist that Nancy Twinkletoes with her Ba in Child Development be paid the same as Jane Poindexter with a PhD in Mathematics? They both teach children? So the fuck what! The similarity ends there. It makes as much sense as demanding equal wages for NASCAR drivers and bus drivers because they're both just drivers.

It seems to me many teachers want this kind of pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281374)

They would much rather prefer having sex with their students than actually receive a paycheck.
Didn't you see that teacher's ass shake on the cell phone video?
Why didn't my teacher hit on me like that when I was in middle school.
Did you see when the gym teacher who was married to the principal banged a student?
Pay these degenerate pedophile teachers what they desire! YOUNG CHILDREN!

(captcha was ladylike LOL)

Pay people more, they'll become qualified (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281392)

Human beings are simply not equal, no matter what you wish. Pay more for people who are willing to become qualified and more will become so. Insisting that everyone receive the same... Well it doesn't exactly encourage excellence, now, does it.

 

Union's don't reward excellence... (2, Insightful)

guaigean (867316) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281414)

Is there a solution to the woeful lack of qualified mathematics teachers that the Teachers' Union will find acceptable?"


Of course not. Union's don't reward ability. Union's tend to focus on the lowest common denominator holding onto their job. Pay for performance usually increases performance. Paying someone equally for less performance usually discourages people from using their abilities. I've never understood why teacher's aren't paid for performance, especially considering the responsibility they have. So long as excellent scientists and mathematicians are paid the same as incapable football coaches, there will be no massive rush to enter high school teaching.

Mod me troll if you like, but rewards based on abilities and performance usually yield better results.

Re:Union's don't reward excellence... (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281664)

I'm all for paying better teachers a higher wage, but how do you quantify performance? Test scores? Peer review? Independent review? Whatever the parents say?

With no absolutes to measure against, how does one decide that one instructor's performance is better than another's?

High school flashbacks (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281848)

Due to schedule problems i got stuck in a regular to low-level geometry class in grade 10. The teacher was the (quite successful) wrestling coach but he couldn't pull a vector outta his ass to save his life. So the teacher teaching the people that don't have the best grasp of the subject has even less of a clue himself.

PS. Teachers hate it when you have to show them how to do the problem they put on the board after noone, including the teacher!!, got it right....hehe, vectors during the time i was in ground school for my pilots license :)

The task of teaching (4, Interesting)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281450)

Before the more libertarian posters start chewing up the teachers' unions (not that I'd disagree), I'd like to ask the question: What level of respect do teachers deserve, and in what manner should we as a society ensure they get that respect?

There is a job to be done, a job some would consider a somewhat sacred task: Ensuring that an entire generation can learn and grow in the best way we know how to do it. That is not an easy task.

We currently have a very limited number of people put into that formal role, and they collectively are not doing what we would consider an acceptable job at it. What should our response be? If our response is to punish and cut resources from that role in general one way or another, then we will be left with even fewer people to fill that role, and those that are left will have an even harder job to do. More than that, the level of respect for these teachers will continue to fall. This isn't such a bad thing, if collapse of such a system is an acceptable result, except that there will be much of an entire generation of children in the lurch.

The recent response to this issue is to push for very strict testing as a way to punish the teachers with the weakest 'performance'. That does improve the measured response, but it has also changed the way we measure the result. I would assert that by doing this, we have left behind the idea that we are trying to truly teach a generation the best way we can, but instead have minimized what we teach in order to assure high scores on a system we invent for ourselves, all in an effort to find someone to punish.

So, is this the best way to get the job done? Is this the way we respect our children's need for education, and the people who are put into the role of opening doors for the children?

Ryan Fenton

huh (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281478)

Doesn't California have some of the highest taxes in the country. Even higher than Taxachusetts. Dont they also have an economy larger than a lot of countries? What do they do with all their money?

The Objections (5, Funny)

PoopDaddy (1064616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281500)

Teachers objected to differential pay...

The English teacher wrote a 3-point essay against the proposal.

The History teacher did some research and cited precedent against it.

The PE teacher punched the legislators and sat on their heads.

The Art teacher committed suicide in an ironic statement.

How Depressing (1)

endianx (1006895) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281508)

These stories always depress the hell out of me.

#2 thing wrong with US education: Teacher's unions.
#1: Parents who don't care if their kids get an education or not.

Re:How Depressing (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281800)

#1: Parents who don't care if their kids get an education or not.
I have to agree. As much as objections to apparently necessary measures to attract enough skilled math teachers do harm, ultimately it is the apathy of parents on these matters that really makes the difference. Were parents honestly and suitably incensed about the low quality of math education it would empower to politicians to ride rough shod over teacher objections - with enough strong feeling in the electorate teachers would get little sympathy for blocking reasonable proposals to incentivize math teaching as a career.

Re:Child Free? (1)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281802)

Your comments sound like armchair parenting. Either that or you have the luxury of practically infinite privately funded choices for your child's education.

It has almost nothing to do with the Teacher's Union.

There are very few (if any) parents who specifically "don't care if their kids get an education." If they don't care then they as parents probably qualify to have their child taken away from them by the courts for other reasons.

teacher's unions will fight this (1)

hguorbray (967940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281510)

Unfortunately from what I can find online and from a recent Economist article is seem that the Teacher's Unions are one of the bigger obstacles to educational reform.

Tenure keeps the bad teachers around and low pay, etc keep the idealists whi could make a difference from sticking with it. Any plans which would involve a premium on new teachers with specialized skills will be rejected by this group as it does not reward its current membership and goes against the rigid hierarchy promoted by the tenure system which is not based on ability, talent or dedication.

http://www.vdare.com/pb/apple.htm [vdare.com]

-I'm just sayin'

Only 40% unqualified (1)

Quzak (1047922) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281532)

Honestly, I am very surprised by this. I would have guessed it to be closer to 90% unqualified. The state of education in the U.S. is a shameful thing. I dont have access to the current figures but isn't the U.S. ranking someone around 20th worldwide in education quality?

I guess its time to out source our education in addition to our jobs.

I guess also its another arguement for Home based schooling, but its a shame that the Military as well as many employers frown upon such practices.

Re:Only 40% unqualified (2, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281740)

I dont have access to the current figures but isn't the U.S. ranking someone around 20th worldwide in education quality?
Something like that. Perhaps this is what you were thinking of [usatoday.com]? Of course there are various criticisms of that study, so we shouldn't put too much stock in it. Still, it is notable that the top country, Finland, invested significant money and effort in encouraging as many elementary school teachers as possible to take extra math courses. The reality is that, because mathematics is a layered subject, each new topic building upon understanding of the last, falling a little behind can easily lead to an endless game of catch-up. One bad teacher, particularly early on, can have a significant detrimental effect on your entire career in the subject - and the reality is that often those who go into elementary teaching have the least understanding and the greatest dislike of mathematics. Changing that can make a huge difference in outcomes for students down the line in middle school and high school.

Re:Only 40% unqualified (1)

glhturbo (32785) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281818)

Honestly, I am very surprised by this. I would have guessed it to be closer to 90% unqualified. The state of education in the U.S. is a shameful thing. I dont have access to the current figures but isn't the U.S. ranking someone around 20th worldwide in education quality?

Yes, because our results come from the ENTIRE population, while most other countries only test (or provide schooling to) the top X% of the population.

I guess its time to out source our education in addition to our jobs.

Oh yes, because outsourcing jobs has worked so well, right?

I guess also its another arguement for Home based schooling, but its a shame that the Military as well as many employers frown upon such practices.

Because most parents who complain about schools, and decide to home school, can't reliably pick their nose, never mind provide education for their own children...

teach math (0, Troll)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281534)

I'm curious, what exactly are the math qualifications to teach the subject at a grade 1-8 level? Its pretty much add, subtract and some basic algrebra right?

English Teachers... (-1)

helstar (172465) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281568)

I demand higher pay for English teachers! If a student can't communicate an idea effectively, does it really matter how well they score in math/science? ;alskdfjl;askdjfa;sdlkfj

Why math and science? (1, Interesting)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281624)

98% of population only need to know how to calculate a 15% tip. On the other hand, those with drive and talent learn outside school anyway. Real subjects that should be a priority in school would be:

  • Basic finance skills - credit card interests, mortage, retirenment planning, investment options and risk assessment. Ok, there is some math here, but highly advanced trig.
  • Relationship and child raising skills
  • Social skills such as getting along with people, making a good impression on an interview, basic project management.


Ayn Rand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281628)

In the Ayn Rand view of the universe, everything centers around that particular super individual. Such an individual can turn around a badly run firm, save the country, and then rescue a kitten from a tree. In the Ayn Rand Universe, such people deserve every dollar that can siphoned from share holders. We know such people because things work when they are present, and don't work when they are not.

While such people may exist, for the most part firms and schools operate as a cooperative effort between management and labor. Good management will set the processes, expectations, and rewards so that everyone will be required to put forth real effort, and everyone will be rewarded. In the functional firms I have worked in, everyone has had to work, and everyone gets rewarded. The people who receive the raw materials are as important as those that put the finishing touches on the product. One big problem with the Ayn Rand world is that management receives huge bonuses for production gains, while those that do the work are laid off.

This Ayn Rand philosophy has infiltrated education. Teachers now believe they alone teach the children a subject, and other teachers have no impact on the learning of the subject. Such a view is at best myopic. One teacher may teach science, but how much science is learned without reading or math? How much is science, math, social studies,or english learning improved by a student that has training in the fine arts? Are the students going to learn in a dirty school, or with lights that do not work? Perhaps some people contributions are verifiably less than others, but everyone contributes, and everyone should be rewarded.

In some states teachers of certain subjects get extra pay, not in the base salary, but in bonus pay for teaching certain subjects, or in certain areas. This is pretty common. Such pay encourages people to major in appropriate fields of study, and work towards appropriate certification. Everyone who teaches the subject, or teaches in an certain area, gets the money.

What is divisive and counterproductive is creating an atmosphere in which it is perceived that certain individuals are getting compensated at the expense of others. What would be better is for schools whose student show significant growth, and retention of students, receive additional funding. We should create schools in which students want to attend, and in which teachers work together to educate the students to the limits of the students ability.

So how much do teachers make? (1)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281646)

There's one thing missing from all these news stories -- how much do teachers actually make? Because if they're looking for math and science teachers, I'm their target -- a masters in physics who is unhappy in my current job. But teaching is not something I really want to do. I could be convinced to do it if the price was right...but nobody ever states a price.

I think most teachers teach because that is what they love doing, but there are some qualified people who could be lured into it for proper compensation. If they're afraid of posting salary estimates, how will they lure people in who would not otherwise want to teach?

Isn't the root of the problem that teaching is something not many people want to do? The job comes with excessive bureaucracy, reduced personal privacy and risk of actual physical harm in some areas. Solve those problems and you'll get more teachers whatever the pay.

H-1B Teachers (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281670)

If H-1Bs are supposed to be the solution to the questionable shortage of science and technology people, maybe they could also be a solution to the real problem of a shortage of math and science teachers.

You could go even further and require that H-1B applicants that are not offered a job making over $80K or so (the real best and brightest) must spend 3-5 years teaching first before obtaining a work visa for something other than teaching.

The reason they're protesting (2, Insightful)

Denial93 (773403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281672)

Teachers can't quit. Almost all teachers are at their top productivity right when they start the job, and steadily lose from there. This is true both because they receive very little on-job qualification, and because teaching is an extremely stressful and unthankful job (a highly disproportionate number of people in psychological care are ex-teachers). Worse, teacher qualifications aren't good for much else - they have such a broad knowledge they will rarely be qualified for the highly-specialized professions of today. So to lose a teaching position will very frequently mean a forced career change, and a dramatic fall down the income ladder.

Any even more endangered position (such as being known to be worth less salary than others), is much too close to the low-end job market to be comfortable. So - the union isn't protesting just to spite us. It doesn't prefer inefficiency without a cause. It just has to fight for the very future of its members.

Us relatively high paid IT guys, who haven't seen the poverty line from below in most cases, and who can always train themselves something new, tend to ignore how soul-crushing the lack of a professional perspective is. You know what? The job market isn't free. There are huge barriers to entry, especially for people who are, neurologically, too old to learn a new profession. So what the union does isn't protection of assets, it is fight for survival. You need not respect that, but you'd gain insight into their actions by understanding that.

The solution? Why, on-job qualification programs for teachers, of course. But that's a long-term solution. We don't do that unless re-election is certain.

How about higher Masters Degree differential? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281678)

If someone has a masters degree or 24 graduate hours in a particular field, pay them a bonus for each class period they spend teaching that subject.

Got 24 hours of graduate Math? If you teach 3 math classes and 3 science classes you get the bonus for your math classes.

Got 24 hours of graduate English or equivalent? You get a bonus for every English-language literature or composition class you teach.

Got a masters in education but only 6 graduate hours of math? Sorry, no bonus.

Personally, I think the qualifications for teaching AP classes should be an overlay of teaching normal 11th- and 12th-grade classes and teaching at a community college. This pretty much means at least a masters degree in the field.

They think they're all worth the same??? (3, Interesting)

Windcatcher (566458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281684)

"Singling out a few teachers for a salary bonus, we did not believe is fair," said Kentucky Education Association President Frances Steenbergen. "We believe that the preschool teacher on up to the 12th-grade AP physics teacher deserves huge increases in salaries."

Okay, let me get this straight. The preschool teacher is worth the same amount as the person who busts her ass to study and then teach Physics? Even if the AP Physics teacher has an advanced degree?

WTF?

Gah. Certain people need to be whacked with a cluebat. No, miss preschool teacher, you are NOT worth the same as an AP science teacher (Physics? Are they kidding???). If you want the same salary, then GO AND GET THE SAME QUALIFICATIONS and TEACH THE SAME MATERIAL. If you can't do it then you aren't worth it. People need to be paid on their merits -- otherwise there is little incentive for people to do the work to gain that expertise in the first place (and Physics IS an ass-breaker -- otherwise everyone would be doing it).

Baby Steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281688)

A Solution:

1) Mandate X Qualifications for Math and Science Positions (a B.S. for Example) just like you would mandate a B.A. for an English or History Teacher.

2) Mandate X number of Math and Science courses at any school taught with the above qualified credentials.

2) Attempt to hire the best possible individual at your crummy salary offering.

3) Watch as nobody who meets the qualifications take the job due to an inadequate salary.

4) Leverage the lack of suitable candidates as impetus to increase the salary offering to fill the need instead of "because they are math and science teachers".

If you treat it as any other job there is little the union can say about the matter. You pay people more money because they are in greater demand not because they are simply "better". If you mandate qualifications then you ensure you get individuals in demand and in turn their salary is going to go up since it's the only way to land these people.

And if you find qualified individuals who are willing to work for less money? Well then the school win anyway.

This needs to be approached as "we'll pay these people more money if we need to fill the positions" not "we'll pay these people more because they deserve it". It will go over a lot better that way in the eyes of the union.

Certification Problems (1)

Z1NG (953122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281696)

I live in Kentucky, and I'm a graduate student in Mathematics. I've thought about teaching high school math after getting a Masters degree, but the biggest problem with that is certification issues. I could teach with a Masters in Math, but I would make significantly less money then the teachers who have a Masters degree in Education, and are already certified. There are alternate methods of certification, but the state doesn't seem to want to make things easy.

Why does the union have to step in here? (2, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281718)

People that work should get paid according to their capabilities. If you have 2 math teachers and one doesn't know anything about it, and the other one has a doctorate, they should be getting paid accordingly. If I go to work, I get paid and I get a job because I have certain capabilities as a IT consultant. If another consultant comes in that doesn't know as much as I do, he either won't get the job, or will get paid much less.

I hate to see unions kill the 'free' job market for everyone and keeping our children dumb. You get paid according to your results, not according your title (although that ideology reverses itself throughout higher management). 'Think of the children', anyone, now you DO have a reason to and you don't.

And I would also like to see (more) practical mathematics in school. Currently most students get it shoved down their throats as a merely theoretical 'boring' lesson while mathematics has much more interesting and practical uses which during my time in school, I never or barely got to see (I got to see them a little in my practicum for electronics, but that's about it).

Teacher's are paid at different rates already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281726)

Where I grew up, the elementary school teachers were paid less than the middle school teachers, who were paid less than the high school teachers. The additional subject matter expertise was the justification\ offered by the high school teachers.

Unions = Failure (0, Troll)

sycodon (149926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281768)

Just look at any industry/company that has a union. They are dead or dying or rife with mediocrity and indifference. Ditch the unions, pay according to ability and education in the U.S. would see a new era.

I almost became a high school science teacher (4, Insightful)

Ogemaniac (841129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18281790)

Instead, I went to grad school and am now a corporate staff scientist.

I really wanted to teach, but giving up nearly half my potential income was simply too much. The kids lost out. I met plenty of other students in grad school who felt the same way.

Time for H1b in Teaching Profession. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18281844)

I guess it is time to introduce h1b visa for teaching.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...