February 22, 2011

Mathematically Challenged "Progressives"

A friend of a friend posted the following on Facebook:

Are you sick of highly paid teachers?

Teachers' hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10 months a year! It's time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do - babysit! We can get that for less than minimum wage. That's right. Let's give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan-- that equals 6 1/2 hours). Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day...maybe 30? So that's $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day. However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.


That's $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries). What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master's degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year. Wait a minute -- there's something wrong here! There sure is! The average teacher's salary (nationwide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days = $277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student--a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) WHAT A DEAL!!!!

Make a teacher smile; repost this to show appreciation for all educators.

In response, I posted this:

Why don't we pay each teacher $100 Million per year? Or why stop there, how about $1 Billion per year each?! The fact is that throughout much of the world, public sector wages have gotten completely out of whack with reality and certainly well beyond what equivalent private sector employees are making.

In Wisconsin, where the big protest is happening these days, public school teachers are essentially saying this to the non-public sector citizens of the state: "Support us in our cause so that we can retire at age 52 with full benefits. But don't worry, though we know you'll have to work to age 75 with just a fraction of the benefits we'll get, we'll support you ... at least in spirit!"

Soon after I received this response from a fellow in the UK;

I can't disagree anymore, teachers and most public sector jobs are in sync with private sector wages and dealing with #@%! mini terrorists and soon to be sexual deviants within the confines of a room don't get paid enough to be teachers, nurses, and other front-line services. They deserve all the help they can get. People who work in offices [aka "the private sector"] on the other hand are scum of the earth . . . try being a teacher or work as a nurse cleaning up vomit and crap and having chairs thrown at you or being threatened with knives in your classroom with no support from parents. Get a life and stop complaining about people who actually try and improve society.

Too many thoughts come to mind. I'd be most interested to hear yours!

Posted by Robert at February 22, 2011 7:53 AM

Mine mostly won't make it through the spam filter, Robert. Too many swears.

The one thought that will go through is, this person is complaining about things that don't happen in private schools, private hospitals, private companies. Only in the One Size Fits All gubmint system do you see this kind of degeneration. If you build it, they will come. And take a dump on it.

Maybe if we SHUTTERED IT the degeneration would stop.

Posted by: The Phantom at February 22, 2011 8:34 AM

I'd gladly pay 19 bucks a day if they guaranteed me my kid was going to get a brilliant education, and I could choose who was teaching them, and we could get rid of all the bureaucracy.

Right now if you are lucky if you get a good teacher. If you get crappy one then you're screwed.

Posted by: langmann at February 22, 2011 8:35 AM

Rasmussen reports the striking teachers in Wisconsin lack support.

The calculations at the beginning of the post are simply sophistry.
For the many victims of public education:

Spin it anyway you like any calculations that negate the simple fact that with what amounts to a minimal post secondary education(usually otherwise unmarketable english/history/social studies degrees), a 7 hour workday....2 months vacation...the ability to retire early on full annual remuneration exceeding $100 grand..........cannot be duplicated legally in the private sector.

The simple test is if these striking teachers are fired, they have no prospect of alternative employment in the private sector without signifigant retraining....

Posted by: sasquatch at February 22, 2011 8:38 AM

Another thought, I'd love to see Ms. Math Teacher there do a breakdown on the total cost of the system per student per day. My wild @$$ed guess is near a hundred bucks.

Posted by: The Phantom at February 22, 2011 8:39 AM

The short answer is that teachers aren't worth $100,000 a year. I'm not been gratuitously insulting, BTW. Supply and Demand. The supply of people willing to work in the "horrid" conditions of teaching outstrips the demand for teachers, particularly in places with declining birthrates. The ONLY reason they make the high wages they have today is because of government monopoly on education, gutless (or union dependent) politicians and collective bargaining. Remove those conditions and, like my one-room schoolhouse teaching grandmother, they would be making subsistence wages and living in teacherages.

If teachers do have such unbearable working conditions, then they should quit and find more suitable employment. No one is forcing them to be teachers.

Posted by: LC Bennett at February 22, 2011 8:51 AM

they have no prospect of alternative employment in the private sector without signifigant retraining....
Posted by: sasquatch at February 22, 2011 8:38 AM"

gee sas, would that be the SAME edjukashun cystem they are now employed in?

see how it works?

heh heh heh !!!

Posted by: beagle at February 22, 2011 9:11 AM

My wife is a private school teacher and she detests the public school teachers. They are whiny and feel entitled to their bankable sick days and other benefits yet provide substandard service. It's no wonder our kids are turning out the way they are. My daughter from a previous relationship is in the public school system and she gets more BS political indoctrination than she does marketable skills. The academics she gets are basic. If I could afford it I would put her in private school so that she could have a decent education and prepare her for the real world.

Posted by: Robert L at February 22, 2011 9:29 AM

What I don't understand is why most teachers are against standardized testing. No wait, I do understand. It'll identify the teachers who aren't adding any value to the system.

I learned a long time ago, that if you aren't measuring, you aren't managing, and will have NO idea if you're doing good/bad/awful/nothing.

Posted by: grok at February 22, 2011 9:34 AM

How can you tell this was a USA post. Because in Canada teachers work 8 months out of the year not 10 months! That said I don't have a problem paying a teacher $100K a year if he can demonstrate results. That doesn't happen in BC, anyway. Most posters can remember their public school days and the number of useless teachers who came to work year after year. The system could not shed them and I lost all respect for educators who in fact defended them. Throw the leftist dribble they preach to the kids and you can understand why the majority reject their whining.

Posted by: ct at February 22, 2011 9:53 AM

With private training companies, the amount of money you make depends upon the quality of your product. I could certainly agree with paying teachers according to the effectiveness of their methods. If a teacher can demonstrate an ability to produce motivated students, by all means pay him $200,000 a year. If he can demonstrate the ability to train and supervise other teachers to produce significant results, by all means, double that salary.

Unfortunately, that's not how the public sector works. The infamous bell curve actually applies to teachers, more so than students. The good ones are often ignored, because they're too busy doing their best, to get involved in bulls**t like we're seeing in Wisconsin, and many other places.

Posted by: coach at February 22, 2011 9:57 AM

Unfortunately it is too inconvenient for parents to remove their kids from the system. That one action would starve the beast that the education system has become.

Posted by: Howie at February 22, 2011 9:59 AM

Let's fix that Headline

"Intellectually Challenged "Progressives"


"Morally Challenged "Progressives"

Posted by: Fred at February 22, 2011 10:05 AM

Teachers unions support far left causes such as entitlement and lack of personal responsibility and teach far left ideology.

And now the children misbehave? You reap what you sow.

And if you feel you are underpaid as a teacher, then obviously the free market will reward you with the pay you feel you deserve.

Your union is obviously failing you by not letting the free market set your wage.

Posted by: ward at February 22, 2011 10:13 AM

Hey put your kids in Catholic schools. They are a bit more sane there. They still believe in morality to some extent and they will force your little sluts to dress modestly and your little budding gangsta rap boys will not be allowed to come to school stoned. And forget necking in the hallways.

I do not believe it will cost you anymore to do that than stay in the public system where oblivion is the goal.

Or ...

Perhaps if parents organized they might be able to get a co op private school going. I mean to say ... this is a time for some creativity folks ... your kid's futures are at stake.

Unions teach dependency and little else.

Posted by: Abe Froman at February 22, 2011 10:29 AM

I wonder if social scientists have studied the process that leads to the entitlement mentality - unionization, welfare, political office.

Coming from a union background, I can say that the transformation from a pleasant, hardworking project employee to a bitter, greedy union man happens remarkably quick. Normally, 12-18 months of permanent employment or one contract negotiation (whichever comes first). After this, any appreciation for the the great wages and benefits in comparison to non-unionized workers is forgotten.

Every antagonistic interaction between union staff and managers (former union members), each group committed to not attempting to get along with the other, promotes a toxic atmosphere in the workplace. Eventually, this negativity is accepted as a normal part of the job. So when you see a labor dispute turn ugly, there is often years of anger and lack of healthy perspective that has fed the crazy out-of-touch behavior.

I may not have first-hand experience in the teaching profession in Wisconsin but I sure recognize the union entitlement fingerprint.

Posted by: LC Bennett at February 22, 2011 10:29 AM

Re: the Facebook post

The revenues: $585 per day.

The expenses: facilities, classroom infrastructure, utilities, janitorial, consummables, wear-and-tear, etc, for 30 kids.

Babysitters usually rely on the parents supplying all of the above.

The author never actually did babysitting, right?

Nor participated in business, right?

Nor had to deal with expesive government regs on childcare, right?

Posted by: foobius at February 22, 2011 10:38 AM

Teachers are underpaid? Hmm I'm not really sure about that. Maybe if we hadn't let government and unions increase their scope and power so much over the past 50 years we wouldn't need such a large tax base to cover all those salaries. Lower taxes could have meant less need for two parents to enter the working world to cover their obligations to gov't. Then maybe some could home school or set up their own community charter schools to compete against the big unions and public schools?

But using those thoughts as a base, I can argue that farmers are vastly underpaid more than teachers. How is it that people have no objections paying $3 - $5 for a loaf of bread when the farm who produced it gets about 5 cents out of that? Consumers are paying $20 - $30 for a decent steak dinner at a restaurant these days when the farmer that produced it might see what -1$? The middlemen and the retailers have inserted huge margins that add massive costs into the price of food. (Maybe there is a little bit of an education bureacracy that adds a few dollars too? lol)

The point is - you can go a lot further in life with no formal education than you can with no food. Farmers are the real underpaid citizens.

Posted by: Sid at February 22, 2011 10:46 AM

$19.50 per day x 180 days = $3510.00 per year to educate my kid. I'd LOVE to be taxed based on this formula. Here in MN we spend almost 4 times that amount per student, so where is it all going?

I've read that 80-something % of all education dollars go to salaries. Something does not add up here.....

Posted by: handsomeinMN at February 22, 2011 10:50 AM

Sorry not a lot of sympathy for educators here.
My kids school was full of nightmare teachers(Saskatchewan). There were a few good ones but most were incompetent vicious,lazy and a huge sense of entitlement. My wife and I took on the system to change the incredible absurdity and we couldn't change a thing because of the power of their union. We endured years of teachers who were so incompetent that the kids left their class unable to read or write and then were verbally abused by the next teacher angry at the fact they got kids were were behind in their skills. We taught or kids how to read at home but they were terrified at the way others were treated.
I support good teachers unfortunately it has become an arena for many who refuse to grow up or those who use it as an arena to play out their sick games at our children's expense. I understand there are good schools with few problems but when you do get a bad school the unions protect the rotten apples.

Posted by: Claude at February 22, 2011 10:58 AM


I didn't put my kid in Catholic as you suggest, but I strongly considered it.

I did find a program where I got the distinct impression that the teachers and the principle were motivated to proove themselves and the program. This 'chip on the shoulder' attitude makes all the difference in my point of view. I can see the pursuit of excellence in everything from their bake sales to their band concerts.

I feel very fortunate that we've found such a program for my daughter.

Posted by: Indiana Homez at February 22, 2011 11:01 AM


I concure, I was desparate to remove my daughter from the abysmal Saskatoon Public School System. IMO these teachers are content to allow high performing students to rot while the teachers busy themselves with everything except challenging their students.

I've said here a few times before, that my daughter is/was pushed and worked harder in minor sports than the Public School System could even think of pushing her.

As I said above, I feel fortunate that we've found a school where the teachers strive for excellence for thier students in order to justify the very existance of their program. This motivation is crucial considering these are still Public School teachers. Their desire for their program to suceed seems to be motivation enough.

IM O the two major factors that contrbute to the sucess of this school are a) the attitude of the teachers; and b) the classroom demographics.

Regarding b) classroom demographic: Interestingly enough, the class consists of 80%+ female students, with over 50% of the class being foriegn born.

I'm a strong supporter of tiering classrooms to best suit the individual students. There are clear descrepancies between boys vs girls and immigrant vs. homegrown vs native and academic achievment. These descrepancies should be considered when grouping students for instruction.

Posted by: Indiana Homez at February 22, 2011 11:18 AM

Alberta has the system that works and no other province will follow. The money follows the student. Schools are allowed to be better than another and the principal has leeway on classes.
They compete for the dollars. If a school can keep it's students and meet all requirements EVERYONE is happier. You can get things like Mount Royal accepted at UofC as equivalent although I think it is superior. Smaller classes and better profs. Ask the mayor of Calgary, he taught business there.
I don't know if the unions like it but then I don't care about unions likes and dislikes in education.

Posted by: Speedy at February 22, 2011 11:35 AM

That's a thought provoking analysis. Maybe that money actually would be better spent on simple babysitters. That same salary would keep a dozen high school girls employed, and also solve the problem of what do we do with the high school girls all week when we fire the teachers. The high school boys are too old to babysit, so we can put them to work. If I had life to do over I would have quit school, moved to Alberta and got a job. OJT is the best education.
My kids are in the Catholic school system and their teachers are doing a good job (well, compared to my own school experience), but that's just luck. If the compensation is uncoupled from the performance of the teacher (government, union), you are powerless to deal with bad luck, except by switching schools (which I did have to do).

Posted by: Paulie at February 22, 2011 11:47 AM

And to make matters worse, her in Langley, B.C. we have municipal politicians that are also teachers. 3 out of of 9 on our council.
Oh, woah is me!!!

Posted by: Horny Toad at February 22, 2011 11:49 AM

I meant to say my kid's current teachers are doing a GREAT job. My boy is an ADHD arsehole (like his Dad) and his teachers handle him with great skill and compassion. It makes me sad to think that there are probably a lot of kids on the other side of the river who will not get that help. I don't see unions solving that problem either.

Posted by: Paulie at February 22, 2011 11:54 AM

Some comments (with no particular theme or purpose).

Stat Can (2002) - Cost per pupil per year in Saskatchewan is $6588 (slightly below Canadian average). Northern territories is almost double.

Sask. enrolment (2002) approx. 174,500.

Approx. 12,000 teachers (this includes consultants, guidance counsellors and others who don't work in the classroom, but not adminstrators).

Salary grid for teachers with 4 year degree (as of last contract) approx $43,000 to $68,000

Retirement (after 30 years): pegged at 60% of your best 5 earning years (65% if you tough it out longer). When CPP kicks in, your pension is reduced accordingly (you don't get both). Any health plan benefits after retirement are paid for by the teacher and is optional. Retirement plan is funded 50% by teachers and 50% by government and as of some 20 years ago is fully funded. For an older version of the plan, the government did not kick in its share--this forms an unfunded liability which will decrease as those teachers die off.

Any disability paid to teachers beyond their maximum of 200 days accumulated sick leave, is paid out of a teacher administered plan with funds contributed by teachers.

Teachers in Saskatchewan do not negotiate class sizes, pay for extra-curricular, or working conditions beyond salary and benefits.

There is a lot more to the public service sector than teachers. Teachers are a big part along with health care workers, but there are also legions of bureaucrats and government workers, not to mention politicians who are paid by the public.

I'm not complaining. I found my job hard and sometimes very dispiriting at times, but I did not feel my salary and benefits were lacking.

Do I think the system is sustainable? I expect that the response by governments will be to increase taxation in some fashion. Again as some of you have pointed out, I will be paying my taxes with money paid out of tax revenues. However, in the end, my benefits will thereby be reduced, hopefully to a sustainable level for everyone.

If you would like the option of sending your kids to teachers of your choice, be warned that there are plenty of charlatans in the field. I taught with quite a few of them. They mainly showed up at conventions pitching any version of the "new and better method" you care to name. The ones you really want would not be particularly popular.

I would have welcomed any testing that would have given me useful feedback about my performance and that of my students. In fact, I used to test for it all the time, being very anxious to learn what worked and how to help my students improve. It's when the curriculum is vague and aimed at objectives that are socially and politically determined that any kind of testing ends up being somewhat pointless. When groups feel some sort of discontent, it's much easier to pick a target and bash at it than to work at understanding the issues and fixing them.

Posted by: rita at February 22, 2011 12:22 PM


Bernie Goldberg was on O'Reilly yesterday and he made a very interesting point. Bernie has noticed that the protests are "extremely white" and also noticed that the MSM has missed this small point. Now, usually I wouldn't consider the racial make-up of a political protest to be relevant; but, TEA Party coverage from the MSM begs to differ.

Posted by: Indiana Homez at February 22, 2011 12:25 PM

IMO, the problem, pure and simple, is tenure. Am I wrong, Rita ?

Posted by: ron in kelowna ∴ at February 22, 2011 12:29 PM

Unfortunate that the focus of union bshing is on the teachers.
What I read is generic teacher bashing and that is unfortunate. I am self employed and I recognise value for work performed. My wife is a teacher and she is a highly respected teacher in our community with parents enrolling their children at her school in the hope their child will be put in her class.
She puts in endless hours. This morning her day started at 0500, marking a preparing for the day. She is first at school and one of the last to leave at the end of the day having met with parents or taken a sporting activity. Her day ends at 2100 after she has dealt with phone calls, emails and called parents to update them on their children. Once a week she sends out a news bulletin which outlines what has been achieved that week, what is upcpoming and what is late. She puts in far more hours than she is payed and the results are in the many young people she has taught who still give her hugs and thank her for instilling a desire to achieve and produce. I would gladly have her payed on a vlaue basis as I would not have to work and we would be rich.
As it stands she is rich because of the many people whose lives she has enriched and brought value to.

Posted by: Norman at February 22, 2011 12:35 PM

and is the slack ass fag paid just as much?

Posted by: ron in kelowna ∴ at February 22, 2011 12:51 PM

Thank you all for pulling me back into the realm of sanity! I must tell you that this whole experience hit me like a ton of a bricks. The timing of the teacher-babysitter piece was clearly designed to coincide with what's going on in Wisconsin. I realize that it was just meant as a humorous post but it really hit a raw nerve.

In Wisconsin the average teachers' salaries & benefits have been documented to be about $100K, which is about double of the average private sector employee's compensation in the state.

The new governor proposed the teachers start paying a small portion of their pension benefits. And for this, he was labeled Adolf Hitler.

I couldn't help but contrast public sector workers with their lavish benefits with my own situation. I have been working for myself since 1995. I have taken the risk to open up a few businesses. None of these have yet made me my first million and one cost me dearly when it folded and I was stuck with personal loans to the firm that would never be repaid. I'm still paying that back today. I have no pension plan and no luxurious benefits.

I've never complained about my predicament because I intuitively know that I will eventually succeed ... due to my own clever & hard work. But how on earth did things get so far out of whack with public sector employees? Wasn't the implicit social contract supposed to be that they would make a bit less than private sector employees because of their relatively guaranteed job security? Yet nowadays, and for some time now, they have the job security + comparable wages + lavish, gold-plated benefits. But they're not happy with even this and still want more! In fact, some of them, like the male twit from the UK, declared that all private sector workers "are the scum of the earth". How grateful! I have little doubt that more than a few other public sector employees feel exactly the same way. For, in their polluted minds, they are the "underprivileged working class" and all the rest of us are the greedy capitalists.

With all of the facts clearly lined up, *I* am supposed to feel sorry for the public sector teachers and support them, both morally & financially?!? Give me a break!!!

Posted by: Robert W. at February 22, 2011 12:58 PM

My dad was a high school chemistry teacher at a downtown school. Many of those supposed "days off" at Christmas were spent marking exams. I helped him one year. Because of the school's location, it had many inner city kids whose relationship to the English language was tangential. Just trying to decipher their answers was a chore, regardless of whether they knew the chemistry or not. It could take up to half an hour to mark them. 5 classes of 25 kids? That's a 40 hour week just there.

And it was worse in June, because everyone wants their report cards on the last day of school. So he had to mark exams while he was still teaching - that made for some very late nights.

But my wife and I discussed it once, and we agreed that biggest headache for teachers is not the kids, not the administrators, and not the lack of money for supplies - it's the parents.

Posted by: KevinB at February 22, 2011 1:08 PM

Sigh.... these folks make me tired. First of all I am a stay at home mamma, I have as many children as most normal folks have toes. I have never and will never (If I have breath) Need nor want someone to babysit my child, even if it is only for about 160 days in the year. I RAISE my children.

Number two the state does not mandate that children have to be babysat (yet) but it does mandate that children have to be educated. (Homeschooling is FUN! anyone.)

The state mandates that in day care the ratio is 5 children to every ONE ADULT in the room, not the 30 to 1. Also the state does not require adult supervision for anyone over 9. (yet) I would think that that would significantly lower their hoitti toitti B.S. Salary calculations now don't you?

Posted by: The Grey Lady at February 22, 2011 1:31 PM

It is true with few exceptions that leftards are
innumerate. I saw this when sitting on my university's pensions board.
They can barely add, and the mysteries of compound interest
are as far beyond them as they are beyond the average dog or cat.

The leftards do seem to live in an animistic world where paychecks arrive mysteriously
(well, I do wonder why many of them are paid),
electricity works or does not work because of "the Man", and so forth.

From what I have seen of the Wisconsin affair the teachers would do well to keep their mouths shut as (I think) that
Gov. Walker intends that their benefits while reduced will still be better than those of a typical worker in the private sector.

Posted by: John Lewis at February 22, 2011 1:58 PM

Ron in Kelowna about "tenure", as far as I know, there was never anything official about tenure in teaching. It was just understood that if the school system wanted to get rid of a teacher, they'd better do it within the first year or two of hiring. However, if admin is doing the job of supervising the new hires adequately, it should be possible to pick out the incompetent ones and "not renew their contract". However, once you're on permanent contract, it's very hard to get rid of inadequate teachers. I guess that would qualify as a tenure system.

That some teachers coast toward retirement or else send their kids to the library almost daily are some of the abuses of job security I can't deny. Colleagues do speak up (especially if they're the ones stuck supervising a class abandoned by their teacher) but the problem tends to be passed along. Lazy and poorly performing teachers are re-assigned or transferred or buried within the system. That is sad. You can still dismiss a poor teacher if you have the stomach for the process and I have seen it done, but it is not very common.

Careful adminstrators tend to take on new teachers to fill temporary contracts and once they have proved themselves, these teachers are more likely to be hired to a permanent posting. But there is abuse and nepotism as well. Often, who you know is more important in obtaining a job than how good you are. (It's very helpful for example, if you belong to the local golf and curling club or if you coach or play hockey.)

But it's also true that some very good teachers have been targeted by disgruntled parents. Without some sort of job security, they would have been lost to the system. Often, it was a teacher working hard and demanding a lot who was subject to such a vendetta.

As far as the union demands of teachers in Wisconsin, I'm not in sympathy with them. They're trying to intimidate the government with thuggish tactics, they're manipulating children, they're refusing to consider scaling back even in the most reasonable way to make the situation tenable even for themselves.

Posted by: rita at February 22, 2011 2:27 PM

As my HS math teacher use to say "got the math right, just got the arithmetic wrong"
$3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked that equals 6 1/2 hours
$19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day X 180= $105,300 per year.

Stanford's Terry Moe worked with data straight from the nation's largest teacher union's own data - and found that the average teacher in a department setting (that is, where students have different teachers for different subjects) was in the classroom for fewer than 3.9 hours out of the 7.3 hours at school each day.

and An average of 23.1 students fill the typical American primary school classroom

Correct arithmetic - $3.00 x 3.9 hours x 23.1 students x 180 days = $48,648 and they get to pay all retirement, insurance and union dues out of that.

Posted by: DD More at February 22, 2011 2:31 PM

This same group probably thinks O'Bama's underpaid as well. Think about it: he runs the most powerful nation on earth. He keeps you safe. You don't think he keeps you safe? You didn't die yesterday, did you? What's your safety worth?
If every American gave him the least they possibly could ($0.01) per hour, that would be a little over $3.1M/hour.
But he's president 24 HOURS A DAY! That's why we should pay him almost $75M/day.
If you disagree, it's only because you're racist.

Posted by: Gen. Lee Wright at February 22, 2011 2:31 PM

I don't want to hear it.

And, it's 9 months/year with 11 paid holidays and two weeks for Christmas, plus 4 weeks vacation, retire at 55 with 20 years in, or retire at 60 with 30 years in and the payout is 75% of gross pay, or if you are lucky enuf to get 40 years in then your retirement is 100% of your gross, and it's all guaranteed !

Yea, I'll take that job and you won't hear a peep out of me.

Grey Lady, you have my upmost respect.

Posted by: Ratt at February 22, 2011 2:33 PM

KevinB said(and many others have said similar): "But my wife and I discussed it once, and we agreed that biggest headache for teachers is not the kids, not the administrators, and not the lack of money for supplies - it's the parents."

THIS...encapsulates the entire Education debate in one sentence. Very pithy KevinB:)

This is exactly what the comment "Who are You Unionized Against?" is speaking to. I had a lengthy discussion about teachers with some of SDA's esteemed commenter’s a few weeks back. I submitted at the time, and stand by my assertion today that if you asked teachers “the parents" are the problem with the education system. This is what teachers and their unions believe, regardless of how the individual teachers try and separate themselves from the union mentality. What teachers fail to understand is that ‘parents’ are an integral part of the equation and they(teachers) are not; hence the push to take-away the parents right to educate their own children in the manor they see fit, but I digress.

This entire discussion boils down to one root issue: the Customer (the taxpayer), and their willingness to continue to pay the salaries for those that hold them in such utter contempt; “those” being the public sector teachers and their unions.

Posted by: Indiana Homez at February 22, 2011 2:37 PM

That is why I like living in Idaho my kids are in a state charter school called the Idaho virtual academy it is supplied by the K12 company most of the courses are online and we are learning coaches for our kids they have 3 teachers each(one is in high school) and a customized curriculum my son is now doing better in every course except math (he was getting an a there so kinda hard to do better) my daughter just started and is already looking to do much better. The best part is that it doesn't cost us anything extra they send all the supplies and the only things we have to return are the hardware like the computer they are sending for my daughters computer animation course.

Posted by: PaulID at February 22, 2011 2:38 PM

Here's my counter:

I live in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The average class size in the township I live in is 25. That's a 1 Teacher to 25 Student ratio.

New Jersey spends $13,833 average per student. However, in Monmouth county, we spend $18,786. Call it a luxury tax for living so close to New York City.

25 x 18786 = $469,650.

Since a teacher only works 180 days a year:

469650/(180/365) = $952345 full year equivalent salary.

Half a year is 26 weeks.
26 weeks * 40 hours per week = 1040 hours.
469650/1040 = $451.58 per hour.
451.58 / 25 = $18.06 per student per hour.

Where do I sign up to get on this gravy train?

Posted by: Pete at February 22, 2011 3:04 PM

If teaching is such a tough profession, they must have an aweful time filling vacancies. No? Funny that. The military always seems to be looking.

Posted by: Dan S at February 22, 2011 3:08 PM

The "why foreign countries are looking at Alberta as a model for improving their school systems but other Canadian provinces are not" story has legs with regards to teachers' unions.

Posted by: natasha at February 22, 2011 4:55 PM

Pete, thank you for those numbers. That's incredible.

Posted by: Robert W. (Vancouver) at February 22, 2011 6:03 PM

So Pete, I guess Monmouth County is in the interesting position to spend all its dosh on salaries and none on buildings, transportation, utilities, books and computers. Fascinating.

Posted by: rita at February 22, 2011 6:47 PM

I'd like to know if there is ANY moral fibre whatsoever in these teachers (the answer is no). They are taking other peoples' money and educating other peoples' children. Are they satisfied with doing their third or fourth best for children who depend on them and parents who trust them? Spray these teachers with holy water and see if they melt. It's one thing if a teacher ties his hardest to educate his students (and such teachers exist); it's quite another when they don't give a care.

Posted by: Osumashi Kinyobe at February 22, 2011 7:54 PM

My argument is never been with most teachers. Its the whole Culture of Education with its Union foundation that has rotted the whole edifice.
The Department of Education should be re-named the Department of social Engineering.
Marx 'R' Us works well too.

Posted by: Revnant Dream at February 22, 2011 8:30 PM

The worst thing teachers bring is their glaring hypocrisy; everything is done "for the children".

Smaller class sizes (and therefore less teacher work, more teachers required and thus more union dues)? For the children.

Working to rule in Ontario when Mike Harris clamped down on the gravy train, refusing extra-curricular sports... er, "for the children"

Illegal wildcats to protest "rights" to collectively bargain, that should never be conferred to government employees... ah, "for the children"

Demanding yearly salary increases not based on performance or merit but on merely living longer and showing up to work... 'for the children'. Also demanding increases for additional "training" that may or may not be proven to actually increase their worth as educators: also for the children.

Protecting the most incompetent slobs ever to stand in front of a blackboard, and even close ranks to protect female teachers involved in illicit relations with male students (Barrie, ON): FOR THE CHILDREN.

The Toronto Sun said it correctly: you're either professionals or unionists. Pick one.

Here's an easy solution to this legal monopoly holding the taxpayers ransom: school vouchers. Let's see how well the unions perform when they're in competition with one another. Oh yes, the ability to cull the deadwood wouldn't hurt, either.

mhb23re at gmail d0t calm

Posted by: mhb at February 22, 2011 9:54 PM

Gee a post by a teacher who thinks all teachers are great and actually earn their keep.

The only way to fix this situation is to pay by merit and let the weak get filtered out of the system.
Is a teacher worth $100k a year? Maybe .... but not if they cannot demonstrate that worth. Bannish teachers unions and make them register as professionals with a legal obligation to meet professional standards.

Now ... don't get me started on school boards ......

Posted by: OMMAG at February 22, 2011 10:47 PM

I actually went at this from the other side. If your kid has seven classes, and you pay each teacher $19.50 per day, you'd pay about $25,000 per year. Time to send them to private school.

Posted by: Montjoie at February 22, 2011 11:13 PM

Montjoie: if you send your kids to private school, you still end up paying for your kids' public education 100% while at the same time removing them from the public system.

That's right, the public system IS ALREADY RECEIVING TONS of money from parents of kids who aren't even taking up a seat. And somehow they still can't manage to make a go of things. "Classes sizes are too big, and they're getting progressively larger." Oh really? My mom was born in 1942 and went to grade school in Southern AB. Her grade 4 class size? 34. THIRTY FOUR KIDS. Nothing's changed but the teachers' whining...and lying.

Posted by: Gen. Lee Wright at February 22, 2011 11:35 PM

if i pay say... 30 dollars a day for my child in day care, that fee includes the rent to the building, the utilities, and otehr incidentals that is incurred while my child is in day care. so why didnt this teacher if he/she is a teacher factored the other expenses in? as a taxpayer we do pay for those "incidentals" and if you want to really compare apples to apples then lets include the expense on how to run the facility that you use to "baby sit" my child. and please while you babysit my child,,, dont impose your political view on him.

Posted by: marlon at February 23, 2011 1:33 PM

I wonder if it has occurred to your fellow in the U.K. that he doesn't have to do it if he doesn't want to.

As far as his "scum of the earth" comment, that's fine. He just disqualified himself from the debate and hurt his cause.

I'll take it.

Posted by: YFS at February 24, 2011 2:59 AM