Putting big pinch on schools

Apr 28, 2011 Read more: Evening Sun 86
News that the Hanover Public School District cut two programs and two teaching positions this week to make its budget was greeted with some surprise by those commenting on the story online. Read more
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Curious

Hanover, PA

#83 May 1, 2011
Anonymous wrote:
<quoted text>
I wish I could be as eloquent with typing as you are. I love reading your posts and the righteousness of the truth.
Especially with the argument of when they are good kids, they're mine. When they're bad, they're not mine.
Sadly, the teachers they're laying off are the ones who are the new, young blood and probably willing/caring/capable of actually connecting to their students instead of bitter only here for the check types.
After all, I could say that teachers also have no clue what it is to do my job or walk in my shoes either...or have no clue what it is to be a student stuck in the mess of bad policies.
Truth, facts and figures are hard to argue against. That is why they end up turning to poor arguments like you state - you don't know how hard my job is etc. etc. Or they are my kids when the succeed not mine when they fail. I have to agree with you about the layoffs as well. It is only going to get worse when the PSERS contributions triple or more in the next couple of years. Districts are going to be really hard pressed to find the extra money and when approximately 75% of your costs are employee based there is little room to cut except for personnel. Thanks to the union we can be assured of one thing - seniority rules, not competence. But then we always have that little parody someone posted about the dentist - accountability is wretched thing I guess.
Anonymous

Hanover, PA

#84 May 1, 2011
Teacher wrote:
Really? In 2010 PA ranked 17/50 with a median score in the mid 1400s.
<quoted text>


Sorry there, bucko. Reading is fundamental. PA is indeed 42nd in SAT scores.

As stated in the middle for ACT. I couldn't find the data for that one though. Sorry you aren't willing to accept the facts. It's right there for you to Google. So, yes, really.
Astounded

Gettysburg, PA

#86 May 2, 2011
Proud Teacher wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't even teach the subjects that are tested. Many of my stydents, the ones that try, have tested out of entry level college courses and have written me to thank me for what they have learned. So I have taught many students who have performed well. On the other hand, I have had students swing at me, scream obscenities in my face, steal from me and threaten me, my family and my belongings. I have dealt with 13, yes, 13 student deaths in my career, suicides, pregnancies, rapes, drug addictions, child abuse, malnutrition, and many more devestating issues. When situations and behaviors as such are in our students' lives, it is extremely difficult to stress the importance of standardized tests. Yes, professionally it is my job, and emotionally I am extremely vested in the success of my students. But, please don't judge me or your perception of my job performance when you haven't ever walked in a teacher's shoes. I agree, the system in broken and desperately needs fixed, but the attack of teachers is not the answer. We try our hardest everyday just as I am sure you and all of our critics do...
I think that SOME of you really do try your hardest everyday. Unfortunately, the ones who don't drag down the system and the kids... Then the union makes sure we can't get rid of them. Real professionals, like doctors and lawyers, police their own. Teachers need to start doing that if they hope to regain the public's respect.
Disgusted

Chambersburg, PA

#87 May 4, 2011
Pete Zahut wrote:
I think that many teachers are trapped within a failing system. There are a number of good teachers; it is the bad ones that we always hear about. There are bad individuals in any profession. I am not a teacher, but I have seen first-hand what problems public school teachers must face. There are a number of problems within our public schools, and I am certain that the blame can be spread about. There are parents who care nothing for their children and take no part in their educations. There are students who have no interest in education and refuse to learn. There are bad curricula, bad systems, and bad teachers. What we are dealing with now is how to best educate students with the public monies available. We decided to allow casinos in this state in order to help alleviate some of the tax burden. Where is all the money that should have been placed into the public coffers? Until we find the best ways to resolve these problems, our country will continue to fall behind.
Stop making excuses for teachers.
I would reckon that most workers in this country have to put up with negative working conditions that equal or far exceed those experienced by teachers. It's appalling that teachers think that they they suffer more than others when that is not the case at all.
The public education system in this country will never, ever, get fixed if we participate in teachers' game of blaming everything, and everybody else for their failures.
Where are the educators who claim that they must shoulder the blame when things go wrong and they then tell us what they're going to do to fix it? Haven't you noticed that teachers claim that they are the ones responsible for the successful students, but someone else is at fault when a student fails?
Teachers are a large part of the problem and they need to stop complaining and do a lot of introspecting to come down off their high horse.
Argue for Arguments Sake

Gettysburg, PA

#88 May 11, 2011
Just a question- is the contracted 4% pay raise each year something they all get? Regardless of performance?

If so, I believe we can start with that little tidbit as #1 on our "List of things that must change to fix our broken system."

Is there a way to tie in performance reviews with St. Test scores? How about increasing standardized test frequency to every year? I believe we'd be able to glean a lot of valuable information from the scores if they were tested every year. They don't have to be extensive, but I'm sure somewhere out there is a guideline of necessary skills and knowledge our kids should have after each year. Just think, we might be able to pinpoint the exact year where students become disengaged and fix it!

While we are making changes, how about the timing of our school year? I recently read a statistic in passing that kids lose an alarmingly high amount of the information they learned that year over summer break. Think of the efficiency if we could cut that loss! Minimize the time spent reteaching!

Side Note- Wouldnt it be more helpful to come up with ideas instead of rehashing criticisms over and over and personally attacking anyone with a differing opinion? Be part of the solution!
Argue for Arguments Sake

Gettysburg, PA

#89 May 11, 2011
One more little aside, I think the blame can be spread pretty equally across the board in our system's failure. It starts at home, parents should be instilling curiosity and a hunger for knowledge in their kids. Also, a sense of pride and responsibility. Kids need to take responsibility for their learning and their futures. There need to be legitimate consequences for failure!(or failure in general, not allowed to give F's?? Really?) Teachers must be engaged to have students who are engaged. Teachers must also set the bar. Administrations need to allow their teachers to teach. Empower them to push our kids to excel. Cut wasteful spending, and maybe reevaluate the top level salaries. What exactly do administrators do, day to day? Are they out in the halls? Do they teach any of their own classes? Could they? Leave politics out of the school. Finally, our government needs to overhaul their entire approach. Leave most of the oversight to state and local governments. People who can make the tough calls who actually live in these areas!

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