On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 9:06 PM, Robert Hansen <email@example.com> wrote: > I think in this discussion, "Overworked" means "Underpaid" and the vast > majority of "teacher" discussions and arguments are in regard to pay, or > benefits. >
I don't think so. Too many total students for a single teacher means the guarantee that the teaching profession in k12 US will never become truly professionalized as it is in top performing countries like Finland, Korea, and Japan.
> When you review education country by country it seems that there are basic > economic forces that set teacher pay and a variety of systems to deal with > this reality. In Norway, the teacher union seems to be content with reduced > hours for which they accept a below average pay. >
You are simply wrong with respect to these "reduced hours." You are oh so wrongly inferring what teacher work hours are from what a student's day is like, and never mind the data. This is so obviously wrongheaded, I just don't see how anyone could think that this is a legitimate way of thinking, especially since it contradicts the data.
And on top of that, you are trying to infer that primary school teachers have much shorter contracted work weeks than secondary school teachers, when the chart I speak of below says the exact opposite for most every country including the US.
Note: Contracted work time is the amount of time that teachers have to be on campus. See "working time required at school in hours" in chart D4.1 in the link below.
The charts in the below OECD document show that in every country including the US, the actual number of teaching hours per year are higher for primary school teachers than for public school teachers, and you are trying to infer from what your son's day is like is that that is all wrong, that primary school teachers have fewer teaching hours than secondary school teachers.
Recall that the US school year is 180, and it's 190 in Finland, 190 in Norway, 225 in South Korea, and 243 in Japan.
Look at Table D4.1 - it gives a breakdown of teachers' working time, the total per week being relatively the same for the countries of Northern Europe, Japan, Korea, and the US.
It shows that you making wrong inferences as to how long a teacher's contracted work week is (In Norway and everywhere else it's a typical full time employee work week, 35-40 hours per week minimum) and what they do during that contracted work week from looking at student schedules.You *think* you know what is going on in teacher work days from student schedules, you are making false inference after false inference after false inference, therefore making up false fact after false fact after false fact, where in many instances what you think is true is actually the opposite of what is actually true.
You simply do not have a case that teachers in the US are not overworked in comparison to them in terms of teaching hours per year, and teaching hours per week and per day when school is in session. You have to again recall that the US school year is 180, and it's 190 in Finland, 190 in Norway, 225 in South Korea, and 243 in Japan.
> ...the only real choice we > have with public teachers is with the quality of their day, not their > financial rewards. >
Wrong. We have a choice on both. But on teacher pay: Saying wrongly that teachers are paid better than they really are takes away the choice. that is, the point is whether the data you cited before is before or after benefits. There is no evidence for the claim that it excludes benefits. But the evidence I cited along with more evidence I cite below is that it includes benefits. Here is more evidence that FoxNews was right when it cited the average teacher salary in the US before benefits being the $44,000 figure:
Conservative love to cite the salaries of teachers after benefits because it makes teachers look better paid than they actually are before benefits. That $76,000 average teacher salary that so many conservatives claim in so many articles is the average teacher salary in Chicago is AFTER benefits, NOT before. Consider this article that actually got the actual before-benefit figures actually right:
we see that just five years ago in 2007 just before the worldwide Great Recession the average salary BEFORE benefits in Chicago, the highest paid district in the country, was $56,000, what you claim is the before-benefit average NOW just five years later *for the whole country* including all those very poor states like Mississippi. This 2007 figure for Chicago, again the highest paying in the nation. fits what I know was the whole country's before-benefit average in 2004, which was about $41,000. Although Chicago raised its starting salary for teachers just after this Great Recession in 2010 so as to increase its before-benefit average roughly 20% from mid-fifties to mid-sixties, it is INSANE to say that the whole country which includes all the poor states like Mississippi raised its entire before-benefit average by a much higher rate of about 33% during almost the same period from $41,000 to $55,000. That 2012 before-benefit figure given by FoxNews of $44,000 fits perfectly that before-benefit figure of $41,000 just 8 years ago in 2004. We have all been reading that the majority of increases for teachers and other public sector workers all over the country in the past decade is not in actual before-benefit salary but in the form of increased benefits, with such as health care premiums and other things like that going way up really fast.
But here is another possible explanation for the confusion on how well "the average teacher" is paid: Since the turnover rate for new teachers is roughly 50% after just five years, if we include all teachers of all levels of experience, the "average teacher" may have less than 10 years of experience, and so may be a lot further down on the any seniority based pay schedule. I've noticed that many of the charts and statistics are based on teachers with 10 or so years of experience. At every school at which I've taught the majority of the teachers had less than 10 years of experience.
But going back to the point:
I'm sorry, but it's simply a fact that sometimes the term "salary" includes benefits, sometimes covers all compensation for the labor, and is not limited to just what you can actually use to buy food, and this is true even when getting this information from official sources.
Finally, this: Where do you think FoxNews got this $44,000 figure as the national average teacher salary? This is not just some private blog, but a major network that needs to get it facts straight. They fail many times, but usually that is in the form of TV commentators, not print journalists. And I am sure that they used a source that had figures based on before-benefit figures (or perhaps included all those teachers who are gone in just five years?).