Date: Oct 2, 2012 4:17 PM
Author: Paul A. Tanner III
Subject: Re: US teachers are overworked and underpaid

On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 3:52 PM, kirby urner <> wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 11:16 AM, Paul Tanner <> wrote:

>> Quote: "American teachers spend on average 1,080 hours teaching each
>> year. Across the O.E.C.D., the average is 794 hours on primary
>> education, 709 hours on lower secondary education, and 653 hours on
>> upper secondary education general programs."
>> As what I cited shows, the average US schoolteacher has to perform
>> roughly 50% more teaching hours per year than the average
>> schoolteacher of the entire OECD.

> That's interesting. Given US is generally recognized as a low
> performing low IQ state (judging from its general behavior in the
> world), one wonders why these increased hours don't translate to
> better performance.

? See the below.

>> And let's look at the highest performing countries in the world on
>> international tests:
>> For the average schoolteacher in Japan, Finland, and Korea, three of
>> the world's highest scoring countries on recent international tests,
>> the number of teaching hours per year are only about 600, 600, and 550
>> respectively, roughly only half the teaching load of the average
>> American schoolteacher. For France, which scored highest in the world

> I'm guessing they have more effective methods plus a cultural context
> in which students see having a safe space to study as a privilege that
> goes away after awhile. You have a harder time reaping the benefits
> if you squander your youth on non-productive activities. Building
> skills and staying more or less even with your peers, give or take, is
> the name of the game.

? See the below.

>> {France, highest in the world] in TIMSS Advanced with a coverage index of roughly 20% when it
>> participated back in 1995, that number is roughly only 620 teaching
>> hours per year.
>> Question: What do tutoring industries have to do with why these
>> countries and essentially the entire OECD work their schoolteachers
>> less - and even much less - than the US works its schoolteachers in
>> terms of teaching hours per year?

> I'm not sure how time / hours is measured in all these places and is
> the measuring technique uniform? When teachers grade large stacks of
> paper at home, do they clock and and clock out? Do we count time
> doing extra-curricular activities such as debating team? Some of our
> hardest working teachers at Cleveland High School are the ones who
> participate in speech and debate related activities.

Teaching time is well defined in teaching contracts - it's defined as
the time you as a teacher are in the classroom teaching, period - it's
when the classes are in session.

Like I said, everywhere I've worked has had me working at about 30
hours per week actually in the classroom out of about 37.5 hours per
week under contracted time, which is the time I had to be physically
on campus. For these countries I cited Japan, Korea, Finland, and
France,it's roughly only half that.

Again: For Japan, divide roughly 600 hours of actually teaching in the
year by 243 school days to get an average of about 2.5 hours per
school day of actually teaching in front of a class, and for the US,
divide roughly 1100 hours of actual teaching in the year by 180 school
days to get an average of about 6.1 hours per school day of actually
teaching in front of a class.

I know you find this hard to believe, but it's true.

Again: I read that teachers in Japan have it like teachers of
community colleges in the US. About 15 hours per week or so of being
in front of a classroom (vs. 30 for the US teachers), but with
different says of the week having different teaching loads, where they
have much, much more on-campus time in the week than US teachers for
planning and collaborating with other teachers.

And on this "?" I put forth above twice: This much greater teaching
time for teachers in the US per week and per year is *not* the same as
greater time that US students spend in front of a teacher. You
evidently are getting this wrong.