Date: Oct 11, 2012 4:10 PM
Author: Paul A. Tanner III
Subject: Re: US teachers are overworked and underpaid

Goodness. You are making the same mathematical mistake that Wayne made, and he has a PhD in math.

http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7900393

is my reply to Wayne and now to you.

Quote:

"You should know better.

These teacher-pupil ratios are for each class, not the ratio of teacher to total number of students that teacher has to deal with.

If I teach 6 hours per day and have 20 students in each one hour class, then I have 120 total students to deal with. If I teach 3 hours per day and have 20 students in each one hour class, then I have 60 total students to deal with. The teacher-pupil ratio is the same, but one teacher has double the teaching load of the other.

It is mathematically inescapable that if we have US teachers roughly cut in half the total number of teaching hours per year from roughly 1100 to be in line with the teachers of these other countries like Japan (600), Korea (550), Finland (600), and France (620), and if the total number of hours US students spend in front of a teacher per year are not cut, then we have to roughly double the number of US teachers.

The title of this thread is correct: US teachers are overworked and underpaid."

This leads to this question: Did you not read this? Evidently not.

And in terms of hours spent in front of a class, the contractual obligation of the public school teachers in the district in which you live is only 4 or 5 hours per day, which is only 20 to 25 hours per week? I do not believe this. Every district in the US in which I have ever worked or looked into working has at or close to a 30 hour per week load of having to actually be in front of a class.

Here is the math yet again (good grief - I have to repeat myself again and again, since you evidently are not reading what I write), according to what I've been citing in this thread:

There are 180 school days per year in the US, and with an average of 1080 hours per year required in front of a class - teaching load, that comes to about 6 hours per day, which is NOT 4 or 5 hours per day.

Compare this to, say, top-performing Japan, with its 243 school day year, about 600 hours per year required to be in front of a class. That's only about 2.5 hours per day of actual teaching load, about 12.5 hours per week that school is in session.

Same for these other top performing countries: Teachers in Finland have 190 school says and 600 hours of actual teaching time giving a tad over 3 hours per day, about 15 hours per week that school is in session. For (South) Korea, it's 225 days per year and 550 hours per year teaching for about the same as Japan, about 2.5 hours per day, about 12.5 hours per week that school is in session.

These countries - as I've said again and again - treat their k12 teachers the same the US treats its community college teachers, which have typically have the equivalent of about five different three-hour courses per week, which means about 15 hours per week of actually being in front of a class that school is in session.

For all these k12 teachers in all these three top-performing countries as well as for US community college teachers, most of the actual contracted working time is doing things other than being in front of a class. For the US k12 teachers it's the opposite in a major way, since in the US enough people seem to think that a k12 teacher - but not a community college teacher, strangely enough - is not working if said teacher is not actually in front of a classroom, and therefore in the name of exacting and squeezing every last drop of blood in terms of "worker productivity" makes k12 teachers feel like sardines stuffed in a can. As I said in this thread:

http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=7899693

"Again: Do the math.

Better yet: Get a public school teaching job to see what's it's like to be a sardine stuffed in a can in terms of time during contracted hours for anything other than being in front of a class.

Lunch time is when you can collaborate or whatever? Forget it! You have only a half hour after the bell rings to RUSH to the place where you eat, WOLF down your food as fast as you can, and then RUSH back to your classroom to get there before the bell rings for the next class you have to teach."

Do all this to those teachers in high-scoring countries like Japan, Korea, Finland, and then watch the international scores of their students collapse.

On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 2:29 PM, Robert Hansen <bob@rsccore.com> wrote:
> I have seen the pay of these teachers you speak of and the class sizes. Both are comparable to ours. Our teachers in our district teach between 4 and 5 hours a day. Are you saying that the finnish teachers teach only 2 to 3 hours a day? Are you saying that the kids go to school only 2 to 3 hours a day? Are you sure of your facts? If this is true then what is stopping us from doing it? If they are teaching the same number of kids the same number of days for roughly the same pay then what is stopping us from doing it exactly the same way? Do they use shifts or something? I don't see much difference at all between the schedules of the two systems. The world over, 180 days 4 to 5 hours a day, more or less, unless you are in 3rd world countries that can't afford that. Can you be a little more specific on what their schedule looks like?
>
> Bob Hansen
>
> On Oct 11, 2012, at 1:53 PM, Paul Tanner <upprho@gmail.com> wrote:
>

>> Yet again, you are still dodging the entire question. Did your "yes"
>> include the other part of my question, where we hire many more
>> teachers to cut almost in half the teaching load and thus increase the
>> non-teaching load, as it is the case in those three top performers of
>> Korea, Finland, and Japan, where we also raise the minimum bar to
>> where it is in say Finland as to who becomes a teacher?
>>
>> On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM, Robert Hansen <bob@rsccore.com> wrote:

>>> Lol, That was an explanation?
>>>
>>> Are you asking me if I would accept no sports programs for our kids at all OR if I would accept sports programs not being part of school?
>>>
>>> If it is the latter then YES, if it is the former, then NO.
>>>
>>> Bob Hansen
>>>
>>> On Oct 11, 2012, at 11:55 AM, Paul Tanner <upprho@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>

>>>> You didn't actually answer the question with respect to the deal or
>>>> exchange in question. You dodged it.
>>>>
>>>> Example of what how dodging questions in and of itself says something:
>>>> If a politician who from past sayings is against legal abortion
>>>> refuses to answer questions on whether they would agree to deals
>>>> allowing legal abortion but where they get other things that want, we
>>>> can take that dodging as a "no" answer unless and until the dodger
>>>>
>>>> On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 11:45 AM, Robert Hansen <bob@rsccore.com> wrote:

>>>>>
>>>>> On Oct 11, 2012, at 11:13 AM, Paul Tanner <upprho@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> You tacitly confirmed what I said - the question was about a deal or
>>>>> an exchange, and you tacitly said that you would never agree to said
>>>>> deal or exchange.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> WTF?
>>>>>