Election of 2012....Who ya got?

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  1. Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    You don't test vs generic averages, you test vs that same schools prior year performance. If that school's average for 5th graders was 20% reading at grade level, and in 6th grade you bring that up to 25%, that's a great improvement. If that school had 85% at grade level and you brought it to 90 that's great improvement. Any individual schools demographics don't change much year to year, so your argument is invalid. Saying "there's no good way to measure it" mostly means its primarily snake oil sales.
    You're ignoring a lot of the factors that go into that improvement though. What if 5 of my 20 10th graders get into drugs? What if Dad gets back from the war and starts making Susie read? These type of things have an impact and they are beyond a teachers control. Not to mention you have a lot of problems with the making of tests. You're still relying on students taking high stakes test for the salary of someone else.

    The idea that you can design a test that measures exactly how good the teacher is doing is not something I buy in the least bit. I see kids who are all A's in junior high turn into high school dropouts. We get warned of problem kids all the time, and sometimes they come into high school and flourish. It's just too much variance to accurately say "this teacher is doing a great job and this test shows it was all them."

    If designed properly I'd love merit pay, again I think that would drive my salary way up. I just don't think we know a foolproof way of doing it yet. Too much variance. I also don't see how you'd make it work for middle school and up, though it may be doable at the elementary level. It's much harder to judge my performance on merit when I'm one of 6 teachers a kid has. You can get a lot better gauge when kids have the one and same teacher all year.


  2. Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    I'd like to know when and where it was tried, as both have bearing. And I would not in the slightest put it past the union to purposefully sabotage it. But for the union to disallow the teachers to even vote on it shows the culture and character of the union officials.
    It as used in NYC for a while in 2007 I believe and failed miserably.

    Some of the major reasons it doesnt work in education:
    1. how do you judge success?
    2. where does special ed fit in?
    3. are tests scores the goal (if so, we see what happened with cheating scandals)

    At the end of the day, it would be exceptionally difficult, even when using a portfolio based assessment as your gauge
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  3. Quote Originally Posted by seccsi View Post
    This is spot on though I'm jealous of you being able to leave anywhere near 4. Out of 187 contract days this year I bet I get to leave before 4 around 25 of them I also plan on spending at least 5 hours at school each weekend as with coaching I have to do all my planning and grading on the weekends. During football season I'm usually at the school around 12 hours except for on days we have JV or varsity games where I can be at the school sometimes as much as 16. And then be at Saturday practice/film as well. Never a dull moment!
    I remember early in my career doing the coaching. Wrestling and football took most of my life. The joke in my house is that i missed most of my daughters first 6 months.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    You don't test vs generic averages, you test vs that same schools prior year performance. If that school's average for 5th graders was 20% reading at grade level, and in 6th grade you bring that up to 25%, that's a great improvement. If that school had 85% at grade level and you brought it to 90 that's great improvement. Any individual schools demographics don't change much year to year, so your argument is invalid. Saying "there's no good way to measure it" mostly means its primarily snake oil sales.
    Sorry for all the posts. Each year, teachers get a different crop of students that are the true wild card. I have had years where students would have succeeded regardless of what I did in the classroom, and other years where the students struggled no matter how many efforts I put in to alter and assist. You can never account for what you will get in your classroom at the start of every september

  5. Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    I remember early in my career doing the coaching. Wrestling and football took most of my life. The joke in my house is that i missed most of my daughters first 6 months.
    I bet the quality of teaching would significantly go up if teachers school scheduled was cut in half at the same pay rate (or even more imo.) Also, you would have more jobs and more people wanting to teach.
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  6. now that he declared that he is running. I am putting all my support towards the "The Rent is Too Damn High" party.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    Sorry for all the posts. Each year, teachers get a different crop of students that are the true wild card. I have had years where students would have succeeded regardless of what I did in the classroom, and other years where the students struggled no matter how many efforts I put in to alter and assist. You can never account for what you will get in your classroom at the start of every september
    Really? Because test scores don't show that. Schools are pretty consistent across the 300-500 students in each grade level since the neighborhood demographics don't change that fast. I guess in a small school with less students there would be more variation.

  8. Quote Originally Posted by seccsi View Post
    You're ignoring a lot of the factors that go into that improvement though. What if 5 of my 20 10th graders get into drugs? What if Dad gets back from the war and starts making Susie read? These type of things have an impact and they are beyond a teachers control. Not to mention you have a lot of problems with the making of tests. You're still relying on students taking high stakes test for the salary of someone else.
    Well, if you are like most post elementary teachers, you have 6 classes of 25ish students per semester, for somewhere between 150-600 total students a year? Do you think that 5 students going on drugs, or one whose dad dies at war affects the aggregate average of all students in a statistically significant way? The math doesn't seem like it would. And beyond that, is the number of students going on drugs this year all that different than last year? Usually its not.

    Quote Originally Posted by seccsi View Post
    The idea that you can design a test that measures exactly how good the teacher is doing is not something I buy in the least bit. I see kids who are all A's in junior high turn into high school dropouts. We get warned of problem kids all the time, and sometimes they come into high school and flourish. It's just too much variance to accurately say "this teacher is doing a great job and this test shows it was all them."
    Then how do you measure success? Saying "trust us as educations, we'll tell you how successful we are" is crazy, and nothing in the rest of the world works that way. If change in performance of your students isn't the metric, what is your goal as a teacher? just jam them into the next grade?

    Quote Originally Posted by seccsi View Post
    If designed properly I'd love merit pay, again I think that would drive my salary way up. I just don't think we know a foolproof way of doing it yet. Too much variance. I also don't see how you'd make it work for middle school and up, though it may be doable at the elementary level. It's much harder to judge my performance on merit when I'm one of 6 teachers a kid has. You can get a lot better gauge when kids have the one and same teacher all year.
    Well, again, much of the time what is talked about is merit based bonuses, not direct merit based pay. Teachers would still keep their base salary, but teachers who excel would get paid higher.

    I'll agree that designing something that is accurate would be difficult however teachers unions refusing to allow the conversation to begin, rather than them being a part of trying to put together a system that will work is outrageous.

    The net gut feeling from parents is that the mediocre teachers are overpaid, and the good teacher are underpaid. My middle daughter had a kindergarten teacher last year who easily deserved twice her pay. It was a ton of factors, organizational skills, involving parents and students, communication, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    It as used in NYC for a while in 2007 I believe and failed miserably.

    Some of the major reasons it doesnt work in education:
    1. how do you judge success?
    2. where does special ed fit in?
    3. are tests scores the goal (if so, we see what happened with cheating scandals)

    At the end of the day, it would be exceptionally difficult, even when using a portfolio based assessment as your gauge
    Like i said above, success is based on improvement in skills in the same group of students. If you don't define success as that, what is your goal as a teacher? Special ed is no different, just the margins of improvement you expect are smaller.

    If you can't test for the success, then you can't measure it, and its not real. With merit based bonuses, cheating would get you bonuses for a year, but then your baseline target improvement would be higher the next year

  9. Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Really? Because test scores don't show that. Schools are pretty consistent across the 300-500 students in each grade level since the neighborhood demographics don't change that fast. I guess in a small school with less students there would be more variation.
    you know better than this. You cant use test scores to determine how good or bad a teacher is. What about ICS classes (Special Ed. inclusion)? Or better yet, who designs the assessment, what is to be on the assessment, or how do you avoid teachers just teaching to the assessment?

    No good model has been created, and it certainly doesnt look like one is comnig

  10. Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    you know better than this. You cant use test scores to determine how good or bad a teacher is. What about ICS classes (Special Ed. inclusion)? Or better yet, who designs the assessment, what is to be on the assessment, or how do you avoid teachers just teaching to the assessment?

    No good model has been created, and it certainly doesnt look like one is comnig
    Why can't you use test scores? Again, taken as an aggregate of the 300 students you probably teach a year, and that neighborhood demographics don't change rapidly other than from natural disasters, what happens with the outlier students doesn't change much year to year, and doesn't change the overall statistics significantly.

    How do you assess how good or bad a teacher is then? Is it just an art rather than a science? and we should expect teachers to self-evaluate?

    Remember that with this specifically looking at how Washington DC attempted to implement it, there was no change in base pay, no relation to losing tenure, only bonuses for teachers (up to a bonus of 100% of salary) for performance. Why is that such a horrible thing?

    And again, with unions refusing to even allow the conversation to happen, of course its hard to create a good model. If the union actually looked out for the teachers, rather than looking out for the union, they'd be actively engaged in trying to work out a good model.

  11. Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Why can't you use test scores? Again, taken as an aggregate of the 300 students you probably teach a year, and that neighborhood demographics don't change rapidly other than from natural disasters, what happens with the outlier students doesn't change much year to year, and doesn't change the overall statistics significantly.
    but this is the problem. They do change, quite frequently. I can give you numbers from students I have had, who, come from the same socio0economic background, and similar family structures. However, their results are entirely different. That is the beauty of education, every september is a clean slate.

    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    How do you assess how good or bad a teacher is then? Is it just an art rather than a science? and we should expect teachers to self-evaluate?

    Remember that with this specifically looking at how Washington DC attempted to implement it, there was no change in base pay, no relation to losing tenure, only bonuses for teachers (up to a bonus of 100% of salary) for performance. Why is that such a horrible thing?

    And again, with unions refusing to even allow the conversation to happen, of course its hard to create a good model. If the union actually looked out for the teachers, rather than looking out for the union, they'd be actively engaged in trying to work out a good model.
    I dont disagree that there are many in the union who are criminals. I am thrilled to be out of the teachers union, however, once the door is opened to merit based pay, it opens it up to being a way to assess a teachers performance and in turn, teachers losing jobs.

    IMO, the only way to truly assess teachers is to refine tenure, not get rid of it. Make a portfolio for 3-5 years, and have colleagues and administrators who have observed the teacher sit down and review the portfolio. From their they make the recommendation for renewal of tenure, or dismissal. I totally agree that there are horrible teachers out there who completely take advantage of tenure. However, they are the minority, at least in my district.

    I can tell you, from being in the meetings, that most administrators and teachers truly want whats best for the students and are willing to bend over backwards for them, and deal with all the issues that come with students and their parents

  12. Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    but this is the problem. They do change, quite frequently. I can give you numbers from students I have had, who, come from the same socio0economic background, and similar family structures. However, their results are entirely different. That is the beauty of education, every september is a clean slate.
    Honestly, same school statistics don't support that. the percentage change at a given school year to year stays inside a fairly small factor given the number of students. Again, I am talking about larger schools, an k-8 elementary school with only 200 students total definitely would show some significant variation.



    Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    I dont disagree that there are many in the union who are criminals. I am thrilled to be out of the teachers union, however, once the door is opened to merit based pay, it opens it up to being a way to assess a teachers performance and in turn, teachers losing jobs.

    IMO, the only way to truly assess teachers is to refine tenure, not get rid of it. Make a portfolio for 3-5 years, and have colleagues and administrators who have observed the teacher sit down and review the portfolio. From their they make the recommendation for renewal of tenure, or dismissal. I totally agree that there are horrible teachers out there who completely take advantage of tenure. However, they are the minority, at least in my district.

    I can tell you, from being in the meetings, that most administrators and teachers truly want whats best for the students and are willing to bend over backwards for them, and deal with all the issues that come with students and their parents
    But we're not talking about merit based PAY, but merit based bonuses. no change to existing salary - so no loss the mediocre and crappy teachers, just rewarding ones who improve the students more than the norm for that school.

    And i have to disagree on administrators, particularly administrators who are school board level (not so much the in school admins) are useless bags of crap most of the time, and cause more issues with the feeling of "ownership" over the schools. One in our district on the school's facebook page has repeatedly posted "Please parents, don't make any postings on this page using a teacher's name or about a specific teacher" but at the same time the school board prohibits teachers from having a facebook page for school related. Plenty of other goofy things, we are having 1 hr early release every monday this year (same total school hours per year) but when asked if we could move it to friday instead, the school board administrators said that would significantly increase absenteeism and cause all sorts of problems. When I asked if he had some documentation showing that was actually true vs his opinion he just brushed it off and refused to answer.

  13. The issue with the bonuses is that it opens the doer for merit based pay. We have already seen the reopening and disgardig of collectively bargained contracts. Once again, the fear is that the precedent is set....you know the rest

  14. Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    The issue with the bonuses is that it opens the doer for merit based pay. We have already seen the reopening and disgardig of collectively bargained contracts. Once again, the fear is that the precedent is set....you know the rest
    I suppose I can see that. In the same shoes though, I think i'd still be for it, as in the long run it would weed out the dead weight at schools instead of them playing "pass the lemon" in moving lousy teachers from district to district just to avoid them teaching in the same school too long and collecting too many complaints there.

  15. Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    I suppose I can see that. In the same shoes though, I think i'd still be for it, as in the long run it would weed out the dead weight at schools instead of them playing "pass the lemon" in moving lousy teachers from district to district just to avoid them teaching in the same school too long and collecting too many complaints there.
    I agree about the dead wood. THat is why tenure reform is needed. However it cannot be based on test scores, it has to be another means of assessment

  16. Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    Well, if you are like most post elementary teachers, you have 6 classes of 25ish students per semester, for somewhere between 150-600 total students a year? Do you think that 5 students going on drugs, or one whose dad dies at war affects the aggregate average of all students in a statistically significant way? The math doesn't seem like it would. And beyond that, is the number of students going on drugs this year all that different than last year? Usually its not.
    Yeah I would say it's significant. You add in factors that can throw off a high stakes test like a lack of sleep, poor nutrition, what happened the night before, a kids apathy (my pay is being based on how Johnny don't care sophomore does when he fills out all c's), etc. I'm for what you are proposing...if only I thought it could accurately reflect good teaching. Take your kindergarten teacher who deserved double. What if you knew she was doing an amazing job and the data didn't support that? What if she was dropped in pay because of these factors? What if she was fired based on the fact that a third grader was abused the night before and he was the one kid that pushed her scores down?

    It may sound far fetched, but you are proposing putting someones job on the line based on how someone else does. When you're talking about me training an adult that may be one thing...when we are discussing children (remember I only have them in class 1 hour of a 24 hour day) having to do that you've opened up the can of worms. Merit based bonuses might not be bad, but the fear is that will switch to merit based pay and stuff out of our control.

    We do test as a school and we use the results of that data to partially determine our success. I also look at things individually and measure stuff that happens in my own classroom. The problem is at least now I don't think we can come up with one good test to accurately determine that THIS teacher sucks or THAT one is amazing. I wish we could, but I don't see it right now.

    I do the best possible job I can do every day in the classroom. I try my hardest to be a good influence to kids, and to have them graduate and go on to lead successful lives. A lot of them don't though, despite all my best efforts. The fact is a student's success isn't simply determined by one teacher. Everything about how a kid performs in education isn't in our control, you have a multitude of factors at work.

    Again I'd say this stuff is a lot closer to being doable at the elementary level.

  17. Based on most recent polls, Perry has already blitzed right passed Romney into the forefront of the GOP. I cannot imagine how he will be remotely electable, given his pandering to the religious right. Which means, oh boy, 4 more years of Obama (sarcasm)

  18. Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    Based on most recent polls, Perry has already blitzed right passed Romney into the forefront of the GOP. I cannot imagine how he will be remotely electable, given his pandering to the religious right. Which means, oh boy, 4 more years of Obama (sarcasm)
    I think the media is largely ignoring Ron Paul due to their corporate interests, and that Ron Paul actually has close to the actual popular vote.
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  19. Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    Based on most recent polls, Perry has already blitzed right passed Romney into the forefront of the GOP. I cannot imagine how he will be remotely electable, given his pandering to the religious right. Which means, oh boy, 4 more years of Obama (sarcasm)
    such a nightmarish thought

    Quote Originally Posted by ax1 View Post
    I think the media is largely ignoring Ron Paul due to their corporate interests, and that Ron Paul actually has close to the actual popular vote.
    i'd tend to agree. heck with his stance on war + marijuana, he'd get tons of democrat votes

  20. Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post


    i'd tend to agree. heck with his stance on war + marijuana, he'd get tons of democrat votes
    But democrats support "humanitarian" wars right? We wouldnt want to stop bombing the crap out of countries that are already killing each other, thats not right.
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  21. Quote Originally Posted by ax1 View Post
    But democrats support "humanitarian" wars right? We wouldnt want to stop bombing the crap out of countries that are already killing each other, thats not right.
    actually many of them are anti war in general

  22. Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL View Post
    actually many of them are anti war in general
    That I know, but why do democrats keep supporting and voting for war time candidates? We have Bush who went to war in Iraq, but he consulted congress (although that doesnt say much, lol), then we have dictator Obama using executive powers to go to wars yet many democrats are fooled by this "humanitarian" baloney. Come on, if Libya's main export was watermelons we would not be there.

    I think in general though more democrats are waking up and realizing there is no democratic party, or republican party, there are just republicrats.
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  23. Although I like Paul on several issues, and appreciate his more common sense approach, he stands about as much of a chance as I do. He comes off as a bit of a loon (or he is portrayed that way). In my opinion, if he was smart, he would come in as a 3rd party candidate, as he would be directly in the general election.

    At the end of the day, there is NO ONE there who is worth a damn. The darn republicrats are in total control and that wont change. Obama v. Perry is a friggin joke. The only other one out there that I have a tad of respect for is Huntsman. He is quite pragmatic, but no one gives a damn

  24. Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    Although I like Paul on several issues, and appreciate his more common sense approach, he stands about as much of a chance as I do. He comes off as a bit of a loon (or he is portrayed that way). In my opinion, if he was smart, he would come in as a 3rd party candidate, as he would be directly in the general election.

    At the end of the day, there is NO ONE there who is worth a damn. The darn republicrats are in total control and that wont change. Obama v. Perry is a friggin joke. The only other one out there that I have a tad of respect for is Huntsman. He is quite pragmatic, but no one gives a damn
    If he was a 3rd party candidate he wouldnt have no chance at all. He wouldnt be involved in any of the debates and getting as much national attention. He already is a 3rd party candidate, he is just playing the system to his advantage.

    I dont believe he is a loon at all, thats totally the way corporate media portrays him to be. The loons are the ones already in charge of the system and the corporations/banks helping the 1 party republicrats system stay in power.
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  25. I gotta disagree. He gets hurt by the MSM, and needs to be separated from the fray.

    Regardless, he has no shot in hell
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