A crowdfunded billboard in Philadelphia

A crowdfunded billboard in Philadelphia

Teachers deserve adequate compensation, but I believe one of the biggest challenges facing our youth in the US is that learning is seen as some sort of thing that you do just so you can placate your teachers/parents.

There needs to be a fundamental shift in how our society views schooling and learning. It absolutely has to come from the individual student, but that student has to have the support of adults/the educational system. However, it seems that there are a great deal of students who simply do not see the benefit of advancing their own knowledge. I do not blame them because the way our schooling is set up is utterly soul-crushing and not engaging. This is not even the teacher's fault, as many are greatly constrained by their curriculum.

The pay issue with teachers is just the tip of the iceberg. We, and by we I mean society, simply do not reward innately motivated learning enough in school. This isn't any one person's fault, but our society as a whole places much more importance on other things, whether we like to admit it or not. Learning becomes a means to an end, whether it is to please your parents, be accepted into a prestigious university, etc. rather than an end in itself.

Learning is perhaps one of the greatest joys in life and we do it everyday. Yet somehow modern schooling in the US has crushed it. This is what we need to figure out.

I am a teacher in Philadelphia, so let me add a few details that this billboard is leaving out.

Unlike every other district in the state of Pennsylvania, the School district of Philadelphia teachers are not allowed to strike. They could strip us of our certifications. Theoretically, no one is sure if this is actually legal, but no one wants to try it out. So that makes bargaining very difficult.

We are in a pay freeze since we have no contract. That means the school district is saving millions each year because we are not allowed to move up the salary scale ladder when there is no contract. That is I believe another state rule. So I have over 25k in back pay that I will most likely never get for the 4+ years we have been off contract because of that rule. (The district made a contract offer, but it didn't move any teacher up the ladder or any back up, so it would have been like my salary was in a stasis.)

In the state of Pennsylvania you are required to continue your education of a masters or a masters equivalent after teaching for so many years. I ended up getting my masters, but since we are on a pay freeze, it does not count towards my salary at all. Now I don't know if a masters' degree means a better teacher, but I was required to get one and now I am not getting paid for it.

Any teacher who comes into the district gets paid accordingly. So if someone has 10 years and their master's degree, they would get paid like that. So even though I should be paid the same, a new person would be paid higher than me.

This does not even include of the money that philly teachers put in for supplies or food, we have shitty building conditions with traces of lead in some of them. The district needs over a billion to repair all of their old and unsafe buildings. I also want to buy a house and contribute more to the city that I live, but I can't afford that. My life, and so many other's lives are on hold because of this pay freeze.

I know some might say find a new job, or you knew you weren't going to be rich doing that job. I love my job, I love having kids who don't care about school actually try and do well. I feel that if I went to the suburbs, I would just be another person that gives up and flees. I also feel like as a person with a masters degree I should be treated with respect. In philly if the cops, the bus drivers, or even the garbage men complain, they get exactly what they want. But us teachers must carry the cross and suffer for the sins of a district that constantly mismanages money, and is controlled by the state. The state has been controlling the school district for almost 20 years, and it its still troubled, and the only way for the city to gain back control is to have the state board dissolve itself.

It sucks, and its probably not going to get any better for awhile with DeVos in charge. But I keep working, because I hate disappointing the kids.

I'm flabbergasted by the replies you're getting. I just want to say thank you for giving a shit. Thank you for enduring. I hope you can continue to. And I hope if you cannot, that you will pursue work as a teacher somewhere else because the reality is the world needs good teachers everywhere. So please, don't put yourself in a position where you end up hating the profession and leaving it. Best of luck. Thank you again.

So you've identified this problem. Being a parent how can I encourage my son and daughter that learning is fun. How can the schools do it? Do you have suggestions or ideas?

It requires a massive shift in environment.

What worked for me personally, as someone who hated elementary and most of high school, find a good one on one teacher.

I hated school so much that I went my entire 4th grade without handing in a single thing. The sad part is, my teacher didn't care. He didn't talk to me, or my parents. And at the end of the year, he passed me so he didn't have to deal with me.

It wasn't until grade 11/12 that I got a good one on one teacher. She helped me through the tough stuff and made it fun, and when I was slowing down shed take a break from the work and we'd just chat and joke around. It really helped, and without her I wouldn't have graduated.

This may not be what your kid needs, but it worked very well for me.

Competitive pay for teachers is about the children. If you don't pay teachers well, qualified people who can take their skills anywhere else and make more money either leave the profession or don't get into teaching in the first place, which means the children are left to be taught by people who couldn't cut it elsewhere.

If you worked a job where you didn't get a pay raise for 5 years (which is effectively a pay cut over 5 years thanks to inflation) and you could go do something else instead and make more money, would you stay?

You need a better union. In theory, if enough of the teachers organized, you could force them to change the contract, they can't replace everyone fast enough to strip you all of your certifications.

Raising salaries is not a cure for bad teachers. It is an incentive for a new generation of bright students to be able to look to teaching as a viable option for earning a good living, rather than an altruistic choice as it is today.

One of my best teachers in high school was there for one year, then left to a district that paid better. If teachers are so critical to this fundamental shift in education's place in our society, then it follows that we should be putting a huge focus on rewarding good teachers, create incentives for people to want to become teachers, and remove bad teachers from our ranks.

It seems that your argument actually points to our need to properly compensate teachers.

Sure there are other institutional things that affect how teachers are able to do their jobs, and some of those things really need to be fixed, but if you to fill schools with clones of that 1 special teacher that inspired you, properly compensating faculty seems like it's a pretty big deal.

Honestly. Teachers like this are the ones that actually make a difference. I can name mine off the top of my head. People that gave a shit enough to put up with the bullshit of the school, and frankly the kids, to teach and actually connect with kids. Our pre-college teachers are under appreciated as fuck. The good ones deserve more and the bad ones deserve to lose their job. Unfortunately every system I've seen punishes/does nothing for the ones that actually care and rewards people who have been there a long time. So many teachers that should be fired aren't because they've been around for so long.

Edit: clearly those teachers didn't do enough because apparently I can't spell /s.

OP, the people telling you to suck it up or find another job can go fuck a cactus. God forbid teachers aren't solely motivated by money and find fulfillment through helping kids. That doesn't mean you should be nickel and dimed because the state school board is incompetent.

I'm all for teachers and people getting paid more, but I like how it starts off being about the children and it ends up being about the teachers.

Giving teachers raises doesn't make them try harder necessarily but offering higher salaries overall absolutely attracts a wider talent pool, which would lead to higher quality teachers. You have to entice people that wouldn't normally consider teaching because they can make more money elsewhere.

I don't think it has to do with the union. Correct me if I'm wrong, /u/OldAgedZenElf but I think it has to do with the fact that Philly's district is the only one in the state classified as a "distressed" district.

http://www.workingeducators.org/labor_rights_2014

Lol you gotta love Philly, never afraid to get right up in your face about shit...

Here's a real problem. How do you decide how much to pay a teacher? Do you pay good teachers more? How do you know which teachers are good? Student votes? Standardized tests? Arbitrary judgement by administration?

The uprising of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie scum.

The district was taken over by the state in a deal. so the union has no leverage since these are rules that apply to us are state laws. And we've never really tested out the legality of them in court for fear of the potential repercussions.

"Crowdfunded" by unions

It also KEEPS good teachers in the profession. If you could teach, or go make 20k more working somewhere else with less demanding hours, eventually, maybe not immediately, but eventually it'll wear down on you, and many of the good teachers will change jobs due to the demands that being a GOOD teacher entails.

I'm pretty sure it was paid for by a union. It's not really "crowd funded" unless you consider, for example, roads to be crowd funded because they are paid for by taxes.

Superintendent looks like a 'They Live' extra.

Just know that you make a difference in these kids' lives. I know you can't buy a house or feed your family on that, but no one in this world would be who they are without teachers.

I feel your pain. I teach in BC, Canada. We had to take our government all the way to Supreme Court and after a 15 year battle, we just won.

for high school and below, it all comes from the parents, really. if your parents dont care, the kid probably wont care that much about school. if the parents do care and expect you to get high grades, check your homework, demand to see your tests/quizzes you took, you're gonna do better

people use the 'teachers arent paid well thats why kids are dumb' excuse a lot. I went to a private school that charged $30k/year and small class sizes, and public schools with double the class size. its amazing to me that the teachers were just as available to a student at either school. the 'extra help' sessions teachers would have would almost always be empty, and if you went in at lunch to ask for help or questions, teachers at both would answer and help you

and now with the internet and youtube videos to explain shit, there really is no excuse.

with all these things, if you are a shitty student you just dont care that much. which is fine, but dont blame it on the teachers or anything else. the help and knowledge is out there for the taking, in multiple different ways.

Teacher here. We're working on this as hard as we can, on our side of things. There are many things you can do to encourage an environment of lifelong learning, in the classroom, if you have the time and resources. As you said, pay is one thing, but there are plenty of other things that factor in.

Chief among them:

Professionalizing teaching by both requiring more education for teachers and providing pay to encourage people to get that education.

Provide funding for continuing education & collaboration for teachers.

Funding for other public education resources: libraries, community centers, community colleges, museums, sports, arts programs, and media (like CPB)

Free food and healthcare for all children who attend school.

Updating our inadequate outmoded school system (switch to later start times for older students, shorten summer breaks, provide tutorial days for students, adjust to bloc schedules, use project-based curriculum, allow workplace learning, group classes by performance instead of age, etc.)

More support for people who want to continue education through colleges, universities, and trades, in the form of affordable (preferably free) state college and local skills centers.

Much of this starts at the local level, and much of it is tough to get done, because people tend to lock in to the way things have always been. Its also tough because it would seem there is a large movement to travel in the complete opposite direction; mostly because several large education corporations stand to gain lots of money if many of this doesn't get done. They're putting plenty of resources to make sure none of these changes happen. So, it's definitely up to how bad people want it.

Many teachers are ready to move on this; but they can't do it alone.

A lot of the people responding to you are laying blame on the union and on your decision to become a teacher (which baffles me). Let me take this moment to thank you for being a teacher, I am going to presume that you care about the lives of the children you teach, no matter how hip it may be to take the most cynical view possible.

As to your union, it truly does sound like they have failed you, not that its your fault or that there is anything you can do about it. Given that unionization is permanent, and decertifying a union is nearly impossible they've put themselves in a position where they don't really have to care about their members and it shows in this situation. I also have experience challenging a union from within and know that it ultimately results in a target on your back as troublemakers are always purged.

However, I just looked up the Phillidelphia School Budget for 2017-2018, as it is a matter of public record, it can be found here PDF). The average income for a Phillidelphia teacher is $67,648, just shy of double the Philadelphia median income of $34,207. They also receive another $49,207 in benefits for a total compensation of $116,855. Do you find that to be insufficient compensation for teachers?

As a person that lives in Philadelphia (the actual city, not the burbs) and did not always, allow me to give some insight on this issue:

Most would agree Schools, teacher salaries etc are typically funded by real estate taxes

Philadelphia is legendarily bad at collecting real estates taxes

Example: https://www.google.com/amp/www.phillymag.com/news/2015/04/15/paying-taxes-philadelphia-optional/%...

Further, property values are either depressed or undervalued I.E. what taxes are received are far below what receipts should be

As a result, because nothing is paid in, nothing is paid out IE teachers get nothing because money still doesn't grow on trees.

Philadelphia as a city is WOEFULLY mismanaged from a fiscal perspective. Additionally, if you want to see the long term impact of one political party running everything, then look no further:

https://www.google.com/amp/www.phillymag.com/news/2016/11/19/donald-trump-philadelphia-democratic...

I'm originally from NJ and the thing I say to everyone in Philly is, "In NJ we all know there is government corruption, but at least we get something out of it. In Philadelphia, no one is getting anything."

I'd have a lot more sympathy if teachers could be fired for poor performance, like anyone else.

Public school children?

My area doesn't even value it's own citizens' safety. My department has annual performance reviews, and somehow everyone only manages the "mediocre" 3% raise despite all the praise we get from our immediate officers. Forget any kind of across-the-board cost-of-living increase. And the area's going through a real estate hike/bubble, so it's pretty ridiculous. Captains are making <$20/hour, they can't even afford rent in the area without side work. And then they wonder why firefighters keep leaving for other industries/departments (where it's only marginally better, but good enough to survive).

Democrats aren't what they used to be. Essentially special interest cronies that don't hate gay people, minorities, or abortions. It's disgusting and the reckoning has only begun.

This is the problem. Everyone can identify problems and say what is wrong with education, but no one has any realistic ideas on how to fix them.

This was similar to nursing. Until nursing salaries went up, it was difficult to recruit nurses. Unfortunately, the current regime believes that privatizing education will bring dramatic improvement and results, however capitalism can not solve all problems and bring efficiencies and effectiveness at a reasonable cost.

Croudfunded

*Crowdfunded

Stay in school, kids.

Exactly this. In our society, it's just not a smart choice to be a teacher. The work to pay ratio is WAY too high, and that is immediately obvious to anyone who spends any time observing in a school.

The sad fact is that our schools are full of teachers who don't want to be there, but simply can't find any better jobs. The schools can't get rid of them, because there isn't anyone better who wants the job, because anyone with the skills to be a great teacher is already making more money at another job with those skills.

The only good teachers are the ones who are so committed to the idea of providing good education that they sacrifice their opportunities to be more successful elsewhere... and that's just sad.

This is exactly it. But no parent wants to take the blame, so they'd rather blame the system.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority owns philadelphia if you ask on any day other than Sunday.

Ya though it's strange because this was done under Republican leadership over a decade ago and from what I understand is enforced by your Sec of Education who was appointed by your Democratic Governor.

All he'd have to do is say "Hey nah I'm not gonna decertify these teachers if they strike" from what it seems.

You say that like people can just go months on end without any pay.

We had teachers around here campaigning similarly, stating that they haven't had a raise in years, but were ignoring the fact that their contract had about a 5% cost-of-living adjustment every year. In addition, their salaries get higher every year they are employed. Both salary boosts would be considered a raise in my mind (and in my work experience) and I don't think too many people around here have jobs that would get you both. I don't know the details here, but it might have been a bit greedy of those around here considering the problems with school funding already.

Yet look at the numbers across this nation and you'll find that more and more money goes into the public school system, while class sizes increase and teachers get no pay raises. The area where most school districts are and have been expanding is in administration, and off-site administration. I've heard figures of between 300 and 600% percent expansion over the past decade in administrative positions. I know that my town has several large well-staffed education district buildings that are not schools, filled with people who, while well-compensated, never see an actual student.

And while all of this is going on, the constant debate is raging over teachers and students, and whether we care enough about them to give more money...

During which you continued to move up the ladder and get pay increases...

BC's dispute was about other matters entirely. Still wasn't good, but it sounds nothing like this one.

Last time I looked at the numbers [which admittedly hasn't been in a few years] America was the second largest spender per capita when it came to education, expects its primary school teachers to put in more hours than any other developed country, and yet is only ranked 10th to 26th in teacher pay [depending on level of experience and how you adjust inflation] at many points falling behind countries like Mexico and Chile.

It seems to me like the problem isn't funding nearly as much as it is waste in a broken and bureaucratic system that ultimately the teachers themselves have no adjacency over.

Just do it. Unions don't exist at the permission of the government. Go on strike and be prepared to physically fight to get your way. Just like when unions started.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2001/12/04/nyregion/new-jersey-teachers-jailed-for-continuing-to-strik...

In New Jersey we don't allow teachers to strike either. And if they do, we just throw them in jail until they go back to teach!

Just so people realize teachers are treated like shit everywhere in the Tri-State.

I'm all for increasing teacher salary if it's based on merit and not tenure, and allowing schools to get rid of shitty teachers.

Also Mayor Kenney has been mayor since 2016...

It's like how Republicans get religious voters to vote against their economic interests by being pro-life.

Democrats are corporation-servicing republican lites who get liberals to vote against their economic interests by being pro-choice.

It works! Except for when everyone is fired and they do replace them all.

I spent about 5 minutes reading comments on this topic, and although I think a good many of you want this situation changed, the one thing that is lacking here is research from leaders in worldwide education.

Before I begin, a little background on myself. Teacher with a B.A and a M.Ed in education, specifically focusing on 21st Century Teaching and Learning. 8+ Years of experience. I am an American who taught for 2 years in the states, then moved into international education (so I have an insiders and outsiders perspective). I have dedicated myself to consistent professional development and research into modern educational theories and best practices. Attended multiple conferences from leaders in educational theory.

Ok, so you want to fix the education system in a realistic way (without upending the entire system and getting rid of an inflated administrative system, corruption and budgetary issues). Here is a good start, based on research.

STOP investing in flavor of the month federal educational policies. Ipads for every student, Smartboards and hybrid learning are great initiatives if they meet the needs of the individual learning community. Some schools would be better served to have washing machines at their school than new technology. Give more power to competent administrators and local policymakers to identify the needs of the learning community. For evidence look at the Newark schools that successfully used the money given by Mark Zuckerberg.

Teachers need professional development training in modern educational theory. Self-assessment, formative assessment, effective feedback strategies, classroom management and teacher-student relationships (the things that worked 100 years ago) are still the most effective learning strategies (based on John Hattie's Visible Learning study that reviewed over 50,000 metastudies on learning strategies). Hattie (2012) concluded, "Learning is optimized when teachers see learning through the eyes of the learner and when learners see themselves as their own teachers". When this occurs students develop the higher order thinking skills necessary to be successful in the 21st Century world. Dylan Wiliam (the foundational theorist on Formative Assessment) suggest that each individual teacher needs a PD plan that meets their students needs and is supported by relevance educational theory. If teachers do not involve themselves in this and demonstrate professional growth (NOT from student test scores) over a period of 2-3 years they should be fired (if appropriate mentorship and development fails). This means that union policies need to change. If unions do not want to meet these demands, hire new teachers from excellent universities, there are plenty of good teachers looking for work.

Administrators and schools need to develop Professional Learning Communities (PLC's). This means that teachers work in grade level or content level teams to answer the following questions:

What do we want students to know, understand and be able to do? How will students will demonstrate mastery of what they know, understand and are able to do? How can we help students who are not demonstrating proficiency? How can we assist students who are already demonstrating proficiency?

Each of these questions will be answered differently school-to-school, but it must be enforced and supported by administration. This will develop consistency in what students learn and how they are assessed. Furthermore, it demonstrates a year of growth for each individual student. See Dufour and Eaker's research on Professional Learning Communities to learn more.

Universities need to limit the number of people applying for education majors. It needs to be difficult to be accepted into education so that the teaching supply=demand and high expectations are set on future teachers.

Citizens need to vote for school budgets. If you want teachers to be paid more, talk to your representatives and vote each year to accept your local school budget.

I have left out Heidi Hayes Jacobs theories on 21st Century Learning, Bena Kallick's theories on Habits of Mind, Tomlinson's theories on differentiation, Wiggins and McTighe's Backwards Design Unit Plans as well as theories on authentic assessment and performance tasks. Those are more "Stage 2" plans.

You're right we even turned down money, like signing bonuses and took extended strike times when it meant fighting for better conditions for our students. I have a feeling this teacher would do the same. If we weren't in it for the kids, there's no way anyone would put up with this.

And I'm quite certain she can relate to our government tearing up our contracts.

Strike pay is one of the reasons you pay your union dues.

This is all publicly available data so I looked it up.

The answer is zero. The highest paid person in the Philadelphia School District is the superintendent, and his salary is $300K a year. The POTUS gets $400K a year.

The next 7 most highly paid people are the executives (CFO, COO, etc) which top out at $190K a year. All the principals earn $149,890 a year.

Captains are making <$20/hour

Now that's just fucking disgusting. When the top of the chain has to decide between skimping on dinner or skimping on public safety, everything is fucked up.

Typically we leave one another alone until some BS occurs, we don't let BS slide. This ad on the other hand was paid for by the teacher's unions.

Asian immigrants come to the US and excel. The difference is they value education

If you can prove that they are performing badly then they can be fired, just like anyone else. The problem is that some jobs can be very difficult to prove that someone is performing badly.

This. As a former teacher who now makes better money working an easier job (with fewer hours and the same education), I can confirm that many of our teachers are only sticking with it because they are afraid they cant make it in another field.

Teaching should be a job which highly qualified applicants compete for, not one for people who can't get a better job or are looking for a stepping stone out of college. It should be like being a doctor or engineer, hard to get and worth keeping. The long term effects are at least as significant.

Except the teachers will use their union to make sure it is the same shitty teachers, not other actually competent ones.

This is fine and all, but please produce this magical ruler that you want to evaluate the "merit" of a teacher. Test scores have been used for a while now, and I think most agree they are dogshit as a metric. A lazy teacher in a rich white suburb will regularly trounce excellent, highly-motivated teachers in poor, under-served districts. (This has the added effect of siphoning off all of the good teachers from the districts that arguably need them the most, placing them in the richer districts.)

So, what do we do? For some reason, parents and politicians refuse to let teachers self-govern in this regard.

The Philly teacher unions are also famous for threatening mass quitting if even one person or fired for poor performance.

Source: Mother taught in Philly for ~15 years. Had coworkers coming to school drunk and many just not do anything all day and the kids would just do workbooks. My mother was famously quoted saying "I feel as if it's harder the keep control of my 5 grade level coworkers than my class of 37"

I work a job with no strike legislation. Go on strike and we're all fired.

He has special eyes...

And this loops right back around to the top level comment noting that the biggest issue is the culture around education and its place in society.

First you get them with the children bit, then you slam them for the teachers benefit.

Your parents should have been asking you about your homework. This is not entirely the school's fault -- and I'm speaking from the parent side of this argument not the teacher side. Yeah your teachers were probably not the best but you had shit parents who didn't care about your education.

I don't think the issue is that the salary is what it is, so much as their rate of pay should keep up with inflation. If they go 10 years without a pay raise teachers will begin to leave the district and slowly the value of that 67,648 will lessen each year.

As someone who generally votes democrat, Philly really needs to break the decades long single party monopoly and all the corruption thats grown along with it. The tax situation is absolutely out of control here. I really think a conservative mayoral administration is long overdue to balance out the years of inadequacy from the left.

They're unable/unwilling to collect appropriate property taxes from citizens, because that costs them votes. So they shift all of the tax burden to businesses and workers with the insane business privilege tax, net profits tax, city wage tax, etc. This creates a death spiral where businesses don't want to come here, people don't want to work here, and a lot of the people who do work here are dodging taxes by keeping permanent addresses in the suburbs...so the handful of shmucks who stick it out get absolutely hammered.

Its so sad because there is so much potential here. Millenials are flocking here in droves for school, and even staying immediately after. Then they're all peacing out after a couple years since the city is unable to attract high caliber companies. And the primary schools are so bad nobody would be crazy enough to start a family here.

Question what does teachers getting a raise have to do with caring for public school children?

Teachers should have to show improvement for raises like everyone else and my guess is there has been a decrease in achievement in these districts. Do a better job and then we will talk. We already spend twice per student than sweden ranked at #1 world wide.

student spending

http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2015/apr/21/jeb-bush/does-united-states-spend-more-s...

teacher pay

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-ostapchuk/most-and-least-paid-teachers-in-the-world_b_8970800.html

It's almost as if he's home on his computer and won't have to face any consequences...

Unfortunately the same folks that paid for the billboard would not at all be down for paying for truly meritorious performance. Unions don't want that, they want job security, pay hikes across-the-board and tenure +tenure-driven payscales. Similarly, the folks who write public policy would ultimately push any efforts towards merit pay towards extreme examples of 'teaching to the (standardized) test', which would surely not be a good way to ignite a wave of passionate learners.

The current administration does not believe privatizing education will bring dramatic improvements. The current administration believes privatizing education will dramatically financially benefit members of the administration. Increasing the population that believes science can be ignored because it's made up of a bunch of "theories" is just icing on the cake.

If you live in or around Philadelphia you would know that poor compensation for the teachers IS the tip of the iceburg. Philadelphia's schools are abysmal and are so severely underfunded they are constantly at risk of completely shutting down entirely. As it stands, individual schools are being shut down left and right.

Everyone has a "hard job" starting at 43k per year with full benefits and 2-3 weeks ensured vacation is far from very bad.

Of course they choose not to mention that the starting salary is $45,360 for ~200 days of work.

11 years plus a Master's degree gets you $73,454.

That's all plus indefinite pension amounting annually to about 15% of your average pay (after employee contributions).

Edit: As I go to bed, the pointing out of these facts is well downvoted. None of it is incorrect or from a partisan source. Teaching is a sweet gig, and it's thanks to billboards like these, powerful unions, and an ignorant public. Maybe it's a valuable service and should be a sweet gig. That's the discussion we should have, not a reflexive and thoughtless "they're so poor, pay them more."

merit pay for teachers is problematic for that exact reason- teaching to the test. it would leave out UDL and be really awful. i dont claim to know the solution as a teacher myself, but trying to calculate student achievement into merit pay for teachers is not very good.

As someone that lived in PA for 13 years and paid ridiculously high property taxes along with incredibly high gas taxes, along with high prices for beer/wine/liquor, while every county complained about not having money for anything, I say PA needs to get their shit together from the top down.

The amount of waste that goes on in that state is amazing.

And lied to by Democrats......who controls philly again?

It's actually not that hard. When your kid is into something encourage them to learn about it. Don't give them the answers, show them how to find them.

"Oh Ok you want to know why humans don't evolve anymore - well why do you think? Ok good idea, well let's google it and read a little. Ok after reading whydo you think now?"

Pretty soon they do it on their own. Thing is, learning is super fun, as long as you're interested. Just let your kids be their naturally curious selves and guide them in their curiosity.

When you're kid says "can I have mods for minecraft" don't install them. Say "ok how can we figure out how to get mods?" And go through it with them.

The thing that really hit this concept home for me recently was when I was doing research after watching Deepwater Horizon. The article I was reading said that one of the guys who worked on the rig had been a high school history teacher before he realized he could make much more working on an oil rig. I read that and it dawned on me that we value oil more than education and that really fucking sucks

Thank you for this. My PhD dissertation is about the relationship between learning and play, and basically advocates for a more game-based approach to classroom curriculum. After a long day of writing, sitting down and reading something like this makes it all feel worth it.

Learning is viewed in our society as though it's something that happens instead of other activities. You're learning, not socializing; you're learning, not having fun; you're learning, not "doing real work in the real world". In reality, learning corresponds to socializing, fun, and doing. The extrinsic reward-structure of the current education system is self-defeating and creates an obsession with the individual as a "knowledge-bank". I honestly wonder what education will look like in 100 years, because I don't think this can last much longer.

And... then someone else will become the bourgeoisie. Then the camps start.

And since you used the word "bourgeoisie" in a sentence, you'll be the first to go.

Math teachers get $65k and most teachers are getting over $50k (according to glassdoor at least--other articles list average Philly teacher pay over $70k/year). That doesn't even list the crazy amount of benefits that they get and all of the days off of school and summer vacation. Teachers can also get all of their student loans forgiven if they work long enough, unlike those who work in the private sector.

Those salaries are actually well over the median income in Philly and the benefits are crazy. What's the problem?

I've seen Phds in science and engineering who have to work with and be in charge of multi-million dollar pieces of equipment earn $20-30k less than that AND have shite for benefits.

The inadequate pay alone dissuades a huge sector of people who would be fantastic teachers, but they go where the money is. I remember researching things in college, and I opted for a degree I wasn't as interested in because I knew it would potentially be more lucrative than something I was actually passionate about. I taught guitar through college and loved it, but there's no way I could make enough as a teacher to consider it for a career. Teachers make no money, get no respect, and have a really difficult job. Were there more incentive to be one, there would be greater competition for the positions and higher quality individuals as a result.

As someone who went through the Pennsylvania School system, I can tell you that the teachers are some of the most dedicated people that you will ever meet. Honestly they deserve way more than they get and they put up with so much shit from the government.

Unions only matter if the union can enforce penalties on the employer. If the union members won't strike, the union can't enforce penalties. So their union can't get anything done.

Proving the fact that we need a revolution for all workers, and remove the bourgeoisie from power

I'll be honest, I'd leave. Sure you want to be there for the kids but sometimes you have to do that for yourself. It's sad but sometimes your own well-being needs to be taken into account and you should be compensated appropriately.

Fuck it, strike and everyone loses heir jobs what are they going to do? People couldn't strike when striking was invented..

the teachers themselves have no adjacency over.

Did you mean 'agency'?

No, but democrats think America is run by some kind of malevolent right-leaning white-supremacist king.

Yeah, I hear you. But you get Summers off.

Edit: Just kidding. My wife is a teacher.

Do republicans think Philly is run by some kind of malevolent left-leaning king?

Everything IS fucked up in a lot of cities. All of these cities are in debt or going bankrupt. And taxes are already pretty high in a lot of them.

RESPECT.

I was hoping to discuss something, it may not be appropriate here. But here goes.

In India, we have very few public schools. 25 years ago, the government started giving tax breaks to private schools and there are many of them now. This promoted competition among private schools. The schools that posted the best results would see more admissions every year. This in turn lead to reduction of school fee, making them very affordable and improvement of compensation for teachers over the years.

Would a plan like this work in US? Can the public schools in US be privatized?

Edit: spelling

Teachers like you is what students like me needed, teachers that cared and wanted us to succeed. Had many teachers that didn't care or did but their salaries were killing them so their motivation left. You guys are our first step in our future. Don't give up.

OOOOO wow, they beat the median income! You realise these people are degree holders doing a challenging job and they could be earning a lot more in the private sector for an arguably easier job?

I also notice you didn't say average, you said median. The most common occupation are low skilled no tertiary education required jobs. You're comparing apples to oranges.

I'm a teacher of a tested subject, whose performance is rated on test scores. It leads to exactly this problem: teaching to the test.

Testing season starts in April so that means I have to cram an entire year of content in before spring break. That leaves very little time for fun activities, real-life-relevant projects, or reviewing difficult concepts. I hate it as much as the kids do, but my evaluation and the kids' graduation requirements depend on doing well on the tests.

Relevant:

http://i.imgur.com/xqP9xqw.jpg

Relevant:

Either Finland or Denmark has implemented project based learning while getting rid of traditional math classes.

I used to hate history. Memorizing dates, events, etc. Be it world history or art history.

But then I found my calling in animation and filmmaking.

I became my own art and animation historian. I don't necessarily know dates, nor do I follow the traditionally taught eras (Babylonian, Sumerian, etc) but I know my shit about 1920s+ art scenes because that was the art that interested me.

When I got into painting, I started exploring Renaissance artists.

Once I got into storytelling (and pre-bullshit History channel), I started love history. Still can't get enough of it.

More than love for the teacher, one must have love for the subject.

But that comes from wanting to accomplish something. From wanting to create and make something.

If your kids love video games, challenge them to make their own.

They'll be forced to learn art to create the visuals, math, programming, literature, storytelling, history, science, logic, etc. as well as the importance of working together.

It'll show them how much they don't know. And give them the desire to solve those problems by learning.

Learning is about solving problems. But they must have problems solve.

Help them find their passions and suggest projects that utilize a variety of disciplines.

Their desire to solve the problem should be so strong, it helps them overcome bad teachers and find good ones, be it by learning online or in books.

There's a reason most professionals say they learned more on their first day on the job than in 4 years of school. It's not that schools are bad, it's that without immediate application or need, there is no motivation to learn.

Project based learning would also allow your child to learn in ways that make sense to them (visual learners vs auditory learners vs interactive, etc).

Rocket Boys is a great movie on project based learning.

Hold on, your state pays teachers? In Illinois, we're facing record teacher turnover rates because our state had no budget, which means no money for schools which means no ability to pay teachers. I had a new teacher for almost every subject every year in High School because they'd fire the old ones to circumvent union pay raises.

That's actually not a "very nice" salary given how difficult the job is. This isn't flipping burgers, dude. Most teachers pick up work in the summer to augment their so called "very nice" salary as well FYI.

No offense. I've got two people really close to me in sanitation and I know it's tough. However a teacher is responsible for taking care of and putting up with about 30 of our children every day. Putting the time in and getting a higher education to teach the youth of this country should be rewarded more than throwing bags into the back of a truck.