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Public Schools Issues

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I decided to create a thread for this issue, since it comes up so often, but gets buried in threads about other (related) topics.

Lasted on the Providence Schools front:

Infrastructure implosion [ProJo.com Editorial]

The exhaustive study, by the Gilbane Building Co., of 37 of the city's 55 public schools found that most are so outdated it would cost almost as much to renovate them as to build new ones. In other words, the cost of bringing the buildings up to snuff would be staggering. And, this being a tiny but urban state, all Rhode Island's taxpayers, including those in affluent suburbs, would get the bill -- made bigger by the foolishness of extreme deferred maintenance. Hope High School alone would cost $38.3 million to renovate and $48.7 million to replace.

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Teach for America, the highly regarded national program that places recent college graduates as teachers in low income urban and rural school districts, is strongly considering expanding into the New Haven next year, and possibly Hartford and Bridgeport in coming years. Why not recruit them in Providence as well?

Teach for America

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Teach for America, the highly regarded national program that places recent college graduates as teachers in low income urban and rural school districts, is strongly considering expanding into the New Haven next year, and possibly Hartford and Bridgeport in coming years. Why not recruit them in Providence as well?

Teach for America

they should expand into the providence area... bridgeport should come before new haven, though, in my opinion.

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i was sure i posted this yesterday but i wonder what kind of union issues this kind of program has in a city like providence...i went to the website but couldn't find any information on whether or not the teachers unions endorse or not. I would bet "no" here in PVD.

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i was sure i posted this yesterday but i wonder what kind of union issues this kind of program has in a city like providence...i went to the website but couldn't find any information on whether or not the teachers unions endorse or not. I would bet "no" here in PVD.

there's a pretty strong teacher's union in NYC... one of the program's locations.

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there's a pretty strong teacher's union in NYC...

That's an understatement. I'm pretty sure the NYC Teachers Union is one of the nuclear powers, the UN is thinking about imposing sanctions. :lol:

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Report: Teachers' benefits 'excessive.' Teacher contracts in Rhode Island focus too much on "excessive adult entitlements," such as lifetime health benefits, a business-backed education report states. Union officials call the study "an attack on teacher unions." [ProJo.com]

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Report: Teachers' benefits 'excessive.' Teacher contracts in Rhode Island focus too much on "excessive adult entitlements," such as lifetime health benefits, a business-backed education report states. Union officials call the study "an attack on teacher unions." [ProJo.com]

god i hate teachers unions... i don't understand why the union is necessary. it only allows for teachers to go almost entirely unchecked. i'm not completely against unions, but i am against teachers unions.

i remember seeing a report by john stossel on 20/20 (yeah, i know he's annoying) with teachers wanting his head because he said they beotch about not getting paid enough, yet they make well over the national average salary. i think teachers in CT start at about $40k (which i don't even make and i'm technically a manager of sorts). and then there's all the nice fluffy benefits packages that they get (not to mention 3 months vacation in the summer, a week in feb, a week in april, usually a week or 2 for christmas, and they really only have to put in 8-10 hour days). it'd just ridiculous that they even beotch about not getting paid enough and that they can get all their unused sick time paid back to them (which i think is good for those who work year 'round, but having 3 months of vacation time every year kind of makes up for that in my opinion).

for the record, i have taught and my mother is a teach, and i do know the crap they go through.

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Yeah.... there was a teacher at my high school making a little under $70k who complained to the class about not getting paid enough. Keeping in mind that she was nearing retirement while in her 50s, and got great benefits including summers and holidays off, she got a sweet deal.

BTW... my mother taught elementary school for a year then quit because she was being forced to pass a kid who didn't know what he was supposed to know, all because of the what would happen to the kid's psyche and social situation if held back... The crap they have to deal with with stuff like that is probably worse on morale than the long hours correcting stuff and dealing with obnoxious kids.

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Yeah.... there was a teacher at my high school making a little under $70k who complained to the class about not getting paid enough. Keeping in mind that she was nearing retirement while in her 50s, and got great benefits including summers and holidays off, she got a sweet deal.

BTW... my mother taught elementary school for a year then quit because she was being forced to pass a kid who didn't know what he was supposed to know, all because of the what would happen to the kid's psyche and social situation if held back... The crap they have to deal with with stuff like that is probably worse on morale than the long hours correcting stuff and dealing with obnoxious kids.

the biggest reason i have for sending my future kids to private school is that there is no form of punishment in public schools and kids are basically babied because parents all think their kids are wonderful even if the kid is the anti-christ. so kids pass who shouldn't pass, kids are held back who should be in faster-paced classes, and kids can't keep up who should be in slower paced classes.

and don't get me started on "no child left behind". talk about the biggest political scam.

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So, basically it goes without saying that I'm quite happy that I go to a Catholic school.

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i remember seeing a report by john stossel on 20/20 (yeah, i know he's annoying)

I hate, hate, hate, hate that guy. But I do partially agree with you. The thing is that there's enormous disparities in how much teachers make based on which district they're in. For instance in my town, which is by no means poor, only 4 teachers make over 60k, out of about 225 in the district. So, I do think there is a place for unions in some districts, where the teachers really aren't making a livable wage.

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I hate, hate, hate, hate that guy. But I do partially agree with you. The thing is that there's enormous disparities in how much teachers make based on which district they're in. For instance in my town, which is by no means poor, only 4 teachers make over 60k, out of about 225 in the district. So, I do think there is a place for unions in some districts, where the teachers really aren't making a livable wage.

define liveable wage... you live in NH (granted, i'm not sure where and that's all your little UP profile says) and $60k is pretty liveable in most of NH, especially considering most families are multiple income families now.

heck, if i made $60k here in providence, i'd probably own a home.

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define liveable wage... you live in NH (granted, i'm not sure where and that's all your little UP profile says) and $60k is pretty liveable in most of NH, especially considering most families are multiple income families now.

heck, if i made $60k here in providence, i'd probably own a home.

Southern NH, cost of living is at least comparable to R.I. Yeah 60's good, but keep in mind only about 1-2% make that, and they've probably been there for 50 years. But the new ones are starting in the 20's, which is tricky to get by on in this area.

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Keep in mind that teachers get paid more than the median income in every state, get great benefits with lucrative retirement packages, and only work 75% of the year. I'm not saying it's always easy, though some times (DEFINATELY not all times) it really can be. Put it in perspective and look at construction workers, farmers, and our soldiers who bust their butts and don't get as much. Teachers really have a sweet deal, and they need to stop complaining. I'm actually a fan of the idea of school vouchers. Why not create a competitive environment among teachers? The schools that produce the best graduates would get the best students, and the best teachers.

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Keep in mind that teachers get paid more than the median income in every state, get great benefits with lucrative retirement packages, and only work 75% of the year. I'm not saying it's always easy, though some times (DEFINATELY not all times) it really can be. Put it in perspective and look at construction workers, farmers, and our soldiers who bust their butts and don't get as much. Teachers really have a sweet deal, and they need to stop complaining. I'm actually a fan of the idea of school vouchers. Why not create a competitive environment among teachers? The schools that produce the best graduates would get the best students, and the best teachers.

While those are all very admirable jobs, they don't require masters degrees, as it is very difficult these days to get a teaching job without one. Maybe I'm biased, my mom's a chemistry teacher. She's at school by 6:45 in the morning, and almost every night is there until 6 in the evening, as chemistry is a hard subject and many kids stay late for extra help. Then she comes home and spends at least 2 hours planning lessons for the next day and putting special packets together for the kids that are having trouble. Before midterms and finals she's easily there until 9pm each night. She came out of school with a great deal of debt, so now she chairs our town's Dollars for Scholars committee which provides scholarships to students based entirely on financial need, and she spends several hours each week on that, and most wkends they have fundraising events she has to coordinate and attend, all for which she does for no extra money. Every summer she spends four weeks training recent grads in the Teach for America program, who go on to teach in very low income districts, again purely volunteer work. She's a true professional - teaching isn't just her job, it's her life. So, I'm sorry if I don't think she's robbing the taxpayers with her 50k a year salary. My dad went to school for exactly one year longer than she did, and makes about 4 times what she does, so I just don't realistically think that teaching is a path you take for the money.

Ok, I probably got a little carried away there, but it just bothers me when somebody had a teacher who read Danielle Steele all day, and then decides that every teacher is a lazy idiot, just in it for the benefits and pension.

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While those are all very admirable jobs, they don't require masters degrees, as it is very difficult these days to get a teaching job without one. Maybe I'm biased, my mom's a chemistry teacher. She's at school by 6:45 in the morning, and almost every night is there until 6 in the evening, as chemistry is a hard subject and many kids stay late for extra help.

in my hometown in CT, teachers are only required to stay until 3. after that, it's a mass exodus out teh parking lot.

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While those are all very admirable jobs, they don't require masters degrees, as it is very difficult these days to get a teaching job without one. Maybe I'm biased, my mom's a chemistry teacher. She's at school by 6:45 in the morning, and almost every night is there until 6 in the evening, as chemistry is a hard subject and many kids stay late for extra help. Then she comes home and spends at least 2 hours planning lessons for the next day and putting special packets together for the kids that are having trouble. Before midterms and finals she's easily there until 9pm each night. She came out of school with a great deal of debt, so now she chairs our town's Dollars for Scholars committee which provides scholarships to students based entirely on financial need, and she spends several hours each week on that, and most wkends they have fundraising events she has to coordinate and attend, all for which she does for no extra money. Every summer she spends four weeks training recent grads in the Teach for America program, who go on to teach in very low income districts, again purely volunteer work. She's a true professional - teaching isn't just her job, it's her life. So, I'm sorry if I don't think she's robbing the taxpayers with her 50k a year salary. My dad went to school for exactly one year longer than she did, and makes about 4 times what she does, so I just don't realistically think that teaching is a path you take for the money.

Ok, I probably got a little carried away there, but it just bothers me when somebody had a teacher who read Danielle Steele all day, and then decides that every teacher is a lazy idiot, just in it for the benefits and pension.

I think your mom is the exception rather than the rule. Good for her for showing so much dedication - chemistry can be hard to get sometimes!

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Report: Teachers' benefits 'excessive.' Teacher contracts in Rhode Island focus too much on "excessive adult entitlements," such as lifetime health benefits, a business-backed education report states. Union officials call the study "an attack on teacher unions." [ProJo.com]

I'm glad people are paying attention to this. I posted a link to the Education Partnership 1st report on teacher contrcats under the economic thread sveral monts ago (back in January). Everyone need to start paying more attention to this issue as it is the single leading cause behinf the rise in property taxes locally.

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I'm glad people are paying attention to this. I posted a link to the Education Partnership 1st report on teacher contrcats under the economic thread sveral monts ago (back in January). Everyone need to start paying more attention to this issue as it is the single leading cause behinf the rise in property taxes locally.

is it just teacher unions or municipal unions in general?

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I guess I should read back since I don't know if I read this here. But, at some point I heard someone say something pretty profound which is that school districts tend to think incresaing pay will help attract better teachers, whereas it actually works against that goal. Anyone who is in teaching for the money probably isn't going to make a very good teacher.

I'll put it this way, a guy I know decided that he was going to quit his job as an engineer and go teach so he could have summers off. He was a lazy #$@$ but he has a master's degree and got a teaching certification. He doesn't put in any extra effort and he hates most of the kids.

I think teachers deserve to be well compensated, but I don't believe compensation should be any person's motivation to teach. I'm not sure where the balance should be drawn. Carter's mom sounds like a dedicated teacher. I think she would be regardless of the compensation. We need more people like that. I don't think the unions help create them.

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I guess I should read back since I don't know if I read this here. But, at some point I heard someone say something pretty profound which is that school districts tend to think incresaing pay will help attract better teachers, whereas it actually works against that goal. Anyone who is in teaching for the money probably isn't going to make a very good teacher.

I'll put it this way, a guy I know decided that he was going to quit his job as an engineer and go teach so he could have summers off. He was a lazy #$@$ but he has a master's degree and got a teaching certification. He doesn't put in any extra effort and he hates most of the kids.

I think teachers deserve to be well compensated, but I don't believe compensation should be any person's motivation to teach. I'm not sure where the balance should be drawn. Carter's mom sounds like a dedicated teacher. I think she would be regardless of the compensation. We need more people like that. I don't think the unions help create them.

i might have said that... it's something i truly believe. although i would've said it along these lines...

i'll send my kids to a private school because the teachers there are there because they generally want to teach rather than make money. it's widely known that private school teachers (especially catholic schools) make a lot less money than public school teachers. so you generally end up with better teachers in catholic schools, they care about the kids rather than their salary and benefits.

they need to cut down on some of the benefits that public school teachers get. the union is certainly not a necessity.

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is it just teacher unions or municipal unions in general?

The teacher unions get a better retirement than municipal workers. The big problem is teachers in RI are in the state retirement system, yet salaries & benefits are negotiated at the local level. This puts fiscal pressure on the state retirement system if the pension contributions won't match the retirement benefits teachers receive when they retire. This forces the community to pay more into the state retirement fund, and the taxes go up as a result.

I'm not a member of the Education Partnership, but I strongly endorse their concept of "thin" contracts for school systems. In a thin contract, the salaries and benefit packages are set at the state level, not local. This removes school committees from being responsibile for negoiating contracts. It is much better this way. Local school boards are no match for seasoned and expert contract specialists and negoiators from the NEA. Sure, municipalities hold contract training seminars and the like, but they still get overwhelmed. Thin contracts could end teacher strikes, would create a level playing field (salary wise) for teachers statewide, and will help the urban communities.

Look at it this way. Let's say Providence employs a really gifted Physics teacher; excellent with the students, knows the curriculum inside and out, and pulls his/her weight in keeping test scores up. Now let's say Barrington pays gifted Physics teachers $10,000 more per year than Providence does because their local contract says so. Well, what would this teacher do? Stay in Providence or go to Barrington and pick up an extra 10K per year?

A thin contract is one where under this scenario, that Physics teacher's salary would be the same for Providence and Barrington, so the only incentive would be one if the teacher would rather teach in Barrington as opposed to Providence. Under the thin contract scenario, local school committees would have more power in the local running of their schools through less stringent mandates, so Providence could entice the teacher to stay if it offered him/her more power in setting curriculum, performance/department reviews, etc.

Everyone will be hearing more about this as pension and benefit packages are straining local budgets to the breaking point and major reform is needed to correct the situation.

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Infrastructure implosion The exhaustive study, by the Gilbane Building Co., of 37 of the city's 55 public schools found that most are so outdated it would cost almost as much to renovate them as to build new ones. In other words, the cost of bringing the buildings up to snuff would be staggering. And, this being a tiny but urban state, all Rhode Island's taxpayers, including those in affluent suburbs, would get the bill -- made bigger by the foolishness of extreme deferred maintenance. Hope High School alone would cost $38.3 million to renovate and $48.7 million to replace.

I should have responded earlier to this; This is all too true. If an elementary or secondary school is renovated to the point where more than 50% of its infrastructure is affected, then the entire structure must be brought up to code and ADA compliancy (state law). And don't forget about the prevailing wage law! I recently completed a stint on Tiverton's High School Building Committee and went through this process myself. It certainly was frustrating at times.

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god i hate teachers unions... i don't understand why the union is necessary. it only allows for teachers to go almost entirely unchecked. i'm not completely against unions, but i am against teachers unions.

i remember seeing a report by john stossel on 20/20 (yeah, i know he's annoying) with teachers wanting his head because he said they beotch about not getting paid enough, yet they make well over the national average salary. i think teachers in CT start at about $40k (which i don't even make and i'm technically a manager of sorts). and then there's all the nice fluffy benefits packages that they get (not to mention 3 months vacation in the summer, a week in feb, a week in april, usually a week or 2 for christmas, and they really only have to put in 8-10 hour days). it'd just ridiculous that they even beotch about not getting paid enough and that they can get all their unused sick time paid back to them (which i think is good for those who work year 'round, but having 3 months of vacation time every year kind of makes up for that in my opinion).

for the record, i have taught and my mother is a teach, and i do know the crap they go through.

I am going to have to chime in with Carter711 on this one. I am from CT and my mother known Spanish, French and Italian and teaches French and Spanish at Cromwell High School in Cromwell, CT (just north of Middletown, 20 mins south of Hartford). My mother is also at that high at 6:30 in the morning for the start of classes at 7:40 and when they day ends at 2:15 she is only required to stay till 2:45 but is easily there until 4:30 or 5:00 at which point she comes home to plans the following days lessons. My mother has been a teacher for more then 20 years. She went to Saint Josephs College in West Hartford, CT for undergrad and Trinity College in Hartford for graduate school and is dedicated to her students needs. There are many days when she works longer days then my father who has his own law firm. There are the pushy parents who demand higher grades for there children, the troublemakers (and many of these are students from the town itself because I am sure some CT natives would be quick to assume the troublemakers are the kids shipped in from Hartford and Middletown).

On the note of teachers unions, the teachers union in CT just recently won a battle to save the teachers retirement fund which CT teachers have been putting money into for years and was about to be taken away but it was saved and money was set aside in the last CT State budget.

the biggest reason i have for sending my future kids to private school is that there is no form of punishment in public schools and kids are basically babied because parents all think their kids are wonderful even if the kid is the anti-christ. so kids pass who shouldn't pass, kids are held back who should be in faster-paced classes, and kids can't keep up who should be in slower paced classes.

I wouldn't go that far....I attend (will be graduating very soon) a private school and I do have to tell you money and pull have a lot to do sometimes with punishment, admission and treatment of students. I attend a private school in Hartford and the children of many Hartford area executives, doctors, business owners, etc. send there children to the well known private schools throughout the Greater Hartford and there parents (depending on the school) can help there students sometimes.

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