This is in response to a post made by Jane on May 7th. Before making statements (which you seem to know nothing about) get your facts straight. I am not a teacher but I give a lot of credit to the teachers who have to put up with the nonsense that goes on in their classrooms. I do not think you would last one day in the classroom. I have a son who is a teacher and I can tell you that the rosy picture you have painted of the wonderful life teachers have is way off. I will speak only on what I see when my son comes homes from a very "long" day at school. Exhausted and mentally stressed out is how he comes home because of the misbehaved children he has to deal with on a daily basis. Kids who have absolutely no respect for authority. Kids who are ignorant and have an "I don't care attitude because they know their parents "don't care" whether they pass or fail. Yes there are good kids who don't fall into this category. But according to my son 25% of the kids do. His day does not end at 4 p.m. when he arrives home. His day begins when he gets to school at 7 a.m. and ends late into the night bringing home papers to grade and preparing for the next day's lesson plans. Does this sound like a 9 to 5 job? These teachers deserve the two months off to get back some sanity after babysitting these unruly children (I am speaking of those 25% now). All I have to say is that I don't believe for one second that you would last in a classroom and would probably demand more money after what a teacher goes through in one day. Think before posting such nonsense. Bottom line, teachers deserve more money and benefits.
Well...Everyone has to sit back and think what is best for the kids????The teachers she be held accountable for their role in teaching these kids. To many teacher feel that they are untouchable and why should they go above and beyond. I see this daily in my schools. The teachers should show pride in there students learning and if they need to stay late after school once a week to help a struggling children it should be without question. They fail to realize that they are off for 2 months in the summer and every weekend and holiday. Not may jobs have that luxury. I feel merit bonuses are a good thing but it should not only be judge on the standardized testing but also how they go above and beyond for the students. Most jobs today have an evaluation system and raises and bonuses are judged on their scores. So why should it be different for the teachers????
To add to my previous comment....I work two jobs during the school year and tutor during the summer along with my summer job. I cant even afford to pay back my student loans right now or to buy my own home. I dont mind paying the 1.5% toward my benefits because that is barely nothing in comparison to what other people pay. But, in return I want to have benefits for life. When is all the fighting go to stop and compromises being made. All the governor and the NJEA are doing is attacking each other. What does it accomplish? We arent wealthy like the Governor and can afford to send our kids to private schools. Whether, public or private...a teacher is a teacher and our job is the same, to teach, to inspire, to grow, and to build communities and teach children to be individual leaders.
I do not think teachers should receive merit pay. It is not fair for teachers who do not have a testing grade or special area teachers. If the STATE wants so much to implement this, then THE STATE must require districts to purchase textbooks and programs that are approved by the state. Therefore, each district has a better chance of improving test scores. How many districts purchase programs based on a "deal" they get from the publisher. Where is the accountability on the state? Let's stop attacking teachers and come in and do our job for a week. Maybe then, these ignornant politicians can get a true picture of what we do daily.
Jersey Shore Teacher
Years ago Schools of Education said: Do NOT teach to the test.
Now that is ALL that is done. Progress !
New Jersey Illegal Alien facts:
Breaking the Piggy Bank: How Illegal Immigration is Sending Schools Into the Red :
This Jersey Girl moved to Florida in 2003 to teach...what a mistake. I have a dual Master's from Columbia University in Learning Disabilities & Reading. Palm Beach school district which supposedly has the highest paid teachers in the state, screws their teachers! I am doing what is considered two jobs in NJ: a special education classroom teacher & a L.D.T.C. They didn't give credit for my teaching experience from NJ or credit for having a specialist degree, so after teaching here for 7 years I make $42,000! Before you say, "it's cheaper to live in FL" I assure you it's not! We have a sales tax on clothing: gas costs a lot more and homeowners insurance is through the roof ($6,000 per year) and car insurance is about the same as NJ. It takes a teacher 30 years in system down here to make the maximum pay of $65,000. The pension is horrible! You have to put in at least 25 years & you get 65% of your last 5 years of teaching and no health benefits. Our school year contract is 196 days and our school day is 7.5 hours. We get 20 minutes for lunch without pay. I teach high school reading, language arts, world history & American history. We have 7 periods and teach 5 of the 7. During my planning, ha, ha, I have to do case management for the 35 students who's IEPs I must write and I have an additional 50 students that I must write goal pages for their IEP.
Our governor recently vetoed SB 6 for the many of the same reasons posted in this blog. FL wanted to tie teacher pay to test scores such as the FCAT. WE are drilled at the beginning of the year about FCAT and we have to do all these things because of FCAT!
As a special ed teacher I have students in my classes with various and multiple learning disabilities, behavioral problems and family issues. Many parents are NOT INVOLVED and don't come to their child's IEP meeting. I can't make parents become involved in their child's education; I can't control what students eat, when they sleep & what goes on in their homes; I can't make them take their meds; I can't make them come to school; I can't make them do classwork or homework! If I could control all these things then maybe I could control their test scores. There are too many variables involved in student learning which is beyond my control as a teacher yet all the blame is on me? NO!
Why isn't anyone going after all the administrators and so-called experts who make all the curriculum decisions and spend all the money?! There is so much waste at the administrative level and they are the ones spending ALL YOUR TAX DOLLARS! Hold them accountable! HERE'S A NEW CONCEPT...accountability for school boards, administrators & principals.
Here's another solution...get rid of all the illegal aliens in NJ who's children you are educating for FREE! Illegals don't contribute to the taxes collected but they get all the benefits! Florida spends $4 BILLION A YEAR on the 1 million illegals in our state for education, incarceration and health care! In 2008 Florida had a $6 billion budget deficit, $4 billion goes to illegals! Hmm! Our lame GOP controlled state legislature REFUSES address the problem. (I am a registered Republican) Marco Rubio who is running for Senate and who is getting all these endorsements KILLED SIX IMMIGRATION BILLS AS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE! If you want to know what NJ is paying per year for illegals then go to www.fairus.org.
Merit pay would never work. Too much is already depending on one test a year. Any teacher could be sunk by the behavior problems being put in that classroom. To those of you who think teaching is easy, why didn't you become a teacher? Yes, I work 10 months a year. I also get paid 10 months a year, though I spend two weeks in August prepping my room and many hours learning curriculum for no pay. The average teacher has over 5 years of college education. This means we should be paid comparable to a lawyer. Gov. Christie, did you ever make as little as any public school teacher. To those of you who think we are babysitters, I'll take that pay. What does a babysitter make now? $6-7$ an hour per kid? At $7 an hour, I'd make over $1,000 a day. Furthermore, I work at home another 20 hours a week. Each year I spend a minimum of $1,000 a year. Teachers teach because they care about the children. Are there some poor teachers? Of course, but merit pay can not be fair. Gov. Christie said people are leaving NJ due to taxes, destroy our schools (and property values) and see what happens. Shame on all of you who voted down your school budgets. Our children are our future. You can pay to educate them now, or incarcerate them later. Which is cheaper?
Guys, you all need to take a deep breath and look around. Look across the river to NY. they have a 9billion budget deficit this fiscal year, and 15 billion next year, and no new revenue in sight, thanks to the economy. I know that none of us want that for NJ. I am a product of NJ public schools and love them and know they are among the best in the nation, so we need to stop fighting among ourselves for a greater portion of a shrinking pie, and work TOGETHER to make this work. Bankruptcy for the state will be worse than a temporary pay freeze and reform of some pension obligations, and when we get out of this hole (not created by CC), we can reward teachers again as they deserve. Let's get the money from the Feds to keep going, thanks to all, John Mirenda
If Governor Christie and Mr. Schundler told you that an elephant could fly, would you belive them?
I honestly, have never seen 1 person brain-wash so many people. Its like Governor Christie is a religious cult leader that is trying to convince everyone that teachers are the "devil" the peole who are destroying New Jersey and the kids , its all their fault everyone of them is a sinner. Sinners of "greed/money" not interested in anything that involves kids. Just in their wallets. Ok, I get it your p - - - - - off at NJEA because they backed Corzine but the reason that you won the election is because there were teachers who bought into your campaign promises(LIES) so remember that every time you speak out against teachers. There are many great teachers in New Jersey but as with every profession there are weak links. Maybe we should just consider you Mr. Governor , the typical full of himself politician. Maybe we should sterotype you like you are stereotyping all the teachers.
For all of those who say that teachers have it easy, I always say, "Until you have walked a day in another person's profession, you have no right to judge." Therefore, I will not judge or tell you your job is easy or hard until I have walked a day in your shoes. So, don't criticize my efforts, say I get paid too much, or say what I do is easy until you have walked a day in mine.
My special education students do not need to know how to pass a standardized test. These students need to learn how to live functionally in society.
all this will do is get teachers and schools to teach students how to pass these standardized tests. it gives incentive to have schools cheat on the scores, and will get all the good special education teachers to change to general education because they wont want the risk of poor test grades.
If you go on grades alone then teachers will give students grades they dont deserve. If you go by standardized testing, then we will be back to just teaching to the test which doesnt work and hurts the students. I really dont know how you can do this.
Rather than giving teachers merit pay, tax parents whose children do not do their homework at a higher rate than parents whose children turn in complete, neat, and correctly done homework on time. Then give a tax break to parents whose children score 2400 on the SAT.
If you can read this sentence, thank a Teacher!!!
Perhaps if all stupid people were sterilized before they had a chance to procreate, after the one generation of Morons made it out of the school system, then and only then, merit pay for teachers would start making sense!
As you can see almost all of NJEA has voted no......how ridiculous!!!
These teachers have a racquet.....summers off, short work days & MANY (NOT ALL) are riding on tenure, not giving a damn about the kids.....so sad! Tenure is the thing that stinks....what is their incentive to strive to do better???
The problem lies with the fact that there is no true grading system, but there are teachers who do take advantage and do kless work because they are tenured....this I know, from my neighbor who is tenured. We have had discussions about it & she says that she provided basic knowledge, but sisnce she is close to retirement, she does nothing over the basic amounts. Since she has tenure, she is not concerned & she says it is a very cushy job.
As you can see almost all of NJEA has voted no......how ridiculous!!! These teachers have a racquet.....summers off, short work days & MANY (NOT ALL) are riding on tenure, not giving a damn about the kids.....so sad!
As a greedy English teacher I say bring it on. You want me to earn my pay by teaching to the test? Bring it on. No more research projects, reading novels, working on grammar, creative writing, or anything interesting. Teachiung to the test is easy and cruddy, greedy teachers like me love it. I will turn your kids into total robots and love it. I will drill them on how to write the most generic essays imaginable. I will teach them to read short excerpts from articles, but never an entire article. There isn't grammar on standardized tests, so no more worrying about that. I will train your children to answer multiple choice questions without even really knowing the answers.
But don't expect your kids to be able to think for themselves. Don't expect them to learn anything real anymore.
So tell me, how are teachers from the inner city to be paid? When the parents can't even speak the language, are on drugs and the grandmother brings the kid to/from school, or the kids are latchkey. There would be zero incentive to stay and not leave for the suburbs or private sector. The solution for better schools is simple - get the parents involved and hold them accountable.
Also, regarding health benefit contributions... one of the main incentives to the $47,000 lifetime salary is health care at $5800/year. Is $52,800 on average too much to pay someone that is shaping our future, your future? I think not! Good luck to the administrators recruiting teachers if this crap passes.
NJ needs to focus on the corruption of politicians, contract bids for construction, etc. with all of the revenue this state draws... where does it all go??? We have AC, NY, Shore, Tolls, Highest Taxes... it can't all be going to the teachers pension... c'mon now folks.
The idea of evaluating student achievement underscores many of the issues that are beyond teacher control. Curriculum and Instruction being among them. Parental involvement being another. However, I think that you can evaluate a teacher and know whether or not he or she is doing their job well. Student achievement is the result ofa mixture that includes, but is not limited to environment, resources, health, curriculum, leadership, etc. Provide teachers with all that they need, mandate partental involvement, etc. and we will be on our way.
I completely agree with Sandy. Parents are holding teachers accountable for doing their job as a parent. (i.e. as in raising their child, teaching them morals, re-teaching them things the child should have learned prior to having entered kidergarden...such as their ABC's and numbers! I can give many more examples, but I thing most of you should get what I am trying to say). Teachers are not only trying to make up for the lack of proper parenting these days, but are also attempting to educate kids that aren't being held accountable for completing work at home. I understand that parents have to work and sometimes longer hours or nights, but re-evaluate please. How about you make time for your children and set a standard of excellence in the home (for those of you parents who already do so, thank you and keep it up!).
Where is parent accountability these days? Everyone wants to have babies and have a family, but how about taking the time to raise your child to be a productive part of society? If you as the parent aren't preparing your child for school (and I am talking the basics), then your child is already behind and every teacher for every grade has to play catch up. Unfortunately, that child will almost always be behind.
On top of that, aside from not preparing children at home, parents are "too busy" to help their kids with homework or at least check to see that the work is done and corrected. That is BS. Both my parents worked full time and volunteered as coaches for travel teams without pay----and they made me put out my homework and planner every day so that they could check to see that it was correct/complete. They made time. Make time for your children please, instead of redirecting your responsibilites on the teachers. (Mind you, this doesn't mean all parents are like this, so please don't misunderstand.) Man-up and start taking responsibility for your children or don't have them. So quick to blame, but what have you done to help/prepare your child? This is all so absurd.
How can you set "merit" pay if your kids don't even do their homework? Who's responsibility is that? Wake up people!
I currently teach math to low skilled students who can't/don't pass the NJ Ask test. While their grades are OK (they pass), many of my students have competing issues at home, inattentive parents, language barriers, finacial strains, etc, nd therefore don't learn as much or as well as they could.
If the world were a perfect place, all children (and the key word here is CHILDREN for they are NOT YET RESPONSIBLE ADULTS) would have a plentiful breakfast, a nutricious lunch, support and loving caring parents at home helping them with their homework, have a good dinner and made to go to bed at reasonable hours to ensure a proper night's sleep. Unfortunately, we are NOT in a perfect world and many children go without many of these necessities!
How can you measure a teacher's success with children who are unmotivated,learning disabled, poor homelife with no support, etc? In order for Objectives to be valuable you have to be able to measure them properly. No one has yet been able to list out a reasonable and aceptable way of measuring student performance that is fair and unbiased, understanding that we are dealing with children.
Merit pay would also subject teachers to subjectivity at the hands of supervisors. If a teacher has a different way of doing things than the principal likes, he deems the teacher "ineffective" and no pay increase. Tenure keeps subjectivity out of the teacher evaluation process and allows teachers the ability to be their own people and find the best way to teach their children.
People who believe that teachers should be compensated based on the quality of their work (i.e., merit pay) don't really understand the teaching profession. There is no fair and equitable way to measure teachers' performances. The students they teach have varying learning needs and abilities and to try to "level the playing field" by thinking that all students are the same is rediculous.
Yes, in the "real world" (as some of you have put it), employees are compensated, and their raises are determined, by the quality of their work. What you need to realize is that the source for that compensation is the revenues of the business. Thus, the better the work from the employee(s), the more the business makes and, thus, the more the business can pay its employees. The education system, on the other hand, is not in the "business" of making money. Therefore, the professionals who serve the system should not be judged on their performance, especially when there are variables out of their control which make it difficult, and sometimes impossible, to "improve". Teachers are in the business of educating so that students can eventually go out to the real world and perform to their fullest capacity.
How does Merit pay work when you have students that go home and have parents who can't or won't work with them.? What about those students that should be classified but aren't? What about the students who goes home to a family who has members in a gang? I should be paid based on these students ? How is that fair?
I am not a teacher, have a degree in math, chemistry and comp. sci. as well as an MBA. As much as I believe teachers should be paid based on merit, I struggle to find a way mathematically to create a fair and equitable system that will measure teachers objectively. The teachers posts regarding special ed. and issues with urban schools cannot easily be translated to an objective calculation of success or failure.
However, at the school and district level the number of students becomes statistically significant to use such measures to evaluate the success of administration. You can't compare Mendham to Newark but you can compare the beginning of the year to the end of the year and measure the effectiveness of a school or district as a whole. Let's start at the District and School level. Administrators will work harder to remove poor performing because their own performance and pay will drive them to make the proper decisions. Compensation dictates behavior.
Physchdoc, I am not a teacher however I couldn't have said it better.When these politicians get done with the schools in NJ no body will want to buy a home in this State let alone live here.A dollar or two saved on taxes will cost the homepwners dearly in gereatly reduced property values.If the politicians left the State pension fund alone from the year 2000 it wouldn't be in the mess it's in go after the cause which was improper management by the State.If the State contributed as they were supposed to every year instead of raiding the huge surplus back then we wouldn't be having this conversation.
I don't think that you people understand.. Christie is not creating merit pay to "better our education system", he is creating merit pay to lower the pay of the teachers.. Merit pay would give teachers less money, and allow teachers to be fired because of "lack of performance".. That is all this merit pay is going to do.. Soo the non government workers say that it is unfair to pay teachers because of how long they have worked there.. Since when was life fair.. I have had government workers working on a road down my street for the past 4 years.. The only thing they have gotten done is putting out cones.. If you want to trash government workers who do not get stuff done, don't throw it at the teachers because they have it better than you.. I don't agree with merit pay (I am not a teacher or future teacher)..
This makes me so sad. I came to teaching through the private sector. As a teacher, in my 8th year, raising three kids by myself (single father no ex) I earn 46k. As a musician my highest earning year was 103k. I see a little under 900 students a week. I understand why people want merit pay. The arguments for it are strong and logical and especially in the difficult financial times it is easy to join on the governors "teachers are the evil problem" bandwagon. What you fail to see is the governors hidden agenda. This merit pay, the voucher bill, getting teachers to retire, making teachers the enemy, getting rid of the new teachers, cutting benefits, cutting job security, pitting union members against each other by using divisive propaganda... it is all part of the same plan. If you buy it, then what you are buying is a choice you make. That choice is for the privatization of the school system, the destruction of collective bargaining, and the destruction of the New Jersey Schools. On the whole, NJ has a wonderful school system. All the Hype about the problems is just that.... Hype. Sure, no system is perfect. If you think teachers are the reason Jersey has fiscal problems, you have already drank too much of the kool aid. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but even if you disagree with me, the outcome of all the governor is trying to do will be destruction. It will NOT make things better. I am very sad about all this. I work in three schools. I can tell you, with a clear conscience, almost every teacher I work with is a pro and cares, and works very hard and it is truly hard work. I challenge ANY of you to spend three days with a teacher. Then get back to us here and see if your feelings are the same. Before you judge, please, step into the others shoes. Teachers understand your objections, but we are under attack... we are the people that help raise your children with you. We care about your kids. We care about education. The respect we have earned is being destroyed by this governor.
I was a musician before I taught, I had some of the same feelings many of you have. Now that I have spent 8 years teaching, I have to tell you, I was wrong. Teachers are amazing people. They sit in the teachers room at lunch and none of them are talking about their new boat. They talk about students, how to help students, how to help parents help students, how to get administrators to help students, and yes, how to help our raging governor to help students. He is NOT ON YOUR SIDE. THe governor is out to destroy and NOT build. Look at California, look at Florida, look at Louisiana, look at how the auto workers union was busted when the tarp money was given out. Give what I say a fair shake.
As someone who first wanted to go into teaching, but decided to go into the private sector (where I make a lot more money), I have a huge respect for teachers. Teachers don't work just 9-5. Good teaching really does take prep work before school, after school meetings, and grading at home.
I think there should be a 2 tiered system: Special education teachers obviously can't be held to the merit pay standard, as that would be both unfair and inaccurate. So, keep the status quo for special education teachers.
However, for non-special education teachers, the merit system should be enacted.
here's an idea - how about you put together a team of education professionals to observe poor performing schools AND outstanding schools. Use your observations to come up with a plan. then, test that plan in a pilot school for three years. Finally, evaluate the results. I teach this method to my students... it is called the scientific method. This state has taken over five years to decide what makes a good end of curriculum biology test for high school students, it is unlikely they will ever be able to pull this one off!
Wow - US News and World Report study from December 2009. New Jersey high schools rank 4th in the country. What a shame. You must all be doing such a hideous job if we are only ranked fourth.
I love when people want to naysay, yet when confronted by logical questions they respond with "nah-nah-nah-nah-nah" or they don't respond at all.
So please - here's your chance - for those of you in favor of merit raises, please tell me how it works? Lay it out for me. I'm all ears on your proposal. Give it to me step by step. Account for the disinterested student. Account for the absent parent. Account for those children with special needs. Account for teachers of the Arts. Account for physical education teachers. Account for different economical neighborhoods. C'mon, let's see those proposals of how a fair and just merit pay is going to work exactly.
Ahh - easy to say but not easy to lay out a creditable proposal is it?
For the record, most government workers, local, county, or state do not have merit raises. The Legislature votes to increase their salaries all the time. Is it based on any semblence of merit? Do you realize that every one of your elected government officials, who only meet once or twice a month, can get health benefits paid by your tax dollars?
Where's the outcry? Where's the pitch forks?
this comment is for our kids FUTURE TEACHER....Tim...aka tdrasher15.....your point may be better taken had you checked your spelling and grammar.....rediculous....really...try ridiculous and saying "your pathetic" really should be "you're pathetic"...no? SEE THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT TAXPAYERS ARE TALKING ABOUT....GIVING SOMEONE LIKE YOU AN AUTOMATIC PAY RAISE WHEN JUST BASED ON YOUR WRITING YOU WOULDN'T DESERVE ONE.
Please! Some of you make sense and some of you need to try. I am a proud teacher in NJ, in an urban diztrict. I teach five classes, have another period for planning but most of the time that gets taken up with meetings. I have another period that is a "duty" which can be anything from working in the attendance office to walking the halls to catch students who choose not to go to classs. Then I have lunch -- at least they call it that. It's my period for calling parents, making copies, consulting with other teachers, doing paperwork, etc. So I eat lunch at 2:30 -- if I'm lucky.
If you are going to say I hate teaching and I should quit, try readiing what I am writing, And by the way, you CAN read beacause of your teachers. I love my job and that's why I have stayed in education since 1973.
Let's take one of my classes. I have 31 students -- in a lab built and supplied for 24. Of those students, 3 have already failed for the year and are choosing to disrupt the rest of the class "because Miss, it's fun." Another 5 should be classified but are not. Three slept through class, despite every effort I made to wake them. Two sat and refused to do any work because they didn't "feel like." About 8 of them are lost because they do not belong in a college prep class and my district made every student "college prep." whether they have the desire or ability to attend college. Then there are 2 students who are on my classlist but who have never been to class. Then we have two girls who are busy writing their boyfriend's names over and over on their papers. That leaves 7 students paying attention despite my concerted efforts to get the rest to participate. And I am very lucky this year to not have any pregnant students who miss school because of end of pregnancy, delivery, and recovery.
WE DO NOT BABYSIT!!! Show me a babysitter who teaches the child (or in my case adolescent) about motion, heat, electricity, etc. and does lab activities with them. Show me one who stays up at night grading papers because there is no time during the school day and comes in early to prepare labs because there is no time for that either Oh yes, show me a babysitter who cleans up after her charges. Some of my students have never made the acquaintance. of a trash can.
This summer I will take a 4 day seminar on improving teaching and then teach summer school Without summer school, many of our kids would lack the credits to graduate. Please tell me where that school is where teachers babysit and take the summer off, etc. I'd like to visit it one day though I wouldn't like to teach there. I would miss the gleam in a student's eye when he/she "gets" a concept for the first time.
As many other teachers have noted, we cannot control our students' homelives. We get them falling asleep because they've been babysitting a younger sibling, or sadly, doing drugs. We get them weithout breakfast and, in some cases, without the previous night's dinner. We get them physically bruised frm a parent's beating and just as bad, emotionally bruised by a parent's neglect. Those of you in business: do you need to worry about keeoing your employees awake and motivated? Do you worry if they have eaten? Do you have to keep their parents informed asbout their progresss? Of course not. Well, we do. If we could "fire" students, how would you like it to be your child?
Please remember that none of you would be qualified to hold your job without an elementary, middle school, and high school education. Without teachers, there would be NO doctors, lawyers, politicians, even factory workers whose employers can demand high school diplomas because there are more applicants than jobs.
NJ has held very high ranks on all measures of educational quality. This has made your homes desirable and your communities pleasant in which to live. If all of Goc. Christie's proposals are enacted, this will all change, And it will take a generation to rebuild.
If a teacher works in a district with failing schools the is no clear reason why their pay should be tied to student achievement unless there is an improvement. If that is the case then politicians who promise a better economy should forgo their pay if the state's economy does not improve. Mr. Christie has not worked in failing school and has no idea of the amount of effort that teachers go though for the benefit of their students. Mr. Christie and Mr. Schundler should try coming up with a solution that also holds parents accountable for keeping students in school and achieving.
How about merit pay for all professions ! Let's see - Doctor : If your patient dies ( every patient, no matter how sick ), you lose your job. Car mechanic : can't fix that engine ( every engine, no matter how broken ), you're fired. Fireman : that house that burned down will cost you and ALL your brothers their jobs.... Any job that takes skill or training : if you don't experience success, as measured by some standard applied to ALL, bye-bye job.
Yes, teachers, you too must teach everyone, have each succeed ! Even if your class of 35 has 5 new arrivals from Haiti ( and who don't speak English ), 3 more from Poland ( no English there either ), 6 who came to school late because no one was home to get them up ( no breakfast either ), 5 who are classified as learning disabled ( but really just don't want to bother learning ), 3 who are too hung over think, who are classified as learning disabled ( would really like to succeed and are willing to work for success ) . And then there are the "normal" kids. Well, if your scores don't go up, hit the bricks, teacher.
Who does that leave ? Governor Christi and his cronies will have to do all the work after they have fired all of the rest of us.
John's comment that he couldn't make excuses for his "workers" to his boss has got to be a joke. If a teacher could "fire" students who don't cooperate, those test score would be out of this world! If test scores are the standard for merit pay, no teacher would teach students with limited skills - why would they ?
Teachers cannot and should not be paid based on student results. What if I taught in an urban district with homeless children and children of drug addicts and alcoholics? Am I supposed to go home with them and make sure that they are being fed and cared for and that someone is helping with their homework? On the other hand, in a more affluent area, with mainly 2 parent households, the majority of students are being worked with at home with their parents. So the teacher of these students should be paid more? How does that make sense? What is the stimulus for teachers to take jobs in urban areas where they are most needed then?
The thought of all students being succuessful is ridiculous. Many children having disabilities and a teacher that may have more of those children could be judged unfairly. Whom would create the measures of successful teaching? What if a supervisor had an issue with a teacher's personality? How would they be graded fairly? What constitutes success, some stupid standardized test? This is such a subjective way to grade someone's livlihood! Get real people this will never work and I am not a teacher, but I do support the work they provide for our children.
As a former student of the New Jersey education system in both public and independent schools, I think this is an extremely misguided decision. Accountability and performance are simply too variable to measure in teacher evaluations.
Yes, teachers should be responsible for their students' progress but how will that be defined and how will it capture the learning process? Moreover, how will you define merit for a teacher? Will we actually let students evaluate their teachers? As much as we discredit children, they know when they are not being taught. More importantly, who will objectively conduct these yearly reviews? What about the other milestones children meet outside the academic realm? Will they no longer be considered achievement worthy? By all means, fire a teacher if he or she simply sits at their desk and babysits the classroom. But, I think Gov. Christie should know that until all teachers have access to the same amount of support and resources, teacher evaluations will be inherently biased.
Of course there are 3000 votes against this question....they're all NJEA votes!
Very interesting!! I am a new teacher looking for a job. My raises will be based on how well my students do. (supposedly if I am a great teacher - all of my students will do great??) So, where do I want to teach? Will I run to Newark or Camden, or head to Summit, Westfield, Millburn, etc.?
But wait!!! This is a great way to save money!!! In a few years they will be able to close ALL THE SCHOOLS in Newark, Irvington, Camden, Trenton, Jersey City, Paterson, etc., etc., because there will be no teachers there!!!!!
There are bad teachers! But there are bad lawyers, bad accountants, bad politicians, bad doctors, - but we get rid of them. Don't punish 99% for the 1% - fight the union to get rid of the bad apples. Find a way.
I notice those who support this proposal can look at it at a unrealistic high level view but fail to get down to the nitty gritty with real world examples. Define merit. Now tell me those teachers who work in areas where they lack resources, parents caring or students who want to learn? The proposed merit system lacks fairness and accuracy.
We keep hearing about how the teachers/administrators would get more money in the private sector for the same level of education, but that's not really so. Private sector jobs run year round, don't have tenure and raises are based on performance. Teachers only work about 9 months out of the year and they get stipends if they put in extra hours at night/weekends or for summer school, so when you add that to their salaries, the reported numbers go much higher, possibly even higher than an equivalent private sector job. The raises should be based on merit though I'm uncertain how to accomplish that. You can't base it on successful completion of a course or state mandated tests because we've already got that problem of teachers teaching to the test, or just passing them on. Instead merit raises should be based on student scores overall along with parent/student comments too. I have witnessed first hand several teachers not doing their job, showing movies during class time on days they didn't feel like teaching, even movies unrelated to the subject they're teaching, and then giving all students a passing grade so they wouldn't get reported. The kids love it because they don't have to do any work and the parents don't know whats going on until the next year when the child is struggling due to that lost a year of study. My child has had some really wonderful teachers that have gone above and beyond, but it seems every year there is always one that should be fired for not actually teaching anything, or unable to control the class. I think it's a shame when I checked out the salaries most of these horrible teachers are making much more money that the really good teachers, simply because they've been there longer. With tenure and set raises there is no way to get rid of or retrain these teachers, plus it makes teachers lazy. Let's face it, if you knew you could do whatever you wanted and still get your raises and never be fired, you wouldn't work very hard or strive to be creative either.
On the standardized test we "label" the minority students, the economically disadvantaged and the homeless children. Where on the standardized test do we "label" the students who just got out of jail two days prior to testing or the student who sat at her mother's death bed the Friday before testing?
Just wondering...since BOTH situations actually occurred during this year's testing.
How can you judge a teacher on merit pay when the teacher has not control on what is happening in the home. This rule will favor wealthier suburban communities. Most families in the suburbs have a parent at home when the child gets home from school. The parent is there to make sure homework is being done and helps the child if necessary. The wealthier communities can afford to get private tutoring if the child is doing poorly. The urban communities have many single mother or both parents are working. There is no money available for private tutoring.
The teachers in wealthier communities are on average making more money the teachers in urban communities. To give merit pay to the suburban wealthy teachers does not improve overall school scores.
Are you sick of high paid teachers? Teachers' hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10months a year! It's time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do - baby sit! We can get that for less than minimum wage!
That's right. Let's give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school.That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and planning time -- that equals 6 1/2 hours).
Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day...maybe 30? So that's $19.50 x30 = $585.00 a day. However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations. LET'S SEE.... That's $585 X 180:$105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).
What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master's degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair,round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 childrenX 180 days = $280,800 per year. Wait a minute -- there's something wrong here! There sure is! The average teacher's salary (nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days :$277.77/per day/30 students:$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour perstudent--a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) WHAT A DEAL!!!!
Wow! I bet all criticisms of this are from teachers! But look, folks--in the REAL WORLD of work, everyone else gets a raised based on merit. Why shouldn't teachers, too? Are you afraid because of bad administrators? Heck, they're in ALL fields of work, yet raises are given elsewhere! But be aware that a raise should not be given for showing movies in classes at the end of the year. Tenure? A joke. Do your work and you don't have to worry about losing your job.
Teachers do make a difference Because of teachers, NJ "public schools rank first in the nation when it comes to math, reading, and writing scores. Because of you (teachers), we have the highest graduation rate in the nation, and The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education ranks New Jersey near the top for how well its schools prepare students for college. Because of you (teachers), our public school students outperform their peers in private school on Advanced Placement exams. And because of you (teachers), New Jersey was named one of the four “smartest states” in the nation based on the quality of its elementary and secondary schools." (Barbara Keshishian NJEA President )
When Governor Christie is so busy attacking NJ teachers, why are statistics like this never mentioned in the media? Because Gov. Christie has a political agenda.
Is the system as broken as Gov. Christie claims? It's hard to believe that with the statistics above. Can it be improved? Of course. But driving talented professionals out of education is not a way to improve the system. Reducing salaries and benefits will not attract and keep the best and the brightest in the teaching profession. Having worked in research and as a high school science teacher, I can say that teaching is by far the harder job, and as a teacher I am making far less than I did 15 years ago as a researcher. I am working far more hours grading papers, designing and preping labs, e-mailing parents, working with kids after school who need extra help, writing grant proposals to get funding for professional development, working with university programs to improve science education, providing differentiated materials for students with special needs, working with guidance counselors and parents to help students who are struggling with academic, social and health issues, writing college recommendations,...This is what teaching is about, and what I see my colleagues doing every day, and more. When Gov. Christie and Mr. Schundler recognize what the totality of teaching is, then a real dialog on improving education in New Jersey can begin--on how to make teachers more effective in all the things they do.
A few question for the teacher bashers out there.
1 Do you think your negative comments about teachers undermine respect for teachers?
2. Do negative comments by you affect discipline in the classroom?
If you do not think that your toxic comments affect your children’s perception of teachers,
then you have to be delusional.
If we are to implement a merit pay system to reward teachers to do well, I think we also need to implement a "bad parenting tax" to compensate for the teachers who have to try to parent their kids for you. When your kid gets suspended 3 times, you have to pay a $50 fine for each one after the third.
Realistically, the responsibility for your child's education lies on you, the parent. Don't make your kids go to bed early? Don't watch to make sure they do their homework instead of sitting in front of the TV, Xbox, FaceBook, or cellphone all day? Don't make sure they eat healthy meals? How do you expect a teacher to be able to do anything with the slug that walks in the door every day.
I'll try to teach your kid math, but when your kid does 2 homework assignments out of 25 in a marking period, and you refuse my request for a conference, then why am I to be judged for it?
I work with autistic kids and all of the kids in my class are on different levels of learning. So, tell me how is the teacher supposed to be evaluated as "great" when half of the kids do not understand a single word, or how to properly do 1+1? Also teachers put a lot of effort into their jobs, regardless if they are tenured or not. Sometimes a think teaching is a glorified babysitting service. Teachers get no help/support from anyone. You want to compare teachers to a business/government. Well there are three sides to government and three to teaching; the teacher, the student, and the parents. If one of those sides aren't cooperating then the balance and the learning needs of the student are not met. No one puts into account that teachers take their work home with them. Arrive early to schools and most times stay late. Buy supplies and everything and get "pooped" on by everyone cause a kid got a F. Teachers deserve a lot more respect and better pay. Because if you ask me not everyone can be a teacher and if you say you can then how about you step up to the plate.
I am a special ed teacher and feel that my kids performance should not decide my pay increase. My students have to work twice as hard to be successfull and some just do not work. Those that do not work would hurt my chances for the merit pay. This will not work like mentioned earlier teachers will only teach to the test. This race to the top money is a band-aid to the bigger problem.
Merit pay based on student performance implies that teacher's have control of student's ability and willingness to study and that parents will cooperate and foster good study and learning habits. How about the fact that parents say things like "It's too hard to take him to the library - that's your job" - "At least my son/daughter comes to school - so he/she should pass just for showing up" - "How can you expect him to do homework he has to work till 11:00 every night" - "Why can't he just do a project he wants to do why does he have to do what everyone else is doing?" - The list goes on and on. Also, what about the child that just isn't all that bright. (sorry if that isn't politically correct but let's face it some people just aren't that smart - As a teacher you don't get to pick and choose your "employees/students" you cannot fire the students or the parents. Merit based on performance is ill fated and punitive.
If this merit pay is based on standardized test scores, this would be a big sham... simply to appease all the people who have never stepped foot in a classroom. Comparing student test scores, when the samples between classrooms and schools and towns are so completely different. One year, you get a gifted class and look like the best teacher in the world even if you're not.... and the next year you get lower level kids with learning disabilities and kids who come from unsupportive poor families -- and the scores will surely paint you as the worst teacher. PEOPLE.... there has to be other ways to check if good teaching is going on --- and not using standardized test scores. People outside of the education field have absolutely no clue that it is not an accurate assessment on a teacher because of all the variables that teachers cannot control -- Socioeconomic status, learning disabilities of each kid (they are still tested), uneducated families -- no education role models, language deficits (they still are tested!), hungry kids, tired kids...... all things that contribute to skewed test scores and not necessarily showing good/bad teaching.
Based on what I see going to school .. not too many are starving. You think I get to interview every employee we hire? You should see how fast people change when they become union members.. just like teacher once they get tenure. They think the company owns them a pay check for doing nothing. I trade you my job any day... the difference between a teacher and my position.. I am required to get results .. with no thank you or job protection. Plus I need to deal with some of the idiots that you passed thru the school system that cannot read or write ... So my company has to set up in house basic training for them so they know how to read and do simple math. See your high school graduates bring people in to help them fill out an application.
Why I called you wimps... because you want the money and glory but not big enough to take on the responsibility of delivering results.
So true,special needs teachers would be judged how???
Teachers should be rewarded just like the rest of working society--by merit--judged on the results of their work, not tenure. where else are workers given raises just because they have put in time and did a lousy job?
Your comparing a company setting to a school?!!!! Thats just rediculous. First of all, kids in some situations dont even eat breakfast before going to school!!! How would your production be without your Dunkin Donuts every morning on the ride to work?!! Teachers are expected to be miracle workers and it is unfair. "Teachers are wimps"!!!!! John my man, you are the typical, clueless parent that teachers deal with on a regular basis, and thats coming from a soon to be teacher. Your pathetic.
email@example.com for your pathetic rebuttle
Teachers who teach in urban areas are up against enough obstacles. They have the toughest jobs around. There are resistant students, uninvolved parents, and many have administrators who are not supportive. They come out of school many times to have their car stolen or broken into. Now, teachers will be sure to stay clear of the toughest communities who NEED caring teachers. This is a bad idea.
This is NOT about supporting poor children. Chris Christie is trying to dismantle our public schools. Sad to say some of the parents and community members are falling for this smoke screen. He sends his kids to Catholic school because he doesn't want them to rub elbows with the "regular folk". He is not trying to help our poorest students and is certainly not trying to support our public schools. He has no need for them.
Shame on the citizens of New Jersey if they sit back and let this happen. New Jersey has great public schools! Don't let Gov. Christie dismantle our schools brick by brick. And STOP the teacher bashing! If our schools go down the drain...there goes your property values.
I think all teachers should receive increases based on merit pay and not tenure. Majority of teachers on tenure do not care about the students and merit increases would make them do their jobs.
In response to Mike: Teachers do not get to "interview" students, as employees are interviewed and decide which students they would like to have in their classes. Not the same as your example.
What Mike is saying that teachers are really nothing more them babysitters and if so they should be paid accordingly. I would of love trying to use that excuse when I supervisored 500 union employees. Boss .. production is down because the folks are having a bad day... My boss did not care if i had the biggest goof offs or not it was my job to get it done.. Firing someone wasa real challenge so firing someone was not something easy
Maybe instead of passing everybody you tell the the little sweetie if he/she wants to see the next grade they better study and how can i help you. Teachers must be the biggest wimps...
The question has to be asked how do you judge student achievement? If teachers have students with Special Needs then how can that teacher ever get a raise? Some students may have a bad day and not do well on a test. While I think the idea is a sound idea without more specific information it just won't work fairly for good teachers that have poor performing students.