Will Passman raise teacher salaries?

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burstingsun
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Postby burstingsun » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:13 pm

Ed Blume wrote:It's now been 12 days since I asked Marj about her comments on beginning teacher salaries. She's still mum.

Ohmigod! Say it isn't so! I'd definitely issue a press release if I were you. Maybe the national media will even pick it up.

Can't you find something a little more interesting to write about, Ed?

Ed Blume
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Postby Ed Blume » Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:46 pm

My point is that Marj talks the talk but she won't walk the walk if she gets elected. She'll just be leading cheers for anything MTI and the administration cook up.

If you have another education topic that you'd like to discuss, Burstingsun, I'll be happy to comment. Post whatever you think might be interesting.

indycoyote
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Postby indycoyote » Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:50 pm

You know Mr. Blume, I took your advice to take nothing for granted when it comes to the MMSD. So, I went to a gathering in my neighborhood where Mrs. Passman was taking questions. I asked what's up with the teachers salaries, raises, healthcare, and MTI.
She said she was never active in MTI as a teacher and had only recently met the union boss in person. She also said that she would not be an MTI advocate on the school board, and that she was endorsed by them because her opponent was not endorsed by them.

Now, I read on another thread here that you work for (or maybe advise is a better term) Passman's opponent. So, I took nothing for granted, asked pertinent questions, and found out that you don't have a clue what you are talking about. Thanks for the sage advice! Others mileage might vary I guess.

Ed Blume
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Postby Ed Blume » Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:00 pm

I'm glad that you took my advice.

None of the current board members were union members or active in the union, but they vote with the union.

Check Marj's answers to the MTI candidate questionnaire:
http://www.marjpassmanforschoolboard.co ... tions.html

MTI will donate $1,500 (the legal maximum) directly to Marj's campaign commitee, and then spend at least $3,000 in independent expenditures to get her elected.

I think that she'll show her appreciation by voting the way MTI wants.

Henry Vilas
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Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:08 pm

Ed Blume wrote:None of the current board members were union members or active in the union, but they vote with the union.

Point of Information: Ruth Robarts was an MTI member when she taught in the district. So did she vote with the union?

Ed Blume
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Postby Ed Blume » Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:58 am

Good call, Henry Vilas. I'd forgotten about Ruth being a teacher. (See. Don't trust anything you read.)

She and the union went through a messy divorce several years ago, so she doesn't vote with the union (and they don't vote for her).

Bella
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Postby Bella » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:23 pm

primetime wrote:
Robert Godfrey wrote:
Ed Blume wrote:On this particular issue, MTI wants low starting salaries and higher salaries for more experienced teachers.

NEWS FLASH:

Madison has the highest starting salary in the neighborhood.

MMSD, $32,242
Sun Prairie, $27,603 (2005-6)
Verona, $28,577
Middleton-Cross Plains, $30,551

and it's still not enough for a middle class professional IMHO.


Wow the starting salary is really $32,000 plus some pretty nice benefits and summers off. That sounds like a very nice starting salary for someone with a four year degree fresh out of school.
I know I will get crucified for this but I don't think these salaries need to be raised.
I haven't been out of college that long and I started at $24,000/year with no pension, and I had to contribute about $30/month for health insurance with two weeks a year off. That was at a bank with a degree in Economics.
Granted, I was able to move up the salary levels by changing jobs. Adjusted for inflation the starting teacher salary is still above what I started at and since the health care is covered (which has had the biggest inflation) the teacher's aren't making out so bad.

Three of my roommates in college were education majors and only one of the three is actually teaching now 7 years out of school. Why? Because there is an oversupply of teachers. Look how many people graduate each year with a teaching degree, compared to how many leave the profession and how many job openings there are. It is near impossible to get a job in a district like Madison out of school because there are so many applicants and few people leave. One roommate was able to break into teaching by moving to Houston and teaching in one the worse off school districts for a few years. He eventually gave up teaching because his wife wanted to move back to WI and it was still near impossible to get a job even with 4 years experience. One other gave up and started working for a mutual fund company because there were no openings for an Econ/History teacher.

I also dated a girl who spent the first 3 years out of college babysitting and subbing trying to break into any school district around Madison.

It may be anecdotal but there are a lot of teaching graduates who don't go into teaching because there just isn't that many job openings, especially in good school districts.

I know the argument that good teachers are underpaid but I blame that on the union. The union protects the jobs of the bad teachers at the expense of letting turnover go higher and more competion allowing the best teachers in and weeding out the poor. This proctection of the existing base allows for mediocraty by the few teachers who are burned out, or just not that good. At the same time some potentially good teachers are pushed away by no job openings.

I also think playing into the oversupply of teachers are the intangible job rewards. Most teachers get some enjoyment out of the job and genuinely like the kids. The top end of salarys are limited compared to other professions but the rewards of the job should also be factored in.

Teachers are also government employees and most government jobs pay less than the private sector but come with better benefis and job security. Even in my profession, the investment managers at SWIB are highly compensated for government jobs but relativly low compared to the private industry.

To sum up, I think teachers do an important job but they are never going to make top dollar as an oversupplied, government positioned, unionized entity. And considering what a lot of people with a 4 year degree make they come out looking o.k.


yea! Someone finally had the guts to say it! Teachers salaries are plenty high enough, IMO, most make more than I do, with a similar level of education, and here I am very summer, working my butt off! Where else can you start out at over 32K right out of college?

Henry Vilas
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Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:35 pm

Bella wrote:Where else can you start out at over 32K right out of college?

Plenty of jobs with starting salaries over 32K, if you can believe Money Magazine. Here's an article from two years ago. Only liberal arts majors averaged less than that (on a national average).

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Postby gargantua » Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:26 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
Bella wrote:Where else can you start out at over 32K right out of college?

Plenty of jobs with starting salaries over 32K, if you can believe Money Magazine. Here's an article from two years ago. Only liberal arts majors averaged less than that (on a national average).


Teachers deserve every penny, and more. It makes me sick how people always complain about how somebody else is making too much. The problem is that many people are making too little. But go ahead, let's all tear each other down while Richie Rich profits from all our labor.

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Postby supereightsnate » Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:44 pm

at the UW-madison, teaching is a professional degree that requires more credits than your typical bachelors degree. Most students take 4.5 years to complete their programs, many take 5 years.

In addition, the difficulty finding a job teaching in the madison district is the result of all the education majors graduating from the UW every year and the local districts trying to reduce their staffs because of budget cuts. Any state with a budhet problem like Wisconsin's will present a problem for any new teacher trying to find a job.

TangoandMario
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Postby TangoandMario » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:36 pm

Bella wrote:yea! Someone finally had the guts to say it! Teachers salaries are plenty high enough, IMO, most make more than I do, with a similar level of education, and here I am very summer, working my butt off! Where else can you start out at over 32K right out of college?


What you make is completely irrelevant to what a teacher might deserve to make. Teaching is not only a tough job, but one that is critical to our community. They deserve what they get. You lower pay, you lower quality.

And starting out over 32k out of college might not be unusual depending on your field. Engineers? Computer programmers? Well...do they make more than you right out of college?

Madsci
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Postby Madsci » Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:54 am

Salaries do depend on the job. My kid made 40K with a BFA at first job after college, which is more than I was making after 15 years on the job with a BS. Difference is I'm doing research at the UW and kid is designing webpages.

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Postby cristobal » Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:49 am

Bella wrote:yea! Someone finally had the guts to say it! Teachers salaries are plenty high enough, IMO, most make more than I do, with a similar level of education, and here I am very summer, working my butt off! Where else can you start out at over 32K right out of college?


Uhh... are you a barrista or something? Because $32k seems pretty rinky-dink these days. That's not "plenty high" if you ask me. I believe, though am talking out of my ass when I say that there are numerous skilled labor jobs (plumber, machinist, etc) in which you would make more than $32k starting out. That's only $4k more than I made at my first FT job 15 years ago so. Given summers off, $32k is about $22/hour which is nice but not unreasonable. I'm sure some teachers work in the summer but some have to do continuing education and so forth so some of that salary has to cover unpaid time.

As I pointed out in another post, isn't squeezing teacher salaries kind of like trying to find the cheapest surgeon you can?

Cristobal

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Postby pulsewidth modulation » Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:49 am

Yawn... Every election cycle the Madison tax payer hears the exact same scare stories. "If you don't pay teachers enough money, they will leave and go to other districts". Whatever. Why would a protected/unionized teacher leave this city's district considering it's cap on the amount of teachers allowed to teach here? Anyone who blames tax structures on the student to teacher ratio in this town is obviously in the employ of MTI or city government. The government has obviously sided with the union and those it represents... NOT THE KIDS!

The last thing a Madison teacher would want to do is compete for a new job elsewhere; elsewhere pays a lot less. It's common knowledge Madison pays it's teachers a lot more in relation to other districts. This district could easily impose a pay/benefits freeze without the worry of talent flight. Or choose to cut wasteful after school programs aimed at certain parental interest groups.

After school sports have nothing to do with education; it's time after school sports get farmed out to the private sector. Gym class is REAL physical education and it is supplied. You don't need to pay someone to teach kids how to run back and fourth while chasing a ball in order to keep them out of trouble. The YMCA does this for 1/2 the cost. Besides, this way the gym can actually be used for real physical activity rather than a strategy center.

Stop the scare tactics and do what you're paid to do; that would be teaching kids, not politicking with PD and MTI.

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Postby beesknees » Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:42 pm

If you are making the argument about teaching making enough, you have clearly never taught.
I don't teach now, but I have in the past. (granted, not in the Madison Area, and in a very underserved community). Since teaching, I've had a number of other jobs that pay better and would probably be considered more challenging. I work hard, and do my work well, but I can state without a doubt--I work 1/4 as much as I did as a teacher.
Yes, teachers get summers off. Great. During their working moments, good teachers work every moment and when they are not working, they're still thinking abuot school. They can't go to the bathroom when they want to, they can't schedule a dentist appointment when they want to. Trust me, they need the summers. In addition to tireless planning, constant flexibility, and the energy and enthusiasm needed to motivate your students, teaching comes with a gigantic responsibility. When you fail, you are not failing your boss as much as you are failing your students and their families. It still makes me cringe to think of my first year of teaching, when I used every last bit of energy being the best teacher I could be, but still sent three students to the next grade who couldn't read. While I believe wholeheartedly teaching can be one of the more rewarding professions, it is also incredibly difficult.
Not only do teachers work hard, most I know spend hundreds, if not thousands on their students and classrooms. With a measily $200 stipend for classroom supplies, a signifigant chunk of most teachers salary goes right back to their kids, especially in elementary schools.


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