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  1. #201
    Quote Originally Posted by Bostondevil View Post
    As a resident statistician, I'll comment. The old joke about averages, of course, comes to mind. Paraphrasing here - you're at your local bar wondering what the average worth of the people around you might be, then Bill Gates walks in.

    Salary distributions are notoriously skewed data. A much, much, better measure of the middle value in salary data is, of course, the median. But even with your average salary of $58,000 (with benefits taking you to $70,000), we'd need to know the range. Typically with teacher salaries, you start very low, you work your way and get tenured, if you can afford to stay in the profession that long, then you hit the ceiling and your salary doesn't go up any more unless you switch to being a specialty teacher or administrator. But let's also compare teachers to a Joe average office worker. If Joe average office worker runs out of printer ink or needs a pad of paper or even a new box of red pens, he asks the office manager to order some. Teachers have to go to Staples and buy their own. If every teacher stopped supplying their own classrooms tomorrow, many of our children would suddenly not have paper or pencils or crayons or art supplies or a host of other things we take for granted. I'm sure these expenses are tax deductible but still, it ain't right.

    The median teacher salary in NJ is $60,119. There is no district in NJ that has a starting salary less than $40K. Around half the districts have starting salaries of $50K+. To this you have to add benefits.

  2. #202
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Boston area, OK, Newton, right by Heartbreak Hill
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian913 View Post
    The median teacher salary in NJ is $60,119. There is no district in NJ that has a starting salary less than $40K. Around half the districts have starting salaries of $50K+. To this you have to add benefits.
    All right then, the average salary and the median salary are both around $60,000, which means the distribution probably isn't that skewed. A lot of salary data are skewed. OK, so with a low end of $40,000 and a mean/median around $60,000 that puts the upper end at $80,000, roughly. Although now I don't remember why we got into a discussion of teacher salaries. Was somebody pointing out that teaching is a well-paid profession or were they arguing that it isn't? Entry level of $40K doesn't sound particularly high to me considering that you can't get a teaching job without a college education and with a ceiling of $80K, better hope you didn't have to take out any loans to get that degree.

  3. #203
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC area
    Let's not take this thread into the policy realm.

    thanks,

    -jk

  4. #204
    Quote Originally Posted by Bostondevil View Post
    As a resident statistician, I'll comment. The old joke about averages, of course, comes to mind. Paraphrasing here - you're at your local bar wondering what the average worth of the people around you might be, then Bill Gates walks in.

    Salary distributions are notoriously skewed data. A much, much, better measure of the middle value in salary data is, of course, the median. But even with your average salary of $58,000 (with benefits taking you to $70,000), we'd need to know the range. Typically with teacher salaries, you start very low, you work your way and get tenured, if you can afford to stay in the profession that long, then you hit the ceiling and your salary doesn't go up any more unless you switch to being a specialty teacher or administrator. But let's also compare teachers to a Joe average office worker. If Joe average office worker runs out of printer ink or needs a pad of paper or even a new box of red pens, he asks the office manager to order some. Teachers have to go to Staples and buy their own. If every teacher stopped supplying their own classrooms tomorrow, many of our children would suddenly not have paper or pencils or crayons or art supplies or a host of other things we take for granted. I'm sure these expenses are tax deductible but still, it ain't right.
    Quote Originally Posted by -jk View Post
    Let's not take this thread into the policy realm.

    thanks,

    -jk
    The gentleman from the great state of NJ would like to point out that his post to which BD replied was from April 2010 .

  5. #205
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Boston area, OK, Newton, right by Heartbreak Hill
    Quote Originally Posted by InSpades View Post
    The gentleman from the great state of NJ would like to point out that his post to which BD replied was from April 2010 .
    Sorry, didn't notice, the thread got bumped and I hadn't read it before. (Median is still a better measure of central tendency in salary data and there's nothing policy related about that statement.)

  6. #206
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian913 View Post
    The median salary (w/o benefits) for an elementary teacher in NJ was about $55K in 2006. For high school only districts, about $65K. These are probably about 7-10% per cent higher now.

    The median teacher per pupil salary is about $7K, again without benefits.

    Actually my post on the same subject in 2010 addressed the issue of median/mean salary numbers.

  7. #207
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Walnut Creek, California

    And then there are honor issues and plagiarism

    In San Mateo, a kid was removed from his honors English class for copying homework, a breach of an agreement signed by him and his mother. But Daddy, a lawyer, sues because the punishment is not perfectly even-handed.

    Good luck with the suit, Dad, but your kid did breach his agreement. And the general public doesn't agree with you.

  8. #208
    The kid sounds like a primo dope, anyway. He was supposed to write in a journal and he copied from others, a journal?!
    Well, maybe it was a reading journal but geez, it doesn't sounds like he has much bouncing around inside his dome.

  9. #209
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    St. Louis
    Quote Originally Posted by weezie View Post
    The kid sounds like a primo dope, anyway. He was supposed to write in a journal and he copied from others, a journal?!
    Well, maybe it was a reading journal but geez, it doesn't sounds like he has much bouncing around inside his dome.
    If the kid is a primo dope, it's because you don't get peaches off a pear tree.

  10. #210
    Education related - so I am posting this here as well as in it's own thread:

    http://myfamilymymeals.com/nominee/view/id/78

    I would ask you to go to this link and vote for Adam White. Adam is a friend of mine who was recently accepted into a Duke certificate program to help non profit groups owners manage their charities. Adam's charity is the Vicky Honeycutt foundation. Vicky was the mother of Adam's good friend and a beloved teacher in the Concord, NC area who recently died of cancer. My wife had her in High School, and worked with her when she herself became a teacher in the school system. The charity is set up specifically to give financial assistance to teachers dealing with cancer related illnesses, either to themselves or in their immediate family. You can read about the foundation here:

    http://www.vickiehoneycutt.org/

    The poll above is a charity drive where the winning foundation receives $1,000 and is featured on the Family Dollar website. Adam is currently either first or second in this poll, and it closes in just over a week. You are allowed to vote once per day and registration is required. However, you can opt out of any advertising or spam when you register.

    Please take a few minutes to vote. It costs nothing, helps out someone with Duke ties, and is for a very worthy cause. Thanks!
    "There can BE only one."

  11. #211
    Well... another year, another set of frustrations.

    First up is the girl who was home schooled up until fourth grade. She came to our school in fifth being totally unable to write. Literally. She has gotten zero correct on all of our spelling tests this year combined, and the handwriting is completely illegible. And on top of this, the parents are wackjobs. Other people in town talk about how EVERY light in the house is on 24/7. We've called and mailed and emailed the parents, and they refuse to respond. They will not attend any meetings, or anything like "Back to School" night. They straight up told the teachers they do not believe in homework and have told their daughter not to do it. So here I am with a student who has literally not done a lick of homework, and I cannot get even a call back from home... not that they care. What in the heck am I to do? We are contemplating calling the Family Services division, because clearly there is something going on here... there are rumors that the mother has a serious psychological issue, but that's just rumor right now. How do I grade this? How much do you hold a student responsible for their studies when facing something like this?

    Then I have another boy who is doing none of his work. I come to hear from another parent that, after school, the kid wanders around, often sitting on their neighbors front stoop for hours. He isn't locked out or anything... he just doesn't go home. I have no idea what is going, except we know there was a real tragedy in the family a few years back involving the violent death of a parent that the kid discovered. Good lord. How on earth do we, as teachers, overcome this stuff? I've tried to do some work times for the kid because I think he gets little done at home, and I've talked with mom who says the right things... but it just seems like such a big hill to climb, and we have precious few resources if the family isn't interested.

    Soo... that's the start of a new year. Lots of good kids, but the tough stories are the ones that stick out.

  12. #212
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    Well... another year, another set of frustrations.

    First up is the girl who was home schooled up until fourth grade. She came to our school in fifth being totally unable to write. Literally. She has gotten zero correct on all of our spelling tests this year combined, and the handwriting is completely illegible. And on top of this, the parents are wackjobs. Other people in town talk about how EVERY light in the house is on 24/7. We've called and mailed and emailed the parents, and they refuse to respond. They will not attend any meetings, or anything like "Back to School" night. They straight up told the teachers they do not believe in homework and have told their daughter not to do it. So here I am with a student who has literally not done a lick of homework, and I cannot get even a call back from home... not that they care. What in the heck am I to do? We are contemplating calling the Family Services division, because clearly there is something going on here... there are rumors that the mother has a serious psychological issue, but that's just rumor right now. How do I grade this? How much do you hold a student responsible for their studies when facing something like this?

    Then I have another boy who is doing none of his work. I come to hear from another parent that, after school, the kid wanders around, often sitting on their neighbors front stoop for hours. He isn't locked out or anything... he just doesn't go home. I have no idea what is going, except we know there was a real tragedy in the family a few years back involving the violent death of a parent that the kid discovered. Good lord. How on earth do we, as teachers, overcome this stuff? I've tried to do some work times for the kid because I think he gets little done at home, and I've talked with mom who says the right things... but it just seems like such a big hill to climb, and we have precious few resources if the family isn't interested.

    Soo... that's the start of a new year. Lots of good kids, but the tough stories are the ones that stick out.
    This may seem callous, but I think you simply have to fail the girl - and let the home school chips fall where they may. There will be some impact of parents you will not be able to overcome.

  13. #213
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by cf-62 View Post
    This may seem callous, but I think you simply have to fail the girl - and let the home school chips fall where they may. There will be some impact of parents you will not be able to overcome.
    I'm a little hesitant to comment here because my teaching experience is at the college level, but my instincts as both a teacher and a parent are that there might be a middle road here--but it's a labor intensive one. I agree that making too many allowances will not do the child any favors--she needs to be able to do work at or at least near the 5th grade level in order to pass 5th grade; otherwise the chickens will just come home to roost later on. But if you have the time and think the child might be receptive, you could try to explain why you think homework is important (and you might be able to do this without undermining the parents too badly by suggesting that they may not really understand the situation in school) and perhaps offer her some remedial materials she could use to work on spelling and penmanship training she missed earlier. If you see effort and improvement on the remedial work, that could factor into your grading.

    But--easy for me to say, because I don't face the kind of demands on my time and energy that a 5th grade teacher does, nor the kinds of conflicts that might arise when school and parents aren't working together for a common end (except when my students have to miss class to drive their parents to and from airports, which happens with such great regularity that I think there must be a desperate need for more taxis).

    It probably doesn't help much for a random stranger to say that you are doing important work and that I admire the seriousness with which you are taking it--but I am saying it anyway.

  14. #214
    It absolutely helps

    Yeah, just as an update... had a sitdown with the girl. We talked for a bit, and I asked about certain elements of the homework that need parent help/interaction/signatures. I asked if they were hard to get. She said yes, and was pretty honest about it... said mom is very disorganized and not dependable, dad doesn't believe in signing things, grandmother is senile. I explained my own position; that part of me almost WANTS to fail her because she is not taking care of her responsibilities as most other students do, but at the same time I don't want to punish her if she is doing her best to get it done. So we agreed that, instead of getting "reading signatures" every night (where the kids record their reading and the parents sign that they know the reading was done) I would let her write just a single sentence about what she read as her own version of a signature. It actually seemed like a pretty good conversation; another teacher was there and listening and thought there was a good connection.

    This morning? Still no homework. I called her over, told her "I'm extremely disappointed in you" with a very nasty look in my eye, and send her off. I am hoping it made an impact, and I'll talk to her again tomorrow. The lack of effort kills me, and definitely points me towards simply failing her.

    *sigh*

    That said, it was "Dress as your kids/teacher" day today. I wore my typical shirt/tie and snarled at anyone who asked why I didn't dress like a kid... usually saying something like "Because I am an adult at work." But another teacher organized that half the kids in the grade came in with khakis, shirts, ties, and lanyards studded with pens with IDs around their necks. They were very entertained. I just said I thought the classes looked very nice today, and wondered aloud if maybe they all got haircuts or something. Somehow I think they are almost MORE entertained when I snarl and complain, rather than be all sweet and nice

  15. #215
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    It absolutely helps

    Yeah, just as an update... had a sitdown with the girl. We talked for a bit, and I asked about certain elements of the homework that need parent help/interaction/signatures. I asked if they were hard to get. She said yes, and was pretty honest about it... said mom is very disorganized and not dependable, dad doesn't believe in signing things, grandmother is senile. I explained my own position; that part of me almost WANTS to fail her because she is not taking care of her responsibilities as most other students do, but at the same time I don't want to punish her if she is doing her best to get it done. So we agreed that, instead of getting "reading signatures" every night (where the kids record their reading and the parents sign that they know the reading was done) I would let her write just a single sentence about what she read as her own version of a signature. It actually seemed like a pretty good conversation; another teacher was there and listening and thought there was a good connection.

    This morning? Still no homework. I called her over, told her "I'm extremely disappointed in you" with a very nasty look in my eye, and send her off. I am hoping it made an impact, and I'll talk to her again tomorrow. The lack of effort kills me, and definitely points me towards simply failing her.

    *sigh*

    That said, it was "Dress as your kids/teacher" day today. I wore my typical shirt/tie and snarled at anyone who asked why I didn't dress like a kid... usually saying something like "Because I am an adult at work." But another teacher organized that half the kids in the grade came in with khakis, shirts, ties, and lanyards studded with pens with IDs around their necks. They were very entertained. I just said I thought the classes looked very nice today, and wondered aloud if maybe they all got haircuts or something. Somehow I think they are almost MORE entertained when I snarl and complain, rather than be all sweet and nice
    This sounds like such a good idea for dealing with the situation that I really hope it works in the long run, even if not right away. But at least you know you tried.

  16. #216
    Quote Originally Posted by cf-62 View Post
    This may seem callous, but I think you simply have to fail the girl - and let the home school chips fall where they may. There will be some impact of parents you will not be able to overcome.
    Don't forget LA depends on his kids' abilities to do increasingly well on standardized tests.

  17. #217
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    First up is the girl who was home schooled up until fourth grade. She came to our school in fifth being totally unable to write. Literally. She has gotten zero correct on all of our spelling tests this year combined, and the handwriting is completely illegible.
    Was this one of hers?

    810479680da36f9c00b2c2d24fb22b0b-illiterate-only-word-spelled-correctly-on-spelling-test.jpg

  18. #218
    *laugh* Nope... that person got one right That is, however, some mighty interesting "sounding it out" spelling... kid might also not be studying

    BTW... after another teacher sent home a fourth email (after repeated phone calls, notes, and the like) we just got an email back saying just "we homeschooled our daughter; if you want us to keep doing that, let us know. For now, she is in your hands; find a way to ID her issues and get her working."

    That's the whole email. Keep in mind, the emails HOME included grades and websites for study aids and potential extra help times and...

    Wonderful. Glad you are taking such an active role in your daughters education.

  19. #219
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    *laugh* Nope... that person got one right That is, however, some mighty interesting "sounding it out" spelling... kid might also not be studying

    BTW... after another teacher sent home a fourth email (after repeated phone calls, notes, and the like) we just got an email back saying just "we homeschooled our daughter; if you want us to keep doing that, let us know. For now, she is in your hands; find a way to ID her issues and get her working."

    That's the whole email. Keep in mind, the emails HOME included grades and websites for study aids and potential extra help times and...

    Wonderful. Glad you are taking such an active role in your daughters education.
    "We have found a way. In our experience (and in the experience of almost every teacher in human history), an engaged parent who cares about her child's education is the surest way to get a child to succeed in school."

  20. #220
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    *laugh* Nope... that person got one right That is, however, some mighty interesting "sounding it out" spelling... kid might also not be studying

    BTW... after another teacher sent home a fourth email (after repeated phone calls, notes, and the like) we just got an email back saying just "we homeschooled our daughter; if you want us to keep doing that, let us know. For now, she is in your hands; find a way to ID her issues and get her working."

    That's the whole email. Keep in mind, the emails HOME included grades and websites for study aids and potential extra help times and...

    Wonderful. Glad you are taking such an active role in your daughters education.
    Too many holes to rip, why not respond with "well, it's pretty obvious that "schooled" didn't happen, so don't think the "home" part will work.

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