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Should Teacher Pay Be Tied To Student Performance?

  1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
    Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago

    Teachers often complain about low pay; the claim to be overworked and under-compensated. The say that they deserve to be paid more, since they are responsible for teaching the next generation.

    Yet, when the subject of the ever falling standards and performance of students comes up, they rarely have an answer, and when they do, it's almost always someone else's fault. It's the parent's fault for not helping their children, or it's the Government's fault for cutting funding, or it's standardized tests that are the problem; according to the vast majority of them, it's never the teachers who are responsible.

    So I ask you:

    Should Teacher Pay Be Tied To Student Performance?

    1. pagesvoice profile image84
      pagesvoiceposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Since when did teachers become villains? This country has seen a groundswell against the teaching profession within the last few years and it has been a catalyst thrown under the guise of sincerity when, in fact, it is nothing more than an attempt by corporate America to cookie cut and privatize the educational system.

      The Koch brothers are an example of how to influence the multitudes with billions of dollars in an attempt to create a world only friendly to conglomerates and the extremely elite. What these mega wealthy want is to create the teaching environment into nothing more than another for profit business. If, in their master plan, everything is uniform, then they can employ someone with zero teaching skills, pay them slave wages because they will only be acting as human monitors to a universal, established system of techniques, geared only for profit. What they fail to realize is you cannot fit a square block into a round hole.

      So, what do teachers do? Well, with my wife beginning her 39th year in the classroom I'll tell you. First of all, they spend hundreds of dollars of their own money on the students and their classroom. Secondly, they have gone on to educate themselves, earned Masters Degrees, taken continual courses and workshops, attend after hours school functions and a litany of activities that those who are jealous of their vacation days don't even have a clue about. Other activities of a teacher include...which they are responsible for and are happy to accept:
      Classroom Preparation
      Teaching in the Classroom     
      Grading Student Work
      Administration
      Personal Attention to Students
      Coaching/Extracurricular Activities
      Parent Interaction

      Remember, it was a teacher that taught you to read, write, think, have manners, be respectful of others and learn discipline.

      Teachers should be applauded for their dedication and commitment to instructing our children and grandchildren.

      It is the start of Labor Day weekend and my wife is busily doing prep work at our kitchen table in anticipation of her students arrival on Wednesday. Oh have I mentioned she has spent the last few weeks getting her room in order?  My wife has taught future doctors, lawyers, attorneys, dentists, etc. and many still keep in contact with her. That's a teacher and that is a profession to respect!

      1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
        Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        When teachers started striking, demanding better pay, while at the same time America's public education system as done increasingly worse in nearly every measurable standard.

        Right around then.

        1. pagesvoice profile image84
          pagesvoiceposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Did you even proof read your response?

          1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
            Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Nice Ad Hominem, yet it doesn't change the substance of the message.

        2. 84
          Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          This happens in some areas, and you lump us all in the same boat.  I am not a union member.  I have never gone on strike. 

          I'm so tired of teachers being the scapegoat.  Do you want to know why our kids aren't getting educated?  The truth is that there are some good and bad teachers.  There are some good and bad administrators.  Ultimately, however, our society doesn't value education like it once did, and our society doesn't support teachers like it once did.  You want all of the accountability on teachers.  We need accountability for parents too.  Apathy is rampant.  Disdain for schools is rampant.  Truancy is rampant.  Transiency is rampant.  Drugs are rampant.  Most parents are great, but some don't care; the parents who work against us drain us and take time away from those children who come to school ready to learn.  If you want to fix education, you have to fix society too.  When more parents value education, support teachers, and allow us to do our jobs, you might have a chance of improving education.  Until then, good luck with the test.

          By the way, we're spending so much time testing now days, we don't even have time to teach.  Many of the schools in my area have to give two formative tests weekly.  When do teachers get to teach?  Teaching has become one big test that is occasionally interrupted by teaching and one big federally-mandated meeting that occasionally results in learning.  While I'm at it, let's have some government accountability too, the kind that results in the bureaucrats getting out of our way and letting us do our jobs.

          1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
            Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            You want to know why society doesn't "value education", because the education our kids are getting these days simply isn't valuable. In 2009, the U.S. spent 5.4% of the total GDP on education spending (nearly $780 Billion dollars), that same year, U.S. students ranked 25th out of 34 countries in Math and Science; and you think more money is the answer?

            Look, I'm sorry that not every kid shows up bright eyed and eager to learn every day; I'm sorry that some kids don't care about school and make your job harder, but it is your job. If you don't like the conditions, and if you don't think you're being fairly compensated, then you should feel free to find a new profession. I'm sure you wont have any trouble finding a job in the private sector that pays you an entire years salary, plus benefits, for 9 months of work.

            1. 84
              Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I didn't say more money is the answer.  It is part of the answer, but it is only part of the answer in some states.  Arizona has abysmal funding of education.  Don't take my word on it.  Look up the statistics.  Each state controls its own funding.  Some states spend a lot of money on education, and more money is not part of the answer.  Some states spend very little, and more money is part of the answer.  More money is never the only answer.

              I have been on many interview committees, ranging from teachers to principals.  Our salary is so low that our superintendent typically earns less money than principals in most areas.  We were recently trying to hire a principal.  Local applicants weren't strong enough, so we opened our search nationally, something we typically have to do for most positions that require certification.  Our principals earn fifty-eight thousand dollars as a starting salary.  We had over twenty applicants.  When we interviewed them, only six applicants were willing to even continue the interview process once they hear about the salary.  They all assumed that the salary would be more inline with what they earn.  None of the applicants, from other states, were earning less than eighty thousand dollars, and many were earning well over a hundred thousand dollars.  Arizona schools can't compete with that, because our funding is abysmal.  You get what you pay for.  If you can't offer a competitive wage, how can you bring in qualified people?  In the real world of business, you have to be competitive, and we're finding that we simply can't find qualified math and science teachers.  Additionally, we have a hard time finding administration and music teachers.  Why would anybody want to teach in my district when the starting salary is twenty-nine thousand dollars?  They can earn far more in other states.  Yes, from a purely business standpoint, we need more money just to get competitive enough to attract qualified personnel.

              Now, I know what the typical response is.  Cut costs; you're wasting money.  My district's administrative expenditures are well below the state average.  I have 30 kids in my class.  We shut a quarter of our schools and absorbed those students into our overcrowded schools.  We have cut and cut.  We laid off twenty percent of our teachers, had furlough days for all employees, extended additional costs to employees, froze raises for seven years, and did many more things just to survive.  Yes, we need more money in Arizona, and the same is true in some other states.

              1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
                Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                This is a prime example on why you need merit based pay for teachers. I don't have hard figures (and I'm not doing any research in the middle of a Gator game smile), but how much money is being wasted on unqualified teachers who are, for whatever reason, being overpaid in the current system.

                We both agree that there is a serious problem with education, and we even agree that good teachers need to be making a lot more money; in my opinion, they should be earning 6 figures. The problem is, you can't increase teacher pay without putting in an efficient process to evaluate, and subsequently get rid of, teachers who aren't worth that kind of money; something that simply doesn't exist now.

                Now you don't think that student performance should be used to evaluate the quality of a teacher, and I think that performance is the predominant indicator of a "good teacher". You point to the intangibles that teachers provide, and that's admirable, but irrelevant. When clients hire me to come in and help them save their companies, they're looking for results, period. If I don't accomplish the tasks that I'm hired to do, it doesn't matter if I'm a nice guy, or if I make their employees happy, I get fired; which is as it should be.

                My kids don't need a life coach, or a surrogate parent, or a nutritionist, they need someone to teach them Math, Science, History, English, and all of the other subjects that they're going to need in the future. If a teacher's students are happy and healthy, but they can't read, then I'm sorry, but that teacher is a failure.

                1. 84
                  Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  No, I ABSOLUTELY believe student performance should be used in merit pay.  I just don't think that any test I have seen accurately measures the full extent of that performance.  Don't get me wrong about testing.  I am for it, and it is the best indicator of academic growth.  I just think we're testing too much, and the tests aren't really that great.  I'll give a clear example:

                  There may be two questions on division, one question on Euler circuits, and one question on vertex edge graphs on my standardized test.  Are Euler circuits and vertex edge graphs as important as division?  That's one of the problems.  Some bureaucrat tells us what we should teach, and when my kids know addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, geometry, and algebra, that's not enough.  They have to add useless math that will be a waste of my time, math that isn't really that important or relevant at this age.  Then, my pay is contingent upon teaching concepts that both you and I know are a waste of time.  You see what I'm teaching, and you wonder why I'm teaching it.  It's a vicious cycle of failure, because we teachers must follow the state curriculum that some bureaucrat developed.  What I have been saying is that the tests don't measure everything, and they don't even measure what kids SHOULD know in math, reading, and writing.  They only measure what bureaucrats believe our kids should know, not what will put our kids first in the world.

                  I my state, you have to be "highly qualified" to teach.  If you teach math, you have to be certified to teach math.  You get your degree, and then you take a test that is specific to your field of teaching.  If you pass the test, you can teach math, for example.  What you seem to be suggesting is that the state accreditation system isn't working in your state.  That's an entirely different issue.

          2. Zelkiiro profile image86
            Zelkiiroposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            I think George Carlin said it best:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsL6mKxtOlQ

      2. 84
        Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I appreciate this post.  Best wishes to both you and your wife.

        1. pagesvoice profile image84
          pagesvoiceposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          #Education Answer - Shawn finally tipped his hat with the last sentence, "I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding a job in the private sector that pays you an entire years salary, plus benefits, for 9 months of work."  Those on the outside looking in at the teaching profession are simply jealous of the perceived days worked by teachers. They fail to realize that the moment an educator walks into the classroom they are going at full throttle until the end of the school day. Many days my wife gets only 1 break which gives her just enough time to catch her breath, go to the bathroom and then return to class. To claim a teacher only works 9 months per year is a joke. They attend faculty meetings, workshops, endless meetings with parents, phone calls to parents from home, goal setting assignments, class preparation, answering emails, attending after hour school functions and taking an active role in school fundraising projects.

          Yes, my wife is in her 39th year teaching. She has witnessed numerous changes. Does she complain? Rarely, if ever. As a matter of fact my wife loves her job and her students and it is reflected in their achievement levels. When others ask my wife when she is going to retire her pat answer is, "They will have to carry me out of this building on a stretcher." Now that is what teaching is all about. It isn't a job...rather it is a labor of love.

          1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
            Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            That's called doing your job. If teachers feel mistreated, then they should quit, it's that simple; complaining about actually having to work when you go to work is one of the reasons that the public is getting fed up with teachers.



            No, it simply means that, unlike some, I don't fetishize teachers. The fact is, teachers (here in Orlando) are contracted for 196 days spread across the school year, which is generally 9 months long; that's it. Now if you want to compare workloads, that's fine, I'll take the Pepsi challenge any time you want. I'll match any one of my consultants against any teacher you can find, the difference is, they don't get summers off.

            1. Cody Hodge5 profile image82
              Cody Hodge5posted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I think the whole 9 month thing is more of a stereotype than anything else. My girlfriend is a teacher and she works through the summer as well as many of her colleagues.

            2. 84
              Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Shawn, 

              I'm up for you Pepsi challenge.  I'll put my hours up against your consultants.  I may be contracted for that number of days, but I work a lot more and without pay.  I bring papers home every night.  I also take classes at night and during summer "break."  In addition, I teach classes during summer "break."  Many of my colleagues do the same; many work a second or even third job after putting in 8-10 hours at school.  You don't really understand the field of education if you truly think that's the number of days teachers work.

              1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
                Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                My newest consultants, the ones who are working on newer/smaller clients, will generally bill anywhere between 60 -80 hours, in a five day week, depending on the time of year. When I sign off on the monthly security logs, there has yet to be a week where there wasn't at least someone in the office 7 days a week. When I get in (around 7am during the summer, closer to 8:30 now that I take the kids to school), most of them have already been there for a few hours making sure that the European Markets haven't gone crazy.

                New consultants get three weeks of vacation time a year, senior consultants and managers get four. Like every other company, they get their choice of the time or the cash... I have yet to ever have anyone ever actually take the time. 

                You my friend, while an amazing teacher, are the exception, not the rule.

                1. 84
                  Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Thank you. 

                  It sounds like I might lose that Pepsi challenge.  I must admit that I don't work that many hours, but I bet they earn a lot more per hour than I do.

                  Please know that I am a conservative in a liberal world, the world of education.  I believe in competition.  I believe in merit pay.  I believe in so many of the things you seem to want.  I just haven't seen a test that was very good, one that could really determine whether or not a teacher is really successful.  Further, I believe in a simple system to evaluate, much like I believe in a simple tax code.  I do, however, believe that the testing system is the best system of evaluation, though flawed, we have.  I just wish the curriculum were more valuable and there wasn't as much testing.  As it is now, we're testing weekly, and teaching seems to get in the way of the testing.  I'd like to go back to one annual test but one that measures more than just math, reading, and writing.  I'd like to see some science and history, some critical thinking, and something more than what we have right now.  I know that there is no real quantitative way of measuring everything a teacher does, but I wish the tests would do a better job measuring the academics.

                  1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
                    Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Yeah, my guys and female employees who are every bit as hardworking, dedicated, intelligent, and focused on the job as the male employees, and without whom I would be completely helpless* work extremely hard, and put in very long days/weeks. Granted, it's not really a fair comparison, since they make quite a bit more than the average teacher. When I was just starting out, 100 hour weeks were not uncommon, and 80+ hour weeks were the standard. That's one of the reasons I'm so glad I'm the owner now... I don't have to do it anymore smile

                    Believe it or not, I'm actually a pretty liberal Democrat, at least on social policy. When it comes to fiscal policy, I can be downright Dickensian at times.

                    While I still think that the only reasonable way to evaluate teachers is through the evaluation of the results they produce (namely student test scores), I am willing to concede there is no "easy answer" to the problem. As an education insider, I'd like your opinion on a second issue then: what if we shifted the focus; what if, instead of testing students, we tested the teachers?

                    Make teachers take (and pass) a test on the same information that kids will be expected to learn in that class; a final exam style test, given at the  beginning of the school year (presumably a few weeks early to allow for grading and replacements for those who fail). Surely any teacher who is actually qualified to teach their subject would have no problem passing such a test; and anyone who fails, shouldn't be teaching (that particular subject) in the first place.

                    At the very least, this would eliminate having unqualified teachers in classrooms, which admittedly won't solve the whole problem, but at least it's a start.


                    * I caught 31 flavors of hell for simply saying "my guys". Edited at the strong urging of my girlfriend and my daughter.

    2. HowardBThiname profile image91
      HowardBThinameposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, teacher pay should be tied to student performance.

      Teachers were respected once upon a time. It was a time when children were respectful of their elders and it was a rare teacher, indeed, that looked at a student as a love interest.

      Then came Jimmy Carter who pumped up the me-me-me teacher rhetoric, by giving the teacher's union unprecedented bargaining power. The slippery slope started right there.

      Today, our nation's children, as a whole, are sorely lacking in the three "R's" and our lame attempts to pull out the brightest and the best through gifted and AP programs still can't compete with the stay-at-home mom who homeschools.

      It's a sad situation and it's not ALL the teachers' faults, but it is to a large extent.

    3. Ralph Deeds profile image69
      Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/edweek/meritpay.htm

      The Folly of Merit Pay

      By Alfie Kohn

      There's no end to the possible uses for that nifty little Latin phrase Cui bono?, which means: Who benefits? Whose interests are served? It's the right question to ask about a testing regimen guaranteed to make most public schools look as though they're failing. Or about the assumption that people with less power than you have (students, if you're a teacher; teachers, if you're an administrator) are unable to participate in making decisions about what they're going to do every day.

      And here's another application: Cui bono when we're assured that money is the main reason it's so hard to find good teachers? If only we paid them more, we'd have no trouble attracting and retaining the finest educators that—well, that money can buy. Just accept that premise, and you'll never have to consider the way teachers are treated. In fact, you could continue disrespecting and de-skilling them, forcing them to use scripted curricula and turning them into glorified test-prep technicians. If they seem unhappy, it must be just because they want a bigger paycheck.

      In 2000, Public Agenda questioned more than 900 new teachers and almost as many college graduates who didn't choose a career in education. The report concluded that, while "teachers do believe that they are underpaid," higher salaries would probably be of limited effectiveness in alleviating teacher shortages because considerations other than money are "significantly more important to most teachers and would-be teachers." Two years later, 44 percent of administrators reported, in another Public Agenda poll, that talented colleagues were being driven out of the field because of "unreasonable standards and accountability."

      Meanwhile, a small California survey, published last year in Phi Delta Kappan, found that the main reason newly credentialed teachers were leaving the profession was not low salaries or difficult children. Rather, those who threw in the towel were most likely to cite what was being done to their schools in the name of "accountability." And the same lesson seems to hold cross-culturally. Mike Baker, a correspondent for BBC News, discovered that an educational "recruitment crisis" exists almost exclusively in those nations "where accountability measures have undermined teachers' autonomy."

      That unhappy educators have a lot more on their minds than money shouldn't be surprising in light of half a century of research conducted in other kinds of workplaces. When people are asked what's most important to them, financial concerns show up well behind such factors as interesting work or good people to work with. For example, in a large survey conducted by the Families and Work Institute, "salary/wage" ranked 16th on a list of 20 reasons for taking a job. (Interestingly, managers asked what they believe matters most to their employees tend to mention money—and then proceed to manage on the basis of that error.)

      Educational policymakers might be forgiven their shortsightedness if they were just proposing to raise teachers' salaries across the board—or, perhaps, to compensate them appropriately for more responsibilities or for additional training. Instead, though, many are turning to some version of "pay for performance." Here, myopia is complicated by amnesia: For more than a century, such plans have been implemented, then abandoned, then implemented in a different form, then abandoned again. The idea never seems to work, but proponents of merit pay never seem to learn.

      Here are the educational historians David Tyack and Larry Cuban: "The history of performance-based salary plans has been a merry-go-round. In the main, districts that initially embraced merit pay dropped it after a brief trial." But even "repeated experiences" of failure haven't prevented officials "from proposing merit pay again and again."

      "Son of Merit Pay: The Sequel" is now playing in Cincinnati, Denver, Minneapolis, New York City, and elsewhere. The leading advocates of this approach—conservatives, economists, and conservative economists—insist that we need only adopt their current incentive schemes and, this time, teaching really will improve. Honest.

      Wade Nelson, a professor at Winona State University, dug up a government commission's evaluation of England's mid-19th-century "payment by results" plan. His summary of that evaluation: Schools became "impoverished learning environments in which nearly total emphasis on performance on the examination left little opportunity for learning." The plan was abandoned.

      In The Public Interest, a right-wing policy journal, two researchers concluded with apparent disappointment in 1985 that no evidence supported the idea that merit pay "had an appreciable or consistent positive effect on teachers' classroom work." Moreover, they reported that few administrators expected such an effect "even though they had the strongest reason to make such claims."

      To this day, enthusiasm for pay-for-performance runs far ahead of any data supporting its effectiveness—even as measured by standardized-test scores, much less by meaningful indicators of learning. But then that, too, echoes the results in other workplaces. To the best of my knowledge, no controlled scientific study has ever found a long-term enhancement of the quality of work as a result of any incentive system. In fact, numerous studies have confirmed that performance on tasks, particularly complex tasks, is generally lower when people are promised a reward for doing them, or for doing them well. As a rule, the more prominent or enticing the reward, the more destructive its effects.
      *

      So why are pay-for-performance plans so reliably unsuccessful, if not counterproductive?

      1. Control. People with more power usually set the goals, establish the criteria, and generally set about trying to change the behavior of those down below. If merit pay feels manipulative and patronizing, that's probably because it is. Moreover, the fact that these programs usually operate at the level of school personnel means, as Maurice Holt has pointed out, that the whole enterprise "conveniently moves accountability away from politicians and administrators, who invent and control the system, to those who actually do the work."

      2. Strained relationships. In its most destructive form, merit pay is set up as a competition, where the point is to best one's colleagues. No wonder just such a proposal, in Norristown, Pa., was unanimously opposed by teachers and ultimately abandoned. Even those teachers likely to receive a bonus realized that everyone loses—especially the students—when educators are set against one another in a race for artificially scarce rewards.

      But pay- for-performance programs don't have to be explicitly competitive in order to undermine collegial relationships. If I end up getting a bonus and you don't, our interactions are likely to be adversely affected, particularly if you think of yourself as a pretty darned good teacher.

      Some argue that monetary rewards are less harmful if they're offered to, and made contingent on the performance of, an entire school. But if a school misses out on a bonus, what often ensues is an ugly search for individuals on whom to pin the blame. Also, you can count on seeing less useful collaboration among schools, especially if an incentive program is based on their relative standing. Why would one faculty share ideas with another when the goal is to make sure that students in other schools don't do as well as yours? Merit pay based on rankings is about victory, not about excellence. In any case, bribing groups doesn't make any more sense than bribing individuals.

      3. Reasons and motives. The premise of merit pay, and indeed of all rewards, is that people could be doing a better job but for some reason have decided to wait until it's bribed out of them. This is as insulting as it is inaccurate. Dangling a reward in front of teachers or principals—"Here's what you'll get if things somehow improve"— does nothing to address the complex, systemic factors that are actually responsible for educational deficiencies. Pay-for-performance is an outgrowth of behaviorism, which is focused on individual organisms, not systems—and, true to its name, looks only at behaviors, not at reasons and motives and the people who have them.

      Even if they wouldn't mind larger paychecks, teachers are typically not all that money-driven. They keep telling us in surveys that the magical moment when a student suddenly understands is more important to them than another few bucks. And, as noted above, they're becoming disenchanted these days less because of salary issues than because they don't enjoy being controlled by accountability systems. Equally controlling pay-for-performance plans are based more on neoclassical economic dogma than on an understanding of how things look from a teacher's perspective.

      Most of all, merit pay fails to recognize that there are different kinds of motivation. Doing something because you enjoy it for its own sake is utterly unlike doing something to get money or recognition. In fact, researchers have demonstrated repeatedly that the use of such extrinsic inducements often reduces intrinsic motivation. The more that people are rewarded, the more they tend to lose interest in whatever they had to do to get the reward. If bonuses and the like can "motivate" some educators, it's only in an extrinsic sense, and often at the cost of undermining their passion for teaching.

      For example, a recent study of a merit-pay plan that covered all employees at a northeastern college found that intrinsic motivation declined as a direct result of the plan's adoption, particularly for some of the school's "most valued employees—those who were highly motivated intrinsically before the program was implemented." The more the plan did what it was intended to do—raise people's extrinsic motivation by getting them to see how their performance would affect their salaries—the less pleasure they came to take in their work. The plan was abandoned after one year.

      That study didn't even take account of how resentful and demoralized people may become when they don't get the bonus they're expecting. For all these reasons, I tell Fortune 500 executives (or at least those foolish enough to ask me) that the best formula for compensation is this: Pay people well, pay them fairly, and then do everything possible to help them forget about money. All pay-for-performance plans, of course, violate that last precept.

      4. Measurement issues. Despite what is widely assumed by economists and behaviorists, some things are more than the sum of their parts, and some things can't be reduced to numbers. It's an illusion to think we can specify and quantify all the components of good teaching and learning, much less establish criteria for receiving a bonus that will eliminate the perception of arbitrariness. No less an authority than the statistician-cum-quality-guru W. Edwards Deming reminded us that "the most important things we need to manage can't be measured."

      It's possible to evaluate the quality of teaching, but it's not possible to reach consensus on a valid and reliable way to pin down the meaning of success, particularly when dollars hang in the balance. What's more, evaluation may eclipse other goals. After merit-pay plans take effect, administrators often visit classrooms more to judge teachers than to offer them feedback for the purpose of improvement.

      All these concerns apply even when technicians struggle to find good criteria for allocating merit pay. But the problems are multiplied when the criteria are dubious, such as raising student test scores. These tests, as I and others have argued elsewhere, tend to measure what matters least. They reflect children's backgrounds more than the quality of a given teacher or school. Moreover, merit pay based on those scores is not only unfair but damaging, if it accelerates the exodus of teachers from troubled schools where they're most needed.

      Schoolwide merit pay, again, is no less destructive than the individual version. High stakes induce cheating, gaming, teaching to the test, and other ways of snagging the bonus (or dodging the penalty) without actually improving student learning. In fact, some teachers who might resist these temptations, preferring to do what's best for kids rather than for their own wallets, feel compelled to do more test prep when their colleagues' paychecks are affected by the school's overall scores.
      *

      It may be vanity or, again, myopia that persuades technicians, even after the umpteenth failure, that merit pay need only be returned to the shop for another tuneup. Perhaps some of the issues mentioned here can be addressed, but most are inherent in the very idea of paying educators on the basis of how close they've come to someone's definition of successful performance. It's time we acknowledged not only that such programs don't work, but that they can't work.

      Furthermore, efforts to solve one problem often trigger new ones. Late-model merit-pay plans often include such lengthy lists of criteria and complex statistical controls that no one except their designers understand how the damn things work.

      So how should we reward teachers? We shouldn't. They're not pets. Rather, teachers should be paid well, freed from misguided mandates, treated with respect, and provided with the support they need to help their students become increasingly proficient and enthusiastic learners. 

      Copyright © 2003 by Alfie Kohn. This article may be downloaded, reproduced, and distributed without permission as long as each copy includes this notice along with citation information (i.e., name of the periodical in which it originally appeared, date of publication, and author's name). Permission must be obtained in order to reprint this article in a published work or in order to offer it for sale in any form. Please write to the address indicated on the Contact Us page.

    4. rhamson profile image76
      rhamsonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      The problem is systematic and the NEA as well as the curriculum gets in the way of teaching children the art of learning. Concentrate on content you lose diversity or concentrate on technique you narrow the effectiveness. I was taught to read as the primary function necessary for learning. If you can read you can teach yourself most anything.

      1. John Holden profile image61
        John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        The powers don't want children to learn, they want factory or office fodder.
        Perish  the thought that people should be taught to think!

        1. rhamson profile image76
          rhamsonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Agreed!

        2. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
          Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Maybe they really were on to something smile

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpxd3pZAVHI

          1. John Holden profile image61
            John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            lol and here was me expecting something a lot dryer!

        3. 84
          Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Believe it or not, thinking is one of America's few strengths.  If you study what other countries are doing, you find that most industrialized nations are crushing America in academics.  However, some of these same countries do acknowledge one American strength; our students are better able to think form themselves.

          1. John Holden profile image61
            John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            There is little evidence of that on these forums.

            1. 84
              Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              . . .based on your opinion.  If I had a dollar for each time I had this premise taught to me in a graduate class, I might be able to buy a large lunch at McDonalds for you.  LOL. I know how much you like McDonalds!   I'm not stuck on this idea, as some of the things that have been taught to me in college were garbage.  Still, it is the prevailing thought among educators, and it isn't even something that originated in America.

              1. John Holden profile image61
                John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                What would a large Macs lunch cost you, $4?

                You only have to look at the number of people who will defend their oppressors to see the truth in my claim.

                1. 84
                  Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Under the inflation of Obamanomics, it has become more expensive, now costing 9 dollars after exorbitant taxes.

                  1. John Holden profile image61
                    John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Shock horror!

                  2. Zelkiiro profile image86
                    Zelkiiroposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Pffft. The truly wise consumer (doesn't eat at McDonald's anyway) knows how to exploit the crap out of the dollar menu and orders only from that. Two double burgers, two orders of nuggets, and some fries is more than enough for a filling meal, and it would only cost you five bucks. And then Subway has the gall to charge you the same amount for an empty 11" sandwich.

                  3. Ralph Deeds profile image69
                    Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Haven't you noticed that inflation has been quite low recently? Moreover, although I haven't researched MacDonald's prices I read recently that their profits have gone up faster than the wages of their employees.

      2. 84
        Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I am not and have never been a member of any union, including the NEA.  I oppose most every move that NEA has made.  That being said, I find more fault with the government's interference in education than I do the NEA's policies, and that's saying a lot.

  2. 84
    Education Answerposted 3 years ago

    Yes, teacher pay should be tied to performance.  I don't know how you are going to measure that performance though.

    You wrote, "The child's grades will determine it. If a kid is doing poorly all year long, and then does bad on the final test, and the teacher is subsequently penalized for it, whose fault is that? Teachers have all year long to evaluate these students, if in that time, they can't recognize a student who honestly needs help, then they obviously not cut out for the job, and shouldn't be teachers."

    Many teachers inflate grades to look successful, from kindergarten up through college.  Grades vary so widely, from class to class, that they are virtually worthless as an indicator.  What is an "A" at most schools rarely passes as a "C" at my school.  Many teachers merely inflate grades, so parents are happy.  This happens in so many classrooms across the country.  Grades won't work.

    1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
      Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      That's where the test I talked about comes in. An Annual, independently run, double-blind test that can cover anything from that years requirements. It removes the incentive to "teach for the test" since the teachers don't actually know what will show up on the test. The double-blind nature (one firm administers the test, a second firm grades it) prevents corruption, and holds teachers accountable for what their students are actually learning.

      We use this testing method with clients right now to evaluate and assess employee knowledge, adherence to company policies, and quality of work. It's not very expensive and has a quick turnaround, usually within 72 hours.

      1. 84
        Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        A test is the best system we have to evaluate student growth, but it isn't really indicative of how strong one teacher is when compared to another unless one could somehow verify that the classes were totally equal.  Good luck with that.

        Let's assume that these two teachers are equally dedicated and equally talented:

        Teacher A has 21 students.  She has no students who qualify for special education and none who need additional help.  Twelve qualify for gifted services.  All of her students' parents are still married, and all of her children have stable homes.  How do you think her scores will be when compared to Teacher B? 

        Teacher B has 38 students.  She has 9 ELL students, students who "speak" English as a second language.  She has four students who have a low IQ and qualify for no services.  Five of her students qualify for limited special education services.  Twenty-two of her children come from a home that is in turmoil, and none of her students qualify for gifted services.  One month before the big test, she gets two new students who are remarkably low.  How do you think her scores will be when compared to Teacher A? 

        Under the testing system, Teacher B will likely get no financial incentive for the good work she does.  Her class will likely show less than one year of growth.  They will likely be below average.  Test results don't always reflect how good the teacher is.  They also reflect what class you receive, the cards you were dealt.  How is that fair, especially if you are at a school that is poor, disadvantaged, or near the border?  What if you are at a good school but just get a bad class this year?  Do you deserve a pay cut because of the luck of the draw?  All teachers have good classes, and all teachers have bad classes, some more so than others.  It seems inherently wrong to penalize a good teacher, because he/she received a difficult class.  It seems inherently wrong to reward a poor teacher who got a good class.

        Again, I believe in merit pay, but I just don't know how to accurately and fairly determine whether or not teachers really succeed.

        1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
          Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          That's the job they signed up for; if they can't do it then perhaps they should find another line of work.

          Look, any job would be easy if you only had to do it under the best possible conditions, but that's just not how the world works. If they get a "bad class", then they can fix it; that's what they get paid for. Now if they don't think that the compensation is worth the effort, then that's understandable, but again I say, perhaps they should find another line of work. 

          I'm all for revamping public education in this country, I have three kids in school right now, and I can tell you first hand that some of the stuff that students and teachers have to deal with is ridiculous. From inaccurate textbooks to unqualified teachers (my son's Chemistry teacher this year is actually an English teacher, and knows nothing about Chemistry) I get that it's difficult, but as I said, that's the job.

          1. 84
            Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            No, I did not sign up for a job that forces me to focus on only the subjects that are on the test.  I signed up to be a teacher.  Real teachers do more than just teach to a test.  Good luck finding teachers, enough teachers, under the circumstances you suggest.

            Look, I am one of the highest achieving teachers for my grade level, according to test results, in the nation.  Merit pay certainly looks good to me; it looks great.  I come from one of the top schools in Arizona, even though it is also a poor school, title 1.  We do exactly what you want, achieve with little money and with students who would normally fall below the testing standard.  We are a public school with a waiting list of students out of our district.  Still, I can't help but throw a major caution at what you are saying. 

            Please, come do my job for one week, and tell me if you still agree with what you said.  The pressure to succeed is FAR more intense than I think you realize.  The bureaucratic red tape is frighteningly cumbersome.  The curriculum is ridiculous at times.  The students are not always motivated.  The parents aren't always supportive.  Our hands are tied in many ways; so many tools have been taken away from teachers in the interest maintaining little egos and political correctness.  Teaching is difficult!  I'm not saying other jobs aren't too, but I think a lot of people fail to recognize how difficult teaching is.  Kids are not a product.  Each kid is different.  Each kid enters the classroom with a unique set of circumstances, some good and some bad. 

            To solely measure a child's academic success by a test is absurd.  Do you remember a teacher for a good reason?  Do you remember them for the valuable math lessons they gave, or do you remember them for something else?  We all tend to remember the teacher that made us feel special, the teacher who made a difference.  Will the test be able to recognize that special teacher?  Will that test measure how much support I have provided when a little kid comes to school devastated that his grandmother died last night?  Will that test recognize the fact that I spent three days calling child protective services to protect a little kid from an abusive dad?  Will the test recognize the fact that I am the surrogate father, for eight hours a day, to four children who have parents getting a divorce?  Will the test recognize when I stop a bully from beating up another kid?  Will the test recognize when I make sure a little kid who is starving gets a lunch?  Will the test recognize the extra time I put in to make sure that a student from another nation learns English?  Will the test recognize when I help a kid learn how to make friends for the first time?  Will the test recognize it when I teach a kid how to enjoy art, music, or physical education?  What are we doing when we put the ENTIRE focus on one test that measures math, reading and writing but fails to recognize so much more?  We're encouraging teachers to focus only on what pays.  The test doesn't really measure a lot of important things, some of which are true indicators of what a great teacher really is.  I care about my kids enough to know that they need both what is on the test you propose and what is not on that test.  Good luck measuring that which is not measurable on a test.

            1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
              Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

               

              You don't have to sell me on teaching being a tough job, I get it, I really do, but you chose teaching as a profession. If it's too hard, and if the stress is too much for you to deal with, and you don't think you're fairly compensated, then find a new line of work; using the difficulties of the job however, as an excuse for poor performance is just simply ridiculous.



              You can romanticize your profession all you like, and it's great that you make little Timmy feel special, and that you help little Suzy make friends; that's all above and beyond and you should be proud. However, speaking as someone that Timmy and Suzy are going to come to one day, looking for a job, none of that matters if they can't do math.

              Yes, I had great teachers in school. I had some amazing teachers in school, but they weren't "surrogate" parents, they were teachers. It was their job to prepare me for the real world, not to be a social worker, or therapist, or grief counselor, or life coach, or any of the other tasks you mentioned. It wasn't there job to make sure that I was making friends, it was there job to make sure I knew who Marcel Proust was. It wasn't their job to make sure that I was eating my lunch, it was their job to teach me Calculus.

              It's great that you care so much about your kids, I wish all teachers did, but it's irrelevant if the kids aren't learning the things they're going to need to know when it comes time to find a job. Now you don't think my idea of a test will work, that's fine, in fact you may be right, it might be a terrible idea, but the notion that the performance of their students shouldn't factor in to the evaluation and grading of teachers, is just flat out preposterous.

              1. Cody Hodge5 profile image82
                Cody Hodge5posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                The problem is that there are so many factors outside of the teacher's control....

                As someone who knows many teachers and hears daily about their struggles, there is absolutely no way that you could accurately measure the quality of a teacher by some random test....

                If a parent doesn't care about what their kids do, IT DOES MATTER, the kid is less likely to care unless the parent or parents care.

                If a child comes in hungry, that child isn't going to concentrate well. If that child has ADHD or another behavior issue, that is GOING TO MATTER.

                A teacher can teach, provide all the guidance he or she wants, but you can't make a child do homework. You can't make a child read that book or do work outside of the classroom.

                And finally.......some students are just better at some subjects than others. I got good grades in English and history in high school, but couldn't pass math to save my life. That wasn't my teacher's fault, it was just that I couldn't grasp those concepts as well as I could in other classes. Should my teacher have suffered merely because of how my brain works?

                1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
                  Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  So you're saying that, because every student doesn't have the ideal "Leave it to Beaver" style home life, that it's okay for schools to basically serve as glorified day-care centers, and for teachers to be babysitters?

                  Yeah, it would be great if every kid was gifted and attentive and eager to learn, but we all know that isn't the case, the job isn't just teaching the good kids though, it's teaching all of them; if the teacher can't handle that, then they should find another line of work.
                   


                  Yes, it absolutely was your teacher's fault: you were a kid, you didn't know math, you weren't expected to know math, it was your teacher's job to teach you math. Just because you weren't naturally gifted at math (trust me, I know the feeling) doesn't mean that your teacher had any less of a responsibility to teach you.

                  If a teacher can't teach their students, then they don't need to be a teacher; it's that simple. I don't care if they're the coolest, or the nicest, or the most amazing, most influential person in that child's life, if the kid isn't learning, then they're nothing but a babysitter.

                  1. Cody Hodge5 profile image82
                    Cody Hodge5posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Right, but not all kids are the same.....

                    For one child, getting all A's might be easy because they are just naturally gifted.

                    For another child, just passing the class is a major accomplishment.

                    I think that the focus needs to be on getting each student to fulfill their potential whether that is getting perfect grades or just doing enough to graduate. Not everyone is going to be a stellar student.

                    However, to assume that its all the fault of the teacher is ludicrous. This one-size-fits-all idea for education and thinking that any type of standardized test is going to determine how good a teacher is makes no sense at all.

              2. 84
                Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Shawn,

                My scores are among the highest in the nation; I have no cause to make excuses.  My "exceed" writing scores were 1,600% higher than the average within Arizona.  My math scores were quite literally near perfect.  I work my fingers to the bone to get those scores; I achieve in a title 1 school which is surrounded by other schools that do not achieve the "A" rating our school enjoys.  I am an achiever, on a monumental scale.  I have more awards, diplomas, commendations, and certificates than I have wall space.  None of them pay the bills.  My high scores don't pay the bills.  Merit pay would benefit me, and I am for merit pay.  I don't believe your system truly measures merit.  It measures only one facet of education.  My students not only exceed in reading, writing, and math, but they also know how to think for themselves.  Good luck measuring that on your test.

                While I appreciate your stance, it is simplified and unrealistic.  While people like me would benefit from your proposal, few people would enter the field of education or stay in the field if you were to implement such a simple, data-driven plan, one that doesn't reflect any of the realities within education. 

                Best wishes.

                1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
                  Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  A simplified approach is what's needed, in my humble opinion. People needlessly complicate the issue in an attempt to avoid taking responsibility for the failure.

                  I'm glad that you're an amazing teacher, I really am, but you're not one of the ones I'm talking about. I'm talking about teachers like my daughter's history teacher last year. This woman spent two days teaching the kids all about Jamestown, VA the oldest city in America, there's just one little problem with that... Jamestown isn't the oldest city in America. What is the oldest city you ask? St. Augustine, Florida... an hour and a half from here.

                  I'm talking about teachers like my son's Chemistry teacher, who is actually an English teacher, who knows nothing about Chemistry, and who joked at the open house about "never knowing there was so much math in chemicals".

                  I have never, not in this discussion or any previous, said that teachers don't deserve better pay, I've said repeatedly that bad teachers, and unqualified teachers don't deserve better pay, and need to go. You keep bringing up all of these intangibles like "being a surrogate parent", and "making sure they're making friends", all of which is admirable, and I know that it may not seem like it from my position on teacher pay, but I do appreciate what you do. None of that however, is your job. Teaching kids, whatever subject it is you teach, that's your job.

                  1. Cody Hodge5 profile image82
                    Cody Hodge5posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    While you are technically correct about St. Augustine being the oldest city in North America, I would probably have said Jamestown as well. It was the first settlement in the territory that would become the original United States. I guess it's all in how the question is asked.

                    Regarding the chemistry teacher, its probably the school district that forced him to switch positions. It happens all the time.

                  2. 84
                    Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    I appreciate your kind statements. 

                    Yes, there are poorly qualified teachers.  Isn't that a problem with the accreditation system more so than a problem with teachers?

                    In order to teach, I have to do those extra jobs.  If my students are hungry, they won't learn.  If my students are worried about how they are going to get beat up at recess, they won't learn.  Part of the job IS dealing with personal issues that students bring to school.  That's my point.  We're not dealing with wrenches or shoes here; our "product" is people not math or reading, and they are far more complicated than other products.

  3. tirelesstraveler profile image87
    tirelesstravelerposted 3 years ago

    If teachers were left to teach the results would be good. 
    Look at the books kids bring home these days.  What should be a 100 page book is 250 pages because it looks like a teachers manual.
    Let teachers teach and kick out the middle man. Start with the Federal Department of ED, then get rid of every state Department of Ed. you can leave the county Ed departments.  By the time money goes through the Fed and State little of it ever get to the teacher. It's not  most of the teacher that are the problem. It is the system.

  4. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
    Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago

    meme11 Reported.

  5. GA Anderson profile image86
    GA Andersonposted 3 years ago

    So Shawn presents a common sense expectation - merit pay. But I don't think your version of "standardized testing," even though it sounds like a much improved version of the current "standardized testing" being so roundly criticized as a failure, is a viable solution. Given EA's realistic description of real-world circumstances.

    And Education Answer presents a realistic, albeit extreme, comparison of possible class make-up scenarios - but doesn't see a fair way to determine teacher merit.

    Why is no one mentioning a system that does work - performance evaluations by your immediate supervisor? As in - judgement.

    A boss with a crew of 10 doesn't need a test. He knows what job needs to be done and he can use his judgement of his employee's performance to see who gets a raise, who doesn't and who gets fired. He knows when one employee had a tougher task than another, he uses his judgement to evaluate their performance.

    So if he has 100 employees and can't supervise all of them, he hires managers/supervisors, and uses their judgements to make the same decisions.

    Of course I know that is a simplistic example, but what happened to using judgement? It seems to work elsewhere.

    Why is this not a workable solution in the educational field? Don't teachers have supervisors too?
    (hint - I'll wait for someone else to mention it first)

    And what about failing students that don't make the grade, make them repeat the year? Does that happen anymore? Wouldn't that be a motivator for students?

    GA

    1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
      Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      To me, that seems like letting the fox guard the hen house. There needs to be some level of separation and independent oversight in the process due to the conflict of interest.

  6. jenniferrpovey profile image95
    jenniferrpoveyposted 3 years ago

    Part of the solution is something that is a bugbear in public education everywhere.

    Streaming.

    Streaming by ability.

    Yup. I've said it.

    Without streaming, you have the poor English teacher trying to teach, in the same classroom, a child who qualifies for Mensa with a verbal/written IQ of *over 200* and a child who is receiving extra tuition just to be two grades behind.

    What teacher can do that? Well, they can, but what happens is that the brilliant kid is completely bored and starts to lose that intelligence because she's not using it, and the challenged kid is frustrated and gives up.

    It's not the teacher's fault when that happens.

    Streaming the children by ability gives each teacher of each group a set of students that are, as close as possible, equal in *basic ability* for that subject (And, yes, the same kid might be in the top group for English and the bottom group for math).

    This system allows every kid to work to their ability, but modern educational theory calls it evil because we can't possibly tell a kid they aren't good at something. Here's a piece of news for you.

    Kids know they aren't good at stuff. Kids know where their strengths and weaknesses lie if you'll just let them work it out. I certainly did.

    Then, with the kids separated out, you can judge the teacher by the progress those children make - not their absolute achievement, but their progress. The teacher might, for example, get a bonus if a child is promoted to a higher stream.

    Thoughts?

  7. SpanStar profile image60
    SpanStarposted 3 years ago

    Someone has mentioned already that there are a number of circumstance which placed into trying to educate people.

    The term it takes a village to raise a child is more correct than we realize. The community needs to be in favor of this concept of education otherwise you're fighting a losing battle.

    For some reason we believe everyone is in school to learn and that is not always the case. I was in school with teenagers who could care less about their studies they were more interested in chasing girls and having a good time.

    The idea that we can teach everyone by some formula or standardization isn't likely. Number 1 everyone does not learn the same nor at the same rate. Contributing factors towards learning are the students eating properly? If they are not how can you as a teacher rectify that? Perhaps the parents are working 2 jobs and they don't have time to encourage the children to work towards education-How can you as a teacher rectify that? What if you are a latchkey child whose responsibility is to take care of your brothers and sisters until your parents get off of work-how is a teacher to rectify that.

    Having said all of this I have encountered teachers who simply told them to open their books read the text and fill out the paperwork while they sit at the desk with their feet up on it-now these are the kinds of teachers I believe should be held accountable for student's progress.

  8. jenniferrpovey profile image95
    jenniferrpoveyposted 3 years ago

    I had one of those in grade school.

    He gave me full blown math phobia. But he had tenure...so even though many parents, most of the other teachers, and the principal all wanted him gone...

  9. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 3 years ago

    No, because student performance in disadvantaged areas will never be as high as in privileged areas.

    1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
      EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      This article and the statistics it provides might help to dispel that myth.

      http://professionaldevelopment.pottsgro … achers.pdf

      1. John Holden profile image61
        John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Sorry, that doesn't dispel or disprove the fact hat children from disadvantaged areas do badly at school,  Rather it explains why they do worse and that is not because they come from disadvantaged backgrounds but because schools have lower expectations of them.

        1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
          EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this
          1. John Holden profile image61
            John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            But it doesn't contradict psycheskinner's statement.

            1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
              EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Then, I must have completely misread his statement. Could you please explain what he said?

              "No, because student performance in disadvantaged areas will never be as high as in privileged areas."

              1. John Holden profile image61
                John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Well don't lower expectations affect student performance?

                1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
                  EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  That, I believe, is the premise of the article, however I thought that "disadvantaged areas and privileged areas." are referring the the conditions of society in that area and not expectations. I could be wrong about that.

        2. 84
          Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          There is some truth to this.  I work in a disadvantaged area, yet my school is ranked among the top schools in Arizona.  To be specific, we have been ranked in the top five schools in the entire state, and we regularly earn an "A" rating from the state.  What makes our school so desirable?  Among other things, high standards.

  10. jenniferrpovey profile image95
    jenniferrpoveyposted 3 years ago

    Judging by progress rather than absolute standards might help overcome that.

  11. rebekahELLE profile image90
    rebekahELLEposted 3 years ago

    It's always interesting to read comments from those who have never held a teaching position in a real classroom.  Until you have, there is no way for you to understand.

    In answer to the title post, no.

  12. 84
    Education Answerposted 3 years ago

    Do you remember Ron Clark, the teacher of the year who had a movie made about his story?  Here's what he thinks:

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/06/living/te … ll-parents

  13. jenniferrpovey profile image95
    jenniferrpoveyposted 3 years ago

    I think that the standardized testing stuff simply doesn't work. In terms of real student achievement - college, etc - the Scandinavian countries do much better than we do, and they don't use that system.

    As for the merit pay issue itself - I more think there should be base bay and then a system of bonuses which could reflect a variety of teacher achievements - kids showing a solid improvement, kid becomes first in their family to go to college, kid gets into a really GOOD college, etc. This would only work if experienced teachers were involved in developing the standards.

    (Of course, I also have this weird idea that eligibility to be elected to school board should be restricted to qualified teachers or retired teachers and parents who have or used to have children in the system. I'm weird that way).

    1. Zelkiiro profile image86
      Zelkiiroposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      The Scandinavians are pretty much better than us at everything and in every aspect, so that's hardly surprising.

      1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
        Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        It's a false equivalent.

        You're talking about a group of countries with roughly the same population as Texas.

        1. Zelkiiro profile image86
          Zelkiiroposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          In that case, they wipe the floor (and their ass) with Texas.

          1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
            Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Okay, why don't you go play in the corner while the grown-ups are talking... mkay?

  14. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago

    Merit pay is okay in theory but hard to practice effectively and fairly because determining "merit" is quite difficult. High stakes testing can be very destructive. Schools might do well to consider W. Edwards Deming's mantra: "Teamwork to improve the process." New teachers and teachers having problems should be coached and helped. Incompetent teachers should be removed. But fine tuning compensation based on supposed "merit" are costly to administer and causes more trouble than they are worth, in my opinion.

  15. SimpleCuriosity profile image61
    SimpleCuriosityposted 3 years ago

    I believe that it is a 50/50 subject. On one side, teachers ARE RESPONSIBLE to teach, and if they know their students are not learning, they need to change their strategies in order to teach, and actually learn better. On the other side, what do you do in situations where there is no other help available? For example, if most of your students aren't fluent in the English language, say they come from different countries, and if the parents do not know English at all, who helps those children better understand the concepts if parents can't? Language is a huge barrier that plays an important role in all of it.  Also, what about those kids who definitely have no interest in learning material whatsoever? It is not easy to deal with children's poor attitude and lack of respect for the incredible gift of education given to them? If a student doesn't want to learn, he or she will not, regardless of what is done to try and help them. There are lots more factors we need to look into when it comes to teachers and pay, and not everything can be proven in standardized tests.

  16. jenniferrpovey profile image95
    jenniferrpoveyposted 3 years ago

    They also do better than Britain, which has also gone the standardized testing route.

    So, Education Answer, would the answer be for teachers to do a "residency" like doctors do?

    1. 84
      Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      We already do a 1/2 year residency, called student teaching.  We, as you might expect in the teaching profession, get paid nothing during that 1/2 year and actually have to pay a college tuition for it.

  17. 84
    Education Answerposted 3 years ago

    These are all Arizona-mandated subjects that I have been forced to teach at one point in my career:

    aids education
    sex education
    drug education
    nutritional education
    bullying education
    skin cancer education
    peer pressure education
    character education

    Then, after valuable instruction time has been taken from math, reading, and writing, I will be assessed only in those three areas?  If I'm going to be assessed in math, reading, and writing only, give me a chance to teach these subjects by freeing up some of my time!  Bureaucrats are absorbing too much of our time, and we wonder why students don't do well in math, reading, and writing.

  18. jenniferrpovey profile image95
    jenniferrpoveyposted 3 years ago

    Except that P.E. is vital for keeping kids from becoming overweight and art and music are very helpful for keeping them from needing therapy.

    All teachers are important - just in different ways.

    1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
      Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, just like all doctors are important, but that doesn't mean that a General Practitioner should make the same as a Cardiothoracic Surgeon.

      All teachers are important, but not all teachers are equal.

    2. 84
      Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I agree that each of these teachers are very important.  However, many of my colleagues are moving from math, reading, and writing teachers over to library, music, and P.E.  There's less stress.

  19. jenniferrpovey profile image95
    jenniferrpoveyposted 3 years ago

    Shawn, though, that kind of attitude is what leads to schools canceling art, music, and PE altogether.

    1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
      Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      If it's a choice between kids having art class or learning math, then I'm sorry, but I'll buy my kids a pack of Crayons and let them learn to draw on their own.

  20. jenniferrpovey profile image95
    jenniferrpoveyposted 3 years ago

    So, you want your potential employees to be fat and unhealthy, then, Shawn?

    Truth is that ALL teachers need to be paid enough, base pay, that they are not forced to take second or third jobs just to end base pay and schools need to keep the "fluff" subjects. Especially now - we do our children a disservice to continue to educate them in a way designed to turn out factory workers.

    Do it right, and there's no choice.

    1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
      Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      First of all, I think you're vastly overestimating the effects of P.E. if you think potential employees are going to be "fat and unhealthy" just because they didn't take Phys Ed in school, but that's neither here nor there.

      In a perfect world, yes, all teachers would make a decent living and schools would have all the funding they need; but this isn't a perfect world, and there are hard choices that need to be made, one of which is cutting back on nonessential subjects.

      We're not trying to turn out factory workers anymore, that's precisely why we need qualified teachers (particularly in the STEM fields), and if the "fluff" classes have to take a hit because of it, then so be it.

      1. John Holden profile image61
        John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        But in the UK childhood obesity has been linked directly to the selling off of school playing fields for housing!

        1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
          Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I'm not in the UK, nor do my children go to school in the UK, so I could care less.

          Man, that felt good; we've been agreeing way too much lately lol

          1. John Holden profile image61
            John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Surely you couldn't care less? lol

            1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
              Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              See what happens when there are unqualified English teachers smile

              1. John Holden profile image61
                John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Precisely! To say that you could care less implies that you do care a little at least. To say that you couldn't care less implies that the matter is of totally no consequence to you.

                I had a qualified English teacher- he was English!

                1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
                  Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  LOL lol

              2. 84
                Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                This would actually make an interesting hub, and I have long contemplated addressing the issue.  Why is the English language being dumbed down?

                Rules governing possessive nouns have changed.  "Jesus's" used to be the singular possessive.  Now, most sources simply list it as "Jesus'," something that used to signify plural possessive!  Why?  Is it the natural evolution of the language?  Why is there a natural evolution of our language?  Is it because the language hasn't been taught sufficiently, and now few people know how to use it properly?  Improper conventions then, ultimately, become the norm.

                Rules governing commas in a series have changed.  The last comma is now not required.  Why?

                There are other examples too, but you get the drift.  Our English language is adrift, and one could make an argument that the changes we see are a direct result of education. . .or lack of it.

      2. Ralph Deeds profile image69
        Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Public policy since "no child left behind" has damaged the educational process. Have you heard the Latin saying "mens sana en corporare sano?"

        Jennifer is right. As far as math is concerned, how much do you use algebra, trig and calculus in your occupation or life? Many people say that torturing a significant number of students with too many math requirements is a waste of time. Yet, we are rewarding schools and teachers based on standardized math scores and neglecting art, music, gym and shop. (I use what I learned in wood and metal shop 100x more than anything I learned in math classes.)

        1. John Holden profile image61
          John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          After I had left school I worked for some years as a joiner. I learnt far more practical maths then than during all my school years.

        2. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
          Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I use Algebra and Trig constantly, and if you're any good at the wood shop and metal shop that you're talking about so do you.

  21. jenniferrpovey profile image95
    jenniferrpoveyposted 3 years ago

    Education Answer, we're on the same page there - in that teacher effectiveness should be measured by student PROGRESS not by All 11 Year Olds Should Know This - which is stupid, especially when determined at the federal level as opposed to locally.

    1. John Holden profile image61
      John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, who is the better teacher, the one with a class full of self motivated and high achieving  pupils or the one who manages to cut truancy rates dramatically?

      1. 84
        Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        You seem to have no respect for the teacher who has motivated students.  My mentor teacher was the Arizona Math Teacher of the Year.  His style of teaching math is now taught in some colleges.  He earned national awards and was the finest teacher I have ever known.  The most motivated and quickest learners were tracked for his class.  He wasn't a great teacher because of his students.  He was a great teacher because of what he did with those students.  He was special, and everybody, including his students, knew it.  The district's expectations for him were immense, because he had motivated children.  He lived up to those expectations and exceeded them.

        To say that one teacher is better because he/she has a difficult class negates what teachers do and unfairly focuses on only one aspect, where the students started. I have the utmost respect for any teacher who pushes kids to excel beyond what reasonable expectations are, based on ability and circumstances.

        1. John Holden profile image61
          John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          EA, I thought you were intelligent enough to realise that the teacher with the motivated class was not the teacher you cited.

          1. 84
            Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            What's it called when you judge people based on factors they can't control? 

            The teacher in question didn't get to select his class. By the way, he achieved these great results in a school that qualifies for title 1.  Title 1 means that at least half of the students in the school qualify for and receive federally-subsidized free or reduced lunches.

            1. John Holden profile image61
              John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              For pities sake it was a generalisation. There was no real teacher involved, just a demonstration that academic results aren't necessarily the best judge of a good teacher.

  22. jenniferrpovey profile image95
    jenniferrpoveyposted 3 years ago

    That's an impossible question to answer - which is why teacher effectiveness needs to be judged taking the quality and life circumstances of the students into account.

  23. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago

    Bloomberg News on the Minimum Wage:

    Workers in the U.S. earning the minimum wage are worse off now than they were four decades ago.

    The CHART OF THE DAY shows that after adjusting for inflation, the federal minimum wage dropped 20 percent from 1967 to 2010, even as the nominal figure climbed to $7.25 an hour from $1.40, a 418 percent gain.

    The decline would have been worse if not for increases that took place from 2008 through 2010 in how much employers were legally obligated to pay. Combined with more stable consumer prices, those adjustments helped trim the reduction in earnings from 41 percent at the end of 2007, following a decade of no change in minimum pay.

    “Hardship is increasing for lower-income levels, and the minimum wage reflects those at the lower end of the payroll spectrum,” said Ellen Zentner, a senior economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York. “With those meager wages in place, it makes it hard to imagine families doing with even less.”

    A jobless rate that has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, the longest stretch of such levels of unemployment since monthly records began in 1948, is one reason why workers have little leeway to press for higher wages. Adding in part-time workers who would prefer full-time jobs, and discouraged workers who would take a job if one were available, pushes the rate up to 15.6 percent as of November.

    The loss of better-paying manufacturing jobs in the last three decades and the growth of service industries may be another reason why wages have failed to keep up with inflation, Zentner said.

    Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages above the federal level of $7.25 an hour, which is just over $15,000 per year for a full-time worker. Eight states -- Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington -- will increase their minimum wage by between 28 cents and 37 cents an hour on Jan. 1, according to the National Employment Law Project, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts research on unemployment.

    To contact the reporters on this story: Bob Willis in Washington at bwillis@bloomberg.net; Ilan Kolet in Ottawa at ikolet@bloomberg.net

    To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net; Alex Tanzi at atanzi@bloomberg.net


    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-2 … e-day.html

    1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
      Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Ralph, if you need to make a point, please do so. If you want to reference other material and site sources, that's perfectly fine; but copy/pasting entire articles from other websites is not okay. It's no more acceptable to do it on the forums than it would be to do it in a Hub. I understand that you want to make a point, but please, for the good of the site in general, can you do it without the copyright violations.

      1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
        Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        My point was that the figures you cited were incorrect. Just about everybody, except those who don't believe in having a minimum wage, acknowledges that the federal minimum wage has not kept up with the cost of living. Of course the amount of shortfall depends on the beginning and ending time periods selected.

        Whether Babones is a sociologist or an economist is irrelevant.  The data show that the minimum wage is overdue for an increase, not to mention the huge increase in inequality and wealth that has occurred in this country since the 1970s.  Or are you saying I don't understand economics? The fact is that I majored in economics and studied it in a grad school MBA program.

        (I hope you do better for your clients than McKinsey & Co.)

        1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
          Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          And yet you don't seem to know how to adjust the CPI for inflation... something you would have learned 1st semester.

          The numbers came straight from the BLS; so you're assertion is apparently that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is wrong.

          What social progressives like Babones fail to recognize, is that minimum wage jobs are minimum wage for a reason. Minimum wage jobs are not designed to be careers, they're entry level positions into the labor force.

          1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
            Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            My assertion is correct.  Since there is no automatic adjustment of the federal minimum wage for inflation, it's buying power begins to decrease immediately after the increase is enacted and continues to decrease until the minimum is increased again, usually not enough to make up for the erosion due to inflation. Your comments are quite misleading or stupid. You have a typical Tea Party, elitist, fxxk the poor attitude.

            1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
              Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Ralph, it's painfully obvious that you have absolutely no idea what in the world you're talking about. I gave you the numbers; as someone who "majored in economics and studied it in a grad school MBA program" you should have no trouble doing "Intro to Macroeconomics" level work...

              Your assertion was:



              Twenty years ago, in 1992, the Federal Minimum wage was $4.25. Twenty years later, in 2012, the Federal Minimum wage was $7.25, which is where it still is today. The average annual CPI-U in 1992 was 140.3. The average annual CPI-U in 2012 was 229.594.

              The formula (which someone who has a Masters in Economics should know off of the top of their head) is: Wage * (2012 CPI-U/ 1992 CPI-U). In this case, it's 4.25*(229.594/140.3). 

              Adjusted for inflation, the $4.25 minimum wage would need to be $6.95 to have the same buying power in 2012 as it did in 1992. The minimum wage was $7.25.

              You say that:



              You're absolutely correct, and in other "BREAKING NEWS", the sky is blue! All money loses its buying power because of inflation- that's kind of what inflation means. The simple fact is, that the minimum wage did have the same buying power in 2012 as it did twenty years ago... and you call me "misleading"?

              You say I have a:



              No Ralph, what I have is common sense and (apparently unlike some), the ability to do simple math. You think that the poor should be given higher wages? So do I; now how do you pay for it? You people seem to think that money is some abstract concept that just appears out of thin air; I promise you, it does not.

              You say:



              Again, surely someone who "majored in economics and studied it in a grad school MBA program" knows enough to know that "McDonald's" actually only owns about 10% of the restaurants in the country, the rest are all owned by franchisees: small business owners who would actually be the ones paying the increased wages, not Corporate McDonald's who makes most of its money through franchise and licencing fees.

              You asked me:


              Yes Ralph, that's exactly what I'm saying. You demonstrate a lack of even a basic grasp of the most basic economic principals. You seemingly lack the ability to work simple calculations that any Business Major, Economics or no, should be able to do in their head, and you cite a ridiculous far-left Sociologist as a credible authority on complex Macroeconomic policy.

              If this is what passes for a Masters level Economics education at whatever school you went to, then education is in far worse shape than I thought.

              1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
                Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Do a bit more checking. You will find that just about everyone but you agrees that the buying power of the minimum wage has declined. How much depends on the starting and ending point.

              2. 84
                Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Shawn,

                It seems, to me, that your statistics are pretty solid.  Some people may not acknowledge the reality of what you have said, but I am with you on this.  You have clearly made your point about the value  of minimum wage when adjusted for inflation.  For some, it seems evident that this debate is less about facts and data and more about an ideological view that perceives anybody who does not earn a lot of money as a victim of society who must be saved by big, liberal, or even socialized government.  Shawn, it's pointless to continue the debate, though I appreciate your effort.

                1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
                  Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Thanks to the great math teachers I had lol

                  If it were up to me, I'd scrap the whole minimum wage structure as it exists now, and tie it to a hard 45% of the Median wage, that way it's insulated against a sudden drastic drop in the CPI-U.

                  The problem is, too many people are trying to turn the minimum wage into a career level salary, which it was never designed to be, and which it simply couldn't sustain.

                  1. John Holden profile image61
                    John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Well I'm certainly not trying to turn the minimum wage into a career level salary!
                    I'm just contending (along with Ralph and many others) that the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation, or more precisely with the increase in the cost of basic essentials.

  24. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago

    But for now, it seems the minimum will stay where it is. Because of inflation, the minimum wage loses value over time if it is not bumped up. ACCOUNTING FOR INFLATION'S EFFECTS, IT IS NOW WORTH LESS THAN IN THE 1960s and 1970s. And, as the people pictured here can attest, getting by on it — whether the federal minimum or a state version, which can be somewhat higher — is getting harder.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013 … -wage.html

    I.e., your claims about inflation and the minimum wage are wrong, either intentionally misleading or out of ignorance.

    You don't like the minimum wage, and you might even find a few right-wing economists who agree with you, but not many. Why don't you just explain why you would like to do away with the minimum wage. Some of your Redneck Florida clients might be favorably impressed.

    1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
      Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Ralph, I'm done with you. You have no idea what you're talking about, you know absolutely nothing about Economics, and you're displaying the same lack of both intelligence and maturity that we've come to expect from the far-left.

      1. John Holden profile image61
        John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Tell me Shawn, is Bloomberg far left?

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-1 … raise.html

        1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
          Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          No, and $9.80 is right around where the minimum wage should be. Every economic study that has been done on the issue has shown that having a minimum wage that is 45% or less of the median wage, has absolutely no effect on the economy; so why not tie it to the median wage. Right now, the estimates have the median wage at around $20.14, 45% of that is... $9.00.

          Raising the minimum wage to $9.80 would have little to no measurable (negative) effect on the economy.

          1. John Holden profile image61
            John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Which is more than the $6.95 you quoted in an earlier post!

            1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
              Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Did you actually read the previous discussion John?

              I never said the minimum wage should be $6.95.

              What I said was:


              All of which is accurate, and was in response to He-who-shall-not-be-named (Ralph), saying:



              The minimum wage actually had more purchasing power in 2012 than it did in 1992. Somehow though Mr. "Majored in economics and studied it in a grad school MBA program", got it into his head that I'm somehow against the minimum wage altogether, just because I said that a $15 minimum wage is ridiculous, unsustainable, and would cause unemployment among unskilled labor to skyrocket... which it would.

              1. John Holden profile image61
                John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Same old argument the anti minimum wage lobby used in this country "oh it'll cause mass unemployment"
                Absolutely no evidence that our minimum wage has had any negative affect on employment.

                1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
                  Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  The same old argument the pro-minimum wage lobby uses in this country "Oh there's absolutely no evidence that our minimum wage has had any negative affect on employment".

                  See, it works both ways John...

                  The simple fact is, it depends on the amount of the minimum wage. As has been said numerous times before, as long as the minimum wage doesn't exceed 45% of the median wage, then there is no measurable negative impact on either employment or the economy. When you get over 45%, it negatively effects employment; over 50% and the economy takes a hit.

                  As I said, the Minimum Wage could go up to $9 - $9.50, and there would be no measurable negative impact.

  25. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago

    Here's some perspective from The Economist which is a middle of the road business publication:

    Trickle-up economics
    The president proposes a hefty increase in the minimum wage
    Feb 16th 2013 | WASHINGTON, DC |From the print edition

    BARACK OBAMA has long made income inequality a central theme of his second-term agenda. He has already tackled inequality from the top by preserving tax cuts for everyone but the rich. In his address to Congress on February 12th, he dealt with it from below, proposing to raise the federal minimum wage by 24%, benefiting, so the White House claimed, 15m low-wage workers.
    In this section

    America’s minimum wage has long been low by international standards, equalling just 38% of the median wage in 2011, close to the lowest in the OECD (see chart). Congress changes it only occasionally, and in the interim inflation eats away its value. The wage was last raised, to $7.25 per hour, in 2009. Since then its real value has slipped back to where it was in 1998. Twenty states now have minimum wages above the federal rate, compared to 15 in 2010, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research group.

    Mr Obama’s proposal would boost the nominal wage to $9 per hour by 2015, restoring it, in real terms, to its 1979 level, though relative to median wages it would still be lower than in many other rich countries. Thereafter, it would be indexed to inflation. He would also raise the minimum wage for workers who receive tips for the first time in over 20 years.

    The proposal drew the predicted response: labour and liberal groups said it would reduce poverty and raise the spending power of the poorest workers, while businesses and Republicans (whose co-operation is needed if the proposal is to become law) said it would cost low-skilled workers jobs.

    The economic consequences are hard to predict. Economists historically frowned on minimum wages as distortionary price fixing that reduced demand for workers affected by the wage. But that assumption has come under fire from a growing body of research. The introduction of Britain’s minimum wage in 1999 had no notable impact on jobs, for example. In America, the White House approvingly cites research by Arindrajit Dube, William Lester and Michael Reich that compared counties where the minimum wage rate rose to neighbouring counties in states where it didn’t and found no negative effect on employment. The theory is that higher wages reduce costly turnover, reducing the incentive to lay workers off.

    Some minimum-wage proponents go even further, arguing that a higher minimum boosts jobs by shifting income towards people who consume more of what they earn. The EPI, for example, last year claimed a minimum wage of $9.80 per hour would create 100,000 jobs.

    But David Neumark and William Wascher, who have long studied, and been critical, of the minimum wage, maintain the evidence bears out basic economic intuition: a higher minimum wage costs some low-skilled workers their jobs while helping those who keep them. Mr Neumark is particularly dismissive of the notion that a higher minimum wage can boost the economy, and indeed that is not a claim the White House makes.

    For Mr Obama, that may not matter. His speech contained many more effective means to boost growth and incomes of the poor, from increased infrastructure to early childhood education. Unlike the minimum wage, though, they cost the government money that it doesn’t have.

  26. 84
    Education Answerposted 3 years ago

    Ralph,

    You wrote " . . .typical Tea Party, elitist, fxxk the poor attitude."

    Just how wealthy do you believe the average member of the tea party is?  Here's the answer:

    "Tea Party supporters skew right politically; but demographically, they are generally representative of the public at large. That's the finding of a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted March 26-28, in which 28% of U.S. adults call themselves supporters of the Tea Party movement."

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/tea-p … phics.aspx

    The poll clearly indicates that some members of the tea party are poor.  Why then, if you are right, would poor tea party members have an "eletist, fxxk the poor attitude" directed at themselves?  Could it be that you have that same attitude towards 28 percent of the public, based largely on a false belief of their perceived wealth?

  27. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago

    http://www.cepr.net/documents/publicati … 012-03.pdf

    It is coming up on three years since the last increase in the federal
    minimum wage

    to $7.25 per hour

    in July 2009. By all of the most
    commonly used benchmarks

    inflation, average wages, and productivity

    the minimum wage is now far below its historic
    al level.
    By all of these benchmarks, the value of the minimum wage peaked in
    1968. If the minimum wage in that year had been indexed to the official
    Consumer Price Index (CPI
    -
    U), the minimum wage in 2012 (using the
    Congressional Budget Office’s estimate
    s for inflation in 2012) would be
    at $10.52. Even if we applied the current methodology
    (CPI
    -
    U
    -
    RS)
    for
    calculating inflation

    which generally shows a lower rate of i
    nflation than
    the older measure

    to the whole period since 1968,
    the 2012 value of the
    minimum wage would be $9.22
    .
    (See
    Figure 1
    .
    )
    Using wages as a benchmark, i
    n 1968 the
    federal
    minimum stood at 53
    percent of the average production worker
    earnings
    .
    D
    uring much of the
    1960s, the minimum wage was close to 50 percent of the same wage
    benchmark. If the minim
    um wage were at 50 percent of the production
    worker wage in 2012 (again, using CBO projections to produce a full
    -
    year
    2012 estimate), the federal minimum would be $10.01 per hour.
    A final benchmark for the minimum wage is productivity growth.
    Figure
    2
    bel
    ow
    compares growth in average labor productivity with the real
    value of the minimum wage between the late 1940s and the end of the
    last decade. Between the end of World War II and 1968, the minimum
    wage tracked average productivity growth fairly closely. S
    ince 1968,
    however, productivity growth has far outpaced the minimum wage. If the
    minimum wage had continued to move with average productivity
    after
    1968, it would have reached $21.72 per hour
    in 2012

    a rate well above
    the
    average production worker wage.
    If minimum
    -
    wage workers received
    only half of the productivity gains over the period, the federal minimum
    would be $15.34. Even if the minimum
    wage only grew at one
    -
    fourth the
    rate of productivity, in 2012 it would be set at $12.25

    The case for a $22/hr Minimum Wage

    http://theweek.com/article/index/241530 … nimum-wage

  28. 84
    Education Answerposted 3 years ago

    I was going to suggest another thread for this conversation about  minimum wage.  It seems to have taken the place of the conversation about teachers' salaries.  Then again, the two seem one and the same after looking at my paycheck, so I guess we're good here.

    1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
      Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Lol, I started this thread because a discussion on teachers took over on a thread about Obamacare.

      I started a new thread for the minimum wage discussion:

      The Minimum Wage:  http://hubpages.com/forum/category/4766

  29. John Holden profile image61
    John Holdenposted 3 years ago

    It seems to me that Ralph thinks that the machine should serve the people whereas Wilderness thinks that the people should serve the machine.

    1. Zelkiiro profile image86
      Zelkiiroposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Wilderness wants us to do more than serve the machine. He wants us to worship it, wipe its ass when it takes a mechano-dump, and give it robosexual pleasure on the hour every hour.

      1. John Holden profile image61
        John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        lol













        ;

    2. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Wilderness does not think it possible for the machine to serve the people and thus wants as little machine as possible.

      At the same time he recognizes that John (and Ralph) believe the machine can serve the people, he just doesn't believe such a fantasy himself.  No such machine has EVER served the people in the history of mankind.

      1. John Holden profile image61
        John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        But you constantly argue in favour of the machine!

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          By limiting it's ability to tax and spend?  I find you have a very different idea of what the machine does than I do...

          The "machine" makes it possible for people to live in close proximity with each other, but little more of real value.  It certainly provides no ethical or moral guidance, being nearly devoid of either itself.  It does allow easier control of other people, but that is seldom desirable.  It allows legal stealing of things from people (mostly money) but that is seldom desirable, either.  Certainly not to the extent the machine works at it. 

          But that's what I said, John; you think of the machine as a great and wondrous thing, helping people to live a better life.  I think of it as a necessary evil, to be limited as much as possible as it is an inevitable destroyer of freedom.

          1. John Holden profile image61
            John Holdenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            The machine that enslaves and ensnares us all irrespective of our beliefs is capitalism.

  30. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago

    Can and Should the Government do Anything about Inequality?
    Thomas Edsall in the NY Times 9-11-13

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/20 … p;amp;_r=0

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Interesting article.  A couple of comments/questions:

      "Immigration and low turnout of the poor have combined to make the distribution of voters more weighted to high incomes than is the distribution of households." 

      While low turnout of the poor in general will certainly affect the distribution towards higher incomes, immigrants would seem to do the opposite.  At least it's hard for me to think that a new immigrant isn't going to exercise their right to vote.  Immigrants are also on the low end of the scale economically, and should swing the distribution towards lower incomes as a result.  At around a million immigrants each year, with a high proportion voting, that shift should be significant.  Thoughts?

      "they assert that much of the income of the top 1 percent has little to do with productive economic activity and could be taxed away without harm to the economy." 

      I would agree with the idea that much of that income has little to do with productive economic activity, but am not so sure that taxing it away will not harm the economy.  Given that collection of massive wealth is both a game and a security blanket (however irrational that may be), is removal of that income going to have a large affect on the amount of capital available?  Will the uber rich pull in their horns here and stick all their money overseas, where they can still play the game and accumulate obscene amounts of wealth?  If so, how will that affect either the economy OR tax receipts of the country?

  31. John Holden profile image61
    John Holdenposted 3 years ago

    When we still had a computer industry one company was bought by the Japanese.
    Their first action was to sack the top layer of management.
    When they saw that had no effect on the company they sacked the next level of management  . . .

  32. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago
  33. musicwallpapers profile image77
    musicwallpapersposted 3 years ago

    There's a very significant difference. A lower level employee asking for a raise is subject to approval higher than himself in the company. He has little power of persuasion other than hopefully he's doing a good job and those lower level managers will listen.

    A CEO however debates his pay from the pinnacle of the company and often those in lower positions help decide. Now given they're lower in the chain, carry less weight and influence are they likely to draw battle lines about pay with those above them.

    It's a simple case of one negotiation from a position of power and the other from a position of little or no influence so in fact you're not correct when you consider them similar situations. Given CEO's often get bonus payments and salary increases in companies that make financial losses should indicate this.

    Whilst lower level employee's have pay freezes and redundancy to look forward to the CEO may see a big bonus or rise. Hardly a comparable situation but then again this is one of the benefits to being successful and obtaining a position of CEO.

    It's the way of business.

  34. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago

    "Plutocrats Feeling Persecuted" Paul Krugman

    "Robert Benmosche, the chief executive of the American International Group, said something stupid the other day. And we should be glad, because his comments help highlight an important but rarely discussed cost of extreme income inequality — namely, the rise of a small but powerful group of what can only be called sociopaths...." Read the entire op-ed here:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/27/opini … ef=opinion

    1. HowardBThiname profile image91
      HowardBThinameposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Krugman - Feh...

      1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
        Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Did you actually read the piece by Krugman? If you did what did you disagree with? (As you know, he's a Nobel Prize economist and a professor at Princeton.) Are you a plutocrat? Or one of the ordinary folks deluded by the likes of the Koch brothers, Club for Growth, et al?

        1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
          Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Krugman is the Paris Hilton of Economics. He's a Micro-economist who has made a career out of criticizing other economists, while simultaneously claiming their ideas as his own. He's never run so much as a lemonade stand, and yet he spends half of his time blasting business, and he was arrested for pissing on a 6 year old's Teddy Bear.

          And of course he won the Nobel Prize, it's easy to do when you repackage Lord Keynes as submit it as your own, and no one calls you on it.

          1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
            Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Shawn, I'm surprised that you of all people would be sucked in by a satirical (non-factual) story from Daily Currant.com. It's apparently a "The Onion" wannabe according to Wikipedia:

            The Daily Currant is an American satirical news blog that focuses on politics, technology, and entertainment.[1] A number of its satirical stories have been taken for true news reports by press and members of the public.[2]

            The Daily Currant is a competitor to The Onion. According to Quantcast, the site garners over 1.5 million page views a month.[3]

            You may want to retract your claim in order not to be accused of slander!

            I'll make the same suggestion I made to HowardThiname: Tell us what you disagree with in Krugman's op-ed.

            As you may know, Keynesian economics is the generally accepted  basis for college economics classes in the best universities across the country.

            1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
              Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              First Ralph, it's not my claim. The accusations of plagiarism against Krugman are well documented and extensive, and easily "Google-able" (if that's even a word). As for the Teddy Bear story, it's a personal favorite of mine, so I give it the "Santa Claus" treatment- I know it isn't real, but I really, really wish it was. You're right though, I shouldn't have assumed that everyone knew that this was a Richard Gere style urban legend.

              As for what I disagree with in his op-ed, the same thing I disagree with every time same op-ed is rewritten; it's complete Keynesian utopic nonsense. Krugman's article is simply the latest incarnation of the same exact argument that's been around since the 20s (and probably long before that in other countries).

              And yes, I know that the Keynesian school is the basis of most Economic classes in America, much to our, and the Nation's as a whole, detriment. Schools all across the country (and University of Florida was no different) are filled with professors- Keynesian disciples who quote "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money" like it's the Bhagavad Gita.

              If you want to get into a larger debate on the virtue (or lack thereof) Keynesian Economics, that's fine, but I'd suggest we start a new thread for it as it is decidedly off-topic for this one.

              1. Ralph Deeds profile image69
                Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Well, I studied economics at two good schools. One of my professors was Alfred Kahn who advised Jimmy Carter to privatize airlines and trucking which was one of Carter's smartest moves (for which he gets little credit). Most economists today are neo-Keynesians, including those at the NY banks and investment banks. The Austrians don't get much traction except in very right-wing circles. (I agree that this isn't the place to debate Keynesian economics.) Krugman is a propagandist Democrat, but he is a very well regarded economist. I've never heard that he's been accused of plagiarism.

                I don't think it was fair of you, if you knew the arrest story was satire for you to post it as if it were true. I didn't believe it, and it took me 2 minutes to discover that it was not factual. But others in this forum probably believed it.

                1. Shawn McIntyre profile image86
                  Shawn McIntyreposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Krugman is a politician masquerading as an economist, and he is only "well regarded" by sycophants and politicians who use him to give their idiotic ideas the appearance of Economic creditably.

                  Incidentally, I agree with you on the deregulation; President Carter was a good President but he was a terrible politician. "Billy Beer", enough said. Gotta keep those family members in line or out of the spotlight.

          2. 84
            Education Answerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            An economist I know trained directly under a different Nobel winner in economics.  He described Krugman as a "media whore."  Krugman won the award, but respect from his peers seems to have eroded a bit.  Take this for what it is or isn't worth.

 
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