Private School vs Charter School vs Public School

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can someone tell me the big differences between charter schools and private schools? what are your thoughts on them? How do they effect public education? etc.

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topnotch62907
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Feb. 19, 2011 11:59 pm

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Private schools are independently owned and run. They are completely separate from the public education system and can do a lot of things neither public schools nor charter schools can do. Selective enrollment being one example. Many private institutions do accept public funding, like Title I funds for poor children for example, which does put restrictions on their freedom. With public funding comes regulation.

Charter schools on the other hand, are slightly different. They are technically public schools and operate within the public school district. However, they are often run by private interests. Basically, what happens is that a private organization will petition the district to use public funds to create an independently managed school. The district then grants a "charter" to the private group, provides them with funds, etc. to make a school. Charter schools typically get a lot of flexibility in how they run themselves and sometimes get additional funding from outside sources. However, at the end of the day, they are still subject to district oversight and control.

Usually this ends up being in the form of reconsituting an existing school as a charter school or something to that effect. Very rarely does it result in the building of a new structure.

As for the effects on education, private schools do really well when they serve upper class kids and spend a lot of money. Other than that, they are about the same. Charter schools currently have mixed results in the research. Some studies show no effect, others show a slight increase in achievement scores. Most scholars conclude that the research findings are too sporadic to be conclusive.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm

On the contrary, the research shows that many charter schools are not as effective as public schools. Very few are more effective. No Child Left Behind exempted charter schools from many requirements that public schools must meet. Charter schools are not subject to the same standards for teacher training or achievement testing.

In the public school, a teacher must be Highly Effective (HE), meaning that each teacher has thirty or more hours of training in the subject that they teach. If the teachers are not HE, the public school district is docked funding. Charter schools often are not subjected to the same standards for testing mandated in NCLB either. The compulsory tests for student achievement, which are tied to funding and local control of public schools, are not required for charter schools. The public schools whose students do not make sufficient progress from year to year comes under sanctions which include replacement of teachers and administratons, state oversight and control and/or replacement by a charter school. While that may sound reasonable (we all want our schools to be effective, right?), the schools coming under sanctions are urban districts with higher poverty rates where students do not come to the classroom with the same advantages as in middle class or affluent districts which boast the "excellance" label. Some educators suspect that NCLB is really aimed at weakening and dismantling the public school system by imposing impossible standards (all students are to be 100% proficient in all subjects by 2014) and unfunded, heavy financial burdens such as the millions of dollars of proficiency testing.

In addition, I just listened to some pinhead on the show stand up for charter schools on the grounds that in a public school a student with a severe learning disability, whom he labeled a "miscreant", may be in the same classroom as others students and , according to him, interferring with everyone's learning. Apparently, the pinhead was unfamiliar with the Education for the Handicapped Law which was passed in the 70s. It has never been fully funded, like so many other federal mandates. Before the law, students with mild learning disabilities and some of the most vulnerable students with mild physical disabilties, were in the same classroom with students who were drug abusers, delinquents and truency cases. Students with moderate or severe disabilties were not educated in the public schools. Many of these people, who are capable of learning, working and participating in the community, were institutionalized under deplorable conditions (look up Willowbrook expose), After the law, students with mild and moderate disabilties are served in classrooms with supports from special educaton personnel, including aides, paraprofessionals and special education teachers. The student with a disability is not dumped into a regular classroom where he or she has no hope of succeeding or is impairing the learning of other students. Students with severe disabilities remain in separate programs, even where "mainstreaming" occurs because the child with a severe disability has little hope of learning in a regular classroom where the curriculum is often too abstract and does not meet their needs. However, where students with mild to moderate disablities participate, the teaching methods which are needed are sound, first class teaching strategies which enhance everyone's access to material. As an aside, special educators are also required to be HE in whatever subjects they teach. While this imposes extra demands on the special education teacher, a "regular" classroom teacher is not required to take even one class regarding students with disabilties. Students with disabilities do not receive the same services in charter schools that are mandated in the public school, another expense that charter schools do not face. Many charter schools do not accept students with disablities. If this trend were allowed to proceed unchecked, the separate but unequal facitilies for education, which the law regarding students with disabilities and Brown v. Board of Education sought to end, will result.

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progressive1
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Aug. 1, 2011 6:46 pm

progressive1,

You used a term that makes my hackles stand on end, "mainstreaming". I can't stand this concept. SueN once used a great analogy of the similarlities of a sausage factory to the education system. It was absolutely brilliant.

Anyway, I was a student who never excelled in the classroom - despite the fact I was/am moderately gifted. I have a genius IQ. But, like many high IQ'ed indiviuals, I carry the double edged sword of being twice exceptional. I have dysphonetic dyselxia. It was always very hard for me to "sound out" words I had never seen. This made participating in class, (especially reading out loud), very stressful and ultimately defeating), for me.

It wasn't until I was exposed to Latin in my junior high science classes that my language skills began to grow/develop and my interest in learning perked up. When it comes to using Latin for science - there is something about the way each phonetic syllable represents a visual image that can be fitted together like pieces of a puzzle that "clicked" for me. Being exposed to Latin began to make it easier for me to understand and sound out words in English.

For example when I see the word dibromochloromethane I can actually see, (in my mind), the chemical structure of Cl, Br and Br. I am sure this is why I ultimately excelled in chemistry and biology.

Anyway, I've often wondered why Latin is no longer taught in schools. As someone who works in a science field - I don't understand how it can be concidered a "dead" language. I think a lot of young adults who are stuggling with language disorders might benefit from being exposed to and/or taught Latin.

bonnie
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote progressive1:

On the contrary, the research shows that many charter schools are not as effective as public schools. Very few are more effective. No Child Left Behind exempted charter schools from many requirements that public schools must meet. Charter schools are not subject to the same standards for teacher training or achievement testing.

In the public school, a teacher must be Highly Effective (HE), meaning that each teacher has thirty or more hours of training in the subject that they teach. If the teachers are not HE, the public school district is docked funding. Charter schools often are not subjected to the same standards for testing mandated in NCLB either. The compulsory tests for student achievement, which are tied to funding and local control of public schools, are not required for charter schools. The public schools whose students do not make sufficient progress from year to year comes under sanctions which include replacement of teachers and administratons, state oversight and control and/or replacement by a charter school. While that may sound reasonable (we all want our schools to be effective, right?), the schools coming under sanctions are urban districts with higher poverty rates where students do not come to the classroom with the same advantages as in middle class or affluent districts which boast the "excellance" label. Some educators suspect that NCLB is really aimed at weakening and dismantling the public school system by imposing impossible standards (all students are to be 100% proficient in all subjects by 2014) and unfunded, heavy financial burdens such as the millions of dollars of proficiency testing.

In addition, I just listened to some pinhead on the show stand up for charter schools on the grounds that in a public school a student with a severe learning disability, whom he labeled a "miscreant", may be in the same classroom as others students and , according to him, interferring with everyone's learning. Apparently, the pinhead was unfamiliar with the Education for the Handicapped Law which was passed in the 70s. It has never been fully funded, like so many other federal mandates. Before the law, students with mild learning disabilities and some of the most vulnerable students with mild physical disabilties, were in the same classroom with students who were drug abusers, delinquents and truency cases. Students with moderate or severe disabilties were not educated in the public schools. Many of these people, who are capable of learning, working and participating in the community, were institutionalized under deplorable conditions (look up Willowbrook expose), After the law, students with mild and moderate disabilties are served in classrooms with supports from special educaton personnel, including aides, paraprofessionals and special education teachers. The student with a disability is not dumped into a regular classroom where he or she has no hope of succeeding or is impairing the learning of other students. Students with severe disabilities remain in separate programs, even where "mainstreaming" occurs because the child with a severe disability has little hope of learning in a regular classroom where the curriculum is often too abstract and does not meet their needs. However, where students with mild to moderate disablities participate, the teaching methods which are needed are sound, first class teaching strategies which enhance everyone's access to material. As an aside, special educators are also required to be HE in whatever subjects they teach. While this imposes extra demands on the special education teacher, a "regular" classroom teacher is not required to take even one class regarding students with disabilties. Students with disabilities do not receive the same services in charter schools that are mandated in the public school, another expense that charter schools do not face. Many charter schools do not accept students with disablities. If this trend were allowed to proceed unchecked, the separate but unequal facitilies for education, which the law regarding students with disabilities and Brown v. Board of Education sought to end, will result.

It is possible some reasearch shows charter schools do worse than public schools. As I said it is inconclusive but the majority I have seen has shown no effect or a slight benefit in some ways. For example, ed.gov has a study up showing a closing of the achievement gap for some schools.

As for the definition of a Highly Qualified Teacher, what you list is actually incorrect. This is the definition provided in the law:

Highly Qualified Teachers: To be deemed highly qualified, teachers must have: 1) a bachelor's degree, 2) full state certification or licensure, and 3) prove that they know each subject they teach.

Certification requirements are determined by the states and vary significantly. #3 is generally achieved by a standardized content exam in the field they plan to teach in.

While Charter Schools are often exempt from standard district rules regarding staffing, etc., they are NOT exempt from federal regulations, including NCLB. If they receive Title I funds, they have to test.

Additonally, Special Education teachers have different "Highly Qualified" regulations which do not require them to take content exams unless they plan to be the primary instructor for a class. Regulations on what classroom teachers have to take in relation to special education varies from state to state depending on their licensure requirements. In Wisconsin (where I work), ALL teachers are required to take a course on inclusive schooling practice.

I do feel you on the Charter School mania though. The White House drank the coolaid on that one. This is being pushed by big business, not the least of which is the Gate's Foundation. The documentary "Waiting for Superman" didn't help matters. When I get a chance, I will come back and post why that documentary sucks... lol.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm

A recent kertouffle between Arne Duncan and Matt Damon. I side with Matt.


“I don’t know where I would be today if my teachers’ job security was based on how I performed on some standardized test,” Damon said. “If their very survival as teachers was based [not] on whether I actually fell in love with the process of learning, but rather if I could fill in the right bubble on a test. If they had to spend most of their time desperately drilling us and less time encouraging creativity and original ideas; less time knowing who we were, seeing our strengths, and helping us realize our talents. I honestly don’t know where I’d be today if that was the type of education I had. I sure as hell wouldn’t be here. I do know that.

“This has been a horrible decade for teachers. I can’t imagine how demoralized you must feel.”

After the speech, Damon and his mom did a short interview with a libertarian Reason.tv reporter. After criticizing “MBA-style thinking” in education policy and defending teacher tenure, Damon angrily contested the cameraman’s assertion that 10 percent of the nation’s 3.2 million teachers are bad at their jobs. “Maybe you’re a shitty cameraman,” Damon countered.

The video went viral.

there is a video

The Obama administration’s education policies have always been controversial among more traditional education liberals, who are disappointed to see a Democratic president pursue an agenda of standardization and weakened union protections. But the always-contentious school reform debate has gotten even nastier over the past several months, with the role of multiple-choice tests emerging as the flashpoint.[

Adult test-tampering scandals in Atlanta; Washington, DC; Los Angeles; Pennsylvania; and elsewhere around the country have focused new scrutiny on efforts to tie teacher evaluation and pay to student test scores. Polls of teachers’ opinions on performance-based pay schemes are divided; according to Education Next, 72 percent of teachers oppose such policies, while the National Center for Education Information finds 59 percent support them. What’s clear is that there is no teacher consensus in favor of the testing regimen created by No Child Left Behind, and that teachers don’t broadly support the Obama administration’s attempt to expand high-stakes assessments to subjects other than math and reading. Education Next found that 60 percent of teachers oppose tying tenure decisions to test scores. The NCEI poll reported that 44 percent of teachers are dissatisfied with student achievement testing in general.


re: latin, heard Maddow pronounce bonafides bon-a-fee-days, then later on same day heard bon-a-fieds, then the next day Barney Frank complements Chris Mathews for his pronunciation of bonafides in the proper latin way. bona-fee-days

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douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

When I was watching Lawrence O'Donnel on MSNBC last night, he had a very spot on commentary regarding this matter.

He was asking why the right wing who has been on the attack against public school teachers for over a decade now, never question the performance of police officers.

As he said, you never hear the right wing bitch about the 'performance' of police officers even though the "worst" teacher can in no way do the harm the "worst" cop who wield weapons can.

He went on to point out that these individuals carry out criminal acts with the full intent of doing so committing crimes like murder yet there is never a outcry to hold police officers to the same performance standards they are trying to demand out of teachers.

I completely agree with him and have felt this way for so long. I am a special education (was now I'm a sub due to all the cuts) teacher in secondary school in the Los Angeles Unified School District and have wondered all my life why cops make more than teachers. Teachers who across the board are far better educated than cops make far less and are treated far shittier. People like my wife who is from Japan are appalled that teachers are treated so horribly in this nation.

I am a product of the school district I work in as well as that of the University of California and I would not trade my education and experiences for something else. My heroes were often teachers and professors that cared and helped mold us as citizens and human beings.

I cannot think of one police officer that I can put into this category. From my experience it seems that there are far more bad cops than bad teachers and bad cops can do significantly more harm and damage to society than bad teachers.

This, IMHO is one of the reasons why cops (who tend to be right wing as a whole anyways) and their unions remain solidily Republican and virtually will never stand in solidarity with other unionized workers.

Just wait till they start privatizing the police forces...

P.S. I also wanted to say, could you imagine if we were having a discussion about private, charter, and public police forces?

Dominic C
Joined:
Jun. 27, 2011 10:39 am
Quote Dominic C:

When I was watching Lawrence O'Donnel on MSNBC last night, he had a very spot on commentary regarding this matter.

He was asking why the right wing who has been on the attack against public school teachers for over a decade now, never question the performance of police officers.

As he said, you never hear the right wing bitch about the 'performance' of police officers even though the "worst" teacher can in no way do the harm the "worst" cop who wield weapons can.

He went on to point out that these individuals carry out criminal acts with the full intent of doing so committing crimes like murder yet there is never a outcry to hold police officers to the same performance standards they are trying to demand out of teachers.

I completely agree with him and have felt this way for so long. I am a special education (was now I'm a sub due to all the cuts) teacher in secondary school in the Los Angeles Unified School District and have wondered all my life why cops make more than teachers. Teachers who across the board are far better educated than cops make far less and are treated far shittier. People like my wife who is from Japan are appalled that teachers are treated so horribly in this nation.

I am a product of the school district I work in as well as that of the University of California and I would not trade my education and experiences for something else. My heroes were often teachers and professors that cared and helped mold us as citizens and human beings.

I cannot think of one police officer that I can put into this category. From my experience it seems that there are far more bad cops than bad teachers and bad cops can do significantly more harm and damage to society than bad teachers.

This, IMHO is one of the reasons why cops (who tend to be right wing as a whole anyways) and their unions remain solidily Republican and virtually will never stand in solidarity with other unionized workers.

Just wait till they start privatizing the police forces...

P.S. I also wanted to say, could you imagine if we were having a discussion about private, charter, and public police forces?

That is because police unions contribute to Republican Candidates. If you think that testing, NCLB, and merit pay is about helping kids you would be wrong (I am saying this in general, I know you aren't claiming this Dom). Convincing the country that we need merit pay to make teachers more effective is a great way to blow up teachers unions and collective bargaining. This is a strategy to remove a funding source for Democratic candidates. PERIOD. Republicans could give a shit about how kids do in public school.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm

Montessori Philosophy fits in well with this discussion.Student progress on different planes of development

Four Planes of Development

According to Montessori philosophy, the transformation of children from birth to adulthood occurs through a series of developmental planes. Montessori practice changes in scope and manner to embrace the child's changing characteristics and interests.

There are four planes of development. In the first plane, from birth to age six, the child is characterised by his or her 'absorbent mind', absorbing all aspects of his or her environment, language and culture. In the second plane, from ages six to twelve, the child uses a 'reasoning mind' to explore the world with abstract thought and imagination. In the third plane, from ages twelve to eighteen, the adolescent has a 'humanistic mind' eager to understand humanity and the contribution he or she can make to society. In the last plane of development, from ages eighteen to twenty-four, the adult explores the world with a 'specialist mind', taking his or her place in the world. Maria Montessori believed that if education followed the natural development of the child, then society would gradually move to a higher level of cooperation, peace and harmony.

Montessori environments are offered from birth to adulthood.

What level do you think the tea party is on, wait they can't be on a plane, FAA is grounded.

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douglaslee
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote ah2:

That is because police unions contribute to Republican Candidates. If you think that testing, NCLB, and merit pay is about helping kids you would be wrong (I am saying this in general, I know you aren't claiming this Dom). Convincing the country that we need merit pay to make teachers more effective is a great way to blow up teachers unions and collective bargaining. This is a strategy to remove a funding source for Democratic candidates. PERIOD. Republicans could give a shit about how kids do in public school.

Police unions seem to be virtually the only ones that give to the Republicans...makes you wonder.

As you say, standardized testing and NCLB is such bullshit. It is just another way for the companies that publish this shit to make money off our already cash strapped districts. Also the time wasted on this is incredible as learning essentially stops for two weeks to administer the tests.

This is just another issue the right has been able to sell to the public and more importantly even to Democrats who are going along with this corporatist bullshit. As you say ah2, it is the right wing's method on breaking teaching unions.

Republicans WANT public schools to fail and kill all the tachers unions along with it.

Dominic C
Joined:
Jun. 27, 2011 10:39 am

Sorry. I don't get the comparision of teachers vs. cops.

Cops put their lives at risk every day they go to work. Cops are continuously exposed to the risk of DEATH in their line of duty. In my not so humble opinion cops should make a decent wage based on the fact the law of odds dictates they could be KILLED doing their job - and for those cops who have families... ...well, their families deserve the right to an income that allows for savings incase the cop dies on the job.

bonnie
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Douglaslee,

I "get" the four plans of development and I do not dispute them. But, what I think is missing is what I can only describe as "the harsh realities of life vs. the coddled conditioning responses" approaches to teaching.

I do not envy teachers who work with inner city children. The concepts of across the board education and "No Child Left behind" do NOT apply. My mother worked with inner city children in a program called, "Head Start".

The 5 and 6 year old children my mother taught were exposed to things most middle class kids had no knowledge of until they were about 13/14 years old. And even then, the middle class students who "knew" about these things had no direct exposure/personal experience to it.

This idea that there is one NCLB panacea approach to "education" is the biggest line of malarkey I've ever heard. I should know. I am a real life Good Will Hunting.

Anyway... ...The reality is we have to stop focusing on the concept of homogeneous socioliation education and start recognizing the individual and the individual's strengths, weaknesses and needs.

bonnie
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote bonnie:

Sorry. I don't get the comparision of teachers vs. cops.

Cops put their lives at risk every day they go to work. Cops are continuously exposed to the risk of DEATH in their line of duty. In my not so humble opinion cops should make a decent wage based on the fact the law of odds dictates they could be KILLED doing their job - and for those cops who have families... ...well, their families deserve the right to an income that allows for savings incase the cop dies on the job.

yes but those who educate youth and protect the future of our democracy, our labor pool, and economy should be paid crap. They deserve nothing.

The comparison was drawn because they are both public workers that are unionized. While cops don't have something like tenure, they tend to work in a non-competitive environment. By the conservative rationale, we could achieve better police protection if we made them compete with one another for jobs and wages.

ah2
Joined:
Dec. 13, 2010 10:00 pm

DominicC: I'm in your corner with respect to teachers but not policemen. Both groups should be paid better. As far as police go, as with teachers, part of the problem is the pay. If police were paid and valued better, I think they would be better and trained better. I don't mean to make this an issue about the police either. My point is, let's not have a crabs in a bucket mentality here. Both of these professions are undervalued in my opinion.

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scriber1
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

The Charter School situation is a bit complicated in my experience. We all know about the Home Schooling option. Historically - way back - parents in the US were able to exercise considerable control over how their children were educated. This altered in the mid to late 1800's with Dewey and others. Schooling has become progressively more removed from parental control and shifted to the society, with professionals in the role of teachers (not just graduates of the system).

Here is the sticking point, because one can legitimately hold that society having oversight is a good - and there are persuasive reasons for endowing society with policing rights over parents - making sure children are not allowed to go truant, are not being abused, are not in the labor force before legal age, etc. This ensures that children do get the education they will need to get a basic job on the employment ladder - if that is all one believes education is about.

However, something very different is happening. At least Dewey had a philosophy. He had a child development theory, such as it was, from which he was drawing as he designed his curriculum. It made a class of professionals that parents trusted.

What is taking place is significant. Educational policy is not being based on any educational philosophy or child development theory - and there are parents, sensing that turning of the tide, who are opting their children out of the system in order to homeschool. However, there are also parents who do not want to go that far - they want an education that is still in a school house, still within society oversight, but they want a different curriculum - one that sees the child as a far more complex being than simply a future economic unit. Parents want a choice - and teachers want a choice on what they teach and how they teach. In all the standardization, creativity has been lost for both student and teacher.

Charters have been a way for parents again to have a choice - to opt for something different. Its also been a way for teachers to make other choices in how they want to spend their professional life. Going into a Charter School means less services for the students yet parents will opt for it anyway. Teaching in a Charter School will mean less pay for the teacher but teachers will opt for it anyway.

Charter petitions can be formed by a group of parents, or a group of teachers, or a combination of both. Districts are approached to be sponsors - and how that sponsor relationship proceeds is dependent on existent state laws, district laws, county laws, etc. In the beginning this Charter movement was filled with promise and idealism. It was a way for parents and educators to have choices.

In the past two decades - as has happened in so many areas of national life - this alternative option has found itself subject to two pressures: the entry of for-profit corporations into the Charter movement (seriously muddying the waters), and the drive for ever increasing standardization via NCLB and certain technology (economically driven - not because the technology is efficacious for learning). Both pressures are economic based - not based on what is best for children or for the education of children.

I am experienced with one Charter school formed by educators and parents that uses an arts-based curriculum. Children are seen as far more than economic units. Rather they are seen as individuals needing to be raised up fully into the complexity of a world culture. They are taught in the spirit of the trivium and quadrivium leading to the classical education in the seven liberal arts - languages, mathematics, geometry, the sciences, music, dance and more. We must test but the child is seen as far more than a test score. Each child is looked at as a unique individual moving through their education at their own pace but socially as well. They learn flute and violin, they learn three languages, they learn art as a medium of expression and utility, they learn sciences, they learn world hoistory as well as local history, they learn cooking, how to build a house, how to make their own clothes, how to plant their own food, they learn animal husbandry. When they leave this school they will have been given a comprehensive experience of the world as it has been and as it has become. For all of us involved this is what education should be about - and this is what we wish to teach and what we wish our children to experience. 'Mainstream' education has become actively hostile to this educational model. Yet it should remain a choice for parents and for those teachers gifted in presenting this education.

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Flynn
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Sep. 29, 2012 6:02 pm

I come from a family of educators. Time for a few ugly truths. Outside of science and math teachers, most teachers couldn't succeed at better paying private jobs. Also consider salaries are for positions that only work 9 months a year when you factor in summer,Christmas and Easter vacations. Compare that to the 2 weeks off for the average private worker. Consider how difficult it is to lose your job as a teacher after you receive tenure. Compare that to the at will employment of private workers. Consider the pay scale that gives raises purely for seniority. Teachers do OK here in CA.

http://rossieronline.usc.edu/teaching-salary-california/

In the state public school system, teacher salary in California is determined by individual school districts. According to the Sacramento Bee, the average teacher salary in 2011 was $67,871. Districts with the highest average teacher salaries in California are located near Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Montecito Union Elementary District, covering a wealthy community near Santa Barbara, is the top-paying district with an average salary of $101,066. The second and third highest paying districts are both located in Santa Clara County, which is also home to Silicon Valley. The average salary in the Mountain View-Los Altos Union district is $100,530, while Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union has an average salary of $92,636. Laguna Beach Unified, located outside Los Angeles in Orange County, is fourth on the list with an average salary of $91,828.

DynoDon
Joined:
Jun. 29, 2012 10:24 am
Quote scriber1:

DominicC: I'm in your corner with respect to teachers but not policemen. Both groups should be paid better. As far as police go, as with teachers, part of the problem is the pay. If police were paid and valued better, I think they would be better and trained better. I don't mean to make this an issue about the police either. My point is, let's not have a crabs in a bucket mentality here. Both of these professions are undervalued in my opinion.

Well, my cousin was a cop. Lots of awards. Most of his teenage companions went to prison.

Basically, he liked beating people up. From hearing him talk, so did a lot of his fellow officers. They'd have appreciated a raise, but it wouldn't have changed how they participated in their paid hobby...beating people up.

In one small town I lived in, it wouldn't do to report a drug dealer. You'd be stepping on the local police incomes. It could be dangerous to your health.

Good cops/bad cops. It's more than TV drama. Both exist. I wish their badges would indicate who is who.

Keep in mind that school systems draw teachers from the same universities private industry does. Either compete in wages/benefits, or get the castoffs. One cousin became a teacher because she loved teaching and could afford to teach because her husband worked. They were willing to accept a lower income.

Interestingly her son followed in her footsteps and supplements his income by writing teaching manuals. He too, followed his passion. Not all potentially great teachers can afford to do that. They never enter the profession.

When my cousin went to Japan and was introduced as an American, she received a slight bow. When informed she was a teacher, the bow greatly deepened. It seems that well-educated nations placing a high value on education know how to treat their teachers.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Dyslexia is not the only type of learning disability. What applies to one type and one person does not automatically apply to another. Generalizations about human beings are often overgeneralizations.

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Robindell
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Cops may not have tenure-but they have the next best thing-unions. Here in CA, the police unions are strong which is reflected in their pay and benefits. They are part of the viscious cycle here where unions make big campaign contributions to the politicians that will vote on increasing pay and benefits and will run fear based public safety ads against those who aren't beholden to them. you don't want to labeled 'soft on crime'.

http://www.ehow.com/info_7759277_average-yearly-salary-lapd.html

DynoDon
Joined:
Jun. 29, 2012 10:24 am

Diane Ravitch was interviewed on Chris Hayes' show on friday. http://www.nybooks.com/contributors/diane-ravitch/ is a compendium of her work and opinion.

She agrees with me on the testing, charter, voucher nonsense that is accepted wisdom because it is repeated often, and lazy journalists don't challenge idiotic statements.

Another little-known fact is that American students have never performed well on international tests. When the first such tests were given in the mid-1960s, our students usually scored at or below the median, and sometimes at the bottom of the pack. This mediocre performance is nothing to boast about, but it is not an indicator of future economic decline. Despite our students’ mediocre test scores, the nation’s economy has been robust for most of the past half-century. And the news is not all terrible. On the latest international test, the Program for International Student Assessment, American schools in which fewer than 10 percent of the students were poor outperformed the schools of Finland, Japan, and Korea. Even when as many as 25 percent of the students were poor, American schools performed as well as the top-scoring nations. As the proportion of poor students rises, the scores of US schools drop.2

To put the current “crisis” into perspective, it is well to recall that American education was in crisis a century ago, when urban schools were overcrowded, swamped with students from Eastern and Southern Europe who didn’t speak English. The popular press at that time warned that the nation was being overrun by a human tide from inferior cultures, and the very survival of our nation was supposedly at risk.

Then there was the crisis of the 1950s: influential authors such as Rudolf Flesch and Arthur Bestor bemoaned the sorry state of the schools in the early 1950s, and other critics such as Admiral Hyman Rickover blamed them when the Soviets launched Sputnik into orbit in 1957. Since then, the schools have been in nearly constant crisis. In the 1960s, civil rights leaders condemned the public schools for institutionalized racism. In the 1970s, critics like Charles Silberman discerned a “crisis in the classroom” and flayed the schools for “mindlessness.” In 1983, a national commission convened by US Secretary of Education Terrell Bell declared that “a rising tide of mediocrity” in the public schools put the nation at risk. In 1989, President George H.W. Bush convened the nation’s governors to agree on national goals for education. Since then, political leaders have agreed that what is needed to improve education is greater accountability, based on standardized tests.

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douglaslee
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

http://www.nybooks.com/contributors/diane-ravitch/ is her blog.

The idiotic 'accepted wisdom' usually includes ignoring models that actually work, because... well they're foreigners, and Americans are exceptional and should never seek knowledge abroad. /schools-we-can-envy/ [or if you're a fox fan, ignore]

In recent years, elected officials and policymakers such as former president George W. Bush, former schools chancellor Joel Klein in New York City, former schools chancellor Michelle Rhee in Washington, D.C., and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have agreed that there should be “no excuses” for schools with low test scores. The “no excuses” reformers maintain that all children can attain academic proficiency without regard to poverty, disability, or other conditions, and that someone must be held accountable if they do not. That someone is invariably their teachers.

Nothing is said about holding accountable the district leadership or the elected officials who determine such crucial issues as funding, class size, and resource allocation. The reformers say that our economy is in jeopardy, not because of growing poverty or income inequality or the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs, but because of bad teachers. These bad teachers must be found out and thrown out. Any laws, regulations, or contracts that protect these pedagogical malefactors must be eliminated so that they can be quickly removed without regard to experience, seniority, or due process.

The belief that schools alone can overcome the effects of poverty may be traced back many decades but its most recent manifestation was a short book published in 2000 by the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., titled No Excuses. In this book, Samuel Casey Carter identified twenty-one high-poverty schools with high test scores. Over the past decade, influential figures in public life have decreed that school reform is the key to fixing poverty. Bill Gates told the National Urban League, “Let’s end the myth that we have to solve poverty before we improve education. I say it’s more the other way around: improving education is the best way to solve poverty.” Gates never explains why a rich and powerful society like our own cannot address both poverty and school improvement at the same time.

The Pied Piper of Hamlin had followers, too.

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douglaslee
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Time to Rethink the War on Terror

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When Eric Holder eventually steps down as Attorney General, he will leave behind a complicated legacy, some of it tragic, like his decision not to prosecute Wall Street after the financial crisis, and his all-out war on whistleblowers like Edward Snowden.

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