Eggs wrap-up: Perdue wants to change teacher pay

The 2010 Eggs & Issues event has ended and the Georgia World Congress Center has emptied.

The highlights from remarks from the three men who lead state government: Gov. Sonny Perdue saying he wants to open the borders to health care plans sold in other states and that he wants to create a new system of teacher pay that emphasizes student achievement rather than years in the classroom or advanced degrees.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said he will push for tax cuts in a difficult budget year but that he’ll also emphasize cutting spending to meet an expected $1.5 billion budget hole.

House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) said there is an “opportunity” in the budget crisis to reduce the scope of state government to its essentials.

Here’s more from each, starting with Perdue’s plan for teacher pay.

The governor said he wants to see top teachers make the same amount of money as top football coaches, but in “our current system, teachers only receive salary increases for years in the classroom and advanced degrees.”

In  his new plan, for which he will introduce legislation this session, teachers could choose to opt-in to the new performance pay system or remain in the traditional system, that rewards seniority and advanced degrees. Teachers who choose the new system will not be eligible for the other tract. Perdue said the new system would become operational in 2014.

On  health care, Perdue railed against federal legislation now before Congress and said he wants to open Georgia’s borders to insurance plans available in other states.

Perdue said the plan favored by congressional Democrats to make health insurance more affordable and available will hammer states.

“It will create a financial burden on the states that is simply un-manageable, and unimaginable,” Perdue said.

In his seven years in office, he said, he’s worked to make “health insurance more affordable and available here for more Georgians,” and noted that the state’s growth in public health care plans has dropped from about 12 percent a year to 2 to 4 percent.

“We can do more,” he said, “particularly in the individual market.”

To that end, he said, he will introduce legislation this year “to allow individuals to buy health plans approved for sale in other states. The restriction on interstate commerce never made sense to me.”

The idea behind the legislation is to widen the marketplace, where more health insurance plans are available thereby driving down costs for consumers.

Appearing together on stage with Ralston, Cagle said lawmakers will seek to cut taxes to spur the state’s faltering economy.

With the state already facing a budget that is $3 billion less than it was four years ago, and preparing to cut another $1.5 billion, Cagle said the Senate will work to insure “we do the responsible thing, create efficiencies and bring government back to the 21st century and focus very deeply on cutting taxes.”

After the event, Cagle said the focus remains on cutting spending, but said the Senate will pursue a cut to the state’s capital gains tax, a proposal Perdue vetoed in 2009. The Senate will also move to cap the state’s energy tax and as soon as next week could propose property tax relief.

Ralston, meanwhile,  said the budget crisis provides an “opportunity” for the General Assembly to determine what state government should and should not be doing.

“We know we have a challenging budget situation,” Ralston said.

231 comments Add your comment

Jon

January 12th, 2010
10:52 am

Ah, the old GOP standby…tax cuts. Let’s not do any analysis of the real problems, let’s just announce more tax cuts!

…and Perdue’s plan for teachers follows the downward spiral in education. In his mind, we don’t need better teachers, we just need people who will teach to a test. What an idiot.

Just a taxpayer

January 12th, 2010
10:53 am

All these talking points about cutting, but no accountability. A simple count of the number of state merit employees in 2000 compared with where we are today will show that the Perdue administration grew state government. Compare this with the growth in population and see if our government grew faster porportionately than our population.

Dbalcer

January 12th, 2010
10:54 am

Unfortunately Perdue’s solution does not deal with the fact that all students are not created equal. If each teacher got the same product and the same support from parents then rewarding them on results makes sense but they don’t. Children come with unique sets of issues and basing pay on outcome results is as misguided as using standardized testing to measure learning. High thinking skills can’t be measured by standardized tests nor can writing be accurately measured that. I am not a teacher but volunteered in my children’s school system for 16 years.

Patrick

January 12th, 2010
10:56 am

Nice concept of paying teachers for results, I don’t see the correlation between NFL players and students in the classroom. One is a pursuit of a dream and a choice by an adult. The other is mandatory up to a certain age. Plus, it just seems that there are too many situations where teachers are having to waste time disciplining or parenting students to be able to be effective teachers. Good concept and good intentions, but I just don’t see it working.

Mr. Grumpy

January 12th, 2010
10:57 am

Here we go again with this Republican chatter about cutting taxes and balancing a state budget in deplorable condition. Exactly what kinds of state services do these great visionaries envision? Why not just close all the state parks; public schools; prisons; Georgia State patrol barracks around the state; GBI offices and the rest of the crime labs not already closed; state mental health services…just close it all down? Why not? That way we would have an immediate relief in taxes we pay. And, oh yeah, let’s give more tax relief tot he rich. Just what they need. How many more tax exemptions should we give these folks? We’ve been giving them a ton already witht he promise that this would bring jobs to Georgia. Well, where are the jobs they were supposed to provide?

You people are suckers!

This is the same old stuff we hear from Republicans.

Lame Duck

January 12th, 2010
10:57 am

The Governor has done nothing in regards to health care or education. He is a joke. One of the worst if not the worst Governor’s this state has ever known.Even Alabama and Mississippi had better leadership during his term. Thank God for term limtations!!

Patrick

January 12th, 2010
11:00 am

I think I agree with Dbalcer. Pay for performance is a misguided approach when it comes to the classroom. I believe it works well in team environments with highly motivated team members with a common objective. And in this case, I think we are missing the “team” concept and even a common objective sometimes.

Bright Idea

January 12th, 2010
11:00 am

What difference does it make concerning the system of paying teachers? The state will not honor it either way. Teaching is the only profession where you are forced to sign a contract that totally favors the employer and salary can be cut upon the first sign of trouble. Sadly most citizens think Georgia teachers are unionized. Sadly Georgia teachers missed that boat.

Timothy

January 12th, 2010
11:01 am

Paying teachers based on the preformance of students is a crazy idea. One that comes from someone who has never taught. Would he be willing to put his pay in the hands of students from differnt backgrounds. What ever happened to the days of leadership excepting responsibility. He and Kathy Cox are in charge of our educational system, and it stinks. Let their pay be based on preformance.

J

January 12th, 2010
11:02 am

Purdue’s teacher comment shows he has no clue about education in Georgia. I have been teaching 7 years and I have worked in a system that still levels children(classes) based on test scores. If you are an elementary teacher that gets the low level class(kids that scored low) then you have 0% chance your class is going to make AYP because most of or all of your students are coming to you already below grade level some far below. Then you get the lucky teacher that gets the top level class and all the kids pass regardless of how good the teacher is. He wants to base pay on a system like that….it would be laughable if he wasn’t being serious.

Old Teacher/Old Soldier

January 12th, 2010
11:02 am

Perdue is a moron. Plain and simple. One thing about it though…he has increased his personal wealth a great deal while in office. SO I guess he is smarter than us since we re-elected his stupid a$$.

Mac

January 12th, 2010
11:03 am

And where is the money going to come from to pay teachers more? Selling fish from the old fishing hole?
Idiotic!

SNM

January 12th, 2010
11:03 am

Purdue said he wants to see top teachers make the same as top football coaches…..So, not trying to sound stupid or anything like that…..which top football coaches are you talking about….the Urban Meyers, Mark Richt type coaches or high school football coaches…that’s quite a difference. Besides, all you have done is mandate furlough days….which basically has cut their pay…how in the world are you going to fund these top salaries in the same class as top football coaches…this is something that will never happen…..you know what’s even funnier….a teacher has to have a 4 year degree to even think about being a teacher, but, a governor doesn’t need any type of degree….only influence…what ya say Sonny. I know you have a vet degree, but you sure don’t have a teaching certificate…you have no clue what teachers really do in a classroom and don’t blame them for students when they fail…..parents are even more to blame when they do not take any responsibility in their child’s education and put all the blame on the teachers when poor little Sammy or Sue doesn’t get good grades or pass…..paying top teachers the same as top football coaches…..what a joke….sounds good, but it’s all hog wash…as with anything that comes out of Sonny’s mouth!!!!!!

GW

January 12th, 2010
11:04 am

That’s right, hold teachers accountable for students whom they are not allowed to hold accountable. Only a career politician would consider that a good idea. Politicians are never held accountable.

J. J.

January 12th, 2010
11:04 am

The governor is indeed a joke. After building fisheries he has accomplished what he wanted, so, now attack experienced and advanced degreed teachers. Forget about taxes, health care, roads, and more supplies to enhance education of ‘almost illiterate young people’ in the state. Oh, He is one the product of the educational system. LOL!!! What a dud!!!

One Pissed Off Teacher In Cobb County

January 12th, 2010
11:07 am

Governor Perdue is an idiot.

I am a teacher that busts my butt every flipping day trying to teach my students. I can’t control the students when they go home and play online, or with their PS3, or texting, etc and not doing their homework or studying for a test. I can’t control their parents for not raising them correctly, or giving them a proper punishment for inappropriate behavior. And you want these people to determine my salary? Are you for real? How about punishing the parents? How about punishing the cafeteria people that accidentally burned the pizza yesterday? How about punishing the person that hooked up the light at the intersection because it turned red right before you got there? How about punishing Publix supermarket for spelling the word wrong?

I have a Masters degree with over 10 years of teaching experience and the apathy of students AND their parents is just getting worse every year. How about we determine your salary by your performance, Mr. Perdue? Yea, that’s what I thought. Idiot.

RB

January 12th, 2010
11:09 am

One can only hope that Timothy is NOT a teacher.

Matt

January 12th, 2010
11:11 am

Pay for Performance is a joke as far as teaching goes. What a particular classroom of students does during the year is pure luck of the draw. If you get a class of motivated students with motivated parents you will have high test scores and achievement. If you get slacker students with slacker parents you are screwed no matter how much time and effort is expended. My parents checked my homework every day and drilled me on facts, multiplication tables, etc. Most parents today can’t be bothered and just see schools as glorified “day care’ facilities.

Larry

January 12th, 2010
11:12 am

I wonder how much state money went to Purdue’s business interests ?

East Cobb Mom

January 12th, 2010
11:13 am

Amen to all these posts about how little Sonny gets teacher pay and the realities of education. My kids go to a top performing school. They teachers there are excellent. But – the material they have to work with is phenomenal as well. Upper middle class, well educated families, tons of stay at home, very involved moms and dad. As much as I think those teachers are terrific, they in NO way deserve more pay than those teachers who are working with kids who do not have supportive families or time to give education its fullest value. Really – it’s just the opposite – those teachers who are busting their rears over and over again for such tiny victories – they should be earning the big bucks. How do you measure that? One great start for teacher pay would be to just be sure that these incredible servants are not asked to work for any less money ever again. Abolish furlough days.

T.R.

January 12th, 2010
11:14 am

Lame Duck,

I am so glad you pointed out that Gov. Perdue is the worst Governor that Georgia have had to suffer. The only thing Gov. Perdue has done as Governor was to make himself richer and his friends around Lake Oconee richer.

Let’s see, he advocate carrying conceal weapons in school, work and even church, when the crime rate is so high. He is saying if you want to kill, here is the legal way.

Super speeder bill which only add more revenue to the jurisdiction that capture the speeder. Now with the additional revenue they can cut taxes for the wealthy. I can guarantee you lower, middle and upper classes, you will not see a tax cut. Now the rich will see a tax cut, so they will not have to hide more money overseas.

Georgia education system is near the bottom. Children living in poverty, unemployment, cost of living are all up. Gov. Perdue went on many overseas trips to bring jobs to Georgia and have not brought any. Georgians just paid for free overseas vacations for him and his wife. Companies left Georgia and took their job with them.

Gov. Perdue you was good for you and your friends, but BAD for Georgia.

Educator/PrisonGuard

January 12th, 2010
11:15 am

Gee, let’s pay teachers based on student achievement? Let’s pay the goobernor based on GA’s achievement. I’m figuring Sonny owes us. This man could care less about the state of GA. He’s riding out his remaining days in office until he can retire to his fishpond.

Justin

January 12th, 2010
11:16 am

I have a question for our great governor. If you make pay based on student performance what incentive would anyone ever have to teach at a low income or low performing school. You would basically be forcing teachers to only teach at the best schools or risk not getting a raise ever. Of course that would make them about the same as the rest of state workers so I guess I see where the governor is coming from.

YardDawg

January 12th, 2010
11:17 am

Love the negativity. Here is what I gather as the alternatives the bloggers support:
1) pay teachers based on years of service and how much paper they have on their wall. pay for performance is ridiculous, look at how well our system is working now. and damn those who would even suggest any type of school choice that might actually benefit the “children who come in with unique issues.” (like the kids in Washington DC or the girls school in Gwinnett that the teachers ‘association’ fights so hard to shut down)
2) every government program is worthwhile, so enough of this talk of cutting back the breath of government, we should expand, expand, expand. And who better to pay for it than the ‘rich’ (ie anybody but me)

In other words the bloggers, just like in politics, tend to throw out phrases like “worst Governor” : “he is a joke” : “done nothing” : etc, etc. without giving any specifics. Throw crap up on the wall because it makes you feel better and you get to see what sticks.

JJ

January 12th, 2010
11:18 am

If these guys are serious about putting dollars back in our pockets how about re-regulating natural gas. The best fixed deals our there are right at $1.00, plus all the add on’s and we are at $1.42 per therm, yet the current natural gas hub price is 55 cents. Even the most corrupt state of IL has regulated gas, they are paying 58 cents plus distribution fees. This would put dollars in peoples pockets and would decrease the need for more tax cuts we cant afford.

Pay for Perfomance is a Great Idea!

January 12th, 2010
11:19 am

If Perdue would like to enact pay base on performance for teachers then let’s just go ahead and expand it to all state employees including himself and and everyone under the gold dome. I believe once they see how little they bring home they might actually come up with realistic solutions to the problems we’re facing. Tax cuts when we have a $1.5B deficit?! Paying teachers based on performance when a great deal of what they face every day is completely out of their control?! The only thing that makes sense is reducing the size of the state government to its essentials to cut unnecessary spending.

R

January 12th, 2010
11:19 am

Why don’t we come up with a way to pay politicans, especially governor’s by their performance. They would all owe us money. We have cut education to the bone and now I guess they want blood. Our schools are not going to get better till someone makes a commitment to making them better and not just a pawn in the political arena.
A teacher in good old GA. for 35 years.

benny

January 12th, 2010
11:19 am

Great idea to attach achievement to pay. Lawyers would be paid based on verdicts and awards, Police on the number of tickets they write OR the number of laws that are broken, dentists on cavities, doctors on sickenss. The only problem wih the last 2 is the more that get sick the more they make. That would equate to the more that fail the higher the pay. Just how stupid do you have to be to be a guv’ner in this state? This idjit needs to go to the house.

YardDawg

January 12th, 2010
11:22 am

Funny, many of the teachers have admitted that a student academic performance has very little to do with the ability of the teacher.

Pompano

January 12th, 2010
11:22 am

Funny how pay-for-performance strikes such a nerve among the Educational class. I notice there are several posts from teachers lamenting their lack of ability to impact certain classifications of students (which I do not dispute)and stating that they would not like their compensation tied to the performance of these individuals.

This begs the question – if even the teachers think that it’s hopeless to try and raise the bar for certain student segments to the point they want no accountability for the performance of these children – why do we continue to throw funds at this issue? Shouldn’t we put these kids into a different system – possibly some technical track – instead of repeating the same insanity year after year?

atlmom

January 12th, 2010
11:23 am

when the kids understand they have the power (the teacher will do ANYTHING they can to get the kids’ scores up) all heck will be worse.
The reality is we need to pay teachers differently – whatever we’re doing is NOT working. We need to pay teachers more at every step of the scale.
We need to pay math teachers more than english teachers (sorry, but well, there is a large supply of english teachers, and a dearth of math teachers – good and bad for both).
One suggestion which is good is pay teachers in worse schools more. It’s easy to go to buckhead and teach (well, not EASY, but, easier) than it is to go to south atlanta and teach some of those populations. so pay those teachers who have a more difficult time more. You won’t have a shortage of teachers who want to earn more.

Just a thought…

247liberal

January 12th, 2010
11:24 am

After everything this state and country have been through, to have the gall to suggest TAX CUTS that further erode the revenue base in Georgia is absolutely stupid. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, is it not the time to come up with GOOD SOLID ideas? What does it take to make these idiots realize this? And why can’t teachers have some input in how they are paid? Would it be so difficult to get their opinion on how best the system can be run? This is such a ridiculous state! If only I could sell my albatross of a house and get OUTTA here, I would be overjoyed to leave this joke of a state.

YardDawg

January 12th, 2010
11:25 am

Pompano – great comment; my thoughts exactly. We are basically paying teachers that admit they have no influence over a certain segment’s academic performance. Expensive daycare is what it sounds like.

uberVU - social comments

January 12th, 2010
11:26 am

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJCGeorgia: Egg wrap: Perdue wants changes to teacher pay http://bit.ly/4vYL8U http://bit.ly/5y4UjR…

Brad

January 12th, 2010
11:29 am

Pompano…excellent point….
and secondly, the minute we start paying the governor based on his “performance” then he can start paying teachers based on their performance.

the good ol GOP

January 12th, 2010
11:31 am

I don’t afflicate myself with a particular political party but why is it that the republican talking point is always cut taxes? Low tax revenue for the state…cut taxes, teachers and other state employees loss days…cut taxes, budget surplus…cut taxes, invade Iraq…cut taxes. I never voted for Sonny and I’m glad his reign is nearly over but merit pay and health insurance is his good bye song and dance. Merit pay will never work because traditionally speaking, some schools typically perform better than others (ie Northview vs. some rural school) and not to reward higher degrees. What other profession would even consider something like that?

Pompano

January 12th, 2010
11:31 am

I agree YardDawg. Seems like we should send the best teachers to the top schools where we have the best chance of getting a return on our investment. Minimize the expenses at the lower-performing schools since they do not appear to have an impact anyway. Make the students – and teachers – have to earn their funding.

jdawg

January 12th, 2010
11:31 am

one of the worst teachers I had was math…does that means she gets less….the system is a mess, and when they retire, a bunch in a few years….there will be a shortage….

curious

January 12th, 2010
11:32 am

Why are all you teachers posting during the school day? Get back to work.

Mac

January 12th, 2010
11:33 am

Jamie Vollmer’s classic that deserves a re-read every once in a while:

“If I ran my business the way you people operate your schools, I wouldn’t be in business very long!”

I stood before an auditorium filled with outraged teachers who were becoming angrier by the minute. My speech had entirely consumed their precious 90 minutes of inservice. Their initial icy glares had turned to restless agitation. You could cut the hostility with a knife.

I represented a group of business people dedicated to improving public schools. I was an executive at an ice cream company that became famous in the middle1980s when People Magazine chose our blueberry as the “Best Ice Cream in America.”

I was convinced of two things. First, public schools needed to change; they were archaic selecting and sorting mechanisms designed for the industrial age and out of step with the needs of our emerging “knowledge society”. Second, educators were a major part of the problem: they resisted change, hunkered down in their feathered nests, protected by tenure and shielded by a bureaucratic monopoly. They needed to look to business. We knew how to produce quality. Zero defects! TQM! Continuous improvement!

In retrospect, the speech was perfectly balanced – equal parts ignorance and arrogance.

As soon as I finished, a woman’s hand shot up. She appeared polite, pleasant – she was, in fact, a razor-edged, veteran, high school English teacher who had been waiting to unload.

She began quietly, “We are told, sir, that you manage a company that makes good ice cream.”

I smugly replied, “Best ice cream in America, Ma’am.”

“How nice,” she said. “Is it rich and smooth?”

“Sixteen percent butterfat,” I crowed.

“Premium ingredients?” she inquired.

“Super-premium! Nothing but triple A.” I was on a roll. I never saw the next line coming.

“Mr. Vollmer,” she said, leaning forward with a wicked eyebrow raised to the sky, “when you are standing on your receiving dock and you see an inferior shipment of blueberries arrive, what do you do?”

In the silence of that room, I could hear the trap snap…. I was dead meat, but I wasn’t going to lie.

“I send them back.”

“That’s right!” she barked, “and we can never send back our blueberries. We take them big, small, rich, poor, gifted, exceptional, abused, frightened, confident, homeless, rude, and brilliant. We take them with ADHD, junior rheumatoid arthritis, and English as their second language. We take them all! Every one! And that, Mr. Vollmer, is why it’s not a business. It’s school!”

In an explosion, all 290 teachers, principals, bus drivers, aides, custodians and secretaries jumped to their feet and yelled, “Yeah! Blueberries! Blueberries!”

And so began my long transformation.

Since then, I have visited hundreds of schools. I have learned that a school is not a business. Schools are unable to control the quality of their raw material, they are dependent upon the vagaries of politics for a reliable revenue stream, and they are constantly mauled by a howling horde of disparate, competing customer groups that would send the best CEO screaming into the night.

None of this negates the need for change. We must change what, when, and how we teach to give all children maximum opportunity to thrive in a post-industrial society. But educators cannot do this alone; these changes can occur only with the understanding, trust, permission and active support of the surrounding community. For the most important thing I have learned is that schools reflect the attitudes, beliefs and health of the communities they serve, and therefore, to improve public education means more than changing our schools, it means changing America.

gttim

January 12th, 2010
11:33 am

One of the first things Perdue did when elected Gov. was to freeze teacher raises. If he is suggesting anything dealing with teacher pay, he is trying to cut it in the long run. Republicans always try to cut teacher’s pay and benefits so they can cut taxes.

LOL

January 12th, 2010
11:35 am

I’m LMAO…..

Peter

January 12th, 2010
11:38 am

Pay teachers for performance is silly…… I have a friend a retired teacher…….taught in middle school in a poor area……..

He gave kids assignments, and maybe 2 out of 40 kids would do the work….so was he suppose to take a pay cut for that attitude the kids had ?

He was forced to pass kids……..yes a kid did zero the entire year…lets move him on, was the attitude he got from the administration.

joe

January 12th, 2010
11:40 am

Cool, does that mean I’ll be able to recruit only the students I want?

reasonable

January 12th, 2010
11:43 am

Why is everyone acting so surprised? Whenever a problem appears the only answer from Republicans is cut taxes, pay lip service to excellence in education, and allow for more loopholes in the existing tax structure for corporations and wealthy individuals. We have a balanced budget requirement in Georgia so a balancing of revenue and spending is mandated but we would all be better off if we just dropped all the political slogans on both sides and took an honest hard look at the Georgia economy and our revenue streams versus required services. Such a look would maybe lead to looking at the state’s tax structures, its outlays and how they can help to encourage economic growth and development in Georgia. One way that I can guarantee will not encourage growth and investment is continual cuts in education, public safety, and transportation. Businesses want and expect a well educated work force and a srong educational system in place. They also demand a safe environment and a first rate transportation grid. Long gone are the days when the South could attract businesses with a low wage labor force and lack of education as they did in textiles in the early twentieth century. Also long gone are the days when crime was a rural and local problem and transportation only involved access to railroads for businesses. Finally, Georgia as a state has fallen behind other southern states in telecommunications and technology. This is unbelievable as telecommunications and technology had fueled much of our economic engine in the 1990s.

Tim

January 12th, 2010
11:45 am

My wife teaches at a school with a high number of transient students. My question to Sonny is this. She busts her butt all year and three of your brightest students move from the district in March. In return she gets three new students who come from a school in which the teachers did not buy into Sonny’s plan and the kids learned nothing. Guess what, they test in my wife’s class and she is responsible for their scores. Her raise is also based on those poor scores. Not really pay for performance.

Mark

January 12th, 2010
11:46 am

I find it funny that all the teachers seem to hate performance pay. Looks like they want their pay set on time served, not merit, so they can basicly get unofficial tenure and park their behinds at one school and look forward to pay jumps. Only in Unions and the public sector does this stuff fly.

So, what is the educational classes solution: More pay regardless of results of course!

YardDawg

January 12th, 2010
11:47 am

gttim – i think you may have your ‘facts’ wrong; Barnes only lost the election to Sonny because he was considered anti-teacher.

From the AJC: “Polling in anticipation of a Barnes return indicates the former governor becomes the immediate favorite in the primary, though he also carries the burdens that caused voters to reject his bid for a second term — teachers who resented his attack on a tenure system”

DA

January 12th, 2010
11:47 am

I’m so sick of the teacher pay issue. Bottom line is that they are government employees and should get government pay. If he wants to pay more to those that deserve it, give the GA. National Guard and law enforcement a raise. Those are the ones that put their butts on the line.

Flat broke educator

January 12th, 2010
11:48 am

Hey Perdue, it would be neat just to GET PAID right about now. But rather than cut funds from your pork barrel projects, you’d rather cut our pay. When does this guy leave office, again? I’m sick of his face and his mouth. Fishing hole…

Matt

January 12th, 2010
11:50 am

BTW, full disclosure here, I am married to a teacher. To tell the truth I did not have a clue of what teachers went through until we got married. There is not enough money in the WORLD to make me want to take that job. Those of you who think teaching is easy and their work day ends when the kids get out, are clueless.

Flat broke educator

January 12th, 2010
11:51 am

He has done WHAT for health care?? My pay has DECREASED but my premiums sure do increase every year! What a joke!

Georgia Native

January 12th, 2010
11:53 am

YardDawg and Pompano: you misread what the teachers are saying.

Very few of them (at least in my experience) are not working as hard as they can to improve the performance of the students with which they work. Very few of them believe they have NO influence over the performance of their students. Teachers do make a difference, and in many instances the performance of students in terms of year-to-year gains is remarkable.

What they are pointing out is that despite Herculeum effort the performance of low socioeconomic groups will never match the performance of high socioeconomic groups because it is impossible to match the resources given by parents to the high socioeconomic students. Why then, should pay be based on the absolute performance of students. If pay for performance is to make any sense, then small gains for low socioeconomic groups should be rewarded at the same level as higher gains for high socioeconomic groups. It is an issue of fairness.

One Pissed Off Teacher In Cobb County

January 12th, 2010
11:57 am

Thanks Matt … I’m glad you can see what we go through on a daily basis. We try to teach the minds of tomorrow but for what? A slap in the face by our idiot Governor? Why just don’t you tell us that we don’t do crap and call us idiots while you’re at it?

Governor Idiot – how dare you screw with my money that I work hard for each and every flipping day? And now you want to base my salary on my students performance? Damn skippy I will make sure they pass alright … and who do we have to blame? You, you selfish, pompous jackass.

Elections in Nov

January 12th, 2010
11:58 am

This Governor speaks of pay for performance yet has no executable plan nor has he demonstrated what he preaches. GA education is poor, transportation is poor, little has been done to attract new business, and he’s spent more on outsourcing the state’s technology with little return. A lot of rhetorical grandstanding in his last year of (poor) service to Georgia. Many citizens can’t wait for the next elections, when they have some say in the matter.

Teaching is a Racket

January 12th, 2010
11:58 am

Make the lazy pampered teachers work 12 full months for their current pay checks. They do not deserve a three month vacation. Teachers always compare what they make in 9 months work to what the rest of us make in 12 months of work, so lets make the teachers actually work for 12 months.

root4au

January 12th, 2010
11:58 am

I’m married to a first grade teacher who has taught 16 years in the state of GA. No way in heck i would want her job. Why should a dead beat teacher that does nothing but show up every day, make the same as my wife, who works hard every day, brings her work home every night and her students do well and test well? My wife is giving up three days of pay this year(a joke) but still has to go to her class room to prepare for the next day. Now most dead beat teachers could care less. They just show up and wing it along with their students.

Ace

January 12th, 2010
11:59 am

You better bring back Barnes or its more of the same. The way these boys run the state, teachers are headed for a big pay CUT. Results or not.

fulldawg

January 12th, 2010
12:00 pm

Another “Sonny Day” in Georgia. Quack quack quack

YardDawg

January 12th, 2010
12:01 pm

Just reading what all these teachers are typing during their workday. And we all have ’stories’ on both sides as to how hard or not hard teachers work. For every ‘work hard’ story, I have stories of teachers who just show up (and take every available sick day) for the paycheck.

If the ultimate goal is student performance, which it should be: my question is why are teachers so afraid of any viable form of school choice. Sounds like more of a power issue which is what government always boils down to.

Silent Majority

January 12th, 2010
12:01 pm

A top teacher is one that takes a group of students, regardless of test scores and shows improvements from year to year, ie. one that can motivate students of any ability level to improve. Unfortunately, until you can relate student performance and behavior to tax cuts for the parents, you can expect the status quo.

YardDawg

January 12th, 2010
12:04 pm

And as a corporate employee and a small business owner, if business is down the usual next step is to cut back expenses. Why then is that never the correct answer for government employees. I am a little tired of all the gripping about pay when I consistently see those ‘Educator’ license tags on Escalades, BMW’s, Tahoe’s, and the like.

Educator

January 12th, 2010
12:04 pm

In response to DA….and if those National Guard and Police Officers can read, think critically about their surroundings and act intelligently while “putting their butts on the line”…perhaps they may wish to thank their teachers.
In this economy, most of us will not receive raises and understand that fact quite well; however, it would be nice to be respected for the work we do on a daily basis. Comments on this forum, as well as the education forum, typically speak of teachers negatively. You don’t have to agree that we deserve raises or even care, but it would be nice if you appreciated what we contribute to society and the importance of our work.
Have a wonderful day and if you can read this post….remember why!

Heard and seen enough

January 12th, 2010
12:08 pm

Here is the bottom line. There are enough teachers, husbands and wives of teachers, parents of teachers, sons and daughters of teachers to vote anyone they choose into office. Instead of bad mouthing teachers somebody better start kissing a little ass if they want to get elected!

fulldawg

January 12th, 2010
12:09 pm

Yarddawg – I am little tire also, of people like you assuming those cars are owned by teachers. Besides even if they all are exactly what is wrong with a person who gave you the capability to write that statement and read this one making enough to have a decent living? I guess they failed on teaching you the power of reason and insight.

Rebecca

January 12th, 2010
12:09 pm

I have loved everyone of my first fifteen years of teaching. I just wish I’d begun my career in another state. The political ’support’ for education in this state is an absolute joke. I strongly recommend those who are considering going into education to check out Tennessee or Florida.

Flat broke educator

January 12th, 2010
12:09 pm

@ curious 11:32 am: “Why are all you teachers posting during the school day? Get back to work”

Because it’s a FURLOUGH DAY.

Fox

January 12th, 2010
12:09 pm

I teach grammar and composition at a state-system university. Almost always, I can tell from the first paper I read whether a student is from an affluent, urban county, such as Cobb, Gwinnett, or Oconee, or a mostly rural, underfunded county with little or no tax base. Until education is funded uniformly across all public school districts, performance-based teacher pay will simply be another example of politicians rewarding the “haves.”

Ted Kennedy Spitz

January 12th, 2010
12:10 pm

Listen for the teachers to whine about any changes that threaten their income. It’s pretty common knowledge now that Education is one of the easiest, bozo majors the colleges offer, even now. So-called “advanced degrees” are a hoot in that field. How many public school teachers have you known? I’ve known plenty, and I can tell you that without that public school gravey train these people would be working the counter at the mall.

DA

January 12th, 2010
12:10 pm

I’ve seen what public education produces. It’s a joke. I can’t imagine sending my children to one of the facilities with these marginally educated educators.

oldtimer

January 12th, 2010
12:11 pm

All this pay for preformance talk is to get some of the federal government money. RN and KN are doing it also.Probably, as are 48 other states. Maybe we should say we do not want it. I do not want federal control of GA schools!! Thats what the health care debate is all about….controling nearly 20% of the revenue in the US.
Let states make decisions about what they can handle. Maybe we do need tax and spenidng cuts for a few more years.

Teaching is a Racket

January 12th, 2010
12:12 pm

Due to the bad economic times, I suggest we go to 12 months of school, with a 20% pay cut for all teachers and administrators. The brats do not need to take the summer off, nor do they need a week off for Fall break, another week for Spring break, a week off for Thanksgiving, and two weeks off for Christmas. Lets get the children ready for the real world, just one day holidays, then back to school.

Flat broke educator

January 12th, 2010
12:14 pm

Hey yarddawg, IT IS NOT a workday for many of us. It’s called FURLOUGHS. And not to worry, we don’t get paid for those so our time spent on the blog is of no consequence. I have clues for sale if you or anyone else so desperately needs one.

ron

January 12th, 2010
12:18 pm

he has to be kidding to think that techers would rival footbal coaches in salary,high schools are getting as ridiculous as colleges in paying exorbiant salaries to coaches who has no business in the classroom.

One Pissed Off Teacher In Cobb County

January 12th, 2010
12:21 pm

I have come to realize that “Teaching is a Racket”, “Ted Spitz” and “YardDawg” are all idiots. I welcome you jackasses and any other moron that thinks teaching is bullcrap to step into my classroom for a day. Hell, how about half a day. Forget that – one period. Yea, just one period. You will see first hand what we go through and I bet you would change your mind in an instant.

RADLY

January 12th, 2010
12:22 pm

Hey Jon……you sound like the consummate sexual intellectual…a *&^%$#! know it all!!!! How many years in the classroom do you happen to have?

YardDawg

January 12th, 2010
12:22 pm

Like it has been pointed out by many of the teacher on this blog, I owe my stature in life much more to the fact I was blessed with good parents than good teachers. In fact, remembering my public education past I recall lots of busy work and reading directly from the text book. Only when I got to college was I challenged and really taught.

I know teachers attempt to do a great service; my grip is with the system. Everyone acknowledges that it is broken, but the only solution advocated by government educators is to throw more money at it. This blog admits that spending $10000 instead of $8000 is not going to affect the performance of a student that comes into the system with issues. Embrace real change and let disadvantaged parents have an option of sending their child to an alternative outside the public system. If it helps only 1 child succeed, it is better than what we are doing now.

Heard and Seen Enough could not have stated it any better: teacher associations take care of their own; the child’s welfare is second. That is why there is an animosity towards many in the public education field.

Wake up!

January 12th, 2010
12:23 pm

This is just the first step in closing the door on pay raises for advanced degrees. It was all good and well when they wanted to look good on paper citing high percentages of teachers and administrators had earned masters,specialist and doctorate degrees. Now that they cannot afford to pay for those raises, they want to do away with them. I certainly don’t trust the part where they say current teachers will be able to “opt-in” or stay on the current schedule. We will see how long that lasts. Please don’t start the argument that those with advanced degrees are not proven to be better teachers. That is neither here nor there. The fact is that the powers that be wanted teachers to earn those degrees to make THEM look better on paper. Teachers are not dumb, they knew that was the only way they were ever going to get a substantial raise. So they busted their butts working full time AND going to grad school AND probably raising a family AND spent thousands and thousands of $$$ of their own money all with the understanding that they would earn a pay raise at the end. These need to be honored.
Also, the state is cutting their own throats on this one b/c it will virtually shut down graduate programs in education in Georgia colleges. After 2014 no educator will pay big bucks to earn a degree that will not be rewarded in any way. I wonder if anyone thought of that side effect. These programs currently make millions at Georgia colleges.

YardDawg

January 12th, 2010
12:26 pm

Hey “One Pissed Off Teacher,” you do your profession well by initiating the name calling. I would assume you don’t have any involvement with the debate team.

Teaching is a Racket

January 12th, 2010
12:28 pm

Dear One Pissed Off Teacher In Cobb County: I have a relative who was a teacher for 30 odd years, and thought just like you. She retired, and took a job in the private sector, lasted less than a year. She said it was far harder than teaching, and not having all those vacations really hurt. She has moved to another state and is now back in the teaching racket, collecting her pension and a teaching pay check. Try a real job sometime, then compare it with your teaching job.

Pompano

January 12th, 2010
12:33 pm

Hey “One Pissed Off Teacher,” – I’ll bet any Private sector employee on this Post could do your job while you are totally incabable of performing their job (where you would be held accountable for your performance!).

Gary Clevenger

January 12th, 2010
12:34 pm

The idiocy of back stabbing Sonny Purdue is shown again! When running for office, he couldn’t offer teachers enough, pay raises, $100 gift cards for supplies, on and on. Now that he has nothing to gain or lose, the real Sonny comes out. Balancing the state budget on the backs of teachers (furlough days), removing pay increases for educational accomplishments and now this. Hey, Georgia, keep this mentality in office, and the state will be full of idiots in 20 years!!!!!

Teaching is a Racket

January 12th, 2010
12:38 pm

Dear Gary Clevenger: What Sonny was offer is called a bribe, paid with taxpayer money. Check your history books, politicians paying bribes to the electorate with taxpayer money in order to get elected is the reason Democracies fail. When American Democracy fails, we can all blame the public school teachers and their bribes.

ENOUGH!

January 12th, 2010
12:38 pm

Enough with the “Get a real job” comments. That is soooo old. Please describe for me in detail why your job is “real” and mine is not. I must be imagining driving to work at the butt crack of dawn, teaching these children all day long, grading their papers, going to their sporting events to show I care, planning for hours on weekends and in the summer, meeting with their parents,etc, etc…. Jeez, if I was going to have an imaginary job, I wish I could imagine being a millionare super model! You people are so ignorant, it is embarrassing.

One Pissed Off Teacher In Cobb County

January 12th, 2010
12:38 pm

Hey Teaching is a Racket – Are you sure your relative didn’t want to escape your stupidity? I think that is the real answer why she moved to another state. I welcome you into my classroom anytime. Bring a pair of depends – I bet you would probably crap your pants within the first 15 minutes.

james

January 12th, 2010
12:38 pm

Enter your comments here What is wrong with our Governor, he neeed to go to the classroom and teach for on day.

Novel Idea

January 12th, 2010
12:41 pm

Keep teacher pay and taxes as is. Put the money into Social Services so DFACS can handle the parents that let their kids fail out of school. Or find some other way to hold the parent’s accountable for their child’s failure and stop blaming the teachers. It all begins at home anyway.

Virginia

January 12th, 2010
12:42 pm

I haven’t got time before my lunch period is over to read all of the comments so I hope that I am not recycling (and pleae excuse typos, etc.)…my impression of Gov. Perdue’s new plan for teacher pay is that he is offering something bright and shiny in the hope that we focus on that instead of additional furloughs and reduced contracts. If we spend our time and energy watching and debating what his right hand is doing, we will be too busy to monitor his left hand. Just my .02.

Get to work teacher

January 12th, 2010
12:42 pm

@Flat broke educator
BTW, you are expected to go into work even though you are furloughed. My sister is a teacher and she complains about the slackers that don’t think they have to work b/c it is furlough day. Who is teaching your classes?

Road Scholar

January 12th, 2010
12:43 pm

Mac @ 11:33: Well said.

If the repubs are still serious about tax breaks (wasn’t there a recent report that said tax breaks haven’t worked?) let’s give tax breaks to parents whose children perform better in school. Now since the children from higher income neighborhoods do better naturally, there isn’t a problem there, thus a reduced break, if any. Based on home income, the more improved the student scores from past performance, the parent could get a tax break. This would motivate parents to get involved (remember the rich ones already are!). The rich and performance savy parents already see the need for better education and performance (although sometimes their spoiled kids still don’t have a clue).We have to motivate the children; why not start with the parents?

Teaching is a Racket

January 12th, 2010
12:44 pm

Dear One Pissed Off Teacher In Cobb County: You don’t sound bright enough to be a teacher, unless the standards have fallen much further than I thought. “butt crack” “crap your pants” This sounds more like the quality of speech from the bus driver or the janitor, maybe the school cook, but surely not a teacher. You could not possible be a teacher in East Cobb, at least I hope not.

MsCrabtree

January 12th, 2010
12:44 pm

I propose we pay Perdue based on his performance. $0.00. LOL

Futuregovernor

January 12th, 2010
12:45 pm

I will NEVER believe anything that Sonny Perdue proposes. He was behind the deregulation of natural gas in Georgia and my home heating bills have increased ever since. Now he wants to change the structure in which teachers are paid. If he really had his way, teachers would be making minimum wage because he has no respect for the profession. I worked in the private sector (in a law firm) for 19 years. I presently teach high school. My opinion is that teaching involves longer hours for less pay and it is much more labor intensive. All I can say is “thank God for breaks” or you would have teacher burn-out by your fifth year! So, “Mr. or Ms. Teaching is a Racket,” try teaching 140 teenagers 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, and coaching them after school as well. On top of that you are up until the wee hours grading papers. No one has a right to comment on teaching unless you have walked in our shoes.

G. Walk

January 12th, 2010
12:47 pm

Until we hold parents accountable for their childrens work in school, please do not hold my pay accountable. I can only do so much with the limited amount of time I have with my students. Until our society has a turn toward accountablity and putting education above social activities and sports, our test scores will continue to be ranked low.

Road Scholar

January 12th, 2010
12:47 pm

Get to work teacher: Working on your furlough day is a violation of federal law! You may want to educate yourself!

One Pissed Off Teacher In Cobb County

January 12th, 2010
12:48 pm

@ FutureGovernor – I will certainly vote for you!

Steve

January 12th, 2010
12:49 pm

Here is how the proposed “merit” pay will work for teachers, just as it does for professors in the University System: teachers will receive high evaluations, and the legislature will vote no pay increases. In the case of University System professors, there are NO step raises or raises for “years in the classroom.” “Merit” raises have averaged slightly more than 2 percent since Perdue has been governor; in my case, I have generated superior results and received stellar evaluations. Still, no raises are forthcoming. New professors are hired in at the about the same pay as those who have years in the classroom with glowing evaluations and performance.

The Governor’s plan is merely a political ploy to cut funding to P-12 education in the same way that the legislature has decimated the University System. This governor’s legacy will be a broken education system, and since there will be a time lag between his program and the consequences of it, once he has left office, the toll will be grossly apparent.

BG

January 12th, 2010
12:51 pm

Perdue for president!!!!! We gotta get Obama out of office in 2012.

Futuregovernor

January 12th, 2010
12:51 pm

I’m a teacher and I have decided I am going to run for the governor for the State of Georgia. I need the salary increase and I can multi-task! Teachers can keep their slary schedule and they will receive a BONUS on top of their salary that for excellent performance.

Georeg

January 12th, 2010
12:57 pm

I heard a discussion on NPR last night about student performance and teachers, etc. A teacher can leap tall buildings with a single bound but student achievement truly rest in the hands of parents. You rarely hear anyone talk about the parents role. Parents who put their child’s education as a priority day in, day out through the school year will have a child who succeeds. It is tough being a teacher. I wouldn’t do it because you get blamed for everything!

NoleMan_IUFan

January 12th, 2010
12:57 pm

When I was deciding my major in school. I had multiple choices. Teaching was one of them. I opted not to go into teaching for many different reasons. Dealing with overbearing parents and the lack of pay. Is it me or is this the only profession where people know the drawbacks of the profession then have the gall to spend their entire professional lives complaining about their profession? I’m an accountant now and I’ll never forget the onslaught of speeches by professor after professor in my undergrad and graduate classes that stated, “If you don’t like being married to a calendar and a schedule then don’t become an accountant.” Today my life, vacations, hell even my wedding was timed around my company’s month end close and I don’t care. My profession pays me well and it was a “drawback” of the profession I knew about. When you’re in a system, you have 3 options: 1) change the system, 2) adapt to the system or 3) get out.

BAA

January 12th, 2010
12:58 pm

The number of really bad teachers outweighs the number of good teachers by a wide margin. I can count the number of good teachers I have come in contact with on one hand (and that is between 3 children.

[...] addition to proposals about teacher pay, state leadership said they’d focus on a few key issues during the 40 days of the General [...]

Liberal Teacher

January 12th, 2010
1:02 pm

Its Lunch so don’t worry…
Thanks East Cobb Mom because you are correct.
Listen teachers, do not argue w/the buffoons stating an opinion on something they have not tried. We know from experience that once little Jonny decides to call your mother a profane word or refuses to do the assignment because they are in a mood, it will be quitting time. I hve seen so many fresh faced teachers walk after a week.
Funny, people with these strong views often understand little about the educational system. WE TEACH EVERYONE, not a select/elite few but all, whether they were born chemically dependent, psychologically disturbed, and/or self/medically medicated…
Think about this… We have taught the people who talk to themselves on the public bus line. Not too long ago, I read about my former student murdering someone and committing necrophilia.
Really think about this…Not all students are mentally ill but the numbers are increasing, and these kids occupy the time, focus and money of districts.
Parents play upon this …
And it is getting worst because people do not raise their children anymore but give them STUFF…
Perdue’s idea is not strong because some communities deal w/more social ills than others, and those teachers should not be held to the same standards

Anne

January 12th, 2010
1:03 pm

Perdue’s “race to the top” is leading public education over the edge!

td

January 12th, 2010
1:04 pm

I respect teachers (my degree is in Education) but I think you all are looking at the situation wrong. If the merit pay is based on student achievement that is measured for each individual student while they are in your classroom then it could be a good idea.

Example: John comes into your class with a 100 test score and Bill come in with a 1000 score. At the end of the class, John has improved his score to 200 and Bill improves at 1100. John has improved by 100% and Bill by 10% and the teacher get credit for a total of 110% increase in student achievement. The actual number of points improvement are the same and the teacher gets just as much credit for the low achiever as the high achiever.

Your hard work would be judged on each students success rather then on an arbitrary number on a test.

Ted Kennedy Spitz

January 12th, 2010
1:05 pm

Pissed Off Cobb Teacher, you prove my point well. Thanks. The only thing that bums me is that
I am paying your salary.

B

January 12th, 2010
1:09 pm

As a person who has come back to GA after moving away for 5 years, I am dissapointing in everything that has happended to teachers as well regular citizens of GA. Poor health care-whenever I go to the doctor for regular checkups and/or anything I come away with a bill of at least $400. I am a teacher. When I taught in Alabama health care cost less and paid for more services. Crime-Crime is awful in Atlanta. There are no lights throughout the city or highways. Teachers and citizens get treated like crap under this current state government. 1.5B deficit-How is this even possible when everything is funded by the lottery. The state that I moved from does not have the lottery and little things like cutting grass on the federal highways don’t go by the wayside. Sounds like someone is getting richer. Georgia as well as ATlanta is getting ran into the ground under this state administration.

Todd

January 12th, 2010
1:13 pm

I love the people that complain about teachers. They are usually the ones that have had problems with the schools. They complain about the teachers because they didn’t do their jobs as parents. I read to my children and taught them right and wrong. Their teachers do a good job with them because I laid the ground work. Thank you teachers. I appreciate what you have done for my children.

In the wrong profession

January 12th, 2010
1:13 pm

TEACHERS:

Furloughs-$297.00 per day
Dealing with idiotic parents-Not Enough $$$
Having to teach for testing-waste of time
IEP’s-The whole week of Spring Break + some…
Getting students with Mildly Intelligent IQ’s to pass the Graduation Test- Yeah sure, wish me luck!
And now being paid based on performance… PRICELESS!!!

Sonny you need to lead by example! Judge your performance.

Ace

January 12th, 2010
1:13 pm

Public school teaching IS a government job. Government jobs should only pay what the taxpayers will allow to be taken from them. Private schools should be where the good pay is. You can’t be everything to everybody.

Common Sense

January 12th, 2010
1:14 pm

Teachers in affluent areas will for the most part have better test scores. Has nothing to do with effective yeaching. Everything to do with home environment.

chief 0934

January 12th, 2010
1:15 pm

Perdue is a fool if he thinks that would work. It would only encourage cheating in schools. Also it’s studpid to think that teachers should make as much as top football coaches. What do you think brings in all the money to those schools? A winning football program generates thousands of dollars a year that a principal gets to use at his discretion. Good football team = lots of money. Don’t kid yourselves

td

January 12th, 2010
1:18 pm

Common Sense, I do not see it that way. If the formula is based on individual students and the improvement while in a class, then the good teachers would get higher results from the lower achieving students then the higher achieving students.

CN

January 12th, 2010
1:20 pm

The only solution to our education problem is competition. Call it vouchers or whatever you want, and get over any problem with “government” money possibly going to religious institutions.

My husband used to teach at a private school, and the education they provided was excellent for one reason only: competition. They had to provide the best because the parents would leave if they didn’t. There were no lazy teachers, because lazy teachers cost them tuition money. He is back in public education now (I’ll be honest, it was a financial decision for our family. Public education pays more.), and the incompetence of many he works with drives him crazy.

Make the dollars follow the child, and eventually the lazy/incompetent teachers won’t be able to find jobs. Teacher pay will begin to reflect what the job is worth to the people who have most invested in it…the parents. Yes, some will just go to the local school, and that is fine, but eventually most parents will start to figure out that they need to find the school that best meets the needs of their family and go there.

Ted Kennedy Spitz

January 12th, 2010
1:20 pm

Uh, “B” the teacher back from Alabama, your post is truly a work of art. There are 4th graders with better writing and grammar skills. “Atlanta is being ran into the ground….” is probably my favorite.

RedandBlack

January 12th, 2010
1:22 pm

Wake up everybody. Think logically. If taxes are cut, then that means you will have more to put in your pocket for you and your family. Government was established in this country to govern, not provide. We all are to grow up, educate ourselves and our children, be responsible for our actions, work in our careers to provide and SAVE for ourselves, and be able to know right from wrong.

Relying on the government to provide for ourselves is wrong. Relying on our government to create opportunity for all of us to provide for ourselves by making good decisions is right. Do not be led astray by those who promise to provide something for your pocket. Those are the ones to run away from, because once they have your pocket, then they
have you.

There is only one United States of America. It does not take two parties to govern it. It only takes you to make good decisions on behalf of it and to remind those in government that they are there for us, not themselves. Go U.S.A.!! Go Dogs!!

Call_Me_Crazy_But...

January 12th, 2010
1:23 pm

How about we pay Perdue and the rest of the politicians (and their staff) for their performance! That right there would save the state millions.

In the wrong profession

January 12th, 2010
1:24 pm

TD it has EVERYTHING to do with the home environment!!! If little Johnny sees mom’s boyfriend beat her up before school is he going to come in acting like he is ready to learn or if Suzy sees a drug deal go bad on the way to the bus stop is she going to focus on English Literture…
Its COMMON SENSE…it has everything to do with the home environment. I can only protect them for 8 hours of the day!

Uh...no...

January 12th, 2010
1:24 pm

@Get to work teacher…we are NOT expected to go to work on furlough days. Some principals lock the schools so there is no way that teachers can get in the building.

Furlough days are not days we are expected to work. If it was, we’d be taking a pay cut, not a furlough. Know what you talk about before you post.

MiltonMan

January 12th, 2010
1:25 pm

Funny to see these “teachers” popping off their mouth about the Governor. The same teachers that are nothing more than unionized minions and puppets of the DemoRats.

My oldest child was pulled out of public schools & sent to Private school. He now attends Georgia Tech on a full academic scholarship. Public schools are full teachers who receive the easiest degree possible while in college & students who lack respect for adults, dope-heads, etc. At least in private schools the students who act up are tossed out. Public schools & the unions want more students so that they can receive more funding.

Substitute Teacher

January 12th, 2010
1:25 pm

The Governor has elected to compare underage students to NFL millionaires. How thoughtless! The performance and achievement of our students rests first on their parents (both of them) and second, on the school systems. Let the Governor make it madatory for parents to participate in the educational development of their children through school volunteer activities or their would be assessed some penalty. You would see higher test scores, less violence in and out of schools, safer environment for the children, winning sports teams, and cooperation between family and school. (As it once was)

jamlock

January 12th, 2010
1:31 pm

Milty….uh, private schools only have a better class of drug addict. Your child’s major at Tech is…….let me guess……elementary education?

Paul

January 12th, 2010
1:35 pm

Here we go again with the liberal dribble – if a Republican says it, let’s oppose it. Liberals and Democrats have caused the problems we are in, even though they want to blame someone else – liberal cry-babies – so typical.

MiltonMan

January 12th, 2010
1:36 pm

Question to the teachers: If you hate the Governor so much, the parents you deal with, the “long” hours you put in, the “crappy” students, etc., why do you continue to teach?

For working 9 months out of the year, your pay is pretty well. Maybe I am sheltered living in North Fulton but we do expect our schools to be the best and if they are not we do not hesitate to contact the school administration.

Ace

January 12th, 2010
1:38 pm

Oh how the Republicans have made GA such a better place…boy were the teachers fooled !!!!

Teaching is a Racket

January 12th, 2010
1:38 pm

Dear Todd: I have had no problems with schools, my children graduated from George Walton High School in East Cobb, earned engineering degrees from Ga Tech, and all make in excess of six figure salaries today. Their business travels take them all over the world, all at the companies expense, but business travel is no fun. They frequently work 60 hour weeks, weekends, and do not get 3 month vacations. They are lucky to take a week or two at Christmas, and a week in Summer.

MiltonMan

January 12th, 2010
1:39 pm

jamlock – thanks for enlightening us with your cluelessness. You must be a by-product of the Clayton County school system.

jamlock

January 12th, 2010
1:41 pm

Milty…..hahahaha…..I was right, your child is an elementary education major.

Teaching is a Racket

January 12th, 2010
1:42 pm

jamlock, you demonstrate your ignorance as Georgia Tech does not offer degrees in education, let alone elementary education.

old man

January 12th, 2010
1:42 pm

Perdue has botched his reign as governor. He has squandered resources, ticked off the teachers, messed up gas prices, etc. He is now desperate and thinks that once again, the teachers should be the scapegoat.
States where merit pay has been introduced have not gotten better results. There is more cheating by teachers, teaching to the test, etc.
Teachers are the only ones who pay to get a pay raise.
He is a lame duck governor and one who should have been impeached when he screwed up the gas shortage last fall.

grandma

January 12th, 2010
1:44 pm

My daughter is a teacher and I can say she spends many, many hours in her classroom after her students leave for the day to prepare for the next school day. She has 29 students in her 4th grade class and has 6 different reading level groups. She has many students with ADHD and has little parental support from many of her students. She only brings home about $500.00 a week for working more than 60 hours a week not counting meetings and instructional classes they must take to keep their certification up. You people are a joke if you think teaching is easy and Sonny is an idiot for even thinking of paying teachers for their student performance. She is a GREAT teacher and deserves alot more than Sonny Boy is offering. I bet he wouldn’t take the place of one teacher for one day. I bet my life on it!

Beaves

January 12th, 2010
1:46 pm

The problem is not the teachers, but the people who put out the curriculum. We blame teachers ever chance we get, but the idiots who tell the teachers how to teach have never had to teach. There should be a mandatory 10 years in the classroom before you decide how children should be taught. We have the same problem with the Obozo administration, people who have never worked in the private sector, telling the private sector how to run a business. Let’s put a person in charge of the IRS that doesn’t even know how to pay their own taxes… This could only make sense to a loser liberal.

jamlock

January 12th, 2010
1:47 pm

Uhhhh…actually any college/university in the system offers “de facto” degrees in education as in order to be certified to teach secondary school in Georgia, you now have to major in your specialty. You really missed th point Racket.

Bone

January 12th, 2010
1:48 pm

Boys and girls,
Likes many of these teachers (who should be teaching now instead of writing on this blog) have stated, just go to your local school and spend one day there teaching 4th graders. Go ahead…make your move!

I work in the private sector…my wife is a school teacher. This year, it’s the kindergarden class she has. I would rather spend 8 hours with my stupid boss that 2 hours with 20 five year olds. You folks can’t keep up with your 1-3 kids, much less 20. Yes, she has someone to help her, but when you have this many or more in 1st, 2nd, 3rd grades (which she taught), there is no help.

Teachers today are only baby-sitters since the stupid parents of many can’t control their kids at home, so they ship them to government school and expect a dramatic turn-around and fix their kids. If the parents were not so stupid (and I seen most of you at other functions at schools acting as bad as your kids), then the education system might be better today.

In the private sector, some say, “If you can fix it, teach it!” In the parent world, it’s “If you can be a parent, ship them to school and hope for the best, because I can’t do anything!”

DA

January 12th, 2010
1:49 pm

You teachers crack me up. You should be comedians!

ATLShawty

January 12th, 2010
1:57 pm

I done thank we needs to elect NeNe as govnor…she da bomb…she would done pay all da teachers good!

Joanie

January 12th, 2010
1:59 pm

It is an interesting concept to pay teachers for performance. First of all, how would performance be determined for non standardized test score classes such as foreign language, art, music, agriculture, etc.? Also, who is going to stop veteran teachers from taking the highest achieving students right out of the gate? Who is going to take all of the phone calls that I have from parents telling me that they do not care if their child is failing or not. Who is going to cut my class sizes from 34 students because research shows that students learn better in a with smaller class sizes? Who is going to supply the same technology and materials that other school systems receive just so we are all on an even playing field? Who is going to stop coaches from trying to pressure me to pass their athletes? Who is going to stop crazy interruptions in my classroom that allow students to miss a great number of instructional hours?

If you are not a teacher, and you have no idea what teaching is about day in and day out, then you really have no basis to comment at all. It would be like a teacher trying to tell a surgeon what they should be doing. Maybe next, I will be able to pay my doctor what I think he should be paid based on service.

Beck

January 12th, 2010
2:02 pm

I’m a teacher and I love my job; I’m also on my planning period right now and have planned ahead so my time is my own.

I love my job; for the most part, I love my kids (students) and most parents are helpful, kind and understanding. I have been pleasantly surprised at almost every opportunity by my school’s administrators, students and parents.

Please don’t detract from the job itself; those of us who are in education chose it for a reason. Teachers who no longer love their job shouldn’t be in the classroom any more. We should each do our best (teachers, students, parents and government). It’s counter-productive and counter-intuitive to tell students how important their education is and then show their teachers that it is not be refusing to pay for advanced degrees.

Let’s just be glad Sonny’s tenure is almost over.

Joanie

January 12th, 2010
2:04 pm

MiltonMan: There are no teacher unions in the state of Georgia. By the way, I have three degrees in Education, and I have learned three languages and teach them as a result. How many languages do you know? Also, private schools are not even required to hire certified teachers. They are not even required to have any type of degree.

crackertroy

January 12th, 2010
2:10 pm

If this passes, there will be a lot of tax dollars spent prosecuting and investigating teachers manipulating test scores and student achievement data.

B

January 12th, 2010
2:10 pm

For those of you that have the philosophy that everything the government (e.g., public schools) does is awful, why don’t you instead put your energy into encouraging personal responsibility for parents…because I know that is one of your beliefs, if you are republican or libertarian. Parents need to follow rules, teach their children how to follow rules, attend parent-teacher meetings, sit in on classes, oversee homework, read to their children, do math drills with their children, take them to the library, teach their children how to share and work with others and use appropriate language and non-violence in problem resolution. I think it will be much easier to judge teachers if these things were commonplace. However, my intuition as a parent of 2 children in elementary school is that these things are not commonplace. So putting more energy into parent responsibility sure might be helpful.

middler and so tired of all the rhetoric :

January 12th, 2010
2:12 pm

First to Road scholar (ha ha) who is telling the teachers who are working on furlough days that they are violating federal law, do you have a clue? Have you talked to any real, currently teaching teachers any time lately? They are all working on their furlough days because the work hasn’t gone away, just the pay. Have you talked to principals and system administrators who know exactly what their teachers are doing and support it? Are you one of those morons who agrees that special ed teachers should just work harder or better to fit their students into the mainstream testing environment directing GA schools? And what kind of job do you have that allows you so much free time to participate in these inane posts? I have seen your moniker in several over the last few months. I subbed after I lost my high tech job. In my tech career I was salaried with a 6 figure income plus bonuses and got a lot of vacation and sick time, with low cost benefits and lots of opportunity to move up and around. After my company folded I subbed for a year: elementary, middle, and high school. Never have I been so physically and emotionally tired or discouraged. I was encouraged to get my teaching certificate and come back permanently. Nobody gets paid enough to do that job. Half my family are teachers or principals trying desperately to make it to retirement and their second jobs. They were required to get advanced degrees on their own time and their own dime. Nationally recognized teachers were promised a miniscule reward and that has been rescinded. Thank your parents, your college professors, and yourself for being so well educated. I went to 13 schools as a military brat and thank god for the teachers in those 13 schools. Private, public. Rural and urban. Without them I wouldn’t be a college graduate with a good job who can enjoy literature and do a little math. And neither would you.

Ron

January 12th, 2010
2:20 pm

The Coach analogy is humorous. If a player does not play well enough to make the team then that player does not make the team. A coach can be selective in most schools about who he lets on the team to maximize the chances of being more successful. Can you imagine what sort of record most coaches would have if they simply took the first 15 to 50 students that showed up to play. That is what teachers do. They have no choice as to which students they are going to have on the first day of school.

jm

January 12th, 2010
2:27 pm

Georgia teachers suck. Your griping on this page is one additional example. go back to work…

Nate

January 12th, 2010
2:33 pm

Prude is screwing up schools systems as fast as he can. I a republican, and agree with Prude on a lot of issues, but he is a idiot when it comes to education. No child left behind has made it where all teachers do is pass kids so that they can increase the number of graduates etc. Purdue cant get out of office fast enough !!!!!!!

South GA Dawg

January 12th, 2010
2:41 pm

What services does the State of Georgia provide that are not necessary for some element of the state’s society? Actually there are several services that could be either cut back or even eliminated. If they are not first Education both public and post graduate, law enforcement, health care, prisons, assistance to the truly ill and elderly, transportation, state parks and historical sites, and employment oppotunity procurement then the remaining programs could be drastically scaled back or even eliminated. To continue the necessary programs they must have funding, we need some realistic people governing our state that can think of a solution to the problem rather than creating a larger problem by some idiotic party idealogy of “tax cuts”. If you have a house payment, a car payment and children’s education to pay for you will not if you have any intelligence march in to your job and demand a pay cut. We should have politicians that are both sensible, and intelligent along with enough backbone to say here are the facts, we are coming up short in our funds and we have essential services that need to be provided, therefore we must have the funds to pay for these services and our only way to do so is to raise taxes.

B

January 12th, 2010
2:41 pm

Ted Spitzer. I am at work IDIOT!

B

January 12th, 2010
2:44 pm

Ted Spitzer

I believe your are a “Sonny and George Bush” fan according to your comments. Wake up!

woody

January 12th, 2010
2:49 pm

So there is going to be a “student draft” were only the best students get to learn? I guess the students left become Governors.

TeacherCoach

January 12th, 2010
2:54 pm

Our wonderful, crooked, money-hunger governor is killing me. If his pay was based on his performance, he could never pay us back what he owes us. Since, I forgot he is too busy to be furloughed!!! I worked on my furlough days. He needs to go NOW!!! Maybe we wouldn’t be in such sad shape if he wasn’t so worried about his land deals, his family being home wreckers with security, and screwing over tax payers. I can’t wait for him to be gone and I regret the fact that I did vote for this idiot!

DMR

January 12th, 2010
2:59 pm

FIX EDUCATION: 1) School Boards should be manned by former teachers who truly understand the issues that teachers face in the classroom. Also former school administrators. 2) Teachers should be paid MORE. Not necessarily pay for performance…because then you are tied to students in areas where they may be apathetic. But competition for the best teachers should be fierce and teachers should make high five or six figure salaries. Teachers have become educators, disciplinarians, baby-sitters, and have to deal with a curriculum that does not necessarily prepare kids to succeed, but is based on a political ideology. 3) STUDENTS MUST BE HELD TRULY ACCOUNTABLE FOR BEING A STUDENT. Real discipline must be allowed to be imposed by the school. If a student refuses to learn or is a disruption in class, teachers should be allowed to remove them. 4) Failure has to be REAL. The real world doesn’t give a damn about these kids feelings. The world is a competition. Removing competition and goals and consequences has destroyed education. 5) Get the Federal Government out of the education business because the Department of Education has been a public policy disaster. 6) If teachers are unable to teach or are incompetent, the school must be allowed to fire them. COMPETITION AND ACCOUNTABILITY are the only things that will make education better.

Bone

January 12th, 2010
3:01 pm

JM

Please take I-75 back north to wherever you came from. Apparently you have no clue. Now…you get back to work!!

Liberal Teacher

January 12th, 2010
3:03 pm

td, it will not work like this…
I wish government was this efficient…

Teaching is a Racket

January 12th, 2010
3:19 pm

Jamlock, Ga Tech does not offer an education degree, period. If a graduate wants to teach, they must obtain a teaching degree elsewhere. Of course their degree courses will count toward an education degree, but not at Ga Tech. Are you learning impaired?

michelle

January 12th, 2010
3:27 pm

perdue’s teacher pay plan is about the worst thing i’ve ever heard of. rewarding teachers based on their students’ achievements…did i read that right?? part of the equation here is the STUDENT. the student doesn’t have to be a braniac to “achieve”, but they do have to have the desire to learn. a teacher can only teach so much to an individual that does or doesn’t want to learn, and the teacher shouldn’t be penalized for the apathy of their students.

absurd.

aaron humes

January 12th, 2010
3:28 pm

Georgia already has the highest teachers in the southeast, but for what?
Perdue might be onto something. Instead of fostering “entitlement” thinking, why not try pay for performance for a change?

CN

January 12th, 2010
3:35 pm

Most school boards are full of corrupt people trying to use the board as their personal employment agencies.

Vouchers and competition are the only thing that can fix this.

mike

January 12th, 2010
3:36 pm

Well he did push that Go Fish project through. You know the so -called fish museum that will be sitting next to the property he owns in middle Georgia. As fas as the water and schools he and his party has done nothing. Oh he did fly the GSP helicopter. And the lobbyists who had sex with the state legislators did pretty well for the companies they represented. Lets see he did eat a lot of barbque and take some trips to visit the troops and announced that he was going to bring the Ga National guard home. I think they are still deployed.

Lamb

January 12th, 2010
3:38 pm

The State of Georgia and the rest of the USA will continue to suffer as long as the students are not held accountable for their work. Students are being spoon fed material to pass standardized tests. If they don’t do their homework or projects, they are given multiple opportunities to complete the work. All this while a teacher in the classroom is responsible for teaching the same material to a student that has no problems learning and a student that is special education. Most teachers are underpaid and over worked with no appreciation from the students or the parents.

Henry

January 12th, 2010
3:41 pm

After Perdue and his crowd tried to take back the promised bonuses for National Board Certification, what educator is going to buy into a new salary schedule when the state has never funded its basic commitment to public education called the Quality Basic Education Act. This is just an effort to distract the public from the real objective which is to dismantle public education. Let’s put the Republican State School Superintendent to the smaller government “results” test. It seems that she has grown DOE by about 25% since she took over. What about Perdue and his small government pledge: well, what do you know, state government has grown during his administration as well. Now, let’s pay them based on their performance.

Dr. Mary Elizabeth Kelly

January 12th, 2010
3:41 pm

I have been teaching for 30 years and I love it! I work 10-12 hours a day and no, I do not get paid for the days we do not work. Teachers are paid for 190 days.I do not expect to get paid what a company CEO gets paid and I chose this profession anyway. It does not matter how many extra hours I work or Saturdays or Sundays. No, business does not always get rewarded for performance. Are you telling me Wall Street, AIG and others should have received bonuses? If you are in a company where you worked hard and received a bonus based on productivity….. You work with a product! You have established parameters and it is in your bosses’ best interest to make sure you succeed! I do not work with a product. I work with children and many of them have parents who put academics first and stress academic success. I have many who do not. There are so many variables that I cannot control. Perdue has done nothing but help the current legislature strip the budgets of public schools. You think the private schools are better? Well, how do you propose we establish private school rules and regulations with an American public that for the most part, wants to blame anyone and everyone, rather than take responsibility for their child’s learning. Governor Perdue’s Master Teacher Program…. a complete joke! The rigorous, National Board Certification Program was gutted by him. This program is recognized all over the U.S. The people who succeeded in this program are the few. The Governor took away the supplement that rewarded these teachers’ efforts. I challenge any person who reads this to come to my school and follow my steps for a week. Please do not assume that because you have gone to school that you know what it is like to teach.

Warrior Woman

January 12th, 2010
3:44 pm

@TR – Don’t let the facts get in the way of your ranting. Where honest citizens are armed, the facts show crime goes down. Here’s a hint: The criminals don’t care if they break the law by carrying concealed. The law-abiding citizens do. Making concealed carry easier only makes it easier for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves.

@Georgia Native, Matt, etc., opposing pay for performance – Nothing in pay for performance says the standards have to be the same for low performing and high performing students. This argument is just a straw man to oppose holding teachers and administrators accountable for doing their job. Indeed, if the benchmark becomes something like percent improvement, the teachers with the “best inputs” in terms of student capabilities and preparedness are the ones that would have to work hardest to meet performance standards.

Maccadave

January 12th, 2010
3:49 pm

Sonny,
Please hurry up and get out of the mansion. You have been the most useless Governor ever, and your disdain for teachers shows it. You are so out of touch!!!! The grades are not just reflective of the teacher’s ability but of the element that they are teaching in. From what I remember, you didn’t give them or state workers raises for several years, and the raises that were given were piddly little 1% raises that certainly didn’t set off the 13% increases in health insurance cost passed on to each state employee.
You sure have done next to nothing for economic development in the state. Roy Barnes did more than you. He changed the state flag in order to appease Pirelli Tire so they would move their U.S. Headquarters to Rome. You changed the flag to yet another Confederate based Pre-’56 flag, without allowing the voters you promised a chance at having the post ‘56 flag. Why? Because the democratically controlled General Assembly forced you to do so. You didn’t have the backbone to stand up to them, and you certainly don’t have the backbone to stand up to the rest of the world to bring Georgia to the forefront of Economic Development.
I was stupid enough to vote for you against Roy, and how I have regretted it ever since. Probably because I fell for the lies you stated to my face. Maybe Roy will win and fix the problems you have created, or maybe he will lose once everyone figures out that Pirelli was the main reason for the flag change, not Jesse Jackson.

tc

January 12th, 2010
3:50 pm

we ought to put moratorium on dumb a$$es from having more kids

June

January 12th, 2010
3:52 pm

Georgia could save education $$ by eliminating all the standardized testing that goes on in our schools now. My child’s textbooks even have CRCT exercises in them to teach them how to pass the test. This is not teaching for the sake of the child’s learning. It is teaching children to take tests. Gov. Perdue, how do you plan on measuring how well a teacher does his/her job – with yet one more standardized test? Absurd!!! As always, let’s cut services to senior citizens, services to the mentally ill and our children’s education!

Ron_Mexico

January 12th, 2010
3:57 pm

@ get to work teacher

I’m not going to call you an idiot, but you’re acting like one. On Furlough days, no one is at work…students included. hahahahahahahaha

Mike

January 12th, 2010
3:58 pm

An average teacher at Walton HS will be paid a ton. A great teacher at a “lower school” will struggle to “earn” the same. Teachers at the best schools, most often, have the most support, most resources, and the best working environments. Now, they will also have an easier path to a higher salary. Salary will be largely dictated on which school a teacher happens to teach at. Under the new system: How could any noble teacher ever afford to teach at a needs-based school? Transfer requests will become much more common.

This makes things more dire at needy schools and much better in the wealthy areas. It is more of the same, only worser for children of the poor. How does this system account for the fact that some schools are harder to teach at than others? Many of the so-called “best teachers” at the so-called “best schools” would not last long at some of the most difficult schools.

Cooter Burger

January 12th, 2010
4:06 pm

Teaching is a Racket: FYI, teacher do not get a 3 month vacation. They sign a contract for 190 days of work and their salary is divided over a 12 month period so they get a paycheck each month. Also, teachers in Georgia are not unionized.

Exhausted Educator

January 12th, 2010
4:13 pm

What about our special educators who teach ONLY students with significant learning difficulties? Special educators work extremely hard to correct and accomodate students with major academic needs. Although many of these students don’t pass the standardized tests each year, we take pride in the progress that our students do make. Even with the best teachers and the most supportive parents, some students will still have to work 200% through the year and not pass the standardized test. It is hard enough sometimes to get General Education teachers to embrace the special needs population of students and commit to the challenges such a diverse population of students can bring to the classroom. Now Perdue wants to penalize teachers who work with this population? So much for integration and inclusion!

JAYB

January 12th, 2010
4:25 pm

Hey “Pissed of Teacher”…you may hold a Masters Degree and have over 10 years of experience in the classroom but apparently no one taught you to finish reading before you get all fired up about nothing. Perdue has simply proposed an idea that will take a while to pass, if it even does that. This is why we have the general assembly to scrutinize and work out every detail before it can possible passed. More importantly, if passed, it will merely be a pay option to choose from. No one is going to make you choose that option; you can keep receiving your normal pay if you want. As an educator, I, like you, see many problems with this system of pay but it could be beneficial to some newer teachers who do not have the pay increase due to seniority. He just wants to give some teachers an option to increase there pay in a different way. I can’t believe some of the people on here that can get so fired up over the smallest issues without even reading the details. Everyone rants off topic to information that isn’t even relevent. Are yall mad at the situation or just looking for somewhere to release your anger because you so unhappy with other events in your lives?

doh

January 12th, 2010
4:29 pm

Teacher pay based on performance is not determined by how good a teacher is but who that teacher is teaching. An AP/gifted teacher will fare better than a special ed teacher in any merit pay system. Again, our moron governor who has no idea about education….

adam

January 12th, 2010
4:30 pm

Some teachers cannot control their students and these misfits are shipped off to other teachers in mid-year. Not fair if teachers are to be paid on student achievement. Also, some administrators give their buddy teachers the best students. Impeach sunny P.

WhoIsPayingForAllTheBBQ

January 12th, 2010
4:31 pm

All the difficult times for state employees and teachers and ALL I SEE on the news is the governor and his cronnies eating BBQ, eggs and Issues??, traveling to other states and we cannot appropriately collect taxes? Who paid for that BBQ shindig the other night at the railroad depot?

BlueDem

January 12th, 2010
4:32 pm

As for those of you who think that teaching is an easy profession (while never having taught a day in their life), why don’t you go get an emergency teaching certificate and spend a year in the classroom and enjoy the “good life”? You will quickly learn that teachers are the most overburdened and underpaid group of professionals in this country.

And yes, PLEASE DO put up Sonny Perdue to run for president in 2012. His candidacy will be an even bigger joke than Bob Dole’s was.

Amber

January 12th, 2010
4:33 pm

And the reason teachers should not get paid based on how their students perform is:

ATLShawty
January 12th, 2010
1:57 pm
I done thank we needs to elect NeNe as govnor…she da bomb…she would done pay all da teachers good!

anonymous

January 12th, 2010
4:37 pm

Performance pay for teachers is crap…There is no real way to judge or determine how teachers will get paid for performance…Look at North Carolina as well as other states that have tried to have performance based pay…States like North Carolina tried and failed and the sad thing is is that it is the average student that loses out because the teachers will opt to teach the talented and gifted kids or the special education kids…If you want more pay for teachers than do what needs to be done to give them a straight up good old fashion raise…Not a step, not a cost of living increase, but a RAISE like people in corporate America get.

Michael

January 12th, 2010
4:40 pm

Paying teachers like coaches? No, how about paying coaches like teachers!

ATL

January 12th, 2010
4:42 pm

I think teachers need a raise, they out up with a lot of BS from students. Where are the parents, they need to held accountable for these rotten children.
Teachers get no respect, they are ran over all the times if not by the student then its the parents..

I really fill sorry for the teachers, they need to be paid, and paid well.
The teachers are nothing but baby sitters for lazy PARENTS, THEN THEY TURN AROUND AND BLAME THE TEACHERS FOR LOW TEST SCORES.

Make the Parents Accountable, Parents please see to that your kids come home read, do there homework, Parents look over your kids work everyday, listen to them read, quiz them on there work.

Make your kids respect the classroom and the TEACHER. Parents have some respect for yourself, and please DISCIPLINE YOUR KIDS and I BET YOU THEY WILL LEARN AND PASS THOSE STUPID TEST.

oldtimer

January 12th, 2010
4:42 pm

So who will teach the slow learners, the poor, or the ill-behaved.

Exhausted Educator

January 12th, 2010
4:47 pm

old timer: broke teachers like me who didn’t go into teaching for the glamorous lifestyle!

CQ

January 12th, 2010
4:47 pm

So by Gov. Perdue’s logic he should be paid according to how well the state is doing. Guess what? Time for Sonny to give himself a paycut. Like the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” Well… you can drag a kid to school, but you can’t make him think. How do you teach a kid who’s asleep at his desk? Stop blaming teachers.

Husband of a Special Ed. Teacher

January 12th, 2010
4:48 pm

First, let me clear up one major misconception that has been mentioned in these comments. Teachers in GA are NOT unionized. However, Purdue’s proposal will quickly bring about unionization. Teachers teach what is required of them by state and federal mandates (with some local oversight). If the public schools are bad, then blame the correct people (those running the school districts – state and local), not the teachers. My wife spends at least 10 hours of her own time at home each week planning classes, grading work, and doing administration. She has no planning time during the school day as she is a self-contained Special Ed. teacher. That time more than makes up for her 10 weeks off during the summer.

Repeating several comments, Purdue’s proposal is misguided at best and ill-conceived at worst. Basing teacher pay and raises on test scores of the students will do several things. 1) Make it difficult to recruit teachers in underperforming schools, 2) Put undue strain on districts that may perform well but don’t have the tax base to support it. 3) Give the teachers a good incentive to unionize (actually, that is a positive in my book). 4)Give more ammunition to parents to blame the teachers for their underperforming students rather than themselves for their absent parenting.

When you make the teachers the enemy, do you think they won’t fight back?

Instead of mandating from the top, talk to the teachers. They are the ones on the front line. They are the ones interacting with our children. Keep pushing. The teachers will come up with a solution.

I hope the teachers wake up and get unionized. then maybe, we will see some pushback on the old meme “if my child is not doing well, it must be the teacher’s fault.”

Derek

January 12th, 2010
4:54 pm

Radial ideas from the Gov again. Here is a really radical idea. Teachers work very hard at a largely thankless job. Pay them well and let them teach. Politicians who have never taught for a living have no idea what these teachers do every day. It must be a hard job and if they are as valued as lip service indicates, they should be paid and paid well. They can receive bonuses for going above and beyond the call of duty. Pay them according to their value to our society.

Jay

January 12th, 2010
4:56 pm

Regarding teachers’ pay, follow this rationale to its logical conlusion; the teachers whose classrooms are filled with precious children from gated communites with both parents at home assisting with homework and discipline will be paid well. Those teachers whose classrooms are filled with students from a lower soci-economic backgrounds where parents are absent from the home resulting in a more challenging teaching environment will be paid less. Another assenine idea from an incompetent governor. I guess teachers can’t complain too loudly, however. They are greatly responsible for the ouster of Barnes.

Just Saying

January 12th, 2010
5:01 pm

Football coaches get to cut players that do not perform…..will teachers get to “cut” students from their classes that don’t do homework, don’t care, or don’t study?

small town teacher

January 12th, 2010
5:02 pm

There are so many things I’d like to tell the GOOD GOV!! I wish I could have told him all my thoughts when he came to Washington County to perform a wedding.(not that he would have cared) However I don’t think he is going to read any of our blogs or cares what all the bloggers have to say. Remember that not so long ago Roy Barnes tried the same thing and wasn’t re-elected. At least “Sonny” has done his time and is on his way out the door.

Stewart

January 12th, 2010
5:11 pm

Having worked in school administration for over ten years, I have mixed feelings about this plan. I have several teachers with doctorate degrees who are worthless in the classroom. Higher education does not make one a better teacher. I have hired people right out of college who do a better job. Also, some of my best teachers come from the workforce outside of education. On the other hand, higher degrees do allow people to learn certain aspects of administration.

4 jacks

January 12th, 2010
5:12 pm

What a complete joke. Mr. Perdue (and I refrain from governer for a reason) should be more concerned with getting disipline back into the school system. My son who is in the 10th grade has two classes where there are some very disruptive students. They are constantly causing problems in the class room. I went to the school to didcuss with the administration and was flat out advised that there are only certain measures that can be taken. So Mr. Perdue, you have 25 students in a class that want to learn and 2 or 3 that are keeping the teacher from teaching these 25 because her/his class is always being disturbed by these punks. It should be 3 strikes your out. Call the parents and tell them on the second offense that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated and if happens the third time they are out. I mean as in out for good. Let there parents deal with the trouble makers that they have created, and let my son learn, so he has a chance in this highly competitive world. So now Mr Perdue wants the teachers to take the blame and lose pay if the scores are not high enough? Clean up the mess that you and the state government has created first Mr. Perdue, then you can hold them accountable, but not before. It is always easy to blame someone else and hold them responsible for your mess now insn’t it. Sounds just like our state and federal governments, what a complete joke.

Road Scholar

January 12th, 2010
5:16 pm

Middler and so tired of all the rhetoric:
My, My, what anger! Where do I start? How about in the order you wrote:

1.First, I do not know what the teachers were told, but it is a violation of federal law to work on a furlough day. My wife is a teacher at a local university and they were told to not even come into the building or use their computers! When I worked full time, as a manager I had to ensure that my employees were not on the job-in the office or at home-if they were furloughed.

2.Yes my wife…on a daily basis. Oh and she’s one who has to put up with the untaught students that graduate from Georgia’s High Schools!

3.4. No

5. I’m a retired Engineer working part time (contract work); I also work for a charity on half day a week. Would entertain tutoring but by me not having any children, I’m not sure how to approach it;if someone would take me.

I’m sorry that you despised your time a a teacher. My job as an engineer included not just managing, but teaching my employees the trade. I also was a guest lecturer at conferences and at GT. I am on one of the schools boards.

We have been breifed at the university level about the revenue shortfall and effects to the HOPE scholarship, administration needs, and of course the teachers and students. Fortunately, most GT students and other young engineers do not need prodding to learn. They get it!

But the young people coming up today expect to do nothing, and to start as CEO’s and make $100,000 right out of college, or they’ll be a music, video, or entertainment wizards. They first need to turn their grades into something to be proud of! They need your help!

I have talked to family and friends with kids. They discuss responsibilities for their children, with rewards and punishment for the children not doing their job…learning. My parents and grandparents expected their children to go to college. It was not debatable, but the only accepted outcome. My grandparents were uneducated immigrants who’s children (3) and grandchildren (10) all graduated from college. Why? It was expected! It was encouraged! And they participated in the education, as did our teachers.

Life is tough.I wish I had a better thing to say but Suck it up! You’re aren’t the only ones in this type of predicament! Get the parents involved; e-mail them, call them, communicate! I had engineers who wanted to be left alone and “toss” their designs over the partition as a sign of doing their job. “I did my job” Did it work? No! You have to involve them to get them to learn!
Sorry for such a lengthy blog. And I don’t mean to talk down to you. It IS tough out there. But we, the US and GA, need YOU to succeed!

gateach

January 12th, 2010
5:16 pm

Some interesting information for the idiots out there…
fact 1) Georgia is a right-to-work state…no teachers unions you morons…PAGE and GAE provide teachers with liability insurance, legal representation, and lobbying interests at the state/national level – if you think MACE is a real union, you are kidding yourself. They have no collective bargaining power whatsoever.
fact 2) those lobbyists dont have as much pull as people accuse them of having…if they did, teacher salaries in this state would be much higher, trust me…
fact 3) standardized tests cost money…millions of dollars…instituting pay for performance means more standardized tests (yes..it does…in order to show gains, you need pretest data and posttest data…they will likely use CRCT/EOCT data for post tests in core subjects, but will need to create other tests for subjects that do not currently use this testing model) which means more costs in our education budget…nice try Sonny…
fact 4) competition does not improve test scores…period. there are plenty of scientific studies on the topic, look them up…but they basically say that those families that take advantage of things like vouchers and charter school applications already have enough self-efficacy to ensure positive achievement gains for their children…not to mention the fact that charter schools fail to outscore public schools on standardized tests every year – if you are worried that a school is too “dangerous” for kids to succeed, there are already laws out there that protect your child and allow you to transfer any student from a dangerous school into one that is not…
fact 5) this will all be over soon, as this is the last gasp of the lame duck before he flies south for his long retirement…on the nest egg the taxpayers built for him

jdawg

January 12th, 2010
5:21 pm

Now how can a physical education teacher get graded on this scale…yes, Suzy jumped over the box…we will pay her more. Barnes, and others have tried to re-invent the wheel. In fact I think this governor is leaving also…

ATLShawty

January 12th, 2010
5:22 pm

I still done think that we negroes need to elect NeNe as da govnor…she’d done help da teachers wit der pay!

See the Bigger Picture

January 12th, 2010
5:23 pm

Road Scholar- FYI teachers are paid on a NINE MONTH salary (thus the lower salaries!) Why are teachers considered “lazy” for choosing a profession that is 9 months? I am a professor (a NINE MONTH position) so does that make me “lazy” as well? What about people who do consulting? They often get a week or two in between jobs where they are unpaid…are they lazy as well? Both teachers and professors get paid for 9 months and then can choose to supplement our income by choosing to teach extra courses in the summer (if they are available) but many educators also go back to school during summer sessions to fulfill continuing education requirements.

flynnie

January 12th, 2010
5:27 pm

Sounds like the people in thees posts want teachers to continue to have no competition and low pay in their profession.Its true that teachers can’t control the type of students they teach each year but if you are in a competitive business and given a sales territory, for instance,. you work hard to make your territory profitable and earn your bonus no matter what the demographics are.. Teachers can do that too.. I am a teacher and think its a great concept.Otherwise parents and teachers just continue to complain and salries stay low as there is no competition. Unions are a big part of the problem as I have seen them defend teachers who had po business teaching.. Althioug my favorite solution is still vouchers for parents as the competition that would create woudl be huge and benefit all schools.by making them all work harder…..unions are against that!

Rural Area Teacher

January 12th, 2010
5:38 pm

I am a teacher in a low income, Title I school system. I have an engineering degree from Georgia Tech, but I have chosen to teach. After a long career in international business, making over $100K per year, I now make less than $40K. I have never once complained about what I make. I think the current teacher pay system is excellent compared to other professions. After all, I only have to work 190 days per year, and I have never had to go out to dinner with clients or spend 4 nights a week in a hotel room.

I have been teaching for 3 years, and I would immediately opt for pay for performance. Even though we are a title I school, we continue to perform in the top 10% of the state in science. It frustrates me that a teacher who continually scores lower, but has extra degrees and years of experience, makes more money than I make. It is also extremely difficult to remove poor performers from the system. No business on the planet could operate under these conditions. They would all be bankrupt and out of business. In terms of school achievement, it appears that is exactly what has happened to public education in the United States.

See the Bigger Picture

January 12th, 2010
5:45 pm

When we truly start valuing education in our society (as they do in the top performing nations) we will see great improvements.

A few people commented that teachers whined about things outside of their control but the fact of the matter is that there are a few variables that teachers cannot control (parent involvement, SES, things that happen at home, etc.) We can attempt to “influence” those variables but ultimately cannot control them. I have had the opportunity to teach many students (up North) from America as well as from other countries and I can assure you there is a HUGE difference between the way other cultures value and participate in their child’s education compared to our culture. There is also a huge difference between schools in the North and here in GA.

As per parent support- Many parents value the “idea” of a good education but do not want to do the hard work it takes to get there. As the saying goes “it takes a village.” Look at any of the most successful models and I guarantee they have plenty of parent participation hours, community involvement, and so forth.

If teachers were paid based upon whether or not their students were making academic GAINS, I think there would be less of an issue among teachers. Every child, no matter how far behind, should be making academic progress. The problem comes with how to “measure” those gains. Standardized tests measure very little and do not show a student’s true abilities. Performance assessments would be more aligned with best practice, but since they would have to be administered by the teachers (and would be FREE) I am sure that would be turned down asap. That multi-million dollar testing industry needs us to keep buying more tests! And GA politicians will gladly oblige. No wonder we are ranked 47th!

gateach

January 12th, 2010
5:46 pm

low income, title 1, does not = poor performing.
you can have these types of schools and have GREAT scores, however, i am going to guess that you dont have too many behavior problems at your school…or problems with no show parent conferences, or kids who wont (not don’t, there IS a difference) do any studying/work outside of the classroom…

IT IS NOT DIFFICULT to remove poor teachers from schools, administrators are just too lazy to do it. All they have to do is create a paperwork trail, put the teacher on a PDP, and if no improvement happens, the teacher can be removed, period.

harreeascd

January 12th, 2010
5:52 pm

Boy will I be glad when Sonny goes back to Houston county and is just robbin’ his companies’ customers and not all the taxpayers of GA…

nwgagirl

January 12th, 2010
5:54 pm

Oh the praying for rain governor is at it again! What’s the countdown until he’ll be out of office?

sha

January 12th, 2010
6:04 pm

Ok I have a solution guys let’s just give the teachers the governor income and the tax breaks he wants to give to the rich.

Ahhhhhh problem solved folks.

Not A Good Idea Sonny

January 12th, 2010
6:12 pm

I think Sonny’s idea of linking teacher pay to performance is actually misguided. #1, kids aren’t assembly-line products that you just input gobs of effort and hard work and dedication and create a guaranteed end good.

You have variables of the kids themselves and what they want and you have parents, as well. But outside that age-old argument from teachers, the real reason this isn’t good is that the playing field is stacked against some teachers and stacked in favor of others.

Some teachers only have advanced students in their classes and those students will do well, regardless of who is teaching them and what effort those teachers put in. Also, some schools even have huge majorities of students who are advanced and already identified gifted and talented.

And, then you have teachers whose students are mostly deficient and the playing field isn’t even and those students performing well is a lot of hard work, sweat and tears and a prayer you wish to be answered at test time.

The final flaw here is it’s just one more trend toward forcing teachers to just teach to an exam. But, really, there’s no real equity in such a “merit” plan. Most teachers in affluent areas with highly educated parents, such as North Fulton County, are identified as “great” because many of the students who show up at their doors every day are generally well-prepared long before ever reaching a public school.

TheTruth

January 12th, 2010
6:23 pm

Leadership is a term that implies that the people of authority demonstrate by example. Let’s see. We have politicians and bureaucratic systems that are full of corruption, inefficiency, and delusions of grandeur. They keep rambling on about how to save money, yet I have never seen where they are willing to take pay cuts and stop pork barrel spending on useless and self serving agendas. Our great politicians rant about how the Stimulus Plan is saving jobs. Where is the stimulus money? Let me guess, a new million dollar flower garden at the governor’s mansion or new toilets at rest areas. They fail to comprehend that you need to spend the money on agendas that will create jobs and revenues far into the future. These jobs should become self-sufficient, but politicians have no clue how to think on that level. Do we have progressive leaders that think in such a divergent manner? No, all they are concerned with is kickbacks and political favors. That same approach is the way they approach our educational system. The truth is that they are planning to decrease the state teacher pay scale. The decrease will not be a temporary adjustment, rather a permanent decrease that will lower the pay and impact teachers’ retirements. Yes, the truth is hidden behind the political propaganda. Politicians want schools to be accountable for each student’s test scores, future success, health, self esteem, morale development, and motivation. The truth is that we have an increasing number of children that are disillusioned with life, suffer from social and academic apathy, lack any resemblance of motivation, and resent any form of conservative morality, religious dedication, or authority. Teachers are seeing an increase in students suffering from apathy, yet we continue to expect them perform miracles. Requirements are increasing while academic concern is decreasing and we expect those two variables to meet in the middle as the divide increases daily. Greater expectations and requirements with lower pay! That will really help with the teacher shortage. NOT! That is equivalent to requiring a mechanic to fix a car with no tools or pay. My suggestion is to not vote for any incumbent. I have no confidence in any of our elected officials. The concept is to decrease the pay of teachers. Do you really believe that will increase consumer spending and tax revenues? The exact opposite is true. Maybe our politicians should be made to return to high school and take a remedial economics class. It is very evident that they either never had the course or failed it. Their plan is basically to continue to take away from the educational system and expect more. What will society be like if the educational system collapses? Without education, no other career exists because the educational system is the foundation for all other fields and areas.

Print

January 12th, 2010
6:33 pm

This just means that some teachers will cheat in order to receive a higher salary. Making kids in the class room a commodity instead of a priority.

Sandy

January 12th, 2010
6:36 pm

To Teaching is a Racket – Teachers only get paid for the 190 days they work. We don’t get paid for 12 months! Idiots like you just don’t get it. Our 190 day salary is split up over 12 months , but it is not pay for 12 months. If you want me to work 12 months, fine….but it will cost the state more. Get your facts straight.

Dr. Phil

January 12th, 2010
6:39 pm

If Sonny Perdue were rewarded based on his performance, he would be in prison. He is without a doubt the most corrupt, ineffective governor in the sordid history of Georgia governors.

iteach

January 12th, 2010
7:40 pm

I’m confused, why is my pay based on someone else’s performance? My students choose which circles to fill in, and if you’ve ever administered a standardized test you know there are many students who race through or who melt down. I am happy to be paid for my performance – my lessons and activities, my attendance, my participation in on-going professional development, and the other contractual obligations I agreed to when I signed my contract. If you just want test scores to increase, then go ahead and tell us to teach the test. If you want kids to learn, back off and let me do what my four degrees and 15 years of experience have prepared me to do.

iteach

January 12th, 2010
7:50 pm

By the way, you’ve also furloughed me 10 days (that’s right, I work for no pay for 10 days), increased my class size (when every study out there says a lower student-teacher ratio is more effective), and I lose 37 instructional days for testing. To anyone who thinks I teach for the benefits, I do – I love helping kids learn, especially if they learn something because it is fun, interesting, and not on a test – that’s the benefit of teaching.

godiva

January 12th, 2010
8:16 pm

Purdue is an absolute fool. He has beat on education and educators since he was elected all the while padding his personal pockets as much as possible. Any one ever look into that $20 million loan against his $2 million net worth? Not another person in GA could get that deal – not even our crooked, immoral ex House Speaker Richardson! Ethics? There are NO ethics under the Gold Dome. The Dems may be crowing right now, but that will soon change. Bet your sweet a$$ that I’ll be voting AGAINST any name on the November ballot that has an “I” behind it! We all should!

OnceUponATime

January 12th, 2010
11:11 pm

So after years of cutting education money and raising class sizes, plus half a year of furloughs, Sonny wants to propose something that won’t take effect until after he’s out of office, based on an evaluation instrument that hasn’t been developed yet? What’s wrong with this picture?

UGA Trained Teacher

January 13th, 2010
1:22 am

GA does not even have the money to pay National Board Certified teachers their 10% bonus. What makes you think this new plan will have $$ in a few years. Frozen salary?

Furlough day? This teacher is NOT working. Is there any job or profession that works for free? That’s called a volunteer.

Georgian

January 13th, 2010
3:29 am

Don’t forget : Most of the folks who are promising to serve us “rainbow pie” today are the same ones who promised us the toll booths on “400″ would vanish the moment the tolls had paid for the road. The heating bills at the capitol drop by 50% every time the legislators start making their 100% hot air speeches.

Georgian

January 13th, 2010
3:31 am

“Sonny” is just another word for “Bubba”.

JD

January 13th, 2010
6:43 am

I think, in spite of the economy, some of the school systems will see a number of teachers leave after this school year after everything that has happened this year; from the start of furloughs before the school year started to other factors that has occurred within the state and local school systems. I don’t want to call it a mass exodus but school systems are going to be looking for a lot of personnel next school year. Just a feeling I am having.

math88

January 13th, 2010
7:21 am

YARD DAWG- are you an idiot? Seriously! The only reason I have an educator tag on my BMW is because my husband is a doctor! If I had to pay for my own damn tag it’d be on a 87 Chevy Cavalier with no hubcaps. Do you people THINK at all before you make asses out of yourself?

ann

January 13th, 2010
11:03 am

If Georgia has the funds to even consider this type of pay, WHY were the teachers made to take 3 furlough days because of funds? Also, before this could be implemented, the schools would have to do away with the practice of ability-grouping the students. How could a teacher with a class of non-readers have the same percentage test scores as a teacher with all the above-level students? And yes, this is the way the students are grouped in their classes-especially at the elementary levels.

Disgruntled Teacher

January 13th, 2010
2:17 pm

Maybe we should start paying our Politicians based on their approval rating, I bet we would get more favorable legislation then.

retired

January 13th, 2010
3:23 pm

My wife was a teacher for several years, while I worked in the private sector. When she came home in the afternoon, she complained about being so tired that all she wanted to do was sit around and rest. I always asked her how she could possibly be tired when all she did was stand around and teach. A few years later I finished a degree and got into teaching and I realized how hard the job was, not physically, but mentally. It was like getting 5 speechs or 5 sermons prepared for each and every day. TEACHING is hard, hard work. If you want teachers to work more days they will. If you want them to take furlough days, they will. Things that need to be done will be done because they will work on their own time to complete whatever is needed.
Talk of poor teachers might be true, but anyone that meets their classes everyday is not lazy and certainly not overpaid. WHO TAUGHT YOU TO READ THIS????

EuroAmerican

January 13th, 2010
6:16 pm

Pay teachers on their performance? Sure, that will be OK if some other requirements are made also like making each child have to pass EVERY part of the CRCT before they could be promoted on to the next grade (1-8). If they are in HS, make them have to pass an EOCT at the end of every class before receiving credit. Right now, kids only have a “passing incentive” to do well on Reading and Math tests in grades 3, 5, and 8. What incentive do they have to do well on Social Studies and Science CRCT test? EOCT tests only count for 15% of final grades in (some) HS classes. Parents would be screaming if this was made into a requirement for promotion! There are SOME parents that believe they have no responsibility in educating their children. They don’t care about education and pass that apathy on to their children who could care less if they pass a test or not …. unless it might prevent them from passing on to the next grade.

Pissed Off Educator

January 13th, 2010
7:42 pm

Sonny, are you for real! Performance based pay is not going to work. It will never happen. Can’t wait till you are gone.

Teaching is a Racket

January 13th, 2010
7:53 pm

So teachers only work 190 days per year, last time I counted there were 260 work days per year minus 10 days for vacation and five to 10 for holidays. At best, than means we are being cheated out of 50 work days by teachers, since they insist on comparing their 9 month salary to my 12 month salary.

iteach

January 13th, 2010
8:58 pm

Dear Teaching is a Racket,

Obviously your contempt for teachers has prevented you from understanding the real issue – how to improve the education system and support professional teachers as they work to provide quality learning experiences for all students.

It is unfortunate that you don’t recognize the hours spent writing lesson plans, creating engaging activities, searching for resources, attending meetings and professional learning classes, grading papers, answering parent emails, updating class websites, tutoring, holding parent conferences, and being available to my students after school, before school, weekends, and during our summer break as “work”, and would surely add up to the other 50 days you referred to in your reply.

It is also disheartening that you don’t appreciate the $1,000 or more per year I spend on materials, furniture, and resources for my classroom and my students. Do you have to pay for your own materials and supplies for your job?

You must be proud of the way you taught yourself everything you’ve ever learned, as you’ve given no credit to any teacher for their efforts. I assume you are employed in some capacity, and it is depressing you don’t thank a teacher for the skills you use every day in your job.

Your disdain for my profession’s work ethic and commitment is insulting. Certainly not every teacher is as dedicated as we would like, but can you name a profession that doesn’t have employees who are less than ideal?

Teaching is the only profession that I know of where people who have no experience believe themselves to be qualified to criticize and judge the profession. From what personal teaching experience are you making your claims? Have you tried teaching 24 5-year olds how to read lately?

A final correction, I am under contract for 190 days and I work 300. If you can read any of this – you’re welcome.

Phyllis

January 14th, 2010
5:19 pm

Gov. Perdue’s proposal to link teacher raises and pay to a performance-based system smells awfully like the “pay for performance” that state employees endured for years before this sytem was abolished. State employees were receiving merit system raises and cost of living raises each year until our legislature decided to “reward” good, hardworking employees with a pay for performance based system. Only problem was, our job descriptions were then changed to reflect this new system and so many requirements were built into your job description that there was no way possible to “exceed” and receive extra pay for going above and beyond what was even expected. This went on for years and they finally, very quietly, abolished this sytem. (After they spent million to implement it in the first place.) Now state employees only get a cost of living raise which are few and far between with the state of the economy. Teachers need to take heed and run for your lives from this system. It is simply another way for the state to save money. Take it from someone who worked for the state of Georgia for many, many years – it will not benefit you.

CLR

January 16th, 2010
10:08 am

So Gov. Purdue wants to pay teachers more but has already forced us to take three furlough days with 3 more coming? Does he have math skills? It doesn’t add up! Does he look at his own logic? Doesn’t make sense!!!!!! The man is an idiot. I have been teaching for 13 years in a Title I high poverty school. Our school does make AYP every year however, how can you measure the gain in a teacher’s test scores when we don’t teach the same kids from year to year and like another commenter said, the raw material we get to work with is not equal. Some kids will learn and soar in spite of their teacher. The kids I teach have no home support, drug backgrounds, and poor living conditions. They learn and achieve every year but not as much as their peers living on the other end of town.

Kindergarten teacher

January 16th, 2010
3:33 pm

No matter what I do I can’t take “chicken” and make it “filet mignon.” Pay for Performance…NO THANKS!

Teacher for Life

January 16th, 2010
4:31 pm

Dear iteach,

Thank you for your letter to Teaching is a Racket. You expressed yourself eloquently and represented all teachers very well. I, too, teach. It is very disheartening to know that people like Teaching is a Racket (and others) look down upon the teachers the way they do. I have worked in the private, business sector and most definitely miss working 240 days a year 40 hours a week! I made more money and came home much less tired than I do today. I didn’t have to deal with 9 year olds who tell others in the class to “Suck their big, fat juicy d*cks!” or throw desks or tear up bulletin boards when they get upset. I didn’t have to deal with 9 year olds who don’t have their bookbags or school work because the police busted into their houses and took their parents to jail the night before. I didn’t have to deal with a child being embarrassed because when he/she opened up his/her bookbag, roaches ran out. I didn’t have to deal with a child who comes to school hurt because “Mama” decided she didn’t want to be a parent anymore so she just left. My list could go on and on of jaw dropping incidences that occur on a daily basis. Oh and I do not teach in an inner city school. I teach at a low socio-economic school in a rural area of Georgia. Why do I do it? I teach because I was “called” to do so. I love all of my students even the unruly and poor students. I hope and pray each day that I make a difference. I hope that these children grow up and make something of themselves. I hope to show them that life has something better to offer them. We do live in the United States of America after all! Do I worry about “Pay for Performance”? I guess I should if it is going to be based upon how well my students perform as opposed to how well I perform as I don’t get to choose my “raw materials.” Parents send me the best they have, and I do the best I can with them each and every day. I “work” on furlough days and in the summer because there is not enough time in the “school work week” to prepare lessons and the materials needed for the school year. During the summer, I work on things that can be used in my classroom. I also “rest” and “center” myself to prepare for another physically and mentally draining year. Otherwise, I would be burned out and unable to teach at all! I can say that this is pretty much “par for the course” as I am friends with many other teachers who are just like me. It is really frustrating to be judged so critically when I know that I work harder now than I have ever worked in my life. I say shame on Teaching is a Racket and the others who criticize teachers without truly knowing the profession. As I continue to type, I think about all of us who go above and beyond and think that Pay for Performance might not be a bad idea if I fill out a time card and log in what I actually do. Perhaps I might be a millionaire!

Ann98

January 16th, 2010
7:03 pm

Oh my gosh. Comparing teachers with football coaches and kids’ learning and development with competitive sports alone shows how far Perdue is from understanding what education means. No wonder that GA is and stays at the bottom of a country that is quite at the bottom within the industrialized world when it comes to education.

tchrmom

January 17th, 2010
3:09 am

I’m a bit late on this because I am not in Georgia any longer. I do try to keep up with my old co-workers and the place that I called home for so long. I am an 8th year teacher. The first 7 years, I taught in an urban Altanta public school system. It was the hardest job I have ever had. I taught pre-k for 3 years and 2nd grade for nearly 7. The school served nearly the poorest of the poor. I’ve had students raised by struggling grandmothers because Mom or Dad made poor choices, students born to to too young parents who don’t stay together, students who live at a shelter or in a hotel, students whose parents walk 2 miles or have to take a cab to come to pick them up when they were sick (and really couldn’t afford it), students with siblings each born in a different refugee came before they came here, and students afraid to go home at night because of what awaited them there. I could go on and I could go into the negative stereotypes that sat in my classroom day after day. School is a safe place for them and yes teachers are their parents while we have them. In most cases, parents meant well, in some they did well, and in a sad few I knew that they just didn’t care. But when you are living day to day, its hard to provide more then basic care (if even that) for the child or children that you love. I had students who were gifted and angry at the world because of their lot in life; students who were sweet but slow; students disappointed because yet again Dad or Mom didn’t come get them for a long weekend as promised; students who spoke no English; students hungry because they hadn’t eaten since lunch the day before; students who were diagnosed with ADHD but unmedicated or overmedicated; students who moved here because of Hurricane Katrina and have that trauma to deal with; students coming from war torn countries who had far worse memories then any movie experience coud give me a glimpse of; and students falling asleep in class because yet again there was a drive by shooting at their apartment complex and the police, etc. kept them up all night ( plus not feeling safe).

I learned to try to do most of the work in class and make the most of my time with the souls in my charge for a short few hours. Homework was given (when I taught 2nd grade) but I knew that in most cases it wouldn’t come back at all or if it did it wouldn’t be complete. But it gave them some distractions from what they had at home. We had snacks in class as often at I could afford to, just to make sure that they had something extra to eat. I had a supply of granola bars on hand for when someone hadn’t eaten dinner or breakfast before coming to school. We did have a school breakfast program but too many students got dropped off by parents after that was done and the school day had started. I learned to love them despite the fights between two hotheads in my classroom or someone so worked up by what was going on at home that they’d throw a chair at me because they were mad at all of the adults in their life. They learned to trust me and started learning. We’d settle into a routine and they’d actually learn something and love learning. We’d play math games, do worksheets, write plays, do science experiments, so many things that showed their learning. Then the state standardized test would come around. They’d take them and still fall asleep during the test because they didn’t get to sleep last night and be unable to focus because they’d only have one of my granola bars since lunch the night before. Finally, the testing week would end and we’d go back to teaching and learning.

The results would come and I’d find out that yet again my class didn’t make AYP. Of course, we’d still be compared to the class of high achievers scores whose parents were required to sign a contract and were the best and brightest in our poor impoverished school. Does it matter that my students learned to feel safe in my classroom, that they got proper nurtition and learned to value one another, that they trusted me to get them help (and sometimes, more then I would ever wish for, I would have to make that call), they laughed, they learned, and they learned that yes they could do it ? Not really, because my class didn’t make AYP. That makes me an ineffective teacher. It was all my fault that they didn’t do it. Someone has to take the blame for our weak social services in GA, poor parents doing the best (in most cases) that they could, and kids who needed counseling and support just as much as learning to read. I won’t debate the quality of the Georgia standardized tests because we all know that they don’t reflect the true learning going on in classrooms. If you believe truly believe that they do, I challenge you to go to the poorest school in your district and volunteer for a day or heck sub and see what its like trying to teach, discipline, and not let your heart break each day. If you truly believe that the schools are broken because of ineffective teachers like me, then I challenge you to spend time in those schools and see if you can do any better.

By the way, I am now in a different kind of school system, still teaching. They parents are involved, in classrooms, and the kids have no idea how lucky they are. In fact, I am considered a model teacher here and a part of the school leadership team here because the principal has seen me in action and knows that I am a good, effective teacher. Is my life easier? Yes. I can actually leave at the end of my workday and leave work at work. I get to spend extra time with my family which I am grateful for because I know how much of my heart and soul I had to give to my students in Georgia. I will never forget how teaching there made me a better person. I still worry about my “babies” there and pray that they make it to adulthood and reach their potential. I know that some won’t, the system will “fail” them, or their parents will. But I know that they know that at least one “ineffective” non-AYP making teacher believed in them and cared enough to teach them something ever school day for 9 months of the year.

I really won’t go into some of the posts about working only 9 months, getting out of work early in the day, etc because you all know that its not true for most of us. Yes, I worked with people who left the minute that they could but many of us were kicked out of the building at night so that they school could be closed up or took work home and stayed up late to get it done after our own kids went to bed. It’s a good thing that we couldn’t get into the school on weekends because most of us would go in then too. As for summers, I’d allow myself 2 weeks to rest and then the rest of the summer would be spent lesson planning, buying supplies for the next school year, and working in my classroom to get it ready for the next school year. That is the norm rather then the exception for all of the teachers that I know. It’s easy to see the grass as greener on the other side when you don’t live it. I understand the need for furlough days mostly because I don’t want to see more services cut for my former students. I could live with that. But to say that a pay for performance plan for teachers is ridiculous. You can’t take bonuses away from good teachers because of things out of their control. If anything, you want to give bonuses to the teachers at the lowest perfoming schools bonuses so that they will stay there and not head to better schools. It could also convince the teachers at the “better ” schools to actually go teach somewhere that they are needed. I have no ill-will for school systems that perform better or those top schools, I teach in one now. But its like living in a bubble. The teachers here (unless they’ve lived it like me) have no idea how good they have it and how little they work to get kids to “learn.” Do not approve pay for performance for teachers. Its only going to make a bad situation worse.

Chris

January 17th, 2010
7:11 am

Interesting…lots of noise about Gov. Purdue’s idea concerning teacher pay but nothing offered in its place. Got a better idea? Let’s hear it!

breast cancer survior

January 17th, 2010
9:43 pm

The problem that everyone is missing is not performance base for teacher. It is God! When the schools took prayer out of the schools that’s when all the problems started in the public schools. All anyone have to do is look back at the history of the schools, Sure you had a few problems in the past, but not like it is in school’s today. Everyone wants to blame everyone else.Instead of admitting that we all are at fault. Because we all saw how the education system in Georgia was going and we all set back. Oh,we talk among ourselves and did nothing. We let the government take over. So we are all the blame.
When my child was in public school. I made sure that I check her homework everyday.I took her to the library and kept her involved in positive things like Girl’s Scout and the youth chorus at church. I also told my child everyday. That I love her and to have a goodday at school. I also told her that she can become anything that she wanted if she studied hard and listen to her teachers. She didn’t have to like the teacher but, she will repect the teacher. She was not going to school to be friends with the teachers but, to get what that teachers had in their heads into hers. I didn’t expect a teacher to give my child a grade. I wanted my child to earn it. I also worked hard to take care of my child being that I became a single parent when my child was 8 years old.I am saying this to make a point. My child has had good teachers and bad teachers. But as a parent I still had to take out the time to help my child to get the education that she deserved. I didn’t just depend on a teacher to provide all of my child’s education because I knew I had a part in helping my child’s education to make sure she succeed. I knew somethings like having repect and good manners needed to be taught at home and would help her to become successful in her education. We as parents need to put our priority in the right place and help give our children the the education they deserves.After all education begins at home. And remember to put God First and everything with fall in place. With God in our life.I know that we can do anything except fail. Oh by the way my child is graduating from college this year and getting ready to go on to medical school.
May God Be The Glory!

Melissa Wood

January 20th, 2010
9:49 am

How about we pay Perdue based on his performance.