Sunday, February 07, 2010

Teacher Salaries: How Much Is Just Right?

During the last several years, GTA has failed to renegotiate a new contract with the Greece School District. The biggest stumbling blocks appear to be salary increases and health care benefits. Teachers claim they earn every penny they make for the job they do and the situations they encounter. Taxpayers who foot the bill say teachers are out-of-touch with the real world where health care benefits have shrunk, if not disappeared altogether for the masses. Additionally, many feel a teacher's pay should be merit based.

What are appropriate salary levels for Greece teachers?
Should our teachers pay more for their health care? How much more?

Here are some tools to help you decide:

GTA's current contract (still in force)


Anonymous said...

I honestly hope that neither 8:00 or 9:41am (in the last same subject dialog here) are teachers. Please tell me we don't have teachers in this district that suffer from such apparent reading comprehension deficiencies. Perhaps they should (slowly) reread the posts they are responding to. When their done doing that, reread it yet again. OMG!

And of course there's the "your just mad you didn't get in on it" response, as it relates to teaching. That trains never late, is it? That very (common) response brings to mind a fund/stock broker that just hit it big in the market, lecturing to others that chose not to get in with him/her on the investment. The problem with that lecture here, however, is that it's being given to those that fund the teacher's market. Oh yeah, and of course there’s the difference between those two professions: one is expected to just make money for clients, while the other is expected to do something in exchange for making that money. Congratulations for striking it rich though, keep up the great work!

$70,000+ for 189 working days…but I keep forgetting, you have a Masters degree. Obviously I was wrong to even question this!

SCATS said...

To 12:22PM ~~ Don't forget that those are for 6 hr days ;)

For anyone who missed the teacher's question: "What was the persons title called who taught the doctor to save your life?."

The answer is: "A DOCTOR!"

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry SCATS, I made a mistake earlier when I wrote 189 work days. Taken directly from the contract: The work year shall consist of 187 work days for returning unit members and 190
work days for new unit members. Two days shall be scheduled before student days
(the equivalent of one District planned and of one building planned). These two
days shall be after Labor Day unless otherwise mutually agreed.

Let's see 365-187=188. It turns out the idea of a music teacher making $70,000 for working half a year is wrong... it's less than half a year!

Thanks SCATS!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that link. We can find anyone's government salary! Cool.

The only way to economize at the local and state level is to cut jobs by eliminating programs and services. Otherwise the unions would grieve. The mayor will discover this when he takes over the city schools. The governor is already finding out.
The Greece School board does not have a clue. They are desperate. They have a superintendent that will be gone when it hits the fan.

Anonymous said...

OMG, check out ARTICLE XX "PAID AND UNPAID LEAVES OF ABSENCE"! How in the HELL do any of these people have the nuggets to march in protest of any freaking thing?! I can't believe what I'm reading here!

Anonymous said...

Am I reading the health insurance benefit correctly SCATS, does that say the district taxpayers are paying for 90% of our teachers health care? 90%!?

Charlie Hubbard said...

Make no mistake THE biggest problem with public education are these contracts because they are 100% entitlement - 100% ENTITLEMENT.
I am very pleased people are taking an interest as some parts of these contracts are offensive to any caring taxpayer and or parent. The biggest two are the absentteisum section and the other is 'release' time - the stipen if you will that spends over $100,000 per year for people to do union business.
Make no mistake I never blaimed the unions as they are doing their job. The blame goes right to the school board(s) that agree to this loooonisy.
Sec. 17 Page 30 of the State Audit goes right to the root of the problem. It speaks to how the district (board) should identify the 'benefit' to the district of a new contract (more $$) prior to approval of that contract. Greece was so bad even the auditors saw the problem. Unfortunatly the board has chosen to ignore this with the last 2 contracts and they should be chastised for that.
Things were so bad most districts including Greece didn't even know what the cost of a contract was prior to approval.

The taxpayers of Greece have every right to be upset with the way contracts have been handled. These are THE #1 reason budgets go up and they are also THE #1 reason educational improvements do not take place - no accountability. The public education monopoly continues to be 20 years behind the real world.

SCATS said...

To 12:39PM ~~ You are very welcome :)

To 12:40PM ~~ Although our current Supt. is among the HIGHEST PAID of public employees in the area, you can be certain his replacement will be given an even higher salary by the BOE.

To 12:47PM ~~ Please try to stay calm. The other link could put you over the edge if you open it before having a cocktail.

To 1:23PM ~~ You are reading that correctly. Amazing, isn't it?

To Charlie ~~ Is there any hope we could get the Comptroller back soon to show him things haven't changed much?

Charlie Hubbard said...

To 1:23 the last contract approved by the school board RAISED that 90% to 95%

SCATS said...

Charlie ~~ Are you sure about that? I thought the old contract for GTA remained in force until a new one came out? I also thought that several other unions had settled contracts where employees were paying MORE towards their health care (much to the consternation of GTA!).

Charlie Hubbard said...

Sorry Scats; I should have clearified.
The last contract was the teamster contract that 'raised' to 95% taxpayer paid medical.
The problem of course now everybody wants it.

Paul said...

I am a teacher in greece. I agree we should pay more for our health care, but our salaries are in line with other districts in the area, in fact they are actually lower than many depending on how many years of experience.

I don't know where you get the 6 hour day from. Contractually we must be at school for 7 hours but at the high school level most teachers are there from 7 until at least 3(and do work from home) Now do I think we are underpaid? No. Do I wish that we had merit based pay. Yes. There are a few teachers who abuse the system and don't work hard for their money. But all of the teachers I work with actually work hard and have the best interest of the kids at heart. What needs to happen is education change at the national level. No more tenure. Treat education like a business. The problem is, there are a crazy amount of variables that go into evaluating a teacher, and I have yet to see a proposal that would do it well.

Paul said...

By the way, I believe the administrators settled their contract, got raises and back pay.

SCATS said...

Paul ~~ With all due respect, Greece has among the shortest school day in the county and we're in the bottom third of test scores. I agree that tenure is a huge problem. It's nearly impossible to get rid of a bad teacher and costs a few hundred thousand $$ to do so with legal expenses, etc. I suspect almost anyone could say the way they are evaluated on their job, any profession, is flawed in some way. It's part of life ... unless you have tenure.

You may be right about the admin. contract, but I'm pretty sure I heard that they are contributing more for their health care than previously. I've heard similarly for some of the other Greece unions, too, and it's become a sticking point for GTA.

Anonymous said...

Lets not forget those teacher contracts are very generous with sick and personal days too, so how many days does a teacher actually have to show up?

Gee, it's a tough job, UNION contract specifies to the minute how much time must be spent in contact with students.

So many hours a day, give me a friggin break, the parking lot is dang near empty half an hour after class. Video camera at the end of the driveway would show the teacher evacuation looks like the start of a road race.

And as a carear, lets be honest, 2 years learning the job with a mentor, a year of actually doing the job yourself, followed by REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT. That's one tough carear path.

This is the district that once was honest enough to print Diplomas with disclaimers of knowledge content representation, isn't it?

Can anyone name an industry or field of endevor where a similar outproduct would be acceptable? OK, perhaps the weather forecaster on TV, but beyond that, is there a better racket than being a Union teacher? The suto industry and all those union jobs left town.

Masters degree, WHOOPIE DUCK. What percentage of those degrees were taxpayer funded? Lets compare Masters Degreed teachers to the rest of the labor market. Lets even restrict the comparison to nonprofits. How did teacher contracts stack up against people working at Unity, Rochester General and Strong the last few years? Teachers made out like bandits when compared to the real world.

When teachers screw the pooch their victims are crippled for life! Educational results SUCK, and union teachers are the ones causing it. What's a fair rate of compensation for GCSD teachers? In my opinion it is below minimum wage based on their product delivery.

Rochester CSD teachers ran a scam for 2 raises claiming they would produce better outcomes, and failed to on both occasions. GCSD teachers are playing the same old tune!
Produce first & demonstrate you deserve a raise. Till then 50% paycut to start! Another 50% in 2 years if the outcome hasn't improved. There is a limitless supply of licensed teachers waiting to replace you, and eventually the public may get education back to where it was in the 60s.

Teachers should remember the Mayflower compact.

Paul said...

A few things. I just checked the regents scores over the last 3 years. I don't see where they have gone down.

How do you have so much info on the contract negotiations I thought that was not suppose to be public. We don't even get that info as teachers.

By the way 3:19 there are tons of jobs in america where your job does not change that much throughout your career. Accountant, dentist, nurse, and I could go on and on.

And I don't know why you think all teachers teach the same thing every year. I am in my 8th year and have 2 new classes I am teaching.

If you really think cutting teachers salaries by 50% will increase student results then you need a reality check. Maybe you should focus on ways to attract better teachers, rather than bashing the ones that are already working.

SCATS said...

Paul ~~ It's the state required test scores that are putting us so low in the county ... for math & ELA.

Regarding the contract, what else could it be that would cause a holdup for 4 yrs. time? As I said, other GCSD district unions have made concessions on health care. They got contracts. BOE members like VanOrman have made statements about GTA union benefits and health care in particular. I don't think I'm inferring inaccurately.

I don't agree with cutting salaries by 50%. On the other hand, not many folks are getting significant pay raises these days unless they work for a union.

Anonymous said...

Paul, your earlier message about supporting a merit based salary and feeling that you should pay more for your health care were very well put. I'm curious though, what does your union say when you bring these points to them? When you say to them, "No more tenure", what is there response? This would be a good time to point out that at no point have you ever suggested ANY of these things to YOUR union. If you had, there would be a missing persons report for a Greece teacher named Paul, who was last heard making those remarks! You know as well as I do that you put them on here because they make sense, and hopefully calm the masses, but come Monday it's back to work as usual. Tell me Paul, how long ago was the GTA meeting when you brought these points up, or when did you mail the letter outlining this matter to your GTA pres.? Your a joke! Oh, and by the way, as long as you want to compare salaries in Greece with other districts (which by the way are almost all lower than us), feel free to compare test results (which are almost all ahead of us)!

Anonymous said...

Can someone help me please. I tried using that SeethroughNY site and I'm getting nothing. I went to PAYROLLS and then clicked on SCHOOLS. I put in TEACHER for the position. I selected SCHOOLS for major branch. I chose GREECE CENTRAL SCHOOLS for the Agency from the list. I put in specific teacher names and came up with nothing. I tried with no name and still got nothing. What am I doing wrong?

Charlie Hubbard said...

Paul; you indicated you are in your 8th year which means by contract this year and every year from now on you are entitled to 160 sick days and 5 personal days each year. And of course still get a raise each year.

How much 'homework' does the art teacher have?

You may want to figure out your pay via how much per hour.

None of this is personal as you are probably a nice man but these contracts have gotten out of hand - worse than that they get 'nothing'. They are truly disrespectfull to taxpayers.

What we have is an ENTITLEMENT EPIDEMIC in public education and our kids go out in the real world thinking 'this' is reality.

Anonymous said...

To 5:33 Just go to payrolls then schools and put in nothing except the individual's name.

If you want all the professional employees of Greece look for that in "agency" and click . You should get 137 pages. Then click on GO at the right.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hubbard, wait a minute please. Remember that Paul doesn't feel that entitlement, and when he returns here he's going to tell each of us what the GTA's response was when he talked to them about the absurd contracts these people get. Right Paul? Paul? Where'd you go buddy? Are you and the $70,000+ (less than half year) music teacher in a fox hole somewhere?

Anonymous said...

7:00pm - Thank you, it finally worked.

Anonymous said...

Entitlement is exactly what we're dealing with. Why should the district pay for grad classes for teachers? Other districts do not. And why should we pay teachers to read books and learn? They are overpaid and the supt. was right to hold off settling their contract. Of course, he settled the admin contract for all his friends@!!!

Anonymous said...

Is that the school board president's wife I see listed making $85,800? Is that board member McCabe's spouse I see making $63,700? Ferington's at $78,500? Boily's at $98,000? Can you say 'conflict of interest'?

Anonymous said...

Teaching music in Greece is very lucrative. Carl Wager - $90K;
Judy Ranaletta - $89K.....all before they get any of those stipends.

Anonymous said...

Before anyone get's prematurely upset about these salaries (alone), remember the dirt cheap health care benefits and the 187 day work year. Couple that with the number of paid sick & personal days allowed per year (as Mr. Hubbard pointed out @ 6:21) and you'll be left wanting to pull your freakin' hair out! Imagine the type of person that has the audacity to complain when this is your job/salary. I just found an elementary school gym teacher making almost $80,000 to "teach" 187 days this year. Kirk Road's BAND teacher is at $80,000! 3rd, 4th and FREAKIN' 5th grade BAND! OMG!

Anonymous said...

I suggest that every parent who shows up at the school board meeting be given a hard copy of the Greece Teacher Union contract. Make them read it BEFORE they step up and demand we keep every freaking program and service even if it means a 13 PERCENT tax hike!! are being USED by the unions to save their sorry butts. YOU need to tell the UNION to get their heads out of their butts and give back salary and benefits. Of course the union won't do this so the super and board will have NO CHOICE but to cut programs and services. It is about time. Your kids are already being hurt by the mediocre teaching in this district.

20 years ago this community and many others across this state were told that if we raised teacher salaries we would get better outcomes. What a crock. All you have to do is look at what happened in the Rochester City School District and the educational outcomes they are getting. And look at where we are.......bottom of the barrel. By the way.........the contract from hell that the school board signed here 20 years ago was mirrored after the City union contract. Our teacher union contract has cost us BILLIONS, I repeat BILLIONS of dollars and we have nothing to show for it.

Anonymous said...

9:03 That is definitely a reason for them having an agenda. In the past the teachers union (and other unions in the district) used to brazenly recruit and back candidates for school board. In fact for a while they had a love affair with the CARE organization when the administration was using discriminatory practices in employee observation and dismissal.
Now it is the candidates themselves that have the political clout and money and loving relationships with the union members. The only protection the law gives us is that if the board has to vote to hire or give tenure to a relative of a board member there is the need for a two thirds vote as opposed to the regular majority vote. There is no protection from the board acceptance of a contract that benefits board members' families and hurts the rest of the community.
Maybe the voters will use more care when reading the biographical information of board candidates. That is of course only possible if the candidates disclose that information.

Anonymous said...

I agree that maybe some of these numbers look a bit ridiculous, but has anyone asked the question..."Can you really put a price on your child's education?" We pay ridiculous amounts of money for college tuitions, why would we not want to pay teachers a fair salary to educate our children for 13 years and prepare oour children for college? After all, the last thing we want is for our kids to rack up a college bill on us and not be able to cut it! Better paid employees in any field are usually happier and more productive employees. So, is the solution to pay teachers so little that they are miserable in their jobs because they cannot afford a quality life for their family and in return do not have any motivation to educate our children or better yet, are rude and mean-spirited to our kids?

And by the way, I feel that it was very brave of Marla, also know to her endearing Parkland Community as "Mrs. GM" to speak up and include her name in this mess. Mrs. GM may make what we consider "too much" for an elementary school music teacher, but she is one teacher who doesn't just work her day and leave. She is a teacher who puts in the extra time and effort. For the last 6 weeks or more, she has been coordinating her very own fundraiser to help students to go on a field trip to the RPO. Why has she personally taken on this fundraiser initiative? Because of budget cuts and the funds clearly not being there! She could have just accepted the budget presented and disappointed the kids instead of taking the time and making the effort to make this happen for them. Please don't bash someone just because of the amount of her salary listed on a public employee website.

I also personally know that with the way kids are today, teachers have to worry about more than teaching them "educational standards." By this, I mean... our world is very different than when we were kids. It is a shame that I am constanly complimented by strangers as to my children's manners when in my eyes they behave in a way that should be considered the "norm." There are many parents who don't check their children's homework folders for weeks, are not around when their child has something special to share with them at school (or upon arriving home from school) and have never set foot in the building to visit an open house or concert. Teachers today have to teach manners, social etiquette,hygiene habits, etc. It is a shame to see what will eventually be unleashed into society. Yes, there are many cashiers I encounter on my trips to Wegman's who cannot make change for a dollar without the help of the register. But who are we to blame the teacher? Where are the parents in this mix? We, as parents, also have a responsibility to our children's education and future and need to reinforce what is learned in the classroom! I believe many parents treat school as "free daycare" today and expect the school to teach them everything from tying shoes, to washing hands, to coughing in their sleeve, to saying "please" and "thank you."

Just like any field, there are employees that just show up for work and do the bare minimum, others that just go through the motions and then there are those that go above and beyond. Maybe all workers should have a merit based salary? But that would be a perfect world!

Danielle, Proud Parkland Parent

Anonymous said...

To the proud parent of the music teacher: You are valuing the work of teachers more than the work of the person who collects your garbage and fixes your plumbing and does your taxes and puts up your siding and takes your money at the grocery store. As you say the preparation for the world is in the hands of the parents and the whole community, not just the teachers. Teachers are not just preparing students for only college. They are in most cases preparing them for the armed forces or a couple of full and part time jobs that will pay their groceries rent. The graduating students in NY state colleges that went into elementary and secondary education were told by their advisors and placement offices not to expect getting a job anytime soon and to go right to grad school to postpone the inevitable interim job.
Please don't expect us to feel some sentiment to pay more taxes and to have the programs and services cut because the teachers union is in control. And the teachers union members are not the only union that would prefer to see jobs cut as long as the power and money of the union members that have jobs continues. Look at the government unions in NY state and California the welfare capitals of the US. Look at the auto workers unions. King Solomon would not have been able to reason with these people. They obviously do not value the continuation of a company that hires their workers over the continuation of the wages and benefits packages.
And the teachers union itself has decided that there would be no merit system in their contract. That is the collective bargaining agreement. The union does not care if a teacher is incompetent once they have their tenure. It does not matter to them. They will only get involved in a dispute if a teacher is unfairly put on an improvement plan.
Possibly if an incompetent teacher is still warming a seat until retirement and that teacher's poor performance gets in the way of the more active union members, the union will act and interfere to get that teacher reassigned in a far corner of a school. It has happened and it is going on now.

Anonymous said...

After reading some of the postings on this site I had to apologise to one of my kids who was constantly telling us about the subs he had day after day. We did not believe him and now realize what he was telling us may well be true.
If true about the number of sick days allowed, something is wrong. My kids like most learn very little when a sub is in the class room. I have to say I should have been paying better attention

SCATS said...

To 2:08PM ~~ I feel your pain! I clearly recall learning the reality about subs myself. On the first day of school, a 4th grade teacher announced to her class that she was going to be missing most of the school year due to surgery she PLANNED for Sept. Then the long term sub was introduced on Day 2. During the last week of the year, the teacher returned. That poor class suffered the entire year at the hands of a teacher who had never taught in a grade 3-5 bldg. before. And their test scores clearly showed it!

SCATS said...

To Danielle @ 8:48AM ~~ You asked about placing a price on our kid's educations. The part that is missing from your question (until the very end of your comments), and from many postings here, is the accountability piece. How can we continue to pay a premium for teachers who are not producing results in the form of test scores and other measurable indicators that curriculum has been learned? The answer is: WE CAN'T ! We either need to get accountability into the contracts, or lower the price we're willing to pay for performances that landed us so low in the county rankings. It's really that simple.

You think it was "brave of Marla" to do what I call a "hit & run" post where she says she won't be checking back to see what response is given? Why not nominate her for a Hero's Reward too? Geesh, your standard for bravery is set awfully low, don't you think?

By the way, coordinating fundraisers is something too many teachers waste too much time doing. It's one of the few things they do that's not designated in their contracts. In this case, she's willing to put forth the energy to ensure she doesn't have to teach curriculum for yet another day in school! I wish she'd put that energy into advocating for adequate up-to-date textbooks! But then she might have to teach if we had enough of those, right? Or maybe she could better our schools by advocating for consistency in the discipline policy and how it's applied in every bldg. in GCSD. Everyone would benefit from that!

Regarding the "job" of parents, please tell me exactly what that is. I don't know about you but my parents never ever checked mine. I received their help only when I asked for it. They didn't join PTA either. Except for conferences or the infrequent note to ask a question, there was little contact with the school during my 13 yrs. there. And for the many parents out there who do their job well, where is there ever a mention of them and a thank you given by Greece teachers, administrators, or the BOE? I've yet to see it happen in almost two decades of district watching.

Anonymous said...

SCATS- I am thanked every day that I am involved by the teachers and staff at our school for my volunteer time and the things I do for our school. I don't need the district to recognize me or a plaque with my name on it to know that I am making a difference. I have instant gratification by seeing the smiles on the kids faces and by seeing my child smile when I am there to be part of his day. It is not the staff that doesn't recognize us parents who are involved, it is the other parents. They just assume the PTA runs itself, that fundraisers just appear on their own and that family nights at the school just make themselves happen! A school community does not work if it doesn't have the right balance of teacher and parent involvement.

I feel the negativity is extreme towards the teachers. It is so generalized here when maybe we are thinking of a few bad apples to spoil the bunch. I do not agree with the teacher having to teach one less day for wanting to go on a field trip with the kids. We have not had a field trip all year! At the very least, it will be something enriching such as the RPO and not a pumpkin farm! To suggest that she is wasting her time is sad and truly has me believing that it is not the teachers who are an issue here but the people involved (or not as we do not know your position in the district as either taxpayer or employee) like you. It is teachers like that... the ones who think about how to overcome the problem presented and find a solution instead of throwing in the towel and giving up alogether that I want for ny children!

No one is going to move forward with such negativity towards one another. Nothing productive will ever come of it!

Her "hit and run" may have been because she does not want to come back and be surrounded by the negative comments that she knew would come. You have people insulting this woman who don't even know her or have worked with her!

And by the way, the attitude of just leaving it up to the teachers is just ridiculous. I am so sorry for you that your parents never checked your homework. That is actually sad. Maybe that is where all of your negativity on the subject comes from. Every parent is different, but the commonality is you still need to be a parent. We can't just leave life lessons and education up to the the district. When everyone works together, children will have more of a success rate!

Anonymous said...

3:25 It is good that you have the free time to be at your child's school during the day. And don't think you are looked down upon by those that you are volunteering for as they bring in $100 per hour and you work for free.
But I am another adult who asked for help from my parents when I needed it for homework and usually just did the assignments without any assistance. Because I could. My parents were very interested in my education but the teachers did a wonderful job of presenting the material and I was always aware of what the expectations were. My parents taught me to be respectful by their example and there was an assumption that homework should be completed by the student.
My parents were there for me and asked how my day was and supported any extra activities I wanted to try. But they did not have to be constantly checking my homework. And if they did have to help me there was a textbook that they could use to help them know what we were studying as opposed to packets of copied information. In fact I am glad that you brought this up for it is bringing back many fond memories.
You do not have to feel sorry for me or I am sure for Scats. And just because someone thinks teachers should be accountable does not make them negative. I expect all the people who do any work for me to be accountable for their results, not just teachers.

SCATS said...

To 3:25PM ~~ It's pretty obvious you drank long from the PTA's jug of Kool-aid. I assure you that you are not alone.

Unlike you, I do not define "parent involvement" as logging hours of "volunteer" time ... AKA accumulating brownie points for the "favors" that will be bestowed upon your kids for carrying the union torch. I know you don't see that you are doing that. That's part of the bigger problem and the reason I think PTA is a waste of time.

I define an "involved parent" as one who does the following: Sends their kids to school prepared for the day with proper clothing for the weather, a breakfast in their belly (or money for breakfast at school if they prefer), a book bag packed with their homework, supplies, etc. and with proper rest the night before.

An "involved parent" is one who knows what is in the GTA contract and listens to their children to see and understand how that impacts their education. An involved parent is one who votes in district elections after understanding what those propositions really mean, who knows who is on the BOE, who knows how much they pay each year in school and county/town taxes, who has some understanding of the school district budget, discipline, curriculum and other issues that will mold their kid's experiences in GCSD. And I know it takes hard work to stand up and actually be a parent, instead of a union stooge.

So you go ahead and help with those fundraisers and whatever else you do when you "volunteer" in your kid's school. It won't ever help your kid to get the textbook he NEEDS or repairs to his bldg. which might be falling down around him. Sooner or later (usually around 6th grade) you'll find that you aren't really welcome into the classroom, because then you'd witness first hand the unacceptable realities our kids endure during their school day.

So please, tell me which parent's involvement is more meaningful. The "volunteer"? Or the one I described?

PS ~~ I made honor roll regularly, because it was understood in our home that doing our best at school was our "job."

Anonymous said...

Where is Marla's "hit and run?"

SCATS said...

To 4:46PM ~~ It's on the thread titled: "Let's "Save" W Ridge By Closing Parkland"

Actually, I suspect she came back & commented anonymously.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that someone pointing out that "Marla" is a teacher making $70,000+ , in exchange for less than half a years work (if she even decides to come in on those days), is considered to be "nasty" toward Marla. Just the facts, Ma'am!

SCATS said...

To 5:44PM ~~ Someone said we are "prying." My response is that she should have worried about that before deciding to become a PUBLIC EMPLOYEE ;)

Anonymous said...

When a teacher gives her resume as being assigned to 6 schools in 13 years and the last school for 5 years we wonder why the constant relocating. Those first 13 years must have been difficult. Lucky she is so safe at Parkland.

Anonymous said...

12:06- I want to clarify that I have respect for those teachers I see doing above and beyond their jobs and anyone else in their careers for that matter. Please don't mistake my respect for my child's educators with complete failure to be a humanitarian. I have respect for the people who collect my trash (especially in brutal Rochester winters) and for the cashier at the grocery store (who looks exhausted at the end of her shift from standing on her feet all day) and the waitress who is at her 2nd job to help make ends meet (and is putting up with rude customers) because her husband lost his job! All I am saying is that I appreciate the job that the educators do - the educators who I have come in contact with and who I see have made a difference in my child's life. No, I do not want my taxes raised (I feel we pay way too much here in NYS). I also don't want to see school services and programs cut as well. We cannot cut back on teachers, that would have a negative impact on the classroom sizes and quality of education.

SCATS: I agree with you that an involved parent is more than being a volunteer and I am NOT just a volunteer. I am actively involved in what I believe in. However, I do feel that the district and schools need both. Without parent volunteers, there would not be a "sense of community" and without concerned parents voting and staying on top of the BOE to make changes, we would all fall victim to more of their poor choices. It is a balance... we all play our role to make it all come together. I have not drank from the PTA kool-aid and I do not volunteer for my child to have "brownie points"--- how would he ever learn to make it in the world on his own if mom and dad paved the way? I am simply involved because I WANT to know what goes on and how they are learning what they learn, ie: the new math program this year. We can be involved inside and out to have a "full circle" understanding of the district and its goals and shortcomings. How can you vote on something you don't physically see? How can you determine budget cuts when you have not been there to experience them and truly see if that is the right direction or to be able to recommend an alternative? I do agree with you that an involved parent also sends their children to school fully prepared and unfortunately we will see that no matter what district our children are in... homework done, proper weather attire and a full stomach. I do not "DO" my son's homework with him everynight, but I am always checking what he has to do, not only to understand it if he needs help, but also to see what they are learning about. If there is no progress made, how do we know if we are not checking? If your child has been covering the same type of fractions for 7 months straight, something needs to be questioned... that is also a way to hold schools accountable. THAT IS WHAT I MEANT ABOUT CHECKING HOMEWORK... you cannot hold individuals accountable just based on a child's word. SCATS, you make valid points, just some of it I feel is a bit rude and uncalled for. You couldn't acknowledge anything positive in the music teacher who is taking an extra step to make a difference. You had nothing but negativity to project about her! It may be something small in the whole realm, but we need to start somewhere and if the district was filled with more of that and more support, we'd be in a better place.

Anonymous said...

A little math.... let's say the average teacher in Greece makes 50,000. Divide that by the 187 days a year. This is 264.55 a day and that is before taxes. If they only work a 7 hour day (which I don't think is usually the case), that is 37.79 an hour. Again, still before taxes and benefits. Then lets go on the low side and say they teach 20 kids. Now we are at $1.88 an hour per kid. Not sure what the going rate is for child care these days but my guess is most pay more. Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

Oh and wouldn't everything be just harmonious and wonderful in this land of tea and honey if only you, SCATS, would just take the first step in finding the greater good in our teachers. You see SCATS, once you make this beautiful offering of compassion to those whose plight we dismiss, then, well then the healing can begin….

Oh, and while your doing that the GTA will be busy rustling through the purse owned by “the waitress who is at her 2nd job to help make ends meet (and is putting up with rude customers) because her husband lost his job”, trying to get every red cent they can! You know, the one being sympathized with just a minute ago.

I’m so sick of the passive-aggressive crap from these people! One minute it’s “You freaking people should have gone into education yourselves” aka “don’t hate the playa, hate da game!” The next minute, “we all just need to find some common ground to reach peace between us”.

Anonymous said...

7:37, now take a minute and apply the number of hours they are actually with those 20 kids during the day, and then factor in the UNBELIEVABLE number of sick days allowed, then factor in the 5 personal days annually. Oh, then factor in the cost to hire substitutes during all of those days, during which by the way, the kid's will learn absolutly NOTHING! I'm quite certain I left out several other conviniently missing factors in your equation. Not that you'll put them up here, but I'm sure others will. Can't wait to see THAT MATH! The real math.

SCATS said...

To 6:23PM ~~ Thank you for saying what I was thinking when I read about the frequent reassigment to different schools!

To 6:39PM ~~ By volunteering and fundraising, parents allow both the district and the unions to use them and their kids as pawns! If you folks would just STOP! Do you know what would happen? GCSD would get embarassed into including in the budget all of the stuff you are wasting time fundraising for! Most of those items should be part of the complete budget package ;)

And believe me, I've seen what goes on. I've heard it too (screaming, out-of-control teachers who got bounced building to building as parents complained), etc. I've sat through budgets going down to a HUGE "no" vote. I've seen inside the buildings and know maintenance is a huge problem. There was one year when DO even rationed use of paper so that the PTA's had to provide their own at their meetings.

If you want an easy way to hold your child's teacher accountable, ask them point blank at conference time : "Johnny wants to raise his grade from a B to an A. Specifically, what does he need to do?" I can just about guarantee you that the answer you get will be nearly meaningless because they really don't know! I can also guarantee you that Johnny's grade is very likely to magically rise, because they don't like answering those kinds of questions.

If the district was filled with more support by parents FOR THE CORE ACADEMICS, it would make a difference, a HUGE difference. Music, sports, etc. are all well and good if/when we are performing at a top notch level in the basics. We aren't so my focus is on the core subject areas, not field trips or feel good fundraisers. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Well... I did not include in my "math" the days teachers spend in the classroom during the summer, the times teachers go in over breaks, and the hours of work teachers do at home. That may offset if a teacher is sick once a month at most. I too would LOVE to see the avearge sick days a teacher takes because I am guessing it would be surprisingly low. In other jobs you can call in sick and not worry about it. Most teachers would agree that it takes a lot of time to do sub plans and miss a day of work so it is really not worth it. Also... I would love to know where the additional personal day came from because last time I knew the teachers received 4 personal days.

Anonymous said...

"I would love to know where the additional personal day came from because last time I knew the teachers received 4 personal days"

Your right I shouldn't have left it at just 5, because as the contract states "additional days of leave may be granted by the Superintendent". That's above and beyond the 4 already mentioned.

Due to your last response, I'm going to elect not to go round and round this issue with you, it's hopeless.

Anonymous said...

Many researches think that music increases math comprehension,

So let's cut music

We have to be a bit careful about terms like "basics."

Anonymous said...

Right from the horse's mouth.

The New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) might be getting a little dizzy from its own spin.

The issue is - what else? - teacher tenure!

On the one hand, NYSSBA admits that 1994 reforms to the teacher discipline law have streamlined the process. But even as NYSSBA acknowledges that the process for removing bad teachers has improved, the school boards group wants more. NYSSBA keeps trying to drum up support for the elimination of tenure.

Tenure, as we all know, does NOT guarantee a bad teacher a job for life. But it DOES guarantee teachers a fair hearing if they're brought up on charges. And life certainly would be simpler for school boards if tenure weren't around - they wouldn't have to prove any charges, and therefore, could dismiss a teacher at ANY time, for ANY reason!

In their quest to end tenure, NYSSBA officials keep saying that despite the recent successful reforms, it's still just too darn hard to remove teachers who are incompetent.

Next time that you hear that argument from someone (especially if it's a school board member), refer this person to page 23 of the Feb. 9 issue of the New York School Boards Journal. There, in a "3020-a update" column, author Jeffrey Handelman writes of a case in which a teacher was charged with excessive tardiness and incompetence.

While NYSSBA's own survey found that "many districts fail to bring 3020-a charges due to a lack of documented evidence," Handelman says, in this particular case, the district's case was "clearly documented." And just what was the onerous burden of proof the district coughed up? It was pretty basic stuff... time sheets and district memos telling the teacher what standards must be met.

This case clearly demonstrates that a school district really *CAN* dismiss a teacher under section 3020-a for charges other than gross misconduct! As I've argued many, many times on here, all it takes is a WELL-DOCUMENTED case! That seems to be the part that many administrators are unwilling (or unable?) to do.

That's an important point... and it's contained in NYSSBA's *own* newspaper! Yes, the system DOES work! It is, in fact, quite possible to remove a TENURED teacher for incompetence. The only catch: You've got to make your case!

Excuse me, but isn't that the American way???

Anonymous said...

Teachers get paid TOO much...I'm fed up with teachers and their hefty salary schedules. WHat we need here is a little perspective.

If I had my way, I'd pay these teachers myself-I'd pay them babysitting wages. That's right-instead of paying these outragous taxes, I'd give them $3 an hour out of my own pocket. And I'm only going to pay them for five hours, not coffee breaks. That would be $15 a day. Each parent should pay $15 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their child. Even if they have more than one child, it's still a lot cheaper than private day care.

Now, how many children do they teach every day-maybe 20? THat's $15x20=$300 a day. But remember, they only work 180 days a year! I am not going to pay them for all those vacations! $300x180=$54,000. (Just a minute, I think my claculator needs new batteries.)

I know now you teachers will say-what about those who have 10 years experience and a mster's degree? Well, maybe (to be fair) they could get the minimum wage, and instead of just baby-sitting, they could read the kids a story. We could round that off to aobut $5 an hour, times five hours, times 20 children. That's $500 a day times 180 days. THat's $90,000...HUH?!?

Wait a minute, let's get a little perspective here. Baby-sitting wages are too good for these teachers. Did anyone see a salary schedule around here?

Anonymous said...

If 8:57 wants to pay teachers out of his/her own pocket I invite him/her to speak up at the next board meeting. Your support will be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Yep... maybe we should just do away with schools and teachers. Parents can go on paying for childcare and educate their own children. I would love to see the outcome of that!

SCATS said...

To 7:37PM ~~ How DARE you ( and several others) reduce these teacher's jobs to the lowly level of "child care!" You must remember, they are "professionals." ;) I reminded myself of that at the WR meeting last week when a teacher in a very wrinkled union t-shirt & camoflauge pants walked by me. LOL

To 8:40PM ~~ How careful do we need to be when we know we need to cut another $12 million from the budget when it has already been cut by $8 million? We're not talking about cutting music. We're talking about CLOSING DOWN BUILDINGS ... with an "s" on the end ... plural.

To 10:15PM ~~ Maybe I can give you some insights. Someone I know pulled their kid out of West Ridge's "child-centered school" because monitoring the chaos at school required daily intervention by the parents. The child is now receiving home-schooling and progressing quite well. Socailization hasn't been an issue at all since the kid walked out of GCSD and it's "family-based" program. Who knew that "family" at West Ridge meant the whole family was expected to be in the bldg every day?

Anonymous said...

10:15 I detect sarcasm but do any of you realize that home schooling is no longer a solitary endeavor. There are co-ops now that help those parents and children. The parents that are strong in a subject matter take over the teaching of that. This happens especially after the elementary years. There is socialization as well as chances for lower stress. When the kids are high school age there are chances for online courses as well as a good connection with MCC and Empire state college.
And to the person saying that the teachers are working with kids for 7 hours. Not so. They have a paid 30 minute lunch and an hour per day of "preparation time". And the punch in -punch out span is closer to 6 and a half hours . So they are making closer to $80 per hour with the kids. And most people who work at a qualified child care facility do not make over minimum wage. Were you recommending that we double the teacher salaries?
There are many child care providers that would do a better job of managing this school district. Maybe we should contract out.

Anonymous said...

Lets eliminate pre K right now except for those who can demonstrate they would enter K way behind. This can be tested as it has been done in other districts.

Need to think big this year or there could be a tax payer revolt in the works!

SCATS said...

To 9:50AM ~~ I don't think Pre-K alone will save us $12 million. We need to eliminate Pre-K AND Kindergarten and something else ... like K-8 before & after school activities. Or we need to close West Ridge, Parkland & Barnard. Or something similar with a BIG $$ impact.

Anonymous said...

Some districts have ONE curriculum person- Not TWO! There's a cut back....

SCATS said...

To 10:37PM ~~ Most districts aren't the size of GCSD. I'm all for keeping DO lean & mean. I think curriculum is one area that needs two people.