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Author Topic: Tulsa Public Schools Spending  (Read 92335 times)
swake
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« Reply #210 on: April 24, 2012, 08:30:36 pm »

Swake, when I went to Jenks 25 to 30 per class was the norm.  English, science, math, social studies, PE didn’t matter, it was 25 to 30 students middle school through high school with the exception of some elective classes which might be smaller.  The teachers didn’t have a problem assigning and grading copious amounts of homework back then.  There were also far fewer resources available to teachers back then.  They didn’t have instant communication with parents via email or internet-based blackboard sites to keep assignments straight.

What’s changed that has made it so difficult for these teachers when it wasn’t an overwhelming problem 30 years ago with even fewer resources at their disposal?



Part of it, and this will sound bad but it true, part of it is the mainstreaming of special needs kids. Kids that used to not be in regular classrooms or even in regular schools now take up huge chunks of teachers time. Special needs kids are a big part of the big run up over the last 20 years the cost of public education. I understand that it's better for these kids to be with regular students but if that's going to be the case class sizes have to be smaller.

Teachers aren't as good as they used to be either. Don't get me wrong, there are still many excellent teachers but the career options for women used to be very limited and education was a place that talented women could find a good job. But over the last few decades teacher pay compared to other jobs has declined and women now have many career options. The real reason I think we need more money in schools is to make teaching pay to the point that it is a destination career instead of a low pay, dead end and often thankless job. 
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ZYX
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« Reply #211 on: April 24, 2012, 09:04:03 pm »

Part of it, and this will sound bad but it true, part of it is the mainstreaming of special needs kids. Kids that used to not be in regular classrooms or even in regular schools now take up huge chunks of teachers time. Special needs kids are a big part of the big run up over the last 20 years the cost of public education. I understand that it's better for these kids to be with regular students but if that's going to be the case class sizes have to be smaller.

Teachers aren't as good as they used to be either. Don't get me wrong, there are still many excellent teachers but the career options for women used to be very limited and education was a place that talented women could find a good job. But over the last few decades teacher pay compared to other jobs has declined and women now have many career options. The real reason I think we need more money in schools is to make teaching pay to the point that it is a destination career instead of a low pay, dead end and often thankless job. 

I think the problem with this is that a lot of young women go into teaching because they think it will be an easy job where they get to be with the kids all day and have fun, and best of all, not take any work home and have summers off.

This couldn't be any more wrong. A teacher gets to deal with behavioral issues, parents who think they have authority over the teacher or who try to compete with the teacher for authority over their child, parents who don't care, children who don't want to participate, etc. A good teacher finds ways to deal with this. They take work home on occasion. They stay late when needed. They provide tutoring to their students. They don't take the job lightly.

There are too many teachers right now who seem to take the job lightly and then try to get every child to conform to their narrow mindset. A good teacher says to their self "How can I get Johnny to participate?" "How can I make this lesson more fun and engaging?" A bad teacher says to their self "Johnny will do things as I want him to without further consideration!" and "Students should accept that school is not always fun and that I know best for them!"

As for funding, I support increasing funding for public schools. Really, I do. What I don't support, is handing over more money to this system which is not prepared to educate students for today's world and today's challenges. Give the schools more money and help them start a new, revitalized plan designed for the needs of today's children. Don't give the schools more money and let them continue down the same dead end path.

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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #212 on: April 24, 2012, 09:07:25 pm »

Whether it is/was white flight or rich people just wanting something else or newer, "The socially and economically marginallized will get the left-overs of an older generation".  It's called affordable housing in most cities.

It's also the concentric rings of decay.  And even later on, the inner core sometimes sees rejuvenation.  

There was a house around 23rd, about two blocks west of Peoria that was for sale back in the mid '70s.  It was a great looking two story brick with lots of bedrooms and baths for about $60,000.  Little bit rough shape.  Now, it has been reworked, and would probably go for 5 or 10 times that.  Part of it is the rework, but even though Maple Ridge has always been where the "elite meet to eat", it seems to be even more so today.


It has seemed like the rate of population growth here (US) has been slowing for some time.  And apparently is projected to keep slowing.  So as we age as a nation, and boomers downsize their housing - which is a big trend now, and then disappear by dying off, how can housing continue to be as big a part of the economy as it has in the past?  The McMansion has always been an incredibly stupid way to spend money on housing, but how can it continue when the market is shrinking?

  

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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #213 on: April 24, 2012, 09:09:35 pm »

I think the problem with this is that a lot of young women go into teaching because they think it will be an easy job where they get to be with the kids all day and have fun, and best of all, not take any work home and have summers off.

This couldn't be any more wrong. A teacher gets to deal with behavioral issues, parents who think they have authority over the teacher or who try to compete with the teacher for authority over their child, parents who don't care, children who don't want to participate, etc. A good teacher finds ways to deal with this. They take work home on occasion. They stay late when needed. They provide tutoring to their students. They don't take the job lightly.


Un be lievable!

You don't know any women teachers - especially young women - do ya?  Or women.  Or anyone who has ever had a passion for a job.




« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 09:12:13 pm by heironymouspasparagus » Logged

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« Reply #214 on: April 24, 2012, 09:10:32 pm »

They take work home on occasion.

One of my Aunts was an elementary school teacher in the 60s.  She always had papers to grade or something from school whenever she and my Uncle visited on weekends.
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ZYX
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« Reply #215 on: April 24, 2012, 09:13:08 pm »

Un be lievable!

You don't know any women teachers - especially you women - do ya?  Or women.  Or anyone who has ever had a passion for a job.






My mother is a private school teacher. My mom's two very best friends in the world are both public school teachers. She is great friends with most of the people she works with, and I talk with them on a first name basis.

This is what I collect from attending a public school.

EDIT: Bear in mind that I never said this is the majority of teachers. Most teachers are not like this, but there are some that seem to think like this. Even if they didn't think the job would be easy, they want to force you into their way of teaching. I have had many teachers that are great and that I wish every student could have. I have also had many (although not as many) teachers who I think should be fired.
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« Reply #216 on: April 24, 2012, 09:27:20 pm »

It's also the concentric rings of decay.  And even later on, the inner core sometimes sees rejuvenation.  

Concentric rings brings visions of waves in an otherwise still pond after dropping a rock into it.  I will go along with wave fronts but don't necessarily agree with "concentric rings".  When the inner core is rejuvenated, I would expect a potential wavefront of rejuvenation.

Quote
There was a house around 23rd, about two blocks west of Peoria that was for sale back in the mid '70s.  It was a great looking two story brick with lots of bedrooms and baths for about $60,000.  Little bit rough shape.  Now, it has been reworked, and would probably go for 5 or 10 times that.  Part of it is the rework, but even though Maple Ridge has always been where the "elite meet to eat", it seems to be even more so today.

The place is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. I think people are too quick to jump to high prices for housing based on "the value can only go up".  We know that isn't always true.  I view it as something like a gas station advertising the best smelling gas in town for $10/gal.  Someone will buy it.  Sometimes it is space availability.  That's what's driving the absurd price of hangars at RVS.  No more hangar space is available.


Quote
The McMansion has always been an incredibly stupid way to spend money on housing, but how can it continue when the market is shrinking?


McMansions are stupid.  If you have the money, build a real house that will last longer than 20 years.  McMansions are showy but not as solid as the old money houses around the country.

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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #217 on: April 24, 2012, 09:37:56 pm »

My mother is a private school teacher. My mom's two very best friends in the world are both public school teachers. She is great friends with most of the people she works with, and I talk with them on a first name basis.

This is what I collect from attending a public school.

EDIT: Bear in mind that I never said this is the majority of teachers. Most teachers are not like this, but there are some that seem to think like this. Even if they didn't think the job would be easy, they want to force you into their way of teaching. I have had many teachers that are great and that I wish every student could have. I have also had many (although not as many) teachers who I think should be fired.

They cannot possibly gone into teaching thinking that.  There is an idealistic component, to be sure, that is driven out quickly, usually while doing their "internship" as seniors in college.  Mostly, there is a passion to try to help and educate and bring something good into a child's life.  Oh, yeah...don't forget the money!!!

It is a thankless job that I would not put up with - at least not until college level (full disclosure - I have been an instructor at TCC in the past.  Way past).  And I am very glad there are many who can and will.  I am surrounded by teachers in the family, from parental unit to cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws, and miscellaneous others near and distant.

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Conan71
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« Reply #218 on: April 25, 2012, 08:30:16 am »

Part of it, and this will sound bad but it true, part of it is the mainstreaming of special needs kids. Kids that used to not be in regular classrooms or even in regular schools now take up huge chunks of teachers time. Special needs kids are a big part of the big run up over the last 20 years the cost of public education. I understand that it's better for these kids to be with regular students but if that's going to be the case class sizes have to be smaller.

Teachers aren't as good as they used to be either. Don't get me wrong, there are still many excellent teachers but the career options for women used to be very limited and education was a place that talented women could find a good job. But over the last few decades teacher pay compared to other jobs has declined and women now have many career options. The real reason I think we need more money in schools is to make teaching pay to the point that it is a destination career instead of a low pay, dead end and often thankless job. 

I can’t really argue with your logic on this and appreciate your candid observations.  Two things I’d add:

I’m not so sure that special needs kids are best served assimilated into all “regular” classes.  I’m also curious what is defined as “special needs” these days.  When I was at Jenks, they had an outstanding special needs program and the instructors were able to provide adequate attention to each child.  Those kids were what was referred to as “slow” 30 years ago.  Physically-handicapped kids were in the “regular” classes.  I think the total HS enrollment in the special education program was 20 or less.  No idea on elementary level.  That’s where my question comes from as to what qualifies as special needs these days.  Autism? ADHD? Severe mental retardation?  Are these kids who previously would have been at Hissom? Someone please enlighten me.

It was a noble idea to want to give special needs kids the same experience as all the other kids, but if it has disrupted the learning environment for the rest of the students, it ultimately is a failure for all students.  

I can’t argue that to get the best and brightest away from the private sector you have to pay more.  But, I’ll still argue that on an hourly basis, teacher’s pay and benefits is on par with their college classmates working in the private sector with bachelor’s degrees. We’ve examined on here before that starting pay is not vastly different than other careers right out of college, if you look at hours worked in a year vs. compensation.  

There’s certainly plenty of ways to quantify teacher performance.  Structure a “reward” pay program for the best and brightest.
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« Reply #219 on: April 25, 2012, 09:31:25 am »

Part of it, and this will sound bad but it true, part of it is the mainstreaming of special needs kids. Kids that used to not be in regular classrooms or even in regular schools now take up huge chunks of teachers time. Special needs kids are a big part of the big run up over the last 20 years the cost of public education. I understand that it's better for these kids to be with regular students but if that's going to be the case class sizes have to be smaller.

Teachers aren't as good as they used to be either. Don't get me wrong, there are still many excellent teachers but the career options for women used to be very limited and education was a place that talented women could find a good job. But over the last few decades teacher pay compared to other jobs has declined and women now have many career options. The real reason I think we need more money in schools is to make teaching pay to the point that it is a destination career instead of a low pay, dead end and often thankless job. 

Very insightful. And controversial. Special needs is about to explode into the middle and high school populations. I was amazed to see how it has mushroomed already. There is an increase in the number of diagnoses for psychological handicaps like Autism and Attention Deficit. Part of it from better diagnoses and partly from  environmental degradation. As it increases in the general population it will be mirrored in the public schools. It isn't nobility that puts them into public school systems, its their taxpayer families that demand it, courts who agree and the closure of publicly funded institutions where they once were relegated.

It is true that many kids who are just challenged by family deficits, social deficits and anger management problems end up in special needs. The teachers tire of being the only one responsible for their behaviors and strive to have them tested and re-assigned. The whole process can be heartbreaking.

As far as teacher quality, everyone would agree that the more training you get, the more education you attain, most likely the better teacher you become. However, once you attain a masters degree in education the opportunities and the pay are better outside of the teaching arena, public or private. Unless you have a conviction to teach at all costs, you move on. So the teachers left are there for the personal satisfaction or to draw a paycheck. Pretty much like any other industry. RM noted that about 75-80% do get their masters. Pay them to stay is a good plan.

I frankly think it is folk legend that women gravitate to teaching for the reasons ZYX listed. Its also pretty demeaning.

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swake
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« Reply #220 on: April 25, 2012, 12:43:57 pm »

I can’t really argue with your logic on this and appreciate your candid observations.  Two things I’d add:

I’m not so sure that special needs kids are best served assimilated into all “regular” classes.  I’m also curious what is defined as “special needs” these days.  When I was at Jenks, they had an outstanding special needs program and the instructors were able to provide adequate attention to each child.  Those kids were what was referred to as “slow” 30 years ago.  Physically-handicapped kids were in the “regular” classes.  I think the total HS enrollment in the special education program was 20 or less.  No idea on elementary level.  That’s where my question comes from as to what qualifies as special needs these days.  Autism? ADHD? Severe mental retardation?  Are these kids who previously would have been at Hissom? Someone please enlighten me.

It was a noble idea to want to give special needs kids the same experience as all the other kids, but if it has disrupted the learning environment for the rest of the students, it ultimately is a failure for all students.  

I can’t argue that to get the best and brightest away from the private sector you have to pay more.  But, I’ll still argue that on an hourly basis, teacher’s pay and benefits is on par with their college classmates working in the private sector with bachelor’s degrees. We’ve examined on here before that starting pay is not vastly different than other careers right out of college, if you look at hours worked in a year vs. compensation.  

There’s certainly plenty of ways to quantify teacher performance.  Structure a “reward” pay program for the best and brightest.



I’m not talking about kids who are simply Physically-handicapped but those children certainly exist too and they impact school funding, but I would not think as much since they don’t have learning disabilities. 

I haven’t been in a special needs class so I can’t speak to what those classes are like. I should ask because several of the teachers I know are actually special needs teachers. It certainly seems that a large percentage of the teachers at Jenks are for special needs kids, but it may just be the teachers I know. I also don’t know if Jenks is an outlier with a lot of special needs kids that move to the district for what is from all accounts an excellent program. I would assume that a lot of these kids may have been in homes like Hissom in the past, but those classes are for kids that are NOT mainstreamed. Some of the kids that have been mainstreamed into my kids classes include kids with ODD (a often severe and violent type of ADD/ADHD), severe emotional disorders, Aspergers, all ranges of autistic children and then just kids that just attended remedial classes during parts of the day It’s all over the place. In some of the more severe cases the kids have had their own teacher’s aide that follows them around all day.

Mainstreaming does seem to do good for the kids, at least some of them. I know one parent whose both kids are my kids age, the older girl is a good student and friends with my daughter but the younger one, who is my son’s age, is autistic. In Kindergarten she was completely non verbal and the mother was told that it was likely that she would never speak. The little girl has been in class with my son a couple of different times over the years and now after six years of mainstreaming you have to really pay attention to her to even be able to tell she is autistic. This is a great thing in all aspects, this was a child that a couple of decades ago would have been institutionalized all her life but today she’s going to have a somewhat normal life. In terms of her quality of life, her cost to the public, everything her growth is a win. But she had to be very expensive to the school system, especially in the beginning. She was one of the kids with their own aide for the whole day when she was younger.

Another boy that I hated having in my daughters class was severely ODD and very violent. But after years of mainstreaming (and I am guessing a LOT of drugs) he’s seemingly doing fine. There are also kids that they attempted to mainstream that got taken out and never came back.

This new world for special needs kids is a lot of the increase in the cost of public schools over the last 25 years. One of the problems with Charter Schools is that they don’t have to provide programs for these kids so they can take the lower cost average students and leave behind the high cost special needs kids.
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ZYX
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« Reply #221 on: April 25, 2012, 02:02:50 pm »

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I frankly think it is folk legend that women gravitate to teaching for the reasons ZYX listed. Its also pretty demeaning.

Sigh. I want to have an intelligent and meaningful conversation, but nearly everything I say is shot down and deemed as nonsense. Please at least consider my opinion.

My mother is a teacher. She is one of the hardest working people I have ever met. Teaching is not not not not not not not not not an easy job. I don't try to pass it off as one. However, I think there are those who think "How hard can it be?" I have had teachers that literally do nothing, rarely giving assignments or moving form behind their desk. They're out there, they do exist and they piss me off. It pisses me off when I hear other students talk about how "teachers help us solve problems that we wouldn't have without them." It makes me angry when teachers refuse to do their job. It makes me angry when teachers try to blame their lack of effort on us.

I think the reason this makes me angry is because I see how hard my mom works. I am with her on Sunday nights, up at her classroom, cleaning because construction workers have left it a mess, helping sort through kids work, etc. Most teachers work hard, but not all do.

I have teachers that make up lesson plans right off the bat, and ones who spend hours thinking of what to do. I have teachers who make an effort to make school fun, and ones that are really just jerks and demand that everything be done their way and on their schedule, with no room for creativity.

Here's my ultimate position. I will stand up and defend teachers that work hard and care about their students. I will advocate the termination of those that rely solely on a textbook and are plain rude to their students. Teaching is not a job to be played with with. You either go into it and try your best or you leave.

It's hard to find a harder working person than a really good teacher. They deserve their summers off. They deserve higher pay. They deserve all the thanks we can give them.

As for funding, I hope public schools are given more. I hope that with those funds they decide to start truly making innovations in education. If public schools are given more money only to continue down the same path, then I will consider it a waste if money. I don't see why this is such a criticized position.
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Conan71
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« Reply #222 on: April 25, 2012, 02:29:08 pm »

Sigh. I want to have an intelligent and meaningful conversation, but nearly everything I say is shot down and deemed as nonsense. Please at least consider my opinion.


Your personal experience is irrelevant when it’s not someone else’s conjured reality Wink

I thought it was a very relevant post.
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #223 on: April 25, 2012, 04:17:06 pm »

Sigh. I want to have an intelligent and meaningful conversation, but nearly everything I say is shot down and deemed as nonsense. Please at least consider my opinion.

My mother is a teacher. She is one of the hardest working people I have ever met. Teaching is not not not not not not not not not an easy job. I don't try to pass it off as one. However, I think there are those who think "How hard can it be?" I have had teachers that literally do nothing, rarely giving assignments or moving form behind their desk. They're out there, they do exist and they piss me off. It pisses me off when I hear other students talk about how "teachers help us solve problems that we wouldn't have without them." It makes me angry when teachers refuse to do their job. It makes me angry when teachers try to blame their lack of effort on us.

I think the reason this makes me angry is because I see how hard my mom works. I am with her on Sunday nights, up at her classroom, cleaning because construction workers have left it a mess, helping sort through kids work, etc. Most teachers work hard, but not all do.

I have teachers that make up lesson plans right off the bat, and ones who spend hours thinking of what to do. I have teachers who make an effort to make school fun, and ones that are really just jerks and demand that everything be done their way and on their schedule, with no room for creativity.

Here's my ultimate position. I will stand up and defend teachers that work hard and care about their students. I will advocate the termination of those that rely solely on a textbook and are plain rude to their students. Teaching is not a job to be played with with. You either go into it and try your best or you leave.

It's hard to find a harder working person than a really good teacher. They deserve their summers off. They deserve higher pay. They deserve all the thanks we can give them.

As for funding, I hope public schools are given more. I hope that with those funds they decide to start truly making innovations in education. If public schools are given more money only to continue down the same path, then I will consider it a waste if money. I don't see why this is such a criticized position.

So, which school system are you in?

Do you find it any different from what I wrote about from the kid I had living with me going to Union intermediate high?  Sex, drugs, and rock & roll...chips and dip, chains and whips...it's a party!!

I commented more on the environment, but she also had plenty to say about the teachers - some were good, some were bad.  One science in particular made a very good impression, as did the ROTC people (Sgt).

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« Reply #224 on: April 25, 2012, 06:11:37 pm »

ZYX,

"I think the problem with this is that a lot of young women go into teaching because they think it will be an easy job where they get to be with the kids all day and have fun, and best of all, not take any work home and have summers off."

I'm sorry, I just didn't perceive this as intelligent and meaningful. Perhaps you didn't conceive of what that must feel like when read by a woman, or a hard working young female teacher. It implies that they are lazy, narcissistic, and shallow. Also that they never were aware of how hard their teachers worked or slept through their on job training.

Forums aren't the best place for conversations but we all just muddle through. Some tips to help? Avoid posts that start, "I'm not a lawyer but..." or "My dad was a doctor and I'm sure that's...." or "Jane, you ignorant slut!" Smiley
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