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David, I DO make around 40K clear. I'm NOT at the higher end of the scale. You don't know how good a job I do. You do not know me or the classes I teach or have taught. You wouldn't last an hour, let alone 183 days in a classroom. You do not have a clues as to what it takes to be a teacher.
As for charters doing better with less money, let me drop some knowledge on you. Charters get MORE money than public schools. They not only get money from the state via school districts but they also get corporate money. Teachers are paid at the same scale, they just don't have the same rights as public school teachers or even private school teachers PLUS they expected to work longer hours. They DO NOT do a better job at educating. There is this little concept we call "Fact or Opinion". There is no FACTUAL QUANTIFIABLE DATA to support your claim. Just because you read it on a blog on Fox News, doesn't make it any more real than, lets say, Big Foot. Yes, people claim that the evidence is out there, but mostly its doctored materials to suit some crackpot's agenda. It is then, merely an OPINION. I could just as well say the private schools have a greater probabilty of student burn-out (because I saw it in a documentry), but it would just be an opinion, not something based on actual data.
Also, if you went to university and grad school, I can't tell. Your grammar/spelling as well as your written communication skills are greatly lacking.
Max, one school does not make the whole system work. I'm glad that Oakland School of the Arts works for you. It is the exception to the rule.
1. I said stupid things like library and music because the state of California says that content areas are unimportant to test scores. I DO NOT think they are really stupid. I think they are just as important as Language Arts and Math but because they are not tested by the state, they are considered an infringement on the learning of the two main subjects. There is a lot of research out there that says that teaching content makes better readers because they have background knowledge about a subject.
2. I work from 7:50-4:00 EVERYDAY. I am only paid for 8:00-3:00. Unlike you, I don't get brakes throughout the day. I have, maybe 30 minutes for lunch but most of that is spent helping my Kindergarteners open their lunch and getting them to eat. I am not even going to bore you with the HOURS I spend correcting tests, filling in bubble sheets, talking to parents after work hours, and working on curriculum.
3. I said that we are on the par with white collar workers. There is a large percentage of Oakland's population that is blue collar. Sometimes those people make a LOT more than teachers (like dock workers) and there are those who make much less than teachers.
4. $70,000 is the TOP and that's someone who has worked in the district for over 20 years. We DO NOT have retiree health benefits (although Los Angeles teachers do). We DO NOT social security like you do. We DO get pink slips. It takes TWO YEARS to become tenured. Before that, a teacher can be fired for ANYTHING (like a messy desk, seriously).
5. Teachers do not cause children to become felons. We, as teachers, do everything we can to prevent children from becoming felons. We can't control everything that goes on in a child's life. Parents still have the biggest influence on the direction of their child's life. There are some out there that allow others to raise their children, whether it be other family members, schools, gangs, tv. I've had to FEED, CLOTHE, and BUY BASIC SUPPLIES (like deodorent, shampoo,toothpaste) for some children because their parent did not provide those things for the children they brought into this world.
5. You have NO IDEA what you are talking about. If you do not like what you doing for a living, perhaps you should go to college and get a degree or go to career college. I'm a well educated person and deserve to be paid as such.
6. "Go die in a fire." That's just ignorant and points out the irrationality in your argument.
I was not in the district when the state took over but I'm in the district now and let me tell you from an insider's point of view, the state, excuse the language, screwed the pooch. The fact that for at least part of last year we were paying for TWO superintendents stinks of waste. Not to mention that under the state's stewardship, the district has sank even deeper into debt. Does anyone else see a problem with that? That has nothing to do with teacher salaries and everything to do with greed and corruption at the top levels.
Next, I've worked at a charter in Oakland so I have unique perspective on the issue. Charters do not work. Charters are not beholden to anyone. Test scores are gotten by any mean necessary. Charters are able to essential screen who walks in the doors, pushing out trouble makers and low test takers. Its an unlevel playing field and in a charter school, there is even less respect for an educator than is given to them in the public school. The OEA did not back the parcel tax because the money would go to a system that in counter to what is really public education, an education that is afforded to anyone. Despite the fact that the parcel was defeated by the people of Oakland, the Secretary of Education took what might have gone to the charters had the parcel passed out of OUSD's general fund.
The school board voted to give themselves a raise about a month ago and although I know that the price of a few people on a board is no where equal to how much it would cost to give teachers a raise, there was no alarm raised there.
Yes, teachers are paid on the by year and step. You know what it averages to after taxes and money put away for deferred summer pay, about $100. The highest paid teacher in Oakland is at about, I believe, $70,000 before taxes. While most white collar Americans enjoy cost of living increase each year, the teachers in Oakland, have not, but the administrators have.
I'm a Kindergarten teacher in the Oakland hills. Pretty cushy on the scale of things. I have parent helpers, and field trips, and stupid little extras (because that's obviously not important to learning) like music and library, all of which is paid by parents. I have 23 students in my class. Not a reduced class size. I'm going to have at least 24 students next year. Again, not a reduced class size. The teachers have already bent to this issue. I'd like Mr. Gammon to come visit and see a day in a public class room. All the information we have to shove down the throats of 5 year olds. All the test we have to give. All the extra work we have to day on a daily basis. And like I said, I have it relatively easy. I think Mr. Gammon would be shocked to see how much we fit into a day. Maybe he would think twice about telling us how selfish we are to want live and work and afford to teach in Oakland.
Mr. Allstadt, to borrow language from my elementary years, it takes one to know one.
Is Mr. Gammon auditioning to be on Fox News? The last time I saw this much spin Glenn Beck was telling Sarah Palin she was an equal to George Washington. Honestly, where does he get his information from?
Will it be inconvenient to the parents of Oakland that the Union voted to have a one day strike? Most certainly. But I'm sure most of them would like their children to go to schools where the is a consistent, caring staff of teachers who work hard to give each child the education they deserve. How does that happen? Provide a living wage. Not to beat a dead horse here but, even if Oakland teachers were given a 15% raise, we STILL wouldn't be the median, we'd be far below.
I'm sure Mr. Gammon, as a pundit, doesn't see it that way. "Those silly teachers, don't they know were in a recession?" Yeah, we know there's a recession but in this case, the money is there. The district just chooses to spend it on a administrators, test prep, and consultants, not the children or the people who are on the front lines trying to educate.
Hopefully, in the future, the East Bay Express will hire an actual journalist who will put the time and effort into doing research so that they can provide a balanced, articulate articles that people are allowed to come to their own conclusions about local topics. Until then, we will have to deal with the drivel that Mr. Gannon ladles out in unappetizing spoonfuls.
I'm a Kindergarten teacher in Oakland. There are 23 kids in my class. Next year, there will most likely be 27 kids in my class. When I was in Kindergarten, yes, there were roughly that many kids in my class. The difference being that Kindergarten was half day, there was a partner teacher to help out AND an aide. Also, we were learning the basics; the shapes, letters, numbers, not eating the paste. Now Kindergarteners are expected and held accountable to standards that are developmentally inappropriate, essentially what used to be 1st grade standards. The people down at the District office wouldn't last an hour, let alone a whole day trying to wrangle and teach Kindergarteners.
Needless to say, I'm not in the teaching profession so I can become a multi-millionaire. What I do expect, is to be treated and paid like the professional that I am. 5% for the next three years wouldn't even put me at the median of what teachers make in the East Bay. Being in the lowest teacher paying school district wouldn't be so insulting if it weren't for the fact that under the state's takeover, the books were never reconcilied, millions of dollars were handed over to cronies and corroporations, and the district is in deeper dept now than it was when the state took over in the first place.
So, excuse me if I find the tone of The East Bay Express assessment of the OEA's demands a little demeaning. I'm just a teacher, trying to shape Oakland's future by education its children.
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