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Re: Teacher Strikes in the USA

PostPosted: 04 May 2018, 14:09
by asudevil
mhsmith0 wrote:http://time.com/5264647/arizona-teachers-strike-pay-raise/?xid=time_socialflow_twitter&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=time&utm_medium=social

Whether this is enough to end the strike I can’t say. But it’s quite a lot more than they had before and without the strike...


Ill read that article and make sure to address it. The media hasn't been completely legit about much of this because we don't have the PR machine working for us that Gov. Ducey has.

Re: Teacher Strikes in the USA

PostPosted: 04 May 2018, 15:38
by willie23
asudevil wrote:
willie23 wrote:Hey asudevil! I myself prefer the U of A ;) but I know that Universities in AZ are pretty good. I’m in the Douglas Unified School District, or, I was. Not anymore. I met some Scottsdale people while at FFA competitions, and I’ve been there a few times. Isn’t that near or in Phoenix? ASU and U of A have always been super great to the FFA.


So you moved to NM...with 2 weeks left in school?....


Basically, yes, but there are a lot more outside factors that contributed to the decision, the teacher strike was just the last straw.

I have another question: on Wednesday, about 2/3 of my school staff and students alike showed up in red shirts saying “red for ed”. I was never informed about this, but it seems as though a lot of people were. My Geometry teacher called them “the red shirt people” and “commies” and said that he was done being “politically correct”. What is the deal with these red shirt people?

Re: Teacher Strikes in the USA

PostPosted: 04 May 2018, 15:53
by asudevil
willie23 wrote:
asudevil wrote:
willie23 wrote:Hey asudevil! I myself prefer the U of A ;) but I know that Universities in AZ are pretty good. I’m in the Douglas Unified School District, or, I was. Not anymore. I met some Scottsdale people while at FFA competitions, and I’ve been there a few times. Isn’t that near or in Phoenix? ASU and U of A have always been super great to the FFA.


So you moved to NM...with 2 weeks left in school?....


Basically, yes, but there are a lot more outside factors that contributed to the decision, the teacher strike was just the last straw.

I have another question: on Wednesday, about 2/3 of my school staff and students alike showed up in red shirts saying “red for ed”. I was never informed about this, but it seems as though a lot of people were. My Geometry teacher called them “the red shirt people” and “commies” and said that he was done being “politically correct”. What is the deal with these red shirt people?


You're talking about the Wednesday before the strike yes?

Ill answer that as well.

Re: Teacher Strikes in the USA

PostPosted: 04 May 2018, 16:40
by Iggy
I think you answer some of your own questions with your original post. I'm an IT guy but dream of one day "semi-retiring" to being a teacher. That's not to say that teaching will be easier or less work than what I'm currently doing - quite the opposite in a lot of ways. That said, once I get my kids out of college and get a little more money put away, I hope to transition to teaching. The wait is because I can't really afford to take the pay cut to go from "the real world" to education. The sad part is that teaching the youth of today to be the professionals of tomorrow is so much more important than any other work I've done in my life but the pay is far, far worse.

I've done practice management software for the medical field, banking software and currently work in IT for a retail company. All things that are needed within society and all things that help someone generate a profit. Given that they make someone money, they have provided me a pretty good living, for the most part. It's all economics and "makes sense" on some level. That said, education is the solution to a lot of problems we currently face but we under-fund education on a regular basis.

I haven't really researched the data but you state that the teachers in AZ are missing many resources that they really need (outdated books, insufficient computers, low pay) and that AZ ranks 48 out of 50 states in education. Do you think that those 2 things might be related? I'd imagine they are. In industries that underpay, you aren't likely to recruit the best candidates for the job. That isn't to say there aren't good teachers. There are many people with a passion for teaching that do it DESPITE the low pay. How many more might do it if the pay was competitive?

I had zero desire to be a teacher when I was college age - I never would had the patience to deal with kids 20 years ago. I've now done quite a bit of work with youth (tutoring, teaching in non-traditional environments, youth groups, etc) and would love to get into education as a career change. That said, I'd have to take a very dramatic pay cut to do so. Maybe I would suck at teaching - very possible. But I actually think I could be very effective in the field. I also think I have a lot of "extras" I could add to students from my other life experiences. That said, it would take a ton of sacrifice to go from what I'm doing today to living as a teacher.

This is somewhat rambling from place to place but the bottom line is this - education is severely underfunded in the US. How would you propose that we change that? Teachers have worked within the system for years asking for more - not because they are in it for the money but because they must be paid a wage that lets them survive and thrive.

Do this as an exercise - figure out what it will cost you to live. Many students never consider this. When you are out of school and on your own, how much will it cost you to live? You will have to pay for rent/mortgage, food, utilities, a car, insurance, clothing, entertainment. After all that (and more), you still need to put away money for retirement and emergencies. Add all that up and then compare that to the average teacher salary and see if you can then understand why the teachers are making a stand in so many areas.

If you look even deeper, you will find that many teacher salaries either not increased at all or have increased at a rate far slower than inflation. As a generic simplified example, let's say it cost $100 to get by 10 years ago. Prices of everything go up a little every year. So today, you might need $120 to buy the same thing that $100 bought you then. If you make $150 ten years ago but you only make a $160 today, then you have lost money even though you might make more now. Then you had $50 left over to do as you wanted/needed. today you have $40.

If you do the research on what teachers make now verses say 20 years ago, you will find that many teachers in many areas are losing ground so fast to inflation as to be almost criminal. That is why you see teachers finally making a hard stance. Not to hurt kids of today but to hopefully help those of tomorrow.

I'll stop rambling at this point. As a non-teacher, I can fully appreciate what they are doing today. If you look at it closely, you will probably have a greater appreciation for what they are doing as well. I have zero idea how we solve all the problems. Teaching by definition is a cost on society - same as fire departments, police, etc. They are all requirements of a successful society but they do not inherently generate income. That said, we have to find a way to prioritize education and fund it for the good of all society.

Re: Teacher Strikes in the USA

PostPosted: 04 May 2018, 16:57
by Iggy
Short version on that - I haven't read enough to know the exact circumstances in AZ to know exactly what the strike is about. I do know a number of teachers in KY and have some info on their current plight. It's not an easy decision to make to stop school from happening but it may be the only course of action after a lot of other efforts have failed. As a society we have a pretty warped sense of priorities these days and I'm not sure what the solution for that is.

Re: Teacher Strikes in the USA

PostPosted: 04 May 2018, 17:03
by joe92
@Iggy: Given your attitude I think you'll make a great teacher. Good luck when you make the transition.

Iggy wrote:Teaching by definition is a cost on society - same as fire departments, police, etc. They are all requirements of a successful society but they do not inherently generate income.

Using the word income here is a bit of a misnomer. Income is not as important to a business or a country as profit. And they all inherently generate profit.

In a set of trading accounts, if there is a -$100 towards fire damage that's $100 out of the profit. If it costs $90 to prevent that fire damage that's an increase of $10 on the profit. Obviously worth it. Same story with policing, healthcare etc.

And with education. If it costs the state $100 to educate a child through school, and that child goes on to generate $200 in tax revenue through their life the benefit is very clear. The more educated a populace the more likely they are to generate a greater income for themselves and thus tax revenue for a country.

Re: Teacher Strikes in the USA

PostPosted: 04 May 2018, 17:39
by Iggy
joe92 wrote:@Iggy: Given your attitude I think you'll make a great teacher. Good luck when you make the transition.

Iggy wrote:Teaching by definition is a cost on society - same as fire departments, police, etc. They are all requirements of a successful society but they do not inherently generate income.

Using the word income here is a bit of a misnomer. Income is not as important to a business or a country as profit. And they all inherently generate profit.

In a set of trading accounts, if there is a -$100 towards fire damage that's $100 out of the profit. If it costs $90 to prevent that fire damage that's an increase of $10 on the profit. Obviously worth it. Same story with policing, healthcare etc.

And with education. If it costs the state $100 to educate a child through school, and that child goes on to generate $200 in tax revenue through their life the benefit is very clear. The more educated a populace the more likely they are to generate a greater income for themselves and thus tax revenue for a country.


Thanks. I hope you are right.

I also completely agree with you. I think police, fire, education, etc are all very good investments of public funds for the common good. I also think that all have very substantial returns to society. But most people do not associate that return in the manner they should.

Investing in education will return to the state in taxes paid by the educated. That said, from a government standpoint, the cost of providing those services are purely a "cost". When calculating the expense of funding a school, there isn't a revenue portion of that, only the cost. The same is true of many other public works. Others potentially have a revenue portion - if the city funds a water line and then collects money directly on the water supplied there is both a cost and revenue portion of that equation. With schools, there is a very direct effect on the cost side of the equation. The income side of the equation is an indirect addition. That makes it difficult to quantify and easy to ignore/dismiss when people are looking budgets, etc.

Re: Teacher Strikes in the USA

PostPosted: 04 May 2018, 17:49
by super_dipsy
I freely admit I do not know how the state / federal budgets work in the US on education. But I wonder, is demographics anything to do with the problems apparently in the AZ teaching profession? I think I read other posts saying that some other states pay a lot more to teachers.

The reason I ask is that at a totally different level, I know that in the UK some counties have to pay a lot more than others on things like elderly care because they have a higher percentage of retirees, and as a result they have less in the budget for other things.

I know things are different in the US, but I seem to remember reading that AZ is a popular retirement location and that it has a higher percentage of older people than average. If that is right, could this be something to do with the issue?

BTW, as far as the OP goes, arguably in some respects the teachers seem to be trying to avoid hurting the education of the pupils, because you say they are striking for 5 days but these will then be tacked on to the end of the current term. In the UK when teachers strike, the education days are lost forever :(

Re: Teacher Strikes in the USA

PostPosted: 04 May 2018, 19:16
by NJLonghorn
Just adding a perspective from a different state. I'm not an educator but I am on my local school board in New Jersey, and follow education closely. Unlike in AZ, schools here are well funded. According to what I can find on the internet, AZ averages $7,200 per student, while NJ averages $17,500. Part of this is due to a cost of living difference, and part is due to inefficiency and corruption. But most of the difference is because we pay to have better schools.

And the schools are better, by just about any metric you choose. Graduation rates, SAT scores, AP participation, AP scores, college entrance, college graduation -- all are better here. And it's not close.

You will often hear people complain that taxes in liberal states are high. That's true. But the main reason our taxes are high is that we pay more for education. Companies routinely threaten to leave NJ (and other high-tax states like CA, MA, CT, and NY), but few actually leave. In fact, we regularly attract new companies into the state, despite our high taxes. Why? Because these companies need an educated workforce, and we provide that.

The bottom line is that I agree with those who have said above that education is an investment in the economy. I don't understand why some states are unwilling to properly fund that investment.

P.S. I'm from Houston as well. Graduated from Bellaire HS many years ago. It's one of the best public high schools in TX, but wouldn't be top 50 in New Jersey.

NJLonghorn out

Re: Teacher Strikes in the USA

PostPosted: 04 May 2018, 19:31
by Parabellum
I agree with much of what has been said, especially with some of NJLonghorn's observations (though not necessarily all, and also not necessarily his conclusion(s)). I've worked in accounting in education, and he's right that there's a lot of corruption/misuse of money. Like, a lot. I'd actually argue that that's one of the more important reasons teachers don't make enough money. The money's there to provide teachers with a living wage, it's just going elsewhere. For that reason, I'd argue that raising taxes is not a solution. The administration part of public education needs a complete overhaul, and we as a society need to ask ourselves what it means to be educated. What is the purpose of our schools? The answer to that question should shed some light on major misuse of public money. I'm not asserting anything illegal has occurred (probably has in some places, but that's not my point), I'm asserting that the way the education sector spends money is imprudent (to put it mildly).

The overhaul I think is necessary to save education will never happen, they'll just throw more money at the problem, and in a few years we'll have more strikes until teachers are given their justly earned raises. The root of the problem won't ever be addressed.

Sorry for being such a pessimist.