As a teacher I find it hilarious that politicians, most of whom have never
taught, try to mandate what, how, and when something should be taught. I
wouldn't try to tell a lawyer how to try a case, I would never tell a surgeon
where to make an incision, so why can some idiot in the government tell me how
to teach? I fell that is something that's between me and the parents of the
children I teach. AS far as merit pay, I don't mind being graded for my
pay but I respectfully ask, "By what criteria are you going to grade
me?" Interviews with Principal? (what happens if I don't get along with a
future principal? Will my pay go down? How about test scores?(what about
teachers valiantly striving in title one schools that by nature struggle with
test scores? Will their pay drop? Maybe parent surveys? I'm all ears, but it is
not so simple.
There seems to be some discrepancy. Some of you think teachers get paid for
their summer vacations and others imply that the low pay is because of the
vacation time. seeswater, you can't have it both ways. Have you ever tried to
live on your child's teacher's salary for a month? Try it, it will open your
eyes! And deltafoxtrot, yes we teach for the love of it, but we also must
provide for our families. I work extra on weekends and in the summer to try to
make ends meet. I'm not asking for a raise, but it would be nice if a little
consideration was given to the fact that we are professionals that deserve
respect, not backtalk. Yes there are some bums in the profession. I had some as
teachers in school myself. BY all means give them the respect they
"deserve" as well(not much) My question is why teachers are considered
first on the chopping block instead of politicians when belt tightening is on
the docket. Congress needs their wages slashed and their benefits cut FIRST
Who's with me!
I recently listened to an NPR radio discussion about the merit pay system. A
teacher from the Alpine School District said they had instituted a merit pay
system there several years ago. He said he had no problem with the system,
however, after using it for what sounded like a couple of years, the idea was
pulled because of lack of funding for increasing the salaries for the teachers
they considered to be the 'better' teachers. With the state of Utah always
complaining about the budget and how they don't have enough money for teachers
and schools, how would they fund another program like this one anyway? Would the
money come out of the Ogden School System's budget or the state's general
JSB,With all due respect most people with very little training can
pick out the top 10% of teachers and can also pick out the bottom 10% of
teachers in the school. Those teachers will be in every school, the key is to
keep the 10% performing at that level, move the middle 80% toward the top
through professional development and continued support. The bottom 10% must be
provided with the remediation necessary to be effective. If the remediation
does not take, then these teachers need to find another line of work. I would
suggest that a good administrator who is the educational leader can do this. I
would also suggest that a good administrator who is an educational leader within
the building will be able to make a pretty accurate determination of the
potential success of a new teacher in the first three months. If that teacher
is struggling, that administrator needs to be in the classroom providing
remedial support. If that teacher does not show adequate improvement they
should be terminated. If administrators would fire teachers who cannot do the
job in the first three years it would solve a lot of the problems we have now.
Thank you for the information. However, I can cite at least 25 multi-year
studies which suggest differently. I can clarify, however, that the union is not
opposed to merit pay.That is the fact that most people who have a
similar belief as yourself, do not want to hear. I have to ask why? I guess it
is just to have someone to blame for our lack of respect, funding, and
continuous slamming of teachers.In Alpine school district the Board
and the Association worked together to create their merit pay plan.Merit pay is not the answer but a fair evaluation system would go a long way.
To JSB:Unless of course you happened to be "subjectively"
evaluated by someone who has a disagreement with you personally.
Squirt: The research is in a thesis I read at BYU. It compared ranking of
teachers based on who the ranker felt were the best to the poorest teachers in
the school(just their gut level feeling) by two different members of the school
staff (principal and superintendent, principal and school counselor, principal
and asst. principal etc.) What it showed was remarkable agreement for the best
and poorest teachers and less agreement in the middle 80%. Though teacher unions
hate the concept, when a principal can pick his own staff based just on who
he/she wants to open a new school or restaff a school that has been performing
poorly, there has been remarkable success. Subjective evaluation is accurate,
it's just hard to measure because the people doing the ranking are usually using
the same criteria, it's just very difficult to measure objectively.
JSB,Could you please cite the research you are referencing? Please
remember this is not about merit pay, it is about not having a voice in their
contract. Just to clarify, there is absolutely no evidence that
merit pay improves student learning; including a five-year study by Vaderbilt
University.We need to work on an authentic and fair evaluation and
hold administrators accountable for doing their job.
Maryquilter: You are right on target. Determining who is a good teacher and
who is not is quite subjective, but research has shown that it is also
accurtate; especially in determining the best and poorest of teachers.
I am a teacher. I'm more than happy with my job. I love teaching my middle
school students. They keep me active and I enjoy their humor and energy.
Working 10 months is just right for me. I work long hours during the school
year (9 or 10 a day), but the break during the summer makes up for it. My mind
needs the break more than my body. It is hard to be thinking about your job all
day and night. Last year I made $59,000. I'm o.k. with that.My
students averaged 90% on the CRT test and my classes usually have a waiting list
to get in. Bring on the merit pay.The Ogden school board can do
what they want but they handled this totally wrong. They now have the
reputation for not being teacher friendly and you will see an exodus of teachers
from the district. Yes there are people that would like to have those jobs if
the teachers leave or are fired. However, there is a reason those people
wanting the jobs don't have them. Good luck Ogden. You are going to need it
for many years to come.
Well, obviously what the schools have been doing up until now hasn't worked.
Weber County has most of the lowest ranked schools in the state. (The other one
is in our neighborhood).It seems the administration is trying their
best to improve the schools. The teachers seem to fear a report card of their
own skills and abilities, so they are protesting this.I say, try the
contract out for a year and see if it improves things. It just might.
I am a teacher, and the issue here is not merit pay. I would like to think I am
a rather effective teacher, and would welcome some extra pay based on my
effectiveness. The issue is that the school board, on a whim, has implemented a
merit pay system with no information as to how teacher merit will be measured.
The other big question is how to measure effectiveness. A simple test score at
the end of the year does not cut it. And are we willing to improve test scores
that the cost of less instruction in the arts, higher drop out rates, decreased
value on critical thinking/creative writing etc... Needless to say it is much
more complicated than to just say that Ogden teachers need to man up and be
happy to have a job.
To Braxton: I am spending my "summer vacation" working because my
regular salary as a teacher is too low. To those who keep mentioning
"tenure": public school teachers in Utah do not have tenure. Once you
have attained "Career Educator" status it simply means you can not be
fired without a legitimate reason.To those who recognize that the
UEA is not a union: Thanks for being right on. Contributions to the
association are strictly voluntary. There are competing associations, and there
are some who choose not join to any association, with no repercussions (except
for missing out the many benefits offered by the association).To
those who blame teachers for low test scores in the Ogden School District: Do
you really belive that the teachers there are that much worse than in higher
performing districts? Students there face many family, economic, language, and
other barriers to success that would completely overwhelm most children
regardless of how well the teachers perform.
@Magic Pog: I never got paid to stay after school to help students, or coach
Science Olympiad or interview Sterling Scholars or write recommendations or have
conferences with parents or departmental meetings or grading or get paid to take
summer or after school classes, etc. And I spent at least $300/year for
classroom supplies, books on improving teaching. I also had summer jobs and
after school jobs to help pay for my own kids education, music and sports. I
went into teaching because I love kids and seeing them learn and succeed. Why
else would anyone spend 6 1/2 hours/per day with 30 to 40 teens/class?
@Magic Pog:Those extra duty assignments (coaching, driver's ed,
etc.) are not what I am talking about. Each of those duties calls for
additional hours and are paid accordingly. I got my numbers off of a website
that reflects national averages.However I do know that in some
school districts head football coaches will get 9% of their base pay, while the
advisor for student council or an academic club will receive considerably
less.Maybe the answer is to pay football coaches less for what they
do, or even require pay to play implementation in our public schools. Of
course, the day Utah de-funds football across the board will widely be seen as a
sign of the apocalypse.The way I see it is that the general public
expects more and more from public school teachers and public education but is
less and less willing to pay for those expectations.
We need facts before deciding what really is going on in Ogden. As to getting
rid of poor teachers its very hard after they are off provisional status.
Unless a teacher breaks the law they are usually put on remedial status and
helped to improve. I had a teacher across the hall who was remediated five
times in ten years but never fired. And as to the three month vacation in the
summer, never got one. There were always lessons, units, tests, labs etc. that
needed improving and updating along with the classes I needed to take to keep my
license current. And never during the school year did I work 40 hour week,
always fifty to sixty. Good teachers get that way by hard work and stay that
way the same way.
Idaho did away with much of the socialist teacher union nonsense. Utah should do
the same. Teacher unions are a plague. They serve no purpose. There are people
lined up around the block for teacher jobs. If current teachers don't like the
working conditions and pay let them go somewhere else. Good teachers are a dime
Utah's Rights website is not correct. It sometimes adds money for benefits and
other things. Plus teachers can get extra money for out of class things to
raise that number. One big thing is Drivers Ed. Many of the $100,000+ teachers
are also drivers ed teachers which work around 4+ hours outside of teaching
I happen to know that if you are in anyway accused of inappropriate behavior
with a child here in Utah, you are automatically put on leave until the matter
can be investigated. If they allow rapist to keep their jobs in Washington, they
need to immediatley fix their laws. I know many people on this discussion board
have complained about bad teachers, but no one has said that their child has had
a bad teacher themselves. I know there are bad teachers, but that is generally
the exception. Parents need to complain if they are unhappy. Believe me, there
is nothing more intimidating then a call to the principal, or if necessary the
district if you are a teacher. You can be fired, but most parents can't be
bothered to complain and then go through the correct channels. Ogden School
District has some of the lowest performing schools in the state. Teachers can't
fix every problem. I'm so glad I don't work for them. Also, keep in mine, no
teacher is forced to join an association or union here in Utah. I know many
teachers who don't belong and that is their right.
As a product of the Ogden School District, and the son of a former teacher in
that district, I have to chime in here. I know that unions are anathema to many
in our conservative state, but the anger against teachers and their unions is
misplaced. We have all, through the social contract we agree to as citizens,
agreed to pay taxes to educate every child. There are benefits to this that far
outweigh the costs. I hope at least we can all agree about that. Because others have been touting the right to know website, I did a little
digging there and elsewhere. My high school AP English teacher, who has been
teaching for well over 30 years and is among the top five teachers I ever had,
in school or college, makes about the median salary for an RN in Ogden, and
$20,000 less per year than a brand-new attorney. OSD's plan will, in the end,
discourage anyone like my former teacher (who did it for the love of teaching)
to take a job there. Our schools are fast becoming mere holding facilities for
delinquents. We need to pay our teachers more.
@ Braxton:Let's say a Utah teacher makes the national
"average" at about $42K per year. They don't in Utah, but let's say
they do. 42k divided by 180 school days equals $234. A pretty good salary,
yes? Divide $234 by 8 hours, and that is $29.25. Pretty good wages, yes?But let's be honest. A teacher's day is not just the 8 hours at school.
There are meetings before and after school, there is lesson planning and
grading, and there is a lot of unpaid advising. Also, if you divide say $30/hr
by 30 kids, that's less than what babysitters get. The truth is teachers, who
are paid to teach our kids get less than $2/hour per child.And let's
be honest on another issue. It takes a teacher about 12 years with a Master's
in Utah to make $42K. And that summer vacation? If teaching is so grand, why
do teachers all over Utah see a need to work a second or third job during those
10 weeks?Oh, and all of these figures, of course, are before taxes
and other deductions like health insurance and retirement savings. Buy a nice house on that.
As a long time employee of Ogden City school, I have to say I am all for the
merit pay. If that had been in place for the last three years maybe my son's
teachers would have got off their butts and attempted to find out why he wasn't
working in school, instead of just flunking him and shrugging.Being
a classified employee, I haven't even GOT a pay raise in three years. I expect a
pay cut for this year, the way things are going.
Paying teachers by job performance---what a joke---who decides? My sister taught
in a nice district with helpful parents who encouraged and assisted their
children who received good test scores. She also taught for several in downtown
Watts in inner-city Los Angeles where parents of her students were drug addicts,
alcoholics, illiterate, and one even committed suicide in front of her child on
the way to school; obviously no matter how good of a teacher my sister is, she
could not help these kids achieve the same testing results for the district.
Should she take a pay cut when teaching these challenged kids and a pay raise
when teaching the privileged kids- she was the same teacher with the same
skills- this is ridiculous. There are too many variables in each classroom to
fairly and equally determine across the board which teachers are 'better'
teachers. We seriously need to get real about being willing to pay for good
educators to teach and inspire our kids. My massage therapist makes more an hour
than teachers do.
Re: formersaltlaker | 8:38 a.m. July 15, 2011 In today's economy and
with Obama at the helm nobody should feel secure. Obama is steering us full
speed ahead through an ice field and there aren't enough life boats to go
around. If teachers have a job they'd better hold on to them.
@formersaltlaker, why do you think teachers should have the right to feel
secure? Most employee people these days don't feel all that secure about their
jobs. Its just part of like. Teachers need to feel a little dose of reality
just like the rest of us have been experiencing the last few years in my
One solution would be to have a voucher system. Then, the individual schools,
their administration and teachers all have a vested interest in improving the
quality of education in that school because their jobs and pay depend on it.
There would be a cooperative, not antagonistic relationship between the
administration and teachers. Poor schools (pubic or private) would loose
students and dollars, good schools would gain students and dollars. And, if a
teacher isn't performing well, every teacher in the school, not just the
principal, would be putting pressure on the poor teacher to improve or leave.
It's a win/win.
I will have to walk away from the computer after I post this, as my blood
pressure is rising reading some of these comments, but first I must respond to
the haters: The School Board does not negotiate in good faith. They
misrepresent to the press. Our refusal to accept their ultimatum last August led
to impasse. Don't believe every thing the School Board says to the press. None
on the Board have taught, but those of us who need our jobs were forced to sign
a contract when we do not know what all the terms are. Would you feel secure in
my situation? I don't.
I really could care less how upset the teachers are. They should be happy they
have employment, just like the rest of us are.
Let's learn from history-Last time unions and collective bargaining were
eliminated wat in 1933-Hitler's Germany; which gave rise to facism. More than
Shame on KSL and the DN for reporting that the teachers are upset about merit
pay. That is a blatant misrepresentation. The only undisputed fact is that the
Ogden Board of Education did not negotiate with the teachers on their 2011-2012
contract. That is why the teachers are upset.It is extremely
frustrating when the news media continually make this about pay-it is not. The
UEA has collaborated on many models of alternative compensation throughout this
state. There are those out there who do not want this to become public.With all due respect to our news folks, please report the facts. Thank you.
People become teachers because they are passionate about education. No teacher
has ever said they went into teaching for the money.Teachers are
invested in their communities and their school. It's easy for somebody sitting
at a computer to say, "if you don't like it, you can leave." But the
truth is, most teachers are working their tails off to improve their
community!The Ogden School Board is simply being unreasonable. If
the teachers didn't care, they would have walked off the job and looked
elsewhere last year, when they didn't have contracts. But, these teachers care.
Many of these teachers want to stay in the Ogden School District, and at this
point, the Ogden School District really needs to listen and understand the
teachers who want to be on the front line.
In response to the comment that said that NO TEACHERS in Utah make more a 6
figure income. A quick search on Utah's Right to Know website, I found 54
teachers that make more that $100,000 with Steven Webb making $204,750. Based
on these results, if I were a teacher I would want to be teaching in Cache
In Utah if an employee doesn't like the benefits he/she is getting they are free
to seek employment elsewhere and that applies to plumbers, teachers or peace
officers. In New York teachers are rewarded for failure and firing one of them
is next to impossible. When times are hard and our country is headed
towards bankruptcy teachers might want to reconsider how lucky they are to have
jobs at all.
Typical teacher mentality. I've heard this whinning from them for so many
years; I can't have any sympathy for them. If they are so abused, quit
teaching and get a job where they can have happiness.
DN - how about some good old-fashioned investigative reporting here. Does
Fred44 speak the truth?OSB - when was the last time you actually
went out to a school and spent time in the classroom? I'm a teacher for Granite
School District and my school board member visits our school several times a
year. You also may want to ask how GSD is able to work with GEA rather than
holding them in contempt. Teachers who feel valued will out perform those who
have to work under threats and duress.
Teachers have unions because historically teachers were fiscally abused. And if
people teach only because of the love of teaching, then we are in trouble
because there is a serious shortage of saints among homo sapiens. We need to
get the scientists busy producing the collections of clones that are needed to
fairly evaluate the efficacy of one teacher against another. Because if the
students are different between classes, how can we actually do performance
As long as teachers belong to a union then I will never stand behind them and
this is coming from someone whose parents were both school teachers and members
of a state teachers association. I am ashamed. Unions must be crushed. They
represent all that is wrong with this country, look at who they support..the
worst President in the history of this country, Barack Obama.
UGradBYUfan,Know your facts. Let me give you at least 5 in the
Weber School District, there are many more. Just look them up.Jo
Egelund 106,617 TeacherDavid Green 106,580 TeacherVal Parrish
105,299 TeacherMichael Kersey 105,093 TeacherJody Warren 104,348
Braxton, no TEACHERS make 6 figures. Principals work year round. Principals are
like the Chief of Police. Compare those salaries, not Principals and police.runwasatch, no teachers are not free to just pick up and take their
teaching ability somewhere else anymore than you could do the same with whatever
you do. There are not unlimited jobs, and if you haven't heard, we are in a
recession and many teachers have been laid off. There are a lot more teachers,
believe it or not, than there are jobs! Teachers have families that they need to
support and they have.Besides, if teachers do leave their district,
they lose most of their teaching years experience. They take a cut in pay, and
have to start over in seniority.
Braxton - There are NO teachers in Utah that make 6 figures. There may be some
back east that do, but that is only because their pay is adjusted to their
living situation (They get paid more because it costs more to live in New York
City).Teachers work more hours, on the average, during the 10 months
that they are working than most workers that work for 40 hr/week, 12 mos a year.
Most teachers have to do their preparation and grading during hours they are not
under contract.But I do agree with one thing you said, police are
paid far too little, but don't begrudge teachers their pay, because in all
reality, good education improves peoples lives, which leads to better living
conditions, which decreases crime.
Mr. Grilz middle school principal in Weber School District
$130,479.00...Really?Don't tell me Educators don't make any money.
I just love the suggestion that these "caring" teachers strike, sick
in, or whatever you want to call it...that really demonstrates what this is
about... the teachers not the kids.No one is forcing these teachers
to sign the contract. They do not have to sign. They are free to go elsewhere
and teach.Each has retained their agency to choose. The problem is
they want to remove the agency of the district to regulate its own affairs, set
salaries and benefits, and do what they think is best for the district. The only
group trying to exercise compulsion is the OEA and its teachers.Make
no mistake, this will not change and there is a line of teachers already
applying for the positions that will be open. They will exercise their agency to
willingly take the positions the current teachers have abondoned.Good luck and good riddance OEA!!
@ CHS 85 Actually when I can see that a police officer who is in
arms way and some who have been shot at while protecting and serving make only
1/3 of what many teachers make I say to the teachers,many who make 6 figure
incomes, enjoy your 3 month summer vacation, then get back to work and stop
Thank you "On the other hand" - your summary is greatly appreciated,
that is exactly what the early posters were saying! Magic Pog - I
completely agree! Education and performance-based pay are not a good match.
Students are not machines and there are a lot of variables (student home
environment, parental support/abuse, student interactions outside of the class,
student nutrition, sleep, drug use, mental state, etc.) that teachers cannot
control in the educational process.If we really want to improve
education, improve the evaluation and mentoring system. Mentoring by other
teachers should not be exclusively for struggling teachers, but all teachers
should be given the opportunity to watch other teachers teach. Teachers should
be part of the evaluation process of other teachers. Collaboration leads to
improved educational outcomes for students and teachers feeling supported and
engaged. If teachers are supported and given respect and evaluated regularly,
the bad teachers will not stay in education.Another thing that could
improve teaching would be studying and applying research-based techniques to
their classrooms. For extra pay during the summer, teachers could find and do
research (action research) in their classrooms and collaborate with teachers and
administrators to improve their classroom techniques.
WestGranger - The State doesn't pay union reps, teachers union dues do. Teachers
Unions are not the enemy, they merely a voice for teachers. I don't agree with
everything they do, but without them teachers have very little protection. By
the way, those other countries that are kicking the US' butt in overall
education scores, put more money into education and have found ways to allow
good teachers to become better and have improved the performance of the
"bad" teachers. BTW, why are the readers of the DNEWS so
obsessed with "bad" teachers? Are there really that many bad teachers
out there? It sounds like 30-50% of Utah teachers are bad. From what I have
seen, I agree with Fred44. Good administrators, that are willing to document
interventions, work with under-performing teachers and make them more effective,
and if they don't improve they tend to leave teaching because they aren't happy
anyway. Most administrators that I have worked with will support
their teachers. But with that said, sometimes, they have an axe to grind with
teachers because of their own short-comings. Teachers need representation!What no one seems to be talking about is evaluating the principals. Why?
Sign the contract and start the sick day trail. All of the commenters will be
crying for you to come back to work so they don't have to pay for day care.Five days of paid sick leave are about what you would get for a raise so
I would call that even.Seriously, there aren't enough out of work
teachers to fill the spots of your entire district. The parents wouldn't stand
for losing the good teachers/coaches. This will only work if the
If you run a school like a business, neither school and nor teacher will want
your child, if they have a learning disability. No one will want your special
child, they will only seek the "best and the brightest" in order to
look good. Children will become a product. Teachers will compete for the best
"raw materials." Defective components will not do. It will not be
cost effective to educate the poor and the disadvantaged. They will become the
working class. Doubt me? Google around and see what has happened to
charter-ized New Orleans school district. You have to test to get into the
better public schools and you only have to maintain a 1.8 GPA at the school that
"caters to the working class of New Orleans." It's a brave new world,
people; a global economy, where people are bought and sold.
Teachers Unions are the problem. Why is the NEA donating so many teacher's union
dues to left-wing special interests that have nothing to do with education? Pay
teacher well, pay administrators and union reps less.Students should come before
the failing public school system. It needs to be modernized and opened up to new
ideas. So far charter schools, homeschooling and other option, as a whole, are
far better option.Wake up! The U.S. ranks incredible low in overall education
Public employees are not our slaves. They have a job to do but the attitude by
so many here that public employees are over paid and lazy are lies. Many
teachers start at 30k or less. Many police officers start at 15 dollars an hour.
Why do people on these comment boards defend what wealthy get paid
but have a fit when people get paid 50k, 60k etc a year? Why is it wrong for the
middle class to make decent money?
I'd like to thank the retired California teacher for their comment.However, considering that California has consistently spent more than they
have taken in and have a debt crisis nearly as bad as the federal government,
while Utah has a balanced budget, it is obvious that Utah needs no lessons from
California on how to run any government enterprise. Additionally it has been
reproted that while California schools were excellent 30-40 years ago, they are
among the worst in the country now.And, I see the Wisconsin
teachers, fresh from their spanking by the Wisconsin courts, Legislature and
Governor have weighed in. Another source of advice we should studiously
ignore.Unions, or "professional organizations" as they are
euphemisticallly called by some, are clearly part of the reason for the decline
in schoosl across the nation over the last 30-40 years, and anything that
removes them and their corrosive influence from Utah schools and government is a
step in the right direction.
I have an idea to help education. Let's start a lottery here in Utah and have a
good share of the proceeds go to the Department of Education--just like in
Idaho. Many people drive up to Idaho to enter the Powerball. Keep the money
here and help out our teachers. If you don't like the lottery, you don't have
to buy a ticket. The lucky winner of the lottery can then start voting
republican to protect his/her wealth. Jets aren't cheap you know. Then the
winner can get on this board and demonize teachers and say that are no free
rides and to get a job or something and call people like me communists or pinkos
because we suggest that you shouldn't be able to write off all your tax
obligations. Good times!
Lets not pit ourselves against each other. United we stand, divided we fall.Lets get the taxes back to what they were before George Bush gave the
store away to the wealthiest among us making over $250,000. per year.It should be obvious that if we can not afford to pay our teachers a decent
salary, we can not afford to continue giving away our tax money to those making
over $250,000 per year. Let them pay what they paid before
President Bush cut their taxes to a 50 year low. We can not afford that gift
for the rich. Our children can not afford to be put into over
crowede classrooms and miss out on a good education because the rich dont want
to pay taxes on the same scale as the rest of us.Simple math: If we
dont have enough money to pay our teachers, we dont have enough money to give
the richest among us an unfair tax break. Let them pay the same percentage that
the rest of us pay. No more. No less.
The fault, dear posters, is not the teachers. The teachers should get a medal
as far as I'm concerned. Dealing with some problem children, declining budgets,
increasing class sizes and decreasing pay all while being treated like villains.
According to the most important thing in life to republicans--money--there is
not incentive to teach. The free market would basically make education a
privilege and not a right--education for all is a cornerstone that makes America
great.Instead of government employees leading the way (by the way
they have--COLAs have been frozen and hiring freezes have been initiated and
state employees have agreed to unpaid furloughs), how about we close a loophole
or two on a corporation or not pay tax subsidies to Oil Companies making big
profits, or not let jet owners write off the depreciation on their jets before
it happens? End the wars! Don't beat up a teacher for a penny and hand a
briefcase of money to a corporation. There has to be a balance between Unions
and Management--Management Dictatorship is wrong. Only so much money can go to
the top before the inverted pyramid collapses (reference 1929).GO
JSB,First there is no such thing as tenure. It is career status,
and it requires slightly more than a reason it requires an effort to provide
remediation, which most administrators do not want to do. This remediation if
done correctly will last one year with a teacher improving, or a teacher being
terminated. The teachers association does not protect poor teachers, that makes
no sense. The association does protect a teachers due process rights. If the
system were to work as you would have it, Principals would become all powerful
and could dismiss a teacher for no cause. Principals need to quit blaming the
association and take on the responsibility of being the educational leader in
the building, and help their staff improve. If they have staff members who
won't/can't improve, then they need to do their paperwork and have them
terminated. In schools were the Principal is the educational leaders good
teachers flourish and poor teachers leave on their own, or are invited to leave
after an attempt to help them become better.
For all of you who think that because teachers "only work" for 10
months and therefore deserve the pay they get...how about all the professional
sports players who get hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars every year
for working only a few months per year? Why are we fast to demonize the
teachers and not the professional sports players?
Time to slash administrators salaries and cut back on the number of employees in
the district offices. Administrators should be forced back into the classroom
for a period of the day. Unions are too strong and don't represent kids only
their continued flow of money. I am a teacher of 13 years and worked in Ogden
district and I love it. There are a lot of good teachers there and some good
administrators. One administrator was horrible and is finally out of their job
as an admin. and was demoted but i believe they are still receiving the same
salary. I would like to make more money, but considering holidays and hours and
summer I have it pretty good and would not give that up. What we need is more
student accountability. Too many could care less and are lazy and disrespectful
and that is perpetuated from the attitudes of the parents.
Ronald Uharriet "Because of this, our teachers are suffering, our students
are suffering, as are those elderly on Social Security, Medicare, Medicade,
Welfare, SSI, Food Stamps, Hud, etc."Woops, tax code has
nothing to do with what these receipients get paid. Thats a spending side issue
determined by congress. Class warfare is so Lenin.
Not that this makes any difference Braxton but it looks like, based on my
children's school calendars that our district's teachers work 39 weeks. I also
figure that they don't get paid for not working on holidays or the summer. Now
in regards to Mr. Stephen's salary, I'm not sure how educated he is (at least a
Bachelor's, probably a Master's if he's working at Weber State), that his salary
would be comparable to many with that education. Chances are his salary would
be much lower than people with comparable education. Also, it you didn't report
how many days or weeks he works for Weber State. Also, isn't it
great that Braxton can blab teacher's salaries over the web. I would say that
is one nice protection given to those who work in the private sector. I did
investigate this web page mentioned and noticed first year teachers in the
school-district in which I live were making less than 30K. Some head custodians
were making 10K or more than first year teachers and some 8-10 year teachers.
I'm guess I'm alright with that but let's face it, teachers aren't making a
Where are our values?Do we need most to support our teachers and be
grateful to them for eudcating our children, our business and our governmental
leaders, or do we need more to continue supporting the tax break given to the
wealthiest in our Nation by G.W. Bush. The wealthiest in our Nation, making
over $250,000 per year, have the lowest tax break they have had in 5 decades.
Because of this, our teachers are suffering, our students are
suffering, as are those elderly on Social Security, Medicare, Medicade,
Welfare, SSI, Food Stamps, Hud, etc.If we went back to the same tax
code before G.W Bush, and during the Clinton Administration, when the economy
was at it best in 5 decades, we would not be having the economic problems that
we have today.It is not a good idea to disrespect our teachers. It
is not a good idea to disrespect any of our workers. It is time we demand that
the wealthiest pay the same tax they paid under Clinton before Bush gave away
the store to the wealthiest among us.
Why would anyone choose a career in education? Low pay, difficult job, poor
public opinion, disrespect from your superiors. It's sad because it is a job
that should get the most respect, yet in reality it gets the least. Like the saying goes "Be the change you want to see in the world"
I'm going to go buy my kid's teacher a gift card.
Abeille: I've been a teacher and a principal. Tenure does mean the teacher has
a job for life because it isn't as simple as "just giving a reason"
remove a poor teacher. The process is so cumbersome that it isn't worth the
effort. The public is not fooled here. We see all the poor teachers being
protected by the union and the public doesn't want to go on paying a good salary
for poor performance. If the union would just wake up and cooperate with the
administration by acknowledging that there are poor teachers and helping to
remove them from the schools, teachers would have a lot more credibility and a
lot more respect and support from the public. They would actually look like
@BraxtonYes, because the "average" Utah worker has a
Master's degree plus thirty to sixty additional hours of credits, in addition to
20 years of experience. That's a pretty fair comparison. Next, let
compare the salaries of nurses to fast food workers. Those greedy murses with
their special skills and education are just fleecing everyone! I
didn't know nit-picking individual salaries was fair game on the Deseret News
forums. I guess we should also take a look at the salaries of the college-level
sports coaches, nurse and physicians at the state hospital, the state Attorney
General and his staff, and the auditors of the banking system. I guess they
earn their salaries, though. Teachers must be scrutinzed while the others get a
Public School is not a business.One big problem with this is people
saying "They will get more money in the long run" - Where is this
money going to come from. If the system is set up so that the best teachers get
paid more then it is banking on some teachers failing. So this is to set up a
competition between teachers.Why would a teacher want to share ideas
or work together with other teachers if their pay is based on others failing?Why would any teacher want to help "problem" student when they
will be penalized if the student does not respond?This would lead to
focusing on the best students and pawning off the worst.In business
you want to out preform your competition to run them out of business and make
more of a profit. In education you want all students to have success and get a
good education. You can't have performance based pay based on the performance
Doug R. Stephens makes $59,815 from the Ogden School District and $5,446.00 from
Weber State. I would say that $65,261 for 36 weeks ($45.32 per hour) is well
above average for Utah and the current state of the economy not to mention the
great retirement benefits and pension he will get.
@DeltaFoxtrotI have it bad, so my kid's second grade teacher should
have it bad, too. So when times are good, you'll be all in favor of
teachers getting raises again? Somehow I doubt it.
Again, teachers are in the real world just like everyone else. They pay taxes
like everyone else. They haven't had raises like everyone else. And guess
what, they have to right, like everyone else, to fight for something better.
THey also have the right to fight for something better for your children...
eagle -I enjoyed your post. Interesting. I know a teacher who
recently applied for a teaching job with the Federal Government. This teacher
has a Masters Degree plus 60 hours of further education. This teacher has been
teaching for 14 years. The Federal Government offered her the job - at minimum
wage!DeltaFoxtrot -Let's see if you mean what you say.
You want to live in the real world? Okay by me. See the note to eagle above. Go
to the College of your choice. Get 7 years of education (paid by no one other
than yourself). Then take a teaching job at the Federal Government for minimum
wage. Health Insurance will cost you half your paycheck. The rest can go to pay
back your student loans. You want the real world? Let's see you deal with it.
Although Madam Union boss claimed, "This is about bypassing teachers,"
this is actually about bypassing the Union!As noted above, the Ogden
district's performance is dismal, measured by the education of their students.
That despite all the wonderful stuff the Union has always claimed to do for the
children, but in reality more for the union itself and dues paying members, not
necessarily the best teachers.Bravo to the school board for daring
to try something new and eliminate one disruptive part of the difficult process
they manage.Bravo also to the good teachers who will be teaching
there again. And, for any not so good teachers, you may want to start looking
for a new career.Children, and Taxpayers, deserve better!
As a retired teacher in California, I cant urge teachers in every state enough,
to join your local and your state, and your National Professional Organizations
that represent you. Unions are important when you need them and not appreciated
enough when you think that you do not need them.Everyone should have
the right to belong to a union and be represented by the Union.My
school district in California, pays $89,000 per year with 15 years of service
and a Masters.Without the power of the Union, we would still be
working for $75,000 per year or less.Dont forget the National
Organization that is not controlled by the politics of any state, or district
@The Rock"Public employees labor unions should be
illegal."So, now public employees are no longer Americans
protected by the Constitutional rights of assembly and speech? How a public
employee chooses to spend the money they earn from working is none of your
business. If they choose to pay union dues with their income, that is their
choice. That being said, I wouldn't teach in Ogden School District
for any amount of money. Their dictatorial style of "sign this or
else" tactics is just plain stupid. Every worker in their district will
eventually leave to work for Davis, Weber, Box Elder, Cache, etc. Just because
times are tough, doesn't mean you get to treat your workers with contempt.
@VA Saint: Welcome to the real world. I've not had a raise or cost-of-living
increase in years either. In fact, most of us haven't. Our health insurance goes
up every year too. Stop trying to act like you are under some sort of hardship,
you are just having to deal with the same things that the rest of us out here in
the REAL WORLD deal with.
I'm not seeing the "power" of the UEA or its affiliated members.In the last 5-10 years:Teachers have larger class sizesSmall raises and sometimes no raisesMany districts have not given their
teachers their steps and lanesIncreases in insurance premiumsand now
in Ogden school district, the contract offered teachers with no teacher inputnew teachers have to work 35 years for pensions (don't worry not too many will
make that long)the loss of seniority in hiring/firing This
sounds like a powerful union to me. I mean, these union leaders are regular
Jimmy Hoffas. I mean "fight the power" literally. I mean if the
trend keeps going teacher unions might demand for teachers not to have 50
students in their classes and get paid minimum wage, that would be outrageous.
People commenting on this board:It seems that I am unable to put
together a comment on this board that the Editors will allow. Many of you are
posting things that are simply not true. Since I can't get a post through that
directly references the website, I would encourage you to go to Google and enter
'Utahs Right To Know Salary'. As a Utah taxpayer, you have every right to know
what Teachers, Superintendents, Principals, etc. make. When you do this, I think
some of you might just change your mind on who is stonewalling the negotiations.
The facts are important to any discussion, and have been left out of this one.
Fact-Ogden teachers have continued to work for two years while their leadership
attempted to negotiate a contract. Fact last fall the school board and teachers
association reached impasse and then hired a fact finder and agreed to be bound
by his recommendations, the Ogden School Board bailed out when the fact finder's
recommendations where not what they had expected (the board selected the fact
finder). Fact The Ogden Education Association was ready and waiting to
negotiate in April and May, the Ogden School District was not. Fact the Ogden
School School Board summarily decided in June to institute a new contract with
over 100 changes from the previous contract. Reality, anyone who
thinks this is the way to treat someone you expect work miracles in a district
that lacks every indicator of success is crazy. These teachers face the most
challenging student population in the state. By the districts own words, this
was an economic decision based on a way to lower spending and control the budget
not improve education.
Rational -Teachers fight merit pay and think everyone should get
paid the same? Really? I guess I can't speak for all Teachers, but my wife
literally spends hundreds of dollars every single year that aren't reimbursed to
her to help educate your children/grandchildren. She is an outstanding Teacher
(has won awards). Do you think she's afraid of 'merit pay'? Absolutely not. But
how would you like it if your employer told you 'Rational, we don't have a
contract, so you either sign this contract that says you'll get paid less, and
the rest might be made up in merit pay, or I'll fire you.' So, you ask your Boss
'What are the details about Merit Pay? Will my overall salary be the same'? Then
your Boss says, 'Well, I haven't worked that out. But it doesn't matter anyway.
Sign or be fired'. Yeah, I'm sure you'd be happy with that, wouldn't you?If it weren't for the fact that I make a very good wage in the Private
sector, I'm not sure how my wife could afford to educate your children.
@VA SaintSince when is the UEA or the OEA not a union? The UEA, together
with its statewide affiliates, is one of the most powerful unions in the state!
And when the last union is gone, then what? When the American worker has zero
voice, what then? Management will grow a conscience and suddenly class war will
end? It's a global market, baby, and the cry of the right is more for the top,
less for the masses. Keep the tax subsidies for the oil companies, send jobs
out of the country. Balance the budgets on the backs of the next generation.
FYI, the "great recession" ended two years ago. Big business is flush
with cash, enjoying record profits and the lowest taxes in 60 year. If job
opportunities are gone, why look to the low-paid public employees for relief?
"there began to be some disputings among the people; and some
were lifted up unto pride and boasting because of their exceedingly great
riches, yea, even unto great persecutions; for there were many merchants in the
land, and also many lawyers, and many officers. And the people began to be
distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for
learning; yea, some were ignorant because of their poverty ... thus there became
a great inequality in all the land"3 Nephi 6:10-14
Sounds to me like the school board isn't bypassing the teachers, but bypassing
the union. How does offering individual contracts to teachers
bypass them? They can agree, disagree, or attempt to negotiate individually.
My experience with the teachers' union is that they're the ones that don't want
districts working directly with the teachers.I love teachers.
Married one. They're awesome and deserve to be paid and treated like
professionals. Professionals don't need unions negotiating on their behalf.
So, let's make them teach 40-50 students. Not only must they reach each one,
they must make sure that these students can pass their tests so that this
teacher can keep her job.It sounds like a recipe for failure.
Instead of lowering the amount of students in each class so that the teacher can
make a difference and really teach each student, they say your career is now
based on how well these students pass tests.Who in their right mind
would ever want to be a public education teacher in Utah? Especially if they
are a good teacher and can land a job in a private school or move out of state
for a state that values educating their children.Who is leading this
mess? Where are the leaders willing to step up and change this situation so
that each child has a chance?
I understand that these teachers are upset because they feel they were not
included in writing this contract. But when both sides of this story are
included, it is clear that the union failed to negotiate a contract that was
agreeable to both parties. It's not like they didn't get a say. In actuallity,
they chose not to. Or at lease the union chose not to.And the Weber
County teachers have hired the union to represent them. So they were
represented in contract negotiations.As for performance based pay
for teachers, I am all for it. Any professional job I have ever had is based
upon performance. Not only my employment but my pay increases are all based
upon performance. Work well and be rewarded. work poorly, and end up on an
improvement plan. That is real life for all of those who do not work on a gravy
What I find interesting is that someone who is GIVING a grade based on
performace does not want to BE graded based on performance.
Here's what I gather from the comments so far: one teacher's as good as another,
so when it comes to your children, any old teacher will do. If we just throw
them a few scraps of bread and order them to get to work, surely they'll produce
the results you want (and be grateful for the chance you generous taxpayers
offer them to be the lowest-paid teachers in the nation). And if they don't
perform, you'll just throw them out and find others who will do the same work
for even less.Brilliant plan, folks.(And no, I'm not a
@seeswater - teachers don't get a three-month 'vacation' - teachers usually work
during the summer months, either with professional development, classes, summer
school, etc. Teachers do deserve a decent contract, as they are in the middle
of what oft times is a battle zone in our schools. @michaelitos -
teachers do give, constantly. I am going on my fourth year without a raise, and
next year I will have to fork out an additional $80 a month for health
insurance. Teachers are the ones who get hammered first.
I can just feel the love for the teachers on this web page and in this state.
It's so loving and respectful. It is so encouraging. It is so saint like. And how about this union? I think we over exaggerate the power of the
unions. I mean let's think this over. The teachers of Ogden are forced to
accept a contract by some date or they are fired. The school board and district
just makes a take-it-or-leave it offer. This doesn't sound like the teamsters
led by Jimmy Hoffa but a union or association that is impotent to do really
anything for its teachers.In regards to the real world. I think
teachers live in it too. They pay taxes like the rest of us. They have bills
to pay like the rest of us. They have families like the rest of us. They want
respect like the rest of us. They want to feel valued like the rest of us.
The Ogden School District is arguably the worst school district in Utah.
Results on student achievement exams depict that argument--half of the poorest
performing elementary schools are in the Ogden School District. Therefore, the
Ogden School Board must just feel desperate, and these contracts are somebody's
response to feeling desperate.The Ogden School Board needs to
reflect about their facts: their student population is transient and has the
highest percentage of non-English speaking students. These are the top two
indicators of poor performance on these standardized tests.So what
should the Ogden School Board do? Listen to the OEA. Listen to their teachers.
Most of them are not idiots. They want to learn new ways to help their
challenging, changing student population learn. They're open for ideas.As the Ogden student population continues to change, and their tax base
continues to decrease, they need to be creative. My expectation is that they
would involve the teachers, who are on the front line talking with the students
every day, so the Ogden School Board has failed miserably in being creative.
deltafoxtrot: "In a time where we are all forced to cut back and work for
less, shouldn't government employees be leading the way? After all, funding this
expansive government stuff is what got us in this mess in the first
place."------------------No, Utah families having
tons of children have put us into this situation. I grew up in
Holladay in the 1960's. Plenty of kids to be educated. When I look at my sixth
grade picture, there are about 30 kids. My granddaughter has about 40! The
classes are huge and that makes about 1/3 more work for the teachers today. We are causing our education crisis because we do not want to pay to
have these kids educated in a class that can give them the attention and
direction they need. We have become selfish. We think we need tax breaks when
we need to pay more.And I would not call education "expansive
government stuff." This "stuff" is the future of our country.
VA saint- Workers do not need unions for protection and haven't for decades.
Unions still exist only because liberal politicians have kept them on artificial
life support all this time. If teachers want more money, they should embrace a
system where there is competition for their services. When that happens, the
good teacher will get paid more and the rest will start picking fruit....
Teachers fight merit pay and think everyone should get paid the same -- does
that include the half-dozen or so who have been convicted of child molestation
in the last 12 months, those that will be discovered in the next few years, and
those who will go undetected?I am NOT saying all teachers are
abusers, but some are. Just like some are competent and some are not. Unions
and Associations treating all teachers the same -- including the incompetent --
is why public sentiment tends to go against them. That and the fact that every
year the number of half-days the kids get off tends to increase.
@VA SaintAs long as my tax dollars pay the teachers, I don't have to be an
educator to have a say in this matter. I try to be understanding, but come on,
rounds of mediation and still no deal? Teachers are underpaid, but I'm sorry, in
this economy, even teachers are going to have to give a little.
I really think some of you are jumping in against "unions" a bit
prematurely. I'm not sure you'd call the OEA a "union" as the primary
purpose of the OEA is to help teachers continue to improve as teachers. They're
not much more than a third party trying to help the Ogden School Board
understand.Furthermore, remember that the teachers who are members
of the OEA taught a full year without a contract. If that isn't good
negotiation intent, I don't know what is.The story, here, is that
the Ogden School Board decided they didn't need or want any input on teacher
contracts, and they made up their own stuff. Most teachers would support merit
pay, which was a surprise in the new contract, but teachers need to have input
on how merit pay is done. If they can't have any input on their contracts, then
they have a right to be skeptical on how something like merit pay would be
The comments on this board are unbelievable. Rock - do you know what
tenure means for teachers here in the state of Utah? It means that the
administration has to give them a reason for termination when they're fired.
That's about it. Being a Washingtonian myself, I know tenure is different in
Washington State than it is in Utah (My sister teaches in Washington; my wife
teaches in Utah). Tenure does not mean that bad teachers continue in the system
when they should be let go - at least in Utah.DeltaFoxtrot - You
agree that they're underpaid, but that Public Employees Unions should be
illegal? What kind of reasoning is this? If you're in the military (as your name
implies), does the same reasoning hold for yourself? You, as well as the rest of
the people in this country, have benefitted greatly by Unions. As far as your
remark of 'fire them all' . . . let's see you do it for the wages they earn.The rest of you - When Administration negotiates in bad faith, it is our
job as the public to vote the School Board out of office. They need to go - not
@VA SaintSorry, the days of anyone DESERVING anything they're asking for
are long gone. We are in the days of public employees getting what the taxpayers
can afford. I should know, I am one. The taxpayers are paying my salary, and I
don't have the right to ask them to pay for my cushy pension funds or all-out
benefits packages like the teachers get. Teachers already get a 3-month vacation
every year at my expense.We need to start being fiscally
responsible. Get rid of public employees unions!
I am wondering how many of you that are commenting are actually (or have been)
educators. How many in the Ogden School Board are or have been educators? Yes,
one teaches for the love of it, but it would be really nice to be able to make a
living out of it! And the Association is NOT a union. I have worked in a union
and non-union state and I'd much rather work in a union state so that I am
protected from abusive administrators. Granted, some of what the unions do is
preposterous, as they were originally set up to protect the worker, but come on!
These teachers deserve everything they are asking for!
Re: open minded | 2:09 p.m. July 14, 2011 The Professional Air
Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) pulled that stunt on President Reagan.
He told them to go back to work or he'd fire them. They thought he was bluffing
right up until they were fired and PATCO was decertified.There are
a lot of teachers looking for work right now and you can bet your next paycheck
that they'd be happy to take those jobs.
Too bad it sounds like the union let them all down. I'd go for the Union
leaders' heads in this fight, the school board was just trying to get teachers
Open Minded, you're asking for an open door through which the teachers would be
shown the exit. I, as a taxpayer, think they should be glad they have jobs in
I agree with open minded don't show up, head into the real world and actually
try to compete, they will all be back in a month with a real education. We are
in a financial crisis now and education is the biggest money pit we have,
changes have to be made or they will be teaching in Chinese.
Couldn't the DN supply us with a few more DETAILS about the issues involved?What do the teachers want, (besides negotiating) what did the district
@The Rock: You said it. Public employees unions should be illegal.I'll agree that teachers are underpaid. But you don't teach to make money, you
teach for the love of doing it. In a time where we are all forced to
cut back and work for less, shouldn't government employees be leading the way?
After all, funding this expansive government stuff is what got us in this mess
in the first place.I say fire 'em all. You can't tell me that with
unemployment knocking on the door of 10% there aren't qualified people out there
who would jump at the chance to have that job and its cushy benefits.
When are teachers going to realize that their own unions are their worst enemy?
Unions relentlessly fight any type of competition to the public education
system. Lack of competition not only hurts school kids (and taxpayers) it hurts
teachers too. In a competitive situation, there would be competition for the
services of teachers (or at least the good ones). And when there is competition
for your services, you will inevitably get paid more. Wake up.......
If these teachers are smart they will sign the contract and then all walk out
the first day of school and stay out until the district agrees to negotiate with
Public employees labor unions should be illegal.They get behind
politicians that will give them more and more money and less and less work and
no responsibility. I have seen these unions lie about good people to get their
pawns elected, and it worked.One out of 57 doctors will lose their
license.Only one out of 2500 teachers will lose their teaching
credentials. I live in Washington state and here they cannot even fire a
teacher who was jailed for child rape. It takes years of court proceedings and
there is not guarantee.Tenure must go as well.