@Brer Rabbit, A large class size would be allowed in a school if the
numbers don't work out. I had over 30 when I taught 2nd grade years ago,
and had 35 fifth grade students a couple of years ago, with some kids pulled out
for a couple of hours a day for reading or math. The first grades at my school
had 29 kids each last year. The state-mandated size is about 22, but it
doesn't matter. Sometimes large class sizes are put in place in
a school to avoid a split-grade class. I am teaching a split-grade class this
year, and it is a nightmare, with the common core math and the science
curriculum for both grades.
Brer Rabbit:Those large classes do exist law or not. According to
accreditation, secondary teachers aren't supposed to have more than 210
students but this is policy is fractured beyond belief.Don't
believe what your district reports for class size. You need to add at least 10
to the reported class size in elementary and maybe 15 at secondary to really
know what a typical class is like.
I agree with Stacie that students, especially below high school needing their
own tablet. However, she may want to recheck the 35 students in her son's
third grade class. I have taught for nearly 30 years and no school district
would allow such a large 3rd grade class, especially along the Wasatch Front.
That number is well above state authorized limits for 3rd grade.
Mike Richards, your calculation are just too simplistic. What about custodians,
secretaries, staff assistants, heating, air conditioning, water, maintenance
personnel, nurses, therapists, transportation, and the list goes on - none of
that is free. And you are right about parent involvement in education and
I am not writing about volunteering at a fundraiser or helping with bus duty,
but real involvement.
confused,You misread my post. The State spends $3.5 billion per
year on public education. There are 25,000 teachers. That means that the
State pays $140,000 per teacher. The average teacher's wage is just under
$50,000. That means that $90,000 per teacher is spent on buildings, supplies
and administrators. Good parenting does not add one penny to the
cost of education. Good parents who spend an hour or two per day tutoring their
children would do more good than putting another $10,000 in each teacher's
pocket. Many families have computers in their homes that their children could
use to enhance education. Giving each school $200,000 for technology would do
less for the students than encouraging parents to spend time with the technology
found in most homes.
Technology can be a benefit in a few selected classes, but not enough that we
need to waste money furnishing every student with a new iPad. Real success comes
from well-trained and caring teachers in the classroom. Wherever you find
successful debate, journalism, drama, music, or AP programs, you'll find a
strong teacher, not electronic devices. Research shows us that given
equal socio-economic and cultural conditions, the teacher is the single best
indicator of student success. The Finns have it right. Take the best college
grads and raise pay to make education attractive to them.
Money for ipads is a waste. Half the kids already have them, most of the others
have their phones. The only ones who need them are the low socio-economic
schools, so yes maybe there. But why buy equipment for kids who already have it
and know how to use it better than their teachers do?
Giving the kids more toys to distract them will not educate them. We need to fix
the fundamental problem first. Pay teachers enough and we will get better
teachers. Cut class sizes and students will get more individual help from their
teachers. This is not rocket science. Heck, it's not even iPad science.
It's common sense. Then and only then should we spend additional funds on
technology. This hare-brained idea from Lockhart is just another Republican
attempt to circumvent the problem we have created in our schools.Yes, Mike, parents should get more involved. But we can't legislate that.
What we can do is fix what we've been breaking for decades now.
Tyler D,I believe the word is "kiitos".
Always thought it was strange how many Americans disdain looking at other
countries, and where it makes sense using some of their ideas – and on
education especially since our system is not that great compared with much of
the developed world.In a book titled – The Smartest Kids in
the World - the author did just that and came to a few key conclusions.
Surprisingly, one is that technology in the classroom is largely a waste of
money when compared to good teachers & curriculum.Other
conclusions were the importance of math, critical thinking (e.g., essay
questions, not multiple choice), extra help outside the classroom (Mike is right
about parental involvement), and excellent teachers (who are paid
accordingly).We could also learn a thing or two from Finland (#1
school system in the world even when compared to similar cultures &
demographics). Key features there include:More playtime (75 minutes
of recess vs. 27 minutes for U.S. kids) and a lot less testingNo national
mandates – guidelines onlySmall class size – 16 max for
science classes Teachers must have graduated in the top 10% of their
The one good thing about increasing the use of technology (instead of just
increasing the number of teachers) is... Online resources don't require
pensions, they don't collect pay checks each month, and they don't
require expensive medical insurance.That said, I don't think we
should replace any teachers with technology, but the teachers we have should use
technology to the best of their ability to augment and enhance their teaching.
It's hard for a teacher to spend one-on-one time with each student (even if
there are only 20 kids in the class). It's easy for a web site or an app
to spend one-on-one time with each student (no matter how many students are in
the class). Educational Apps we have today are good at giving instant feedback
and instruction at each student's own pace (not one speed fits all, like a
teacher standing in front of the whole class).We should use both.
Why can't it be teachers AND Tech??Why does it have to be one
or the other?I think we need both.
@confused, most people take into consideration the entire benefit package when
being offered a job. A person may keep a lower wage to enjoy more valuable
benefits. And not just health benefits, there might be flexible schedules or
other perks that make up for a lower wage.
Mike Richards...Just curious where you get the $140,000 amount
from?Are you talking about Salary (Average Salary is 47,000 which is
ranked 38th in the country). Oh you must then add on benefits. I get it....Now, if you are a business person and you are interviewing a perspective
employee, do you tell them that their salary and benefits = $$$$?of
course not, you tell them what their gross salary is going to be...While I do agree with you about the family involvement, good education starts
at home, not in the classroom.
Perhaps the first task that a parent should have is to spend time with each
child each day to help to educate that child. There will never be enough
teachers to give one-on-one instruction, but each child has a parent who is
primarily responsible for his child's education. Turning off the TV, the
video games and staying home from distracting sports and social events would go
a long way towards giving each child one-on-one time. Unless you
can hire private tutors for your children, YOU are their tutor.I
agree that charging each family an additional $150 per child in taxes and then
"giving" those taxes to the schools for technology is foolish. The
school system isn't accountable for the $140,000 per teacher that it is
already given. Who would expect it to handle another $200 to $300 million? Families are the solution; strong families who understand their
stewardship; strong parents who spend time with their children.
Well said Ms. Mason.I don't know if Mrs. Lockhart actually
thinks she is doing the right thing or if she and other legislators will be
financially aided by technology contracts. I would like to give her the benefit
of the doubt. However, her aim here is seriously misguided. We need to invest
in people. Not just teachers but more tutors, aids, counselors and in-school
administrators (the ones in district offices we don't need any more of
them). But we do need more teachers especially, we need to attract them and
retain them. We especially need more male teachers and this can only be gained
through significant pay increases and restoring benefits. Throwing an i-pad at
a student in a class of 40 plus students isn't going to help much at all.
Again, for the vast, vast majority teaching and learning is a HUMAN thing and we
need to invest first and foremost in HUMANS.
I couldn't agree more! Our teachers have taken pay cuts the last 5 or 6
years. Time to pay them for their great work!