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LobowolfXXX
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I don't mean that economic incentives would matter to teachers; I mean that economic incentives to schools would increase the importance that they put on keeping the best teachers.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Magnus Eisengrim
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I can't speak generally, but in Edmonton's pubic system, school budgets have a fixed dollar amount for the cost of a teacher, regardless of what the teacher's actual salary and benefits really cost. This allows schools to plan for the teachers they need and provides no incentive to get rid of experienced teachers to save money.

That said, no system is safe from political interference. Our provincial government negotiated a four year deal with teachers three years ago, with salary increases tied to the same cost of living formula that politicians receive. For 2011-2012 the government slashed the education budget, forcing the school districts to honour the contract, but with less money. As you can imagine, the number of teachers in Alberta will be lower next year.

John

PS And in my previous post, I did not mean to suggest that money is irrelevant to teachers; that is clearly not the case.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
landmark
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Quote:
On 2011-07-13 12:55, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-07-13 11:42, LobowolfXXX wrote:
I suspect that the problem is not that a school system doesn't recognize what makes a teacher great, but rather that there aren't much in the way of incentives for having great teachers. You can't charge more, or significantly increase demand for your product, etc. In a public school, anyway.

Best wishes for a quick rebound.


I don't think monetary incentives would make much difference to teachers. Recognition, better and more one-on-one time with students, schools renovated more than twice/century, etc. would probably make a lot better rewards.

John

Exactly John. Teachers, like everyone else, respond to incentives; however the business community has yet to understand the incentives that motivate the majority of teachers. For example, you will almost never hear an actual teacher say that class size isn't important to her/him, while there are many in the privatization movement who dismiss it as being important.
landmark
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Quote:
On 2011-07-13 14:20, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
I can't speak generally, but in Edmonton's pubic system, school budgets have a fixed dollar amount for the cost of a teacher, regardless of what the teacher's actual salary and benefits really cost. This allows schools to plan for the teachers they need and provides no incentive to get rid of experienced teachers to save money.


John


Hitting the nail on the head again, John. In NYC, the system used to be as you describe in Edmonton: a school was allotted a fixed number of teachers regardless of actual salary. When Bloomberg came in as NYC mayor, he changed the system (extraordinarily with no union outcry) so that a school now gets a certain allotment of money rather than number of teachers. In this set-up, there is now an economic incentive to hire the cheaper, less experienced teacher. It was a huge change in the educational system that went largely unnoticed, and many in NYC still don't realize or understand it. I'd be curious about other major city school budgeting in this regard. Anybody know about LA, Chicago, DC, or SF?
Magnus Eisengrim
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On 2011-07-13 14:52, landmark wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-07-13 14:20, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
I can't speak generally, but in Edmonton's pubic system, school budgets have a fixed dollar amount for the cost of a teacher, regardless of what the teacher's actual salary and benefits really cost. This allows schools to plan for the teachers they need and provides no incentive to get rid of experienced teachers to save money.


John


Hitting the nail on the head again, John. In NYC, the system used to be as you describe in Edmonton: a school was allotted a fixed number of teachers regardless of actual salary. When Bloomberg came in as NYC mayor, he changed the system (extraordinarily with no union outcry) so that a school now gets a certain allotment of money rather than number of teachers. In this set-up, there is now an economic incentive to hire the cheaper, less experienced teacher. It was a huge change in the educational system that went largely unnoticed, and many in NYC still don't realize or understand it. I'd be curious about other major city school budgeting in this regard. Anybody know about LA, Chicago, DC, or SF?


Edmonton is much studied for its site-based budgeting model. Ever since the 70s schools have been given a dollar budget and the school's principal is charged with running the school with that amount of money. It is within this system that the teacher costs are fixed. e.g. If a principal adds or cuts one teaching position, the amount of money charged (or not) is fixed, regardless of which individual teacher is involved.

The obvious benefit of site-based management is that schools can try new things quickly and with a minimum of bureaucracy. The two major problems (IMO) are that 1. Sometimes schools try stupid things, and 2. it is very difficult to come up with a funding formula that is fair to students.

Sounds like New York is in the early stages of an educational experiment. They would probably be wise to come north for some discussion and observation first. Why make someone else's mistakes all over again?

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
rockwall
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On 2011-07-13 11:26, landmark wrote:
As for seniority and merit, I can't say how it happens in other lines of work, but you don't become the best teacher of anything without having put time into it.


You also don't become the most burned out teacher without putting time into it. But, unfortunately, the union system rewards both the same.

And since you still haven't answered my question; "given your position on seniority, why is your wife's quality as a teacher significant?", I'll answer it for you. Despite your willingness to buy into the union system you actually believe that it IS significant as you should and as do I. It's only the union, and those who support the union system that don't.

Mike
landmark
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John, it's not an educational experiment. It's the conscious destruction of public education.

Mike, I thought I made it clear what I thought : being good at what you do is extremely important. I don't think that there is any way to stop administration from gaming the system with a merit system that they control. They already have proven they care nothing about education. An objective system like seniority while imperfect is less prone to corruption and cronyism . Your assumption about what union supporters believe is completely wrong.
landmark
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Well, things are getting interesting. An administrator friend of ours (yes we do have some of those!) has told us the following:
The excesses demanded by the Department of Education were meant to scare teachers into retirement. After that happens, the DOE will find money to restore some of the excessed teachers at the last minute.

Of course that's impossible. No city agency, no matter how corrupt, greedy and uncaring would possibly do such a thing throwing hundreds of teachers and schools into turmoil for no reason. Why you'd have to be a monster to . . .

On second thought, she could well be correct. Time will tell. You heard it first here.
landmark
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So the good news. Mrs. Landmark just heard she is to be re-employed at her former school.

If you read the above post, the scenario that our administrator friend outlined was exactly the case as predicted. The scum-sucking DOE "found" some money at the last minute to re-hire some teachers. Meanwhile hundreds of discouraged teachers have retired. But more to the point, there are hundreds of excessed teachers who were not re-hired by their schools and who did not find other jobs. There were hundreds of openings available, as witness the Job Fairs that the DOE sponsored, but many of those jobs were taken by candidates who did not have one moment of experience teaching in the classroom, but coincidentally cost half the price of many of the excessed teachers. Way to go, DOE, showing your constant concern for students and the quality of teaching.

I say it's spinach and to hell with it. (An old New Yorker cartoon reference. You can look it up.)
gdw
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Welcome to centrally planned monopoly public education.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
Magnus Eisengrim
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On 2011-08-20 09:48, gdw wrote:
Welcome to centrally planned monopoly public education.


'Cause things like this NEVER happen in the marketplace Smile
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
gdw
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On 2011-08-20 10:37, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
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On 2011-08-20 09:48, gdw wrote:
Welcome to centrally planned monopoly public education.


'Cause things like this NEVER happen in the marketplace Smile


Not saying they don't, but in a free market, where schools were accountable to their customers, they would have much more incentives to hire better teachers over just the cheapest.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
Magnus Eisengrim
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On 2011-08-20 11:40, gdw wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-20 10:37, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-20 09:48, gdw wrote:
Welcome to centrally planned monopoly public education.


'Cause things like this NEVER happen in the marketplace Smile




Not saying they don't, but in a free market, where schools were accountable to their customers, they would have much more incentives to hire better teachers over just the cheapest.


I find your faith admirable. Not persuasive, but admirable.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
stoneunhinged
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Actually, education in the US is probably one of the most de-centralized government services. No federal control whatsoever (other than throwing money around), state control is minimal (some states have standardized tests), and private schools are abundant and home-schooling prevalent.

In comparison, here in Germany there absolutely everything "school-wise" is controlled at the state level. No local school boards or anything close to it.

John, what's it like in Canada? At what level does the government control public education?
gdw
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It doesn't matter at what level as there is still no real competition.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
Magnus Eisengrim
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In Canada education is the responsibility of the provinces and territories. For historical reasons, most places in Canada have two publicly funded school boards, one of which is Roman Catholic. These boards have locally elected trustees who oversee the broad operations of each board.

In my province, Alberta, we have a fairly rigid curriculum that is mandatory for any fully funded school/ school board. Charter schools and private schools exist, but are not plentiful. They tend to cater to special interests. Charter and private schools that adhere to the provincial curriculum and that hire fully accredited teachers receive full funding on a per-pupil basis. Public schools get additional funding for infrastructure and administration.

There are a few privately run schools that do not follow Provincial curriculum or hire accredited teachers, usually for religious reasons. These schools receive somewhere from no funding to partial allocation depending on their level of alignment with curriculum. The only minimal requirement is that all of these "outlier" schools do have to register their existence and they do have to account for the presence and the safety of their students.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
LobowolfXXX
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On 2011-08-20 09:03, landmark wrote:
There were hundreds of openings available, as witness the Job Fairs that the DOE sponsored, but many of those jobs were taken by candidates who did not have one moment of experience teaching in the classroom, but coincidentally cost half the price of many of the excessed teachers. Way to go, DOE, showing your constant concern for students and the quality of teaching.


But there's no reliable means of determining how good the inexperienced teachers are as compared to the inexperienced teachers.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2011-08-20 11:50, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-20 11:40, gdw wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-20 10:37, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-20 09:48, gdw wrote:
Welcome to centrally planned monopoly public education.


'Cause things like this NEVER happen in the marketplace Smile




Not saying they don't, but in a free market, where schools were accountable to their customers, they would have much more incentives to hire better teachers over just the cheapest.


I find your faith admirable. Not persuasive, but admirable.


I would think that even people who disagree with GDW's conclusion would at least agree with this point. Parents who can afford a good private school shop around; parents who can't, take what they get based on where they live. And everybody in school administration knows it, on both sides.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Magnus Eisengrim
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On 2011-08-20 12:27, LobowolfXXX wrote:

I would think that even people who disagree with GDW's conclusion would at least agree with this point. Parents who can afford a good private school shop around; parents who can't, take what they get based on where they live. And everybody in school administration knows it, on both sides.


Sure. And the same is true of publicly funded districts with open boundaries. Many (but not all) parents shop around for the school that they believe will best suit their children.

As I've mentioned before in many countries (Canada for sure) the achievement differences within schools is greater than the differences between schools, making shopping more a matter of taste and convenience than quality. And I may have linked to this before, but the OECD recently looked at performance differences between public and private schools in their testing areas. They found that private schools outperformed public schools on an absolute basis. But when they controlled for selection bias (currently private schools can restrict who gets in, which has a strong influence on group academic achievement), they found little difference.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
LobowolfXXX
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On 2011-08-20 13:11, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-08-20 12:27, LobowolfXXX wrote:

I would think that even people who disagree with GDW's conclusion would at least agree with this point. Parents who can afford a good private school shop around; parents who can't, take what they get based on where they live. And everybody in school administration knows it, on both sides.


Sure. And the same is true of publicly funded districts with open boundaries. Many (but not all) parents shop around for the school that they believe will best suit their children.

As I've mentioned before in many countries (Canada for sure) the achievement differences within schools is greater than the differences between schools, making shopping more a matter of taste and convenience than quality. And I may have linked to this before, but the OECD recently looked at performance differences between public and private schools in their testing areas. They found that private schools outperformed public schools on an absolute basis. But when they controlled for selection bias (currently private schools can restrict who gets in, which has a strong influence on group academic achievement), they found little difference.

John


I don't know how where and how prevalent public districts with open boundaries are. Where I grew up, your public school was dictated by your address, period, and I just kind of assume(d?!) that was the way it was in the USA.

With respect to selection bias, I'm not surprised at the strong influence, and I suspect it's largely true at all levels. My law school made a big deal of its bar passage rate, but I imagine if my entering class had gone to a bottom-tier law school, the pass rate wouldn't have been much different.

However, I don't know that that means entirely dismissing selection bias as a confounding variable; to the extent that a high-achieving school's results are based on selection bias, that is still a potential benefit to students (those who qualify, anyway), as a more homogenous classroom would, I imagine, result in less class time spent making sure the slower learners are up-to-speed. There's a lot of boredom in public schools for gifted students.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
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