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Franklin County community outraged over school system $550,000 debt

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  • Nat-LightNat-Light Posts: 451 Deckhand
    Education is big business these days. I don't think teachers are paid too much and in many instances are probably underpaid. I think the school systems need to get back to the basics...instead of paper, pencils and books, the kids now need laptops or tablets, chalk boards are being replaced by smart boards, etc. We are bringing all this "technology" into the classroom and yet I don't see the cost/benefit of it.
  • jcbcpajcbcpa Posts: 1,886 Captain
    Nat-Light wrote: »
    Education is big business these days. I don't think teachers are paid too much and in many instances are probably underpaid. I think the school systems need to get back to the basics...instead of paper, pencils and books, the kids now need laptops or tablets, chalk boards are being replaced by smart boards, etc. We are bringing all this "technology" into the classroom and yet I don't see the cost/benefit of it.

    This x 2
    I can't give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.
    Herbert Bayard Swope
    US editor & journalist (1882 - 1958)
  • illinoisfishermanillinoisfisherman Posts: 5,312 Admiral
    Nat-Light wrote: »
    I think the school systems need to get back to the basics...instead of paper, pencils and books, the kids now need laptops or tablets, chalk boards are being replaced by smart boards, etc. We are bringing all this "technology" into the classroom and yet I don't see the cost/benefit of it.

    There needs to be big changes in all municipal agencies including school systems. More technology should lead to more efficient school systems. It may be that internet home schooling is just around the corner. That is what is being discused up here. It is understood that it will not work for every student but the goal will be for less "brick & mortar" schools and less staff. It will work for many students. Many students have been asked their feelings and many love the idea. Changes have to be made..........in case no one noticed America is out of money. We can't continue by "borrowing on our credit cards".
  • BigfootBigfoot Posts: 9,383 Admiral
    Little Johnny still cannot read...
    Sometimes the nicest people you meet are covered in tattoos & sometimes the most judgmental people you meet go to church on Sundays...
  • Nat-LightNat-Light Posts: 451 Deckhand
    There needs to be big changes in all municipal agencies including school systems. More technology should lead to more efficient school systems. It may be that internet home schooling is just around the corner. That is what is being discused up here. It is understood that it will not work for every student but the goal will be for less "brick & mortar" schools and less staff. It will work for many students. Many students have been asked their feelings and many love the idea. Changes have to be made..........in case no one noticed America is out of money. We can't continue by "borrowing on our credit cards".

    I think a lot of it has to do with how we allocate our resources...do we put those resources towards educating our children or do we put it towards building a bigger and better bomb?
  • Tide-DancerTide-Dancer Posts: 1,347 Officer
    Bigfoot wrote: »
    Little Johnny still cannot read...
    And yet he is passed up though the grades and pushed out into the world.

    Now he votes for a living.
  • tapatetapate Posts: 5,263 Admiral
    And yet he is passed up though the grades and pushed out into the world.

    Now he votes for a living.

    Cant argue with this!
  • FamilyfisherFamilyfisher Posts: 2,993 Captain
    You want to know why we have so much technology in the classroom? Watch this video and tell me how we can teach this child in 3 years with only paper and pencil. The term is "digital native" and you're going to hear it more and more. They don't read books. They read digital media. When they're raised on smart phones and iPads, you can't expect them to be satisfied with a hard back text book with zero interaction factor. We have to keep up with them. It's a necessity.

    I fully agree that many still cannot read and hit the streets. Thankfully I believe most of these are not getting out of highnschoolmwith a diploma though. Remember there is a difference between a diploma and a certificate of attendance.

    Here's the video...
    [video]

    Final thought for the moment..... We are moving toward a BYOT (bring your own technology) mind set and actually allowing students to use their smart phones some in class rather than saying they are completely disallowed and trying to confiscate them if they're seen. Already, discipline referrals related to cell phones have dropped by 75 % this year.
    Proverbs 13:3
  • FamilyfisherFamilyfisher Posts: 2,993 Captain
    :Agree
    Proverbs 13:3
  • brotherinlawbrotherinlaw Posts: 3,541 Captain
    You want to know why we have so much technology in the classroom? Watch this video and tell me how we can teach this child in 3 years with only paper and pencil. The term is "digital native" and you're going to hear it more and more. They don't read books. They read digital media. When they're raised on smart phones and iPads, you can't expect them to be satisfied with a hard back text book with zero interaction factor. We have to keep up with them. It's a necessity.

    I fully agree that many still cannot read and hit the streets. Thankfully I believe most of these are not getting out of highnschoolmwith a diploma though. Remember there is a difference between a diploma and a certificate of attendance.

    Here's the video...
    [video]

    Final thought for the moment..... We are moving toward a BYOT (bring your own technology) mind set and actually allowing students to use their smart phones some in class rather than saying they are completely disallowed and trying to confiscate them if they're seen. Already, discipline referrals related to cell phones have dropped by 75 % this year.

    I think Albany has let more than a few get out based on what comes in here "hunting" a job.
  • NOLE66NOLE66 Posts: 1,630 Officer
    You're just before stepping across a line Max. I haven't had a new vehicle in 6 years. Vehicles I do buy are most often used. 2 NEW vehicles purchasedin 35 years. I think it is YOU that have no idea what you're talking about as the pay scale of educators. We are talking about teachers.... not board members or other politicians. Until you spend a few months in a classroom, don't think you begin to think educational professionals are over paid. I mean in charge of 30 different children whose parents are going to come at you with everything they have when you "mistreat" their child by telling them they need to behave. when you "fail them" by giving them the grades they earn.

    Couldn't have said it better myself. My wife and I are teachers, both in Walton County, and neither of us have new cars. We both bought used, our house that we just purchased is 30 years old and was a foreclosure which brought the price down low enough for us to afford the mortgage. We both have masters degrees and together we bring home a little over 80K a year. We both love teaching because we like to see that light go on in a kid's head when they learn something new. We both knew that we would never get rich teaching, but we never thought that our pay would stagnate and remain the same for over five years now. Actually our pay has decreased slightly from what is was in 2008 because we now have to contribute 3% towards retirement and we just lost another 2% to the increased FICA tax. It is becoming more difficult to make ends meet. Both of us work second jobs to help make ends meet. How many folks do you know that are well educated, have a full time job, and still must hold a second job just to make ends meet?
    To ask teachers to take a pay cut right now is unacceptable, especially because it seems the Franklin Co. School Board and Super is to blame. Gas, utilities, food costs have increased a lot over the last several years but our pay has not increased as it was promised to us when we were hired (step increases).
    Teaching is ever more becoming a increasingly difficult job, due to changes in our culture (parents not what they used to be), heavy handed government, lack of funds, loss of control over students (ACLU, etc....), and the perception from certain segments of our population that its the students and parents against the schools.
    So Max if you don't think we're underpaid, I invite you to go put your name on the substitute teacher list in the county. Go pay for your background check, urinalysis, etc.... and get yourself cleared to get a little taste of what teachers do on a daily basis. Of course, you're not gonna get the full experience being a sub, but it may give you some appreciation for the job teachers do for our children.
  • BigfootBigfoot Posts: 9,383 Admiral
    You want to know why we have so much technology in the classroom? Watch this video and tell me how we can teach this child in 3 years with only paper and pencil. The term is "digital native" and you're going to hear it more and more. They don't read books. They read digital media. When they're raised on smart phones and iPads, you can't expect them to be satisfied with a hard back text book with zero interaction factor. We have to keep up with them. It's a necessity.

    I fully agree that many still cannot read and hit the streets. Thankfully I believe most of these are not getting out of highnschoolmwith a diploma though. Remember there is a difference between a diploma and a certificate of attendance.

    Here's the video...
    [video]

    Final thought for the moment..... We are moving toward a BYOT (bring your own technology) mind set and actually allowing students to use their smart phones some in class rather than saying they are completely disallowed and trying to confiscate them if they're seen. Already, discipline referrals related to cell phones have dropped by 75 % this year.

    my 1 year old Grandson is putting the iphone to his ear
    Sometimes the nicest people you meet are covered in tattoos & sometimes the most judgmental people you meet go to church on Sundays...
  • GANDERGANDER Posts: 371 Deckhand
    Bigfoot wrote: »
    Little Johnny still cannot read...

    Foot,

    The most exasperating thing about my job as a High school teacher is that students come to our building from an elementary and middle school where they may have FAILED 1-7 subjects for any and all of their previous 8 years of education! They may not be able to read, write, or do basic math. It is not from a lack of effort on the part of our school staff, but largely due to a lack of effort from parents (to use the term loosely) to help their kids and force them to be accountable and put for the necessary effort to become successful. Some of those students DO have challenges to their cognitive ability, are emotionally impaired, etc. and may or may not qualify for special education services (now THERE'S another issue largely unknown to the general public...) and really struggle with subject matter. However, when parents are asked to have the child attend after school tutoring or summer school to put in the extra time, they decline or flat out refuse! When teachers make a recommendation that a student be retained (held back) in a grade, they often refuse that advice. There is research that says that retention doesn't necessarily help those students as social issues come into play, but the typical response of parents in that situation is that they don't want their kids to be "separated from their friends"--NOT because they acknowledge the student's deficiencies and know they need extra time and help to catch up. So the parents pass them on, and on, and on, and on...and they get to high school where we don't give a social pass. They can't read and struggle to write and do math--but the State curriculum requires 3 years of math (including algebra 2), 4 years of English, 3 years of social studies and 3 years of science with chemistry or physics in the 11th grade. The chem and physics standards are, essentially, the same as a first year college class. How do you like those students' chances of "catching up" after all those years of parents giving them a deferral on the extra effort they needed to put forth? We had a couple of kids not graduate last year--a VERY unusual thing for our district. A senior graduate's parent who works in our cafeteria overheard another parent say "It's terrible that the school let those kids fall through the cracks". Our employee knew FULL WELL how hard we had tried to get those kids through, and how the kids had really not made anywhere near the effort needed to just pass! She lit into the person who made the comment, telling them what had been provided and that the kids and the parents had failed to take advantage. SHE knew exactly where the blame needed to be placed!

    I will agree that there are teachers in this profession that are ineffective and just putting their time in. (A Navy veteran/ Sheriff Dept friend of mine would call them "LIFERS"--Lazy Inefficient F--ups Expecting Retirement). Many of them have been beaten down by the very conditions that they fought so long to improve. In Michigan, at least, the numbers of those teachers has declined greatly over the past several years as our veteran staff has retired, the student population has declined and there are fewer teaching jobs available with much better candidates available to choose from. We had 300 applicants for an elementary position last year and hired a teacher with 5 years experience and a master's degree--for $42,000.

    Oh, and if you want to substitute, we pay $75.00/day...before taxes...for a 7.5 hour day. Have your degree in hand and all the aforementioned criminal checks done at your expense.

    I don't know all of the stories of the regulars on here, but it seems that some are employed in performance-based occupations like sales. If you are very successful in your profession and were looking for a new job, you would expect that a new employer would pay you AT LEAST what you made in your old job. In teaching, school boards often seek to hire at the entry level salary despite the years of experience and education level of the new employee. Teachers are hired as cheaply as you can get them rather than being rewarded for their expertise and experience. I once heard a business manager tell a senior member of our teaching staff (who also taught college classes on the side) during a contract negotiation to "Go somewhere else if you want to make more money". The BM had no clue that the teacher likely would've taken a $30 K pay cut to "go somewhere else..."

    It's easy for the pols to blame teachers! Even though we vote, we are a relatively small population compared to the parents of all these allegedly disaffected youth and if they blame us and promise to do something to "reform" education, those parents will vote for them. The pols will NEVER say that parents need to improve! It's "the schools and these lazy, ineffective teachers that are the problem", they'll say, and then seek to cut teacher pay or replace us with computer terminals and call it "reform".

    Consider this analogy:

    A doctor assesses a patient and makes a diagnosis. The doctor provides education to the patient on their condition/ailment and makes a prescription for them that may include lifestyle/behavior changes, medications, or other treatment. The patient leaves and decides that they don't really need to do all that stuff (or can't afford it). They return to the doctor and still present with the same condition. The doctor reviews the steps needed for the patient to improve their condition. The patient leaves and does little or none of what "the doctor ordered". Their ailment remains. Why don't our politicians blame doctors for all of the chronically ill people out there who refuse to TRY to help their conditions improve? Why don't they push for "medical reform" and get rid of those "lazy, ineffective doctors" whose patients don't get better? Because the pols KNOW that the patients are the ones responsible for their lack of improvement if they are doing NOTHING to get better! (Oh, or maybe because doctors have a more powerful lobby than teachers??)
  • BigfootBigfoot Posts: 9,383 Admiral
    Gander and all other Educators,

    Make no mistake how much our family appreciates and respects your efforts....the system I'm sure is flawed, hey I'm in Healthcare and talk about well nevermind. Point being you guys do a big job for small pay IMHO considering education and effort/time put in....you are underpaid IMHO.

    My Grandmother was a Teacher, she had great involvement influence on us growing up - Thank God!

    Keep doing what your doing - it matters!!!!
    Sometimes the nicest people you meet are covered in tattoos & sometimes the most judgmental people you meet go to church on Sundays...
  • StonewallStonewall Posts: 848 Officer
    With all that's being said here it reinforces the reason my kids are in Private Catholic school. When the economy crashed and with my business in construction that was the scariest thing for me that I was going to have to send my kids to government schools. I know there are great people there but I will not let my kids be educated by the government as long as I am able.
    Can't never did try!
  • GANDERGANDER Posts: 371 Deckhand
    Stonewall,

    I would be curious to know what is so "scary" about public schools in your area? Is it the ethnic, religious, or socioeconomic diversity of students? I know there are Catholic schools that are very diverse, but some that are very exclusive. Or is it my aforementioned lack of parental involvement in a large share of students' lives that makes those public schools scary places?

    I graduated from a small Catholic high school (18 in my graduating class!). Most of us were (1980s) working middle class kids and a very few wealthy ones. We were told that we were "better than the public school kids" because we went to the Catholic school. The sad thing was that our teachers were not the nuns of the grade school (and I had only 3 of those through the years), but lay teachers who were NOT hired by public schools. We had a couple outstanding teachers over the years (until they finally got a public school job), but a large number of very poor ones as well. Our facilities were inadequate to say the least, but what mattered was the involvement of our parents that made that school go, and drove us to make the most of the opportunity we were given.

    Our public school has interacted with both a league Catholic HS and local elementary/middle school. It was eye-opening to see the same behavior in their parents and administration over the years as what I had in my upbringing. The separatist and elitist nature of the schools runs counter to the stated purpose of their faith-based education. The overall quality of their students is much more dependent on the quality of the parenting than on the school staff. They may point to the successful HS students that come from their grads, but there are plenty of other kids that don't make their "A list".

    Some parents expect the school to be their surrogate and take care of their responsibilities. The thing many of them refuse to realize is that we we have contact with their students for anywhere from 50 minutes (middle and HS) to 7 hours (elementary) a day--along with a group of 15 to 30+ other kids with various needs. parents and the environment they shape for their children have a great impact on the student's readiness to learn. They have expectations that we are very likely incapable of living up to if they don't do THEIR JOB! For the best chance of success, students need to arrive at school with a positive attitude toward learning, well-rested, well-fed and knowing that they are loved and respected. We have a difficult time doing our job in that time frame if they are distracted by situations at home, tired, hungry, harassed or feeling that what they do there doesn't matter!

    Most teachers look at themselves as part of a team--all the school personnel from bus drivers to admin to teachers to cafeteria folks, parent and students--all playing a role in providing the student with the opportunity to achieve an education. But the student must seize that opportunity and make something of it!

    If the current trend in education "reform" is to carve out student populations from the public schools and place them in charters, parochial schools or on-line learning environments, we will continue to force separation in our society among those "that belong" and those "that are different". That doesn't sound like a country that will be capable of working together and solving its problems.
  • illinoisfishermanillinoisfisherman Posts: 5,312 Admiral
    "The overall quality of their students is much more dependent on the quality of the parenting than on the school staff. They may point to the successful HS students that come from their grads, but there are plenty of other kids that don't make their "A list".

    Some parents expect the school to be their surrogate and take care of their responsibilities."

    And the same can be said for the culture of violence that exists on Chicago's streets among Chicago's youth. Parents are ignoring their responsibilities and expecting others to tend to their children. They utilize "school" as a "babysitter" and do not interact with their children in a positive way.

    For the most part two questions have the same answer.............."Why is little Johnny failing?' and "Why is Little Johnnie shooting people?" The answer is simple - a lack of parenting. When a child has no "family" they turn to gangs looking for "family".

    The use of "school" as babysitters became too apparent when the Chicago teachers went on strike. Parents in the news openly commented on "what will my children do" and "I have to work". There were little or no comments or concerns about the quality of education. When looking for answers about your children's behavior ....... just look in the mirror.
  • CranfieldCranfield Posts: 1,474 Officer
    I can understand the inclusion of technology in the classroom and accept that paper books will be a thing of the past in about 5 years, for all of us.
    What I do find difficult to understand is how all this keyboard learning is going to teach pupils to handwrite.
    Will handwriting become something we don't do anymore ?
  • BigfootBigfoot Posts: 9,383 Admiral
    Georgia Tech Intro 101 Class - you are now and forever will be smarter than anyone else. No one can tell you anything. You are always right. Your income will afford you a halfway nevermind.
    Sometimes the nicest people you meet are covered in tattoos & sometimes the most judgmental people you meet go to church on Sundays...
  • StonewallStonewall Posts: 848 Officer
    GANDER wrote: »
    Stonewall,

    I would be curious to know what is so "scary" about public schools in your area? Is it the ethnic, religious, or socioeconomic diversity of students? I know there are Catholic schools that are very diverse, but some that are very exclusive. Or is it my aforementioned lack of parental involvement in a large share of students' lives that makes those public schools scary places?

    I graduated from a small Catholic high school (18 in my graduating class!). Most of us were (1980s) working middle class kids and a very few wealthy ones. We were told that we were "better than the public school kids" because we went to the Catholic school. The sad thing was that our teachers were not the nuns of the grade school (and I had only 3 of those through the years), but lay teachers who were NOT hired by public schools. We had a couple outstanding teachers over the years (until they finally got a public school job), but a large number of very poor ones as well. Our facilities were inadequate to say the least, but what mattered was the involvement of our parents that made that school go, and drove us to make the most of the opportunity we were given.

    Our public school has interacted with both a league Catholic HS and local elementary/middle school. It was eye-opening to see the same behavior in their parents and administration over the years as what I had in my upbringing. The separatist and elitist nature of the schools runs counter to the stated purpose of their faith-based education. The overall quality of their students is much more dependent on the quality of the parenting than on the school staff. They may point to the successful HS students that come from their grads, but there are plenty of other kids that don't make their "A list".

    Some parents expect the school to be their surrogate and take care of their responsibilities. The thing many of them refuse to realize is that we we have contact with their students for anywhere from 50 minutes (middle and HS) to 7 hours (elementary) a day--along with a group of 15 to 30+ other kids with various needs. parents and the environment they shape for their children have a great impact on the student's readiness to learn. They have expectations that we are very likely incapable of living up to if they don't do THEIR JOB! For the best chance of success, students need to arrive at school with a positive attitude toward learning, well-rested, well-fed and knowing that they are loved and respected. We have a difficult time doing our job in that time frame if they are distracted by situations at home, tired, hungry, harassed or feeling that what they do there doesn't matter!

    Most teachers look at themselves as part of a team--all the school personnel from bus drivers to admin to teachers to cafeteria folks, parent and students--all playing a role in providing the student with the opportunity to achieve an education. But the student must seize that opportunity and make something of it!

    If the current trend in education "reform" is to carve out student populations from the public schools and place them in charters, parochial schools or on-line learning environments, we will continue to force separation in our society among those "that belong" and those "that are different". That doesn't sound like a country that will be capable of working together and solving its problems.

    Scary to me is sub par education lack of individual responsibility lack of discipline lack of morals and I just don't want the government educating my children. My son played in a basketball game at a local government school (notice I say government not public) a couple of weekends ago and walking into the gym there was a bulletin board that looked like a shrine to the Obamas. It made me sick!

    Your last paragraph hints at another thing that I think is big in government schools and that is fairness. I'm just about sure we all know that life is not fair so why do government schools put such an emphasis on fairness? Is it so little Johnny or Susie doesn't get their feelings hurt. If so these kids are being set up for failure. We are all different and life is not fair. Down here in Ga. the kids in government schools are required to bring in their schools supplies then put them in a pool to be handed out by the teacher. WHAT? Oh and I'm also don't want the government telling me what is going to be in my kids lunch.

    I know y'all have a very tough job and I commend you for what you do. I know a lot of parents treat schools as daycare and not learning institutions and that makes your job even tougher. One of my best friends has two kids about the same age as mine and they have been sick about five times this year. I said man y'all are having a rough year and he said no its all these [email protected]&n parents that don't give a crap about anyone but themselves and send their kids to school sick.

    I do not raise my kids to think they are elite and if they were to ever act that way I will be here to knock them down a few notches.

    Oh and one more thing that scares me about government schools around here. Recently there was an attempted **** at a middle school.

    I don't think government education no I know government education is not going to help solve this countries problems, he!! the government has caused most of our socioeconomic problems.
    Can't never did try!
  • BigfootBigfoot Posts: 9,383 Admiral
    Stonewall wrote: »
    Scary to me is sub par education lack of individual responsibility lack of discipline lack of morals and I just don't want the government educating my children. My son played in a basketball game at a local government school (notice I say government not public) a couple of weekends ago and walking into the gym there was a bulletin board that looked like a shrine to the Obamas. It made me sick!

    Your last paragraph hints at another thing that I think is big in government schools and that is fairness. I'm just about sure we all know that life is not fair so why do government schools put such an emphasis on fairness? Is it so little Johnny or Susie doesn't get their feelings hurt. If so these kids are being set up for failure. We are all different and life is not fair. Down here in Ga. the kids in government schools are required to bring in their schools supplies then put them in a pool to be handed out by the teacher. WHAT? Oh and I'm also don't want the government telling me what is going to be in my kids lunch.

    I know y'all have a very tough job and I commend you for what you do. I know a lot of parents treat schools as daycare and not learning institutions and that makes your job even tougher. One of my best friends has two kids about the same age as mine and they have been sick about five times this year. I said man y'all are having a rough year and he said no its all these [email protected]&n parents that don't give a crap about anyone but themselves and send their kids to school sick.

    I do not raise my kids to think they are elite and if they were to ever act that way I will be here to knock them down a few notches.

    Oh and one more thing that scares me about government schools around here. Recently there was an attempted **** at a middle school.

    I don't think government education no I know government education is not going to help solve this countries problems, he!! the government has caused most of our socioeconomic problems.


    In this day and age. Spot on!

    If I had raised mine in ill Detroit would have worked 3 jobs if that's what it took for Private School
    Sometimes the nicest people you meet are covered in tattoos & sometimes the most judgmental people you meet go to church on Sundays...
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