Thursday, May 08, 2008

Hooie tells a lie

According to interim superintendent Jenny Hooie (as quoted in ThisWeek Olentangy), "The spirit and focus of these negotiations was about students and about how our work can be better aligned to help students academically."

Great spin, but not an once of truth.

I've read the contract, it's all about the union and the teachers.

All for the kids?!? That's just a bunch of Hooie!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

When you look at the contract at face value, it seems all about teachers. Most people realize that any district's budget is about 80% compensation, so of course it seems that way.
So... how is it for the kids, then? Well, teachers = programs. So, if you cut teachers you cut programs such as AP offerings that people often want for their kids but which also benefit the district in terms of its reputation and standing. The programs benefit the kids.

(I know the argument on that one, that everyone shouldn't be forced to pay for the wants of others, and I get that, but that is not what I am looking at here in terms of how the contract benefits kids).

HIgh school teachers in OLSD teach six classes. In UA, many teach four classes, and in most districts they teach five. So... in OLSD the district is maximizing work from teachers if they teach more classes, yet they are still getting results comparable to many other high-quality districts; the programs are there, so it is for the kids, but if teachers only taught five classes, it would cost more to do what the teachers are doing. Yet the kids are still succeeding, so that is of benefit to them.

Also, the salary scale is competitive, which attracts teachers, allowing the district to be more selective. That is also good for kids because they get higher-quality teachers. It is not the highest salary around, though, so that is good for the taxpayer.

Forcing teachers to take better-quality classes is good for kids in terms of what teachers can bring back to the classroom in content and practice, but it also saves the district money.

These are just a few examples, but
in general terms, this contract means happy employees who want to stay, and this continuity benefits kids as well. An endless cylce of teachers would be disasterous -- no growth, no continuity. We all know the reputation of Columbus Public Schools, and I am sure no one wants that in this community.

Jim Fedako said...

"Also, the salary scale is competitive, which attracts teachers, allowing the district to be more selective."

Blah, blah, blah.

Your whole comment is tired and false, but the above statement stands out.

The district receives something like 3000 each year. (Help me out on this readers, someone has the actual stats for this).

Based on the number of applications alone, the district could LOWER its payscale and still stay "competitive."

Whatever that means.

Jim Fedako said...

By the way, the contract and the levy are separate concepts. The contract does NOT hire teachers. Nor does it thwart cuts.

Some people. Huh!

Anonymous said...

For a single 3rd grade teaching position, OLSD had 3K applicants last year.

Knowing that our district pays high school gym teachers $80K/year, who wouldn't want a position at OLSD? "Competetive" pay at OLSD equates to premium pay which is why teachers bang our doors down to get hired here. Additionally, parents are supportive and affluent for the most part, thus teaching is easier. Students and parents care about their grades, making a teachers job much easier than teaching at Columbus Public where that isn't the case.

But it's about the kids, because an $80K gym teacher is necessary to effectively teach kids how to bowl, run, and play croquet.

Ralph

Stan said...

Ralph,

You have it wrong again....last time I checked the phys ed teachers don't teach gym. Gym is a place...not something you teach. They teach students how to lead physically active lives in order to stay healthy.

I know you have a very limited view of the world and how public schools work. But in truth...you skew the information about an $80k phys ed teacher. In order for a phys ed teacher to reach $80k, he/she must, in order to get that in the quickest amount of time, get a Master's +45 and be teaching for 18 years in the salary schedule for the next year. Many teachers never reach master's +45. I think it is ridiculous the way you all skew information. Get it right.

Here's the thing....I don't agree with either side about why teachers come to Olentangy. It is a totally different reason...it is not that Olentangy has happy employees, it is not the pay scale (there are many other districts that have better pay scales than Olentangy)...it is job security. Olentangy is the fastest growing district in Ohio. People know they are not going to lose their jobs in the next year by coming to OLSD. That is it..plain in simple. Let's stop with the spin of how it is for the money. The last I checked, Columbus Public has a way better pay scale than Olentangy..but look...they lay off teachers every other year. That's why nobody wants to go there.

But...I do agree with anonymous that Olentangy does use its teachers more effectively than other school districts. We pay less per students, but we get better results than other districts. How cool is that? I think that is a good statistic.

Stan

Jim Fedako said...

Stan (the former public school employee),

Where have you been?

Talk about spin! Phys ed teachers run stacking cup races and other nonsense. These folks impart no essential knowledge. Yet, the are to be paid up to $96,000 per year under the new contract. That is not money well spent.

Stability? Please. Just another rationale for continued support of levies and overspending.

Once again the burden is on YOU. Prove that "Columbus Public has a way better pay scale than Olentangy." Please.

But, I'll give you the opportunity before calling you a liar. Show the actual figures from the contracts.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Stan,

Interesting that you don't know me personally or even passively through the net, yet you "know that I have a very limited view of the world and how public schools work."

Here's what I know. The high school "gym / physical education" teacher IS making $80K. Due the research yourself and prove me wrong.... Something tells me that won't happen. Ah, that's it, facts.

The new Dean of Students IS making over $79K so that we can "track attendance / enforce discipline." This position paid $61K last year and this year it is paying more than $79K. I guess the extra $18K will net out more accurate attendance numbers and more stringent enforcement of discipline. Right? Whatever!


While I can't comment on the new contracts that Jim mentioned, I'd be willing to bet that he is right and you haven't even requested to see the new contracts. That is the difference between Jim and I and you.

We research, then comment on facts. You spout dribble based on what you want to hear vs. the truth. It's getting a little tiring.

Ralph

Stan said...

Tell me Jim...what would like to see in public school? I really just want to know this? You say you just want tighter contracts and lower spending of your tax dollars, but it goes a little deeper than that, doesn't it?

It sounds as if you would like to see this:
Reading
Math
Science
Social Studies

That's all...because those are the only "essential" subjects in the world. Yet, ask any college admissions counselor this question...

Two students, Student A and Student B, are applying for college. Both have the same GPA and the same number of AP classes. These students are identical in what they know about your beloved core subjects. Student B participated in high school band, choir, orchestra, football, lacrosse, soccer, drama or any other "extra" class that you would like to see removed. The college can only accept one of these students. Which one will it be? Who will they give the scholarship to? The answer is that 9 times out of 10 the scholarship and admission to the college will go to Student B. Students who are involved in these extra activities are wanted more in the work field because it shows true dedication and quest for knowledge unlike the student who only participates and gets done what is supposed to be done.

I could not find CPS teacher salary schedule. It is not posted on their website. I will keep looking though.

Stan

Jim Fedako said...

Stan,

Called you out once again.

You make positive statements that you cannot back up? There is a term for those who operate in this manner. (hint: begins with "L".)

It's not on their web site? I thought you had it in hand. At least that is what you implied.

As to your red herring argument ... I'll respond when you post the Columbus salary schedule that you claim to have reviewed, time and time again.

Stan said...

Jim...I found the CPS salary schedule

http://www.ceaohio.org/staticDocs/contract.pdf

For this school year, a first year teacher makes $34,668 compared to Olentangy $34,117 so its pretty equal. Their step increase looks to be about 4% and if you figure in any horizontal movement it is 6.5%. Pretty much in line with your complaints about Olentangy. The difference is that Olentangy's salary schedule goes to 25 years where CPS goes 14 year. CPS then adds on some extra for additional years in a specific range.

Stan

Jim Fedako said...

Stan,

The Columbus schedule goes to 30 years.

Be honest. A Columbus teacher with 30 years is paid below an similarly situated Olentangy teacher with 23 years.

Why didn't you include that in your analysis?

Jim Fedako said...

Forgot to note that Olentangy teachers top-out over $10K more than Columbus teachers.

Anonymous said...

Jim
You also forgot to note that thought OLSD teachers top out at 10K more than CPS teachers, the graduation rates and achievement are significantly higher, as are the range of schools that OLSD students matriculate to.
I am sure you will say it has nothing to do with the quality of the teachers and everything to do with the clientele in OLSD. Given the problems that so many students face such as drugs, alcohol, depression, divorce, lack of attention, etc., it seems like a bargain.
You still haven't answered Stan's question about what you would actually like to see in public schools. Looks like a red herring. You told him you would answer if he posted about the CPS pay scale; he did and you didn't answer.

Jim Fedako said...

Philosophically, morally, ethically, the state has no business raising the next generation.

The US adopted public education after Mann and others witnessed the efficiency that Prussia (in the early 1800's) was able to indoctrinate its youth via government schools.

I do not believe that parents should expect their neighbors to pay for their children's education. Certainly not beyond the basics. But, a strong basic education can provide the skills to succeed in college.

That out of the way. We have government schools. So, what is their role? To provide for every whim that a parent desires for his children? Is that even American?

I ask you: What would you think of me if I knocked on your door and asked you to pay for my children's activities? What would you think of me?

Let's extend that. What would you think of me if I used the ballot to force a senior citizen to pay for special art classes for my children? Or Taekwondo? Or speedskating? Dance? You name it?

Answer this: Why should I have to pay the bills for perverse books, R-rated movies, etc?

Spin all of that around a bit and respond as to why you believe that your neighbors must pay to raise your children.