Rep. Richardson: Oregon Education—Costs & Comparisons

Recently, the southern Oregon delegation of Stand For Children’s held a teleconference with me. The only issue discussed was a plea for more money, and the conversation cooled when I said my support for education should not solely be defined by how much additional money I am willing to promise to spend on education. In other words, improving Oregon’s educational system is more than joining a bidding war of elected officials. Inquiry should also be made into how the money will be spent, and whether those expenditures will promote better educational outcomes for Oregon students.

Funding education in Oregon is a complex subject. State funding for kindergarten through 12th Grade involves local and federal revenue streams with expenditures controlled by state agencies, 198 separate school districts and 20 Education Service Districts (ESD’s). Currently, it is difficult to obtain accurate and complete revenue and expenditure figures. It’s even harder to correlate those figures with successful educational performance outcomes. Nevertheless, as a father of one son and eight daughters, I know the value of a good public education, and as described in a previous newsletter I have grave concerns about American students’ inability to compete in the global economy of the 21st century. To get a better perspective of the state of Oregon education let’s consider just two components””cost and comparisons.

As a State Representative I represent not only my district, but all Oregonians. I approach that representation the same way I approach important legal issues for clients in my law practice. I first seek to understand the issue; I then research the issue as thoroughly as possible, given time and other constraints, and look for information, comparable situations, benchmarks and precedents to help determine best possible outcomes. The same process can be applied to Oregon education.

The total 2007-09 Governor’s Recommended Budget (GRB) for Education (pre-kindergarten —university) is $13.6 billion in total funds, This $13.6 billion is funded by State, Local, Federal and other revenue streams, and it includes $56 million in debt payments on $277 million of long-term debt incurred between 1997 and 2001.

The State’s portion of the total bill for education in Oregon includes $8.1 billion of General Funds and Lottery Funds (GF). The eight billion education price tag is 16.4% higher than the current 2005-07 budget, and will consume 63.6% of the entire 2007-09 GF budget. Of the $8.1 billion GF budget for Oregon education, $6.06 billion is for K-12. At $6.06 billion K-12 is receiving $250 million more than would be needed to maintain the current service level (CSL). For greater detail on funding Oregon Education, click onto the Legislative Revenues Office’s 2007 Research Report #1-07.

One way to get a perspective of where Oregon ranks on K-12 education is to compare Oregon to other western states””especially Washington. The linked comparison from SchoolMatters, a service of Standard & Poor’s, is quite revealing. Focusing just on a few Oregon and Washington comparables and we see Washington spends less per student, yet Washington students outperform Oregon students in all categories””4th and 10th grade Reading & Math, and both SAT and ACT scores. To be sure, Oregon and Washington are both doing well when compared to many other states, but we can do better, and for the sake of our children, we must do better.

Unfortunately, in every legislative session we go through the same routine. The Governor proposes a budget number, and then the Legislature raises the ante. Next, a bidding war is staged to show the education lobby which party and which caucus loves education the most. Finally, a compromise is reached as the last major budget issue, so the session can end and everyone go home. Such nonsense must stop. If we really value education, the legislature should fund it first and not last. To this end I am again sponsoring in the House, Senator Jason Atkinson’s 2005 bill which requires the Legislature to fund the Education budget in the first 81 days of every session. On a second front, our children’s education must stop being a political football and start being a top priority for each legislative session. It is time for the Legislature to re-evaluate Oregon’s system for delivering education. We have an antiquated model that no longer can compete in a global system. Oregon and America has fallen behind dozens of other states and nations, and we must stop this race to the bottom. To this end, I am co-sponsoring a bill with Senator Gary George that creates a taskforce on education reform. It is time we evaluate how we provide education in Oregon and not merely join the mantra that all we need is more money for more education, and not better education.

In closing, I have linked the Oregonian Editorial of Karen Starchvick who led the discussion with Stand For Children’s southern Oregonian delegation mentioned above. She makes a heartfelt plea for Oregon to rise to the educational levels attained by Indiana. With a little research I also found a comparison of Oregon’s expenditures to those of Indiana’s. Oregon’s spends far more money per student than Indiana. Oregon’s teacher’s pay far exceeds Indiana’s, and more of Indiana’s resources go to the classrooms and not to retirement and benefit plans. I am not saying Indiana is doing better in educating their children, than Oregon does””it was not my editorial””I am merely pointing out that although money is an important component of a good education, whenever costs are discussed we should also obtain and analyze the comparisons.

Sincerely,

Dennis Richardson
State Representative

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  • Jerry

    I strongly suspect that Indiana does do a better job than Oregon, though.
    If you look at the NAEP data they certainly do as well as Oregon for much less and better than Oregon in many caterories.

    There is so much waste in Oregon public schools I don’t even know where to begin.

    First, no schools are paid on actual daily attendance. If they were our costs would go way down. Schools routinely inflate their attendance numbers by delaying reports on dropped students, keeping students who have moved out on the books, etc.

    Second, we have one of the shortest instruction years in the country. Our students are not in class for the state required minimums due to the districts’ lying about classes – callling study hall “tutorial” when, in fact, no tutoring whatsoever is performed. There are so many late starts, conference days, grade days, finals weeks, etc. that almost no district in the state actually has students in class instruction for the minimums required in the ORS, but no one cares and no one does anything about it.

    Our drop out rate is very high compared to the rest of the nation.
    Wonder why that is if our costs are among the highest?

    Wake up and actually look at what is happening. Visit a school sometime. You do not need any committee to tell you what is wrong.

    I, and many others, already know. Just ask.

    • eagle eye

      “suspect that Indiana does do a better job than Oregon, though.
      If you look at the NAEP data they certainly do as well as Oregon for much less”

      Nice that you didn’t notice that the data say just the opposite of what you and Richardson claim: Indiana spends more per student, not less.

      And Indiana does a better job? Look at the comparison of 8th grade performance (where it counts, not 4th grade, where everyone’s just out of the gate). Oregon runs rings around Indiana!

  • Caper

    There is always scores of good ideas for improving school financing, but changing even the smallest things seems like a herculean task. The zenith yardstick is the measure of performance for which all other things are quantified. We oughta ask what is our measurement for what is the cost and a cross comparison to other states.

  • Steve Schopp

    There’s no need to speculate or ponder the funding and spending within our K-12 education system.
    Forget ALL of the current rhetoric.
    Simply consider CIMCAM.
    Those who promoted it for it’s 16 year pathetic failure fully spent all of their credibility.
    ALL of their credibility.
    Along with countless millions and endless hours and days wasted by our teachers and permanently taken away from our students. Those students will NEVER get back those losses or what they would have learned had they not been distracted by such an absolute fraud.

    So here again, we are listening to those same great education experts spewing fresh expertise as if they have anything anyone should listen to or believe.
    The methods used by these ethically challenged schemers to perpetuate CIMCAM were a compilation of the worst of the worst. Starting with lying to parents and students about the CIM (Certificate of Initial Mastery) being needed for graduation, college and even future jobs to fabricated student performance gains to Oregon being “tops” in the country in SAT scores,,, no ploy was out of bounds.
    Today in the face of 14% INCREASE these same shameless
    disrupters of our public schools demand an additional $300 million.
    What for? To be spent by the exact same people who defrauded the people of Oregon for the past 16 years with CIMCAM “school reform”.
    Did they declare lessons learned from CIMCAM? No.
    Has ANYONE ever been held “accountable” for CIMCAM? No.
    What is “accountable”
    We hear that word “accountable” over and over and over again from candidates and officials?
    Yet no one is ever held accountable by anyone for anything.
    Not a single politician or person in the education bureaucracy has faced any consequences for CIMCAM or anything else.
    None. Why?
    Having them continue to “advise” the public on what our schools need could not be more insulting,

  • eagle eye

    This guy Richardson is an idiot. He says “Oregon spends far more money per student than Oregon” and gives a link. Go to the link, look at the data. Indiana spends more than Oregon. He mis-states the most basic data. And we are supposed to listen to his plans for Oregon education?

    He says Oregon teachers are paid more than Indiana teachers. True. Then is he proposing to cut Oregon teacher pay? I would like to see him accomplish that.

    He then makes the idiotic statement that in Indiana, the money goes “into the classroom” instead of teacher benefits. What does he suppose it means to put money into the classroom? It means, basically, to pay teachers. Pay = salary + benefits.

    He may think that benefits are too high in Oregon, that teachers are overpaid. That is certainly worth discussing. If it is true, what does he propose to do about it?

    If he really wants to have a showdown with the teachers unions, he should say so. I wish him luck. He does not begin to have the backing he would need. For starters, the governor and both houses of the Legislature.

    This guy is just blowing smoke. He does not get the most basic facts straight. And then he does not draw the logical conclusions of the facts that he does get right.

    This is a good example of why Republicans like myself no longer take the Republicans in Oregon seriously.

    • Steven Plunk

      Eagle,

      First let me congratulate you on the tone of your post. Nothing commands attention like calling names.

      Back to substance, in Salem politics you don’t take the teachers union head on if you want to make progress. Rather than call for a fight it would be more sound to suggest policy changes i na rational, reasonable manner.

      Rep. Richardson knows the political climate and approaches Oregon’s problems calmly and with purpose. You can’t blow in there with flame throwers and hand grenades if you want to get somewhere.

      Teachers are overpaid and underworked. They are also given benefit packages that are ruining the state’s education system. How we fix it is yet to be decided and will take many years for it to get done.

      As for being Republican, I too get frustrated with other Republicans and especially many of the politicians but given the other choice I still stand with the party.

      • eagle eye

        Well, if a guy in a position in power is going to make such preposterous claims — the exact opposite of what his data clearly demonstrates — being called a name is the least he should suffer.

        Anyhow, “Teachers are overpaid and underworked” seems like a pretty nasty crack too. Even if I’m willing to be persudaded on the first, the second sounds pretty ridiculous to me. Have you ever tried teaching in one of our glorious public schools? Give it a try, and then come back and tell us how easy it is.

        I know a good many people who’ve tried it and thrown in the towel. Overpaid or not.

        • Steven Plunk

          Eagle,

          Calling teachers overpaid is far from personal insult. Knowing the difference will help when discussing public policy in a serious manner.

          I would hope that you understand I can’t teach. No, it’s not that I have nothing valuable to say, it’s that the law doesn’t allow people to go on down and try it for day to see what it’s like. To throw out a challenge like that makes no sense, we both know it can’t happen.

          I do know that every teaching job avaible has applicants lined up out the door. That is how we know we are overpaying, supply and demand. There are few jobs and many job seekers in teaching. Recent studies have shown teachers making more money per hour than civil engineers, architects, and other professions.

          The breakdown has come through the teachers unions and their friends in state capitals across the country. They have convinced state legislatures that more pay is the key to increased educational success even though the track record is contrary to that. They have also waged a very successful campaign to convince the public that they are underpaid and not responsible for the failings in public schools. A quick check with private schools success will prove that false as well.

          As for anecdotal evidence of people leaving the profession keep in mind that generally teachers come from the bottom third of college graduates which could lead to frustration in the working world. It may sound like a “nasty crack” but it is true. The structured nature of teaching and dealing with the public could also drive many away. People leave one profession for another all the time.

          A realistic debate will include all the relevant facts and hopefully exclude the emotional baggage that the teachers union wants to inject. We could also hope parents will be free to express an opinion about the education system without fear of retribution or intimidation from the teachers through their children. Having seen that first hand I know it happens.

          • eagle eye

            “I do know that every teaching job avaible has applicants lined up out the door.”

            A source for that claim, please?

            I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. You certainly don’t know if teachers are “underworked” if you haven’t tried it, whatever the reason. If it’s such a good deal, why don’t you get certified and give it a try?

            “Recent studies have shown teachers making more money per hour than civil engineers, architects, and other professions.”

            I’m aware of this “study”. I’m very doubtful about it. If teachers come from the bottom third of college graduates, as you say, then why aren’t these other professionals flocking to the supposedly easy world of teaching? The study claimed, for example, that bachelor’s science graduates make less per hour than teachers. Then why aren’t these science graduates flocking to the greener pastures of teaching? (Where, I can tell you, there is a shortage of science teachers).

          • Steven Plunk

            Eagle,

            Since you have come to the conclusion I don’t know what I’m talking about this will be my last post on this topic.

            I have a career in the private sector so I won’t be giving teaching a try. However, choosing not to do something doesn’t mean I have lost all rights to comment on teaching or the education system. It’s much easier for opponents to discount the points made by using such an argument but it’s intellectually dishonest.

            Choosing to not believe the study is your choice but many of us do believe it and will base our opinions on the information presented.

            Part of the reason people aren’t dropping what they are doing to become teachers is what I mentioned earlier, more applicants than positions available. The shortage of science teachers is a result of science curriculum being somewhat demanding and most teachers choose easier coursework while in college. It’s common knowledge becoming an education major is for most a fall back position.

            I would have to assume from your posts that you are a teacher. Since, in your opinion, I have no right to criticize teachers unless I have taught then you must have taught in the classroom to know how hard of a job it is. If I am mistaken let me know.

            My wife volunteered in my son’s schoool for a while but got tired of doing busy work. Based upon her experience I believe volunteering would not allow anyone to actually teach.

            Reasonable people can disagree on just about anything. We are at such an impass on this subject. But, being engaged and taking part in the debate is good for all us.

          • eagle eye

            No, I’m not a K-12 teacher. I’ve spent just a little time volunteering to share my expertise in front of a high school class — not doing busy work — and that’s given me an appreciation of how hard good K-12 teachers work.

            I think any time you’re going to knock what somebody else does, it’s a good idea at least to spend a little time in their shoes.

            You kind of remind me of people I know, who’ve never set foot near running a business, who claim that it’s easy, you just rake in the dough. I tell them, if it’s such easy money, why not try it yourself, or at least, refrain from judging something you’ve never done.

          • eagle eye

            P.S. You don’t need a certificate to give teaching a try. Go volunteer as a teacher’s aide in a local public school for a week or two.

    • Bailie

      Rep. Richardson makes many very good points. Oregon K-12 funding problems are not about the amount of revenue, but how the revenue is allocated. Oregon is a relatively poor state with per capita income in the lower half of states in recent years. Because Oregon K-12 employees are the 8th highest individually compensated of all states we have forced reductions in student services. Oregon has among the lowest graduation requirements, among the shortest school years, among the largest class sizes in the U.S. The result is very average academic results and mediocre graduation rates.

      Oregon has outspent Washington, per student, in every year since Measure 5 was passed. In the last 16 years, Oregon has outspent Washington, per student, in 16 of those years.

      In comparison to the median state, Oregon individually compensates over $400 million per year, more just for K-12 teachers (about 29,000 teachers). When all K-12 employees are figured, the amount is considerably higher. The latest compiling I have found for this particular comparison is 2003. Various forms of this data are available with updated values, but the rankings have moved very little.
      http://www.eiaonline.com/statistics/table10.pdf

    • Marvin McConoughey

      EagleEye asserts that “This guy Richardson is an idiot. He says Oregon spends far more money per student than Oregon”

      In the interests of accuracy, EagleEye, Senator Richardson did not say that “Oregon spends far more money per student than Oregon.”

      You misquoted Senator Richardson.

  • Jerry

    Just a note. Check graduation rates. Indiana is higher than Oregon. That is the true benchmark. How many make it out with a diploma? Oregon has a very low graduation rate. Indiana has 74% and Oregon 66% according to the Manhatten Institute’s study in 2003. You have to look pretty hard to find states with much lower graduation rates.
    http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/ewp_03_appendix_table_1.htm
    Take a look if you doubt me.
    What other measure matters more than this one???

    • eagle eye

      Graduation rate is actually a poor measure. Maybe they just hand out the diplomas in Indiana? Maybe Oregon has high standards for graduation, so the success rate is lower? Who knows?

  • Steve Schopp

    “Maybe Oregon has high standards for graduation”

    Now that is hillarious.

    Not only does Oregon NOT have high standards they are in the bottom 5 States in basic Math and English course requirements.

    As was the case during the entire failure of CIMCAM when education officials bragged (lied) about Oregon’s new high standards.

    As I said earlier above, any educrat moving his or her lips today, who was championing CIMCAM before, is speaking without a shred of credibility.

    Oregon is in some areas is mediocre at best. In other areas not so much.

    • eagle eye

      Look, I’m responding to the claims about Indiana vs. Oregon in the link provided by the legislator who wrote the article.

      Not only did he get the data completely backward on school funding in the two states. Others have claimed better performance by Indiana students.

      High Oregon graduation standards or not, look at the comparison of 8th grade performance of Oregon vs. Indiana students in the link. (I was responding to the claim of Jerry that the graduation data from this table show that Indiana is outperforming Oregon.)

      Oregon students run rings around Indiana students in the national standardized tests.

      And, Oregon doesn’t do badly overall in national comparisons of performance.

      So, I don’t buy the idea that Oregon schools are performing poorly. Definitely not compared to Indiana. I don’t care how many diplomas they give out there.

      I don’t have to think Oregon schools are great to think that they don’t deserve to be trashed. I also don’t happen to believe that Oregon teachers deserve to be trashed (“overpaid and underworked”).

      If this is how Oregon “conservatives” hope to persuade the public that they can do better at running the schools, good luck to you.

      • Marvin McConoughey

        EagleEye writes “So, I don’t buy the idea that Oregon schools are performing poorly.” Unfortunately, EagleEye, you are paying for the poor performance whether you wish to buy it or not. According to the State Department of Education, Oregon’s education system will be consuming seven years in the process of making modest improvements to math and science curriculum requirements for our students.

  • Captain_Anon

    A few things to also take into consideration: Just because there is a line out the door does not mean all those in line are qualified canidates.

    Secondly, teacher pay being higher than civil engineers, architects or other professions per hour? how do they figure that? they work hours longer than most other professions. Much of thier work is unpaid because they take it home. grading papers, preparing class assignments and work plans etc. One of the teachers i know is routinely working until 7pm. or, going home and working until 10 or 11, plus some time on the weekends. for 36K a year, or whatever it is, i hardly think that is higher per hour than engineers. here are some numbers associated with teaching:
    at Parkrose High in Portland, school starts at 7:10 am and gets out at 2.45. that is 7.5 hours (Lincoln High in Portland goes from 7:12 to 3:15 – 8 hours). A teacher needs to be there roughly 30 minutes before, and would need 30 to wrap up their duties. that is 8.5 hours. Add on top of that grading papers and tests (at school or home), being an advisor in an after school club etc. Easily another hour or so so the total then is 9.5 to 10 hours (we’ll use 9.5). Five days a week. So that’s 47.5 hours a week. The first day of school was Sept 5. Teachers arrived the week of August 28 full time but had workshops and focus groups starting August 10 on a limited basis (in parkrose anyway – I have a friend who works there and the calendar is easy to find). Last Day of school is June 15 with the last day for teachers the 18th according to their schedule. That’s 43 weeks exactly. So, 43 weeks x 5 days a week, x 9.5 hours a day. That equals 2042.5 hours. (They get two sick days as opposed to 10-12 in most private sector professional jobs. And no vacation during that time period). A person at a 40 hour a week job works 2080 hours a week. 2043 hours, divided by, say 34,000 for a starting salary, is $16.64 an hour.

  • Jerry

    Capt. Your math stinks. No teacher works 43 weeks – ever. What kind of fools do you think we are? They work exactly 180 contract days. That is ALL – plain and simple.
    Man, you really are living in la la land. I was a teacher, by the way, in Oregon, for many, many years, so I know what I am saying. The contract teachers sign is for 190 days with 10 paid holidays. How you ever got 43 weeks is mystery to me and to anyone else who has ever taught school. Furthermore, you inane argument about hours worked in a day is a joke. All teachers in Oregon actually teach, in front of students, for less than 5 hours a day. Trust me, I was there.
    I sure hope you and not an accountant or a math teacher.

    • eagle eye

      Jerry, I doubt that you were ever a teacher, but if you were, and all you did was stand in front of the class for 5 hrs per day, then shame on you! (Not that REAL teaching in front of a class for 5 hrs is easy work; try it, you’ll find out fast.)

      But real teachers also take time to prepare for class, to grade papers, to have consultations with students and parents. Also to supervise extracurricular activities.

      As for number of weeks worked: does nobody ever spend time on preparing for classes in the summer?

      I can tell you, I visited my high school physics teacher in the summer. He was spending a lot of time setting up the lab and getting ready for a new AP course. How common this is, I don’t know, but I’ll tell you, these things don’t happen by themselves.

    • Captain_Anon

      case in point, the Oregon Trail teachers only get 8 paid holidays – not 10. and thier contract is for 190 days. i’ve read the contracts, have you? I’ve read the calanders, have you? I know teachers work beyond ‘classroom hours’ – did yourealize they do?

  • Rebecca

    cap Anon,
    When the Oregon Trails district teahcders were on strike oneof the things they demanded was an 11 day increase in sick days, from 44 to 55.
    “No vacation during that time”
    Ever heard of Christmas and spring break?
    You truly are ignorant. It’s almost like you are a middle school student who has a lot to learn.

    • Captain_Anon

      Rebecca, I did you a favor and looked up the contract for the teachers of the Oregon Trail School District (http://www.oregontrailschools.com/uploads/Tentative%20Agr%201-4-07.pdf)

      under thier contract, they get 10 days of sick leave. this is sick leave where they are unable to come into work. they get 5 days of leave for use for weddings, births, and similar family events as well as doctor appointments. they must request permission and the leave is not allowed to be used to extend the school holidays such as spring break. in general, the teachers are required to be at work unless something serious comes up. Sounds like you have been fed a bunch of misinformation.

  • Captain_Anon

    Jerry and Rebecca,

    you can go to the websites of both the Parkrose and Lincoln High schools to see the calendar of the school year, when teachers report, and how many days they work. I also discussed this information with with a couple friends of mine who are teachers. So, the numbers are real, and documented. Once again Jerry, you give out your opinion with no facts or documentation behind you – just simple yelling and name calling. you may have been a teacher, but perhaps you did the bare minimum and only taught 5 hours a day. perhaps you were a teacher who gave no homework, or didn’t bother to grade it, i don’t know. Regardless, the teachers i know are at the school 8 to 9 hours a day, and still do after hours work on grading and review work. Do you really think teachers don’t do that? Do you really think they only work 5 hours a day?

    Rebecca, please give me a link to the information you’re talking about. I’ve never heard of anyone getting 55 days of sick leave, let alone 44. Nearly 2 months sick leave? please. Yes, they get Christmas and Spring breaks, thanks for pointing that out. they don’t get to take vacation any other time, as i was pointing out. they get 2 personal days a year (depending on the district. but the teachers i know, in different districts only get 2). And believe it or not, teachers often work during those Christmas and Spring breaks. not the entire break, but they are required to wrap up things and prep.

    So, whether you two think i’m ignorant or not isn’t a concern. I’ve posted reasonable and feasible facts backed by documentation. You both have sunk to throwing insults and name calling. Those may help you in the court of public opinion with like minded individuals. but it will get you nowhere where it counts, and won’t ever help you change someones mind to agree with you or change the course of the state.

    And that’s the problem with the majority of concervatives in this state (or at least those on the far right). they are so close minded they can’t even discuss issues reasonably. They can’t provide unbaised facts or documentation. they go to thier own party to come up with ‘scientific polls’ designed to say what they want them to say. nevermind trying to actually get the pulse of what the state actually thinks or wants. How are they ever going to alter public opinion and change the policies of this state? They can’t as long as they refuse to engage in meaningful debate and find compromise when it comes to legislation. As long as thier eyes are shut and ears are closed, they will never have an impact in this state. Which is too bad, because there are so many things that need to be changed – but thier refusal to engage hands victory to liberals. Wake up. and if you don’t, change the name of this site to the Bitching Post. Because there won’t be anything meaningful coming out of this for the political world.

  • eagle eye

    Cap, you are so right about Oregon conservatives. As I’ve shown in posts above, even this state legislator — who is an attorney no less — completely botched the interpretation of the data he linked to.

    It’s no wonder that most people take them less and less seriously. Not only are the increasingly arrogant and insulting to the people they want to persuade. They can’t even get the simplest facts straight. And then they wonder that the voters, given the choice, end up choosing someone like Kulongoski. Who at least comes across as a decent guy.

  • Jerry

    Capt. I don’t care what calendar you looked at, Oregon teachers work in the classroom 180 days a year. That is all.
    Period.
    How can it be more? What calendar are you looking at?
    Have you ever seen a teaching contract? It is for 190 days, with 10 of those days being paid vacation days. It is the same, within a day or two, all over the state. How can 180 days of work equal 43 weeks as you say?
    I am sorry, but I am not the one who needs a math lesson here.
    43 times 5 is 215, not 180.
    Get a grip and take a look at an actual teacher contract before you call me names and doubt my statement that I was a teacher.
    I am very sad that you can not face the facts.

    • Captain_Anon

      That’s just it Jerry, i’ve read the contracts and i’ve looked at the calander. the numbers i got came directly from them. look up the Parkrose calander and count the weeks between the first teachers day and the last. you also need to come to the realization that teachers work more time than just those in the classroom.

      Your comments make it clear that you refuse to look at facts, refuse to even consider that teachers work more than the *BARE MINIMUM* required of them, refuse to understand that teachers must use non-contract time to correct and grade papers and work, and refuse to acknowledge that teachers are hard workers. individuals with attitudes like yours and the refusal to live in reality are why us conservatives no longer are in control of the state.

      I don’t know of one teacher who works only the bare minimum. those i know are coaches, provide after hours tutoring, grade papers and homework on thier own non-contract time, are advisors to after hours clubs, and put in 8-9 hours per day, plus some weekend time as well as time in the summer. Honestly, it doesn’t matter if you refuse to believe me. you can refuse to believe gravity exists, and yet it does.

      • eagle eye

        Cap, why do you even bother trying to reason with these people?

  • Jerry

    Almost all coaches and advisors in all districts are paid extra for this work.
    What other jobs don’t requrire some outside time?
    Your argument makes it sound like teaching is the worst job in the world – wonder why there has not been a teacher shortage in Oregon for the past 4 decades (you will notice all the classrooms have teachers) if the job is so underpaid and so horrendously difficult?
    Could it be that it is really a pretty good job, with great benefits, A LOT of time off, and pretty good working conditions?
    I wonder.

    • eagle eye

      I (and I think the Cap) were responding to the claims that teachers are “overpaid and underworked”, that they work 5 hrs. per day, that they have a soft job, that they have bungled Oregon education — the trash I hear so often in Oregon — read the posts above including your own.

      • Captain_Anon

        You are correct. overpaid and underworked? I don’t think so.

  • Jerry

    I never said anyone was overpaid and underworked. I simply pointed out facts about how much teachers do work and you guys went nuts.
    Suffice it to say, they are certainly not underpaid and overworked.

  • eagle eye

    Jerry, somebody else made the nasty claim about “overpaid and underworked”. But claiming you were a former teacher, you presented ridiculous “facts” about teaching that show you either don’t know what you’re talking about, or you were a lazy, underperforming teacher yourself.

    As for going nuts, that’s what you call it when we call you and the people here like yourself when you trash a certain class of people, in this case public school teachers.

  • Jerry

    I was a teacher for 11 years in Oregon and an administrator for 6 in Oregon, so I actually do know what I am talking about. Also, I worked for 12 years in the private sector in high technology sales. You just can’t deal with someone from the inside telling the truth.
    And I was not a lazy teacher, either. Just telling the facts. Teachers work with students fewer than 180 days a year, so no matter how hard they work on those days, that is all they are working. When you account for late start, inservice, “grade” days, and all the rest, most teachers in Oregon actually see the students for fewer than 160 days. It is a ridiculously short amount of contact time. There can be no other logical conclusion. I know of no other job anywhere that requires only 160 days or less each year of actually doing what you were hired to do. Not one.
    You know why, because there are none.

    • Captain_Anon

      Jerry, one of the biggest points is that they work more than 180 days. while they may only have contact with kids that long, they work many more days and hours beyond that. that is what we are saying. while they grade papers, not in the presence of kids, they are still working. while they are tutoring kids after school, they are still working. while they are prepping thier classrooms and lesson plans, without students there, they are still working. so, they work more than the 180-days a year you claim.

    • eagle eye

      Jerry, if it really was that great a job, you were nuts to quit.

      Jerry, if you were really a teacher, you were not like the teachers I know. I’m glad you’re not working in the public schools in my district.

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