Saturday, April 12, 2008

Having it Both Ways

When you engage RUSD supporters in debate, it doesn't take long to discover their two major excuses for poor performance and high costs.

Excuse number one: We have lousy students and lousy parents.

Excuse number two: Special Ed kids are very expensive.

For the record, I think that there is some and perhaps a lot of truth to these excuses. But that is not exactly the point I wish to make.

Certainly, if RUSD wished to elevate test scores and lower costs, they could do so by ridding themselves of lousy students and handicapped children. So why isn't RUSD initiating efforts to unload some of these expensive, good for nothing children on the private sector?

Answer: You will have to pry those kids from their cold dead hands. RUSD needs those kids more than they need solid academic performers. Why?

Answer: Like all public school kids, they equal money, lots of money. Fewer kids means less money, fewer teachers, fewer administrators, less power etc... But these kids bring money and handy excuses for RUSD's academic failings while obscuring the real reason a RUSD education is so costly, and that is salaries and benefits that far exceed that offered in the private sector.

RUSD wants it both ways. They want to complain incessantly about lousy students and the financial burdens of special ed kids, but they will fight tooth and nail to keep them. Let's not let them get away with it.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Some of my in-laws are teachers. I almost had to duct tape my mouth shut at a recent get-together. Someone commented that George Bush had ruined education with NCLB because it forced teachers to "teach to the test" and took away their ability to teach creatively. If teachers have truly been forced to teach to the test, HOW can the scores on that test be so bad - and continue to drop unless the stats are rigged?

Anonymous said...

What right wing stereotyped nonsense. I think that you people hear these voices saying these comments in your heads, because if you read top educators nationally, they say none of this.

More lies and deception regarding RUSD from the right.

Such hatred you have!

Food Shortages Herald "New Era Of Hunger"

As More Countries Suffer Riots Over Rising Prices And Shortages Of Staples, Aid Groups Call For Relief

Meanwhile, these types of issues lead to most societal problems.


http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/12/world/main4011253.shtml

Michael Gibson said...

The percentage of your property tax that goes to RUSD is extremely low when compared to the rest of Wisconsin. %21 lower than the state average. Yet we have the 6th highest per student spending in the state. So much for teacher benefits.....

Pariah Jeep said...

OK, IF this is true, that's so comforting, especially in light of the fact that the argument is framed by the fact that we should be happy here - others in the State are getting screwed more than us.

Which is less - 1% of 10 or 10% of 1? The percentage of the total means nothing when one compares different totals. Did you know that Racine re-assesses every year? I have never seen this before and I've lived all over the country. Racine also taxes at 100% of the assessed value, again, I've never seen this.

Denis Navratil said...

Michael, I exposed your flawed thinking on the following thread, so to do so again here would be redundant. Anyway, the thread here concerns the top two excuses/reasons for RUSD underperformance, so feel free to chime in on the subject at hand. Am I wrong about the excuses? Are there excuses that I missed? Or, is RUSD performing well and cost effectively with no need for excuses?

Michael Gibson said...

Where would those kids go if the district would not accept them?

Anonymous said...

Why don't you go after and recoup the corruption $$$ from the finacial fiascos from the last 15 years which the taxpayer has had to bailout 100's of billions of dollars in stolen gamling money from 'the market'?

I doubt that you even understand economic criminality.

Pariah Jeep said...

Whatcha doin there anon - today? Filling out your tax returns or bitching about no copies of "Barely Legal" being left for you to buy at the gas station with the handful of change you stole from the ashtray of your parents' Buick?

Anonymous said...

"...the real reason a RUSD education is so costly, and that is salaries and benefits that far exceed that offered in the private sector..."

This quote says it all - market ideology.

You sit back and watch as failed CEO's get $200 Million dollar bonuses, market operators make $3 Billion in 1 year as the taxpayer bails out the wealthy gamblers in the 'market', and you criticize a degreed worker that has a starting salary osf 31k, and a top salary, after 24 credits and a further Masters degree and 13 years service, of 60k.

http://www2.racine.k12.wi.us/?do=hr.content&pageID=195

The logic at this blog site defies explanation, except elitism.

Anonymous said...
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Denis Navratil said...

Anon your post was way too long and not pertaining to the subject at hand, so as a service to my readers I deleted it.

Denis Navratil said...

anon 6:24, when I wrote about teachers salaries and benefit exceeding that offered in the private sector, I was referring to teachers in the private sector. Your other comments are irrelevant to the discussion.

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Denis Navratil said...

This blog entry is about the top two excuses offered by RUSD apologists. It has nothing to do with Ronald Reagan or hedge funds.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:24

I went to your link, and found that starting salaries are now $37,822, and top out at $65,084.

Of course, this is for 185 day schedule. When you divide by 185, and then multiply by the 245 days a year that the rest of us work, the range is really from $50,088 to $86,192. That's the figure you need to use to compare salaries with the working stiffs who pay teacher salaries, none of whom get 3 months off.

Of course, this isn't the whole picture either. Teacher benefits are far better, with a far lower employee contribution, than those in the private sector.

According to Salary.com, the average benefit cost across all industries for someone earning $53,000 - That equates to a "fringe rate" of 30%.

The "fringe rate" for RUSD (based on the average for a single school) is 46% (salary/benefit database: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=683257)

So, in order to directly compare salaries between the private sector and RUSD teachers, you have to add another 16% to the RUSD figures, making the range $58,102 to $99,983.

There's some logic for you, anon.

Anonymous said...

Certainly, if RUSD wished to elevate test scores and lower costs, they could do so by ridding themselves of lousy students and handicapped children. So why isn't RUSD initiating efforts to unload some of these expensive, good for nothing children on the private sector?

What!?!?!?!?!

Are you suggesting that nobody tries to teach some kids just because learning may be harder for them? As the parent of a child who goes to Prairie, you should know better than anyone how controlled their little bubble is. Prairie will never allow anyone who doesn't conform to their standards (no mentally/physically challenged kids, etc.)

Explain.

Denis Navratil said...

anon 4:40, you are confusing "Prairie" with "private sector." My point is that RUSD apologists wish to complain about lousy students and handicapped students, but they will not let the private sector take a shot at educating them. Perhaps Prairie will pass on some kids or at least I hope they would, but that doesn't mean all private schools would do so.

As to your specific question, no, I am not suggesting that nobody is trying to teach the children who have difficulty learning. I never said any such thing so far as I can remember. Whatever gave you that idea?

Anonymous said...

Top out:

Paying for the classes to get:

---24 credits AFTER education degree(often $150+ per credit plus time)

---Masters degree (often 15,000+ per degree plus time)

Engineers get 50,000-70,000 out of college.

Anonymous said...

'THE MARKET' rewards an awful lot of people an awful lot; and also gives subsistence wages to many more.

The household median (midpoint) income for white folks in the US is above 50,000. What is fair for teachers? $20,000