Saturday, May 25, 2013

Exposing the Truth About Teaching In Wisconsin

I'm very overdue in introducing this to the gentle reader, but if there is a definitive education-related website that Scott Walker, the Republicans and most of all, the education profiteers don't want you to read: Teaching in Wisconsin.
 
The introduction page gives you an idea of why the dark overlords don't want you to even know the site exists, much less read it:
If You Are Considering a Teaching Position in Walker's Wisconsin, Please Be Aware:
  • You Will Be a Probationary Teacher Forever.  Walker's Wisconsin is the only state in America where all teachers have lost tenure or career status.
  • At the Same Time that Governor Walker Has Made Billions of Dollars in Cuts to Public Education ( the Deepest Cuts in Wisconsin's History), Governor Walker Has  Proposed Increasing Aid To Unaccountable Voucher Schools By 32 %.  No state in America has made more severe cuts to public education than Wisconsin.
  • Governor Walker Specifically Targeted Teachers With a Rule Change Forever Limiting Teacher Raises Well Below the Inflation Rate.
  • In Walker's Wisconsin, Many School Districts Are Reducing Salaries, Eliminating Benefits, and Increasing Teacher Workload: Use the information on the District pages to find out which school districts are aggressively repealing the gains teachers made over 40 years of collective bargaining by enacting regressive employment rules requiring extended teacher workdays, 60+ hour workweeks, required weekend work, adding weeks of teaching or inservice training to the contracted year, eliminating preparation time, taking away sick days, eliminating retirement benefits, and making severe reductions in salaries and benefits.
  • Governor Walker & his Republican Allies have repealed Equal Pay for Equal Work laws in Wisconsin. This opens the door to paying male teachers significantly more than female teachers as was common in Wisconsin prior to the 1970's.
  • Before You Sign a Contract, Find Out the Amount of the Contract Breakage Fee. Many school districts have imposed massive contract breakage fees (often $3,000+) to limit teachers' ability to leave for a better employment opportunity. A good rule of thumb for job candidates: The most demanding, even abusive districts to work for often have the highest contract breakage fees. Once you sign that first contract, they HAVE you and are going to do everything possible to keep you from leaving for a better career opportunity.
Before you sign a contract to teach in a Wisconsin public school, we strongly urge you to learn more about teaching in Wisconsin through the information that we have provided on this website. In particular, we hope the District Information pages will be particularly useful to you in your job search. We hope that you find the information on this website valuable in selecting the best district to begin or continue your teaching career.
They even have the eye-opening details of what changes that some school districts have made since Act 10. Here's a hint: Not one of them was for the better.

I would highly recommend that the gentle reader take the time to explore the site.  Then share it with your friends, especially those who are already teachers or who are thinking of entering teaching in Fitzwalkerstan.

47 comments:

  1. Thank you. That really let's me know how much I am valued in this state.

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  2. Republicans hate strong school systems because they undermine the development of the narrow-minded needed to vote Republican.

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    1. Exactly! 85% of voucher money ends up supporting religious schools in Wisconsin that are unaccountable. These religious schools do NOT teach critical thinking skills and frown on independent thinking. They want/need new "members" who donate freely but who do NOT question why Republican legislators have driven down job creation and average wages. Religious schools are the source of future factory, McDonalds & Walmart workers.

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    2. You've never been to a private religious school have you?

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    3. I have. I went to investigate a child abuse case. They aren't schools. They're brain washing camps.

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    4. I am Anonymous at May 25, 2013 at 6:14 AM. I went to Catholic school. Some of my classmates are successful. Few are critical thinkers. The most successful ones are some of the nastiest, most selfish people I have ever known. Authoritarian discipline can breed business success, but not critical thinking. The teachers did little to help those who were not top tier students.

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    5. Isn't that what keeps public school humming along is business success? The money available to public schools is a derivative of the profits of businesses and individuals in the private sector. To cast scorn at business success is to cast scorn at the fuel that keeps public schools viable.

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    6. I am wondering why teachers are required to sign a contract anymore. Can they bargain for themselves. I think they need to show up enmasse at every school board meeting and bargain away. What happens if they only work their eight hours? Can't they sue the district for not paying overtime?

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    7. No. Challenge = termination.

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  3. Teaching is turning into a dead end occupation in Wisconsin and the school system will suffer for it. But, that's the Republican goal. If you want your children to get a good education, don't accept that job offer from a Wisconsin company. There are many states that aren't trashing their school systems, choose a job in one of those states.

    But, if you don't care about your child's education and are unconcerned that he or she will have double the chance of being sent to prison here as opposed to a neighboring state, like Minnesota, then by all means, come and live under the boot of the Republican Occupation Government. Come for the fascism, stay for the sadism, but don't drink the water.

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    1. As a teacher in a Wisconsin school, I take offense to this post! Full disclosure, I don't teach in a public school... but all that means is I make LESS than what public school teachers make. To say that we don't work hard and children aren't getting quality education because of the amount of money and benefits we earn is ignorant. Just as in any profession, you have those that work hard and those that don't. I work my ass off for my students, not because I'm rolling in the bucks, but because I LOVE my job. Don't put us all in one boat and don't assume my students aren't getting a quality education. I would do all that I do for even less money because I am rewarded in more ways than pay.

      I am NOT a republican. I just HATE when people assume that teachers don't work hard because they are paid peanuts.

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    2. That is not the intended message. I worked in a private school and I will be the first to admit that they CANNOT offer the extra support required for special needs students. Unfortunately, many say they have the support when in reality it is provided by the public school and is not at all the same service (due to less time provided to these students...sometimes once a month) then public has to offer.

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    3. How many college grads are going to take a job that is guaranteed by ACT 10 to pay less every year? If they are that uneducated, they can't be smart enough to teach my grandchildren.

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  4. Actually, my home state of South Dakota eliminated tenure for any teacher doesn't already have it as well. South and North Dakota compete as to who can be the worst-paying states for teachers. I can't help but wonder when Wisconsin gets into this race for the bottom.

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    1. Wisconsin has entered THAT race -- a race to the bottom -- in a big way, thanks to Gov Walker and Republican legislators.

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  5. Dear Anonymous First Post, that wasn't the point of the post.

    The post is drawing attention to the fact that under recent Law, WI is not a place that people should come for a new teaching job. Education has been "gutted" in Wisconsin and I wouldn't recommend anyone start their career here.

    You must have a spouse that is in another profession if you can afford to teach in a private school. It is great that you love your job and would continue to do so for the lower wages. Is your school making the transition to the Common Core Standards? What state testing protocols are you using to ensure your students are getting a quality education...and making gains? I'm not attacking you, or your school, but many private schools do not have to follow the same guidelines set up for the Public Schools. We have to take everyone into our enrollment, whereas many charter and private schools do not.

    I am a teacher as well and love my job. I lean Democrat, and will vote for the correct Republican...if they are honest. To be truthful, I don't trust any politician right now at the State or Federal level.

    However, after 19 years, I have pondered other fields with recent legislation as it is becoming more difficult to make ends meet (my wife is a teacher too...so we both get slammed.) I can't see myself doing anything else...but with all the cuts, mandates, etc., how long can we all hold on?

    Sincerely,
    Teacher in WI

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    1. Well said. Does private have to follow RtI, progress monitoring, researched based interventions... Having worked in a private school, I am fully aware of the lack of funding. This leads to lack of best practice materials and text purchasing. I left the school and put my own children in public due to the misleading of the school to the public as far as the services they could provide. We were nickled and dimed constantly.

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  6. To Anonymous: I also teach in a private school. True, we do not HAVE to follow any of the mandates you mentioned; we CHOOSE to. Our per pupil costs are lower. This "lack of funding" leads to lower salaries and modest benefits, but we do not skimp in best practice materials or text purchasing. And we work hard to accommodate all students - successfully, according to the Special Needs Director of our local public school district. I have the utmost respect for all my colleagues in the public school system. You are truly in a battle ground for families and education, which is need of common sense instead of government policymakers who have no training in education and therefore no clue what education is about. But - to alienate private educators, as you are doing with your posts, will not help you promote your cause. Our students are just as well educated and prepared to contribute to society as yours.

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    1. I beg to differ. Your students are NOT as well educated and not nearly ready for the workplace. As an employer, I find parochial students to be...well...parochial. That is, they are narrow-minded, they are unable to think critically on their own (necessary for a business to survive and thrive), and, their students fail, utterly, to work well with others. I can't even trust their abilities because they DO NOT have to publish testing scores. For all I know, they study religion 24 hours a day and haven't a clue what it means to actually work.

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    2. So based on the experience you have with a few parochial students you are going to make a broad, overarching assumption? That sounds narrow-minded to me.

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    3. As an employee in a high school that draws from both private and public students to build its enrollment, I can say with certainty that the top achieving students are disproportionately products of the private schools in the area. Of course, their parent pay for that education and are better off than those who chose the lower cost route of public schools. Private schools have more involved parents, more one to one attention, and staff that is more concerned for the students than what is in their pay envelop. Public school teachers could take a lesson from private school teacher that this profession is about SACRIFICE. The mission of education is far more important that the well being of the educator

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  7. There has been study after study showing that private schools are lacking when compared to public schools. Furthermore, there has been study after study saying that the public sector is up to two times more efficient with taxpayer dollars. Also, and working with disabled kids, I know this all too well, but private schools regularly fail special needs children.

    Now, no one is blaming the teachers. It's the crappy system they have to work with.

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  8. Capper: I cannot speak for all private school systems, only the one to which our school belongs. We supercede our local school district in each area of test scores. Again, pitting private schools against public schools does not help improve the educational system in Wisconsin. Before the practice of inclusion, I would agree public schools were a better setting for special needs students. Parents tell me the special ed services have been curtailed since inclusion was implemented in the public schools. I base my opinion on their experience. You are giving me pause to consider the possibility the governor had good reason to disable your union.

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    1. You cannot because you are not a teacher. You are a troll paid by the school privatizers. Oh, and the "law of inclusion?" It isn't one, so don't even try to spread that bile here, friend.

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    2. If your school is so good please, tell us your name and school

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  9. Capper: So you handle a different opinion by name-calling? Pitting teachers against one another? Talk about spreading bile! Let me be clear: I believe private schools and church-based schools should not be offered tax dollars to fund their school. If they accept vouchers/choice money, how can they still be considered private? Tax dollars = public schools and are subject to the same set of hoops that all public schools have to jump through That being said, jumping through hoops does not make schools better. It just takes time away from the business at hand, which is TEACHING. Suggesting private school teachers - and I AM one, regardless of your gutless assumption - are inferior to public school teachers is false. (For every "study" you can dig up that says so, I can find one that says the opposite.) And what on earth is the "law of inclusion?" What I know of how special ed plays out in our local public schools is from the families who are affected by it. How are you going to make your points that are actually valid if you cannot have civil, open, honest discussions?! You are fueling the fire of those who work against you. Good luck.

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    1. As soon as you're open and honest, I would be glad to start.

      The odd thing is that the unions helped teachers by taking care of things so the teacher could focus on teaching.

      The privatized, post-Act 10 system does not allow that and now teachers are spending more time on things that are not teaching related.

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  10. capper does have a temper and, outside of the UNION UNION UNION thing, really doesn't bring much to the dialog other than what he hears from the unions.

    I bet there are others willing to step up for each and every teacher that steps down -- time is showing the fearmongers and doom-and-gloom folks like CD are not right about much.

    So how did that john doe thing work out fer ya -- your hero dan bice proclaimed it dead-as-a-doornail months before the probe dissolved.

    And that solidarity fish fry?

    So how much about it were you right on?

    You actually think you have a successful track-record to slime and slander others that post here instead of actually, you know, addressing the issues?

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    1. Oh, you're going to be hating me even more soon enough.

      But considering that you are praising a crook buying his way out of justice and people losing rights, I figure that if you aren't hating me, I'm not doing my job right.

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  11. Unless you have the numbers in the form of test scores and percentages of special needs students served, apples are not being compared with apples. Easy to claim, hard to demonstrate, and the destruction of the public school system by private enterprise stealing money from it is going to haunt this state for a long time to come.

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    1. Absolutely! Over half of my class had special needs. Only a few schools had special ed teachers. All the student were required to be tested even when we knew they would score very low. As you can imagine when averaged and compared to the schools with no special kids our scores looked bad. They could have added their scores in With the school they came from but never did. The progress of my regular students was Exceptional. That's why teachers shouldn't be judged by standardized test scores but individual student progress scores.

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  12. Well, divide and conquer is working.

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  13. Just Be smart Don't apply for ANY government job in Wisconsin check how openings there are... Walker is doing this to all public employees

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  14. Anonymous at 5:56PM "I bet there are others willing to step up for each and every teacher that steps down -- time is showing the fearmongers and doom-and-gloom folks like CD are not right about much".

    What time IS showing is that THOUSANDS of dedicated Wisconsin teachers have retired or are moving on to other states where there is not the viceral HATRED for teachers that characterizes life in Wisconsin.

    In school districts across Wisconsin, there are already severe shortages of high skill teachers in high school subjects such as technical education, science, mathematics, and special education. With every passing year, more Wisconsin students do not have a teacher who is certified to teach math, science, or tech ed because teachers in these areas are fleeing Wisconsin for states where they are respected instead of hated.

    As enrollment in Wisconsin teacher preparation programs has plummented to one third of what it was before Scott Walker made teachers the scapegoats for the dismal Wisconsin economy, school districts from across Wisconsin are recruiting teachers from across the country to fill vacancies. The website was created to tell the TRUE story of life in Walker's Wisconsin so these prospective teachers realize that a teaching job in Wisconsin is a dead end job working in a state where the majority of citizens harbor a deep HATRED for teachers.

    Quite a number of prospective Wisconsin teachers who decided NOT to come to Wisconsin have emailed the website creators to say "Thank You" for telling the truth about what teaching in Wisconsin is really like.

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  15. The "big cuts" made to WI public education put it in line with all of the other states. The reason WI is saying that no other states are making these cuts is because they either made the cuts in previous years, or they never let their public school systems become the cash cow that our former governors did. Stats show that we are now like almost every other state in terms of teacher salaries, benefits, and per child spending.

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    1. And before we led the nation in education. Now you're supporting argument is we can be as bad as the rest of them? Don't you get it? We do not want to be Wississippi.

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    2. Thanks for the "tell", Anonymous. You have no problem with driving the state's education lecel down as long as you get another $9 in your pocket.

      Apparently being 2nd in the country in graduation rate and near the top in college prep scores shouldnt translate to good pay, eh? Funny, your type can say education should be "run like a business", but you aren't very keen on paying for quality. I'm guessing you're not exactly a rip-roaring success in your career with that kind of business savvy, are ya?

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    3. Please don't presume to know exactly how I think about every topic based on a few sentences that I type on a discussion. I do not care about the $9 in my pocket. I am a public school teacher by the way with 3 teacher of the year awards for my district out of my 9 years in the profession. I am good at my job. I agree that money needs to be spent on education, but what I see is a lot of money pissed away. Curbing spending to the point that we are competitive with the rest of the U.S. forces schools to find what is really important in education. After a certain point, throwing more money at the problem is not the answer. If you look at the states in the top five of spending per pupil, their graduation rates are terrible. Yes money is important in education, but the amount that WI used to spend was ridiculous. Administrators and school boards didn't have to think about where to allocate resources, they spent without any thought, costing the state millions of dollars each year.

      As a state, we need to find a number/budget that will allow us to be successful in education, but not wasteful. Has Walker cut too much? Maybe. Time will tell. But the old budget had school districts across the state wasting money left and right on programs and teachers that were not proven to be beneficial.

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    4. I dont have time tonight to refute you point by point but i will...

      Im calling BULLSHIT on everything you just wrote. Teacher of the year MY ass.....

      thats my biggest problem with the privatization trolls....the complete lack of honesty.

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    5. I am one of those teachers leaving the profession this year. Two years of 30+ students with not enough support is one of those consequences of the lack of funding. Our beginning teachers are making 35,000 and if you have a masters, it becomes 45,000. A technical school education can get you a job that pays better....with lots less pressure.

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  16. Divide and conquer is working well when Walker has the public and private school teachers at each other's throats when we should be backing each other against the real enemy--Scooter.

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  18. Our daughter teaches in Wisc - Last year the principal told them to come early to shovel snow!, She's cut their prep time, added students with no limit to how many in a classroom,added supervision duties, and each year since 2010 she makes less money! Oh, but the cost of health care went up, copay went up and necessary supplies must come out of the teachers pocket - scissors, glue, notebooks etc. Yep! It's a dead end job and so is job #2 in order to afford her home, groceries, etc.

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  19. I did the math. At 56,245 teachers, now paying an average of $8,400.00 per year in healthcare costs, took $472,458,000.00 out of the consumer spending budget. How many other jobs would that money have created? Can we tell our governor doesn't have a college education?

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  20. Yes but you have to figure ACT10 affected most public workers not just teachers so the total i believe of workers who had to take the 12% pay cut was about 500,000

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  21. The goal is to privatize schools. When it happens only people with children will pay and most won't be able to afford schooling for their children. Walker is trying to hurry the demise of public education by taking more money away from public schools for Private and parochial schools. The licensed teachers in Wisconsin Are quality hard working people in all these schools. When Walker breaks the public schools he'll stop the support of the other schools too. It makes me sad so few are going into education. Teachers were not overpaid they were paid by tax money and that was the problem. I taught in both parochial and public schools that were excellent but we had no special kids provided for in the parochial school and because the parents were paying they seemed more involved. You can't take a class that has a lot of special needs kids and compare test results to a class with out any special needs kids.

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    1. I just want to add teachers will need to work together among all schools. I think we want the same thing. To teach children how to think and be patriotic contributing members of our society. The goals of the Koch brothers are pretty much the John Birch Society goals. You need to read more about Karl Rove that is who is advising Scott Walker. They are going to get the John Doe probes dropped too. They own the courts too. Now don't you wish more people would read and vote? The future jobs won't need much education in Wi. Just like our governor.

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