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posted by martyb on Monday April 16, @01:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the going-nationwide dept.

Common Dreams reports

Colorado's teachers' union expects more than 400 teachers at a rally that's planned for Monday at the state's Capitol in Denver.

[...] Englewood School District, outside the capital city, announced on Sunday that schools would be closed the following day as 70 percent of its teachers had indicated they wouldn't be working Monday. It was unclear on Sunday whether more school districts would be closing.

"We are calling Monday, April 16th a day of action", Kerrie Dallman, president of the Colorado Education Association (CEA), told KDVR in Denver.

[...] According to[1] KMGH in Denver, "The CEA estimates that teachers spend on average $656 of their own money for school supplies for students." The state's teacher salaries rank 46th out of 50, with educators making an average of $46,000 per year.

Public schools are underfunded by $828 million this year, Dallman told the Post, and lawmakers have said they could inject at least $100 million more into schools--but they have yet to do so.

[...] The planned protest follows a trend that was seen in West Virginia and Kentucky before moving west this month to Oklahoma and Arizona as well as Colorado. In all the states where teachers have walked out and rallied at their Capitols, teachers have reported paying for school supplies out of pocket, working second and third jobs to make ends meet, and coping with funding shortages while their legislators hand out tax cuts to corporations.

[1] For a laugh (or perhaps a deep sigh), check out all the whitespace in the source code of the page.


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  • (Score: 2, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @01:56PM (66 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @01:56PM (#667624)

    $46k really should be sufficient to live on; it's not a king's fortune by any means, and really can't be expected to entice the best and brightest to the field, but it's a whole lot better than you get flipping burgers and in a lot of other jobs. You should not have to take a 2nd job if you're making $46k.

    That said, however, the bigger problem in my opinion isn't the salaries of these teachers, it's the cost of living that makes them feel that $46k isn't enough. I make way more than that and I don't feel like I have quite enough, though I certainly don't feel like I'm suffering, but I do feel my higher salary should afford me a much more luxurious lifestyle than I lead.

    The problem is housing.

    It simply costs too much to buy or rent a place to live in metro areas now (and before you point to cheap rural areas or small towns, the decent-paying jobs aren't located there). This simply wasn't the case 2+ decades ago.

    This is the elephant in the room that our elected leaders are ignoring IMO. Why is it SO expensive to get housing, and why aren't our leaders doing something about it?

    Fixing the cost of housing, and then teachers won't be so worried about how much they're paid.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @02:11PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @02:11PM (#667630)

      If housing costs so much, then clearly the problem is that pay is not enough. Our money is basically funny money and backed by nothing scarce. It shouldn't be a surprise that housing costs more dollars. Dollars aren't worth what they used to be. Don't be distracted by the fact that things like electronics have become extremely cheap. Compared to housing, the price of everything keeps going down.

      The real question to ask is where all this money comes from to continuously fight wars. Why do we have money for meddling in the affairs of other countries? Why don't we have money to pay people enough that they can afford housing?

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @02:16PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @02:16PM (#667631)

        No, what you're missing is that the rise in the cost of housing has outpaced most other things, especially food, another extremely essential item, and also transportation (cars and gas are more expensive than 30 years ago, but not nearly as much more as housing).

        This is a regulatory problem. It's too easy for speculators and foreign investors to buy up real estate here and drive up the cost of house, and also, local governments are doing a poor job in encouraging better land use (like by having older housing in urban areas replaced by denser housing like high-rise condos). This last one is especially evident in the SanFran area, but it exists almost everywhere I'm sure.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @02:30PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @02:30PM (#667639)

      Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by tonyPick on Monday April 16, @03:06PM (1 child)

        by tonyPick (1237) on Monday April 16, @03:06PM (#667653) Homepage Journal

        Given a third decide to quit and do something else inside of five years (UK stats), then that's clearly not true...

        https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/oct/24/almost-third-of-teachers-quit-within-five-years-of-qualifying-figures [theguardian.com]

        In the US it might be lower - perhaps a bit less than 20% in the first five years:
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2015/04/30/study-new-teacher-attrition-is-lower-than-previously-thought/ [washingtonpost.com]

        And maybe a consistent 8% loss per-year overall:
        https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/10/24/495186021/what-are-the-main-reasons-teachers-call-it-quits [npr.org]

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday April 17, @12:42PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 17, @12:42PM (#668018)

          Teaching varies by state via regulation and locally via management; feds are little more than a cash cow WRT education in the USA (I see you use UK stats so I'm guessing you're a UK-ian and don't know these things about The Colonies over here); When I was a kid there were young teachers and old teachers etc etc. Then the teachers union was busted and now my sons middle school has framed pix of every teacher on the wall by the offices and ALL of them are far younger than me; certainly none much over 30, average 25 or so.

          Having all your teachers under 30 for financial reasons has the impact of you're comparing adult lifestyles such as house ownership with "just outta college" bumming around "elderly-teens". When a 40 year old dude can't afford a house to raise his teenage kids, thats indeed a significant cultural problem. When a 23 year old recent grad first year of real job bachelor lives in a party apartment it doesn't matter if he's bitching about high house prices or not... by the time a youngster is old enough to want/need a house (for raising kids or whatever) they're already downsized out of teaching to save money and replaced by a younger recent grad. For some reason people care if a 25 year old kid can't buy a house in a rich suburb but don't care if the same kid at age 27 is downsized permanently out of education and now can't buy a house in the same suburb during the waitress or bartender or car salesman or real estate agent or life coach second career, or of course unemployed.

          Normally this kind of churn would be a problem in an industry but "EVERYBODY HAS TO GO TO COLLEGE" so the supply of new grads with ed degrees is two or three times higher than the demand. So yes the average age of a middle school teacher at my kids school is about 25, which normally is bad for an industry to have no experience or wisdom, but the bottom 2/3 of the education grads aren't getting hired (they bartend or waitress, for example) so we have the cream of the crop, so to speak. Its kind of like the experience of 90-day wonder 2nd LTs in vietnam, take them from the top of their academic class, then toss em in the water and see if they can swim or not, and it don't matter because they're outta there in a couple years at most anyway.

          There are multiple weird effects. When I was a kid "sex with teachers" was a pr0n movie or when it happened for real it was a rare national TV scandal, now that the average age of teacher is only a couple years older than the kids its happening a lot more. I would guess that virtually everyone with a MD PHD is working as a doctor, but virtually all holders of education degrees at this time are working anything other than classroom teaching. You expect that for art history or philosophy but it seems weird for a vocational teaching diploma for almost no one holding that degree is teaching. Another weird effect is teachers were rarely "hotties" when I was a kid, we only had two hot teachers at my high school, but now I go to conferences and events and they're ALL young hotties, if its distracting to dad, I can't imagine the distraction level of the male students; although I suppose in the yoga pants era and dress codes being "prostitute-casual", their fellow students are even more distracting.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @08:13PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @08:13PM (#667781)

        Those who cannot teach, administrate. Those who cannot administrate, run for elected office. Then they cut the wages for those who can teach.

    • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @02:42PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @02:42PM (#667643)

      > The problem is housing.

      And at least part of the problem with housing costs is the increase in population of USA, without matching increases in new housing construction. Every year a few million extra people need somewhere to live --
          http://www.multpl.com/united-states-population/ [multpl.com]

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by tonyPick on Monday April 16, @02:48PM (2 children)

      by tonyPick (1237) on Monday April 16, @02:48PM (#667645) Homepage Journal

      Also $46K is an average: Many will make less. In fact according to CPR in 2014 then [cpr.org]

      The average base salary for Colorado teachers with a bachelor’s degree and 10 years of experience is $36,700, according the report from the Center for American Progress, a research organization.
      ...
      The report found Colorado teachers with a graduate degree and 10 years of experience make less than a trucker.

      Ouch.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by schad on Monday April 16, @04:02PM (1 child)

        by schad (2398) on Monday April 16, @04:02PM (#667673)

        Salary doesn't tell the whole picture. For the same $46k salary, a typical private-sector employee will receive about $7k a year less in benefits than a typical public-sector employee. Of course, there's also the fact that it's much easier to fire a private-sector employee (in most states you literally don't even need a reason). I'm not trying to argue that teachers are fairly compensated, merely pointing out that looking at salary alone is massively deceptive. For many decades, union workers -- a group which consists primarily of public-sector workers these days -- have voluntarily traded salary for benefits. If they no longer like that arrangement, fine, but let's be honest about what's actually going on then.

        Going back to the topic of TFS, I have a problem with the fact that teachers are having to pay for school supplies. I also have a problem with the fact that parents are having to pay for school supplies too. I don't mean things like notebooks and such for your child. I mean that, every school year, all the parents are given a list of things that they are expected to buy for the classroom. This stuff also costs probably a couple hundred bucks a year. What the fuck is up with that?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @05:41PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @05:41PM (#667719)

          I'm the OP in this thread. (Forgot my login info, and my email address has changed...) I'm not trying to argue that teachers are paid sufficiently; that's obviously not true to anyone with a brain, and I mentioned this before with my comment about $46k not attracting the best and brightest. However, I wanted to shine light on the fact (IMO) that housing is too expensive these days. Paying teachers more isn't going to fix or make up for this: today's absurd housing costs are hurting everyone, especially everyone that's middle-middle class and below. Lots of studies and people bemoan the fact that Americans aren't saving enough money and don't have enough financial reserves to handle a job loss etc. Well, the problem here isn't always that they suck at managing money, it's frequently that housing is just too damn expensive, and all their money is going to rent, and at the same time, wages are stagnant for most industries, so it's getting more expensive to live, but most people aren't getting paid more to compensate. Addressing this would help much of the population, not just teachers.

    • (Score: 0, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @02:52PM (21 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @02:52PM (#667647)

      Don't forget, that is a SCHOOL year, not a calendar year.
      9 months, not 12.
      If they choose to do nothing for pay the other 3 months, then that is on them.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by looorg on Monday April 16, @03:16PM (3 children)

        by looorg (578) on Monday April 16, @03:16PM (#667656)

        What kind of shit contract are they on if they don't get paid during the summer/xmas holiday? If that is the actual case no wonder they are leaving or being pissed.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday April 16, @04:29PM (2 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday April 16, @04:29PM (#667687)

          What kind of shit contract

          The same kind of shit contract my parents were on when they were teaching in the 1970s. Shit pay, piss benefits, and summers off. Mom did telemarketing to bring in extra money, because what kind of job can you really get for just a couple of months?

          • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Monday April 16, @09:49PM (1 child)

            by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday April 16, @09:49PM (#667817)

            Wow, does the US seriously not pay their teachers during their school holidays?

            My mother was a teacher from about 1978 until the early 1990's and I don't remember her ever having more than about 3 weeks holiday per year. When the children were having their holiday, she was doing her lesson plans for the next term among other things.

            She worked a damn sight harder than I did, but at least she was paid every month.

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Monday April 16, @10:05PM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday April 16, @10:05PM (#667822)

              I forget the specific arrangements (I was in grade school at the time), it could be that the paychecks were distributed across all 12 months, but effectively the pay was reduced as if those vacation months were not being worked. Either way, all I heard in the car on the way to and from school is how I shouldn't become a teacher, bad pay, lousy benefits, etc. etc.

              There was definitely extra money paid if they (were allowed to, not everybody could) work summer school, but those were mostly the "bad" kids, so it wasn't a very appealing option.

              Mom was a teacher from ~1968 to ~2013, by the time she retired the second time she was making respectable bank.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @03:27PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @03:27PM (#667658)

        Don't forget that most school districts expect teachers to complete continuing education during the summer, or the fact that they work 8 hours at the school every school day and grade homework at night.

        The whole 9 month argument is ridiculous. Its comparing apples to oranges and totally ignores all context.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @08:09PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @08:09PM (#667780)

          Article [commondreams.org]

          [in USA] on average, teachers earn just 77 percent of what other college graduates earn in weekly wages

          Contains a useful bar graph, broken down by state
          In no state are teachers paid more than other college graduates [epi.org]
          In 1 state (Arizona), it's 63 percent.
          In the "best" state (Massachusetts) it's 83 percent.

          over the summer

          When I was a kid, some schoolteachers taught summer school or driver's ed for a few weeks.
          The ones that go into the general job market for those months are at a disadvantage because the boss knows they will be gone in a few weeks.

          ...and several of the articles I have seen on this topic say that DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR it's not uncommon for a teacher to have a 2nd or 3rd job e.g. delivering pizza.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday April 17, @04:45PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 17, @04:45PM (#668174)

          and grade homework at night

          Yeah about that oft repeated meme, I donno.

          Some is nostalgia. I vaguely remember we all had to read "Blubber" about bullying a fat chick, back in the old days when all chicks were not fat, in about 5th grade and write book reports individually as she would be cross checking to see if we cheated as a group, and I sweated that single page report for at least one entire night or so, but I'd think the average college educated elementary school teacher could read, correct, and grade a class worth of 20 or so pages of hand written scrawl in not much more than an hour of watching TV, so yeah it might have been agonizing for me as a kid to write, but I suspect she didn't put more than a minute or two into grading my literary masterpiece. I have to think about that for a minute... at my 2018 typing speed of 100+ WPM I could type that essay almost as fast as my 5th grade teacher likely read it... Who here is old enough to remember red pen to correct errors? My kids do everything on google docs, so they've never had the experience of getting a graded essay covered in red pen.

          I think the worst term paper I ever had to write from K-12 was about 8 pages typed a position paper about nuclear power for "advanced smart kids or whatever term they used" senior economics class. But that was like one midterm paper one time ever, and the teacher was a bro of an easy grader.

          Also I really enjoyed group grading, I can't remember any K-12 math class where my assignments were not group graded by some fellow student looking at the overhead projector for three minutes at the start of class. Yeah I don't think my high school trig instructor missed too many episodes of The Love Boat or Fantasy Island or Threes Company by grading my homework instead.

          Now the people really deserving of pity are those poor bastards teaching University Freshman Composition who have 350 students turn in a minimum 20 page midterm on some bullshit (I vaguely recall it was my thoughts on the Athenians idiotic idea of invading Sicily which lost them the Peloponnesian War, and believe it or not this was assigned to me not chosen, Democracy, what a shitty way to run a country). Oh and the students think they'll get graded midterms the next day. All for Adjunct Professor pay, thats a couple cents per graded page?

          God help me my kindergarten teacher SiL will repeat this meme about spending all night grading homework and I can't tell if she's out trolling me or insane or doing an entire backlogged semester of grading all at once. I'm pretty sure she can out shitpost me in terms of writing personalized custom responses to each kid; even I would struggle with that but school teachers probably had a college class on shitposting comments on kids assignments or similar, or maybe they have a cliff notes style book of suggested comments, I donno.

          Anecdotally public school teachers can really party; if on the one night per week they're not on tindr/grindr or sitting in a bar drunk, they have to spend an hour of TV time grading an entire weeks homework all at once, eh, I'm not feeling too sorry. Here have my copy of Machine Learning by Flach and stop bitching about "working at home". They gotta walk up hill both ways to get to work in snow every day too. Boo hoo.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Whoever on Monday April 16, @03:35PM (12 children)

        by Whoever (4524) on Monday April 16, @03:35PM (#667662) Journal

        What kind of professional job is available for 6 weeks over the summer and in 1 and 2 week blocks at other times of the the year?

        Teachers are typically highly trained, would you expect them to take a job flipping burgers during their vacations?

        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @03:50PM (6 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @03:50PM (#667668)

          "Teachers are typically highly trained"

          lmfao! if you mean they paid an absurd amount of money to jump through asinine hoops for 4 years while being taught/indoctrinated with bullshit, then sure.

          • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @05:32PM (5 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @05:32PM (#667717)

            Hmm, while the above is worthy of flamebait I can attest there is some amount of truth in it. Getting a teaching credential requires a looot of bullshit classes with very little value to actual teaching.

            The entire school system and the teacher credentialing system need a compete overhaul.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @06:09PM (4 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @06:09PM (#667736)

              Hmm, while the above is worthy of flamebait I can attest there is some amount of truth in it.

              When I was an undergrad, I took a particular geology class just for fun. We visited spots all over the state all day every Saturday looking at rock formations and collecting fossils. It was a blast and we saw lots of interesting things. I had NO pre-requisites since I was not a geology major. Each week, we had to turn in basically a show-and-tell paper describing what we saw the prior week. I finished the class (that I had no preparation for) with a 103% since I got some extra credit.

              There a few people struggling. One young lady, struggling poorly, complained about how hard it was. She took the class because it was the "easiest class" that satisfied her laboratory sciences requirements. She was an education major in her final year. I don't think she would have fared well in my electromagnetics or thermodynamics classes.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @07:27PM (3 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @07:27PM (#667763)

                Anecdotal evidence of "teachers can't do"?

                What was the point again?

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @07:41PM (2 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @07:41PM (#667768)

                  The point is that education majors curricula of the time was (and may still be) ridiculously free of any core skills classwork. The geology class was hardly college level work and yet sufficed for a sciences credit for education majors. I also thought about it while I was required to take four quarters of calculus and differential equations when they took none.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @11:22PM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @11:22PM (#667845)

                    Ah, well like I said comparing science/math classes to liberal arts is apples to oranges and doesn't really add much here. Most teachers get their bachelor's in something other than education though, an education major is probably going to end up in administrative / academic roles and not actually teaching children.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, @12:54PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, @12:54PM (#668024)

                      ...an education major is probably going to end up in administrative / academic roles and not actually teaching children.

                      You're crazy if you think a freshly graduated education major is going to waltz into a nice administrative position. They are going to substitute for a year or so and end up teaching first graders. You are going to need a master's degree in applied bullshit to get into administrative.

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by Thexalon on Monday April 16, @03:52PM

          by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @03:52PM (#667669) Homepage

          I will say that back when I was a counselor at overnight summer camps, our most experienced staff tended to be teachers during the rest of the year. But it's not great pay: You're talking something like $2-3K for the summer + room and board. But of course if you're not a college kid or something, you have to maintain your home elsewhere while you're working at the camp.

          And yes, you could work retail or fast food or something as well, which would net you something similar. So revise the $46K up to $49K. Wow, huge improvement.

          --
          A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @04:33PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @04:33PM (#667689)

          Education has the highest rate of grade inflation of any college major. "Highly trained" is dubious.

          • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday April 16, @05:30PM

            by HiThere (866) on Monday April 16, @05:30PM (#667716)

            It's my impression that teachers *are* highly trained, but that the people who are training them in teaching don't know how to teach. It generally takes them a few years to unlearn their training...but the training is a requirement for being hired for the job.

            You can call it silly, perverse, absurd, etc. and I'll agree with you. But it also seems to be true. And the horrible thing is, the idiots who teach teachers how to teach are still better informed than the greater idiots who design the curriculum.

            --
            Put not your faith in princes.
        • (Score: 2) by slinches on Monday April 16, @04:52PM

          by slinches (5049) on Monday April 16, @04:52PM (#667698)

          What kind of professional job is available for 6 weeks over the summer and in 1 and 2 week blocks at other times of the the year?

          That's a tough one. If only there was some sort of school that was open during the summer ...

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday April 17, @01:18PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 17, @01:18PM (#668031)

          Consultant / contractor

          As a young recent grad, two times at one small employer I ran into a former instructor helping out with some short to medium term project over the summer. Kinda weird. When instructors are out of "instructor mode" they seem more chill at the workplace. I vaguely remember going out drinking with my coworkers with the guy who taught me 68hc11 assembly language as an elective class a couple years previous; kinda weird.

          That of course is assuming EE code monkey stuff, teaching future EE code monkeys, teaching kindergarten and teaching high school gym class are all at the same identical level of professionalism.

          My SiL is a kindergarten teacher, a long tail survivor near the end of her career, and she did sub work for day cares when she needed cash. Note that some employees "careers" at day care are only a couple weeks, so her working there for two months makes her a lifer. Although again, hard to say if elementary school teacher OR day care worker is a professional job. I'd say "no" to both.

          All the tech ed / shop teachers had summer jobs in their fields and saw it as a valuable way to make contacts for their students; I had a CAD teacher in high school trying pretty hard to recruit me into a couple of his favorite employers. Is CAD draftsman a professional job? I donno.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @05:55PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @05:55PM (#667727)

        Don't forget, that is a SCHOOL year, not a calendar year.
        9 months, not 12.
        If they choose to do nothing for pay the other 3 months, then that is on them.

        I'm not sure why this was modded troll. It's a valid point. If I took off my entire summer and didn't work, I would cut my pay by 25%. When I was a kid, it was common to see teachers from my school doing seasonal jobs in the summer. Spreading paychecks over 12 months only helps those that can't budget and reduces their mandated tax withholdings. It doesn't mean they are suddenly "employed" over the summer.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Monday April 16, @03:30PM (5 children)

      by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @03:30PM (#667659) Homepage

      1. It depends a lot on where you live how far $46K goes. Housing near Denver, for instance, is rather pricey right now. Why? Because more people are moving to the area. Which means they need more teachers who can live in metro Denver. Which means they need to pay them an amount that allows them to live in metro Denver.

      2. One expense you're probably not factoring in is student loans for the master's degree that most teachers have. For a comparison here, $46K is about 3/4 of the national average salary for a master's degree holder.

      3. For comparison's sake, some professions that make more than $46K, on average, and require no more than the same level of education: Nurse, engineer, cop, mortician, B2B salesperson, real estate broker, mail carrier, executive secretary, bricklayer, carpenter, drywall installer, electrician, plumber, oil/gas roughneck, power plant operator, air traffic controller, crane operator, software developer, system administrator, network administrator (source [bls.gov]). I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with doing those other jobs, but to claim that teachers aren't underpaid definitely seems off in light of that.

      Also, by your "cost-of-living" logic, if we just don't pay anybody for anything, and cut the cost of living to $0, that fixes everything, right?

      --
      A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday April 16, @03:58PM (4 children)

        by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @03:58PM (#667671) Homepage Journal

        >>>Also, by your "cost-of-living" logic, if we just don't pay anybody for anything, and cut the cost of living to $0, that fixes everything, right?

        Sure does! Then i'd be living on the Enterprise.

        Ahh, life would be good...
        "Computer, what is today's special"
        "Todays special is fish. What would you like?"
        "Fish"
        "Anything else?"
        "Fish"
        "Anything else?"
        "Fish"
        "Anything else?"
        "Fish"
        "Anything else?"
        "Fish"

        ***Done from memory.....

        --
        --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
        • (Score: 4, Funny) by looorg on Monday April 16, @04:12PM (3 children)

          by looorg (578) on Monday April 16, @04:12PM (#667676)

          ... sound more like you would be living on the mining ship Red Dwarf then the Enterprise.

          • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday April 16, @04:28PM (2 children)

            by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @04:28PM (#667683) Homepage Journal

            heh...with Kachanski? (again, from memory)

            Allllllriiiiiight!!!

            :)

            --
            --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
            • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday April 16, @04:51PM (1 child)

              by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @04:51PM (#667696) Homepage

              It's not as good as you think: 1. You never get to be with Kochanski, despite constantly trying. 2. You have to put up with Rimmer.

              --
              A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
              • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday April 16, @06:31PM

                by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @06:31PM (#667749) Homepage Journal

                I think Data would be as annoying as Rimmah... at least Rimmer couldn't tear you apart if you played a prank on him, lol.

                --
                --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by SomeGuy on Monday April 16, @04:01PM (4 children)

      by SomeGuy (5632) on Monday April 16, @04:01PM (#667672)

      $46k really should be sufficient to live on.... The problem is housing.

      Holy fucking shit, have you not seen the HEALTH INSURANCE prices this year?!?! For many people including myself, the cost of even low-end modern health insurance EXCEEDS or at least approaches that of housing.

      Of course most people are going without health insurance at all these days. But then all it takes is a broken leg or something and every last cent you earn for the rest of your life goes to the medical industry.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @04:56PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @04:56PM (#667700)

        Depending on your state, health insurance is free or cheap if you don't make that much money. If you only make $20k, for instance, you probably qualify for a subsidized plan that pays your entire premium.

        Of course, if you're making over $60k, you're probably paying a lot for health insurance since you're effectively subsidizing those poorer people.

        • (Score: 2) by SomeGuy on Monday April 16, @05:48PM (1 child)

          by SomeGuy (5632) on Monday April 16, @05:48PM (#667723)

          Some states expanded Medicaid to help cover those with zero income.

          The state of Georgia, which I am in, was not one of those.

          Subsidies only apply to those with low income. Anyone in the state of Georgia with zero income is fucked.

          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @07:44PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @07:44PM (#667769)

            I'm not talking about zero-income people here, I'm talking about lower middle class, and some "working poor". I have a friend in TX who doesn't make a whole lot, but makes over $15k. They get free health insurance through Obamacare. If they made less than $13 or 14k I think, they'd be stuck with Medicaid, but because they're over that threshold, they qualify for Obamacare with full subsidy. Honestly, it seems like the system (in that state at least) is set up to screw people who don't make any money (by sticking them with Medicaid, which is pretty crappy), and to reward people who work full-time, even if it's just minimum-wage. This friend's plan is a silver plan with Blue Cross even, with zero deductible; it's better than my plan that I have as a highly-paid tech worker!

            Teachers aren't zero-income. They don't make a lot, but they should qualify for some subsidy under Obamacare, though again this will vary by state. If they're only making $30k or so, they should be getting pretty good insurance rates these days. It's the people like me (or much worse, my well-paid coworkers who have spouses and kids) who are getting screwed with high insurance rates. I'm not complaining *too* much mind you; I'd rather help subsidize poorer people so they aren't going without insurance and necessary medical care even if that cuts into my take-home pay, so I think it's better than what we had before, but I'd rather have a single-payer European-style system. But again I think this varies a lot by state; some states seem to have really horrible insurance rates and plans under ACA (like VA). TX doesn't seem to be bad at all.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday April 16, @05:25PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday April 16, @05:25PM (#667712)

        In our area there are people who take teaching-aide positions purely for the benefits. They pay back most of their salary to buy health insurance (usually for them and their SO/spouse), but with another job they couldn't get the insurance at all, so they end up working for $12K per year, plus health insurance.

    • (Score: 2, Troll) by frojack on Monday April 16, @04:19PM (1 child)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @04:19PM (#667679) Journal

      The average salary: 16-19. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks Americans' earnings by several demographic factors, including age. According to BLS data, the average salary of 16- to-19-year-olds is $420 per week, $21,840 per year.Apr 28, 2017

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Monday April 16, @04:24PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @04:24PM (#667680) Journal

        Between 2015 and 2016, US median household income rose 3.2% from $57,230 to $59,039, according to a new report released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday. It's now the highest income year on record, beating the previous high of $58,655 in 1999 (all numbers are adjusted for inflation).Sep 12, 2017

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday April 16, @04:27PM (10 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday April 16, @04:27PM (#667682)

      Cost of housing is the new caste system - sure, most people with a steady job can afford an average-ish house on a 30 year mortgage, but if you want to move into the "nice" neighborhood with the $700K+ homes, you're either inheriting that money, getting lucky with investments, or in the top 10% of salary earners.

      You want to live in Denver and own a 3-2? That market seems to be running median around $350K, so if you squeak by with a $20K down payment, you'll be needing $43,500 annual income to make the .43 ratio on a 30 year 330K mortgage.

      Remember voters, your average school board member is elected on a platform of "spend no tax dollar that is not required to be spent, by law." Because, your average voter doesn't have kids in school, nor care about what school does for children and the future.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @04:30PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @04:30PM (#667688)

        True.

        And when even the minimum becomes too onerous they move to South Carolina or Kentucky to avoid paying absolutely anything for anyone else's benefit.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Monday April 16, @05:07PM (8 children)

        by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @05:07PM (#667705) Homepage

        ... nor care about what school does for children and the future

        Which is stupid, because I can tell you why I, a childless person, care a great deal about having good public schools: I don't want to live in an ignorant country. I mean, consider how ignorant an average American is, then make it worse.

        One thing I fault the Democrats for is rarely making this argument, actually: They usually make their support of the public school system in terms of opportunities for the students, rather than the effect on society as a whole.

        --
        A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday April 16, @05:21PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday April 16, @05:21PM (#667710)

          Which is stupid

          I entirely agree (and not just on the simple face argument: less education is more stupid.)

          Of course, there are exceptions - the Northeast US is pretty good about funding education. I even lived in a neighborhood in Miami that approved a bond issue (voluntary tax) to improve education. Yeah, that happened, once. Even in Alachua (read, backwards backwoods Florida) county, one school board member really believed in "doing the right thing" for the kids and the future; unfortunately, she was outnumbered 6-1 on most issues of substance.

          I fault the Democrats for ... rarely making this argument

          I fault them for just not being all that different from the Republicans on most matters of substance. They talk a slightly more liberal line, but the donkey and the elephant walk about the same.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @08:30PM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @08:30PM (#667786)

          When I am due $0.45 in change and that comes back mostly in dimes, I wonder if the till is out of quarters or if that cashier is simply weak at basic arithmetic.

          When the amount due is $7.37 and I give the cashier $8.12 and she pauses for a moment, confused, I wonder the same thing.
          (Those times when she hands back the $0.12 leave no doubt in my mind.)

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @10:30PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @10:30PM (#667830)

            Not everyone is good at instantly performing calculations in their heads, even though they most likely could solve the problem. Also, sometimes people get nervous and can't solve the problem in the most optimal way possible. It's such a stupid nitpick, since there are much more fundamental problems with our school system than churning out people who aren't human computers.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @11:44PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @11:44PM (#667852)

            Agreeing with the other AC. I'm really good at math/science but not so great if you catch my brain off-guard. Something strange like a person handing me unnecessary change would make my brain pause a sec to figure it out. Next time just add in "a little extra change so you can just give me back quarters" and then they won't waste your precious time wondering what is wrong with you.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, @02:33AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, @02:33AM (#667918)

              Agree with the other two ACs. When one has a computer to do all one's calculations, one's mental math goes to shit.

              I'd like to point out that it's a skill that can be practiced, however. You're always dealing with two positive integers such that: i₁ < 10; i₂ < 10; |i₁ - i₂| = 5. Change counts up in increments of {25, 5, 10, 1}, and bills count up in increments of {20, 10, 5, 1}.

        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday April 17, @01:27PM (2 children)

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 17, @01:27PM (#668036)

          One thing I fault the Democrats for is rarely making this argument

          They're more into the future generation comes from demographic replacement via immigration; their voters were educated by the school system in El Salvador not locally.

          • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday April 17, @03:34PM (1 child)

            by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 17, @03:34PM (#668129) Homepage

            No, they're more into nice fat checks from Goldman Sachs. They only care about the immigrants insofar as it helps them look good on TV.

            --
            A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
            • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday April 17, @03:59PM

              by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 17, @03:59PM (#668152)

              Not disagreeing in an anecdotal sense that is absolutely true, but a significant fraction REALLY don't like white people...

    • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Monday April 16, @04:28PM (2 children)

      by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Monday April 16, @04:28PM (#667684)

      What you're also missing is that teachers are required to obtain a masters degree after their bachelors. Teaching is like several other professions in that it is expected that you will keep moving up the educational ladder or your career will end. $46K for Masters Degree is laughable.

      This was only a fast Google.

      According to CareerBliss, a master's degree pays off if you are aiming for the job title of general manager. General managers with only a four-year degree earn, on average, $79,818.09. Those with a master's do 17.92 percent better, earning $97,246.27.Aug 24, 2011

      Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/media/10-careers-where-a-masters-degree-pays-off/11/ [cbsnews.com]

      Must a primary/secondary teacher have a Master's? No. But I know of none who aren't either working on it or have a plan in mind for when they will. One more fast google.

      In every state, elementary school teachers are required to obtain at least a bachelor's degree in education. ... Like teachers in an elementary school setting, many secondary school educators are also required to eventually pursue a master's degree.Mar 25, 2013

      Source: https://www.degreequery.com/what-degree-do-you-need-to-be-a-teacher/ [degreequery.com] I'm sure there are starving districts which don't push their people to get the Master's. I have known no primary/secondary educator, though, that either wasn't either pursuing graduate education or had it as a part of their plan as to when they expected to start.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @04:37PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @04:37PM (#667690)

        What you're also missing is that teachers are required to obtain a masters degree after their bachelors.

        Must a primary/secondary teacher have a Master's? No.

        Good job making a claim and immediately invalidating it. Your personal anecdote has been taken into account though. Here's mine: I've known a handful of teachers to have more than a bachelor's degree, most of them did not. The ones who did usually moved into administration.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, @12:07AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, @12:07AM (#667861)

        If you'd ever been in any of the Education Degree classes you'd agree that $46k/yr for having one is ludicrous. Ludicrously over paid.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @05:22PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @05:22PM (#667711)

      46k is enough for a single person to live on but it won't afford any luxury and building up the minimum amount of savings will take a long time. This of course assumes the teacher has zero student loans from the bachelors and credential programs.

      The various breaks teachers do get is well overshadowed by the non-stop 8+ hour days, grading/prep taking away from the home life, and the never-discussed emotional toll of trying to steer hordes of young humans.

      Toss in teachers needing to worry about basic school supplies, paying out of pocket and dealing with shithead parents whose precious little johnny/jane would neeevverrrr do anything wrong and is nothing less than an A student and you have a REALLY stressful job. Low pay is just a nice bonus that make many teachers walk away to find better pay with less stress.

      The icing on the cake is hearing smug jerks tell teachers to stop whining because "those who can do, those who can't teacher." I left teaching for private industry, got a massive pay bump and less stress even though I don't get summers off. Go figure.

      • (Score: 2) by quacking duck on Monday April 16, @07:38PM

        by quacking duck (1395) on Monday April 16, @07:38PM (#667766)

        And on top of that, the gun and ammo special interests groups are demanding teachers carry while in school, with all the attendant training, red tape and aggravation that carries. No doubt on their own dime and time, of course.

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday April 17, @04:17PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 17, @04:17PM (#668159)

        This of course assumes the teacher has zero student loans from the bachelors and credential programs.

        Yeah about that, by the time you leverage Teach4America and Americorps benefits against the Teacher Forgiveness Program for Stafford loans I think you might be able to run a profit; not sure if that's either legal or realistic.

        My SiLs description of those orgs, including gossip from her coworkers, sounds very much like my dealings with the VA WRT the GI bill program, in that what should take pages of paper instead takes dozens of pages and what should take days ends up taking months, but eventually you get every penny promised... eventually.

        With a side dish where if only the top third or top half or whatever of grads can get a job in the field, then that's the third or whatever who are most likely to get scholarships and grants. Or given the usual disparity where parental financial status correlates with child school performance, the few grads who get teaching jobs, assuming they're selected by GPA and not looks, (assuming GPA isn't based on looks, LOL) the top few with jobs are exactly those most likely to have parents pay their way. Kind of like how if you can get into an ivy league school you're almost by definition not going to have trouble paying for it, because the hurdles to reach that level are expensive.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Monday April 16, @06:54PM (3 children)

      by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday April 16, @06:54PM (#667756) Journal

      Spoken like someone who has not experienced poverty.

      Housing is just one of many expenses, and singling that out as the problem is like saying a dog bite is the problem for people who are also pursued by thousands of angry wasps and bees, and swarmed by more mosquitoes than the Everglades has, and when they dive into a pond to escape the insects, they're beset by lampreys and leeches.

      The sale price is just the start of the expenses for a home. You also have property taxes, utility and energy bills, and maintenance. The city frequently harasses home owners over their lawns, parking in the street, inoperable vehicles, fences being in disrepair, and so on. The cheap homes go way cheap on appliances and fixtures, which is a maintenance nightmare. And we've been massively upsold, persuaded to use expensive methods for simple things, stuff such as an automatic garage door opener. Why, for instance, do we need bed frames? Why not just put the mattresses on the floor? The utilities get jacked up thanks to horribly inefficient equipment-- the "builder's special" AC unit, the electric furnace that uses 5 times as much electricity to heat than a heat pump would, an electric water heater instead of solar, the shower faucet that can adjust temperature but not water flow so that when it's on, it's always full blast, and so on. Don't you just love learning that the wiring and circuit breakers in your beautiful home are not up to code, might start a fire, and should be redone, at great expense of course? How about your home insurer forcing you to buy a new roof because the shingles are worn out? Why do we use those damn asphalt singles anyway, they last at most 20 years. Or you don't move soon enough on the roof, and then you find out after the next heavy rainstorm that the roof had developed a bad leak, and now you've got lots of water damage to fix. And then the foundation cracks, termites chew up the wooden frame, squirrels move into the attic and cut the wires, the sewer lines clog, the faucets start dripping when off, the kids spill soda and barf all over the carpets, and also the dog takes a crap on the carpet, etc.

      America is a jungle, with financial predators everywhere. Most are opportunistic, and who better to prey upon than the weak and ignorant? Even the savviest people are suckered into spending money unnecessarily, thanks to our consumerist society relentlessly bombarding people with messages to solve your problems for the low, low price of whatever. Playing upon fear is a huge driver of sales. Better buy that extended warranty, be a real shame if your new smart TV died young or your tires failed early. They're incredibly skilled at making you think you got a deal, a great sale price, and you put one over on them, when you didn't. How about that recent admission that for Big Pharma, treatments are much more profitable than cures?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @08:41PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @08:41PM (#667790)

        Sorry, no.

        First, you're assuming that people are all buying instead of renting. In many places, renting is more cost-effective than buying, especially if you aren't sure you're going to be there for 8+ years. Property taxes and maintenance costs go away when you're renting.

        For lawns, parking in the street, inoperable vehicles, etc., these are only problems if you have a single-family house. People in apartments (which describes many lower-income people) don't have these problems. And there's nothing requiring you to keep inoperable vehicles around. If you can't fix it, sell it on Craigslist. It's only dumb rural people who have some kind of obsession with making their home a salvage yard. Urban poor people don't have this problem.

        Automatic garage door openers are a problem in your mind? Huh? Those things are extremely reliable these days, generally. I haven't had trouble with one of those since I was a teenager. And poorer people generally don't have garages anyway.

        Bed frames? Where is it required that you have a bed frame? If you don't want one, don't get one. No one's going to fine you because you don't have a bed frame. Lots of people don't. People usually like them because they like being able to sit on the bed at times, and also because older people would have trouble using a bed that's too low. And what's the problem anyway? It's a simple piece of steel. If you're having maintenance problems with a bed frame, then you have some other issues.

        For the shower faucet, that's why you get a modern low-flow shower head for $10 or whatever. Shower heads are only supposed to use 2.5 gallons per minute by federal law. You can put restrictors in there as well to cut it down more if you want.

        Anyway, again, most of your complaints come with owning a home. Rent a home and you can push all the problems onto your landlord. This isn't a perfect system, but renters do not have to deal with paying for leaky roofs.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @10:39PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @10:39PM (#667833)

          > Property taxes and maintenance costs go away when you're renting.
          Property taxes and maintenance costs are baked into the rental cost, along with profit to the owner & management company (if one is involved).

            FTFY

          In certain markets I've heard of cheap rental prices relative to the cost to operate the unit. This might be due to rent control (NY City?) or a market where the appreciation on the property makes up for the lack of rental income.

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday April 17, @01:39PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 17, @01:39PM (#668041)

        Why, for instance, do we need bed frames? Why not just put the mattresses on the floor?

        Southerner detected (not that there's anything wrong with that). cold air sinks and flows across the room no matter how well insulated the room, so in energy costs alone a $50 bed frame from target will pay for itself in one season, or pretty quickly up north, anyway.

        Also you stash your seasonal clothes in giant tupperware buckets under the bed; if you lived in the deep south, where would you stash your three winter coats and snowpants and boots and glove collection and long sleeved shirts and sweaters during the summer? Oh yeah, probably don't own any of that stuff in the deepest south. Whats the record low temp in Miami, like 40 F?

  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Monday April 16, @01:59PM (8 children)

    by looorg (578) on Monday April 16, @01:59PM (#667626)

    [1] For a laugh (or perhaps a deep sigh), check out all the whitespace in the source code of the page.

    Isn't that normal today? Lots of cut and paste code that gets injected, everything looks like shit when you try to read it. Sure it does look a bit weird. Sometimes one wonders if they are trying to send a hidden morse code message from some POW camp.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by stox on Monday April 16, @02:46PM

      by stox (479) on Monday April 16, @02:46PM (#667644)

      Looks like nested custom tags being used in a JSP, where they've not turned on the trimspaces option in the container...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @05:06PM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @05:06PM (#667704)

      they were taught how to make web pages in public school, obviously.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @05:28PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @05:28PM (#667715)

        Does that make you feel better? Schools are there to teach the basics, care to shit on the creative writing projects of high school seniors? "Oh these stories are pure shit, they don't even come close to professional writing!"

        Your crappy opinions only serve to derail anyone around here still in school, or wherever else you share your "school teaches garbage" opinions. It is the lack of respect for education that is really making the US so terrible, and it shows in teacher salaries.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @06:48PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @06:48PM (#667755)

          Schools are there to teach the basics

          I agree with you here. However, they don't even do that well, since they choose to focus almost entirely on rote memorization over understanding. It has always been this way, even if some people insist that there was some sort of 'golden age' for the US school system.

          Your crappy opinions only serve to derail anyone around here still in school,

          How would his opinions do that? The one-size-fits-all, rote memorization-focused school system already derails its victims (the "victims" are the students, and even many of the teachers). I don't see how such opinions would "derail" anyone unless you have the mistaken belief that schools are the only means to attain an education.

          Another way that our schools victimize students is by forcing them to use non-free proprietary user-subjugating software, such as Windows. Since proprietary software does not allow for education, independence, or freedom, it has no place in schools (except perhaps if the schools are teaching students how to reverse engineer it). Schools should only use Free Software, if they do indeed need to use software for a specific task at all.

          It is the lack of respect for education that is really making the US so terrible, and it shows in teacher salaries.

          Indeed. Most people don't care about education at all; they see schools merely as a means of getting good jobs and making more money, thereby devaluing actual education. College is seen as mostly about partying, yet more rote memorization, and then getting a piece of paper at the end of it all to get past HR drones. Such a shame that our culture despises education to this degree; our schools could be much better than they are.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @07:37PM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @07:37PM (#667765)

            The rote memorization approach is problematic, but that is not 100% of public education. I stated that the whole system needs an overhaul, but even still what we have is loads better than what would happen if we just told kids to teach themselves X number of topics. Believe it or not most teachers value critical thinking but it is not an easy thing to teach. Doubly so with the bullshit standardized testing that tries to bring accountability but really just brings worse educational outcomes.

            When you put forth the opinion that school is worthless and gives zero advantage in the labor market, well some morons will believe you! They'll stop trying in school and start dropping out. Possibly this would be a good thing for 1:10k students but for the rest it will only cause them to fall behind the rest of the world. From the content of your 2nd paragraph it is obvious you have an axe to grind and while I agree with your points I disagree strongly with your approach. Young minds are very impressionable, make sure the foundation is strong before you start feeding them the cold hard truths about the world. Hence my use of "derail".

            You're pushing the rote memorization bit too hard, it isn't nearly as dire as you present it. You will cause anyone reading your opinion to devalue their own education, even the good parts and even if only a tiny bit.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @08:07PM (2 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @08:07PM (#667779)

              but that is not 100% of public education.

              Yes, more like 95%, since it's all that is required to solve the vast, vast majority of homework assignments, tests, and standardized tests. Our priorities in this country are absolutely atrocious. True understanding of the material is more difficult and expensive to test for, so it happens less often.

              but even still what we have is loads better than what would happen if we just told kids to teach themselves X number of topics.

              I don't advocate for that, since I think there needs to be at least some guidance.

              When you put forth the opinion that school is worthless and gives zero advantage in the labor market, well some morons will believe you!

              If they're morons, then they were already doomed to begin with.

              Not only that, but I, at least, don't care about the labor market. I value education in and of itself, which is something that is beyond the comprehension of most people. Our culture focuses too much on shallow things like money and jobs, and education suffers because of that.

              Furthermore, school - even our atrocious schools - are not completely worthless. If they at least manage to teach many students how to read, write, and do basic math, then they have some value. However, that is not sufficient in the 21st century.

              They'll stop trying in school and start dropping out.

              Well, that would probably be a net good if they pursued their education via another means, such as homeschooling or even self-education in some cases. But maybe that isn't considered to be truly "dropping out", since they're still being educated?

              At the very worst, it would likely be a neutral course of action; it's almost to the point where a trained monkey could graduate from our schools, frankly. I don't care about drop-out rates nearly as much as others seem to, since the quality of the products our school system produces is lacking.

              From the content of your 2nd paragraph it is obvious you have an axe to grind and while I agree with your points I disagree strongly with your approach.

              I have an axe to grind with many things, from the NSA's mass surveillance to our abomination of a school system. I'm not going to refrain from expressing the truth merely because 'impressionable young minds' might see it and realize that the quality of the education they are receiving from their schools is severely lacking. What am I supposed to do, only write these "cold hard truths" on an age-restricted website (which can be trivially bypassed anyway)? I don't understand this point. People - including young people - can make up their own minds.

              You're pushing the rote memorization bit too hard, it isn't nearly as dire as you present it.

              I don't think I am pushing it too hard. It is one of many major issues with our school system.

              You will cause anyone reading your opinion to devalue their own education, even the good parts and even if only a tiny bit.

              If they went through our school system, then chances are they didn't have much of an education to begin with. Now that they know this, they have the opportunity to fix it. Things are not as hopeless as they seem for individuals who are truly interested in learning, especially in this age.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @11:47PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @11:47PM (#667854)

                I know plenty of successful people who went through public education. Actually pretty much all of the people I know did. You're being ridiculous about the state of education. Bad? Yes. Bad as you make it out to be? No.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, @06:56AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, @06:56AM (#667961)

                  I know plenty of successful people who went through public education.

                  It was not my position that no successful people went through public schooling, so that's just a straw man. However, were they successful because of public schooling, or in spite of it? Perhaps they went above and beyond what was required of them and, to some extent, took their educations into their own hands. Or, perhaps your definition of 'successful' simply means that they make a decent amount of money; in that case, they could be quite uneducated and still be capable of such a feat. Our school system pumps out worker drones in massive numbers, so that would be no surprise. Just being able to earn money is not a sign that someone is highly educated.

                  Either way, I suspect we have radically different standards. As our school system (as can be demonstrated by the tests and the standards) is mostly based on rote memorization, I believe things are every bit as bad as I have said. Under no circumstances could such a horrendous system ever be adequate to me.

                  Actually pretty much all of the people I know did.

                  Since the first group of people you brought up were "successful people," that appears to mean that these other people are not part of that group. Why even bring them up if they're not "successful" by your own standards? That adds nothing to your argument.

                  You're being ridiculous about the state of education.

                  No, I simply value real education, and I do not think that our current system comes anywhere close to providing that. It has some success teaching the absolute basics, but little else.

                  Bad? Yes.

                  So even you believe that a bad school system can produce "successful" (however you're defining that) people. So, again, what was the point of bringing up the "successful" people that you know of if such people can arise even in bad schools systems?

                  It is good that you recognize that our school system is lacking, however. Quibbling over how bad it is exactly probably isn't all that useful.

  • (Score: 2) by Corelli's A on Monday April 16, @04:26PM (1 child)

    by Corelli's A (1772) on Monday April 16, @04:26PM (#667681)

    If the cost of housing in cities is the primary factor in the mismatch between salaries and cost-of-living, perhaps something can be done. When I was wee, big cities had a reputation for crime. Families fled cities (perhaps in part due to crime) and settled in suburbs. Now I read that crime has been on the decline for several decades, and that cities are attracting new residents.

    The obvious solution is to raise crime in cities, thus making living in them less attractive. I propose making leaded gasoline mandatory within city limits for municipalities of more than 100K people. Doing so will also have the ancillary benefit of bringing "who pumped ethyl" jokes back in style.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday April 17, @01:47PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 17, @01:47PM (#668050)

      Now I read that .... cities are attracting new residents.

      They have been pushing that propaganda since at least the late 70s via my personal observation. I'm told they have been pushing that since the ruins stopped smoking after the 60s race riots.

      Some of it is a side dish of the death of legacy media. Ya gotta fill pages of newspapers even if there's no news, so they've been running the same filler stories for at least 40 years about how people are moving back into the cities.

      With another side dish of clickbait. Nostalgia, I suppose. I remember reading that around the time of the skylab re-entry or maybe TMI. I remember two technological disasters when I was a little kid, three mile island, if its melting down, why not shut it off, and skylab re entering uncontrollably, if its up there, why's it falling down? Anyway another story in the news at the time was "people are moving back into the city" so theres some nostalgia.

      And a third side dish of literal simple propaganda. Just like news stories about 99% odds of Hillary Clinton winning were propaganda wish fulfillment not real reporting, there are stories trying to create events like "everybody is moving back to cities better hurry up and not get left behind" yeah I been hearing that one since 1979 and I've somehow avoided being the last to move back into some bombed out ghetto, sure I can continue to avoid moving back for a couple more decades LOL.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Monday April 16, @06:06PM

    by DannyB (5839) on Monday April 16, @06:06PM (#667732)

    Where oh where are all the ones who would cry out that these teachers are just a bunch of lazy librul socialists who want something for nothing more than being a glorified babysitter (who must have a masters degree or better to get the job)?

    Or that $46K is more than enough to live in poverty! Plenty of people who live in poverty are able to do so on much less money.

    Of that education of our children's generation is not important enough to invest resources into, compared to the importance of starting new wars. (If you think education is expensive, try ignorance and see how that works out for you! Oh wait, I think we already have.)

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @07:58PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @07:58PM (#667774)

    When has a monopoly ever provided a good service?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @10:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @10:47PM (#667835)

      > When has a monopoly ever provided a good service?

      Hate to feed the troll, but there are plenty of examples. Well before they were broken up, Ma Bell (the former USA phone monopoly) gave excellent telephone service. The company also funded Bell Labs which invented major chunks of modern technology (in addition to the very reliable components of the old electro-mechanical phone system). Of course they eventually were too big for their own good (and the good of everyone else) and were taken apart.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by digitalaudiorock on Monday April 16, @11:37PM (5 children)

    by digitalaudiorock (688) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @11:37PM (#667851)

    I've noticed a trend for quite some time now: There seems to be an active attack on most professions that pay more than minimum wage and can't be outsourced to other countries. Two big examples are teaching and essentially all public sector jobs. It's as if there's an actual disdain for any line of work that must be done here and which actually pays a fucking living wage...can't have that right? Call it a hunch, that's not a coincidence.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @11:55PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @11:55PM (#667856)

      Yup yup yup. Private sector has moved forward with it too, "gig economy" oh yeah baby!

      Equality means the filthy rich won't be able to maintain their filthy status for long, within mere decades they'll be reduced to just stupid rich. So they have to clamp down on everyone and everything with comparatively high salaries for the most needed skills and garbage for everyone else. Modern serfdom is coming back, but hey you're free to be a serf in any city or state you'd like, yay freedom!

      • (Score: 2) by Shimitar on Tuesday April 17, @06:27AM (1 child)

        by Shimitar (4208) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 17, @06:27AM (#667958) Homepage

        Hate to take you down man, but, hey, what makes you think you will be free to move from city to city freely in the future?

        For proper serfdom, the raising cost of living will further divide the "normal people" into two:
        N. 1: The ones who inherited an house from their parents, thus becoming unable to move anywhere unless selling and falling into n.2
        N. 2: The ones having to "rent", which will forced to work just to sleep under a roof, forget about anything else.

        The N.1 will slowly turn to jobs rooted in the community and soon also their job will be inherited from parent to child.
        The N.2 will be able to move around, but bound to the lower, hardest, and less paying jobs.

        Both will be unable to lift from their condition anyway, since access to the N.0 people will be restricted by marriage and family.

        Welcome back, Middle Ages, but this time technology is there to help(no, stike that)enforce.

        It's history and human nature, it's not "evil", it's just the way it is. But this time around, i am not sure how long it will last. Enjoy while you can, i dearly hope me and my kids will still not see this, but i am making sure both will have one house each when we parents will pass away, so they at least hope to stay N.1.

        --
        Coding is an art. No, java is not coding. Yes, i am biased, i know, sorry if this bothers you.
        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday April 17, @02:09PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 17, @02:09PM (#668072)

          Look into the history of blockbusting in real estate, you're not going to be allowed to passively stay in N.1.

          Red pill them a bit? Make sure they get an education (which has nothing to do with state systems).

          A N.2 is a N.1 who got blockbusted (not entirely of course, but ...)

          The specific enforcement technology will probably be social media. To some extent you can see it already. Look at what passes for being politically correct and see how well that matches up with whats needed to survive or thrive. If a group were actively trying to destroy you and your culture and your people, it would look like ... huh... what a coincidence...

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday April 17, @02:04PM (1 child)

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 17, @02:04PM (#668064)

      1) for a good time tell a high school career counselor you want to apprentice into the skilled trades. Some of it is probably jealously, IBEW base rate is in the low 30s where I live which puts you about 50% higher pay than the average high school guidance counselor or teacher, LOL. Or tell them you're joining the military, I had a couple teachers near shit themselves with indignation when they found out I was going into the Army. Of course I'm so old these were former draft dodging hippie teachers, but still... Even going reserves before promising to attend college instead of going active duty triggered them pretty well.

      2) Be careful looking for coincidences, next thing you know you'll see parenthesis everywhere, then pockets fill up with red pills, suddenly outta nowhere you're a full blown Nazi. Just saying there's a bit of an ... echo ... about disdain of fairly compensated skilled labor. One minute you're just a curious apolitical scholar looking into some mysterious coincidences and circumstances, next thing you know its Roman salutes and you ask all your IRL friends and it turns out they have indeed seen Kyle, ye know a kinda tall guy about this high? Listening to podcasts that haven't been approved by the SPLC, that kind of stuff. Just saying there's some things you can't unsee once you see it and you're kinda pointing the binoculars out that way and focusing in; so if you don't want to see it, best look away now and turn on some nice Seinfeld reruns or tune in CNN on the TV to inoculate yourself.

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