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Hundreds rally against new Ogden teacher contracts

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  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    July 14, 2011 2:09 p.m.

    Public employees labor unions should be illegal.
    They get behind politicians that will give them more and more money and less and less work and no responsibility. I have seen these unions lie about good people to get their pawns elected, and it worked.
    One out of 57 doctors will lose their license.
    Only one out of 2500 teachers will lose their teaching credentials.
    I live in Washington state and here they cannot even fire a teacher who was jailed for child rape. It takes years of court proceedings and there is not guarantee.

    Tenure must go as well.

  • open minded Lehi, UT
    July 14, 2011 2:09 p.m.

    If these teachers are smart they will sign the contract and then all walk out the first day of school and stay out until the district agrees to negotiate with them.

  • Teafortwo salt lake city, utah
    July 14, 2011 2:14 p.m.

    When are teachers going to realize that their own unions are their worst enemy? Unions relentlessly fight any type of competition to the public education system. Lack of competition not only hurts school kids (and taxpayers) it hurts teachers too. In a competitive situation, there would be competition for the services of teachers (or at least the good ones). And when there is competition for your services, you will inevitably get paid more. Wake up.......

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    July 14, 2011 2:23 p.m.

    @The Rock: You said it. Public employees unions should be illegal.

    I'll agree that teachers are underpaid. But you don't teach to make money, you teach for the love of doing it.

    In a time where we are all forced to cut back and work for less, shouldn't government employees be leading the way? After all, funding this expansive government stuff is what got us in this mess in the first place.

    I say fire 'em all. You can't tell me that with unemployment knocking on the door of 10% there aren't qualified people out there who would jump at the chance to have that job and its cushy benefits.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2011 2:23 p.m.

    Couldn't the DN supply us with a few more DETAILS about the issues involved?

    What do the teachers want, (besides negotiating) what did the district offer?

  • thebig1 SLC, UT
    July 14, 2011 2:33 p.m.

    I agree with open minded don't show up, head into the real world and actually try to compete, they will all be back in a month with a real education. We are in a financial crisis now and education is the biggest money pit we have, changes have to be made or they will be teaching in Chinese.

  • Tami Herriman, UT
    July 14, 2011 2:37 p.m.

    Open Minded, you're asking for an open door through which the teachers would be shown the exit. I, as a taxpayer, think they should be glad they have jobs in this economy.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    July 14, 2011 2:45 p.m.

    Too bad it sounds like the union let them all down. I'd go for the Union leaders' heads in this fight, the school board was just trying to get teachers in classrooms.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 14, 2011 2:48 p.m.

    Re: open minded | 2:09 p.m. July 14, 2011

    The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) pulled that stunt on President Reagan. He told them to go back to work or he'd fire them. They thought he was bluffing right up until they were fired and PATCO was decertified.

    There are a lot of teachers looking for work right now and you can bet your next paycheck that they'd be happy to take those jobs.

  • VA Saint Chester, VA
    July 14, 2011 2:50 p.m.

    I am wondering how many of you that are commenting are actually (or have been) educators. How many in the Ogden School Board are or have been educators? Yes, one teaches for the love of it, but it would be really nice to be able to make a living out of it! And the Association is NOT a union. I have worked in a union and non-union state and I'd much rather work in a union state so that I am protected from abusive administrators. Granted, some of what the unions do is preposterous, as they were originally set up to protect the worker, but come on! These teachers deserve everything they are asking for!

  • seeswater Vernal, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:00 p.m.

    @VA Saint
    Sorry, the days of anyone DESERVING anything they're asking for are long gone. We are in the days of public employees getting what the taxpayers can afford. I should know, I am one. The taxpayers are paying my salary, and I don't have the right to ask them to pay for my cushy pension funds or all-out benefits packages like the teachers get. Teachers already get a 3-month vacation every year at my expense.

    We need to start being fiscally responsible. Get rid of public employees unions!

  • Abeille West Haven, Utah
    July 14, 2011 3:03 p.m.

    The comments on this board are unbelievable.

    Rock - do you know what tenure means for teachers here in the state of Utah? It means that the administration has to give them a reason for termination when they're fired. That's about it. Being a Washingtonian myself, I know tenure is different in Washington State than it is in Utah (My sister teaches in Washington; my wife teaches in Utah). Tenure does not mean that bad teachers continue in the system when they should be let go - at least in Utah.

    DeltaFoxtrot - You agree that they're underpaid, but that Public Employees Unions should be illegal? What kind of reasoning is this? If you're in the military (as your name implies), does the same reasoning hold for yourself? You, as well as the rest of the people in this country, have benefitted greatly by Unions. As far as your remark of 'fire them all' . . . let's see you do it for the wages they earn.

    The rest of you - When Administration negotiates in bad faith, it is our job as the public to vote the School Board out of office. They need to go - not our teachers.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:04 p.m.

    I really think some of you are jumping in against "unions" a bit prematurely. I'm not sure you'd call the OEA a "union" as the primary purpose of the OEA is to help teachers continue to improve as teachers. They're not much more than a third party trying to help the Ogden School Board understand.

    Furthermore, remember that the teachers who are members of the OEA taught a full year without a contract. If that isn't good negotiation intent, I don't know what is.

    The story, here, is that the Ogden School Board decided they didn't need or want any input on teacher contracts, and they made up their own stuff. Most teachers would support merit pay, which was a surprise in the new contract, but teachers need to have input on how merit pay is done. If they can't have any input on their contracts, then they have a right to be skeptical on how something like merit pay would be constructed.

  • michaelitos Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:06 p.m.

    @VA Saint
    As long as my tax dollars pay the teachers, I don't have to be an educator to have a say in this matter. I try to be understanding, but come on, rounds of mediation and still no deal? Teachers are underpaid, but I'm sorry, in this economy, even teachers are going to have to give a little.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:10 p.m.

    Teachers fight merit pay and think everyone should get paid the same -- does that include the half-dozen or so who have been convicted of child molestation in the last 12 months, those that will be discovered in the next few years, and those who will go undetected?

    I am NOT saying all teachers are abusers, but some are. Just like some are competent and some are not. Unions and Associations treating all teachers the same -- including the incompetent -- is why public sentiment tends to go against them. That and the fact that every year the number of half-days the kids get off tends to increase.

  • Teafortwo salt lake city, utah
    July 14, 2011 3:10 p.m.

    VA saint- Workers do not need unions for protection and haven't for decades. Unions still exist only because liberal politicians have kept them on artificial life support all this time. If teachers want more money, they should embrace a system where there is competition for their services. When that happens, the good teacher will get paid more and the rest will start picking fruit....

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:10 p.m.

    deltafoxtrot: "In a time where we are all forced to cut back and work for less, shouldn't government employees be leading the way? After all, funding this expansive government stuff is what got us in this mess in the first place."

    ------------------

    No, Utah families having tons of children have put us into this situation.

    I grew up in Holladay in the 1960's. Plenty of kids to be educated. When I look at my sixth grade picture, there are about 30 kids. My granddaughter has about 40! The classes are huge and that makes about 1/3 more work for the teachers today.

    We are causing our education crisis because we do not want to pay to have these kids educated in a class that can give them the attention and direction they need. We have become selfish. We think we need tax breaks when we need to pay more.

    And I would not call education "expansive government stuff." This "stuff" is the future of our country.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:13 p.m.

    The Ogden School District is arguably the worst school district in Utah. Results on student achievement exams depict that argument--half of the poorest performing elementary schools are in the Ogden School District. Therefore, the Ogden School Board must just feel desperate, and these contracts are somebody's response to feeling desperate.

    The Ogden School Board needs to reflect about their facts: their student population is transient and has the highest percentage of non-English speaking students. These are the top two indicators of poor performance on these standardized tests.

    So what should the Ogden School Board do? Listen to the OEA. Listen to their teachers. Most of them are not idiots. They want to learn new ways to help their challenging, changing student population learn. They're open for ideas.

    As the Ogden student population continues to change, and their tax base continues to decrease, they need to be creative. My expectation is that they would involve the teachers, who are on the front line talking with the students every day, so the Ogden School Board has failed miserably in being creative.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:18 p.m.

    I can just feel the love for the teachers on this web page and in this state. It's so loving and respectful. It is so encouraging. It is so saint like.

    And how about this union? I think we over exaggerate the power of the unions. I mean let's think this over. The teachers of Ogden are forced to accept a contract by some date or they are fired. The school board and district just makes a take-it-or-leave it offer. This doesn't sound like the teamsters led by Jimmy Hoffa but a union or association that is impotent to do really anything for its teachers.

    In regards to the real world. I think teachers live in it too. They pay taxes like the rest of us. They have bills to pay like the rest of us. They have families like the rest of us. They want respect like the rest of us. They want to feel valued like the rest of us.

  • VA Saint Chester, VA
    July 14, 2011 3:20 p.m.

    @seeswater - teachers don't get a three-month 'vacation' - teachers usually work during the summer months, either with professional development, classes, summer school, etc. Teachers do deserve a decent contract, as they are in the middle of what oft times is a battle zone in our schools.
    @michaelitos - teachers do give, constantly. I am going on my fourth year without a raise, and next year I will have to fork out an additional $80 a month for health insurance. Teachers are the ones who get hammered first.

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:20 p.m.

    Here's what I gather from the comments so far: one teacher's as good as another, so when it comes to your children, any old teacher will do. If we just throw them a few scraps of bread and order them to get to work, surely they'll produce the results you want (and be grateful for the chance you generous taxpayers offer them to be the lowest-paid teachers in the nation). And if they don't perform, you'll just throw them out and find others who will do the same work for even less.

    Brilliant plan, folks.

    (And no, I'm not a teacher.)

  • GaryW Hurricane, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:26 p.m.

    What I find interesting is that someone who is GIVING a grade based on performace does not want to BE graded based on performance.

  • BH Tremonton, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:31 p.m.

    I understand that these teachers are upset because they feel they were not included in writing this contract. But when both sides of this story are included, it is clear that the union failed to negotiate a contract that was agreeable to both parties. It's not like they didn't get a say. In actuallity, they chose not to. Or at lease the union chose not to.

    And the Weber County teachers have hired the union to represent them. So they were represented in contract negotiations.

    As for performance based pay for teachers, I am all for it. Any professional job I have ever had is based upon performance. Not only my employment but my pay increases are all based upon performance. Work well and be rewarded. work poorly, and end up on an improvement plan. That is real life for all of those who do not work on a gravy train.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:32 p.m.

    So, let's make them teach 40-50 students. Not only must they reach each one, they must make sure that these students can pass their tests so that this teacher can keep her job.

    It sounds like a recipe for failure. Instead of lowering the amount of students in each class so that the teacher can make a difference and really teach each student, they say your career is now based on how well these students pass tests.

    Who in their right mind would ever want to be a public education teacher in Utah? Especially if they are a good teacher and can land a job in a private school or move out of state for a state that values educating their children.

    Who is leading this mess? Where are the leaders willing to step up and change this situation so that each child has a chance?

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    July 14, 2011 3:35 p.m.

    Sounds to me like the school board isn't bypassing the teachers, but bypassing the union.

    How does offering individual contracts to teachers bypass them? They can agree, disagree, or attempt to negotiate individually. My experience with the teachers' union is that they're the ones that don't want districts working directly with the teachers.

    I love teachers. Married one. They're awesome and deserve to be paid and treated like professionals. Professionals don't need unions negotiating on their behalf.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    July 14, 2011 3:41 p.m.

    And when the last union is gone, then what? When the American worker has zero voice, what then? Management will grow a conscience and suddenly class war will end? It's a global market, baby, and the cry of the right is more for the top, less for the masses. Keep the tax subsidies for the oil companies, send jobs out of the country. Balance the budgets on the backs of the next generation. FYI, the "great recession" ended two years ago. Big business is flush with cash, enjoying record profits and the lowest taxes in 60 year. If job opportunities are gone, why look to the low-paid public employees for relief?

    "there began to be some disputings among the people; and some were lifted up unto pride and boasting because of their exceedingly great riches, yea, even unto great persecutions; for there were many merchants in the land, and also many lawyers, and many officers. And the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning; yea, some were ignorant because of their poverty ... thus there became a great inequality in all the land"
    3 Nephi 6:10-14

  • dave31 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 14, 2011 3:45 p.m.

    @VA Saint
    Since when is the UEA or the OEA not a union? The UEA, together with its statewide affiliates, is one of the most powerful unions in the state!

  • Abeille West Haven, Utah
    July 14, 2011 3:51 p.m.

    Rational -

    Teachers fight merit pay and think everyone should get paid the same? Really? I guess I can't speak for all Teachers, but my wife literally spends hundreds of dollars every single year that aren't reimbursed to her to help educate your children/grandchildren. She is an outstanding Teacher (has won awards). Do you think she's afraid of 'merit pay'? Absolutely not. But how would you like it if your employer told you 'Rational, we don't have a contract, so you either sign this contract that says you'll get paid less, and the rest might be made up in merit pay, or I'll fire you.' So, you ask your Boss 'What are the details about Merit Pay? Will my overall salary be the same'? Then your Boss says, 'Well, I haven't worked that out. But it doesn't matter anyway. Sign or be fired'. Yeah, I'm sure you'd be happy with that, wouldn't you?

    If it weren't for the fact that I make a very good wage in the Private sector, I'm not sure how my wife could afford to educate your children.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 14, 2011 3:54 p.m.

    The facts are important to any discussion, and have been left out of this one. Fact-Ogden teachers have continued to work for two years while their leadership attempted to negotiate a contract. Fact last fall the school board and teachers association reached impasse and then hired a fact finder and agreed to be bound by his recommendations, the Ogden School Board bailed out when the fact finder's recommendations where not what they had expected (the board selected the fact finder). Fact The Ogden Education Association was ready and waiting to negotiate in April and May, the Ogden School District was not. Fact the Ogden School School Board summarily decided in June to institute a new contract with over 100 changes from the previous contract.

    Reality, anyone who thinks this is the way to treat someone you expect work miracles in a district that lacks every indicator of success is crazy. These teachers face the most challenging student population in the state. By the districts own words, this was an economic decision based on a way to lower spending and control the budget not improve education.

  • Abeille West Haven, Utah
    July 14, 2011 4:04 p.m.

    People commenting on this board:

    It seems that I am unable to put together a comment on this board that the Editors will allow. Many of you are posting things that are simply not true. Since I can't get a post through that directly references the website, I would encourage you to go to Google and enter 'Utahs Right To Know Salary'. As a Utah taxpayer, you have every right to know what Teachers, Superintendents, Principals, etc. make. When you do this, I think some of you might just change your mind on who is stonewalling the negotiations.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    July 14, 2011 4:09 p.m.

    I'm not seeing the "power" of the UEA or its affiliated members.

    In the last 5-10 years:

    Teachers have larger class sizes
    Small raises and sometimes no raises
    Many districts have not given their teachers their steps and lanes
    Increases in insurance premiums
    and now in Ogden school district, the contract offered teachers with no teacher input
    new teachers have to work 35 years for pensions (don't worry not too many will make that long)
    the loss of seniority in hiring/firing

    This sounds like a powerful union to me. I mean, these union leaders are regular Jimmy Hoffas. I mean "fight the power" literally. I mean if the trend keeps going teacher unions might demand for teachers not to have 50 students in their classes and get paid minimum wage, that would be outrageous.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    July 14, 2011 4:10 p.m.

    @VA Saint: Welcome to the real world. I've not had a raise or cost-of-living increase in years either. In fact, most of us haven't. Our health insurance goes up every year too. Stop trying to act like you are under some sort of hardship, you are just having to deal with the same things that the rest of us out here in the REAL WORLD deal with.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 14, 2011 4:26 p.m.

    @The Rock

    "Public employees labor unions should be illegal."

    So, now public employees are no longer Americans protected by the Constitutional rights of assembly and speech? How a public employee chooses to spend the money they earn from working is none of your business. If they choose to pay union dues with their income, that is their choice.

    That being said, I wouldn't teach in Ogden School District for any amount of money. Their dictatorial style of "sign this or else" tactics is just plain stupid. Every worker in their district will eventually leave to work for Davis, Weber, Box Elder, Cache, etc. Just because times are tough, doesn't mean you get to treat your workers with contempt.

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    July 14, 2011 4:28 p.m.

    As a retired teacher in California, I cant urge teachers in every state enough, to join your local and your state, and your National Professional Organizations that represent you. Unions are important when you need them and not appreciated enough when you think that you do not need them.

    Everyone should have the right to belong to a union and be represented by the Union.

    My school district in California, pays $89,000 per year with 15 years of service and a Masters.

    Without the power of the Union, we would still be working for $75,000 per year or less.

    Dont forget the National Organization that is not controlled by the politics of any state, or district politics.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 14, 2011 4:31 p.m.

    Although Madam Union boss claimed, "This is about bypassing teachers," this is actually about bypassing the Union!

    As noted above, the Ogden district's performance is dismal, measured by the education of their students. That despite all the wonderful stuff the Union has always claimed to do for the children, but in reality more for the union itself and dues paying members, not necessarily the best teachers.

    Bravo to the school board for daring to try something new and eliminate one disruptive part of the difficult process they manage.

    Bravo also to the good teachers who will be teaching there again. And, for any not so good teachers, you may want to start looking for a new career.

    Children, and Taxpayers, deserve better!

  • Abeille West Haven, Utah
    July 14, 2011 4:32 p.m.

    eagle -

    I enjoyed your post. Interesting. I know a teacher who recently applied for a teaching job with the Federal Government. This teacher has a Masters Degree plus 60 hours of further education. This teacher has been teaching for 14 years. The Federal Government offered her the job - at minimum wage!

    DeltaFoxtrot -

    Let's see if you mean what you say. You want to live in the real world? Okay by me. See the note to eagle above. Go to the College of your choice. Get 7 years of education (paid by no one other than yourself). Then take a teaching job at the Federal Government for minimum wage. Health Insurance will cost you half your paycheck. The rest can go to pay back your student loans. You want the real world? Let's see you deal with it.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 14, 2011 4:37 p.m.

    Again, teachers are in the real world just like everyone else. They pay taxes like everyone else. They haven't had raises like everyone else. And guess what, they have to right, like everyone else, to fight for something better. THey also have the right to fight for something better for your children...

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 14, 2011 4:39 p.m.

    @DeltaFoxtrot

    I have it bad, so my kid's second grade teacher should have it bad, too.

    So when times are good, you'll be all in favor of teachers getting raises again? Somehow I doubt it.

  • Braxton ogden, ut
    July 14, 2011 4:50 p.m.

    Doug R. Stephens makes $59,815 from the Ogden School District and $5,446.00 from Weber State. I would say that $65,261 for 36 weeks ($45.32 per hour) is well above average for Utah and the current state of the economy not to mention the great retirement benefits and pension he will get.

  • Magic Pog LOGAN, UT
    July 14, 2011 4:58 p.m.

    Public School is not a business.

    One big problem with this is people saying "They will get more money in the long run" - Where is this money going to come from. If the system is set up so that the best teachers get paid more then it is banking on some teachers failing. So this is to set up a competition between teachers.

    Why would a teacher want to share ideas or work together with other teachers if their pay is based on others failing?

    Why would any teacher want to help "problem" student when they will be penalized if the student does not respond?

    This would lead to focusing on the best students and pawning off the worst.

    In business you want to out preform your competition to run them out of business and make more of a profit. In education you want all students to have success and get a good education. You can't have performance based pay based on the performance of students.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 14, 2011 5:18 p.m.

    @Braxton

    Yes, because the "average" Utah worker has a Master's degree plus thirty to sixty additional hours of credits, in addition to 20 years of experience. That's a pretty fair comparison.

    Next, let compare the salaries of nurses to fast food workers. Those greedy murses with their special skills and education are just fleecing everyone!

    I didn't know nit-picking individual salaries was fair game on the Deseret News forums. I guess we should also take a look at the salaries of the college-level sports coaches, nurse and physicians at the state hospital, the state Attorney General and his staff, and the auditors of the banking system. I guess they earn their salaries, though. Teachers must be scrutinzed while the others get a free pass.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    July 14, 2011 5:19 p.m.

    Abeille: I've been a teacher and a principal. Tenure does mean the teacher has a job for life because it isn't as simple as "just giving a reason" remove a poor teacher. The process is so cumbersome that it isn't worth the effort. The public is not fooled here. We see all the poor teachers being protected by the union and the public doesn't want to go on paying a good salary for poor performance. If the union would just wake up and cooperate with the administration by acknowledging that there are poor teachers and helping to remove them from the schools, teachers would have a lot more credibility and a lot more respect and support from the public. They would actually look like professionals.

  • RSL1 Washington, UT
    July 14, 2011 5:43 p.m.

    Why would anyone choose a career in education? Low pay, difficult job, poor public opinion, disrespect from your superiors. It's sad because it is a job that should get the most respect, yet in reality it gets the least.

    Like the saying goes "Be the change you want to see in the world" I'm going to go buy my kid's teacher a gift card.

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    July 14, 2011 5:57 p.m.

    Where are our values?

    Do we need most to support our teachers and be grateful to them for eudcating our children, our business and our governmental leaders, or do we need more to continue supporting the tax break given to the wealthiest in our Nation by G.W. Bush. The wealthiest in our Nation, making over $250,000 per year, have the lowest tax break they have had in 5 decades.

    Because of this, our teachers are suffering, our students are suffering, as are those elderly on Social Security, Medicare, Medicade, Welfare, SSI, Food Stamps, Hud, etc.

    If we went back to the same tax code before G.W Bush, and during the Clinton Administration, when the economy was at it best in 5 decades, we would not be having the economic problems that we have today.

    It is not a good idea to disrespect our teachers. It is not a good idea to disrespect any of our workers. It is time we demand that the wealthiest pay the same tax they paid under Clinton before Bush gave away the store to the wealthiest among us.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    July 14, 2011 6:07 p.m.

    Not that this makes any difference Braxton but it looks like, based on my children's school calendars that our district's teachers work 39 weeks. I also figure that they don't get paid for not working on holidays or the summer. Now in regards to Mr. Stephen's salary, I'm not sure how educated he is (at least a Bachelor's, probably a Master's if he's working at Weber State), that his salary would be comparable to many with that education. Chances are his salary would be much lower than people with comparable education. Also, it you didn't report how many days or weeks he works for Weber State.

    Also, isn't it great that Braxton can blab teacher's salaries over the web. I would say that is one nice protection given to those who work in the private sector. I did investigate this web page mentioned and noticed first year teachers in the school-district in which I live were making less than 30K. Some head custodians were making 10K or more than first year teachers and some 8-10 year teachers. I'm guess I'm alright with that but let's face it, teachers aren't making a fortune.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    July 14, 2011 6:27 p.m.

    Ronald Uharriet "Because of this, our teachers are suffering, our students are suffering, as are those elderly on Social Security, Medicare, Medicade, Welfare, SSI, Food Stamps, Hud, etc."

    Woops, tax code has nothing to do with what these receipients get paid. Thats a spending side issue determined by congress. Class warfare is so Lenin.

  • roman republic Syracuse, UT
    July 14, 2011 6:29 p.m.

    Time to slash administrators salaries and cut back on the number of employees in the district offices. Administrators should be forced back into the classroom for a period of the day. Unions are too strong and don't represent kids only their continued flow of money. I am a teacher of 13 years and worked in Ogden district and I love it. There are a lot of good teachers there and some good administrators. One administrator was horrible and is finally out of their job as an admin. and was demoted but i believe they are still receiving the same salary. I would like to make more money, but considering holidays and hours and summer I have it pretty good and would not give that up. What we need is more student accountability. Too many could care less and are lazy and disrespectful and that is perpetuated from the attitudes of the parents.

  • cdmom Provo, UT
    July 14, 2011 6:31 p.m.

    For all of you who think that because teachers "only work" for 10 months and therefore deserve the pay they get...how about all the professional sports players who get hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars every year for working only a few months per year? Why are we fast to demonize the teachers and not the professional sports players?

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 14, 2011 6:35 p.m.

    JSB,

    First there is no such thing as tenure. It is career status, and it requires slightly more than a reason it requires an effort to provide remediation, which most administrators do not want to do. This remediation if done correctly will last one year with a teacher improving, or a teacher being terminated. The teachers association does not protect poor teachers, that makes no sense. The association does protect a teachers due process rights. If the system were to work as you would have it, Principals would become all powerful and could dismiss a teacher for no cause. Principals need to quit blaming the association and take on the responsibility of being the educational leader in the building, and help their staff improve. If they have staff members who won't/can't improve, then they need to do their paperwork and have them terminated. In schools were the Principal is the educational leaders good teachers flourish and poor teachers leave on their own, or are invited to leave after an attempt to help them become better.

  • Wildcat O-town, UT
    July 14, 2011 6:43 p.m.

    The fault, dear posters, is not the teachers. The teachers should get a medal as far as I'm concerned. Dealing with some problem children, declining budgets, increasing class sizes and decreasing pay all while being treated like villains. According to the most important thing in life to republicans--money--there is not incentive to teach. The free market would basically make education a privilege and not a right--education for all is a cornerstone that makes America great.

    Instead of government employees leading the way (by the way they have--COLAs have been frozen and hiring freezes have been initiated and state employees have agreed to unpaid furloughs), how about we close a loophole or two on a corporation or not pay tax subsidies to Oil Companies making big profits, or not let jet owners write off the depreciation on their jets before it happens? End the wars! Don't beat up a teacher for a penny and hand a briefcase of money to a corporation. There has to be a balance between Unions and Management--Management Dictatorship is wrong. Only so much money can go to the top before the inverted pyramid collapses (reference 1929).

    GO TEACHERS!

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    July 14, 2011 6:53 p.m.

    Lets not pit ourselves against each other. United we stand, divided we fall.

    Lets get the taxes back to what they were before George Bush gave the store away to the wealthiest among us making over $250,000. per year.

    It should be obvious that if we can not afford to pay our teachers a decent salary, we can not afford to continue giving away our tax money to those making over $250,000 per year.

    Let them pay what they paid before President Bush cut their taxes to a 50 year low. We can not afford that gift for the rich.

    Our children can not afford to be put into over crowede classrooms and miss out on a good education because the rich dont want to pay taxes on the same scale as the rest of us.

    Simple math: If we dont have enough money to pay our teachers, we dont have enough money to give the richest among us an unfair tax break. Let them pay the same percentage that the rest of us pay. No more. No less.

  • Wildcat O-town, UT
    July 14, 2011 6:56 p.m.

    I have an idea to help education. Let's start a lottery here in Utah and have a good share of the proceeds go to the Department of Education--just like in Idaho. Many people drive up to Idaho to enter the Powerball. Keep the money here and help out our teachers. If you don't like the lottery, you don't have to buy a ticket. The lucky winner of the lottery can then start voting republican to protect his/her wealth. Jets aren't cheap you know. Then the winner can get on this board and demonize teachers and say that are no free rides and to get a job or something and call people like me communists or pinkos because we suggest that you shouldn't be able to write off all your tax obligations. Good times!

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 14, 2011 7:23 p.m.

    I'd like to thank the retired California teacher for their comment.

    However, considering that California has consistently spent more than they have taken in and have a debt crisis nearly as bad as the federal government, while Utah has a balanced budget, it is obvious that Utah needs no lessons from California on how to run any government enterprise. Additionally it has been reproted that while California schools were excellent 30-40 years ago, they are among the worst in the country now.

    And, I see the Wisconsin teachers, fresh from their spanking by the Wisconsin courts, Legislature and Governor have weighed in. Another source of advice we should studiously ignore.

    Unions, or "professional organizations" as they are euphemisticallly called by some, are clearly part of the reason for the decline in schoosl across the nation over the last 30-40 years, and anything that removes them and their corrosive influence from Utah schools and government is a step in the right direction.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    July 14, 2011 7:28 p.m.

    Public employees are not our slaves. They have a job to do but the attitude by so many here that public employees are over paid and lazy are lies. Many teachers start at 30k or less. Many police officers start at 15 dollars an hour.

    Why do people on these comment boards defend what wealthy get paid but have a fit when people get paid 50k, 60k etc a year? Why is it wrong for the middle class to make decent money?

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    July 14, 2011 7:43 p.m.

    Teachers Unions are the problem. Why is the NEA donating so many teacher's union dues to left-wing special interests that have nothing to do with education? Pay teacher well, pay administrators and union reps less.Students should come before the failing public school system. It needs to be modernized and opened up to new ideas. So far charter schools, homeschooling and other option, as a whole, are far better option.Wake up! The U.S. ranks incredible low in overall education scores.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    July 14, 2011 7:57 p.m.

    If you run a school like a business, neither school and nor teacher will want your child, if they have a learning disability. No one will want your special child, they will only seek the "best and the brightest" in order to look good. Children will become a product. Teachers will compete for the best "raw materials." Defective components will not do. It will not be cost effective to educate the poor and the disadvantaged. They will become the working class. Doubt me? Google around and see what has happened to charter-ized New Orleans school district. You have to test to get into the better public schools and you only have to maintain a 1.8 GPA at the school that "caters to the working class of New Orleans." It's a brave new world, people; a global economy, where people are bought and sold.

  • Joe Schmoe Orem, UT
    July 14, 2011 8:25 p.m.

    Sign the contract and start the sick day trail. All of the commenters will be crying for you to come back to work so they don't have to pay for day care.

    Five days of paid sick leave are about what you would get for a raise so I would call that even.

    Seriously, there aren't enough out of work teachers to fill the spots of your entire district. The parents wouldn't stand for losing the good teachers/coaches.

    This will only work if the teachers cave.

  • UGradBYUfan Snowflake, AZ
    July 14, 2011 9:10 p.m.

    WestGranger - The State doesn't pay union reps, teachers union dues do. Teachers Unions are not the enemy, they merely a voice for teachers. I don't agree with everything they do, but without them teachers have very little protection. By the way, those other countries that are kicking the US' butt in overall education scores, put more money into education and have found ways to allow good teachers to become better and have improved the performance of the "bad" teachers.

    BTW, why are the readers of the DNEWS so obsessed with "bad" teachers? Are there really that many bad teachers out there? It sounds like 30-50% of Utah teachers are bad. From what I have seen, I agree with Fred44. Good administrators, that are willing to document interventions, work with under-performing teachers and make them more effective, and if they don't improve they tend to leave teaching because they aren't happy anyway.

    Most administrators that I have worked with will support their teachers. But with that said, sometimes, they have an axe to grind with teachers because of their own short-comings. Teachers need representation!

    What no one seems to be talking about is evaluating the principals. Why?

  • UGradBYUfan Snowflake, AZ
    July 14, 2011 11:02 p.m.

    Thank you "On the other hand" - your summary is greatly appreciated, that is exactly what the early posters were saying!

    Magic Pog - I completely agree! Education and performance-based pay are not a good match. Students are not machines and there are a lot of variables (student home environment, parental support/abuse, student interactions outside of the class, student nutrition, sleep, drug use, mental state, etc.) that teachers cannot control in the educational process.

    If we really want to improve education, improve the evaluation and mentoring system. Mentoring by other teachers should not be exclusively for struggling teachers, but all teachers should be given the opportunity to watch other teachers teach. Teachers should be part of the evaluation process of other teachers. Collaboration leads to improved educational outcomes for students and teachers feeling supported and engaged. If teachers are supported and given respect and evaluated regularly, the bad teachers will not stay in education.

    Another thing that could improve teaching would be studying and applying research-based techniques to their classrooms. For extra pay during the summer, teachers could find and do research (action research) in their classrooms and collaborate with teachers and administrators to improve their classroom techniques.

  • Braxton ogden, ut
    July 14, 2011 11:09 p.m.

    @ CHS 85

    Actually when I can see that a police officer who is in arms way and some who have been shot at while protecting and serving make only 1/3 of what many teachers make I say to the teachers,many who make 6 figure incomes, enjoy your 3 month summer vacation, then get back to work and stop complaining.

  • runwasatch Ogden, UT
    July 14, 2011 11:11 p.m.

    I just love the suggestion that these "caring" teachers strike, sick in, or whatever you want to call it...that really demonstrates what this is about... the teachers not the kids.

    No one is forcing these teachers to sign the contract. They do not have to sign. They are free to go elsewhere and teach.

    Each has retained their agency to choose. The problem is they want to remove the agency of the district to regulate its own affairs, set salaries and benefits, and do what they think is best for the district. The only group trying to exercise compulsion is the OEA and its teachers.

    Make no mistake, this will not change and there is a line of teachers already applying for the positions that will be open. They will exercise their agency to willingly take the positions the current teachers have abondoned.

    Good luck and good riddance OEA!!

  • Braxton ogden, ut
    July 14, 2011 11:19 p.m.

    Mr. Grilz middle school principal in Weber School District $130,479.00...Really?

    Don't tell me Educators don't make any money. Really?

  • UGradBYUfan Snowflake, AZ
    July 14, 2011 11:40 p.m.

    Braxton - There are NO teachers in Utah that make 6 figures. There may be some back east that do, but that is only because their pay is adjusted to their living situation (They get paid more because it costs more to live in New York City).

    Teachers work more hours, on the average, during the 10 months that they are working than most workers that work for 40 hr/week, 12 mos a year. Most teachers have to do their preparation and grading during hours they are not under contract.

    But I do agree with one thing you said, police are paid far too little, but don't begrudge teachers their pay, because in all reality, good education improves peoples lives, which leads to better living conditions, which decreases crime.

  • UGradBYUfan Snowflake, AZ
    July 14, 2011 11:59 p.m.

    Braxton, no TEACHERS make 6 figures. Principals work year round. Principals are like the Chief of Police. Compare those salaries, not Principals and police.

    runwasatch, no teachers are not free to just pick up and take their teaching ability somewhere else anymore than you could do the same with whatever you do. There are not unlimited jobs, and if you haven't heard, we are in a recession and many teachers have been laid off. There are a lot more teachers, believe it or not, than there are jobs! Teachers have families that they need to support and they have.

    Besides, if teachers do leave their district, they lose most of their teaching years experience. They take a cut in pay, and have to start over in seniority.

  • Braxton ogden, ut
    July 15, 2011 12:15 a.m.

    UGradBYUfan,

    Know your facts. Let me give you at least 5 in the Weber School District, there are many more. Just look them up.

    Jo Egelund 106,617 Teacher
    David Green 106,580 Teacher
    Val Parrish 105,299 Teacher
    Michael Kersey 105,093 Teacher
    Jody Warren 104,348 Teacher

  • JNA Layton, UT
    July 15, 2011 1:23 a.m.

    As long as teachers belong to a union then I will never stand behind them and this is coming from someone whose parents were both school teachers and members of a state teachers association. I am ashamed. Unions must be crushed. They represent all that is wrong with this country, look at who they support..the worst President in the history of this country, Barack Obama.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    July 15, 2011 5:51 a.m.

    Teachers have unions because historically teachers were fiscally abused. And if people teach only because of the love of teaching, then we are in trouble because there is a serious shortage of saints among homo sapiens. We need to get the scientists busy producing the collections of clones that are needed to fairly evaluate the efficacy of one teacher against another. Because if the students are different between classes, how can we actually do performance comparisons?

  • TeachLove West Jordan, 84084
    July 15, 2011 6:02 a.m.

    DN - how about some good old-fashioned investigative reporting here. Does Fred44 speak the truth?

    OSB - when was the last time you actually went out to a school and spent time in the classroom? I'm a teacher for Granite School District and my school board member visits our school several times a year. You also may want to ask how GSD is able to work with GEA rather than holding them in contempt. Teachers who feel valued will out perform those who have to work under threats and duress.

  • J. Adams Sandy, UT
    July 15, 2011 6:09 a.m.

    Typical teacher mentality. I've heard this whinning from them for so many years; I can't have any sympathy for them. If they are so abused, quit teaching and get a job where they can have happiness.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 15, 2011 6:38 a.m.

    In Utah if an employee doesn't like the benefits he/she is getting they are free to seek employment elsewhere and that applies to plumbers, teachers or peace officers. In New York teachers are rewarded for failure and firing one of them is next to impossible.

    When times are hard and our country is headed towards bankruptcy teachers might want to reconsider how lucky they are to have jobs at all.

  • Bazinga Taylorsville, UT
    July 15, 2011 7:54 a.m.

    In response to the comment that said that NO TEACHERS in Utah make more a 6 figure income. A quick search on Utah's Right to Know website, I found 54 teachers that make more that $100,000 with Steven Webb making $204,750. Based on these results, if I were a teacher I would want to be teaching in Cache Valley!

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    July 15, 2011 8:04 a.m.

    People become teachers because they are passionate about education. No teacher has ever said they went into teaching for the money.

    Teachers are invested in their communities and their school. It's easy for somebody sitting at a computer to say, "if you don't like it, you can leave." But the truth is, most teachers are working their tails off to improve their community!

    The Ogden School Board is simply being unreasonable. If the teachers didn't care, they would have walked off the job and looked elsewhere last year, when they didn't have contracts. But, these teachers care. Many of these teachers want to stay in the Ogden School District, and at this point, the Ogden School District really needs to listen and understand the teachers who want to be on the front line.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    July 15, 2011 8:06 a.m.

    Shame on KSL and the DN for reporting that the teachers are upset about merit pay. That is a blatant misrepresentation. The only undisputed fact is that the Ogden Board of Education did not negotiate with the teachers on their 2011-2012 contract. That is why the teachers are upset.

    It is extremely frustrating when the news media continually make this about pay-it is not. The UEA has collaborated on many models of alternative compensation throughout this state. There are those out there who do not want this to become public.

    With all due respect to our news folks, please report the facts. Thank you.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    July 15, 2011 8:11 a.m.

    Let's learn from history-Last time unions and collective bargaining were eliminated wat in 1933-Hitler's Germany; which gave rise to facism. More than scary.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    July 15, 2011 8:37 a.m.

    I really could care less how upset the teachers are. They should be happy they have employment, just like the rest of us are.

  • formersaltlaker Clearfield, UT
    July 15, 2011 8:38 a.m.

    I will have to walk away from the computer after I post this, as my blood pressure is rising reading some of these comments, but first I must respond to the haters:
    The School Board does not negotiate in good faith. They misrepresent to the press. Our refusal to accept their ultimatum last August led to impasse. Don't believe every thing the School Board says to the press. None on the Board have taught, but those of us who need our jobs were forced to sign a contract when we do not know what all the terms are. Would you feel secure in my situation? I don't.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    July 15, 2011 9:08 a.m.

    One solution would be to have a voucher system. Then, the individual schools, their administration and teachers all have a vested interest in improving the quality of education in that school because their jobs and pay depend on it. There would be a cooperative, not antagonistic relationship between the administration and teachers. Poor schools (pubic or private) would loose students and dollars, good schools would gain students and dollars. And, if a teacher isn't performing well, every teacher in the school, not just the principal, would be putting pressure on the poor teacher to improve or leave. It's a win/win.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    July 15, 2011 9:13 a.m.

    @formersaltlaker, why do you think teachers should have the right to feel secure? Most employee people these days don't feel all that secure about their jobs. Its just part of like. Teachers need to feel a little dose of reality just like the rest of us have been experiencing the last few years in my opinion.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 15, 2011 9:38 a.m.

    Re: formersaltlaker | 8:38 a.m. July 15, 2011

    In today's economy and with Obama at the helm nobody should feel secure. Obama is steering us full speed ahead through an ice field and there aren't enough life boats to go around. If teachers have a job they'd better hold on to them.

  • Maryquilter Farmington, UT
    July 15, 2011 9:48 a.m.

    Paying teachers by job performance---what a joke---who decides? My sister taught in a nice district with helpful parents who encouraged and assisted their children who received good test scores. She also taught for several in downtown Watts in inner-city Los Angeles where parents of her students were drug addicts, alcoholics, illiterate, and one even committed suicide in front of her child on the way to school; obviously no matter how good of a teacher my sister is, she could not help these kids achieve the same testing results for the district. Should she take a pay cut when teaching these challenged kids and a pay raise when teaching the privileged kids- she was the same teacher with the same skills- this is ridiculous. There are too many variables in each classroom to fairly and equally determine across the board which teachers are 'better' teachers. We seriously need to get real about being willing to pay for good educators to teach and inspire our kids. My massage therapist makes more an hour than teachers do.

  • toshi1066 OGDEN, UT
    July 15, 2011 10:54 a.m.

    As a long time employee of Ogden City school, I have to say I am all for the merit pay. If that had been in place for the last three years maybe my son's teachers would have got off their butts and attempted to find out why he wasn't working in school, instead of just flunking him and shrugging.

    Being a classified employee, I haven't even GOT a pay raise in three years. I expect a pay cut for this year, the way things are going.

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    July 15, 2011 11:08 a.m.

    @ Braxton:

    Let's say a Utah teacher makes the national "average" at about $42K per year. They don't in Utah, but let's say they do. 42k divided by 180 school days equals $234. A pretty good salary, yes? Divide $234 by 8 hours, and that is $29.25. Pretty good wages, yes?

    But let's be honest. A teacher's day is not just the 8 hours at school. There are meetings before and after school, there is lesson planning and grading, and there is a lot of unpaid advising. Also, if you divide say $30/hr by 30 kids, that's less than what babysitters get. The truth is teachers, who are paid to teach our kids get less than $2/hour per child.

    And let's be honest on another issue. It takes a teacher about 12 years with a Master's in Utah to make $42K. And that summer vacation? If teaching is so grand, why do teachers all over Utah see a need to work a second or third job during those 10 weeks?

    Oh, and all of these figures, of course, are before taxes and other deductions like health insurance and retirement savings.

    Buy a nice house on that.

  • H. Bob Salt Lake City, UT
    July 15, 2011 11:09 a.m.

    As a product of the Ogden School District, and the son of a former teacher in that district, I have to chime in here. I know that unions are anathema to many in our conservative state, but the anger against teachers and their unions is misplaced. We have all, through the social contract we agree to as citizens, agreed to pay taxes to educate every child. There are benefits to this that far outweigh the costs. I hope at least we can all agree about that.

    Because others have been touting the right to know website, I did a little digging there and elsewhere. My high school AP English teacher, who has been teaching for well over 30 years and is among the top five teachers I ever had, in school or college, makes about the median salary for an RN in Ogden, and $20,000 less per year than a brand-new attorney. OSD's plan will, in the end, discourage anyone like my former teacher (who did it for the love of teaching) to take a job there. Our schools are fast becoming mere holding facilities for delinquents. We need to pay our teachers more.

  • Laura Ann Layton, UT
    July 15, 2011 11:23 a.m.

    I happen to know that if you are in anyway accused of inappropriate behavior with a child here in Utah, you are automatically put on leave until the matter can be investigated. If they allow rapist to keep their jobs in Washington, they need to immediatley fix their laws. I know many people on this discussion board have complained about bad teachers, but no one has said that their child has had a bad teacher themselves. I know there are bad teachers, but that is generally the exception. Parents need to complain if they are unhappy. Believe me, there is nothing more intimidating then a call to the principal, or if necessary the district if you are a teacher. You can be fired, but most parents can't be bothered to complain and then go through the correct channels. Ogden School District has some of the lowest performing schools in the state. Teachers can't fix every problem. I'm so glad I don't work for them. Also, keep in mine, no teacher is forced to join an association or union here in Utah. I know many teachers who don't belong and that is their right.

  • Magic Pog LOGAN, UT
    July 15, 2011 11:40 a.m.

    Utah's Rights website is not correct. It sometimes adds money for benefits and other things. Plus teachers can get extra money for out of class things to raise that number. One big thing is Drivers Ed. Many of the $100,000+ teachers are also drivers ed teachers which work around 4+ hours outside of teaching hours.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    July 15, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    Idaho did away with much of the socialist teacher union nonsense. Utah should do the same. Teacher unions are a plague. They serve no purpose. There are people lined up around the block for teacher jobs. If current teachers don't like the working conditions and pay let them go somewhere else. Good teachers are a dime a dozen.

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    July 15, 2011 12:55 p.m.

    We need facts before deciding what really is going on in Ogden. As to getting rid of poor teachers its very hard after they are off provisional status. Unless a teacher breaks the law they are usually put on remedial status and helped to improve. I had a teacher across the hall who was remediated five times in ten years but never fired. And as to the three month vacation in the summer, never got one. There were always lessons, units, tests, labs etc. that needed improving and updating along with the classes I needed to take to keep my license current. And never during the school year did I work 40 hour week, always fifty to sixty. Good teachers get that way by hard work and stay that way the same way.

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    July 15, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    @Magic Pog:

    Those extra duty assignments (coaching, driver's ed, etc.) are not what I am talking about. Each of those duties calls for additional hours and are paid accordingly. I got my numbers off of a website that reflects national averages.

    However I do know that in some school districts head football coaches will get 9% of their base pay, while the advisor for student council or an academic club will receive considerably less.

    Maybe the answer is to pay football coaches less for what they do, or even require pay to play implementation in our public schools. Of course, the day Utah de-funds football across the board will widely be seen as a sign of the apocalypse.

    The way I see it is that the general public expects more and more from public school teachers and public education but is less and less willing to pay for those expectations.

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    July 15, 2011 2:10 p.m.

    @Magic Pog: I never got paid to stay after school to help students, or coach Science Olympiad or interview Sterling Scholars or write recommendations or have conferences with parents or departmental meetings or grading or get paid to take summer or after school classes, etc. And I spent at least $300/year for classroom supplies, books on improving teaching. I also had summer jobs and after school jobs to help pay for my own kids education, music and sports. I went into teaching because I love kids and seeing them learn and succeed. Why else would anyone spend 6 1/2 hours/per day with 30 to 40 teens/class?

  • ksampow Farr West, Utah
    July 15, 2011 3:30 p.m.

    To Braxton: I am spending my "summer vacation" working because my regular salary as a teacher is too low.

    To those who keep mentioning "tenure": public school teachers in Utah do not have tenure. Once you have attained "Career Educator" status it simply means you can not be fired without a legitimate reason.

    To those who recognize that the UEA is not a union: Thanks for being right on. Contributions to the association are strictly voluntary. There are competing associations, and there are some who choose not join to any association, with no repercussions (except for missing out the many benefits offered by the association).

    To those who blame teachers for low test scores in the Ogden School District: Do you really belive that the teachers there are that much worse than in higher performing districts? Students there face many family, economic, language, and other barriers to success that would completely overwhelm most children regardless of how well the teachers perform.

  • Ogden Aggie Ogden, UT
    July 15, 2011 3:32 p.m.

    I am a teacher, and the issue here is not merit pay. I would like to think I am a rather effective teacher, and would welcome some extra pay based on my effectiveness. The issue is that the school board, on a whim, has implemented a merit pay system with no information as to how teacher merit will be measured. The other big question is how to measure effectiveness. A simple test score at the end of the year does not cut it. And are we willing to improve test scores that the cost of less instruction in the arts, higher drop out rates, decreased value on critical thinking/creative writing etc... Needless to say it is much more complicated than to just say that Ogden teachers need to man up and be happy to have a job.

  • Herbal Tea Partier Kearns, UT
    July 15, 2011 5:26 p.m.

    Well, obviously what the schools have been doing up until now hasn't worked. Weber County has most of the lowest ranked schools in the state. (The other one is in our neighborhood).

    It seems the administration is trying their best to improve the schools. The teachers seem to fear a report card of their own skills and abilities, so they are protesting this.

    I say, try the contract out for a year and see if it improves things. It just might.

  • Utah Teacher Orem, UT
    July 15, 2011 6:29 p.m.

    I am a teacher. I'm more than happy with my job. I love teaching my middle school students. They keep me active and I enjoy their humor and energy. Working 10 months is just right for me. I work long hours during the school year (9 or 10 a day), but the break during the summer makes up for it. My mind needs the break more than my body. It is hard to be thinking about your job all day and night. Last year I made $59,000. I'm o.k. with that.

    My students averaged 90% on the CRT test and my classes usually have a waiting list to get in. Bring on the merit pay.

    The Ogden school board can do what they want but they handled this totally wrong. They now have the reputation for not being teacher friendly and you will see an exodus of teachers from the district. Yes there are people that would like to have those jobs if the teachers leave or are fired. However, there is a reason those people wanting the jobs don't have them. Good luck Ogden. You are going to need it for many years to come.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    July 15, 2011 11:56 p.m.

    Maryquilter: You are right on target. Determining who is a good teacher and who is not is quite subjective, but research has shown that it is also accurtate; especially in determining the best and poorest of teachers.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    July 16, 2011 7:53 a.m.

    JSB,
    Could you please cite the research you are referencing? Please remember this is not about merit pay, it is about not having a voice in their contract.

    Just to clarify, there is absolutely no evidence that merit pay improves student learning; including a five-year study by Vaderbilt University.

    We need to work on an authentic and fair evaluation and hold administrators accountable for doing their job.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    July 16, 2011 8:57 a.m.

    Squirt: The research is in a thesis I read at BYU. It compared ranking of teachers based on who the ranker felt were the best to the poorest teachers in the school(just their gut level feeling) by two different members of the school staff (principal and superintendent, principal and school counselor, principal and asst. principal etc.) What it showed was remarkable agreement for the best and poorest teachers and less agreement in the middle 80%. Though teacher unions hate the concept, when a principal can pick his own staff based just on who he/she wants to open a new school or restaff a school that has been performing poorly, there has been remarkable success. Subjective evaluation is accurate, it's just hard to measure because the people doing the ranking are usually using the same criteria, it's just very difficult to measure objectively.

  • Magic Pog LOGAN, UT
    July 16, 2011 11:20 a.m.

    To JSB:

    Unless of course you happened to be "subjectively" evaluated by someone who has a disagreement with you personally.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    July 16, 2011 12:17 p.m.

    Thank you for the information. However, I can cite at least 25 multi-year studies which suggest differently. I can clarify, however, that the union is not opposed to merit pay.

    That is the fact that most people who have a similar belief as yourself, do not want to hear. I have to ask why? I guess it is just to have someone to blame for our lack of respect, funding, and continuous slamming of teachers.

    In Alpine school district the Board and the Association worked together to create their merit pay plan.

    Merit pay is not the answer but a fair evaluation system would go a long way.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 16, 2011 8:03 p.m.

    JSB,

    With all due respect most people with very little training can pick out the top 10% of teachers and can also pick out the bottom 10% of teachers in the school. Those teachers will be in every school, the key is to keep the 10% performing at that level, move the middle 80% toward the top through professional development and continued support. The bottom 10% must be provided with the remediation necessary to be effective. If the remediation does not take, then these teachers need to find another line of work. I would suggest that a good administrator who is the educational leader can do this. I would also suggest that a good administrator who is an educational leader within the building will be able to make a pretty accurate determination of the potential success of a new teacher in the first three months. If that teacher is struggling, that administrator needs to be in the classroom providing remedial support. If that teacher does not show adequate improvement they should be terminated. If administrators would fire teachers who cannot do the job in the first three years it would solve a lot of the problems we have now.

  • Maryquilter Farmington, UT
    July 16, 2011 10:00 p.m.

    I recently listened to an NPR radio discussion about the merit pay system. A teacher from the Alpine School District said they had instituted a merit pay system there several years ago. He said he had no problem with the system, however, after using it for what sounded like a couple of years, the idea was pulled because of lack of funding for increasing the salaries for the teachers they considered to be the 'better' teachers. With the state of Utah always complaining about the budget and how they don't have enough money for teachers and schools, how would they fund another program like this one anyway? Would the money come out of the Ogden School System's budget or the state's general education budget?

  • Hawkyo SYRACUSE, UT
    July 19, 2011 4:34 p.m.

    There seems to be some discrepancy. Some of you think teachers get paid for their summer vacations and others imply that the low pay is because of the vacation time. seeswater, you can't have it both ways. Have you ever tried to live on your child's teacher's salary for a month? Try it, it will open your eyes! And deltafoxtrot, yes we teach for the love of it, but we also must provide for our families. I work extra on weekends and in the summer to try to make ends meet. I'm not asking for a raise, but it would be nice if a little consideration was given to the fact that we are professionals that deserve respect, not backtalk. Yes there are some bums in the profession. I had some as teachers in school myself. BY all means give them the respect they "deserve" as well(not much) My question is why teachers are considered first on the chopping block instead of politicians when belt tightening is on the docket. Congress needs their wages slashed and their benefits cut FIRST Who's with me!

  • Hawkyo SYRACUSE, UT
    July 19, 2011 4:47 p.m.

    As a teacher I find it hilarious that politicians, most of whom have never taught, try to mandate what, how, and when something should be taught. I wouldn't try to tell a lawyer how to try a case, I would never tell a surgeon where to make an incision, so why can some idiot in the government tell me how to teach? I fell that is something that's between me and the parents of the children I teach.
    AS far as merit pay, I don't mind being graded for my pay but I respectfully ask, "By what criteria are you going to grade me?" Interviews with Principal? (what happens if I don't get along with a future principal? Will my pay go down? How about test scores?(what about teachers valiantly striving in title one schools that by nature struggle with test scores? Will their pay drop? Maybe parent surveys? I'm all ears, but it is not so simple.