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Author Topic: The Imperial Dominion of the South's Legislature  (Read 175991 times)
Yelnoc
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« Reply #2575 on: May 09, 2012, 08:48:45 pm »
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Hmm....

That's nearly double the base salary for a janitor.

Does anyone else think we should just let schools hire their support staff at whatever rates they choose to set?
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SJoyce
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« Reply #2576 on: May 09, 2012, 08:59:36 pm »
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Changed to $28,000. And these are just baselines for lowest pay, so they have upwards flexibility.
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Duke
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« Reply #2577 on: May 10, 2012, 12:34:53 pm »
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A minimum salary of $57,000 for ALL teachers? Is that a feasible amount to pay? I don't know many kids starting in other professions making that much, like in banking (not big banks). If we can afford that, then fine, but that seems like a lot for a starting salary.
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Senator PiT
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« Reply #2578 on: May 10, 2012, 02:39:16 pm »
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A minimum salary of $57,000 for ALL teachers? Is that a feasible amount to pay? I don't know many kids starting in other professions making that much, like in banking (not big banks). If we can afford that, then fine, but that seems like a lot for a starting salary.

     Well that has been changed.
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SJoyce
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« Reply #2579 on: May 10, 2012, 04:14:06 pm »
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A minimum salary of $57,000 for ALL teachers? Is that a feasible amount to pay? I don't know many kids starting in other professions making that much, like in banking (not big banks). If we can afford that, then fine, but that seems like a lot for a starting salary.

Data from Charlotte says that the average teacher starts at $32,000, compared to $55,000 for technical/computer support and $47,000 for public accounting. In Houston, teachers start at $39,000, while project engineers start at $51,000 and registered nurses start at $47,000. In Austin, teachers start at $22,500, while project engineers start at $55,000. In DC, teachers start at $30,000, compared to $57,000 for public auditors. So yeah, $57,000 is a feasible amount to pay; the goal is to make teaching as good as (or better) than those other professions, so that kids aren't turned off of teaching due to the low pay; now it's comparable.
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Senator PiT
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« Reply #2580 on: May 11, 2012, 02:27:57 am »
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     Oh, got confused. At any rate, we should offer these high paygrades to quality teachers. I fear that just giving every rookie teacher $57,000/year would stand to degrade the profession by attracting people who just want the money & don't care about the kids.
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SJoyce
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« Reply #2581 on: May 11, 2012, 05:38:53 am »
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     Oh, got confused. At any rate, we should offer these high paygrades to quality teachers. I fear that just giving every rookie teacher $57,000/year would stand to degrade the profession by attracting people who just want the money & don't care about the kids.

Any suggestions on what it should be then?
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Senator PiT
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« Reply #2582 on: May 11, 2012, 03:09:23 pm »
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     I could go for retaining the current base pay rates & have performance-based boosters. Problem is, that would require that we write standardized tests well enough that "teaching to the test" does not disservice the students. One of the common criticisms of standardized testing is that the questions are frequently irrelevant to any kind of reasonable curriculum.

     We also need to figure out how much this would cost & how we would pay for it.
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Senator and SoEA Kalwejt
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« Reply #2583 on: May 11, 2012, 03:49:18 pm »
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My sincere apologies for being such a Johhny Come Lately. I haven't ignored legislative works, but were studying the issue. Expect me to comment soon Smiley
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SJoyce
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« Reply #2584 on: May 11, 2012, 04:12:55 pm »
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     I could go for retaining the current base pay rates & have performance-based boosters. Problem is, that would require that we write standardized tests well enough that "teaching to the test" does not disservice the students. One of the common criticisms of standardized testing is that the questions are frequently irrelevant to any kind of reasonable curriculum.

     We also need to figure out how much this would cost & how we would pay for it.

I could see that, if we can avoid the "pineapples don't have sleeves" issue... We could also just pay them minimum wage, but count time spent grading papers, planning lessons, communicating with parents, providing help for students, setting up/taking down classrooms, writing grant proposals, shopping for school supplies, prepping for certification, coaching, and club advising in addition to time spent in the classroom.
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Yelnoc
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« Reply #2585 on: May 11, 2012, 04:20:31 pm »
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Perhaps a pay-grade system would make the most sense.  Every year the teacher's salary increases by a certain percent from the base (capped at a certain point of course).
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Senator PiT
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« Reply #2586 on: May 14, 2012, 03:02:33 pm »
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     Ahem.
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SJoyce
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« Reply #2587 on: May 14, 2012, 05:22:44 pm »
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I'd accept a pay-grade system with performance based boosters.
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Yelnoc
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« Reply #2588 on: May 15, 2012, 10:25:38 am »
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So then, now that the sponsor has left the legislator, someone else will have to step forward to sponsor this bill.

Do NOT sponsor if you're not prepared to do some serious work.  I will be busy in real life until mid-June, so I'm not able to sponsor it.
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SJoyce
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« Reply #2589 on: May 15, 2012, 04:08:35 pm »
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So then, now that the sponsor has left the legislator, someone else will have to step forward to sponsor this bill.

Do NOT sponsor if you're not prepared to do some serious work.  I will be busy in real life until mid-June, so I'm not able to sponsor it.

Y'all (Duke, Kal, Mecha, newguy) can just PM me if you'd like me to chip in some.
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HagridOfTheDeep
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« Reply #2590 on: May 16, 2012, 01:52:24 pm »
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Just chiming in to say hello. PiT appointed me to fill SJoyceFla's seat. I'll try to contribute as much as I can.

Don't know that I'd feel confident sponsoring a bill yet though. I'm pretty new to all this.

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

Anyhow, I would also support a pay-grade system based on seniority. The tricky thing about performance-based raises is figuring out how to score teachers in an unbiased way. I guess some kind of standardized testing for the students would be an okay way to judge a teacher's ability. The test would have to change each year though. Maybe we'd start off with a diagnostic test and finish the term with another test. That way the teachers are judged on how much the kids actually learned and improved. Only administering one test could inadvertently reward bad teachers--maybe the kids did so well because they had an exceptional teacher the year before. A diagnostic test would remove the ambiguity.

Only problem is, this would cost a lot and might not even be worth it. I don't know if there'd be some way to offload the responsibility to the unions...

I've got some other comments on the rest of the bill, but I'll hold off for a while (I'm strongly against the mandatory three years of foreign language classes).
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SJoyce
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« Reply #2591 on: May 16, 2012, 02:32:08 pm »
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Just chiming in to say hello. PiT appointed me to fill SJoyceFla's seat. I'll try to contribute as much as I can.

Don't know that I'd feel confident sponsoring a bill yet though. I'm pretty new to all this.

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

Anyhow, I would also support a pay-grade system based on seniority. The tricky thing about performance-based raises is figuring out how to score teachers in an unbiased way. I guess some kind of standardized testing for the students would be an okay way to judge a teacher's ability. The test would have to change each year though. Maybe we'd start off with a diagnostic test and finish the term with another test. That way the teachers are judged on how much the kids actually learned and improved. Only administering one test could inadvertently reward bad teachers--maybe the kids did so well because they had an exceptional teacher the year before. A diagnostic test would remove the ambiguity.

Only problem is, this would cost a lot and might not even be worth it. I don't know if there'd be some way to offload the responsibility to the unions...

I've got some other comments on the rest of the bill, but I'll hold off for a while (I'm strongly against the mandatory three years of foreign language classes).


ik I'm not supposed to talk here, but I support that proposed performance-based system; there's no real way to offload assessment to the unions though.
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Senator PiT
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« Reply #2592 on: May 16, 2012, 03:47:53 pm »
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     Input is welcome from all citizens of the region. The Legislature is here to serve its constituents.
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HagridOfTheDeep
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« Reply #2593 on: May 18, 2012, 09:30:12 pm »
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Well we're at it then, I'll point out my concerns over the proposed three year foreign language requirement.

Assuming the student will make his first real contact with the language in ninth grade, even after three years of coursework, the student won't be coming out with that much profficiency. The kid still won't be prepared to use that language in the workforce or wherever else. So if that person wants to become truly fluent, he or she will have to take more courses outside of high school anyway. I took nine years of core French in high school and I'm still not fluent. I don't think the difference between three years and one year will be that much (other than the wasted hours).

So for those people who aren't going to pursue the language, why force them to spend three years in school learning it? Especially when they could use those course slots for classes more tailored to their interests or future career goals (maybe economics)?

I say it would be far more beneficial if there was a one year requirement. It at least exposes the students to the new language. It gives students a chance to see whether they like it or not. Maybe then we mandate that the school provides the option for continued learning in a variety of options (maybe we mandate Spanish+two other languages).

If not that, then start language training in grade four as it is in Ontario.
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Duke
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« Reply #2594 on: May 18, 2012, 11:26:50 pm »
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It's true the younger the better for languages. Maybe we start kids earlier? I'm in the camp that it's beneficial to study another language even if you're horrible at it, like me. It helps in a lot of other subjects to know a language like French or Latin or Spanish and the like.

Then again, I am not knowledgable at all with education so I feel I'd contribute more to it by not contributing than contributing. Tongue
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HagridOfTheDeep
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« Reply #2595 on: May 18, 2012, 11:51:26 pm »
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lol. I agree though that it's really beneficial. In Ontario you start in grade four and have to take French all the way through grade 9. It's optional after that. I think it's a good system. It's not like a kid in grade four really needs to study economics or chemistry anyway, so the foreign language wouldn't be hogging credits.

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SJoyce
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« Reply #2596 on: May 19, 2012, 01:57:34 am »
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I believe it just says they need three years of a language, regardless of the years they take it, so you could take a language just during middle, or grades 4-6.
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HagridOfTheDeep
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« Reply #2597 on: May 19, 2012, 11:03:21 am »
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Okay, awesome. I say though that we change the section 14 wording just a bit:

Quote
14.) To graduate high schools middle school, students shall be required to take at least three years of a useful foreign language; such a language is defined here as: English (for non-English speakers), Spanish, French, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, German, Italian, Malay, Chinese, Dutch, Persian, Romanian, Serbian, or Swahili (not all languages are available at all schools). High schools shall provide optional programming in Spanish plus two other languages.

OR

Quote
14.) To graduate high school, students shall be required to take at least three years of a useful foreign language at any level of their educational career; such a language is defined here as: English (for non-English speakers), Spanish, French, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, German, Italian, Malay, Chinese, Dutch, Persian, Romanian, Serbian, or Swahili (not all languages are available at all schools). High schools shall provide optional programming in Spanish plus two other languages.

I'm emphasizing Spanish just because of the large population of Hispanics in Atlasia. But I'd have no problem striking that specificity from my last sentence.
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SJoyce
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« Reply #2598 on: May 19, 2012, 11:56:49 am »
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Okay, awesome. I say though that we change the section 14 wording just a bit:

Quote
14.) To graduate high schools middle school, students shall be required to take at least three years of a useful foreign language; such a language is defined here as: English (for non-English speakers), Spanish, French, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, German, Italian, Malay, Chinese, Dutch, Persian, Romanian, Serbian, or Swahili (not all languages are available at all schools). High schools shall provide optional programming in Spanish plus two other languages.

OR

Quote
14.) To graduate high school, students shall be required to take at least three years of a useful foreign language at any level of their educational career; such a language is defined here as: English (for non-English speakers), Spanish, French, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, German, Italian, Malay, Chinese, Dutch, Persian, Romanian, Serbian, or Swahili (not all languages are available at all schools). High schools shall provide optional programming in Spanish plus two other languages.

I'm emphasizing Spanish just because of the large population of Hispanics in Atlasia. But I'd have no problem striking that specificity from my last sentence.

Quote
14.) To graduate high school, students shall be required to take at least three years of a useful foreign language at any level of their educational career; such a language is defined here as: English (for non-English speakers), Spanish, French, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, German, Italian, Malay, Chinese, Dutch, Persian, Romanian, Serbian, or Swahili (not all languages are available at all schools). High schools shall provide optional education in at least three different languages.

I like the requirement that there be at least three languages to choose from (not just ramming all kids into Spanish or French or such), but I don't think having them all have Spanish is necessary; Spanish is pretty widespread so maybe 70-80% of the schools would get it, but there's probably some communities where another language is actually more widespread than Spanish, so it's better to leave it up to the school districts to decide what works best for them.
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HagridOfTheDeep
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« Reply #2599 on: May 19, 2012, 02:04:28 pm »
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works for me.
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