Tag Archives: professional

PACE: Fast-Growing Membership Option for Colorado Professional Teachers

The school year is back underway in most places in Colorado, and that means it’s time for an important reminder: Just as parents ought to be informed consumers and make wise decisions concerning educational options that suit their children’s needs, so teachers ought to be informed consumers in choosing a membership organization that meets their professional needs. As far as membership organizations go, the new kid on the block in our state is the two-year-old, fast-growing Professional Association of Colorado Educators (PACE), “a Colorado-based, non-profit, professional educator association, dedicated to the academic and personal growth of every student.” Recently, PACE’s director of membership Megan Leatham explained what her organization is about with my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow on an 8-minute iVoices podcast. For $180 a year, a full-time Colorado teacher has access to the following PACE membership benefits:

Read More...

Are School Teachers Getting a Raw Deal? Maybe the Truly Great Ones

In a post written yesterday, the venerable Dr. Jay Greene makes the point that education schools typically undersell the benefits of the teaching profession to their own graduates: But the reality is that teaching is a pretty good gig. Yes, the work can be draining, but the hours are great and you get regular breaks throughout the year, including a long one over the summer. The annual pay is OK, but when you consider it on an hourly or weekly basis, you’ll get paid more than the average white collar or professional specialty and technical worker (according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In addition, during a period of almost 10% unemployment you’ll sure appreciate the high job security. And let’s not forget the benefits, including solid health-care and an extremely generous retirement package that will let you retire in your mid-50s with about 60% of your peak salary guaranteed for the remainder of your life and adjusted for inflation. It would take a fortune in a 401k or 403b to produce that kind of pension benefit.

Read More...

I've Been Wrong Before, But Michael Bennet Gets It Right This Time

Our own appointed U.S. Senator and former Denver Public Schools superintendent Michael Bennet conducted a recent Q & A on federal education reform with Linda Kulman for Politics Daily. Here’s his answer to one question about incentives not matching objectives in the education system: We have not updated our theory of human capital, which is a fancy word for saying how do we attract and retain people to public education, since the labor market was one where women had two professional choices: being a nurse or being a teacher. We say to people, “We’d like you to come be a teacher, we imagine that you’re going to teach “Julius Caesar” every year for the next 30 years, we’re going to pay you a really terrible wage compared to what you could make doing almost anything else. … The way most school districts and states pay teachers in this country (is) if you leave any time in the first 20 years, you leave with what you’ve contributed to your retirement system … but if you stay for 30 years, you (get) a pension that’s worth three times what your Social Security is worth. No matter what else you want to do, […]

Read More...

Survey Says… More Teachers Happy, But What About Seniority Rules?

The new MetLife Survey of the American Teacher finds that more teachers today seem to have a bright outlook on their jobs than 25 years ago: The survey reveals that a majority of today’s teachers (62%) are very satisfied with their careers, compared to 40% in 1984. Two-thirds (67%) of teachers think that the training and preparation teachers receive does a good job of preparing them for the classroom, compared to 46% in 1984. A lot of the commenters on Joanne Jacobs’ posting are grousing that the results are bogus, since they don’t jibe with their own personal professional discontent. Maybe they have a point, maybe not: I read more ad hominem attack than substantive critique of the survey’s methodology. Since we’re trafficking in the world of anecdotes, let me add that my own kindergarten teacher seems to be pretty happy with her job. Of course, I’m not allowed into the teachers’ lounge, so my perception could be a complete illusion. And a lot more can be learned about educators’ views on the profession by perusing the entire survey. It tackles a lot of questions, but one that I’d really be curious to see answered: How satisfied are educators with […]

Read More...