Students in Toledo area changing schools for voucher access

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The article in the Blade today - - Students in Toledo area changing schools for voucher access brings up some interesting issues.

Maggie Thurber captures many of my thoughts on her blog today, March 8 - http://thurbersthoughts.blogspot.com/index.html

TPS leadership needs to quit complaining and start competing! No PR campaign will convince us that the only thing wrong with public education is the public's perception of public education. Foley's comments today, "[Vouchers] are just another way for the state to harm urban schools and to not give us the resources to get better, but to just give up on us and move the students out,

No votes yet

I read Maggie

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

A plan like that would be awesome. I'm betting that it would get real hard to find an open spot in the local private schools.

Not only would there be no room in the private school but many rural schools have opted out of the open enrollment provision and do not have to accept students from outside their district. The reason they opted out was city schools with less dollars behind each child would send their kids to districts where the community levied higher taxes and thus provide more dollars per kid than the sending schools.

bill

Would school vouchers mean that taxpayer money would be spent, so that parents can send their kids to religious schools?

Pink Slip

The flip side of this argument, Pink, would be that government routinely spends money on things that individuals object to (vouchers to religious schools, arts or so-called arts projects that some find offensive, certain types of research - think of PETA supporters and animals all the way up to stem-cells, etc) so if we're going to start down this argument, let's be consistent with the application...

I haven't heard too much uproar over offensive art projects or offensive PETA supporters in public schools. I guess I just believe in the separation of church and state, and that religion should be taught outside of schools. I think this is the beginning of a slippery slope. If public schools keep getting starved of funds, and the alternative is religious schools....well then that's a scary thought.

Pink Slip

The nannies haven't done away with that. Yet. Just because you may not agree with the choices other people make - it doesn't do away with their right to that choice.

I choose to send my child to a religious school. I pay for that - along with my property taxes. But if there are vouchers available and families wish to utilize a religious school that is their choice.

It would be good, as Maggie has said, to spend some time targeting the performance issues in the schools. I'm very hopeful about the new Super. Very hopeful indeed.

But if some people spent the energy working on bettering the public education system as they do targeting Christians for ridicule - we would be a whole lot better off.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

From Pink_Slip: The slippery slope I was referring to, is the destruction of public schools.

Then that's what you should have written. You didn't, and now you're trying to change horses in the middle of the stream. You're all wet.

From Pink_Slip: Once the funds are drained, there is less money for books, and then the education suffers further, and then more leave (if this seems like an "imaginary scenario", then you're just not paying attention)

And then the school either improves to the point that it can compete successfully with the other schools in the district, or it closes and the very few remaining students have a decision to make: which school to attend.

And I am paying attention. And this is the scenario that I hope will play itself out against the backdrop of a failing teacher's union, unemployable school administrators and slightly older but a darn sight wiser consumers.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

I think this is the beginning of a slippery slope.

And if we had the good sense God gave a wastebasket, we

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

And the slippery slope argument is a valid one - but we have the reverse of it now.

If you can understand, from MY perspective, there is already a law on the books, (well several) that mandate that I pay my taxes and send my kids to secular schools.

And that violates a basic tenet of my faith, Proverbs 22:6 "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."

For me and my faith - that would be a Christian education not a secular one.

So once you put it that way pink - it makes very good sense to me, because it would put you in the same situation that I am now in.

I am mandated by law to support a school system who's religious principals I disagree with.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

If the parents are in the school districts that are failing and their child is attending a private school, I have no problem with that parent going back to the failing school to get the voucher. It makes student and the parent whole after being placed into a bad situation with a historically bad perfoming school.

Pink, when schools perform to their peers they attract students, when they don't after 3 years of trying they shouldn't be allowed to maintain a monopoly of ruining a child's future. A child's future should be entitled to the child and not to a failing school building determined by State regulators.

Pink, There's no excuse for maintaining a failing system, hopefully you have a better idea than throwing more money at 19 Toledo Schools who spend more per student than most surrounding districts with better performance.

In sarcastic terms, perhaps we should invite global competition into our school systems like we do with business and have our public teachers compete with a Toyota Production System mindset. I bet that would drive the Teacher unions nuts.

that the district had purchased NO textbooks in '04. And that he thought it was shameful. The business manager said that.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

indeed a competitive marketplace. For years and years the public school system had NO competition, saving very expensive private schools and the rare parent who could afford it, no accountability and what did that lead to? Johnny couldn't read. Our work force was falling badly behind in the world economy and things continued to degrade.

So now we have competition. We have Charter schools, Christian schools, home schools and community schools.

Public schools are now but one among many and this last salvo - parents who have found out how to leverage the systems FAILURE to access the State and Federal tax funds associated with THEIR CHILD'S attendance and right to an education - and move those funds into an adequately performing school.

That is all that's going on - instead of making a better mousetrap the system would rather try to legislate enforced participation and shut out the competition.

Not happening. The cat is way out of the bag on this one. School districts that don't get the idea will simply make themselves obsolete and be gone. Probably in the next ten years.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

We have Charter schools, Christian schools, home schools and community schools.

And where does it say that these schools teach their children more effectively?

Vouchers IMO are just the start of another privatization scheme by the market fundamentalists.

Pink Slip

There I said it!

...columns...just sharing - not taking a stand...

http://www.thecenterformichigan.net/Website/Portals/0/03_01_07_powercolu...

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/PaulJacob/2007/03/11/what_we_know_won...

Although I do agree with the Jacob's statement:

"It's all about politics. Unions and employee benefits.

Not kids. Not education."

Question---how much are the vouchers worth? Would they cover the cost of a private school (including travel)?

Pink Slip

Nevermind I found the answer in the article at the top of the thread. It would seem the vouchers would NOT cover the cost of tuition at many private schools. So is it more, or less plausible that poor families will take the vouchers and be forced to pay the difference? Or is it more plausible that poor students will be left behind?

Pink Slip

Some parents just want their child to have religious educations.

What percentage wants this?

So I believe these parents would be happy enough if their children were taught in a religious way, whether in makes the child smarter or not.

You're presuming that religious instruction comes at the expense of all other instruction, and you imply that all religious schools are inferior. The reality is that nothing could be further from the truth.

I

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

School Voucher
Submitted by MadJack on Thu, 2007-03-08 16:36.
I read Maggie

Pink Slip

It's only a choice for the few GZ. Why aren't the vouchers fully funded?

Pink Slip

That was enough of an indicator that public-school teachers are generally not interested in educating children; they are only interested in protected their cushy jobs. It's too obvious.

For the record, I'm NOT a teacher.

But I've been reading enough posts by you on this subject that indicate you seem to have a serious hard-on towards those in this profession.

Someone let you down, disappointed you in your youth, GZ? Gym teacher laugh a little too hard when the other boys gave you a good towel-snapping for being such a smarty-pants in the lockerroom??

It is just TPS teachers that are incompetent and interested in just protecting their "cushy jobs" or are we lumping in Perrysburg, Sylvania, Maumee, Anthony Wayne school districts, too? Or because their test scores are much higher than TPS those teachers are ok, not lazy or incompetent?

Have ALL the public school districts let you down, GZ, or just the inner-city ones where the scores are the worst?

Let's try again, since dumb 'ol McCaskey went to a public school with incompetent teachers who didn't show him how to turn italics off:

That was enough of an indicator that public-school teachers are generally not interested in educating children; they are only interested in protected their cushy jobs. It's too obvious.

For the record, I'm NOT a teacher.

But I've been reading enough posts by you on this subject that indicate you seem to have a serious hard-on towards those in this profession.

Someone let you down, disappointed you in your youth, GZ? Gym teacher laugh a little too hard when the other boys gave you a good towel-snapping for being such a smarty-pants in the lockerroom??

It is just TPS teachers that are incompetent and interested in just protecting their "cushy jobs" or are we lumping in Perrysburg, Sylvania, Maumee, Anthony Wayne school districts, too? Or because their test scores are much higher than TPS those teachers are ok, not lazy or incompetent?

Have ALL the public school districts let you down, GZ, or just the inner-city ones where the scores are the worst?

Someone get me a voucher

We would all be well advised to remember the purpose of any voucher program. They are created in response to the chronic failure of our urban schools to provide a quality education to those who arguably need it the most. One consequence of these programs is that they also slow the emptying out of these cities by providing parents with a reason to stay.

I'm not going to defend NCLB, because I have serious problems with it. I'm not getting into the argument of separation of church and state - I think this 'concept' has been grossly distorted from its original intent over the years.

I think CHILDREN deserve the best education. I think that parents least able to escape failing schools are the ones who need them most.

According to a column I read recently, "Black support for school vouchers is stronger than white support. Almost three out of four blacks between the ages of 26 to 35 support vouchers."

Further, if a voucher only gets you part-way to the tuition for another school, I'm in favor in increasing the voucher.

I will again say...we need to stop worrying about the perpetuation of the system and start worrying about what's best for the child.

(I almost misspelled experienced :-)

Nobody converted here either. But we also have experienced secular schools and have not converted...

I am curious why anybody would have such a hard time with the idea that parents have the right to make decisions about how their children are educated?

Pink says (he/she?) doesn't want their own money going to religious schools - I say I don't want MY money going to secular schools.

It's a stand off. But the vouchers are intended, as Maggie says, to offer the most vulnerable of us a chance at choices with regard to their childrens' education. The children in failing inner city schools.

So....what would motivate someone to dislike that idea??

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

And I thought that they were supposed to be able to do so - ??

I'm going to have to look it up. Seems like there was a performance line, so many acts of violence, so many years under a specific standard of performance and they could cross the boundary into another school in the same district?

If anybody knows the particulars - ?? I'm going to try to find this.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

I know that when a student goes to a Charter school, the LOCAL money stays at TPS. Which is about 3k?

Again someone with exact particulars can post them.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

...I'd like to see is that if you want to send your kids to a religious school and members of the public don't want the voucher's public tax dollars spent on religious schools, you could choose a religious school and then opt-out of paying your property taxes to the local public school. Afterall, fair is fair - why should parents have to pay twice for their child's education?

But alas, this goes against that whole government can spend your money better than you can philosophy so I'm sure it would never work...

The flip side of this argument, Pink, would be that government routinely spends money on things that individuals object to (vouchers to religious schools, arts or so-called arts projects that some find offensive, certain types of research - think of PETA supporters and animals all the way up to stem-cells, etc) so if we're going to start down this argument, let's be consistent with the application...

I wasn't limiting my examples to schools. PETA members don't like public tax dollars spent on animal research. Many individuals object to public tax dollars supporting art projects - especially some of the more questionable descriptions of art (remember the issue with the cross in a glass of urine or something like that?)

I challenge you to stop thinking about this from the perspective of "public schools getting starved of funds" and instead try to look at this from the perspective of the student first. If you read my blog post on this, you'll see that I reject the thought that public schools somehow have an 'entitlement' to the public's educational funds...that the only entity 'entitled' to such funds is the individual student. And vouchers can used in non-religious schools as well.

I don't want to start the 'separation of church and state' discussion because I suspect we'd disagree significantly. I understand your point and concern about a slippery slope but, from my perspective, I don't think that spending public tax dollars on vouchers - some of which may be used at schools sponsored by religious organizations - equates to government establishment of a religion.

And again, the alternative schools are not restricted to just religious schools. But the fact that many may choose a religious school - even when they don't practice a specific religious - raises a question in and of itself...WHY?

Many parents who are not Catholic send their kids to Catholic schools. Is it because they want a their kids taught Catholicism - or is it because they think their kids will get a better overall education there? My guess is that the answer is the latter...and that's the point.

When public schools fail to meet the expectations of the parents to provide a quality education - why would anyone want to trap kids in such a situation and allow them no other options? If it's really 'all about the kids,' shouldn't we give them as many options as possible to learn?

I think we need to spend less time worrying about the perpetuation of the system and more time worrying about the individual education of each student...

perhaps this is naive - but change in the way we think about education in general needs to start somewhere...

And besides...when it comes to trying to improve TPS - it doesn't matter that a child has left TPS for a religious school...what matters is that they LEFT.

looking at other programs, new schools would emerge. some may be faith-based, you'd also see montessori schools.

i'm a big believer in the separation of church and state as well. i don't have an issue with the vouchers because attending those schools would be voluntary. therefore, i'm not concerned about the establishment issue.

If public schools keep getting starved of funds

do you think our public schools are really starved of funds? i don't.

the problem is how the bloated system spends the money. with the power of the unions, that will be difficult to change.

The nannies haven't done away with that. Yet. Just because you may not agree with the choices other people make - it doesn't do away with their right to that choice.

Not with my money. The government doesn't have any right to tell me I have to use my money to subsidize religious schools.

It would be good, as Maggie has said, to spend some time targeting the performance issues in the schools.

That's a very good point you bring up. What of the performance of charter schools? The Dept of Education latest report explains how charter school students often perform worse than those in public schools.

But if some people spent the energy working on bettering the public education system as they do targeting Christians for ridicule

Who said anything about Christians? Do you think I want taxpayer money going to Madrassa's or Nation of Islam schools? (for example)

Pink Slip

And if we had the good sense God gave a wastebasket, we

Pink Slip

Then that's what you should have written. You didn't, and now you're trying to change horses in the middle of the stream. You're all wet.

My bad, I figured you could follow along....

And then the school either improves to the point that it can compete successfully with the other schools in the district, or it closes and the very few remaining students have a decision to make: which school to attend.

Ah...the old "free market" argument. Maybe we should handle education just like our industries and offshore them. We could hire teachers from China (guaranteeing no damn union involvement), and have CEO's run the schools.

Pink Slip

Pink, There's no excuse for maintaining a failing system, hopefully you have a better idea than throwing more money at 19 Toledo Schools who spend more per student than most surrounding districts with better performance.

Where do get your numbers? I am not doubting them. They just don't seem to jive with this report card. It compares TPS favorably with "similar districts". (Still well below state averages, albeit)

Pink Slip

Jeepers, Pink, listen to yourself. "Where does it say ..."? WE SAY. We who have the choice, are saying. That's the point!

At least those who choose non-TPS alternatives can do no worse, since despite the clear failures of the TPS, it has resisted mightily all attempts to reform it. Literally, the TPS wants NOTHING to change. It is acting like any monopoly acts in the full fruit of its maturity -- to protect its income stream and to deny improvements in quality of output. At this point, it's not free market fundamentalism to expect the TPS to improve -- after all, it is provably substandard and I suspect those standards are down a click or two when compared to older times.

Let's bust this trust, Pink. Monopolies cost more and deliver less. Trust-busting is NOT a part of free market fundamentalism.

lol

"My advice to you is to stop paying taxes now, before it

Well then, PS, the public schools had better fix themselves PDQ, since by 2013 they're going to be in really hot water.

You continue to badmouth our "whims" of choosing other schools, but our choices are not whims and we're choosing at any rate. You continue to emphasize that the public schools must be fixed, but they are resisting all sensible efforts to do so.

If the NCLB Act is supposed to kill off public schools, then the Act picked one of the easiest things to kill. Even when faced with dissolution, public school systems across America continue to resist reform efforts. In that light, we're much better off letting them die. Insulated incompetence simply deserves it.

Does anyone here recall the brouhaha that teachers made nationally when it was suggested that they subject themselves to much of the same testing regime that they subject our children to? That was enough of an indicator that public-school teachers are generally not interested in educating children; they are only interested in protected their cushy jobs. It's too obvious.

Why can't someone from a "failing" TPS school choose to go to a different public school (a successful one)?

Seriously, it we just allowed "failing" school children in public schools to transfer to other public schools that are not failing....then we wouldn't even need a school voucher system, would we? And then the "failing" public schools would still need to compete. And we still have the right to choose.

Pink Slip

There is a great flow of poorly educated children from our public school system like a river of stupidity. It only stands to reason that the teachers are failing in their duties. Toledo teachers are among the highest compensated in Ohio. It also only stands to reason that there is a disconnect between pay and performance.

You can try to kill the messenger all you like. The roving packs of semi-educated animals we laughingly call children are coming to break into your car and home, too, McCaskey. Talk to me about my somehow illogical "hard on" against teachers when some "kid" is punching you in the head.

You're dismissed.

... political solutions in Ohio and Toledo are simply done out of a love of money, which leads immediately to cronyism and selfishness. This happens most obviously in the public schools and charter schools. I'm sure there are a few private schools who fall prey to the siren's song of money. I haven't heard much about the fiscsal depravity of religious schools.

The real solution is for all school funding to be subsumed into a state fund that is returned to schools on a per-student basis ONLY. However, no plan exercised in the past, or planned for the future, uses this model. All plans rely on the principle of inequality, hence concentration of wealth -- either for the wealthy districts or for the inner city. This is rather amusing since part of the assumption of the problem uses underfunded rural schools as the model.

There is a proposed amendment coming up that claims to fix Ohio's constitutional school-funding problem, but still does NOT subscribe to the equality of per-capita principle. Make sure you vote that one down, PS, as I will. After all, you want full funding to follow the voucher, like I do. Right?

Note well that per-capita funding or not, there will always be a range of schools by cost. People will always be priced out of something. If that "something" is adequacy, and that leaves the poor (even fully per-capita funded) unable to afford adequte education for their area, then the AREA is the problem, not the funding model. Even with a full per-capita funding system, there's every reason to suspect that Toledo (being such a Democrat-dominated shithole that wealth has long held in contempt) will find the poor being tossed crumbs of poor schools upon which to lavish their vouchers. Knowing that, we who care (you, myself, many others) should plan ahead for the advent of such an age.

I challenge you to stop thinking about this from the perspective of "public schools getting starved of funds" and instead try to look at this from the perspective of the student first. If you read my blog post on this, you'll see that I reject the thought that public schools somehow have an 'entitlement' to the public's educational funds...that the only entity 'entitled' to such funds is the individual student. And vouchers can used in non-religious schools as well.

Exactly, we are the talking about the CHILD. When public funds are diverted away schools, what happens with the children that stay? Don't they get left behind? What if they wanted to use the vouchers to attend non-religious schools? What kind of choice do they have? Last figure I have heard is that over 80% of voucher funds are spent at religious schools, including 99% in Cleveland after the Supreme Court's 2001(?) decision.

I'm uncomfortable with using tax-dollars to send children to schools that teach intolerance.

Pink Slip

...that focusing on the specifics of how the vouchers would be spent is a way to distract people from the core of the PROBLEM...which is that students are 'forced' into failing TPS schools because those are the schools their neighborhood attends.

Allowing the vouchers gets the kids OUT of the failing school and puts the responsibility on the parent for finding a good alternative that successfully educates their child. And what works for one child might not work for another - hence the choice. Why is this concept so hard to understand or support?

I hope that no one is saying that parents wouldn't make good choices with their vouchers so they shouldn't have the freedom to make a choice in the first place...

Or that parents wouldn't know how to make a choice so let's not give them to begin with...

...but not the conclusion. When students leave public schools, it does result in less money for that public school. If, for example, a child leaving takes $5,000 with him, he doesn't take anyone else's $5,000. The remaining students still have each of their $5,000...

TPS spends between $10-11,000 per student..if they have less students, they should have less expenses and therefore, less costs to pay. They still seem to have much more per student that other systems...so the argument that public schools will be destroyed seems to be quite a stretch...

Perhaps, the public schools would actually ADAPT to the changing criteria of their customers (parents and students) and make some changes that would be for the good of all, thus eliminating the desire of students to leave in the first place and perhaps even attracting new students?

This concept that loss of funds means the destruction of public schools seems to disregard the ability of public schools to actually make changes, adapt and improve. Is it such a failed system that it doesn't have this ability? And, if the answer is yes, perhaps it should fail so we could adopt a much different type of educational system that will be successful?

If a student leaves TPS, they take the voucher funds or in the case of charter schools they take the charter school tuition amount which is equivalent to what the district gets from the state for each student.

What everyone is missing is the locally generated funds from property tax levies. They stay with the district and DO NOT follow the student. So for each child that leaves TPS they leave about $3300 of local funds to spend on the children that remain.

See our analysis - http://tpsinfo.com/finances/PerPupilRevenue.pdf

What happens then is there is actually more money to spend on each child, but it does force the school district to reduce its infrastructure (fewer teachers and classrooms needed) which impacts the TFT and their members.

This whole "myth" about less money is just bogus and propagated by teachers unions that are losing members due to downsizing.

Let's make sure we have our facts correct.

They don't have less money per student, they have more. The previous board was slow in accepting the need to downsize and now the whole house of cards is falling down.

Pink Slip said: [The report card] compares TPS favorably with "similar districts".

But that's the game of the corrupt elites who run the TPS. They compare themselves as being "better" than their extremely-poor peer systems. Little Johnny, Jamal, Jackie and Jazelle in Toledo STILL CAN'T READ AND WRITE. Our school system is STILL a prison pipeline and it's STILL not educating children to a REAL minimum standard.

December 20, 2006 Toledo Talk thread :

"Students in 19 academically struggling Toledo Public Schools buildings, up from five currently, could apply for scholarships of $4,250 through eighth grade and $5,900 for high school toward tuition at the public, private, or religious schools of their choice."

"The following school buildings have been in academic emergency or academic watch for two of the last three years, making their students eligible to apply for vouchers:"

TOLEDO
Chase Elementary
Cherry Elementary *
Fulton Elementary
Garfield Elementary
Nathan Hale Elementary *
Jones Elementary
Lagrange Elementary
Leverette Elementary
Libbey High
Lincoln Academy for Boys
McTigue Junior High
Newbury Elementary
Pickett Elementary *
Raymer Elementary
Reynolds Elementary
Robinson Junior High
Scott High *
Sherman Elementary
Woodward High *

(*) Currently in program

SOURCE: Ohio Department of Education

"Why do you think sylvania schools are better? The teachers are no better than Toledo teachers."

Who said anything about teachers, Kooz? On the last report card, out of a possible 25 academic standards:

- Sylvania met all 25
- Toledo met 6

Why do some TPS teachers live in the burbs and send their kids to non-TPS schools?

My stepdaughter competed in MathCounts here locally for a couple years, and the winners are not coming from Toledo public schools.

My Feb 12, 2006 comment about MathCounts. Notice the lack of involvement from Toledo public schools in MathCounts. Why is that?

"Are you suggesting people who live in Sylvania are smarter then Toledoans...or is it because sylvania is primarily white?"

Kooz, you must be taking lessons from former Toledo Mayor Jack Ford.

In the June 28, 2006 issue of The Soujourner's Truth, Ford stated his reasons why Toledoans move to the burbs. Ford said:

"It's greener, it appears newer and we think it is safer. And, for those of us who really are honest, it's whiter!"

SensorG asked:

"Is there a site that lists how much is spent per pupil for each community in Northwest Ohio?"

Here's an August 2005 comment by historymike who cited data from http://www.ode.state.oh.us. I'll reprint his post here:

Per-pupil spending, by district (FY04):
Ottawa Hills - $10,650
TPS- $10,279
Maumee - $10,047
Oregon - $9,278
Sylvania - $9, 043
Washington Local - $8,982
Springfield - $8,547
Anthony Wayne - $7,426

(Tuition at Toledo Central Catholic High School is about $7,000.)

Administrative costs per pupil (FY 04):
Ottawa Hills - $1,261
TPS- $1,176
Maumee - $1,152
Oregon - $851
Sylvania - $949
Washington Local - $1,076
Springfield - $860
Anthony Wayne - $988

Building costs per pupil (FY 04):
Ottawa Hills - $1,334
TPS- $1,817
Maumee - $1,646
Oregon - $2,048
Sylvania - $1,952
Washington Local - $1,679
Springfield - $1,668
Anthony Wayne - $1,572

Instruction costs per pupil (FY 04):
Ottawa Hills - $6,778
TPS- $5,727
Maumee - $6,147
Oregon - $5,284
Sylvania - $4,880
Washington Local - $5,204
Springfield - $5,131
Anthony Wayne - $4,153

September 2004 posting that pointed to a Blade story about teacher salaries in the area.

"Toledo Public Schools pays $32,697 annually to a teacher straight out of college. The affluent Ottawa Hills school district offers a starting salary of $31,602 a year."

"College graduates who get a job teaching at a Catholic school will earn much less, said Jack Altenburger, superintendent of education for the Toledo Catholic Diocese. Catholic high schools in the metro Toledo area paid an average starting salary of $24,506 [in 2003]. On the elementary-school level, the average starting pay was $20,925."

I think the print edition of that Blade article contained a grid showing the salaries in four different categories for the school districts in our region. Unfortunately, this data is not available for the web version of the article. Would be nice to get updated numbers.

Anyway, from that 2004 Blade article and/or grid, you would have seen something like this:

Bachelors degree and no experience:
- TPS pays $32,697
- Ottawa Hills pays $31,602

Bachelors degree and at least 27 years experience:
- TPS pays $55,577
- Ottawa Hills pays $53,091

Master's degree and no experience:
- I didn't post the numbers. All I said in that 2004 posting was: "With a Master's degree, the starting salaries between [TPS and Ottawa Hills] are about the same."

Master's degree and at least 27 years experience:
- TPS pays $60,595
- Ottawa Hills pays $70,788

Average salary for all teachers:
- TPS $45,968
- Ottawa Hills $60,621
posted by jr at 10:34 A.M. EST on Thu Mar 08, 2007 #

...isn't that what Universities do? (sarcasm)

The free market has led to more innovation and success than any other economic system in the world...why would injecting some aspects of competition be bad?

Personally, I'd like to completely revamp how we do education. Kids learn differently and the way they learn even changes as they age. The current system is a one-size-fits-all format that, with today's technological advances, is sorely out of date. As much as we've learned about the way the brain works in the last 20 years, you'd think that we would have applied some of this knowledge to instructing our kids...but not in a large governmental bureaucracy.

I think I've said this on another thread, but I'd envision a 'life-long-learning' scenario where you'd be placed in your knowledge level with all kinds of other people of all different ages. If I wanted to learn german, for instance, I could go to a beginners class and I might have 12 year olds and 60 year olds with me. Or say I wanted a refresher in world history...I could register and attend - perhaps with highschoolers who are taking it as part of their core curriculum and with vets who'd actually been there and were sharing their personal knowledge of the times.

At the same time, if I'm really into a particular subject - like dinosaurs - other subjects like English and Math can be designed to incorporate my pet interest to help hold my attention while learning.

Further, if I'm a morning person, perhaps I take a class offered via internet so I can do it at 5 a.m.

This is the type of creativity I'd like to see as we discuss how to help our kids LEARN as opposed to discussions about how to perpetuate what is, in Toledo, a failing educational system.

There's one aspect of the economic "free market" (granted, itself a misnomer) that is missing from the present school system: accountability for production.

Go on over to talkingtps.com and watch how the teachers on that site post. They disclaim all responsibility for their students. Little Jamal comes out of their classrooms knowing very little about reading and writing, and those teachers are A-OK with that since "it's not our fault".

That's just not right, and you know it. If we have to fully dismantle the public school system to get rid of these paycheckers (we should stop calling them "teachers"), then we must do it.

GZ, my question was intended to determine how the accountability of private scools would play into this. Are they held up to the same standards? If not, how do we even know which is the better product?

I've heard the term monopoly thrown around. But if public education is a monopoly, it is owned by US. And as such, is subject to Democracy. And I'd rather fix what WE own (and broke), then to give up ownership of a child's education to some souless private entity that only cares about profit.

Pink Slip

More on school choice....according to the Ohio Department of Education website, there are 30 participating private schools in Lucas County where parents can use vouchers. Of these, 29 are religious schools. Sure, you can say "yeah, but there is that one school you can choose." That one school is Maumee Valley Country Day. Tuition for high schoolers there is $13,600 per year. So....if I'm a parent of a child in a "failing" school, and yet don't want to send my child to a religious school what are my choices?

1. Convert
2. Come up with $8,600 per year
3. Leave my child in a failing, defunded school

Why not make vouchers available to use at other public schools? Not all of them are "failing". It seems like I would have more choices.

Pink Slip

restricted by TPS...they allow intra-school transfers, but only so many a year and so many per school. Sflagg could probably give more details.

And my understanding was that the vouchers were good in other school systems within the county. I thought I read/heard that some of the TPS voucher kids were going to Anthony Wayne schools...

And in allowing kids to go to other public schools, you'd probably still need the voucher - I don't know if such transfer students could be counted in the student population that determines state/fed monies.

But I'd like to take your suggestion, Pink, to the next level. Why not just give each kid their 'alloted' amount of funding and let them pick any school they want? It would be a kind of 'universal' voucher system. That would truly mean that every child could get the same amount of money and the parents would have more choices and the emphasis would really be on the CHILD and not the system.

This may not be what you intended, but I like it! And it might address all those Rolf lawsuit issues on school funding at the same time...

The roving packs of semi-educated animals we laughingly call children are coming to break into your car and home, too, McCaskey. Talk to me about my somehow illogical "hard on" against teachers when some "kid" is punching you in the head

What the frick; are we talking EDUCATION now or are we talking CRIME? This is all rolled into one big enchilada for you? The "hapless" teachers in our public education system are now responsible for the crime rate in those districts as well as test scores?

Take a class of say, 20, in any mid-level public system around here. Not Ottawa Hills, not Perrysburg, not Sylvania, not Anthony Wayne, but, based on test scores, one a bit more modest. Let's say Springfield.

Probably 12 or 13 go on to college, anywhere from UT and Owens to Ohio State, Michigan, maybe even one to an Ivy League. A few more go to technical school and learn a trade. A couple more might go into the armed forces. What's left? The one, maybe two that drop out, go into crime, and never become productive citizens. The same teachers that taught the college bound-trade school-armed forces crowd taught the village idiots. Those damn teachers failed in their job with a ratio like this?

The Toledo Public School system indeed has a problem, like many if not most inner-city public schools across this country. This suggests to me an economic, standard-of-living issue. The solution? Don't have a clue. But the answer sure as hell is not condeming the nationwide public school system in general or the educators who work in it.

Hey GZ, where do your children go school? Every time your kid lips off or does something you don't like its gotta be the teacher's fault, right?
.

I find your assumption that religious schools teach intolerance to be an example of intolerance for religious instruction in general...

And an individual child taking 'their' tax dollars to spend differently than on their current school doesn't mean that the remaining children don't also have the same amount of funds to spend as they would.

If I understand correctly ( and I may not have ) you're saying that one child taking their $5000 means that the other children are somehow 'out' of money as well?

And, again, I have a problem with the basic premise of the argument...simply because YOU don't like religious education doesn't give you the right to determine that OTHERS cannot take advantage of it with the same tax dollars they've paid into the system. You seem to be making the argument that because SOME don't want taxpayer dollars spent on religious eduction, NONE can spend taxpayer dollars on religious eduction - even when it's their own tax dollars. Did I misunderstand?

What alternative would you suggest - force the children to remain in a failing system just to be able to say that there is a 'system'?

Allowing the vouchers gets the kids OUT of the failing school and puts the responsibility on the parent for finding a good alternative that successfully educates their child. And what works for one child might not work for another - hence the choice. Why is this concept so hard to understand or support?

No one is forced to go to bad schools. People move to better school districts. Happens all the time.

Pink Slip

So I'm assuming we can use Democracy to vote the bums out. Would we have the same clout (ownership if you will) of private schools?

Pink Slip

The free market has led to more innovation and success than any other economic system in the world

Probably true, but it also has it's failures as well. The recent situation at Walter Reed highlighted some problems that can occur when you privatize. Free market schooling will lead to huge gaps between the rich and the poor. What are successful districts in Ohio doing? Can we emulate?

What about investing in universal pre-school? Extended learning hours/days? Full-day kindergarten? Changing the way we fund through taxes? Improved teacher quality? Incentives for teachers to teach in poor districts?

Pink Slip

If we have to fully dismantle the public school system to get rid of these paycheckers (we should stop calling them "teachers"), then we must do it.

Careful what you wish for. What is now Toledo Public Schools will one day be replaced by Toledo Fifth-Third Schools, Inc. And we will have no say in what lies they are teaching.

Pink Slip

Although there is a sense of what you say that is prudent, the other part seems to be a sacred cow that you are not giving up. Am I wrong? Help me out, here.

FIRST, you're saying there's got to be a way to evaluate all schooling for standards such that public schools are (allegedly) held to. This is sensible. Note that there must be an operant model for that, since we've had religious primary, secondary and post-secondary schools right alongside the secular public schools for generations. What evaluation model is functioning there, and is it also applied to private schools and charter schools? (Note that I specifically avoid including home schooling, since that's mostly none of the public's business. You may as well say the public has a right to regulate what's on MY bookshelves and what I SAY to my own nieces and nephews.)

SECOND, you're also saying that the parents who are choosing home schooling, private schools, charter schools and religious schools OVER the TPS are somehow not a factor (much less an important one) in evaluating the outcome of their choices. But, they are. Just as too many parents and guardians can see (if they wish to) that their TPS babies are being cerebrally undernourished, then it only stands to reason that alternate-schooling parents can equally evaluate their own children for similar failures.

Assuming my summaries are correct, we can achieve both. Both forces exist in our society and there's no reason to conclude they are mutually exclusive.

...that seems to stem from your concern about how to 'rate' schools other than the public ones...

WHO do you propose would be responsible for providing such a rating - another government entity?

The parents are deciding. The parents are, I hope, visiting the various schools, talking with administrators, teachers, other boards, parents, etc...to determine where the best place for their child would be.

The key is to find the best learning environment for the CHILD. Certain kids can do well in just about any environment...others can't. There are kids doing well in TPS - even in their 'failing' schools - and that's a good thing. (And I'm not going into the argument about how much better such successful kids MIGHT do in a non-failing school...)

But if a kid can do better in a religious school or a charter school or a community school, why not let them? And you can have a school whose "measurements" overall don't meet certain targeted scores (as we do in TPS) but still have students who are doing well there.

The point is to give to the parents, who are unhappy with a particular failing school they are 'forced to attend,' an opportunity to move their child to a school where they can get the best education.

Again, my focus is on the CHILD and the best fit for the CHILD - not the schools themselves.

We left TPS when my daughter went to high school. She and her parents picked Notre Dame. I did not convert. She did not convert. Yes, she had to take religion classes. I actually thought it would do her some good to get an understanding of other religions - in this Catholicism.

She went to ND for four years and did not convert to Catholicism. She is in her junior year at Miami and has still not converted.

Many of her classmates were not Catholics! There were several Muslims.

Now, I did have to pay the tuition. But many private/parochial schools are taking the voucher as full payment and if they don't the schools frequently offer scholarships and other kinds of aid.

You don't have to convert, but you do have to be tolerant of the values and views. But isn't that exactly what we want our children to learn - tolerance regarding the differences in a world where so many of us are different from each other. And for the most part, her religion class taught some good moral lessons.

In the mind of her parents, the tradeoffs were worth it and based upon her academic performance in HS and now a very good college as well as the kind of young woman she is it was a very wise decision.

I find your assumption that religious schools teach intolerance to be an example of intolerance for religious instruction in general...

Not all of course, but you can't deny that some do.

And, again, I have a problem with the basic premise of the argument...simply because YOU don't like religious education doesn't give you the right to determine that OTHERS cannot take advantage of it with the same tax dollars they've paid into the system. You seem to be making the argument that because SOME don't want taxpayer dollars spent on religious eduction, NONE can spend taxpayer dollars on religious eduction - even when it's their own tax dollars. Did I misunderstand?

Yes, that is what I'm saying. I don't think that YOU should be able to say that MY tax dollars go to some Madrassa.

What alternative would you suggest - force the children to remain in a failing system just to be able to say that there is a 'system'?

Of course not, we should fix it---not give up and abandon it.

Pink Slip

I'm fortunate I can afford to flee or use private/parochial schools.

What about those that can't move and are therefore stuck in a poor performing school? How many poor people can afford to live in Sylvania?

This is exactly what happened when public schools had a monopoly and no accountability they were stuck in bad schools!

...that private schools don't need to worry about votes because they worry, instead, about their competition - other schools. They have to perform if parents are going to KEEP their kids in the private school, otherwise, they'd lose students...kind of like TPS is losing students because it's not performing well....

... when I laid out the threat fully to the TPS. They cannot simply circle their wagons and escape responsibility. If they do, eventually they will be replaced. I'm not talking about destroying a school system that is doing its duty. I'm talking about the rightful replacement of a system that doesn't function.

As for having no say ... that's exactly the problem we have now. By your prediction, nothing will change, education-wise; the TPS produces too many uneducated children, and T53S Inc. can only aspire to such a low position.

Rights and responsibilites are linked. When people unlink them, all sorts of trouble starts.

Any suggested change that demands responsibility or economy is going to be rejected by the entrenched and unionized teachers. Sure, anything you suggest that carries more money is going to be accepted. This is a highly off-balanced "reform" structure and is exactly the problem we real reformers are fighting against.

The idea of teacher merit is returning the the classroom, and those who resist are only delaying their inevitable unemployment. This is just a sincere word to the wise.

GZ, I agree with the first point that you made. It's exactly what I was saying. If we are going to use competition as the end-all-be-all, then don't we need a way to equally measure results? For instance, Maggie asks "WHO do you propose would be responsible for providing such a rating - another government entity?" Yet, it's the same gov't entity tests that she's relying on to advance the theory of "failing public schools". So how do we determine what private schools are failing?

Your second point actually goes hand-in-hand with the first. You're saying that by simply choosing private schools, parents are giving us this measuring stick. However, I do not believe this to be the case. Some parents just want their child to have religious educations. So I believe these parents would be happy enough if their children were taught in a religious way, whether in makes the child smarter or not. For example, if a child is taught that intelligent design and creationism is right, and evolution is wrong...the parents that sent them there would probably say "great work, you're doing a fine job educating my child." Does it make the child smarter? Hardly (IMO)

Pink Slip

Did they give any thought to sending her to the Toledo Islamic Academy? If not, why not?

Pink Slip

It's funny how some proponents of vouchers (not you sflagg) are suddenly concerned about the poor.

sflagg--may I ask a question or two? You say the funding stays in the district, it doesnn't follow the child? Then how does the private school get the taxpayer funding? Also, you said that the district where the child leaves actually has more money? Then why would they need to cut jobs? Also, how much would the voucher be worth? Would it cover the cost of any private school? Would there still be a cost difference for the parent to make up? If so, would it really benefit them (assuming they're too poor to move--they may also be too poor to pay the difference). Just trying to understand the pros and cons...

Pink Slip

Sorry I have not replied sooner.

Then how does the private school get the taxpayer funding?

The private school gets the money from the state. There are several components to school funding but the bulk comes from State, Local and Federal sources. This is a state voucher program so the state allocates the money. For each student lost by TPS they lose about $5400 dollars (although this gets real complicated with phantom revenue - assessed property valuation chargeoff - and the state guarantee formula).

Also, you said that the district where the child leaves actually has more money? Then why would they need to cut jobs?

Well that is more than two questions, but let's continue. Let us use an example: The district gets say $50K from a local tax levy. The district has 50 kids the first year and only 40 the second year. The local tax levy does not change the next year but the district had $1,000 per student in year one and $1,250 the next year. They have more revenue per student. Of course they have lost $5400 per student which means that they have lower revenues of $54K from the state. They have more revenue per student, but less revenue.

TPS has seen a loss of 8K students since 2000 but have not had any reduction of local tax levy revenue. Consequently they have more to spend per student. In this time frame the state foundation amount has increased from about $4,000 to $5,400 this year. So while total revenue is down for this time period, revenue per student has actually climbed at a very substantial rate.

Decisions needed to be made earlier to match infrastructure (classrooms and teachers) to student enrollment. This would have required layoffs and school closing. Since they delayed the decision for a whole host of reasons including taking the political heat they ended up exacerbating the financial situation and creating larger deficits in future years instead of making the cuts earlier.

TPS' revenues per student are significantly more than 7 years ago, but their cost structure was not addressed and now they simply go year to year and make it all the more painful.

None of this is easy, but that is why we elected board members - to make the hard decisions!

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