Axis Mundi X discussion

Fleeced... what about it.

Comments Showing 1-22 of 22 (22 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Servius  Heiner  | 1980 comments Mod
Is anyone else here reading Fleeced? I’m almost done with it, and am brimming with a wide range of questions. Mainly with teachers, or those linked to teacher Unions… I really hope none of you are participating in the 403(b) retirement plan. At any rate, just wondering who else was reading it. There is a lot to debate in them there pages.

message 2: by Varmint (new)

Varmint have a copy of "outrage" here. morris may be a toe sucking clinton enabler, but he knows how to write an incendiary book.

moto gp on now. best race of the season.

message 3: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony What about the teacher thing? More, please, if you would, kind sirs.

Servius  Heiner  | 1980 comments Mod
Well RA the loose version is the NEA (not sure if that is the right acronym; the east coast teachers union) is being paid royalties by ING to push certain retirement plans. Conflict of interest much? One plan in particular is a real bad one 403(b). It is a complete rip off. Over half of your contributions end up going back to the fund managers.

You know this is a little too important to fudge. So I will bust out the book, take some notes (with websites addresses) and post a real explanation. It is pretty nasty and I was really upset that a Union that is supposes to be looking out for the welfare of its members pretty much sold everyone out in order to “pay” for the union administration. Funny I always thought that was what union fees were for.

message 5: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony Thanks, Nick. I've met a lot of assholes from teachers' unions. And God help you if you don't tow the party line and you work in a school district. While I think teachers' unions have done a decent job obtaining benefits for their people, they protect a lot of shitty teachers and have stood in the way of instructional progress more often than not.

Servius  Heiner  | 1980 comments Mod
I completely forgot to grab the book last night. I will do it today promise.

message 7: by Servius Heiner (last edited Jul 21, 2008 08:22AM) (new)

Servius  Heiner  | 1980 comments Mod
I also meant to ask, what your thoughts on Merit pay are. I hear there are some districts that are trying out different ways of handling it.

From what I gather it is an attempt to reward "good" teachers, without giving out sweeping pay raises to teachers that are no longer effective/burned out what have you.
I believe it also rewards the school non-teaching staff too.

message 8: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony Yeah, I think merit pay is going to become more and more popular...I'm not against it. A couple points:

1. Teacher pay is usually based on experience and degrees, e.g. how many years and whether or not they've got additional credits/degrees.

2. This can be a problem esp. if a more experienced/degreed teacher has mentally checked out and is making substantially more than a less experienced/degreed teacher who may have a great impact on student learning.

3. Merit pay is usually connected to standardized tests. In other words, whether or not "merit" is present is based on students' learning as measured on standardized tests.

4. The controversy over whether or not student learning can be accurately measured through standardized tests enters the equation.

5. Yes, in most cases, I believe, everyone in the building shares in the extra cash equally. I believe there have been some scenarios in which principals have discretion to reward some teachers more than others but those have been highly controversial.

I'm not against merit pay...I think we're early in the process of trying to figure out how to set up a good system. God knows I had some shitty teachers, and worked with some shitty teachers, who were raking in big cash just because they stuck around for a long time. Remember, it's VERY hard to fire most teachers once they've stuck around a few years.

message 9: by Charissa, That's Ms. Obnoxious Twat to You. (new)

Charissa (dakinigrl) | 3620 comments Mod
I wanted to be a teacher back before I met my ex husband, and then after working for myself for a number of years, and then learning more about the bureaucracy of the education system, I pretty much talked myself out of it. But over the years of working in my daughter's schools as substitute, teaching art on the side, and other encounters I have had in a role as teacher, I find that nothing else is quite as satisfying as working with kids.

I am so appalled at the education system here in California though, and I haven't heard a lot to make me think the rest of the country is much better. I am planning on becoming a substitute teacher in the public schools beginning this Fall... and perhaps becoming a school counselor after that... but I'm afraid that the system is going to make me insane.

How do people function inside that system so they can do something good, while being so powerless to stop such idiocy as the Bush Administration has thrown down the pike at everyone? What can be done to save the education in this country? When will they figure out that teaching to the test is creating a country of illiterati who hate school?

message 10: by Not Bill (new)

Not Bill | 1062 comments Following the thread, the problem isn't so much the Bush Administration, or any other administration. It's the unions both state and national as well as the crony pols they work with in the legislature.

message 11: by Charissa, That's Ms. Obnoxious Twat to You. (new)

Charissa (dakinigrl) | 3620 comments Mod
The stuff I was referring to are new policies which have come down the pike directly from the Bush Administration... things were bad before that, but have only gotten worse by all reports.

Servius  Heiner  | 1980 comments Mod
How else are we suppose to know what children are and are not learning if we don't test them? If there isn't enough time in the school year then maybe it is time we make the school years longer, and the class day longer. As far as kids hating school what else is new. Lucky for us and them it isn't their decision to go to school.

message 13: by Not Bill (new)

Not Bill | 1062 comments I'm sure one reference is to No Child Left Behind, but what else? I don't doubt there are others, Im just not aware of them. National education directives always seem like a dodgy approach as each state has it's own set of needs.

message 14: by Charissa, That's Ms. Obnoxious Twat to You. (new)

Charissa (dakinigrl) | 3620 comments Mod
EXAMPLE: There has been a new policy where instead of teaching a subject for say 6 weeks at a time, and then testing, they have switched to teaching for ONE WEEK per subject, then testing... and then 4 months later there is a comprehensive test which covers everything over the past 4 months. It's impossible for many kids to learn anything that way. Only if you are good at cramming and testing will you get decent grades. And NO ONE is learning anything that will stick with them. I know, I have taken classes like that. And that was in college.

Testing is different than teaching to the test, Nick. I don't have a problem with testing. But I do have a problem with teaching children JUST to take a test. As opposed to teaching them in ways that they actually learn the material in a way that is useful in their lives. Teaching children to think and learn on their own, teaching children a love of learning... now these are good goals. But they are not the goals of the public education system.

message 15: by Not Bill (new)

Not Bill | 1062 comments hmmmm in your example, both the old and new approaches really seem suspect. But, as you observed, public education perhaps really isn't really about "educating" these days. Too much money, power and politics involved.

Servius  Heiner  | 1980 comments Mod
I have no problem with the money aspect of it, As long as it is getting results. Seems how we are not getting results...

And then there are the good teachers walking, because they are:
Not getting paid enough
Getting ripped off by their Union

I think some serious reform is in order, starting with the unions. Improve the quality of the teacher improve the students.

message 17: by Charissa, That's Ms. Obnoxious Twat to You. (new)

Charissa (dakinigrl) | 3620 comments Mod
yup. Gods I hope my head doesn't explode when I start getting involved.

message 18: by Not Bill (new)

Not Bill | 1062 comments Get em DakChar. They don't know what's about to hit em.

message 19: by Charissa, That's Ms. Obnoxious Twat to You. (new)

Charissa (dakinigrl) | 3620 comments Mod
ha ha ha. who me? :::bats eyelashes:::

message 20: by Not Bill (new)

Not Bill | 1062 comments ::: looks around::: yeah you!

message 21: by Varmint (new)

Varmint some gasoline on the fire...

"when schoolchildren start paying union dues, that's when i'll start representing the interests of schoolchildren."

albert shanker
former head of the NFT

some stats just made the papers here in california. we spend in excess of $10,000 per student. our teachers are tied with conneticut for highest paid in the country. and we have a drop out rate near 30%.
i used to think homeschoolers were a little nuts. seems more and more like a rational choice.

and will someone explain to me why the feds even have a role in this? the department of education did not exist before 1964. has it really helped?

Servius  Heiner  | 1980 comments Mod
Ok well I finally found the website

The story starts off with a former teacher "Art Dawe"

Art's Annual growth was 5.19% His ING fund deducted 3.59% annually.

The deductions comprising of:
.67% operating expenses
1.92% management fees
1% death benefit (this is completely pointless because you have an assigned beneficiary with retirement plans)

So of all his contributions and earnings from contributions Art's retirement account only went up 1.6% that is a rip off.

To put it into Mickey Mouse terms for all of us that is not Wall Street bankers...

Teacher A: Average retirement plan
Contributes $500 per month
Earns 10% a year
Have 379,684 after 20 years

Teacher B: 403(b) & value builder plan holders

Contributes $500 per month
Earns 10% a year
Has 209,114 after 20 years, which is 170,000 less then what the average retirement plans make.

Oh and I need to correct an earlier statement. The Union is NEA, they made some stabs at the other teachers union, but they really beat up NEA. SO I hope this helps some of you out.

back to top