Teachers demonstrate today at five corners

Just when you thought AIMS and Tony Smith were the stories in town, OUSD educators will rally at five street corners in Oakland at 4 p.m. to drum up support for their demand of a 3.5 percent pay raise.

– 35th and MacArthur
– Grand Lake Splashpad Park  (where the Saturday farmers market is held)
– 51st and Broadway
– 98th and International
– Seventh and Market streets

Here is their explanation:

Escalating their fight for a fair contract, Oakland Unified educators will take to the streets at 4 p.m. this afternoon (Wednesday, April 17) on five street corners for their “Hour of Power” event to mobilize the community about their struggle. Oakland teachers are leaving the district due to low pay. The district, despite its $25 million in excess reserve funds, is refusing the Oakland Education Association’s proposal of a 3.5 percent raise for this school year. The protests are to educate the public about the district’s lack of priorities: For this school year, the district budgeted for 234 fewer certificated employees (teachers, counselors, etc.) and 36 fewer classified employees, but 37 more administrators.



  • Luis Mota

    Fair enough. Raise their salaries when the district has gotten rid of the years and years of accumulated mediocrity that the administrators do not have the … to evaluate out. The same mediocrity that infiltrates the union so that they think themselves untouchable when it comes to evaluation.
    Actually, I bet that even by raising the salaries, many good teachers would still leave to avoid this dysfunctional circus.

  • Seenitbefore

    ^ You are soooooo off base with what is wrong in OUSD! You seriously think that an abundance of mediocre, union rabble rousers who want more pay for doing nothing is the reality in this district????? Check your facts against the working and living conditions of the majority of active OEA members. Most of the people who are vocal and outspoken in the union, AND THEIR OWN CHILDREN, live in near poverty conditions themselves just so they can afford to pay for the supplies and tools they SHOULD be getting for their classrooms from the DISTRICT in order to educate the children of Oakland.

    I will agree with you on one thing though….. eventually, most of the great teachers that come through Oakland USD…. are pressured to leave AND DO, because of the “dysfunctional circus” of highly paid Administrators, Consultants, and Outsiders who are profiting GREATLY from keeping the mayhem alive in OUSD.

  • awoodall

    The district agrees the teachers are underpaid but has offered them less than 3.5 percent and not retroactive. Not all of that $25 million is disposable, by nature. The district wants to keep a 3 percent reserve vs. a 2 percent required by law bc, as someone put it, the last time the district tried to overspend they would up in receivership. In addition, the state budget is still unclear and Prop 30 is a cushion not padding. I can’t say if the arguments are accurate but just wanted to add some context to the post from yesterday.
    I always say teachers are the only professionals I know who make less than reporters. But yeah, this doesn’t seem like an easy district in which to work.

  • In and out

    @ Seenitbefore

    I think you twist Luis Mota’s words. I do not see he says that lousy teachers are THE one problem. Certainly, it is one.
    I am an OEA member, whether I like it or not I get my dues deducted. Dues deducted for bargaining costs that lead to a miserable pay. Oh yes, and a magazine in the mail every once in a while. The union did not support me when needed once I got in an administrator’s cross hairs. However, the union will support the lousy teachers not to get fired and will even say it is “for the good of the children”.
    So, please, in your activism don’t exclude that some of us can be self-critical, which is a very healthy habit. Now, others call that betrayal.
    And by the way, I have seen first hand the work of some of those in the union and its bargaining team. Some of them are not necessarily the best…

  • J.R.

    I have to agree, we cannot spend what we do not(in reality)have. It is utter foolishness to spend taxpayers money without taking into consideration future ramifications. The district has to subsidize these meal and or health programs(and the cost is growing every year). The root problem here is that people who cannot take care of themselves must be subsidized by taxpayers(some through the school district)which leaves less money in the budget for salaries and benefits. So pick your poison liberals, do you want to subsidize others or do you want more pay and benefits?

  • Seenitbefore

    and consider this….. WHY would veteran teachers who have YEARS of successful teaching experience within OUSD and in OTHER DISTRICTS….. be so vehemently opposed to the evaluation system reform advocates of today?

    Have you MET and evaluated to actual “credentials”, experience level, and success rates of 95% of the ASSHATS they call Administrators in OUSD???? Most of them have little to NO SUCCESSFUL TEACHING EXPERIENCE themselves!!!! And yet, THEY are allowed to evaluate and ruin the careers of teachers who in most cases have WAY more experience and knowledge about successful teaching practices than said Administrator will ever acquire!

    Most OUSD “leaders” have gone through some sort of alternative educational leadership reform “program” run by wealthy businessmen who HATE the traditional public school system. They advocate “reform” for their own personal reasons and have financially exploited and experimented with our urban school districts for many, many years. All it takes is ONE or two strategically placed ASSHAT Administrators to RUIN a thriving school community and the lives and careers of ANY teacher, parent, or student who dares to speak the truth about what REALLY goes on in YOUR KID’s school every day!

    Case in point…. check the stats of a certain Rockridge area Middle School over the last 5 years and then interview some former teachers who were forced out and/or punished with negative evaluations for speaking out about the ILLEGAL and UNPROFESSIONAL activities of a former school administrator who went through the prestigious Broad training. Yet… during that SAME period… this former “Administrator” was held up by OUSD’s “Glorious Leader”, “Kim Jung” Smith and various OUSD School Board members …. as the stellar example of what a GREAT school administrator should be! Now that the truth is known…and they have set the school backwards academically, and financially ruined it, they conveniently leave for greener (as in MONEY for themselves) pastures in other educational reform hotspots such as, oh…. Chicago and Detroit, for example.

    This district doesn’t educate your children…. because the people who run this district…make more money from keeping it a “dysfunctional circus”….. and you need to “get”… that the majority of OUSD TEACHERS are not the ones who are profiting from this corrupt system. The system that YOU, the community, have allowed to operate over the past couple of decades is clearly NOT working. So… why don’t you try giving the teachers a decent salary, listening to what the QUALIFIED and EXPERIENCED teachers are/have been saying about what is WRONG with the educational system, and give them a little respect and professional courtesy for a change?

  • J.R.

    Here is the link that goes with those comments:


    Everyone needs to make themselves aware of the real root causes of our financial problems. People who cannot, or will not pull their own weight(and this has been ongoing for decades now).

    Our kids are unfit, moody, uncooperative, unfocused because of the crud that they eat(not really lack of exercise).


    The cause of problems are all inter-related so they all must be addressed. Most of all important is that the government cannot fulfill the function of parents within the family unit(If you choose to be a parent, you must step up and be one), and many cannot.

  • Seenitbefore

    yes, yes… @ “In and Out”

    the union is the problem….. the people who brought you weekends, minimum wages, and fair working conditions.

    Question? Did you work in OUSD for more than 3-4 years?

    Another way that the Administration has kept the “dysfunctional circus” in town is to hire non-credentialed college graduates through “alternative teacher credentialing programs” and to entice them into submission and anti-unionism by paying off their college loans and offering all sorts of financial and career incentives if they “tow the line”. Since these non-credentialed, untenured “teachers” can be “non-reelected” by their school administrators for NO CAUSE, at any time during their first 3 years… Those teachers are also threatened and punished if they participate in union activities AND.. the union actually has NO ability to fight against a non-reelection notice. So, most newbie “teachers” just do, and agree with, whatever the “BOSS” says until their loan is paid off. Then they leave OUSD and a new batch of kids is brought in. Rinse and repeat.

  • J.R.

    I don’t have any teaching experience whatsoever, but I can figure out:
    1. If the majority of students of particular teachers need remediation in successive years(and this same teacher is well known for showing movies and handing out worksheets, there is a problem!

    2. If teachers hand out busy work(and worse not rigorous) that does not align to standards even loosely, there is a problem!

    3. If I were to inspect a teachers grade book( and many do not even keep them), I might find very few(when averaged against other teachers)test quizzes, and homework to base a grade upon(small sample size. There is a problem!

    It does not require being a teacher to see deficiencies and(even less) outright lack of real teaching ability( time of service is of course not relevant).

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but most people with common sense can figure these things out(it’s even easier for a college educated person such as myself).

  • Seenitbefore

    @ J.R.

    Thank you for identifying a couple of the main root causes of a failing educational system in Oakland.

    Until the family structure, the poverty, nutritional health, lack of sleep, sexual promiscuity, and personal accountability of students for their own learning is addressed… how can a teacher even BEGIN to educate an Oakland child?

    If all I had to do was TEACH my students… life would be a DREAM!! But first…. I have to
    •figure out if the kid has anyone at all parenting them,
    •buy the kid school supplies and a bus pass,
    •give them my lunch,
    •make sure to always have snacks stashed away
    •find some extra money at the bottom of my purse several times a week for the (always) hungry ones,
    •fight with the fat ones to stop eating “Flaming Hot Cheetos” in the middle of class,
    •wake up the ones who stay on FaceBook until 2 or 3 am every night,
    •explain to the ones whose private parts are hanging out why it is “unacceptable” to “twerk” in the hallways of our campus,
    •convince a 6th grader that even though he KNOWS that he will be promoted to 7th grade irregardless of whether he passes or fails EVERY academic subject this year.. he should STILL do his school work….

    when are we, as teachers supposed to actually TEACH our subject matter???

    Asking for a mere 4% COLA raise after 10 YEARS of NO raises…. for doing all of that and much. much more… is NOT being greedy. Telling me to DO all of that and MORE for LESS money and LESS benefits while hundreds of District Administrators are making triple digit salaries…. PLUS to be treated unprofessionally, criticized, and blamed for the lack of student success….is ridiculous.

  • Seenitbefore

    @ J.R.

    I have NO problem whatsoever with reprimanding or truthfully evaluating any “teacher” who is inept, lazy, unprepared or truly unsuited to be in a classroom. Our kids deserve better.

    My “complaint” is….. when the person who is doing the teacher “evaluating” is LESS competent than the teacher teaching the class… there is a problem with the validity of the evaluation system.

    When the “teacher” is accused of something or perceived to be NOT teaching…. yet the Administrator has NO tangible data or documentation to back UP that claim….. then HECK yeah…. the Union will defend it’s members.

    Likewise… when another teacher, such as myself, witnesses an inept uncredentialed colleague who is coddled and rewarded with perks and leadership roles by the Administration simply for shunning union members and for “towing the line” with whatever crazy scheme that Administrator is pushing…. how do you think that is supposed to motivate me as a professional educator for over 20 years to work harder for less pay???

  • J.R.

    Agreed, parents are the number one factor in in a child’s life, and that includes education. Please remember that this overly permissive welfare society has made worse by orders of magnitude the problems of family structure, the poverty, nutritional health, lack of sleep, sexual promiscuity, and personal accountability. We should help people, but we should not cater to people who put no effort in. If we do just this one thing, there will be change. The politicians find that is just easier to take money and re-distribute it(the vicious cycle continues).

  • J.R.

    One more thing regarding pension & pay, and this is very good news for you, the majority of your retirement will be covered by the taxpayers. Unlike people I know in the private sector who lost some or most of their 401Ks, your retirement will be there for you if they have to tax every last taxpayer into oblivion to do it. There is your motivation!

  • Seenitbefore

    oh… you mean the retirement system that takes money out of my paycheck every month….

    the retirement system that provides for NO access to ANY Dental or HEALTH Benefits group coverage….

    the retirement system that requires me to be PENALIZED and NOT RECEIVE the money I should be entitled to after working years and paying into the social security system while working in previous jobs OUTSIDE of education….

    Oakland Teachers are NOT part of the out of control PERS program or the famous “Annuity” program of the past as Principals and Administrators are.

    We are enrolled in the STRS program….. HUGE difference… MONUMENTAL. Look into it.

    While my colleagues who have chosen to leave Oakland USD or to get out of the classroom and move into administration retire cash their PERS pension monies and take trips to Hawaii, enjoy their free time with the family, or seek medical care when necessary without fear of total bankruptcy….. I and my fellow OEA teachers can look forward to a retirement and old age filled with poverty and worries about how to afford food, housing, healthcare, medicine, and the cost of gasoline or a BART ticket to get us to our part time jobs as Walmart Greeters, Grocery Clerks, or Starbucks Baristas.

    I will GLADLY take the option of managing my own retirement program….if it was allowed! You should try holding the actual agencies doing the pillaging of the taxpayers accountable for the misuse of your, and MY precious tax dollars. It isn’t Oakland teachers who are getting rich off anybody’s tax dollars.

  • J.R.
  • OUSD Teacher


    You sound so bitter and tainted. I can only imagine how you interact with your students and their families. Our union is weak, they have not been able to negotiate a new contract for years. They continue to protect BAD teachers and I have NO faith in Trish as our OEA president. I enjoy teaching, but I will leave OUSD before I become a bitter and tainted teacher!

  • https://www.facebook.com/timothy.terry.397 Kid Row

    Was the right wing GO Public Schools rallying out with the Teachers this week feeding them with some of those Charter school backers money. I know they advertise how much they “Hella Love Teachers”.

  • Seenitbefore

    @ J.R.

    again…. Oakland Teachers are NOT enrolled in the Cal PERS pension fund.

    I actually agree with you on the PERS deal. It’s wrong for people to work for the government for only 5 years and then “retire”, and get a hefty pension and guaranteed healthcare for the rest of their life at Taxpayers expense as many do.

    We are enrolled in Cal STRS….. completely different animal. WAY less lucrative if one is trying to “stick it” to the taxpayers. Oakland Teachers are NOT getting fat retirement bennies……AT ALL!!! In fact, Oakland Teachers have not even been paid a fair wage for the daily work they do for over 10 years!

    Meanwhile…. OUSD Administrators (which are growing in numbers every year) ARE members of SEIU, which DOES participate in PERS. So…. once again… people are blaming the wrong people for wasting money and “working” the system. Teachers are NOT the cause of the problem you seem to be trying to bring to light.

  • J.R.

    I already know about the different plans, just be thankful you aren’t one of us regular private sector working drones who have to take care of their own retirement if there is anything left after the government gets through with it. As far as the Oakland teacher not being paid fair wages, that’s partly due to choices being made about included healthcare costs and the large number of teachers that are employed. Another reason for tight budgets is the massive cost of retiree benefits(they get raises too you know). Read these links, they may give you some perspective




  • Luis Mota


    Obviously, this conversation about union is a replay of the same arguments, the good ones vs the bad ones, once and again, based on your seniority.But check your emphatic facts: administrators are UAOS members, not SEIU, and they are at will.
    Not that I disagree that there are too many, though.
    Good luck with your personal administrator beef.

  • Nontcair

    What’s this about higher pay for public school teachers? The statutory school “year” is ~180 days.

    Simple math:

    Salary ÷ 180 == pay/day (PPD)
    PPD * 365 == annual salary (benefits extra)

    A simple calculation reveals that public school teachers are NOT underpaid.

    This is all *before* one considers how poorly the students are doing. If there’s teaching goin on, we ain’t seeing that much of it.

    The teacher pay issue is absurd, but what should we expect from the public sector?

    A “professional” is someone who earns a living through selling his specialized skill in the free marketplace. I’ve noticed a very strong human tendancy to elevate one’s own status to that of a “professional” through the use of government, ie *licensing*.

    When can we expect garbagemen to demand professional status (government certification) also?

    Isn’t it funny how consumate professionals, pro-athletes — don’t those words go together like bread-&-butter — need no government-provided special recognition. I don’t even think they need a high school diploma. Anyone who’s good enough can join the club.

    Teachers (et al) who defend the government setting the standards of their own professionalism are merely seeking to cartelize their own labor.

  • Seenitbefore

    @ nontcair

    Garbagemen in Oakland….. are paid CONSIDERABLY MORE than Oakland teachers…..

    Are you equating the value of educating your child with the value of getting your trash picked up???? REALLY??????

    Dateline 2007……”The San Francisco Chronicle reports that in 2007 the average garbage man in Oakland, California made between $65,000 and $75,000.”


  • J.R.


    “Are you equating the value of educating your child with the value of getting your trash picked up???? REALLY??????

    Dateline 2007……”The San Francisco Chronicle reports that in 2007 the average garbage man in Oakland, California made between $65,000 and $75,000.”

    what this is really about are unions ability to distort the scale of value for labor by importance. Garbage men should not make more than teachers I do agree on that of course, but the most powerful unions have raised the benefits of their members, consequently some menial(garbagemen) jobs pay more than professionals(teachers). The real problem here is the unions, but you will never admit it. It is very difficult for a society to survive when menial non-skilled make so much in the public sector(and of teachers should make more than garbagemen but where is the money coming from)? we just cannot sustain it. Teachers need to be truthful and look at the situation the older teachers have placed upon the youngest teachers( who are severely underpaid(veteran teachers benefit by being able to average their own good salary the severely lower paid junior teachers giving the false impression that all teachers are under-paid.

  • In and out

    @ JR
    Totally agreed. The lousiest teachers in the two schools I have worked at in my 13+ years here are the most senior, making 65K plus, excluding benefits. Quite by chance, they were always the ones with a rebuttal in their evaluations, or an objection to whatever we tried to do as a team. Well, probably it is because their experience tells them what’s best, or perhaps they can afford it because we work in the flatlands, or perhaps there is a worldwide conspiracy against them.

  • Seenitbefore

    Um…. The “youngest teachers” are NOT underpaid considering that MOST, if not ALL of them come to OUSD with NO teaching credential, no college coursework in educational methods or philosophy, and no experience in an actual classroom!!!

    The alternative Credentialing programs that OUSD has employed to hire slave labor drones who do whatever they are told to do…. Has worked perfectly.

    The Oakland community has NO idea what “good teaching” or a “fair wage” is. I’ve been fortunate to live and work in other areas of the U.S. So, sling all the arrows you have at me…. Continue attacking and assaulting my character. Call me bitter… Whatever makes YOU feel better you self righteous pr@$&!!!

    YOUR opinion of me…. Means nothing. The measure of my impact as a teacher is felt everyday when MY former students go out into the world as lawyers, police officers, broadway composers, insurance salespeople, scientists, and teachers just to name a few. And no… These are NOT the kids I’ve taught from Oakland!!! My Oakland students have been, arrested, shown on the news, shot, seen walking along East 14th street, had babies before they are even out of high school, or left OUSD to attend private school.

    I know my students. And they know that I care about them. Even the ones that I have had to reprimand the most…. In fact… Especially the ones whom I have held accountable for their actions and words…. Have come back to tell me how much they appreciate what I did for them. I see them grown with kids of their own on FaceBook… I have the boxes of thank you cards and letters and little drawings they have given me over the years. I am a professional educator….. By CHOICE. And if Oakland doesn’t appreciate people like me teaching their kids… Then yeah…. I will one day leave… Just like all the others have.

  • Nontcair

    Here we go again: Public union members low-balling their compensation by comparing apples to oranges.

    SFGate quoted g-man pay per annum. My guess is that those workers make a decent *hourly* but spike up due to generous OT. Their normalized pay should be calculated by taking that nominal $70K figure and dividing it by ~2,300 (the cumulative # of hours on their timecards). That gives a more realistic average *hourly* rate.

    Teachers work only ~180 days. I’m not sure, but I believe they’re actually on-duty *fewer* than 8 h/d. On a per-hour basis, a teacher’s pay premium rises ever further (not counting the value of tenure).

    Lest you think I’m just bashing teachers, *all* public employees are way overpaid. Particularly egregious examples are UC profs and BART managers. Still, as a group, pub ed K-12 teacher salaries account for a leading share of tax dollars.

    My guess is ~13% of the state budget.

    Don’t misunderstand. I didn’t mean to denigrate g-man. I’m actually acquainted with a fellow who used to drive a trash truck. He went on from there to a *spectacular* high tech career: patents, venture funding, IPO. The whole bit.

    Generally speaking, I wouldn’t want the average g-man teaching kids the 3Rs. But then again, I wouldn’t want the average public school teacher doing it either.

  • Nontcair

    Teachers who point to their ex-pupils who went on to successful careers as “proof” of their extraordinary teaching abilities remind me of those cosmetics companies who hope you’ll believe that using their brand of eye-shadow will make you look like a supermodel.

    How many of their ex-students from those same school districts went on to successful careers as g-men, criminals, and so forth?

    How many students who bypassed their classes (or dropped out) did as well or even BETTER?

    One could also say that each of those successful ex-students was largely influenced by his g-man.

  • Seenitbefore

    I didn’t say that my students have gone on to be successful SOLELY from my extraordinary teaching abilities.

    I said that I have been told by many of my former students…who have also gone on to be successful in their chosen careers, and in raising decent children of their own….. that they appreciated being in my classes, that they learned things in my classes that were helpful to them in their life, and that they now (as adults) realize how much extra effort that I and MANY of their teachers put into educating them.

    You see…. the garbage man passes by your house to pick up your trash and if your trash is there, he picks it up….if not… tough luck for you until next week. Try giving him an excuse from your mom that requires him to drive his truck back to your house on a more convenient day for YOU….. or have him working unpaid on his weekend, or into the wee hours of the morning…. on a individualized pick up plan that suits your needs….because after all… you’re not a morning person.

    Teachers ACTIVELY teach about 150 or more (music, pe, art) students every school day, 180 days per year. During our “working hours” (PAID HOURS) we are also required to attend meetings with administrators, other teachers, parents, students, and district professional developments.

    In our UNPAID HOURS… we make lesson plans, grade papers, call parents, attend after school functions, plan field trips, shop at the dollar store for supplies and classroom rewards, research and study our curriculum subject, stay abreast of new educational trends and information, attend conferences on teaching and/or our subject matter, field phone calls and email from students and parents, and enter 6-10 grades and comments for 50+ students into the OUSD computer system for progress reports and report cards every 3 weeks (secondary)…. we also clean and straighten our rooms, take out the trash, repair the broken stuff, put up bulletin boards, attend pta meetings, SST meetings, ssc meetings, and other school committees, participate in fundraising events, school beautification days, the school auction, the school yard sale, the school walk a thon, new family recruiting events, science night, music concerts, school sporting events, etc…. we chaperone dances, and graduation, and class events…. we tutor and watch over your kids who hang around the school way before and way after the bell has rung…and a million other things that may not seem like a big deal to you… but those things take our time….and you know what?

    We don’t get paid for ANY of that!

    Personally…. pay me by the hour for EVERY hour I spend doing something related to SCHOOL and I would be making WAY more money that way!

    Or…. ask your garbageman to teach your kids. As you say…. he probably has as much, if not MORE influence than we do. But remember… His salary is already almost twice as much as an Oakland teacher salary… and he only works for the hours that he is paid and… I doubt that he has the experience to manage up to 52 kids per class 5 times per day, or the college coursework in education and subject matter to deliver engaging and meaningful lessons. So… good luck with that!

  • Nontcair

    Some people just don’t want to get it.

    I don’t know what your *contract* with the District states, but I wouldn’t pay you for all those diversions any more than I would pay my painting contractor for doing the laundry.

    Everyone keeps repeating the same hot-button line that g-men make more than teachers.

    As if it were true.
    As if there’s some sort of standardized g-man/teacher.
    As if teachers are intrinsically worth more than g-men.
    As if it mattered.

    Why do I even try, but here goes:

    A g-man with a HS diploma who earns $70K after working 2,300 hours (on the clock), has an average pay of ~$30/h.

    Feeling burned out from that back-breaking work, g-man quits and takes a “fast-track” job as an OUSD science teacher at a salary of $50K per year. Of course, he only actually *works* 180 days (per 360) and is only *expected* to be on-duty for 7 h/d. His hourly pay goes UP to $40/h

    Now here’s the thing: the ex-science teacher with a Masters degree, who was envious of g-men, decided to become one. But feeling in so many ways superior to his uneducated neanderthal co-workers, each week he punched out at the 40 hour mark and VOLUNTARILY worked an extra 6 or so hours per week (OT) for NOTHING; he used some of this time to stay current on the latest trends in sanitation engineering and to consume bulk quantities of aspirin and bottled water.

    At the end of a year, officially having worked 2,000 hours and earned only $50K, he was alarmed to find that his wage had fallen to a mere $25/h.

    But when he realized that his *real* wages — as measured by the amount of time that he himself had calculated he had put into his newly chosen profession — had fallen to a subsistence level of just $22/hr, he THREATENED TO GO OUT ON STRIKE.

  • Yazstremski

    Guess you’re not a man of your word. Back on the blog spewing inaccuracies. We didn’t miss you, hopefully you’ll crawl back into that hole and stay off the blog for good.

  • makeitgoaway

    OUSD teachers deserve their raise and more. the problems identified here concerning bad administrators and teachers do exist, as they do in every profession (including those of the critical posters). In the end, you get what you pay for, and the Board isn’t paying for much. read Daniel Pink’s book, Drive. Resentment about working conditions and pay stifles creativity and progress every time in every profession. First pay them fairly in some of the hardest conditions any teacher in the state can work in. Then pour money in to make the schools safe. Then you can criticize them to your heart’s content.

  • Elementary Teacher

    Even an elementary school teacher can immediately see the faulty logic and math from posting #21, as you would not multiply anyone’s daily pay by 365 to arrive at the annual salary. No one works 365 days a year, with no vacation, no holidays, and no weekends. Most professional jobs offer 3 weeks vacation plus all holidays the first year working, and then increased to 4 weeks within a few years.

    Re #29 Thank you for taking the time to eloquently describe our jobs! I just finished a weekend where I worked about 10 hours (all unpaid) and consider it an easy weekend!

    Below is an example of someone who did not learn basic logic and reasoning, and now hates teachers because of that:

    Simple math:

    Salary ÷ 180 == pay/day (PPD)
    PPD * 365 == annual salary (benefits extra)

    A simple calculation reveals that public school teachers are NOT underpaid.

  • J.R.

    Makeit Posted
    “Resentment about working conditions and pay stifles creativity and progress every time in every profession. First pay them fairly in some of the hardest conditions any teacher in the state can work in. Then pour money in to make the schools safe”.

    More money does not make teachers better or schools safer, involved parents and communities do and they don’t cost a red cent. Some of the worst school districts in the country pay the most and it hasn’t improved or changed anything in decades.

    If the OEA teachers union is serious about doing whats right and having conviction they will:

    1. Demand immediate raise for the bottom 50% of teachers on the pay scale.

    2. In return OUSD will cut central office,admin expenses, positions etc by 33%(and put and end to contracting out).

    If the union does that, I will be 100% behind them as will public opinion. Of course that will never happen because it defeats the purpose of the collectivists union, and one comrade is just as good as another(unless you have been breathing for a long time and thats another story).

  • Nontcair

    Those who call for higher teacher pay are always reluctant (unable?) to specify an exact figure.

    About *half* this state’s budget already goes to public education (K-16).

    Brown just pushed through yet *another* hefty tax increase purportedly to benefit public education.

    It seems like every time I open the local newspaper some east bay School (Draft) Board is pushing for higher taxes, a bond offerring, or some hybrid of the two.

    Where does it end?

    The truth is, public education backers want virtually *unlimited* funding for the institution.

    Teachers want higher salaries.
    Administrators want more luxorious offices.
    Coaches want greener ballfields.
    Bus drivers want GPS and climate control.
    Psychologists want more Ritalin.
    Consultants want more contracts.
    Egalitarians want more for the less fortunate.
    And on and on and on.

    Whether they know it or not, those who call for higher public ed funding (in/for whatever manner/purpose) are really just demanding BIGGER Government.

    We know that, where education is concerned, the socialist consensus settles for nothing less than half the budget. But the coalition is unwilling to take money away from EBT, psych services, recycling, or any of the other baloney programs in order to pay for it. The socialists INSIST that *everything* in their agenda is equally important, and that those items maintain their disrespective funding market shares.

    Therefore, every new tax dollar which goes to education creates a political vacuum for yet another new tax dollar to maintain funding “levels” for ALL the items of the wacky socialist agenda.

    Public education is only a pretext for bigger and BIGGER Government.

  • J.R.

    Here is a tool comparing districts budgets, and some of the worst districts get the most money(its fairly common for 60% or more of the budget reserved for salaries and benefits).


    You can see and decide for yourselves that more money does not equal better education.

  • Nontcair

    #31 wrote: In the end, you get what you pay for ..

    In the private sector, that’s true enough.

    For the *public* sector, it’s *always* FALSE. In fact, not only do you not get it, most of the time you get the exact OPPOSITE.

    Of course, if what you really want the government to do is to make things *worse*, well then, yeah. You’re getting your money’s worth.

  • StandDeliverSleepAndDoIt Again

    How to tell if you are a teacher:

    • You show up well before your starting time and stay after work most days
    • You spend your own money on supplies needed to do your job
    • You may be supervised by people with much less experience and knowledge than you have
    • You supervise up to 160 people per day every day and are expected to write performance evaluations of them every six weeks
    • If you need to be absent, you must still make preparations that your work is done by someone who may have no actual qualifications to do your job
    • You must be prepared to make nearly 900 presentations every year at the secondary level, or make 5-6 presentations to the same audience every day for 180 days per year
    • You also must do these presentations in multiple ways for the advanced, GATE, struggling, EL, special ed and other students in your room
    • You are judged by people who know nothing about teaching
    • You put in another 15+ hours every single week beyond your paid time, preparing for the job
    * You are required to attend professional development selected on a one-size-fits-all basis, at a rate that is from 1/2 to 1/3 of your regular pay
    * Some people believe that you are “free” after 3:00, holidays, weekends and “all those vacations,” even though most of that time is spent preparing for class
    * You are expected to be endlessly patient, prepared, up-to-date with the latest changes and trends in best practices, technology, and standards

    If you answered yes to most of these statements, then you are a teacher. It’s a really hard, endlessly demanding jobs, so stop bashing on teachers. To do it well consistently is a daunting feat. Teachers face an ever-shifting student population whose needs seem to increase exponentially each year, with dwindling resources. Even the best teachers often face burnout.Oakland is an especially difficult place to teach. Try it some time before you make your comments.

  • Nontcair

    I am so *tired* of teachers whining about all the:

    “work” they perform “for free”
    expenditures from their own pockets on behalf of others
    students they have to babysit

    and on and on.

    Hey, teachers! Do taxpayers a favor:

    If your Association contract states that you’re only on-duty from 8 til 3, then arrive/depart *promptly* at those times.

    Taxpayers are *not* operating a sweatshop.

    Do NOT take home papers to grade, lesson plans to fill out, etc.

    Taxpayers are *not* asking you for free OT.

    Do NOT buy pencils, food, shoes, etc for your classroom occupants (inmates).

    Taxpayers do NOT expect you to provide disproportionately for the general expenses of the government.

    If your boss demands that you fill out a lot of bureaucratic paperwork tell him to choose whether he wants you to do that or babysit. Suggest that he make himself useful and fill out the forms *himself*.

    Taxpayers want thier teachers to babysit and their administrators to shuffle paper.

    Better, yet, renegotiate the contract.

    If your’re currently making $50K, we’ll pay you $12.5K in EBT to stay at home and DO NOTHING.


  • Gordon Danning

    In proof of the old adage that even a stopped clock is right once a day, some of what Nontclair says (#38) is true, though of course he says it in his usual inimitably puerile way.

    Specifically, teacher DO have to stop whining about the work they supposedly perform for “free.” Teachers are not paid by the hour; they are salaried workers. Hence, they are expected — like all salaried workers, and certainly like all professionals (doctors, lawyers, retail store managers, etc) to work until the job is done. Anyone who takes a teaching job and doesn’t realize that the job is not simply 8:15 – 3:15 but rather also includes time for grading and prep is, frankly, too stupid to be a teacher.

    So, teachers should complain about actual problems (eg: poor administrative support re: discipline) that make the job harder than it should be, rather than fake “problems” that are inherent in the job itself.

    That being said, there are plenty of folks on here who clearly have no clue about what the job of teaching actually entails (quick, if all 160 of my students turn in their essay assignment on Monday, and I spend 10 minutes grading each essay, what time will I leave school each night Mon-Thurs, if I want to hand the essay back on Friday? The answer: Around 11 pm, if I start grading the minute the bell rings at 3:15).

  • J.R.

    Gordon wrote,
    “Teachers are not paid by the hour; they are salaried workers. Hence, they are expected — like all salaried workers, and certainly like all professionals (doctors, lawyers, retail store managers, etc) to work until the job is done”. There is a word you are leaving out(a small word with big implications(in the private sector, the job must be done WELL)in the public sector things are much more subjective. Grading can be very subjective, even moreso should papers be given just cursory examination. Some teachers do it right, and some don’t bother(some don’t even keep gradebooks).If there is any professional occupation that is less critical,takes less skill, and is less demanding than PE teacher(coach), I have yet to see it. There are few things more pathetic than witnessing PE teacher who are forced back in the classroom, and yet cannot spell,correct grammar, or have mastery of and teach more than very rudimentary math.

  • Nontcair

    Sorry JR, but the objective evidence points to OUSD PE instructors as being the BEST teachers in the district.

    OUSD sports teams — often composed of kids who can’t read or write — are second-to-none.

    In the spirit of NCLB, we need to put the PE guys (coaches) in the English classrooms.

    In the spirit of “for Pete’s sake!” we need to get the Science Education Majors OUT of the labs.

    Another “crisis” of the teachers’ own making is their emotional (ego-driven?) need to be recognized as “professionals”. If teachers could bear to accept an employment classification with lower stature so many of the problems they frequently whine about could be cleared up in a hurry.

  • J.R.

    Sports teams? What relevance is that to striving,surviving and thriving in the real world? Education and a shot at a better life is the purpose and mission of schools, all the other extra is 60% a waste of time and energy. At the school board meetings we have to hear about the glory days of McClymonds, and Bill Russell et al(and what have these people ever done for anyone but themselves)? Sports have not cured diseases,created new technologies, or changed the world for the better in any way. Purely self-serving and of no benefit to society. Why should anyone care in any practical sense?

  • J.R.

    To add, If PE teachers are the best we have, then we are in serious trouble!

  • Jim Mordecai


    Go Warriors!

    Sport is part of the American culture. I have serious doubts that you or I will change that culture.

    However, both the public and private schools’ curriculum usually includes sports. An exception was the American Indian Charter schools that minimized sport and advertised that their curriculum was not for everyone.

    Jim Mordecai

  • Nontcair

    My understanding is that some of the Hall of Famers are quite philanthropic.

    The true mission of public education is .. debatable. IMHO, it’s nothing more than a public works program for the financial benefit of

    union members who vote DEM
    contractors who vote GOP

    Whatever actual education mission exists (if it ever did) — teaching the 3Rs to bona fide resident, desperately poor kids who actually *want* to learn something — was disavowed long ago.

    Of course, public education is a purely *political* institution. Whatever helps secure political support for it becomes absolutely essential. As there’s a large constituency for PP&K, the schools provide it. Successfully, too.

    The constituency for quality academic education fled to the private schools. As the public schools see no real demand for it, they focus on the sort of fluff parents can’t get anywhere else.

  • J.R.

    I agree that public education for the most part is not living up to the standards set down in the state constitutions, and alas has also become a political jobs machine. We must aspire to uplift the brightest and best, and there is job track for the rest. Being a part of the Culture is a really flimsy reason at best, must be a better, more constructive argument than that out there somewhere.