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Pupils practice cursive writing. Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Martin W. Bailey November 15, 2013 at 10:46 am
Absolutely yes cursive should be taught, as well as art, music, drama (the real thing not theRead More complaining griping type) etc.
Amber Haran November 16, 2013 at 09:22 pm
We should definitely teach cursive.I personally use a combination of both. How are people going toRead More have a signature???
Credit unknown. If you know the source of this image, please email Catherine.Crawford@patch.com
beviej November 11, 2013 at 07:41 am
Our education system is based on everyone going to college which is totally ludicrous. Europe'sRead More education system is far superior to the U.S.
Cece November 11, 2013 at 09:40 am
As a teacher in PVUSD, I am expected to teach Common Core with no books, materials, and inadequateRead More training. Not to mention no contract since June. Meanwhile, the district wants to cut our preparation time and increase our mandated meetings.
'Otis' is this year's Read for the Record book.
David H. Perez October 1, 2013 at 01:04 pm
How sweet. Hope he stays awake.
Daisy Perez October 3, 2013 at 01:20 pm
the mayor did a great job. I was a parent volunteer today . he was so attentive with the children
Students protesting. Photo: Samantha Carroll
Ken September 23, 2013 at 10:15 pm
This story epitomizes what is wrong with the education system where more value is placed onRead More administrators than the teachers. According to the SacBee, average teacher salary for PVUSD teachers is in the bottom 18% (Ranked 703/856 @ $52,296) of all school districts in the State. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/26/995141/see-how-well-your-school-district.html Meanwhile (also according to the SacBee), the Superintendent of PVUSD is paid in the top 30% (ranked 250/856 @ $180,000). Why? Also, Santa Cruz-Watsonville is ranked as the second highest area in California for cost of living. http://cost-of-living.findthedata.org/d/d/California Given this, I don't think it's the teachers requests are unreasonable. Maybe teachers should be paid in the top 30% just like the the Superintendent. This would be a ~23% pay increase to match the 250th highest district's average salary of $69,039 (Apple Valley Unified in San Bernardino). Or maybe the administrators should take a pay cut to match the teachers? If administrators cannot figure out a way to give teachers a reasonable salary and reasonable time to prepare for classes, they should step aside. The teachers' requests are not unreasonable. I realize that some level of administration is necessary. I have a young child just entering PVUSD. I personally would rather pay more to teachers than administrators; and I'd prefer to have my child's teacher given adequate time to prepare for classes. Is that an unreasonable expectation.
Denise September 24, 2013 at 07:17 am
I like what Ken said. If they cut the salaries of the upper admin in the district, they mightRead More actually be able to bring the teachers pay up. Teachers SHOULD be among the higher paid in the ranking. The district should (but won't) cut the very top pay so they can AFFORD to give the teachers higher salaries. It doesn't seem as if the district CAN afford to raise the salaries and reduce the class sizes (would that mean more teachers and buildings? $$) with the way it's structured right now. THAT should be fixed.
Sylvia Lazo September 25, 2013 at 06:03 pm
In other words, the superintendent makes about 3-1/2 times the amount a teacher in PVUSD makes,Read More minus the overload of students in each of their classes every day, minus the prep time thy need so desperately, and minus whatever supplies our teachers have to spend their own money on, or is that last part just hear-say (spending their own money on supplies) ?
PVUSD Teacher September 20, 2013 at 06:20 pm
Yes, Keyzer Soze, class size is my main issue as well, believe me! It was my understanding that weRead More were asking for a limit of 32. Did the union concede (which is what negotiating is)? Six overall is still six fewer, but you're right it's hardly significant. I'm disappointed; it's pathetic, class size should be much lower. Seems like you're proving my point. The district won't even concede one student? What are they offering to concede, to negotiate? We are asking for the 7% for this year, with a possibility of another raise later IF the money were there because of our low pay scale. (There's a salary formula our district could use to determine if they could afford it, but my understanding is that they don't want to agree to using it.) As far as the student walk-out, where did you get the idea that it was teacher encouraged? It's pretty obvious that such an action would cause a backlash against teachers; my understanding is that it came from the students. You don't work at a school but you know teachers who encouraged students to have a walk-out? I do work at a PVUSD school and I didn't hear of teachers doing that. If you're worried about their lost instruction, then you should be very concerned about the cumulative loss of instruction in classes of 35. And yes, I really do want that protected prep time. Grading sets of 35 assignments takes a really long time. Also, I want my instruction to be well planned, and I hope my kid's teacher's is too. Those are my values.
Barbara Crum September 29, 2013 at 08:50 am
The problem is that the general public doesn't have a clear idea of what it takes to teachRead More creatively, what it takes to ENGAGE students. The preparation time issue is equally important to class size reduction, in my opinion. Dear Public: teaching is NOT picking up a Teacher's Manual and reading from it! EFFECTIVE lesson planning takes time - ALOT of time. Elementary teachers have to plan, daily, for multiple subjects. Middle and high school teachers have a different, large group of students every hour. One lesson does not fit all. We have at best an hour of paid time a day to create engaging lessons, at worst, half that. You have to wear the shoes to understand. Next best? How about a free, public showing of American Teacher, narrated by popular actor Matt Damon. Damon, the son of a teacher and teacher trainer, tells the story well through the lives of real teachers. It's a documentary the public needs to see. How do we do this (meaning have a well publicized showing of the film)? I invite anyone interested in developing this idea to a viewing at my house. And BTW, I only have time to even consider this because I'm semi-retired and have a part-time contract.
Sylvia Lazo September 29, 2013 at 05:36 pm
Barbara, well said. Very well said. Thank you.
A PVUSD classroom. Patch file photo
Landmark Guerrero September 18, 2013 at 08:43 pm
Hello, I am a first grade teacher at pvusd and this year in first grade we have reduced class sizesRead More which is up to 24 in my particular case and it is much nicer than the past four years.I think it has been the case that for the past four years I had up to 30 students and let me tell you it was a struggle. I never left early preparing for class, grading papers,making copies, ect.I had no teacher assistants and I felt stresses out because I wanted and want more for my students.They deserve to be in a class with less students, in turn more individual attention.I deserve more time to plan lessons that are helpful and engaging to my students and get paid for my work not volunteering my time that I could be home with my family.Who wants to stay after their work hours volunteering at their work site for three or more hours after their working hours? Well , thats what we do...we feel we have to because of the children's benefit but most people dont know we do that."We"Teachers...want what is best for your children.
Denise September 20, 2013 at 08:43 am
What a great teacher.
Matt M. September 17, 2013 at 03:49 pm
I'm unsure if that last post attempt worked... I am not a union hater. I grew up in a teamsterRead More family and believe they protect employees from bad employers (among other things). However, in the case of California Teacher's Association (to whom the local union answers), they are a huge part of the education problem we have today and, as I stated earlier, they do not care about their young, new teachers - the seniority-based retention system shows that. Back to the OP: he stated the district's issuing of a layoff notice is a statement on how he is not valued. Given the legal / union contract policies, I don't see how the two things are related. Do you?
Rachael Fontana Singleton September 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm
I'm a high school music teacher of 12 years. (And a class of 1995 Aptos High School graduate). IRead More cannot currently find a job in CA. In the 12 years I've been teaching I've been in 8 districts. All because of budget cuts. I know it's not personal and know that it isn't because my services are not valued nor required it's all a matter of the almighty dollar. I am expensive. I have a masters degree and have 12 years experience under my belt. They can hire two brand new teachers for one of me. What do you think a school district in a budget crunch would do? A few years ago I saw that Aptos High was hiring a choir teacher my dream job as I've always wanted to return to Aptos in a teaching position. Unfortunately I couldn't afford to take it. It was only a one third position (which upset me that they cut a once thriving choir program that has performed all over the world including Carnegie Hall, to the point of having only one or two choir classes, plus they no longer have a band program!) But I realized even if the job was full time I couldn't take it as with the cost of living in Santa Cruz County with that salary wouldn't be feasible. (I am the breadwinner between my husband and I.) And I live in Southern California! Los Angeles! Expensive cost of living yet Santa Cruz county tops us! Plus they pay their teachers WAY less than those here ins LA. I think that is what the union should be fighting for on that aspect is COLA (I haven't seen a COLA Cost of Living increase in years) with the cost of living being so expensive in Santa Cruz County that the salary of teachers needs to match that. I understand your frustration Mr. Jones you know I do. But please don't take a RIF notice personal. It has nothing to do with undervaluing you finding you unnecessary. If they had all the money in the world to spend do you think they would keep you? That is the question you need to ask because that is the reason you are being laid off, lack of money not lack of skills. Education should be the LAST thing cut in a budget NOT the FIRST thing cut. I worry with the cutting continuing that soon education will no longer be free that if you want to learn to read and write you will have to pay for it leaving a huge chunk of people in the dust and dirt. That soon doctors and lawyers will be in the rare few meaning getting a doctor's appointment would be virtually impossible because students can't afford to go to college with tuitions increasing and loan rates being ridiculous. Imagine that world. 250,000 people for one doctor. 500,000 for one lawyer. The world (no sorry the USA) would descend into a world of chaos, anarchy, it would just be something you see in a movie, yet I can see that future as a reality and it isn't that far off. And that scares the hell out of me.
P. W. September 20, 2013 at 10:49 am
As a parent of a student who took Ryan Jones' class, I can attest to the dedication of this teacherRead More to his students. Not only is he a riveting teacher to these children who seek him out at all times during the day, but his passion for teaching is evident to the parents as well by his constant communication with us, which is rare in today's educational environment. I have a child that was engaged in World History in a way that I would have never dreamt and from talking with her, many of her peers felt the same way. There are those teachers that when a child reflects on their school years, they can pinpoint to being one who made a difference. He is one of those teachers. Mr. Jones epitomizes what a great teacher represents. Now, I have stood neutral in regard to the teacher's requests and the district's stance on pay raises/benefits because I truly have not followed the sources of information. What I will say is that it would be a shame to lose invaluable teachers to other districts when the need for these teachers is at an all time high. Let's face it, not only are there suicidal children, but children who have been shuffled through the system without learning the necessary fundamental skills for education, children from homes where their is a break in the family structure and they are the brink of homelessness, and frankly many children who clearly are not pressed by their families to do much with their lives other than to go to work after high school. These children represent the future of our county. Without the proper guidance, education, and a nurturing push, these children will end up in menial jobs, pregnant, drug dealers and/or wards of the prison system. Yes, clearly some will devolve to this state anyway, but the chances of catching some children who are on the brink is much higher with caring, supportive, protective teachers who not only see being a teacher as a job, but a socially conscious position. I implore the district to consider the implications of their choices to this community as a whole, but also to each individual who will be impacted by the loss of teachers who clearly see the bigger picture. There has to be a way to balance the obvious needs of the teachers with the current budget for the district. If not, then I am glad my daughter only has another year after this one to go. It will be a sorry state of affairs by then.
Cabrillo College started its 54th year Tuesday
Tommie McKee September 6, 2013 at 07:34 am
I would like to see some information on legislated changes to financial aid for students. ManyRead More students still do not have their financial aid and are unable to buy text books, and the link to student loans is still not available.