Saturday, April 12, 2008

Where Are All the Catholic School Teachers?


Catholic school teachers in New York engaged in some job actions over the last week or so. Their pay and benefits are abysmal compared to NYC teachers. And they work with high class sizes and few admnistrators.

It is a well-known fact amongst certain ed reform voucher freaks that they are vastly superior teachers to those in the DOE. Just check results of their grad rates and on test scores (do their kids take the same tests as NYC kids, such as regents?), clearly the most important factor in determining quality teaching.

So, where are they? Why does NYC have to resort to expensive Teaching Fellow Programs? Or recruit abroad? Isn't the theory if you give people merit pay, they will flock to work in schools in poor neighborhoods? Or if they can make a few extra bucks by getting their kids to score high, they will have the incentive to work harder?

So, instead of standing on picket lines, what's keeping Catholic school teachers away from jumping on the money they can make so easily by coming over to a public school? Haven't they heard about the vastly improved system under Bloomberg and Klein after 6 years of leadership? Maybe Tweed needs a public relations campaign to tell these teachers about the wonderful opportunites to teach in our schools. Maybe even hire a few more PR people.

6 comments:

  1. I taught in a Catholic school before I went to the BOE. My principal was a Nazi! We had to pray everyday and it wasn't a job it was a vocation. My teenage daughter goes to Catholic school and half the time I have to drag her out of bed. Point is that G d is in the picture. I guess I still beleive.

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  2. I have a friend who is a catholic school teacher. She is willing to suffer the low pay, inferior pension and poor health benefits because she runs the classroom and if a student misbehaves she can have the principal remove the student from her class. Repeated student misbehavior results in expulsion.

    Further, she said that the parents are paying for the student and puts pressure on the student to get good grades to justify the expense and the students know that. Therefore, the peer pressure is to behave and don't piss off the teacher. Otherwise, the grades will suffer and the parents will be on their child's case.

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  3. Are these teachers even qualified to teach in the City system? When I worked in NY, many catholic school teachers didn't have masters degrees or state certification. Has that changed any?

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  4. I know where the public school teachers are...they are getting in trouble by the law and winding up on http://detentionslip.org. Check it out!

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  5. An examination of why Catholic school teachers do not choose to move en masse to higher salaries and benefits would put to a lie many of the market-based underpinnings of the ed reform movement: merit pay, money incentives to teach in difficult schools, even as our friend from Florida points out, credentials, which it is true keep many CS teachers out of the DOE.

    Similarly, a study of those Cath. Schl teachers who did make the move would reveal many truths - results on tests correlate to quality teachers - did their classes "perform" better than other public school teachers with the same experience level. And I'll include the ability to deal with behavioral issues, which they did not have to face before.

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