Overheard on CNN.com: "Wish my job was limited to 296 minutes per day!"
July 31st, 2012
06:00 AM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: "Wish my job was limited to 296 minutes per day!"

by John Martin, CNN

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

(CNN) – Chicago's mayor and the city's teachers union have come up with a plan for a longer school day for students: hire additional teachers, but don't extend the school day for most teachers. We asked our readers how this might impact students. The forum shifted from the impact on students to a lively debate over how hard teachers work compared to other professions.

Some readers questioned whether longer school days would benefit students, with some offering opinions on how a longer day could be structured:

Felix: This is only the 1st step....IMO the trend should be towards what the countries that have surpassed the US have done – longer Days...less Summer vacation if any at all (Some school systems don't have a summer break anymore...just weeks of hiatus during the summer), Less television, more after school sports/activities and more teachers.

Cindy: As a teacher, the days are long enough, what we need is a longer school year. More contact days. Students lose ground over the summer breaks (which 200 yrs ago were so they could work on farms...I don't think we need that farm help now.) Longer school years will allow more remediation time that is needed with some students or more time for deeper teaching of intense subjects.

teechr21: Extending the school day isn't the answer. It's about changing what happens DURING the day that makes all the difference. An ineffective teacher is still going to be ineffective, just for a longer amount of time each day.

Maggiemae: If the schools use this time for students to do their homework in a supervised environment I would definitely support it. Kids seem to have a great deal more homework than when I was in school. The education folks often bemoan the fact that parents don't make sure kids do their homework. Why not do this in a room with a supervisor who can assist with questions?

Robert: You can make the school days longer as you want, that doesn't mean anyone will learn. That's like sitting in a cardboard box for an extra 30 mins thinking you're about to learn how to save the world. IF you don't have teaching skills, it won't work...

Dave: Something that is often neglected in these discussions is the fact that research on longer days has shown they are not effective in increasing student achievement. The mayor's claim that lengthening the day to increase time in the core subjects will lead to a significant increase in academic achievement has no basis in the research. Look it up.

Dave, we looked it up. A 2010 study of other research studies found that sometimes longer school days are effective, sometimes not. They found that longer school days seem to work in some programs, but the research also suggests that students who already are mastering the curriculum may be better served participating in alternative learning experiences. The study's authors say their biggest conclusion is that more research needs to be done on the effectiveness of longer school days. So that debate continues.

Some might call the resolution of the dispute in Chicago a win-win. But as the debate shifted focus from students, to teachers, most of the comments centered around the length of a teacher work day, and whether teachers are paid adequately.

coloradom: Wish my job was limited to 296 minutes per day!

Jolyn: That 296 minutes is the time spent in front of the students. It doesn't count the hours teachers spend preparing for lessons for each subject they teach and grading.

doctorguy: I just fail to understand why it is so difficult to put in an accountability system for teachers and why unions oppose it so much. As taxpayers, I feel like we give them lots of things that most people do not have. Teachers get great benefits, get summers to do as they please, get every weekend off and get instilled vacations for winter and spring breaks on top of their personal and sick days. I know that many teachers use their weekends and "breaks" to plan, but they get to use this on their own time and do not directly report to someone at these times and class planning time severely decreases after several years. However, I digress. I just think that given all these niceties, tax payers should get to see that the best teachers are the ones with the jobs and getting their money.

George: We don't believe a word about all that supposed extra time teachers say they put in. No one in the real world can imagine having 3-4 months a year off from their job. Teachers have this little habit of saying what their ANNUAL salary is, but not wanting to note that they only work about 8 months for that pay. A little more honesty from teachers would go a LONG WAY.

Teacher: My salary is for 9 months that I choose to have allocated over a 12 month period. I don't get paid for not working. I get paid less while I'm working so I have a paycheck when school is not in session. Furthermore, while I may not have students over the summer, that does not mean I am not working. I have spent this summer doing a summer movie program for my students because there is no where for them to go in our small town. This is not contracted time, but something as their teacher I choose to do. I also spend my summer at workshops and writing curriculum units. It would be best to not judge someones profession unless you have walked a mile in their shoes.

John in NY: What makes you think teacher's salaries are substantially less? Locally we have many teachers making over $90k a year, not counting any summer classes they teach and/or coaching they might do. Now add to this that it's only for 180 days a year and that each day includes less then 5 hours of actual teaching I have to wonder why more people aren't disgusted by this?

Some readers compared the American education system to that of other countries.

yardbird1: Oh pahlease, not all children are educated in other countries. If a child can't cut it in many countries, they are only educated until 8th grade. In countries that do educate all, like Germany and Switzerland, teachers are respected and paid way more than here.

GabeK: Let's get the facts straight. Yes, most Europeans do go 13 years and yes, many only go 8. That's because they split off after "Junior High" and MASTER a trade for 4 years after the split. Not everyone goes to university, but everyone leaves the system with the skills to earn a decent living...

Lori Ceangailte (-High school teacher): "In Europe they go to grade 13." I dispute that. I live in Sweden, and obligatory schooling here begins in grade 1 (the children are 7 years old when they start) and ends in grade 9 (age 16). The school year is 180 days, 6 hours a day. High school is voluntary and, if the student chooses it, lasts 3 years.

bdougherty: Students in other countries who perform well are not coming out of public schools, they are attending the best private schools and most of their teachers are Americans. I know because I have been teaching at international schools for the past decade and would never return to teach in the US (in a public school) – the reason being that classrooms back home (and the kids in them) are not conducive to teaching and learning.

And finally, a teacher offers a comment about commenters:

julie: I don't want sympathy- I want to not be villainized. The average working stiff is not discussed on the internet by 8 million people. I like my job and even though I would love to be paid more- who wouldn't- I'm happy with my compensation. I'm unhappy with being accused of being a lazy loser all the time.

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  1. Educational jobs

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    for more information:


    August 6, 2012 at 2:15 am |
  2. Astudent

    I am a highschool student, but don't shut me out for that. First off, teachers focus on the kids who don't even try, while they should help the kids who truly want to learn. They even bribe some kids with parties if they go to mandatory sessions. The good kids get maybe a certificate. Second, the amount of work is insane. I even got summer work (reading and taking notes on a book). We need to learn in school, After school is ment for social lives and jobs. And if teachers think more work teaches, why do they give nothing to the kids who don't want to learn? Third, few teachers really teach. Most just print copies of other teachers papers, hand it to us, and then talk to other teachers while we look at the new, and to us confusing, work. Finally, teachers never discipline kids who need it. For example, if a kid cheats, they usually just have to retake the test. If a kid beats up someone who doesn't fight back, both get a week in a detention room. I could go on and on but I got to go.

    August 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  3. Emily

    There will always be individuals who criticize educators. The fact of the matter is that you should not judge another profession until you've been in it full time and know what it is really like. If you are an effective teacher you put many hours into your work day that are outside of school building. Many working individuals can leave work and have nothing to do until they go back the next day. This is not the same for educators who must spend hours outside of the regular work day. Creative and innovative activities can take hours to create and set up and may only last 15 minutes when the kids are completing them. For example, creating a matching game for students to complete in pairs. It sounds like an easy task but you must type out the information, cut all the pieces out, put them in zip lock bags, etc. Our work day begins at 8 am and ends at 3:30pm. I get to school around 7 and try to leave by 4. On top of those extended hours, I spend at least one hour each evening looking over what I am teaching about the next day. Over the weekend I spend five hours grading and planning for the coming weeks. Of course this is not even considering the graduate classes I have to take in order to maintain my certification and the hours I put into coaching and being a club supervisor. In any profession there are people who only do as much as they have to do. Unfortunately these few individuals give the rest of the hardworking educators a bad reputation.

    Lastly, I always smile when I see people commenting on teachers long summers that are "paid". As stated above, most teachers choose to get their pay spread out over 12 months in order to make budgeting easier. We are not paid for the months that school is not in session. To those who are always judging teachers because of their time off, you had a choice as to what career path to choose just like we did. Go and get your teaching license and see what the job is really like.

    August 5, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  4. Ayla

    I am obviously living in the wrong state. Where I live, teachers start out at a little over $30K. I really do not think we can complain about teachers earning too much when they are trying to live off of that meager salary.

    August 5, 2012 at 3:39 am |
  5. Deirdre

    296 minutes...That means I would get out of work before 2 pm. Awesome! Except that isn't reality. Is the fool that came up with that number just counting moments in front of kids, excluding the precious minutes every few hours we get to escape to the bathroom, call parents, do paperwork, record scores on the computer, etc.? I worked at a "regular 9 to 5 year round job" before teaching. You don't work every minute of that time. You can go to the bathroom as often as you want and linger for several minutes. You can daydream while doing paperwork, look online for interesting articles, take your time running errands, etc. None of that is possible while teaching. I think many of those who attack teachers don't see the full picture. My siblings include a lawyer, engineer, and hospital administrator. All of them work all year. They also can make their own hours (within reason), go to the bathroom when they want, and make double or triple what I make. None of them are envious of my summer breaks. I think those that advocate an abolition of summer break chose their careers poorly. Instead of changing professions, they complain.

    August 5, 2012 at 12:36 am |
  6. logic23

    CNN why not have this same discussion about other professions I go to the doctor a couple of times each year and I have been doing that for my entire life. So therefore I know what a doctor's job is like. Let's have a public forum about how they should be evaluated and how lazy they are. Doctors also get public money so the public should have a say in how they do their job. Let's judge them on obesity and rates of diabetes and cancer. Many people think that because they have gone to school and/or have kids in school that they really know what a teacher does. If that were true, then I would know what a doctor does or what an actor does since I have been to countless plays and movies. Please realize that much of a teacher's work occurs outside the classroom in designing lessons, evaluating their work and using that assessment to make decisions about what do have the students do the next day. Even in in the classroom their work can be subtle like asking certain questions or placing a particular group of kids together that will be productive or encouraging a student who is having a hard time. Interesting factoid: Singapore ( you know that country that does so well on those international tests) teachers spend only half of their day in front of a class with the other half spent planning. In Finland it is about 65% and in the US it is almost 90%.

    August 4, 2012 at 8:17 pm |
  7. Jay

    Just a suggestion, but why doesn't CNN follow a few teachers around and record their entire day. Then maybe we can use that to educate the masses who constantly put us down. And please choose schools from different states, economic and cultural backgrounds. My husband and I are both teachers. He grabs a granola bar and works through his lunch time. He gets to school over an hour earlier than he's required to and usually doesn't leave for an hour after he's required to stay. Then he works at grading or lesson planning for at least 2 hours after he gets home. Eight hours of work on the weekend is his minimum. He loves his job and wouldn't change it for anything. Except that some of his parents and students would put in a fraction of that effort.

    August 4, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  8. Flamespeak

    I know it is foolish to some here, but the main reason I feel that a lot of people support year-round teaching is so that they can take advantage of the free baby-sitting service the school provides while they work a day time job.

    To remove a break from school that allows a child to be a child is kind of monstrous really. Their freedom will be sucked out of them as soon as they get a full time job, let them have their fun while they are still young enough to enjoy it.

    August 3, 2012 at 6:41 am |
    • Deirdre

      I couldn't agree with you more. I have been teaching for decades and tell my students that the last day is for the 8th grade culmination. They will just sit there all day- no lessons, breaks, fun activities, etc. At sixth grade, I was babysitting kids. Nowadays, parents won't let 12 yr. olds sit at home and watch tv. My nieces and nephews all got sent to school on the last day because their parents, govt. workers, lawyers, etc., didn't want to start paying for a babysitter one day early.

      August 5, 2012 at 12:21 am |
  9. xeno

    For my child, I don't think a longer day would be as helpful as going to school year round. There's only so much you can expect to teach a young child in a day.
    As for the question of teacher pay vs. the work they do, I don't know. I'm appalled when I hear of a teacher making $90K, but it's not because I think they don't deserve it, it's because I've heard some people talk about going into teaching "for the money." These teachers speak with more affection about when they're tenured with a high salary than they do about teaching.
    But, I believe these high salaried, inappropriately motivated "teachers" are the exception, not the rule. I also think they tend to be more common in administrative positions, so there might be some utility in reviewing and thinning redundant administration.
    Also, there's the issue of how much more teachers are being asked to do. I would be more comfortable saying teacher salaries are too high or their work load is too low if their class sizes were half what they are. Many teachers are teaching twice the number of students a teacher would typically see ten years ago, so if you look at salary and vacation on a per child basis, I would imagine their salaries have dropped.
    I think a longer year would be more helpful than a longer day. What a waste of time for teachers to have to spend the first month of every school year refreshing the students on what they forgot over the summer.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • I usually don't comment

      If John is correct about the 90K salary. Well a 90K NY salary is only about 47K in my area of Michigan (according to one of those salary comparison calculators). That's not very much. Also, how long has those teachers been teaching and are they any good. Stop talking about teachers getting paid big bucks for nothing. They have to be teachers, parents, psychologists, etc. So their pay isn't nearly enough.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:32 am |
    • ccccc

      the teachers who make 90,000 a year have numerous degrees which they paid for out of pocket. Teachers typically go in an hour before school, and stay an hour (at least after). When they are in the classroom, it is nonstop work. I know plenty of people who work for corporate America who pend little time working, and if these people had phds, they would be making well over 90,000. Where is the outrage at ceos who make multimillions for failing companies?

      August 2, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  10. Ryan

    Here is my two cents in this matter. I think that schools tend to focus on Sports and not education. When I went to school back in the early 90's we had a rally for our team at least once a month. I could care less whether or not my team won or lost because I simply don't see how sports should be part of education. Maybe the teamwork part....yes....but you can teach teamwork in otherways. So a group of my friends decided to go work on our homework or do other projects. We all got detention because we weren't part of the rally. It was stupid of the school to say you have to go to a rally to sit there and be bored, but you can't sit back and learn and work on homework.

    So if the schools really want to focus on education then the first thing is get rid of sports. If kids want to play football or basketball then they can do it on their own time and on their own money. The money that goes to sports should go back to getting better books, better teachers and better classroom material.

    The next thing that needs to happen is get our government to stop wasting tax payers dollars on sports venues. If a team wants to build a stadium then let them....but don't grant them any special privledges that you wouldn't a normal business.

    Then start focusing in on changing the core classes. By the time you are in High School you should have a base understanding of spelling, math, history, and be able to read. Math should be taught right from the get go. Make things fun for kids to learn. Don't bore them with things like Dates, but rather teach them reasons why things happened. Who gives a crap about when Columbus sailed the Ocean blue.....but why did he set sail instead. Knowing when the battle of 1812 started is not helpful in life, but the reason behind it is.

    Don't treat High School like it's a babysitter. Let the kids start making their own choices of what they want to do in life. Bring in people from the community to show what they do for a living. Bring in more classes like Auto Shop, Welding, Science, and start preparing kids for the future and the job market. Stop teaching math in a boring method. Put reason behind the problems and show real world examples. Trust me, teens are not sick of being in school, but rather they are sick of the methods used to teach. Have school start at 6am for those who get up early and want to leave early, but allow others to sleep in and come in late and stay late.

    Essentially what it comes down to, is stop making school like a prison and make it exciting. Allow the students to have the freedom of being there when they want to. I am not saying that High School should be open 24×7, but just like the real world and college, a little flexibility in the way school is structured is a good thing.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • momof5

      Although I support sports, I think that is why high school start time is so early, so the classes will be done in time to participate in sports. (studies show that high school students perform better if they start classes later) Why not do sports early in the morning, and then school could start later. Also, the 3-5 time is when most teens are unsupervised, with the later school start, they would get out of school closer to when their parents are off work.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:52 am |
      • cat

        actually the teens do better if they get 10-12 hours of sleep –that was in a PBS program –(nothing to do with sports) it was the amount of sleep - as a friend tells her children "I EXPECT you to do well in school–for now that is your JOB." And they do well - because their parents expect them to do well and they crack the whip. For some parents if their kids did not play sports or refrain from using drugs they would not even make C's - C's are required in most schools to play sports.and so are the mandatory drug tests (in some schools it is not ALL of the players–in other schools it is ALL of the players). With another friend of mine, she purchases drug tests from Coctco or Sam's to make sure that her kids realize they are not going to get away with anything. Last year her son told her "Mom I might test positive for Pot because we walked past some kids that were smoking it on our way home, but I tried not to breathe in once I first smelled it." His mom told him she was very proud of him.

        August 3, 2012 at 4:54 am |
  11. madmomtn

    A longer school day will do nothing to help my kids' education. They have to get up at 5:30am so they can be on the bus by 6:30. They get out of school at 2:10 but don't get home till 3:30. By the time they get done with homework, there is no time for them to be kids. That brain break is needed for the kids to perform well.

    Standardized testing has overtaken the educational system. Here in Tennessee, in addition to taking the TCAP once a year, the kids are also given Benchmark assessments three times a year. All the teachers have time to do is teach what is on the tests and how to take them. It is ruining our kids experience in the school and tying the teachers hands. If it isn't on the test, the kids don't learn it. Stop blaming the teachers and start blaming the school system. Stop tying testing scores to federal funds. You are dealing with a government agency. This means as usual, it is always about the dollar.

    August 2, 2012 at 8:22 am |
  12. Mary Anne

    Wow, George must be living under a rock! I am going into my second year of teaching. I had 7 weeks off this summer, not 3 or 4 months! I spend a great deal of time planning outside of school. There never seems to be enough time. The profession does not pay enough for the education needed and the hoops you need to jump through. There are 6 hours a day I cannot even visit the restroom. I'd like to see George spend a few days in a classroom.

    August 2, 2012 at 7:13 am |
    • John in NY

      Only 7 weeks off during the summer? Oh and a couple weeks in in the Spring, and a week or so around Christmas, etc....

      You poor baby, how did you every survive that brutal schedule? lol!

      As for the issue at hand, due to the amount of time so many children spend on a bus before and after school I don't think longer days are the answer even if financially it's more easily accomplished as there would be no increase in transportation costs. The solution is more days in school and I'm not just talking about a longer school year but fewer short weeks and/or days. When my son started school I was amazed at the number of half days or days off there were during the year.

      IMO there should still be a summer break, but it should be shortened by a couple weeks. Then cut a week out of the spring break and then eliminate as many of the extra days off and/or half days as possible. These steps alone would add at least four more weeks of instructions during the year.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:44 am |
      • Lee

        John, if the job of teaching seems sooooo good to you why did you not go into education? I think you would find it much more difficult than you think! There is such high demand for teachers in every state why don't you just see about getting your teachers license and go get you a taste of it?

        August 4, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  13. infonomics

    Longer school days ? Of course, we need smarter unemployed Americans.

    August 2, 2012 at 4:26 am |
  14. Mom of Three

    My daughter is home schooled and gets her whole day done in four hours without all the extra BS that goes on in brick and mortar schools, including crowd control, shuffling from room to room, roll call in each class, assemblies, etc.

    August 2, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • MSL58

      Your kids are also spared social interaction, learning how to function as part of a team and group, meeting people from differing backgrounds, etc. You aer doing an excellent job a razing hermits.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:02 am |
      • cat

        MLS–nah home schooled kids are not hermits - most of them do quite well in college; grad schools.. Parents who home school usually meet in groups with other home school parents/kids and go on field trips. In m friend's csae, her teens volunteer at various charities (Candy Stripers, etc.) and places such as hospitals, elder care facilities, etc. One homne school parent I know has 3 MD's out of her 5 home schooled children; with the other 2, one is finishing college and headed to vet school, the other thinks she wants to be an engineer. Not bad for 'home school' - home schooling is a lot of work on behalf of the parents and it can have some good payoffs.

        August 3, 2012 at 5:03 am |
  15. Bob Boise

    America put a man on the moon, developed data processing, led the world in electronics with a 180 day school year that began after Labor Day and finished before Memorial Day..and a 7 hour school day. We waste so much time pursuing social engineering that education is lost..We might as well close school down after the 6th grade and put everyone on an individualized electronic curriculum at home. We would save lots of money. It costs way too much to babysit adolescents. There must be a better way.

    August 2, 2012 at 1:42 am |
  16. Hanna

    Wow. Longer days! Instead of the length of the day, try putting thought into the quality of what is being taught. After two years in the US, both my kids were two grades ahead in what they were taught back in our home country of Finland. A school day lasts 4 hours. Not bragging, but serious to your children's growth and education to step back and place some evaluation of restructuring the academics. Standardized testing was abolished and each child is the focus. Sorry, but sad to see so much potential going out the door for both students and teachers. Fin kids learn English starting in 3rd grade as well and classes are 25 with 1 teacher and 1 aide. My children learned nothing new during those years, and set behind when we moved back home. Parental involvement is key also. I was appauld at so little the parents did to help with their kid's learning outside of school. It's sad to see 🙁

    August 2, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • joe

      hannah, you said it all. Parental involvement. What do you think a child whose heard the n word 50,000 times by the time they enter 1st grade thinks about school? Um, well they don't and thats 99.999999999999% of the problem.

      August 2, 2012 at 4:00 am |
    • ChitownShamrock

      Hanna, you are correct but the situation here is two fold; The kids need parental involvement so they aren't using school for the sole purpose of a social entertainment venue. I dont even want to get started on the way they choose to dress and conduct themselves now all which is prohibitive to a learning environment. I don't lump all kids into one stereotype but all it takes is one disrespectful kid to encourage more to be disrespectful and the cycle continues to get worse for the teachers trying educate and having to maintain order at the same time. This is where your parent role models and parental examples play a key. The other facet to the problem lies with the teachers. Again, I dont equate it to every teacher but it seems that the profession of teaching which in the years past teaching was considered a 'calling', something you were kind of destined to do, now its seems that its just a job and a pay check. The passion it takes to be a sincere and dedicated teacher seems to have faded but as I said before maybe if the kids were disciplined and taught proper respect then teachers would feel a more vested interest in these kids futures. Anyway I like what you said!

      August 2, 2012 at 7:57 am |
  17. mickey1313

    Yes, they are. We need Monday thru Saturday 8am-5pm, with luch, that is 8 hours. And it should be from 1st grade to 12th grade. our childeren are getting dumber and dumber, and parents dont seem to care. Also return the power to discopline to the teachers, and administrators.

    August 2, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • Bob Boise

      Length of day does not improve the quality of educational philosophy, the current morality of the nation, nor the incompetence of the welfare unwed parent. The gene pool is diseased.....

      August 2, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • Fred

      Mickey- You obviously do not have children. I have two sons, 8 and 10, in public school in California. By week's end, they are exhausted, having gone to baseball or soccer practice, cub scout meetings and play dates as well as 45-60 minutes of homework every night. They are also at the top of their class, can run computers better than the "geniuses" at the Apple Store, are participating in sports and at church and are well rounded.
      Five days a week is the maximum these guys should be in school. And 8-3 every day is long enough. I agree that the summer vacation can be cut short, but what about the joys of summer camp? Or just being a kid? Imagination, empathy, teamwork and developing a flexible mind are just as important as learning the quadratic equation method.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  18. David Hogan

    Home school is it.One teacher 1000 kids with school compters

    August 2, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • FLMom

      Homeschool – ARE YOU INSANE? That is my first thought. Home Schooling is NOT for everybody. Personally, I do not know how a parent can do it with one child, let alone, like a friend of mine, do it with 4 children (ages 11 – 7), with two toddlers, and maintain a household. Needless to say she doesn't work outside of the home.

      I can honestly say I have considered homeschooling, and virtual school. There are physical education requirements which my son can quite easily get through his martial arts school. I even have a degree with a minor in Elementary Education. But, my son is ADHD, and even with medication, he (11) and his sister (7) need constant redirection with the small amount of homework that they do have. (3 hours for ten sentences?)

      August 2, 2012 at 7:30 am |
  19. RWB

    It's amazing to me how a lot of people in this country fail to realize that not all students do well on standardized tests. Many of you who are begging for teacher pay to be related to test scores would probably suck at the tests these students have to take. A lot of the problem is not having longer days, or longer school years. The problem is the fact that teachers can not just TEACH! When I started teaching, teachers were able to teach their subjects the way that they saw fit. Not only this, but they were able to team with teachers of other subjects to cross-teach material. Now, because of comprehensive curriculum, teachers have to teach so much material, in too little time in order for students to test in the spring. With this, there is no time built in to re-teach material that students didn't understand. Instead, teachers have to use their planning blocks to tutor those kids who didn't get it. On the days you are not tutoring, you are in meetings or meeting with unruly parents about their unruly children. Because of this, many teachers end up either staying later at their prospective schools, or doing work at home. Some of you fail to remember that we have families too.

    I clearly remember how afraid I was of my teachers. They demanded respect, and got it. We demand respect, and the students curse us, the parents want to fight us, the public hates us, and yet and still, we do the same thing everyday. Try to teach many students who are just there to fill the seats and keep their parents out of jail.

    I'm a Middle School teacher who has to teach 7th and 8th grade children how to read. My question is: What the hell are the parents doing at home? If you want to blame someone, blame yourselves and the politicians who have stripped teachers of their creative rights in teaching.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • mickey1313

      I agree. I think that there should be criminal fines for the parents if the child is too far behind. They are not doing there primary job, that of raising there kids. Also I think they should return the power to discopline students to the teachers and other authorities. I almost got arested recently, because some punk teenager pushed my in line, and i dumped my hot coffie on his head. He punched me and told him, if he wanted to act like an adult I would treat him like one. He hit me again and i poped him in the face, and the line of coustomers cheered.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:20 am |
      • Mom of Three

        Let's start with fining you, who clearly cannot tell between "there" and "their".

        Some kids have learning disabilities, others simply do not want to learn, no matter how hard the parents try. Criminal fines. You've got to be kidding me.

        August 2, 2012 at 2:11 am |
    • Hanna

      It would seem many parents do nothing. Which would go along with longer school days, so they can still do nothing. The school babysits them. It's obvious the kid's education will continue to decline and people will still be ignorant. My son was nearly held back because of the poor education he received. Not the teachers fault. Their hands were tied having to teach what they were told too on a level that seemed like a joke to him. He was in grade 4 and put into grade 6 levels because he was rolling his pencil around instead of doing his work because he was bored. The two years we were in NY damaged my kids education. It took quite a lot of work to bring them back to where they should have been when we moved back home to Oulu. Kids are kids everywhere, but you are right about the lack of respect with the students. It's happens here but it's never tolerated. Kids bad, they are out of school and parents have to home school. Parents burden, kid pays dearly. For most it doesn't get that far. Needless to say, remembering myself we did not have a detention room. We were bad our parents were called to come and get us. Time off work meant days of restrictions and the strong talking of you better behave or else.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • joe

      good point RWB, My cous in law makes a healthy 6 figures. She bombed her college entrance exam, completely failed her masters entrance exam, and any school takes anybody in masters classes. I mean hey, all the universities want the money right. She is an amazing person and makes hella bank at her job, yet she"s failed about every standardized test she's ever been given. Her poor high school teachers are probably on the point of being fired for producing such a low performing student who makes 150k a year, has a large family, and pays her taxes. Fire those dad gum teachers for learning her so poorly. I mean she scored really low on those state tests. What a joke.

      August 2, 2012 at 4:32 am |
  20. mom of 3

    Mother of 3, thoughts about better education:
    1.) Not longer school days! My kids are already fatigue after a school day which ends at 3:30 and get off the bus at 4:40. If anything, I'm an advocate for them getting off 1 hour earlier.
    2.) Instead of 6 classes a day to jam everything into the kids head, how about Alternating A & B days. exp: A day- Gym, Science, English || B day – Social Studies, Elective, Math. This way classes can be 1.5 – 2 hours long instead of 30 minutes. It would give kids more time with teachers talking about 3 subjects a day. When I went to Santa Rosa High in Ca. the day was set up like this – And it worked very well for me.
    3.) Need to find a way to get rid of unruly students that disrupt the class – I don't know how, but they are not helping the teacher teach or other students learn.
    4.) Online real-time records access so parents know when their child is starting to slip in a subject. Hopefully the student can be brought back to speed before getting completely lost in the subject.
    5.) stagger the time off for summer... My kids do lose some of what they learned during the long break. Maybe summer break could be mid-June to mid-August and spring break be 2 weeks off instead of 1?
    6.) Turn off the tv. After we god rid of cable 3 years ago, my kids grades shot up. My oldest son went from a 2.8 gpa to a 3.89! This was not a gradual grade increase, i happened within the first two months of getting rid of cable.
    7.)Sometimes I feel like my kids have too much homework (my son has had days when there are so many assignments it takes 3 hours to just complete homework!), the alternating school days listed above would help.
    8.) Parents need to be involved – and teachers need to give parents a head up sometimes.

    With that said, I have had some of the best teachers and some of the worst. My Art & English teachers in high school inspired me and worked with me when I misunderstood the subject while my social study teacher would give the whole class the answers to the test while we were taking the test I have met each of my kids teachers and we have quarterly parent/teacher conferences (on Saturdays). Throughout the school year, my kids have quarterly award days to celebrate those students achieving a gpa of 3.0 or better. Believe it or not, the charter school I have them in celebrates 'nerds' (nothing against the public school they were going to, I just didn't want them going the the public high school down the road which has grown increasingly violent).

    August 1, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • joe

      mom of 3, great ideas. When americans wake up and realize that their children"s education has been hijacked by lay abouts and wastrels then things will really get done. Do you complaining parents realize that 99% of the problems in classes are caused by one or two students that we as teachers can't do anything about? Do you think AP kids with their 10 point IQ advantage are really that much better then the rest of the kids in school? Hardly. Its just that those classes actually behave. If I could kick an unruly student out of class, without fear for my job and test scores, well guess what, the other 29 kids would perform FAR FAR better. Why do you think charter schools post such unbelievable test gains with "average" intelligent students? Because they throw unruly kids out of the building.

      August 2, 2012 at 4:06 am |
    • FLMom

      @ Mom of 3 – Get rid of the unruly and disruptive students. Hmm.. that is a two edge sword. Let's focus on the disruptive, disrespectful punks that don't even wanna be there. They need to be in a totally different environment (juvenile hall in some cases, imo). However, there are children that are disruptive due to having ADHD or other learning disabilities. They need to be re-directed, and in some cases, require additional help in some or all subjects. It doesn't matter what grade level they are at, all children learn differently, and the teachers need to be able to recognize what works for each student. Not all teachers are trained in dealing with children that are ADHD, have dyslexia, dysgraphia, etc. And, these children do get frustrated. My son is brilliant. He missed making the 'Gifted" class by 2 points. He loves Science, Math, Reading, but despises writing. The psychologist is still working on figuring on where there writing issue comes from. Despite these problems, he took 2nd place in his school's Science Fair (Physical Division), and made AB Honor Roll for the last two grading periods of the 2011/2012 school year. That is also despite a move from one town to another, which put him in another school and the beginning of the fourth grading period .

      August 2, 2012 at 7:47 am |
      • mom of 3

        "Get rid of the unruly and disruptive students. Hmm.. that is a two edge sword. Let's focus on the disruptive, disrespectful punks that don't even wanna be there." – Agreed. I should have probably phrased my original thought differently.

        August 2, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  21. Julia

    I am a teacher, and have spent an exhorbitant amount of money and time on my education. I love teaching, and do not mind the hard work that goes into it. I do spend a lot of time working outside my school day. I have to be at work at 7:50 and can leave at 4:00, but I usually stay much later. I get a 30 minute lunch break, but my planning time is spent doing interventions with struggling students. I am constantly updating my knowlege of my profession with classes and seminars. I do enjoy the time off, yes it is a perk to a sometimes difficult and stressfull job. I am not saying that I work harder than any other profession. I think if you have a strong work ethic and care about what you do, you will work hard and strive to succeed and excel at your profession. I also do not mind if I am held accountable for my students growth and progress. What I don't want to see happen, is good teachers being penalized for how their students do on standardized tests. More than half of my students read and perform significantly below grade level. I am able to make significant progress with these students and they make tremendous growth in my class. However, many are so far behind that it would take more than a year with me to get them up to grade level. I do not want be penalized for working in low income areas with students that come from homes with little education, support, or economic resources. If they are willing to look at the individual growth of the students, go ahead and rate my performance. The reality is that you have excellent teachers out there that work with stuggling students, and if they are rated on how these students do based on norm referenced tests(tests that compare them amongst their peers), they will probably not get high marks, lets revise HOW we will look to see if teachers are effictive. Individual growth. Common sense.

    August 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • joe

      good on you julia for your hard work. Do parents realize that almost all teachers are evaluated on year over year gains for the same grade level and that state testing is not evaluated on a per student basis. You can work extremely hard with a difficult class of low achievers and raise their scores tremendously. Unfortunately you will not be evaluated on what you helped them achieve, but the "baseline" that was set by how other kids scored on the test last year. Pathetic. If parents want accountability at least score me on how much I improved a students score, don't compare tests scores to students last year who might be totally different. It's a rigged system as is and completely inaccurate. Hey walmart, how about you pay your managers based on how their store performed vs. target last year. Oh, that's right, you dont. No business in it's right mind compares financial figures that way. Go look up home depot, best buy, target, amazon, walmart, office depot, mcdonalds, wndy's, burger king, lowe's, and any other company you can think of. They comapre SAME STORE SALES year to year, not your store to some other store performance. The way they currently evaluate tests scores is a joke. Please right wingers, if your going to judge us at least make sure we follow the same metrics you do.

      August 2, 2012 at 4:17 am |
  22. A Student

    longer school days will only make students even more disinterested in learning than they already are. you can't force a student to "try", but you can find ways to make them interested in the subject at hand rather than droning out sentence after sentence of textbook lines.

    August 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  23. Brenda

    We need stricter parents who teach their kids to respect authority and classes that make more sense. I needed a class to teach me about my tax return and investments. A class in what to expect int he real world. Where's all the Algebra I had to learn? I can' barely remember what I did in that class. Useless.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Ludwig

      Brenda, you are missing the point of education. The purpose of the algebra class you mentioned was not just to teach you algebra, but to teach you critical thinking and analytical skills. Kids color so they can develop fine motor skills, older students read great literature so they can learn how to use language and improve their own writing, etc. The idea is to get students to the point where they can function independently and when faced with something they have never done before, like filing a tax return, be able to sit down and figure it out on their own. You may not remember the exact material, but if you master the skills they will stay with you. I do agree with you about parents. Kids need to learn there are consequences for their actions, and that includes negative consequences for bad behavior.

      August 1, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
      • parent

        Very well said, Ludwig! Long ago, a humanities professor of mine said similar thing about Calculus.. and have heard many similar comments over the years. Some people just don't get it!

        August 1, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  24. soxfaninatl

    I'm not sure a longer day would make the difference but a longer school year would. I don't believe 180 days is enough. I believe a 200 day school year would be better, and yes I am a teacher.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Teri

      I really wish they would go to year-long schools with 9 weeks of instruction followed by a 4 week vacation. This gives the kids a vacation time in each season.

      August 1, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  25. Richard

    As a teacher approaching 30 years in the classroom, I have seen the quality and motivation of students decline dramatically especially since the advent of the age of hand held electronic devices. The Internet can be an amazing tool used properly buy has become a crutch for most students. The joke going around tells it all; "Where is the best place to hide a body? Answer: "In the second entry that comes up on a Google search." With every form of communication and entertainment available to students these days, it takes a literal song and dance from a teacher to get anyone's attention with the school day as it is...a longer day? You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink if it doesn't want to...regardless of how long you try. Motivation at school begins at home and there simply isn't enough of it from today's "I want to be your friend" parents

    August 1, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  26. Ryan

    Don't punish the kids that try hard and get good grades. Get better teachers or set higher standards. Get rid of pointless access periods and study halls. Have teachers teach the whole class period, not just 30 mins and then chit chat the rest. Be ready to teach. Don't let a select few hold back progress of the whole, if they need more help stay after class or get a tutor.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • mickey1313

      dont blame the teachers, cut the class size down to a max of 20, and segrigate non english students to special classes, (which the parentes would have to pay for, in order to bring them up to speed. It is not the teachers fault, that the kids cant speak english, that is the partens fault. And I know many teachers who have failing students because they cant teach everything in both english and spanish.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:26 am |
  27. Rob7635

    The first and most important step that needs to be taken before any other is getting parents to pull their head out of their fourth point of contact. It's sickening watching parents these days blame everyone but themselves and their child for the kid's failures and lack of discipline. Teachers ARE NOT babysitters. They are there to teach, PERIOD. If they take your kids cellphone to stop him/her texting during class, boo hoo parents, apparently your kid wasn't mature enough to be entrusted with a cell phone. If they send your kid to the principal's office for behavior problems, boo hoo parents, apparently you haven't taught your kid any manners or respect. If a teacher fails your kid because he/she isn't doing the homework or passing the tests, guess what parents, where were you while your kid failed?????? It isn't the teacher's fault your kid is failing, it's yours, because you as a parent haven't invested enough time in your kid to teach them to appreciate learning and to ensure they complete the homework they've been assigned.

    In short, parents need to start doing THEIR job BEFORE they cast blame on everyone else.

    August 1, 2012 at 7:39 pm |

      Atleast there is someone else that feels the same. As a father of 3, I feel as though I should commend you or give you a medal... Thank you, you are an outstanding AMERICAN...

      August 1, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • akita96th

      I disagree..teachers now days tend to make kids do a lot of homework to mask the fact that they do not do their jobs at school...its easy to load a young student down with endless homework knowing that most of them don't understand it ..nor do most parents who are at the mercy of lazy teachers who say read this chapter or that do the quiz and bring it back to class knowing they will fail and then use the excuse that its the parents fault for not knowing the stuff their child has to learn...its a bait in switch...make the kids do it all at home and then when they fail blame the parents..who after all has been to college to get a teaching degree and yet cannot teach basics ...

      August 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
      • Joe

        I have been a teacher for years. In every school system I have worked for we have had written policies about how much homework I as the teacher had to provide to each student each week. Teachers do not always have the say about everything. Superintendents, Principals, and politics make lots of the policies- some are good for kids, others not so much! Don't assume though that all teachers agree with all things. As parents you can have a huge influence on the policies followed by your school and your teachers. Teachers don't always have the power to change things...

        Personally, I would do away with much (not all) of the daily work the kids are given...why?
        Many do not have parents at home that can answer questions about the work...so they either do their best or do it wrong...not the best way to reinforce skills......
        Some kids don't have parents that value homework and these students fail even if they know the material....
        Some students that are involved with sports, scouts or extra curricular activities that are of value have a hard time finishing their work and getting the right amount of sleep...
        Finally, when do students have down time or time with their families?

        August 2, 2012 at 12:00 am |
      • Booseyboo

        Really? The only reason teachers give homework to mask they don't do their job? You are either very young and or very stupid. Your comment should make you the poster child of the decline of the American education. I don't mean to be so critical but your statement speaks volumes about your ignorance.

        August 2, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • joe

      good call rob, love the parents that I email 5 times, call 5 times, post their grades online, and then they wonder why their child has straight F's. Reached one parent at work and she said "you are really bothering me. Can't you teachers call some other time?" Mind this was at 10:00 am on a week day. She said "I don't have time for this and if you keep calling at work I'M going to lose my job." I said sorry, I just thought you might want to know your daughter is failing math. Sorry to bother you. EVERYTHING STARTS AT HOME. Get a clue people. My kid is 4 and is starting to read and an write his name. He starts public school next year. Oh boy, last year they had a 5 year old that wasn't potty trained, and no he wasn't special needs. This was just a "normal" 5 year old that reported to kindergarten in diapers. Yep. blame the teachers. 95% of kids are great and we love teaching them, but seriously people, 5% of kids are straight jacked up and they use 80% of school resources and it all starts at HOME!!!!

      August 2, 2012 at 4:24 am |
    • ACC

      Here! Here! Thank you for putting responsibility where it belongs. Education begins and ends at home. That is the role of the parents, to teach or provide for someone to assist in teaching necessary subjects and skills. The current system doesn't encourage true learning or accountability from the kids and accountability of the parents for the behavior of their offspring.

      August 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  28. mitch

    Are you kidding me? The only way that this is even possible is if SOMEHOW states start to actually value teachers. Longer days for kids means longer days for teachers, and THAT is ALWAYS accompanied by NO RAISE AT ALL, and A LOT MORE RESPONSIBILITY for us.

    Either parents should have more responsibility for teaching their own kids important lessons, or teachers should be paid much much more! Because the only tangible benefit for a teacher is their summer vacation, and taking that away from them takes away supplemental income for 90% of us who have to have 2 or 3 jobs to make it through the year able to put food in our kitchen, and have the ability to go out once in a while. In the last 6 years my salary has increased a whole $3,000, and half of that was because I got my Masters degree! When I accepted the job we were supposed to get $1,500 more a year. Can you believe that my Masters cost me over 10x's the amount it is valued at in my salary? That means the raise I get for paying to get my Masters, doesn't even pay off the INTEREST accrued by the loan obtained to GET the degree.

    Longer school years!?!?!?! It's not the answer, plus IF that happens, you will lose many quality teachers who can get much higher paying jobs doing much less work, where we don't have to deal with kids, AND THEIR RIDICULOUS PARENTS. Start by getting rid of the waste at the Top, and stop handing more of THE PARENTS' job to our teachers just because the PARENTS are to busy on their Facebook pages, or with their own personal lives to help their kids with homework, and to teach them to value education.

    August 1, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • akita96th

      Good luck finding that higher paying job....

      August 1, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • mickey1313

      agreed, many states, mine included have cut pay, and want more results. Those in charge are living in a fairy tale.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:29 am |
  29. bibleverse1

    We are not throwing enough PARENTS in jail. Throw some of the worthless parents in jail.

    August 1, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  30. Teacher's Husband

    We need to get rid of useless teachers and tenure. In my experience, the most worthless teachers are the tenured teachers that just go through the motions, don't update lesson plans, and just collect a paycheck. When tenured, it is difficult to fire a teacher, which gives them the opportunity to degrade the entire school's academics. Don't allow teachers, the educators of our country's future, to slack at their job. If anyone else would slack at their jobs, they would get fired....

    August 1, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  31. Tara

    A teachers pay should directly reflect the test scores of their students. I would not mind a tax increase to help out with my states teachers pay IF they were paid according to their students scores. Not with their union making it equal – that is just crap imo. A great teacher should be paid a great salary. A poor teacher should be replaced.

    As far as school terms go: It should be year round and a9 to 5 like work hours. There should be free lunches for ALL students and weekend/evening study groups (optional for students). Our country is filled with lazy fat americans – time to change this and it starts with our young!

    August 1, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • mthomas

      So Tara, according to your method, I would be a very low paid teacher. I work with kids with disabilities in a behavioral setting. My students all have some type of intellectual disability as well as a behavioral disorder of some type. They do not learn the state required material, nor are they able to for those reasons listed above. So, because my students failed the state tests, even though they made exceptional growth in what they're able to learn, I would be either fired or paid the minimum salary by teachers.

      Teachers have much more to deal with then just teaching, which is one of the major problems in the amount students are learning. More and more kids are misbehaving and parents come to their kids rescue, rather than supporting the school like parents did 20 years ago. If I would have misbehaved like kids do nowadays, my father would've told the principal to take it out on me and would've stood their to witness it. Students bring weapons to school on a daily basis. Bullying is everywhere (which it was back in our day but not to the level it is today with the weapons and the internet to assist in bullying). If teachers don't intervene in this stuff, lawsuits are filed against them for allowing the students to be harmed in the school setting. Parents don't make their kids do work at home, even though their the most important teachers their kids will ever have. Many don't read to their children.

      With class sizes soaring, teachers now have multiple kids to deal with, and now they have to ensure they teach the standards that will be tested in the spring. The scores play a direct result on teachers careers. I'm all for teacher accountability, but it needs to be fair for everyone. People who aren't in the education setting don't see everything we face. Come spend a week in my shoes and then tell me how to improve what I'm doing on a daily basis. I've invited school board members and public figures to my classroom, yet no one has ever shown up. My kids are great, but they're demonized because they're in a "behavior" classroom.

      August 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
      • mickey1313

        people like tara have no grip of reality. I comend you for doing one of the hardest jobs in the country.

        August 2, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Mike R

      If you were working for a firm, would you like your pay to reflect your company's financial well-being?
      I happen to work with low income, at risk students. If my pay would be tied to test scores, I'd be broke. I teach because I love teaching and want to make a difference in a student's life.
      I spend 45-50 hours a week during school and 25 hours a week during summer working on my certifications ( I have five).
      I wish people like you would spend several days observing school activities I did, for 18 months!

      August 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Joe

      What would you suggest for teachers that take on special needs classrooms? or behavioral students? or low income students? Teachers that take on the toughest classrooms....do you judge them on test scores?

      Think about other jobs...would it be fair to judge a persons income on others behavior on any given day?

      I have had students take state tests when they didn't eat breakfast or dinner the night before...students that came to me not reading and although they made gains were not ready for their grade level tests. Students that "forgot" their medications the day of the tests and could not focus...and even kids that refused to take the test.....am I bad teacher? I don't think so...I want to be judged- I want to know what I am doing well and what I need to improve and I want to improve. I can ALWAYS improve. I don't think testing is a good measure of my ability (for that matter it is not even a good indicator of my students abilities!) and it certainly does not tell me what I can do better and what I need to improve on a day to day basis in my classroom.

      August 2, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Booseyboo

      Some children do not and will not learn and you want to make teachers accountable for the unwilling child and inept parents who are not involved in their child's life? If those children were somehow identified and removed from the classroom then that might be acceptable.

      August 2, 2012 at 1:13 am |
  32. lroy

    If you can afford it, what you learn at camp should count as educational courses in the school system and not just some merit badge. Summer schools should not just be making up for lost/failed courses but completing your education earlier than normal but the courses should be fun courses. Learning is learning.

    August 1, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  33. Joe

    accountability for teachers? How about accountability for students as well then? Social promotion, no expulsion. Look at those kids who bullied that bus monitor. That's not an aberration. That's the norm in most middle schools. In our district we don't expel for ANYTHING. The only way you can't enroll in our public schools is if you are in prison. You can sell drugs, punch a teacher, a counselor, another student, bring a gun to school. It all doesn't matter you are still enrolled at one of our public schools. I'm for teacher accountability if you put at least something on the students. I had kids sleeping during state testing last year. What do you do? They sleep while the principal watches them to. You can't expel, they won't attend detention, and they could care less about the test. Is it fair to base a teachers ability to teach on a student that says f u and walks out of the classroom? Hardly. I overheard a student last year talking to a friend. They were talking about state testing. The one kid was worried. The other kid goes, are you kidding me? Who cares? It's only for principals to get together and brag about test scores. I don't even try to answer anything right. This was a fairly average 7th grade student. How much do you think a 16 year old kid getting ready to drop out tries on the test? Not at all!

    August 1, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • lroy

      My cousin is a teacher (HS Latin), and she also gets allocated 12 months pay. As a former student, I think if the day is longer then say, after 3 pm it should be extracurricular courses-educational but not necessarily necessary for graduation. I also would apply this principle for schooling all year long. Also, there should be days when ALL the day's courses in the morning and have a special event (say a REAL movie or a guest speaker) to watch just for fun; (we had that in high school...the benefits of not going to public school system).

      August 1, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • akita96th

      Sounds more like school that have 90% blacks....

      August 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  34. Jon

    If it;s such an easy job why doesn't everyone do it. Because it isn't easy to take 25-30 students of varying ability, coming from a variety of socio-economic conditions, with different learning sytles and going through tee-age years and get them to reach their potential. Try it, you might like it or NOT!

    August 1, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  35. Jeremy

    I think it is funny that the picture chosen for this article has a teacher sitting at her desk reading to six students. I am a middle school math teacher with an average of thirty students in my classes. The only time I sit at my desk is during planning time. Part of the problem with the debate over education is people contributing to the debate that are out of touch with what the present day classroom is like. Thank you for modeling that CNN

    August 1, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  36. Jackie

    I agree with Tony about the high school curriculum needs to be geared more towards preparing students for life AFTER school! Not every student will go on to college, there are jobs out there that are "hands on" learning – so maybe different vocational classes.

    August 1, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
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