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Berkeley Teachers Refuse To Give Homework

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Teachers in the Berkeley school district are refusing to give written homework because they are complaining they have to correct it on their own time. Now I understand what they are saying, everyone wants to get paid for the work that they do. I do have one thing to remind them of though and that is that they get close to 3 months a year off. They should think of the hours after school that they spend as hours they are putting towards the long vacation they get in the summer. Of course I'm not a teacher, so I may be way off base in saying that.

Let's do a little math. According to aft.org (PDF File) the average California teacher is paid $55,693. Now if we divide that by 9 to get a monthly salary for 9 months work ($6,188.00) and then multiply that by 12 for a regular workers yearly salary we get $74,256. So they are currently being paid at the rate of a worker that makes $74,256 a year here in California on average. I'm sure it's even more in Berkeley since that area has a higher cost of living than the average.

An average worker who makes $55,693 a year is lucky if they get 2 weeks off a year, not 3 months off, yet you don't hear them bitching. If they don't like it they move on.

The teachers union is blaming it on Arnold Schwarzenegger's attempt to get the budget in order and in doing so he has had to cut some things, including education. Keep in mind that the unions are highly liberal -- especially in Berkeley -- and that there are politics in the blame game they are playing. The more you give the school districts the more they spend.

There is the old saying "you don't get into teaching to get rich", but it doesn't have to be that way. My solution is that you get rid of all the illegal alien children that are costing us 7.7 billion in California. From my article on December 8, 2004

Educating the children of illegal immigrants is the largest cost, estimated at $7.7 billion each year, according to the report. Medical care for illegal immigrants and incarceration of those who have committed crimes are the next two largest expenses measured in the study, the author said.
From Education Data Partnership there are 300,000 public school teachers in California. Getting rid of requirements of everything being printed in 5 languages and the reduction in classroom sizes after getting rid of illegal aliens would easily solve most of the financial issues in this state.

Taking even just half of the 7.7 billion spent on illegal alien children and dividing it amongst all the teachers in the state would allow for a $11,000 a year pay increase to all teachers and would probably knock off 1/4th of the school kids. You could put the other half towards our outrageous budget deficit and maybe even a little towards some school programs and buildings. In my area in Sacramento 4th grades classes are sitting at about 40 kids per class. We wonder why our kid's scores are so low, but it's quite obvious. The kids that have trouble in the class are given all of the attention and the other 38 kids suffer by barely getting enough knowledge to go on.

This is not the teacher's fault, they try their best for the most part. It's just way out of whack in this state and neither the politicians nor the unions seem to want to truly solve the problem because they're afraid they may offend someone.

As for the teachers in Berkeley, they'd rather offend the whole of their students rather than throwing those out that aren't supposed to be here in the first place.


"Teachers do a lot with a little. All of a sudden, a lot of things that they do are just gone. It's demoralizing," said Rachel Baker, who has a son in kindergarten.

Teachers say they don't want to stop volunteering their time.

"It's hard," said Judith Bodenhauser, a high school math teacher. "I have stacks of papers I haven't graded. Parents want to talk to me; I don't call them back."

The action was organized by the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, which wants a cost-of-living increase next year.

Tipped by: The MUSC Tiger

Other Commentary:

Joanne Jacobs

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Posted by Digger on March 2, 2005 06:01 AM (Permalink)

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It gets worse. Since California is a closed shop state, my District will withhold an amount equal to Union dues (both National Education Association AND California Teachers Association) from my paycheck.

They do this whether I want to belong to these corrupt and anti-democratic organizations or not.

We teachers are forced to subsidize a legion of unelected, free-spending, party-attending, booze-guzzling, globe-trotting, hooker patronizing, Union hacks that have no accountability to the membership whatsoever.

CTA/NEA remind me of Autocrat Koffi Annan's United Nations.

Posted by: EdWonk on March 2, 2005 05:15 PM

I make 42K, which is well below the "average", and I've been teaching music for 9 years with a PD degree. I am at work from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. four times a week (rehearsals for 4 ensembles). Add the music camps, the football games, the parades, the competitions, the trips, the prep time to create these shows and drills (avg 10-12 hrs. per MINUTE of show time), travel time, fundraising, community events, leadership training, and then include the lesson plans, the prep time to photocopy homework, tests, exams, lectures, visual aids, research, tutoring, correcting homework, journals, quizzes, exams, playing tests, singing tests, dancing tests, IEP meetings, parent teacher conferences, and this is just a glimpse...

to make a long story short (too late), if you average out my pay, I make about 67 cents an hour, and then have to deal with unappreciative students, parents, school, and community.

This is probably the reason why I'm "retiring" after 10 years of "public service prison." Bad return on investment.

By the way, I also own a web design company and a music writing company, and I make 5 times more money doing both than teaching (and only a fraction of the time). Maybe I thought that the "greater good" would be compensation enough...hindsight, unfortunately, is 20/20.

Posted by: coolreign on March 23, 2005 03:21 PM

What a discusting display! I would fire every one of those useless nitwit teachers, and let them put on paper hats at McDonalds. Until the teachers Unions are broken, the education system in this country will be second rate!

Posted by: Mike on April 19, 2005 08:54 AM


I was a public school teacher for ten years (eight at Berkeley High) and am now working at a private Catholic school, but that's another story.

A few facts to straighten out.


Yes, teachers get about 3 months not in the classroom, but it's split betewen about 2.25 in the summer, 2 weeks at "Christmas" and 1 week in the spring. I worked twenty years before becoming a teacher, so I truly do value this time--some as my own and some as time when I prep for classes or enroll in programs or institues to improve my teaching skills, and keep up to date with current trends, e.g. using computer interfaces for collecting and processing data in my science classes. (Teachers in California are required to spend 30 hours per year in "Professoinal Development" outside the classroom, so takes about one week off the vacation.) I spend an average of 100 hours per year in professional development outside the school year.


You cannnot simply divide the salary by 9, then multiply by 12 to get a yearly salary equivalent. Let's say there are about two months in the summer that I could take another job and dedicate my time to it. There are not many jobs out there that will hire teachers for this brief of a period at the same salary level (even summer school appointments pay less than normal year teaching). I need to pay the bills just like eveyone, and I can't pay it with vacation time.

Before I started teaching, one of my jobs was working concessions at sporting events. There were many teachers working there, since many of the events are evenings, weekends, and summer. The wages there were decent, but not the same as they were making in the classroom. And wouldn't you rather those teachers were home grading papers, calling parents, and planning lessons instead of selling beer?

If we want teachers to be able stay in the profession, you need to pay them appropriately. The average stay for a new teacher is 5 years. Districts are desperately looking for teachers. I thought that, according to capitalism, if there is a shortage of one type of worker, you start paying more to get more people to do it. Yes, I know that teachers aren't in private industry, and that's a whole 'nother story, but I don't understand why politicians are wanting to make it more difficult to become a teacher, and pay less, when there is a teacher shortage.

Posted by: Lee on October 2, 2005 04:03 PM

Those of us with children do appreciate all that teachers do. No one seems to want to actually solve the problems though.

The teachers want more money, but their unions fight against them on a number of fronts. There's so much corruption going on it isn't even funny.

Maybe the teachers should stand up and start shouting about the true reason the school classes are so large, illegal immigration. Rather than just complaining let's solve the problems.

I just shake my head in wonder as to why they aren't focusing on the problem, so they can get back to a time of manageability.

You can continue to blame politicians for having to cut the budget, but then stand by while voters keep approving massive spending on other things that can't be cut.

Teachers should be coming out against this pork that keeps getting implemented. The problem is the teachers union is usually in bed with these politicians -- mostly Democrats -- who are pushing it through.

Instead of spending $15 million on fixing up a local park -- that's in decent shape already -- they should be coming out against it until our educational system is not pushing kids through graduation with an 8th grade level education.

I just don't understand it myself. Teachers have allowed themselves to be lead by a group that isn't looking out for the best interests of the whole system, but just a small portion.

Until the underlying problems are solved, monies will continue to be routed out of the education system and elsewhere.

Posted by: Digger on October 2, 2005 07:19 PM

I agree with the teachers that they should not give homework because they have to correct it on their own time and some students that get loaded with home work don't get a chance to play outside or hang out with friends after school. And plus if your a kid thats not in any of your friends classes you hardly ever get to talk to them if you can't go out after school. And plus its a pain if you have to study for a big exam and have so much homework you don't have time to study or you stay up till midnight studying.

Posted by: meg on November 25, 2007 01:23 PM

i am a student and we get homework on Friday's. Then we have to end up doing our homework on a Satuday or Sunday if we do not get it done in school. We never get free time to work on our homework. When we have a test in any subject after we get done we have to work on what is says on the borad. I think it is not fair because we might being going out with friends on Saturday. Then you would have church on Sunday and you might go see family or have to go to the gracery. Plus you have to take a shower. Which when I get done with my Sunday it is nine o'clock and after that i eat my super and go to bed I have no time on Sunday. On Saturday i am with my family or with a friend and i refuse to do my homework at a friends house and I want to spend time with my family and spending time on homework. I think they should just gives us homework on Tuesday's and Thursday's. Monday's we are all wor out. Wensday's we have church to go to. Friday's I done told you about.

sign by: A 7th grader
Febuary 6, 2009 (Friday)
12:03 AM

Posted by: 7th grader on February 6, 2009 01:01 AM

(Due to the sexual amibiguity in 7th Grader's post, I will refer to the poster as a male throughout this comment)

7th Grader, you made a point that would, in fact, SUPPORT homework.

I want everyone to read his post. Notice the lack of contractions. I assume he put a lot of effort into writing that, attempting to sound like a well-said, intelligent individual.

Now I want everyone to pay close attention to the spelling errors. "Wensday"? "gracery"? Both of those words were taught to me in at LEAST the 2nd grade.

What I am trying to say is that this "7th Grader" here....is an idiot. I was in 7th grade not so long ago. I have looked over papers and stories written back then. I DID my homework and I had superb papers, and I have never scored below average on a test.

Hell, we should be piling on MORE homework to try to force the smallest bit of intelligence into even the most hopeless of children, like 7th Grader.

Posted by: WM Anderson on August 14, 2009 03:14 PM

Also see these other great immigration resources

The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration
The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration

A 28 part detailed report on the negative impacts of illegal immigration.
Immigration Stance
Immigration Stance

Find out how your members of Congress voted on immigration issues.

The Dark Side Of Illegal Immigration
Read the free 28 part report The Dark Side of
Illegal Immigration

Includes facts, figures
and statistics.

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