Walton County Schools

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by DaleDalbey, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. liz coats

    liz coats Beach Comber

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    The 'great schools' link indicates that the percentage of teachers with masters degrees at Butler Elem. is 30%. The state average is 32%. At Maude Saunders, teachers with masters degrees is 22%. I guess somebody thinks that that the high schools deserve better teachers.
     
  2. Thrilling

    Thrilling Beach Comber

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    Here is a quote from the Great Schools site from which you are quoting averages & drawing conclusions:

    "What does a teacher's education level tell you about his qualifications?

    Teachers who have advanced degrees have shown a commitment to advancing their own learning, and are generally paid more for having an advanced degree. Some studies have shown that a teacher having an advanced degree does not have any significant effect on student achievement gains at the elementary level, but having an advanced degree does have an effect at the high school level, particularly in advanced courses in math and
    science."

    So, it does sound like it's more important to have advanced degrees at the secondary level which would be consistent with your statement.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2012
  3. meggiemom

    meggiemom Beach Lover

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    Sounds like dumbing down of teachers. We encourage our young people to go to college and get degrees but we're now supposed to believe that the best teachers are beginners with little experience? And teachers and parents have agreed that there is a turnover problem at Walton's elementary schools. I thought that when you have good people doing a good job, you don't get rid of them and replace them with cheaper employees to save money. Maybe we need a superintendent who is a high school dropout but is a good leader. The requirements for that job doesn't even require a degree.
     
  4. Thrilling

    Thrilling Beach Comber

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    I know what you mean, I was surprised by the research they mentioned as well. But then I started thinking about the great teachers I know and realized that out of the top ten teachers I've known, only one of them has an advanced degree. It's positive intangible qualities that these teachers bring to the classroom that seems to make the greatest difference. These teachers educate themselves in best practices but aren't working towards an advanced degree. They do it because they are curious and interested in finding things that make a difference with students.... A graduate degree wouldn't necessarily help them towards this goal, depending on the program. These teachers devote a lot of energy to their students in their classrooms, and hoops and demands of graduate school can be a drain on this energy. I think that's really what the research is saying, as opposed to your thoughts of dumbing things down. I think it really depends on the teacher.
     
  5. meggiemom

    meggiemom Beach Lover

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    I've always felt that a teacher who worked to earn a graduate degree is more dedicated. Also, teachers with graduate degrees usually are more experienced. But the trend for teachers seems to lean toward hiring youthful educators. I'm thankful that I had teachers with lots of experience. Unfortunately, my children don't seem to be as fortunate. I'm sure older rich people don't care. They're paying less in property taxes and it doesn't matter if their homes are worth less. And many of them don't have kids or grandchildren in Walton County Schools. I guess the tea party folks are pleased that the school district isn't having to pay for experience.
     
  6. Thrilling

    Thrilling Beach Comber

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    Here is another interesting thought for you from GreatSchools.org re teacher experience:

    "How important is teacher experience?

    Most successful schools have a healthy combination of experienced teachers and new teachers. The experienced teachers give the schools stability and serve as mentors to the new teachers. The new teachers bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm. Experience is certainly important but interestingly enough some studies have shown that the benefits of experience become evident after just a few years of teaching and seem to peak at four or five years. In
    other words, teachers don't necessarily become more effective the longer they remain in the classroom.".

    Again, it sounds like it depends on the teacher, I think.
     
  7. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

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    Let me see if I understand the argument here. On one side a parent would like to see more experienced teachers in our schools. On the other side the argument has been made that experience isn't all that important. Silly me. I've been wasting money paying a guy who's been doing my taxes for more than 20 years who's a CPA and has an MBA. I could have gotten a cheaper person fresh out of college.....or high school. It's been my experience in life that experienced people who have proved themselves do a better job than beginners.
     
  8. DaleDalbey

    DaleDalbey Beach Fanatic

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    My observation...if the value of experience caps out at 4-6 years for teachers, it is just another example of inadequate career development standards. Question? Does Walton County reward teachers who receive National Board certification? Does anyone even know what that means? Analysis shows that the best school
    systems have the highest percentage of national board candidates or those who have already attained designation. Does Walton County have any? Are they mentoring others?
     
  9. momofmany

    momofmany Beach Comber

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    First I want to say that I have four children who have all attended schools in Walton County. I have experienced two different elementary schools, two different middle schools, and one high school. I have volunteered my time in these schools and I challenge each if you who have nothing but negative to say to do the same. I have found in my experience that the elementary schools bend over backwards to meet the needs of all students. I have also found that the undergraduate younger teachers that you think are inexperienced are the most engaging, and competent teachers who have the most up to date knowledge of best teaching practice and have not become complacent because they have to work harder to prove themselves to be rehired each year. I am appalled at the thought that so many of you have little faith in the teachers who spend more time with your children each day than you do. Bashing teachers and schools is not going to solve your issues. They are bound by state laws and given little resources. Perhaps you should take your complaints to higher powers and see if you can make the state provide more pay for teachers so that perhaps they can afford graduate degrees and more professional development to meet your criteria of highly qualified. Can you really expect teachers who have not had raises in this county in years be able to continue their education? Think about lightening the load for schools and volunteer your time! And that is all I got to say about that.
     
  10. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

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    Pay raises amount to nothing when a good teacher loses their job. Ask one of the former teachers who was not "laid off" but simply had their contract non renewed. That's the nice term for being 'laid off' or fired. And there are plenty of experienced teachers who have applied for employment and re-employment who have experience as well as graduate degrees who have excellent student achievement records. The school district simply won't consider employing the better teachers because they don't have the funds to pay them although some would be willing to work for lower salaries. They can afford to employ administrative personnel from down south (Palm Beach county).
     
  11. momofmany

    momofmany Beach Comber

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    Every teacher hired now is on annual contract so they are not fired or laid off at the end of their contract. That is a STATE law, not county. And please define a BETTER teacher...I can honestly say that while in elementary school in this county my children have not had a BAD teacher. The issues you are so distraught about have little to do with this county and more to do with the state. If we don't support our schools and teachers change will never happen. Consider what part you can do to help make a difference.
     
  12. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

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    Distraught? I don't think so. Outraged would be a better discription. A good teacher is a teacher who helps a child learn. There are bad teachers and good teachers. Experience counts for a lot. The best doctors are experienced doctors. And I don't want a guy sitting in the left front seat of that Southwest Boeing 737 who's a person fresh out of Flight Safety with relatively little flying time. And contacting the DOE, and other state agencies is like spitting into the wind. I can show you the e-mails confirming that fact. And the state claims to want to reward good teachers with good records of student achievement. Instead, it's the policy of the Walton county School district to inform a teacher that they are not being rehired on the very last day of school and told "We don't give a reason because the law doesn't require it". If a person lays off a good employee they should have guts enough to give a reason. Our school district administrators are gutless wonders.
     
  13. meggiemom

    meggiemom Beach Lover

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    One of my teacher friends informed me that if a teacher with tenure is terminated the state ethics law requires that the teacher be given a reason. Such is not the case with teachers who don't have tenure. School districts are allowed by law to nonrenew any teacher with no requirement for just cause. That tells me that the state's ethics laws need to be revised, since tenure is no more. My friend also told me that when the legislature was considering SB 6 and other education bills she was bombarded with e-mails from Senator Gaetz on her school district e-mail. Sen. Gaetz is a contributor of Mrs. Anderson's campaign. I'd like to be able to tell Carlene Anderson that her contract is being non renewed.
     
  14. momofmany

    momofmany Beach Comber

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    You said " A good teacher is a teacher who helps a child learn." I am not saying that experience and education are not huge factors here, but I am saying that motivation and dedication should be considered as well. Just because a teacher doesn't have as much experience as the next does not mean that they are not helping children learn. There are teachers who have years of experience who are NOT helping children learn. I would suppose that is why the state felt it was necessary to pass senate bill 736. Perhaps too many experienced teachers had job security and became unmotivated. Like I said....it is the STATE and NOT our county. Here are two links where you can familiarize yourself with how this senate bill affect teachers in our state. Teachers are not being laid off...schools are just following the state law. I urge you take your energy and turn it into something positive instead of name calling and down rating our community.

    http://feaweb.org/senate-bill-736-how-will-it-affect-me. http://jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com/2011/04/teachers-and-famlies-stay-away-from.html
     
  15. momofmany

    momofmany Beach Comber

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    Your theory is rather interesting....I would think of it more as an opinion. I know my children had the best 1-3 teachers in this district. Teachers who were/are motivated and truly care about the learning outcomes of all students. Teachers who went ABOVE and BEYOND the call of duty. You should not post your negative experiences as FACT.
     
  16. j p nettles

    j p nettles Banned

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    It seems to me that if a parent has kids in Walton Schools and has said that they've never had a bad teacher, then such a statement begs the question, why are so many teachers in Walton County terminated? From the numbers I've seen there's been no need for a reduction in instructional personnel.
     
  17. momofmany

    momofmany Beach Comber

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    Perhaps the ones terminated were for just cause and I was just blessed with the BEST!
     
  18. BeachTeach55

    BeachTeach55 Beach Comber

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    Thank you momofmany. Finally someone with ground to stand on has responded to this nonsense.
     
  19. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    If you have read threads here on SoWal and been involved in school board meetings the last year or two - then you know that several excellent, highly qualified teachers were let go at the end of school year with no reason (last year). These teachers were experienced and effective according to parents. Perhaps they were costing too much. Regardless of local or state law - it is the wrong kind of policy to use if you want to deliver quality education. It is proven that teacher effectiveness comes with experience and that effectiveness is more important than class size or any other factor.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  20. momofmany

    momofmany Beach Comber

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    So you are saying that an experienced teacher would be effective in an overcrowded classroom with little support from parents and their community (as displayed in this forum)....please show me ONE teacher who would/could be effective teaching the state requirements with too many students and not enough resources and THEN I might possibly believe your statement....until then I'm going to stick to what I know.
    ....and you based their effectiveness on the words of parents....I am a parent and I know that I have high expectations of what I want for my children. However, it is not for me to decide. I am not observing the teachers work ethics, data from student growth, or daily duties and expectations of the workplace. That is what we have administrators for. It is their job to supervise the teachers not all the parents who have nothing better to do than complain about what teachers do or don't do. I can assure you new teachers on an annual contract are not costing too much....beginning salary starts right about poverty level. There had to be just cause. schools want good teachers no matter the cost. I still stand on the idea that if we want change we have to be willing to put aside the negative and work toward positive....thus supporting teachers, schools, and our community. Just my thoughts.
     

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