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Will Passman raise teacher salaries?

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Will Passman raise teacher salaries?

Postby Ed Blume » Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:45 am

It's been four days since I e-mailed Marj Passman to get clarification on her inaccurate statement on starting teacher salaries and clarification on what she would do to raise those salaries after she cited them as a problem in recruiting teachers to the MMSD during an interview on WORT. Here's her response:

Thank you Ed for pointing this mistake out to me. I went back to my source and discovered it was dated (another reason not to be depend on internet research). I will post this correction on my web site the first chance I get. Marj

Here's my response to her:

Marj, Correcting the error on your Web site is good. Thank you. But how will you correct your mistake in the interview with Tony on WORT?

And, would you please answer my questions?

1. What would you do to correct low starting salaries for Madison teacher if you're elected to the board?

2. Will you vote against any Temporary Impasse Agreement that cedes to the union's demand to preserve the salary schedule that keeps starting salaries low?

3. In negotiations with the union, will you push for higher salaries for starting teachers? Ed Blume


You'd think that a candidate with years of insider experience would be able to provide some answers.

Ed Blume
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Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:24 pm

Ed Blume wrote:Will Passman raise teacher salaries?

All by herself?
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Re: Will Passman raise teacher salaries?

Postby burstingsun » Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:27 pm

Ed Blume wrote:It's been four days since I e-mailed Marj Passman to get clarification on her inaccurate statement on starting teacher salaries and clarification on what she would do to raise those salaries after she cited them as a problem in recruiting teachers to the MMSD during an interview on WORT. Here's her response:

Thank you Ed for pointing this mistake out to me. I went back to my source and discovered it was dated (another reason not to be depend on internet research). I will post this correction on my web site the first chance I get. Marj

Here's my response to her:

Marj, Correcting the error on your Web site is good. Thank you. But how will you correct your mistake in the interview with Tony on WORT?

And, would you please answer my questions?

1. What would you do to correct low starting salaries for Madison teacher if you're elected to the board?

2. Will you vote against any Temporary Impasse Agreement that cedes to the union's demand to preserve the salary schedule that keeps starting salaries low?

3. In negotiations with the union, will you push for higher salaries for starting teachers? Ed Blume


You'd think that a candidate with years of insider experience would be able to provide some answers.

Ed Blume

Gosh, Ed, are you really surprised that Marge did not respond to you given your public support and apparent close relationship with her opponent and apparent lack of genuine interest in her response? It certainly does not seem prudent during a campaign to have such a conversation with one of your opponent's close advisors. I'm certain that Marge will be glad to discuss this further with you once she is elected on April 3rd.

And what do you want her to do to correct the misstatement during the WORT interview? She changed the information on her website, but she can't very well travel back in time to redo the interview.
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Postby Ed Blume » Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:04 pm

During a campaign, I expect candidates to state their positions to the public, which always includes people who are going to vote for the other candidate. No one benefits from knowing a candidate's positions after the election.

Marj doesn't have to respond to my e-mails. She can post her response here. And I certainly hope that she will so that everyone can read it.
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Postby forwardourmotto » Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:43 pm

Ed Blume wrote:During a campaign, I expect candidates to state their positions to the public, which always includes people who are going to vote for the other candidate. No one benefits from knowing a candidate's positions after the election.

Marj doesn't have to respond to my e-mails. She can post her response here. And I certainly hope that she will so that everyone can read it.


1. Marj responded to your first e-mail.

2. You're clearly trying to push an agenda here, you're not just innocently trying to get some information.

3. What are Cole's positions on these questions? I checked her website and didn't find anything. Did I miss it, or is it simply not there?
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Postby Ed Blume » Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:30 pm

Yeah, I have an agenda to call out Marj's hypocrisy, and I don't want another MTI representative on the board of education.

Marj will vote the MTI line on any issue when MTI stakes out a position on it.

On this particular issue, MTI wants low starting salaries and higher salaries for more experienced teachers.

Marj is being disingenuous to identify a problem and imply that she'll address it when she'd have to vote against MTI, which she won't.

I don't know Maya's position, because she hasn't identified it as a problem.
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Postby Robert Godfrey » Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:01 am

Ed Blume wrote:On this particular issue, MTI wants low starting salaries and higher salaries for more experienced teachers.

NEWS FLASH:

Madison has the highest starting salary in the neighborhood.

MMSD, $32,242
Sun Prairie, $27,603 (2005-6)
Verona, $28,577
Middleton-Cross Plains, $30,551

and it's still not enough for a middle class professional IMHO.
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Postby Ed Blume » Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:31 pm

Robert,
You have to admit, because MTI is not shy about saying it, MTI wants the total salary package from the MMSD weighted toward higher salaries for the teachers with longer tenures in the MMSD.

You're close to Marj, Robert, maybe you can convince her to explain what she'd do, if elected, to raise starting teacher salaries.

Truth-in-posting: I'm for higher teacher salaries across the board, especially since my wife teaches.
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Postby Nick Berigan » Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:57 pm

Ed Blume wrote:Robert,
You have to admit, because MTI is not shy about saying it, MTI wants the total salary package from the MMSD weighted toward higher salaries for the teachers with longer tenures in the MMSD.

You're close to Marj, Robert, maybe you can convince her to explain what she'd do, if elected, to raise starting teacher salaries.

Truth-in-posting: I'm for higher teacher salaries across the board, especially since my wife teaches.


Straw man or red herring or whatever the term is. At least from my view.

My partner also teaches. I have seen no evidence that there is a generational tension as you describe with longer term teachers controlling MTI contracts or whatever you think is happening, to restrict entry level wages. In fact, where she teaches, I have been impressed with the support that exists for new teachers.

The department in which she works is quite focused, as a group, on the need to maintain allocations so that those teachers who are NOT fulltime (but work full time hours) do not lose more percentage due to shrinking allocations.
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Postby Ed Blume » Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:52 pm

Nick,
If you need to understand MTI's position on the salary structure, go here: http://www.schoolinfosystem.org/archive ... hp#c142656

You'll find that MTI and the MMSD agreed, before beginning bargaining, not to submit the salary schedule to arbitration, if arbitration should be necessary.

I don't disagree with your observation that new teachers get a lot of support from more experienced teachers. I'm sure that they do.
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Postby indycoyote » Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:29 pm

Does anybody really believe anything they read on that school info systems website anymore? it's so politically skewed to whatever is waving in the wind at the current moment. Face it, it's near impossible to get objective information about the MMSD!
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Postby Ed Blume » Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:08 pm

Indycoyote,
I encourage you not to believe anything you read anyplace. Check out every fact and assertion for yourself.
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Postby primetime » Sun Mar 11, 2007 2:11 pm

Robert Godfrey wrote:
Ed Blume wrote:On this particular issue, MTI wants low starting salaries and higher salaries for more experienced teachers.

NEWS FLASH:

Madison has the highest starting salary in the neighborhood.

MMSD, $32,242
Sun Prairie, $27,603 (2005-6)
Verona, $28,577
Middleton-Cross Plains, $30,551

and it's still not enough for a middle class professional IMHO.


Wow the starting salary is really $32,000 plus some pretty nice benefits and summers off. That sounds like a very nice starting salary for someone with a four year degree fresh out of school. I know I will get crucified for this but I don't think these salaries need to be raised. I haven't been out of college that long and I started at $24,000/year with no pension, and I had to contribute about $30/month for health insurance with two weeks a year off. That was at a bank with a degree in Economics.
Granted, I was able to move up the salary levels by changing jobs. Adjusted for inflation the starting teacher salary is still above what I started at and since the health care is covered (which has had the biggest inflation) the teacher's aren't making out so bad.

Three of my roommates in college were education majors and only one of the three is actually teaching now 7 years out of school. Why? Because there is an oversupply of teachers. Look how many people graduate each year with a teaching degree, compared to how many leave the profession and how many job openings there are. It is near impossible to get a job in a district like Madison out of school because there are so many applicants and few people leave. One roommate was able to break into teaching by moving to Houston and teaching in one the worse off school districts for a few years. He eventually gave up teaching because his wife wanted to move back to WI and it was still near impossible to get a job even with 4 years experience. One other gave up and started working for a mutual fund company because there were no openings for an Econ/History teacher.

I also dated a girl who spent the first 3 years out of college babysitting and subbing trying to break into any school district around Madison.

It may be anecdotal but there are a lot of teaching graduates who don't go into teaching because there just isn't that many job openings, especially in good school districts.

I know the argument that good teachers are underpaid but I blame that on the union. The union protects the jobs of the bad teachers at the expense of letting turnover go higher and more competion allowing the best teachers in and weeding out the poor. This proctection of the existing base allows for mediocraty by the few teachers who are burned out, or just not that good. At the same time some potentially good teachers are pushed away by no job openings.

I also think playing into the oversupply of teachers are the intangible job rewards. Most teachers get some enjoyment out of the job and genuinely like the kids. The top end of salarys are limited compared to other professions but the rewards of the job should also be factored in.

Teachers are also government employees and most government jobs pay less than the private sector but come with better benefis and job security. Even in my profession, the investment managers at SWIB are highly compensated for government jobs but relativly low compared to the private industry.

To sum up, I think teachers do an important job but they are never going to make top dollar as an oversupplied, government positioned, unionized entity. And considering what a lot of people with a 4 year degree make they come out looking o.k.
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Postby forwardourmotto » Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:36 pm

primetime wrote:Wow the starting salary is really $32,000 plus some pretty nice benefits and summers off. That sounds like a very nice starting salary for someone with a four year degree fresh out of school. I haven't been out of college that long and I started at $24,000/year with no pension, and I had to contribute about $30/month for health insurance with two weeks a year off. That was at a bank with a degree in Economics.


I'm not sure how your personal experience factors into how much teachers should be paid, even if you have an Economics degree.

I know the argument that good teachers are underpaid but I blame that on the union. The union protects the jobs of the bad teachers at the expense of letting turnover go higher and more competion allowing the best teachers in and weeding out the poor.


There are bad workers who skate on by at both union and non-union shops. Unions don't control hiring and firing, they just assure there is a process.
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Postby Ed Blume » Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:43 pm

It's now been 12 days since I asked Marj about her comments on beginning teacher salaries. She's still mum.
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