Don't get me started on the universities and their tuition. With going back to school, the tuition the universities are charging is the problem even if you make a damned good salary. But the 1K you call trivial, multiplied by the number of teachers (because they sure don't want too many kids in their classrooms) IS a burden.
I'd like to continue my education at some point in the near future. At current tuition fees I question whether or not I really can, even if I cut my expenses down considerably. That extra 1k annually that's a trivial cost of living increase to most white collar people is a lot of money to me.
Students can furnish their own school supplies until someone tells them they can't and creates a "program" for them to get it provided for them. By letting a "program pay for it (or a teacher) they can afford to have cable TV, a cartload of 2 liter bottles of pop, cigarettes, alcohol or any number of otherwise "optional" items. Around here, everyone is expected to provide their kids pencils, paper and Kleenex in volume. It's supposed to go to school with them the first day. When we objected to the volume of supplies we were told that it was "pooled" so those that cannot afford supplies would have supplies. We sent our kids to school everyday with the supplies they needed. They knew that if they lost them and couldn't do the assignments they would have a foot planted in their backsides.
I would like to put more money in my pocket, as well, but working for the State I haven't had a raise since 2002. My salary is a personal matter and when I find that I am not making enough I will move on. Interestingly, teachers have gotten a number of raises since I have. And here, a previous governor left a sizeable surplus in our State treasury. $300 million of it went to schools in one chunk to pay for new computers. Did that satisfy them? No, they have asked for more and more money and we keep giving it to them. I believe they have the attitude that they "are on a roll" and need to ask for even more "for the children". Personally I would make them get rid of the computers and television sets (which they have at home) and get back to teaching reading, writing, math, history, government. Limited to academic subjects we might be able to pass some kids. A field trip to us was to a manufacturing plant or a historical site, a museum or a zoo. Now they go to the movies or an amusement park. Oh, please.
I pay most of my insurance, too and so do most other people so that doesn't really enter into it. But you said that my "idea about tying salary to performance is questionable" and that you have "students who cannot multiply". So who's fault is it that the kid cannot multiply? Is it the government's fault for not giving teachers a raise. I don't think so. I rather believe it is because teachers are simply passing them on instead of demanding they learn the material. You don't need standardized tests to tell the teachers that are not doing their job, nor do you need them to identify the kids that are simply not capable. In the case of the teacher, fire them; in the case of the incapable kids, that used to be the purpose of "special ed". You teach them what they are capable to learn. These kids will not be capable of finding "the roots of quadratic equations" no matter how much class time a teacher wastes. Every kid needs to know basic mathematics (without a calculator, BTW) and those that are capable and interested should move on to algebra, geometry, calculus, etc. If they fail the basics, they should be (do I dare say it?) held back. If the parents don't like it they need to be told they need to help them at home. Bad teachers is an easier problem to solve; they need to not be teachers.
No, the coach should be fired. If he didn't have a televsion in the first place or the administration had a policy of teaching instead of wasting class time, he would not be able to show Bill Cosby movies.
Now we base it on passing rates. Okay, the health class the swimming coach teaches has a 95% passing rate. My math class has a 65% passing rate, 2% below the campus average. Clearly the coach's rigorous course of watching Bill Cosby movies and reading chapters in a book and then copying the answers out of the back is providing a better education. I should just give up now, eh? I'm clearly academically inferior.
Been there, done that, every year. They still get 100% out of me.
Yay they passed a raise. Oh wait. They didn't fund it. Well no raise for us then. It's like someone giving you a piece of paper that says "We'd like to give you $500 but we're not going to".
Love taps? That would be a waste. We used to get "licks" with a wooden paddle while bent over holding onto a chair in front of a classroom full of other kids. The fear of crying in front of a room full of your peers is a REAL reason not to act up in school.
I do agree corporal punishment is a useful tool we are lacking. For Pete's sake all they do is give the kid a love tap with witnesses. It saves us time and effort, and it's ultimately not a punishment at all, just the perception of one
I don't pretend to have all the answers, either. But I don't think that the answer is to continuously throw money at teachers and schools. All we get (as taxpayers) is how great it would be for them to get jsut a couple of hundred million dollars. They always fail. It's never any better. I would refine your idea of getting politicians out of the schools a step further. Get the government out of schools.