Oklahoma teachers planning to strike

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Nov 8, 2007
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Bartlesville
http://journalrecord.com/2018/04/10/roach-the-economic-case-for-a-full-teacher-pay-raise/

Roach: The economic case for a full teacher pay raise
By: Travis Roach Guest ColumnistApril 10, 20180

Recently, I’ve seen the “average teacher pay” metric as the go-to statistic used by legislators debating teachers’ salaries. The average is at least an incorrect measure and at worst purposefully deceptive because a first-year teacher’s salary is considered right alongside a veteran football coach’s. The current proposal is insufficient compared to our regional peers.
As an economics professor, I emphasize to my students that they need to use the metric that most honestly and accurately explains the data. Averages can be misleading because they are heavily influenced by outliers in the data and may not be indicative of a true population. Here’s an example: In the mid-1980s the average starting salary for geography majors from the University of North Carolina was more than $100,000. Sounds high, right? That’s because Michael Jordan was a geography major. I’m pretty sure His Airness’ aptitude in altitude had more to do with his pay than his geography skills.
If we remove the outlier, then the real average pay for these geography majors was much lower. That’s why using average teacher pay in Oklahoma is an inaccurate way to make one’s point. A more appropriate way to discuss teacher pay in Oklahoma is to examine the full distribution of teacher pay and the median teacher pay.
If we ordered teachers’ salaries from lowest to highest, we could then look at mile markers to determine how teachers in Oklahoma are paid compared to our regional peers. The mile markers used here mark the income level that different segments of the teacher distribution earn. For example, the 25-percent marker shows that one-quarter of all elementary teachers in Oklahoma earn $34,500 or less. Similarly, the 50-percent marker, or the median, shows 50 percent of teachers earn $38,400 or less. Clearly, this is very different than the widely used average teacher pay statistic of $42,460. In other words, the real “average teacher” earns nearly $4,000 less than the average pay in Oklahoma.




Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Comparing Oklahoma teacher pay to all surrounding states shows ours is much lower at every mile marker. In fact, the top quartile indicates that 75 percent of all teachers in Oklahoma earn less than the median salary in all other surrounding states.
Even with the Legislature’s plan to add $6,100 annually, the median Oklahoma income would fall behind surrounding states by $2,000 to $11,000.
In Texas, the bottom 10 percent of teachers earn about $42,000 per year. So, the lowest 10 percent of teachers in Texas currently earn more than 50 percent of all teachers in Oklahoma. The median teacher pay in Texas is a staggering $56,000. Compared to Oklahoma, not even teachers in the top 10 percent earn as much as the median Texas educator. That’s why the current pay proposal in Oklahoma is insufficient.
Under the current proposal, median teacher pay in Oklahoma would still be $12,000 less than Texas’ median. Even with the legislation passed the last week in March, the most veteran teachers in the state that will see the largest pay increase could move a few hours south and still be made better off.
Increasing teacher pay to a regionally competitive level has plenty of grounding in economic theory. Before he was known for his manufacturing prowess, Henry Ford famously offered $5 a day to his workers – nearly double the wage offered by neighboring manufacturers. That’s what economists call an efficiency wage. It’s higher than prevailing market wages.
Efficiency wages are able to attract higher-quality applicants, increase worker effort, and most importantly, reduce costly turnover. In our case, costly turnover is losing the multitude of excellent Oklahoma educators like Shawn Sheehan, the 2016 Teacher of the Year. The top-quality teachers who graduate from our universities will be more likely to stay in state and help educate the next generation of passionate professionals if we fully fund the education system and support educators. Moreover, taking the efficiency wage approach could actually turn the tables and attract the best educators from other states to Oklahoma.
Lastly, increasing teacher pay makes fiscal sense for future state funding. Economics research has shown time and again that the value of a good teacher is substantial. Peer-reviewed research has shown that improving teacher quality increases a student’s lifetime earnings potential by more than $1.5 million. Funding our educators and incentivizing the next generation of teachers to stay in the state can increase tax revenue. Better teachers yield a more productive and profitable workforce, which makes good sense for Oklahoma companies, and taxpayers.
 
Feb 27, 2018
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Tulsa
www.tulsaworld.com
Today is day 9 of the Oklahoma teacher walkout, so here's our recap of day 8...

OKLAHOMA CITY — Turnout for Day 8 of the statewide teacher walkout was light for a second day in a row as some school districts began calling teachers back.

Some participants said the end of the walkout may be looming, but they’re “torn” because they didn’t get the operational funds they need to significantly improve conditions for students.

“The problem here is we are being pulled in a lot of different directions,” said Jerry Gary, a business teacher at Bartlesville High School. “Before all of this started, they said, ’There’s nothing we can do.’ Look how far we’ve gotten since then.”
A few districts (Bartlesville, Sapulpa, Sand Springs) returned to school today, while others are debating how long to stay out...

The head of the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association said Wednesday that she wants her members to know there are other tactics besides a walkout to enact the change they want, but said she will follow her members.

“Our members don’t see that we’ve had success so they are not ready to go back,” said Patti Ferguson-Palmer, TCTA president. She said the latest TCTA survey of its members showed that 80 percent weren’t satisfied with what has happened so far at the state Capitol.

“I believe that it is time to focus on November. The way things are going in the Legislature, it looks like they’re willing to wait us out until May 25, which just proves that they are obstructionists and are not willing to work.

“Changing the power structure in the Legislature is the only way to have a long-term gain. If you can’t change their minds, you’re going to have to change the people.”
As yesterday was the first day of filing, Bruce Plante combined the walkout with the filing in today's cartoon.

When the doors closed nine hours later, 458 Oklahomans had passed through the portal from bystander to candidate.

The figure was by far the highest single-day total since at least 2000.

...

If past years are an indication, Wednesday’s filings will amount to about 70 percent of the three-day total, which would project to about 650, also easily the most since at least 2000.
 
Sep 22, 2009
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Bixby
http://journalrecord.com/2018/04/10/roach-the-economic-case-for-a-full-teacher-pay-raise/

Roach: The economic case for a full teacher pay raise
By: Travis Roach Guest ColumnistApril 10, 20180

Recently, I’ve seen the “average teacher pay” metric as the go-to statistic used by legislators debating teachers’ salaries. The average is at least an incorrect measure and at worst purposefully deceptive because a first-year teacher’s salary is considered right alongside a veteran football coach’s. The current proposal is insufficient compared to our regional peers.
As an economics professor, I emphasize to my students that they need to use the metric that most honestly and accurately explains the data. Averages can be misleading because they are heavily influenced by outliers in the data and may not be indicative of a true population. Here’s an example: In the mid-1980s the average starting salary for geography majors from the University of North Carolina was more than $100,000. Sounds high, right? That’s because Michael Jordan was a geography major. I’m pretty sure His Airness’ aptitude in altitude had more to do with his pay than his geography skills.
If we remove the outlier, then the real average pay for these geography majors was much lower. That’s why using average teacher pay in Oklahoma is an inaccurate way to make one’s point. A more appropriate way to discuss teacher pay in Oklahoma is to examine the full distribution of teacher pay and the median teacher pay.
If we ordered teachers’ salaries from lowest to highest, we could then look at mile markers to determine how teachers in Oklahoma are paid compared to our regional peers. The mile markers used here mark the income level that different segments of the teacher distribution earn. For example, the 25-percent marker shows that one-quarter of all elementary teachers in Oklahoma earn $34,500 or less. Similarly, the 50-percent marker, or the median, shows 50 percent of teachers earn $38,400 or less. Clearly, this is very different than the widely used average teacher pay statistic of $42,460. In other words, the real “average teacher” earns nearly $4,000 less than the average pay in Oklahoma.




Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Comparing Oklahoma teacher pay to all surrounding states shows ours is much lower at every mile marker. In fact, the top quartile indicates that 75 percent of all teachers in Oklahoma earn less than the median salary in all other surrounding states.
Even with the Legislature’s plan to add $6,100 annually, the median Oklahoma income would fall behind surrounding states by $2,000 to $11,000.
In Texas, the bottom 10 percent of teachers earn about $42,000 per year. So, the lowest 10 percent of teachers in Texas currently earn more than 50 percent of all teachers in Oklahoma. The median teacher pay in Texas is a staggering $56,000. Compared to Oklahoma, not even teachers in the top 10 percent earn as much as the median Texas educator. That’s why the current pay proposal in Oklahoma is insufficient.
Under the current proposal, median teacher pay in Oklahoma would still be $12,000 less than Texas’ median. Even with the legislation passed the last week in March, the most veteran teachers in the state that will see the largest pay increase could move a few hours south and still be made better off.
Increasing teacher pay to a regionally competitive level has plenty of grounding in economic theory. Before he was known for his manufacturing prowess, Henry Ford famously offered $5 a day to his workers – nearly double the wage offered by neighboring manufacturers. That’s what economists call an efficiency wage. It’s higher than prevailing market wages.
Efficiency wages are able to attract higher-quality applicants, increase worker effort, and most importantly, reduce costly turnover. In our case, costly turnover is losing the multitude of excellent Oklahoma educators like Shawn Sheehan, the 2016 Teacher of the Year. The top-quality teachers who graduate from our universities will be more likely to stay in state and help educate the next generation of passionate professionals if we fully fund the education system and support educators. Moreover, taking the efficiency wage approach could actually turn the tables and attract the best educators from other states to Oklahoma.
Lastly, increasing teacher pay makes fiscal sense for future state funding. Economics research has shown time and again that the value of a good teacher is substantial. Peer-reviewed research has shown that improving teacher quality increases a student’s lifetime earnings potential by more than $1.5 million. Funding our educators and incentivizing the next generation of teachers to stay in the state can increase tax revenue. Better teachers yield a more productive and profitable workforce, which makes good sense for Oklahoma companies, and taxpayers.
Great article and analysis, but only wonder if the numbers are adjusted for cost of living. Either way, my wife needs to move to New Mexico!
 

wrenhal

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Aug 11, 2011
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How can they do that and not be fired? And how can they say they are for the kids when they know this is affecting state testing for their district and the potential for kids to meet graduation requirements and I'm sure there are other academic deadlines?

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I would ask how can Mary Fallin and the legislature not do anything to fix the problem?
Once again as previously said this is a problem that started decades ago and it's not going to be fixed overnight are they going to sit there and strike for the next two years while everything gets worked out and ironed out and finally up to certain levels? It's gotten to a point where you can say they aren't really looking after the best interest of the kids you've got graduations coming up you got State Testing coming up that affects their districts directly you've got kids that need academics finish so they can sign up for certain activities for next year you can't get some of this done and how is this affecting ossaa in regards to eligibility for extracurricular activities these kids are supposed to be in school and they're supposed to be getting a regular grade figured for their eligibility requirements. At some point they have to compromise and realize they are supposed to be helping the kids in and out of the classroom. And I think places like Moore, Bartlesville and Owasso that are going to continue sending contingents of teachers but start school back up have the right idea.

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wrenhal

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Aug 11, 2011
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You know, most of those teachers are American Citizens, and as such, have certain rights and privileges, such as personal time off, understanding bosses, things like that. And they aren't walking for THIS year, they are looking a little further into the future, even further than the next election cycle.
Wow, I didn't know PTO and understanding bosses was a RIGHT.
Oh and don't forget it's also a right to just not show up to work when your boss tells you it's time to show up to work.

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AshlandFlash

It seemed like a good idea at the time
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Aug 24, 2007
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Oh and don't forget it's also a right to just not show up to work when your boss tells you it's time to show up to work.

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When the boss says it's time, then that can be discussed. Right now, in Stillwater, as an example, the boss said walk, so they is walkin'
 

teibbor

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When the boss says it's time, then that can be discussed. Right now, in Stillwater, as an example, the boss said walk, so they is walkin'
The discussion was about Moore teachers and the boss said go back to work but we know you dont follow along
 

AshlandFlash

It seemed like a good idea at the time
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Get back up on that soap box, skippy. This ain't the Moore thread, it's the teacher walk thread. Even Moore teachers get to take a day off occasionally. Well, maybe not in Moore, they're trying to be Edmond south...
 
Oct 30, 2007
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Before the walkout started our state passed legislation to raise funding for education by nearly half a billion dollars per year. They stated clearly that they planned to repeal the lodging tax and replace it. They did that with the online sales tax bill and the ball and dice bill. The OEA decided to move forward with the walkout to try to get more.

Fast forward two weeks later. The OEA has gained nothing they weren't promised prior to the walkout. I know hindsight is 20/20, but I have to believe the walkout is a mistake and the OEA is embarrassed. All they did was make our state a public spectacle for two weeks.

Hopefully the state's legislature will continue to press forward and find ways to help fund classrooms in the future. We need to find a way to get our per pupil spending up to a more respectable level.

Here's a copy of the press conference for anyone who missed it:
 
Mar 11, 2006
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Before the walkout started our state passed legislation to raise funding for education by nearly half a billion dollars per year. They stated clearly that they planned to repeal the lodging tax and replace it. They did that with the online sales tax bill and the ball and dice bill. The OEA decided to move forward with the walkout to try to get more.

Fast forward two weeks later. The OEA has gained nothing they weren't promised prior to the walkout. I know hindsight is 20/20, but I have to believe the walkout is a mistake and the OEA is embarrassed. All they did was make our state a public spectacle for two weeks.

Hopefully the state's legislature will continue to press forward and find ways to help fund classrooms in the future. We need to find a way to get our per pupil spending up to a more respectable level.

Here's a copy of the press conference for anyone who missed it:
Hindsight is 20/20. I just hope Oklahoma teachers see the failure of OEA and OEA’s walkout as a tactic.
 

StillwaterTownie

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Jun 18, 2010
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Where else but Stillwater
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