Friday, February 29, 2008
How Do We Compare To Paterson New Jersey?
New York City politicians are always calling us the best and the brightest. However, the real truth is the Kleinberg administration is always trying to do "education on the cheap". The result is that the New York City teacher is overworked, under appreciated, disrespected, and underpaid. Underpaid? Yes, underpaid. Many of the surrounding school districts are head and shoulders better paid than us. As for days worked, the average Long Island school district works 184 days a year and less, if snow days are not used. However, instead of comparing the New York City Teacher work and pay scale to the surrounding Long Island or Westchester schools districts (which we are inferior to), I decided to compare a typical working-class, blue collar school district in New jersey to our work and pay scale. The area I selected is Paterson New Jersey. A city that is heavily minority (82% black & Hispanic with many Middle Easterners making up most of the rest) and has a household income of $33,000, compared to $41,000 in New York City. A much poorer city indeed. However, they treat their teachers better than New York City treats us.
First, the Paterson, New jersey teacher works a maximum of 185 days compared to the 192 days the New York City teacher works this year. Further, the Paterson New Jersey Teacher has 5 half-days compared to "0" for the New York City teacher.
Second, the Paterson teacher pay scale ranges from $47,000 to $97,000 compared to our present-day pay scale of $43,000 to $95,000
Finally, the Paterson New Jersey teachers are allowed to attend workshops and professional development programs during school time. Rarely, can a New York City teacher leave the classroom for these sessions.
While I'm sure that the Paterson teachers suffer from similar afflictions as us such as gangs, unmotivated students, parent disinterest, poor classroom supplies, and vindictive administrators. It certainly appears that for a city always on the brink of bankruptcy, they seem to treat their teachers better than New York City treats us.
Who is the blame for allowing the city to disrespect us and for subjecting us to the shoddy treatment? I give you one guess. You want a hint? The First letter starts with an "R" and the last letter ends with a "i", with two letters in between.