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23 January 2012

Comments

billy T

Another good read, Dr. Rebane. Tomorrow night's State of the Union Address should be real special like. I am preparing by reading last year's speech and see how far we have come. Remember last year we were in the aftermath of the Arizona Congresswoman shooting and the drum beats of civil dialogue filled in the sky. I figure tomorrow night will be nice and polite. Tying in California, unions, and worldwide socialist tragedies, one must look at the sorry state of affairs our health care delivery system is in. There are many uninsured burn victims that are stretching the resources of burn clinics across the land and even causing some to shutter their doors. It is not fair! We MUST have single payer. Time to bring our toothless friends into the fold. http://bangordailynews.com/2012/01/23/health/meth-filling-hospitals-with-expensive-burn-patients/

Russ Steele

Billy,

You need to tell the rest of the story. Most of those burns were caused by the shake and bake artists who were trying to create meth by shaking chemicals in a bottle that explode, severely burning the shaker. Where is the personal responsibility in this scenario? Why should society take on the cost of helping these severely burned druggies. Societies answer, close the burn centers.

billy T

Mr. Steele, you picked up on my tongue-n-cheek reply. There is zero personal responsibility. Society's answer is not to close burn centers. That is an answer to losing millions upon millions who operate the trauma burn centers. Society's answer is to blame you and me for not paying our fair share and to say we are all in the same boat and throw those toothless meth heads into the stats to prove how heartless we are and argue the need for more Big Gov't. Can't get enough of more Big Bro. Those who espouse personal responsibility turn to Big Bro as the last resort. Those who are of the opposing view turn to Big Bro as the first resort. If that fails, they are screwed.

Russ Steele

Oh My,

Calpers Earned 1.1% Last Year As Stocks Declined After 12.5% Gain In 2010 -- The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (32617), the largest U.S. public pension, earned 1.1 percent in 2011 as its stock holdings slumped, said Joe Dear, its chief investment officer.

billy T

Its so unfair! The unions embraced OWS with financial, moral, and logistical support. Now, those dirty evil sumabitch religious zealots are tossing the poor unto the street. Can't wait for Mandate City and the workers' paradise to end this travesty of justice. Power to the people! Oh, good thing they did not throw Korans. That would be offensive. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2090625/Occupy-Wall-Street-Pastor-fuming-holy-vessel-vanishes-church-housing-protesters.html

Douglas Keachie

Of course it would be a piece of cake for an unscrupulous antique dealer to realize a wonderful opportunity to disguise himself as an OWS protestor and steal the object.

Given how the stock market has come back, how do you think CalPERS and CalSTRS will do this year"

billy T

Response number one: Stock outlook for 2012 should be the same as 2011, excluding a big blow up of the Euro Zone. Some more bullish saying a good first quarter for the S&P 500 with Asia not as bad (or better) than previous forecasts just a month ago as China has shown ability to adjust quickly. Don't know specifically CalSTRS holding. Response number 2: Doug, you sure see the good in everybody. Kind of doubtful "it would be a piece of cake for an unscrupulous antique dealer to realize a wonderful opportunity to disguise himself as an OWS protestor and steal the object." Not doubtful what you said in theory, but the object missing was found in a back room, so it was not stolen. Its a bloody miracle, I tell ya. Also, it was last seen the previous night with 60 people sleeping there. A wee bit difficult for a sole thief to go unnoticed under those circumstances. I supposed the unknown suspect who stole the $2,400 MacBook Pro from the preacher man's office prior to the latest theft was a unscrupulous mime who realized a wonderful opportunity to disguise himself as an city social worker and steal the object. I see your point.

billy T

Response number 3: Guess we will never know who these thieves are, real or imagined. What we do know from the Church's history of opening its doors to junkies and homeless through the years, nothing like this has happened before. OWS seems to attack an element of society that makes junkies and common bums appear quite civilized by comparison. The pre-OWS crowd had manners. In open minded California, I noticed the City Councilwoman in Oakland even slept in the Tent City camp to show solidarity. She did not last too long before even she rolled up her bedroll and withdrew the city's welcome mat. Seems everywhere this lot goes, they are being told "long time no come see. Homeless can stay, you go" Most puzzling.

Douglas Keachie

Maybe some silly photographer just wanted to take some pictures of it. The other day on an insurance inventory shoot I got to see some really pretty stuff, but no permission to show to public. However I did get permission to also shoot the safe, which is a gem unto itself, and valued at $25,000. I'll bet Al Qaeda could sent this a 100 feet into the air, and all that would happen would be that it would absolute crush whatever it landed on, with no damage to itself.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/keachie/6753981445/in/photostream/lightbox/

billy T

Good news, Mr. Keachie. CalSTRS returns stomped CalPERS last year, doubling CalPERS return of 1.1%. Guess they could have put the money in index funds and saved tens of millions in administrative costs as CalSTRS mirrored or trailed index funds returns at best across the board in all classes.....US Stocks, international stocks (-14%), a good solid 7% on bonds, 15% real estate investments, etc. Of course the individual is more nimble and can beat those returns for way less costs and management fees the teachers get screwed with. The BAD news is as of June 2010, CalSTRS had only 71% of the funds needed to met future and current obligations. Wonder if we raise the taxes on the Governing Board if the returns would have been better and more money would have ended up in the po folks' pockets? http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-calstrs-returns-20120124,0,1913310.story

Gregory

CalSTRS did a little better, a little over 2%.

California public employee pensions are not going to be paid as promised. The squealing is going to be VERY loud when that hits the fan.

Douglas Keachie

Funny how everyone here is blaming the 99%, for the 1% having taken the jobs off shore, and thus reducing the income taxes generated by the 99%, and thus defunding the pension plans, in addition to defunding the rest of the 99%'s economy. Blame the victims, capitalism's finest hour. Lots of sites dedicated to proving that the public employees are responsible for the problem, and no mention of the CEO's that set up shop in China. The Big Lie, no so different from 1939.

Douglas Keachie

"is as of June 2010, CalSTRS had only 71% of the funds needed to met future and current obligations." Actually, a report by some Stanford grad student says it is much worse than that. As for how to handle it, we didn't buy 60 acres to admire the scotch broom. Mooooo!

George Rebane

DougK 818am - I'm sorry I missed the connection between the unfunded liabilities in public service employee pension funds, and American corporations competing with foreign corporations for the American consumer's dollar.

Douglas Keachie

OK, George, the public employees pensions are dependent in part on future earning of current employees to pay for the retired employees pensions. If the amount of taxes collected by the state is reduced, then the amount of taxes available for teachers' salaries is reduced, and the money going into the pension funds is reduced, AND OBVIOUSLY,the amounts available to be paid out will be reduced. The CEO's who sent the jobs abroad for quick quarterly profits have greatly weakened the overall economic system, while filling their pockets, and those of their stockholders. Also, if USA corps hadn't supplied China with plans and working models of the very best and most efficient factories, pure Chinese corps would not be so up to speed in manufacturing products of their own for sale to the American consumer. BTW, how many times do you think China had duplicated the CD's with all American patents on them. You know, the one's that fill about 5 shelves in one bookcase in Sunnyvale some years back? Was it Bush who just sent them a set, or was that Clinton?

Douglas Keachie

Looks like Clinton did the CD's in 1996 and then Bush came long and, "By 2006, the U.S. Patent Office had placed 1,271,000 patent applications on the internet, giving access to anyone anywhere in the world. This foolish practice created a gold mine for China to steal U.S. innovations and get to market quickly. "

George Rebane

DougK 925am - First, we have to remember that private sector taxpayers also pay the taxes and benefits of public employees, the money comes from nowhere else. Second, your diabolical CEOs had little choice in how to reduce their labor costs for products that they sell here and abroad. The vaunted productivity of the American worker is high only to the extent that he uses the latest technology which subsequently requires fewer workers. And we haven't even started talking about the costs of America's regulatory environment and corporate taxes which are the highest in the world.

Competitive economies are pretty brutal systems, and we can't just arbitrarily 'create jobs paying fair living wages'. The worker overseas has a different idea of what is a fair living wage, and feels that he also deserves his place in the sun. In a global economy we can't keep jobs here on a whimsy without also paying our workers in Monopoly money. That is something that progressives have never understood, and one of the many factors - political, economic, and social - that fundamentally divide us as America's 140M workers now compete with the world's 3B workers (one of the 'benefits' of the Great Doubling that occurred in the mid-1990s).

Douglas Keachie

George, so you will be happy with this country with an amazing gulf between rich and poor, and think the corporations can earn enough cash abroad to support a military here staffed by those from the bottom 95%? Or even mercenaries from abroad? That's a pretty weak batch of arrows in the Eagle's claw. It just invites the Chinese to waltz right in.


World wide minimum wage, a concept whose time has come. I don't think so. How fast can your grandkids learn Chinese?

Douglas Keachie

I suppose, of course, that the children of the 1% will not have to sew soccer balls together?

Douglas Keachie

Bernanke's bandaid for the heart attack of upside down mortgages (we are up to 700 billion worth of underwater mortgages) is to maybe work on 20 to 25 billion worth of the problem with principle forgiveness.

Douglas Keachie

My suggestion would be to force all the homes that banks control while they are in foreclosure, to be subject to taxes, paid by the banks, now. That would force the homes onto the market, and generate some revenue for the state.

George Rebane

DougK 1115am - amazing conclusions! I am not so much concerned with the value of our Gini Index as I am with the lower quintiles having a good quality of life. As we all (should) know, advancing technology will raise the employment bar all over the world. The Chinese will be affected along with everyone else. Nostrums like artificially raising minimum wages to provide a higher standard of living are extremely naive - it winds up beggaring everyone, starting with the poor.

According to my lights, the only hope for peace in these pre-Singularity years is to unfetter human ingenuity at all levels, and that means allowing reward to follow achievement. Let the rich buy toys and services that the less-rich can build and maintain. That provides a much fairer and beneficial distribution of wealth than any government arbitrarily and inefficiently allocating the dole.

And yes, we are not an insular economy and do have to sell to the world as we remember that foreign trade is a zero-sum game. The poor don't create jobs, they only work them if they can and will. New and sustainable jobs are created only from profits that someone is willing to prudently risk. Governments have proven themselves uniformly incompetent in making profits and even more so in identifying and managing risk. That is why all forms of collectivist economies are disaster areas that ultimately require autocratic states with lots of guns pointed at their own citizens to maintain.

BTW, militaries have always been staffed from the bottom 95%, there's more of them there and the military provides opportunities for the poor and uneducated.

George Rebane

DougK 1209am - That interesting little stratagem will collapse what's left of the mortgage industry and have the government become the major owner of housing in the country. Now there's a disaster that will dwarf all others.

Douglas Keachie

12:17 GR: But doesn't that just go to show you what will happen if the whole economy is converted to "pure" capitalism? You know, the calls for "let "too big to fail, fail?" When the banks are failing, we are bailing them out. When it's the little guy, he goes "blub."

12:10 GR: Militaries have always been staff from the bottom 95%, but in this country, which was founded on the notion that every man has a real chance to go forward, and for a very long time that has indeed been the case, we suddenly find ourselves in a pickle where far more than 50% of the population is going to be doomed to stay at Global Minimum Wage (GMW) for their entire lives. This will not sit well with the American psyche, and will not make for the kind of willing conscripts of WWII. Actually George, if there are no consumers with cash, no jobs will be created, because nobody can buy. The one percent cannot consume enough to keep this economy and society stable. We are painting ourselves into an economic corner.

Douglas Keachie

Real job creation will come AFTER the government auctions off all the houses they get from the banks who bail out half their portfolio with the other half of their portfolio. The only reason this isn't done is that it would reveal the true state of the economy. The government has a proven track record of selling homes, it happens monthly on the court house steps. Of course a lot of home owners would argue and rightly so, that their assessments are too high, and the gov would then lower the assessments, and raise the rates the same day. Gotta keep those legislators paid, you know...

George Rebane

DougK 1230/1236pm - I agree with the consternation that you're having. These years will be very difficult, and the outcome is not clear. As I've said for several years now, this is not your father's garden variety recession, and this has nothing to do with Bush2 - we are now in the early years of Depression2. My former projection of 70M un/underemployed by 2020 needs to be revised upward. I think the feds are in agreement and are making some draconian preparation for this (cf. the current 'Homeland Security ...' post and comments).

But what I don't agree with is that all those people smart enough to be in the 1% or 5% are so stupid as not to know where their wealth comes from. They will do a much better job in keeping the consumers consuming in order to keep their cash flowing than any government bureaucracy staffed by intellectual numbnuts doling out OPM.

Douglas Keachie

"They will do a much better job in keeping the consumers consuming in order to keep their cash flowing than any government bureaucracy staffed by intellectual numbnuts doling out OPM."

If they were that smart, we wouldn't be in Depression2.

I think it will take a joint effort, and plenty of sacrifice by the rich, as well as the poor, and one heck of a lot more truthyness than we've seen lately (last 40 years) from all quarters. Prediction, Apple's goona sink like a rock, as consumers will learn to make do with what they've already bought, and will have no spare cash for Gen 3 IPads.

George Rebane

DougK 105pm - "If they were that smart, ..." 1) Business cycles are the nature of the beast because an economy is a large-scale, complex, and adaptive dynamic system of a myriad of contending agents. (In systems language, its transfer function is opaque and hence the system is uncontrollable.) Ignoramuses and demagogues have always attempted to convince the sheeple otherwise, and that with considerable success. 2) In promoting its social engineering programs, the federal government created and maintained an environment in which business interests were goaded to make bad decisions with the understanding that profits would be privatized while risk was being socialized - all of which came to pass. Businesses cannot do that on their own, they don't have the guns.

From von Mises his advice to governments echoes across the decades, "Do nothing, sooner!"

Gregory

"The Big Lie, no so different from 1939."
-the malicious liar himself, 25 January 2012 at 08:18 AM

So Keachie comes back and performs a Godwin forfeit (Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies) right out of the blocks.

The real sad part of this, especially as he blames us for not blaming the wealthy 1% that are shipping jobs to China instead of Public Spending Gone Wild! is that the private equity vulture capitalists used public pension money to ship those jobs away. Where you gonna go to get billions of other people's money to play with?
http://calpensions.com/2012/01/16/pension-fund-big-earner-becomes-political-issue/

We have met the enemy, and he is Keachie.

Douglas Keachie

When I hear Ginrich go on the air and say that gasoline prices have doubled during Obama's Presidency, and it takes me 15 second to locate one of my images taken BEFORE Obama was even a strong contender, I know which side is pushing the Big Lie, by repeating it over and over again. We have met the enemy and he is Gregory Goodknight.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/keachie/2350899425/lightbox/

Douglas Keachie

From wikipedia article on the Federal Reserve Bank: "Then, in 1873, Congress nationalized money for the first time, imposing what was effectively a gold standard, in the place of the bimetallic standard set in place by the Founders. The Coinage Act of 1873 set off a cycle of growth and depression/panic that came to be known as the "business cycle".[citation needed] One such crisis, the Panic of 1907, was headed off by a private conglomerate, who set themselves up as "lenders of last resort" to banks in trouble.[citation needed] This effort succeeded in stopping the panic, and led to calls for a Federal agency to do the same thing.[citation needed]"

Apparently the gears of the country slipped quite a bit about the time the Industrial Revolution took off like crazy. Such a dramatic change in economics calls for a reconsideration of the rules we are organized by. i.e., the Constitution. Godwin's Law never stopped the Repubbys from picturing and calling Obama that. Why should the Repubbys themselves be exempt from the same nomenclature, especially when it fits so well.

With respect to the general welfare of the country, would you call the multiple decisions in multiple boardsrooms across the country, "bad decision" when it came to exporting a major portion of the economy to China? "in which business interests were goaded to make bad decisions with the understanding that profits would be privatized while risk was being socialized"

Or do you still maintain that it was just great that we gave China our economy, lock, stock, and barrel?

Gregory

"When I hear Ginrich go on the air and say that gasoline prices have doubled during Obama's Presidency, and it takes me 15 second to locate one of my images taken BEFORE Obama was even a strong contender, I know which side is pushing the Big Lie, by repeating it over and over again."


According to the US Government, regular gas was selling at retail for $1.613 /gallon at the end of 2008, before Obama was sworn in.

At the end of 2011, the same measure for regular gas was $3.258

It does appear Gingrich was accurate, and the liar got it wrong. Again.

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=EMM_EPMR_PTE_NUS_DPG&f=W

George, your blog is again being vandalized by Keachie.

Douglas Keachie

Greg, go to Flyer's and take a picture.

If you wish to call my picture a fake, I would be able to sue you for libel and win, as Flickr can confirm that that image has been up there for 3 years.

I recall only too well the decline in gas prices as we headed closer and closer to the election, but your 1.613 / gallon is not representative at all of the prices before and after Obama took office,as in June of 2008 it was up at $4.095 /gallon.

I suspected even at the time that the oil co's attempted to make it look to the American consumers that the economy was not doing so bad under the Repubbys after all.

Douglas Keachie

George, your blog is again being vandalized by Greg Goodknight.

Gregory

Keachie, even you can't be so dense as to expect Gingrich or anyone else would consult your photo gallery over an official federal source. The link I gave was to the official nationwide composite numbers from the US Energy Information Agency.

Choosing the last week of 2008 and the last week of 2011, Gingrich's claim is substantiated.


Gregory

This is about where TheUnion would banish the Keachie avatar du jour and he'd make up a brand spanking new sock puppet to take its place.

billy T

Last night our President said one thing that grabbed my attention. He said (as he has repeated numerous times)that we should fire the bad teachers and reward the good ones. That is a fantastic applause line that has even me standing on the chair cheering wildly. Everywhere he goes he brings the house down with this universally welcomed and much needed idea whose time is long overdue. Yes, I realized the Feds can do little if nothing to purge the dead limbs and rotten stinking repugnant rotten fruit from the tree of knowledge. It is criminal that it is darn near impossible to fire one single worthless bad teacher that does more harm than good. And it is equally darn near impossible to reward a good teacher, a true bloom in a desert. Teachers fall under State control and certification and protection of the status quo. What has been the result? California has the highest percentage of people without a high school diploma in the entire nation. Our schools have failed us, our State, and our Nation. Employers and the 1%ers are looking, nay, longing for a skilled work force so they can fulfill their needs and keep jobs here. But our high school graduates have to go to community colleges to learn enough bone head remedial English and Math they should have learned in high school before continuing. They have not even obtained enough knowledge to enroll in a freshman college course without first taking a year rudimentary math and English they were not taught in our scandalous California public high schools. California public education is one mass scale abortion. . A national disgrace. Fire the lousy teachers and save our nation. Make sure they never darken our educational system again, ever, ever. Don't blame off shoring where employers find tsunamis of industrious flexible skilled workers.

Douglas Keachie

Choosing the last 30 months of Bush's regime, the gas price was, averaging the monthly figures in the tables you referenced, $2.87226. Why don't you put your $1.613 where the sun don't shine. Numbers don't lie, do they, unless of course you are selective, which is why I didn't make it 36 months, cuz that would have brought it down to $2.74 or so, but still a long far cry from from a lying by misrepresenting $1.613.

Gregory

"Or do you still maintain that it was just great that we gave China our economy, lock, stock, and barrel?"

Posted by: Douglas Keachie | 25 January 2012 at 05:28 P

The above is, of course, yet another complete straw man fabrication of Keachie's. Yet another lie in his futile attempts at making some sense.

Douglas Keachie

And of course Gregory has a very fine explanation that if you take all 36 months of Obama's Presidency, the average price of gasoline comes out at $2.9052162162, again using the very charts Greg the Misrepresenter dug up to prove his latest misrepresentation.

"America's 140M workers now compete with the world's 3B workers (one of the 'benefits' of the Great Doubling that occurred in the mid-1990s)."

and so to make sure our corporations do well, we are to accept the Global Minimum Wage, and George supports this, rather than even thinking about alternatives.

There's a lot of straw in that Burning Man? I don't think so.

billy T

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120126/OPINION01/201260340/Editorial-Education-best-fix-income-gap?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s...

Douglas Keachie

"He said (as he has repeated numerous times)that we should fire the bad teachers and reward the good ones. That is a fantastic applause line that has even me standing on the chair cheering wildly."

Cool idea, but it is never put in force. If the better teachers are to be rewarded, then where are the six figure K-12 teachers? If they are that good, then surely SOMEWHERE in this country there must be one teacher who makes $250,000 as a 1 Full Time Equivalent Teacher? I offer $20 to the first person here who can locate that teacher. I'll also offer $20 to the first person who locates a teachet, 1 FTE, who makes more than a principal, working also full time. Can't be done, in either case.

Or is the "better teacher being rewarded" means, "you get to keep your job, no raises, but a decrease in your pension."

Douglas Keachie

The second reward of course means that the teacher making more, is working for the principal who makes less.

Douglas Keachie

Billy T, nice article, but the current economy is making it way much harder for any kids to afford college, which is of course a terrific benefit to the dumber kids of the 1% for who the cost is immaterial. There will be slots for them in the SOCIALIZED college and universities of California, paid for by all, access now limited to the few, the proud, the 1%'ers' offspring.

Douglas Keachie

There are CEO's out there who make $25,000,000. Surely there is one k-12 teacher who is worth 1/1,000th of that?

Douglas Keachie

or I'm sure Greg would prefer One one thousandth of $25,000,000.

billy T

Or is the "better teacher being rewarded" means, "you get to keep your job, no raises, but a decrease in your pension."...well, the next thing we should do after ridding ourselves of the countless lousy shit for brains awful hideous (bad)teachers is to strip their pensions and make them reimburse the taxpayers for ruining our once proud education system. Probably can't put them in stocks for public ridicule due to various interpretations of current law but I would pay for the chance to piss down their throats. Their crimes are worse than stealing, more damaging to society than any financial pillage OWS could even imagine. They work for us and ripped us off. We have tolerated mediocrity for decades and even poured more and more inflation adjusted dollars down their bottomless rat hole, hoping against hope that teachers could somehow do their job title. Now, we can only dream of mediocrity as a lofty goal compared to what is going on today. And the teachers want more money for a ever declining product. Enough! Break their kneecaps and make them crawl to their beggar's corner. The good teachers will be rid of the crap contemporaries they are forced to work with and finally be able to shine. Bad teachers should be grateful their are laws against lynch mobs. Tar and feather is too good for them. Bernie Madeoff is a jaywalker in light of the millions and millions of young minds forever damaged by our bad public school teachers. I hope our children don't step into whats left of them.

Douglas Keachie

You don't quite seem to realize that what you publish here is public, and can be recorded and re-shown over and over and over.

Douglas Keachie

An apology would be in order. Were you drunk? http://www.flickr.com/photos/keachie/6764361539/sizes/o/in/photostream/

Douglas Keachie

You want quality kids, growing up to be quality adults, be a quality parent, and make sure the rest of your community consists of quality parents. [hint, minimum wage doesn't make for a quality homelife, neither does stereotyping and dinigrating people for their station in life] If you use inferior materials, you get inferior daemons, and blaming teachers for ill prepared students from poverty stricken homes and the crashing economy, will result in God washing your mouth out with soap. Sorry George, but his tirade truly deserves this.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/keachie/6764361539/sizes/o/in/photostream/ peek-a-boo!

billy T

Mr Keachie, you need not be offended by my remarks. Not even one as educated as yourself could never defend a single bad teacher. While horrible burned out bad teachers are not the only problem with what our California public schools churns out will regularity and certainty,, bad teachers are more than predicable. A true national abortion of our educational system. What you sow is what you reap. How do we banish them from ever coming in contact with our youth? As Obama says "Fire them!" Ok, there are laws against busting their knee caps, so maybe we can make them wear signs and clean up the litter on the sides of our roads. We already do that in some areas for those convicted of far less crimes. We know about people wearing "I am a drunk driver" signs as they pick rubbish. Perhaps making them wear signs that say "I WAS a bad teacher in my former vocation". It would give them a chance to pay their debt to society. We have laws and court orders barring child molesters from being so many feet from from a public school, so it should be a rather easy transition to bar Satan's spawn, the bad teacher, from our schools to protect the innocent. I can imagine there might be one or two in our diverse society than might be so brain dead they would defend a bad teacher or the status quo, but I am not even sure of that. That hypothesis is for philosophers and psychologists to ponder.

billy T

Of course I know every thing I write is posted for all time for all to see. And the more that see, the more likely change will come.

Douglas Keachie

The problems here, Mr. T, can be broken down into several parts:

How do you identify a "bad" teacher?

Are "bad" teachers really that responsible for all the evils in the world as you post of 11:04 pm suggests?

Your article suggests "better education" as a cure for income inequality. You suggest getting rid of "bad teachers" as a means of achieving better edu8cation, and Obama and I think you rewarding good ones. I point out that "rewarding good K-12 teachers never happens. [You'll note I leave out higher ed, where there are countless MD professors in med schools to inflate public employee pension calls, I avoid that trap] Instead of saying anything nice about rewarding good teachers, you go off on a total tirade about "bad teachers" without ever quantifying the situation, mentioning where the replacements will come from, or most importantly, how your "better teachers" are going to be rewarded.

You also fail to mention how you are going to ID these teachers. Are you going to randomly yake every 20th teacher out behind the gym and shoot them? Are you going to use test scores? How are you going to avoid firing a very dedicated teacher, who, at risk to life and limb, chooses to teach in a ghetto school? I served along side a teacher in the heart of Hunter's Point, who choose to live there, walking distance to the school. After a bullet flew through her living room at chest eight, she choose to line all her outer walls on the inside with concrete blocks. Her kids, on average, scored well below your beloved norms.

You see, in a ghetto school, there are real disconnects between how some of the parents perceive society, and how you and I do. There are literally kids who are raised such that they believe it is the God given mission to go to school and disrupt it. These may not necessarily be the dumbest kids either. In fact, techniques of disruption, are learned, and strategies of of disruption have evolved into cyberbaiting* today. Their parents [in many cases, relatives of their parents, real parents separated, drug incapacitted, locked up, or dead] of several generations back have learned all the in's and out's of finageling the system against itself, and they pass it on.

Based on my experience in Hunters Point, I would say maybe 3 to 5 percent of the students fall into this category. Add in another 3 to 5 percent who have serious untreated medical conditions, another 35 who are willing to play along with the ringleader(s) [one to three per classroom], and you have a recipe for disaster for the remaining 55% who are desperately trying to anything and everything to learn and get the hell out of Hunters Point. Would you like to try teaching in such a zone?

Most importantly, would you like to be fired for not fixing what you never broke?

Teaching is about the only profession where if you are not hired by September, you will have to wait an entire year for another chance at a real paycheck. Substitute teachers make typically one THIRD what a regular teacher does, and there are no benefits, not even unemployment over the summer.

Once again, what real rewards are you proposing for good teachers? Will the "best" teacher in the nation ever make one one thousandth of a CEO making $25,000,000 per year?

And tell me again, is it the teacher who gives birth and raises all these abject rejects for the American Corporate machine? Or is it the parents, who earn a supposed living from the American corporate machine?

Douglas Keachie

Are you upset that I mention rewarding teachers? Golly, you want the best, right? The best CEO's and other "leaders" in their fields, all expect to get paid very well. Why? because that how you get them as "employees." Why wouldn't the same human dynamics apply to teaching? Maybe "American Teacher: should be the new reality show, with the winner taking home $1,000,000. We just heard Gingrich or was it Paul wanting the government to offer prizes for the best moves by private corporations involved in space exploration, why don't they call for the same for teachers? Why is the psychological makeup of a teacher so different from the rest of us mortals?

Douglas Keachie

I also note that a certain "more educated than thou" poster has gone into hibernation, now that he's been hoisted up by his own table of numbers, that show gas under Obama at 2.90, and under Bush at 2.74, thus proving that Gingrich LIED when he claimed gas price doubled under Obama when compared to Bush. Said poster does not seem to risk a lawsuit for libel and to be so stupid as to call my photo a fake either, so a few of his neurons are still functioning, despite the shock of discovering the Keach can and does use spreadsheet functions.

Douglas Keachie

The last batch of my posts have been re-posted at http:/farstars.blogspot.com, so that they show up on http:/www.ncvoices.us, one of the more popular home pages for citizens of Nevada County. It is now remarkably easy to do this, very few formatting errors. I do credit Rebane's Blog as the source.

George Rebane

DougK 941am - A worthy discourse of the problems indeed. But do I understand you to conclude that nothing can be done to improve the K-12 situation? Throwing gobs of money at it has not brought better results; is there nothing else we can do? BTW, I am much in favor of drastically reducing school administrative staffs, retaining budget levels, and paying good teachers a lot more. Now how do you suggest we pick out the good ones?

Comparing teacher pay to that of CEOs is a red herring that contributes nothing to the development of this excellent thread. Compare teacher compensation instead to department managers, engineers, technicians, ... .

Douglas Keachie

You could, of course, let the test scores be one of those 10 to 20 areas for evaluation, but they should by no means be dominant.

Douglas Keachie

I think all CEO's salaries should be compared to those of the occupations you list, as well as teachers. As for teachers themselves, shouldn't those 2 standard deviations above the average be as well paid as a beginning graduate from a technical school? Normally it take 20 years to get up to $60,000, like these graduates start with.

http://www.rose-hulman.edu/news/on-campus/90-percent-placement.aspx

What a thrill as a first year teacher to get that kind of boost, for your second year. And for those that score only 1 standard deviation up from the norm, let them jump to year ten on the local scale. That's what I would call rewarding teachers. How about you? "A Golden Brass Apple, how nice....I think I'll try law school next. This teaching job can pay my tuition, and guess where I'll pay my attentions..." (you did want to know where "bad" teachers came from, didn't you?)

Douglas Keachie

I have a major post on evaluating teachers, which your blog has refused to accept three times now. Here is the link to the original which need a bit of editing, editing which I've done on Rebane editing box twice now, only to see it vanish.

http://farstars.blogspot.com/

Douglas Keachie

I tried again, and again the post has vanished!

Douglas Keachie

Wow, it is not quantity, it appears to be the fact that I am bringing it in from my Google blog account. I just tried posting 1/3 of the material, again poof, so I will now first transfer it into WordPad, and then see what happens.

Douglas Keachie

Nope, your blog is NOT going to allow this information up, no matter what. Just go to http:/farstars.blogspot.com [it is posted below. gjr]

George Rebane

This is DougK's 1119pm teacher evaluation post from farstars.

First I would insist on a truly representative sample of the teacher's teaching performance.

Then I would have an initial judging done by three teachers, who teach populations of similar socio-economic backgrounds, located at least 2 or more school districts away from the teacher being judged [the judgee] district.

I would have the results of the initial judging reviewed by 3 professional judges, teachers already rated excellent, on leave for a year of judging, who rate the teacher in 10 to 20 areas, on numerical scales. There would be an overall rating and recommendations for areas where improvement is needed, and suggestions as to how to go about making such improvements. These judges might not necessarily teach kids of the same socio-economic background, but could not, all three, share just one socio-economic teaching population background.

The evaluation would be done in the second semester of teaching. The results would come back to the teacher, no penalties, but a clear indication of how well they are doing, referenced to other teachers. In the second year, the classroom would again be rated, but this time, those rating 3 standard deviations to the low side would be let go in June. Those 2 standard deviations below would get a warning, and would be tested again in their third year, unlike the rest, who get a pass until year 5.

50% of teachers self select to quit on their own, within five years of starting teaching.

How to capture a truly representative sample of a teacher's performance?

Closed circuit surveillance systems are readily available to handle multiple cameras and multiple sound tracks, wirelessly, recording full fidelity images and sound, such that the viewer can choose which camera to watch and which mic to listen to. A rig, cameras and software, mics and computers, can be had for under $2,000. The teacher works with a tech to set up his classroom for optimum recordings. Dummy versions of the gear can be placed initially to get the kids through their initial curious and screwup phases. Then the teacher records up to ten days worth of teaching over a three week span, max. The teacher can then edit out 20% of the material recorded. If the teacher can get what he feels is necessary in 5 days, so much the better. Three weeks is more than enough time to get a representative sample.

The teacher can then pick out 3, 20 minute sections that he feels represents good teaching. A computer will pick out 7 more 20 minute blocks at random. The three initial evaluators will thoroughly review the teacher's choices, and can skim or closely review the computer choices, and will need to write up and evaluation of each of the teacher choices, and 4 of the computer choices.

All of this information is passed on to the Pro judges, who review the materials and video, alone, and come up with independent ratings and suggestions. Then they meet as a group, and assign one final set of ratings and an overall rating. The teacher [judgee] gets to see both sets of ratings, and all recommendations.

This would not be cheap to do, but it would be far more accurate than letting school politics be the real determiner, or all mighty test scores, which tell very little about a teacher, especially in a school with disadvantaged kids.

I think all CEO's salaries should be compared to those of the occupations you list, as well as teachers. As for teachers themselves, shouldn't those 2 standard deviations above the average be as well paid as a beginning graduate from a technical school? Normally it take 20 years to get up to $60,000, like these graduates start with.
http://www.rose-hulman.edu/news/on-campus/90-percent-placement.aspx
What a thrill as a first year teacher to get that kind of boost, for your second year. And for those that score only 1 standard deviation up from the norm, let them jump to year ten on the local scale. That's what I would call rewarding teachers. How about you? "A Golden Brass Apple, how nice....I think I'll try law school next. This teaching job can pay my tuition, and guess where I'll pay my attentions..." (you did want to know where "bad" teachers came from, didn't you?)

Douglas Keachie

Thanks, George!

Douglas Keachie

This would not be cheap to do, but it would be far more accurate than letting school politics be the real determiner, or all mighty test scores, which tell very little about a teacher, especially in a school with disadvantaged kids. Another aspect of this process would be a publishing of the evaluations and scores, by District, with all the names blacked out. In addition, by District, a summary of all teacher's scores would be also published, and so the public could quickly see how many top notch teachers have been attracted by a District,. This would serve as feedback to the District, to improve working conditions and wages to attract the best teachers. We all know how important money and perks are for attracting the best talent for CEO's, the same logic applies here.

BTW, for those who claim Obama is not up to his job, I would submit that the head of BP was not up to his. Making it to the top in business is no guarantee of quality. The Peter Principle is alive and well. The picking of District Superintendents is prime proof of it. There is a very small pool to choose from, many with bad track records, so some local subordinate fills in for awhile. If they don't screw up, they eventually get the job locally, or some other District hires them away. Why? Because it is an impossible job in all Districts except those where all of the kids are well above average, in which case 50% of the time it is doable. No District wants to hire someone with a known bad record, so they take chances and either hire from way far away (where news of their sins has not had a chance to make it across the country), or "give somebody a chance." In either case the school board and personnel office is safe from criticism.

Gregory

Someone needs to change the Keachiebox, the litter is all clumped together.

Keachie never gives as much thought to reality as he does his visions. There is a way to effectively use test scores to tease out which teachers are among the best and which ones are among the worst. Teachers have been fighting it tooth and nail.

Google 'value added teacher assessment'. Louisiana is an early adopter.
http://doe.louisiana.gov/topics/value_added.html

It isn't judging teachers by how high their student's scores are. It provides an indication as to which teachers are associated with the growth of student's scores over the years, teased from the data by known statistical techniques.

Folks comfortable with terms like "Bayesian" may enjoy reading
http://www.itp.wceruw.org/vam/jebs-4218-final.pdf

George Rebane

Gregory 1221pm - Good citation on the Bayesian assessment approach. For readers wanting an introductory view into how Bayesian analysis and assessment works, take a look at 'The Value of Stereotyping'.
http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2012/01/the-value-of-stereotyping.html

The formula there is a Bayes theorem that I restructured to explain its use in the cited work by Kahneman. (Later I'll add a little pdf showing how I dervied it and relating it to a more normal expression of the involved conditional probabilities.)

Douglas Keachie

"Someone needs to change the Gregorybox, the litter is all clumped together,and is becoming positively buggy."

Has Greg's system ever been tried? Outside of LA, please. Where are the LA results? How many teachers were fired? If so, how many teachers from suburban schools were found lacking, vs how many from inner city schools? If someone was really serious about this, the Koch Brothers or some other similar group should have at least tried it out, the report is several years old. My guess is it has one huge problem:

IT CAN ONLY BE APPLIED WELL AFTER THE FACT, only after the horses are long gone from the barn, and years of students have had to deal with bad teachers, and it has no way of improving teachers who are not doing well. Nice try, Greg, next time you want help, don't get it from such a highly educated state as LA.

My system works very close to real time, and provides information to improve bad teachers, and incentives to teach well.

Douglas Keachie

So you actually have two trains running. The more academic one from the RAND Corp requires years to work. LA takes the shortcut, and guarantees that teachers heads will roll, based purely on test scores, with a few exceptional finagle factors every year. Thus if after a couple of years of this goes by, the teachers that saw their jobs saved by the bottom scorers, will now lose their jobs, unless new bottom scorers are hired to replace them. Also, since this is a pure numbers game, random chance will be sure to come along and boink a few teachers who would have otherwise been perfectly fine.

Test scores have a place, but it is as only a portion of the story of education. What do you do about the teacher who inspires, amuses, and relaxes students in a gym, music, or art class? Are they going to be indirectly screwed by core subject teachers whom their kids are unlucky enough to wind up with? How about the English teacher who serves the same functions listed above, but doesn't have high scoring kids? Babies and teachers, out with the bathwater, I suppose. School serves more societal purposes than creating citizens who score high, especially if attempting to wring high scores out of them results in vicious cold hearted study/cheat nerds, who've learned that numbers, be it scores or cash, is all that matters, and how you achieve them is immaterial. They'll have a fine role model, their teacher, trying to save his/her job.

Gregory

While the more data the better, it works as soon as the 2nd year of testing, Keach.

Keach would rather wait forever for the perfect system, which he knows will never be developed. Just give the schools as much money as you can give, and then some, and trust the Keachies of the world will do good things with it.

Douglas Keachie

There is no reason my system cannot be implemented tomorrow, most new teachers are quite familiar with being videotaped while teaching. The LA "system" is a feel-good solution that only costs a couple of hundred thousand in consultants' fees and allows them to fire a bunch of teacher to prove to the public that they are "doing something about getting rid of "bad" teachers" when in fact they are doing zilch to improve the quality of education. What person, smart enough to be a better teacher, is going to go into a system where a random statiostical IED may make them both unemployed and probably unemployable elsewhere? Net result LA will be allowed to process every poor teacher in the country, forever replacing the ones they've already got. What a system!

George Rebane

I'm a bit intrigued why the authors of Gregory's 1221pm citation did not use one of the many available sequential estimators (e.g. various flavors of Kalman, all based on Bayesian methods) whose validity instant is at worst the time of the last observation (data input), and, if believable transfer functions exist, then they could also yield current time validity instants. Perhaps, that technology has yet to transfer to the education field.

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