Daugaard proposes reforming K-12 education system in State of the State speech

2012-01-11T04:45:00Z 2014-09-11T17:08:02Z Daugaard proposes reforming K-12 education system in State of the State speechDavid Montgomery Journal staff Rapid City Journal
January 11, 2012 4:45 am  • 

Gov. Dennis Daugaard proposed sweeping reforms Tuesday to the state's K-12 education system, including annual $5,000 bonuses for the state's best teachers, more bonuses for math and science teachers and an end to the venerable institution of teacher tenure.

In his State of the State speech in Pierre, Daugaard unveiled a multi-point plan aimed at reversing what the governor called stagnation in the state's educational achievement.

"We are simply putting more money into the same system, and we are not getting significantly better results," Daugaard said in the speech.

The governor unveiled a plan that he said would incentivize the state's best teachers while making it easier to fire the worst.

"My proposals are aimed at recognizing and rewarding those excellent teachers who are able to effectively teach their students," Daugaard said.

Daugaard's education plan builds on several initiatives already underway - new teaching standards, a shift in the state's testing program to emphasize improvement rather than static benchmarks and a teacher evaluation system.

Based on the results of those teacher evaluations, Daugaard is proposing to give the top 20 percent of teachers at every school district a $5,000 bonus every year.

"We're paying our teachers right now as if they were all average. Why shouldn't they then perform average?" Daugaard said. "We need to reward our teachers who are excellent and recognize them."

That bonus plan, the governor said, will cost $10 million per year in state funds. It would begin in the 2014-2015 school year if approved by the Legislature.

Rapid City Area Schools superintendent Tim Mitchell said he has mixed feelings about the merit pay proposal.

"What the governor is trying to do, I am very supportive of, in that the only way we can increase the ability for our systems across the state to increase student achievement is to build the capacity of the people within it," Mitchell said.

But he worries that the merit pay might have unintended consequences.

"One of the things that's always a concern is if it fosters a competitive environment when we're trying to develop a collaborative environment because that's what research says is good for kids," Mitchell said.

Mitchell also said the program could stigmatize the teachers who are good but not in the top 20 percent.

Democratic leaders harshly criticized the merit pay proposal.

"Merit pay sounds good on the surface, but it doesn't work in the classrooms," said Rep. Bernie Hunhoff, D-Yankton, the House Minority Leader. "It will do more damage than good. It's politically popular to talk about it, but policy-wise, it's a disaster."

But many Republicans like the sound of merit pay.

"I'm excited about that," said Rep. David Lust, R-Rapid City, the House Majority Leader. "I really like the idea of bonuses for excellence."

Also getting bonuses under Daugaard's plan would be math and science teachers - whether or not they were in the top 20 percent.

The governor said the state suffers a shortage of math and science teachers, the result of too few people entering the profession and too many leaving teaching for opportunities in industry.

His $3,500 annual bonus for every math and science teacher would start in the 2013-2014 school year and would cost $5 million per year, the governor said.

Rep. Jacqueline Sly, R-Rapid City, and a retired teacher who is vice chairwoman of the House Education Committee, said she definitely sees the shortage of math and science teachers and believes the subsidy would address that.

"But we also have other teachers that are doing a lot of hard work," Sly said. "For example, teachers that teach reading. If students can't read, they aren't going to do well in science."

Sly said she will consider the proposal and wants to hear from constituents.

Teachers would be eligible for both bonuses. A math or science teacher who also ranked in the top 20 percent in their district could get a combined $8,500 - or almost a quarter of the average South Dakota teacher salary of around $35,000 per year.

But Daugaard said his vision for education includes more than just rewarding the best teachers.

"Even as we reward our best teachers, we need to give administrators fair and objective tools to measure performance, to deal with the few teachers who just aren't able to perform in their jobs," he said in his speech.

Under Daugaard's plan, no new teachers would be given tenure after the end of the current school year this summer.

Teachers who have tenure would keep it.

Tenure is the system whereby experienced teachers have their annual contracts automatically extended each year barring major misconduct.

Daugaard described tenure as a thing of the past.

"We are moving away from a system that relies on tenure and into a system that is based on rigorous, evidence-based evaluation," Daugaard said.

The governor also plans another change to tenure that he didn't talk about in the State of the State speech, his senior aide Tony Venhuizen said.

Currently, tenured teachers can be terminated for specific reasons - breach of contract, incompetency, "gross immorality," unprofessional conduct, insubordination, neglect of duty, violating school policies and "poor performance" - the last of which is left up to school districts.

Daugaard wants to make poor performance more specific. His plan would give schools just cause to dismiss tenured teachers if their annual performance evaluations put them in the worst category - "unsatisfactory" - for two consecutive years.

The South Dakota Education Association, the statewide teachers group, criticized Daugaard's proposals.

"This punitive approach will certainly undermine the spirit of collaboration in our school," SDEA president Sandy Arseneault said in a statement.

Arseneault called Daugaard's plan a "one-size-fits-all" proposal that "continues to rely heavily on high-stakes testing."

Hunhoff struck a similar note.

"Nobody's calling for it, other than extremist politicians," Hunhoff said about abolishing tenure for those who don't have it. "It's a solution looking for a problem, and there is no problem in South Dakota."

Lust, in contrast, thought tenure wasn't worth holding on to.

"In many respects, tenure is a concept that doesn't have much application in the education sector below the university level," he said.

Sly said tenure is often misunderstood.

"There is a perception that tenure... means that teachers who are tenured cannot be fired. That is a misconception," she said. "What tenure... means is due process. They cannot be fired because they have a difference of opinion with their evaluator."

Sly said that in states where all teachers are part of the union, tenure means something different than in a right-to-work state like South Dakota where teachers associations "do not want poor teachers to continue in their classroom either."

But Sly said she will consider Daugaard's tenure proposal carefully and likes that the governor put forward a bold proposal.

The Associated School Boards of South Dakota have put forward proposals to reform tenure in the past but have never called for it to be abolished, executive director Wade Pogany said. He said his organization is going to take time and consider Daugaard's proposal before supporting or rejecting it.

Mitchell said the issue of teacher tenure is divisive for school administrators. Some endorse tenure as enhancing teaching, while others see it as an impediment to good management.

The Rapid City superintendent said he is more on the former side, though he isn't closing the door on Daugaard's proposal.

"I believe in the overall vision of what the governor's trying to do," Mitchell said. "There's going to have to be a lot more dialogue as to the means."

Contact David Montgomery at 394-8329 or david.montgomery@rapidcityjournal.com

 

Copyright 2015 Rapid City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(48) Comments

  1. Live Every Moment
    Report Abuse
    Live Every Moment - January 13, 2012 8:36 am
    Can you imagine if the governor initiated performance-based pay increases and bonuses for state employees as well? If it works for the schools, it should work for state employees as well. Give managers the power to recognize overachievers, and NOT recognize underachievers. That would be true fairness and would fix a vast number of problems, I guarantee it.
  2. Glock10mm
    Report Abuse
    Glock10mm - January 12, 2012 10:04 pm
    After reading through all these comments, it seems the only thing teachers want is more money...but they don't want it tied to performance in any way. In other words, let's raise taxes and throw money at them and we'll worry about accountability down the road. Sad.
  3. prairiedog
    Report Abuse
    prairiedog - January 12, 2012 2:17 pm
    Generalizing a little aren't you Fran?. I've been "tenured" at 2 different schools, never not offered a contract, always great evaluations, yet I'm for loosening continuing contract status (as there in no such thing as tenure. Teachers would do well to police their ranks better, but bonus pay for work that comes with so many factors out of your own control will lead to bigger problems. What was there 7 states with testing scandals this past year?
  4. Frank Smith
    Report Abuse
    Frank Smith - January 12, 2012 10:41 am
    "Is the building at Beadle nicer/newer than the building where my children go to school? yep. I don't have a problem with that."



    The decision to spend excessively in the millions at Beadle at the expense of every other school in the district was flat out wrong. There's no justification for it. Clearly politics played a huge role in how much was spent at General Beadle, and as a parent from another part of the city, I am not pleased and I do not consider it a fair or a wise decision. For me it is just one more example of how poorly school administrators spend our tax dollars.

  5. Frank Smith
    Report Abuse
    Frank Smith - January 12, 2012 10:34 am
    "It has been proven that smaller class sizes help minorities out a ton..."



    How about home schooling? Now there's a really small class size.

  6. Frank Smith
    Report Abuse
    Frank Smith - January 12, 2012 10:31 am
    You can tell that those who are for tenure, probably have tenure. Those against, don't. Those for bonuses for math and science teachers, are math and science teachers. Those opposed, aren't. Those who are for performance-based pay increases are high-performance teachers. Those opposed ... well you know the rest.



    Personally, I like the governor's plan. Well done.

  7. prairiedog
    Report Abuse
    prairiedog - January 12, 2012 7:23 am
    Teacher bonuses in other states don't have a mixed review, they flat don't work. The problem is you can't evaluate a math teacher and an art teacher and get a fair evaluation. In the governor's plan, is it just the top 20% or the top 20% at every school, because now how do you compare when two different evauluators (even if they weren't using two different systems) do the evaluation? It doesn't work.

    And please, please, please do some homework. There is no such thing as teacher tenure. They can be fired dependent upon evaluation. If they are not it is the administration's fault. And if done correctly it is not as time consuming and expensive as you think. Tenure does not exist.
  8. Reader1
    Report Abuse
    Reader1 - January 11, 2012 10:59 pm
    Bonuses for teachers are not a totally new concept. They have been used in other states, and from what I have been able to read, the research about how effective they are in improving student achievement is mixed. Additionally, unless there is more to the governor's proposal than what has been publicized, they leave out many of the people that contribute to the educational system..... paraprofessionals, preschool teachers, special education teachers, therapists, nurses, elective teachers and administrators. By allocating education dollars to bonuses, they may actually reduce the amount of money available to other educators. The Rapid City School District is looking at eliminating 30 teaching positons next year. Not good teachers or bad teachers, just teachers that they cannot afford to pay. What is the district going to do to cut another $4 million dollars next year? The superintendent in Rapid City is preaching the effectiveness of teacher collaboration based on research, and the governor is pushing teacher competition as the answer. Who is right? Can our legislators ask the tough questions about funding education without voting the party line? Can they accept the tough answers that South Dakota needs to INVEST more money in education.
  9. Human
    Report Abuse
    Human - January 11, 2012 10:28 pm
    pay the teachers like doctors. you could find money for invasion and occupation i am sure money can be found to invest in the teaching profession and the subsequent improved development of students.

    why put the incentive on the back end when you can require the "best and brightest" to be trained in universities. pay the teachers like doctors. increase the education budget, take back control of the school system. localize the decision making. develop the curriculum using local needs and culture etc...

    instead of making them fight eachother for scraps. you know clicks in administration and the teaching ranks will ensure that there personal favorites get the bonuses. In this way the students won't get a good education either.
  10. BobJones
    Report Abuse
    BobJones - January 11, 2012 8:14 pm
    "...and if you received a passing grade or not."



    I will leave it up to you to guess whether I received a decent grade or not, lol!

  11. archiejones
    Report Abuse
    archiejones - January 11, 2012 7:16 pm
    BobJones said: ""...A lecture hall of 500 to 1000 students in the same class, or a class of 15 students?"I've been in all three examples and size had nothing whatsoever to do with how well I absorbed the curricula. Your argument holds no water."

    Funny how you fail to mention on just "how well" you did absorbed the curricula in your example of 500, 1000 and 15 students and if you received a passing grade or not.
  12. upfornews
    Report Abuse
    upfornews - January 11, 2012 6:06 pm
    Smaller class size has nothing to do with better education if the one teaching the class is only there to get a paycheck and is not performing at the top of their duties. When deciding to be a teacher it should be noted that mediocre performance is not appropriate, so those who do not want to go above and beyond need not apply. Also, for the comments about how much a teacher pays out of their pocket for supplies, I am sorry, do something about it but do not complain about it. Your 30,000 a year is still more than many single parents are bringing in. I know we have shelled out a lot of $ to our childrens classrooms and to them personally for school. Are you telling me you do not ask a single parent to pay the same amount? I think not. The point it SD and many states are seriously lacking in education performance, it is time to change that and deep concentrattion needs to take place in our rural communities.
  13. reppstar
    Report Abuse
    reppstar - January 11, 2012 4:42 pm
    It has been proven that smaller class sizes help minorities out a ton, like African Americans and Native Americans. Last time I checked, we had quite a few Native Americans.
  14. reppstar
    Report Abuse
    reppstar - January 11, 2012 4:39 pm
    Maybe I'm odd then, but I learned a ton more from my Theory of Sociology class that had 12 students in it than my Bio 101 class at USD that had 300 students in it. At the smaller class we spent nearly the entire time asking the Professor questions about the material we had read the night before. We rarely covered new material during class because it was expected that you actually read the book before class. If you didn't, it showed.
    While in the larger class, I had to visit the Professor during office hours (3 hours a week) if I had a question.
    In larger classes some students can get away with not reading or doing the work, not so in smaller classes. So if you actually want to make sure that every student is doing the work, smaller classes are always better.
  15. gasman
    Report Abuse
    gasman - January 11, 2012 4:21 pm
    Where to start?

    I'm a teacher, and happy to be one. I'm in the middle of my 14th year and it is a pleasure to come to school everyday.

    It will probably surprise many who have posted but I'm not a member of the teachers union, I'm not in favor of tenure, and I'm pleased with the salary I make.

    I could live with merit pay if there could be some way for it to be an incentive for all teachers. With the subjects I teach I would not be eligible. If my discipline is not worth being offered an incentive, then we should get rid of all subjects that have nothing to do with math or science as those are the only subjects that kids can "use" in the long run.

    In some ways I think it would be best if we could rewind time a hundred or so years and start public education over. Gone are the days when getting a free education is seen as a privilege and not a right.

    Gone are the days when a teacher would be paid by a group of parents who had a vested interest in how their child was doing.

    Gone are the days when students knew they had to perform in the classroom or else they wouldn't be able to move onto the next grade or worse yet have to do hard work like their parents were doing.

    Gone are the days when students couldn't hide behind the guise of a "learning disability" and be passed along through grades in the name of compassion.

    I could go on, but for the sake of brevity (and a better shot of actually getting this posted) I'll stop.
  16. Myname
    Report Abuse
    Myname - January 11, 2012 4:10 pm
    The Governor indicated that his plan was put together because "they" are not seeing the academic results "they" wanted. What are schools supposed to do when their funding was cut by 6.6% last year and the Governor is proposing an 0.8% increase this year in general aid. One cannot give teachers much of an increase on 0.8%. I think the money in his plan for bonuses etc should be given to the schools to give every teacher a raise. Remember, not all teachers will qualify for the Governors plan no matter how good of a teacher they are.
  17. beaker
    Report Abuse
    beaker - January 11, 2012 1:47 pm
    As a parent I have been to many of the school buildings, some are new and some are old. At some point instead of paying for repairs and updates to a building you are better off building something new from scratch. It's called long term planning. Is the building at Beadle nicer/newer than the building where my children go to school? yep. I don't have a problem with that. I think the district has done a good job with choosing how they spend my tax dollars for capital outlay.

    The issue at hand is not the kind of building our students are in (capital dollars), but what steps need to be taken in order to address the budget shortfall for ongoing expenses (non capital dollars).

    I am 100% for getting rid of teacher tenure. I think the whole union thing is no longer needed. If a bonus system can be implemented that is fair I am all for that.

    If you have a chance read the info on this link:
    http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/pdf/cb11-94_table_11.pdf

    Oh and regarding the governor's comments regarding what we spend on our students:
    Sd ranks 44th in total per pupil spending. The state of SD is 50th in the amount contributed at the state level.










    BobJones said: ""The budget issues we are running into are not due to capital outlay dollars, but rather ongoing operating dollars. 2 separate budgets."LOL, that makes me feel so much better. Same source (taxpayers) but different budgets, so I can just relax now. You are kidding, right?"

  18. prairiedog
    Report Abuse
    prairiedog - January 11, 2012 1:23 pm
    kyhender, as a first year teacher you may want to take a look at the law, there is no such thing as tenure its continuing contract and it is reliant upon your evaluation already, that is if administration does its job. don't fall into the publics great misunderstanding of the education system. And I am for merit pay, except how many of those top 20% will be SPED teachers, or PE, or art, or music. How do you comapare high stakes testing in math and reading to art? And yes there is a big difference from 1969 to now. Did you have all the electives there are today? In one breath you mention the need to challenge our students, then you want it like it was in 1969. While what you learned was more ingrained in 1969, the scope was much shallower. There are arguements for this again, but then how do we reach the upper levels of math and science by cutting our scope?
  19. CombatTVgirl
    Report Abuse
    CombatTVgirl - January 11, 2012 12:12 pm
    I need to read the entire speech before I say yes or no (Some other people here might want to do the same), but I think the outline of the plan has merit. As one lawmaker said, not all of it may work, but it's better than just throwing money at the problem.
  20. BobJones
    Report Abuse
    BobJones - January 11, 2012 11:48 am
    "The budget issues we are running into are not due to capital outlay dollars, but rather ongoing operating dollars. 2 separate budgets."



    LOL, that makes me feel so much better. Same source (taxpayers) but different budgets, so I can just relax now. You are kidding, right?

  21. open-i
    Report Abuse
    open-i - January 11, 2012 11:34 am
    Seriously, how can anybody be against this? Being paid by perfomance is how you get people to want to work their hardest. I don't see the problem, I remember back in HS having some teachers that were very good at their jobs, and actually wanting to go to their class and learn, then some teachers that obviously could care less about their students and just wanted their paycheck....and guess what, i didn't learn much from those teachers....not real tough concept to grasp!
  22. Inthemiddle
    Report Abuse
    Inthemiddle - January 11, 2012 10:03 am
    I'm not in the education field. However, I do follow this issue with concern as a parent. My hats off to the Governor for taking steps to address this issue. Especially when you realize this is breathing life back into the Constitution as it should be, the State handling an issue.
    I wanted to let all the teachers commenting on this issue know that Gov. Daugaard is going to be at the School of Mines today. Open to the public where you might be able to address a few of your concerns with him.
  23. BobJones
    Report Abuse
    BobJones - January 11, 2012 10:01 am
    "...A lecture hall of 500 to 1000 students in the same class, or a class of 15 students?"



    I've been in all three examples and size had nothing whatsoever to do with how well I absorbed the curricula. Your argument holds no water.

  24. kyhender
    Report Abuse
    kyhender - January 11, 2012 10:00 am

    Deklan said, "Many South Dakotan’s are still struggling in the current economic malaise, and there are private-sector employees who have gone without raises and some have faced layoffs.

    Yet, asking for more money continues..."

    Ok how about this, pump that money back in so school's don't have face budget cuts. So that kids can still have music programs, athletics and different electives that allow them to be well rounded people. I could care less about my pay, but put that money back to so school's don't have to cut programs that benefit kids


  25. beaker
    Report Abuse
    beaker - January 11, 2012 9:54 am
    The budget issues we are running into are not due to capital outlay dollars, but rather ongoing operating dollars. 2 separate budgets.


    BobJones said: "All one has to do to realize how out of whack RCAS spends our tax dollars is to visit General Beadle Elementary. When we have so many schools in desperate need of repair and updating, they go and spend millions on this one location to make the fanciest place you can imagine. Take a tour some time, I dare you. A wiser choice would have been to distribute those tax dollars wisely and equally across all the schools in the city. Seriously, take a tour of South Canyon Elementary and then go take a tour of General Beadle. You'll see what I mean."

  26. BobJones
    Report Abuse
    BobJones - January 11, 2012 9:52 am
    Can't wait to see how they determine the top 20%.



    Easy. Ask any private sector company and they can tell you how. It's only government workers and school systems that can't seem to grasp the concept of performance-based pay increases. It can be as easy as writing annual evaluations, assigning a numerical rating for each rating area, tally the scores and go from there.

  27. BobJones
    Report Abuse
    BobJones - January 11, 2012 9:48 am
    Teacher's unions have destroyed public education in this country. I am glad we have a brave governor who recognizes that only performance and outcomes should matter when determining pay increases and bonuses for teachers. I'd like to see him do that with state employees as well. It was also very interesting to learn how many fewer pupils we are educating now compared to when he graduated, and how much more (inflation adjusted) dollars we are spending per student, and how much larger the administration has grown...even with a considerable reduction in students. In other words, our school systems have become bloated and fat and inefficient.
  28. justsotired
    Report Abuse
    justsotired - January 11, 2012 9:45 am
    My husband has been a teacher for 15 years. He is a teacher that has always cared about the kids and gone out of his way to always introduce activities in the class to keep the kids interested and engaged. He has also spent a lot of his own money. This year he spent 800 dollars to get his kids better textbooks and he is not likely to be reimbursed for that. He knows that and he doesn't care; he just wanted the kids to have good textbooks.

    He will be quitting soon. There is only so much "beating over the head" a human being can take. That is all our education system is about right now, is "beating over the head." Exactly who is doing the "beating" and whose head is receiving the blow from the club varies. But everybody inside the system and outside the system has their pet target. That is clear from the comments here. Even an obviously good thing like merit pay can and does get turned into a "bad thing." So much pettiness. And the big losers are the kids. Kids who are about to be deprived a wonderful, caring teacher because the "system" finally got to him and he just cannot deal with the 70 hours a week he has to put in for all the ridiculous bureaucratic hoops teachers are being made to jump through these days--none of which has to do with really teaching the kids and all of which has to do with pounding at those "test" numbers so that things "look" good.

    Everybody seems to have the "answer" to fixing and improving education. I don't. I don't know what the answer is, because I personally have never stood in a classroom and had to teach. Call me crazy, but maybe the very first step the government should take towards improving education is this: Ask the teachers what we should do.
  29. BobJones
    Report Abuse
    BobJones - January 11, 2012 9:41 am
    All one has to do to realize how out of whack RCAS spends our tax dollars is to visit General Beadle Elementary. When we have so many schools in desperate need of repair and updating, they go and spend millions on this one location to make the fanciest place you can imagine. Take a tour some time, I dare you. A wiser choice would have been to distribute those tax dollars wisely and equally across all the schools in the city. Seriously, take a tour of South Canyon Elementary and then go take a tour of General Beadle. You'll see what I mean.
  30. Deklan
    Report Abuse
    Deklan - January 11, 2012 9:20 am
    Reality said, “My next curiousity---could somebody please tell me (with verifiable FACTS) the name of the teacher UNION in Rapid City that all of these bloggers are referring to?”

    It’s the Rapid City Education Association

    Statement from a 2010 RCJ article: Union president Podoll said she is pleased with the offer by the school district and expects it to be ratified

    kyhender said, “Finally, I would like to see that 5 million dollars to be pumped back into the schools. Many teachers have gone without their raises because of the budget cuts well lets put that money back so that schools can pay the teachers.”

    Many South Dakotan’s are still struggling in the current economic malaise, and there are private-sector employees who have gone without raises and some have faced layoffs.

    Yet, asking for more money continues...
  31. kyhender
    Report Abuse
    kyhender - January 11, 2012 8:32 am
    I am a teacher at a high needs school and this proposal of merit pay worries me greatly. First I do want to say that getting rid of tenure is a great idea. I am a first year teacher and I am ok with having to prove my abilities as a teacher year in and year out, I just hope I don't run into an administrator that dislikes me.

    As for merit pay I have many questions and worries. First off how is the state going to evaluate this and is this open for all teachers? I am a social studies teacher and I don't do standardized tests and neither do elective teachers. It would be unfair if math, science and English teachers get the 3,500 and the merit pay. Next off the school I teach in struggles financially and is located on the reservation. I believe the merit pay would skip over many schools like mine. Other schools that have proper funding and have the ability to gain the newest educational resources will obviously perform better. Those schools can also send their teachers to conferences and professional developments. This merit pay proposal is not fair for any teachers except the ones that get the bonus

    Finally, I would like to see that 5 million dollars to be pumped back into the schools. Many teachers have gone without their raises because of the budget cuts well lets put that money back so that schools can pay the teachers. After large budget cuts this is not a proper solution to that all it does is hurt many school funding.

    Daugaard you are a business man and it obviously shows, this merit pay hurts teachers and should not be enacted
  32. Progstopper
    Report Abuse
    Progstopper - January 11, 2012 7:28 am
    badhand - "This is the good old boy system that is trying to destroy teachers unions. It is time to end this governor’s tenure and get to a political system that allows all the people to run for office not just businesses owners. The governor’s cuts to education are the real problem here. This proposal of his is just his effort to get the conversation to move away from his devastating cuts to education that has damaged our children’s education in South Dakota."

    Lots to address in that statement.
    First of all no one is out to destroy unions. They are doing that themselves with them letting corruption and greed into their system.
    Second prove to us that more money thrown at education is going to fix any problem. It all comes down to the people in the education system doing their jobs and not just be there for a paycheck. That goes for admin and the teachers in the trenches. When I was in High School last century we had a science teacher that all the kids liked and learned a lot from. But since he was not your cookie cutter teacher that played the corporate admin game they got rid of him. There were may future scientists lost at that stupid move. So it isn't the money. It is how they use it.


  33. Progstopper
    Report Abuse
    Progstopper - January 11, 2012 7:20 am
    reppstar - "I ask you, where did you learn more: A lecture hall of 500 to 1000 students in the same class, or a class of 15 students?"

    I guess I would learn more at whichever lecture was more intersting. The compairison of a 500 to 1000 student class to a 15 student class was kind of stupid. But I guess those that support unions have to use an outrages WOW factor to make their point.
  34. Myname
    Report Abuse
    Myname - January 11, 2012 5:41 am
    First to redbird825 - very well said. Each class of students is different. How do you give "merit pay" based on academic achievement when each student is different? Not a good plan.

    Second to reality - the tenure for the teachers is in state statute (codified law). Yes they sign a new contract each year, but the tenure is outlined in statute.
  35. upfornews
    Report Abuse
    upfornews - January 10, 2012 8:20 pm
    This is amazing news!! As a parent I am fed up with the poor performance of the teachers in my children's school (Lemmon School District). It is about time that the teachers who are too buys caring about their place in the community, socializing at the bar, and sports before the classroom can now be reprimanded and let go. As long as your last name is right the student breezes through in this district, there are so many kids who go overlooked. I will be so happy to see this taken into practice. Also, for many commenting as teachers I think teachers are the best and highly underpaid for the most part; however, there are many bad seeds that are ruining your image and they need to be thrown out. I for one do not care who you are, if you are in a career to teach my 2 children and you are doing a poor job, I say get the heck out of my district. My children deserve a good quality education and you do not need a paycheck!!!!
  36. redbird825
    Report Abuse
    redbird825 - January 10, 2012 7:43 pm
    First of all, I will tell you that I am a teacher. I work with, and have the ability to observe many other teachers on a daily basis. As in any profession, there are some wonderful teachers, some not so wonderful teachers, and many teachers that fall in between those two performance categories. Some of the best teachers have achieved "tenure". Some of the not so wonderful teachers have also achieved "tenure". There are also teachers without "tenure"--which means that they have been in the district less than 4 years--that are split between those two performance categories. I have been in the district long enough to achieve "tenure", but I challenge anyone to observe me in my capacity as a teacher at any time. I would also like to point out that the students' overall achievement should not be used as a measure to evaluate me because not all children achieve at the same rate. I certainly agree that all children in my class should show growth in achievement, but they may not all be proficient at the end of the school year. Continuous testing of children for these growth measures comes with downfalls also. Testing time takes away from teaching time. Finally, I would like to comment on the additional bonuses for math and science teachers. Our district is constantly hiring special education teachers so this area is obviously as hard to fill as math and science. Finally, I would have to say that if a talented elementary teacher hasn't laid the foundation for good math and science skills, the students may never take the advanced math and science classes in high school. Therefore, I take offense at this preferential treatment.
  37. Reality
    Report Abuse
    Reality - January 10, 2012 7:25 pm
    I'm curious----could somebody please tell me (using verifiable FACTS). . . . . just WHERE in a teacher's contract does it state "tenure" Where? What school district? What page?

    By the way---"continuing contract" is NOT the same as "tenure."

    My next curiousity---could somebody please tell me (with verifiable FACTS) the name of the teacher UNION in Rapid City that all of these bloggers are referring to?

    Not speculation or urban myths, but FACTS please.......

    p.s. Abigale Sunshine--there are times when children behave differently in school with a teacher than they do at home with a parent. (Just saying)

  38. Dee
    Report Abuse
    Dee - January 10, 2012 6:35 pm
    Personally, I think someone should inform our governor that SD teachers don't have tenure. They work on a continuing contract, which means they must sign a new contract each year, and yes, if the proper procedures are followed teachers can and have been fired. I guess if he wants to rid of something that doesn't exist ...
  39. badhand
    Report Abuse
    badhand - January 10, 2012 5:52 pm
    This is the good old boy system that is trying to destroy teachers unions. It is time to end this governor’s tenure and get to a political system that allows all the people to run for office not just businesses owners. The governor’s cuts to education are the real problem here. This proposal of his is just his effort to get the conversation to move away from his devastating cuts to education that has damaged our children’s education in South Dakota.
  40. Uncle Bob
    Report Abuse
    Uncle Bob - January 10, 2012 5:45 pm
    Arguing to keep tenure is defeatist. The entitlement-minded socialists think that some people should have "tenure." Let those that deserve their jobs keep their jobs. Why should teachers get what nobody else has (jobs for life.) Maybe Daugard has it right. You want to increase your earnings then give up on the dead weights holding the rest of you back. Stand on your own feet, not the shoulders of your peers. Seems to me the teachers would be giving up nothing that anybody else hasn't already given up, and getting some cold hard cash.
  41. Timid Irishman
    Report Abuse
    Timid Irishman - January 10, 2012 4:59 pm
    It's pretty simple actually, you can talk all you want about the need for teacher tenure, but if that teacher is just there for the paycheck, insurance and outstanding retirement package then they are not making the classroom a place where the students feel comfortable and want to come to and we all know how difficult it can be to teach or learn in that kind of enviroment. As for the tenure, it makes it just about impossible to get rid of a marginal teacher. While we're at it, how about doing something about the practice of allowing teachers and state employees to retire and then going back to work in the same place, especially with so many qualified individuals needing work.
  42. hikerman4u
    Report Abuse
    hikerman4u - January 10, 2012 4:49 pm
    What about the people who work in the background? The ones who help the teachers in the classroom? Don't they get a merit for their time? I am referring to the paraprofessionals. We, do the same as the teachers. We do what we can help ease the stress that the teachers have to endure each day at work.
  43. reppstar
    Report Abuse
    reppstar - January 10, 2012 4:37 pm
    Student/teacher ratio has a lot to do with performance. I got two studies, Tennessee's Project Student/Teacher Achievement Ratio (STAR) and Wisconsin's Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE) Program. The Heritage Foundation (Republican/Conservative Think Tank) disputes these claims however.
    Of course, if it was a useless ratio, then why do all college's talk about their ratio? I ask you, where did you learn more: A lecture hall of 500 to 1000 students in the same class, or a class of 15 students?
  44. beaker
    Report Abuse
    beaker - January 10, 2012 4:34 pm
    Can't wait to see how they determine the top 20%.
  45. bcvickers
    Report Abuse
    bcvickers - January 10, 2012 3:31 pm
    johnlhillcity said: "The teachers are not the problem with the school system in this state. We for the most part have great teachers I am sure there are a few that should be fired but that is true of lots of careers. The thing that is wrong with the school system (speaking of the Rapid City School district) is that the administration is too big and gets paid too much. The new superintendent makes more than the Governor, hello the guy that runs the whole state makes less???? What do all the people down at CSAC do for all the money they earn? They sit around and figure out how to spend more money. We need more teachers so class size can go down, fewer superintendents so spending goes down. The Principals need to do more for the money they earn so they can do whatever the superintendents and there numerous assistance supposedly do now. "

    Please point to a credible study anywhere in the world that relates student/teacher ratio to positive student outcomes. This is simply a teacher's union myth that is perpetuated by the ignorant because it "sounds logical". There is no factual evidence to support it.
  46. shunkaska
    Report Abuse
    shunkaska - January 10, 2012 3:11 pm
    The problem is we have to many schools period. Look at my home in Pierre, we have the only AA school that is highly qualifies, right accross the river we have another school district going only 4 days and the data on the state web sight shows they are below the 50% tile. These teachers in our state produce a top 14-17 in the nation with test data and we pay them 51st, yet we pay our state workers 44th. This is not a teacher issue but we need to consolidate. Consolidation has been going on in our state for ever this is not a new idea.
  47. johnlhillcity
    Report Abuse
    johnlhillcity - January 10, 2012 2:42 pm
    The teachers are not the problem with the school system in this state. We for the most part have great teachers I am sure there are a few that should be fired but that is true of lots of careers. The thing that is wrong with the school system (speaking of the Rapid City School district) is that the administration is too big and gets paid too much. The new superintendent makes more than the Governor, hello the guy that runs the whole state makes less???? What do all the people down at CSAC do for all the money they earn? They sit around and figure out how to spend more money. We need more teachers so class size can go down, fewer superintendents so spending goes down. The Principals need to do more for the money they earn so they can do whatever the superintendents and there numerous assistance supposedly do now.
  48. Abigale Sunshine
    Report Abuse
    Abigale Sunshine - January 10, 2012 2:08 pm
    hallelujah! I am so happy to hear that tenure will be going away. I think that there are some tremendously talented and learned teachers in the system, but there are also some that should have been let go a long time ago. You should not allow an ready-to-retire, burned out, individual to teach a first grade class that she despises. My son started first grade with such enthusiasm and promise and within a few weeks, this women had him tagged as a behavior problem and a hooligan. Her reasoning was, "someone reported that he had colored on the wall of the restroom". She retired after that year, but the damage she did in that one year was unconscionable. I only hope that performance reviews contain measureable criteria.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Activate subscription button gif

Deals, Offers and Events

Poll

Loading…

Fur-Ever Wild was just approved to keep wolf cubs and fox kits at a wildlife education center in Deadwood. Do you agree with the South Dakota Animal Industry Board's ruling?

View Results

Recent Blog Posts

Medicap precriptions now filled at The Medicine Shoppe

According to a news release from The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, 1304 Mt. Rushmore Road, prescriptions have been transferred from the Medicap Ph…

10 hours ago(0)

Permit sought for wind farm in Butte County

The state Public Utilities Commission this week received a permit application from Wind Quarry Operations LLC, based at Montrose, Colorado, fo…

14 hours ago(0)

U THINK

U THINK

U THINK = You think?

May 29, 2015 8:29 am(0)

Static for Blue Jay Wireless

The state Public Utilities Commission provided an unusually cool reception Tuesday to an application by Blue Jay Wireless. The suburban Dallas…

May 27, 2015 8:06 am(0)

Tractor Supply Co. hosting event for pets

Rapid City's Tractor Supply Co. at 3440. E. Mall Drive is hosting a pet event on Saturday, May 30, to encourage adoptions and support local an…

May 26, 2015 1:38 pm(0)