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Magna Carta For Teachers Essay

CHAPTER 1

Introduction

This paper analyzes and studies the level of benefits offered to female teachers in both Public School X and Private School Y. It offers a general comparison between a public and private sector teacher taking into account their salaries, paid leaves, and all other benefits provided to them.

Public school teachers are known for enjoying more paid leaves, less expensive health benefits and better pensions. This supposed fact points to the additional public personnel costs created by these advantages and addresses the role of benefits in the total compensation package. It also urges that total compensation comparability (pay and benefits) be more widely practiced by private jurisdictions.

As the cost of benefits have continued to escalate, and as they exceed 30 percent of total compensation costs in many jurisdictions, there is increasing concern about the level of benefits offered to public employees.

For example, in a [1988] article in Public Administration Review, William Woska lamented the amount of pay expended in the public sector for time not worked.' He also noted that paid leaves were considerably higher in the public sector than in the private sector. Similarly, health care costs are again escalating much faster than the cost of living with the increases exceeding 10% annually over the last several years. As a result, private companies have been pursuing numerous efforts to control health care expenditures and/or shift more of them to employees in the form of higher deductibles and co-insurance.

Others have been increasingly concerned about the rapidly escalating costs of pensions in the public sector. In a 1987 article in the Review of Public Personnel Administration, James Ferris emphasizes the often overlooked role of pensions in the development of total compensation packages for local public employees.

These fringe benefits (salaries and paid leaves, service incentive leave, holiday pay, health care, working conditions, and pensions) are certainly part of the attractiveness of a job to potential and current public and private employees. Given the favorable tax treatment of such benefits, they may at times be more attractive than a wage increase. Moreover, benefit increases may be more attractive than wage increases because of the politics of public employment.

Public employee unions may be more likely to press for benefit increases during collective bargaining because they are much less visible than wage increases to the general public. This is especially true for a pension benefit whose payment can be deferred to future years. Thus, public employers may be more likely to agree to benefit demands rather than wage demands.

The benefits offered to female teachers could be classified and subdivided into first and firmost the salary and under the salary could be found such benefits such as their basic monthly salary, thirteenth month pay, service incentive leave, holiday pay and all other additions to their salaries.

Under working conditions factors to be considered include, the temperature, the amount of lighting, the cleanliness of the surroundings, the condition of greeneries if there are any, the present size of the teacher’s classroom, the condition of the teacher’s lounge or faculty room if there is any to be found, and most important the security of the surroundings.

Factors under health benefits could enumerated as such: the conditions of their maternity leave, sick leave, special leave which is for women who have recently had treatment for gynecological disorders, dental care and health insurance which could be filed under Philhealth.

The last variable to be considered are the retirement benefits offered to their retired teachers which is their pension and such is administered and filed by the Social Security System (SSS) or/and The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

The researchers conducted this study primarily to explain the benefits recieved by teachers both in the public and private sector and this paper is very important because it will shed some much needed light on whether the teachers from the public and private sectors are either overpaid or underpaid.

It will also allow the researchers to provide some recommendations to the administration of the respective schools as to whether to increase or decrease the number of benefits given to their teachers. The reason why the researchers used only female teachers as their respondents was because firstly all the group members were female and also there was a very limited number of male teachers in the schools the researchers used.

Review of Related Literature and Studies

Senator Edgardo J. Angara pushes for amendments in the Magna Carta for Public School Teacher to provide benefits to teachers, including scholarship grants for their children, health care and pension.

“We have excellent young students and professionals who bring in a lot of honor to the country and contribute to the state but we cannot discount the fact that behind these achievements of our youth is the great perseverance of our educators,” said Angara, former University of the Philippines president.

He added, "Teachers are considered as the unsung heroes of our time because many have neglected the role they play in the advancement of education in our country. It is in this light that the government should put more importance on its duty to ensure that the performance and the morale of teachers will be kept at the highest level."

Angara who introduced Senate Bill 881, the act providing benefits to dependents of public school teachers amending for the purposes of Republic Act 4670 otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, seeks to grant additional benefits through free medical treatment and pension.

SB 881 proposes medical examination and treatment, educational benefits, eligibility – the dependents of the teachers must meet academic requirements, and the commission on higher education (CHED) and technical educational skills development (TESDA) would be in-charge with the rules and regulation to govern the implementation, pension, and teachers to have the right to form cooperatives to provide credit and self employment.

Angara emphasized that through this bill teachers will be motivated and will continue to work even harder to harness and develop the future of our nation that is geared towards a better and enlightened generation. Angara, Edgardo (http://www.edangara.com/node)

The teaching profession is crucial to America's society and economy, but public-school teachers should receive compensation that is neither higher nor lower than market rates. Do teachers currently receive the proper level of compensation? Standard analytical approaches to this question compare teacher salaries to the salaries of similarly educated and experienced private-sector workers, and then add the value of employer contributions toward fringe benefits. These simple comparisons would indicate that public-school teachers are undercompensated. However, comparing teachers to non-teachers presents special challenges not accounted for in the existing literature.

First, formal educational attainment, such as a degree acquired or years of education completed, is not a good proxy for the earnings potential of school teachers. Public-school teachers earn less in wages on average than non-teachers with the same level of education, but teacher skills generally lag behind those of other workers with similar "paper" qualifications. We show that:

The wage gap between teachers and non-teachers disappears when both groups are matched on an objective measure of cognitive ability rather than on years of education. Public-school teachers earn higher wages than private- school teachers, even when the comparison is limited to secular schools with standard curriculums.

Workers who switch from non-teaching jobs to teaching jobs receive a wage increase of roughly 9 percent. Teachers who change to non-teaching jobs, on the other hand, see their wages decrease by roughly 3 percent. This is the opposite of what one would expect if teachers were underpaid.

Second, several of the most generous fringe benefits for public-school teachers often go unrecognized. Pension programs for public-school teachers are significantly more generous than the typical private sector retirement plan, but this generosity is hidden by public-sector accounting practices that allow lower employer contributions than a private-sector plan promising the same retirement benefits.

Most teachers accrue generous retiree health benefits as they work, but retiree health care is excluded from Bureau of Labor Statistics benefits data and thus frequently overlooked. While rarely offered in the private sector, retiree health coverage for teachers is worth roughly an additional 10 percent of wages.

Job security for teachers is considerably greater than in comparable professions. Using a model to calculate the welfare value of job security, we find that job security for typical teachers is worth about an extra 1 percent of wages, rising to 8.6 percent when considering that extra job security protects a premium paid in terms of salaries and benefits.

We conclude that public-school teacher salaries are comparable to those paid to similarly skilled private sector workers, but that more generous fringe benefits for public-school teachers, including greater job security, make total compensation 52 percent greater than fair market levels, equivalent to more than $120 billion overcharged to taxpayers each year.

Teacher compensation could therefore be reduced with only minor effects on recruitment and retention. Alternatively, teachers who are more effective at raising student achievement might be hired at comparable cost. Biggs, Andrew, http://www.aei.org/papers/education/k-12/assessing-the-compensation-of-public-school-teachers.

Public sector teachers are generally better paid. Naturally compensation varies widely depending on the local economic situation. Unfortunatelylow starting salariesand small annual salary increases result in low teacher retention in many public school districts. Public sector benefits have historically been excellent; however, health and pension costs have risen so dramatically since 2000 that public educators will be forced to pay or pay more for their benefits.

Private school compensation tends to be somewhat lower than public. Again, much depends on the school and its financial resources. One private school benefit found especially in boarding schools is housing and meals.

Both public and private schools require their teachers to have sufficient credentials. This usually means a degree and a teaching certificate. Private schools tend to hire teachers with advanced degrees in their subject over teachers who have an education degree. Put another way, a private school hiring a Spanish teacher will want that teacher to have a degree in Spanish language and literature as opposed to an education degree with a minor in Spanish. And many organizations and teacher friendly groups say that this most likely has a very great influence on the salaries of teachers.

Kennedy, Robert (2011:http://privateschool.about.com/cs/employment)

There's no question that it's difficult(though not impossible) to do straight-up apples-to-apples compensation comparisons between the 9 percent or so of public-sector workers and the91 percent of private-sector drones.

So what gives when you look at public-school and private-school teachers? The National Center for Education Statistics puts it this way:Using 2007-2008 data(the latest available), the average "totalschool-year and summer earned income" for a public school teacher was $53,230/₱2,223,896.10. The equivalent for private-school teachers was $39,690/₱1,658,208.51

That's a whopping $13,540/₱566,784 differential on salary alone. And in virtually every subset (highest degree earned, years of experience, you name it), the public-school teachers do far better than the private-school ones.Others have yet to come up with good comparative figures for health and retirement benefits, but there's little doubt that it will widen the gap between public and private.

Gillespie, Nick (2011)[http://www.opposingviews.com/i/public-vs-private-school-teachers-who-gets-more]

Historically, private school teacher’s salaries have been less than those in the public school sector. Years ago teachers would accept a position in a private school for less money simply because they felt that the teaching environment was friendlier. Or perhaps they considered it a mission or calling. That is generally not the case anymore.

Private schools have had to compete for a smaller pool of well-qualified teachers. Public school teachers' pay has risen markedly. The same is true of private teachers' pay. Private schools now pay very close to what public schools pay.

As you might expect, there are disparities in private school teacher salaries. On the low end of the compensation spectrum are parochial schools. The calling overtones still exist in religious schools. At the other end of the scale are the well-established independent schools. Why is this? They have been in business for many decades, have enormous endowments and a loyal alumni base on which to draw for support. When you peruse these wealthy schools'Forms 990, you begin to understand why they can and do attract the brightest and best in the teaching profession.

Private school pensions now rival those offered in the public sector, making that aspect of private school employment quite competitive.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsthere was date from 2004 showing a range from $26,000/P1,080,690 to $71,000/P2,951,115 for public school teachers. Assuming a 5% annual inflation rate, the adjusted figures in 2007 would range from $27,300/ ₱1,134,724 to $74,550/₱3,090,097.

Obtaining accurate private school teacher salary information is as murky a science as discovering the whereabouts of a certain infamous terrorist leader. It's almost impossible because the National Association of Independent School (NAIS) keeps that information well-guarded from public view..Kennedy, Robert, (http://privateschool.about.com/od/salaries/qt/salaries.htm)

While there are many pros and cons to teaching in a private school, probably the biggest negative is the pay. Private school teachers make in most cases much less than their public school counterparts.Teacher payat these schools is based on the tuition brought in by students. Therefore, expect to earn at least $10 – 15,000 less at a minimum if you choose to teach at a private school. Kelly, M. (2009) [http://712educators.about.com/od/jobopenings/a/private-public.htm]

By far the majority of education jobs in the United States are in public schools. These base salaries are determined by the state and paid mostly through tax revenues.

Qualifications for these positions vary by state and school district but typically require at least a bachelor's degree in some form of education, preferably in your area of specialty, and a state teaching certificate.

The average salary for a U.S. public school teacher in a school district is $42,153 or ₱1,747,241 according to Payscale.com in December 2010.

It has been a popular belief that private schools pay higher teacher salaries than public schools because most private industry jobs pay higher than public positions. However, the average salary for a private school teacher in $35,342 or ₱1,468,990, according to Payscale.com in December 2010, more than 20 percent less than public school teachers.

This may be partly because many private schools do not require state certification from their educators, although it is recommended and would likely bring a higher salary. Page, K.(2006) http://www.ehow.com/info_7753232_public-private-school-teacher-salaries.html.

According to the Congressional Budget Office or CBO, employees of the federal government and the private sector differ in ways that can affect compensation. Federal workers tend to be older, more educated, and more concentrated in professional occupations than private-sector workers.

CBO's study compares federal civilian employees and private-sector employees with certain similar observable characteristics (described below). Even among workers with similar observable characteristics, however, employees of the federal government and the private sector may differ in other attributes, such as motivation or effort, that are not easy to measure but that can matter a great deal for individuals' compensation. This analysis focuses on wages, benefits, and total compensation between 2005 and 2010.

Differences in wages between federal employees and similar private-sector employees in the 2005-2010 period varied widely depending on the employees' level of education.

Federal civilian workers with no more than a high school education earned about 21 percent more, on average, than similar workers in the private sector.

Workers whose highest level of education was a bachelor's degree earned roughly the same hourly wages, on average, in both the federal government and the private sector.

Federal workers with a professional degree or doctorate earned about 23 percent less, on average, than their private-sector counterparts.

Overall, the federal government paid 2 percent more in total wages than it would have if average wages had been comparable with those in the private sector, after accounting for certain observable characteristics of workers.

The cost of providing benefits—including health insurance, retirement benefits, and paid vacation/leaves—differed more for federal and private-sector employees than wages did, but measuring benefits was also more uncertain.

Average benefits for federal workers with no more than a high school diploma were 72 percent higher than for their private-sector counterparts. Average benefits for federal workers whose education ended in a bachelor's degree were 46 percent higher than for similar workers in the private sector. Workers with a professional degree or doctorate received roughly the same level of average benefits in both sectors.

On average, the benefits earned by federal civilian employees cost 48 percent more than the benefits earned by private-sector employees with certain similar observable characteristics.

Differences in total compensation—the sum of wages and benefits—between federal and private-sector employees also varied according to workers' education level. Federal civilian employees with no more than a high school education averaged 36 percent higher total compensation than similar private-sector employees.

Federal workers whose education culminated in a bachelor's degree averaged 15 percent higher total compensation than their private-sector counterparts. Federal employees with a professional degree or doctorate received 18 percent lower total compensation than their private-sector counterparts, on average.

Overall, the federal government paid 16 percent more in total compensation than it would have if average compensation had been comparable with that in the private sector, after accounting for certain observable characteristics of workers.

CBO's analysis compared federal civilian employees with private-sector. employees who resembled them in the following observable characteristics, such as the level of education, years of work experience, occupation, employer’s size, geographic location (region of the country and urban or rural location), and demographic characteristics (age, sex, race, ethnicity, marital status, immigration status, and citizenship).

Public sector workers also are significantly more likely to have traditional pension plans – called “defined benefit” plans. The latest data from BLS showed 20 percentof workers in the private sector have pension plans. In the public sector, defined benefit plan coverage is four times greater — about 79 percent.

The latest Kaiser Family Foundation survey on the costs of health insurance showed government workers are more likely to be offered health insurance while they work and in retirement.

In retail firms, for example, only 48 percent of workerswere covered by health benefits offered by their firm (the worst industry for insurance coverage), compared to 80 percentof workers in state and local government (the best industry for insurance coverage). And those state/local government employees are paying less for coverage than their private sector neighbors.

Data from Kaiser shows the average employee cost for “family” health coverage was around $3,700 in the latest year. Employees in the service sector pay about $4,200 for similar family coverage, mostly because their employers require a bigger contribution from the employee to get the benefit.

Are public workers overpaid? Are their entitlements too cushy, their retirements too rich? How do they compare in overall compensation with their private sector peers?

Those questions are front-and-center now in the political war being waged in Madison, Wisc., and in such cash-strapped states as California, Illinois and New York. Recent days have seen one set of protesters—public employees fighting to hang onto pay and benefits—countered by another set brandishing signs demanding public workers get smaller pensions and agree to give-backs ("Pay Your Fair Share!"). Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says that government workers are the "haves" and the taxpayers are increasingly the "have nots."

Over in Milwaukee, at the University of Wisconsin, economics professor Keith Bender is watching the struggle with professional interest. Bender is co-author of a report released in April titled, "Out of Balance? Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation Over 20 Years."

He and Professor John Heywood found that wages and salaries of state and local employees are lower than for private sector workers of equal education, and further, that for the past 20 years those earnings have been in relative decline. Factoring in benefits including pensions, which in the public sector comprise a greater share of compensation, doesn't change that picture: state and local workers still have lower total compensation. Compensation for state employees, the report finds, is on average 6.8 percent lower than that earned by comparable private sector employees. So, why has the idea gained currency that public workers are overpaid?

Andrew Biggs, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, faults the Wisconsin study for not taking into account some of the important non-cash benefits public sector workers enjoy, such as much better job security. He and Jason Richwine, a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, estimate that in California, for example, a public worker's better job security equates to a 15 percent increase in compensation.

Whether or not public workers are overpaid, states facing budget crises are looking to save money any way they can, including paying public workers less, either by reducing pay, reducing pension benefits, or both. In extreme cases, public workers have woken up to find their pensions gone. Prichard, Alabama, for example, hasn't paid its retired public workers their benefits for over a year.

Private sector retirees, of course, already know how it feels to lose a pension or to see expected benefits reduced. Workers by the tens of thousands in the auto industry, in steel, and in airlines, have lost promised benefits when their employers declared bankruptcy.

Another thing to also be considered is whether a teacher’s lounge or otherwise known as a staff room, is crucial in a teac her’s day to day activities. Many parties have wondered whether a teacher’s lounge could be considered as a benefit to teachers. The researchers however are fully convinced that the teacher’s lounge is very important. However so many others have thoight that the teacher’s lounge is detrimental to a teacher fulfilling his/her duties.

According to Evette Ross who contributed to the article The Old Lounge which is an article that talks about the importance of a teacher’s lounge and its necessary, cannot-do-without features. Ms. Ross who is a design-on-a-dime guru says, "The lounge should be a place where teachers can relax and decompress; It should feel distinct from the rest of the school, more grown up and more polished. Even a small separation from the look and routine of the every-day can recharge internal batteries."

Unfortunately, as too many educators know, not every teachers' lounge is a retreat where staff members can comfortably rest and regroup. With limited funds and unlimited needs, educators often are compelled to invest the resources they have in their students and put their own concerns -- such as the lounge -- last.

[...]

       Teachers nowadays are required to have a portfolio. This portfolio is a collection of everything about a teacher: his/her credentials, achievements, linkages and many other important and relevant information. Part of this portfolio is for the teacher to write his/her reflection on teaching. And let me share to you my own personal reflection and insights about teaching which I have written in my personal portfolio. These reflections are actually the views and philosophy I uphold about teaching as far as my experiences, values and my principles are concerned. You may or may not agree with me...


Teaching for me really isn’t just a profession. It is a vocation. It requires self-sacrifice, and being able to offer oneself for the sake of the students. This job may not be one of the highest paid jobs in this world, but I think it is on top of the most rewarding and self-fulfilling job man has created. It is so because teaching creates other professions. This may sound cliché but this really is true. We will never have doctors, lawyers, architects and any other profession if not for a teacher who has painstakingly taught us and saved us from ignorance.

Being a teacher as far as my experience is concerned has opened my eyes to a lot of things. A teacher who may have exemplary credentials on his/her back can never be sure if he/she will be successful inside the classroom. It hit me in my head that I should not be complacent about myself. That there are things I need to improve and change about myself. I need to think creatively, innovatively and resourcefully in order to make my class successful. I need to prepare each and every day. Every day is always a brand new day. What happens inside the classroom is always unpredictable.

For me, a true “called” teacher isn’t just a person who teaches and comply all the things required by the curriculum. It is very true that to be a teacher, one has to be competent: an expert of his/her subject matter, has a command on the medium of instruction, a manager of his/her own right inside the classroom and has mastered the art of pedagogy. And I think these teachers are many. However, I can’t ignore the fact that to be a teacher, one also has to have the right attitude, the enthusiasm to teach, the respect to the dignity of the teaching profession, the care and love for the students, and to love learning itself. And I must say these teachers are rare. How I wish that I may belong to these rare finds.

As a teacher I wish to win the hearts of my students. I want them to be inspired, to be genuinely motivated to learn. I want them to remember me as a kind of teacher who has made them learn not by coercion but rather by inspiration. To be honest, I would rather wish to win the hearts of my students than to win the hearts of my superiors. I teach not for my superiors to be impressed of me. I teach for my students. They are my honest and sincere critics. This drives me to improve myself more and more every single day that I am a teacher.

The mediocre teacher tells.  The good teacher explains.  The superior teacher demonstrates.  The great teacher inspires.  ~William Arthur Ward

I personally believe that teachers are most remembered not on how they have made students learn, but rather on how they have made the students feel. And because of this, I learned to be very sensitive with the way I deal with my pupils. I learned to let them feel the care, concern and warmth of a teacher. I may sometimes hurt my students’ feelings intentionally or unintentionally, but I hope they know that learning sometimes is a painful process. We have to offer sacrifices and that includes giving up our old, comfortable but wrong ways. And to wake ourselves up from these wrong ways, we have to slap our face (and I don’t mean this literallyJ). I sometimes do this not because I want to but I have to.

Based on my experiences, I learned that we need first and foremost to motivate our learners. As Horace Mann said, teaching learners without motivating and inspiring them is like hammering a cold iron. As a teacher, I need to make them appreciate and develop the love for learning. They will never, ever learn unless they allow learning to occur in their minds. Learning is an experience which occurs inside the learner and is activated by the learner. This poses me a challenge, that as a teacher, I really need to think of various, creative and enjoyable activities that can arouse my students’ desire to learn.

Finally, I personally adhere that teachers nowadays must focus on the moral and the value side of learning. Yes, it is true that we need to make our learners competent, equipped with all the skills and knowledge necessary for them to become globally competitive. However, we need to mold well-rounded individuals, future citizens that can raise and morally recover our world’s present condition. It is through values that our learners can create meaning and connect the content and skills they learn to their lives. That they can use their learning for the common good, and make positive changes not only to their lives or family’s lives, but rather to other people as well, and to the world as a whole. Without focusing on values, we teachers may create persons with big heads but small hearts, intellectual giants but emotional dwarfs.

To end this, I hope and pray that God will provide me more strength and power to fulfill this mission. Sometimes, part of being a teacher is accepting the reality that not all students will appreciate you. Some students may not listen to you, some will just forget you and the worst, some will disrespect and back-stab you. And as a human being, this weakens me as a teacher. But like God who was also a teacher Himself, He never hated His students despite the neglect and betrayal He experienced. I hope that I can also be the same despite of my shortcomings. Bearing in mind that teaching and making others learn without asking in return is enough as a reward itself.


A teacher's purpose is not to create students in his own image, but to develop students who can create their own image..  ~Author Unknown

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