260 Who is getting the axe in PUSD? And why?


Tom Garrett 3 years, 7 months ago

The article that says that 18 non-teaching PUSD employees are to be laid off brings up some fundamental questions. I'll ask them, but you'll have to answer them.

  1. Why is the target for class sizes set so low (20 to 24)?

Dicsussion: I never in my life taught a class in a civilian school where I had less than 27 students, and the only reason for that was that the schedule didn't allow for the class size to reach 30, which was the norm. Mind you, I did not teach fluff classes; I am talking about hard core science classes such as chemistry and physics, which called for labs which had to be closely supervised. And I am not talking about a school that was hard up for funds; in Texas I taught in the wealthiest school district in the state. We had NO funding problems, but we didn't waste money. Class sizes were 30, period!

  1. How many of those "non-teaching" jobs are ones involved with non-productive staff, such as ones involved in unproven programs?

Discussion: I am talking about people who are hired to improve grades et al from outside the classroom. The only person who can improve grades is a teacher. No one else has a direct influence on grades.

  1. Who exactly, is getting the axe?

Discussion: Since the positions being cut must be known. Why aren't we being told what they are? Why do we always have to learn what is going on AFTER it happens?


frederick franz 3 years, 7 months ago

Non-teaching jobs should be the first ones to get the ax. They probably shouldn't have been hired in the first place. Perhaps I am too harsh? But I feel that our tax payers are tired of paying for a bunch of non-classroom perfunctory jobs.


Kim Chittick 3 years, 7 months ago

I agree completely Mr.Franz. I would also like to know how many positions could have been saved, but for the expense of the landscape decoration/jungle gym, out in front of the high school.


Pat Randall 3 years, 7 months ago

Kim, Don't you remember that was a grant for the jungle gym? They left it all up too. Wonder how long before someone gets hurt on it this summer? There were some people working at the school with special ed. kids that were very good and lost thier jobs so the higher ups could have more high dollar assisstants.


Kim Chittick 3 years, 7 months ago

I absolutely deplore what is going on in our school district. I really don't care if it was a grant for the jungle gym. It was a ridiculous expense; and before long the weather will get to the braces and ropes, and start to deteriorate them and it will have to be removed. It is already an eyesore.

As for the people being let go...I know that there were people let go who really had a heart for working with the special needs kids, with all of the kids for that matter. It appears to me that our school district is getting awfully top heavy. We need fewer highly paid consultants who do nothing but analyze numbers, and more people working directly with the kids. Isn't that what school is? TEACHING KIDS!!!

Why, when I was in school, back in the dark ages, the elementary school which I attended had a staff that consisted of: the Principal, a School Nurse, a Secretary, 2 Attendance ladies, a Librarian, the Cafeteria staff, a Janitor and...TEACHERS!! Our teachers didn't have aides or helpers, and they had classes that were approximately 30 students. Of course our Junior High and High School had Counselors and Coaches. Although, all Coaches also taught regular classes. This was a public school district in a middle income city. As a matter of fact, the Principal of my elementary school just passed away last year; and there was a huge (standing room only) turn out for his memorial service. I still remember the name of every teacher who ever taught me. They made an impression, because they cared. I mention all of this to illustrate a point: Not that teachers now don't need Aides, because I think they do, it is a different time. I mention it because our schools and districts were not filled with consultants, and assistants to the assistants. They were filled with...EDUCATORS!! People for whom teaching and helping kids was a passion, not a high paycheck.

God help our kids now.


Rex Hinshaw 3 years, 7 months ago

Tom, I have designed 7 schools in the last 12 years. In every case the classrooms were large enough to accomodate 30 students , but the number of classrooms were calculated to keep the class sizes to 20-25. I am not sure where this number came from but it was consistant with all the school boards.


Pat Randall 3 years, 7 months ago

Too many Chiefs and not enough warriors in the school.
If teachers were teaching they wouldn't need all the consultants, aides and having half day meetings all the time. How come they don't know what and how to teach at the beginning of the year? Isn't there some kind of guide line they can read. Be prepared!!!

I can say the first sentence and be political correct. The Chief on the rez. here was named after my brother in-law and his sister (Jerry's Fry Bread) was born in my sisters house and named after her. We are friends.


Tom Garrett 3 years, 7 months ago

"Although, all Coaches also taught regular classes."

Do you mean they were teachers who also coached after school hours, to they taught PE?

"Not that teachers now don't need Aides, because I think they do, it is a different time."

Not really. The only aides needed are in special ed, and far fewer of those than what we have are actually needed. Take it from one who was in education for over 30 years and had a masters in education.

Thanks, Rex.

I am no hard-adze when it comes to education. I don't think that teachers are lazy and useless, which I often hear people saying. What I do think is that close to 30 is an easily manageable class size. (You can't keep class sizes exactly 30 because there are variations in who takes what each year.)

Consider this: I taught chemistry and physical science, both lab courses, for 8 years. I not only had no complaints about 30 kids; I had no complaints when the number at one time in one class went to 37. That meant that 7 of my kids were no longer sitting at the lab benches with the rest of the class, and when we had labs we had to integrate them into other partner groups. Usually only two kids worked together during a lab, but that meant that 7 of our 15 "pairs" were now trios. So what? We got the job done. The students did very well. Grades did not drop. I didn't die. We got the job done. It was a simple matter of classrooms. We had 116 of them, busy all day. The kids had to go somewhere.

If someone can do that with lab classes that require a teacher who has to be right on top of everything every minute. Why in the name of the Lord can't it be done with classes that require almost no personal supervision or help?

I should add, of course, that some special ed classes obviously need aides because the kids need one-on-one teaching. But not all do. And there are far too many different special ed classifications, causing too many classrooms with 4 or 5 kids in them.


Tom Garrett 3 years, 7 months ago


"If teachers were teaching they wouldn't need all the consultants, aides and having half day meetings all the time."

Pat, teachers don't need all those consultants and whatnot. Teachers are doing fine. Our schools are the best in the world and the international test results show that. The people who are trying to take over public education do not show the whole picture when they publish the test scores. Here's what they do;

a. They know that Asians do better in math and science tests (but not in actual work in them). (Nobody knows why that is true.)

b. They know that if you test all Asian classes against mixed classes, the all-Asian classes will test better.

c. They test unmixed class in Asian schools and compare them with mixed classes in American schools. Naturally the unmixed classes do better.

d. But the test scores are also reported this way: They compare OUR Asian kids against Asian kids in Asian schools. Ours do better, but they DO NOT tell you that. Look at either TIMSS or PISA scores.

e. The same is true for other ethnic groups. In fact in the latest scores that I saw our Hispanics did better than Hispanics in every Hispanic country that tested, and our blacks beat out both blacks and Asians in the one and only almost-all-black nation that tested.

f. Therefore, the whole program is phony. We are trying to fix something which isn't broken.


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