Jeff the Great Calls Out Teachers, Again!

Have you read my posts in the last couple months about teachers? Here is just another reason why I really dislike the current state of our education system.

On Monday Feb 18th the Oregonian ran a story about how abusive (often sexually) teachers are allowed to conceal their conduct and leave the district they offended in, only to teach again in a different district. Partly because it is so damn hard to fire a teacher considering the bullet proof contract they have through their union.

Here is an excerpt from the Oregonian article and a link to the full story:

"It would take months for the agency that licenses Oregon teachers to discipline a Salem-area teacher for inappropriately touching at least eight girls.

To get Kenneth John Cushing, then 44, away from Claggett Creek Middle School students immediately, administrators cut him a deal: If Cushing resigned, they would conceal his alleged conduct — clutching students’ waists, touching their buttocks and massaging their shoulders — from the public."

read the rest here.

The Oregonian also has a great database of teachers that have been reprimanded (but not necessarily the same teachers that abuse then walk to another school to do it again). Follow this link and you can search by name, district, or school.

Is someone from YOUR kid's school on the list?

-Jeff the Great

BAC/CFC Update

I wrote back in January to give my opinion on the Bank of America/Countrywide buyout. Actually, I didn't give much of an opinion but rather my analysis and conclusion that the deal may not go through.

Bank of America offered BAC stock to shareholders of CFC. So its a no cash deal (partly because BofA has already invested over $2b in cash over the last year). Since stock prices are always changing I thought I'd revisit the deal, update the value BofA is placing on Countrywide, and see if the market has changed it's opinion on the transaction.

Last month I noted a $1.2b gap between the markets value of CFC and BofA's offer. Since my write up BAC is up 15.4% and CFC is up 26.8%. At 0.1822 shares of BAC for every 1 share of CFC, BofA is now valuing Countrywide at $4.5b (market close 2-22-08).

Despite the great increase in CFC stock price over the last month and a half, the market is still valuing CFC $500m less than BofA is ($4b vs $4.5b). So no longer the 43% premium I wrote about last month but still 12.5% to gain if you think the deal will go through (and want to own BofA stock at $42.60).

So BofA...what has Countrywide done in the last 6 weeks to increase their value by $400m? Certainly it wasn't the $422m loss last quarter or the $0.15 dividend on common stock and $1,812.50 dividend on preferred stock (not a mistype, it really is $1,812.50 a share). Come on BofA, what is it?

And you Countrywide/BofA fan boys: I expect you guys to be buying up CFC for that 12.5% premium.

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great gives Teachers a Raise!

I received a *cute* little email forward from my sister, about how teachers are apparently underpaid and worth say, 8 times more than they get paid. I thought I'd share the forward with you, and then my response. It's worth the read:


Their hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work nine or ten months a year! It's time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do...baby-sit! We can get that for less than minimum wage. That's right

I would give them $3.00 dollars an hour and only the hours they worked, not any of that silly planning time. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 AM to 4:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch). Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children.

Now, how many do they teach in a day...maybe 30? So that's 19.5 X 30 =$585.00 a day. But remember they only work 180 days a year! I'm not going to pay them for any vacations. Let's see...that's $585 x180 = $105,300 per year. Hold on! My calculator must need batteries!

What about those special teachers or the ones with master's degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage just to be fair, round it off to $7.00 an hour. That would be $7 times 6-1/2 hours times 30 children times 180 days => > $245,700.00 per year.

Wait a minute, there is something wrong here! There sure is, duh!

And my Response:

Oh Sister, so cute are you when you feverishly defend teachers…regardless of the truth.

However, while you were amassing tens of thousands of dollars of debt only to enter a career you knew only paid ~$34k per year, I think they failed to teach you proper math. Lucky for you, while only collecting $14k of school debt for a career that pays me 3, 4, 5 and many more times the national average, I did learn what you teachers call “new” math.

You imply teachers are worth $245,000 per year. Well Please see below for my “lesson plan” in rebuttal to your below email about teachers pay.

1. Though you do teach more than 1 student at a time, it is absurd to think that your pay should go up proportionately to the number of pupils in your class. I mean, the guy that works the McDonalds counter gets the same hourly wage if the serves 20 people an hour as he does if he serves 1 person per hour. Life just doesn’t work that way.

So lets call it 19.50 per day, not $585 per day. To be fair, lets bump you up to minimum wage: $59.63 per day

2. Teachers with Master’s Degree’s you say? In my industry those folks have a starting salary at most 60% higher than those with a BA….surely not the 133% more pay you claim in the below email. Masters degree =$80.50

Grand total: $17,173 per year. You make about double that. Wish I made double what the basic math says about my career.

BUT WAIT, there is more!

3. You have some of the best health insurance available, for almost $0 out of your pocket for premiums. My company (that offers great insurance in the private sector) pays about 90% of my premiums. That’s worth about $10,000 per year for my wife and I. We know your insurance is cheaper for you than mine is for me, so lets assume your ‘company’ pays 98%. That’s a value to you of $10,780.

salary + benefits= $44,780 per year or 161% greater than my above calculation.

4. Lets not forget the sweetheart of a retirement plan that you contribute $0 into. I’ve heard some teachers retire with up to 120% of their highest annual salary. So if they make it to $60,000/yr like many teachers do they retire with $72,000 a year in retirement. But lets say you are a new teacher and you only get 80% of your highest salary when in retirement. That’s still $48,000 a year. Of course you will live for probably 30 years after you retire earlier than most people do (because they don’t have the great pension plan you have) so in today’s dollars that’s $1,440,000. You’ll work about 20 years before retirement so lets call it compensation of $72,000 per year NOW in TODAY’S dollars.

I could get more technical with present value, inflation, opportunity cost, etc, but I am sure you have papers to grade.

So with my simple math we have $44,780 + $72,000= $116,780 per year or 580% more than my original calculation.

5. As a salaried employee it doesn’t really matter if you work 180 days or 300 days. I work about 245 days out of the 250-255 work days that my company recognizes. When I take a day off, they actually count that as compensation. They say a day off has value above and beyond my salary. So lets look at the summer, spring break and Christmas vacations you get. That’s what, 70 additional days off do be conservative? Seventy days at $80.50 per day…that’s $5,635 worth of additional compensation.

$116,780 + $5,635= $122,415

I could go on about the value of virtually guaranteed employment due to a rock solid union contract, guaranteed raises regardless of performance, etc, etc….but I think you get the point.

I think you can see that teachers are paid VERY well and appreciate benefits and job security that most of us in the private sector will never enjoy.

Your (apparently underpaid) loving brother,


P.S. never send something like that to a Financial Analyst

So, do you make $122,415 per year?

-Jeff the Great