Real math for real teachers

A previous reader stated that teachers work 51 percent of the year and are overcompensated.

A teacher works 188 days, quite true. When a person works "full time" they are employed 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year (that is 2,080 hours a year). The worker has 110 weekend days off; that reduces his work days to 255. He most likely has two weeks of paid vacation (teachers have three days) so now he is working 241 days. With six national holidays that brings a "full time" worker to 235 possible work days. 188/235 equals 80 percent, not 51 percent.

I am an average teacher having taught 13 years in middle school. I am unusual in that I do all my work at school. Using my school computer log-in times, I work 55 to 60 hours a week. We work 37 weeks a year at 55-60 hours a week. That equals between 2,037 to 2,200 hours a year.

The entire community's children deserve the best, most committed teachers possible. Anything less is betraying their trust in us. Please remember this as we continue to negotiate for a fair contract. — Chris Geankoplis, Medford

Don't be fooled

The upcoming release of the fifth IPCC report on climate change will provoke responses attempting to discredit the IPCC and its science. Assessing the report and those responses, consider:

1) Sources and their credibility: Is it likely climate scientists and the world's governments can produce a complex "hoax" about climate change? Or is it more likely that folks from fossil fuel industries are pulling off the real hoax — the denial of visible climate change?

Are market fundamentalists contributing to the supposed "controversy" because they cannot acknowledge the greatest market failure, the failure to recognize and price the negative externality of climate change?

2) The arguments and evidence itself: One key point is to distinguish accepted science from areas of uncertainty. Yes, there are uncertainties in climate science. The following, however, is settled science: 1) climate change is occurring; 2) it's human-caused, from fossil fuel burning and deforestation.

Other aspects — timing, specific effects, climate sensitivity and likelihood of tipping points — are still being studied. But the uncertainties don't undermine the settled knowledge.

Deniers use many techniques to confuse us, to undermine the settled science: cherry-picking facts, manufacturing controversy, using "fake" experts and conspiracy theories, among others. Don't be fooled! — Robert John Scheelen, Medford

Which is more damaging?

The beavers destroying trees along Bear Creek should be relocated to where their handiwork will cause less damage. However, bureaucrats will reduce trees to permits, paperwork and red tape to accomplish that relocation in compliance with the ordinances that logjam a simple trapping operation. Who's doing more damage? — Bob Waldo, Medford

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