breckview, that doesn't surprise me at all. I spent 2.5 years in various school districts here in an attempt to secure a full time teaching job. During those years, I watched the direction of our schools change from an emphasis on education to more of socialization. The "good" teachers(which I call educators) make sure they emphasize education in their respective classes, but, the rest(I'd agrue that means 75% of the teachers here) quibble over pay and working conditions...they just collect a paycheck and don't acknowledge how important their job actually is. They don't go the extra mile to impart knowledge on the kids. To put the paycheck in perspective, in Allegheny County(including the city of Pittsburgh), there are 8 school districts within 20 min. of my house which pay their teachers $70,000+ and full benefits. There are some that go only about $50,000. I wouldn't care if I felt they were earning it, but, from what I've seen, many don't. Instead, I've watched teachers from one district complain that a neighboring district makes $2000 more a year. What happened to teaching the kids? As a tax payer here, it really jerks my chain to know what's going on in the districts here. To put our taxes in perspective, a general rule of thumb for just the property taxes in Allegheny County is for every $100,000 of appraised value of your home, you pay $3,000 in taxes. That includes school, boro, and county combined. It does vary from boro to boro, and the city is higher than even the rule of thumb, but it puts you in the "ball park." There are other taxes, but, that's a good start. BTW, I have some friends that teach at local universities that complain about the students coming to college without basic skills, such as note taking. It has long been known that big money does not equal better education in the public schools.