We weren't discussing the teachers unions, we were discussing education. Just because a teacher is member of union doesn't mean he/she isn't qualified or know indepth the subject they're teaching. They're certainly far more qualified on the subject of education than a politician is. Of all vocations, teachers have to constantly keep re-educating and retraining themselves to keep up with the times...not to mention become parents to some of the kids. IMO, they don't get paid enough when you consider we entrust them with our most valuable assets, our kids.I'm just fine, thanks.
You can't seriously think that's the only thing at stake here, can you? Gee, I guess we should just give in to whatever the teachers unions demand, because they must know best amiright? And think of the vulnerable and defenseless children!
i'm a 27 year public school teacher in northern california, high school math
i make 78k for 181 days work, i'm one column away from maxed out, i teach class exactly 200 minutes a day, we are on block schedules, i get 100 minutes of prep per day which is an outrage when young teachers are getting let go (well, they aren't now but they were 2 years ago)
i'm a conservative, i don't speak at union meetings (i did bring it up once i'd say 2 years ago, people listened to me, they like me because i always show them respect, few know my politics, but no way anything's gonnna change)
nclb is not only the most effective school reform i've ever seen, it's the only effective reform
nclb changed the yearly emphasis of every school district, its yearly mission statement, if you will, the campaign the district is pushing at every staff meeting, every inservice...
nclb changed school emphases from things like tolerance and diversity (the emphasis of an entire south bay high school district i worked for in the mid 90's) to much more pertinent, more fundamental efforts like academic literacy, which is a program for teaching kids how to read their textbooks
academic literacy---we stop teaching trig identities for a day and show the kids exactly how to operate this prentice-hall, how to use it as a tool, how to make it what it really is, user friendly and easy
that was a good one, academic literacy---direct result of nclb (we have GOT to get these test scores up)
of course, i pretty much just taught the way i always do---i'd stop 3 times a year or so for a few minutes and go thru the motions...
it was a very righteous push, academic literacy
test taking strategies are also good---you'd be surprised how much math kids learn on test day, in a functioning class, that is, tests can be super educational if done right
anyone ever heard of cpm, "college prep math?"
yup, that was the name of it, the program, cpm---it was a textbook and a curriculum and a movement, and it swept my state, dominated higher math instruction for more than a decade
it's dead, gone, dinosaur, completely forgotten, a failure
kids hated it, teachers were very divided and very hot, schools had to put together parent nights to address concerns
black helicopter crowds called it the new new math, i think they were right
cpm was radical, it grouped kids 100% of the time, kids tested in groups, as much time was spent on establishing who was the recorder and who the facilitator, who the planner, who the referee...
The Roles of a Teacher in Implementing Cooperative Learning in the Classroom | eHow.com
which was bad enough, but cpm's real problems were in lesson delivery
students were asked to explore, to discover, to investigate...
which is marvelous and wonderful and all good math classes go there, regularly even, if less explicitly
but 100% investigation, 100% discovery...
"if they discover it for themselves they will have ownership"
"what you tell them is yours not theirs"
cpm OUTLAWED ALL DIRECT INSTRUCTION
ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS WITH A QUESTION, we were trained
not once--but every staff departmental inservice for years, at least 3 years
i hated cpm, i didn't teach it
i continued to lecture
i answered questions---directly
my students were extremely appreciative
students aren't motivated enough to derive every geometry theorem from scratch, to apply and integrate each skill used to solve a quadratic equation...
just show me how to do it and shut up
College Preparatory Mathematics
if you're really interested in education spend a few minutes moving thru some cpm lessons
i'll say this, they did their work (uc davis, i remember), hundreds of pages of "investigations," many of them elegant, beautiful, profound
as if the kids care
that said, cpm does a miserable job of covering FACTORING and all aspects of ALGEBRAIC FRACTIONS (reducing, adding, multiplying, and fractional equations)
no problem here, i always write my own stuff
but any teacher dependent on materials...
however, cpm did a great job with traditional algebraic word problems---boat and current, d equals rt, the work problem, the mixture problem
i do still routinely use something i got from cpm---guess and check---for traditional word problems
the value problem---19 nickels and dimes worth exactly 1.65---how many n's, how many d's?
guess---10 and 9---that'd be 1.40, too small
guess again, guess more dimes
kids really understand the question---and with traditional algebraic word problems, that's almost the entire battle
Not sure how we got to education but in my research I have come to the conclusion that to fix the broken system we need to:
1. Provide accountability to the teachers. No more "tenure-for-life" once you get hired or the old trick of transferring bad teachers to new schools every few years.
2. Heavily incentivize charter schools by offering school vouchers to parents. Competition and choice always lead to a better end product--education is not magically immune to this.
Both of these require political leadership that will stand up to the teachers' unions so they can't keep writing their own rules and insulating themselves from a failing system.
To my eyes, the left wouldn't dare do this. The Democrats are bought and paid for by the teachers' unions.
There is no way you could ever enforce this in our free market economy.or the old trick of transferring bad teachers to new schools every few years.
School vouchers are a terrible idea and undermine the idea of a public education for everyone. That will not "fix" education, it will just make sure only certain people receive education.2. Heavily incentivize charter schools by offering school vouchers to parents.
Only taking 30 people out of 100 and getting good scores does not mean you've improved education, it just means you've selectively decided who you evaluate.
Education requires public money and schools are provided funding per student.Competition and choice always lead to a better end product--education is not magically immune to this.
No matter how often the lie is repeated, the education system is not failing. When you move our income inequality to roughly equal to other high performing countries, the United States is towards the top of the list in both science and math.Both of these require political leadership that will stand up to the teachers' unions so they can't keep writing their own rules and insulating themselves from a failing system.
Fix society and education will naturally improve.
To my eyes, you don't have a very good idea of public education is and means. You think the problems which exist in public education will magically disappear if you get rid of public education and that's just ridiculous.To my eyes, the left wouldn't dare do this. The Democrats are bought and paid for by the teachers' unions.
Of course, in the free market a bad teacher is fired and a new one is hired. In the public school system, a bad teacher is transferred to a different school.
But administrators not wanting to document reasons for dismissal is not a valid reason to remove teacher tenure, which protects teacher from nonsensical and political motivations.
Uhh, have I ever said anything otherwise? I don't think you understand the difference between teachers being allowed to have jobs and exclusion of students to obtain arbitrary levels of test scores.Hmm, now you want to apply the rules of the free market to public schools?
What? Ineffective teachers are fired all the time. They then try to catch on with another district. Districts don't swap teachers like a professional sports league.Of course, in the free market a bad teacher is fired and a new one is hired. In the public school system, a bad teacher is transferred to a different school.
Vouchers are given in equal amount to all households
Are Charter School Public Schools? Iand charter schools are regulated by the school district but not necessarily "run" by it. My system would in fact provide the best of both worlds: the accountability of the free market with the oversight of the public to maintain curricula and testing standards. Everyone is equal in that it is their choice where to send their kids to school.
So...just being in a charter school magically makes a teacher better? Or do you think there may be some other factors which lead to these improved results, which are inconclusive at best, as there are plenty of charter schools which perform poorly.Studies in states like Ohio and Louisiana, where charter school programs have been implemented, show students in charter schools perform better than those in traditional public schools, accounting for other factors like household income and demographic. This is because the charter schools have better teachers and lack the burdensome bureaucracy of public schools, thus able to focus resources on more effective outlets.
So what is it that makes teachers in a charter school better? Magic? Luck? The ability to NOT teach what will be on the standardized test?
I think you might be confusing charter school with private school.In a charter system schools are provided funding per student. The funding is coming at the discretion of the parents who want their child to be in that school.
I have $100. I can spend $100 on improving one school or spend $50 on improving each of two schools, and it's your contention the educational quality will improve? Do you REALLY think public schools aren't busting their ass to provide the best education possible right now? And before you answer that, I'll have you keep in mind I'm a teacher, both my father and mother were teachers and my grandmother and grandfather were teachers.Make schools compete for those dollars and I guarantee you will see improvement in the quality of education they provide.
Complete nonsense. The income gap is reflective of economic policies which constantly favor those with money, since they are the ones who have the money to bribe...excuse me, lobby, those in Congress. The income gap is because the lower and middle classes are constantly having their legs cut out from under them, whether it's tax credits for moving jobs overseas, the busting of collective bargaining/unions, etc.The income gap, which has been widening for decades now, is a reflection of the failure of our schools to provide the education necessary to succeed in a modern, technologically advanced economy.
You're putting the cart before the horse. Public education is suffering because of society, society is not suffering because of public education.
The inner city schools don't have funding, due to low tax base. They cannot afford better teachers or improved resources. They pull students from poor families who do not understand the value of education. They lose students to gangs and drugs.The current system only offers a quality education to the wealthy and to uppity middle-classers who live in good school districts. Go to any inner city and tell me the system is working.
This is a societal problem, not an educational problem.
You cannot fix education until you are able to fix the mentality regarding the necessity of education. You have to impress upon people how valuable education is, make education something they understand is important. You have to be able to tell people that having an education WILL grant you opportunities for advancement in life. So many people don't understand that because society has never afforded them the opportunity, or because they were too lazy to take advantage of it.Fix education and society will naturally improve.
And in many other instances, the charter schools have failed. The fact of the matter is there is no secret to education. Education is the combining of three elements; the teacher, the student and the parent. The test scores people constantly lament from public education do so because of one or more of those elements not pulling their weight. Putting the same students into a charter school is not a magic pill. If we were to force some of our lower performing students into a charter school, they would perform roughly comparable to what they are performing now, because they do not have the support system at home to impress upon them the value of education.To my eyes, you have no idea of what a charter system actually looks like or how it functions. It is not the simple undoing of public education. It a symbiosis of the advantages of public funding and private accountability. Several states have implemented such programs, and the results have been startling in several instances.
What you want is to start pushing all the better students together and push the poorer performing students together. This way we can then later rationalize doing away with public education all together, thus preventing the poorer performing students, which are more often than not coming from poor families, from receiving an education. This maintains the status quo, of the rich people staying rich and never being threatened by the poor.
Public education is the great equalizer. If you want to fix education, fracturing it is the opposite way to go. If you want to fix education, you have to start with the elements which are bringing it down, which is poverty, familial support, drugs, gangs, lack of enough money to the lower performing schools and funding for schools in general (especially teacher salaries). And it will not be an instantaneous fix, it may take 50-75 years to really see a big difference, because it will have to be a generation by generation process. But undermining public education, fracturing it off into good students and bad students will never solve the real problem, it'll just make our scores look better. After all, if you remove the lowest scores, the average will always go up.
Last edited by Slyfox696; 05-05-13 at 08:15 PM.