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Thread: Teachers union threatens ‘massive boycott’ of Los Angeles Times

  1. #81
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    Re: Teachers union threatens ‘massive boycott’ of Los Angeles Times

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Not at al, but discussion style teaching requires small class sizes. The smallest class I had in high school was 25 kids and that was AP English where we were supposed to have a small class size. Can't do discussion wih 25 kids. I had to wait until my liberal arts college to have class sizes around 14.

    So if you can do it in high school, then do it.

    Weren't there just studies put out that showed that class size has little to do with it?

    Project STAR is among the latest and greatest touted by the NEA and other teacher unions but it has flaws....

    While Project STAR dominated education conventions and the media, valid critiques of the study began to emerge.

    Harvard University's Caroline Hoxby argued that the methodology of STAR was lacking. Its biggest flaw was that study participants knew they were being studied and hence tended to work to achieve outcomes desired by the researchers. As Hoxby writes, "the schools in a class size experiment may realize that if the experiment fails to show that the policy is effective, the policy will never be broadly enacted. In such cases the schools have incentives that the fully enacted policy would not give . . . . the experiment alters the incentive conditions . . . In addition, some individuals temporarily increase their productivity when they are being evaluated."

    Eric Hanushek, then at the University of Rochester, also examined the study's methodology, but pointed to different shortcomings. Among these were:

    * Between 20 and 30 percent of students in STAR quit each year, leaving less than half of the original group by the study's end.
    * The students who quit were disproportionately low performers, providing a statistical boost to smaller classes.
    * No pretests were given to students at the beginning of the study, providing no baseline off of which to measure achievement gains.
    * While students for the program were chosen randomly, teachers and schools were not.

    The analyses revealed major shortcomings of Project STAR. But public policy had already begun to be implemented.

    snip

    The STAR study seemed to substantiate all that pro-class-size-reduction forces had ... finding no evidence that class-size-reduction has produced improved scores, ... And the cost to achieve so little? To date, an estimated $8 billion.


    Center for Education Reform - Sizing Up What Matters: The Importance of Small Schools

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  2. #82
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    Re: Teachers union threatens ‘massive boycott’ of Los Angeles Times

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Not at al, but discussion style teaching requires small class sizes. The smallest class I had in high school was 25 kids and that was AP English where we were supposed to have a small class size. Can't do discussion wih 25 kids. I had to wait until my liberal arts college to have class sizes around 14.

    So if you can do it in high school, then do it.
    It is also hard with general classes, which is one of the reasons I favor tracking. It is easier with students all of the College Prep/Advanced Placement level students. Unfortunately, in some places at least, the politically correct police have done away with tracking.

    I was fortunate in that I had two political science classes and a World History class with 20-22 students and the U.S. history class I teach (albeit at an expensive private high school in Taiwan) now has 16 students... my World History class has only 13 students
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    Re: Teachers union threatens ‘massive boycott’ of Los Angeles Times

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    Weren't there just studies put out that showed that class size has little to do with it?

    Project STAR is among the latest and greatest touted by the NEA and other teacher unions but it has flaws....




    j-mac
    Seems the link is mixed about whether STAR is good. Still, we were talking about critical thinking , not test scores. While test scores may stay the same between large and small class sizes (after low performers quit), discussion in a group of 25 is vastly different than with a group of 14.

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    Re: Teachers union threatens ‘massive boycott’ of Los Angeles Times

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    Can you show empirically that to be the case?

    Oh, and side note question, the average teaching salary today is about $45K. What do you consider to be an acceptable salary?


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    In many places in the U.S., 45K doesn't get you very far anymore. I could not live reasonably on 45K were I to go back to NH with my wife and kids... Just rent on an apartment would be ruinous...
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    Re: Teachers union threatens ‘massive boycott’ of Los Angeles Times

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    It is also hard with general classes, which is one of the reasons I favor tracking. It is easier with students all of the College Prep/Advanced Placement level students. Unfortunately, in some places at least, the politically correct police have done away with tracking.

    I was fortunate in that I had two political science classes and a World History class with 20-22 students and the U.S. history class I teach (albeit at an expensive private high school in Taiwan) now has 16 students... my World History class has only 13 students
    Given that experience, what do you think of small class sizes? Pros? Cons?

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    Re: Teachers union threatens ‘massive boycott’ of Los Angeles Times

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Seems the link is mixed about whether STAR is good. Still, we were talking about critical thinking , not test scores. While test scores may stay the same between large and small class sizes (after low performers quit), discussion in a group of 25 is vastly different than with a group of 14.

    No doubt, however, we need studies that are real and not conclusion based and skewed. These things cost alot of money.

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    Re: Teachers union threatens ‘massive boycott’ of Los Angeles Times

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    No doubt, however, we need studies that are real and not conclusion based and skewed. These things cost alot of money.

    j-mac
    We don't need stinking studies to know that for the objective of teaching critical thinking, discussion based education is the way to go and effective discussion-based education requires small class size. This fact is what drives most private school enlistment. You are right that extending this to public schools, and halving the class sizes, would cost a lot of money.

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    Re: Teachers union threatens ‘massive boycott’ of Los Angeles Times

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    I taught in Georgia. In Georgia, there is no such thing as hard tenure and unions are relatively weak. Base pay is set by the state (not unions) with each school district (usually, but not always, by county) adding a supplement.

    The pay should be higher because the qualifications to teach are relatively high compared to other jobs of comparable salaries.
    If the pay was to low, there wouldn't be enough teachers.
    Just saying, people go into the profession know how much they will make, they shouldn't complain after the fact.

    Lots of other, highly qualified people in other professions get paid a similar wage, with less time off than teachers do.

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    I am not a big fan of liberal unions, that is to be sure. If you want to get better teachers who are not beholden to liberal unions and ideas, pay them more.
    Teachers should get paid more, if they do more.

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    It's called taxes. Tuition-free education is considered a basic human right and nearly all developed countries provide tuition-free education through ninth grade.
    I disagree.

    Before this whole system started, education was being provided to practically every person based on no national system.
    There was no real compelling reason to make it compulsory.
    All that has happened is that, good kids get trapped at ****ty schools.

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    Good for her. Not everyone has the time to do that. There are many two-earner families nowadays...
    I'd rather have less stuff and better educated kids.
    That's our reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    Education ought to be compulsory for at least 12 years. High school dropouts are far more likely to be on the public dole than those who graduate.
    Why?
    The vast majority of necessary information you learn for a blue collar job is acquired in elementary school.
    If someone does not have the will to learn the rest, they have made their choice.
    I work with a ton of poorly educated high school graduates.
    Some of them can barely read.

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    Then get involved and support reforms, including higher pay for teachers, that will actuall improve the situation rather than throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Strong public education has a long history in the U.S. I am not willing to give up on it and in the future when I return to the U.S., I will endeaver to provide each of my students with the best education I can in the social studies as I did before I came here.
    It was started for no real purpose, I disagree with the system entirely.
    Taylorist style education does not work for every child.

    Individualized systems cost to much money and no one will want to implement it for that reason alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    There are still excellent schools out there. Part of the problem is the culture toward education. In states and communities that have strong support for education, there are still very good results. Again, I see no compelling reason to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
    Yep, that is true.
    So what happens when you're that kid that's in a crappy school district with no choices?
    You're stuck.

    Education has been a problem for 30 years, everyone sits on their hands about it, only occasionally doing token reforms.
    Teachers don't want reform unless of course it's higher pay and parents only want vouchers, which have shown to yield marginal results.

    Free market based education got us to 90% of where we are now.
    The public system wrongly takes credit for it.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  9. #89
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    Re: Teachers union threatens ‘massive boycott’ of Los Angeles Times

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    In many places in the U.S., 45K doesn't get you very far anymore. I could not live reasonably on 45K were I to go back to NH with my wife and kids... Just rent on an apartment would be ruinous...
    If we structured out schools and educational system to funnel the money to teachers rather than the vast bureaucracy created by the teachers union we could pay them more.

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