View Poll Results: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

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  • Yes, entirely.

    7 10.29%
  • Yes, partially

    19 27.94%
  • No, partially

    10 14.71%
  • No, entirely

    29 42.65%
  • Other.

    3 4.41%
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Thread: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

  1. #71
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightdemon View Post
    I am pretty sure I know what you are referring to. And I'll cite the works of Jeannie Oakes. I don't recall the name of the study she had done, it's been a few years since I've read it, but it goes something like this:

    In areas where the majority of the students are of lower SES, the schools tend to use lesson plans that have the qualities of what was referred to as classical conditioning (as in Pavlov and Skinner). These schools tend to have larger classrooms and they also to use the "one size fits all" lesson plans, to follow the lesson plans provided by the instructional guide that comes with the Teachers edition.

    In areas where the majority of the students are of higher SES, the schools tend to use lesson plans that have the qualities of what was referred to as higher order and abstract thinking (as in Piaget). These schools tend to have smaller classrooms, better equipment, etc, and the lesson plans tend to allow the student to reach the correct conclusion on their own, as opposed to a mechanical way of thinking (as in the former example).

    What is the difference? Lower SES schools produce the type of worker that would be optimal to follow orders and to follow instructions, in short blue collar jobs. Higher SES schools would produce white collar workers. Jeannie Oakes' study confirmed that this is the norm, but it's not the only factor however, there are several other variables to keep in mind as well.
    I'm sure her study is correct. My point would be that things are getting worse in this area, with districts preferring to pay for commercially-available plans or local administrative consultants rather than facilitating the development of effective planning by teachers. I've found little research to show that scripted instruction improves student learning, but there is research to show that student performance improves when teachers at the school level cooperate to design curriculum.

    I have a couple of other concerns about this trend as well. First, high school dropouts report that "being bored" and "not learning anything" are the primary reasons they leave school--that's more likely to happen in a less-challenging-curriculum situation. Maye lower SES kids drop out more because of how we're teaching them.

    Also, public schools are supposed to be leveling--they aren't supposed to reproduce the same class relations that already existed, which the research you cite tends to suggest.

    Third, the economy of the future requires workers with greater skills. We need what Robert Reich calls "symbolic analysts," which requires higher-order thinking skills for the majority, not just the few.

    Finally, good teaching depends substantially on the engagement of the teacher. Bored teachers are bad teachers. Powerless teachers are bad teachers. This method actually shifts public funds away from teachers (who don't need the same level of training if all they do is follow someone else's plan) and toward the private corporations that produce textbooks and lesson plans.




    It most certainly is. Profit based education means that there is money to be made, and the people on those school boards know exactly how to make that money (with the Charter schools).[/QUOTE]

  2. #72
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Even though I home school my son, I still have to buy the services of a government school, even though I don't use it at all.
    You don't feel your country would benefit from having educated citizens? Without a world class education, how will we compete in the world.

    Its like every city in the US requiring a minimum water bill for every citizen within their public water system service area, even though your individual well may be good. In order for the community as whole to benefit from the public water system, the cost must be spread out to all those in the community.
    Last edited by Catawba; 02-03-10 at 04:05 PM.
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  3. #73
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightdemon View Post
    the merit based system does not work in education because the product is not a direct product of a teacher's pedagogy. It's a combination of what the student wants to achieve, their ambition, their own motivation, along with what the teacher has provided in pedagogy.

    If you can solve the problem of measuring the quality of education from student to student, along with all those confounding variables I just listed, then I would have no problem with a merit based system.
    That's why I don't support government education, if no one can measure the results, then it can be manipulated much like it has been now.

    Of course parents like to always blame teachers but they are a big part of it too.

    To many conflicting interests.
    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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  4. #74
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    You don't feel your country would benefit from having educated citizens? Without a world class education, how will we compete in the world.
    We have an education system and yet we have a lot of functionally illiterate people.

    Government schools ≠ educated citizenry.
    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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  5. #75
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    You don't feel your country would benefit from having educated citizens? Without a world class education, how will we compete in the world.
    Yes. My country would benefit from having educated citizens. Since the public schools do not educate, we should have started looking at better alternatives decades ago.

    Want to measure a teacher's performance? Easy.

    Have the next teacher in line record how much time is spent doing remedial work to get the "passed" student up to the new grade level. A certain statistic will be "over the summer forgetfulness", a certain percentage will be "the student is a rock", and some percentage will be "last year's teacher was incompetent".

    PUBLISH the standards so a parent can know if his kid is up to grade level or not...and this would also let the parent know when the school is wasting his kid's time with bull****, too...

    Lots of ways to fix the current system. All of them depend on focusing on the student, not the teacher's pay package.

  6. #76
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rassales View Post
    I'm sure her study is correct. My point would be that things are getting worse in this area, with districts preferring to pay for commercially-available plans or local administrative consultants rather than facilitating the development of effective planning by teachers. I've found little research to show that scripted instruction improves student learning, but there is research to show that student performance improves when teachers at the school level cooperate to design curriculum.

    I have a couple of other concerns about this trend as well. First, high school dropouts report that "being bored" and "not learning anything" are the primary reasons they leave school--that's more likely to happen in a less-challenging-curriculum situation. Maye lower SES kids drop out more because of how we're teaching them.

    Also, public schools are supposed to be leveling--they aren't supposed to reproduce the same class relations that already existed, which the research you cite tends to suggest.
    That's the result of having our public schools paid for by our Property Taxes. Property value > Property Taxes > School funding > type of classes > type of students > type of worker > type of income > property value, and repeat.

    SES is a major factor in determining all of this. It determines the health of the student (as in health insurance), the home atmosphere, type of parents, it's neighborhood, it's school, etc etc. It is most definitely a cycle.

    Public schools will not level off as long as property taxes is what pays for our public schools.

    Third, the economy of the future requires workers with greater skills. We need what Robert Reich calls "symbolic analysts," which requires higher-order thinking skills for the majority, not just the few.

    Finally, good teaching depends substantially on the engagement of the teacher. Bored teachers are bad teachers. Powerless teachers are bad teachers. This method actually shifts public funds away from teachers (who don't need the same level of training if all they do is follow someone else's plan) and toward the private corporations that produce textbooks and lesson plans.
    Can you talk more about the method you are referring to? Describe it.
    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    Let the public school provide the basics, you as the parent can do the fine tuning.

  7. #77
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    We have an education system and yet we have a lot of functionally illiterate people.
    Because it has not been a priority. For example, a hedge fund manager with the same education as a high school teacher, can earn hundreds of times more than a high school teacher.

    You are not going to attract the best and brightest when we as a society place a lower priority on compensation for teachers. And we cannot cure illiteracy without providing quality education for all, as well as addressing the socioeconomic reasons behind illiteracy.
    Last edited by Catawba; 02-03-10 at 04:11 PM.
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  8. #78
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    Because it has not been a priority. For example, a hedge fund manager with the same education as a high school teacher, can earn hundreds of times more than a high school teacher.
    That's because he's more valuable.

    Value is measured by ability, not education.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    You are not going to attract the best and brightest when we as a society place a lower priority on compensation for teachers.
    Those who can, do.

    Those who can't, teach.

    You're never going to get "the best and brightest" to teach. It's more fun doing.

  9. #79
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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    Because it has not been a priority. For example, a hedge fund manager with the same education as a high school teacher, can earn hundreds of times more than a high school teacher.

    You are not going to attract the best and brightest when we as a society place a lower priority on compensation for teachers.
    Teachers, generally, get paid well.

    Different jobs have different pressures you never think about.
    How would you feel if you placed a bad trade and lost you investors millions of dollars?

    Education is over funded, roughly 10k per year per student on average.
    Sorry but it isn't working well for the money spent.
    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.
    —Adam Shepard

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    Re: Are Teacher Unions a good thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    That's because he's more valuable.
    That's a perfect example of the lowered priority for education in this country that has allowed us to slip behind other countries.

    Thanks!
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

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