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View Diary: The war on teachers and the impact on U.S. public opinion (137 comments)

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  •  rec'd for answering (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, rainmanjr

    A few points:

    stop protecting the shit teachers. Every teacher I know has some story about a horrible teacher down the hall who is just not good at their job, and are letting down the kids. The teachers know who they are but nothing id done about them. This is a failure by the teachers. Hell let them police themselves.

    If you want teachers to police teachers, it works. Here is an example

    We'd all do this

    Pay for performance. Will this cause teachers to teach to the test? Yes so what?

    Uh, no.

    1) It doesn't work:

    FAIL

    and

    2) Teaching to tests is poor education. You bring up STEM careers. Do we judge STEM workers based on bubble sheets or how they get their work done? You want all employees to be able to produce product. If you want me to teach students how to produce product, I can do that. I just need less students so I have time to assist in product development and can manage product assessment.

    Finally:

    We should cut funding for/time spend on  humanities/liberal arts and increase it math science and vocational classes.

    I'll go 50% on here. Liberal arts/humanities allow folks to be literate, agile, detailed thinkers who can apply those critical thinking skills to many fields of study. But I'll agree that all students should be forced to take 4 years of science and 4 years of math to graduate HS. Too many schools let students get away with 3 in both.

    •  . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mostel26

      1) "And here’s what it quoted U.S. Education Department spokesman Peter Cunningham as saying:

      “We know TAP and other reforms are hard work. We can’t expect immediate results. That’s why we’re committed to evaluating programs over the long term and identifying ones that deliver the results for children.”

      Why is it, then, that education officials can recognize that reforms take a long time even though they are pushing states to undertake reforms right now that have no research base of success?"

      Look Ill admit it could not work for whatever reason maybe I am wrong on that one but thats not my overall point. Any way to address that one point... The crux of that article indicates that the current method of evaluating teach performance was not very good. Not that the idea is a failure.

      but to answer the articles question. Why should they do this now because it does not appear to be hurting and with further research and implementation perhaps it can be made to help.  

      2) The goal is not to cut . Liberal arts/humanities  but to increase education in topics which lead to jobs a higher percent of time. There has to be a balance somewhere and what I am suggesting is that we need to shift the balance away from ~50/50 to more like 33/66 .

      •  again rec'd for answers (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling, bkamr, BYw

        To reply:

        1) Performance, merit, etc. forms of pay don't work in education because we don't go into teaching to enter a competitive venture.

        As teachers we seek to teach our students to the best of our abilities as the work day, work year, total number of students, number of students in a class, number of special education students, and number of different classes we have to teach allow.

        I can only speak to high school students, but IF you'd like to develop a metric that includes:
        - home life
        - medical health
        - dental health
        - current dating status
        - bullying behavior exposed to
        - menstrual cycle
        - number of hours worked at a part time job
        - number of hours at extra-curricular activities  
        - attitude towards school
        - possible dislike of me as that student's teacher
        - any recent or soon to occur major social events
        - how much the student slept last night
        - how much that student uses drugs and alcohol

        THEN you can start to pilot a valid performance measure of teachers based on standardized tests.

        Until that point, I'll consider using student test results to measure my performance a totally bogus metric.

        2) I can write you a set of course requirements right now that rolls STEM 50 / Other stuff 50 as part of graduation requirements. And a lot of STEM ideals can be placed in existing curriculum. My 9th graders will be happy to share their "pleasure" with you in a few weeks when I make the design, draft, build, and calculate components of an ancient Egyptian pyramid built to scale.

      •  Eeek. Stop trying to cut the Humanities. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mostel26, rainmanjr, NYCteach, BYw

        Here's a fun anecdote:  

        I have a little sister whose school is on a block schedule such that they have essentially 8 courses over a year.  Three of her eight scheduled courses for her upcoming junior year are mandatory off-blocks, study halls, or other filler.  These are required courses because they save the school from having to hire a teacher to teach something (anything!) during those times.  This is a relatively high-achieving school in an affluent university town.  

        You really don't need to cut anything in order to have more science and math in students' lives.  There is already a huge hole in their education experience.  I think every humanities teacher would be happy to fill that hole with science and math.  Schools are just comically underfunded.  That's the only problem.

        The only people who have ever argued to get rid of science and math are the people who don't like learning at all.

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