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View Diary: Anti-teacher groups get failing grade from teacher of the year (30 comments)

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  •  measure student skill (1+ / 0-)
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    slothlax

    A standardized tests measures how well a student test.  I am not the smartest person in the world, but I was testing at grade 8 since I was 9 years old.  Yet algebra I almost killed me, and I am a math and science person.

    In teaching everyone says that you have to make the subject relevant.  Yet there is no way to make a test relevant.  But when testing there really is not way to make it relevant.  It is a day when the only motivation is the abstract idea of graduation, and often time there really is no motivation since it really is not going to effect the student one way or the other.

    If we are to be concerned about teaching, we have to hire people who are familiar with the students and give them a path to become better.  At the end of the day it does not matter what is taught, as long as the teacher is teaching student how to learn, how to think, and how apply knowledge to prospering the world.  There really is no reason to know how to solve a two step equation, state the scientific methods, pull the main idea out of an obtuse text, or recite dates or random and meaningless battles.  Knowing how read and follow instruction, like a syllabus of work manual, knowing how trouble shoot a problem, knowing how to organize date.  These are the skills we should test.  Filling in bubbles is meaningless.

    I will add one thing on pay.  Pay tends to follow the free market.  Districts pay as much or as little as they need to get classroom teachers.  Moving to more popular district next door might decrease a teacher pay 30%. Increasing base pay, and large sign on bonuses, as are popular now, will only encourage the those who can't find other employment to enter teaching until they can find employment.  Such people are not going to put the time in to become good teachers, something that has to happen during the first few years and is very time consuming, because they are just going to leave quickly.  It is worth noting that these are the people who districts want, because it is cheap.

    Rather we need liberal increases as a teacher progresses in years.  Honestly one big value of a teacher is the ability to come in every day, stay for years, and grow.  After 25 years there should be a good pension.  We do it for the unskilled labor in the military, why not for the professional teacher?  Once retired a teacher should be only hired back on an hourly basis at the prevailing salary of all the teachers.  This is because we need to encourage the continual entry of new teachers that can be guided by the experienced teachers.  We always need new ideas so the students can have an opportunity to see what is currently important in the world.

    •  Tenure != Skill or Effectiveness (0+ / 0-)
      Rather we need liberal increases as a teacher progresses in years.
      In my experience, although teachers with a few years of experience are more effective than those with none, teachers with twenty years experience are rarely more effective than those with eight or so years of experience. Performance should be rewarded, not years of keeping one's job (unless, of course, there's a brutal process which weeds out any but the top performers so someone who has been teaching with 25 has survived many rounds of winnowing)
      Honestly one big value of a teacher is the ability to come in every day, stay for years, and grow.
      And this would differ from every other profession or job how?
      After 25 years there should be a good pension.  We do it for the unskilled labor in the military, why not for the professional teacher?
      Umm... the pay in the military is not very good and the potential demands are extreme. The military owns your life 7/24 if they choose to. Fair labor practices are non-existent and workplace safety can be very bad. If the military wants to send you to some dangerous hell-hole with minimal creature comforts for six months, they can do so (and, you can't just "quit" until you've finished your current enlistment). Military personnel can rarely hold a second job effectively (say on the weekends, in the evenings, or during the summer). This is completely different than teachers (or, in most respects, engineers, lawyers, retail clerks, or car mechanics).

      As well, it's a bit of an insult to refer to a 25 year veteran of the military as "unskilled". Many enlisted personnel start out with few skills, but they learn a lot in the military and it's rare for someone who has 25 years of experience (i.e., hasn't been pushed out) to be "unskilled".

      Why should teachers get a pension after 25 years (i.e., typically when they are under 50) unless most professionals are getting one? (And, what would the impact on our economy be of doing that?). It seems odd to want to push teachers out after 25 years and also want to give them liberal raises each year to reward them for their additional experience. If they are worn out and less effective in 25 years, it would be surprising that they were substantially more effective in their 24th year than the 23rd year and therefore deserve a liberal raise in their 24th year.

      •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

        I my experience our problem results from the lack of a screening process for military people.  Look at the number of vets who have never seen action, but still require a government program to encourage private employers to hire them.  Look at the number who can't fill out the paperwork required to get the free government benefits without help.  I have been filing self employment tax since I was 18 years old.  It is not that hard.  Unless of course you have been taken care of 24/7 by the government all your life.  That was always my theory about John McCain.  He was a third generation government dependent.  Things are so bad that the federal government is trying to get private firms to alter their training to meet the low standards of the military rather than raise the military training to meet the norms of the private sector.

        As far as pay, I encourage any high school graduate with no skills to get a job with full benefits that pays 1500 a month.  Here is a hint.  It does not exist.  DK just published a table indicated how scarce jobs are, period.  This does not even include the billion dollars that tax payers spend to subsidize potato chips and candy. Enlisted with 25 years is 6K a month.  As far as 24/7, obviously one has no experience with real jobs in the real world.  You can be scheduled at anytime, and if you don't make it you won't be scheduled next week.  To make that 1500 you will have to work 10 extra hours a week, and there will be no benefits or subsidized ice cream.

        Of course no one deserves a pension, any more than a military person who has nothing but sit in a recruiting office an troll for young girls deserves health care for life.  But in the case of teacher who has gone to college, gotten an advanced degree, worked for 5 to 10 years in the private sector to build up life experience, and then worked for 25 years as a teacher, the effect on the economy would be positive. Unlike a military person who would retire with perhaps $40K from the time he is 38 to the time he dies, a teacher would draw $35K from the time they are 55 to the time they die.  Add to this that most teacher retirement systems are fully funded mostly by teachers with state contributions, and not by the taxpayer, this is win win.  In fact the only problems are teachers that retire and then are rehired at full wages.

        •  Some agreement... (0+ / 0-)

          Indeed, a recruiter who hangs out in a recruiting office in a strip mall absolutely should not get the same benefits as someone trundling around in full combat gear in the desert avoiding IEDs and rocket propelled grenades. Both are military but the jobs are incomprehensibly different.

          The military however, due in part to the low pay and personal sacrifices, can't recruit many well educated and skilled people for enlisted jobs so they have to take a lot in, filter them in real life situations, and try to keep the ones that show promise.

          Very few jobs in industry are as 7/24 as many in the military. Obviously I, and many others, are expected to drop everything if possible to respond to a customer crisis. However, there's flexibility (as I'm not the CEO of a major corporation who, even when in a remote site, has to get their tail back to HQ or other suitable venue when the shit hits the fan - but they have satellite phones and helicopters and "people" to make that all happen) - my group and my boss will work through it and get it done and the customer will be none the wiser for it and not be aware it would have been resolved more quickly if I was available.

          But in the case of teacher who has gone to college, gotten an advanced degree, worked for 5 to 10 years in the private sector to build up life experience, and then worked for 25 years as a teacher, the effect on the economy would be positive.
          I don't have any statistics and my personal experience may be anomalous, but those who work 5 to 10 years in the private sector and then teach for 25 years seems like the exception rather than the rule.

          I know of a number of people who intended to do that, but upon entering the public school system gave up and returned to the private sector within a couple years. Not because teaching was "hard", but because the entrenched bureaucracy both in administration and in the teacher culture, esp. around not really knowing and keeping up to date on the material being taught and in not being "results driven", discouraged them.

          I have personally experienced a teacher (in a fairly high achieving district) who somehow taught for over 15 years in high school math yet misspoke in multiple ways in middle school math classes. For example, they completely screwed up rational vs. irrational numbers, had no clue about the sum of the simplest possible series (even though it was spoon fed in the teachers' notes for the lesson plan), was so busy trying to be a "45 year old buddy to all the students" that it was painful to watch, and asserted answers were wrong because they were not expressed in exactly the form he expected them although any engineer or scientist would have expected them to be in the form the student presented them. How this teacher survived for more than a year is beyond my comprehension, how they survived for over 15 years is just mind-boggling. (BTW, they got booted into "administration" eventually because apparently that was a way to get them out of the classroom -- but they could probably do MORE damage in administration than in the classroom but it just wouldn't be as visibly embarrassing to the system).

      •  Military is not low paying (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        madcitysailor, gffish

        The idea that the military is a low paying profession is obscenely off base. The enlisted ranks, which require only a high school diploma, pay under 20k right off the bat, but that quickly rises to the 20k-30k range. Throw in the free food and housing, the two biggest espenses, plus free medical and a ridiculous pension, and we are talking about 30-50k for a 20 something year old with no higher education or qualifications. The salaries and benefits for officers are certainly a lot better than what my college graduate friends were making at 25. The whole "military is low paying" meme has to die

        There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

        by slothlax on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 11:11:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  One doesn't magically get a great pension... (0+ / 0-)

          ...in the military when one signs up for, and completes, their first enlistment and, if you suck, you won't be reenlisting many times - up or out!

          Base salary for comparable skills/responsibility levels is poor. True, a recruiter sitting in a strip mall in some town in Ohio does pretty good for little responsibility (as long as she brings in recruits of course).

          One who becomes an officer in the military has way more responsibility and experience, on the average, than some fresh out college grad. How many people with a degree in Comparative Literature working in a Media Relations department at some big corporation ever had to take responsibility for anything involving life and death - or even make a decision that would destroy a 20 million dollar machine inadvertantly? Officers earn their stripes. I would certainly expect an officer to make more than the average "4 year out of school" college grad (obviously, the skilled  "4 year out of school" college grad who is in demand in a tech field makes WAY more than an officer probably ever will).

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