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View Diary: And the U.S. falls behind... again (22 comments)

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  •  New book out reviewd by F. Zakaria (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, Freakinout daily, vahana

    Finland was at the top for educational achievement and improvement because of a revolutionary change.  Teacher College Education is is the easiest to qualify for, and happens to get applicants with lower academic achievements  (don't get angry, but do the research and refute if I'm (and the book) is wrong)

    Finland changed this by having the top universities start programs that accepted only the best applicants, and made the program more rigorous,  then they increased the pay dramatically.  Something happened.

    The students responded to the higher quality of teaching, there was much less turnover of teachers because it became a more respected and better paid career.

    Whether this would work in this country is an open question.  

    •  To answer your open question... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, blackhand

      as long as we as a society pay college drop-outs millions of dollars to play various kinds of ball and Wall Street bankers millions of dollars to hoard money away for their rich friends and find that more acceptable that paying teachers more than $50,000 in most of the country... it won't work.

      Follow the money-- that will show you what a society values... actual education of children and respect for teachers-- not so much right now.

      Testing systems and publishing execs are doing well, though.

      Our country can survive war, disease, and poverty... what it cannot do without is justice.

      by mommyof3 on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 09:32:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Schools are know for sports, not scholastics (0+ / 0-)

        This is very much at the heart of the problem.

        One of the key reforms that I would make is to greatly minimize the role sports play in schools.  Athletics should be separate from schools, not a part of school and the focus should be on overall health, well being, and values of teamwork, co-operation, and how to deal with both winning and losing.

    •  as for teachers (0+ / 0-)

      a well documented study by the NAEP found them among the smartest of college educated professionals....you can't go by SAT scores because plenty of smart folks don't do well on it ( it more nearly reflects family income ). Also college grads as a whole are already self-selected part of the population and they are generally far more academic than the rest of the population, even if they don't qualify for med school. ( But I've seen lots of teachers get into Law School and do well ) In fact, and it is a fact, we have the best trained and most academically oriented teachers in this country's history. But we need to improve it; giving them good pay and benefits, a high degree of autonomy, job security and respect would go a long way. We were making inroads in all these areas before the 1% decided teachers were getting uppity and needed reminding that they are merely the hired help. When actual data at teachers is examined, we find they largely are the first in the family to go to college, are from the working class, and are far better academically than most people surmise. And in the best programs, like in NJ, they generally have a double major in a subject as well as methodology. Yes, they need courses in methodology and field work. It should be a five year degree culminating in a masters, qualifying the teacher to not only teach but become an administrator. no reason school principal should be a different profession, as it is now. And no one should be in charge of schools if they have not been a professional educator. appointing hacks like Kathy Black or Arne Duncan when he was in Chicago must end.

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