What does your ideal education system look like?

CheezePavilion wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

It's certainly not a perfect system, but I really am worried about the trend I'm seeing of Joe Sixpack completely ignoring that kids spend twice as much time with their families than they do with their teachers and yet the teacher is the only one they expect to raise their kid.

Again, if the teacher makes little difference compared to the parents and the environment

That's not what OG said. It's not that teachers make little difference, it's that if parents don't do their job, they can make a major *negative* difference the teacher can't fix.

Think of it this way: you're going to become a weight lifter. You have a cook (the parents) and a coach (the teacher). If your cook doesn't do a good job providing you with nutrition, the coach--even a good coach--can't get your body to build muscles out of nothing.

On the other hand, no matter how good a job your cook does with your nutrition, a bad coach can squander it all.

You've confused OG saying that good parents are a necessary AND sufficient condition with him saying good parents are a necessary condition but (I assume) not a sufficient one on their own. It looks both ways to you because you made an error in understanding the logic of the argument.

Well, I'm sure OG appreciates your vote of confidence, but I've debated him on other education forums. I consistently see a pattern where he is against metrics intended to measure teacher effectiveness. He is a big supporter of the union and all that entails. Just now, you saw him flip from putting the teaching profession on a pedestal to downplaying the value in favor of the environment.

Earlier in this thread someone mentioned that people like myself don't understand enough about pedagogy to be effective teachers. I pointed out that teachers in their education program receive less than 80 hours of classroom training in the course of their degree. I do know a thing or two about pedagogy and psychological/instructional theory. These disciplines seek to merge a teacher's own preferences with the student's background and learning goals. Realize that there are dozens of learning theories out there which are constantly being refined and experimented with. There is no "silver bullet" method of instruction for every student.

I for one, do not think teachers are a commodity. I think that excellent teachers have the ability to engage diverse students. I think that excellent teachers are able to think outside the box, break down complexity in multiple ways, and have soft skills involving motivation, respect, and trust. In short, I believe that a good amount of what makes an effective teacher is intrinsic in the person. The other part of what makes an effective teacher is a very solid understanding of the subject matter, since you can't be flexible with explanations if all you understand is what the textbook says (and I've had many teachers, like in physics who could only do the book examples and didn't understand why things were the way they are, awful experience).

So in your metaphor about the coach. A bad coach certainly destroys the pupil and shouldn't be allowed to coach. How do we determine good coaches from bad coaches though? WE MEASURE THE PERFORMANCE OF THE PLAYERS. Yet this simple concept is lost on the education unions who are against standardized forms of measurement. On the other hand, back to the metaphor, in spite of a lousy cook (parent), an excellent coach should be able to win the player's respect, teach them about the sport and also about nutrition and good diet and encourage the player to take a more active role in their own nutrition. Excellent teachers can overcome the social economic environment. No one will have a 100% success rate, but I believe in metrics that measure year over year improvement of students compared to other similar samples, not some magic "everyone must get a 70% or higher on test B". If the child read at a 1st grade level and now reads at a 2nd grade level, that's improvement, even if they're in the 6th grade.

I have never asserted that teaching a group of kids is easy. Teaching is certainly challenging. What I was asserting in regards to certification is that the value of much of the education major curriculum is dubious. The coursework is not challenging, and that a good percentage of teachers in the field test poorly in their own subjects. In addition, our country with its per pupil spending finishes abysmally low against other developed nations. The system is obviously broken and yet every time our society starts working on change, whether it be standards, measurements of performance, vouchers, etc the teacher's union drags their feet kicking and screaming and effectively kills any attempt at true reform that doesn't involve shoveling more money at them to keep doing the things they do today.

Grr

bandit0013 wrote:

Again, if the teacher makes little difference compared to the parents and the environment then why aren't you in favor of paying them less, increasing class sizes, etc? If the individual doesn't make a difference then they're a glorified baby sitter with a textbook.

When did I say teachers make little difference? The reality is that I've actually said the opposite in other threads: good teachers have a profound positive effect on their students.

I doubt you'll bother, but you might want to give this episode of Planet Money as they interview an economist who has studied the question of just how impact a good teacher can have and quantifies how much they are actually worth (it's $400K a year).

bandit0013 wrote:

You can't have it both ways. Either teachers are these highly educated specialized people who have all these wonderful licenses and ability to teach our snowflakes (and put in those stringent requirements that keep people like my dad out because you think it's "so hard" to educate) or the socioeconomic environment is the big factor and it doesn't matter. You just argued me into the ground that you need all this special training to be a teacher then when someone points out bad teachers you immediately flip to downplaying the impact of the teacher in favor of the environment.

You constantly flip between arguments, it's illogical and inconsistent, and highly frustrating to me.

Perhaps I was unclear, so let me give it another try.

The politics and public opinion of the day seems to be shifting to the view that the one and only reason our education system isn't the best in the world is because of crappy teachers and their all-powerful union. As with all real-world problems, the actual reason our education system isn't the best is much more complicated but, as Americans, we don't handle complex problems or solutions very well. We like sh*t black and white.

The reality is that teachers have kids for six or seven hours a day. A really good teacher can work wonders with kids in that time period, but yet there's still an expectation that that teacher should be able to overcome every sh*tty thing happening in that kid's life *and* make sure he learns exactly what he needs to learn so he can score high on a standardized performance test.

The problem is that the public seems to want to blame the teachers--and only the teachers--for poor performance of students. Johnny can't seem to concentrate in school because he's hungry? It's the teacher's fault he can't learn. Jill's parents are using her to act out their messy divorce? It's the teacher's fault she can't learn. Johnny's worried because mommy and daddy don't have jobs and they're getting evicted? It's the teacher's fault he can't learn. Jose's parents don't speak English and he barely does? It's the teacher's fault he can't learn. Jill lives in a neighborhood with a low property tax base? It's the teacher's fault she doesn't perform as well as the district in the rich suburb.

There are a huge number of social and mental issues kids and their families face and yet the expectation is that teachers are supposed to be able to get a 12-year-old to suck it up and learn on command.

And then there's also the reality that parent's should be more involved and active in their kid's life and that small children need to be properly socialized. Even supposedly simple things, like speaking to your newborn and toddler, has a massive impact on how well your kid is going to do throughout their life. That means that the real reason little Johnny isn't an ace scholar is likely Johnny's mom and dad, but they aren't ever going to accept that.

So, in the end, there are many factors that go into teaching little Johnny. Teachers can have a huge impact, both positive and negative, and parents can have a huge impact, both positive and negative. Then there's a load of soft factors, like socioeconomics, race, and even politics. But even with all those factors the only people actually getting blamed for Johnny not being able to read are teachers.

bandit0013 wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

It's certainly not a perfect system, but I really am worried about the trend I'm seeing of Joe Sixpack completely ignoring that kids spend twice as much time with their families than they do with their teachers and yet the teacher is the only one they expect to raise their kid.

Again, if the teacher makes little difference compared to the parents and the environment

That's not what OG said. It's not that teachers make little difference, it's that if parents don't do their job, they can make a major *negative* difference the teacher can't fix.

Think of it this way: you're going to become a weight lifter. You have a cook (the parents) and a coach (the teacher). If your cook doesn't do a good job providing you with nutrition, the coach--even a good coach--can't get your body to build muscles out of nothing.

On the other hand, no matter how good a job your cook does with your nutrition, a bad coach can squander it all.

You've confused OG saying that good parents are a necessary AND sufficient condition with him saying good parents are a necessary condition but (I assume) not a sufficient one on their own. It looks both ways to you because you made an error in understanding the logic of the argument.

Well, I'm sure OG appreciates your vote of confidence, but I've debated him on other education forums. I consistently see a pattern where he is against metrics intended to measure teacher effectiveness. He is a big supporter of the union and all that entails. Just now, you saw him flip from putting the teaching profession on a pedestal to downplaying the value in favor of the environment.

No, I didn't see a flip-flop, and my previous post explains why. Going from arguing something is necessary to arguing something is necessary but not sufficient is not a flip-flop.

So in your metaphor about the coach.

I'm not using it as a metaphor, just as an example of how the logic works. The more I see metaphors and analogies used, the less I like them.

A bad coach certainly destroys the pupil and shouldn't be allowed to coach. How do we determine good coaches from bad coaches though? WE MEASURE THE PERFORMANCE OF THE PLAYERS. Yet this simple concept is lost on the education unions who are against standardized forms of measurement.

That assumes the problem--the society wide problem, not the individual student or even the individual district, even--is the fault of bad teachers. You have to establish the cause of the problem is what you say it is before blaming people for not adopting your solution to what you say is the problem.

I don't blame teachers for fighting the idea that "we don't really know what the problem is here, but let's assume its so many bad teachers they're having a society-wide effect."

Excellent teachers can overcome the social economic environment.

We can't wait around for excellent teachers if we want to solve a problem when we're talking about something as large as 'education in America'. You will never have enough excellent teachers, because excellence just doesn't come in quantities that large.

In addition, our country with its per pupil spending finishes abysmally low against other developed nations.

We are not a developed nation like many of them. We are a combination of colony and colonizer. America is to a large extent it's own special case.

One out of every 57 doctors loses his or her license to practice medicine. One out of every 97 lawyers loses their license to practice law. One out of 1000 teachers is fired for performance-related reasons.

In ten years, only about 47 out of 100,000 teachers were actually terminated from New Jersey’s schools. Between the 2001-2002 and the 2004-2005 school years, Newark’s graduation rate was a mere 30.6 percent.

In 2002, the Los Angeles Board of Education encountered fierce resistance when it tried to remove about 400 of the 35,000 teachers in a chronically low-achieving district. In the end, the board was able to remove only three, and two of the three removals were overturned on appeal.

In the 2006-2007 school year, for example, New York City fired only 10 of its 55,000 tenured teachers. The cost to eliminate those employees averages out to $163,142, according to Education Week.

Deborah Delisle, head of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District, said it cost over $200,000 the last time she went through the process with an ineffective teacher. That included the salary the teacher earned while the district tried various forms of mentoring and coaching.

Nationally, public school districts report dismissing about one teacher a year for low performance. This amounts to a rate of well under 1 percent, compared to a rate of 4.9 percent in charter schools.

Seventy-eight percent of teachers report that there are at least a few teachers in their school who “fail to do a good job and are simply going through the motions,” while 58 percent say that tenure doesn’t necessarily mean that teachers have worked hard or proven their ability.

The Education Sector survey recently reported that surveyed teachers said the most common tool for assessing quality -- a formal observation and evaluation -- is inadequate. Only about a quarter said their most recent evaluation was "useful and effective." When it comes to tenure, about 70 percent said it's just a formality rather than an indication of whether a teacher is good or not.

In a study of Chicago public schools by the New Teacher Project, "principals admitted that they inflate evaluation ratings because they do not value the instrument and because they want to avoid the cumbersome grievance or dismissal process." From 2003 to 2006, 93 percent of Chicago teachers were rated excellent or superior while less than 1 percent were deemed unsatisfactory. During that time, 79 percent of the city's 87 failing schools issued no unsatisfactory ratings.

College graduates entering the teaching profession tended to have somewhat lower than average academic skills as evidenced by their lower rates of participation in rigorous academic courses in high school, lower achievement tests and lower entrance exams scores than students in other majors (NSF.gov)

Queue OG to tell us again how great the Union is.

bandit0013 wrote:

Queue OG to tell us again how great the Union is. ;)

When the hell did I ever say that? Seriously. Show me a quote.

bandit0013:

I for one, do not think teachers are a commodity. I think that excellent teachers have the ability to engage diverse students. I think that excellent teachers are able to think outside the box, break down complexity in multiple ways, and have soft skills involving motivation, respect, and trust. In short, I believe that a good amount of what makes an effective teacher is intrinsic in the person. The other part of what makes an effective teacher is a very solid understanding of the subject matter, since you can't be flexible with explanations if all you understand is what the textbook says (and I've had many teachers, like in physics who could only do the book examples and didn't understand why things were the way they are, awful experience).

All the items which you listed as being important to being a good teacher can be taught systematically to trainees. None of that is intrinsic to a person, though some people have those personal qualities or modes of thinking without being trained.

As a direct comparison, a good doctor has to have good interpersonal communication skills: be able to relate to any person in any social class, be able to explain complex concepts in simple terms, and the ability to comfort troubled patients when they're most vulnerable. A good doctor also thinks outside the box, is a habitual critical thinker, and inspires confidence and respect. All those are items which are trained into doctors in medical school. Not all doctors will acquire these skills, and not all to the same degree, but there's a minimum requirement for each item, and it's built into the training, and tested for during the licensure exam.

bandit0013 wrote:

Queue OG to tell us again how great the Union is. ;)

I'm not sure if you mean the Teacher's Union or the Union as opposed to the Confederacy, but according to this map they (even though you are talking as if there's one big teacher's union that all teachers are a part of which is false) are pretty much the same. As it turns out, yes--the Union is pretty great:

CheezePavilion wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:

Queue OG to tell us again how great the Union is. ;)

I'm not sure if you mean the Teacher's Union or the Union as opposed to the Confederacy, but according to this map they (even though you are talking as if there's one big teacher's union that all teachers are a part of which is false) are pretty much the same. As it turns out, yes--the Union is pretty great:

The site that hosts that map is pretty laughable. Click on the individual states and it makes it look like Maryland and Massachusetts are educational wastelands and Mississippi and Alabama are where our next Nobel Prize winners are coming from.

LarryC:

Now you're making stuff up. Here are the licensing requirements for the state of ohio. Where do you see any requirements, training, or certification of the intrinsics I mentioned? Do notice, however, that in these requirements a specialty teacher may be required to take up to *gasp* 12 semester hours in the teaching of reading. That's almost 150 hours of classroom time. I think you said you're not from here, I think you're overestimating what goes into a degree here.

OG_slinger wrote:

Teachers today are expected to magically overcome every problem, issue, or distraction a kid faces in their lives to teach them to take a standardized performance test that will determine if they get fired or their school will get shut down. At the same time they have to deal with parents either who couldn't give two sh*ts or are fully convinced that their precious child is both an angel and the next Einstein. The principal, unless you a lucky teacher, serves the same purpose as a HR rep in a normal company: willing to throw anyone under the bus to protect the school's reputation and limit liability. And then there's the state education administration and all its bureaucracy.

Against all that teachers have their union.

So in that quote you are supporting the union as a defense against principals that are "throwing teachers under the bus" and getting fired for students failing performance exams. I just cited a litany of statistics that show not only are teachers admitting that bad teachers exist that aren't being fired, but that evaluations aren't adequate and that the actual amount of teacher terminations for cause is extremely low.

Also in that quote you're suddenly citing the bureaucracy as a big problem when just a while ago you were upholding the certifications and regulations keeping other individuals out of the field as a good thing.

OG_Slinger wrote:

And, yes, I'm making an argument that I wouldn't want your father to teach my children unless he's actually done the prep work, education, and training before hand and the state said he's qualified.

And yet with all this licensing, certification, and requirements our country is ranked 29th among developed nations in performance. Think maybe the current qualifications need to be revisited?

OG_Slinger wrote:

What you seem to be saying is that experience in a completely unrelated field somehow makes someone magically qualified to teach.

No more than taking 6 credit hours of Pedagogy makes someone magically qualified to teach.

I guess what I'm looking for from you is some sort of plan. Many other countries establish better education results with less money and less resources. When challenged you tend to backpedal and blame it on the parents. You don't seem to acknowledge that there are a lot of bad teachers or that many teachers are statistically less educated than professionals in other fields. You make dubious claims about teacher firings that are easily dis-proven. You claim that the extremely powerful teacher's union isn't involved in crafting the legislation around the certification process. You reject testing performance as a viable method of evaluating teachers yet current evaluations clearly fall short.

I am for increasing the number and quality of teachers by encouraging those top students who went into other fields to return to teach later in their careers. I am for vouchers so that parents can decide which schools their kids attend and let the market start taking a hand in weeding out the failed policies. I am for a complete reform of our curriculum with a higher focus on trade skills, etc for students that aren't as academically gifted. I am for statistical measurement of performance and comparative scoring across socioeconomic factors as an evaluation for teachers. I am for eliminating the tenure system, breaking the unions, and making it just as easy to terminate a bad teacher as it is to terminate a crappy worker in other industries. I am for paying for teacher training and providing merit pay/bonus structures for high performing teachers.

What are you for? I just went through the whole thread.

post 1: you mock society for holding poor beliefs about evolution

post 2: you mock home schooling parents, assumption that the teacher is female, and is nothing more than a breeding vessel, despite evidence of home schooled children doing just as well or better than public schooled ones.

posts 3-6: Only classically trained people are worthy of teaching. Old people are bad at technology and connecting with today's youth.

post 7: teachers are under assault from everyone, unfairly.

post 8: Great teachers are incredibly valuable, like 400k/yr valuable. Yet you go on in the same post to say that it's mostly the parent's fault as to why kids aren't succeeding. (Because those other 28 countries ahead of us are filled with perfect parents or something)

post 9: Denial that you're pro union.

You're an active participant on these forums so I engage you. But looking through these posts I'm feeling like I'm feeding the troll or something. Only one post actually had a statistic in it. Are you arguing from a place of emotion? This thread was created to talk about the ideal education system. I was posting originally a way to hopefully get those students who didn't finish in the bottom of the SAT pool going into college to have an easier path into the classroom, you're welcome to disagree with it, but could you at least post some alternative plans? Then at least we could have a proper debate.

bandit0013:

I was referring to the licensure exam for doctors. See here:

Not all doctors will acquire these skills, and not all to the same degree, but there's a minimum requirement for each item, and it's built into the training, and tested for during the licensure exam.
LarryC wrote:

bandit0013:

I was referring to the licensure exam for doctors. See here:

Not all doctors will acquire these skills, and not all to the same degree, but there's a minimum requirement for each item, and it's built into the training, and tested for during the licensure exam.

Whoops, missed that. Sorry.

No prob. It's a cognitive snafu. Your eyes read "doctor," but your brain read "teacher." Happens all the time. But let's make lemonade out of the lemon. It's astounding to me that the licensure requirements for teachers are so focused on the wrong things - all the peripheral qualities that don't form of the core of what constitutes a good and skilled instructor.

bandit0013 wrote:

Also in that quote you're suddenly citing the bureaucracy as a big problem when just a while ago you were upholding the certifications and regulations keeping other individuals out of the field as a good thing.

I get the strong felling that you don't understand how state education departments work. New teacher requirements and certification are one thing. That is entirely separate from the demands of bureaucracy places on existing teachers. The state continually revises it's official curriculum. Teachers then have to incorporate those changes in their teaching. The state adopts new text books. Teachers then have to change all their lesson plans to reflect the new materials. The state occasionally gets a bug up its ass about a new teaching theory and adopts it. Again, the teachers have to adapt how and what they teach to the new rules.

On top of that, teachers have to prove that they meet all the state requirements which literally boil down to teaching Johnny X number of minutes on reading, Y number of minutes on math, Z number of minutes on social studies, etc. Teachers have to make sure their lessons hit those numbers and they have to prove that to the state board of education so they can in turn report to their bosses that students are getting the education the state wants them to.

To anyone who has either worked in education or knows someone who has there is nothing that is "sudden" about the state education bureaucracy being a challenge for teachers, much like anyone working at a branch office know how much of a pain in the ass policies and procedures passed down from corporate can be.

bandit0013 wrote:

And yet with all this licensing, certification, and requirements our country is ranked 29th among developed nations in performance. Think maybe the current qualifications need to be revisited?

The U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science, and 25th in math among the 34 OECD countries. I'm actually surprised we're that high in science considering 60% of Americans don't believe in evolution...

I'm going to assume you wrote that comment in an attempt to prove to me that if we'd only let nuclear power plant trainers teach that those numbers would go up. Of course, you have no proof of that.

That's not to say that I'm against revising those qualifications. I would just imagine that getting our math and science numbers up would involve something much more grand and inspiring, like NASA doing a manned mission to Mars, instead simply tweaking teacher requirements.

But that would go against your core argument that everything is the fault of dumb, lazy teachers and their union.

bandit0013 wrote:

No more than taking 6 credit hours of Pedagogy makes someone magically qualified to teach.

And the classes for the subjects they're actually going to teach. And student teaching. And continuing education and training.

But I get it. You think teaching is easy and that a trained monkey could do it better than existing teachers. Moving on.

bandit0013 wrote:

I guess what I'm looking for from you is some sort of plan. Many other countries establish better education results with less money and less resources. When challenged you tend to backpedal and blame it on the parents. You don't seem to acknowledge that there are a lot of bad teachers or that many teachers are statistically less educated than professionals in other fields. You make dubious claims about teacher firings that are easily dis-proven. You claim that the extremely powerful teacher's union isn't involved in crafting the legislation around the certification process. You reject testing performance as a viable method of evaluating teachers yet current evaluations clearly fall short.

It's clear we're not communicating.

Me saying that there's many more variables to how well Johnny learns than the teacher and only the teacher isn't backpedaling. It's me trying to explain to you that educating children is a complex problem involving a lot of different players and, perhaps, focusing all the effort and attention only on teachers isn't the most effective way to actually improve student performance. I honestly don't know why you seem to be struggling with this concept.

As for your other comments:

-- I have repeated acknowledged that there are such things as bad teachers. Again, I'm not the simplistic idiot with ideological blinders that you seem to think I am.

-- I haven't acknowledged that many teachers are statistically less educated than professionals in other fields because, well, that point really doesn't seem to matter in this discussion. I wouldn't expect a high school biology teacher to have gone through medical school because that level of education isn't required to introduce 15-year-olds to genetics or the basics of what a cell is and how it works.

-- I haven't claimed that teacher's unions are or aren't involved in the laws around the certification process. Again, that was something you led with, claiming in fact that the certifications were "a union thing to raise barriers to entry in order to protect their membership". Your evidence for this assertion? Nothing but your opinion.

Again, you seem to have difficulty understanding that the state itself makes these requirements and certifications not because the evil teacher's union wants to keep people out education, but because it wants to make sure that every teacher meets established qualifications.

I'm really confused that you can't seem to get this, especially when you go on and on about your Microsoft and FIFA certifications, which, following your logic, must all be about Microsoft professionals and soccer snobs trying to keep people out instead of Microsoft wanting to make sure that someone who says they are Microsoft certified actually knows their sh*t and FIFA wanting to make sure it's certified coaches aren't teaching kids that they can use their hands.

-- And, no, I haven't rejected performance testing as a viable method of evaluating teachers. I honestly don't know where you got that idea. I've simply rejected performance testing in the form of NCLB. If you want to actually measure teacher performance you need to measure how much the children actually improve during the school year, not whether or not they can answer particular standardized questions. I would love to see performance testing that was at least honest enough to admit that every child is going to be at different levels and have differing abilities. NCLB is one-size-fits all.

bandit0013 wrote:

I am for increasing the number and quality of teachers by encouraging those top students who went into other fields to return to teach later in their careers. I am for vouchers so that parents can decide which schools their kids attend and let the market start taking a hand in weeding out the failed policies. I am for a complete reform of our curriculum with a higher focus on trade skills, etc for students that aren't as academically gifted. I am for statistical measurement of performance and comparative scoring across socioeconomic factors as an evaluation for teachers. I am for eliminating the tenure system, breaking the unions, and making it just as easy to terminate a bad teacher as it is to terminate a crappy worker in other industries. I am for paying for teacher training and providing merit pay/bonus structures for high performing teachers.

Good for you.

bandit0013 wrote:

post 1: you mock society for holding poor beliefs about evolution

No, I mock people who believe in creationism. Creationism is complete and utter bullsh*t, not "poor beliefs about evolution". This is a thread about education, right? About what needs to be done to make sure our kids don't perform poorly in things like science and math? Do you not think that our middling national performance in these categories might be because Johnny's parents tell him science is really the devil trying to test his faith?

bandit0013 wrote:

post 2: you mock home schooling parents, assumption that the teacher is female, and is nothing more than a breeding vessel, despite evidence of home schooled children doing just as well or better than public schooled ones.

Wow. Let's review the quote and context:

OG_slinger wrote:
Seth wrote:

But in terms of curriculum, assuming religious and homeschooling adhered to the same national curriculum, I don't see there'd be a problem.

Actual education: require teachers to be certified by the state for general competence and very likely require a Master's Degree. Homeschooling: be smart enough to get pregnant.

So you're trying to say that what you took away from that snippet wan't that I was commenting on the fact that we require actual teachers to be qualified, certified, and follow a state-approved curriculum while don't require any of that for homeschooling, but that I was just saying that women are breeding vessels.

And, yes. I do mock homeschoolers because they overwhelmingly do it crazy religious reasons. That and they starve their children of the normal interaction with their peers that is required for proper socialization.

Also, am I really supposed to be impressed that a home-schooled child who has been the entire focus of their mommy performs about the same as a public school kid, who get's 1/25th of the teacher's attention? I'd love to see a study where they pay actual teachers to only teach one child at a time and then see how well those kids do on performance tests.

bandit0013 wrote:

posts 3-6: Only classically trained people are worthy of teaching. Old people are bad at technology and connecting with today's youth.

Actually, bandit, it's the state who says that only people who go through their certification process are worthy of teaching. I know you have a big issue with that, but you yourself really seem to like certifications for things other than teaching.

I, and others, pointed out the holes in your idea of instantly making any retired professional a teacher. Even when it was pointed out to you that there's very little in common with training other adult professionals who need the knowledge to continue their careers and a teaching a classroom of teenagers, you simply ignored the issue. You also ignored my question of how the school would respond if the students of that older teacher failed to hit their performance numbers and were questioned by their parents. It's not going to be a good excuse to say, "well, he was really good at training nuclear technicians so I don't know why he couldn't teach algebra." Again, this is why requirements and certification exist.

The technology jab was part serious and part in jest. The serious part will be that your average retiree is going to be at severe disadvantage technology-wise compared to students. Hell, teachers just a few years out of college aren't as tech savvy as students these days. The jab was because in one of your comments you raged about why your dad couldn't instantly get a job teaching because of all his experience and in the next paragraph you were bitching that the website of your child's school sucked and the reason it wasn't better was that no teacher knew HTML. I simply pointed out that your dad likely doesn't know HTML, nor likely would any other retiree, so making lots of retirees teachers isn't going to do much to make that website any better.

bandit0013 wrote:

post 7: teachers are under assault from everyone, unfairly.

Your reading comprehension skills are amazing.

bandit0013 wrote:

post 8: Great teachers are incredibly valuable, like 400k/yr valuable. Yet you go on in the same post to say that it's mostly the parent's fault as to why kids aren't succeeding. (Because those other 28 countries ahead of us are filled with perfect parents or something)

I'm going to guess that you didn't bother to click on my link or listen to the podcast or even follow the through link to the economic study the podcast was based on. If you had, then you'd actually know that the $400,000 a year is the net present value of what a really good teacher adds to our economy based on the fact that children who do better in school produce more economic value over the course of their lifetimes.

Again, you seem to be very well suited to misinterpreting pretty much everything I say. How does me saying...

So, in the end, there are many factors that go into teaching little Johnny. Teachers can have a huge impact, both positive and negative, and parents can have a huge impact, both positive and negative. Then there's a load of soft factors, like socioeconomics, race, and even politics. But even with all those factors the only people actually getting blamed for Johnny not being able to read are teachers.

...turn into "it's mostly the parent's fault"?

As for your other comment, you might actually want to take a look at who's in the OCED. It's mostly smaller countries with largely ethnically homogeneous societies and Gini coefficients much lower than ours. Though I don't know why I bother bringing that up because you seem to be firmly convinced that everything is the fault of the teachers.

bandit0013 wrote:

post 9: Denial that you're pro union.

Should I first answer the question "Am I now or have I ever been a member of the Communist Party of the United States?"

Seriously, though, if you're going to accuse me of something you best back it up.

Already I've asked you to quote something I've actually said to support your assertion that I think "how great the Union is" and you've failed to do so. Now I'm going to have to ask you to not only provide some evidence for that first part, but now I'm also going to ask you to provide some evidence for my apparent Judas-like "denial that [I'm] pro union".

Put more simply, stop putting words in my mouth. If you don't understand a point I made, ask me to clarify it. Just don't misinterpret it, go off the deep end, and accuse me of saying sh*t I haven't.

bandit0013 wrote:

You're an active participant on these forums so I engage you. But looking through these posts I'm feeling like I'm feeding the troll or something. Only one post actually had a statistic in it. Are you arguing from a place of emotion? This thread was created to talk about the ideal education system. I was posting originally a way to hopefully get those students who didn't finish in the bottom of the SAT pool going into college to have an easier path into the classroom, you're welcome to disagree with it, but could you at least post some alternative plans? Then at least we could have a proper debate.

Funny, but I feel the same way, especially with your wild accusations that teacher certifications are really just a ploy by the unions and your repeated--and seemingly--purposeful misinterpretations of what I've actually said.

As for your quip about statistics, nothing you provided actually contributed anything to the discussion outside of yes, there's a performance issue in education. And, much like a similar performance issue in healthcare, it's a big, gnarly, multi-faceted problem that has no silver bullet for a solution. Unfortunately, you've seem to have taken those statistics not a just evidence that there's an issue in education, but that it's all the teachers fault (and especially the teacher's union). As you've shown in other threads you tend to stick on numbers and instill in them value beyond what they actually represent, like that $4.4 million out of $10.8 billion cash benefits were misused over a three year period somehow means that every welfare program is horrible corrupt and that all poor people are morally and mentally incapable of handling money.

You want me to comment on your statistics than show me a peer reviewed research study that shows that NCLB testing actually improves student performance and accurately measures teacher performance. That's information that's useful for making a policy decision.

OG_Slinger wrote:

-- I haven't acknowledged that many teachers are statistically less educated than professionals in other fields because, well, that point really doesn't seem to matter in this discussion.

And yet home schooling parents can be successful when their only apparent ability is to get pregnant? Again you defeat your own argument that teachers must be highly qualified individuals. A home schooling parent surely has enough domain knowledge to be able to teach their child. I actually worked for a software company that provided online resources to home schooling types. You are incorrect in your assertion that they aren't socialized since they are allowed to participate in extracurricular activities at the district and often times they form study groups.

Know why they form study groups? So that Jack's mom who is good at math can teach math while Rose's dad who is good at writing can teach writing. That whole "domain experience + talent" thing seems to work just fine in the homeschooling arena.

OG_Slinger wrote:

Also, am I really supposed to be impressed that a home-schooled child who has been the entire focus of their mommy performs about the same as a public school kid, who get's 1/25th of the teacher's attention?

There are plenty of kids in the 1/25 scenario who turn out just fine. If they have the same curriculum, why would similar students turn out differently, if only there was some variable, like the instructor that might be different.

OG_Slinger wrote:

As for your other comment, you might actually want to take a look at who's in the OCED. It's mostly smaller countries with largely ethnically homogeneous societies and Gini coefficients much lower than ours.

I'm really not sure what you're trying to say here? Diversity inhibits education? Minorities are less able at learning?

OG_Slinger wrote:

Funny, but I feel the same way, especially with your wild accusations that teacher certifications are really just a ploy by the unions

So the teacher's unions don't help draft legislation involving curriculum and certification, etc requirements? And you say I don't know anything about how education works...

OG_Slinger wrote:

The technology jab was part serious and part in jest. The serious part will be that your average retiree is going to be at severe disadvantage technology-wise compared to students. Hell, teachers just a few years out of college aren't as tech savvy as students these days. The jab was because in one of your comments you raged about why your dad couldn't instantly get a job teaching because of all his experience and in the next paragraph you were bitching that the website of your child's school sucked and the reason it wasn't better was that no teacher knew HTML. I simply pointed out that your dad likely doesn't know HTML, nor likely would any other retiree, so making lots of retirees teachers isn't going to do much to make that website any better.

Actually, he does know HTML, because his son is a developer and he took post secondary classes with me in high school. I am saddened that you think that age has to anything to do with the ability to understand technology. I look forward to the day when you turn 60 and can't figure out how to boot your computer. Attitudes like the one you are expressing is why we have age discrimination laws. Age has nothing more to do with the ability to learn than gender or race does, but in your post you've affirmed age and made some sort of allegation towards race that I'm not sure what to make of.

Also keep in mind that the generation that put men on the moon did so without computers in the classroom. You can teach the three R's without any use of technology at all, we've done it for thousands of years. When you are in charge of the school board, you can go ahead and hire only under 30's to teach technology classes if you like, though you'll probably get sued.

bandit0013 wrote:
OG_Slinger wrote:

Funny, but I feel the same way, especially with your wild accusations that teacher certifications are really just a ploy by the unions

So the teacher's unions don't help draft legislation involving curriculum and certification, etc requirements? And you say I don't know anything about how education works.

I'm not sure you do--I get the impression you think teacher unionization is both more centralized and more widespread than it really is.

CheezePavilion wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:
OG_Slinger wrote:

Funny, but I feel the same way, especially with your wild accusations that teacher certifications are really just a ploy by the unions

So the teacher's unions don't help draft legislation involving curriculum and certification, etc requirements? And you say I don't know anything about how education works.

I'm not sure you do--I get the impression you think teacher unionization is both more centralized and more widespread than it really is.

Just google something like AFT legislation sponsorship

bandit0013 wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:
OG_Slinger wrote:

Funny, but I feel the same way, especially with your wild accusations that teacher certifications are really just a ploy by the unions

So the teacher's unions don't help draft legislation involving curriculum and certification, etc requirements? And you say I don't know anything about how education works.

I'm not sure you do--I get the impression you think teacher unionization is both more centralized and more widespread than it really is.

Just google something like AFT legislation sponsorship

Will it show me why states with strong unions outperform states with weak ones or with low levels of unionization? It doesn't matter how much or little unions are involved with legislation or anything else: you have to explain why some states do better than other, and why that seems correlated with unionization.

It's hard to make the argument that these unions are the problem when the general trend is that the states that are doing the worst are the least unionized.

CheezePavilion wrote:

Will it show me why states with strong unions outperform states with weak ones or with low levels of unionization? It doesn't matter how much or little unions are involved with legislation or anything else: you have to explain why some states do better than other, and why that seems correlated with unionization.

It's hard to make the argument that these unions are the problem when the general trend is that the states that are doing the worst are the least unionized.

Actually my main issues with the unions are the tenure system and that they prevent poor educators from getting canned. I'm not against the right to organize, I'm against the concept of a closed shop (artificial barrier to entry into the field) and any policies that reward tenure over merit. Every position filled by a poor educator has an opportunity cost of getting someone better in there.

bandit0013 wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

Will it show me why states with strong unions outperform states with weak ones or with low levels of unionization? It doesn't matter how much or little unions are involved with legislation or anything else: you have to explain why some states do better than other, and why that seems correlated with unionization.

It's hard to make the argument that these unions are the problem when the general trend is that the states that are doing the worst are the least unionized.

Actually my main issues with the unions are the tenure system and that they prevent poor educators from getting canned. I'm not against the right to organize, I'm against the concept of a closed shop (artificial barrier to entry into the field) and any policies that reward tenure over merit. Every position filled by a poor educator has an opportunity cost of getting someone better in there.

That's great, but do you have any facts to back that up? Like the relationship between tenure and unionization? Are their states prevent collective bargaining, let alone allow for closed shops?

From what I know of the facts of this matter, they don't back up your arguments. Can you show us some facts to demonstrate your theories hold true in the real world?

bandit0013 wrote:

And yet home schooling parents can be successful when their only apparent ability is to get pregnant?

I'm just going to quote what I wrote the last time. You've latched on the the getting pregnant comment, failed to read anything else, and I really don't feel like trying to make you understand that of my statement was about qualification and training for a third time.

OG_slinger wrote:

Wow. Let's review the quote and context:

OG_slinger wrote:
Seth wrote:

But in terms of curriculum, assuming religious and homeschooling adhered to the same national curriculum, I don't see there'd be a problem.

Actual education: require teachers to be certified by the state for general competence and very likely require a Master's Degree. Homeschooling: be smart enough to get pregnant.

So you're trying to say that what you took away from that snippet wan't that I was commenting on the fact that we require actual teachers to be qualified, certified, and follow a state-approved curriculum while don't require any of that for homeschooling, but that I was just saying that women are breeding vessels.

bandit0013 wrote:

Again you defeat your own argument that teachers must be highly qualified individuals. A home schooling parent surely has enough domain knowledge to be able to teach their child.

Really? Just how did I defeat my own argument?

You said that a home-school kid does just about as well as a public school kid. I pointed out that the home-school kid had a class size of one while the the public school kid had a class size of about 25. My point was that an untrained and uneducated home-school mommy dedicated her waking hours to her one student is about as effective as a well-trained and educated teacher who has to split their time among 20+ students.

bandit0013 wrote:

I actually worked for a software company that provided online resources to home schooling types.

So should I now accuse you of being a shill for Big Home-school(TM) or being anti-public education?

bandit0013 wrote:

You are incorrect in your assertion that they aren't socialized since they are allowed to participate in extracurricular activities at the district and often times they form study groups.

Yeah, play dates and study groups isn't actual socialization. It should be telling when all the "research" that says keeping your 13-year-old son away from any contact with their peers except in rigorously defined "events' is normal comes from pro-home-school groups.

bandit0013 wrote:

Know why they form study groups? So that Jack's mom who is good at math can teach math while Rose's dad who is good at writing can teach writing. That whole "domain experience + talent" thing seems to work just fine in the homeschooling arena.

And Jill's mom, the Young Earth Creationist, is going to teach science and biology.

bandit0013 wrote:

There are plenty of kids in the 1/25 scenario who turn out just fine. If they have the same curriculum, why would similar students turn out differently, if only there was some variable, like the instructor that might be different.

You do understand there's two variables going on, right? Quality of teacher and classroom size.

In the homeschooling case someone with no formal training, education, or certification and a classroom size of one. In the public school version you have a teacher with training, education, and certification and a classroom size of 20, 25, or more. Considering that all the research over the past four decades shows that smaller class sizes have a significant positive affect on student performance and you would expect home-school kids to thrash public school kids and yet they do just about the same.

Like I hinted at before, a true comparison would be taking a real teacher and having them teach only one child and then compare their performance to the home-schooled child.

bandit0013 wrote:

I'm really not sure what you're trying to say here? Diversity inhibits education? Minorities are less able at learning?

Really? You're going to go with "minorities are less able at learning" as your takeaway from my comment?

I'll try again. We're big and spread out, leading lots of different kinds of schools including everything from neighborhood schools in the cities, massive suburban schools, and tiny schools in the sticks. Most OCED countries don't have near the same differences in population densities and are fairly compact (especially in Europe). With the exception of perhaps Brazil, we are much more ethnically diverse than OCED countries. Do you think Japan has to worry about trying to educate children who only speak Spanish? Of course not. That diversity adds challenges to our education system. We have a level of income inequality that is very comparable to Sub-Saharan Africa. This has a massive effect on education since we still idiotically fund our schools only by local property tax assessments. That, of course, means that an affluent suburban school isn't going to be lacking while an inner-city school will struggle (but hey, they both have to take the same NCLB test so it all works out in the end, right?). The OCED countries have much less wealth inequality and they don't compound the difference in how they fund their schools.

bandit0013 wrote:

So the teacher's unions don't help draft legislation involving curriculum and certification, etc requirements? And you say I don't know anything about how education works...

You're not getting off that easy, bandit. You said that teacher certifications were "a union thing to raise barriers to entry in order to protect their membership". You failed to provide any evidence that that is true when you said it and still haven't umpteen posts later.

Trying to broaden your statement out to include curriculum and other things to cover your ass isn't going to work. Teachers unions do work with state education boards in setting state curriculum, but I have to ask why you would consider that strange? They are the ones who will actually be teaching the curriculum, so why shouldn't they be involved in the process?

Teachers unions also negotiate with the state to set the maximum size classrooms can be. That's something that benefits both the child and the teacher and makes sure that state legislatures can't turn around and cut education funding to make up for their inability to make a functioning budget.

But before you say teacher's unions are all power, consider that NCLB was passed by legislatures after being fought by the teacher's union because they felt it would be measuring the wrong things, not take into account different socioeconomic conditions and more. And you know what? All of the issues the teacher's unions raised about NCLB turned out to be problems in the real-world implementation of the performance program.

bandit0013 wrote:

Actually, he does know HTML, because his son is a developer and he took post secondary classes with me in high school. I am saddened that you think that age has to anything to do with the ability to understand technology. I look forward to the day when you turn 60 and can't figure out how to boot your computer. Attitudes like the one you are expressing is why we have age discrimination laws. Age has nothing more to do with the ability to learn than gender or race does, but in your post you've affirmed age and made some sort of allegation towards race that I'm not sure what to make of.

Also keep in mind that the generation that put men on the moon did so without computers in the classroom. You can teach the three R's without any use of technology at all, we've done it for thousands of years. When you are in charge of the school board, you can go ahead and hire only under 30's to teach technology classes if you like, though you'll probably get sued.

Congrats to your dad, but that simply makes him an exception. Him knowing HTML doesn't mean he's not going to get chewed up and spit out by kids who have long figured out how to get around the district firewall so they can watch Youtube and post on Facebook in class. And it also doesn't mean that he'd be able to create a web site for your son's school that was any less sh*t than the existing one.

And, once again, you've completely gone off the end about something I've said and taken it to an extreme. There really shouldn't be anything extreme about me (and others) asking questions about how well retirement age folks are going to react to being thrown into a classroom with 25 young-ins or teenagers. I know 25-year-old teachers who are wiped after a day of wrangling the little ones. You can call it age discrimination, but it's also a very legitimate question and one that you've repeatedly failed to answer.

You've harangued me about my plan for education, so why don't just take a moment to think about the consequences and possible outcomes of yours? Again, I've asked you simply questions, like what's going to happen to the school when parents find out that Johnny failed the test he needed to progress to the next grade and it turns out that his teacher is someone who has no state teaching certification, hasn't taken any education classes, and only has experience that is tangential at best?

@OG

Average age of teachers in public schools: http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/SASS/tables/state_2004_19.asp mid 40s. Where are your 25 year old superstars now? I am absolutely livid at your stance that older people can't teach kids. It's ridiculous. Mind you that's an average so there's plenty of older people than 45 teaching in classrooms today. How about instead of haranguing me to prove that old people can teach in the classroom you look at the facts and demographics of current teachers?

On to home schooling go check the wikipedia page and educate yourself. Only 38% of parents surveyed, 327k kids out of millions cited religious reasons for home schooling. Know what the #1 reason was? 73.5% cited lack of quality of education at school and that they could do a better job.

In 2003, the National Home Education Research Institute conducted a survey of 7,300 U.S. adults who had been homeschooled (5,000 for more than seven years). Their findings included:

* Homeschool graduates are active and involved in their communities. 71% participate in an ongoing community service activity, like coaching a sports team, volunteering at a school, or working with a church or neighborhood association, compared with 37% of U.S. adults of similar ages from a traditional education background.
* Homeschool graduates are more involved in civic affairs and vote in much higher percentages than their peers. 76% of those surveyed between the ages of 18 and 24 voted within the last five years, compared with only 29% of the corresponding U.S. populace. The numbers are even greater in older age groups, with voting levels not falling below 95%, compared with a high of 53% for the corresponding U.S. populace.

* 58.9% report that they are "very happy" with life, compared with 27.6% for the general U.S. population. 73.2% find life "exciting", compared with 47.3%

Know what I find awesome? If you go to the bottom of the wikipedia page you see 7 criticisms of home schooling, several of which you have mentioned. Guess what it says next to every one of them: CITATION NEEDED. Your negative views on homeschooling are baseless.

OG_Slinger wrote:

I'll try again. We're big and spread out, leading lots of different kinds of schools including everything from neighborhood schools in the cities, massive suburban schools, and tiny schools in the sticks. Most OCED countries don't have near the same differences in population densities and are fairly compact (especially in Europe). With the exception of perhaps Brazil, we are much more ethnically diverse than OCED countries. Do you think Japan has to worry about trying to educate children who only speak Spanish? Of course not. That diversity adds challenges to our education system. We have a level of income inequality that is very comparable to Sub-Saharan Africa. This has a massive effect on education since we still idiotically fund our schools only by local property tax assessments. That, of course, means that an affluent suburban school isn't going to be lacking while an inner-city school will struggle (but hey, they both have to take the same NCLB test so it all works out in the end, right?). The OCED countries have much less wealth inequality and they don't compound the difference in how they fund their schools.

What does income inequality have to do with learning how to read? Do I need to cite one of the litany of studies that de-links per pupil spending from performance? Even within the US you can find schools that spend as little as $4,000 per student that outperform schools that spend up to $22k per student. (Taft union high, Kern county)

Know what was needed to put a man on the moon? A chalkboard and some paper to write on. Calculators didn't even exist in classrooms then.

I mean, I know your'e a bit surly that in 2009 in math scores we fell behind economic powerhouses like the czech republic, slovakia, slovenia, china, and singapore. It's not like there's any poor people there right?

bandit0013 wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

Will it show me why states with strong unions outperform states with weak ones or with low levels of unionization? It doesn't matter how much or little unions are involved with legislation or anything else: you have to explain why some states do better than other, and why that seems correlated with unionization.

It's hard to make the argument that these unions are the problem when the general trend is that the states that are doing the worst are the least unionized.

Actually my main issues with the unions are the tenure system and that they prevent poor educators from getting canned.

Then show me how unions keep the tenure system in place and keep poor educators from getting canned with some facts, because from what I know of the facts, that's an unsound theory of yours.

I'm not against the right to organize, I'm against the concept of a closed shop (artificial barrier to entry into the field) and any policies that reward tenure over merit. Every position filled by a poor educator has an opportunity cost of getting someone better in there.

Then show me how the places which don't have the things you are against are making good on your hypothetical opportunity. Everything I've read about the subject finds no correlation between strong unionization and poor student performance. Everything I've read about the subject finds correlation between busted unions and poor student performance, though.

It's time to stop arguing theory and start showing us some facts that prove your premise. All the facts I have encountered disprove what you are saying.

CheezePavilion wrote:
bandit0013 wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

Will it show me why states with strong unions outperform states with weak ones or with low levels of unionization? It doesn't matter how much or little unions are involved with legislation or anything else: you have to explain why some states do better than other, and why that seems correlated with unionization.

It's hard to make the argument that these unions are the problem when the general trend is that the states that are doing the worst are the least unionized.

Actually my main issues with the unions are the tenure system and that they prevent poor educators from getting canned.

Then show me how unions keep the tenure system in place and keep poor educators from getting canned with some facts, because from what I know of the facts, that's an unsound theory of yours.

I'm not against the right to organize, I'm against the concept of a closed shop (artificial barrier to entry into the field) and any policies that reward tenure over merit. Every position filled by a poor educator has an opportunity cost of getting someone better in there.

Then show me how the places which don't have the things you are against are making good on your hypothetical opportunity. Everything I've read about the subject finds no correlation between strong unionization and poor student performance. Everything I've read about the subject finds correlation between busted unions and poor student performance, though.

It's time to stop arguing theory and start showing us some facts that prove your premise. All the facts I have encountered disprove what you are saying.

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/dec/20/local/la-me-teacher-tenure20-2009dec20

http://teachersunionexposed.com/protecting.cfm

Nice article about the union in NY preventing legislation allowing the firing of teachers whose students perform poorly
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904787404576529021290252978.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Union proposal on teacher accountability. I know it's a lot to read, but basically if you want to fire a teacher here's what you have to do:
http://www.nea.org/home/proposed-policy-on-evaluation-and-accountability.html

Principal: You're fired
Teacher: Whoa, not so fast. A fellow teachers or a student or a parent needs to file a formal complaint with you. Then, you have to file that complaint with the superintendent. Then, the superintendent has to notify me and my AFT rep via certified mail within three days of receiving the complaint. You have to meticulously detail all the complaints. I might ask for a supplementation of additional facts. Then we’ll undergo a preliminary screening process, and follow that up with a formal hearing. (You better hope you can win that formal hearing, because if you don’t, you’ll have to pay my union for the representation they provided.) After that, we’ll select a “Hearing Examiner” (approved by my union, naturally, who you, naturally, will have to compensate), before we finally have a hearing. After the Hearing Examiner hands down their decision and punishment – which can range from nothing to a suspension to a dismissal – I can then file an appeal with the courts as applicable by state law. Did you know that “the vast majority of states provide an appeals process”?

Nice huh? Imagine yourself as a manager and having to go through that to fire a problem employee and you'll understand why the termination rate of teachers is around 1%, which is far below averages in other industries. This is also why, and a quick search can find dozens of examples, why when you factor in salary, time, and representation it sometimes costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to fire a teacher. This... is... all... the... union's... doing.

Back to the OECD scores. While state teacher's unions have a positive impact on students in the US, there are literally dozens of countries that score better than ours that have no teacher's union. But if you want to cherry pick wisconsin vs mississippi I guess that's fine.

bandit0013 wrote:

@OG

Average age of teachers in public schools: http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/SASS/tables/state_2004_19.asp mid 40s. Where are your 25 year old superstars now? I am absolutely livid at your stance that older people can't teach kids. It's ridiculous. Mind you that's an average so there's plenty of older people than 45 teaching in classrooms today. How about instead of haranguing me to prove that old people can teach in the classroom you look at the facts and demographics of current teachers?

At the risk of putting words in his mouth, I think OG's assertion is not that old people can't teach kids. It's that a randomly selected old person with no education training shouldn't be teaching kids. He's also right that a younger teacher is more likely to be able to cope with the challenges that new technology introduces. You certainly will have plenty of older teachers that will rise to those challenges, but there will also be plenty of older teachers that find themselves way out of their league.

Your dad sounds like he's a smart guy, and could probably do fine teaching kids, but he only has experience training adults in a very specific subject. There might be some overlap, but teaching kids a general subject is a very different thing. Teaching is not just reading from a book. He'd have to know how to handle kids who aren't interested in learning the subject and how to handle disruptive students, neither of which he's likely to have encountered while training nuclear technicians. If your dad is as qualified to teach as you say he is, he'll have no trouble getting certified to do so. The fact that he has to do so isn't some union plot to keep your dad out of their clubhouse, it's a requirement because people want to know that the people teaching their children know what's expected of them as teachers.

Also, you're either being hyperbolic, or you severely underestimate the role computers played in getting to the moon. The calculations were most certainly not done on chalkboards. School children were not involved at all, so the technology level of the average classroom is a red herring.

This is a great read too. Shows that unionization as a performance booster is inconclusive at best, and is by far the most balanced research I've encountered.

http://ceep.indiana.edu/projects/PDF/PB_V6N8_Fall_2008_EPB.pdf

bandit0013 wrote:

Principal: You're fired
Teacher: Whoa, not so fast. A fellow teachers or a student or a parent needs to file a formal complaint with you. Then, you have to file that complaint with the superintendent. Then, the superintendent has to notify me and my AFT rep via certified mail within three days of receiving the complaint. You have to meticulously detail all the complaints. I might ask for a supplementation of additional facts. Then we’ll undergo a preliminary screening process, and follow that up with a formal hearing. (You better hope you can win that formal hearing, because if you don’t, you’ll have to pay my union for the representation they provided.) After that, we’ll select a “Hearing Examiner” (approved by my union, naturally, who you, naturally, will have to compensate), before we finally have a hearing. After the Hearing Examiner hands down their decision and punishment – which can range from nothing to a suspension to a dismissal – I can then file an appeal with the courts as applicable by state law. Did you know that “the vast majority of states provide an appeals process”?

Nice huh? Imagine yourself as a manager and having to go through that to fire a problem employee and you'll understand why the termination rate of teachers is around 1%, which is far below averages in other industries. This is also why, and a quick search can find dozens of examples, why when you factor in salary, time, and representation it sometimes costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to fire a teacher. This... is... all... the... union's... doing.

Actually, that process is a lot like what it would take my manager to fire my non-unionized self. It's not quite as involved once the decision to fire someone is approved by HR, but it's not like he could just up and fire me without showing cause (legally he could, and he's tried it on a different employee (who was deserving of it) but the company's HR department wouldn't let him without something very similar to a formal hearing).

Of course NASA used computer calculations to get to the moon. But everyone trained to write the programs and formulas were trained without computers. I was just pointing out that success in reading, writing, and math doesn't necessarily involve a computer or any expensive equipment.

My original quibble wasn't that someone like my dad should have to get some training. My quibble is that it is years of training. Someone cited pedagogy, I responded that only 72 hours of classroom time in pedagogy are done by an undergrad. Typically in a subject like elementary math it's only a 3 credit hour course as well, 36 classroom hours. My assertion is that if someone with a college degree who understands the subject matter wants to teach, why should it take 2 years of coursework, etc? I had proposed 8 weeks of training (320 hours). Surely that could cover the 72 hours of pedagogy and 36 hours of math theory plus 200 hours of supervised classroom training and put him to work educating some kids in math?

One of the few things OG said that was absolutely true is that smaller class sizes matter. Yet many of you are supportive of very long and onerous processes that keep more teachers out of the classroom. I think we should raise pay, put in merit and student improvement metrics. Reward the good ones and get the bad ones out quickly and shoot for getting more bodies overall in the classroom by making it easier for people changing careers etc who if they have a non-education college degree already. Especially since it's statistically proven that they were higher scorers in school anyways.

Stengah wrote:

Actually, that process is a lot like what it would take my manager to fire my non-unionized self. It's not quite as involved once the decision to fire someone is approved by HR, but it's not like he could just up and fire me without showing cause (legally he could, and he's tried it on a different employee (who was deserving of it) but the company's HR department wouldn't let him without something very similar to a formal hearing).

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/nyc_fire_proof_school_crooks_hEVEp3JWvGuP0oGwPRhCDP

You realize if you did any of what these teachers did your boss would march you to the door with HR approval immediately.

bandit0013 wrote:

Of course NASA used computer calculations to get to the moon. But everyone trained to write the programs and formulas were trained without computers. I was just pointing out that success in reading, writing, and math doesn't necessarily involve a computer or any expensive equipment.

But they were trained on computers, just not in elementary school. Your point is valid though.

bandit0013 wrote:

My original quibble wasn't that someone like my dad should have to get some training. My quibble is that it is years of training. Someone cited pedagogy, I responded that only 72 hours of classroom time in pedagogy are done by an undergrad. Typically in a subject like elementary math it's only a 3 credit hour course as well, 36 classroom hours. My assertion is that if someone with a college degree who understands the subject matter wants to teach, why should it take 2 years of coursework, etc? I had proposed 8 weeks of training (320 hours). Surely that could cover the 72 hours of pedagogy and 36 hours of math theory plus 200 hours of supervised classroom training and put him to work educating some kids in math?

The 2 years of coursework isn't to learn the subject matter, it's to learn how to teach. If your 8 weeks of training covered all the requirements that the 2 years covered I'd have no issue with it, though I'd want to limit any graduates of the 8-week program to being a substitute or teachers aid until they had more experience.