A good teacher will do what it takes... to reach the student.
Forgot to put “lack of funding” in that maze. Otherwise, looks about right….
also forgot incompetent teachers slacking through the system on their tenure.
you’re literate, ergo you’re megarich. glad to meetcha.
How do we get good teachers? Well, we should pay them well enough so that talented people will be attracted to teaching, and we should have high standards for entrance into teachers’ college. That’s a start. I’m not much in favor of micro-management from the center — general guidelines are all that’s needed. And please let’s get rid of teaching to the test — that means get rid of the standardized tests. Lots of good math instruction, and also lots of good language arts instruction. Get the kids interested.
Coming from a family of teachers, I agree that lack of money is often a problem, but let’s not fall into the mindset of just throwing money at a problem. Teachers are often shortchanged in the pay department, but giving out across-the-board pay raises and saying “there, problem solved” only solves the financial problems of the underpaid. Since we have millions of students in primary schools, we have a myriad of potential problems to consider rather that a magic pill answer.
I’m not saying we should throw money at the problem — but how do we attract the best people? In my utopian fantasy world, money wouldn’t matter so much, but in this world, if you want the best you have to pay for it.
I’m not sure I follow you Hq, how will more state and local control result in parental accountability? And I believe (haven’t studied it yet) that Finland has one centralized education system rather than 50 or so independent systems. Also, in my state, NC, teacher unions (NEA and NCEA) are extremely weak. I believe this is the case throughout most of the South. This doesn’t keep bad teachers out of our systems.
“Bad” teachers are just a speck of the overall problem and good administration can rid itself of that issue. What encourages anyone to go into teaching now when for the last few years the talk is about paying better teachers better but the mantra today is to cut teachers pay and benefits across the board?
Easy for you to say, Stahler. So we should just let the teachers fight it out? Why not help the system?Teachers these days pay for helpful additional materials out of their own pockets, and contrary to GOP myth, teachers are NOT paid well.It’s unbelievable that Congress will vote to invade Iraq or re-fund the Pentagon or the PATRIOT Act without a qualm, or cut taxes on the rich during a time of war, and still ignore the funding of education, which is what makes a nation competitive in the world today. How much of our technological leadership in the 1950s and 1960s was due to government-sponsored research and the GI Bill?
NCLB and BUSH took more control away from teachers, lowered salary expectations on the part of taxpayers, and lowered teaching standards, period. Parent’s who can’t control their kids, or actually, won’t control their kids, smirk as they ship them off for teachers to handle in a classroom of 35-40 of the little monsters! Yep, charter schools with 15 kid class sizes might indeed do better, but testing doesn’t show they actually do in the majority of cases, even though cost per student is HIGHER than in “pubic schools” in general.
“Local control” sounds nice, and in some cases, may BE nice, but my experience on the board, with parents demanding we cut MATH, ENGLISH, and SCIENCE classes, to fund the FOOTBALL TEAM, while canceling wrestling, track, cross country, and ski teams(which were already funded by the parents), showed me what “locals” would do. Take Texas and other states that hold kids back in elementary school, so they will be BIG ENOUGH for FOOTBALL!, and you’ve got “local control”.
Ultimately, yes, parents should be responsible.But since it has a vested interest, society needs to provide the tools for parents to use for this goal. This means the best available teachers in the best/most proven system with the most up-to-date books and technology, etc… Unfortunately, we seem to have a society where we divide into camps, and see each other as ‘them’ and ‘us’. So, rather than making things work for everyone’s edification, we set left vs. right, management v labor, haves v have-nots, and so on. Disagreement becomes a moral issue that MUST be won! So, it becomes parents v teachers, admin v teachers, school boards v whoever’s at hand, etc., forgetting that we’re all supposed to be working together for a common cause.
So we spend our time fighting about who’s wrong, while our childeren, and therfore society, suffer.
I’m a teacher, and what I make in a year is the same amount of money A-Rod gets paid when he strikes out. What can be done about it? I don’t know.
Yes, I know a lot of people who go to study classics in Germany or France or Italy — many programs in the US encourage their students to spend some time abroad. There’s a whole world out there, just waiting to be explored.
Have you ever heard of grants and scholarships? One of my grandfathers was a miner, the other worked in carnival sideshows. We made our way out of poverty through education. I want everyone to have the same chance we did. The schools need to be improved, and getting better teachers is an important part of that improvement. How do we do that?
A lot of the people who have enough money to move to another country also have enough money to make sure their children can get a good education in the US, so they have no great need to move. I taught a lot of these kids when I was at Harvard. But now I teach at something not unlike a big US state university — these kids are not from the 1% (I do not like that 1% versus 99% idea, but I’ll use it just for the moment), and they have not had the preparation they deserve and need in order to do well in university.By the way, I participate in a program that sends a student every summer to study in Greece — we pay for it, and it’s not rich kids who get the funding, it’s students who have worked hard and can benefit from the experience. So this 1% idea isn’t the whole story, by any means. We need more programs for deserving students. And just about all students are deserving in one way or another.
and, why then are we still 25th place in education?
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