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Old Yesterday, 09:38 AM
 
7,858 posts, read 8,694,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhpartridge View Post
Perhaps I'm dim, but how do you get people who are in the top half to become teachers? Low pay and poor working conditions usually only attract missionaries and bottom feeders. Do you have any ideas?
Sure:
1). Generally hire from the top 50% of college graduates. Facilitate that through merit pay* instead of TOJ.
2). Implement a plan such that top graduates in say math, engineering, the sciences, art, English whatever agree to teach for 3-5yrs. at reasonable pay plus student loan forgiveness - Teach for America on steroids.
3). Much as in the private sector fire the bottom 4-5% of performers annually.


*DISD in Dallas has enjoyed significant success via a merit pay plan instituted recently.

**Upon further review low teacher pay is overplayed by nearly everyone - there's a bit of an old union trick at play as well. For decades unions fought hard to gain as much non-wage compensation value per members as possible as most non-wage compensations are either not taxed or enjoy tax advantages vs. wages.

On a broad scale teachers enjoy reasonable wages per educational attainment.
Teachers also have proportionally fantastic non-wage compensations among them far fewer work days than other professionals and most enjoy proportionally excellent retirement plans.
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Old Yesterday, 09:48 AM
 
7,858 posts, read 8,694,101 times
Reputation: 6145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunbiz1 View Post
If we need better educators to teach common sense and critical thinking skills, why not...

"[A] 10 percent increase in spending, on average, leads children to complete 0.27 more years of school, to make wages that are 7.25 percent higher and to have a substantially reduced chance of falling into poverty," Bloomberg reports. "These are long-term, durable results. Conclusion: throwing money at the problem works."

My apologies for the pay-per view link embed.
That's mostly rubbish. Americans spend near the top of the OECD (K-12 spending vs. GDP last report US was almost exactly tied for third) every year. Many of the countries spending proportionally less, Finland, Japan and others for examples, kick our butts in terms of achievement.

If gross dollar spending was directly proportional to outcomes Alaska, DC and New York would be lapping the field - they are not and Utah would finish last in achievement it does not.
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Old Yesterday, 09:55 AM
 
754 posts, read 1,390,321 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
That's mostly rubbish. Americans spend near the top of the OECD (K-12 spending vs. GDP last report US was almost exactly tied for third) every year. Many of the countries spending proportionally less, Finland, Japan and others for examples, kick our butts in terms of achievement.

If gross dollar spending was directly proportional to outcomes Alaska, DC and New York would be lapping the field - they are not and Utah would finish last in achievement it does not.
We regularly outscore Finland on most international achievement tests. The scored well on one international test years ago, which created this myth of the superior Finnish education system. Japan highly discourages immigration, resulting in a fairly homogeneous population. If they were to take in 47 million immigrants like the U.S., instead of the roughly 2 million they have, I imagine their scores wouldn’t be as high.
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Old Yesterday, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
21,030 posts, read 9,830,168 times
Reputation: 19679
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Gringo View Post
With 22 years of teaching HS science under my belt, I have a take on what's wrong. There are many factors involved, but the single biggest improvement would be:

End the high stakes standardized testing program that is the be-all and end-all in evaluating public schools.

The damage done by this program is deep, broad, but not irreversible.
And as an educator for 33 years, how would you evaluate schools and teachers?
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Old Yesterday, 10:50 AM
 
Location: WI
2,860 posts, read 3,158,652 times
Reputation: 5006
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiociolliscalves View Post
You mean like Shakespeare and the Punic Wars and Plato and so forth? Yeah, what can you do with that stuff? I mean, you can look most of that stuff up on your phone if you need it.
"The Failure of U.S. Public Education"

This is a good example.
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Old Yesterday, 11:03 AM
 
2,948 posts, read 2,995,122 times
Reputation: 3551
Quote:
Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
Sure:
1). Generally hire from the top 50% of college graduates. Facilitate that through merit pay* instead of TOJ.
2). Implement a plan such that top graduates in say math, engineering, the sciences, art, English whatever agree to teach for 3-5yrs. at reasonable pay plus student loan forgiveness - Teach for America on steroids.
3). Much as in the private sector fire the bottom 4-5% of performers annually.


*DISD in Dallas has enjoyed significant success via a merit pay plan instituted recently.

**Upon further review low teacher pay is overplayed by nearly everyone - there's a bit of an old union trick at play as well. For decades unions fought hard to gain as much non-wage compensation value per members as possible as most non-wage compensations are either not taxed or enjoy tax advantages vs. wages.

On a broad scale teachers enjoy reasonable wages per educational attainment.
Teachers also have proportionally fantastic non-wage compensations among them far fewer work days than other professionals and most enjoy proportionally excellent retirement plans.
I don't see how your propositions would entice a top graduate to enter the k-12 classroom. You can only hire people who apply. How would you get people to apply? You're assuming that there is a surplus of people who are willing to be teachers. Here on the ground that is not the case. Do you advise firing people when there is literally no one else who is willing, competent or not, to take their place? Where will you get their replacements?

*Define success. In most cases, students perform as well as their demographic would suggest. In light of this, many merit pay plans reward teachers who choose to teach in high-SES areas and by default punish those who choose to teach in the inner city as I do, where generational poverty is the norm.

**When top graduates in other fields start out making more than retirement-eligible veterans in the classrooms, then I don't think that is overplayed. My son-in-law made more as a new graduate eight years ago than I make now after 34 years in the classroom. How is that overplayed? By the way, thousands of us teachers work in states where union membership is chosen for the liability insurance provided as our states don't do collective bargaining or tenure.

Last edited by lhpartridge; Yesterday at 11:16 AM.. Reason: correct spelling
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Old Yesterday, 11:09 AM
 
7,858 posts, read 8,694,101 times
Reputation: 6145
Quote:
Originally Posted by TXRunner View Post
We regularly outscore Finland on most international achievement tests. The scored well on one international test years ago, which created this myth of the superior Finnish education system. Japan highly discourages immigration, resulting in a fairly homogeneous population. If they were to take in 47 million immigrants like the U.S., instead of the roughly 2 million they have, I imagine their scores wouldn’t be as high.
I have no idea what you are talking about vis a vis US and Finland and achievement test results. Finland and Japan hammer the US on the PSIA every test year.

2018 PSIA math, reading and science composite scores and worldwide rank for 15 year olds......
3. Japan 523.7
8. Finland 522.7
31. USA 487.7

And it's no myth Finland had a garbage K-12 system in the '70s and they fixed it by in large part by ramping up teacher educational requirements significantly and expectation levels for kids.
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Old Yesterday, 11:23 AM
 
7,858 posts, read 8,694,101 times
Reputation: 6145
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhpartridge View Post
I don't see how your propositions would entice a top graduate to enter the k-12 classroom. You can only hire people who apply. How would you get people to apply? You're assuming that there is a surplus of people who are willing to be teachers. Here on the ground that is not the case. Do you advise firing people when there is literally no one else who is willing, competent or not, to take their place? Where will you get their replacements?

*Define success. In most cases, students perform as well as their demographic would suggest. In light of this, many merit pay plans reward teachers who choose to teach in high-SES areas and by default punish those who choose to teach in the inner city as I do, where generational poverty is the norm.

**When top graduates in other fields start out making more than retirement-eligible veterans in the classrooms, then I don't think that is overplayed. My son-in-law made more as a new graduate eight years ago that I make now after 34 years in the classroom. How is that overplayed? By the way, thousands of us teachers work in states where union membership is chosen for the liability insurance provided as our states don't do collective bargaining or tenure.
Great students with debt would be strongly encouraged to apply. As someone else mentioned upthread there is a fantastic teaching resource in America and that is older Americans nearing retirement age many with tremendous technical knowledge that should be leveraged in classrooms.

*Merit pay is working beyond any reasonable expectations in Dallas. So well, the entire state is taking a look during the legislative session happening right now. Great teachers are the most rewarded for teaching at the worst schools. Lame as it still is in so many ways Dallas ISD has gone from the worst big city district in the state to the best in just a few years.

**The pay thing is wildly overplayed by teachers. Your son was probably working ~80-100 more days than you were for point one.
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Old Yesterday, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
21,030 posts, read 9,830,168 times
Reputation: 19679
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiociolliscalves View Post
I also teach. This common complaint is a cop-out and a way to evade the larger issues that contribute to the failure of public education.

Too many standardized tests? Sure. Is a high-stakes, standardized test necessary? Of course, and it should be the largest criterion for measuring how a school is doing. What would you replace it with? Graduation rates? Percentage of students going to "college?" Those are a joke. Anyone in the system understands the games that are played with those numbers.

One of the real problems in public education is the general unwillingness to consider the possibility that we - teachers, administrators - are not all that great. Your school is probably like mine. Administrators and teachers alike are liable to comment on "what a great staff we have here." Probably not. Half of us are below average. I live with that fear about everyday I walk through those doors. Our school scores certainly suggest that and those tests that everyone loves to denigrate are pretty accurate in measuring how well our students are learning, or not learning, the things they're supposed to know by this point.
This is an excellent and realistic post.

Let's start with me...a retired principal. I was a good, solid principal. Not a "super star", but above average. That's how I was evaluated by the assistant superintendent. That's what came across every three years when the community evaluated me. Nothing bad ever happened in my school while I was principal for 7 years, or for that matter the 13 years before that when I was the vice principal. Our test scores were near top for the state, and our middle school sent the most students to the high school for science and technology out of the 24 middle schools that fed into it. I'm not taking credit for our success, but I like to think that I kept our ship on a steady course.

Of course, for much of that time our school participated in the state testing program. But for part of time we also had a teacher merit pay system. I liked it, but eventually it bit the dust. But it was fascinating during the evaluation process to understand where teachers thought they were in the spectrum from "exemplary", to "meets standards" to "does not meet standards". Some were very realistic about where they were on the spectrum. But some had no concept of how they fit on that spectrum. I'm thinking particularly of an English teacher who was a fairly close friend of mine and who was a "good" teacher. The only negative really -- which was a big one -- is that she taught basically the same lessons for 30 years. No innovation unless absolutely forced. She was not inspiring, but dependable. She never gave back to the profession or mentored young teachers. Never sponsored an activity. Arrived and left on time. Yet she saw herself as "exemplary". I think also of the math teacher who routinely failed about a quarter of her students, and always blamed that she got all the bad kids...even though the computer randomly assigned kids to classes. She also thought she was exemplary. But, she never gave back to the profession, never mentored young teachers, and arrived and left on time.

There is nothing better for teachers or principals than being evaluated...presuming that the evaluator is qualified, competent, and fair.

I even recommend that teachers and administrators look at how they are "evaluated" by the public, which can be done through the website ratemyteachers.com. It takes guts to look at that site, and you have to take critiques (particularly by students) with a grain...or huge chunk of salt. But I always learned valuable things about myself when consulting that resource.
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Old Yesterday, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
21,030 posts, read 9,830,168 times
Reputation: 19679
Quote:
Originally Posted by CortezC View Post
Here is the main problem with America's public education system:

YOU ALL SUCK AS PARENTS.
There are lousy parents out there. And wonderful parents. And run-of-the-mill parents.
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