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Old 03-19-2013, 08:55 PM
 
Location: DMV
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Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
I'm with AeroGuyDC on this one. It doesn't matter if you have chosen to teach with your graduate degree. If you have a Masters' you SHOULD be able to go into any classroom and teach the subject of your degree down to at least a middle school level to students that would have the appropriate cognitive ability. If not, you did not receive a graduate-level education.
Completely flawed logic. You are basically saying that because one has a graduate degree, they have the ability to teach. There is a difference in what one should (in your expectation) and what one is actually able to do. I know a number of people who have Ph. D's that cannot explain to you in layman's terms anything about their topic. They are intelligent people, but they simply do not have the ability to explain their subject to people who don't have a basic foundation of that subject. Having a degree doesn't necessarily speak to what you know and what your abilities are. If that was the case then most jobs would never require experience. Just as long as you have a degree, based on your logic, that is proof enough that you are knowledgeable. Your experience is what shows your ability to apply what you have learned. Without working, how does anyone know that you understand anything that you have learned? Do you honestly think everyone that gets a graduate degree is knowledgeable and competent at their work?

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Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
I'm not sure what others post-baccalaureate experiences were like, but it certainly wasn't mandated by No Child Left Behind. In my graduate education, I didn't memorize facts about the subject and regurgitate them on tests. I researched and critically analyzed information; this extends beyond just the subject matter of my degree. Even though I do have extensive graduate level education experience, even without it I am confident I could step into an administrative or instructional position in flourish because I know I can effectively research and process the information I need to know. Isn't that what a Masters' program is? That is why you get certified in Social Studies, Science, or Math on the K-12 level. Even if you did not specifically major in History, Biology, or Finite Mathematics, your Bachelors' in a related field has given you enough exposure that you can become more learned on the specific subject you are teaching.
If you have never taught in a class, then I think it's unfair for you to say that you can step in and teach. That is insulting to all teachers who have worked hard to be trained and licensed. To be honest sir, you didn't say that you know how to do any of the things that NBP suggested is needed to be a teacher. If you can't do any of those things, you won't be a teacher very long. No I'm not a teacher, but my wife is and she tells me all the time how much paper work she has to go through to prepare her classroom. It's a lot. Teaching is one of the most demanding jobs out there. To add to that, would you be able to deal with the social aspects of teaching kids? What about kids who come from abusive homes, or who have absent parents? Do you know how to discipline kids and maintain order in your classroom? Have you received training on classroom management? These are things, that people are trained to do, when they go into a classroom. If doing research is a means to become an expert at a field, I think college would be obsolete for a lot of fields to be honest.

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Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
I'm sorry, but just having kids go through a school system does not make you more effective in governing that system. That would assume any individual living in the county for more than five years would be qualified to be the County Executive just because they "know people" and "know how stuff works around here". That smacks of parochialism and a good 'ol boy network. Wouldn't you think that is why there are so many complaints of people getting hired into PG County Schools positions based on who they know? No there isn't a minimum qualifications requirement for elected officials like there are who those getting hired into positions, but I would think it beneficial for a county with a poor reputation of academics to at least have office seekers that have educational qualifications that EXCEED those of the educators they are governing, much less equal them. For those of us who have worked in education, you don't fully respect an individual you work under if they have less qualifications. I must say it is comforting to know that the president of the school board of my kids' school system has a "Dr." in front of his name. Even though it is a Doctorate in Applied Physics from Yale and not education, you know, I think he might be a smart guy!
That's not what I said. I said the adult has to be actively involved in programs like PTA in addition to having kids in the system. It's not about networking (even though that does happen), it's about understanding the ends and outs of school systems. If you look at the credentials of the people on school boards in surrounding jurisdictions, they join these types of groups. If you are going to be on the board, you have to be well-rounded. You can't just strictly be a teacher and never made an effort to connect with adminstrators or parents. In most jurisdictions, those individuals won't get voted it.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pgtvatitans View Post
Completely flawed logic. You are basically saying that because one has a graduate degree, they have the ability to teach. There is a difference in what one should (in your expectation) and what one is actually able to do. I know a number of people who have Ph. D's that cannot explain to you in layman's terms anything about their topic. They are intelligent people, but they simply do not have the ability to explain their subject to people who don't have a basic foundation of that subject. Having a degree doesn't necessarily speak to what you know and what your abilities are. If that was the case then most jobs would never require experience. Just as long as you have a degree, based on your logic, that is proof enough that you are knowledgeable. Your experience is what shows your ability to apply what you have learned. Without working, how does anyone know that you understand anything that you have learned? Do you honestly think everyone that gets a graduate degree is knowledgeable and competent at their work?
Where to begin? Although this discussion (at my hand) has evolved to one about teaching, it is not a requirement that a school board member be a teacher. That is not what I said. However, I do not know what friends you have that are Ph.D.s and cannot explain their own discipline, but you may want to ask them where they received their degrees. The concept of "layman's terms" is your qualitative definition. I'm not sure if astrophysics has "layman's terms", but I would expect someone with a Ph.D. in that field to be able to explain to a 7th grader at least some rudimentary information about how the solar system was formed. Certainly you don't need a degree to do that. That is why you have degrees; your degree indicates that you have been exposed to some level of intellectual rigor and problem solving strategies. I think your logic is flawed: "Having a degree doesn't necessarily speak to what you know and what your abilities are. If that was the case then most jobs would never require experience". So how does one get a first job? Do people with Fine Arts degrees attempt to get jobs as nurses? I'm not sure where you are going with this. My degrees have been a massive waving flag at every juncture of my working life that I have knowledge about some subject matter. When I couldn't find a job in my field and sought work in retail, I was made an assistant manager with no prior retail experience whatsoever just because I had a degree and the owner knew that I could figure it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgtvatitans View Post
If you have never taught in a class, then I think it's unfair for you to say that you can step in and teach. That is insulting to all teachers who have worked hard to be trained and licensed. To be honest sir, you didn't say that you know how to do any of the things that NBP suggested is needed to be a teacher. If you can't do any of those things, you won't be a teacher very long. No I'm not a teacher, but my wife is and she tells me all the time how much paper work she has to go through to prepare her classroom. It's a lot. Teaching is one of the most demanding jobs out there. To add to that, would you be able to deal with the social aspects of teaching kids? What about kids who come from abusive homes, or who have absent parents? Do you know how to discipline kids and maintain order in your classroom? Have you received training on classroom management? These are things, that people are trained to do, when they go into a classroom. If doing research is a means to become an expert at a field, I think college would be obsolete for a lot of fields to be honest.
Not sure where you are going with this. The last sentence was confusing. In case you didn't glean it from my response to NBP, I have done all of the things you have listed above and more, so the point is moot. Your rhetorical questions are pointed at the qualities of what in my estimation makes a good teacher, not just a teacher in general. As per your first sentence, isn't that what "Teach for America" is all about? Also, anyone holding a Bachelors' Degree from an American institution of higher learning can be almost guaranteed to be hired to teach English in Japan, South Korea, or China, solely based on the quality of having a degree and knowing how to speak English. You don't have to have any formal training in teaching or expertise in a foreign language. However, do you an NBP want me to put together a lesson plan on my leisure time just to make a point to you? As I told NBP, if I was so inclined to give my name I am certain you could see a syllabus, curriculum, or something online that I have done when in the field of education. However, I rather be completely wrong then to do work for you. For free no less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgtvatitans View Post
That's not what I said. I said the adult has to be actively involved in programs like PTA in addition to having kids in the system. It's not about networking (even though that does happen), it's about understanding the ends and outs of school systems. If you look at the credentials of the people on school boards in surrounding jurisdictions, they join these types of groups. If you are going to be on the board, you have to be well-rounded. You can't just strictly be a teacher and never made an effort to connect with adminstrators or parents. In most jurisdictions, those individuals won't get voted it.
I would not dispute anything you have said here. I have certainly served or worked with boards myself. To your own words, yes, you should be well-rounded. In addition to just knowing "the ends and outs of school systems", you should have some sort of credentials to demonstrate that you have undergone rigorous vetting on some level. What more common way than a degree? Under your premise, only someone who has lived in PG County for an extended period of time could be an effective board member. I would be inclined to agree with you if not for PG County Board's perpetually abysmal record in hiring Superintendents (and in turn getting them to stay). Perhaps a board with a profile not so out of whack with boards in neighboring jurisdictions would be better judges of administrative talent or at least have the wherewithall to hiring a consulting firm that could do the job more effectively as well.

Last edited by Steelers10; 03-19-2013 at 10:01 PM..
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:08 AM
 
Location: DMV
10,136 posts, read 11,215,541 times
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Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
Where to begin? Although this discussion (at my hand) has evolved to one about teaching, it is not a requirement that a school board member be a teacher. That is not what I said. However, I do not know what friends you have that are Ph.D.s and cannot explain their own discipline, but you may want to ask them where they received their degrees. The concept of "layman's terms" is your qualitative definition. I'm not sure if astrophysics has "layman's terms", but I would expect someone with a Ph.D. in that field to be able to explain to a 7th grader at least some rudimentary information about how the solar system was formed. Certainly you don't need a degree to do that. That is why you have degrees; your degree indicates that you have been exposed to some level of intellectual rigor and problem solving strategies. I think your logic is flawed: "Having a degree doesn't necessarily speak to what you know and what your abilities are. If that was the case then most jobs would never require experience". So how does one get a first job? Do people with Fine Arts degrees attempt to get jobs as nurses? I'm not sure where you are going with this. My degrees have been a massive waving flag at every juncture of my working life that I have knowledge about some subject matter. When I couldn't find a job in my field and sought work in retail, I was made an assistant manager with no prior retail experience whatsoever just because I had a degree and the owner knew that I could figure it out.
We are really dealing with semantics here. I'm not talking about explaining your discipline, I'm talking about teaching it. Teaching it, isn't just saying what you do. It's a skill. Some people are naturally gifted with that skill and others are not. Can you break the subject down into lesson plans, explain basic concepts and build on knowledge that otherwise may not give students much of a foundation? I would give you an example of Algebra. Prior to taking Algebra there isn't really a math subject that uses abstract figures to formulate solutions and to some students, it is difficult to conceptualize solving for a unknown variable. As a professor in the math field, you have to be able to grasp that mindset and teach to it. Some people who get high-level of education simply do not know how to. If you go to most college campuses, especially in technical fields, most of the teachers in those fields are not good teachers. The only reason why they really have jobs is because they are researchers for the university and they teach as a means to provide more than just research to the school.

As far as experience and getting your first job, in most fields, especially in college your first job is either a volunteer job, a paid internship, doing research, or in the field of teaching, student teaching. Point being, if you don't have at least those types of experiences then you are unlikely to get a job coming out of college. How many people do you know that graduated with a college degree that did not do anything besides just go to class?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
Not sure where you are going with this. The last sentence was confusing. In case you didn't glean it from my response to NBP, I have done all of the things you have listed above and more, so the point is moot. Your rhetorical questions are pointed at the qualities of what in my estimation makes a good teacher, not just a teacher in general. As per your first sentence, isn't that what "Teach for America" is all about? Also, anyone holding a Bachelors' Degree from an American institution of higher learning can be almost guaranteed to be hired to teach English in Japan, South Korea, or China, solely based on the quality of having a degree and knowing how to speak English. You don't have to have any formal training in teaching or expertise in a foreign language. However, do you an NBP want me to put together a lesson plan on my leisure time just to make a point to you? As I told NBP, if I was so inclined to give my name I am certain you could see a syllabus, curriculum, or something online that I have done when in the field of education. However, I rather be completely wrong then to do work for you. For free no less.
Is a lab manual really the same as a lesson plan? I don't know, I'm not exactly an expert on this, but I know that there are certain aspects that have to included in a lesson plan, especially giving the standards for assessments. I guess the better question is, have you been a year-long school teacher of children and had to deal with the daily rigors of teaching? That I think is more relevant than saying that you have created something that YOU believe is similar to what is being discussed.

Where am I going with this? You are disrespecting the teaching profession. Do you know why Teach for America exist? Because these people are sent out to teach at school that very few people would even want to teach at. If these people didn't take the jobs, who would? This doesn't mean that anyone can do the job of teaching, it just means that there is a need and the program is prepared to give people at least minimal preparation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
I would not dispute anything you have said here. I have certainly served or worked with boards myself. To your own words, yes, you should be well-rounded. In addition to just knowing "the ends and outs of school systems", you should have some sort of credentials to demonstrate that you have undergone rigorous vetting on some level. What more common way than a degree? Under your premise, only someone who has lived in PG County for an extended period of time could be an effective board member. I would be inclined to agree with you if not for PG County Board's perpetually abysmal record in hiring Superintendents (and in turn getting them to stay). Perhaps a board with a profile not so out of whack with boards in neighboring jurisdictions would be better judges of administrative talent or at least have the wherewithall to hiring a consulting firm that could do the job more effectively as well.
And this is going back to what I said earlier. It's not that there aren't qualified people in PG, it's just that people aren't voting them in because they simply don't care enough to do so. Of course you have to be in the school system a while. Every system is different. The economic makeup of PG is much different than neighboring counties. If you don't understand that, then how do you make effective decisions? Does a degree give you that experience? No, not necessarily. If I go to school in another state and another area, how does that prepare you to understand what is going on in PG? Does that degree make me more knowledgeable? What if someone has a Bachelor's degree in Fashion Design (yes this is a degree if no one believes me), do you think that person is more qualified than a parent with a high school degree, with kids who went to those schools and have experience with organizations like PTA? Does that Fashion Design degree really give one insight on running a school system?
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:53 AM
 
1,009 posts, read 1,849,313 times
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Originally Posted by pgtvatitans View Post
We are really dealing with semantics here. I'm not talking about explaining your discipline, I'm talking about teaching it. Teaching it, isn't just saying what you do. It's a skill. Some people are naturally gifted with that skill and others are not. Can you break the subject down into lesson plans, explain basic concepts and build on knowledge that otherwise may not give students much of a foundation? I would give you an example of Algebra. Prior to taking Algebra there isn't really a math subject that uses abstract figures to formulate solutions and to some students, it is difficult to conceptualize solving for a unknown variable. As a professor in the math field, you have to be able to grasp that mindset and teach to it. Some people who get high-level of education simply do not know how to. If you go to most college campuses, especially in technical fields, most of the teachers in those fields are not good teachers. The only reason why they really have jobs is because they are researchers for the university and they teach as a means to provide more than just research to the school.

As far as experience and getting your first job, in most fields, especially in college your first job is either a volunteer job, a paid internship, doing research, or in the field of teaching, student teaching. Point being, if you don't have at least those types of experiences then you are unlikely to get a job coming out of college. How many people do you know that graduated with a college degree that did not do anything besides just go to class?
I'll try and make these responses short. One thing you do learn in graduate education is that if your research paper is too long and not succinct, it will not be read. You have reinforced my entire point about teaching. One of the most common complaints I have heard about freshman and sophomore level math courses is that many of the instructors are Asian or Eastern Europe and speak English as a Foreign Language, thus making the subject hard to comprehend. Why do you have ESL professors versus Americans teaching who could likely convey the subject in English easier? Because these ESL professors have the credentials (degrees) and enough "Americans" don't.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pgtvatitans View Post
Is a lab manual really the same as a lesson plan? I don't know, I'm not exactly an expert on this, but I know that there are certain aspects that have to included in a lesson plan, especially giving the standards for assessments. I guess the better question is, have you been a year-long school teacher of children and had to deal with the daily rigors of teaching? That I think is more relevant than saying that you have created something that YOU believe is similar to what is being discussed.

Where am I going with this? You are disrespecting the teaching profession. Do you know why Teach for America exist? Because these people are sent out to teach at school that very few people would even want to teach at. If these people didn't take the jobs, who would? This doesn't mean that anyone can do the job of teaching, it just means that there is a need and the program is prepared to give people at least minimal preparation.
This is at least the third time I am answering this question which lends me to believe you are not thoroughly reading my responses. Yes, I have been a year-long teacher who has written school years' worth of lesson plans in multiple subjects, followed IEPs, administered standardized tests, wrote referrals, dealt with emotionally-disturbed students, wrote curriculum, taught Advanced Placement and performed every other duty you can think of. Which is why I repeat, I'm not about to create a lesson plan for you for the sake of this discussion. I was a teacher that did it right. It's a lot of work. So don't tell me I'm disrespecting the field of teaching. I've had the privilege of working with veteran teachers who had J.D.s and were doing it for a change of career and I've had the displeasure of working with teachers who earned their position SOLELY based on their degree and had no prior teacher training outside of orientation. This is why you have alternate paths to teacher certification. Most teachers aren't Ed Majors. Also you don't necessarily utilize "lesson plans" in higher education. Some of this "planning" stemming from No Child Left Behind is a major culprit behind American students not being prepared for higher education.

A warning to college profs from a high school teacher


Quote:
Originally Posted by pgtvatitans View Post
And this is going back to what I said earlier. It's not that there aren't qualified people in PG, it's just that people aren't voting them in because they simply don't care enough to do so. Of course you have to be in the school system a while. Every system is different. The economic makeup of PG is much different than neighboring counties. If you don't understand that, then how do you make effective decisions? Does a degree give you that experience? No, not necessarily. If I go to school in another state and another area, how does that prepare you to understand what is going on in PG? Does that degree make me more knowledgeable? What if someone has a Bachelor's degree in Fashion Design (yes this is a degree if no one believes me), do you think that person is more qualified than a parent with a high school degree, with kids who went to those schools and have experience with organizations like PTA? Does that Fashion Design degree really give one insight on running a school system?
Right now you are disrespecting Fashion Design majors. I went to undergrad with quite a few Fashion Design majors, Massage Therapy majors, Nursing majors, Forestry majors, Performance Art majors, etc. You are showing your lack of knowledge about higher education. Having gone to a research-based institution, they aren't merely engaged in the practical aspects of the career field. They are engaged in a pedagogy that can translate to other fields. So yes, I do think the president of my local school board with a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from an Ivy League school is more imminently qualified than that Burroughs kid to seek public office, despite not having lived in PG County. But not looking in a vacuum, I suspect this is why my cousin from PG wants to move up here and has had all of his children going to school in Montgomery County. When I talk about the virtues of PG County, I always get shouted down because of the poor education system. So you have actually given me ideas about the next time I am embroiled in a discussion. So when I am told don't try and pump up PG County because the education system is so poor, I now know to retort (ask), "So who did you vote for to be on the School Board? Did you even vote?" That will not endear me to my friends and family still with school aged children nor will it help to elevate the third worst school district in the top state in the union for education four years running, but it will help me win arguments. And winning arguments is what it's about, right?
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:33 AM
 
Location: DMV
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Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
I'll try and make these responses short. One thing you do learn in graduate education is that if your research paper is too long and not succinct, it will not be read. You have reinforced my entire point about teaching. One of the most common complaints I have heard about freshman and sophomore level math courses is that many of the instructors are Asian or Eastern Europe and speak English as a Foreign Language, thus making the subject hard to comprehend. Why do you have ESL professors versus Americans teaching who could likely convey the subject in English easier? Because these ESL professors have the credentials (degrees) and enough "Americans" don't.
Those teachers aren't necessarily being selected because of their degrees. They are being selected because of their research credentials as well. There are a number of foreign professors, who specialize in research topics that are unique and their research ability yields the university more money in funding and collaborations with major businesses/government agencies then anything else they do. I can speak to that because as a graduate student I was a research assistant. The teachers at that school didn't care much about what I did in the classroom, it was all about the research. If you didn't help them make progress on their research they were quick to get another student. I was even told by a classmate that one professor cancelled her classes for an entire month and was strictly just doing research. Research = $$$$. Having a degree is a very small caveat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
This is at least the third time I am answering this question which lends me to believe you are not thoroughly reading my responses. Yes, I have been a year-long teacher who has written school years' worth of lesson plans in multiple subjects, followed IEPs, administered standardized tests, wrote referrals, dealt with emotionally-disturbed students, wrote curriculum, taught Advanced Placement and performed every other duty you can think of. Which is why I repeat, I'm not about to create a lesson plan for you for the sake of this discussion. I was a teacher that did it right. It's a lot of work. So don't tell me I'm disrespecting the field of teaching. I've had the privilege of working with veteran teachers who had J.D.s and were doing it for a change of career and I've had the displeasure of working with teachers who earned their position SOLELY based on their degree and had no prior teacher training outside of orientation. This is why you have alternate paths to teacher certification. Most teachers aren't Ed Majors. Also you don't necessarily utilize "lesson plans" in higher education. Some of this "planning" stemming from No Child Left Behind is a major culprit behind American students not being prepared for higher education.

A warning to college profs from a high school teacher
You are confusing me with NBP, you really didn't state to me much about your teaching experience. You stated that you have taught in grad school and wrote a lab manual but you didn't really elaborate on your other experiences, so it was very difficult to understand what type of experience you were eluding to. It's difficult based on your answers to conclude if you were a full fledged teacher or just someone that ran a lab, but now that you have elaborated more, I understand your perspective much more.

I agree that most teachers aren't ed majors but the point that I have been making is simply a degree does not give you the ability to teach. Teaching, as I am sure you understand, is a gift. There are people who simply can't teach. If you ask them something, they can't explain it in a manner that other will understand but they are very knowledgeable. You don't learn a field, to be able to teach. You learn a field to understand it. Some people are just not gifted in the ability to break down topics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
Right now you are disrespecting Fashion Design majors. I went to undergrad with quite a few Fashion Design majors, Massage Therapy majors, Nursing majors, Forestry majors, Performance Art majors, etc. You are showing your lack of knowledge about higher education. Having gone to a research-based institution, they aren't merely engaged in the practical aspects of the career field. They are engaged in a pedagogy that can translate to other fields. So yes, I do think the president of my local school board with a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from an Ivy League school is more imminently qualified than that Burroughs kid to seek public office, despite not having lived in PG County. But not looking in a vacuum, I suspect this is why my cousin from PG wants to move up here and has had all of his children going to school in Montgomery County. When I talk about the virtues of PG County, I always get shouted down because of the poor education system. So you have actually given me ideas about the next time I am embroiled in a discussion. So when I am told don't try and pump up PG County because the education system is so poor, I now know to retort (ask), "So who did you vote for to be on the School Board? Did you even vote?" That will not endear me to my friends and family still with school aged children nor will it help to elevate the third worst school district in the top state in the union for education four years running, but it will help me win arguments. And winning arguments is what it's about, right?
It's not disrespecting, it's making a point. Can a person with a Fashion Design degree have the expertise to run a school system better than someone that has more experience but less education? Is that not a fair question to ask?

What does you going to school with all those different majors have to do with my point? All I'm asking is do these type of degrees prepare these individuals to teach? You say that they should be able to break down their field based on the knowledge they have learned and I'm saying that your assumption has given you a false premise for your argument. You simply aren't acknowledging the inability that people may have to break down their field of expertise or even assuming that because a person has a degree that they are indeed knowledgeable.

If your school focused on pedagogy in your studies, then that is something that applies to your school. Every school isn't like that. All school curricula aren't equal. For example, I obtained a Computer Science degree. My school is an engineering school and emphasized engineering as part of the curriculum in Computer Science. It is a very unusual approach but it made our curriculum more rigorous, but if you go to another school, you are unlikely to see the same mixture in their curriculum.

As far as Burroughs, what indication do you get that he is not qualified? He recently graduated, served as a student member of the Board and is currently in college. What could someone from an Ivy League school, possibly understand about the issues of education in Prince George's County compared to someone that was literally in the classroom? Now am I saying that the board should be filled with people like Burroughs? No. But having someone like him along with people who have been to a different level of education and served as a teacher or administrator is important because those individuals have had two completely different experiences. It is highly unlikely that someone that didn't grow up in PG County, went to an Ivy School, can understand what it's like to have dated, beat up textbooks or to have administration that ignores your concerns as a student, so how else would he understand this, if the board is filled with people who have similar backgrounds as him and have no clue what it's like to go to school in a school like this during these times?
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pgtvatitans View Post
Those teachers aren't necessarily being selected because of their degrees. They are being selected because of their research credentials as well. There are a number of foreign professors, who specialize in research topics that are unique and their research ability yields the university more money in funding and collaborations with major businesses/government agencies then anything else they do. I can speak to that because as a graduate student I was a research assistant. The teachers at that school didn't care much about what I did in the classroom, it was all about the research. If you didn't help them make progress on their research they were quick to get another student. I was even told by a classmate that one professor cancelled her classes for an entire month and was strictly just doing research. Research = $$$$. Having a degree is a very small caveat.
Completely false. As you even eluded to below, not every institution is researched-based. Your statements are becoming contradictory. In some researched-based institutions, absolutely grad fellows from other countries are recruited and assigned to teach lower-level math and science courses. In my graduate experience, my research fellowships were completely independent from teaching responsibilities. In hundreds of American community colleges and liberal arts institutions where there are few to no research responsibilites, the sole objective of these ESL professors is to teach. They are there due to their degrees, not due to their training in education or research abilities. If you do not believe me, go teach for University of Phoenix. The only standard they have is 18 graduate level hours even closely related to the discipline you want to teach.


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Originally Posted by pgtvatitans View Post
You are confusing me with NBP, you really didn't state to me much about your teaching experience. You stated that you have taught in grad school and wrote a lab manual but you didn't really elaborate on your other experiences, so it was very difficult to understand what type of experience you were eluding to. It's difficult based on your answers to conclude if you were a full fledged teacher or just someone that ran a lab, but now that you have elaborated more, I understand your perspective much more.

I agree that most teachers aren't ed majors but the point that I have been making is simply a degree does not give you the ability to teach. Teaching, as I am sure you understand, is a gift. There are people who simply can't teach. If you ask them something, they can't explain it in a manner that other will understand but they are very knowledgeable. You don't learn a field, to be able to teach. You learn a field to understand it. Some people are just not gifted in the ability to break down topics.
I completely agree with you. Having a degree does not make you a potentially good teacher and being the long time resident of Prince George's County does not give you the propensity to be a good elected official. It may make you worse, as many of the complaints I read on these forums about PG County schools pertain to nepotism, clientelism, and outright favoritism based on "who knows who" rather than qualifications.



Quote:
Originally Posted by pgtvatitans View Post
It's not disrespecting, it's making a point. Can a person with a Fashion Design degree have the expertise to run a school system better than someone that has more experience but less education? Is that not a fair question to ask?

What does you going to school with all those different majors have to do with my point? All I'm asking is do these type of degrees prepare these individuals to teach? You say that they should be able to break down their field based on the knowledge they have learned and I'm saying that your assumption has given you a false premise for your argument. You simply aren't acknowledging the inability that people may have to break down their field of expertise or even assuming that because a person has a degree that they are indeed knowledgeable.

If your school focused on pedagogy in your studies, then that is something that applies to your school. Every school isn't like that. All school curricula aren't equal. For example, I obtained a Computer Science degree. My school is an engineering school and emphasized engineering as part of the curriculum in Computer Science. It is a very unusual approach but it made our curriculum more rigorous, but if you go to another school, you are unlikely to see the same mixture in their curriculum.

As far as Burroughs, what indication do you get that he is not qualified? He recently graduated, served as a student member of the Board and is currently in college. What could someone from an Ivy League school, possibly understand about the issues of education in Prince George's County compared to someone that was literally in the classroom? Now am I saying that the board should be filled with people like Burroughs? No. But having someone like him along with people who have been to a different level of education and served as a teacher or administrator is important because those individuals have had two completely different experiences. It is highly unlikely that someone that didn't grow up in PG County, went to an Ivy School, can understand what it's like to have dated, beat up textbooks or to have administration that ignores your concerns as a student, so how else would he understand this, if the board is filled with people who have similar backgrounds as him and have no clue what it's like to go to school in a school like this during these times?
Yes it is a fair question to ask. Yet, you are the arbiter of the term "experience". That is the classic "Good Ol' Boy" Network argument. However, if you would like a project, examine the educational backgrounds of the presidents of any college you choose. Chances are they will not have a degree in education, particularly their Bachelors'. I've vetted candidates for presidencies that had degrees in Dentistry. That was not a negative at all. I knew the former president of the University of Virginia when he was just an English professor. He went on to become one of the most illustrious college presidents ever, at least in this region. He did not have a degree in Educational Leadership, but he did have a degree! Under your premise, a guy who lived across the street from UVa and sent five kids through the school would be qualified to serve on UVa's board of governors. If you have heard anything of UVa's recent struggle between its current president and the board, strictly political motivations don't always make the best bedfellows with education.

Since you are so high on experience, what is my contention with Burroughs? You can't have it both ways. You can say a degree is equivalent to life experience, but then turn around and say Burroughs three years of college and helping to get the gym at Crossland High is the same level of life experience as Patricia Eubanks who has lived in PG County for over 30 years and has headed non-profit organizations that specifically served her constituents. But once again, I'm not saying Burroughs does not have THE RIGHT to be on the board. A democracy is a democracy. But it is the constituents who have to live with the result of their vote. Some Ivy League influence might be helpful right now.

I'm more than content to let you have the last word on this because it is just you and I back and forth and no one else is interested in the discussion. I will conclude by saying I still contend that Baker's actions as a County Executive is one of action. Who would want to be the executive on watch when the school system got taken over by Annapolis? People would say, "why didn't you take some pre-emptive action?" And as a resident of PG County, you certainly would not feel sorry for Baker if the school system continued to fail. Internally, the voters of PG County don't view his (and the next superintendent's) position as being saddled with a board in which only two members have college degree. But externally, as indicated in the OPs Washington Post article, when 58 or 59 metro area school board members have degrees versus 2 of 8 in the worst performing of these districts (PG County), that might lend even a non-statistician to make a pretty strong correlation there.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
Completely false. As you even eluded to below, not every institution is researched-based. Your statements are becoming contradictory. In some researched-based institutions, absolutely grad fellows from other countries are recruited and assigned to teach lower-level math and science courses. In my graduate experience, my research fellowships were completely independent from teaching responsibilities. In hundreds of American community colleges and liberal arts institutions where there are few to no research responsibilites, the sole objective of these ESL professors is to teach. They are there due to their degrees, not due to their training in education or research abilities. If you do not believe me, go teach for University of Phoenix. The only standard they have is 18 graduate level hours even closely related to the discipline you want to teach.
I am responding because I want to clear up a few things. I agree that there are some liberal-arts, non-research institutions that do not need those type of professors. My point wasn't completely false, it was just to show that there are universities out there that get these foreign professors for research purposes. I never said that was always the case, but my point was to show, that having a degree wasn't the sole reason, which is something that I wanted to clarify from your earlier point.

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Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
I completely agree with you. Having a degree does not make you a potentially good teacher and being the long time resident of Prince George's County does not give you the propensity to be a good elected official. It may make you worse, as many of the complaints I read on these forums about PG County schools pertain to nepotism, clientelism, and outright favoritism based on "who knows who" rather than qualifications.
Agreed. Which is the real conversation. You can have the best candidates out there but if the people still elect inept people, then does it matter what their qualification are?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
Yes it is a fair question to ask. Yet, you are the arbiter of the term "experience". That is the classic "Good Ol' Boy" Network argument. However, if you would like a project, examine the educational backgrounds of the presidents of any college you choose. Chances are they will not have a degree in education, particularly their Bachelors'. I've vetted candidates for presidencies that had degrees in Dentistry. That was not a negative at all. I knew the former president of the University of Virginia when he was just an English professor. He went on to become one of the most illustrious college presidents ever, at least in this region. He did not have a degree in Educational Leadership, but he did have a degree! Under your premise, a guy who lived across the street from UVa and sent five kids through the school would be qualified to serve on UVa's board of governors. If you have heard anything of UVa's recent struggle between its current president and the board, strictly political motivations don't always make the best bedfellows with education.
I thought we were talking about Prince George's County School Board? How did we start talking about college? I don't consider running a college as the same as running a school system. It's a much different business model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
Since you are so high on experience, what is my contention with Burroughs? You can't have it both ways. You can say a degree is equivalent to life experience, but then turn around and say Burroughs three years of college and helping to get the gym at Crossland High is the same level of life experience as Patricia Eubanks who has lived in PG County for over 30 years and has headed non-profit organizations that specifically served her constituents. But once again, I'm not saying Burroughs does not have THE RIGHT to be on the board. A democracy is a democracy. But it is the constituents who have to live with the result of their vote. Some Ivy League influence might be helpful right now.
Did I say having a degree is life experience? I alluded to him pursuing a degree because he technically meets both of our points. He has the experience within the system as I have suggested and he has as much education as at least 5 other members of the board. I don't have a problem with someone like Patricia Eubanks. That's what you keep missing. I'm not saying that Burroughs is more qualified then someone like her, I'm saying that someone like him has experience enough that he provides a much needed perspective. If you have someone like that there, it is much different than someone like Eubanks and together they can represent a varied amount of ideas. If you just have bunch of Eubanks on the board then there will be missing perspectives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelers10 View Post
I'm more than content to let you have the last word on this because it is just you and I back and forth and no one else is interested in the discussion. I will conclude by saying I still contend that Baker's actions as a County Executive is one of action. Who would want to be the executive on watch when the school system got taken over by Annapolis? People would say, "why didn't you take some pre-emptive action?" And as a resident of PG County, you certainly would not feel sorry for Baker if the school system continued to fail. Internally, the voters of PG County don't view his (and the next superintendent's) position as being saddled with a board in which only two members have college degree. But externally, as indicated in the OPs Washington Post article, when 58 or 59 metro area school board members have degrees versus 2 of 8 in the worst performing of these districts (PG County), that might lend even a non-statistician to make a pretty strong correlation there.
Here's my thinking. If he felt that way, then don't come out and saying for years that you would never do that. That's one of my issues with him. He is a big liar (as our most politicians). I also think that the timing of this is horrible because it appears that he is trying to purposely sabotage the process of selecting a superintendent. If he wanted to do this, the time would have been better right after Hite left. He could have laid out his plan and been more involved with the selection process. Instead he is trying to take over while you have three potential candidates waiting to see what will happen. How do you think they feel? That's a slap in the face because on the surface it's almost like he's saying, I don't like these guys, let me take over, I can do better in getting a superintendent. Is that really going to help the students in PG? He could have done a better job.

As far as the correlations, you could also conclude that PG has less degreed individuals then neighboring jurisdictions therefore it is less likely to find a candidate that meets those qualifications or who are even interested in running a dysfunctional school system.
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