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Old 02-16-2024, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Sunnybrook Farm
4,527 posts, read 2,664,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
...

All of this supports the original concept that the "everyone gets paid the same, collegiality based pay scale" is not competitive for quality STEM professionals.
I think you, and teachers' unions, are missing a big part of the equation, which is working conditions.

I can't prove this but I strongly believe a large number of people who might well have chosen lower salary in favor of benefits and pensions, in order to teach, decline based on the working conditions.

You may well get an idealistic young physics graduate to be interested in actually TEACHING science; but add in the abominable conditions of real life teaching in big city school districts, where most of the teacher's time is spent keeping them from breaking up the furniture or committing assault and battery, and they'll look at that and say "The lower pay is bad enough, but I"m for sure not going to sign up to work as a prison guard" and take that job in the nice office with adult coworkers who know how to behave themselves.

The teachers' unions miss the boat by constantly focusing on pay and avoiding qualifications testing; the public miss the boat by focusing on the teachers' unions and not on the working conditions.
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Old 02-16-2024, 08:20 AM
 
12,841 posts, read 9,041,939 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit33 View Post
I think you, and teachers' unions, are missing a big part of the equation, which is working conditions.

I can't prove this but I strongly believe a large number of people who might well have chosen lower salary in favor of benefits and pensions, in order to teach, decline based on the working conditions.

You may well get an idealistic young physics graduate to be interested in actually TEACHING science; but add in the abominable conditions of real life teaching in big city school districts, where most of the teacher's time is spent keeping them from breaking up the furniture or committing assault and battery, and they'll look at that and say "The lower pay is bad enough, but I"m for sure not going to sign up to work as a prison guard" and take that job in the nice office with adult coworkers who know how to behave themselves.

The teachers' unions miss the boat by constantly focusing on pay and avoiding qualifications testing; the public miss the boat by focusing on the teachers' unions and not on the working conditions.
Except most kids aren't in inner city schools. Too much of the discussion gets driven by a fraction of the school population. The more typical is what gets left out of the discussion. There are roughly 75 million students in the US. Less than 20% are in urban schools. (NCES) Roughly 30% of that 20% are in poverty. Far too often these discussions become "all students" or "all parents" when it's only a fraction that is the problem. I'm not saying other schools don't have problems. Of course there are problems. But most kids simply are not the problem.

Again, using the local schools around here as an example. They don't have a problem recruiting various humanities and liberal art teachers. In fact, there are more applicants than jobs. It's STEM teachers that are difficult. Working conditions are the same for both types of teachers so it can't be working conditions that are the problem. It's a lack of people taking STEM in college who are willing to teach. Quite a few of her high school friends went into teaching, but none of the friends who went into STEM became teachers.
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Old 02-16-2024, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,784 posts, read 24,289,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
The study has already been done.

In science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields more broadly, the shortages in teachers in 2017–18 were about 100 000 in high schools and 150 000 in middle schools.
https://pubs.aip.org/physicstoday/ar...eachersFaculty

Previous work had already found that only about one third of physics teachers had a degree in-field, from a university accredited to award physics degrees.

If you'd like anecdotes, here are three.

a. For several years I conducted summer continuous learning sessions at a local university. Each year we asked the teachers about their background so we could scale the presentations accordingly. We found:
1) None of the teachers had a STEM degree in any field.
2) Roughly a third had no science courses beyond the standard year of intro science that most colleges have as part of their gen eds.
3) Of those who did have anything beyond an intro course, all of them were in a biology teaching concentration. No chemistry or physics or other science beyond the freshman gen ed.

b. Our local school system has no trouble getting teachers for the various typical subjects. But cannot fill the science teaching positions with professionals. Instead, it becomes an additional area for someone.

c. In connection with b, our oldest was offered a physics teaching position at the high school before she finished college but immediately turned it down because the pay was not competitive.

All of this supports the original concept that the "everyone gets paid the same, collegiality based pay scale" is not competitive for quality STEM professionals.
texasdiver asked: "So do states with collective bargaining like Minnesota have less STEM and CTE classes than states like Alabama which prohibit it? Run the numbers and let us know."

You did not answer that question at all.
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Old 02-16-2024, 12:36 PM
 
12,841 posts, read 9,041,939 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
texasdiver asked: "So do states with collective bargaining like Minnesota have less STEM and CTE classes than states like Alabama which prohibit it? Run the numbers and let us know."

You did not answer that question at all.
Because it's an irrelevant question. The number of classes held or not held does not say anything about the qualifications of the ones teaching. It's a red herring that avoids dealing with the real question which started about why people with STEM backgrounds don't go into teaching. The data are pretty clear.
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Old 02-16-2024, 01:43 PM
 
14,400 posts, read 14,295,538 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Because it's an irrelevant question. The number of classes held or not held does not say anything about the qualifications of the ones teaching. It's a red herring that avoids dealing with the real question which started about why people with STEM backgrounds don't go into teaching. The data are pretty clear.
I'm not confident that junior high level classes require someone with a heavy STEM background. I've also known many people in my life who were great scholars, but were very poor teachers.
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Old 02-16-2024, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
50,784 posts, read 24,289,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Because it's an irrelevant question. The number of classes held or not held does not say anything about the qualifications of the ones teaching. It's a red herring that avoids dealing with the real question which started about why people with STEM backgrounds don't go into teaching. The data are pretty clear.
You posted all that to not answer the question.
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Old 02-16-2024, 06:24 PM
 
Location: WA
5,441 posts, read 7,733,177 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Because it's an irrelevant question. The number of classes held or not held does not say anything about the qualifications of the ones teaching. It's a red herring that avoids dealing with the real question which started about why people with STEM backgrounds don't go into teaching. The data are pretty clear.
The CLAIM was that teacher's unions are WHY STEM/CTE programs are weak.

So it is perfectly relevant to ask whether states without collective bargaining and unions have better STEM/CTE programs than states that have collective bargaining and unions.

We have a ready way to test that hypothesis. And I think you will find that the opposite is, in fact, true. For a variety of reasons I'd be happy to explain. Starting with the fact that teaching salaries and benefits are LOWER in non-union states which makes teaching jobs even LESS attractive to people from industry.
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Old 02-17-2024, 08:14 AM
 
12,841 posts, read 9,041,939 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
The CLAIM was that teacher's unions are WHY STEM/CTE programs are weak.

So it is perfectly relevant to ask whether states without collective bargaining and unions have better STEM/CTE programs than states that have collective bargaining and unions.

We have a ready way to test that hypothesis. And I think you will find that the opposite is, in fact, true. For a variety of reasons I'd be happy to explain. Starting with the fact that teaching salaries and benefits are LOWER in non-union states which makes teaching jobs even LESS attractive to people from industry.
You asked if there were more classes, not better STEM/CTE programs. Two very different questions. But also irrelevant to the fundamental problem of not being competitive for STEM graduates.

I've proposed on this forum before, "what if we paid teachers comparable to what those degrees would make in the market?" And the answer from teachers has always been a resounding "no." Why? Because collegiality.

Would you be willing to pay someone with, for example, a Chemical Engineering degree what that degree brings on the market to teach chemistry? Pay them more than an art teacher for example?
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Old 02-17-2024, 08:16 AM
 
12,841 posts, read 9,041,939 times
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Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
You posted all that to not answer the question.
Same question to you: Are you willing to pay more for someone with a STEM degree? Would you be willing to pay someone with a Chem Engineering degree more than someone with an art degree?
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Old 02-17-2024, 08:25 AM
 
12,841 posts, read 9,041,939 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
I'm not confident that junior high level classes require someone with a heavy STEM background. I've also known many people in my life who were great scholars, but were very poor teachers.
Well, by the measured data, such as PISA, the current system isn't working. How can someone teach what they don't know?

Consider; statements such as "who were great scholars but were very poor teachers" does not imply that "one does not have to be a great scholar to be a good teacher." Instead, we should consider it a case of "good teachers must be great scholars." Knowledge is a necessary, but not sufficient condition. But a lack of knowledge is an impossible condition.
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