Skip to comments.Tougher standards may worsen science-teacher shortage
Posted on 07/29/2012 2:05:32 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Looking to boost the quality of science education, Florida has just made it tougher for aspiring teachers to pass required certification exams.
But the move to ensure that would-be science teachers know their subjects well could worsen Florida's shortage of science teachers. That could leave middle and high schools scrambling even more to find instructors for biology, chemistry, Earth-space science, general science and physics classes.
.... The State Board of Education this month bumped up the scores needed to pass the teacher-certification exams in those five science fields. As a result, the passing rates for first-time exam takers are expected to drop sharply.
The passing rate for the biology-teacher certification exam, for example, is predicted to fall from 87 percent to 68 percent, the Florida Department of Education said. The rate for the middle-school general-science exam is projected to fall from 78 percent to 58 percent.
"Of course, we applaud anything that increases rigor," said Sherry Southerland, a science-education professor at Florida State University and co-director of FSU-Teach, a program that aims to train more math and science teachers.
But middle- and high-school science teachers are always on Florida's list of "critical teacher-shortage areas," meaning there aren't enough of them to fill all the open jobs.
Tougher certification exams "will only exacerbate the problem," Southerland said.....
....State test data make it clear Florida teacher-preparation programs train relatively few new science teachers. Last year, 611 people took the biology-certification exam, for example, compared with more than 1,600 who took the exam to teach middle- or high-school social-studies classes.
(Excerpt) Read more at articles.orlandosentinel.com ...
The problem is this: the schools are not turning out properly educated scientists.
We need new teachers, not greater pay for the incompetent ones.
Schools of Education...... teach teaching not subject matter.
With lax standards K-12, everyone assume their college material.
Higher education is somewhat of an oxymoron now.
That is indeed one of the major problems with our system for educating prospective educators.
Apparently, the author of this article would rather have incompetent science teachers than to try to solve this problem.
Somehow, the school systems need to get people with scientific training to be science teachers. They should, of course, try to get teachers who show some aptitude for teaching. But passing a bunch of education courses does not qualify someone to teach science. If I have to choose between a science teacher who doesn't know science and a science teacher who doesn't know teaching, I will choose the latter. But my preference would be someone who knows science and has a gift for teaching, whether or not the person has taken any courses on education.
They first must submit to global warming and then your in
They’re so busy turning out teachers that they aren’t turning out scientists.
I like what Hillsdale college has done. They’ll teach the major in the field of your choice but they won’t offer the teaching degree. Instead they have a deal with Spring Arbor college 30 miles north to finish the teaching degree.
I’ll bet your average retired engineer could teach science better than your average science teacher. They ought to figure out a way to bring those guys in.
That was the Duncan Hunter plan of 08. We have a growing pool of retired astronauts who specialized in various science disciplines and they would make great professors.
Many go through certification hoops but that's only half the battle, you still have to deal with the left-wing agenda once there (as do a lot of teachers who flee public education). Other aspects are lack of discipline, safety issues and standards that don't advocate excellence but rather cater to (and so achieve) the lowest bar of achievement.
One word to cure:
One concept to excel:
Free Market principles.
It is long past time to realize that the Government cannot educate.
That ship sailed long ago - and it is piloted by agenda driven politics.
“...ensure that would-be science teachers know their subjects well...”
And the problem with that, is what exactly? Fewer, less-qualified teachers? Good! Let’em work in the orchards or fields instead of illegal aliens.
The education establishment is not interested in better science teachers, they are interested in continuing to build up the education bureaucracy and increasing education credentialism.
I am a semi-retired engineer. I have an undergraduate and masters degree. I am technically very well qualified to teach high school science or mathematics. I took the same freshman and sophomore chemistry, physics, and math that the guys in those majors took. There are a lot of people like me. It should be a Summer’s worth of classes getting people like me ready for the classroom.
Instead, because of the credentialism hurdles that the education bureaucracy places in the way, it would probably take two college school years of credits, and more in some states, to get to a public school classroom.
My next door neighbor was a math major, she is fully retired (long career at IBM), has looked into this more deeply than I have, and has come to the same conclusion.
See my previous post. It isn’t happening.
my hunch is if you are black or spanish speaking,
those pesky test scores have no relevance to getting hired
...”Ill bet your average retired engineer could teach science better than your average science teacher. They ought to figure out a way to bring those guys in”...
You are exactly correct..Some of the best “would be” teachers out here are those who know the skills from knowledge and experience..Our society, for the most part, does not understand how to transmit knowledge to the next generation. Teacher’s Unions have destroyed that.
Agree. An experienced engineer is going to start off, like any new teacher, with the worst kids, the feral ones. For these kids, their teachers are well paid babysitters.
As this article implies, few men are willing to put up with the worst of the democrat welfare state.
In New York State they offer alternative certification/ Vocational certification.
You would need to take five classes and student teach for 2 weeks. You can do this is you have 5 or more years of verifiable experience. If you already have a Masters degree you would automatically receive permanent certification.
I am amazed at that. Seriously, good for NY, though I would NOT be willing to move there!
Ahh, double-check your grammatical standards.
Story I heard some 15+ years ago: GM was trying to reduce the number of engineers and other whit collar workers, offered to send under employed engineers and designers to Detroit Public Schools to teach paying the differential between their GM salary and the teaching salary. The Detroit Public School system refused to take advantage of the offer.
Exactly. If the educator requirements were lowered or eliminated, the science teacher base from actual scientists would increase dramatically.
Education funds are for educators, not for educating
Yep, I've got both technical and liberal arts degrees at the Masters level (10 years altogether in school--paid for by myself through two jobs), and when I explored making a lateral career transition to become a high-school teacher in the Commonwealth of Virginia, I found that the Department of Education actually wanted me to go back to school for two more years just to fulfill some silly bureaucratic requirements.
I told them to go pound sand, and have since made a lot more money in the private sector than I would have in the rotten post-"No Child" school system.
It is like that on everything, i wonder if we are going to learn just what the fall of the tower of Babylon really meant,
And the problem with that, is what exactly? Fewer, less-qualified teachers? Good! Letem work in the orchards or fields instead of illegal aliens.
“Many (retired engineers) go through certification hoops but that’s only half the battle, you still have to deal with the left-wing agenda once there (as do a lot of teachers who flee public education). Other aspects are lack of discipline, safety issues and standards that don’t advocate excellence but rather cater to (and so achieve) the lowest bar of achievement.”
You’re right. Competence is one thing, but how can you teach math when this is what you are required to teach:
I left there after 46 years. I am making less money, but am much happier.
Thank you for the 2 links!!
I think starting with the 2nd one is best.
Public Schools Import Foreign Teachers
In Education Reporter, November 2011
Since the late 1990s there has been a growing trend to import teachers from foreign countries to educate American students. During the 2010 fiscal year, the Department of Labor certified 13,157 foreign workers to teach grades K-12 in American schools.
Schools have been hiring these teachers on temporary work visas such as the H-1B visa and the J-1 visa to teach a diverse array of classes including math, science, foreign language, special education, and physical education.
According to a memorandum by the Center for Immigration Studies, these visas deprive U.S. citizens of thousands of jobs every year in favor of foreign workers from countries such as Philippines, Mexico, India, Columbia, and Canada.
“Thank you for the 2 links!!
I think starting with the 2nd one is best.”
You,re welcome and nice to be on another topic, LOL.
What’s funny is that the first one was intended to be a positive video on that crap (Everyday Math) - which only goes to show just how deranged these people are that run our schools. Even the comments on the video tear it apart, and YouTube comments are generally far from being right-wing.
The second video is (or was) semi-viral, but really needs to break out into the open to really have effect. It is really, really, good.
I’ll invite my buddy to join us also.
Correct. This is the ONLY thing that the "education establishment" (aka "teacher's unions") exist to do.
I'm a semi-retired PhD chemist. In some few years, I'll stop actively doing research, and would LOVE to do some part-time teaching in high school. But I see no point into subjecting myself to the ludicrous "certification" requirements. Some enlightened states have changed things, but it is a hard row.
Also, older people who have not regularly worked with kids are nowhere near prepared for the energy level they will be thrust into. Most people at retirement age are looking forward to slowing down a bit and relaxing. Tossing them into a room full of volatile teenagers is the exact opposite of what most of them want. They tend to become very impatient and angry with kids and try to be the tough guy. If they last two years, it's a miracle.
Some men can't get along with their own 2 or 3 kids. Now imagine having 100 or more kids each day, whose personality is different every day, whose families are terribly screwed up, who don't want to listen to you, and you are in for the ride of your life. Also, most adults are not tuned in to the culture of today's kids. For older folks it is like being from another planet. They spend most of their time laughing at that stupid old fool trying to teach them.
These guys MIGHT do OK in a highly academic college prep school, but in an average or below average school you had better give them a year of observation of successful (and unsuccessful) teachers before you put them in a classroom. Most of them will probably drop out of the program. Whoever thinks two weeks of student teaching is all you need is insane. Bare minimum is working with an experienced teacher for a year and slowly being integrated with constant guidance into taking over teaching that class full-time.
How do I know this? Some years ago I was a teacher. I saw a number of these guys come and go, burned out quickly. After a while on the job, they came to the conclusion, "I don't need this." If you don't have the heart and energy of an enthusiastic kid in his 20s, think long and hard about "retiring" into teaching.
Clearly this proves what fields leftists have a disdain for- the hard sciences.
Yet your average retired engineer is not qualified to teach due to no degree from a “teaching” college. And that also goes for an engineer with a PE license and a few patents.
But the Left tells "skulls full of mush" just the opposite -- that conservatives dismiss science. It's also interesting how academia churns out all those studies the Left uses to sway public opinion and set public policy.
Those hurdles are able to exist because there is no real shortage of science or math teachers. Yes, there are more openings compared to other subjects, but the jobs still get filled.
Parents that are actively involved with the process and not just sitting around can get others involved. You make changes at the ballot box, not sitting in front of the computer.
You're correct it is much more beneficial to sit around and not do any thing. I am certain you will find ways to fill your days by just sitting in front of the computer and posting to threads like these.
Most excellent points.
I would only add that when some kids do not wish to learn, when their purpose is to disrupt the education of others, these problematic jerks aged 16 or more should be forced out. They will likely end up on the streets, so send ‘em there a couple years early and let the decent kids learn.
The only reason they are allowed to remain is that every warm body represents state/local funding and therefore jobs for the teachers union.
WTF is your problem?? Most certification requirements ARE ludicrous. The idea that an experienced technical professional needs to go back to school for two years in order to teach is laughable. What is needed is an apprentice-type program in which the prospective teacher works under/with an experienced teacher for a school year.
I spent my formative years closely associated with "the ed biz". My mom taught school for forty years, so from 1st grade to 12th, I LIVED the ed biz.
The problem is the parents.
The problem is government education is socialist-entitlement education.
Teachers are always blaming the parents
The best thing anyone who is really concerned about education and the nation’s children is to advise parents to remove their children from the government’s godless socialist-entitlement schools IMMEDIATELY
The teacher’s union will never allow teachers to be paid varying rates according to the subject they teach. Drama teachers must have the same salary as calculus teachers given same seniority, dontcha know.
IMO, STEM teachers need to be paid more, at the expense of other liberal art teachers.
That is a poorly written article that conflates several issues:
* The usage of federal money to hire STEM
* The policitization of STEM subjects as soundpieces that don’t actually teach real STEM, but instead hide behind the veneer of ‘science’ to deliver political messages
* Further politicization to hire presumably unqualified people to push an agenda
None of that article says anything about STEM itself, as uncorrupted by Obama. (Does anyone really think any more calculus classes will be taught as a result of the 100M initiative?)
We do need more STEM. Political soundpieces aren’t “STEM” even if Obama calls them that.
I have taken the math, physical science, physics, and Elementary education Praxis II tests, and passed them all on the first attempt. I was educated in the 70’s and 80’s in public schools and I believe i got a great education. I have seen young teachers attempt the elementary praxis many times and fail it multiple times. These exams are not difficult but these young liberal kids struggle with them. Praxis test prep is a huge industry because so many or our new college grads are so unprepared. They can quote you anything on this social justice crap but they can’t locate a country on a map or perform elementary math problems. Raising the score criteria won’t help with teacher qualification, getting them a real unindoctrinating education will. Our colleges and universities are simply liberal indoctrination centers.
You got it. When I taught in the "inner-city" I had 40+ on my roster but only about 25 ever showed up, and never all 25 at once. At the start of the year I would call roll. "Nervidious Sping?" "Naw, Mr. Assault, Nervus done move to Calfonia three year go." "Stervalonia Smith?" "Naw, Smiff she daid. She got shot cold by her daddy fo eatin he potato chips. Dinchoo hear?" "El-Compulus Lash?" "Naw, he in prison fo shootin dat poleeceman. Member?" And so on.
So then I report the fifteen kids who aren't going to ever show up to the office and they say, essentially, "We don't want to hear it. Keep marking them absent. We really don't know for sure where these kids are officially yet and we probably won't know until the end of the year. If then. Might at three four years to find out for sure."
I told other teachers and they gave me the answer. "$$$$$s"
Years ago I was working full time and wanted to get into teaching. I whined to a friend of mine, who also has a Ph.D. that I couldn't find a way. he looked at me and said something I will never forget "If you want it bad enough, you will find a way." He was right, I found a way.
apparently you don't want it bad enough, or you don't care enough, because if you really wanted to teach, like me, you would find a way.
Instead of complaining that the requirements are ludicrous you would just do it. You found a way to get your Ph.D. Now I challenge you, find a way.
Only the lazy parents that don't really care and are more interested in whining rather than raising good kids.
Translation: One voting mob of bullies replaces the old group of voting mob bullies and shoves their equally non-neutral political, cultural, and religious worldview down the throats of other people's children and forces the taxpayer to pay for this abomination.
Sorry....I will continue to urge parents to remove their children from the government's godless and socialist-entitlment K-12 indoctrination centers, work to put as many teachers out of job and into the private market as possible, and permanently close down these prison-like, First Amendment ,and freedom of conscience cesspools of ignorance ( misnamed “schools”).