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!