Skip to comments.Liberals Want Good Teachers
Posted on 04/15/2014 7:16:21 AM PDT by Academiadotorg
A hot-button issue among educators appears to be equitable access to effective teachers, a buzzword at a recent event at the Center for American Progress (CAP). There was a brief introductory presentation of CAPs research, in conjunction with the American Institutes of Research (AIR), on how to broaden minority student access to effective and high-quality teachers.
AIRs director of the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, Angela Minnici, called for more data collection and plans on the state and district level. She pointed out that Data is very important in this conversation and said that weve been talking about this for a long time. Although it isnt sexy, it is not a silver bullet, and it is not simple, she believed it was the solution that teachers needed. She observed, States often dont have the data that they need to identify solutions going forward, and urged everyone to help states build their data capacity and storage to deal with changing times.
The following panel discussion, featured Jesus Aguirre, D.C. Superintendent of Education, Lauren Beckham, a project coordinator at Louisianas Calcasieu Parish, Kenneth Haines, president of the Prince Georges County Education Association in Maryland, and Bryan Hassel, co-director of Public Impact.
Aguirre admitted that Washington, D.C. has a lot of work to do and is still looking for ways to devise better plans and preparation for their teachers, since we still have significant achievement gaps even after receiving Race to the Top grants. Aguirre pointed out that funding isnt the only issue, because other elements of teachers jobs come into play, such as providing more than just the academic stuff. He said, 40% of our students are in charter schools and charter schools have, on some level, [an] easier job of attracting teachers, because they can institute a culture and show what their school is about. They sell that to teachers even if they dont pay as much as D.C.s public schools. He could only conclude that we have a pretty good idea of what works and what does not, yet weve got to do a better job of informing parents and communities about their schools and teacher effectiveness.
It apparently never occurred to him that charter schools just do a better job, period.
Can’t have that while running the profession like a Teamsters union hall from the 1950’s.
Teach them reading, writing and arithmetic. Use effective teaching methods (phonics, rote memorization for basic stuff, etc). That works pretty well.
You could have the best and brightest teachers available, and stick them in D.C. public schools, but they would still not achieve the results they are looking for. Student achievement would still be lagging behind their goals, and behind national norms.
Why? Political correctness forbids a discussion of why this is. But, the student body of Washington, D.C. public schools has critical masses of students who are not eager to learn, and who don’t get support at home that education is important. But we can’t talk certain things or else be accused of racism.
So, instead, we have this effort to get high quality teachers into inner city schools, and hope it makes the difference. It may help but won’t solve the real problems of such schools.
Dual tracking. Those that want to learn can go to one school and learn reading, writing and arithmetic. Those that don't want to learn can go to pre-prison day care.
I agree with you. But then Obama and others have talked about the school to prison pipeline.
Well, good luck to them with all of this, but I think that D.C. public schools have some severe problems which won’t be dealt with just by getting them a group of better quality teachers.
The article is just another boring exercise in avoiding the real issues. Better teachers won’t solve the problems of DC schools.
“Better teachers” is a buzz phrase for “more government money”
We heard this with the TSA unionization - they’ll be more professional if they’re unionized.
I’m sure that’s what is meant as well - unionized teachers getting paid a LOT of taxpayer money. This somehow will make the bottom 15% of SAT scoring college students “better teachers”.
It amazes me sometimes, that ordinary citizens see glaring problems, but the alleged experts focus on some side issue such as the quality teacher program. They think somehow getting quality teachers will solve their problems. Agreed that they are avoiding the real issues. Probably because they are liberal and politically correct, they aren’t seeing or have to ignore some of those issues.
Agreed. The culture makes change almost impossible. Kinda like the southern planters that wanted their plantations to never change - slave labor forever...
They need DATA? Really? This is smoke and mirrors. Data is often cooked, especially when it is filtered through teachers unions, administrators and government hippies. Don’t be fooled, very few in the administration ranks of teaching (State, Federal and local) are interested in making kids smarter. Their first loyalty is the teaching profession (their jobs). Measuring success is actually VERY simple. So why does it seem so complicated?
(This might get long now that I think about it)
I have observed, the effect of great leadership and effective management across several industries (Construction, Real estate, Retail and Manufacturing). I have also been amazed at the detrimental affects of poor management and leadership. Actually, I am more amazed that failures are not weeded out of the positions of management sooner or at all. But I have identified a credible reason why and how this happens. This is only observations based on my own experience.
Organizational Mediocrity becomes and infestation and spreads like a virus through organizations. From here it only gets worse as incompetence fails to recognize incompetence. The side affects are excuses and absurd rationalizations. In government there is no fix because their is no accountability or consequences for failure or success. When just a couple (or handful based on the size of any organization) folks are promoted to executive level management positions that are not qualified to manage others, they often take on an insecure persona. Insecurity breeds animosity towards high performers. Management feels threatened. As more and more mediocre middle managers take up positions and a bureaucracy grows, a bench mark for expectations and success fades to gray and becomes obscured by some status quo. As the failures mounts, the mediocre middle managers close ranks to protect against accountability and the focus will change to their own preservation.
In the education system, mediocrity prevails as a result of teachers unions where teacher performance means very little. It’s so bad, they can’t even fathom a way to measure teacher performance (its the students fault, its the system, there’s not enough money, we don’t pay enough). Because greatness can’t be measured or rewarded, there is little aspiration to excel or even exceed any expectation. Passionate professional teachers (of which there are many) are demoralized by “a system” that is so concerned with the general incompetence that they have to enact “zero tolerance” rules, regulate who and when parents should be contacted, submit discipline issues to a discipline board, etc.
In all other industries, good managers and leaders have their pulse on the individuals that are accountable and responsible for delivering results. They make sure all know what they are accountable for and what is expected of them. Their work ethic, character and performance are measured in objective AND subjective ways. If a high performer routinely pisses off customers, a good manager intervenes to correct the problem or reallocate that company resource. WE do not have leadership or strong management in our educations system (generally speaking across the nation).
Obvious Solutions that nobody has the guts to talk about:
1) Make teachers unions (actually all government worker unions) illegal. There is nobody to collectively bargain against.
2) Abolish the Department of Education and all associated state funding and let the states manage their own schools.
3) States should hire a CEO of education, pay them well and let them run the state’s education system per an annual budget. This person should be appointed by the Governor as the Governor is an elected official.
4) The CEO compensation is performance based relative to test scores (or changes year to year) and budget targets.
Alternatively, the states could privatize and make all schools “for profit” under contract with the states that are also incentive based.
Sorry for the long post.
Liberals prattle about higher pay “attracting better teachers” but even if they tripled the pay, that money would simply go to the teachers they have now who aren’t leaving if they get a raise, and aren’t made “better” teachers by virtue of a pay raise, and aren’t being shown the door in favor of better teachers because the union protects the bad ones from being fired!
This has always been about much higher pay for the teachers in place now. Besides, the Democrats will lose their voter base if education actually teaches kids to read and think.
Liberals want good programmers. It’s what leftism is all about, getting minds when they are young and brainwashing them all the way to the grave. Schools are the first line of the leftist assault on thinking, and they are backed up by news and information medias, the entertainment industry, pop culture, and government. Any real education that gets through the leftist immersion process is incidental, if not an anomaly. Take your kids out of the matrix, and give them the gift of reason and individuality. Take responsibility for your kid’s education, home school.
A few years ago, a principle and a teacher were going door to door in my neighborhood soliciting support for a ballot initiative to raise property taxes for local schools. They wanted me to vote to have my property taxes raised from $1,900 per year to over $3,000 dollars per year. I was polite at first as I had just lost my job. The money was to go toward teacher benefits and BONUSES with a little bit toward busses. They kept saying, “It’s for the kids.” At first, they didn’t know I had the list of salaries for the local teachers and administrators that had been leaked by an insider. I went and retrieved it and showed them. The sheet showed teachers how the tax initiative would affect their compensation and benefits. It was no wander they had teachers volunteer to go door to door. The principle tried to explain, “The Bonuses column is deceiving because that is really just the added contribution to health insurance.” ... to the tune of an additional $18,000 dollars FOR HER alone. She was making $90K at the time and the “bonus” shown was for $18K. She got the obligatory eye-roll from me. They were offended that I referred to them (politely of course) as “government workers.” In fact they objected to that title. But they couldn’t refute it.
After a lengthy and mostly polite debate on why I wouldn’t support their pay raise when I couldn’t go to my neighbors asking them for money to compensate my job loss, I finally asked, “Do you believe that more money has ever made one child smarter?” “Why, after all these years of tripling and quadrupling education budgets and spending, have our kids been on a constant decline; why are they getting stupider with each passing year?” No Response, conversation over.
” They need DATA? Really? This is smoke and mirrors. Data is often cooked, especially when it is filtered through teachers unions, administrators and government hippies.”
Exactly. What they actually mean is they need more money to FABRICATE data to justify what they already have decided to do, ala global warmists.
I'm not sure. The DC schools have about the highest per student expenditures in the US. I sort of scanned the article, but got the impression that they couldn't plausibly claim more money would solve the problems again, so they switched their excuse to a cry for better teachers.
Anything but a realistic look at the home life and culture the students come from, and what behavior they engage in at school.
Teachers’ Unions hate technology. The best teachers can already be accessed on a computer. The content is freely available. Motivation and discipline are lacking.