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Old 09-27-2010, 11:23 AM   #1
kennyc
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Excellent: 10,000 new teachers!

President Obama set a new goal today of recruiting 10,000 new teachers in science, technology, engineering, and math, calling these subjects essential to competing in the 21st century global economy.


see link:

http://content.usatoday.com/communit...the-problems/1
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:27 PM   #2
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Goal set - but not achieved - will be interesting to watch - we have these promises in the UK and don't always deliver ....
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:29 PM   #3
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Recruiting teachers is a small first step in the right direction, in my experience he almost got it right when he "urged parents to stay involved in their children's education." It would have been closer to the mark had he said "get" instead of "stay".

I think there should be mandatory classes/participation events for parents as well as students - the only problem is that there will always be those parents who couldn't care less and wouldn't go anyway.

At the end of the last school year my sons teacher recommended that a friend of his be held back and take second grade again because of lack of progress. The kids mom said she didn't agree and refused to even consider it. This is the same child that has all sorts of behavioral issues as well since no one spends any time with him at home and he has no direction, other than "I'm busy go play or something", which generally involves a video game or watching TV.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:42 PM   #4
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Wanting more teachers is fine, but there has to be money to pay said teachers, and that money has to be enough to entice them away from other industries they might go into. On top of that he is talking of lengthening the school year, which means teachers would need to be paid more, across the board.

edited to add: I didn't read the article first, he covers that it will cost more. oops

Last edited by mrscoach; 09-27-2010 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:32 PM   #5
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OK, I listened to the video. I had missed it this morning on television. He makes some good points about teaching in general, such as burn-out. Teachers get out for many reasons. Sometimes it IS the school, principal, etc. But sometimes it is the fact that a lot of students don't want to learn. You can lead a horse to water, entice it to drink by making it fun, or even shove it's head in, but if it doesn't want to drink it won't. In fact, some would rather drown than drink.

Put another way, as I told students last year, "I can present you a meal, but I can't make you eat it. I can even make sure it is your favorite food and put said food in your mouth, but you are in charge of chewing and swallowing. Just because I present you information doesn't mean that you can sit there and not participate and expect to learn." This after I had a student complain that he hadn't learned anything, but had made no effort TO learn anything. He wouldn't do the vocabulary (which we made a game of finding the definitions and gave everyone the answers after) that all he had to do was write down, he wouldn't follow along with the reading and wouldn't do the computer program aimed at improving his reading skills. The rest of the class was incredulous, too, at his statement. "Dude, what else did you want her to do?"

Another problem is parents who still have the "us against them" mentality toward teachers. They always side with their little Johnny, no matter what. They don't make them do homework, don't make them go to bed, don't make them behave, and expect the teachers to raise them. Then they complain because the teacher disciplines them, or teaches them something they don't believe in, like the Holocaust. (Yes, some have argued that the Holocaust didn't happen)
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:53 PM   #6
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I have no idea what it's like everywhere else, but in Illinois, we have teachers who can't get jobs for anything. I work (at a grocery store) with two ladies who have Master's degrees in education - and can't find a job to save themselves. I have another friend here who just got OUT of teaching (not by her own choice, but because the state cut her position), and is trying desperately to get a degree in Accounting so she can go to work for her father's accounting firm, because the prospect of another teaching job is so unlikely. We don't need MORE teachers, we need jobs for the ones we already HAVE!
Illinois isn't paying their bills, and that includes the payments to the schools. So the schools are doing everything they can to hang on by their toenails, cutting positions, cutting programs for special education, cutting aides.
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:07 PM   #7
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It amazes me - 30 - 35% of high school students don't finish high school! The US is said to have a 99% literacy leval. At what grade leval do they recon literacy? Thierd? Fourth? Sixth?

What I see in the video is Obama at his best. But if I were to critique it, it might sound as if I were against him. I'll try to do as little of that as possible.

What he puts forth sounds great. But so did Bush's No Child Left Behind. Correction, Obama's generalized plans sound much better.

The devil is in the details.

One of those details is the parents. If a parent has no clue as to how to raise a child, what chance does the child have of succeeding in school, or life?

With no expectations and no real achievements, children are at the mercy of those around them. Parents are often happy if the child isn't arrested. And when they are you hear, "But he was a good boy".

Does the parent issue need to be addressed? Or does the biggest problem lie with the teachers and schools? Mrscoach and other teachers can skipp this one. ) I think that the answer is obvious.
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:52 PM   #8
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In a related story on this morning's news:

Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has pledged to end "automatic" teacher tenure, "99.1% reach tenure for life".
His plan: if a teacher cannot maintain a minimum standard of learning in the classroom for 2 years, they can kiss their tenure goodbye.
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Old 09-27-2010, 04:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
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One of those details is the parents. If a parent has no clue as to how to raise a child, what chance does the child have of succeeding in school, or life?

With no expectations and no real achievements, children are at the mercy of those around them. Parents are often happy if the child isn't arrested. And when they are you hear, "But he was a good boy".

Does the parent issue need to be addressed? Or does the biggest problem lie with the teachers and schools? Mrscoach and other teachers can skipp this one. ) I think that the answer is obvious.
My point exactly, if the parents aren't at least putting forth a minimum of effort then it doesn't matter what the teacher does. A child that wants to learn and is encouraged to do so by example and praise will find a way to learn even if the teacher is crappy. Unfortunately, like mrscoach said, the opposite is not true. You could have the best teacher in the world and they couldn't teach an unwilling student anything if they don't want to learn.

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In a related story on this morning's news:

Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has pledged to end "automatic" teacher tenure, "99.1% reach tenure for life".
His plan: if a teacher cannot maintain a minimum standard of learning in the classroom for 2 years, they can kiss their tenure goodbye.
That makes sense to a point, but how can hold the teacher responsible for things that are out of their control? Why not let the parents and students decide. Sure some parents would give negative reviews because the teacher disciplined little Billy for being a snot, but for the most part I bet the only parents that would respond would be the ones that care enough to take the time.
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:09 PM   #10
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I'm not sure about what the Mayor has in mind, but he has made a point of slamming teachers for the poor academic performance of students when tested despite receiving passing grades.
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:36 PM   #11
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Goal set - but not achieved - will be interesting to watch - we have these promises in the UK and don't always deliver ....
I agree completely. Better to have set the goal though than to ignore it as has been done for ages here.
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:54 PM   #12
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Does the parent issue need to be addressed? Or does the biggest problem lie with the teachers and schools? Mrscoach and other teachers can skipp this one. ) I think that the answer is obvious.
It's a sensitive issue. Before my husband and I were allowed to adopt children, we had to each be interviewed by a social worker, our house was inspected, we had to show a clean police record and a clear bill of health, get letters of reference, etc. I didn't mind doing all this. I rather wish more parents went through this kind of deliberation before having biological children. But that smacks of eugenics. And unless we want to provide these services completely free of charge, and even cover the expenses of a parent's lost wages while attending, I don't think it's realistic to expect poorer families to go through this.

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In a related story on this morning's news:

Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has pledged to end "automatic" teacher tenure, "99.1% reach tenure for life".
His plan: if a teacher cannot maintain a minimum standard of learning in the classroom for 2 years, they can kiss their tenure goodbye.
What always bothers me about these plans is that they don't assess what that particular group of kids knew at the beginning of the school year (or when they moved to the area and were added to the teacher's class), and then evaluate the teacher based on progress made that year. They also don't do any kind of adjustment for socioeconomic status. If both parents are working two jobs each and aren't home to help the kids with their homework, or if the kids aren't getting enough nutritious food because the family can't afford it (or doesn't know much about nutrition), the teachers get blamed anyway. This is already a problem with "No Child Left Behind." Measurements are taken comparing last year's third graders with this year's third graders. There are huge statistical problems with this system.

Additionally, the evidence at this point strongly supports that kids learn best in an environment that promotes trust-- between students and teachers, between teachers and administration, etc. If the city sets up a hostile relationship with the teachers by threatening to fire them every year, this whole process gets undermined.

On the individual child level, the strongest predictor of future academic success is whether children were read to when young-- and that is strongly correlated with socioeconomic status (see parents working two jobs each, above). I'm all in favor of better support for schools, including reduced class sizes and the return of the arts to the curriculum, and I think it's reasonable to try to evaluate how well the schools are doing in return, but I think we need to be careful about how we design our measurements of success, and not punish teachers for what they can't affect.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:33 PM   #13
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Apparently the Teachers Union supports the Mayor's plan.

And, in late breaking news, a Bronx schoolteacher has been placed on "administrative duties" for being a prostitute. The school reported that "she was popular with students"
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:04 PM   #14
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Apparently the Teachers Union supports the Mayor's plan.

And, in late breaking news, a Bronx schoolteacher has been placed on "administrative duties" for being a prostitute. The school reported that "she was popular with students"
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:25 AM   #15
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Conditions can, indeed, be tough for parents. But think of the large immigrations into this country. The parents were motivated. Part of wanting the best for their children, was to see to it that the children did well in school. So I don't buy the notion that today’s parents can't do a better job. The emigrants of the past worked 2 or more jobs too.

I wish we could have a few more immigration waves like we did in the early 1900s where people fled their old country for the promise of a better life.

But I sometimes wonder if this country really does have a better future at all.
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