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Teacher education to blame for failing schools

Walter Williams's picture

American education is in a sorry state of affairs, and there’s enough blame for all participants to have their fair share.

They include students who are hostile and alien to the education process, uninterested parents, teachers and administrators who either are incompetent or have been beaten down by the system, and politicians who’ve become handmaidens for teachers unions.

There’s another education issue that’s neither flattering nor comfortable to confront and talk about. That’s the low academic preparation of many teachers. That’s an issue that must be confronted and dealt with if we’re to improve the quality of education. Let’s look at it.

Schools of education, whether graduate or undergraduate, tend to represent the academic slums of most college campuses. They tend to be home to students who have the lowest academic achievement test scores when they enter college, such as SAT scores.

They have the lowest scores when they graduate and choose to take postgraduate admissions tests — such as the GRE, the MCAT and the LSAT.

The California Basic Educational Skills Test, or CBEST, is mandatory for teacher certification in California. It’s a joke.

Here’s a multiple-choice question on its practice math test: “Rob uses 1 box of cat food every 5 days to feed his cats. Approximately how many boxes of cat food does he use per month? A. 2 boxes, B. 4 boxes, C. 5 boxes, D. 6 boxes, E. 7 boxes.”

Here’s another: “Which of the following is the most appropriate unit for expressing the weight of a pencil? A. pounds, B. ounces, C. quarts, D. pints, E. tons.”

I’d venture to predict that the average reader’s sixth-grader could answer each question. Here’s a question that is a bit more challenging; call your eighth-grader: “Solve for y: y - 2 + 3y = 10, A. 2, B. 3, C. 4, D. 5, E. 6.”

Some years ago, the Association of Mexican American Educators, the California Association for Asian-Pacific Bilingual Education and the Oakland Alliance of Black Educators brought suit against the state of California and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, charging that the CBEST was racially discriminatory.

Plaintiff “evidence” was the fact that the first-time passing rate for whites was 80 percent, about 50 percent for Mexican-Americans, Filipinos and Southeast Asians, and 46 percent for blacks. In 2000, in a stroke of rare common sense, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit found CBEST not to be racially discriminatory.

Poor teacher preparation is not a problem restricted to California. In Massachusetts, only 27 percent of new teachers could pass the math test needed to be certified as a teacher.

A 2011 investigation by Atlanta’s Channel 2 Action News found that more than 700 Georgia teachers repeatedly failed at least one portion of the certification test they are required to pass before receiving a teaching certificate.

Nearly 60 teachers failed the test more than 10 times, and one teacher failed the test 18 times. They also found that there were 297 teachers on the Atlanta school system’s payroll even though they had failed the state certification test five times or more.

Textbooks used in schools of education might explain some teacher ineptitude. A passage in Marilyn Burns’ text “About Teaching Mathematics” reads, “There is no place for requiring students to practice tedious calculations that are more efficiently and accurately done by using calculators.”

“New Designs for Teaching and Learning,” by Dennis Adams and Mary Hamm, says, “Content knowledge is not seen to be as important as possessing teaching skills and knowledge about the students being taught.”

Harvey Daniels and Marilyn Bizar’s text “Methods that Matter” reads, “Students can no longer be viewed as cognitive living rooms into which the furniture of knowledge is moved in and arranged by teachers, and teachers cannot invariably act as subject-matter experts.”

The authors explain, “The main use of standardized tests in America is to justify the distribution of certain goodies to certain people.”

With but a few exceptions, schools of education represent the academic slums of most any college. American education could benefit from slum removal, eliminating schools of education.

[Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.] COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM

Comments

S. Lindsey's picture

...many have been saying the same thing for years... When they dumb down the test FOR TEACHERS to get more to pass and then dumb down the lessons well a phrase comes to mind... GIGO

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

There are few educators who would argue with the facts presented by the author. My point of disagreement is with his solution. If we had a slew of incompetent doctors, would the solution be to close the medical schools or improve them? Teachers are working with the minds of our children, our future. The teachers of the future must be the top achievers in their academic journey. They must be the most knowledgable in the working of the human mind and how humans learn. They must have that unique characteristic of an outstanding teacher, the ability to ascertain the need of the student and the skill to meet that need. Schools of Education have evidently lowered their standards for admission. This was a mistake, but in today's world the ability to teach is not as sought after as the ability to heal, solve an engineering problem, make a convincing speech - skills taught by outstanding teachers. Those individuals who could not pass the CBEST, had college degrees! We have taught humans how to pass a test - but not how to analyze/think! I have witnessed outstanding teachers create games for kindergarten students of average ability - solving for missing addends and subtrahends. Those games were their warm up games for a day filled with wonderful activities to stimulate<strong> thinking</strong>. A person with a Ph.D in math, is of no use in a classroom if he/she does not have the ability to impart knowledge to others (teach). <cite> Improve the offerings of schools of education; accept only the BEST; reward outstanding teachers (comparable pay to other professions).</cite> This will take time - but meaningful involvement of parents, communities, education organizations and outstanding teachers can get the job done.

Teaching is just as important as healing. Improve our schools of education, don't close them!

PTC Observer's picture

seems to be an oxymoron.

Want to improve outcomes?

Let's privatize schools, allow experience in the real world to count toward teaching privileges, reward achievement (better pay) and above all rid our children of "entitled" teachers.

Sell all schools to private interests and let the best school win. It can't get any worse.

Really?

Show me the data that supports that charter schools have higher success rates than public schools?

Actually, there is no data supporting that charter school offer a better alternative with higher success rates. What they do, is take our tax dollars and squeeze profits for themselves, the charter school companies, at the expense of teachers, supplies, programs, etc.

Raising standards in our schools, by not teaching to lowest level in the classroom and holding parents accountable are just a few of the answers.... FCBOE needs to study successful school systems. Montgomery County PA, Scarsdale NY, Northern VA. There are common threads to all of these and other successful systems.

We continue to flounder by NOT raising the standards! Raise the standards, offer parents a few alternatives for children to catch up through remediation and that's it. Too much time is spent "classifying" and medicating children. Too many kids have EIPs and IEPs when there is nothing wrong with them.

Simplify and educate...back to the fundamentals!

PTC Observer's picture

I don't need data, I just need to look at the results so far.....public schools don't work. Markets do work, rewarding results work, dismissing those teachers, laborers, pilots, or any other profession that doesn't perform works.

If you are a good businessman you know this already. The fact is the government doesn't do anything well and in particular they don't teach our children well.

I agree let's get back to the fundamentals of the free market and rational thought, or would you rather deny reality?

[quote] I just need to look at the results so far.....public schools don't work. Markets do work, rewarding results work, dismissing those teachers, laborers, pilots, or any other profession that doesn't perform works[/quote]

Using data would improve your understanding of the stated generalities. According to national/state statistics and local support, schools like Starr Mills; Whitewater High School; MacIntosh; Fayette County High School - are 'working'. Data: High school graduation rate; college acceptance; academic scores; community support. <cite>I acknowledge that Georgia's standing in the data is not to be celebrated - but our students who are accepted in college are graduating and doing well.</cite> Our current education system needs 'rehauling' - that is a reality. It must start with the education given at college level to 'teachers'. Teachers deserve the community respect (pay) that is given to other professionals (doctors, etc.)

[quote] rewarding results work[/quote] <strong>but we must be aware of what happened throughout the country when we tied 'pay' to test results</strong>

I agree. We have lost some of the finest teachers I know to industry - because of 'pay'. Men make great teachers - but because of 'society' - they are judged by how they can 'take care' of their family - and the pay for teachers is still geared to 'a womens' pay scale as an addition to the family income headed by a male. It was the public school system that met the challenge after Sputnik to improve our engineering programs. There are corrupt practices in organizations that offer 'private school education' as well as public schools. Many of these organizations (public/private) use teachers who are not qualified to work with the 'minds' of our children. Our brightest high school students who have the desire to work with children should be encouraged to seek the Master's Degree in Education - and use their expertise in delivering the best education available in the world to our students. The college curriculum should not only give them the expertise in a 'subject' - but also the expertise in working with groups of students in the learning process.

We don't want poorly prepared doctors in our hospitals - and we shouldn't want poorly prepared teachers in our schools.

S. Lindsey's picture

<cite>Charters in 2011 were more likely than traditional schools to far exceed their predicted performance based on student background. To a slightly lesser extent, charters were also more likely to far under-perform their prediction.
When looking at the distribution of charter performance in terms of numbers of students served, about twice as many students in 2011 enrolled in schools far exceeding their prediction than were served by far under-performing schools.
Charters that serve low-income students exceeded their prediction at high rates relative to the traditional system; students at charters serving low-income populations are five times more likely than their non-charter counterparts to be served by a school in the top 5th percentile.</cite>

Again put it together because like others I get banished...

http://www.

calcharters.org/advocacy/accountability/portraitofthemovement/

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

California Charter Schools are offered under the public school system. As stated in your sharing:

[quote]Charters in 2011 were more likely than traditional schools to far exceed their predicted performance based on student background.[/quote]

Charter Schools offer a different curriculum; style; etc. than a traditional school - but a Charter School is not a private school in California. Charter Schools have been successful in California - but they are carefully monitored in districts - and those that are not performing according to their prediction - are closed. Staff, students, parents and administrators all must agree on the purpose/goals of a stated Charter School. It appears that the majority of participants in the Fayette County school system are satisfied with the offerings and outcomes of this system. Would a Charter School be supported here?

S. Lindsey's picture

Government run and Government controlled Education is not working. The problem is forced curriculum and Teachers Unions.

When you can't fire someone that is under-performing there is no incentive for the rest to excel... and when certain groups are nearly exempt from being held to the same standards as the rest then why try?

However IF the purpose of all this is to keep a pacified and dumbed down populace so they can be controlled... well that IS working... note the last election.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

NUK_1's picture

[quote=S. Lindsey]Government run and Government controlled Education is not working. The problem is forced curriculum and Teachers Unions.
[/quote]

I'd definitely add parents as the #1 problem, even above government run education. There are too many who place little value on education and are apathetic at best.
[quote]
When you can't fire someone that is under-performing there is no incentive for the rest to excel... and when certain groups are nearly exempt from being held to the same standards as the rest then why try?

However IF the purpose of all this is to keep a pacified and dumbed down populace so they can be controlled... well that IS working... note the last election.[/quote]

Don't worry...government run and mandated healthcare will instead be a roaring success despite all evidence of the past to the contrary!

What really gets me is the congressional oversight of the USPO-minus any funding-forcing them to continue to lose money and not allow them to make the changes necessary to try and survive, like ending Saturday mail service. Sheesh!

As a business owner I have always made my decisions based on data and research.

Show me data that charter schools work and I'll be the first in line to agree.

Personally, I'm not willing to gamble. 1 out of 4 Americans, approximately 79 million are under the age of 18. That's 25% of our population who are school children, grades K-12. They deserve better, they and their parents deserve school systems that works, public or privatized. Where's the data?

PTC Observer's picture

you like the results of the current system, then you like the results.

Personally, I think it stinks. Why is it that you think so many want to get into Charter schools?

Looking for Superman (The Movie) Not data, but reality.

What's your solution Mr. Sussberg? Throw more money at it? Tweak it to death? Keep doing the same thing over and over again?

The fact is public education isn't working. In my opinion, it will never work, because it's a massive jobs program and nothing more. Education of our children is not the goal, it's the excuse.

http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/External-Affairs-and-Policy/Charter-Schools/Pag...

Maybe if the public realized that Charter Schools are an extension of public schools - the discussion would be based on actual facts.

[quote]Raise the standards, offer parents a few alternatives for children to catch up through remediation and that's it.[/quote]
I certainly don't disagree with our Superintendent - but I firmly believe that the deliverers of the education (teachers) need to receive a better education in how to deliver. This would improve the 'product'. IMO

[quote]Too much time is spent "classifying" and medicating children. Too many kids have EIPs and IEPs when there is nothing wrong with them.[/quote]

This is where 'education' in the identification of children with learning problems needs to be improved. A teacher with a 'degree' in mathematics' and very little actual contact/experience with children does not have the expertise to make a meaningful identification. There has been improvement in recent years in the accreditation of teachers throughout our country - but there are too many teachers who have received tenure who do not have this expertise. Teachers who have good classroom management skills have fewer 'behavior problems' in the classroom.
Often children referred for IEP's are really behavior problems that a skilled teacher in conjunction with cooperating parents could assist in finding solutions that lead to improvement in learning.

Communities/schools that have established meaningful IEP meetings have prescribed intervention activities that have helped the child. This should not be stopped.

G35 Dude's picture

The reason that Schools of Education are the slums of most college campuses is because the students that pursue this type career are not the best and brightest. They not the best and brightest because the jobs that they will get even after years of training are not very high paying and are not seen as cream of the crop careers. In short this is a capitalist society and teaching is not where the money is.

One reason that teachers can’t teach our kids is because the kids are all lumped into a class with little regard to capabilities. This forces the teacher to teach to the lowest common denominator. The Government requires it be done this way. So I do believe that private industry would do a better job of educating our kids. We can demand data proving this before we move in that direction and thereby stall progress from ever happening. Or use common sense to make things better. Let me pose this example for you to consider. With schools closing here in Fayette and teachers being laid off, how will those teachers that stay be chosen? Teachers with tenure will probably be safe? Even if time has past them by? Will this maybe force some excellent young teachers to be put out into the street? Probably since this is how government works. Private industry would be free to keep the best without the handcuffs placed on schools by government. Private industry would be free to separate kids by capabilities so that the teacher would not be handcuffed by lower achievers. I mean if a school has three 4th grade classes, put the top third in one class. Then the middle third. And then the bottom third. And teach each class to it’s abilities. Government will always be more concerned about political correctness than by truly educating our kids. The only way to truly break this cycle is private schools and better pay and more respect for teachers.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

...that's how they used to do it. It's called tracking and they did it when I was in school (60s and 70s) but they don't do it anymore mainly because of self-esteem issues. Alright, maybe because of IDEA? ADA? It's racist? Who knows why they no longer do it, but they don't. It worked then and would probably work now. Maybe in another 20 years we will be doing it again?

I once worked with a teacher in a FC middle school that couldn't perform operations with fractions. She went to a college in Atl. (education major) and she was in the process of suing because she felt that one of the other teachers had mocked her in front of the kids. The other teacher didn't know that she couldn't work with fractions. I don't know and don't care what ever came of that. What remains with me is that she graduated from college and couldn't do basic math. That's sad. Shame on the college...how did she even get in???

PTC Observer's picture

I pointed out to Mr. Sussberg, public education is a jobs program, nothing more than that. Grants and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program support this jobs policy. In fact, "teaching" in public schools has become another way to redistribute wealth. It has very little to do with educating children in the most effective and efficient way to achieve maximum results. Mr. Sussberg wants data to support Charter schools, but he's asking the wrong question. The question is what is wrong with public education? I answer, just about everything.

Read this study on the on going jobs program. You'll have to put the string together so I don't go into The Citizen twilight zone.

http://www.

edchoice.org/CMSModules/EdChoice/FileLibrary/968/The-School-Staffing-Surge---Decades-of-Employment-Growth-in-America-s-Public-Schools--Part-2.pdf

[quote]The Government requires it be done this way[/quote]

Interesting. In what state is this a requirement?

[quote]Private industry would be free to separate kids by capabilities so that the teacher would not be handcuffed by lower achievers. I mean if a school has three 4th grade classes, put the top third in one class. Then the middle third. And then the bottom third. And teach each class to it’s abilities. Government will always be more concerned about political correctness than by truly educating our kids. The only way to truly break this cycle is private schools and better pay and more respect for teachers.[/quote]

Teachers who have been taught how to team-teach - and organize students according to their need have solved some of the concerns that you claim cannot be handled by 'government'. Your 'plan' to place the lowest achievers in one class - is a sample not of political correctness - but a sample of ignorance on how students of today 'learn'.

One reason that other countries are ahead of us is because they have valued the responsibility of the 'teacher' - and encourage their brightest and best to enter the profession. You're right on about that!

S. Lindsey's picture

[quote=Davids mom][quote]The Government requires it be done this way[/quote]

Interesting. In what state is this a requirement? [/quote]

It is called Federal Funding of State Schools DM.. These funds come with strings.. You will follow the "Recommendations" or the funding will be stripped from your system.. SO in answer to your question.. ALL 57 States.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

[QUOTE]ALL 57 States.[/QUOTE] Really?

Title I does make RECOMMENDATIONS. The local district and the local school is not penalized for not implementing all recommendations - but is penalized for not implementing those activities that are in the schools approved 'plan'. (Which is written with school, district, parent and community input.) The Federal and State funded programs do have 'guidelines'. How those guidelines are implemented is up to the school and local district. The guideline of meeting the needs of all students does not REQUIRE tracking. Many districts have used 'team-teaching/creative scheduling and other methods to meet the needs of all students.

S. Lindsey's picture

It is NOT up to the School district how those funds are spent... The Money is spent the way it is "recommended" or it does not get renewed the next fiscal year.

You take the money you play the game.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

Which of the 57 states did you develop your school funding expertise ?

S. Lindsey's picture

... but all 57 work the same DM... and yes I do know what I am talking about.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

Please notify the 'governmen't that there are 7 states without representation in Congress.

S. Lindsey's picture

"Obama said, "It is just wonderful to be back in Oregon. And over the last 15 months we've traveled to every corner of the United States. I've now been in 57 states; I think one left to go."

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

PTC Observer's picture

Why do you persist to make Mr. Obama look like a complete idiot using his own words? Mr. Obama clearly understands that there are 50 states, now.

He's a Harvard graduate for crying out loud, he's a quick learner.

I can't wait to see his presidential library and all those documents concerning his early formative years, the kind of philosophy he supported, his thesis, his key teachers that formed his thinking. I just can't wait to see it all. Who knows, we may even find out about his ghost writer. After all Jack Kennedy had Ted Sorenson.

S. Lindsey's picture

Depends on who takes the House.. we might just see a coming out party for the Messiah.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

Quite the intellectual duo! LOL

S. Lindsey's picture

...go for the less then intellectual slam.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

G35 Dude's picture

[quote]Your 'plan' to place the lowest achievers in one class - is a sample not of political correctness - but a sample of ignorance on how students of today 'learn'.[/quote]

Please explain. I see no advantage to placing high achievers in the same class with low achievers. The teacher will have to spend time teaching to two different levels. Since the teachers time is split, both suffer.

BTW, did you read wildcats response below?

[quote] Interesting. In what state is this a requirement? [/quote]

Refer to Lindsey's response below.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

[quote]Please explain. I see no advantage to placing high achievers in the same class with low achievers. The teacher will have to spend time teaching to two different levels. Since the teachers time is split, both suffer.[/quote]

Individuals who have received education as to how the human mind works in a group situation would see several advantages to having learners of different achievement levels in some classes. In a learning situation, it is not always the 'teacher' who is doing the teaching. Humans gain greater insight into the knowledge that they have acquired by having the opportunity to share that knowledge with another. Humans also gain a greater understanding of a difficult concept, by having that concept explained by a peer.

Wildcats perception: There are very few groups in schools where everyone is on the same 'level'. Even with the high/middle/low organization of classes - a teacher still has to organize the lessons for 'different' levels of learning. Humans cannot so easily be classified/organized/ as numbers or objects. With the advancement of systems and programs for 'organizing' classrooms - often the human element is forgotten. Teachers with outstanding knowledge in content must also have outstanding knowledge of the working of the human mind as it operates in the group setting. Ask any outstanding teacher - and the reason they don't become 'bored' is because each class is unique and different - because the students are unique and different. One program/size does not fit all - hence the importance of having an outstanding/knowledgeable teacher who is able to meet the needs of the students in their class. Outstanding teachers know many techniques/skills for meeting the needs of their students.

I was a student <cite>in school</cite> in the 40's, 50's and 60's. (As one breathes daily, one is still a student) The teachers who I remember as wonderful were those who used many methods to introduce a concept, provided practice, involved the learner, and reviewed and retaught if necessary. The teachers who bored me to death were those who 'lectured' - assigned a reading assignment (then sat down to do busy work at their desk) - and allowed no interaction among the students in the class.

[quote]One reason that teachers can’t teach our kids is because the kids are all lumped into a class with little regard to capabilities. This forces the teacher to teach to the lowest common denominator. The Government requires it be done this way.[/quote]

What are you basing this statement on? Are you a teacher, a parent, a school volunteer? You have the 'right' to ask your school administrator about how classes are organized for learning in your community school. You have the 'right' as a community person to visit your local public school and observe the educational process. What you may find are good teachers, poor teachers, outstanding teachers: good students, poor students, outstanding students. My experience here in Fayette County - as a volunteer - is the schools that I visited have a preponderance of good teachers and good students. Good and outstanding teachers are using different methods to meet the unique needs of the students in their communities.

G35 Dude's picture

[quote]What are you basing this statement on? Are you a teacher, a parent, a school volunteer? You have the 'right' to ask your school administrator about how classes are organized for learning in your community school. You have the 'right' as a community person to visit your local public school and observe the educational process. [/quote]

I am a parent. A former school volunteer. Friends with several teachers. A human being with a years of dealing with schools at different levels. A lot of my perspective comes from comments from teachers that state that because of Government interference that hinders their ability to teach they regret their career choice. Maybe some teachers on this blog can comment on this for us?

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

When Title I and state funding became available, there were many guidelines that were included in the requirements for obtaining that money. In the state where I was working, business, I.e. publishing companies began 'hawking' ready made programs that they felt would assist districts/schools in monitoring progress of students. Many of these programs required unrealistic paper work for the classroom teacher - and often sound teaching practices were sacrificed in order to supposedly meet the monitoring guidelines and validation of concepts taught and mastered. My point in this conversation is getting rid of Schools of Education is not the answer - but in my opinion would have the same negative consequence as getting rid of medical schools. In some states, Schools of Education are involved in meaningful research on how to effectively teach the child to succeed in the 21st century . In our schools today, we are working with humans, not objects - and when a teacher or teaching method fails, a child fails. Modern technology has helped some with 'record keeping'. . . But not necessarily with improving the 'product'. ( product equals a well educated human being who has the ability to use basic skills to analyze and solve problems). <strong> Simple solutions like ' get government out of education' or close Schools of Education are not the answer in my opinion.</strong> Teaching is not easy or simple, and the cruelest thing in the world in the learning process is to send an ill prepared teacher into a room full of students . Surgery is not easy - and we take steps not to send an ill prepared doctor into an operating room.

A student interested in teaching should have to pass a battery of basic academic skill tests in their sophomore year in college before being exposed to a class where he/she participates in the classroom experience under the guidance of a master teacher. If the student passes this class,I (half a semester) and he is still interested in becoming a classroom teacher, he should have classes in developing curriculum, child psychology and classroom management, along with the subjects of his major and continue to participate in a classroom at least once a week. In the students junior and senior year, he should also participate in actual classroom experience - with student teaching in his senior year. Upon being accepted in grad school (School of Education), the student should be involved in research of the learning process. Upon receiving the advanced degree- the student can be certified. During this educational journey - if the student finds out the classroom is not for him, he can still have his BA in content area- and not be solely responsible for a classroom of children. This was the process when the brightest and best wanted to teach. On the job training spells failure for too many teachers and students.

Once a person has developed this expertise, their salary should be comparable to other professions that require this much formal education.

Teacher input is welcome!

G35 Dude's picture

[quote]Simple solutions like ' get government out of education' or close Schools of Education are not the answer in my opinion. [/quote]

Did I say we should close Schools of Education? As for the other point, I am for less government not just in education but all things!!!

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

Does that include funds to improve educational offerings for school districts if requested? Someone stated recently that we want the best - but we don't want to pay for it, My response includes a response to the authors suggestions.. I'm encouraged that there are some who may not see closing schools of education as a solution . How about a 'government' that is not wasteful; better monitored; and more responsive to the citizenry?

G35 Dude's picture

[quote]Many of the issues our schools face are self inflicted and government inflicted. We need to break the cycle by reducing government regulations and allowing schools to raise the standards.[/quote]

The above quote is from Mr Sussberg above. I agree with him so much that I wish I had thought of it!!! LOL

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

No disagreement here! I know I sound like a broken record - but we need well trained teachers to implement those higher standards. I think we're all on the same page.

[quote]The only way to truly break this cycle is private schools and better pay and more respect for teachers.[/quote]

A poorly prepared teacher is still poorly prepared - whether in a private or public school. Right?

G35 Dude's picture

[quote]A poorly prepared teacher is still poorly prepared - whether in a private or public school. Right?[/quote]

Absolutely! My point is the better brighter person will teach at the one that pays better and has fewer restrictions. Probably not the public school. The better brighter person will choose the career that pays better. At this point today it may not be teaching.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

lower than in the public schools. Teachers choose to teach at the private schools because they do not have the problems they encounter in public schools. Most private schools have strict dress and conduct codes. Bad behavior is not tolerated, students do not disrupt classes and you do not have teachers being shown the disrespect they face in many public schools. Parents paying for their child's education in private schools know that if their child does not follow the rules and regulations they stand the real possibility of being asked to leave. Nothing like what you find in the public schools and. too, they are usually teaching smaller classes. For these reasons many teachers prefer private school even with lower pay. At least this was the situation when I worked at one of our private schools.

G35 Dude's picture

Thanks for the feedback. It is my understanding that Fayette County is the lowest paying in the Metro Atlanta area, but still gets good teachers for many of the same reasons.

You can't use logic with an illogical person.

Actually, in 2011, 75% of Georgia's public schools met standards (AYP) while only 73% of Georgia's charter schools did.

Fayette is lucky to have a wonderful school system because we have actively engaged parents and a great team of teachers and administrators who are committed.

For some reason PTCO thinks I am opposed charter schools. Actually I'm not but the data does not support their success over public.

Here is my thought on how to take good schools and make them excellent...just my humble opinion:

1-Agree that public education may be a "right" but not a "given".

2-Eliminate much of the Federal and State regulations forcing it to be a "right" and "given". Let the schools do what they can do best!

3-Cut back on IEPs and EIPs by increasing remediation programs but at a reduced cost to IEPs and EIPs...Do not read into my comment thinking I am opposed to supporting children at risk. IEPs and EIPs are expensive and not sure how effective they are. There is currently too much classification resulting in too much medication. Establish after hours remediation programs! Make parents accountable for attendance and continue to offer them.

4-Stop teaching to the bottom or middle of the class and raise the overall standards in the school system, demanding more.

5-Allow children to fail. Make sure students are not being passed along especially in transition grades too.

6-Refocus on core fundamentals, using full blown phonic programs and heavy focus on comprehension. Teaching students to teach themselves through comprehension.

Many of the issues our schools face are self inflicted and government inflicted. We need to break the cycle by reducing government regulations and allowing schools to raise the standards.

Public education worked for most if not all of us but its not the same today. Administrators and teachers are faced with far more issues.

Just ask any teacher or administrator!
Meanwhile, thank you Fayette for the education you provided my child.

PTC Observer's picture

don't think you are against charter schools, I think you are for public schools.

Instead of pouring money down a bottomless jobs program, why don't we concentrate on educating children. Making schools accountable is key, I don't think a standards test devised by some government agency will ever measure, "learning". I just don't buy it Mr. Sussberg. Education is a long term proposition, the results aren't seen for decades. We are educating more foreign student in our Universities than ever, most leave the country after graduation because the opportunity isn't here.

Here's a fact for you, India has more honor students than America has students. We are falling behind because we are more interested in preserving a failed system than in actually competing in a world economy.

Did you read the paper on the growth of administrative jobs compared to teacher's jobs in public schools in my earlier post? How can you look at data like this and not be convinced that public schools are simply wealth redistribution? Or did you not bother to read it?

Reality Mr. Sussberg, is sometimes a difficult thing to grasp, especially for an insulated society like America.

hutch866's picture

[quote=PTC Observer]
Here's a fact for you, India has more honor students than America has students. We are falling behind because we are more interested in preserving a failed system than in actually competing in a world economy.

[/quote]
Gotta ask here, you talking HS kids or College? Would love to see where you got this factoid.

I yam what I yam

PTC Observer's picture

actually I should have said that India has more honor students than America has kids. In 2009, Sony put on a sales presentation in Rome, Italy and they put together a video with streaming factoids. This was just one of them.

Here's the entire video, please piece together the link below.

http://www.

youtube.com/watch?v=E87872nS8Uw

Interesting but a little out of date, for the USA it has only gotten worse.

What does it all mean?

In my book, it means that knowledge is power, and we're losing it.

Wealth Redistribution.

That's an interesting argument. I guess you could consider Medicare the same since the money goes to hospitals that employ staff, nurses and doctors. Our military is also a wealth redistributor with the military-industrial complex; 1,000 of companies run by administrators and executives employing 100,000s of employees.

I find that people who use the term "wealth redistribution" apply it to policies and programs, usually public, that they personally oppose are no longer a stakeholder in.

What I find even sadder is to see our generation, the baby boomers, so anxious to privatize or sell off any public asset that they believe no longer works even at the expense of the next generation. Our parents on the other hand made great sacrifices yet we, the baby boomers will do anything to reduce our tax burden to make 0 sacrifice.

The US is a great county and we are very insulated from the ills of the world, but it was our parents generation that created that, not us.

In the past 40+ years we have succeeded in deregulating strategic industires in pursuit of short term cost reductions for our personal gains, continual tax reductions, many that were temporary that are now the norm, outsourcing of millions of jobs for low cost labor to produce cheaper products for us to consume and now, that all of this has come home to roost, instead of fixing it, we, the baby boomers point fingers claiming waste and redistribution as the motive to sell off more in the name of 'free market'. We want to privatize schools, same with social security and Medicare all for the next generations to come up, of course.

Reality is we, the baby boomers are the selfish generation where our parents were the greatest generation.

You want to compete in a world market, invest the way our parents did, not be so quick to pull the trigger and sell off!

S. Lindsey's picture

.... Invest aka Tax and spend... Let's continue to throw money at the problem because surely 50 years of doing so eventually will give us some good results.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

PTC Observer's picture

Well.....yes most of those things you mentioned are wealth redistribution. However, this point gets us into the subject of the proper role of government. What in your mind is the proper role of government? Is it, as most progressives believe, to use the power of government and its ability to legislate laws and taxes to promote and promulgate social engineering? To use force to extract from one group of citizens for the benefit of another group of citizens? Is this the proper role of government? Is this what our Founders had in mind?

As for your stroll down memory lane on what has happen economically over the last 40 years, what can I say? People are rational, they act in their own self interests, they buy things that cost less. This is human nature is it not Mr. Sussberg? Would you have government regulate human nature? Now think a little here, what do you think drives costs? Labor? Materials? Social engineering? Regulation at every step of production of a product? Why in the world do you think jobs are driven offshore Mr. Sussberg? Companies just like to employee the Chinese? The American people want it all, they want their social programs, they want their taxes to be low, they want to buy inexpensive goods and above all they want to complaint when their jobs are shipped offshore. We live in a global society, America is insulated from this reality, except of course when they have to compete in it. It cannot remain insulated and remain relevant. A country that is broke cannot keep its independence, it becomes a slave to its lenders.

You can be "for" public education if you like, but recognize that it is a jobs program, it is not competitive, its goal is not to teach children, its goal is to get more funding so it can hire more people. It is based on the notion that all Americans want to have their children educated and it's the role of government to provide that education. Well, it just doesn't work Mr. Sussberg, government "solutions" have never worked.

With the exception of defense, which benefits all in our society by protecting our freedom, your examples are correct, they are wealth redistribution.

Now, you may ask, what is the proper role of government if it is not to provide some "social net" for all those disadvantaged souls that can't fend for themselves? Well I have some news for you Mr. Sussberg, the proper role of government is to protect our freedom. That's it, nothing more. Our freedom to choose as long as that freedom does not infringe on someone else's rights. It was never met to provide a "social network". Our government should provide us with the freedom to associate, to risk our fortunes, and to fail or succeed based on our own abilities and learned skills.

Finally, Mr. Sussberg, the fact that our parents are held in our hearts with deepest respect, they too were human. They could be wrong. They were most certainly wrong to believe that government was the solution to our social shortcomings and needs. Time and history has proven them wrong.

The US you describe, existed centuries ago in the inital stages of establishment. Since the early 1800s, with our quest for capitalism that developed into our Imperialist mindset, America has grown, evolved and prospered. Most likely our evolution has been to your disgust not being in the purest form you now desire although you have most likely prospered from it. Now, you want change it.

That said why not set the first example by returning your social security, forego Medicare and turn back all government benefits since it has been ill received?

There are many islands you could move to create the US of 1776 where everyone fends for themselves in the puriest of minimal/nongovernmental forms. Possibly, the island described in Lord of The Flies...and should you and the others find Piggy, kill him as he is weak most likely representing the 47% of America you now hate so much.

Live free and prosper Kirk! Spock out

The only people that receive SS/Medicare as "ill-gotten" goods are the worthless, lazy slugs that collect after paying nothingn into it. Must of us hardworking Americans paid into SS and Medicare against our better judgement, and therefore we are entitled to it. It's a shame that the government is so corrupt and incompetent that they spent it all on wasteful grubberment programs and vote buying of malcontents.

From Kawfi:

[quote]Must of us hardworking Americans paid into SS and Medicare against our better judgement, and therefore we are entitled to it.[/quote]

Entitled? Interesting. Only cut the 'entitlements' of those who did not work for it. (Most contributions were taken out of 'paychecks' Oh well.

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