Fixing Education: Find Better Teachers. Period.

Great article.

I read it because of the football connection, but was fascinated by the education focus, and the over-arching theme of, “How do you predict success?”

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3 Comments

Filed under leadership/parenting, Social Issues

3 responses to “Fixing Education: Find Better Teachers. Period.

  1. Two additions:

    1. Pay teachers what they’re worth. They’re overworked like crazy and have huge responsibilities (our children!) but often the pay is crap. At least around here it is.

    2. Quit holding the kids hostage to standardized testing. “No Child Left Behind” was a perfect example of feelgood legislation passed without paying attention to realities and considering long-term consequences. All our kids are being taught is how to cram mercilessly for tests, after which they forget most everything they learned.

    • chiefmuser

      …or maybe they are already getting paid what they are worth.

      Because teachers aren’t rewarded/retained/promoted on the basis of being good teachers, I’d argue that they aren’t getting paid to teach. They are getting paid to babysit and indoctrinate. And for doing that, they are well-paid indeed.

      I have no problems with paying teachers more, of course, but it has to be on the basis of them being effective teachers. I suspect that those teachers you are thinking of are over worked because they care enough about teaching and the students to go over and above the standard workload.

      The thing is, the NEA and other teachers unions resist merit pay and merit promotions. As long as that is the case, having a degree probably overqualifies them for what they do, and they aren’t underpaid.

      I think we should:
      1) raise education/performance standards for teachers. It’s not true that “those that can, do; those that can’t, teach”, but that is what our university educational standards imply, and college students get it…and the NEA and other teachers unions reinforce it.
      2) Use the lessons learned from the articles to retain, reward, and promote good teachers. Let the bad ones go. Reform school budgeting so we are hiring/training/retaining better teachers, rather than just throwing money and computers at failing schools.
      3) Provide other incentives to the best teachers. Instead of honoring them for their identity (which we do now), honor the best for the performance.

      As I said to someone else the other day, I don’t judge people, I judge behaviors. Identity politics sucks. People in teaching positions aren’t noble or admirable because of what job they applied for, but dependent on how they do in their job on a daily basis, i.e., how well they teach.

      There’s far more emphasis on the position than on the performance.

      That’s my opinion, anyway.

  2. Improving education is a huge challenge that can easily be resolved, much like a bullfighter, by stepping daintly to the side as it charges on through.

    Hence the joys of homeschooling.

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