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Apple's Jobs blasts teachers unions - Page 4

post #121 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Slump View Post

I've known many good teachers whose only recourse against bad principals was their unions. Why should principals have the power to fire any teacher, but teachers not have the power to fight back against unfair treatment by school principals and other administrators??? That's what the unions are for, and they are much needed. I'm not sure what Jobs is thinking.

if that is the case , I will have no problem with it . But this is a real problem of teacher unions .http://www.opinionjournal.com/editor...l?id=110007761
post #122 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

For the Hard Sciences and Pure Applied Mathematics this is a bad idea.

I'm thinking more in lines of Universities, but it can be addressed at the K-12 if they would stop lowering the degrees of difficulty to get through your grades.

I picked up a 1945 Gradeschool Mathbook and it's level included finance, volumes, areas, advanced algebra, etc.

Today everything is integrated crap.

Supply the latest hardcover books but make the "addendums/updates" in PDF. Give them the option to buy the book since afterall, we buy the books with our taxes.

I would agree with you. Teachers do NOT choose textbooks, nor do they control the curriculum.
post #123 of 294
post #124 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by rg_spb View Post

How much should a teacher be making, or anyone for that matter?! If you're a teacher, and you're not happy with your pay, find a job that pays what you want. Simple. If more teachers do this, then at some point they will have to start paying more to keep teachers. It's a logical progression. This holds true with any job, not just teaching. Jobs was spot on, unions enable lazy people to maintain their high paying job for the minimum amount of work. That's pretty much the only "good" they do. If it's about money, then choose your career by the salary given. If it's about the career, then learn to make do with the salary given.

That very well may be the dumbest thing I have ever read. Ever.
post #125 of 294
I saw this on one blog before and I believed it spark outraged against the NEA in 2005 .
Under the heading of "Shut Up and Teach," Michelle Malkin points to the NEA website announcing adopted resolutions at their recent annual convention.

The National Education Association recently had its annual convention, where it called for President Bush to withdraw our troops from Iraq, vowed to defeat the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and resolved to educate about the need for debt cancellation in underdeveloped countries.
But let's look at several other resolutions:

NEA will develop communications and programs to educate its members from Social Security states regarding the impact on their retirement if they move to a non-Social Security state and become employed by a state agency.
NEA will continue to educate members from Social Security states regarding the impact on their retirement benefits if they move to a non-Social Security state and become employed by a state agency.

Additionally, NEA will encourage all NEA state affiliates and their members to contact their state's Congressional Representatives and Senators, asking them to support legislation to repeal the Social Security offset statute.

ADOPTED AS AMENDED

NEA will urge its members that they "do not shop" at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club due to Wal-Mart's anti-union, low-wage, low-benefit policies that have left its employees in need of hundreds of million of dollars in public aid for various health care and social safety net programs.
This resolution was referred to the executive committee.

NBI: Defending Affirmative Action and Opposing the Deceptive "Michigan Civil Rights Initiative"
1. The NEA will defend the national affirmative action victory that resulted from the Supreme Court decision in Grutter v Bollinger by opposing Ward Connerly's anti-affirmative action ballot initiative, deceptively known as the "Michigan Civil Rights Initiative" (MCRI).

2. The NEA will support efforts to keep MCRI off the ballot due to extensive fraud and deception in petition gathering.

ADOPTED AS MODIFIED

SUBSTITUTE TEXT:
The NEA deplores the inappropriate use of words such as "retarded" and "gay." The usage of slurs like this is demeaning in nature and conveys a negative stereotype. Whenever derogatory and abusive language is used in the public limelight the NEA, state and local affiliates should regularly and aggressively respond.

1. The NEA will develop cultural and age appropriate tools, and press releases, newsletters, articles to be available online to use as needed.

2. The NEA Executive Committee and President will issue public statements when they determine that an incident is of national significance and address the issue to members through NEA Today.

AMENDMENT TO THE ORGINAL NBI TEXT:

The NEA deplores the use of words which are perjorative in nature or convey negative stereotypes. Whenever, in the opinion of the NEA Executive Committee, such words are used blatantly and inappropriately in the media (print, radio, TV, movies, etc) the NEA will respond as follows:

1. The Executive Committee will discuss the incident.
2. If the Executive Committee believes the language is abusive, they will then direct the president of NEA to write a letter to the offending entity explaining why the language is hurtful and harmful.
3. The incident, as well as the response of the offending entity, will be reported in the NEA Today and a press release will be sent to the media in a timely manner.

SUBSTITUTE AND AMENDMENT TO THE ORIGINAL NBI REFERRED TO THE APPROPRIATE COMMITTEE


The NEA will inform members about reasons for the boycott of Gallo wines called by the United Farm Workers, AFL-CIO. The NEA will ensure that Gallo wines are not served at any function of the Association.
REFFERED TO THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Here are the items that had passed in that convention . http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/20...solutions.html


Honestly , if the teachers unions are more into teaching students , improve quality of education , self policing their own and less politics . Nobody would complain about them.
post #126 of 294
Unions are not what's wrong with American education. Children living in poverty and a funding scheme that discriminates against minorities are what screws it up. The schools I went to kicked ass because I grew up in an affluent suburb. The school in Brooklyn where I teach is struggling because of a million reasons, almost none of them having to do with the union.

Everyone whines that teachers are allowed to teach FOR THEIR ENTIRE LIVES. Almost every teacher has a Masters Degree and extensive student teaching experience. They are CERTIFIED by the state. Shockingly, after all of that, they are allowed to work in awful conditions for little pay until they are too old to go on, too tired, or both.

The teachers' union protects us from the moronic whims of the revolving cast of local, state, and national politicians and the unscientific educational boondoggles they repeatedly foist on our students.

I'm about to dump my mountain of Apple gear in the Gowanus Canal if Steve Jobs doesn't apologize to every hard-working teacher in America (or at least carefully recycle it).

No more Apples for the teachers! Apologize now!
post #127 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Switchback View Post

Unions are not what's wrong with American education. Children living in poverty and a funding scheme that discriminates against minorities are what screws it up. The schools I went to kicked ass because I grew up in an affluent suburb. The school in Brooklyn where I teach is struggling because of a million reasons, almost none of them having to do with the union.

Everyone whines that teachers are allowed to teach FOR THEIR ENTIRE LIVES. Almost every teacher has a Masters Degree and extensive student teaching experience. They are CERTIFIED by the state. Shockingly, after all of that, they are allowed to work in awful conditions for little pay until they are too old to go on, too tired, or both.

The teachers' union protects us from the moronic whims of the revolving cast of local, state, and national politicians and the unscientific educational boondoggles they repeatedly foist on our students.

I'm about to dump my mountain of Apple gear in the Gowanus Canal if Steve Jobs doesn't apologize to every hard-working teacher in America (or at least carefully recycle it).

No more Apples for the teachers! Apologize now!


Nothing in his speech suggests that he was attacking the teachers , if I am not mistaken , he was attacking the teachers unions that spent most of it's time doing something else that is not in the best interest of the teachers and the students.
post #128 of 294
This is the thing about teachers: they are charged with teaching others how to deal with life and everything that comes with it, yet they refuse to act maturely themselves.

A teacher should be abe to understand Jobs' speech. A teacher should be able to judge and qualify that speech for what it is and allow the opinion even if different from his/her own.

I have students in my advanced English class who regularly criticize the American government. I also have students who praise it. It is not my job to tell them their ideas are right or wrong; it is my job to help them relate their ideas, to discuss them, to debate, and thus come to be able to learn and grow based on interactions with others.

If Susie hits Tommy and then Joey says he hates girls because they hit boys, the teacher will say he is overreacting.

If teachers are incapable of dealing with life, then they are in no position to be teaching others to do so.

At a school I teach at in Japan, a teacher in his 50s is a heavy-weight at the school despite the fact that his own students can correct him in class for mistakes he makes in his area of specialty, history, simply because they can read the textbook which he chose for the class and he can't or refuses to. He is tenured, so the students who attend that school will continue to be warped by his tiny little ego for the next decade.

Jobs wants to give headmasters the ability to get rid of crap, and he is right on.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #129 of 294
I'm impressed by the depth of this conversation. Most discussion forums seem to centre around how Apple is secretly developing floating iPods, but this one has some guts to it. I think Steve is being a bit harsh on our nation's educators, essentially levying our failing education system on their shoulders. I've always felt that much of the blame should be laid on the schoolboards and administrative bodies for failing to let education evolve as other enterprises have. As schooboards are popularly elected bodies, their members need (and typicaly have) no background or experience in education. Most of the people that comprise their local school boards likely haven't been students themselves in 20 or 30 years. To use Mr. Jobs' argument, what business would hire a staff of administrators with absolutey no experience in their trade? It would be like appointing a CEO of Apple that had retired from the business in 1970. The cirriculum and employees should be dictated by people with experience IN the field of education, such as the teachers themselves. They are much more connected to, and therefore capable of, responding to the current issues facing todays schools.

As the situation currently stands, the teachers are hired by the administration, the administration is hirerd by the schoolboard, and the schoolboard is elected based on how many signs they put in neighbors' yards. The schoolboard approves textbooks (which effect the cirriculum) based on the exclusion of words and subjects that they, as individuals, find personally objectionable - not whether the information would be helpful. I can't tell you the ammount of times my high school class complained about a texbook, only to be told that "there was a book that the whole department liked, but it was voted down by the schoolboard." Fortunately in college, the teacher typically picks the books, so that's not such an issue. That's why they hand out PhD's and such.

After the textbook has been picked for them, the teacher must then teach the students specific material on specific days in a specific manner so that when the students take a standardized test, they can come up with the standardized answers and insure that their school gets its stantardized funding. Our children and young adults are human beings, not cogs in a machine. Students across the country will never give the same answers to the same questions no matter how hard they are berated.

Ultimately, it seems to me that teachers need less "accountability" and more freedom to do their jobs. It's pointless to access teacher ability when they have virtually no controll over how their jobs are conducted in the first place.

And Warbrain, I can think of no nicer way to say this, but you are a total feminie hygine product.
post #130 of 294
I've read a good number of these posts, and I have recognized the wide variety of perspectives on this board. What I have noticed, however, is a lack of true authority. Only a couple of people I have read are speaking from experience on this topic.

I am a young teacher finishing my third year of teaching. My father is a teaching veteran of 34 years and counting. Here's the reality of teaching in MY life, and it is not as pleasant or as equal as some may wish to persuade others to believe.

I have three college degrees. I have a degree in English Literature from the University of Washington, an institution that had, at the time, one of the highest rated English departments in the nation. I graduated with a humble 3.4 GPA or so. I have two more degrees from Eastern Washington University in Secondary English (teaching degree) and History. I graduated with roughly a 3.6 or 3.7 GPA. I have an IQ of about 145-150. I dropped Computer Science (which I had a 4.0 GPA) because it bored me, and I felt it would not make a difference in this world. I am not an exception. I know many highly educated teachers. The old saying, “Those that cannot do, teach,” no longer applies. It was I that helped many of my friends, the computer science and pre-med students, write simple essays because I knew how (and these were top end students making 3 times what I do now). While I completely agree there are MANY teachers that are undereducated or poor students themselves, I don't like generalizations that include me, so please show some respect to those of us who are life-long professional learners that take our education seriously (believe me, I turned down college football to focus on my education).

Next, let's talk about pay. My first year in teaching, my base salary was about $34k. My second year was $36k. This year, I make about $35k (I changed school districts which I will explain later). Not a bad salary, really. Except when I compare that salary to my classmates from school that make $60-$80k starting in their jobs. Now, I love teaching and I love coaching. To me, they are one and the same, just a different classroom. Last year, I made an additional $13k coaching four sports (middle school). I was happy making nearly $50k a year as a second year teacher. But the trade-off would be the 7.3 hours I was contracted to work, the 3 hours I spent coaching, and the 2 hours I spent every night writing lesson plans and researching. THAT WAS EVERY DAY. Not once in awhile. Every single day I did that. I had no breaks. I worked myself so hard that I was nearly hospitalized once because I neglected my health (i.e. sleep) and ended up with a 104 degree temperature that put me out for one day (believe me, missing work is usually not an option unless I'm so drugged up I don't know what day it is). With the in-service days we had before the school year, I worked about 2200 hours this last year. I made approximately $22/hour. That is a very low wage for a college graduate with 3 degrees, in my opinion. But, that's just me. You don't have to believe me, but then again, many of you aren't living that life.

What about Jobs' argument. It's a good one. I fully agree with him in many respects. For example, principals should fire bad teachers. If a teacher cannot cut it, then they need to be removed. The problem is that this isn't always the case. I changed school districts, like I mentioned earlier, at the cost of a $10k pay cut. That's a lot of cash to a teacher for those of you who no longer look at your pay checks or stock earnings. I left under "pressure" from my principal. It went down like this. He didn't like me. He didn't like me for the fact that I was slightly arrogant, young, extremely popular among the staff, teachers, and students, and that I was one of the most successful teachers in the building. I say this not to boast on myself, but I am confident in this assertion based on the compliments from parents, the progress my students made while in my course (standardized and non-standardized testing), and the feedback from fellow teachers. As a mentor of 40+ years experience said to me following an observation, I had the mind of a teacher far beyond my age. However, my principal disliked me. And he made it his mission to dismantle me and get me out the door. The principal the year prior gave me exemplary marks, as has the principal this year at my new school. But this one man had absolute authority over not only my job, but my career as a teacher and my life. I endured a year of hell working for him, only to come out stronger and better than ever. Do we see the inherent problem with allowing principals the ability to fire? While I despise the union more than most, tenure is a beautiful thing when you run up against someone like this man (especially for those of us working through our initial probation).

How do you define a good teacher? Standardized tests? Hardly. This is simple math. I work in a very small rural high school of approximately 80 kids. So let's take a single tested class of roughly 20 students. Now, on average, about 15 of those students, or 75%, will pass all portions of the state-mandated test. Now, NCLB states we need to increase to 16, then 17, then 18, until we reach 100%. With the numbers we have, if one student does not pass, that's a difference of 5%. See the problem? So how do we judge teachers based on one student having a bad day? Or had bad teachers prior? Or have language and/or learning barriers to overcome? Are we saying that if a teacher has 90% of his or her students pass a standardized test, they are not considered "good"? This doesn't even bring into the fact that the tests are ultimately subjective any way you look at them. It's an inherent flaw at the fact that no test can be created to accurately assess everyone, only the simple majority (which has been middle-class white males in the past). That also doesn't take into consideration that we give every student a chance to succeed despite their ability level, unlike our European and Asian counterparts that track students. As a side note, the reason why foreign countries are outdoing the U.S. on test scores is because they test those who have been tracked into upper tier programs. We test everyone. If I tested only my AP students, we'd be right in the mix of it with everyone else. Like any statistic, you will find whatever you want to find (including my own assessment).

But it has its drawbacks. Poor teachers do linger on. I've seen teachers who worry more about their personal problems or what they are going to do on the weekend than their kids. I spend the vast majority of my day talking to kids, not teachers. Why? Because I need to be in their world to understand how they think. If I get a grasp of who they are as young adults, I'm that much better in the classroom, which is why I remain successful. Some teachers don't have a clue about the kids. They don't involve themselves in their lives. This is due to laziness and habit, for sure. But this is also due to the restrictions our society has placed on teachers. A kid hugs a teacher; it must be sexual, right? We are actually taught how to hug (one arm hugs that remain to the side and for no more than 2 seconds). How sad is this society that we have to teach teachers how to hug a child correctly to avoid legal ramifications? Many teachers are afraid to even involve themselves with their students for fear of misinterpretation and possible lawsuit. It use to be that people would prefer their children attend a movie with a teacher; today, that's seen as a potential situation for sexual contact and abuse.

What about parents? Are you one? Ask yourself how often you discipline your children. Are you assertive? Are you consistent? Do you simply tell them what you expect, or do you scream and yell? While I'm not expert in telling people how to raise their kids, I'm not your kids' parent either. Yet so many parents choose to simply let their children attend school so they are occupied during the day. Some expect us to control them or discipline them. I see several students everyday that make racist remarks, curse, threaten, and even challenge authority in the classroom. Teachers are there to teach, not discipline. Yet I find myself being the parent of many students, and I'm only 10 years older than they are! I'm lucky in the fact that I have the ability to naturally lead students and control them productively, but I cannot attest the same for some of my colleagues. The fact is they shouldn't have to. They should be focused on teaching.

How do you handle this issue? It's a series of problems that will persist indefinitely until we choose to fix them from all angles. Yes, teachers need to be paid more. Yes, teachers need to be fired if they are, in fact, poor teachers. But the problem goes beyond the obvious. It goes far beyond the politics and structure of our education system. It will revolve around the simple notion that people are ignorant of the realities in today's classrooms. As long as parents, politicians, citizens, administrators, and teachers (yes, teachers) fail to see the big picture and how all parties, meaning all of you and myself included, are responsible for these failures, this whole issue with education will never go away. When everyone decides to put egos aside and focus on what's important (our children), then things might happen. Jobs is starting in the right fashion, I believe. Throw it out there, create controversy, get people talking, and make things happen. If you have read to this point, thank you for taking the time. I apologize to anyone who I may have offended or any overlooked grammatical/usage errors. This is merely the humble opinion of one teacher, not the opinion of those of my profession. Thank you!
post #131 of 294
Oh boy..... Jobs obviously hit a nerve, judging by the number (and vehemence) of posts here.



Tell the truth as you see it, Steve. Good for you. But also come clean about your options, and don't hide behind personal lawyers! (Lawyers are to the rich what unions are to the poorer).
post #132 of 294
Am I the only one who remembers college? I was in engineering working my a$$ off while the teacher wannabes were partying every night and had no homework.

When I had classes that had soon to be teachers in them they cried like babies when we were assigned homework and they often bitched about some test they had to take to be certified as an "educator" because of the high school algebra on it.

Give me a break. I have a family full of teachers and many good friends who teach, but you can't tell me that the vast majority of them are worth more than $40,000 starting out. You have lost your freekn' mind if you think so.

Go sit down in a class today and tell me what you think.

If I ever have a kid, they are going to a private school where teachers are paid and retained based upon performance, hey, just like me in my business.

Jobs nailed it. It is just that most people in the world want everything for little investment (time and effort.

Teacher unions may be the most corrupt union in America today. I have MANY teacher friends who swear by this.

If they wanted more money, they should have been smart enough to work hard and get on at a private school where most of the teaching takes place in the U.S. today. Sorry guys/gals, but that is the truth. With my niece starting K this year, I had to eat crow on the public school systems after reviewing options (I use to think the opposite), because they are so bad at what they do as a whole.
Hard-Core.
Reply
Hard-Core.
Reply
post #133 of 294
I agree with a few of the posts above. In the media's eyes and everyone in-between, Steve Jobs IS Apple. Whatever he says, is taken as what Apple says. When he says something like this, it will be taken that this is Apple's stance on the situation.

I honestly think this could seriously hurt them in the education market. Being a public CEO, you take on the responsibilities of your company and shareholders. He shouldn't be spouting personal crap like this; it's one thing to make comments on general topics and such, but a whole different thing to go off like this in public. That little rant will most likely be rumored through the entire education system, and like any rumor, it will only grow and be made out to be even worse than what was said. If he doesn't make an apology, which I highly doubt he will, it's Jobs, I think this could actually really affect their entire educational sales. And no, I don't think that's blowing it out of proportion.
post #134 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazygopher View Post

I've read a good number of these posts, and I have recognized the wide variety of perspectives on this board. What I have noticed, however, is a lack of true authority. Only a couple of people I have read are speaking from experience on this topic.

I am a young teacher finishing my third year of teaching. My father is a teaching veteran of 34 years and counting. Here's the reality of teaching in MY life, and it is not as pleasant or as equal as some may wish to persuade others to believe.

I have three college degrees. I have a degree in English Literature from the University of Washington, an institution that had, at the time, one of the highest rated English departments in the nation. I graduated with a humble 3.4 GPA or so. I have two more degrees from Eastern Washington University in Secondary English (teaching degree) and History. I graduated with roughly a 3.6 or 3.7 GPA. I have an IQ of about 145-150. I dropped Computer Science (which I had a 4.0 GPA) because it bored me, and I felt it would not make a difference in this world. I am not an exception. I know many highly educated teachers. The old saying, Those that cannot do, teach, no longer applies. It was I that helped many of my friends, the computer science and pre-med students, write simple essays because I knew how (and these were top end students making 3 times what I do now). While I completely agree there are MANY teachers that are undereducated or poor students themselves, I don't like generalizations that include me, so please show some respect to those of us who are life-long professional learners that take our education seriously (believe me, I turned down college football to focus on my education).

Next, let's talk about pay. My first year in teaching, my base salary was about $34k. My second year was $36k. This year, I make about $35k (I changed school districts which I will explain later). Not a bad salary, really. Except when I compare that salary to my classmates from school that make $60-$80k starting in their jobs. Now, I love teaching and I love coaching. To me, they are one and the same, just a different classroom. Last year, I made an additional $13k coaching four sports (middle school). I was happy making nearly $50k a year as a second year teacher. But the trade-off would be the 7.3 hours I was contracted to work, the 3 hours I spent coaching, and the 2 hours I spent every night writing lesson plans and researching. THAT WAS EVERY DAY. Not once in awhile. Every single day I did that. I had no breaks. I worked myself so hard that I was nearly hospitalized once because I neglected my health (i.e. sleep) and ended up with a 104 degree temperature that put me out for one day (believe me, missing work is usually not an option unless I'm so drugged up I don't know what day it is). With the in-service days we had before the school year, I worked about 2200 hours this last year. I made approximately $22/hour. That is a very low wage for a college graduate with 3 degrees, in my opinion. But, that's just me. You don't have to believe me, but then again, many of you aren't living that life.

What about Jobs' argument. It's a good one. I fully agree with him in many respects. For example, principals should fire bad teachers. If a teacher cannot cut it, then they need to be removed. The problem is that this isn't always the case. I changed school districts, like I mentioned earlier, at the cost of a $10k pay cut. That's a lot of cash to a teacher for those of you who no longer look at your pay checks or stock earnings. I left under "pressure" from my principal. It went down like this. He didn't like me. He didn't like me for the fact that I was slightly arrogant, young, extremely popular among the staff, teachers, and students, and that I was one of the most successful teachers in the building. I say this not to boast on myself, but I am confident in this assertion based on the compliments from parents, the progress my students made while in my course (standardized and non-standardized testing), and the feedback from fellow teachers. As a mentor of 40+ years experience said to me following an observation, I had the mind of a teacher far beyond my age. However, my principal disliked me. And he made it his mission to dismantle me and get me out the door. The principal the year prior gave me exemplary marks, as has the principal this year at my new school. But this one man had absolute authority over not only my job, but my career as a teacher and my life. I endured a year of hell working for him, only to come out stronger and better than ever. Do we see the inherent problem with allowing principals the ability to fire? While I despise the union more than most, tenure is a beautiful thing when you run up against someone like this man.

How do you define a good teacher? Standardized tests? Hardly. This is simple math. I work in a very small rural high school of approximately 80 kids. So let's take a single tested class of roughly 20 students. Now, on average, about 15 of those students, or 75%, will pass all portions of the state-mandated test. Now, NCLB states we need to increase to 16, then 17, then 18, until we reach 100%. With the numbers we have, if one student does not pass, that's a difference of 5%. See the problem? So how do we judge teachers based on one student having a bad day? Are we saying that if a teacher has 90% of his or her students pass a standardized test, they are not considered "good"? This doesn't even bring into the fact that the tests are ultimately subjective any way you look at them. It's an inherent flaw at the fact that no test can be created to accurately assess everyone, only the simple majority (which has been middle-class white males in the past). That also doesn't take into consideration that we give every student a chance to succeed despite their ability level, unlike our European and Asian counterparts that track students. As a side note, the reason why foreign countries are outdoing the U.S. on test scores are because they test those who have been tracked into upper tier programs. We test everyone. If I tested only my AP students, we'd be right in the mix of it with everyone else. Like any statistic, you will find whatever you want to find (including my own assessment).

But it has its drawbacks. Poor teachers do linger on. I've seen teachers who worry more about their personal problems or what they are going to do on the weekend than their kids. I spend the vast majority of my day talking to kids, not teachers. Why? Because I need to be in their world to understand how they think. If I get a grasp of who they are as young adults, I'm that much better in the classroom, which is why I remain successful. Some teachers don't have a clue about the kids. They don't involve themselves in their lives. This is due to laziness and habit, for sure. But this is also due to the restrictions our society has placed on teachers. A kid hugs a teacher; it must be sexual, right? We are actually taught how to hug (one arm hugs that remain to the side and for no more than 2 seconds). How sad is this society that we have to teach teachers how to hug a child correctly to avoid legal ramifications? Many teachers are afraid to even involve themselves with their students for fear of misinterpretation and possible lawsuit. It use to be that people would prefer their children attend a movie with a teacher; today, that's seen as a potential situation for sexual contact and abuse.

What about parents? Are you one? Ask yourself how often you discipline your children. Are you assertive? Are you consistent? Do you simply tell them what you expect, or do you scream and yell? While I'm not expert in telling people how to raise their kids, I'm not your kids' parent either. Yet so many parents choose to simply let their children attend school so they were occupied during the day. I see several students everyday that make racist remarks, curse, threaten, and even challenge authority in the classroom. Teachers are there to teach, not discipline. Yet I find myself being the parent of many students, and I'm only 10 years older than they are! I'm lucky in the fact that I have the ability to naturally lead students and control them productively, but I cannot attest the same for some of my colleagues. The fact is they shouldn't have to. They should be focused on teaching.

How do you handle this issue? It's a series of problems that will persist indefinitely until we choose to fix them from all angles. Yes, teachers need to be paid more. Yes, teachers need to be fired if they are, in fact, poor teachers. But the problem goes beyond the obvious. It goes far beyond the politics and structure of our education system. It will revolve around the simple notion that people are ignorant of the realities in today's classrooms. As long as parents, politicians, citizens, administrators, and teachers (yes, teachers) fail to see the big picture and how all parties, meaning all of you and myself included, are responsible for these failures, this whole issue with education will never go away. When everyone decides to put egos aside and focus on what's important (our children), then things might happen. Jobs is starting in the right fashion, I believe. Throw it out there, create controversy, get people talking, and make things happen. If you have read to this point, thank you for taking the time. I apologize to anyone who I may have offended or any overlooked grammatical/usage errors. This is merely the humble opinion of one teacher, not the opinion of those of my profession. Thank you!


Thank you for telling us what is happening in the front lines of education.
post #135 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wil View Post

I saw this on one blog by... Michelle Malkin.....

Michelle Malkin?! Michelle Malkin!? The one that regularly shows up on O'Reilly (with whom I have no particular beef, at least, not all of the time)?

Oh gosh, now I am tempted to contribute to the local teacher's union.....
post #136 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Michelle Malkin?! Michelle Malkin!? The one that regularly shows up on O'Reilly (with whom I have no particular beef, at least, not all of the time)?

Oh gosh, now I am tempted to contribute to the local teacher's union.....

Nothing personal , but is it her fault that the NEA put the damn thing on their 2005 annual agenda for people to see ?
post #137 of 294
It might seem like the private school "business" can provide the best education since they can be much more selective with their staff. However, this isn't always the case. If I am over 45 and am looking to get a job with a private school, there's a very slim chance of it happening. They just don't hire older teachers (of course, there are exceptions). They hire the younger ones with lower pay demands.

They almost never provide decent health coverage or retirement benefits, which a public teaching position would. So in the end, they aren't attracting the more qualified teachers, they're just grabbing the ones they can get.
post #138 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazygopher View Post

I've read a good number of these posts, and I have recognized the wide variety of perspectives on this board. What I have noticed, however, is a lack of true authority. Only a couple of people I have read are speaking from experience on this topic.

I am a young teacher finishing my third year of teaching. My father is a teaching veteran of 34 years and counting. Here's the reality of teaching in MY life, and it is not as pleasant or as equal as some may wish to persuade others to believe.

I have three college degrees. I have a degree in English Literature from the University of Washington, an institution that had, at the time, one of the highest rated English departments in the nation. I graduated with a humble 3.4 GPA or so. I have two more degrees from Eastern Washington University in Secondary English (teaching degree) and History. I graduated with roughly a 3.6 or 3.7 GPA. I have an IQ of about 145-150. I dropped Computer Science (which I had a 4.0 GPA) because it bored me, and I felt it would not make a difference in this world. I am not an exception. I know many highly educated teachers. The old saying, Those that cannot do, teach, no longer applies. It was I that helped many of my friends, the computer science and pre-med students, write simple essays because I knew how (and these were top end students making 3 times what I do now). While I completely agree there are MANY teachers that are undereducated or poor students themselves, I don't like generalizations that include me, so please show some respect to those of us who are life-long professional learners that take our education seriously (believe me, I turned down college football to focus on my education).

Next, let's talk about pay. My first year in teaching, my base salary was about $34k. My second year was $36k. This year, I make about $35k (I changed school districts which I will explain later). Not a bad salary, really. Except when I compare that salary to my classmates from school that make $60-$80k starting in their jobs. Now, I love teaching and I love coaching. To me, they are one and the same, just a different classroom. Last year, I made an additional $13k coaching four sports (middle school). I was happy making nearly $50k a year as a second year teacher. But the trade-off would be the 7.3 hours I was contracted to work, the 3 hours I spent coaching, and the 2 hours I spent every night writing lesson plans and researching. THAT WAS EVERY DAY. Not once in awhile. Every single day I did that. I had no breaks. I worked myself so hard that I was nearly hospitalized once because I neglected my health (i.e. sleep) and ended up with a 104 degree temperature that put me out for one day (believe me, missing work is usually not an option unless I'm so drugged up I don't know what day it is). With the in-service days we had before the school year, I worked about 2200 hours this last year. I made approximately $22/hour. That is a very low wage for a college graduate with 3 degrees, in my opinion. But, that's just me. You don't have to believe me, but then again, many of you aren't living that life.

What about Jobs' argument. It's a good one. I fully agree with him in many respects. For example, principals should fire bad teachers. If a teacher cannot cut it, then they need to be removed. The problem is that this isn't always the case. I changed school districts, like I mentioned earlier, at the cost of a $10k pay cut. That's a lot of cash to a teacher for those of you who no longer look at your pay checks or stock earnings. I left under "pressure" from my principal. It went down like this. He didn't like me. He didn't like me for the fact that I was slightly arrogant, young, extremely popular among the staff, teachers, and students, and that I was one of the most successful teachers in the building. I say this not to boast on myself, but I am confident in this assertion based on the compliments from parents, the progress my students made while in my course (standardized and non-standardized testing), and the feedback from fellow teachers. As a mentor of 40+ years experience said to me following an observation, I had the mind of a teacher far beyond my age. However, my principal disliked me. And he made it his mission to dismantle me and get me out the door. The principal the year prior gave me exemplary marks, as has the principal this year at my new school. But this one man had absolute authority over not only my job, but my career as a teacher and my life. I endured a year of hell working for him, only to come out stronger and better than ever. Do we see the inherent problem with allowing principals the ability to fire? While I despise the union more than most, tenure is a beautiful thing when you run up against someone like this man (especially for those of us working through our initial probation).

How do you define a good teacher? Standardized tests? Hardly. This is simple math. I work in a very small rural high school of approximately 80 kids. So let's take a single tested class of roughly 20 students. Now, on average, about 15 of those students, or 75%, will pass all portions of the state-mandated test. Now, NCLB states we need to increase to 16, then 17, then 18, until we reach 100%. With the numbers we have, if one student does not pass, that's a difference of 5%. See the problem? So how do we judge teachers based on one student having a bad day? Or had bad teachers prior? Or have language and/or learning barriers to overcome? Are we saying that if a teacher has 90% of his or her students pass a standardized test, they are not considered "good"? This doesn't even bring into the fact that the tests are ultimately subjective any way you look at them. It's an inherent flaw at the fact that no test can be created to accurately assess everyone, only the simple majority (which has been middle-class white males in the past). That also doesn't take into consideration that we give every student a chance to succeed despite their ability level, unlike our European and Asian counterparts that track students. As a side note, the reason why foreign countries are outdoing the U.S. on test scores is because they test those who have been tracked into upper tier programs. We test everyone. If I tested only my AP students, we'd be right in the mix of it with everyone else. Like any statistic, you will find whatever you want to find (including my own assessment).

But it has its drawbacks. Poor teachers do linger on. I've seen teachers who worry more about their personal problems or what they are going to do on the weekend than their kids. I spend the vast majority of my day talking to kids, not teachers. Why? Because I need to be in their world to understand how they think. If I get a grasp of who they are as young adults, I'm that much better in the classroom, which is why I remain successful. Some teachers don't have a clue about the kids. They don't involve themselves in their lives. This is due to laziness and habit, for sure. But this is also due to the restrictions our society has placed on teachers. A kid hugs a teacher; it must be sexual, right? We are actually taught how to hug (one arm hugs that remain to the side and for no more than 2 seconds). How sad is this society that we have to teach teachers how to hug a child correctly to avoid legal ramifications? Many teachers are afraid to even involve themselves with their students for fear of misinterpretation and possible lawsuit. It use to be that people would prefer their children attend a movie with a teacher; today, that's seen as a potential situation for sexual contact and abuse.

What about parents? Are you one? Ask yourself how often you discipline your children. Are you assertive? Are you consistent? Do you simply tell them what you expect, or do you scream and yell? While I'm not expert in telling people how to raise their kids, I'm not your kids' parent either. Yet so many parents choose to simply let their children attend school so they are occupied during the day. Some expect us to control them or discipline them. I see several students everyday that make racist remarks, curse, threaten, and even challenge authority in the classroom. Teachers are there to teach, not discipline. Yet I find myself being the parent of many students, and I'm only 10 years older than they are! I'm lucky in the fact that I have the ability to naturally lead students and control them productively, but I cannot attest the same for some of my colleagues. The fact is they shouldn't have to. They should be focused on teaching.

How do you handle this issue? It's a series of problems that will persist indefinitely until we choose to fix them from all angles. Yes, teachers need to be paid more. Yes, teachers need to be fired if they are, in fact, poor teachers. But the problem goes beyond the obvious. It goes far beyond the politics and structure of our education system. It will revolve around the simple notion that people are ignorant of the realities in today's classrooms. As long as parents, politicians, citizens, administrators, and teachers (yes, teachers) fail to see the big picture and how all parties, meaning all of you and myself included, are responsible for these failures, this whole issue with education will never go away. When everyone decides to put egos aside and focus on what's important (our children), then things might happen. Jobs is starting in the right fashion, I believe. Throw it out there, create controversy, get people talking, and make things happen. If you have read to this point, thank you for taking the time. I apologize to anyone who I may have offended or any overlooked grammatical/usage errors. This is merely the humble opinion of one teacher, not the opinion of those of my profession. Thank you!

Thank you Crazygopher! You've said it beautifully!
post #139 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post

Have any of you ever seen "Stupid in America". If you have, you'll find that Jobs is actually on the same page as John Stossel in that documentary.

You know, DeaPeaJay, I think you're on to something.

When combined with Apple's backdating scandal that includes minutes from a meeting that never actually occurred, Stossel's heavily edited and incomplete-info hatchet job on America's teachers does indeed put him and Jobs on the same page: the DECEPTION page. Jobs apparently banked on the government being stupid, and Stossel apparently banked on the television-viewing public being stupid. In case you haven't watched this poor excuse for a documentary, you can click here to see it for yourself. Pay attention and watch with a critical eye.

Looks Like Stossel Is "Stupid in America"
By Ezra Klein

[...]

...he blames all problems with American education on those lazy public-school teachers. Because, really, all teachers are just as they are portrayed on television, right?

[...]

Stupid is as John Stossel does. Here—let ABC prove it
By Bob Somerby

[...]

STOSSEL: "We gave parts of an international test to some high school students in Belgium and in New Jersey...the Belgian kids cleaned their clocks."

[...]

[Stossel] says he gave “parts of an international test” to these two groups of students [in the U.S. and Belgium] —but he never says what the test was. In the same vein, he never gives us any way to judge who these two groups of kids really are. In the case of the American students, he says they attend an above-average school—but that, of course, doesn’t mean that the students themselves are above average. (Nor can we verify his claim about their school, since he never names it.) And how about the Belgian students? How average (or above-average) might they be? There is absolutely no way to know. Stossel says nothing about them or their school; they may be the brightest students in Belgium, attending that nation’s most selective school. In short, this episode is like a ludicrous parody of the way information is actually gained. It’s astounding to think that ABC News would even consider airing such nonsense. Indeed, if it’s “Stupid in America” you want, the names of this show’s producers—and its clowning correspondent—should go at the top of your list.

Indeed, how cosmically dumb is John Stossel—and how dumb does he take his viewers to be?

[...]
post #140 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by leadership68 View Post

I

Unions, as pointed out in the speech, were formed when employers were abusing workers. They have outlived their usefulness at this point in the industrial and technological revolution.

This is an assumption. A wrong one at that. There are still sectors of the business community where professional and highly educated people's workplace rights are still under attack. Some of us still need unions.
Unions have not "outlived their usefulness".
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post #141 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by emantaz View Post

So, Jobs thinks it is just bad teachers? Like there are no bad exec's? Come on Steve, we all know it is not just bad teachers -- some teachers are that way due to bad Principal's ... if the principal is doing their job, then bad teachers will be weeded out -- no union can protect someone not doing their job Jobs.

How about that tenured College prof? You know the one that is also not very good. They are not union, but have tenure and to dismiss them is an act of congress.

Jobs needs to rethink his ideas .. he needs to step into the classroom (solo) for a month and taste what teachers have to deal with -- and I'm not talking some nice prep school, I'm talking inner city hard core -- some place where being Steven Jobs doesn't mean a thing -- he is just on his own to teach the material and abide by NCLB. Lets see what he has to say after a month of that -- oh, and lets give him a teachers salary too.

It's easy to cast blame and accuse, but I believe things need to start at the top -- look at the District Offices, then Principal's, then teachers ... if they are not performing to requirements, then by all means put them on a plan of improvement and if need be let them go. But, until there is better pay and teaching conditions, those things the teachers unions are trying to get teachers, it is going to be hard to fill these jobs Jobs.

He's entitled to his opinion. The perspective he brings is unique to his position. He is a guy who leads a company of thousands, and he can relate to the "broken" organization that schools represent perfectly. As far as students and teachers being in a consumer/provider relationship, there's validity to that perspective also. Efficiency and education are seldom mentioned in the same sentence, but they probably should be. I would put myself out on a limb here and be willing to bet that if the efficiencies of factories and modern business organizations were employed by K-12 education, we'd all be in a much better space.

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GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #142 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by elpparedisni View Post

You know, DeaPeaJay, I think you're on to something.

When combined with Apple's backdating scandal that includes minutes from a meeting that never actually occurred, Stossel's heavily edited and incomplete-info hatchet job on America's teachers does indeed put him and Jobs on the same page: the DECEPTION page. Jobs apparently banked on the government being stupid, and Stossel apparently banked on the television-viewing public being stupid. In case you haven't watched this poor excuse for a documentary, you can click here to see it for yourself. Pay attention and watch with a critical eye.

Looks Like Stossel Is "Stupid in America"
By Ezra Klein

[...]

...he blames all problems with American education on those lazy public-school teachers. Because, really, all teachers are just as they are portrayed on television, right?

[...]

Stupid is as John Stossel does. Here—let ABC prove it
By Bob Somerby

[...]

STOSSEL: "We gave parts of an international test to some high school students in Belgium and in New Jersey...the Belgian kids cleaned their clocks."

[...]

[Stossel] says he gave “parts of an international test” to these two groups of students [in the U.S. and Belgium] —but he never says what the test was. In the same vein, he never gives us any way to judge who these two groups of kids really are. In the case of the American students, he says they attend an above-average school—but that, of course, doesn’t mean that the students themselves are above average. (Nor can we verify his claim about their school, since he never names it.) And how about the Belgian students? How average (or above-average) might they be? There is absolutely no way to know. Stossel says nothing about them or their school; they may be the brightest students in Belgium, attending that nation’s most selective school. In short, this episode is like a ludicrous parody of the way information is actually gained. It’s astounding to think that ABC News would even consider airing such nonsense. Indeed, if it’s “Stupid in America” you want, the names of this show’s producers—and its clowning correspondent—should go at the top of your list.

Indeed, how cosmically dumb is John Stossel—and how dumb does he take his viewers to be?

[...]


I'm more confident with Stossel's testing than with those links to clearly biased, uninformed sources.

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GOA

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post #143 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I'm more confident with Stossel's testing than with those links to clearly biased, uninformed sources.

After all, Stossel is such an unbiased, informed source himself (yeah, right)...Nobody in the mainstream media bothered to call him on his flawed reporting, but the points made by those being linked to are valid. Just because something is on TV doesn't automatically make it accurate and fair. Stossel is notorious for this kind of skewed reporting, and he banks on people taking it hook, line and sinker.
post #144 of 294
The big problem is unions and government together. Unions shouldn't have their whims codified in law, and, of course, schools shouldn't be run by government. Fix those two things, and, hey--there's nothing wrong with unions. It's a lot like communism. Communism is fine unless the communists are given the power to force others to play by their rules.
What's the frequency, Kenneth?
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post #145 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by elpparedisni View Post

After all, Stossel is such an unbiased, informed source himself (yeah, right)...Nobody in the mainstream media bothered to call him on his flawed reporting, but the points made by those being linked to are valid. Just because something is on TV doesn't automatically make it accurate and fair. Stossel is notorious for this kind of skewed reporting, and he banks on people taking it hook, line and sinker.

Liberals loved Stossel when he was only attacking corporations. Since he woke up and figured out government was just as much a problem as corporations, they suddenly think he's the devil. Funny how they turn on their own.
What's the frequency, Kenneth?
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What's the frequency, Kenneth?
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post #146 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbh0001 View Post

Are you kidding? My kids had school today, and my wife had to teach as well. Any more most of these"holidays" are just reasons for the banks and post office to close. Everyone else still has to work.

Sorry. I don't make the rules or make up the schedule for my district. I promise I will teach the same amount of days if not more. I start in August and finish on June 28th.

It's also a NATIONAL holiday. I'm sure your wife gets some Kasmir Pulaski day off or some other obscure holiday.

SHUT UP
post #147 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazygopher View Post

I've read a good number of these posts, and I have recognized the wide variety of perspectives on this board. What I have noticed, however, is a lack of true authority. Only a couple of people I have read are speaking from experience on this topic.

I am a young teacher finishing my third year of teaching. My father is a teaching veteran of 34 years and counting. Here's the reality of teaching in MY life, and it is not as pleasant or as equal as some may wish to persuade others to believe.

...

But the trade-off would be the 7.3 hours I was contracted to work, the 3 hours I spent coaching, and the 2 hours I spent every night writing lesson plans and researching. THAT WAS EVERY DAY. Not once in awhile. Every single day I did that.

Dude...the 1st few years of years teaching sucks. You have no lesson plans in the can. You're still new at the job learning all the stuff they didn't teach in school. Switching districts doesn't put you back at square 0 but it does mean a lot of rework of lesson plans you do have.

But over the total teaching career that's very little.

Quote:
With the in-service days we had before the school year, I worked about 2200 hours this last year. I made approximately $22/hour. That is a very low wage for a college graduate with 3 degrees, in my opinion. But, that's just me. You don't have to believe me, but then again, many of you aren't living that life.

Yeah...fine. Tell that to my wife with a PhD in Chemistry that started out as a GS-11 and currently has a base salary of around 50-60K (I forget) before cost of living adjustments. 3 BS degrees do not equal a MS much less a PhD. Why do you think its particularly noteworthy?

Here's a clue...in a hard science with a MS you get to be a technician and you often start earning crap too. Entry grade for a meaningful job in your field is a PhD. To get to that point try providing for a family on a post-doc's salary much less a grad student stipend.

And don't even get me started on my hourly rate starting out after college with the uncompensated OT of a salaried employee. We pulled all nighters and slept in the office during crunch time. We probably made less per hour than flipping burgers.

Quote:
I work in a very small rural high school of approximately 80 kids. So let's take a single tested class of roughly 20 students.

Man, you have it tough. Try class sizes closer to 30. My ex's first year as a teacher had 29 in her class including 2 special eds. Fortunately with an special ed aide. Mainstreaming sucks IMHO but I digress. Yah, and she also had a "difficult" principal her first year but hey...at least she was at a safe elementary school. The elementary school she did student teaching had bars, metal detectors and security guards.

So paint me unimpressed with your "true authority". We don't have to BE teachers to have lived through parts of it and be aware of the issues facing teachers. I also don't believe that Jobs is completely unaware either. Especially given his wife co-founded College Track to help poorer kids make it into college.

Vinea
post #148 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by elpparedisni View Post


Looks Like Stossel Is "Stupid in America"
By Ezra Klein

This one is amusing...Belgium spends 5.97% of their GDP on public schools vs 4.66% in the US...so who spends more...never mind that Belgium has a per capita GDP lower than the US (29 vs 37). I think we spend more both in terms of absolute and per capita.

And what test did the guy think would be fair? A US test or an international one? And notice the Belgian kids were speaking English. How many American kids can speak Dutch? At least some can speak French. And it wasn't just the Belgian kids...the US ranked 25 on the tests...behind Poland and the Czech Republic...

Vinea
post #149 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Dude...the 1st few years of years teaching sucks. You have no lesson plans in the can. You're still new at the job learning all the stuff they didn't teach in school. Switching districts doesn't put you back at square 0 but it does mean a lot of rework of lesson plans you do have.

You are absolutely correct. I have no lesson plans early on and it makes it difficult. My father (again, a veteran of 34 years) is still starting from scratch. If you do the same thing over and over, you end up in a rut and lose innovation. And I did start from scratch because I went from a middle school to a high school, so all of my curriculum was rendered obsolete.

Quote:
Yeah...fine. Tell that to my wife with a PhD in Chemistry that started out as a GS-11 and currently has a base salary of around 50-60K (I forget) before cost of living adjustments. 3 BS degrees do not equal a MS much less a PhD. Why do you think its particularly noteworthy?

That's very impressive for her to earn a PhD. I, too, will have a PhD in the future (I'm currently working on my Master's). I'm sorry you feel that three BA's mean nothing, but last time I checked, that places me in probably the top 15% or higher among educated Americans. Besides, I haven't LIVED long enough to get my PhD yet. To pass judgment on someone who hasn't had the opportunity to earn one seems rather hasty to me.

Quote:
Here's a clue...in a hard science with a MS you get to be a technician and you often start earning crap too. Entry grade for a meaningful job in your field is a PhD. To get to that point try providing for a family on a post-doc's salary much less a grad student stipend.

And don't even get me started on my hourly rate starting out after college with the uncompensated OT of a salaried employee. We pulled all nighters and slept in the office during crunch time. We probably made less per hour than flipping burgers.

I am sure the field is difficult, and I'm not saying any other fields are not. That is not the point here. The point here is on teachers. Do I think techs should get more money? Absolutely! Why not? I'm not saying the teachers are the only ones getting underpaid. And we all have to pay our dues, but where does your salary range max out at? For my district, $60k is the most I'll ever get, and that's with 20+ years experience AND a PhD. The only way to boost that is administration.

Quote:
Man, you have it tough. Try class sizes closer to 30. My ex's first year as a teacher had 29 in her class including 2 special eds. Fortunately with an special ed aide. Mainstreaming sucks IMHO but I digress. Yah, and she also had a "difficult" principal her first year but hey...at least she was at a safe elementary school. The elementary school she did student teaching had bars, metal detectors and security guards.

I neglected to mention that my previous school was located in a larger area. I had, on average, about 150 kids my first year, with as many as six students with special needs in one class (with limited paraeducator assistance). While we didn't have metal detectors, we had security and such. I had several students moved INTO my classroom because they had threatened to kill teachers and students, primarily because I had no disciplinary problems in my room. I also had a couple of gang members in my classes, several busted for drugs, etc. I got along with most of them, but it does make everyday interesting. I apologize for leaving out that bit of info.

Quote:
So paint me unimpressed with your "true authority". We don't have to BE teachers to have lived through parts of it and be aware of the issues facing teachers. I also don't believe that Jobs is completely unaware either. Especially given his wife co-founded College Track to help poorer kids make it into college.

Vinea

Again, this is merely the humble opinion of a single teacher. I claim to be no true authority of anything other than my own life. However, I would say I have a far better understanding of education and its problems than most people. To argue otherwise is like someone trying to tell a soldier about the war in Iraq. While a drastic analogy, I'm confident that living the issue is more authoritative than any other view, although I would agree that perspectives may be skewed and biased to some degree. And everyone has some foothold in the topic, being we have all attended school. However, being the face at the front of the room rather than in the seat does change many perceptions and beliefs of the world of education. I apologize if this is not an adequate or valid stance to consider. Thank you!
post #150 of 294
Sorry, double post.
post #151 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

This one is amusing...Belgium spends 5.97% of their GDP on public schools vs 4.66% in the US...so who spends more...never mind that Belgium has a per capita GDP lower than the US (29 vs 37). I think we spend more both in terms of absolute and per capita.

And what test did the guy think would be fair? A US test or an international one? And notice the Belgian kids were speaking English. How many American kids can speak Dutch? At least some can speak French. And it wasn't just the Belgian kids...the US ranked 25 on the tests...behind Poland and the Czech Republic...

Vinea

While I agree with most of this, particularly the fact that European students learn at least two, if not more, languages in school, this is a bit skewed from my understanding. I fully believe that European students are better overall academically. I can vouch for this from several European students I have had the privilege of teaching. However, schools in Europe track their students. This would account for the roughly equal scoring at 4th grade. It is at this approximate time that European schools begin to track students into future occupations. Students that test lower will likely move on to trade schools. Higher achieving students will move on to more rigorous education, and those that continue to succeed will move on to elite professions such as engineering, science, medicine, etc. The students tested in the documentary would likely be some of the brightest Dutch kids around, although this could be mistaken on my part. In America, we teach EVERYONE, despite ability level. Kids that would have been tracked (a large portion of our students) would not be tested. This means our scores will naturally be lower being we test everyone, not just those that have been tracked. If I were to pit them against my AP students, I'm sure they would fair relatively the same. When the American students were asked about causes for the Civil War and the purpose of the Bill of Rights, I can confidently guarantee my students would be able to address those questions adequately. To see the "best" students of that particular school unable to answer those questions is appalling. Most of my AP students could talk for at least 45 minutes on the causes for the Civil War AND be able to relate it to modern politics and policy (I know this because we did!). Spending won't solve anything, like they said. This affirms that there are some very poor teachers out there. But this also affirms that the "test" they provided in the film was not as accurate as we might suspect. Thank you!
post #152 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by reallynotnick View Post

Wooo, wooo, WOOOO.
Wikipedia is the greatest thing that has ever happened in the advancement of information since the original encyclopedia.

It is up to date information, coming from numerous different sources. All overseen by a large group of people. It has become my #1 research site for all my projects and anything I just want to know.

Plus what Steve was pointing out was not using wikipedia but wikischool more to say. Think of the amount of money that would be saved on text books and it would always be up to date. Though for wikischool to succeed there would need to be a subscription or overseen by the government.

I believe they did a study I saw recently that compared the technical topics -- things that can be verifed or proven false easily. Wikipedia was more up-to-date than the leading encyclopedias, and had as few errors as the very best of them. The softer topics that get into areas of controversy are more difficult, as one school or other tends to get control of a topic, then there's an ideological battle you often see waged. In the meantime, you have less that objective information. However, if you're reading about something controversial, like Salvador Allende, for instance, isn't it better to have the article initially written by a liberal challenged by conservatives, and for the student to see the argument taking place? One side says that Allende was about to end democracy, another says he was about to hold a referendum, etc. It's most important for students to see the struggles of history.
post #153 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by VideoGeek View Post

http://www.reason.com/news/show/36802.html

You're absolutely right.

From that article:

"Once, Klein reports, the school system discovered that a teacher was sending sexual e-mails to a 16-year-old student. "This was the most unbelievable case to me," he says, "because the e-mail was there, he admitted to it. It was so thoroughly offensive." Even with the teacher's confession, it took six years of expensive litigation before the school could fire him. He didn't teach during those six years, but he still got paidmore than $350,000 total. "

This union is not only harming are kids education, it's endangering them.
post #154 of 294
I'm considering teaching, it may be my only viable option with just an upcoming bachelors degree in physics. I plan to earn a masters of education whilsts I teach. I didn't go to college to make $60 an hour when I finished, but to make sure I make more than $5 an hour. I suppose I could get a job doing data entry typing the characteristics of the reflectivity of Indium-42 all day but that would be awful, plain awful. It's quite depressing how difficult a physics degree is to obtain over other majors and how little it can get you. Ya, I planned to get a PhD in physics originally, but reality will be preventing that. I'm stuck in a no mans land if I dont choose teaching. The BA today is the new high school degree, nice to have but nothing that much to feel too good about.

Dont get me wrong, I am not downing teaching. I think its my most worthwhile option and I love tutoring and explaining physics. I figure that physics may be one of the better disciplines to teach - more fun science toys, more ambitious students and splendid security. The truth of the matter is that no job is perfect. I do realize it is work, it is not fun-time and that students can bring stress to my life by talking over me, playing with their ipods and phones but the other alternative seems much worse.
post #155 of 294
Yeh Gawds,

The arrogance of the man.

He knows about design and marketing. The end Period.

Can you imagine if this man was in charge of schools?

No curriculum choice. Just the choice of Good, Better and BEST education standards. Not to mention the price.


One day I hope he is sacked again.!.
post #156 of 294
Somebody mention Wikipedia?



(though we could use a little levity in this topic!)
You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
Reply
You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
Reply
post #157 of 294
If there were no linux or Mac operating Systems out there, Windows would have a complete monopoly. Now who here thinks that's a good thing? They would become even more bloated and lazy then they already are, with no desire to improve the quality of their product. MS absolutely NEEDS competition or else they'll stagnate.

Well the same thing happens when the government tries to regulate the school system and make them all equal by requiring students attend the school in their district, even if it is a bad school, parents have no choice but to send their kids there. It gives each and every school a total monopoly and they do just what a business would do. They stagnate! The only way to get past the problems with the teacher's union is to make the schools compete with each other. Bad schools with bad teachers would lose all their students and the school would die unless they improved their quality. Teachers would have to shape up because they may not be able to be fired, but they can lose their job if the school shuts down.

Write to your congressman and tell them this, it's the only way that I can see to save the education system in America. And stop feeding the kids junk at the cafeteria too.
post #158 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post

Write to your congressman and tell them this, it's the only way that I can see to save the education system in America. And stop feeding the kids junk at the cafeteria too.

In my school, 100% of the students obtain free meals. This includes breakfast, snack, lunch, and after-school snack. Taxpayers pay for it all. Are you willing to quadruple your taxes to pay for prime rib for each of these meals? I think not.

And no, our school is not in a rundown or poor area. It's in Los Angeles district, and our students also get free daycare. Why? Because the majority of my student's parents are here illegally and don't pay for much of anything. They get welfare, free daycare, free meals and supplies for their children (yes, we even must supply paper, pens, notebooks, workbooks, and everything else for free). While I agree that this type of program is needed for some low-income families, the illegal immigrants are absolutely milking the system dry here in CA.

After school, I have to walk my students out to get picked up (those that don't stay for day care). When their parents drive up in $60k+ SUVs or a Lexus, it's pretty ridiculous. A very sad situation. Their parents take no responsibility for them, they never do homework, and in turn, don't learn much of anything. Is that my fault?? ABSOLUTELY not. A teacher can only do so much with what they are given, especially when the parents don't give a crap about them.
post #159 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowHunter View Post

Bush isn't the best conservative ever, and I'm not a fan of the Feds dictating to the states, but at least the NCLB act was a stab at something; again, more than ANYONE has done to date. You can talk about how Bush didn't fulfill his end of the bargain, how it is too "inside the box," and etc etc....but at the end of the day, if more children are reading better and doing math better, then I'm perfectly happy to "teach to the test." It'd be one thing if it was a 10 question test and we only gave them 10 facts, but we're teaching them skills here.....if "teaching to the test" means imparting useful skills, then I'm all for it.

NCLB is pure bullshit. Underfunded and actually a bad idea. Students should be evaluated on their knowlwedge and if inadequate they should be held back. Why do we graduate students with marginal skills in math and reading? Public schools have a manadate of taking on all comers and getting them out of the system by age 18. That's the flaw.
post #160 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Public schools have a manadate of taking on all comers and getting them out of the system by age 18. That's the flaw.

Agreed. At least in CA, a student can't be held back more than once. So even if he is in 6th grade and cannot read, if he's been held back before, he goes on regardless.
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