Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Barak wants to train more
teachers:

"Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama says one way to further the legacy of the Supreme Court's Brown versus Board of Education ruling is to ensure that schools have equally qualified teachers. Obama was on the northwest side outlining his ideas for achieving that."

--- Ummm, don't we have a whole bunch of schools that already teach people how to teach. If you want to give people free education to teach why not do it using the current infrastructure instead of creating 'new' schools.

I have some other issues with this idea. Do we really want teachers who have gone into the field because they got to go to school for free. Do you want teachers who are teaching at a given school because the 'have to' due to a contractual situation? Do we want teachers that come out of 'one system' run by the federal government?

This free education for teachers stuff sound nice, it even sounded nice when Charley brought it up on The West Wing.

Again the High School district I attendee take a look at it's report card (PDF).

% of Teachers with at least a Masters: Above the state average
Average Teacher Salary: Above the state average
Average Teacher Experience: Above the state average
Instructional Expenditure per pupil Above the state average (over 2K over the average)

ACT Score last grad. class Below the state average
OVERALL PERFORMANCE - ALL STATE TESTS Below the state average
PRAIRIE STATE ACHIEVEMENT EXAMINATION (PSAE) PERFORMANCE Below the state average

So that district has better educated, better paid teachers and the students are performing below the state average.

The answer to failing schools is choice. We have spent significant resources 'improving' teacher education as well as setting higher requirements for teachers. It appears not to have helped.

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