Teachers Unions & poor education in America

Discussion in 'Economics' started by hippie, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. During the state of the union address, Obama praised the Bruce Randolph school in Colorado for turning themselves around rather dramatically in a few short years.

    Three years ago, Bruce Randolph was one of the poorest performing schools in Colorado. In 2010, 97% of the seniors graduated. Many of the graduates were the first in their families to get admitted into college.

    How did they do it?

    Sen. Michael Bennet and the school's principal Kristin Waters, convinced the Colorado government to give the school almost complete autonomy from the state's education bureaucrats over budget, staffing, schedule, school calendar, and curriculum.

    One of the first things they did is terminate all of their tenured teachers and told them they could re-apply for their jobs. Only 5% got their jobs back. 95% of the tenured teachers weren't up to par.

    The Gate's Foundation has done significant research into why public schools fail. Their conclusion is that it's all about teachers. The producer of the movie "Waiting for Superman" came to the same conclusion. Good teachers succeed and bad teachers fail our children. It's not any more difficult than that.

  2. Now if we could just try that with Washington DC
  3. Teachers are unionized in all western E. countries and their standard of education is by far superior than what we get in the states.
    Teachers and education systems in former socialist countries were also unionized and again their system of education was much better.

    Japan built its economic power on retianing workers for life and their ed. system is not too shabby either.

    But hey it is the unions right?
  4. chartman


    My wife is a retired school teacher. It is easy to blame the teachers for a failed system. There are three principal reasons for the failure of the public school system and none of them directly involves the teacher.

    (1) Too much red-tape bureaucratic paperwork taking teaching time away from the classroom;
    (2) The requirement that students be 'passed' regardless of whether they are academically ready for the next grade level, and the most important;
    (3) Inclusive of all children in the same classroom without consideration of their learning abilities. Not all children learns at the same progression. In such a classroom setting the most gifted are bored while the less talent falls further behind as the material is presented at the level that can be absorbed by the average student. Such an environment causes disruption in the classroom as those having a problem with the instruction becomes a 'problem' for the teacher and causes interference with the learning process of every child. Students should be 'grouped' according to learning abilities and teached according.
  5. Here in TX, all Spec. Ed. students have been "Mainstreamed" into regular classrooms.
    How in hell is a poor teacher supposed to handle the Emotionally Disturbed children, the MR kids, AND her "normal" students?
    Can't be done.
    And it's not the teachers who are the problem. It's the parents who TEACH their kids how to behave badly. They're the real "teachers".
    Much of the success of educational systems in other countries are the result of a rather homogenous culture like Sweden, Japan, etc...
    Here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, a lot of children come to school from a hostile environment.
    Their "home".
  6. irniger


    The so called teachers should not teach - machines/computers can do it much better and adapted to each child's motivation and knowledge status. Teachers should only be managers and guides of the student's progress. This could probably save >50% of the teachers. But these teachers/managers/guides would need a new kind of education.

    It is technically possible to develop and use programs that find out the motivations of a student and test his/her knowledge and feed him/her with specific information building upon the stage of knowledge and interests. Yes, interest! Why? If a 10 year old boy is more interested in roller skating than in math, then he should experience math in connection with roller skating. He learns with fun and interest and the stuff sticks. This is just one example. There is math, language, physics, chemistry and much more in roller skating as well as in birds and bees and car racing and mountain biking.

    Research into learning is decades ahead of the schools. 80% of the methods in today's schools have been there for >50 years. Unfortunately there is no competition in education like in industries or services and therefore no progress. So lethargy kicks in and teachers are by nature not the entrepreneurial type looking for alternative ways and means to fulfill their objectives, namely to prepare students for live. Most students are damned to learn for the teachers and grading and the school and not for live. And this with outdated and strenuous methods.

    Educational times and costs could be less than half of what it is now and the students would love to learn instead of being stressed and demotivated by the schools.

    Now I stop here or this would be endless.

  7. gucci


    Great post, really. Thanks.
  8. chartman


    Exactly the problem as I stated in my posting. The major downfall of public education started with 'Mainstreaming'. There is no possible way one can teach three or four different levels of learning abilities (disabilities). Some are emotionally disturbed and others are disruptive due to either no 'parenting' or being frustrated by not being able to comprehend the material. The gifted children are not being challenged while the students on the other end of the spectrum are getting further behind and probably will never recover by dropping out before graduation. Public education is a disaster with many different facets causing the problem. To enhance education the classroom must be conducive to learning.
  9. zdreg


    change tenure to after 10 year or eliminate it.
    get rid of feely good american system of education. don't tell the students they are wonderful. tell them the reality they must make great effort to be the best they can and to compete with the rest of the world.
    teach them a foreign language from grade 1.
    give gym in the 1st period to the more disruptive student. it will help curb their aggressive behavior.
    cut top pay of teachers in the major cities. it is ridiculous to pay $80,000+ outsize benefits for a 9 month job in which there is no responsibility for output.
  10. chartman


    This would make school systems more politicial than they are now. Some systems requires an individual to 'know' someone in order to get hired.

    The opposite should be true. As the Negro College ad says, "A mind is a terrible thing to lose." The greatest asset a nation has is the brainpower of their youth. Education should be taxpayer supported to the extent of one's ability to learn.

    Everyone needs a word of encouragement and support. You never outgrow your need for praise and a 'job well done' compliment. I fully agree that students should be told that an effort must be made to be the best they can be and we will provide them that opportunity to the fullest extent of their abilities. It is one thing to tell a child something and another to make it a reality.

    Spanish will one day soon be as prevalent as English in the USA. It will not be a 'foreign' language.

    You have three types of disruptive students in a classroom. One is those that do not have 'parenting' at home mostly caused by single parent families or from disfunctional families. Another are students that are emotionally disturbed and on medication. And last are those students that cannot comprehend the material being taught and are thereby frustrated. I doubt if having gym all day would resolve these problems.

    In a free market society, employers will not pay more than is required to fill positions. In the large cities the teaching job composes of three duties that of being a prison guard, mental health nurse and trying to teach. Before one criticizes they should walk a mile in the other person's shoes.
    #10     Feb 5, 2011