Monday, April 20, 2009

Teachers are feeling better
a survey says so .. from MetLife

They also view academic standards and curriculum as stronger, and students as better prepared. The survey reveals that a majority of today’s teachers (62%) are very satisfied with their careers, compared to 40% in 1984. Two-thirds (67%) of teachers think that the training and preparation teachers receive does a good job of preparing them for the classroom, compared to 46% in 1984.

Why does the USA perform so poorly on International Math tests?
With teachers feeling so good how is this possible?


nofuzzymath said...

Why not? Teachers' jobs are protected by strong union contracts, there are guaranteed benefits and little or no accountability about job performance.

dan dempsey said...

The teachers I know are very interested in increasing the learning of content by students and are not happy with school administration in that regard.

I do not think that MetLife surveyed a diverse enough teacher population. The results reported do not jive with my much much smaller non-random sample.

Look at the results of student testing as they enter colleges ... who finds this acceptable?

Social promotion enables the schools to be accountable for nothing, but I as a teacher find it unacceptable.

I guess we have social promotion because the parents like it. It makes everyone's job easier ... except the kid's when looking for a real job later in life.

Anonymous said...

Social promotion is misleading, because we don't promote all students to four-year colleges or even 2-year colleges. The majority of students are not advanced beyond a high school diploma. This is what I find most unaccepable. The difficulty lies with determinining whether a student has mastered what the state requires. That's it. The WASL is the tool used for measuring student achievement and it is a crude measurement. It would be difficult to separate monkeys from people based on how students answered the questions. Formerly it was left up to districts and teachers, but now we leave that responsibility up to Pearson testing ($50/student).

What makes this entirely moronic is that school districts adopt different textbooks? So at best you can only make comparisons within districts. The kids that transfer out of district, drop out, or get pushed into alternative programs end up using different textbooks or more than likely textbooks that have been marginalized in some way.

An example of a textbook losing its value is when a student is forced to retake a class using the same textbook. In some cases calculators enhance instruction; however, once again, more than likely instruction is denigrated or even obstructed when calculators are not called for or as with graphing calculators, the majority of students/parents are unable to comprehend the interface.

Public education needs a unified matriculatory curriculum and that would eliminate social promotion once and for all (and the WASL). Promotion is best left to school districts.

We are running our schools in reverse. Tests are administered by the state and curriculum is decided by school boards. Reverse the roles and you will see much of the controversy eliminated.