Friday, January 01, 2010

Teacher qualifications

Dear Editor:

In his recent letter, "KIPP's teachers are not qualified," Alan Barnes confused being qualified to hold a license to teach with being qualified to teach.

Additionally, Barnes conveniently fails to mention that each of his university instructors was not licensed either.

Would I be correct in assuming that they were not qualified to provide the instruction that allowed Barnes to obtain a license? And would it not follow, based on his logic, that Barnes' license is itself suspect?

Teacher licensure is a function of government. And, as such, it satisfies a political motive, and nothing else.

Jim Fedako

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Barnes is wrong. Our daughter is teaching her children at home. They are doing splendidly. Her oldest is years ahead of schedule. She is not licensed to be a school teacher. Being licensed by the State means the State has been able to indoctrinate you and now you can indoctrinate your young students. By State standards the best teachers are those that excel at indoctrination. Since the State and the Federales control the curriculum and the tests and teachers teach to the tests then a good teacher is one whose students answer the State/Federal questions appropriately. The State uses Outcome Based "Education". "Education" is based on Bloom's Taxonomies with an emphasis on the affective domain. Children are told what to think, not how to think.

Anonymous said...

And the millions of homeschooling parents are not licensed to teach, either. But their students beat the pants off of public school students academically whose teachers not only hold licenses, but advanced degrees and receive all sorts of regular, expensive "professional development" as well.

What Barnes also confuses is "teaching" with "educating" (the process vs. the result).

Anonymous said...

Wow--maybe Barnes should get a gander at how low Ohio academic standards are before he casts aspersions about how well licensed teachers do their jobs or, for that matter, how badly he believes unlicensed teachers do theirs.

The level of achievement is so low for kids going to Ohio public schools that homeschoolers trip over it like a bump coming out of the ground--then keep running.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that in school systems where kids look good the teachers get the credit but in schools where kids look bad it's not the teachers' fault?

Paul said...

Wow -- here's another thing about which we agree!

;-)

PL

Anonymous said...

What's with the claim/blame game?

It's called "The Alternative Universe Of Public Education".

It's where Up is Down and more money = better results.

It's where contemporary Young Adult literature replaces the Classics, and New Age mathematics replaces algorithms that have been proven through the ages, from the Babylonians, through Newton and Einstein.

Sleep tight, Olentangy residents. Sleep tight on the your soft, comfortable pillow that has been stuffed with the feathery fluff of state assurances that your children are receiving an excellent education.

Sleep tight.

Anonymous said...

I'd say the blame game starts with the District. I'm pretty sure than any time ANY student over achieves, it hits the paper as a "Look how great OLSD is at teaching your kids!" The District recently acted as if they solved world hunger because 6 students achieved perfect results on some state test.

Since the district plays the game at an astonishing level in order to justify taxes, it is only fair to play the reverse.

Where's the article on the failing kids???
Where's the article on the 34% who aren't prepared for college?
Where's the article on waste?

It exists, but District PR would NEVER EVER put that in writing. As proof of the pillow campaign, a kid hung himself at Indian Springs Elementary school from a slide on the playground with a jump rope. The district said there was a "playground safety incident" that required parents to "talk about playground safety with our kids." Last I checked, suicide wasn't in the playground safety guide book nor did trying to commit suicide warrant talking with my kids about running safely or having only one child on the slide at a time.

It's all marketing in order to draw tax dollars without real accountability or over achieving results. "We're better than them, so sleep tight OLSD (and don't awaken until we've stolen your piggy bank!")

Anonymous said...

Yeah--the papers let the district call it a "playground mishap", and the release read: "the quick actions of teachers and administrators prevented this accident from turning into a tragedy".

Right. The teachers were around the corner of the school gabbing while a student climbed on top of the swings, tied a jumprope to the cross bar and the other end around his neck, and jumped.

If not for the negligence of our teachers and administrators this would never have happened.

Maybe the student realized that his education at OLSD would doom him to a work life of mediocrity and stunted earnings potential, and decided to end it right there.

Maybe it was some of the morose garbage his wackjob teacher was making the class read that filled his head with thoughts of "suicide as alternative".

Anonymous said...

What are the qualifications of an Art teacher? Is it showing students moral equivalence by allowing them to illustrate junkies shooting up?

I take that back. The student illustration of the junkie injecting himself with heroin wasn't just allowed by the teacher, but encouraged because s/he put it on display for the entire school to see. And for that drawing to have still been on display after the heroin bust at nearby Liberty High School was disgraceful.

Why are we surprised by a student trying to hang himself? Why would we be surprised by a student stepping in front of a train?

Anonymous said...

This conversation seems to be about a mixed bag of ideas and gripes. I am not going to address any of them, but I would like to point out one distinction: The home school environment is extremely different than the school environment. I do not think, under the current structure, you can expect the same results.

1. Classrooms have up to thirty students in them. This is quite different than working with one to say three children.

2. Public schools have to take the students who live in the district regardless of their desire to learn or parental involvement.

I think most people would agree that one on one time with a student would increase their learning. We also know that home environment and parental involvement increases student achievement.

But like I said from the onset, this conversation seems to be about a whole lot more than the two environments.

Jim Fedako said...

12:39 --

1. Classrooms have up to thirty students in them. This is quite different than working with one to say three children.

Although, most classrooms have less than 20.


2. Public schools have to take the students who live in the district regardless of their desire to learn or parental involvement.

Homeschooling parents also take all children living in their house, regardless of a child's desire to learn.

We also know that home environment and parental involvement increases student achievement.

Then why do we pay so much for "professional" teachers? Seems that teachers provide very little, based on what you wrote.

Anonymous said...

I draw issues with your conservative numbers, but either way there is no fair comparison between home school children and public school children. And this is not a critique on the qualifications or certifications of the person doing the instruction.

The parental involvement of a parent who has the time, resources, desire, and commitment to home school is huge. This is the type of parent who wants to provide as much as possible, and there is nothing wrong with that. And it does not only last during school hours, it is their outlook on parenting.

The public school gets all kinds of kids with all kinds of levels of parental involvement. This can range from lots of involvement to none.

A home school child can get the one on one attention when needed or demanded by the parent. This cannot logistically happen in the public school. There are time constraints, other students to consider, and the parents.

But you wonder what the purpose would be to ever send a child to public school, and you are entitled to that question and opinion. But not every parent can afford or desire to home school.

The school system is there for a base level or education and opportunity. That does not mean that the system is perfect and that all of your experiences match that goal. But then again, I am not as cynical as you. And I'm sure you have some snide remark about my opinion or outlook, but that is your opinion that you are entitled to.

Jim Fedako said...

8:29 --

And I'm sure you have some snide remark about my opinion or outlook, ...

That comment is itself a snide remark. Kinda ironic, don't cha think?

You failed to address teacher salaries and licensure (the point of this post). If parental involvement drives educational outcome, why pay high salaries?

Anonymous said...

The following comments are comparing not only licensed teacher with home school teachers, but the academic performance of the students.


" But their students beat the pants off of public school students academically whose teachers not only hold licenses, but advanced degrees and receive all sorts of regular, expensive "professional development" as well."


"The level of achievement is so low for kids going to Ohio public schools that homeschoolers trip over it like a bump coming out of the ground"

And because of the factors I pointed out, you cannot accurately compare the achievement of the two groups without accounting for a plethora of factors.

This does not detract from the ability of home school teachers to teach. But there is a faulty connection being made by some of your commenter's that needed to be addressed.

As far as my comment about snide remarks goes- it was not a snide remark, but rather an comment based on observations of how you commonly respond to issues like these.

Jim Fedako said...

9:49 --

Strange logic. You accuse me in a snide manner before I respond, and you consider yourself above reproach.

I agree that there are differences. I simply ask why teachers should be paid such high salaries (and benefits) if their efforts provide little benefit.

Interestingly, you continue to fail to respond to that.

Anonymous said...

9:49

You take umbrage with my comments, whining that I'm not beating on the licensure issue, but of student achievement, as if that's off topic, or below the belt:

"But their students beat the pants off of public school students academically whose teachers not only hold licenses, but advanced degrees and receive all sorts of regular, expensive 'professional development' as well."

"The level of achievement is so low for kids going to Ohio public schools that homeschoolers trip over it like a bump coming out of the ground"

It's true--you don't deny it. Instead, you rationalize it by simply stating, "it's apples and oranges". But nowhere in your statement do you aspire the (bad) apple public system to emulate the winning strategies of homeschooling. And it's not about "one-on-one" attention (Jim--what's the teacher-student ratio in your house? And not only does the teacher instruct the older ones, but has her hands full with toddlers--and STILL your kids achieve).

It's about maximizing educational time and not filling every available moment with nonsense and make-work so teachers can take breaks in-class. It's about prioritization of academics over silliness like choir or ceramics or jewelry making.

1-in-3 graduates are not ready for college-level math and/or English. Striking, given those are the two most basic disciplines--and longest taught. Truly astonishing.

Whine all you want. Regardless of how involved the parents are, or how willing the student is to lean, shuffling them from grade to grade is no incentive to achieve. The bottom line is that the district is the gatekeeper of students graduating, and they're tossing at least a third of them out into the world unprepared--and scores more UNDERprepared, who will struggle their entire time in college.

Keep making excuses. Nobody is buying it.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how a good teacher goes bad? When I entered the seventh grade my teacher was newly-minted. She had just graduated from college. She was full of energy and she was an excellent teacher of English Grammar. After two years with her I had absorbed her instructions and was in pretty good shape. Many years later she retired as a Social Studies teacher. She went from offering useful information to dealing in indoctrination. What a pity.

Anonymous said...

"to emulate the winning strategies of homeschooling"

And which winning strategies of home schooling that are applicable to public schooling are you referring to?