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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Study Finds Poor Performance by Nation's Education Schools

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Author Topic: Study Finds Poor Performance by Nation's Education Schools
philnotfil
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http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/15/education/15teach.html

quote:
American colleges and universities do such a poor job of training the nation's future teachers and school administrators that 9 of every 10 principals consider the graduates unprepared for what awaits them in the classroom, a new survey has found.

Nearly half the elementary- and secondary-school principals surveyed said the curriculums at schools of education, whether graduate or undergraduate, lacked academic rigor and were outdated, at times using materials decades older than the children whom teachers are now instructing. Beyond that, more than 80 percent of principals said the education schools were too detached from what went on at local elementary and high schools, a factor that made for a rift between educational theory and practice.

It would be interesting to see what management type people in other fields had to say about their young college graduates.

quote:
Much of the problem, the report said, stems from what Dr. Levine called "the consumer mentality" dominating the nation's education schools. All states, and nearly all public school districts within them, award higher salaries to teachers who take additional courses and earn advanced degrees. One result of this has been an "army of unmotivated" educators looking for extra credits "in the easiest ways possible" during their off hours, the report said.


My favorite bit:
quote:
In fact, while criticism has often focused on the questionable academic qualifications of many teachers, the report found that school administrators typically had substantially lower scores on the Graduate Record Examination than the teachers they supervise.



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LoverOfJoy
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How many teachers actually take the GRE? There might be a bit of selection bias there.

GRE scores by field of study

Means - Verbal:
El Ed 444
Sec Ed 485

Quantitative:
El Ed 523
Sec Ed 574

What would school administration be under?...I don't see a clear fit.
Of course, I don't think that the GRE is a great measure of teaching ability.

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towellman
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"Nearly half the elementary- and secondary-school principals surveyed said the curriculums at schools of education, whether graduate or undergraduate, lacked academic rigor and were outdated, at times using materials decades older than the children whom teachers are now instructing"

Man, if my kids teacher wasn't using the cutting edge textbook with all the latest breakthroughs in 4th grade math I would be pissed, too. School districts should require teachers to not only use the latest textbooks for all courses, but also subscribe to the relevant peer reviewed journals to stay abrest of new developments in their field. You'd be amazed at the work going on in the journal "Coloring: Beyond Crayons".

OK, hopefully you caught the sarcasm. So the article is complaining that 8 year old kids may be using a 9 year old textbook to learn basic arithmatic, reading, writing, history---so what? I'm often amazed at what they NYT tries to slip by their readers.

I am however, inclined to support the main point of the article. Having seen the courses my sister -in-law took and hearing her description of them I am starting to thing that a teaching degree is a worthless scrap of paper. My best teachers in Jr. High & HS never set foot in an education building or considered it as a major.

Furthermore,I have little confidence in what I've seen from the current generation of education specialists. One teacher showed me the "new and better" way of learning long division and it was ridiculous how much longer it took and more complex it was.

[ March 15, 2005, 08:22 PM: Message edited by: towellman ]

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The Drake
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Or maybe it suggests that fewer smart people go into education because of the abuse they would take from the general public [Smile]

3001 Education Administration
429/521

The Times is apparently not very good at math either, or they don't understand the word "substantially".

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Loki
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American public education is a joke. That's what comes to mind, we need to pay teachers more, to attract smarter individuals to the professions of teaching. We need new curriculums, we need to try to teach more advanced things earlier, much earlier, kindergarten and the first grades. I doubt that will happen for many many many years.
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towellman
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"Or maybe it suggests that fewer smart people go into education because of the abuse they would take from the general public [Smile]"

lol, you make a good point. I wasn't abusing teachers, or the job that they do.

My abuse was directed at the programs that they are forced to go through as well as the requirement to have a teaching degree to teach in public schools. I believe that any advanced degree should qualify or sufficient (as determined by the school board) experience in a non-teaching field, such as engineering or business. This would allow qualified professionals to come in to schoools to voluntarily teach a subject that they are passionate about, are experts in, and act as examples of success.

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Zyne
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Do you have to be a good grad student to be a good and effective grade school teacher?

The GRE is a bitching hard test. Grad school is bitching hard. I'm not sure a masters is a requisite task for a second grade teacher.

Regardless, the mean GRE scores for those in the public schools are abysmal, esp. the verbal scores (know your WORDS people, know your WORDS).

And IMO a +100 point total different is substantial, esp. those +100 points (950 combined versus 1059 combined).

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towellman
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I'm not sure if that was a response to my post or another, but I'll take it.
I agree an advanced degree is wasted on elementary ed and I don't think it should be a way for those teachers to get pay increases. Although I wasn't explicit, I was referring more to HS teachers.

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