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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The $320,000 Teacher Lie

Here's the article.  It sounds wonderful.  Elementary school teachers who teach kids more than preparing for the "TEST" and teach them "patience, discipline, manners, perseverance" have students who grow up to make $320,000 more than kids who don't learn these traits.  Further, the study show that test scores have very little effect on the amount of money the kids make in their future. 

Sounds great in light of the Test 'Em Till They Drop (Out) mentality our government has been proposing.

BEWARE!  This is a smokescreen!  The article is not about paying teachers $320,000, it is about how most teachers won't need to be paid more than minimum wage.  The governments can then save millions of dollars on what currently takes up at least 50% of most state budgets (public school budgets).


Hidden in the final sentences (where readers likely will not continue to read), you will read this:

They can pay their best teachers more, as Pittsburgh soon will, and give them the support they deserve. Administrators can fire more of their worst teachers, as Michelle Rhee, the Washington schools chancellor, did last week. Schools can also make sure standardized tests are measuring real student skills and teacher quality, as teachers’ unions have urged.

Here's what I see as a stage-setting: 
  • Wholesale firings will become the norm. 
  • Student test results will be used even more to assess teacher performance.
  • National standards will be required by states in order to receive any significant federal funding (extortion).
  • A national standards-based test will become the instrument of assessment.
  • THEN, national scope and sequencing of curriculum will enter the picture.  All schools, grade levels, and disciplines will be on the same calendar regardless of the location in the country.
  • The "effective teachers" will record their lessons. "Teachers" (paid barely minimum wage) will push play in their classrooms and provide tutoring to their students, based on the recorded presentation (probably in a Microsoft program - so Gates can make his money).
  • The "teacher as curator" (as Jeff Jarvis predicted and hoped for at TEDxNYED 2010) will make it so the income of a para-pro is what teachers will make, and the teacher/creators will make a living wage, and likely not have a classroom of kids as the record their lessons for national consumption.
  • Teaching will not be, or even need to be, a profession.  Perhaps an associates degree might be required, because teachers won't need to think.
I hope I'm wrong.  But one of my strengths according to personality inventories and skill inventories is that I can take information from a wide variety of sources and find the connections that make it all make sense. 

I hope I'm wrong.  This is a very pessimistic view of where we are heading.  As George Will said, "The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised."

I hope to be pleasantly surprised.

Posted via email from Murry's World


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