Date: Oct 2, 2012 4:25 PM
Author: Greg Goodknight
Subject: Re: US teachers are overworked and underpaid

On 10/02/2012 12:52 PM, kirby urner wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 11:16 AM, Paul Tanner <> wrote:

>> Quote: "American teachers spend on average 1,080 hours teaching each
>> year. Across the O.E.C.D., the average is 794 hours on primary
>> education, 709 hours on lower secondary education, and 653 hours on
>> upper secondary education general programs."
>> As what I cited shows, the average US schoolteacher has to perform
>> roughly 50% more teaching hours per year than the average
>> schoolteacher of the entire OECD.

> That's interesting. Given US is generally recognized as a low
> performing low IQ state (judging from its general behavior in the
> world), one wonders why these increased hours don't translate to
> better performance. The divide and conquer answer involves pitting
> students against teachers by blaming one or the other, but as we all
> know from my track record, I tend to blame the publishers or rigging
> the system to move text books on economic grounds, with an historical
> bias in favor of larger states such as California and Texas.

There is that pesky Federal Dept of Ed study released a decade ago that
found that, after receiving a baccalaureate, the lower the incoming SAT
score entering college, the higher the probability they are teaching
K-12 ten years after graduation.

Winnow out the lower 1/3 of the SAT performers (give some leeway and
alternate assessments for music, art and PE majors) from the teacher and
administration corps and see what happens.

- -Greg

> The
> reason Americans are so dumb in STEM subjects is because certain
> economic arguments have the ear of Congress whereas the STEM teachers
> themselves are consistently ignored and left to squabbling amongst
> themselves.

>> And let's look at the highest performing countries in the world on
>> international tests:
>> For the average schoolteacher in Japan, Finland, and Korea, three of
>> the world's highest scoring countries on recent international tests,
>> the number of teaching hours per year are only about 600, 600, and 550
>> respectively, roughly only half the teaching load of the average
>> American schoolteacher. For France, which scored highest in the world

> I'm guessing they have more effective methods plus a cultural context
> in which students see having a safe space to study as a privilege that
> goes away after awhile. You have a harder time reaping the benefits
> if you squander your youth on non-productive activities. Building
> skills and staying more or less even with your peers, give or take, is
> the name of the game.
> In the US, you have huge spans of land and thousands of demographic
> groups with differing attitudes and school, boarding school, Bible
> camp, scouting, social service, church attendance, family obligations
> and so on. So many different ethnicities. Generalizations are
> difficult as anecdotal exceptions to just about every story readily
> come to mind.
> The scenario wherein under-served primarily Spanglish-speaking
> students pull themselves up by their own bootstraps to become national
> contenders on the calculus scene, is reminiscent of the plot in
> 'Resolved', a true story about a team from non privileged origins
> making it to the top of the debating world, as champions. You can
> watch the preview here:

>> in TIMSS Advanced with a coverage index of roughly 20% when it
>> participated back in 1995, that number is roughly only 620 teaching
>> hours per year.
>> Question: What do tutoring industries have to do with why these
>> countries and essentially the entire OECD work their schoolteachers
>> less - and even much less - than the US works its schoolteachers in
>> terms of teaching hours per year?

> I'm not sure how time / hours is measured in all these places and is
> the measuring technique uniform? When teachers grade large stacks of
> paper at home, do they clock and and clock out? Do we count time
> doing extra-curricular activities such as debating team? Some of our
> hardest working teachers at Cleveland High School are the ones who
> participate in speech and debate related activities. This is what has
> replaced civics. The fact that civics is now extra-curricular may not
> be the case in these other schools in other countries. Teachers may
> need less time doing supplementary activities because the curriculum
> itself is more down to business and focused where it needs to be.
> I'd like to get similar statistics about students. If a STEM student
> is not learning any programming language skills through the school,
> and is undertaking that on his or her own, or as an outside activity
> with peers, than that's time away from school that should be counted,
> just like grading papers on the teacher side.
> My guess is students put in way more hours learning than many of their
> counterparts outside the US, but a lot depends on what we count as
> "learning time". Watching educational YouTubes such as Khans would
> count. Time at an SAT coaching school would count.
> Kirby