Date: Oct 2, 2012 5:46 PM
Author: kirby urner
Subject: Re: US teachers are overworked and underpaid

> 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

You can play with supply and demand like that but if you keep upping
the job requirements without letting other things change, then you'll
likely lose time.

For example, if more college professors were persuaded to take on
these special sabbaticals that paid room and board and offered a
stipend, for relocating for one year to academies X, Y and Z, mostly
sponsored by USG, though with some private help, you would expect said
profs to be somewhat ornery and irascible towards any admin types who
said "these are the teaching materials you must use". "I'm a
professor, it's my job to choose the materials!"

Right now, the teaching profession is open to not-so-great-at-school
adults who may have more empathy with students who dislike school. My
daughter had an ex Hells Angels biker or someone like that, and they
loved him for all he could bring into the classroom that wasn't run of
the mill. He's plenty smart but doesn't mind leaving the math book
writing to nameless committees in large companies. He's willing to
take orders on that score. US teachers are compliant / obedient when
it comes to letting the district dictate textbook choices. And if
said textbook doesn't mention "evolution", then they don't have to,
even if this is "STEM".

Teachers from new backgrounds, like IT geeks, would be a threat.
They'd insist on teaching Python. :-D

I think the US, as presently constructed, needs a vast non-prison
institution in which to channel adults of medium ability and ambition
who still need to eat and possibly raise a family. The education
system is a jobs program for adults that somewhat fits that bill.
Like the Post Office. The military, which I include as part of the
education system (most people don't but they're wrong not to), is
another great way to provide day care to adults primarily, and to
young people with no jobs at all secondarily.

You want to upset the applecart and change the requirements? That's
like going back in time and saying single women should not be school
mistresses. What are they supposed to do then? In the Wild West, you
could be a cowgirl, a teacher, or maybe work in a brothel. Roles for
women were precious few. Tell them they need high SAT scores and what
would be the social consequence?

It's very selfish to think school is just about students. It's a way
of life for a vast army of adults. If you're a social conservative
you say "disband this army, let the market take care of it" but then
you probably don't agree that the same logic applies to military
schools and bases (like on Okinawa, which should have closed by now,
or at least reinvented themselves).

That deference to military schools often indicates a strong Prussian
type father somewhere in the family tree, authoritarian but illogical,
passionate, but a dim bulb. The Anglo speaking world is full of
"stern clowns" who don't appreciate the hypocrisy of having schools
designed to fail *just so* a military alternative seems more
attractive (in relative terms). If you make schools too much better,
you'll have to face the wrath of the Selective Service, sooner or