Date: Oct 10, 2012 11:49 AM
Author: Paul A. Tanner III
Subject: Re: US teachers are overworked and underpaid

On Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 5:59 AM, Robert Hansen <> wrote:
> Well, there goes your raise Paul...
> Florida transitioning to iPads.

The reason that US teachers have been overworked and underpaid in
comparison to teachers in other countries - especially the top
performing ones Korea, Japan, and Finland - is not future technology
in the classroom in the US. It is stuff like that shiny new football
stadium and every other thing associated with extra-curricular school
activities that one can think of. Example:

"What Makes Finnish Kids So Smart?"

Quote: "The school, which is a model campus, has no sports teams,
marching bands or prom."

Would you ever be prepared to see all those extra-curricular school
activities that you enjoyed and your children would enjoy flushed so
that the schools would then have the money to hire enough extra
teachers to see their working time spent in front of a class cut
almost in half and thus their working time spent not in front of a
class almost doubled, even if the standards in terms of minimum
requirements to become a teacher became the highest in the world?

I thought not.

Evidently, all those extra-curricular school activities like all those
quite expensive school athletics programs and their quite expensive
big and shiny new facilities are more important to US parents than to
the parents of these other countries. To be more specific: That is,
before all these US conservatives continue to dump on US public school
education they perceive to be inferior to public education in these
top-performing countries in question and condemn others and only
others as the reason for this perceived inferiority, all these US
conservatives need to look in the mirror.

And in this above article, here is something that you won't like:

Quote: "Fanny earns straight A's, and with no gifted classes she
sometimes doodles in her journal while waiting for others to catch up.
She often helps lagging classmates. "It's fun to have time to relax a
little in the middle of class," Fanny says. Finnish educators believe
they get better overall results by concentrating on weaker students
rather than by pushing gifted students ahead of everyone else. The
idea is that bright students can help average ones without harming
their own progress."

Also, these other countries in question have already spent more money
and will spend more money going further with the digital revolution in
the classroom (ICT means Information and Communications Technology)
than the US has or ever will - again, probably because all, those
extra-curricular school activities like all those quite expensive
school athletics programs are more important to US parents. (That is,
before all you conservatives continue to dump on US public school
education, you need to look in the mirror.) Example:

"Using ICT to make a successful education system even better"


"Government policies support education with above-average spending.
After making elementary education mandatory in the 1950s, the Korean
government took steps to widen educational opportunities for middle
and high school students during the 1960s and 1970s, thus ensuring
that more students could benefit from quality public education. In the
1990s, Korean authorities were quick to recognize the potential of ICT
in education, launching a master plan to develop ICT infrastructure
with one PC per teacher and Internet access in all classrooms.
Subsequent strategies have set out to enhance education quality by
providing open access to content and by training teachers to integrate
ICT into classroom teaching.

A major objective of successive administrations has been to reduce
inequalities in access to education, and ICT is seen as key to
achieving that goal. In 2005, complementing services provided
nationwide by Korea's Educational Broadcasting System, the government
launched a Cyber Home Learning System that gives students home access
to digital tutoring. In 2011, building on pilot projects launched in
2007, it announced a $2.4 billion strategy to digitize the nation's
entire school curriculum by 2015.

At the core of this ambitious project, dubbed 'Smart Education', is
the implementation of 'digital textbooks' -- interactive versions of
traditional textbooks that can be constantly updated in real time.
Digital textbooks contain a combination of textbooks, reference books,
workbooks, dictionaries and multimedia content such as video clips,
animations, and virtual-reality programmes that can be tailored to
students' abilities and interests. Students can underline sections,
take notes, reorganise pages and create hyperlinks to online material.

Taking advantage of Korea's strong digital sector, the project will
involve the installation of wireless networks in all schools and the
creation of a digitized education system that will run on a range of
equipment including PCs, laptops, tablet PCs and smart TVs. Policy
makers say it is designed to respond to 21st century education
challenges by moving from uniform and standardized education to
diversified, creativity-based learning.

Korean students already have extensive familiarity with digital
devices for social and recreational purposes, and their aptitude for
handling digital material was demonstrated by their top-ranking
performance in the PISA 2009 digital reading test. By making access to
new learning modes available to all, 'Smart Education' will help to
bridge the education divide between families who can afford to pay for
private tutoring and those that can't. Pilot tests are said to have
shown measurable improvements in the performance of students from less
well-off families and students in remote areas."