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Topic: Re: Teacher Training
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Wayne Bishop

Posts: 5,465
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Teacher Training
Posted: Aug 27, 2000 10:30 AM
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[There's been a nice discussion on another education listserve that seems
appropriate here as well. (wb)]

At 12:47 AM 8/27/00 -0700, Xxxx Xxxx wrote:

>Not so long ago, San Diego lost some large engineering firms and many
>engineers couldn't find jobs due to the economy. A very few went through
>the credentialing process and became teachers. Many more older engineers
>had to find work well below their ...

Not so long ago, the entire southern California region suffered an immense,
historic even, turn-down in (especially) aerospace industries, some of
which were willing to offer nice parachutes, early tho modest retirement
packages combined with transitional training to new jobs. Mathematics
and/or science teaching were naturals because of the original education
that many of these people had had; some industries were willing to provide
reduced salary for some length of time to help make the transition to
public school teaching, help keep-up payments on the house, etc. The
education industry almost recoiled in horror. Very few made the transition
and when they did it was in spite of the system, not because of it.

Of course, increasing salaries dramatically would entice more and higher
caliber candidates to apply but,

1. Politically, it's not going to happen. My son just bought a west-side
townhouse, less than a year into his fresh-out-of-Berkeley, down-town
lawyer job (with some head-hunter offers from other companies to offer him
confidence that this extension is not over-extension). Schools are not
going to be competitive with that, not ever, and

2. Politically, this would have to be across the board. Proven
incompetents, many in positions of influence would still dominate the
industry. It is very possible that the industry could spend three times as
much as it does and still be no better off. In fact, that experiment has
been done. Kansas City, MO, is the model for the country in this
regard. By stupid court mandate, taxpayers across Missouri had to send
lots of tax dollars to KC for more than a decade. Some $15,000 per student
to upgrade buildings, buy new equipment, provide the best computer support,
and pay to get the best teachers. They went into all the progressive ideas
in the biggest possible way and a huge "If we build it they will come"
mentality to encourage the reversal of bright-flight. It didn't
happen. Last spring, after a final warning a year or so earlier, the state
jerked the entire district's accreditation. Student performance progress
had been nil. They still weren't teaching kids to read in K-1, or
absolutely by the end of 2, but all is well. Well..., it isn't.

Without a dramatic shake-up in quality control of the industry, nothing
will change. It wasn't the workers in Detroit that sent us to Asia for our
cars, it was top management, and even it could not operate until it had the
authority to make painful, but necessary, decisions. My hope is that the
current, more rational testing mentality, California's standards-based
approach, and the national home-school and voucher movements will be the
needed catalysts. But I ain't gonna bet the house.


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