The most aggressive defense of teachers you'll hear...

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    Mar 18, 2011 4:56 PM GMT
    [url][/url]


    Comments? Applause?
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    Mar 18, 2011 5:00 PM GMT
    Fucking awesome!
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    Mar 18, 2011 5:04 PM GMT
    Definitely to be applauded. Teachers do make a difference icon_smile.gif. Parenthetically - it's their unions and the pay for time served as opposed to effectiveness that I think a lot of people have a problem with.
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    Mar 18, 2011 5:12 PM GMT
    I'm a little turned on now. icon_lol.gif
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    Mar 18, 2011 5:13 PM GMT
    riddler78 saidDefinitely to be applauded. Teachers do make a difference icon_smile.gif. Parenthetically - it's their unions and the pay for time served as opposed to effectiveness that I think a lot of people have a problem with.


    You couldn't just let it go, could you? icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Mar 18, 2011 5:24 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 saidDefinitely to be applauded. Teachers do make a difference icon_smile.gif. Parenthetically - it's their unions and the pay for time served as opposed to effectiveness that I think a lot of people have a problem with.


    You couldn't just let it go, could you? icon_rolleyes.gif


    they never can
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    Mar 19, 2011 4:13 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 saidDefinitely to be applauded. Teachers do make a difference icon_smile.gif. Parenthetically - it's their unions and the pay for time served as opposed to effectiveness that I think a lot of people have a problem with.


    You couldn't just let it go, could you? icon_rolleyes.gif


    Not really anything to let go or hold on to. I don't know anyone who is against teachers as a blanket statement. That being said, I'm not sure teaching is any nobler or less noble than many professions either.
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    Mar 19, 2011 4:20 PM GMT
    "That being said, I'm not sure teaching is any nobler or less noble than many professions either. "


    Oh dear....OK, here:

    Some professions

    interior designer
    film director
    hair dresser
    teacher
    painter
    tailor

    Still not sure? Here, I'll help. None of these professions would be possible without a teacher, even teachers.
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    Mar 19, 2011 4:33 PM GMT
    meninlove said "That being said, I'm not sure teaching is any nobler or less noble than many professions either. "


    Oh dear....OK, here:

    Some professions

    interior designer
    film director
    hair dresser
    teacher
    painter
    tailor

    Still not sure? Here, I'll help. None of these professions would be possible without a teacher, even teachers.


    I'm confused - how are you saying that teaching is therefore more noble than these occupations? It's kind of saying that there would be no clothes without tailors. Given how some people look without clothes... that's a damn noble profession icon_wink.gif
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    Mar 19, 2011 4:37 PM GMT
    Tailors?
    Who taught them to be tailors?

    Find a profession not requiring at least a grade school education. icon_wink.gif


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    Mar 19, 2011 4:47 PM GMT
    meninlove said Tailors?
    Who taught them to be tailors?

    Find a profession not requiring at least a grade school education. icon_wink.gif


    Not saying they're not useful but not sure how that makes them better?
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    Mar 19, 2011 4:58 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    meninlove said Tailors?
    Who taught them to be tailors?

    Find a profession not requiring at least a grade school education. icon_wink.gif


    Not saying they're not useful but not sure how that makes them better?



    lol, I'm sure one day you'll figure it out.
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    Mar 19, 2011 5:05 PM GMT
    meninlove said
    riddler78 said
    meninlove said Tailors?
    Who taught them to be tailors?

    Find a profession not requiring at least a grade school education. icon_wink.gif


    Not saying they're not useful but not sure how that makes them better?


    lol, I'm sure one day you'll figure it out.


    Pretty much what I thought you'd have an answer ;). There have always been alternatives - same with like tailors making clothes. My guess is that in the coming years, you'll figure that out ;).

    There are a lot of disruptive alternatives coming up - which will help make good teachers more effective and the others, less relevant - and that's a good thing. Some teachers are admirable, but I wouldn't necessarily elevate them any higher or lower than many other worthwhile professions.
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    Mar 19, 2011 5:07 PM GMT
    Oh dear, so it sinks into cryptic befuddled glibber glabber.

    Alternative to what, exactly?
    "There have always been alternatives - same with like tailors making clothes."


    An education under a teacher is how one gets into these professions, even teaching. Here, for an exercise, remove all teachers from society and see what happens.

    Now, about those alternatives....
  • musclmed

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    Mar 19, 2011 5:16 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    meninlove said Tailors?
    Who taught them to be tailors?

    Find a profession not requiring at least a grade school education. icon_wink.gif


    Not saying they're not useful but not sure how that makes them better?


    Teaching is very noble.

    Why not let the better ones get ahead and the bad ones do something else?

    I am not aware of any profession where its advisabe to get to a point were you get immunity from any performance review after a few years "tenure".

    One could argue University level professors could benefit from tenure. But why does a grammar school teacher need it?

    In turn why do we not reward success of a very good teacher bonuses and merit pay? Its mostly the tyranny of the mediocre

    Why does k-12 operate under a 19 century model of 10 months / year , everything in a old classroom with small seats?

    Most if not all of the latest tech / software gurus of late are self taught dropouts .... What does that tell you...?


    I think a few co-opt "the teachers" as one of bunch of captive professions in the flock of progressives fallacy that they cannot get ahead unless all equally miserable.


    Regarding lawyers, unfortunately are country is held hostage for the most part by this trade.
    There is not one issue or topic, where the trial lawyers seek to infinitely complicate. Which ultimately benefits the professional lawyer you need to pay to make things work in your favor.

    One example was the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution (FAIR) Act. It would set up a trust fund for Mesothelioma patients to get a quick settlement without having to file a lawsuit, and get paid "AFTER THEY ARE DEAD". After giving 1/3-1/2 to lawyers.

    The trial attorneys destroyed the bill. Mesothelioma is one of a handful of disease where we know the cause, its asbestos. Its a slam dunk,,,, nothing else causes it.

    Ideologically a 150k-200k salary ( or more) for a grammar school teacher is something I can wrap my brain around. I would rather take the salaries away from the endless bureaucracy of political managerial jobs that do little or nothing but churn out garbage.




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    Mar 19, 2011 5:27 PM GMT
    The really big problem I think is the overly simplistic idea that there are universal ways to measure effectiveness.

    I am *very much in favor* of evidence-based teaching and assessment. I'm quite happy for these to be used to reward good teachers [i.e. I think part of their salary ought to be performance based]. But I think education metrics are far far too coarse to be used to determine hiring/firing decisions.

    Moreover, the imposition of metrics invariably corrupts the educational process. Teachers teach to exams, teach concepts/questions rather than encouraging *understanding* [you'd be familiar with this musclemed if you went to medical school!] and education is replaced by rote learning. If you look at the state of science/math education in both the US and the UK right now, you see exactly this process.

    Perhaps only the very best teachers ought to get tenure. I know that the best three teachers of my life [a Physics teacher, an English Lit teacher and a Math teacher] went *wildly* off the curriculum to teach me. But I am glad they did---I would never have succeeded as a Theoretical Physicist if they had been confined to the *truly* *dreadful* math/physics curriculum. But I realise that they were exceptional. It is *them* who I think deserve tenure because tenure gives them the academic freedom to *be* great teachers.
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    Mar 19, 2011 10:12 PM GMT
    musclmed said
    riddler78 said
    meninlove said Tailors?
    Who taught them to be tailors?

    Find a profession not requiring at least a grade school education. icon_wink.gif


    Not saying they're not useful but not sure how that makes them better?



    Most if not all of the latest tech / software gurus of late are self taught dropouts .... What does that tell you...?


    That tells me that a teacher at some point taught them to read, and some math teacher taught them basic math.
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    Mar 19, 2011 10:30 PM GMT
    musclmed saidMost if not all of the latest tech / software gurus of late are self taught dropouts .... What does that tell you...?
    The best teachers are the ones who can teach students how to teach themselves. icon_wink.gif
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    Mar 19, 2011 11:03 PM GMT
    riddler78 said

    There are a lot of disruptive alternatives coming up - which will help make good teachers more effective and the others, less relevant - and that's a good thing. Some teachers are admirable, but I wouldn't necessarily elevate them any higher or lower than many other worthwhile professions.


    So far the news about "disruptive alternatives" is worse than even the very worst teachers. Thus far, no technological alternatives even come close to having a superior teacher.

    Like, Tim, I'm for evidence based performance reviews, promotions, etc. However, that doesn't have to mean that unions are unimportant or anachronistic or that tests are the best way to measure a teacher's performance. The most critical lack that I've noticed in both working in education reform and having a mother who was a Kindergarten teacher is that having a strong principal who's both a good educator and great manager is really key the school's performance.
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    Mar 20, 2011 1:07 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    riddler78 said

    There are a lot of disruptive alternatives coming up - which will help make good teachers more effective and the others, less relevant - and that's a good thing. Some teachers are admirable, but I wouldn't necessarily elevate them any higher or lower than many other worthwhile professions.


    So far the news about "disruptive alternatives" is worse than even the very worst teachers. Thus far, no technological alternatives even come close to having a superior teacher.

    Like, Tim, I'm for evidence based performance reviews, promotions, etc. However, that doesn't have to mean that unions are unimportant or anachronistic or that tests are the best way to measure a teacher's performance. The most critical lack that I've noticed in both working in education reform and having a mother who was a Kindergarten teacher is that having a strong principal who's both a good educator and great manager is really key the school's performance.


    I don't disagree with you about the importance of a superior teacher - and point being that I don't think that technologies will replace teachers but leverage/supplement the ones that are good into ones that are even better. Though there are other emerging web based technologies that promise to give parents more tools Of course, you and I both know that we seem to have a significant deficit of superior teachers but a large part of that is because teachers get compensated for time served over whatever other measures that as you point out individually are probably wonting.

    But I think we have to choose whether or not even those subjective measures are better than the existing system. The problem is that unions - or as contracts as they are negotiated now don't provide the flexibility for schools even within the public system to differentiate themselves. If we accept that not all kids learn the same or have the same interests, why do we treat them as if they do? Why not give principals the ability to reward and hire as they see fit within a band and within limits?

    In fact if you accept that there are superior teachers, why not provide their managers with the tools to reward them even if they may at times be more subjective rather than treating them as if they're the same?
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    Mar 21, 2011 2:19 PM GMT
    The unions in some ways provide the faculty the power to set their (often higher and more informed) standards about education, while also protecting them from the state. The concern is clearly that the state is attacking unions so that the next step can be lowering their salary. This video is clearly saying "you will be fools to lower the salaries of people who are so valuable to our society". The subtext (at least for me) is that there is a whole list of places where money should be cut before lowering the salaries of teachers.

    p.s., yes we ALL know teachers who suck. That is something that needs to be addressed immediately. But, I believe that these issues are best addressed by the faculty. Unions help protect a system whereby faculty judge the effectiveness of other faculty. At my university it is a VERY tedious and demanding process. Every couple of years, we have to submit evidence that we rock. This includes evidence of research, contributing to the community, students evaluations, peer review, etc. etc. etc. I believe that only faculty (not the state) understands how to respond to situtaions where students are performing poorly. The variables are too varied and dynamic and far to human to be measured quantitatively.
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    Mar 21, 2011 4:50 PM GMT
    Rockbiter saidThe unions in some ways provide the faculty the power to set their (often higher and more informed) standards about education, while also protecting them from the state. The concern is clearly that the state is attacking unions so that the next step can be lowering their salary. This video is clearly saying "you will be fools to lower the salaries of people who are so valuable to our society". The subtext (at least for me) is that there is a whole list of places where money should be cut before lowering the salaries of teachers.

    p.s., yes we ALL know teachers who suck. That is something that needs to be addressed immediately. But, I believe that these issues are best addressed by the faculty. Unions help protect a system whereby faculty judge the effectiveness of other faculty. At my university it is a VERY tedious and demanding process. Every couple of years, we have to submit evidence that we rock. This includes evidence of research, contributing to the community, students evaluations, peer review, etc. etc. etc. I believe that only faculty (not the state) understands how to respond to situtaions where students are performing poorly. The variables are too varied and dynamic and far to human to be measured quantitatively.


    Ok I understand now that you're coming from a higher education stance. I guess I can sort of see that the video applies to university educators though not sure how many university educators will call parents (in fact I think there was something of a rule at my alma mater that they couldn't call parents because of privacy constraints). I would have a different series of questions though for universities and unions - given that universities/colleges tend to have a lot more flexibility in dealing with their budgets than say an elementary school - and there is a lot more competition for talent versus say elementary school education. First off, do you make the same differentiation?

    For higher ed in particular, no one is saying that professors are not useful or highly important. There is however the question of what price we are willing as society to pay for these services. Is there any price that is too high or is it always too low? And in this, there is a significant problem. As you know, the cost of tuition has risen substantially higher than inflation particularly in the US. Since 1985, about 3x the rate of inflation. (http://www.inflationdata.com/inflation/Inflation_Articles/Education_Inflation.asp). What do you see as the drivers for this? Understanding that state spending and local spending have also increased a lot faster than economic growth, do you accept that it is reasonable that during more difficult economic times, priorities should be reexamined in the very least and given that educators have, at least in part, been the beneficiaries of these increases that they should also bear some of the costs? Alternatively, and I ask this sincerely, do you see that say 10 or 20 years ago, the situation for educators on the front line was simply untenable?

    Another possibility I would gather could be argued is that education itself has improved 3x better than the rate of inflation?
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    Mar 28, 2011 10:09 PM GMT
    riddler78 said

    Another possibility I would gather could be argued is that education itself has improved 3x better than the rate of inflation?


    I think this is the most likely. Although tuition has increased, so have the services that campuses offer:

    -Services to support struggling students
    -Research (think about how much research universities crank out. And, for the most part, professors do not profit from this. If universities were companies, selling our knowledge, we would be making billions. To me, this alone highlight the importance of universities and the salaries. This is a near-utopian system where people conduct research for mostly knowledge generation, rather than $$$)
    -Sports facilities
    -counseling services
    -career development services
    -Co-op programs/services
    -Experiential programs: cultural diversity, free seminars, community services, etc.
    -support for clubs and organizations
    -study abroad programs

    I suspect that the fast rise in tuition (that has outpaced inflation) has a lot to do with the huge increase in additional services to students and the community.