Teacher quality: Is it a priority in Georgia?

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The AJC is launching a teacher quality series today. (Dean Rohrer/AJC file)

A month-long investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found the state has spent millions on teacher quality with marginal results.

Among the findings of the report, which appears in the Sunday AJC today:

— The state hasn’t figured out a way to identify and remove ineffective teachers. In 2011, only 628 of the state’s 114,248 received received unsatisfactory job evaluations.

— Georgia’s brightest students don’t become teachers. Education majors score about 50 points lower than the national average on the SAT, according to national data. Education majors at Valdosta State averaged 988 on the math and verbal SAT, while the college’s accounting majors posted 1,041, according to 2010 data.

— Teachers need continual training, but in 2003, the state cut funding earmarked for professional development by one-third and has yet to restore it.

— The 21 University System of Georgia colleges offering undergraduate teaching programs produce teachers of varying quality, according to passage rates on the GACE II teacher certification test.

Four colleges — University of Georgia, Georgia College & State University, Dalton State and Macon State colleges — saw 99 percent of graduates pass, according to 2009 scores, the most recent data available. Clayton State and Georgia Southwestern had 86 percent pass. The Fort Valley State University program was so weak — nearly two-thirds of the school’s prospective teachers routinely failed certification tests —  that it lost its accreditation in 2005. (It regained it in May.)

An eighth-grade math teacher who graduated with a master’s degree in teaching from Georgia State in 2010 told the AJC that she wishes she had had more classroom management: “Classroom management is easy when you have a room full of students that understand the impact of poor behavior on their academics. However, this is usually not the case, and it would have been nice to have had an education course that provided me with the tools to help me become the best teacher possible for those students.”

The AJC is making this occasional series on teacher quality available only to subscribers. You can read the full article by picking up a copy of Sunday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution or logging on to the paper’s iPad app. Here is a link to the AJC digital options, including an E-subscription, which gives you the actual paper online.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

291 comments Add your comment

Classroom Managment

September 18th, 2011
6:35 am

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Maria

September 18th, 2011
6:35 am

Too true! And in these times, if you want the best and brightest, you are going to have to pay them. I am a long-time teacher and love my job, but that no longer pays the bills nor affords a comfortable lifestyle. It will only get worse.

Glenda

September 18th, 2011
7:20 am

I agree ineffective teachers should be removed from the classroom. But the sad truth is you get what you pay for. I graduated with 3.962 GPA to take a job that practically ensures I will be in debt for most of my life unless I take a second job. My neice with an associates degree works as a secretary and makes more than I do. A friend with no degree works in a doctor’s office and is paid more. I became a teacher because my daughter had a learning disability and I am thinking of moving on…why would an intelligent person stay in a high stress low paying job? Until you give a financial incentive that is meaningful…you are not going to draw the best and the brightest. Even those who did not become teachers for the money are not staying in because sooner or later everyone has to face financial reality.

Former HS math teacher

September 18th, 2011
7:21 am

As a former math teacher who was successful in teaching and getting most of my students to enjoy the class, I can tell you that it is about the working conditions. Prior to becoming a math teacher I was an engineer. When travel was no longer an option for my family, I left engineering. I earned my masters in Math Ed at GSU and taught high school for 8 years. Classroom/time management was my biggest struggle, never content. Over the last 8 years, classrooms grew in size, student ability became more varied and both made classroom management even more difficult. Additional administrative duties, less support from administrators, and fewer resources from a curriculum that is a moving target created an environment that was not motivating. While the intangible reward of seeing kids learn is great, it was lost in all of the other time consuming and energy zapping issues. While more money would have been appreciated, it wasn’t what drove me back into engineering. Teachers need more time to teach, plan, grade, evaluate student progress and reteach in necessary during the school day. 150 students is too many to try and give any sort of personalized time. Trying to find your own resources because the curriculum continues to fluctuate and there is no book that matches what is required is time consuming and exhausting. Administrators who tell parents and students “talk to teacher about making up or retaking the test” only adds to the work load when you are already creating materials on your own. There are only 24 hours in a day. It shouldn’t require a teacher to put in 12 hours Monday – Friday and another 8 over the weekend on a regular basis through the school year to have a quality classroom. I’m sure that some will believe the time is exaggerated, but go ask a high quality teacher how much time is spent outside the classroom to make it a great experience for their students. All of the great teachers that I worked with all put in this kind of time. We are lucky that not all burn out quickly.

Beverly Hall

September 18th, 2011
7:32 am

Classroom management was never a problem for APS.

Logic 05

September 18th, 2011
7:33 am

Here is a novel idea, why not kick out the disruptive students.

Fericita

September 18th, 2011
7:39 am

I graduated from Emory and Columbia with my degrees, and did well on the SAT. I studied multiple education researchers while in grad school and know a lot about what works and what doesn’t work, as backed up by research, in the classroom. However, now that I’m teaching, I have to do exactly what my principal tells me. And that has included not teaching science and social studies, only teaching writing until the state test is over, and teaching reading by giving reading passages and multiple choice questions. I know these methods are terrible. What happened to teacher autonomy? Why can’t I teach the way I want to, the way I was trained to do so at an elite grad school, instead of bending to the whim of my administrator who doesn’t even know as much as I do about the latest research?

We have trouble recruiting and retaining good teachers because our system is set up to help the lowest common denominator of teacher.

LC

September 18th, 2011
7:41 am

Since when is teaching considered a “job”? That is the problem!

Very Passionate About Our Schools

September 18th, 2011
7:43 am

We have quality teachers but our government, from Feds clear down, treat them that retread under their feet; NCLB is the biggest joke of all; and the School Boards have their nose where it don’t belong; making it impossible to continue with their quality. And the majority of School Board members themselves are so dumbed down they can spell and/or read yet they are telling quality teachers what’s wrong them them.

Classroom Managment

September 18th, 2011
7:48 am

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'roundhere

September 18th, 2011
7:52 am

When I saw the front page of the Sunday paper, I groaned. I happen to work with some great teachers who are dedicated to the profession. All the money spent never makes it to the classrooms where teachers make the difference. Why not find classrooms where there is success and pay for subs so that those teachers can share with others what works for them? It doesn’t have to be an over the top production, just teachers coming together to share strategies that work! Even if it is within the same building, something is better than nothing. And if you want to know who the bad teachers are, teachers know the weak links in the building. Just ask – anonymously of course :)

Math Teacher

September 18th, 2011
7:54 am

I had a good SAT score, graduated from a hard and highly-ranked school with a good GPA, and had no problem with the certification test. I didn’t go into teaching for the salary. If the powers that be want to raise it, I have no complaints, but that wasn’t what made me decide to teach.

We are always told to differentiate between our students, so that we move the faster-paced students on to more challenging material and give extra help those who are lagging. But, no one differentiates between teachers. The people who observe me to give feedback on my instruction are more concerned with what is on my bulletin board than with how my students are learning math. Their forms are only checklists of what they see, instead of looking more closely at what is actually being taught. It’s things like that that make smart teachers want to do something else.

GrannyCares

September 18th, 2011
7:57 am

Ms. Downey, thank you for surfacing one of the major problems affecting public education in this nation. The problem is not confined to Georgia, but nation wide. Sadly, some of our schools of education are little more than ‘diploma mills’, and the results are ultimately realized in our kids’ test scores. No wonder we have the disappointments we have suffered in APS, Clayton and DeKalb Counties, and throughout the state.

Dr. Robert

September 18th, 2011
7:59 am

Articles like this are one reason my wife will soon retire from public school teaching on the first day of full eligibility. Treated like dirt by her employers and continuously maligned by ‘journalist majors’ throughout the state.

It is time to do something else. She has been assaulted by students on three occasions. Without discipline, your public schools have transformed into asylums. (Don’t touch me or my momma will sue you…) Nothing you can do about it. It is too late and no longer our problem. It is your problem now.

By the way Maureen..

Is a 988 SAT mean score statistically significant from a 1,041 at VSU in 2010? In my line of work, that is statistical gossip. What was the journalism school mean?

teacher&mom

September 18th, 2011
8:02 am

@Maureen…isn’t one of the programs “North GA College and State University”…not GA College and State University?

I’m a graduate of NGCSU. They have a great program. I was well-prepared for the classroom.

teacher&mom

September 18th, 2011
8:04 am

Ask your top high school graduates why they will not teach. Answer? Money, lack of respect, and lack of discipline.

Rick

September 18th, 2011
8:05 am

Help education by increasing parent involvement. Children do better when parents are more involved and support the learning. I look back over what has changed in the education process and it is the parents. They do not support the school or the teacher like they used to.

teacher&mom

September 18th, 2011
8:08 am

If GA really wanted to provide continual training, the legislature would force the Board of Regents to open their doors to public school teachers and allow them to take courses for free. I would love to go back to school and hone my chemistry skills….it’s been a LONG time since I’ve sat in a chemistry class or taught chemistry. However, the $600 tuition is something I don’t have sitting around right now.

I_teach

September 18th, 2011
8:15 am

They have done away with decent staff development. Now, faculty meetings can be counted towards the mandatory PLUs (the requirement to receive 10 in 5 yrs has been suspended due to the lack of funding).

If administrators were actual teachers (few were), then they’d know what good teaching looks like. It does take a decent amount of documentation and other steps to remove poor teachers, but it can be done.

However, it takes a lot of work on the part of the admins…

I have found that GA teacher prep programs are lacking.I received my degree in a different state–and the requirements-even back then-were much more rigorous.

Even the best programs do NOT prepare teachers for what they will REALLY encounter in a classroom…that happens during student teaching.

I_teach

September 18th, 2011
8:16 am

Oh…and yes…it isn’t a priority-at all-in GA.

If so, quality staff development-that teachers don’t have to pay for out of pocket-would be available.

Until then? It’s all lip service.

mountain man

September 18th, 2011
8:18 am

Teacher & Mom – Exactly. Why would our best and our brightest want to go into a career where the pay sucks, the working conditions are horrible, and there is no respect. The State wants to control the problem on the back end – by letting teachers get a degree, enter the field, and then fire them if they cannot accomplish the impossible by turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse. I would only encourage my children to pursue education fields if they were expecting to teach at a private school or in east cobb, where students WANT to learn and where AYP is not an issue.

Middle School Teacher

September 18th, 2011
8:19 am

With 35 kids in a classroom, curriculum that is often illogical and constantly changing, little to no parent support, and worsening behavior of students even the best teachers are going to struggle.

HS Administrator

September 18th, 2011
8:23 am

Another issue that contributes to the frustration of an educator is dealing with some parents. In my thirty years in education I not only have seen a declining change in student’s attitudes, but equally so in adults (parents, guardians). “Back in the day” discipline issues brought to the attention of a parent were most always a guaranty they would be corrected at home…that night! Now, too often I spend time defending the school policy/rules and expectations. An example would have to include cell phones…parents telling their child to keep their phone on during the day. I’ve had parents in my office “mad as fire” because a teacher has taken up their child’s cell phone for texting mom during class. Often the parent attempts to excuse the child by stating that they told their child to leave their phone on even though the parent will admit knowing it is against school policy. I’ve had parents in IEP and BIP meetings continue to text while the meeting was going on. They can’t seem to spare just five minutes to focus on their child. This is just one of many examples.

teacher&mom

September 18th, 2011
8:25 am

@roundhere… agreed.

Of course, articles like this one only serve to further erode any interest in “top graduates” signing up for the job.

When a top graduate announces he/she is going into education, people quietly shake their head in disappointment and mutter about what a waste of talent.

We save our admiration for the TFA candidate who leaves after 3 years. Somehow leaving the classroom is given more respect than actually sticking with the profession for 30 years.

Mark Long

September 18th, 2011
8:30 am

Ms. Downey,

One of the biggest problems in teaching is low pay. Pay teachers more, and you will get brighter teachers. Another point: SAT scores are an important measure of intelligence, but they do not tell the whole story. There are, no doubt, many teachers with somewhat lower SAT scores who perform better than those with somewhat ones.

teacher&mom

September 18th, 2011
8:32 am

Professional development in this state has always been lackluster. The top-down approach never works. When the teachers in the room know more about differentiation, instruction, and management than the presenter….you’ve got a problem.

Last week, I was working with a new teacher in my department on developing tiered assignments. She looked at me and said, “This is so cool! In college, they always talked about this stuff but no one could show us any examples. You actually do this and I’m so grateful to finally see it actually used in the classroom.”

Sad.

carlosgvv

September 18th, 2011
8:33 am

Georgia’s education system is a witches’ brew of politics, money and racism. We are usually near or at the bottom ranking in issues that affect us all and the quality of our teachers is no exception. Don’t look for any improvement in the foreseeable future.

Eric

September 18th, 2011
8:36 am

Maureen, what is your point in reporting this? You make no editorial comments. As a recent highly qualified teacher from an excellent teacher education program in Georgia, your column feels like more public school “bashing.” Most university teacher programs that I’m aware of, including UGA and West GA, do have a classroom management course, along with overall high standards for their graduates. You really need to give your readers a more balanced view, such as a discussion on the place (over-emphasis?) of high-stakes testing that creates an undue burden and anxiety on teachers, students, and parents. In other words, there’s two sides to every story.

2nd grade teacher

September 18th, 2011
8:38 am

I can say, with out a doubt, teacher quality is not a priority. I graduated from a school up north. My program was rigorous, requiring a major and a minor on top of the education cohorts and then I had a year long student teaching experience in lower and upper elementary. When I talk to some teachers, its amazing to me how easy their programs were. But to further my point, once you have a job down here, that is it. Most schools don’t provide professional development and the state no longer requires additional degrees or PLUs to renew your certification. Plus, with this pay for performance crap, what is the motivation to seek an additional degree?

If you want teachers to further themselves you have to foster that, just like you want teachers to with their students. Give them opportunities and encourage it.

If you want the good teachers to stick around, you’ve got to at LEAST give a cost of living raise and stop furloughing. Who would want to start a career in a field when you know that is what you have to look forward too?

teacher&mom

September 18th, 2011
8:41 am

@Maureen…one explanation for the lower SAT scores: For many years if a student was the first in their family to graduate college, they often went into education, social work, or a similar area in an effort to “give back” to others in a similar situation. A lower SAT score does not always indicate “less intelligence.”

There’s a reason we don’t put SAT scores on job applications….

Bryce

September 18th, 2011
8:51 am

Most of your administrators have a third rate degree in some easy field of study from some insignificant college. These administrators never taught in a classroom of 35 kids, where most of these students are 2 years below grade level in a lot of cases.

Every administrator should have had to teach a core subject and have their students’ state results published. They can pass judgement all they want, but many have never been there on the front line.

If the state required that administrators have to take an I.Q. test, I am sure the public would see that most administrators would have scores in the lower quartile.

gtfanfrom1951

September 18th, 2011
8:55 am

First thing is to fire all the administrator. Then let the teacher’s teach not prepare the students to take some government test because that’s they are doing in education today. By this date on the school year you have to be finished so they can take the test other wise the money will be with drawn. Students need to learn not be recall machines.

Jmitchell465

September 18th, 2011
8:57 am

We have great teachers, but our entire educational system needs a major overhaul. A good SWAT analysis would show that if we don’t overhaul it soon then our 2nd best option would be to just learn Chinese. Learning it would provide our youth with a way to communicate with their future job supervisors. Na, scratch my 2nd point. Chinese youth are already proficient in English and will be able to use those skills when they grow up and become the job supervisors of our workforce.

mark

September 18th, 2011
9:00 am

What have the SATs been founded to demonstrate? Nothing!! It determines whether you will return for your sophmore year at the college you entered as a freshman.
As a current science teacher, who teaches, phyics, chemistry, physical science, earth science, envrionmental science, plus consumer science, health, child development, I scored and 870 on my SAT in 1994. I have won teacher of the year at my current score, was nominated two previous times. Was the data managment person at my school for SIP, been teacher mentor to new teachers, has had a student teacher and raise a 60% pass rate on the GHSGT to a 90%+ at my current school. Ole yeah, 870 on my SAT!!!! Standardized test are a scheme of the publishing companies to pull in millions of dollars in tax payers funds. The College Board is a monoploy.

TeacherMom4

September 18th, 2011
9:01 am

I agree with 2nd grade teacher and teacher&mom regarding educational opportunities for teachers. I’m from the Northeast. The pay bump for advanced degrees wasn’t great, but most school systems would partially or fully reimburse you for getting one. With the new pay structure coming, many teachers will not be able to financially justify their own education. I have 4 kids of my own to think about helping with their educations. I have a master’s but will likely go no further since I have to save for them, too. If I could make back the money, I might get a 2nd master’s, specialist, or doctorate of some kind. But, I can’t make that financial investment with no return, especially since I am now being paid less than I was 3 years ago. The thing those outside of education need to remember is that in other fields an advanced degree can lead to a promotion/job change involving a higher salary. In education, not so much, unless you move to admin.

I also often think about subject areas in which I would like a brush-up, such as math and science. If there was free or reimbursed tuition to take undergrad courses in subject matter of choice/need, I bet a lot of teachers would go for refreshers. This (as much as anything) may really help many teachers improve the quality of their teaching.

catlady

September 18th, 2011
9:02 am

Well, what about us that cannot get the print AJC, Ms. Downey? It would be a 100 mile roundtrip to get it.

I’d like to see how the SAT scores of administrators has fallen.

Teachers need to be treated as professionals until such time as they do not behave like professionals. That means honoring their methods and discipline, and retention decisions. Apparently that will happen when pigs fly.

ScienceTeacher/David

September 18th, 2011
9:05 am

As a retired Marine Corps officer who chose teaching as a second career, I was struck with the negative tone of the article. Teachers are on the front lines of the battle against ignorance, and there are some poor teachers out there, as in any field. Yet the great majority are young, dedicated, loving people who care about children and have a mission that transcends a paycheck. I am always impressed with the professionalism and dedication of those around me each day. They need encouragement and support, not criticism. They don’t whine and complain. They don’t say “Oh, woe is me.” They just dig in and get the mission accomplished.
Final comment: If you want your child to be a successful student, encourage them to read and get them away from video games and the TV. You’re ultimately responsible for your children, not the state of Georgia. Now…let’s stop whining and all get to work.

Survivor

September 18th, 2011
9:06 am

Two major factors in Public Education:

1: It has become an elite club where friends are hiring friends and neighbors. If you are lucky to get a spot and not know someone, it’s hard to survive. The same individuals are getting chosen for leadership positions leaving little opportunity for others and many of these individuals in leadership roles are very unprofessional (sneaky and cold).

2:The term professionalism now has new meaning. The louder you can complain, the more rules you can break on school property, and the more parents that you schmooze over, the better the teacher and administrator you are.
If you are looking for a solution, start at the top eliminating problems and work your way down. You will find teachers in the system that are the “bottom crawlers” that are some of the best and brightest.

3rd grade teacher

September 18th, 2011
9:13 am

I must agree with the 2nd grade teacher. The state does not provide opportunities to want to stay “in the know” with education. I feel that Georgia and even certain counties try to continue to change the curriculum and for what it still is not working. I recieved my degree from a college in Georgia and I found that my program had no rigour nor do I feel as though it prepared me for what lied ahead. I love teaching but I hate my job. I don’t feel like teachers are able to just teach any more.

When you take away all the crap and let the teachers do their jobs then you may see some results! I totally agree that there are some less than quality teachers here in the state but I also feel that when the teachers are allowed to do their jobs without fear then you will see the gains that should be. There is too much pressure in a job where you are not respected nor are you compensated!

Ms. teacher

September 18th, 2011
9:14 am

Ms. Downey,
Please review the application and plan for Race To The Top. Re-write your paper and return in one week. I will take the average of your two grades (currently F) based on the quality of your writing and research.

Robin

September 18th, 2011
9:15 am

I have seen some doozies of ineffective teachers at my children’s schools, side by side with great teachers who have every right to feel frustrated at Georgia’s low priority on educational quality. The bad teachers seem to flourish most, though, under bad administrators – and those are the type who seem to do best in the lowest-common-denominator ultra-standardized NCLB environment we’ve all been laboring under for years now. The idea of finding and using the best practices to grow American children into functional, critically-thinking, creative adults has been lost under everything else.

Felicity

September 18th, 2011
9:16 am

I don’t see teacher quality as a priority for administrators. When my child entered a low performing MS(unfortunately, NCLB tranfers ended the previous yr), I noticed the curriculum wasn’t being implemented. While students read 20 mins daily in ELA, the teacher watched those Asian cartoons. At a better performing school, the teacher blogs were filled w/vocabulary, literary selections to critique, writings the class discussed and meaningful homework. My child only had to write 2 to 3 sentences daily and turn in weekly. I complained all the way up to Sanderson, to no avail. Those critical MS years were wasted on awful teachers and did I mention this crap passed for gifted education! NCLB(the only Bush program I support) has shed a glaring light on the problem schools and classrooms, hopefully it can be strenghtened to address ineffective teachers as it has the student. We need more choice to leave these enviroments where the teacher quality is horrendous – this school also has a 69% fail rate in science. My child never wrote a lab report for gifted science.

Billy

September 18th, 2011
9:17 am

The best schools (based on test scores) are in the most affluent neighborhoods. Is anyone prepared to say the Teachers at Walton High School are that much better than the teachers at Wheeler?

Walton has two apartment complexes that feed into it. Wheeler has close to 100.

This only means that the kids at Walton are far more likely to have two highly educated parents at home, have the extra money to participate in a number of extra-curricular activities starting at a young age, are eating more nutritious food, etc.

If you want to “fix our schools” lets start by addressing the home life issues that put the majority of students at “under achieving schools” at a disadvantage before they even start.

If you vote republican you better have the money to put your kids in private school.

d

September 18th, 2011
9:18 am

I find it quite interesting, supply and demand aside, that the only thing this state seems to value is STEM education. I am in my seventh year teaching now earning less than first and second year math and science teachers. Not that I am giving up on my students, but how is this in the least bit motivating me to be better? Even if I was in math or science, the fact that I’m at 7 years by the time the state decided to finally fund that rather poorly written law, I would still be earning less than brand new teachers to the field.

In DeKalb, a lot of teachers are, on paper, being paid less than the state salary scale. The county is having to pay supplements – some up to nearly $4,000 just to get to state salary scale. Pull up the state salary scale and DCSS’s scale. You’ll see what I’m talking about. A speaker at this month’s board meeting said that over 70% of teachers in DeKalb are near the bottom of pay in 7 area systems. This is hardly motivating to a lot of teachers to go out and better themselves….. Despite the fact that I have had over $10,000 withheld from salary over the past 4 years, I actually took the time and earned 11 PLUs (that’s over 110 contact hours) this summer – all unpaid time…. and I don’t renew my certificate again until 2016. My only question to the powers that be is how can I be expected to continue this if I cannot pay my own bills? If I have to get a second job to make ends meet (assuming I am lucky enough to find one), how can I spend that time working to make myself a better educator for the children?

Parklane Elementary in EP in the late 50s and mid 60s

September 18th, 2011
9:18 am

Parklane and Conley Hills were two BRAND NEW E Point elementary schools in the mid 1950s. I attended Conley Hills and finished up there in 7th grade to go to HS in E Point. I graduated from a major university and retired at 56 years of age. Hard work paid off.

Recently, it was revealed that the principal was involved in changing scores at Parklane. Really? I know of two of my HS classmates in blue collar East Point that went there and eventually to North Carolina U and GT and to Emory U.

Now, the principal has to cheat to elevate scores. Why? Lack of intelligent parents that urge their children to work hard and study and stay out of trouble. We launched the Great Society in 1965 and it is a massive failure. Parkland was NOT upper income in the day, BUT it was blue collar and the parents drove the students to work hard and study and listen and learn. They wanted soemthing better for their kids. They made them work hard.

THIS is why schools of today are awful. Look at Catholic schools that do more with less money and in very old facilities. Today’s parents are products of today’s public government assistance mantra and we simply have lost our way. Obama will not save us from ourselves, people.

So glad my children are successful and well educated and prepared for today’s economy.

Government is THE CAUSE of the educational sytsem failures.

Certified, Experienced Teacher Begging to Teach!

September 18th, 2011
9:21 am

I graduated from an excellent college in Indiana known for it’s rigorous teaching program– we were taking education classes and working with children by winter of freshman year in order to graduate in 4 years. When I graduated and moved home to Atlanta I went straight into private, parochial schools. Now, after taking time off to raise my children I have hit wall after wall in the public school. I have spent countless hours and my personal dollars to take on-line classes and pay the recertification fees required by the “Professional Standards Commission” to keep my Georgia certificate up-to-date and I can’t even get a call for an interview for a paraprofessional job. Bad, burnt out teachers are allowed to stay because they are friends of the principal or the threat of a lawsuit–tinged with the implication that a firing is due to race is what keeps the inadequate teachers around. I am begging to get into a classroom but with the economy as it is no one is willingly going to retire. In any other profession if a goal is not met…you are fired! Why are the rules so different in education in this country? 187 teachers are at home sitting on their couches like fat cats, being paid their full salary awaiting their “due process” for cheating on a test– I would love to have their job and start fixing the problem!! But until teaching is thought of as a profession again– a true calling- it will continue to dumb down children and cost us all a whole mess of problems. Maybe I’m too idealistic but I think that’s a good attribute to have when you are working with this country’s future.

Lee

September 18th, 2011
9:23 am

“The state hasn’t figured out a way to identify and remove ineffective teachers. In 2011, only 628 of the state’s 114,248 received received unsatisfactory job evaluations.”

Oh good grief, its called Performance Management and successful businesses and managers have been doing it for years. It’s not rocket science, but it does take time and initiative to do it correctly. Done correctly, you do it everyday.

Folks in education want to take the easy way out. They ascribe degrees and certifications to “high quality”. They want to link high performance to arbitrary test scores. Bottom line, they want to be able to plug a bunch of data into a computer and let it spit out who the “high performing” teachers are.

Newsflash, most parents who aren’t asleep at the wheel know who the good teachers are and which teachers to avoid. Teachers know which of their co-workers are effective and which are not. Administrators probably know, they just don’t want to do the heavy work of a) developing personel or b) getting rid of the poor performers.

Unfortunately, we taxpayers have been forced to fund more and more degrees. Do you really need to pay for a Phd to teach PE? Really?

Let us see now

September 18th, 2011
9:24 am

Johnny has a teacher making $35,000 per year and he is absentee often and hungry and possibly just plain old lazy and lacks focus and he is failing in his class.

Johnny’s teacher is now paid $135,000 per year. He is still absent, and hungry and possibly lazy and lacks focus and he is continuing to fail in his school work.

What does pay scale have a thing to do with freaking Johnny?? The issue is the public APATHY and the ill educated parents of today. Our society is in grave danger as these folks inherit the nation.

CHina will be ready come 2087 if not sooner.

God Bless the Teacher!

September 18th, 2011
9:26 am

I would guess that a 53 point difference between (all) education majors’ SATs and accounting majors’ SATs is largely in the area of math. Accounting majors are generally better at math (at least I hope so!), while the group of education majors includes those teachers who probably didn’t do too well in math.

@teacher&mom – GA College & State University has a long history of training teachers, and doing it very well. Many of the master teachers I have known since I was in elementary school graduated from there. NGa College is also good, but don’t discount the program at a different school just because you don’t know it exists (at least that was the tone of your comment…apologies if it was misinterpreted).

Grits

September 18th, 2011
9:28 am

Getting the federal government, the teacher’s union and the excess baggage of administrators out of the education system is the first step towards providing the quality of education our children and young people deserve.