TEACHERS' DILEMMA - MOST IMPORTANT IN STUDENT PERFORMANCE



USA TEACHER TRAINING HAS FALLEN BEHIND OUR INTERNATIONAL COMPETITORS IN BOTH SUBJECT KNOWLEDGE AND TEACHING METHODOLOGY. THE RESULTS ON OUR CHILDREN PROGRESSIVELY DROPPED LOWER OVER THE LAST 50 YEARS.

ISN'T IT TIME TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE POOR RESULTS YOU SEE BELOW AND RECOVER?




Reference1: Why American students do poorly
Reference2: Key reason why American teachers do poorly
Reference3: Research suggests poor quality of teacher training programs in US compared to other countries,
Reference4: Why students do better overseas,
Reference5: US science teachers are behind in training degree requirements.
Reference6: The impact of school leadership on student achievement,
Reference7: US teacher training is not good enough
Reference8: Why we must fire bad teachers
Reference9: What is great teaching,
Reference10: A collection of more.
Reference11: Very few good universities for US teacher preparation.
Reference12: Teacher preparation overview.
Reference13: Raising teacher quality around the world.
Reference14: How high-achieving countries develop great teachers.
Reference15: American teachers vs. highest performing nations (L. Darling-Hammond).
Reference16: Poor U.S. student performance.
Reference17: The ticking clock of US teacher burnout
Reference18: A new study finds that American teacher don't actually work
Reference19: America has a teacher shortage and it is getting worse
Reference20: Why good teachers quit
Reference21: Professional development for teachers is not good enough
Reference22: Teacher turnover fact sheet please?


The Challenges Of American Teachers

It is a fact that the poor education results declined for more than four decades.


Read the article here.



It is also a fact that our children's education results are the result of what they have learned from teachers in all grades.

According to ACT, a very large percentage of our children (80-90% of those who entered 9th grade) who leave high school are not ready for job training or to complete even the first year of technical school or college. Who are the contributors to that failure?

Since we have examples of high performance that seem to be parent independent (Finland, Success Academy Schools, New York City), the choices are:
  1. Board of Education and the Superintendent: that is where the buck stops,
  2. Education laws and/or Central Management that restrict classroom authority for teachers, and
  3. Teachers' suitability for teaching, college education quality and lack of continuing teacher education to improve teaching methodologies and subject knowledge to the level of the top ten countries in education.


IMPORTANT TO REALIZE THAT the existing teaching environment is evolving from one where only after 3 years of experience a teacher was granted tenure that meant only one performance evaluation every five years. The evaluation was classroom observation for one hour only that is very subjective. Transition from such an environment to what we have today in teacher objectives and evaluation is difficult. A proper performance evaluation of teachers annually is an important tool for improvement. Education is struggling with more and more international competitors who established well managed excellence with superior teaching methodologies since WW2, while we did not change our hundred year old management and teaching methodologies or education laws:

  1. "Maintenance of Effort" laws in each state guarantee for each school district at least the same amount of money each year as the amount provided in the preceding year, regardless of performance, and without performance achievement standards,
  2. The school districts' elected board may spend the money any way they wish without any provision for improving poor performance, defining what measurements to be used as most effective objectives, and operating within standard staff ratios to limit overhead expansion such as central management head count limits as a percentage of total district employees.

 

 

The poor ACT results today are unacceptable.


ACT results depend most on how good a job teachers have done in every single class and year. The future of our children and our economy depends on how good a job teachers are able to do in every single grade for each child. So far the results are so poor that according to ACT 80-90% of the 9th graders leave high school not even ready to be trained for a job. The question remains what teachers need that they do not have today to perform their best, such as improving subject knowledge, improving teaching methodologies and management quality above them, all the way to the superintendent and board itself. So far we just keep dropping the test scores that count, and the downtrend is unchanged.

  • Are teachers interested in doing an outstanding job in their classrooms? Their recent presentations to the board in Knox County, Tennessee was not clear about this question. Some do, but the majority may not.
  • Do teachers know exactly what stands in the way of them doing their best? We made an attempt at that below, but I never hear about it in teacher demands made at board meetings. For example: "we have a low morale because of abc", or "we have no power in the eyes of children to deal with bad behavior that disrupts entire classes and our authority so that we cannot teach as well as we could."
  • Do teachers know what level of knowledge (class GPA) their students have to achieve in their classrooms to achieve a minimum average ACT score objective in the school district? Of course they do not because the board and superintendent appear to have no idea and have not even set an average ACT score objective for themselves EVER, to this date. Would it be helpful if the teachers had such a target that they have to achieve per class and if they were helped with a choice of programs, and tutorial tools to help achieve such objectives?
  • We heard some comments from teachers about business-like management practices not being appropriate for education, such as setting exact objectives like an average ACT score or class GPA to be achieved. The state specifies for each district to set annual objectives. This is new to teachers, and obviously it creates some discomfort. We have not seen any proposed alternatives from teachers that would raise the ACT results specifically. If you do not have a specific measurable objective to achieve and a plan to achieve it, you end up exactly where we are. Most schools in the gutter producing unemployable children.
  • We heard from teachers about schools for profit being a bad thing. Why if they cost less than what our public schools spend AND produce a 2-4 point higher ACT average? That means with higher career and college readiness percentage of diplomas which means readiness for a career or further learning for the students. That also means having a result 2 or 3 times higher (instead of a 21% readiness of regular diploma holders 60-70% readiness measured by ACT) than what most of our public schools produce? Look at public schools as if they were a for profit school that spends more money than most private schools, and creates the poor results instead. Do they deserve us to keep financing them if better alternatives exist? Absolutely not! Our goal must be not to save the individual schools if they are failure factories but to save our children's future! Example for improvement: Success Academy Schools of NYC, see Common Core test results in New York, August 2013.
  • We heard about how Common Core tests are a bad thing. Why? There are pro and con opinions about everything. As an example, we allow children who do not meet a certain grade objective to pass grade 3 requirements to go on to grade 4 and beyond. That is one of the reasons for the poor ACT results, and the poor math and reading that we pass on beyond high school to our colleges that employers and colleges complain about. Yet you do not see this as a warning in the newspapers from a school district generated press release. Common Core does not allow that. Under Common Core it is mandatory to publish average class results for the public. Today the public is informed of mostly good news. For example the public wasn't even informed about Knox County, Tennessee setting an all time record low ACT average with a 20.2 score in 2013. With the ACT "readiness" of regular diplomas, plus dropouts plus those students who did not drop out but did not earn a regular diploma, 90% of those who entered 9th grade of this class are not prepared to be trained for a job or to enter a college or tech school! 90%! Why shouldn't the public know that this is what they get for their money?
  • We heard from teachers that testing in elementary school is a bad idea because children go home crying about how hard it was. That really means that the student was not prepared well enough for the test. Today life is tougher than primary and secondary public school. For children to be successful it has to be the other way around. Teachers must be allowed to make them work hard while they teach them more and motivate them more about the fact that if they do, life is going to be great fun with a job that they will love and make plenty of money. We need to measure progress against objectives that we must achieve to ensure each child's readiness for testing and upon graduation.
IN A KNOX COUNTY EDUCATION BOARD MEETING WE HEARD A LOT ABOUT WANTING MORE MONEY BUT HEARD NOTHING ABOUT THE LOW PERFORMANCE HAVING TO BE IMPROVED. WE HEARD NOTHING ABOUT MAKING THE STUDENTS JOB OR COLLEGE READY, BEYOND THE CURRENT 21% OF REGULAR DIPLOMAS, which makes more than 79% and the dropouts mostly unemployed as the years go by. That is really sad and unacceptable.

WE HEARD ABOUT THE TEACHERS COMPLAINING ABOUT IN THEIR JOBS, BUT NOT THE SOLUTIONS AND WHY. WHAT WAS MISSING WAS THE UNDERSTANDING OF A BIGGER PICTURE OF DEVELOPING HIGHER ACT SCORES FROM HIGH SCHOOL SO THAT THE CHILDREN WILL BE SUCCESSFUL CITIZENS AS A RESULT. That is what lack of ACT improvement focus sounds like. That concern appears to be either low priority or totally lacking in most teachers. There was no significant mention of the necessity for ACT score improvement, when the ACT results are an accumulation of what teachers taught in each and every grade. If it was high priority to them, they would have reinforced that point numerous times.

What appears to be the teachers' position about no ACT focus, it matches the board and superintendent not wanting to set a specific average ACT objective for the school district.

We also need to understand that any teacher's performance on the job depends on:
  • Their morale (it is low and this is a symptom of poor management),
  • Their authority to run the classroom activities in order to educate the students in the best way the teacher sees it fit. Most importantly teachers must have authority to deal with discipline problems immediately in the classroom to show teacher authority, such that the offending student will not even try offending the teacher with inappropriate words or actions. (this is a symptom of poor management)
  • Their training quality (university dependent; this is the teacher's responsibility) and experience (years actually teaching combined with continuing education, and not being switched from one subject to other subjects in which they were not trained) for the subject they are teaching needs to improve according to the studies presented. (this is a symptom of poor management)
Unfortunately all three of these areas are not doing well. We must change them to improve results. It is a fact that in the past, tenure (immunity from losing your job) earned only after three years as a teacher and performance evaluation only once every five years (a one hour classroom observation of the teacher by the principal) were very poor management practices to evaluate performance. The teacher performance evaluation was improved slightly in many states, but it is still very inadequate. We will describe below why. Excellent performance at all levels of an organization is vital to ensure excellent outcomes. That requires a clearly defined measurable objective, and periodic performance reviews that are related to the teacher's specific measurable objectives and are done in a fair manner.



Teacher Performance Evaluation Methodology - How Well Does It Work?

If anyone believes that they have the right system in place, I have one question for school board members and superintendents: "HOW ARE YOUR ACT SCORES DOING FOR YOU? In Knox County, Tennessee we just set a new all time low record with an average ACT score of 20.2, meaning 79% of the students with a regular diploma are not even prepared to be trained for a job. Add to that dropouts and the figure becomes much worse. If your average ACT score is above 24, you are OK. Just OK. Not great.

If your average ACT scores are under 24, you, the elected board and superintendent, are preparing your students poorly for jobs and continuing education that the future will require. We appreciate that you as board members or superintendents want to look good to outsiders. But we would like you in our school districts to understand that 70-90% of our high school graduates WITH A REGULAR DIPLOMA FROM YOU are not even prepared for job training according to ACT and THAT is not an acceptable option to the public, who are paying a very high price for it. With such performance, you are destroying most of our children's future, who are not even ready to be trained for a job according to ACT. If you wish to argue that fact, please argue it with ACT.

The most important thing that any teacher needs to achieve is to deliver high enough grades from each of his/her current class such that if all teachers teach that way, more than 95% OF THE REGULAR DIPLOMAS will symbolize children who are ready to be trained for a job or go on to higher learning (per ACT) after finishing high school. We are far from that today with nationally only 26% of those with a regular diploma being ready to learn a job per ACT. The ACT is given at the end of high school. But during the years before, from grade one onward the student's or class's or school's or school district's GPA (Grade Point Average) would be an excellent average grade provided that we use a credentialed end of course test. The teacher may get high GPA for his/her class or a low GPA or something in between. The GPA of the currently finished class by itself would not be a sound measure of teacher performance, because he/she may get good, poor or average performance students whose makeup differs each year. There is a way however to make it fair and far superior to personal observation or going to and deal with the error rate of TVAAS "added value" predictive mathematics.

What if with TVAAS considering only the current attendees' average GPA of the teacher's class, a GPA would be constructed for the prior year, the second year prior and the third year prior for an accurate comparison. Now we would know how all the children who are starting the teacher's current year performed as a group with their average GPA. If we average the last three years average GPA in this case, we have an excellent base line of performance of the current class. The only question that remains is how good an average GPA the current teacher will achieve compared to the average baseline of the past three year's GPA. Based on the teacher's over performance, the state could decide what constitutes, poor, average, good or excellent performance. This appears to be the most fair and accurate assessment of teacher performance, without prejudice. I appreciate teachers' objections to prior systems, but not to this one.

Personal observation of teacher performance by a person in authority (principal, assistant principal or evaluator), four times per year, twice pre announced, twice at random is highly subjective and prejudicial.>

In a normal organizational structure one has a supervisor who has frequent, at least weekly contact with the employee observing/discussing and seeing the employee's job results and how the employee may need help. The door is always open to the employee to see his boss if the employee needs advice. Not in the school system.

An individual who is the principal or assistant principal or evaluator presents unproductive psychological pressure on the teacher to be evaluated because the evaluation is done only four times per year. It would not be unusual to expect even a very competent employee to be nervous under such conditions during an evaluation-observation, and it is not unreasonable to expect the students to behave much better during such evaluation than when no such supervisory presence is in the classroom. We make it even worse by using supervisors whose performance as teachers in the worst performing industrialized nation is hardly at a standard where such a supervisor could be effectively evaluating other teachers' performance. The method appears to be unrealistic, not done often enough, with an observer not on a high enough expertise level compared to the teacher being observed, unless the teacher observed is much less experienced. Yet the observation counts 50% of a performance evaluation.

Even if all the above conditions were ideal, a personal observation is subject to prejudicial judgement. Little things in verbal or facial expressions, gestures, the way the teacher talks or dresses and many other things can bias personal observation of skills overly positively or negatively.

Considering all the above points, how can an authority based evaluation, that is not likely to be on the expert level in any subject due to our poor performance be valid? How can such an evaluation provide a sufficiently unbiased opinion about the observed teacher's performance, and then use only four hours of such observations during a school year representing about 1100 hours of teaching. The method is subject to being inaccurate and unfair.

Isn't the teachers' objective to deliver a high level of subject knowledge to the students that the tests would confirm? The best indicator of how good a teacher is, has to be the ability to repeatedly deliver superior average classroom end of course test averages (average GPA), relative the class members' past performance again as an average GPA. We discuss this possibility below under the TVAAS system that may be the right tool to establish this fact. It's description claims so.



Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS)
https://www.tn.gov/education/assessment/doc/TVAAS_Fact_Sheet.pdf

TVAAS appears to be a database system in which both student end-of-course grades or the scores of annual tests are collected. It claims to compute a five year trend in the same course class (e.g., all sciences or math taken during the past five years and and also the average of increases or decreases in all courses taken by the student to determine average increases or decreases for the purpose of predicting the upcoming year's result by student or class or school or district. The mathematical and statistical details are not described, nor is there an analysis to show the reliable predictability of TVAAS in the above listed reference.

However, if works as "advertised", TVAAS would be an excellent tool to identify the exact performance level of any class of students prior to a new course being taught by a teacher and to provide a reasonable prediction for what that teacher is going to achieve as a class average. For this reason TVAAS may be a suitable tool to compare the teacher's actual class average to the predicted average, which could be an excellent and fair measurement of the teacher's performance that could be graded to become the most important teacher measurement of teacher performance instead of using four classroom observations per year as such.

What we need to do is establish the accuracy of TVAAS as a predictive tool as described to a level of + or - 5% for grade achievement and not for growth achievement as it is currently used against expert advice.

From http://statweb.stanford.edu/~rag/ed351/tvaas.pdf: "Using mixed model equations, TVAAS uses the covariance matrix from this multivariate, longitudinal data set to evaluate the impact of the educational system on student progress in comparison to national norms, with data reports at the district, school, and teacher levels." [1] The model focuses on academic gains rather than raw achievement scores.

Dr. Ballou, in Lissitz (Ed.), 2005, "Value Added Models in Education: Theory and Applications," analyzed the TVAAS and determined that value added-assessment of teachers are fallible estimates of teacher contribution to student learning, stating that standard errors of value-added estimates are large. Author thinks that value added models are merely one useful tool that should be used as one of many assessments in a comprehensive system of evaluation.

Researchers from the RAND corporation studied Dr. Sanders' method and determined that his approach does not satisfactorily account for bias, cautioning that non-educational effects may be attributed by mistake to teachers, with no way of effectively determining the magnitude of the error.[2] Ballou (2002) and Kupermintz (2003) further support this claim, claiming that non-educational factors have a noticeable impact on the evaluation of teachers despite efforts to account for them in the model.[3]

The use of merit pay based on VAM has been discredited in articles by Dan Pink and more generally as a business practice in the Harvard Business review. The accuracy of VAM for evaluating individual teachers has been further discredited by the Economic Policy Institute and by mathematician John Ewing. We also need to recognize that motivation via salary increases is not even among the top three factors in increasing motivation. People get used to salary increases very fast and if poor morale exists, it's remedy via compensation is false, and its only purpose is to increase the baseline financing for school districts under "Maintenance Of Effort" laws in any state that guarantee the current school years spending as the minimum for the coming school year regardless of performance achieved. Use a teacher satisfaction survey conducted by an independent highly reputable firm without any input or contact from the school system other then providing the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the teachers.

For our purposes for teacher evaluation, we simply need an average GPA actually achieved by the students in the prior class, such that the average GPA in the current class can be compared to how much growth is achieved by the teacher in his/her current class with the end of course test. With a standard gain of performance having been achieved by the students of the current class, regardless of how many different classes they were in within the prior year, a valid comparison may be made between that prior average percentage gain and the percentage gain achieved by the teacher in the current class. We believe that this kind of comparison would be much more fair and meaningful in evaluation teacher performance compared to the four one hour observation that is currently done.



What would constitute an accurate performance evaluation for teachers?

THERE ARE PROFESSIONAL AND VALID TESTS IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS THAT WILL PROVIDE A MUCH MORE ACCURATE PERFORMANCE AND TEACHER POTENTIAL EVALUATION.

Before any of the following testing, the board's and superintendent's responsibility is to raise confidence in the leadership within the teachers and to raise the teachers' morale. Morale is generally related to how an employee is treated: with respect and support as needed or with disdain. If you did not train them well in our universities, that's not their problem. GOOD MORALE ON THE PART OF TEACHERS IS VITAL FOR THEM TO BE ABLE TO DO THEIR BEST. So the first and most important task is to ensure good teacher morale. It is not done, and that is a major problem in our school system. Low morale is also a key indicator of management above the entire school district is insufficiently management trained and experienced.

1. Testing the teacher's suitability for teaching. Needs to be done just one time (e.g., the Strong Interest Inventory correlated with the Myers-Briggs Psychological Inventory will show with 100% accuracy the vocational fit).

2. Testing of a teacher's ability to communicate and motivate every few years.

3. Subject knowledge tested every year since subject facts can and do change. Promote continuing education of the subject knowledge and teacher methodology areas at school district expense, but leave the choice to the teacher to do so. They will benefit from the improvement from such a program in class results and will do such a program unless they dislike teaching.

4. Last but not least the hopefully increased class average GPA achieved, and its percentage increase over the class attendees average GPA during the prior three years' average (The Base Line) will clearly show what the teacher can deliver with increasing knowledge to his/her class. The above description about TVAAS could be the right tool in this area. The teacher's rating could be defined by the state based on the percentage decrease or increase from The Base Line.

I prepared the above based on investigating methodologies in the USA and also in the five top performing countries. Two of them do not use teacher performance evaluation but establish hiring criteria that guarantees excellent performance:

1. Teacher reputation among the public in the high performing countries is high because the results are excellent and because they promote by informing the public regularly about the importance of learning for a lifetime to guarantee a happy and satisfying life. Our US teacher reputation is poor because of the poor performance, and poor college preparation viewed as one of the easiest degrees to obtain.

2. The top countries accept volunteers from Masters programs only from the subject areas for which they have a need to fill teaching positions above third grade, if the volunteers for teaching were in the top 10% of the class (Finland) or top 33% of the class (others). In the USA, teacher subject knowledge is weak, because a general four year degree in teaching can not cover the subjects well enough.

3. They test the teacher volunteers for suitability for teaching in the class room. In the USA this part is missing, and in fact the teacher pool is polluted by many who cannot work their chosen major successfully and go into teaching because it is easier.

4. Only then do they hire the teacher and send him/her back to graduate school for one or two years for training on the latest teaching methodologies and learning disability diagnoses. Then they have an assistant teacher with excellent subject knowledge. To qualify as a senior teacher, 15 years of successful classroom experience is required in Finland, a bit less in others, and only 6 years in the USA.

What makes our improvement methods unsuccessful is that we do not investigate the best systems, such as that of Singapore, Finland or in the USA the Success Academies of NYC who are achieving fabulous results in the worst demographic areas with black and Hispanic kids from poor families. We seem to be not creative and lazy to do the proper investigative work and analysis up front before we decide on what actions we will take. We act as if we had no training and experience in doing so.

http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/104136/chapters/The-Power-of-an-Effective-Teacher-and-Why-We-Should-Assess-It.aspx: "Teacher evaluation traditionally has been based on the act of teaching and documented almost exclusively through the use of classroom observations. In a study conducted by the Educational Research Service, 99.8 percent of U.S. public school administrators used direct classroom observation as the primary data collection technique. However, primary reliance on formal observations in evaluation poses significant problems (e.g., artificiality, small sample of performance) for teacher evaluation. Even under the best of circumstances, when principals might visit a classroom three or four times in a given year, the observation:

  • Can be artificial by nature,
  • Suggests an inspection approach to supervision,
  • Has limited validity based on the skill of the observer,
  • Is narrow in scope (i.e., restricted to instructional skills only), and
  • Involves a small sample of the teacher's actual work with students (e.g., four hours of observation would equal less than 1/2 of 1 percent of a teacher's time teaching during a given year)."

    We are assigning 50% of the evaluation to such an ineffective system, which is not useful.

    Our poor competitive position necessitates that our teachers become much better both in subject knowledge and teaching methodologies. The school system needs to provide an incentive in this area by coupling performance review-related salary increases to self-improvement efforts. These efforts need to be in the subject education area and the average GPA scores the teacher achieves with his/her class, corrected with the average past performance of the students in the class. The Internet has many excellent sources for self improvement from the best lecturers or professors that we are referencing on this website under the "Great Learning Tools" menu on top of this page. However, teachers who have a low morale or are not a good match to teaching as a profession will not be motivated to do so. They will not help themselves.

    The treatment and needs of teachers in our schools

    What do teachers have to be able to do very well, in order to produce high school graduates whose knowledge of the curriculum subjects must be high enough for job training and/or going on to higher education, meeting the ACT Career and College Readiness benchmarks? Would it be reasonable for us to expect 80% of those students who earned a regular diploma to be prepared to be trained for a job, or have a chance to finish the first year of a college or technical school? Isn't that rather minimal? According to ACT, in 2013 that percentage is not 80% but only 26% nationally, 18% in a state like Tennessee - very poor. To have 80% readiness the average ACT score of a graduating class would have to be above 25-26. Since the ACT test is given in grade 11, teachers may be too far away from it and may not appreciate how they are connected to ACT score achievement. If so, that cannot be an excuse.

    Teachers contribute to high ACT scores by achieving a greater than 3.0 average GPA in their classes from grade one to twelve. The higher above 3.0 the better. The teacher can do that if the teacher's subject and communication knowledge is high enough and the teacher is highly motivated to teach the students.

    Some children with disabilities cannot learn as other children can and need more time and help. Some children do not want to learn and are not motivated by parents or teachers. When teachers have low morale, they are unable to motivate the students. Other countries like Finland solved such problems. American education management at all levels is not good at becoming better by learning the successful methods developed in other countries. We try to invent better solutions and but instead we fail. We don't even know about solutions that work well in other countries although that would simply take an Internet search. We are 36th in math in the world as of 2013 (OECD-PISA). When you have been dropping for decades down to 36th, that automatically precludes your ability to come up with a solution without investigating what the top performers are doing to achieve their results.

    1. A teacher must know the subject they teach very well and be able to explain to the students how the subject could be useful as a profession to them or that it is necessary to understand the next course they will have to take and how the student is going to benefit from understanding the subject. We do not test teachers in this area.

    2. Teachers have to be comfortable with and be able to communicate very well with an entire class of students with friendliness, authority and confidence. American teachers not having the authority to deal with and rule on discipline problems in the classroom is a major problem contributor to this lowering teacher morale.

    Teachers need more help from the education boards, superintendents and district central management to become better in the above areas.



    American teachers are under trained and have an excessive classroom-hour requirement as seen in the above chart, and also have too much paperwork. Such a load does not leave enough time for preparation before each and every class. American teachers also do not have classroom authority to deal with discipline problems in the classroom. Teachers and principals are autocratically micromanaged by large central management organizations, told what to teach in detail, told how to teach and have no authority to deal with frequent disruptive discipline problems THAT ACTUALLY STAND IN THE WAY OF ACHIEVING GOOD RESULTS.

    Teacher Education Is Not Up To Par In The USA

    Unfortunately American teacher training is not at a competitive level. Our universities must strengthen their curriculum for teachers, and subject knowledge must be strengthened for those teachers who need it, especially in science and math. Detailed references:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/the-monitors-view/2011/0317/Next-US-education-reform-Higher-teacher-quality,

    http://hechingered.org/content/research-suggests-poor-quality-of-teacher-training-programs-in-u-s-compared-to-other-countries_6420/,

    http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/06/18/report-us-has-too-many-teachers-quality-of-educators-declines/,

    http://mckinseyonsociety.com/downloads/reports/Education/Worlds_School_Systems_Final.pd,

    http://dianeravitch.net/category/national-council-on-teacher-quality-nctq/.

    Classroom Discipline Problems Teachers Are Facing Without Sufficient Authority Is A Major Problem

    Imagine an employee in any business calling his/her supervisor by a dirty, filthy name so that it is heard and seen by other employees, hits the supervisor, throws an object at the supervisor and can even throw feces at the supervisor. THAT EMPLOYEE WILL BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY! That is what is happening to teachers. The teacher is the supervisor of the students in the classroom, and cannot do anything defensive, cannot touch the offending student, or to punish a student FOR SUCH BEHAVIOR. For that both the teacher and the offending student are interviewed by the principal, showing to the students that the teacher has no authority to deal with bad behavior.

    There is no job on the face of the earth that would allow such behavior, but such a child will return the next day to the classroom as if nothing happened. As a result he/she has several more followers who also become bullies to other students while the teacher's authority and ability to teach is destroyed. Dealing with such an offender immediately in front of other students and with punishment that is feared is very important. It is very destructive to education that we do not make sure that the teacher has total authority over the classroom to ensure that the majority of children can learn without interruption.

    Why are we tolerating such student behavior year-after-year without the teacher having full authority to decide immediately about a punishment that is harsh enough to discourage recurrence, like a one month suspension to be spent at home such that it has an impact on the parent as well? WHO IS BEHIND SUCH DESTRUCTIVE STUDENT BEHAVIOR BEING PUNISHED SO LIGHTLY?! IS THIS JUST A VERY POOR SYSTEMIC ISSUE IN PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION OR IS IT PURPOSEFUL?

    Low morale in the layer of employees who are to produce the results, lack of academic achievement objectives like an average ACT score on the board and superintendent level as a dominant percentage for their performance reviews, serious discipline problems that destroy classroom performance, no teacher authority in the classroom to do their best, these are all key management problems on the very top of an organization. They are not teacher problems as some try to explain it away.

    There are some interesting websites that deal with the resolution of some of the challenges teachers face with student behavior below:

    How discipline problems are handled in some schools: Municipal ordinance punishing parents for bad behavior of children in school:
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/parents-bullies-fined-kids-behavior-article-1.1363172

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/education news/5153797/Parents-to-be-hit-with-penalties-if-children-misbehave-at-school.html

    http://www.ncpc.org/topics/bullying/strategies/strategy-holding-parents-accountable-for-their-children-s-behavior

    http://business.time.com/2012/08/23/should-kids-be-fined-if-they-skip-school/

    http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/should-parents-be-jailed-when-kids-drink/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

    http://www.ivillage.com/wisconsin-town-will-fine-parents-raising-bully/6-a-538015

    Behavior management by parents at an early age:

    http://www.hawaii.edu/medicine/pediatrics/pedtext/s01c07.html

    http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/praise-discipline/behavior-problems-discipline-works

    http://parents.berkeley.edu/advice/school/behavior.html



    American teacher education is good from 6 universities but poor in too many others (thousands) compared to our international competitors. Continuing education for teachers is vitally important if we are to succeed in education.

    American teacher certification does not require a masters degree in the subject to be taught in the US, nor a minimum level of performance like being in the top 33% or top 10% of the university masters program as many internationals require. We do have teachers who earned a masters degree on their own after they became teachers.

    Most international top performers require a bachelors degree in teaching for the first 3-4 primary school grades instead of the above.

    An education degree in the USA or internationally does not provide enough education in the various subjects that such a teacher may teach in the second half of primary school or in secondary school.

    American education and testing focuses on the right answers. The top international education performers focus in testing on both the right answers and the method the student used to arrive at the correct answer.

    American education major as a vocational objective is not looked upon with the high respect within the US as it is looked upon in the top performing countries. It is viewed as an easier major than most, and a number of students who cannot make progress in their chosen major change to education as a major because it is easier.

    The above raises the question, as with other vocations as well, of how well a teacher is suited for teaching in his/her psychological profile. Top performing countries test for this, but many do not.

    Teacher turnover is high in the USA around 15% per year. Replacing teachers or any professional costs at least 50% of their annual compensation, so such a high turnover carries a very high cost that could be better used in the classroom. A medium school district may have 1500-3000 teachers. 15% of them multiplied by 6 months of salary is a huge loss that could be better used to get better results. Experienced management would use two instruments to find out the cause of such high turnover. One would be a Teacher Satisfaction Survey that is conducted by a totally impartial organization without any influence from the school district. Same for a Turnover Analysis that would survey teachers who left in each of the last three years, and the reasons for leaving. A third set of two tests that measures suitability for teaching or any profession is a small investment at $200 per person, but it identifies clearly how good a fit an individual is for teaching. Such a test is covered in the menu item on the right on top of this page, "Finding The Perfect Job".

    The 2013 Teacher Preparation Report from US News and World Report, shows poor teacher preparation at the university level even from universities like Stanford University in California. http://www.usnews.com/education/nctq?sort_dir=ASC&page=1

    Policy, Practice, and Readiness to Teach Primary and Secondary Mathematics in 17 Countries: Findings from the IEA Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M) shows that the US is not doing well in teacher training. http://www.iea.nl/fileadmin/user_upload/Publications/Electronic_versions/TEDS-M_International_Report.pdf

    National Council On teacher Quality is not encouraging about US teacher preparation. We need to strengthen it. http://www.nctq.org/teacherPrep/findings

    Research suggests poor quality of teacher training programs in U.S. compared to other countries. http://hechingered.org/content/research-suggests-poor-quality-of-teacher-training-programs-in-u-s-compared-to-other-countries_6420/

    EducationNext: The International Experience. http://educationnext.org/the-international-experience/

    Other Nations Outclass US On Education. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/other-nations-outclass-us-on-education


    Copyright(c) 2008-2018 V. Spencer
    This is a work in progress.






    Copyright(c) 2008-2018 V. Spencer
    This is a work in progress.