Posts tagged ‘education schools’

April 10, 2013

Quick Links – College tuition rises while state subsidies increase; teachers are all above average; attracting top students to teaching

by Grace

◊◊◊  Sometimes tuition hikes occurred even while state subsidies were increasing.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Pace of college tuition hikes outpacing incomes. “Georgia’s public colleges and universities say they have raised tuition to make up for the Georgia Legislature holding back on taxpayer funds. But even in years when the legislature has fully funded the University System of Georgia’s requests, the Board of Regents still boosts tuition.”

Related: UNH tuition: It’s about costs, not subsidies. “University of New Hampshire President Mark Huddleston last week blamed UNH’s rising tuition costs on declining state subsidies. That is the party line within the entire University System of New Hampshire. If it were true, then tuition would have been declining in the years before the last budget, the years when state subsidies to the university system were going up. Tuition then did not decline; it rose.”

◊◊◊  Teachers All Above Average, Students Still Failing (Via Meadia)

In Florida, 97 percent of teachers were deemed effective or highly effective in the most recent evaluations. In Tennessee, 98 percent of teachers were judged to be “at expectations.”

In Michigan, 98 percent of teachers were rated effective or better.

Advocates of education reform concede that such rosy numbers, after many millions of dollars developing the new systems and thousands of hours of training, are worrisome.

Setting test score bars too low and questionable management by principals seem to be issues in evaluations that produce dubious teacher evaluation outcomes.

Grover J. Whitehurst, director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, said variations in teacher quality had been proven to affect student academic growth. If an evaluation system is not finding a wider distribution of effectiveness, “it is flawed,” he said.

“It would be an unusual profession that at least 5 percent are not deemed ineffective,” he added.

◊◊◊  McKinsey teacher report on ‘Attracting and retaining top third graduates to a career in teaching’

What would it take to systematically attract and retain top students to a teaching career in the United States?

Improving teacher effectiveness to lift student achievement has become a major theme in U.S. education. Most efforts focus on improving the effectiveness of teachers already in the classroom or on retaining the best performers and dismissing the least effective. Attracting more young people with stronger academic backgrounds to teaching has received comparatively little attention.

McKinsey’s experience with school systems in more than 50 countries suggests that this is an important gap in the U.S. debate. In a new report, “Closing the Talent Gap: Attracting and Retaining Top-Third Graduates to Careers in Teaching ,” we review the experiences of the top-performing systems in the world—Singapore, Finland, and South Korea. These countries recruit, develop, and retain the leading academic talent as one of their central education strategies, and they have achieved extraordinary results. In the United States, by contrast, only 23 percent of new teachers come from the top third, and just 14 percent in high poverty schools, where the difficulty of attracting and retaining talented teachers is particularly acute. The report asks what it would take to emulate nations that pursue this strategy if the United States decided it was worthwhile.

The paper explores several “cost-effective” strategies that are not “necessarily inexpensive”.

In one scenario, for example, the U.S. could more than doubled the portion of top-third+ new hires in high-need schools, from 14% today to 34%, without raising teacher salaries.  In this scenario, the teachers would not pay for their initial training; high-need schools would have  effective principals and offer ongoing training comparable to the best professional institutions; districts would improve shabby and sometimes unsafe working conditions; the highest-performing teachers would receive performance bonuses of 20%; and the district or state would benefit from a marketing campaign promoting teaching as a profession….

Simply raising all teacher salaries is not the solution.

February 15, 2012

‘Schools of education focus on fads, not knowledge and skills’

by Grace

There are many reasons for the lamentable state of education in the United States today, but perhaps none is greater than our schools of education.

Larry Sand gives a first-hand account.

My experience at California State University, Los Angeles in the 1980s was typical. The courses were easy. Rigor was non-existent. I took eleven courses for credit, receiving ten As and one B and never once feeling intellectually challenged. There was typically an easy mid-term and a final and a paper (which was supposed to show that I knew how to deliver a lesson).

Sometimes the courses were like being back in grade school. I had a lot of fun in my methods classes, especially in Physical Education, where we played games all period.

Sand goes on to describe some recent trends in ed schools, including the practice of facilitating student discovery instead of direct instruction, whole language,  “Culturally Responsive Education” (CRE), and anti-racist math.

A possible bright spot in teacher education

Arizona State University, with the largest undergraduate teacher prep program in the country, has just this year unveiled a “radical” new program, in which students must demonstrate mastery of specific teaching skills as measured by a popular teaching framework. ASU is using the Teacher Advancement Program, a model run by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching.

Related:  If you want a high GPA in college, you might consider majoring in education.

June 20, 2011

Want a high GPA in college?

by Grace

If you want a high GPA in college, you might consider majoring in education.

Grade distributions for various academic departments, with education courses shown in blue

Even with just a quick glance at these grade distributions (A=4, B=3, and so forth), it is clear that one of these curves is not like the others. The right-most, blue line represents a department of education and highlights the grade inflation at a large state university – where the average grade for education courses is a full letter higher than those from the math, science, humanities, and social studies departments. This is not an isolated finding, as this forthcoming paper by Cory Koedel at the University of Missouri demonstrates. Over a dozen education departments at major universities across the country have a similar grading pattern. Can education schools really be providing vigorous teacher preparation when it appears students must make a concerted effort to fall as low as a C? The good news from this paper for anyone seeking a degree is that they now know a fail-safe route to a diploma. Unfortunately, for K-12 students across the county, this is again evidence that teacher preparation is coming up short.

Source:  National Council on Teacher Quality

Found at Joanne Jacobs

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