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Monday, February 28, 2011

Cost of an Education

Michelle Rhee, the school superintendent of DC public schools ... Actually I guess they call her Chancellor there instead of super intendant ... Now if you don't know about DC schools, they are some of the worst in the nation when it comes to the big three milestones - test scores, grades, graduation - anyhow, she was on Fox & friends this morning talking about the WI teacher/collective bargaining situation.

she equates the lay-offs of teachers with an attack on the most poverty stricken schools because they have the newest teachers ... They have the teachers which are paid the least because they can't afford anything else ...

Without actually saying it, it sounded like she supports performance based pay ...

What she is totally missing though is that as long as the unions say that you can't fire a teacher for this or that ... Yes the unions get to decide what her an offense is bad enough to warrant dismissal ... You will never be able to get rid of the bad teachers who are tenured in.

lthough, I have to say that some of the best teachers my kids have had are the ones who have been teaching since the 60's or so ... And some of the worst ones they've had are the ones who have been teaching for 10yrs or less.

All they really need to do is look at the test scores of students who were taught in the traditional 3-Rs type of school to those of a more "Open" school tradition and see that it just doesn't work. Although I have to admit that there are some kids who just don't do well in the highly structured routines of the old ways - I have two of them, but they don't do very good in the laid-back style either.

Personally I think the problem is the districts - they look at the kids as test-scores and funding dollars. This means that those who score high get the pat on the back, those who do poorly get the funds ... Those who fall too low to pass but too high to get funding get ignored.

The issue is that each state tests their kids on a different test, each state has different standards (and technically they should since education isn't covered in the constitution) ... There already is a system in place for testing educational standards though ... It's the SAT & ACT tests. I don't know why the school system doesn't just say look you have to score at least the minimum score required by the state university in order to graduate ... The state universities should alreDy have minimum standards for freshman who are entering straight out of high school ...

The school system could pay for each test until the child passes the minimum requirement Or age 19(which ever comes first)... Then any extra would fall upon the parents/child ... And it would more than likely save the school systems a tremendous amount of money, possibly in the millions of dollar range.

The issue with this system is that it takes so long to get the results back ... I know my son took his test in Oct and didn't get his results back until after the new year - this part of it would have to be fixed so that if need be students could take several tests a year in their sr yr.

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