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No strong teacher unions, lower SAT/ACT scores. Any correlation?

Nope. Just because two things occur together, it does not mean there is a cause and effect relationship between them.

Are there any other stats on student learning for these states? Looking at ACT/SAT scores is a limited scope. And besides, which states are # 45 and 46 on that list? If you only listed the states without unions, then #45 and 46 *do* have unions — and they are near the bottom of the list.

world-shaker:

Only five states do not have collective bargaining for educators and have deemed it illegal.

Those states and their ACT/SAT rankings are as follows:

South Carolina – 50th

North Carolina – 49th

Georgia – 48th

Texas – 47th

Virginia – 44th

If you are wondering, Wisconsin, with its collective bargaining for teachers, is ranked 2nd in the country.

Notes

The State of Michigan has sounded the death knell for Detroit Public Schools. DPS’s Emergency Financial Manager (EFM), Robert Bobb, has received approval for his plan to shut down half of the city’s public schools over the next two years, raising remaining school class sizes to 60 students. The decision could be the tipping point that pushes Michigan into Wisconsin-style protesting.

17 Notes

We've Got A Diem to Carpe: Parents will be Parents: Hilarious Moment of the Day #1

adiemtocarpe:

….I look over the test questions that the mother created.

One showed a picture of a sphere and read,

This figure has which of the following: 

  • No vertices and no faces
  • No vertices and no butt
  • No vertices and no toes
  • None 

I was CRYING with laughter at this. 

11 Notes

Teacher: I Was Fired Over A Bumper Sticker - Phoenix News Story - KPHO Phoenix

A teacher with over 60 bumper stickers on her car - some of them snarky - was fired after refusing to remove one that said, “Have you drugged your kids today.”

Her school’s administration asked her to park elsewhere or remove the sticker after parents complained. She refused to do either, and has lost her job.

Hello, free speech?

Ironically, the situation is best summed up by another bumper sticker on the same teacher’s car: “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers.”

EDIT: Also, the sticker is obviously old. How long has she worked at this school, and how long has she been parking there without comment?

7 Notes

Art and design should not be dismissed as frivolous pursuits but should be seen as key to business innovation. [Artists are] people who ask good questions. Artists also know how to fail productively.

111 Notes

The Governor's message is wrong, but the path is right: why Wisconsin needs to force teachers unions to change

The discussion about Wisconsin and Ohio has become a bitter argument about whether public school teachers are paid enough, who pays for their benefits, and the right to unionize.

I don’t think those are the core issues at all, even though Walker himself is promoting his measures as a way to save money.

So what is the real issue? I found a post today which sums up the matter nicely: 

Take a look at schools in Singapore, Finland, South Korea and Japan. Students there are the highest testing in the world. 100% of the teachers come from the top third of collegiate graduating classes. They are talented, and compensated according to performance.

In the United States, only 23% of educators come from the top third of their graduating class. In schools where the majority of students are below the poverty line, that number gets lower - 14%.

So perhaps the problem we’re facing is that the teachers we have aren’t of the same caliber the international community is seeing.

….if you interview most college graduates, most of them don’t seriously consider becoming educators in the United States. Why? ….They cited “limited economic and personal growth” as the key deciding factors.

But the answer is NOT to just raise teacher pay. Read on:

Why isn’t our system competitive? Unions. Unions have set a low, fixed rate of pay for teachers. There is no incentive to succeed or do an amazing job, because you won’t get paid any higher.

Unions prevent the best teachers from being rewarded. But, it also gets worse. The worst teachers hold onto their jobs when they shouldn’t. On February 24th, The American Federation of Teachers, the largest educators union in the United States, issued a new proposal: If a teacher has an unsatisfactory performance, they have one year to improve, or they’ll be fired in 100 days. Yes, you read that right. If you suck at your job, you’ll be fired… in 465 days. That was their version of a “fast track”.

via californiacornbread

EDIT: Even Bill Gates (unwittingly?) supports this notion:

The value of measuring effectiveness is clear when you compare teachers to members of other professions - farmers, engineers, computer programmers, even athletes. These professionals are more advanced than their predecessors - because they have clear indicators of excellence, their success depends on performance and they eagerly learn from the best.

The same advances haven’t been made in teaching because we haven’t built a system to measure and promote excellence.

From How teacher development could revolutionize our schools - The Washington Post

1 Notes

Marymount's Meow

Purr… A kitty moves into a school in California.