January 20, 2012

Demonizing schoolteachers

Commenter Maya comes up with a pretty good analogy:
The truly smart people aren't staying away [from teaching] because of the money. The pay is decent enough for a job that is meant to be emotionally/spiritually rewarding and with ample vacation time. The truly smart are too smart to get into a situation where YOU [the media and the public] blame, demonize and threaten them for the severe shortcomings of other people. Smart people would rather become dentists, for example. A dentist doesn't get blamed for his patients' cavities nor is it ever suggested that a man getting his teeth broken in a bar fight is his dentist's fault.

Of course, dentists really can fill cavities, but teachers can't actually make everybody equally smart so that, as the federal law demands, no child is left behind.

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Teachers are demonized?! Why do I still hear all the whining about low pay for these selfless individuals?

ZorroPrimo said...

I had a good friend 30 years ago who became a 6th grade science teacher (he was a guy). He said he loved his job to death, but the worst part of it were the administration and the parents. Yes, you are right, the teachers are always blamed for everything. Nothing the kids could do would ruin his day, but an angry mother can scream at a principal, and suddenly Timmy's dyslexia is now your fault, you incompetent teacher.

I'd never, ever go into teaching in our public schools.

Anonymous said...

2d post in a row that features a reader's comment? Is the content creation of this blog getting outsourced?

More than ever, I'm convinced that the real Steve Sailer is tied up and struggling in a closet somewhere and an impostor is at the keyboard.

Anonymous said...

Everybody here is wrong about why smart people don't want to teach.

The ugly truth is that it is no fun teach morons who are dumber than you. As a matter of fact, it is downright depressing, like treating terminally ill people.

Some supermen are cut out for it, but not most.

I'm a smart person. In college, I thought I'd make money tutoring, well, calculus. Being a smart person, by the third student I saw the pattern, which was that people who hire tutors in college generally are well on their way to a horrendous train wreck.

In no way was this uplifting or satisfying.

I went back to a part time job as a pizza cook. The money wasn't as good, but it was fun and there was an endless supply of new coed waitresses to chat up.

Aretae said...

Steve,

I'm a 4-sigma guy who's been in education for 20 years...and have watched a number of other friends near the same range move in and out of education.

Reasons smart folks avoid education:

1. Idiot Bureaucrats who think they can tell you how to do stuff. By my observation, all superhero teachers bail on the public system because they're not allowed to do their job to the best of their ability. Take a (smart-ish -- 1 sigma) group of elementary kids, and accelerate them 3 years in math, over the course of 1 year? Easy. I've done it as a volunteer, while an undergrad. Navigate the school bureaucracy, so that they stop trying to stop me from doing that? Impossible. May as well quit.

2. At 3+Sigma in the math/science area, you can be a public schoolteacher oppressed under the bureaucracy, but slowly paid tolerably (>50K with HUGE benefits and low hours after 20 years, and no skill-bonuses)...a private schoolteacher making far less ($30K) with no benefits, but freedom to do what you love...or a engineer/programmer, making 6+ figures in 5-10 years, depending on HOW good you are. Opportunity cost is real...and higher Sigmas have higher opportunity cost.

#1 is the uber-issue. The system doesn't get along with superheros. Every very good teacher I've met has been in a perpetual war with the administration...always almost losing, and always very tired.

FWIW, I quit the schools a long time ago...and do corporate training. Not as fun as the schools, but what matters is results, not idiot bureaucrats. Also...pay is pretty easily 4x.

Aretae said...

Anon...

I'm a 4-sigma guy who is smarter than roughly everyone I teach. Nonetheless, I love teaching, and I've been a teacher for 20 years. I also put myself through school as a math tutor.

I don't think the portion of 3- or 4- sigma folks who like (or dislike) teaching is notably different than the portion of 0.5 sigmas who do/don't...and it may be lower.

Tom Regan said...

No, actually it is about the money. Teachers are held in much higher regard than politicans, journalists and lawyers, and those professions don't have any trouble attracting people.
Its the money mostly, and the fear that unless you can get a sweet job teaching motivated and pleasant kids, you're going to end up in some hideous 'vibrant' school where there is a mutual loathing between students and teachers.

Maya said...

Steve,

Therein lies the problem; people confusing the job description with the hoped for outcome of the job's existence. Dentists are for filling cavities, and teachers are for organizing, presenting and evaluating knowledge and skills. Hopefully, with enough good dentists, everyone able and willing to follow directions and a schedule will have healthy teeth. And, hopefully, with enough good teachers, everyone able and willing will receive a decent education. If a dentist's patients don't brush, eat candy and miss their appointments, the dentist isn't blamed for their oral problems. If the area around the dentist's office is canvassed and it turns out that most of those people don't even get dental care AND they are missing teeth, it's not the dentist's fault. If there happens to be a notable statistical difference between the oral health habits and outcomes of different races, the dentist isn't accused of racism. What if it were declared by our wise government that everyone must have perfect teeth by 2020, and every dentist were assigned a small district of patients and ordered to meet that goal? What if, then, all dentists were judged, by the degrees of dental health their patients were in. For example, the dentist whose patients needed less cavities filled than an average would be declared the best dentists. On the other hand, the dentists whose assigned patients didn't bother to show up for treatment of rotten teeth, let alone cleaning, would be declared to be the worst dentists because their patients would have rotten and missing teeth. Saying something like, "But, but, but, they are meth addicts! And he chews tobacco! And they? I didn't even know they existed because they are homeless and not in my roster" or "But, but, but, they drink nothing but cola, no matter what I tell them! I even bought everyone a toothbrush with my own money and offered prizes to the most improved of the month, every month. I even wrote a song and choreographed a dance to remind and encourage good habits. What else do you want me to do?" or, "Look, this family just has bad teeth. In the old photos, all their great grandmothers are completely toothless. It's not their fault, but they'll need more dental care than the others, and they will never have perfect teeth. I can't help it!" or, "They told me that if I gave them bad news about their teeth, they'll shoot me. And those other there, they told me that they will set my office on fire if I kept calling them about their upcoming and missed appointments. I put cable TV, video games and refreshments in the waiting room to make the office more attractive and welcoming. Isn't there some sort of a professional development seminar that could help me improve in this area?" or, "I'm sorry about all those ruined mouths! I have nightmares about it! But really, I'm not lying, they really do jerk their heads fast, without warning and with inhuman force while I'm trying to drill the rot away. Then, they bleed out of their disfigured faces yelling that they don't like coming here in the first place, and that I should find some way to clean out their rot that doesn't involve a drill. But there is no other way! Honestly!", would mean that the dentist is a lazy troublemaker (and, most likely, prejudice), hates people, doesn't care about teeth and is just, overall a horrible person. How would that work out? I'm sure everyone would have perfect teeth. The truth is that a professional can't be judged by the progress of a group that a third party assigns to him by force, especially if the said professional has no legal power to influence the members of that group.

Maya said...

I completely agree with Aretae.

I had an unofficial club set up for the kids who are excited about reading. I picked books above the kids' grades' reading levels that I thought they'd like, had them okay several titles at a time and bought the books from amazon. The kids would tell each other about the books they had finished, reviewed and discussed them. Then, I bought a cheap camcorder and let each club member take it home for a weekend to make a movie based on one of the books they read through our club. And so it went in book ordering, movie making cycles. The administration found out and shut us down. I knew it would happen since I wasn't allowed to go through the proper channels in the first place. And in my own classroom, each time I find a way to make the kids learn the assigned subject with more success and enthusiasm, one of those NCLB spies from the district office who forever haunt our hallways writes that the methods are not research proven and inappropriate, and that i should just do as I'm told.

Maya said...

"No, actually it is about the money. Teachers are held in much higher regard than politicans, journalists and lawyers, and those professions don't have any trouble attracting people.
Its the money mostly, and the fear that unless you can get a sweet job teaching motivated and pleasant kids, you're going to end up in some hideous 'vibrant' school where there is a mutual loathing between students and teachers."


Money isn't everything. I'd take a pay cut to be in a school where I could just teach. And I haven't met many teachers who loath their students. Kids are kids. It's the administration and the parents that are truly loathsome.

Aretae said...

Maya,

The pay cuts to move to private, or sometimes charter schools are pretty big ... but they do tend to let you teach well. And parents who are PAYING for kids educations have this funny appreciation for value.

Anonymous said...

I think the demonisation of teachers is more than balanced by the worship of these awesomely awesome indivuduals who are awesome.

Although, now that I think about it, the media representation of teachers is very either/or, isn't it?

They're either the greatest people ever, who need their wages upped a thousandfold, or they're singlehandedly behind Teh Gap.

However, I think the truly smart people would avoid teaching, for a number of reasons:

(1) They have other options. I know a lot of teachers. Most of them are very good and very dedicated.

But the reasons that the vast majority chose teaching included a severe lack of other options.

My mother, for instance, went into teaching because she was desperate to get out of her small town, she needed a career as her parents didn't want to give her money and teaching was the only career open to women at the time.

She freely admits that, had medical schools or banks been interested in her, she would not have become a teacher.

Not to mention all my college classmates getting teaching certificates because they can't get jobs.

(2) They probably will have to deal with people, both colleagues and students, who are less intelligent than they are.

That's not fun for super smart people.

(3) They might not be all that good at it. This closely relates to the previous reason.

The super smart people I know tend to not be very good at explaining things to those of us lower down the feeding chain.

I'm about average. But I experienced this as a voluntary tutor in "deprived" schools.

Teaching these kids was incredibly frustrating. They were very nice, but not smart enough to understand what would have been the basics in private, middle class schools.

(As you can imagine, my Dead Poets' Society/Freedom Writers fantasies died a quick death.)

So, teaching would be a comparatively low paid, frustrating job that probably wouldn't make the most of their talents.

Why would they go into it? Would we rather not have fairly smart teachers, and have the super smart people in research, business, banking etc.?

It strikes me as a poor use of resources - putting huge amounts of human capital into students who need vocational education and fewer immigrants taking their jobs.

Anonymous said...

You could take yourself to a bar and pick a fight with some dumb jerk. Or, you could be like Maya and make some highly insulting remarks about black mothers and their children in a semi-public forum.

edgy gurl said...

"More than ever, I'm convinced that the real Steve Sailer is tied up and struggling in a closet somewhere and an impostor is at the keyboard."

What's even stranger is the tendency for the proverbial pot to call the kettle black on this blog. Maya's caustic communication style, vdare's scathing commentary on controversial immigration and racial topics, Sailer's confrontational, somewhat insolent, remarks on racial differences in intelligence and behavior all invite acrimony. Haven't you ever wondered how many lawsuits and death threats these supposedly sane, rational, careful, higher IQ people incur in a year? Yet these same people will heap scorn on anyone else who fails to recognize that what they say, how and/or where they say it, might lose them an election, get them fired or even killed.

I haven't quite figured out what game is being played on iSteve or at Vdare but it's unlikely these guys are being genuine about their beliefs and intentions.

Anonymous said...

"The pay cuts to move to private, or sometimes charter schools are pretty big ... but they do tend to let you teach well. And parents who are PAYING for kids educations have this funny appreciation for value."

Don't be naive. I sincerely doubt Maya is a teacher. Her one "great" teaching strategy for instance wouldn't be such a great idea in the dysfunctional environment where she supposedly teaches. It's a given that many of her kids would record unacceptable things (i.e. themselves or family members naked, a crime in progress) on that camcorder and that they are too young and lacking in goal directed behavior or parental guidance to make book report movies for homework.

If Maya were a real elementary school teacher with a legitimate set of credentials, she could get a good paying job in a better environment.

PublicSphere said...

What about the issue of the structure of teacher compensation?

Status quo: get paid more by sticking around for many years, irrespective of your talent, accumulate a pension to retire at age 55 with guaranteed benefits, and by accumulating meaningless Masters degrees from ed school?

"Reform" proposal: get paid more immediately when you demonstrate talent, in exchange for somewhat less job security, and get paid more for teaching something hard and hence difficult-to-staff like math and science?

The status quo is clearly designed to reward time-serving and hoop-jumping, whereas the reformers want compensation to have more to do with supply and demand -- pay math teachers more than gym teachers, and pay them up-front rather than loading up their pension after 30 years.


Steve is right to harp on the insanity of "all children must read," but I'm at a loss to find a problem with the Ed Reform idea that teachers should be compensated like any other profession -- based on how well they do, and the demand for their talents -- rather than time-serving and hoop-jumping.

Anonymous said...

"Nothing the kids could do would ruin his day, but an angry mother can scream at a principal, and suddenly Timmy's dyslexia is now your fault, you incompetent teacher."


This is why teaching ESL to Asian kids is so fun. Everything is the student's fault. The parents consider a sorry teacher to just be one of life's usual pitfalls not unlike being laid off or having a terrible boss. The student must simply find the angle necessary to get the grade and the education. Asian parents always wanted me to give them extra material to drill their kids with at home. I would give them a fat workbook called Staying at the Top basically busy work for smart kids. Far from being angry at me, they always just wanted to know the specific items that Xiao couldn't do, and they would find a way to make him do it.

Lucius said...

In my experience of Ed courses, the profs were very insistent on the point that "they"-- the media, the politicians, the [non-Ed] "experts", and the community-- do not, and probably never will, understand the sacrifices that "you" (the Future Teachers) will be making.

Nor will they appreciate that you are only applying the most refined, research approved techniques, techniques the greatest experts in Education have rigorously tested and approved. But ignore them. They know not what they do.

As to your future students: harboring critical thoughts about them is barbarous. If you can search out feelings of indifference in your heart for any of The Children, Then You Are Not Suited For This Mission.

Trainees must also steel themselves always to pretend there are Hmong, Rumanian, Shiite, Sikh, Buddhist, Martian, and Ripley's Alien children in their classroom together (harmoniously) at all times. Never mind where you're from, or where you're moving. Even if, god forbid, you somehow end up looking at 24 beaming homogeneous faces, you *will* be teaching a Multicultural Classroom.

"Homogeneity", btw, is a fave Ed buzzword for abilities, but not for ethnic/cultural/national identity.

Believe me, you DO NOT want to hint that you might only actually wind up applying, you know, to tonier school districts where you get a lot of APs. No real teacher would ever daydream such a nightmare. And Ed Departments do not want not-real teachers.

Timmy said...

If my dyslexia is not my teacher's fault, s'ohw si ti?

Anonymous said...

Had a discussion with a "no excuses" believer. She said, "How is it that we can send a man to the moon, but we can't close the achievement gap?" I responded, "Because sending a man to the moon is POSSIBLE. Closing the achievement gap is not possible or we would have accomplished it by now." There is big money to be made in the new Common Core standards and "no excuses" reform movement. Snake oil salesman peddling another round of bullshit...

Anonymous said...

Most really smart people are heterosexual men. Heterosexual men are not welcome as teachers, period. Secondary, most really smart women are anti-PC and anti-PCers are also not welcome as teachers.

Anonymous said...

"A dentist doesn't get blamed for his patients' cavities..."

But I'll bet a whole bunch of them get sued.

Anonymous said...

It's wrong to think of education as one big industry. Many smart people do go into education to become professors and teachers in elite high schools. They should not be confused with dummies who take education cuz teaching ABC to dummy kids is the only thing they can do.

Anonymous said...

How about making teaching more like other professions?

Like...

Policework: if a student fails, arrest him, lock him up, and don't release him until he masters his stuff.

Medicine: if a student fails, treat him as an emergency patient, closely monitor him, inject him with ritalin, and make cure his mind--and don't release him until he's 'healed'.

Firefighting: if a student fails, treat him like he's on fire-of-stupidity, and violently douse him with discipline and knowledge.

Anonymous said...

I say give ritalin to all black kids so they'll calm down and focus more on teacher's instructions and class work.
Call it meducation.

Bill said...

Teachers are not poorly paid. Here is a BLS website on teachers. It says median earnings were above $47K in 2008. One median teacher makes about the median family income in the US. Median earnings are an understatement of the right number, though. First, lots of teachers only teach for 1-3 years, so there are always lots of teachers at the starting salary dragging the median down. Second, "smart" teachers, whom we are presumably talking about here, get Masters and Doctorates (and then, pathetically, insist that the children call them Dr So-and-so). This drives their salaries up a fair amount. Smart/good teachers gravitate to wealthy, suburban school districts where they are paid better. I have seen, with my own eyeballs, union contracts for teachers which top out around $115K for a teacher with a PhD (EdD, actually) and 15 years experience. (In case anyone doesn't know, getting an EdD requires that you know how to open a cracker jack box, and districts usually will pay for the cracker jacks) This for a 9-month-a-year job with very good fringe benefits, extremely good job security, shortish hours, and no heavy lifting.

The only way teacher's salaries are low is that they have no upside. Pretty much no teacher gets paid more than $150K.

Being a government employee ain't fun for most people (which is Maya's point), but that's a different conversation.

Anonymous said...

For starters let's change 'ample vacation time' to 'tons of time off,' and then speculate on how many teachers could have cut dental school. Most of the teachers I know couldn't have risen much higher, based on their intellects and fortitude.

Maya said...

"If Maya were a real elementary school teacher with a legitimate set of credentials, she could get a good paying job in a better environment."

I'll be done with my master's and my credentials will somewhat solidify (I'll be "apprentice" rather than "emergency", but not yet "professional"- many tiers of licensing credentials for teachers)by the end of this coming May, so, hopefully, I'll leave for a better situation. That said, there's almost no turnover in the affluent, well performing school districts. It's tough to get a spot there.

Oh, and the students who chose to be in a book club and actually wanted to read extra books aren't the type to videotape their parents naked. Plus, I had control over who gets to join as well. They did make a bunch of auditioning videos for American Idol and then forgot to erase them, though :). You see, the tragedy of the ghetto schools isn't that good, smart kids don't exist there. It's that we are not allowed to nurture the promising kids because we are required to give everything to the worst troublemakers.

Maya said...

Bill,

I was educated in a school district where an average salary for a teacher was around 70 grand, and a bunch of the teachers who taught me made well over a 100. They also never had to deal with discipline; we had a whole school wing full of people hired specifically for that purpose. Our schools always did very well on the standardized tests, so there was no pressure from that end. In the inner city, it's the exact opposite situation. So, I think that this career can be either really, really good- good benefits, long vacations, emotional rewards and relatively low stress- or it can be really, really bad- low pay, emotionally draining, dangerous environment and extreme stress. I wonder what the middle ground is like.

Maya said...

"For starters let's change 'ample vacation time' to 'tons of time off,' and then speculate on how many teachers could have cut dental school. Most of the teachers I know couldn't have risen much higher, based on their intellects and fortitude."

Right, which is why dentists should be paid a lot more than the teachers. And the janitors should be paid a lot less then the teachers. And brain surgeons should be paid a lot more than the dentists. Of course, those with more refined skills should be compensated better. But the point is that each one of these professionals can only be responsible for the quality of their own work, not the ultimate results. If a janitor clocks out at the agreed upon time, and someone throws up on the floor two hours later, it's not the janitor's fault. Similarly, the janitor at the amusement park who has to constantly run around and clean isn't worse at his job than a janitor at a posh department store who is able to maintain a clean environment at all times. A brain surgeon is responsible for the quality of surgery performed, given the circumstances. That's it. If a patient arrives with an inoperable tumor, or if a healed patient decides to go mountain climbing in 6 months and cracks his skull open, the doctor isn't forced to take responsibility for these factors which happen to be completely out of his control. OTOH, teachers are responsible for all the factors that go into a student's performance.

Oh, and what's the difference between "long vacations" and "lots of time off"?

DaveinHackensack said...

The best class on probability and statistics that I took was taught by a schoolteacher moonlighting as an instructor at the NY Institute of Finance. A couple of years later, I contacted him about project I was working on and he told me his rate for his part-time teaching was $265 per hour. He had the stability of the teaching job (at a fancy private high school, I think), plus, I assume, free tuition there for his own kid, and was making some nice cash on weekends and school breaks with finance industry teaching gigs.

Maya said...

""A dentist doesn't get blamed for his patients' cavities..."

But I'll bet a whole bunch of them get sued."

Ah yes, I forgot about that. Good point. The doctors do get sued each time someone is too fat to be operated upon safely or each time a high risk procedure doesn't go well. The whole system is screwed up. People don't understand that a professional is a human being and can't make every problem disappear magically. Some doctors are quacks, and they need to lose their licenses and/or face jail time just like some teachers need to be run out of town. Some are miracle workers. But the majority of all professionals are of average ability, in their respective fields, with a solid set of skills. They can improve the well being of a community, if their skills are used properly, but they usually can't make your diabetes II go away if you refuse to even discuss your eating habits or turn your kid into a scholar if you never taught him to sit down and listen. Didn't some doctor get sued for suggesting that a very overweight woman should lose weight to improve her quality of life?

Anonymous said...

For male teachers I imagine the pay and status hit is too much in the modern dating market. Only good looking people would be able to get away with it. But if your a good looking 3 sigma dude, why not just become a millionaire, retire, and if you want to teach kids you can do it for free.

Anonymous said...

"You could take yourself to a bar and pick a fight with some dumb jerk. Or, you could be like Maya and make some highly insulting remarks about black mothers and their children in a semi-public forum."

Send her to Sidwell!

XTeacher said...

I have seen not so bright people do a good job of teaching. I have also seen not so bright people do a poor job of teaching. Similarly, some bright people are good teachers- some bright people are not good teachers.

As a bright person (1500 GRE), I didn't need any motivation from teachers to study when I was a child. I was self-motivated.

A teacher needs to be a motivator, a persuader. A high proportion of students are not self-motivated and need motivation from others- teachers or parents. This is especially true at the middle school level.

I found it difficult to deal with students who were not self-motivated, because lack of self-motivation was not my experience when I was a student.

One time I gave 8th grade students at a low-achieving school a worksheet of second-grade math. I expected some to complain,"This is baby work." No one complained. On the contrary, I had seldom seen students so on-task. Draw your own conclusions.

Anonymous said...

No discipline in the classroom and no ability to enforce discipline because administrators undermine your efforts.

The students are grouped together, smart, disciplined, with dumb, undisciplined, students ruining it for all.

Education would be simple in all schools of students were kicked out for the school year after three referrals. Its not rocket science.

Also segregate students based on ability, to hell with political correctness.

If schools graded and segregated students 90% of the problems would be eliminated. Its not rocket science.

Anonymous said...

I've come to assume that the Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys tend to know what they are doing even if it doesn't make sense to us Americans.

I'm hoping you'll expound on this in a future post.

Mitch said...

"Heterosexual men are not welcome as teachers, period."

Wrong. Particularly in high school, and particularly in math and science, men are highly sought after. It's routine for new male teachers to be given the best assignments in the hopes that they'll stay.

Teaching is a white chick's profession, and in Title I schools with a lot of rambunctious adolescent males, male teachers are a valuable commodity.

Maya said...

"Send her to Sidwell!"

YES! I must be punished by doing time, teaching at Sidwell!!! I know they could reform me. I just know it. Please, please, please send me to Sidwell!

OLD HASBARA said...

"More than ever, I'm convinced that the real Steve Sailer is tied up and struggling in a closet somewhere and an impostor is at the keyboard."

A delightful and transparent troll meme. I grin whenever I see it, which is in every comments section. Good repetition but poor concept. A more effective one is easily thought up. Steve was dumped by a black stripper in college after he proposed marriage to her. You could give her a plausible, near-unfalsifiable name ("Johnston"?). What you want to do, however, is hold off on revealing the name. First you plant little hints that you might reveal it. You spring it when commenters are sufficiently worked up (we call this traction).

Now, that would take almost everyone off message for a good amount of time, maybe months. And even though it's false and easily denied, it leaves a stain in a way that "absent Steve," increasingly clearly, is failing to do. Stain is the most important part. A libel suit, win or lose, would only be hitting the jackpot in this regard.

When us practiced hands were at work back in the old days, pesky speakers like Sailor were made short work of. Their reputation among their fans could be killed in, say, two weeks tops. Now all we have working on these things are the punk kids, the under-30 set. They are blind with arrogance, wet behind the ears, trying hard to invent the wheel and failing. Terminally ironic, someone described them. I hate irony. Ironic = weak. Tell these kids to pay attention to history before they expect to enter the big leagues.

XTeacher said...

Heterosexual men are not welcome as teachers, period. Secondary, most really smart women are anti-PC and anti-PCers are also not welcome as teachers.

Status of the American Public School Teacher, 2005-2006 gives the follow percentage of male teachers at the elementary and high school level.
1981: elementary : 18; high school: 47
1996 elementary : 9; high school: 41
2001 elementary : 9; high school: 35
2006 elementary : 17; high school: 43


Table 66, page 112: Males and Females: All Teachers and Selected Subgroups ,961-2006 (%)


Secondary, most really smart women are anti-PC and anti-PCers are also not welcome as teachers.
You are correct that anti-PC people are not welcome as teachers. PC is the catechism these days.

Anonymous said...

Why is this blog now iMaya who didn't get a teaching certificate in the normal way & now whines about the alternative students that those who pursue alternative credentials are supposed to teach?

Kylie said...

"You could take yourself to a bar and pick a fight with some dumb jerk."

By definition, shouldn't that be, "some other dumb jerk"?

"Or, you could be like Maya and make some highly insulting remarks about black mothers and their children in a semi-public forum."

You must be a dumb jerk yourself or you'd know that that kind of veiled accusation ("Raaaaacist!") flies a lot better at HuffPo than it does here.

I'm not keen on Maya myself, as should be obvious. But in fairness, I have to say I've found all her "highly insulting remarks" to be spot-on, based on my own observation and experience in a poor, mixed-race neighborhood. I think she'd be less vehement about the mothers she criticized if she weren't so concerned about the negative effects their parenting has on their kids--effects she has to see and deal with every day. And frankly, while poor parenting is ubiquitous in poor neighborhoods, my observataion was that it seemed to be disproportionately concentrated among blacks.

walter condley said...

Oh, to be a teacher:

http://www.foxnews.mobi/quickPage.html?external=1279138.proteus.fma&page=22995&intcmp=obinsite

Anonymous said...

"Some doctors are quacks, and they need to lose their licenses and/or face jail time"


The fact that this doesn't happen means that all doctors pay sky high malpractice insurance. Excusing and ignoring failure, incompetence and evil is much more expensive and painful for everyone than just punishing the few.

Anonymous said...

Might I add that much of what Maya sees in her inner city is also applicable to the Appalachian county I am from.

Parents have learned that they have "rights", but, of course, nobody taught them civic responsibilities.

Adjacent to our county is a small university city, and talking to teachers they say the difference is night and day. Parents in the city are more likely to be actively involved in a constructive way in the learning process and they are also less likely to sue.

Said university city sends young women to work as teachers in training in our county. The turn over rate is high, the girls usually experience a strong degree of culture shock after dealing with our little mountain waifs.


You can't make this up, in the early 20th century missionaries provided materials to build a school, which they would run, in my grandmother's community. Free materials, free service. The local men, after having built the school, demanded pay. Civic responsibilities.

Anonymous said...

"By definition, shouldn't that be, "some other dumb jerk"? "

I'm having a T-shirt printed for you, Kylie:

The Other Dumb Jerk

Cheers

Anonymous said...

"Might I add that much of what Maya sees in her inner city is also applicable to the Appalachian county I am from."

Well I have subbed in a school that had a population of dysfunctional whites headed to early pregnancy and/or jail mingled with similarly dysfunctional blacktivists and relatively quite, though not very bright, anchor children of illegals. Even the fact that some of those white teen's babies were conceived between classes would've been bearable if it hadn't been for the black brat's constant lawsuit baiting.

I've seen it all. Next...

Maya said...

"The fact that this doesn't happen means that all doctors pay sky high malpractice insurance. Excusing and ignoring failure, incompetence and evil is much more expensive and painful for everyone than just punishing the few."

Of course, the criminally incompetent should face the consequences. However, the above mentioned aren't the reason for the sky high malpractice insurance. People sue doctors by default, if a patient dies during a high risk surgery. People have sued OBGYNs for saying "everything looks good", which is why they are now required to say "everything looks healthy". People report their doctors after being told that they are too fat. Finally, people often sue for unfortunate incidents that result from their own amazing stupidity. Criminal failure, criminal incompetence and evil should be punished by prison time, not Ka-CHING.

Kylie said...

"I'm having a T-shirt printed for you, Kylie:

The Other Dumb Jerk

Cheers"


Thanks. You can wear it in my honor whenever you go bar-hopping with your SO.

Kylie said...

"Might I add that much of what Maya sees in her inner city is also applicable to the Appalachian county I am from."

I can believe it, after having seen the documentary about one Appalachian family, America Hollow.

"You can't make this up, in the early 20th century missionaries provided materials to build a school, which they would run, in my grandmother's community. Free materials, free service. The local men, after having built the school, demanded pay. Civic responsibilities."

Something quite similar happened in the early 21st century when some NGOs partnered with the Ugandan government to improve a village there. The Ugandan volunteer workers went on strike when the allowance provided to them by the NGOs ended.

Katine Health Strike Talks

David said...

Anonymous said

>Why is this blog now iMaya who didn't get a teaching certificate in the normal way & now whines about the alternative students that those who pursue alternative credentials are supposed to teach?<

The green-eyed monster. One day it will be iAnonymous, be patient.

Anonymous said...

Performance Gap Between Minority, White Students Continues To Expand
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/23/black-latino-students-per_n_1224790.html

Educators cite these causes for the disparity in performance:
Lowered expectations for students of color

Growing income inequality and lack of resources in low-income school districts

Unequal access to experienced teachers

An increased number of "out of field" teachers instructing minority students in subjects outside their area of expertise

Unconscious bias" by teachers and administrators.

These factors, experts say, produce an opportunity gap for students of color.

Maya said...

"These factors, experts say, produce an opportunity gap for students of color."

Ah, but if one of the "experts" ever says something outside of the already agreed upon truths, they are quickly relieved of their "expert" status". Therefore the "experts" will keep saying the same thing over and over again until it's safe to say something else.

* Inner city school districts that had obscene amount of money dumped onto them didn't see any changes in performance. That's because all you really need to teach and learn is something to sit on, something to write with and something to write on. The rest is just extra perks.

* Inner city kids often get less experienced and out of the field teachers, but that is because the turn over rate is so high among the inner city teachers. Meanwhile, there was almost no turnover in the lower middle class semi-suburban school that I attended. Why, do you think, so many inner city teachers are so eager to flee?

* How do the "experts" measure the unconscious bias?

* Expectations are based on experience. But most teachers enter their first ghetto school with much higher expectations and hopes for the kids, then what they end up experiencing. If they could imagine how low the performance (and, above all, the standards for behavior) actually is, they would either not come here, or they wouldn't run away in a couple of years.