- the problem with choosing our teachers
- recruiting teachers from the top of class
- eliminating the least effective teachers rather than the new hires
In this article Joel Klein is discussing some of the issues with our education system, but this time it is more focused on the teachers rather than the students. He lists problems that the schools are seeing and uses a reference to Albert Shanker to conclude his argument with solutions. Some of the solutions don't seem that bad of an idea.
PROBLEM LISTED: Hiring teachers and choosing more effective ones. So with this argument I somewhat agree and somewhat disagree with it. I understand where he is coming from because his argument is stating that teachers are being chosen solely because they have a degree, and not for their actual teaching abilities or knowledge. I think that we should be looking more into depth at the college career of teachers and look at their standards and teaching certification classes. If the grades are poor but they passed, I think we could go more into testing like Klein suggests and make sure that they are highly qualified. I definitely think that that would help with this issue. I know it would make me feel better knowing that everyone becoming a teacher was going to be held at the highest of standards.
PROBLEM LISTED: Seniority. I 100% agree with this one. I think the issue of seniority in schools is outrageous and has gotten entirely out of hand. Even in my own high school, I had seen some of the best teachers that had only recently been added, get cut because they had been hired within the last two years, while teachers that had tenure and weren't effectively teaching anymore, got to sit and continue to do their jobs in a less than enthusiastic way. I'm not saying every school has this problem, but many do. Teachers that are no longer effective in their positions should not be granted leniency due to seniority. I think that again, re-testing teachers to make sure that all teachers are very familiar with the information that is being taught, is a great idea. If they can practice all of the necessary skills, then they should be kept, in my opinion.
Of the other problems listed, "giving far more school choices to families, using technology to improve teaching and learning, adopting a knowledge-based curriculum and starting education before a child is 5 years old" , I do not waiver from those beliefs at all. I would have to agree. More so than any, the technology portion, and adding more choices in schools. I think these are problems that we are slowly beginning to see being rectified. Maybe in a few more years we can see all of these changes come to life.