Thursday, September 29, 2005


In Search of Problem Teachers

This July article in the SF Chronicle shows that the Prop. 74 folks simply did not do their homework.

What is very interesting to note is that the California School Boards Association opposes 74, and they are the collection of districts that would supposedly benefit from 74. Makes you wonder if Arnold has any integrity at all.

You are obviously much further along with proposition 74 than I am, but I must ask:
1. What is wrong with expanding the time frame for 'tenure' from 2 years to five years if the rules for termination are essentially the same?
2. How do you reconcile the high percentage of 'good teachers' when statewide test scores are poor and the trend continues to indicate poor test scores?
3. Are you saying that the solution is less obvious than the governor has indicated by introducing this proposition?
4. Do you in fact admit there is a problem? Does the problem need a major solution like this or can it be handled internally?
5. Since the California School Boards Association opposes this prop, what do they propose? Remember, this problem has been around since I was a kid and probably before you were born.
6. Why can't praise be given to the governor for trying to address it?

If the requirements, screening and review of teachers in California are adequate and enforced, how do we get such poor results (assuming that testing is the best way to measure teachers)? Are the students the problem? Is the department of education the problem? Is the problem single source or collaborative? Who goofed, I got to know!
1) The rules are not essentially the same; the due process in termination will be whittled down, but the evaluation process will have to be negotiated unless he comes back with his other proposition which is on the backburner which would radically change the rules (which is his ultimate goal); this is simply step 1 for him; Since his group has failed to show any specific need for this change (i.o. a significant number of teachers who need to go), it appears that this is simply a political position and not a one designed to improve student performance. As for the change; he wants it to be retroactive so that all teachers who received "permanent status" this summer will lose it! The state keeps changing the rules for getting a credential making it increasingly more difficult to get one (and longer). This makes it a less attractive profession to enter when it is widely known that the state will be short teachers in the six figure range in the next couple of years. Anecdotally (sp.?), two years appears to be enough... the kids usually run them off before then!

2) Lack of parental involvement - study after study shows that student achievement increases most when parents are involved. Also the great influx of illegal immigrants who seem reluctant to be involved (parents) or learn the language has been a hurdle that we have not overcome.

3 and 4) As I've posted before, if you boot the illegals and keep funding essentially the same, we can spend more on getting parents involved and providing safer and better schools. The governor is gutless on the immigration issue (mostly lip service).

5) Declining scores is a recent problem. I don't understand your point.

6) FDR addressed the Depression and made it wore (see the book FDR's Folly). Stupid answers to good questions are still stupid.
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