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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Those damned teachers

What's Mallard raving about today?

Teachers, Straw Men.

Uhhhh, understand that your taxes are going to have to pay for those increased salaries, right? Right?


exanonymous said...

Guess I should go teach then.

I qualify with the single qualification Mallard bothers with anyways. It also requires years of experience plus evidence that one turns out excellent students. My lack of ever having taught kind of kills it here.

However, I was in classes with students who were aiming to be teachers who certainly weren't stupider than I, so why act like by default an educator is stupid, especially when most of my teachers have had IQs way above the average? Bitter much there, Bruce?

BillyWitchDoctor said...

I'll grant Tinsley this much: the teachers' unions do want greater pay but not at the price of stricter standards. (Welcome to the way the real world works, Tinny: unions counter management, which wants higher standards for less pay. Think of it as "checks and balances"--or if you must, "fair and balanced.")

That said:

(a) Teachers don't get paid anywhere near what they're worth now, and this charter strawschool will do nothing about that.

(b) "Potential bonus" is the workplace equivalent of "heaven"--sacrifice now for an unguaranteed promise of great reward later. Seriously, how often does that work out in real life?

(c) They're still gonna teach evolution, Tinny, unless they screw over the students. Either way, you and Ben Stein will be unhappy with the results.

(Yes, I'm using that link again. It's a funny strip, it's unnervingly accurate, and I just saw a blurb for Stein's movie from the Washington Post that said: "Imagine what Michael Moore might produce if we forcibly administered truth serum to him. That would be Expelled." Jesus. What, no waterboarding? [montypython]Oh, you're no fun anymore![/montypython])

It's easy for you to be glib about a "tough screening process," Tinsley; you obviously haven't been through one yourself.

Is this school real, or a Tinsley fantasy? I see no asterisk. Tell me more, Tinny--unless revealing too much detail would screw your argument; that frequently seems to be an issue with you.

Anonymous said...

Tinney would have to cite The New York Times! There was an article about this charter school about two months ago (I'm not going to bother finding the day it appeared right now). The big thing The Times reported on was that the principle will be making less money than the teachers.

rewinn said...

Does Tinsley even know what a "90th percentile GRE score" is?

If so: thank a teacher!

But seriously: GREs measure "aptitude (...whatever that may be...) before starting a graduate program, and in the subject matter of the graduate program. It measures the ability to take a multiple-choice exam (and perhaps to write a short essay satisfying a grading criteria). But very rarely do you teach by taking a multiple choice test.

Kaitlyn said...

rewinn - "very rarely do you teach by taking a multiple choice test."

No, they're teaching for f!cking multiple choice tests which is how their success is measures which sucks sucks sucks sucks.


exanonymous said...

GREs are all relative.

It makes perfect sense to request former honors college students who have experience teaching honors students to apply to what is intended to be an honors middle school.

It's hardly an insult to the rest of the population. If it's an insult to teachers, than it's an insult to the students who aren't smart enough to need a teacher who can keep up with them.

BillyWitchDoctor said...

I just saw a blurb for Stein's movie from the Washington Post that said

Correction: that blurb was from the Washington Times. Management regrets the errol.

rewinn said...

GREs are all relative.

And they don't measure teaching skill, unless by teaching you mean:

STUDENT: Teacher: A, B, C or D?


STUDENT: I am enlightened!

Another point: GREs are taken before graduate study, not afterwards. If you really want to measure potential teacher skill from college performance, you'd look at grades. But of course, that would require trusting the skills of the teacher's teachers, instead of the corporation that writes the multiple-choice test.

And finally: if the idea is that we want "honors college students who have experience teaching honors students to apply to" then what you do is look at the teacher's resume to see whether the teach is an "honors college students who have experience teaching honors students".

T'ain't rocket science.

Anonymous said...

This doesn't deal with the larger problem of how you even effectively measure a teacher. Grades are subject to inflation or curving, standardized tests are more likely to promote memorization over actual comprehension, and then even if we had a universal measuring system could it be properly applied to all students everywhere?

Part of the problem is that people don't like thinking about special needs students, those who are mentally retarded or are high functioning autistics, or those with severe ADD. If they're applied to a standardized test a school could end up failing badly, not because the classes are bad but because some of the students don't have the mental capacity to function on the tests. Ignoring them is equally problematic but that's the core of the issue, education is not some simple thought it's inhumanely complex.