kitchen table math, the sequel: it's good to be rich, part 2

Saturday, June 13, 2009

it's good to be rich, part 2

Six-figure teachers aren't going to fix public schools.

It's good to be rich, part 1


SteveH said...

This is from the "just one thing we need" school of critical thinking. They can't handle two or more variables.

Catherine Johnson said...

I'm sure we don't "need" 6-figure teachers at all.

Barry Garelick said...

Does a six figure teacher have a better approach to TERC than a five figure teacher? Now that curriculum is starting to matter in policy-wonk circles, it seems to me that the "it's not the text it's the teacher" is going to be a bit of a hard sell. Well, maybe not. As long as "no rich child is left behind" then everything will be just fine.

SteveH said...

The change would not be so much the money, but the ability to hire and pay for good teachers. If you are going to be able to do that (given union contracts), then you can open it up to a competitive process. There are lots of older professionals who would love to teach. If schools really wanted to teach students about the "real world", there would be no better way. I know my son's pediatrician wanted to teach chemistry, but she couldn't qualify to do so in the public schools. She would be able to tell all of those budding pre-med students exactly what they need to be able to do. She obviously was willing to work for less than rock star pay ... and doctor pay. There may be some places where you have to pay a lot to get demand, but not around my area.

Catherine Johnson said...

Westchester County is swimming in 6-figure teachers.

6-figure teachers aren't the answer.

Barry- if you're around - do you have any sense of how well private school students do with Everyday Math??

Catherine Johnson said...

(I realize Steve's experience with EM in a private school wasn't great...)

SteveH said...

But all of the kids at my son's ex-private school get into tony prep schools and academies. They catch up ... partly. That doesn't mean that they all get to calculus in high school. It means that the academies and prep schools don't let them fall through the cracks. I think it starts in 7th grade when the shadow of the SSAT looms. There is more incentive to work harder. In my son's current public school, they only care about placing kids onto a proper math track. It's sink or swim. The onus is completely on the child and family.

In the private schools, there might be a different dynamic going on if it's a K-8 versus a K-12 setup. My son's school was K-8, and the pressure started to mount when students got to 7th grade. Everyone wanted to get to the 8th grade graduation with the fancy prep school printed next to their name.

I can't say that I miss that aspect, but ... in my son's current public school, there is nothing. There is no push or excitement about academics. Any awards they give out at the 8th grade graduation really aren't about the kids with the top academics. They are silly, equal opportunity awards.

At my son's old private school, there was a sense of competition. At my son's current public school, there is a sense of resentment if you try too hard.