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Author Topic: Why are US teachers so white?  (Read 1969 times)

sailor

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Re: Why are US teachers so white?
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2015, 09:28:29 am »
Quote from: RandallS;180363
JROTC units would be a couple of teachers per high school. While it wouldn't hurt to do this and assign instructors based on the largest minority in the school, this would not do anything for elementary and middle schools -- and honestly, two teachers in the average high school isn't going to help much even if one is a retired senior military officer (which is definite evidence one can be a success).

 
Wrong assumption. ROTC model for scholarships, not JROTC units in school. Dept of Ed or similar pays for up to a 4 year scholarship, like ROTC, for teachers.  They then have to serve 6 years in an assigned school. That's the basic idea.

To make it more complicated, students get to choose when they apply for the program whether to do their obligated service in rural areas or inner city schools.

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Re: Why are US teachers so white?
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2015, 09:52:30 am »
Quote from: sailor;180366
Wrong assumption. ROTC model for scholarships, not JROTC units in school. Dept of Ed or similar pays for up to a 4 year scholarship, like ROTC, for teachers.  They then have to serve 6 years in an assigned school. That's the basic idea.

Ahh, sorry, definitely the wrong assumption on my part. Yes, something like that might be a very good idea.
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Jenett

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Re: Why are US teachers so white?
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2015, 09:58:00 am »
Quote from: sailor;180366
Wrong assumption. ROTC model for scholarships, not JROTC units in school. Dept of Ed or similar pays for up to a 4 year scholarship, like ROTC, for teachers.  They then have to serve 6 years in an assigned school. That's the basic idea.

 
There's rather a lot of research out there these days about the flaws with programs like Teach For America (which does something pretty much exactly like you suggest, albeit on a short time scale: the commitment there is 2 years.)

The short version is 'not everyone is cut out for teaching', 'first year teachers have to work tremendously hard but are often not particularly good teachers, even if they're doing their very best', 'an awful lot of people try teaching and bounce off the first school they try, for reasons that are not necessarily about them or the school' and 'teacher instability in schools in the greatest need has really horrible effects both on the students and on the other teachers'.  

(The current stats are that about 8% of teachers leave the profession after the first year, and about 20% after five years. The numbers tend to be noticeably higher in schools with greater needs.)

There are programs out there that do have a better effect - a previous job helped support an enrichment program for kids in grades 6-8 that had over the summer classes + once a month, with some adult professional teaching staff, and a lot of late high school and college age staff who provided role models, ran concrete chunks of content (without having to worry about chaining them together into larger chunks or the very real issues of dealing with standardised testing that's a big issue for new public school teachers these days) and were generally awesome.

*That* had really good effects, in general, but it's not cheap and it's not easy to build, and most importantly, it's not easily transferable: the specific things that work for one community or set of kids don't necessarily work for another.
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sailor

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Re: Why are US teachers so white?
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2015, 11:23:09 am »
Quote from: Jenett;180368
There's rather a lot of research out there these days about the flaws with programs like Teach For America (which does something pretty much exactly like you suggest, albeit on a short time scale: the commitment there is 2 years.)

The short version is 'not everyone is cut out for teaching', 'first year teachers have to work tremendously hard but are often not particularly good teachers, even if they're doing their very best', 'an awful lot of people try teaching and bounce off the first school they try, for reasons that are not necessarily about them or the school' and 'teacher instability in schools in the greatest need has really horrible effects both on the students and on the other teachers'.  

(The current stats are that about 8% of teachers leave the profession after the first year, and about 20% after five years. The numbers tend to be noticeably higher in schools with greater needs.)

There are programs out there that do have a better effect - a previous job helped support an enrichment program for kids in grades 6-8 that had over the summer classes + once a month, with some adult professional teaching staff, and a lot of late high school and college age staff who provided role models, ran concrete chunks of content (without having to worry about chaining them together into larger chunks or the very real issues of dealing with standardised testing that's a big issue for new public school teachers these days) and were generally awesome.

*That* had really good effects, in general, but it's not cheap and it's not easy to build, and most importantly, it's not easily transferable: the specific things that work for one community or set of kids don't necessarily work for another.

 
ROTC model - the student teachers end up working summer school like the ROTC kids have to do training.  My summer after freshman year was 2 weeks off (so 14 to 15 weeks of training).  After sophomore year I got 3 weeks at the end of classes before internship in a war zone and then two weeks off before starting classes.  After junior year it was 4 weeks. I had three times the training time as the TFA just in first summer.  That's not counting stuff during the school year. (TFA is 5 weeks, and no training in college)

Six year commitment, not 2 years.  Time enough to learn the job and incentive to really learn it.

That's not even close to what TFA does, so I don't see a valid comparison.  Heck it's tougher than regular teacher programs I think, it has a lot more summer teaching time.

It would also be able to specify the minors that students take - if they need math teachers, you better be a math minor, not art history.

sailor

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Re: Why are US teachers so white?
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2015, 11:25:47 am »
Quote from: Jenett;180368
There's rather a lot of research out there these days about the flaws with programs like Teach For America (which does something pretty much exactly like you suggest, albeit on a short time scale: the commitment there is 2 years.)

The short version is 'not everyone is cut out for teaching', 'first year teachers have to work tremendously hard but are often not particularly good teachers, even if they're doing their very best', 'an awful lot of people try teaching and bounce off the first school they try, for reasons that are not necessarily about them or the school' and 'teacher instability in schools in the greatest need has really horrible effects both on the students and on the other teachers'.  

(The current stats are that about 8% of teachers leave the profession after the first year, and about 20% after five years. The numbers tend to be noticeably higher in schools with greater needs.)

There are programs out there that do have a better effect - a previous job helped support an enrichment program for kids in grades 6-8 that had over the summer classes + once a month, with some adult professional teaching staff, and a lot of late high school and college age staff who provided role models, ran concrete chunks of content (without having to worry about chaining them together into larger chunks or the very real issues of dealing with standardised testing that's a big issue for new public school teachers these days) and were generally awesome.

*That* had really good effects, in general, but it's not cheap and it's not easy to build, and most importantly, it's not easily transferable: the specific things that work for one community or set of kids don't necessarily work for another.

 
This also seems to be an indicator that current teacher education is not very good. TFA is a very small program, so while it has problems, I don't see it as the significant part of the lack of teachers or lack of decent teachers staying in the industry.

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Re: Why are US teachers so white?
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2015, 12:12:09 pm »
Quote from: sailor;180373
This also seems to be an indicator that current teacher education is not very good. TFA is a very small program, so while it has problems, I don't see it as the significant part of the lack of teachers or lack of decent teachers staying in the industry.

 
Note that the stats I gave were for the profession as a whole, not for TFA or similar programs. There's a summary notes that about 4x as many TFA teachers plan to leave teaching. That is, shall we say, statistically highly relevant.

(And while TFA has gotten more coverage - it's one of the larger programs doing anything like this, so it's also rather relevant to your argument - I've seen some similar comments from smaller more localised programs.)

A 6 year program has a *ton* of potential problems, though: school demographics can change a lot in that time. Likewise, an individual's life. (Especially in an age range where a lot of people are looking at partners, maybe kids, figuring out what they want to do with their lives.)

If a school no longer has a space for a teacher of X, do you force them to leave the program entirely? Move a significant distance? (or deal with a horrible commute, on top of the already very long teaching hours?) What happens if they have a partner or spouse who finishes grad school / needs to move for their own job / they have a family emergency / whatever else?

There's also the very real demand on the schools: programs like these take a lot of extra effort from other teachers, staff, and administrators (mentoring, but also a lot of picking up the slack about some things, or double checking that students are retaining information - all sorts of things, big and small.)

Schools are often willing to make that commitment for 2 years (they've got a better idea of their own staffing needs, how many kids are coming up in grades, what the current federal and state education requirements are) but 6 years is much more volatile time frame and a much larger commitment from the school.

(Plus the issues of 'this person isn't so horrible we kick them out of the program, but isn't really any *good*, either, and after 2 years, we don't think they're going to get substantially better": two years of that you can route around in a way that you can't for 6.)

I'll also note that schools are often particularly affected by changes in administration: the climate and focus of a school can change a lot between principals.
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sailor

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Re: Why are US teachers so white?
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2015, 12:50:25 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;180376
Note that the stats I gave were for the profession as a whole, not for TFA or similar programs. There's a summary notes that about 4x as many TFA teachers plan to leave teaching. That is, shall we say, statistically highly relevant.

(And while TFA has gotten more coverage - it's one of the larger programs doing anything like this, so it's also rather relevant to your argument - I've seen some similar comments from smaller more localised programs.)

A 6 year program has a *ton* of potential problems, though: school demographics can change a lot in that time. Likewise, an individual's life. (Especially in an age range where a lot of people are looking at partners, maybe kids, figuring out what they want to do with their lives.)

If a school no longer has a space for a teacher of X, do you force them to leave the program entirely? Move a significant distance? (or deal with a horrible commute, on top of the already very long teaching hours?) What happens if they have a partner or spouse who finishes grad school / needs to move for their own job / they have a family emergency / whatever else?


Suck it up. The military and a number of other programs have been doing this for decades, and often for a lot less money.  If they can't make the commitment, don't take the scholarship to be a teacher.

If the problem is folks leaving teaching after only a few years then maybe we need to close down the teaching schools and ban student loans for education degrees. Sounds like the return on investment isn't' there if it's really a problem.

Quote from: Jenett;180376

There's also the very real demand on the schools: programs like these take a lot of extra effort from other teachers, staff, and administrators (mentoring, but also a lot of picking up the slack about some things, or double checking that students are retaining information - all sorts of things, big and small.)

Schools are often willing to make that commitment for 2 years (they've got a better idea of their own staffing needs, how many kids are coming up in grades, what the current federal and state education requirements are) but 6 years is much more volatile time frame and a much larger commitment from the school.

(Plus the issues of 'this person isn't so horrible we kick them out of the program, but isn't really any *good*, either, and after 2 years, we don't think they're going to get substantially better": two years of that you can route around in a way that you can't for 6.)

I'll also note that schools are often particularly affected by changes in administration: the climate and focus of a school can change a lot between principals.

 
All the mentoring, etc is going to be needed for Any new teacher. That's the cost of hiring new teacher.  Evil Emperor says that any school that complains about that effort doesn't get new teachers for 30 years. Let the existing teachers teach until they are 70 yrs old.

Same for projections about staffing. If they don't need them, get them re-assigned to another district and thus down size their total staff.

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Re: Why are US teachers so white?
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2015, 02:43:48 pm »
Quote from: sailor;180379
If the problem is folks leaving teaching after only a few years then maybe we need to close down the teaching schools and ban student loans for education degrees. Sounds like the return on investment isn't' there if it's really a problem.

What would we do for teachers then?
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sailor

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Re: Why are US teachers so white?
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2015, 03:06:44 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;180402
What would we do for teachers then?

 
Don't know. If the current program of 4 year programs are such a failure at keeping teachers, maybe go back to 2 year Normal Schools to save money, or make teaching a Master's degree field so they can actually learn something that they are unable to learn at the Bachelor's level, even if school was 11 months a year.

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