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  • Bringing the Best and Brightest into the Classroom

    Derrell Bradford of Excellent Education for Everyone highlights a disturbing finding from the New Jersey Department of Education at NJ.com—a majority of NJ students who failed the high school exit exam (described by state education commission as “middle school level”) had apparently taken and passed courses in Geometry, Algebra I and II, and Biology. This is evidence of rampant social promotion:

    We have argued that New Jersey has two education systems. One you attend if you are white and live in an affluent suburb, and one you attend if you are poor, minority, and live in a city. The DOE report frames this differently. There is one system you attend where the classes are what they say they are, the teachers understand the subject, and students actually pass the classes. And there is one–typified by urban high schools that abuse the [Special Review Assessment]–where the name of a course is just “a name.” Where, as Assistant Commissioner Jay Doolan describes, schools can “call a course anything they want.” One where students “take” and “pass” college prep classes despite having learned nothing. And one where a teacher-quality vacuum likely staffs these classes with adults who know little more than the students.

    Bradford is right to point out that the teacher quality vacuum is a key challenge for turning around New Jersey’s broken public schools. But policymakers for years have been unable to find a solution for dramatically improving the quality of the teaching workforce.

    Dr. Matthew Ladner of the Goldwater Institute has a new solution that he calls: “Rock Star Pay for Rock Star Teachers.” Ladner’s idea is for schools to use value-added assessments (which measure individual student progress) to identify the teachers who are most effective in improving students’ academic achievement. More students would then be placed into the classrooms of the highest performing teachers, and their pay would increase correspondingly. Ladner argues that this approach would allow the most effective teachers to earn six figure salaries. He presents the details of this plan in a new report: New Millennium Schools: Delivering Six-Figure Teacher Salaries in Return for Outstanding Student Learning Gains.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Bringing the Best and Brightest into the Classroom

    1. Ross, Florida says:

      First things first, outlaw all trade unions for government employed teachers and administrators. That would be an excellent start.

      The second would be to do away with tenure at all levels and positions. Fix a minimum standard and maintain it, using student scores and students ability to learn(IQ test, etc.).

      However, something will have to be done and options addressed to those students that are disruptive or unwilling to learn. For these students make it "easy to leave but harder to return" standards must be set.

      A student pleading stupidity and submitting to a learning environment would be tenatively re-enrollment based on adaptability of that student.

      If not adapting and asked to leave, the student would have to pay for re-enrollment, just like a trade school or college. The more a student has a vested interest in his education, the better he will respond.

      The laws on truancy will have to repealed and parents will have to either step-up and be accountable for their student or the community will have to step-in to find viable and productive work that will keep these young people off the street and out of trouble. For example, public service projects. Students with handicaps and learning disabilities will have to be addressed separately.

      Then watch the good teachers excel with incentive pay based on results. The American education system has been the nation's babysitter for too many years…and it shows!

    2. Dale, Cincinnati says:

      Quality educators in a union system is about as likely as quality UAW autoworkers. Look at the facts, broken industries are, by and large, unionized. Unions killed the steel and rail industries and those that exist today arose from the ashes after divesting themselves of union extortionists. The auto and airline industries are just the next industries on the list. Obama is going to solve the problem by unionizing all industry and eliminating non-union labor. Competition will be eliminated and labor productivity will decrease with lowered standards. Hmm. Doesn't this sound like today's public education system.

      Get ready, to make education "better" Obama will have to eliminate the higher standard set by community-based private schools. DOE has already started the process in DC and the administration's talk about reducing/eliminating tax deductions for charitable contributions will essentially kill private education for the masses. Only the ultra wealthy will afford private education when his is finished.

    3. H. P. Collyer says:

      What Ross said! Great answer.

    4. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      A union teacher is akin to a private army, what matters to them isn't the VALUE of who they are resposible for, only the amounts they are paid!


    5. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      The Teacher dillema has been going on for many

      years,and will not stop until we who pay the bills,demand Excellence!

    6. elaine johnson,alab says:

      For all of you out there, that despise unions; try working in a state where unions are practically illegal. Have we forgotten the history of why unions were formed? Do we honestly believe those reasons do not still exist?

    7. Ben Franklin, Kendal says:

      The only way to "fix" education is to remove federal money from the system, abolish the Dept of Education and return to local power, authority and control. Most parents want their kids to have a quality education. They will demand it if they control the money and votes at the local level.

    8. Pingback: Passing algebra, flunking middle-school math at Joanne Jacobs

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