Monday, February 12, 2007

“I Want to Buy a Clue.”(Determining Merit for Teachers)

As every legislative session shifts into gear, the only question of concern is, "How much will be our raises this year?", and everything else will be a diversion to the real deals in the backrooms. At the forefront of these groups pressing for across the board entitlements more than every other group will be the teachers -- and they will deny that merit should be a factor in determining their pay because there is absolutely no way of determining that.

Graduate the teachers -- just like we graduate the students. Every one should start off as kindergarten teachers and work their way up to teaching the best students at the highest levels. No career kindergarten teachers should make more than the governor of the entire state of Hawaii. I realize young people can be “daunting,” but surely being the governor of Hawaii is the standard of excellence -- until the “best and the brightest” prove otherwise.

Why should we compare art against science? What is more meaningful is to compare the best of the artists and the best of the scientists in their respective fields because what we are trying to determine is "quality" -- in every field. We have to begin with that meaningful discussion before we get into the smokescreens the HSTA (NEA) lobbyists are going to throw up -- hoping to exploit the bad education they’ve propagated, which is this inability to distinguish meaningful differences.

So I think we need to establish the Governor’s Challenge -- as the standard of the highest pay for all government workers, and then pay all the others as some percentage of their ability to give a speech (presentation), or write a document (lesson) as well. The governor becomes the maximum value (pay) and everybody else is rated on the basis of that -- and if they can deliver or write a better presentation, they should run for governor, and get everything they’re “entitled” to.

If there is no way of measuring ability and merit, then why have schools at all? Just because the legislators cannot think of a productive way to spend money -- to produce some good, instead of making the problems grow worse each year so we need to hire more people at higher wages to ensure that the problems get worse -- and they can spend more, as a measure of THEIR increased productivity?

These simple ideas are so shocking to those steeped in "seniority" that on first hearing them, they reflexively and instinctively think it is "wrong," because it violates the ONLY principle that 10-20 years of indoctrination have instilled in them -- which is the preservation and perpetuation of the status quo -- as the only way things can ever be. And that is the ONLY problem of our times -- no matter what the field.

5 Comments:

At February 12, 2007 10:15 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

It's really amazing that anybody calling themselves a "teacher," would go around claiming that one could not tell how valuable their instruction was because it would be impossible to measure (tell) that difference -- and therefore, we should pay them as much as possible, because it "might be" invaluable -- but it would be impossible to measure (detect).

 
At February 12, 2007 10:26 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

What's even more amazing is that most of the legislators will nod approvingly --as though that is the greatest lesson they've ever been taught in school.

 
At February 17, 2007 1:00 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/4560691.html

Feb. 16, 2007, 9:15PM
Apple CEO Jobs attacks teacher unions

By APRIL CASTRO
Associated Press
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AUSTIN — Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs lambasted teacher unions today, claiming no amount of technology in the classroom would improve public schools until principals could fire bad teachers.

Jobs compared schools to businesses with principals serving as CEOs.

"What kind of person could you get to run a small business if you told them that when they came in they couldn't get rid of people that they thought weren't any good?" he asked to loud applause during an education reform conference.

"Not really great ones because if you're really smart you go, 'I can't win.'"

In a rare joint appearance, Jobs shared the stage with competitor Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Inc. Both spoke to the gathering about the potential for bringing technological advances to classrooms.

"I believe that what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way," Jobs said.

"This unionization and lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is off-the-charts crazy."

At various pauses, the audience applauded enthusiastically. Dell sat quietly with his hands folded in his lap.

"Apple just lost some business in this state, I'm sure," Jobs said.

Dell responded that unions were created because "the employer was treating his employees unfairly and that was not good."

"So now you have these enterprises where they take good care of their people. The employees won, they do really well and succeed."

Dell also blamed problems in public schools on the lack of a competitive job market for principals.

Earlier in the panel discussion, Jobs told the crowd about his vision for textbook-free schools in the future. Textbooks would be replaced with a free, online information source that was constantly updated by experts, much like the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

"I think we'd have far more current material available to our students, and we'd be freeing up a tremendous amount of funds that we could buy delivery vehicles with — computers, faster Internet, things like that," Jobs said. "And I also think we'd get some of the best minds in the country contributing."

 
At February 17, 2007 1:14 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

One of the big issues the teachers (unions) like to bring up is not having enough textbooks -- and needing to buy more that are obsolete as soon as they are delivered.

They don't need books -- but because of the "academic tradition," think they have to defend those industries and hierarchies.

But as we see even with the newspapers, the old hardcopy world of sharing ideas is a huge part of the problem -- that are eliminated as soon as they fully embrace computer access.

The skills needed in today's world are being able to operate a computer (surf the Web) and cellphone -- and people can learn everything else on their own -- and don't have to be slowed down with all those methods designed to keep everybody "busy" -- as though that was a value in itself.

Most kids today enter kindergarten with those skills -- but many who were educated in previous generations even to the highest levels, are not only unskilled but are determined not to learn those skills in their remaining lifetimes, including many "teachers."

The real need of education in these times needs to shift to those populations that need it the most -- rather than just teaching those who are the easiest to bully -- and can be convinced that they alone are the smartest person in the room.

 
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