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(Sun Sentinel)   Tougher standards may worsen science teacher shortage. In fact, they may even have to know that Earth, Wind, and Fire are more than just a 70s R&B band   (sun-sentinel.com) divider line 105
    More: Interesting, Earth, standards, Florida Department of Education, Professional certification, academic standards, deputy commissioner, crack stem, Florida State University  
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3839 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Jul 2012 at 8:09 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-29 07:05:57 AM
I think you may be looking for an alchemist, subby.
 
2012-07-29 08:11:16 AM
E= cookie. That used to be good enough for somebody.
 
2012-07-29 08:15:13 AM
NASA's been laying off rocket scientists...
 
2012-07-29 08:19:42 AM
Science too hard? Try religion!
 
2012-07-29 08:27:46 AM
Awkward headline is awkward.
 
2012-07-29 08:30:19 AM
A lot of teachers must be dying, because lord knows teachers don't get fired. Unless you sleep with your students. And he blabs his big fat mouth. Damn you, Jason!

Teaching - the only profession where you can't get fired for outright incompetence.
 
2012-07-29 08:32:10 AM
It won't be difficult - Science is becoming as crowded as English and "Social Studies". It isn't quite there yet - but close. Math is the only place a real shortage exists.

Besides - who would want to go into teaching anymore? Most teachers don't get benefits now or they are going to have to pay for them (the only thing that really offset the poor pay). If things keep going the way they are, only the independently wealthy will be able to afford a "career" in education.
 
2012-07-29 08:34:37 AM
Subby's first chem lab:

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-07-29 08:35:28 AM
first off, it needs the florida tag.

second, ftfa: "And they don't get at the "larger issues," she added, which is that many college students with talent and interest in science don't pursue teaching careers. Those who do, she said, often find they can earn more at public schools in other states, including neighboring Georgia."

that hurts
 
2012-07-29 08:35:56 AM

kukukupo: It won't be difficult - Science is becoming as crowded as English and "Social Studies". It isn't quite there yet - but close. Math is the only place a real shortage exists.

Besides - who would want to go into teaching anymore? Most teachers don't get benefits now or they are going to have to pay for them (the only thing that really offset the poor pay). If things keep going the way they are, only the independently wealthy will be able to afford a "career" in education.


Social Studies is getting harder to staff as all the coaches that used to fill those seats are forced out because they don't have a degree in the subject.
 
2012-07-29 08:39:50 AM

kukukupo: It won't be difficult - Science is becoming as crowded as English and "Social Studies". It isn't quite there yet - but close. Math is the only place a real shortage exists.

Besides - who would want to go into teaching anymore? Most teachers don't get benefits now or they are going to have to pay for them (the only thing that really offset the poor pay). If things keep going the way they are, only the independently wealthy will be able to afford a "career" in education.


A lot of places are using ed-techs in place of teachers. Fully qualified and paid minimum wage with no benefits and no chance at tenure. The future of American education is McSchools.
 
2012-07-29 08:42:31 AM
Pretty simple - place whatever higher standards you want on the tests and requirements to be a teacher then fund a statewide supplemental contract for anyone who teaches science (or math). Teaching science and math well requires someone who is not only good at the geek stuff but can also communicate that knowledge effectively. It's kind of difficult to attract people who can do both when they're getting the same pay as the gym teacher. A PhD in engineering is no guarantee that a person can teach high school chemistry - do they know the material?l, hell yeah, can they make someone 20 year younger understand and want to know more? Maybe, maybe not.
 
2012-07-29 08:56:39 AM
Tougher standards=measured based on arbitrary standards that don't always take into account circumstances surrounding the students.

My wife teaches kids in small groups who have reading problems. The district is trying to implement performance based pay/contracts but doesn't understand that you can't expect every kid to read on grade level by the time they leave her class, particularly when they come in reading 2-4 years behind and in some cases have no/limited parental support.

Obviously changes are needed BUT I'd wager that a significant percentage of students will never do well in school due to (no) parental support. Oh, and those kids often make it more difficult to teach everyone else and no one really suspends them anymore for behavior problems.

Most of the people my wife teaches with send their kids to private school, including us starting this year. They are tired of the bs in public schools and it is only getting worse. If your kids has a standardized test that year you can rest assured that when January hits learning has stopped and test prep has begun; it sucks.
 
2012-07-29 08:59:50 AM

Fizpez: Teaching science and math well requires someone who is not only good at the geek stuff but can also communicate that knowledge effectively.


Damn skippy. It's farking tough to do. If you go to great lengths to explain something to someone thoroughly, simply and in a way that makes perfect sense and they say, "I don't get it.", it takes a special person to know what to do next. (That special person is not me.)
 
2012-07-29 09:04:08 AM
Bad teachers don't like standardised tests.
This is because their teaching efforts can be quantified and evaluated.

Good teachers do like standardised tests.
This is because their teaching efforts can be quantified and evaluated.
 
2012-07-29 09:06:47 AM

letrole: Bad teachers don't like standardised tests.
This is because their teaching efforts can be quantified and evaluated.

Good teachers do like standardised tests.
This is because their teaching efforts can be quantified and evaluated.


You obviously don't know any teachers.
 
2012-07-29 09:07:56 AM
When we wanted safer cars, Congress mandated safety standards. Automakers complied. When we wanted greater fuel efficiency, Congress mandated CAFE standards. Automakers complied.

If we want more competent teachers, why doesn't Congress mandate the minimum standards for a teacher and force universities (which are in charge of manufacturing teachers) to comply?
 
2012-07-29 09:09:20 AM
If they are teaching the four elements in your science class, maybe you should change districts. I get that subby wanted to make a clever band reference, but c'mon.
 
2012-07-29 09:10:41 AM

Dinki: letrole: Bad teachers don't like standardised tests.
This is because their teaching efforts can be quantified and evaluated.

Good teachers do like standardised tests.
This is because their teaching efforts can be quantified and evaluated.

You obviously don't know any teachers.


Did you look at his handle by chance?
 
2012-07-29 09:12:09 AM
Looking to boost the quality of science education, Florida has just made it tougher for aspiring teachers to pass required certification exams.

Provided the subject is biology, I bet I could pass any certification exam they've got. What do these exams consist of anyway? Can we as the public see them?
 
2012-07-29 09:16:42 AM

kukukupo: It won't be difficult - Science is becoming as crowded as English and "Social Studies". It isn't quite there yet - but close. Math is the only place a real shortage exists.
Besides - who would want to go into teaching anymore? Most teachers don't get benefits now or they are going to have to pay for them (the only thing that really offset the poor pay). If things keep going the way they are, only the independently wealthy will be able to afford a "career" in education.


CSB (Readers Digest version) - My friend tried to go into teaching at a High School in the 90's. He was out a year and a half later. He was fed up with the BS. The kids were rude and didn't do their homework. They got low test scores he even after letting the kids know how they were doing all along.Those that scored low acted all surprised and wanted to know what they could do for extra credit rather than just preparing for the tests.When he gave them low grades he got in trouble because the parents complained. The Principal didn't back him. He didn't like all the parents calling him so my friend was the one that got the ass chewing. He left to go back to being a delivery truck driver where he made more money. (Of course if he stuck at it he would have made more since he wanted to get his grad degree.)
 
2012-07-29 09:27:21 AM
Merit Pay improves education.

Mediocre reward produces mediocre results.
 
2012-07-29 09:28:51 AM
Sounds like somebody has too much yellow bile.
 
2012-07-29 09:36:13 AM

SevenizGud: A lot of teachers must be dying, because lord knows teachers don't get fired. Unless you sleep with your students. And he blabs his big fat mouth. Damn you, Jason!

Teaching - the only profession where you can't get fired for outright incompetence.


How about the police, with their paid vacations when they are incompetent?
 
2012-07-29 09:40:27 AM
It's pathetic the way we gang up on teachers, and have demonized public schools.

Instead of trying to help, we just place blame. It's shameful.

The only people who get talked about worse than teachers on FARK are black people and pedophiles.
 
2012-07-29 09:42:01 AM

Louisiana_Sitar_Club: Fizpez: Teaching science and math well requires someone who is not only good at the geek stuff but can also communicate that knowledge effectively.

Damn skippy. It's farking tough to do. If you go to great lengths to explain something to someone thoroughly, simply and in a way that makes perfect sense and they say, "I don't get it.", it takes a special person to know what to do next. (That special person is not me.)


Just hand the kid a mop.
 
2012-07-29 09:42:28 AM

Louisiana_Sitar_Club: Fizpez: Teaching science and math well requires someone who is not only good at the geek stuff but can also communicate that knowledge effectively.

Damn skippy. It's farking tough to do. If you go to great lengths to explain something to someone thoroughly, simply and in a way that makes perfect sense and they say, "I don't get it.", it takes a special person to know what to do next. (That special person is not me.)


Pictures and drawings help sometimes. But if the student is simply not able to grasp the concept, like me trying to teach my cat Calculus, there is nothing you can do. :(
 
2012-07-29 09:46:14 AM

SevenizGud: A lot of teachers must be dying, because lord knows teachers don't get fired.


They can get pressure put on them to leave, though, which is not uncommon if administration doesn't like you. Yes, you can stay because usually you aren't fired, per se, but if they criticize your teaching methods, force you to go to countless, unpaid workshops, unleash every biatchy parent on you, unmine your authority in front of students, and pile more and more thankless bs work on you that has nothing to do with teaching, then you will probably be inclined to leave.

Administrations assassinate teaching careers, particularly of really good teachers, because those tend to be the ones that are smart and self-assured enough to speak out against stupid policies.
 
2012-07-29 09:50:26 AM
24.media.tumblr.com

Obviously they will have to learn water too. Here's your new teacher.
 
2012-07-29 09:53:11 AM
3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-07-29 09:53:39 AM

Foolkiller: [24.media.tumblr.com image 499x479]

Obviously they will have to learn water too. Here's your new teacher.


Don't forget the teacher for Heart:

images.wikia.com
 
2012-07-29 09:59:06 AM

randomjsa: Provided the subject is biology, I bet I could pass any certification exam they've got. What do these exams consist of anyway? Can we as the public see them?


Yes and no. The exams (FTCE SAEs) are generated from a massive body of questions. This coming year, the tests will have a quick overhaul which should release the current test for use in study aids, akin to other standardized tests. Here is a helpful guide to current pass rates from the FLDOE. Not strictly available to the public, but close.

Provided someone studies and tests reasonably well, the exams are not difficult to pass. However, the body of questions, as said, is massive which increases likelihood of missing some. The exams are actually designed this way (including exam items being purposefully nebulous, though this occurs less with the specific subjects because content rather than methods and practices are a bigger focus) with an assumption Y will be missed out of X by a competent test-taker. Have known people who are science majors or science education majors (dramatically different things) and have failed despite being capable and knowledgeable as well as people who are asked by a school to teach new subject areas yet inevitably pass despite little prior knowledge or interest. I would imagine, though I have no evidence to back this up other than my own experiences with the exams are teachers, those who fail tend to be those who did not study with quality materials.

The minimum scores being raised is not an effort to increase standards but to make an empty gesture and further reduce available teachers for public schools. Knowing rote information about content area is not the same as having strong content knowledge which does correlate to better student outcomes (further, the other major FTCE for all, the PEd, features incorrect information with the design being reduction in lawsuits). I have no problem with raising standards for teachers in Florida, accountability, pay for merit, etc.. What is an issue is how policy-makers purport to raise standards and accountability, establish merit pay, and so forth.

/little tangent there
 
2012-07-29 10:08:58 AM

kukukupo: It won't be difficult - Science is becoming as crowded as English and "Social Studies". It isn't quite there yet - but close. Math is the only place a real shortage exists.

Besides - who would want to go into teaching anymore? Most teachers don't get benefits now or they are going to have to pay for them (the only thing that really offset the poor pay). If things keep going the way they are, only the independently wealthy will be able to afford a "career" in education.


Highly unlikely. Unless universities raise the entrance requirements for Education, there will *always* be an overabundance of mediocre, passionless drones entering the teaching profession.

Think about it: you're in your last semester of university with a 2.1 GPA in English Literature or History. The past 3-5 years have been great: non-stop party, no classes Mondays or Fridays, getting drunk, tons of casual sex... but graduation is looming, and your lack of any tangible goals whatsoever (other than "go to University on student loans") are starting to rear it's ugly head. What on earth do you do?

1. Get a low paying job at Starbucks or at the museum gift shop? "No way, that's beneath me. I'm "educated" doncha' know?!?!?"
2. Continue with your education in a more advanced faculty (like Law or Architecture)? "Wow, those sound hard. Besides, my grades aren't good enough to meet the entrance requirements."
3. Take one more year and get your teaching certificate? "Hmmm... one more year eh? That won't make too much of difference to my student loan. I really can't stand kids, but summers off! And benefits! And a 'respectable' job! And I get to party for one more year! Yeah, I can do this."

And then the problems start; these people have spent their entire lives taking the path of least resistance, and then suddenly, the big bad world hits them square between the eyes: "Wow, this is hard... I never realized that teaching would be so hard... I have to work extra hours??? Unfair!!! Unfair!!! No one else works as hard as I do! They're not paying me enough!!!! Strike!!! Strike!!! Or I'll quit. That's it, I'll quit and go into... oh shiat."

So while there will always be a shortage of "good" teachers, there will never be a shortage of "teachers", per se.
 
2012-07-29 10:11:41 AM
From what I remember of college, you had to be a flat-out masochist to want to be a science ed student. The sheer amount of labwork alone meant you had no time to eat, let alone sleep or study. How they even found time to do the six classes of secondary education is beyond me.

Vangor: However, the body of questions, as said, is massive which increases likelihood of missing some. The exams are actually designed this way (including exam items being purposefully nebulous, though this occurs less with the specific subjects because content rather than methods and practices are a bigger focus) with an assumption Y will be missed out of X by a competent test-taker.


See, some of this theory is okay. But in my state at least, they take it to the extreme, to the point that a friend of mine was seeing stuff from his senior year theory classes on his K-8 music teacher exams, that had absolutely nothing to do with anything you would ever pretend to teach in a middle school environment. Hell, my "history" exam was maaaybe 50% history, 50% every other social studies category imaginable. Again, stuff no high school would ever consider letting you teach.

\at least I passed on the first try, my friend needed a couple tries to get it because of it being that utterly ridiculous
 
2012-07-29 10:16:54 AM

Hermione_Granger: It's pathetic the way we gang up on teachers, and have demonized public schools.

Instead of trying to help, we just place blame. It's shameful.

The only people who get talked about worse than teachers on FARK are black people and pedophiles.


This. I have wondered why teachers have been getting so much hate lately. I can assume it the same for a lot of public employees -- you know, the only ones who get decent benefits anymore.
 
2012-07-29 10:24:05 AM

FriarReb98: Again, stuff no high school would ever consider letting you teach.


Not knowing the specifics of the information you are mentioning (at least on music I have heard similar remarks about extremely advanced questions), I will say on a side note not directed towards you I have become tired of hearing education students complain about having to know things which they will likely never teach. This mentality has three assumptions: students are homogeneous, standards are static, and additional content knowledge does not inform instruction.
 
ows
2012-07-29 10:32:25 AM
back in my day, in science class we huffed helium and burned magnesium strips......good times.
 
2012-07-29 10:32:28 AM

edmo: NASA's been laying off rocket scientists...


I worked with a NASA scientist once...he wanted to 'make a difference' so he decided to teach jr. high math. His difference lasted 6 weeks...he left skid marks in the parking lot.
 
2012-07-29 10:32:44 AM
i48.tinypic.com
 
2012-07-29 10:33:26 AM
The old shortage lie. Yeah I believe that in the middle of a depression they can't find any science teachers.

And don't forget there is a big shortage of software developers too. Would the media lie to you ?

( WMDs )
 
2012-07-29 10:41:50 AM
I was one of the writers for these tests in Florida - specifically, forSocial Sciences. That includes history, government, economics, psychology, and sociology.

The main question we kept returning to was: "Do we expect a recent college graduate to know this?" In some cases, it eliminated questions because they were too easy and in others, because they were too difficult. Because of the point mentioned above about coaches and social studies, I had a strong interest in making sure the test was a good instrument.

The problem with science is a bit different though. You don't have the problem of random people taking the test because they think it will be easy. You have the problem that, as TFA briefly touched on, the most promising students don't go in to teaching because of the low pay, and now decreasing benefits. There are exceptions, but you can't build a pprofession on the backs of altruists and masochists.

Eventually, we will have to pay more to get more qualified teachers. But since that's not the goal here, it won't happen.

The true goal is, of course, to delegitimize public schools and to replace them with vouchers to reward politocal cronies. But i digress.
 
2012-07-29 10:42:37 AM
images1.wikia.nocookie.net

Alchemy class pet.
 
2012-07-29 10:42:47 AM

Vangor: I have become tired of hearing education students complain about having to know things which they will likely never teach. This mentality has three assumptions: students are homogeneous, standards are static, and additional content knowledge does not inform instruction.


Oh trust me, one of the main reasons I left teaching is that my ideals (I absolutely believe in the theory of multiple intelligences) had little or nothing to do with how or what the school and the state want you to teach. I just felt like everything was geared towards the MCAS. Especially in history, where a lot of schools expect you to get through 400 years of history in less than 120 hours of class time, you don't have time to actually discuss what a history book leaves out, even if you wanted to.
 
2012-07-29 10:44:07 AM
/ apologies for the spelling weirdness above. Fark mobile sucks.
 
2012-07-29 10:49:55 AM

letrole: Merit Pay improves education.

Mediocre reward produces mediocre results.


I know you're letrole. But, are you ready to pay for merit pay? Because the American public isn't. They'll say they're for merit pay. But, when it comes down to it, they'll do what they're doing now because it's cheaper. Most Americans shop at Walmart, too.
 
2012-07-29 10:59:00 AM

Bob16: The old shortage lie. Yeah I believe that in the middle of a depression they can't find any science teachers.


We do have a shortage of teachers. This is a result of a few factors. The first is the requirements are strict; I do not mean tough, but without the proper degree you simply cannot get the position, and any temporary measures are still an underqualified individual occupying the position which is still indicative of a teacher shorter. The second follows right with the first which is shortages occur in various specialties; exceptional education is sorely lacking, and hard sciences never have all the positions needed. The third is the amount of children continues to rise; additional work force will always be needed until this trend stops.

While true we could occupy the positions with plenty of underqualified folk and not all areas have shortages, to say the shortage is a lie is either a vast oversimplification of what this means or repeating some talking point.

Lawnchair: But, are you ready to pay for merit pay? Because the American public isn't. They'll say they're for merit pay. But, when it comes down to it, they'll do what they're doing now because it's cheaper. Most Americans shop at Walmart, too.


Merit pay is not pay commensurate with merit. I have not seen a system (implemented by a state or other government agency which handles teacher salary) where a highly-qualified, highly-capable, veteran educator is able to make a salary higher than under a basic annual pay scale. Taxpayers will pay less under merit pay for a system which does not identify or reward merit.
 
2012-07-29 11:00:06 AM

Lawnchair: letrole: Merit Pay improves education.

Mediocre reward produces mediocre results.

I know you're letrole. But, are you ready to pay for merit pay? Because the American public isn't. They'll say they're for merit pay. But, when it comes down to it, they'll do what they're doing now because it's cheaper. Most Americans shop at Walmart, too.


Where I come from 'merit pay' means a teacher gets a raise for getting extra degrees that benefits the students in no way, what-so-ever. A lady teaching 8th grade science can pick up a 3rd Masters degree in 'Teaching crap' and get a raise. Tuition is covered by the school/tax payers.
 
2012-07-29 11:00:47 AM
Disclaimer: Science teacher.

Increase the standards, even more if needed - I know for sure that more rigor would be useful in NC, and I went through a graduate level program. However, if this is done, and the state worries about losing good candidates, increase our salaries. Make it merit-based, do what you need to do to make yourselves feel better about paying teachers more money. My take home from running a movie theater was nearly double my current take home, which makes me sad.
 
2012-07-29 11:05:13 AM

Vangor: Bob16: The old shortage lie. Yeah I believe that in the middle of a depression they can't find any science teachers.

We do have a shortage of teachers. This is a result of a few factors. The first is the requirements are strict; I do not mean tough, but without the proper degree you simply cannot get the position, and any temporary measures are still an underqualified individual occupying the position which is still indicative of a teacher shorter. The second follows right with the first which is shortages occur in various specialties; exceptional education is sorely lacking, and hard sciences never have all the positions needed. The third is the amount of children continues to rise; additional work force will always be needed until this trend stops.

While true we could occupy the positions with plenty of underqualified folk and not all areas have shortages, to say the shortage is a lie is either a vast oversimplification of what this means or repeating some talking point.

Lawnchair: But, are you ready to pay for merit pay? Because the American public isn't. They'll say they're for merit pay. But, when it comes down to it, they'll do what they're doing now because it's cheaper. Most Americans shop at Walmart, too.

Merit pay is not pay commensurate with merit. I have not seen a system (implemented by a state or other government agency which handles teacher salary) where a highly-qualified, highly-capable, veteran educator is able to make a salary higher than under a basic annual pay scale. Taxpayers will pay less under merit pay for a system which does not identify or reward merit.


Where I grew up - you could have a PhD in Computer Science, invented the internet, built Google.com from scratch, travelled around the world giving lectures, even been a college professor and you'd still not be 'qualified' to teach high school seniors 'AP Computer Science'.
 
2012-07-29 11:05:25 AM
The easiest classes I took in college were the education college courses. The ed majors were on average much dumber than other college students. Significantly. They knew that this was an easy field with low standards.

We should bar education majors from the field of education, ironically enough. I'd be happy with increasing the pay significantly while firing anyone who can't demonstrate true mastery of the topics taught on standardized tests AND demonstrate real improvement on standardized tests (give a similar test at the beginning and ending of each semester, and the teachers showing bottom 25% improvement are fired every few years). If the pay is high enough, this will lead to a much better system.

I'd also eliminate school administration almost entirely. It's largely useless if the teachers are effective. There's no need for field trips and technology needs are very limited. What you need are standards. Flunk out the weak students, fire the weak teachers, and suddenly a high school diploma is a bona fide credential (that many do not obtain).
 
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