Monday, August 22, 2022

In Case You Missed It – August 22, 2022

Here are links to last week's articles receiving the most attention on NEIFPE's social media accounts. Keep up with what's going on, what's being discussed, and what's happening with public education.

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David Berliner describes what teaching is like. Peter Greene explains why there "seems to be" a shortage of teachers. Mercedes Schneider makes a case for small class sizes. In Ohio, there are big bonuses for employees of the Teachers' Pension Fund.


David Berliner: The Dangerous, Treasonous Attack on Certified Teachers

If you read one post this week, make it this one.

David Berliner, Regius Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University, explains to anyone willing to listen, exactly what it's like to be in a classroom.

From Diane Ravitch
I always wonder how physicians would fare if 30 or so kids with the kinds of sociological characteristics I just described showed up for medical treatment all at once, and then left 50 minutes later, healed or not! And suppose that chaotic scene was immediately followed by thirty or more different kids, but with similar sociological backgrounds, also in need of personal attention. And they too stayed about 50 minutes, and then they also had to leave. Imagine waves of these patients hitting a physicians’ office five or six times a day!

In addition, teachers are usually away from other adults for long segments of the day, with no one helping them, which makes possession of a strong bladder one of the least recognized attributes of an effective teacher. Physicians, on the other hand, often have a nurse and secretary to do some of the work necessary to allow them to concentrate on the central elements of their one-on-one practice. Andthey actually have time to relieve their bladders between patients, which helps improve their decision making skills!

That so many teachers and schools do so well under the circumstances I just described shows how undervalued the craft of teaching is, and how little respect there is for pedagogical knowledge.


Yep. Class Size Matters.

What are the advantages to smaller classes? Teachers spend more time with individual students. It's that simple. Which students need small class sizes? Every student in a nation that places a high priority on the education of their children. Apparently not in the U.S.

From deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog
I workshop writing with my students, which means I consult individually with each student multiple times if necessary for writing assignments, especially when working on seniors’ major research paper.

With 27, 28, 29 students in a class, I was not at my best as a teacher, not because I was not trying, but because I was spread too thin.

I did not teach as well. There was no professional development that could have helped me. No professional consultation, or study.

I had too many students.

Nevertheless, according to Louisiana’s education law, Title 28, Section CXV-913 – Class Size and Ratios, I could have had larger classes– up to 33 students per class in my high school classroom
Click here to go to the Class Size Matters website.


Ohio: Teachers’ Pension Fund Loses $3 Billion, Fund Employees Will Get Bonuses

Employees of the Ohio Teachers' Pension Fund will get bonuses even though the fund lost billions.

From Diane Ravitch
This is bad news for retired teachers in Ohio. Their pension fund lost $3 billion in the market, but the fund is set to award $9 million in bonuses to its employees.

Sure, the market’s down, and everyone is losing money. But this doesn’t seem like the right time to hand out performance bonuses.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The board governing the Ohio’s teacher pension fund will consider a proposal on Thursday that could award $9.7 million in performance-based incentives to its investment associates, despite having lost $3 billion in the first 11 months of the year.


There Is No Teacher Shortage. So Why Is Everyone Talking About It?

There is a shortage of jobs for teachers that pay well and provide the support that our students need. That's why there are so many teachers who are not teaching.

From Peter Greene in Forbes
It certainly feels as if teaching conditions are worse. The heated rhetoric is getting hotter, from attempts to micro-manage what teachers can teach. Pay remains stagnant. Respect seems as if it’s at an all time low. Every teacher knows a teacher who left the profession ahead of schedule, or a promising prospective teacher who chose not to enter the field at all.

But that’s not a shortage. Call it an exodus, a slow-motion strike, or a wave of teachers responding to the old, “If you don’t like it, then get out” with a resounding, “Okay, then.” Teachers have not vanished. The supply has not been used up, like a gold mine stripped of its last nugget.

The trouble with teacher shortage rhetoric is that it mislocates the problem. If we argue that all of the nuggets have been pulled from the mine, we don’t have to consider the possibility that there’s plenty of rich vein left, but we can’t mine it with a plastic spork.
Note: NEIFPE's In Case You Missed It is posted on Mondays by the end of the day except after holiday weekends or as otherwise noted.

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