Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Monday Medley

What we read while not going easy on Derek Jeter…

Monday Medley

What we read after deleting the AP from our contacts…

Monday Medley

What we read while trying to find Ann Romney a job…

Monday Medley

What we read while joining the ACC…

  • We don’t need to tell you Vin Scully is awesome, even if we find his call of Koufax’s perfect game a tad overwrought, Here, Vin  remembers his greatest calls, many of which include the original audio.

Should School Be Out for Summer?

EDUCATION Gap 1Contrary to the opinions of Roger Waters and David Gilmour, we do, in fact, need education. In fact, according to President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, we need more education. This weekend, the two of them floated the ever-unpopular ideas of expanding the school day and eliminating or shortening summer break.

Now, since I am no longer in school, I can admit it: They’re right. There is no reason for the school schedule to remain as it is. The current academic schedule is based on the socio-economic conditions that were prevalent when public schools were being established, over 100 years ago. But things have changed; as Duncan put it, “Not too many of our kids are working the fields today.”

Ignoring Duncan’s blatant disrespect for the <1% of the country that still farms, he’s right that the calendar should be changed. But simply expanding the length of the school day or school year is not all that should be changed. Continue reading

A Simple Theory Explaining The Decline in Quality of Public School Teachers

Individuals who have entered public school teaching in the 1990s and onward are less qualified for teaching than individuals who entered public school teaching in earlier decades (despite modest improvements in the past decade according to one study). According to a 2008 study based on SAT data, “education majors finished 25th in reading, 27th in math and a combined 57 points below the national average in both.” Teacher decline since the 1960s based on other earlier credible ability measures has been confirmed in multiple studies.

So, my simple theory (which I thought of independently but I am by no means the first person to propose this theory) is that the majority of public school* teachers—particularly at lower levels—have historically been women. The older (now retired or retiring) generation of women who chose to become teachers went in when the profession attracted more intelligent women. The teaching profession was a particularly attractive profession for women. Besides the inherent advantages to teaching (working with children, summers off, etc.), this attractiveness was due to a combination of traditional social norms and employer discrimination against women in other professions that intelligent men would enter. Teaching was one of the more prestigious and socially acceptable jobs for women to enter in the 1960s and 70s.
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