Posts Tagged ‘SAT scores’

Monday Medley

What we read while going undrafted once again…

  • Josh doesn’t really like cupcakes, but maybe if he ate them here he’d be more amenable to persuasion that he does.
  • Sometimes, it’s funny to look back at poor predictions, like Tim’s that the Celtics would be crushed by the Heat, or The Awl‘s that differentiated Ke$ha from Lady Gaga by writing, “Ke$ha, on the other hand, is a version of Gaga-lite, but in a good way. She is sort of edgy in that she puts on weird eye makeup, but she also just wears vintage-looking t-shirts and jeans when performing on national television. As opposed to donning some weird Gareth Pugh leotard while standing on top of a blood-draped ladder that’s in a coffin set on fire, or something.” Yeah, I don’t think David Cho can stand by that paragraph after last Saturday night. Sorry, Dave. (P.S. NPR did something on Ke$ha a while back that referred to her “near-perfect SAT scores,” which really makes us wonder what NPR’s standard for “near perfect” is these days.)

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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