Amazing Teacher Facts
Editorial - June 14th, 2008 - The Wall Street Journal
This month 3,700 recent college grads will begin Teach for America's five-week boot camp, before heading off for two-year stints at the nation's worst public schools. These young men and women were chosen from almost 25,000 applicants, hailing from our most selective colleges.
It seems that Teach for America offers smart young people something even better than money – the chance to avoid the vast education bureaucracy. Participants need only pass academic muster and attend the summer training before entering a classroom. If they took the traditional route into teaching, they would have to endure years of "education" courses to be certified.
The American Federation of Teachers [an "education" union] commonly derides Teach for America as a "band-aid."
Here's the gist: "On average, high school students taught by TFA corps members performed significantly better on state-required end-of-course exams, especially in math and science, than peers taught by far more experienced instructors. The TFA teachers' effect on student achievement in core classroom subjects was nearly three times the effect of teachers with three or more years of experience."
If you think this will matter to either the education unions or the politicians in their pockets, you are dreaming. The interest of the unions is school system employees. They do not want good teachers. They want loyal union members. So they have erected a system that attracts teachers who are not qualified, not motivated and tolerant of tedious bureaucracy.
The people who suffer are our children. Education quality has plunged down for over 2 generations, even as we have thrown more and more money at the system. Where is that money going? Why do things simply get worse year after year despite education union claims that it is getting better? If it is getting better why can't our kids read? Why after 40 years of more and more money is the only solution more money?
A five week boot camp turns out better teachers than the education unions provide after more than 2 years of so-called "education" training with more than 3 years of classroom experience. FIVE WEEKS VERSUS FIVE YEARS. We have a number of teachers who hate the current system but they are in the minority. Only when parents make politicians care more about the kids than they do about the education unions will things ever get better.
It is time.