Thursday, November 19, 2009
To Level Teachers' Fields in Educaton
It has been said in many ways that the finished product often depends on the raw material put in initially. So it is with education. A bright child well on it's way to learning before entering our public education system will be a superior finished product.(some exceptions) With the children in inner cities of most school systems the dropout rate by high school is astounding but understandable. To judge the performance of teachers by class progress as been done with the No Child Left Behind program is unfair to teachers in the inner cities. I have a suggestion to make to put the spotlight on the problem that many educators recognize but little has been done to rectify. Develop a test to be given to the class of students entering the system and to decide on a numerical rating for each class. Say a rating of from 1 to 10. In a suburban area near a school of higher learning as with a university, the children of parents of the area might be expected to be better prepared than those in a depressed inner city population. And a school might register an 8 out of a possible 10 where as the inner city children might be only a 2. Each teacher would spend the first week or so giving tests on vocabulary, reading and writing and arithmetic. At the conclusion it would be expected that the students would climb a given number of rungs of the ladder of learning based on past experience each of marking periods. Parents as well as the students should be told of the importance of learning as it will influence the kind of life the student will be qualified for when older. For a class of 8th graders leaped ahead from a scholarship grade of say 5 to an 8 that teacher might be declared Teacher of the Year or some other honorarium. The classes entering with a 1 or 2 would be shown in need of special education just as other handicapped children are. Many teachers are altruistic in teaching to help children, even disadvantaged children,that they should be recognized for progress in teaching these handicapped children and rewarded for that special contribution. Moreover, recognizing the intellectually disadvantaged should attract interest in improving the lot of the early education that is recognized by most as inadequate for groups of students in cities all over our land. So, coincidentally are gangs of marauding school dropouts in many cities over our land.