published Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Relocating effective teachers not right solution for better education

When one Hamilton County Board of Education candidate was asked this week what he thought about President Barack Obama's idea of yanking good teachers out of the schools in which they're teaching and plunking them in what the president called "the poorest schools," he didn't mince words.

"That would never work," he said. "People would stop supporting [the schools]."

But Obama, by signing yet another one of his executive orders to get around Congress, will require states to submit plans to do just that by April 2015 and will authorize $4.2 million for support of the plan in states and districts.

"Unfortunately, there are a lot of kids around the country who are not getting the kind of teaching they need ... because we're not doing enough to put a lot of our teachers in a position to succeed," the president said.

Let's think about that.

If "we're not doing enough to put a lot of our teachers in a position to succeed," shouldn't it be incumbent on the "we" to give the teachers the tools they need to succeed?

Obama said the "least experienced teachers, the ones with the least support, often end up in the poorest schools."

If you do take the "least experienced teachers" and put them in schools that are not the "poorest," that still doesn't change their experience. It only worsens the learning environment for the students who are taught by the "least experienced teachers."

Obama didn't say it, but the idea smacks of the income equality arguments he likes to make. That, in so many words, if we just take from the rich (whatever middle-class income he's now referring to as rich) and give to the poor, the world will purr ever so much better.

A better idea, one that a number of Hamilton County school board candidates advocate, is to put the best practices in all of the schools. Hire only the best trained, most enthusiastic and child-centered teachers for all schools. Take the ideas that have worked in magnet schools, charter schools and traditional public schools that are high performoing and export them to all schools. Fire principals and teachers who do not promote a sound learning environment, do not value students and are there for only the paycheck.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who either hadn't considered the idea very thoroughly or was afraid to comment, declined to say Monday what would happen if a state refused to go along with the idea.

"I'm optimistic the overwhelming majority of states want to do this and have the heart for this work," he said.


If this is such a great idea, why haven't states and local school districts frequently played fruit-basket turnover with their most highly skilled teachers? Why not have them move from "poorest" school to "poorest" school every year, sprinkling their brilliance as they go? Within 10 years, they will have made things right at 10 different schools.

Duncan paid lip-service to what the majority of people always say they want, saying "the solutions [to moving the teachers] have to be local." But it won't matter if the U.S. education secretary or the Hamilton County superintendent does the teacher moving. It's not the right solution.

Besides achieving the nirvana of education equality, what else could happen with Obama's plan? Here's just three scenarios:

n The best teachers would quit or go teach in private schools. If after you've come up through the ranks, perhaps taught at the "poorest" schools, then moved to another school nearer your home, reached a point in your career where your supervisors consider you highly skilled, why should you automatically be expected to change?

n Many teachers would refrain from appearing highly skilled. What better way to stay where you're comfortable than to be just good enough to pass muster but not good enough to be selected to move to a poor school?

n Students would stop choosing education as a career if they believe their best effort would take them to a point where they see their work paying off, only to be moved like a chess piece to a different square.

Teachers deserve better. Students deserve better. Schools deserve better. Let's don't look for education equality for all. Let's reach for education superiority for all.

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Ki said...

Don't get excited. However, this one time, and only one, I agree with something printed on the right side of TFP. The last time something like this was tried on a local level those teachers forced to teach at low performing city schools didn't want to be there and they proceeded to make life miserable for those students.

High performing schools aren't successful because the students, teachers, staff are smarter or the parents are more engaged. They're successful because of the positive relationship they have with the students and surrounding community they serve. Inner city schools use to have such a relationship until they severed those ties. They were producing students ready for either the workforce or to go on to higher education. Then they started to purposely dumb the students down.

July 9, 2014 at 12:23 a.m.
sagoyewatha said...

Question. What was the purpose of "dumbing the students down?"

July 9, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.
Ki said...

money. Lack of accountability. After all these were students from that segment of the population already deemed unteachable, unlearnable. No one would dare question the incompetence of the professional. The students weren't expected to succeed. They'd already been labled failures by third grade.

There was a time that problem teachers the system couldn't get rid of were purposely dumped in these schools. Now everyone is pointing fingers and trying to play catch-up, and the not me game or what went so wrong. But the problem began at least a little over four decades ago.

July 9, 2014 at 9:41 a.m.
timbo said...

sagoyhewatha...."what's the purpose.."To make the poor ones look better statistically where they can "feel" good about themselves. This is more liberal forced equal outcome. If some kids are winning the race, make sure that you tie their feet where someone else looks like their winning.

This is a cultural problem in the poor community. It is all about the difference in two parent homes and out of wedlock births. A child born to a single mother has little chance competing with 2 parent children academically and socially. Until this problem is solved it is useless to spend money or blame teachers.

July 9, 2014 at 9:44 a.m.
sagoyewatha said...

Ki and timbo, you are not giving us history, it is just "urstory!" You throw around the underclass party line like it is all fact, and it is just junk. Any person ready and willing to learn will get an education in spite of "bad" teachers, poverty,terrible cultural conditions, and no parents at all. No one can even define "good teaching," so how can it be measured? Apparently, since teaching and schools began there has been a conspiracy to "dumb down" certain groups, and it happened everywhere in the world except for the country of origin for that group, all those in the group are well taught, highly educated, wealthy and wise, and every one has at least two loving parents,some have an entire village! They are also non-violent and community spirited and we all dream about moving there to live. Do I have your theories correct now?

July 9, 2014 at 5:36 p.m.
Ki said...

Sago, if your analysis is true, that anyone can learn regardless of bad teaching, then why have teachers and schools at all? Children could just be given all the materials and allowed to teach themselves. Thats like saying the patient is responsible for the outcome of an operation gone wrong performed by an incompetent doctor.

July 9, 2014 at 7:39 p.m.
Ki said...

/timbo, I neither disagree nor totally agree with your assessment of the situation. You're both right and wrong on a few levels. That's what makes the problem, and therefore the solution too, so complicated.

In all successful schools I've ever entered much of the staff, teachers on down to the janitors and cafeteria workers had ties to the community and the students they taught. They also covered up or downplayed a lot of bad behavior that took place. They werent quick to suspend/expel or write a bad or negative report on a student caught doing wrong.

Example: the Algebra teacher was the parent of one or more of the students at the school. That student(s)/parent(s) were friends/neighbors of other students at the school. They not only had ties to one another, but ties to the surrounding community. They didn't want the negative stigma of a bad or poor performing school attached to them or their community 10, 20, or 30 years down they road.

July 9, 2014 at 8:02 p.m.
inquiringmind said...

It is actually a good idea but does not solve the problem. The real bottom line is we need bussing to distribute students from all over the city uniformly to all schools so everyone has the best chance to succeed. Of course that means we would have to invest in good teachers in ALL the schools.

Unfortunately we can't do anything about the parents. Some are absentee, others are too busy buying beer for their darlings' graduation parties, others only care about the grade not whether their child actually learned something.

sagoyewathah, you are so far out of it. Only the rarest, most highly motivated, Asperberger's (sp?) syndrome- stricken child can succeed as you describe while the majority of good kids fall by the wayside - again some one is offering illogical and simplistic comments to complicated problems. Might as well put a typewriter in front of a monkey expecting A Midsummer's Night Dream.

July 9, 2014 at 11:37 p.m.
sagoyewatha said...

Ki: Your rapacity to shower us with anecdotal evidence rather than facts so readily available on this topic demonstrates your unworthiness to participate in this conversation. Your attempt to enter a battle of wits while being completely unarmed shows your utter lack of insight. Tennessee has ranked near the bottom in education since those rankings began. The problem is simple - stupid people and no money spent on education, because football is so much more important.

July 10, 2014 at 9:44 a.m.
sagoyewatha said...

inquiring mind: I have no doubt a monkey could use a typewriter to enhance your drivel. Do you have dyslexia? The fact is, most "good kids" do not "fall by the wayside," they succeed. Once again, if you can define GOOD TEACHING, please do so. To measure it you must first define it. This is your opportunity to shine, since no one else has been able to come up with a definition that will work

July 10, 2014 at 9:53 a.m.
timbo said...

inquiringmind....Your joking...bussing? That is nuts. That would drive what smart students who are left to private schools. I am going to tell you a story my aunt told me.

My aunt had 4 daughters and lived in Onward, Mississippi. When she came to visit back in 1975, I was a young dumbass liberal like yourself. It is hard to believe but I was also a smart ass at the time like most liberals are.

Anyway, she showed me the local newspaper and there were two schools. There was the public school and the private academy.

The public school was all black people and the academy was all white people. When I saw that I said, "Why aren't there any blacks in the academy or whites in the public school...are you prejudice?"

She said, "When I moved to Onward, MS my daughters were very young and one day we were driving to the grocery store on the main highway. Coming walking down the road were two black boys about 16 years old naked as jaybirds. I said to myself, "my girls aren't going to school with them."

The problem is cultural and until blacks and other poor people can fix their culture they can only bring down the performance of anyone else who goes to school with them. One parent household, unwed teenage mothers, boys with no direction or discipline is not something teachers or administrators can do anything about.

Liberal and poverty pimps need to quite using these people for votes and really start helping them by constructive criticism. Now you just make excuses and spend more money.

Just like my aunt said, my kids aren't going to school with them....until they straighten up.

July 10, 2014 at 11:44 a.m.
conservative said...

sagoyewatha said...

inquiring mind: I have no doubt a monkey could use a typewriter to enhance your drivel. Do you have dyslexia?


Actually, he usually does much worse.

He is often incoherent while charging others with Dementia.

Liberals such as himself know if they are direct others will easily see what they truly believe.

His openness about busing is an exception, a slip up for sure and proves my point.

Yea, busing will improve the plight of blacks, anything but good morals and good values.

July 10, 2014 at 11:52 a.m.
conservative said...

Here is one black Liberal, Juan Williams, who gets it.

What he gets is the lack of morals and Godliness being taught in black churches and it's inescapable ties to poverty.

This from the latest Cal Thomas column:

"On Fox News Monday night, Juan Williams faulted the "black church" for not doing more to rescue African-Americans from cycles of violence and poverty. While he didn't make the connection, I will. Too many "reverends" have traded eternal truths for temporal power. While not ignoring slavery and discrimination, most once preached messages about righteousness, sin and redemption, which brought changes in behavior. Too many modern "reverends" have made their bed with the Democratic Party, which has delivered their people from nothing, and has mostly kept the poor mired not just in economic poverty, but a poverty of spirit."

July 10, 2014 at 12:13 p.m.
sagoyewatha said...

Timbo and Conservative; you are nailing it! The problem is multicausitive, deep seated and long standing. The solution is not readily available. I don't think duds like ki and inquiring mind have any substance to offer to the solution.

July 10, 2014 at 12:21 p.m.
GameOn said...

This program will do away with effective teachers. That is the goal. We want America to be a third world country.

July 10, 2014 at 4:37 p.m.
timbo said...

sagoyewatha....I don't think they want to dumb down everyone, it is just a knee-jerk response that if all the races are mixed to some point they performance will go up. It has never worked.

The culture has to be fixed first, then the money can be spent wisely.

July 11, 2014 at 11:51 a.m.
ibshame said...

Timbo the story you recanted above about the naked black students walking down the road in Mississippi probably left out the reason why they were naked. After all it's probably a good thing clothes were the only things they were missing instead of other body parts in Mississippi. As for your conclusion about how this is representative of Black Culture and how it has to be fixed, should one draw the same conclusion about the culture of the three young White students that raped/sodomized a young lady at an after prom party?

What kind of "fix" to culture would you recommend for those three?

July 11, 2014 at 4:27 p.m.
Ki said...

tombo , that is the dumb-ass dumbest response and excuse I've ever heard about the two black boys walking down the street naked. If it was true at all. Did your dautger ever try to future out why they were walking down the street naked? Would she have responded differently if the boys were white? Or maybe she'd preferred her daughters attending school with those white mass school shooters?

Then reason those "christian private" popped up back then, one locally in the '80s was because they didn't want their previous pure darlings sitting in a classroom next to blacks. Those same little darlings who do drugs, have sex and dabble in satanism they didn't want tainted by sitting next to some darker in the sane classroom.

July 12, 2014 at 7:40 p.m.
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