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Re: [OT] Teachers (Was:Re: King Donald)

On 2017-02-03 11:08, Mike Easter wrote:
Much unmarked snipping below.

Wolf K. wrote:
Mike Easter wrote:
Wolf K. wrote:
Disaster Master wrote:

In addition we would need to abolish Teachers Unions, and
engage in some form of merit system.

There is, it's called the salary grid: the rows align with
qualifications, the columns with years of experience.

Years of experience and training don't necessarily reflect the
aptitude of the teacher to teach effectively.

a) Teachers who can't teach effectively usually quit within a year or

Or not; maybe teach forever.

b) There is no universal method of effective teaching.

Of course not.

It is hard to believe that with all of the 'structure' and
associated expenses surrounding the teaching business/profession,
that that structure can't be made to be effective at evaluating how
adept a teacher is at accomplishing teaching goals.

Well, there is one, but it's useless:

Then you are saying here it is impossible to evaluate teachers' merit.

No, just that testing doesn't do what people think it does. It just tells you what you already know: that in any given sample of students, no matter what you test, you will get a more or less normal curve. The large the sample, the smoother the curve. Since most classes are small samples, the results are statistically invalid. OTOH, test done on a large enough sample of the whole student population are statistically valid. That's why you can compare national schools systems, but you can't compare individual teachers. Too many confounding factors, aka uncontrolled variables.

More seriously, there is a method to assess a teacher's
effectiveness. It's labour and time intensive, though, requiring
both collegial and supervisory observation. But it works, because
it's diagnostic, summative, and remedial.

That sounds like a good idea that can be improved upon to make it more
efficient, not eliminated/disregarded.

Sounds like you've never heard of it before. Just what is the basis for your opinions on teaching and education?

We all know there is enormous variability in the substrate of
student makeup and ongoing variability in defining exactly what
should be taught and tremendous corruption in the acquisition of
materials to teach with, but still, the concept of 'merit' should
be based on some important metric besides how many years some
incompetent teacher has been functioning incompetently or how much
 time the same inept person decided to spend in school instead of
or in addition to actually teaching.

I taught for 35 years at both the university and high school levels.
Believe me, anyone who survives the first year or two of teaching
high school is an effective teacher.

I think that teachers, like lawyers and doctors and others, aren't
necessarily the best ones to provide us the guidelines for how to manage
their industry.  They have a very very vested interest.

And why would non-teachers be better at "managing the industry"?

I find the industry metaphor offensive. It makes children into products, bio-ware that must be programmed.

Your comment suggests that you think of "management" as some kind of generic skill. It isn't, as several industries have found to their cost. BTW, "managers" also have a vested interest, and it's csting us billions 'per year.

We need a verb like "dance".

I like your dance analogy,

Thank you.

but I completely disagree with the idea that
poor teachers automatically drop out in a year

Do you have any direct experence of teaching at all?

 and that it is impossible
to have some kind of effective merit system

I gave you one. What part of itb don;t you understand?

and that we should pay
teachers according to the grid of how long they've been teaching and how
much credentials they have.

The problem with any kind of merit pay is that the recipient starts gaming the system to get more of it, instead of focussing on the task at hand. How do I know? I served on a (public) board which was mandated by government to provide "incentive pay", because "competition is good". We were smart enough to make all managers responsible for all "indicators", so that none was tempted to maximise their indicator at the expense of another. In a system, any change to one component affects at least one other. But if yoyu an engineer, you know that.

That sounds like a poor substitute for actually finding the good and
poor teachers.

OK, describe such a system. What metrics? What methodology? How do you validate it? How do you compensate for the small-sample effects? Etc. fact is, that qualifications and experience are a good proxy for "good" teaching. Really.

Actually, I think you are bedazzled by numbers. the grid system works. On national comparisons (statistically valid, remember), Canada outranks the USA "bigly". All provinces use the grid system. And guess what: the teachers' unions determine the qualifications.

PS: you snipped the anecdote. Why?

Wolf K.
It's called "opinion" because it's not knowledge.
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