Photo credit: @julesdwit.
A not-for-profit media organization supported by people like you.
After all the focus on getting rid of "bad" teachers, Arne Duncan, United States Secretary of Education, talks about the need for new teachers to replace a large cohort of those about to retire.
We were going to need many new teachers either way. But corporate education reformers have capitalized on this by inserting themselves in the stream of funding. Now groups like TFA collect what amounts to a finders fee on all their placements. And since their placements have such a high attrition rate, they collect fees over and over again from the same schools and even classrooms. It's little more than grifting.
As a teacher for 4 years, I can see the death of true education. The rise of corporate education, the loss of creative teaching, and the NEW teachers, 2.0 robot teachers, non tenure teachers that are told what and how to do their job. We are being used and let go, I have seen it happen. And anyone who thinks teacher (real good ones anyways) don't work during the summer (FOR FREE) must be MAD. I teach from 6am-4pm and then when I get home I grade from 5-730 sometime 8. That does not include my creation of lesson plans. Things are changing for the best of education. I came into teaching from Social Worker. Because I needed to make a difference at a younger age. I am an inner city school teacher and there are many great teachers here - there are also many bad teachers, that know the right people that enables them to keep their job.
I think the caller who said most teachers who go into teaching don't have the drive to just do it for the kids is really off the mark. I'm a first year teacher in the NYCTF. I have met tons of people that are extremely dedicated and really desperately want their students to succeed. The overwhelming thing though that is making many of us think about not staying in the teaching profession for the rest of our careers is the fact that I'm barely making enough money to pay for rent. I work literally from 7:30 am until 1 am and I'm barely netting $500 a week. In NYC that means I basically can't afford to live...I hardly sleep or eat and I can't imagine putting in more work than I am. If there were two more hours in each day maybe I could get one decent nights sleep out of the 7 day week but I feel like that guys comment made me very upset. I love my students, I stay after school for extra help 5 days a week for an additional hour and a half which is unpaid BECAUSE I CARE!!!! I just don't know if I can afford to stay in the teaching profession.
In all this discussion, I have never heard anything said about the responsibility of parents. How may parents even know if their children are in school on a given day, let alone if they have done their homework? The elected officials are not going to say anything that might offend the voters whose votes they court by pandering to them, and the superintendents of education are certainly not going to offend the school boards and officials who appoint them. And so on down the administrative ladder.
Sec. Duncan's cheerleading for teachers is at odds with the reality of standardized testing- it is the testing which robs teachers of initiative and creativity, and students of joy in learning. It also makes experienced teachers leave and new young teachers seek other careers. The Charter Schools are forced to teach to the test in order to survive, thus sacrificing present students to the continued existence of the school. The tests themselves use difficult vocabulary and complex reading skills that prevent some students from demonstrating their conceptual and reasoning skills. The countries that perform best on international tests are often those where rote learning is emphasized. Change will come when teachers are truly recognized for their hard work, and when politicians begin to understand the nature of this, among the most demanding of jobs. Yes, Sec. Duncan, they are "Nation builders" but they also need higher pay, better working conditions, less obnoxious bureaucrac,y smaller classes, and FEWER TESTS.
It is interesting and more than sightly disheartening when I hear that Secretary Duncan is pushing to recruit new teachers, seeing that there are a large number of certified and highly qualified teachers that are out of work, of which I am one. I am certified to teach in NJ and have my masters in education from UPenn. I completed my student teaching AND taught for a few years in under-served public schools in Philadelphia. I am currently working part-time as an in-school tutor and supplement with substitute work. I am uninsured and underemployed, nothing I would have expected going into education. What will Mr. Duncan do in order to ensure that unemployed or underemployed teachers, such as myself, will receive teaching jobs, especially considering that we will be more expensive to employ than the new wave of teachers?
My children attend a Charter School. The teacher's are excellent and stay for years. On the other hand, I taught for three years at a public school. I loved teaching before I entered a public school environment. Yet, I burnt out in ONLY three years. The atmosphere was negative. Everything was about the test. And there was no opportunity to have fun or enjoy the children. I will not teach again in a public school!
It's a shame that having mentioned S. Korea where teaching is a respected & well paid profession no one mentioned the other "Korean" thing - how attaining education is a KEY family & cultural value. That is a large part of what's missing in the US. Teachers are important and should be paid MORE. Schools need MORE money. But more important than either of these is that families most impart the idea that learning is extremely important. Koreans almost universally obsess about this but here the importance of getting an education is inconsistent. In the 'best' schools what is really happening is that you're seeing a collection of students from families who embrace education. And in the 'worst' schools we have a preponderance of kids from families where education is not so highly valued and emphasized. ---- But of course this is not politically correct to say; it smells like blaming the victim. Sorry, but with learning the motivation & drive the student brings (from home) is at least as important as what the teacher brings to the classroom or how well apportioned the classroom is.
As far as salaries go, every region is different, but on Long Island teachers routinely make 6 figure salaries which is fine, except they also have lifetime pensions and benefits which are breaking local budgets and hurting the kids as budgets are under pressure and property taxes have become unaffordable to many. Don't even get me started on superintendents who in each small district make 300-600k. Programs and jobs are cut to meet these expenses. These pensions are benefits are like winning the lottery as a worker with a 401k would need millions in their account to equal the payouts.
It has always seemed to me that this model -- what I would call the "Teach for America" model -- has some flaws.
It involves smart young people from "good schools" spending year or two in an urban school district before starting their careers elsewhere.
That's great! But it has always seemed to me to be more about improving the newly graduated college students than about the urban school districts. It is great to have a bunch of young people out of college learning what our inner cities look like and how their schools are or are not performing. It will make for a better electorate and a better democracy.
But the inner city pupils themselves need people who are there for a decade or more, able to learn the craft and shape the school systems from the inside.
In light of the economy and the large number of educated unemployed in their 40s and 50s why hasn't there been an effort to reach that population to enter teaching? While not a long term solution it could be an interim fix for the problem of unemployment and the loss of baby boom teachers to retirement.
ANthony is a moron
Grow up dude, learn about life.
Teachers are overpaid here in Westchester, NY. Some teachers' salaries have gone up 40-50% since 2008. Budgets have doubled in the past 10 years, way above the rate of inflation. Because compensation costs have gone up so much in the past few years (salaries, pensions costs, benefits), districts have been forced to cut staff. Of course, no politician, stakeholder, or superintendent has the political will to stand up and state these facts. We could have many more teachers and programs if we reduced labor costs (80% of the school budget).
Arnie Duncan and his ilk are deeply complicit in the insidious indoctrination of the the euphemistically, deceptively termed "LGBTQ" agenda. Duncan and his colleagues ensure that teaching the hideous, pernicious, life-saving truth of this depravity is strictly forbidden. Click on my user name to see past posts of mine where I elaborate in detail.
Would love to teach but teachers just flat out do not make enough money and classrooms are too large.
More politically motivated talk about the importance of teachers from Arnie. Why doesn't he get behind really improving the system instead of making it less effective. Increasing the testing requirements, common core and all the paperwork is not helpful to students or teachers. And by the way, where are the teaching jobs? I have not been able to find one for 5 years.
This guy is totally disconnected from reality, on one hand he says "we need communities to determine what's the best way to educate their children, but we still need high standards" well, what about broken communities, where high schoolers do not even have basic middle school reading skills ??? They just fall into a constant state of crisis !
I think for the caller, she thought teaching was some sort of free ride? She was shocked that she had to work summers? It's probably good that she was weaned out anyway. We probably should pay teachers more though.
I am a high school music teacher who is "being evaluated" (40% of my grade) this year by my school's social studies test results, since there is no statewide music test. How is this raising the quality of teachers or finding the effective teachers? Duncan is not recognizing that the measures being used to evaluate teachers are not valid measures. The best new teachers (not me...31 years) are smart enough to figure out that this is not fair.
Well, the definitely does a good job at re-branding teaching. Makes me want to teach. I think this is a great way to attract high talent to the field of teaching.
His empty words and fluff are both meaningless and insulting.
That promo you opened the segment with is taken almost verbatim from a poem by Taylor Mali, a teacher. It ends a similar statement with the line "what do you make?".
Attrition and Experience of NYC Teachers and Pedagogues: Feb ...www.uft.org/files/attachments/uft-report-2010-02-attrition-summary.pdfNew York City hired almost 2,000 fewer teachers over the course of the ... of teachers who leave the city's public schools within their first year of ... in District 10 in the Bronx (46%), District 16 in Brooklyn (46%), and District 23 in Brooklyn (47%).
I Quit Teach for America - Olivia Blanchard - The Atlanticwww.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/09/i-quit-teach.../279724/Sep 23, 2013 - I am sitting in a comfortable gold folding chair inside one of the many ballrooms ... He denied that TFA believes “the shortcomings of public education” to be “the fault of teachers. ... Once the school year began, I found myself teaching in a 500-student K–5 ..... From Stoop Sales to Chief Digital Officer of NYC.
Current Issues in Education: Volume 6 Number 7cie.asu.edu › Volume 6, 2003by LP McCoy - 2003 - Cited by 18 - Related articlesTeachers are leaving the profession in disturbing numbers. ... A national survey of 3,560 public school teachers named the work ... The study sample was comprised of 49 males (47%) and 56 females (53%). ..... Gary, a high school English teacher remembered his first two years as both ...... New York: Public Agenda. Glenn ...
[PDF]Teacher Turnover in Charter Schools - Vanderbilt Universitywww.vanderbilt.edu/schoolchoice/documents/stuit_smith_ncspe.pdfby DA Stuit - Cited by 22 - Related articles50% of teachers leave the profession within their first five years (Ingersoll & Smith, ..... Rees (2005) analyzed high school teachers in New York and found that ...... Furthermore, 47% of charter school teachers who voluntarily switched to new ...
Teacher Turnover: Why Do Educators Leave? - Yahoo Voices ...voices.yahoo.com/teacher-turnover-why-educators-leave-12306548.htmlSep 7, 2013 - While I'm planning to return, many teachers “quit” for entirely different reasons. ... What is causing almost half of U.S. teachers to leave the profession after five years? ... one of the most important ways to measure a good public school. .... it is not just public schools, a report recently stated 47% of harvard ...
More....lip service. Stay away......
Hey try this slogan
Become a teacher, the only way you'll afford health insurance.
Home school, or care about your kids. Turning your kid's education over to the state is lazy.
I gave up teaching high school math after 2 years. The worst was that I had to teach a new topic every day, even if they did not get the previous one. This lead to frustration, bad grades complaint from the students later from the parents. Finally I am labeled a bad teacher, because I could not make my students learn. With the common core I thought the problem will only get worse.
Prison guards are treated better, both by their superiors and the by inmates than are teachers. Teaching in this country is for fools.
Secretary Duncan, With all due respect, you have never been a teacher. I don't think you really know what you're talking about.
Why not recruit early retirees with a Teach For America type program. Not practical to assume you can recruit people for a lifetime career. Doesn't pay enough and burning out hurts kids and teachers.
Brian, thanks for that list. Teachers I've known complain about school administration & how little students know by the time they get to the grade they teach, not about their unions. I don't think Sec. Duncan addressed that in his answer.
Thank you, Brian! About time someone took him to task.
It's not just teacher salaries which turn off college kids from going into teaching: education is broken. Colleges across the country are changing their programs to be more enterprise oriented (is liberal arts dead? -nytimes last month) they put no promise and incentive into taking the debt one has to take on just to become a teacher and for what? Go into a broken school system were we are dealing cultural crisis that no one is prepared for and unreasonable standards that are built to reflect only affluent schools?
Hey Arnie You SUCK
We don't need your empty words and hollow
We need more MONEY and SMALLER CLASSES
You have "raised standards" with no understanding of the social dysfunction and illiteracy we have to cope with and given us no credit for the work we do and support. You have just put the cart before the ox and said now go do it. You have no understanding of the work we do whatsoever.
I taught for 10 yrs, have 2 masters degrees, rates of standardized-test scores in the high 80-90's (where city and state stands are low20-30's) and wouldn't go back to teaching in a million years its the hardest, most time-consuming, thankless, leas paying job in the word. We don't ask to be rich but at least make enough to live in the same borough we teach in or afford to send our own kids to college.
You are losing all the best teachers with experience and constantly hiring 25-year olds with no experience whatsoever who eventually quit too after a few years.
My wife is a teacher. I work in an educational nonprofit college prep program. I am well-educated and energetic, with degrees from fancy private colleges and graduate programs. I love teaching and would become a public school teacher, but I see how teachers are forced to teach only to the common core, standardized tests, and evaluation systems, and that would drive me crazy. The art of teaching and learning has little room anymore. It has certainly driven me away from public school teaching as a career possibility. It seems that teachers and principals don't even have a choice to run their schools otherwise anymore.
Arne Duncan is so incredibly disrespectful to teachers and parents. Great teachers can only do so much when they have over 30 kids in their class. There are bigger problems than teachers can handle that are bringing the education system down.
Teaching and education are going downhill. The teachers now have less resources. The whole thing is a business ( the books, the test, the furniture. We need to move education into the 21st century. Students should have tables that connect them to the school and teachers. No more need for heavy text books. Making hundreds of copies.This is the greatest country in the world ???
Oh please. Just recently someone tried to talk me into teaching K-12. I politely said it sounded like an interesting opportunity and would think about it. The reality is that teachers are probably the most hated workers in America. Even the prison guards have their supporters. No one likes teachers. From the big fat NJ governer shouting in teacher's faces calling them thugs and comparing them to organized crime all the way down to the dysfunctional lumpenproletariat who want to blame the school when their bunt smoking little hoodrat can't read. Totally thankless work and it doesn't pay much either.
Email addresses are required but never displayed.
Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
Subscribe on iTunes
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR, PRI and American Public Media, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.