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Old 12-14-2009, 07:40 PM
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Default California's neediest high school students have the least prepared teachers, study sa

California's neediest high school students have the least prepared teachers, study says


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The good news: A steep drop in the total number of 'underprepared' teachers. The bad: Aspiring teachers aren't being taught how to emphasize critical thinking skills and 'real world' learning.

By Mitchell Landsberg

December 14, 2009


The neediest students in California high schools are being taught by the least prepared teachers, a new study shows.

Fewer than half the principals in high-poverty schools said their teachers had the skills to encourage critical thinking and problem-solving among their students, while more than two-thirds of their counterparts in wealthier communities said their teachers possessed those abilities, the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning said in a study being released today.

The nonprofit center also found that teachers in the lowest-performing schools are more than twice as likely as those in the highest-achieving schools to be working without at least a preliminary credential.

The center's study, "The Status of the Teaching Profession 2009," is the latest to show that the most disadvantaged students don't have access to the same quality of teaching as those in more affluent, high-achieving schools.

The study did show signs of significant improvement in the preparation of California teachers and praised the state's ability to respond to shortcomings in the classroom. But it said the state's teacher training institutions haven't caught up to current thinking on education reform.

"This is kind of a good news, bad news scenario," said Margaret Gaston, president of the Santa Cruz-based center.

On the good-news side, the study found a steep decline in the number of "underprepared" teachers in California classrooms, from more than 42,000 in 2000 to fewer than 11,000 last year.

It found a decline, although not a large one, in the percentage of people teaching classes outside their area of exper- tise.

And it said the state had responded admirably to criticism that its teachers needed to have a greater command of their subject matter; the great majority now do.

The bad news: California's aspiring teachers aren't being taught what they need to participate in the latest round of high school reform, which emphasizes critical thinking skills and "real world" learning that prepares students for college and the workplace.

"We need to make sure the system is responsive to making sure that those teachers are adequately prepared to meet those challenges, and right now they're not," Gaston said.

The center's study was based in part on a statewide survey of 234 principals from randomly selected high schools, both traditional and charter.

The researchers also conducted case studies of 16 high schools in 14 districts. It did not identify the schools or districts.

David Sanchez, president of the 340,000-member California Teachers Assn., praised aspects of the study but criticized the methodology.

"I think the first thing that jumped out at me was that they didn't talk to teachers," he said. "They just based their report on what principals and administrators told them." (The researchers did interview teachers in the case study schools, but much of the data was based on the survey of principals.)

Sanchez acknowledged that it was "challenging" to attract qualified teachers to schools in impoverished communities. And he said he agreed with the need to improve teacher training, but wondered whether that was possible in the current economic climate.

"If you're willing to provide professional development and align it to the reform movement that's out there, that's wonderful," he said. "Let's find the money to do that."

Gavin Payne, chief deputy superintendent of the California Department of Education, said the study demonstrated that the state has the ability to retool teacher training but needs the will and the money.

"I don't think we're missing any of the cylinders in the engine," he said.

"We just need to come up with the fuel."


http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,5920055.story
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:08 PM
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Jeanfromfillmore Jeanfromfillmore is offline
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Ya notice how they all say we want more money. That's always the excuse. Yet, we spend more money per student than many other states that do way better than California. They complain that the better teachers don't teach in the poor areas, yet don't mention the gangs and violence that the students create in those poor areas. There's no mention of the tenure problem or teachers union that protects substandard teachers. And let's not forget that the students can do just about anything they want, and there's no consequences, they practically run the schools. Try to stop them and you'll be sued.

When I went to school there wasn't a fence around the school or police. If I did something wrong, you bet I was scared because there were consequences. But I sure learned to read, write and learned to do math in my head without a calculator. I learned to do it before I finished the 5th grade.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeanfromfillmore View Post
Ya notice how they all say we want more money. That's always the excuse. Yet, we spend more money per student than many other states that do way better than California. They complain that the better teachers don't teach in the poor areas, yet don't mention the gangs and violence that the students create in those poor areas. There's no mention of the tenure problem or teachers union that protects substandard teachers. And let's not forget that the students can do just about anything they want, and there's no consequences, they practically run the schools. Try to stop them and you'll be sued.

When I went to school there wasn't a fence around the school or police. If I did something wrong, you bet I was scared because there were consequences. But I sure learned to read, write and learned to do math in my head without a calculator. I learned to do it before I finished the 5th grade.
More money isn't going to fix the problem.

There has been a lot of talk about how California was committed to education in the 1960's while not mentioning what has transpired in California since.

There is also blaming the lack of funds on proposition 13, but prop 13 helped a lot of old people on fixed incomes avoid being dispossessed of their homes by counties reassessing and raising their property taxes every year.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:31 AM
Kathy63 Kathy63 is offline
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Ill qualified teachers in inner city schools get paid MORE money than qualified teachers in better schools. Money isn't the problem. More money won't attract better teachers. Bad teachers already make significantly more money than good teacher. There isn't enough money in the world to persuade good teachers to basically take their lives in their hands and teach in some of these schools.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:26 AM
Twoller Twoller is offline
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As long as schools in poor neighborhoods are obliged to teach students where the families do not speak English, the education of everyone else is going to suffer. If you cannot speak English, you have no business being here and we do not care about educating your children. Get out and take your anchor babies with you. Or if the parents are anchor babies, they should get out and take the children with them too.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:41 AM
Kathy63 Kathy63 is offline
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That would certainly help. But it would not end the violence in inner city schools. The worst teachers would still make the most money.

It's curious. What would happen if this nugget were exposed? If the public knew that the worst and most ill equipped teachers gravitated to inner city schools who are so desperate they feel lucky to have anyone brave enough to show up, got more money than the best suburb schools. Would they scream, or say there still wasn't enough money.
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