The Answer to Education is in-not too surprising

Discussion in 'General Education' started by readingrules12, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Having taught at the same school for more years than I care to admit, I recently came across a lot of former students and parents at a recent school carnival. After hours of talking and finding some are in top colleges, one in jail, and many in places somewhere in-between, I could see a very clear pattern of why many succeeded and others did not.

    Nearly all who succeeded came from supportive families and all who did not came from broken families with non-supportive parents.

    I know this isn't surprising that parents were the #1 factor on how these former students turned out. I just think somehow we as a nation have forgotten that it is not standardized testing, fancy buildings, a new curriculum, or some new fad that will save education. We must somehow help parents see their vital role in the process. Your thoughts?
     
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  3. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I think parenting is the most influential on student outcome. Period. There is only so much teachers can do, but a child's character is built by those who raise him/her. Character determines drive and success, and while teachers influence character, parents and caregivers are the primary input for character building.

    As a parent, I know this.
     
  4. FourSquare

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    Community schools movement!
     
  5. GTB4GT

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    I have often mentioned here that I am in my 3rd year teaching but in my mid-50's. this is a second career and I enjoy. I am constantly asked by my former business associates about the "state of education".

    I tell them that all the wailing and gnashing of teeth in the media about teacher effectiveness, standardized testing, etc. is just mumbo jumbo. from my perspective, 80% of how a child achieves and performs is what happens at home, 20% is what goes on from 8 til 3 Mon-Fri. inside the school.

    when asked why I believe that, I tell them that I teach in a little rural school. We have kids who come out and can succeed at all but the highest level colleges or universities. we also have kids come out who will end up on welfare, in prison, single parents in their teens, etc. All of them exposed to the same set of teachers/same curriculum/same building/etc. What is the one (or shall I say the biggest) variable amongst them? the answer... what takes place during the other 130+ hours of the week. just my $.02 as a bit of a "newcomer".
     
  6. Ash Inc

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    I absolutely agree with this.
    While teachers obviously have a large role, I think sometimes the role of the parent is not given nearly enough thought.

    I've noticed such a large different among students who have parents who are not only supportive/nurturing, but who hold them accountable and teach them responsibilities. These are the students who develop strong work habits and put care and effort into their work. They will do their homework and study for tests.

    On the flip side, I've seen students who rush their work, don't complete homework, aren't prepared for tests, etc. When this comes up to parents, they either don't seem too bothered by it, or acknowledge but do nothing to push their kids to improve.

    There are so many amazing teachers out there who put everything they have into their work, but if the student doesn't put in their share of the effort, then they won't get the results. These work habits need to be instilled early on. A teacher can't force a student to practice reading at home or study for a quiz. That's where the parents need to step in.

    Same for behaviour. If kids act up in class and cause disruptions, conflicts ect., I find it frustrating when parents seem to be apathetic towards this, or even fine with the behaviours. Lack of rules/discipline at home makes it hard for teachers to enforce them at school. It's going to be a bumpy road when these kids are older if they don't have boundaries and structure in place.

    I hope this hasn't come off as a rant, but I find it frustrating when students are not doing their share, and parents seem to be ok with that. Teaching is a busy and demanding professions, but we can only do so much if the parents don't provide the reinforcements at home.
     
  7. EdEd

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    There's no question "supportive families" is huge, but I might suggest we break down that large variable into mediating variables - variables which are affected by supportive family which, in turn, directly affect education.

    So, to be more specific, supportive family is likely to influence a lot of things, from homework involvement to social skills development. Having a supportive family may have some direct affect on a child's overall educational outcomes, but it's likely that having a supportive family influences outcomes through other variables even more.

    The next question is what are those variables? Exposure to culture? Quiet and peaceful place to do homework? Early exposure to literacy?

    Whatever those variables, my main point here is that there is usually more than one way to get to those variables other than supportive family. Supportive family is so huge because it is a "keystone variable" - it's so foundational and influences so many things. But, it doesn't mean it's the only way to success.

    Overall, I agree that supportive family is important, but I think it's important because it positively contributes to a number of other relevant variables. I agree that we should "attempt to encourage supportive family," but I think there are also a number of other things we can do as well.

    As such, I think it's a huge mistake to discount things such as teacher effectiveness and the "latest educational trends" as just a poor substitute for supportive families. Sure, some efforts to promote teacher effectiveness, and some educational trends (e.g., single-gender education) have no base in research and are likely just ill-supported fads, but some are actually helpful strategies that may be able to compensate for a lack of supportive families.

    The bottom line is that there is only so much control you have over making families supportive. If you can do something to change the supportive level of families, by all means try. However, there are also other things we have influence over that may be a different way of addressing the exact same variables that "supportive family" also addresses.
     
  8. Linguist92021

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    I agree with all of this, I just don't like when people say 'broken families' and that children from broken families will not succeed.
    I have been a single mom since my daughter was 4 months old. She is now 16 years old. It was by my choice, the father was no good and abusive, and I wasn't going to find out what he could do to me. Never regretted it, because the little bit of involvement he had in her life showed me that if we stayed together, if we managed it, one of us would have killed the other. (ok not literally, but there was no way of it working).

    So is my family broken? I don't consider it that. Yes, it has been hard because I had to be the mom and the dad and my daughter definitely has issues for having an absent father (absent 80% of the time), but does this mean she will never be successful???? I hate those judgement calls.
    I'm a single parent, but I am supportive.
     
  9. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Better parenting is beyond the scope of the education system. Better teaching and institutions is not.

    People who ignore the fact that there are serious, systemic issues within our profession and institutions because there may be another variable with as much iinfluence are using attribution theory to protect themselves and their peers from criticism.
     
  10. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    I agree. Just look at the attendance figures for parent-teacher conferences in our inner-city school. I was always lucky to have 30% of my 2nd grader's parents/guardians even show up.

    And who were the parents that did show?

    Almost always they were the parents of the children who were well behaved and doing OK academically. Almost never were they the parents of the kids who constantly acted-out or were having significant academic difficulties.
     
  11. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Just wondering, HT, if your tendency to blame teachers (teaching) is based on your academic career as a learner, or is it based on what you've seen in schools where you've worked?

    I can honestly say that I don't remember any "bad teachers" as a student, and that 98% of the teachers I've worked with during my career as a teacher were hard working and competent.

    On the other hand, I can't say the same about the administrators I've dealt with....
     
  12. GTB4GT

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    I agree with your last statement. we all hear about "bad teachers". I see 2 in my building (out of 35 or so). I too get the sense that HT must be working in an environment completely different than mine.

    "bad teaching' is so far down on the list of Pareto charts (from what I have observed in a single school so I agree that my sample size is small) as to be almost dismissable imo in the grand scheme of things. I get that we in the education system can only focus on what is in our control. However, it is analogous to repairing an old, broken down vehicle. we are worrying about replacing the carpet. (because that is "our job".) However the transmission is bad and the engine block is cracked. and all the attention is on how bad the carpet looks.
     
  13. gr3teacher

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    I'm sure that bad teachers exist, but other than a few college professors, I can honestly say I've never been in a class with one. I can't speak too much for my colleagues because I'm not in their class.
     
  14. comaba

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    I agree that parental apathy toward education is often an indicator of student performance. I also know that some students can overcome lack of parental involvement, and succeed.

    It may not be possible for those who have never experienced this in their careers to understand it. In my experience, it has little to do with instructional effectiveness. Many students come to us with little regard for themselves or others. As teachers, we may have to spend the bulk of the year developing a trusting relationship with the child before we can work on developing expectations for academic performance.

    In schools with a large population of these students, more supports are needed. Unfortunately, these supports cost money, and districts are unable or unwilling to provide them.
     
  15. TeacherNY

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    I agree to some extent. I guess it depends on how stable a home is in general. Even with 2 parents in the home there could be issues that make it an unsupported environment. My husband grew up with just a mom in the home and he went to college, has a full time job and owns a business. Most people would see that as successful even if it's an exception to the "broken home" theory.
     
  16. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I think parents play a huge role in education.

    But I also think part of the problem is funding. Since schools are funded by property taxes, wealthier areas have more money to spend on schools.

    In addition, I think the problem is also teachers. Most teachers don't want to teach in low-income areas, so newer and less experienced teachers work in these schools.
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Never? You are one lucky person.

    This may go back to my other post that talks about how people define a bad teacher, but I can say I've had my share of lazy, incompetent, and emotionally abusive teachers. Now, much of that didn't impact me because I really didn't need a teacher, just a book and I would be fine, nor was I a student which a teacher emotionally abused, but I saw it happen to other kids, particularly to those who actually needed someone to teach them.
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    It is true that a child can be in a dysfunctional 2 parent home, but we have to be very careful when we start looking solely at the family as the reason for academic failure. Learning is complex and there are forces on all sides along the way that can be the trigger to academic failure or the failed opportunity to change what was once set in motion. It can be home, school, or an issue within the student that needs directed help.

    The flip-side here is the expectation that the family will "support" academics by basically teaching or getting tutors to teach their child everything that is needed. I hate to say it, but there is a lot of that happening in my community. That is not to say that is the experience of anyone else in this discussion. If it weren't for the families having the kids to 2nd school (tutors or re-teaching just about everything), there would be few who are academically successful. While this may seem to point out how important the family is, I see it pointing out how inefficient the classrooms are if you have failing students getting no support and the only successful ones need to have paid or intensive support outside of a 7.5 hour school day. I will tell you right now, the idea that "families are essential to learning" is a huge push in my area. It is true because without those parents pulling the cart up hill, most kids, except the kids that really don't need teachers, just exposure, would be failing.

    I'm hoping this is the exception. But I would ask in all of these situations where the only unsuccessful children are children of broken families or unsupportive families, "What are the supportive families actually doing to make sure those kids are successful?"

    What should we be expecting from families beyond showing up for conferences, providing time/place for homework, indicating to children that education is essential and important....
     
  19. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I don't always agree with Honest_Teacher, but when I do I'll admit it. I've seen kids from terrible home situations do amazing things. I've seen kids from wonderful home situations do absolutely nothing with their advantages. We can acknowledge the role parenting plays (and I hope we can further acknowledge why parenting seems to happen so infrequently in our post-modern world) but that is no reason to ignore the fact that we, as teachers, can do better than we are at leveling the playing field.
     
  20. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    This is going to come off as rude but so be it.

    If 98% of the teacher's you worked with fit your standard of competent I think you need to reevaluate your standard of competency. No profession has that type of competency and we do our own a massive disservice by saying otherwise.
     
  21. EdEd

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    I'm not trying to say bad teaching is a huge problem when I say this, but what would you rank as higher, and how would you directly relate that to a specific education outcome, say reading comprehension?
     
  22. GTB4GT

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    fair question. Here is my thinking (simplified a bit for brevity) about the impact of a 'bad" teacher. can a 'bad" teacher have a detrimental effect? emphatically yes. but it's a short term effect (especially when support systems at home are in place and effective).

    for the sake if discussion, let's take a 4th grade student (ignore kindergarten). Assume (yeah, I know) that the population of "bad teachers" is 20% (that is high but if it's higher than that then there are other, deeper systemic issues beyond the teachers). do a simple tree diagram...the probability that a student has a 'bad' teacher 3 years in a row is less than 1%. The probability that a student "draws" a "bad" teacher 2 out of 3 years is also low (3%). so the cumulative probability of having a "bad' teacher 2 out of the first 3 years is only about 11%. fairly low odds I'd say based on conservative estimation. However I maintain that a good 'support system' at home more than compensates for the 10-11%'ers. my premise is that a "bad" teacher does not have compounding affect. this premise is based on the (reasonable) assumption that everyone has encountered a bad teacher at least once in their career. that did not cause the train to be permanently derailed so to speak. People can and do over come that - with the proper infrastructure. (maybe it is unfortunate that they even encounter 1 bad teacher but that is statistically impossible)

    or in plain English, I am flabbergasted at the abilities (or lack thereof), both academically and socially, of some of the children in this building. I have met all of the teachers in my building and most of them in our feeder junior high and elementary school. for the most part, they seem bright, motivated, professional. I cannot reconcile what I see in my students with the idea that there are that many bad teachers within our little system. Again, all of this is a bit anecdotal and based solely upon observations within my little school building. I haven't studied the research as some of you have or based my career in this field. and, I am aware of all the assumptions referenced above (I remember what my first boss said about those).

    again, I am not discounting or shrugging off the idea of improving teacher effectiveness. All professions strive to improve. It just seems like this one puts its eggs in one basket only. I would like to see a more comprehensive, holistic approach which is usually what is required when dealing with and solving complex problems.

    regards.
     
  23. comaba

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    This would be a wonderful start. In addition, it would help tremendously if parents did not make excuses for their children's lack of effort, but instead held them accountable for it.
     
  24. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    No, I don't consider a single parent who is stepping up and being a good parent for her child, a broken home. I am referring more about the choices that a parent or parents make towards the proper and decent raising of their child. Neglectful or abusive parents would be a better example of a broken home.
     
  25. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I would say it is poverty, not parents.
     
  26. Loveslabs

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    It would be nice if we could expect the parents to feed them, dress them, bathe them, and put them to bed at a decent time. Oh, and stop doing drugs in front of them. In my system that would be a great start.
     
  27. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Absolutely, that would be fantastic.

    What I find odd though is that from the extremes of students in impoverished living conditions to upper middle class, the cry remains the same. Only difference is what those expectations are. So, in your school you are looking for very basics. In the school that is middle class (in my experience) since those expectations are fulfilled, the expectations for parents go to re-teaching, tutoring, etc. As I said in a previous post, in my local school, the expectations is that the parents will be the ones hiring tutors or sitting with the kids for hours at night re-teaching.

    That is why I question the whole parent involvement argument. That is also why I was asking about it. Who can argue with your expectations - basic life necessities?
     
  28. Loveslabs

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    You bring up an interesting point. Gives me something to think about as I head out the door for long drive to my destination on this freezing cold Saturday morning.

    I do often wonder what it would be like to have parents that could reteach or tutor their children. Unfortunately, we have many parents that can't read. It breaks my heart to see how it not only affects their own lives but the lives of their children.

    I will say that if my parents could take care of the basics my only other wish would be if they would just read to their children. That would help the children in so many ways. Plus, it makes me sad to see the children that come to us without the love of books. On the other hand, it does warm my heart to see them fight over a good book when I know I created that situation. :D It does make it hard to get upset when that situation arises!
     
  29. GTB4GT

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    My expectations for parents (above providing the basics of food, clothing and shelter) do not require them to be involved academically (I teach algebra 2 and above courses). I would wish for parents to model and teach their children goal setting, appropriate behaviors, and self control. If the children come to me equipped with those, I am quite sure that I can teach them content (even if they are not where they should be skill wise). If they do not have those interpersonal and social skills in their toolbox the difficulty of my task increases exponentially.

    I would also like for parents (and some do) to partner with me when I call them to discuss their children's performance issues - instead of brushing it off, becoming defensive, telling me that their child doesn't need my class to do well in life beyond high school, etc. Those are my expectations. these are not always met - this is why I look "outside the system" moreso than "in the box" when it comes to "fixing education". again, let me reiterate, I am all for improvements in those things we can control. We should always strive for improvement in the things that are in our control (lesson planning, classroom management,etc.)
     
  30. teacherbatman

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    Exactly. Not to dismiss bad teachers (they exist, and I've encountered many of them personally), but far too much blame is placed on teachers, when a teacher only sees each student for an hour (or perhaps a few) per day.

    There's a lot we can strive for in education, and we hold the key to a lot of problems. But we ain't "god." If kids have problems at home, the teachers cannot be placed completely at blame for those kids' successes or failures.
     
  31. EdEd

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    Thanks for your response, and I think I have an idea of where our agreement is breaking down. "Bad teaching" to me is not necessarily the occurrence of a teacher who is completely bad, but less than effective decision-making in particular areas of instruction. I know teachers who are effective in some areas, for example, but do not choose effective small group reading interventions. I know teachers who are more effective with reading intervention, but less effective with classroom management.

    In other words, I wouldn't separate a teacher into the "all good" or "all bad" category, at least not mostly. Rather, if we wanted to overly simplify it, I'd say let's look at the % of effective instructional decisions, particularly in core areas. So, for example:

    1) Does the teacher use an evidence-based social skills training program?

    2) Does the teacher implement direct instruction phonics during small group reading time, or just guided reading?

    3) Does the teacher provide sufficient opportunity to respond during whole group math instruction?

    A teacher might not necessarily be "bad," but still be on the wrong side of these 3 example questions.

    I think movies like waiting for superman and some of the other rhetoric out there have led us to believe that, when we criticize teaching, we labeling those teachers at bad apples. I don't personally think that way, but I do think there is much room for improvement in the instructional environments I've seen where I've worked.

    So, returning to the issue of variables more important than the teacher and instructional decisions in the classroom, let's take the specific problem of a group of students making insignificant progress with math computation fluency during second grade. Which variables are likely to be higher than "teacher" and other teacher contributions in terms of their direct effect on the outcome variable?
     
  32. GTB4GT

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    EdEd...I maintain that teacher effectiveness is lower on the Pareto chart of issues than you do. Here's why (and I mentioned this earlier) - as I said we have kids who are are subjected to the same set of teachers at my school who go on to academic success at all but the top 1-3% of college and universities. Other kids will "graduate" from the same system with no real skill set - either socially, vocationally, or academically. Why is there so much variation in the "system output"? The system (i.e. our little school)'as is" has demonstrated the ability to help students achieve academic success at all but the Ivy league type institutions of higher learning. But yet some don't tap into that potential. I maintain that the external factors - not what happens within 'the box" - are the determining variable of the output of the process. I welcome your thoughts on this (or maybe you've touched on it already - this thread is a few days old already.

    And I do not dismiss the impact of an ineffective teacher at the micro level. but, at the macro level, the graduates of our school are exposed to pretty much the same set of teachers over their career (we graduate maybe 80 - 100 students per year) so I maintain that the variation in quality of the system output is not attributable to certain kids being exposed to a different strata of teachers.

    So, the question to you would be - what drives the different outcomes of the academic process at a single school? teachers (and their effectiveness) or a child's situation at home/
     
  33. a2z

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    I suggest that families can make an ineffective system look good. When families are going beyond sending their kids with the basic needs fulfilled, making sure they have time to do their homework, and having the conversations about the importance of education by hiring tutors or having to get heavily involved in re-teaching their children, it may show that families are more important than school because school is very ineffective except for those kids that don't really need teachers or guidance on how to become an independent learner.

    I've seen all too many families in meetings being told they are not doing enough when the actual problem was what was going on in the classrooms. There were even times teachers said they couldn't possibly teach what they had to teach because they couldn't control their classroom. It wasn't the kids because these same kids in a different teacher's class that structured her class differently and had different expectations, had no problem with the same kids. Amazing. It wasn't poor parenting, it was poor classroom management and the parents were being told they weren't doing their part (politely, of course).

    What it comes down to is that you can't make a blanket statement saying that parents are more important unless what you mean is parents are the key to making in ineffective system or teacher look good.
     
  34. EdEd

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    A few thoughts. First, I appreciate the discussion.

    My initial response would be that I fully acknowledge the range of variables that contribute to student success - both inside and outside the classroom and school. So, it's entirely possible that a teacher could be largely effective, but still "graduate" students with poor skill sets. What I want to avoid is "all or nothing" statements which dismiss reality. To me, both ends of the extreme in this conversation do that - saying that instructional decision-making contributes everything or nothing to a student's learning. My entire point here is that teaching quality impacts student performance, and that we can't say it's irrelevant simply because other variables are also at play.

    Taking it a step further, saying that some students succeed is not evidence of great teaching, nor evidence that less effective instruction isn't happening. Even teachers we'd all agree are "bad" still graduate a good number of students effectively from their class. This is, as you pointed out, evidence that there are variables other than teaching quality which contribute to a student's learning, and a result of the fact that many kids can learn despite bad instruction. As an example, many students will learn to read even if ineffective reading instruction is provided, simply due to the fact that many students can acquire reading skills naturally.

    A better measure of teaching quality is not overall level of student achievement, but student achievement with students who are struggling. In my experience, that's where teaching quality is most critical, and best assessed. In those situations, it really matters.

    So, to answer your ultimate question posed: Both. Would you agree?
     
  35. GTB4GT

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    yes I would. nice summation. and if I led you to believe I felt otherwise, then it was poor wording on my part. I thinking the debate/discussion has centered around % of correlation to academic performance can be assigned to 'external" vs. "internal' factors. I'm not sure it has or will be resolved here but I too have enjoyed the discussion.
     
  36. GTB4GT

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    Mar 4, 2014

    1) if the parents are involved in hiring tutors or reteaching material, then I agree that is a sign of poor teaching.
    2) if the parents are masking the problems of an ineffective school system by doing this on a routine basis...then you don't have a teaching problem, you have an administration problem (wouldn't you agree)?. why are there so many bad teachers in one school?

    I used to turn around struggling plants in my former lifetime. One sure sign of poor management is when the manager talks about how poor the employees are. (That probably applies to teaching as well). If a P has allowed too many poor teachers to teach in his/her building the blame lies at his/her feet.

    3) regarding your last statement, that's a pretty broad leap. I don't expect parents to shoulder the load. If that is what you have gotten from my posts that I haven't made myself very clear or you are reading things into them that I didn't say. See my point 2....if parents are getting there kids through school by too much external intervention, then you have a management issue...not a teaching issue.
     
  37. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Mar 4, 2014

    Well consensus is always nice :). And in terms of proportion of variance assigned to teacher contribution I've seen some data, but I think it varies substantially by teacher. Obviously, the more effective the teacher, the more proportion of the variance would be assigned to the teacher (with students previously lower achieving).
     
  38. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Mar 4, 2014


    If administration and teachers think they are doing great, then it isn't necessarily the problem with just administration.

    School culture, history of blaming outside factors, poor teachers mentoring other teachers over the course of a few years, etc could lead to a school of many ineffective teachers. I've known many teachers who believe whole-heartedly in the use of methods that prove to be ineffective then blame the students and/or families for the lack of effectiveness. It is if they are all brainwashed into thinking the method they use is the best thing out there and if it doesn't work, it isn't them. Problem is, many times it is what is being done that is ineffective for the students that need good instruction and teaching.

    If the administration comes from the teaching ranks it is highly possible they are all believing that what is being done is the right way. So, it is a problem will all, not just administration.

    In my example, all are poor. They think they are doing a great job and wonder why others are stepping in to fix things when the problem is with outside forces. They don't need fixing, the students/families need fixing.

     
  39. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    I guess I am at a loss here. In business, people were judged by the bottom line and ROI. Football coaches are judged by win's and losses. whether they think they are performing well or not is insignificant in the face of data. Sure, everyone wants to say they are doing the best job possible - that's human nature to deny or deflect criticism.They were given the chance to improve against measurable objectives. or were replaced.

    So, what I am reading into your post is that you are telling me that there are no criteria by which an administrator or P or even teacher can be judged objectively? If there are, then the blame for poor school performance then lies outside of the building and further up the chain of command at the district office. After all, then they have allowed incompetence to perpetuate itself. If not, then there is no management control or oversight of the entire process and it simply cannot be managed. No business, team or large organization can function like that (i.e. lacking specific goals or targets). and frankly, that's scary if true. and sad, unfortunately for our students.

    I have to believe you or any other effective , seasoned educational professional could spend just a few days in a school system and tell if it was being managed correctly. And get a sense of how effective the teachers were. Is this a correct assumption? If it is, then the solutions are simple. Put somebody in charge in the building who will give people feedback necessary to improve and start weeding out those who can't or won't. problem solved.

    In conclusion, poor performance within an organization ultimately is an outcome of poor management. I stand by this belief as I have lived it and witnessed it and dealt with it and overcame it. I don't believe the educational process is any different other than it, being administered by the government, has been allowed to operate in mediocrity for decades. "Fixing education" is doable. I am not excusing poor teachers btw. if they can't teach, then they need to be coached up or removed from the team.
     
  40. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I think you make some great points in your post. But these are very different situations listed above. The football coaches and business folks get to select who they work with. Teachers do not select what walks in that door. If the coach does not like a player he will sit and not impact you anymore. The teacher on the other hand has to work harder with the one she would like to permanently time out. The business man's bottom line is profit. There is no morality really involved. He knows what the product must be and has to sell it. He knows immediately if the product is good. It may take decades before our product shows great value. I think the larger issue here is thinking a business model can be the example for education to follow. Here is a 'what if" What if the teacher did a poor job with the smart kids and the angry kids but she turns the light on for that off the wall kid that hears a WAY different drummer. From her inspiration and making him feel smart the Kid grows up and discovers a cure for something that SAVES millions or becomes a great leader who brings peace and prosperity for us. I think that was a home run. Teaching and learning and the myriad backgrounds our students have makes it unlike most things we see as black and white. YES YES there are crappy teachers and that 3 year probation period should weed them out IF those in charge did their job. They are not in many cases. excuse my sp. and grammar I am running from class to class today.
     
  41. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Thank you for this post. It illustrates quite nicely my main point...P's get to select who teaches for them. So, too many bad teachers = bad administration. I think people have misconstrued my main thesis as illustrated by your post.

    teachers have to teach who shows up. coaches at the high school level have to coach and play who shows up. But P's (like good management anywhere else) can hire/fire their staff
     

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