education & tech

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Education + Tech

Education & Tech, was created to build hope that education based on social technologies, can transform the new century, and enable abundance not only spiritually but economically. Milton Ramirez, Ed.D. - @tonnet is the founder & editor. He is a teacher, tech blogger, writes on education, and hails this blog from Union, NJ. For further questions, tips or concerns please e-mail him to:miltonramirez [at] educationandtech [dot] com

Teacher + Scholar

If you are a regular to Blog Education & Tech, you shall remember that I am a blogger and I'd written a post about education almost everyday since 2003. Education & Tech provides you with education news, expert tech advice, classroom management ideas, and social media tools for educators, administrators, parents and k-12 students.

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Are Charter Schools Admitting Students Randomly?

First of all, let me tell you how I did get to this topic. BackType made some updates to its service and one of them are the "alerts". We've set up our alerts on education and this is how we got to a great example where people who comment are really a ton worth.

Actually, the post was a relate of a personal experience lived by Steve Sailer. He just happen to discover that Charter Schools are faking the lottery selection of their students. The anonymous who left a comment on this post, should be read and all bloggers are encouraged to write short posts to be rewarded with such a meaty commentaries. Read by yourself: This is what Mr. Sailer wrote, "You often read articles about charter schools whose students do wonderfully on standardized tests even though admission is by random lottery." And this the reply [Bolded is ours]:

I'm not surprised by this in the least, and it traces back to the fundamental reality of how teaching talent is allocated in public education. The simple rule is that good schools have good teachers because they have good students. Good schools are not made by good teachers; good teachers are attracted to schools where there are talented students to begin with. Schools with academically talented and motivated students will attract and retain teachers who are both skilled in the classroom and knowledgeable about their subjects; that such schools are often located in communities with greater incomes and thus provide higher salaries is simply a bonus. (Although, the salaries don't need to be high--only high enough.)The exceptions to this rule are the small but significant minority of 'martyr teachers' who deliberately seek out tough assignments to 'make a difference', and those who grew up in a community and feel strong ties. There exist a number of teachers who strongly desire to teach in the very school system that produced them.

But for good teachers who don't fit into those exceptional categories -people who have natural talent in the classroom (not necessarily the techniques taught in ed school, either, I should add) plus a strong background in the content, teaching in a school with little or no naturally good students is going to be a frustrating experience.

Schools where the majority of class time is spent enforcing discipline are not going to attract or retain strong teachers.


Schools with class after class of students who are not only indifferent to the subject matter at hand but also personal and intellectual betterment in general are not going to attract or retain strong teachers. The added frustration of sitting in endless meetings discussing strategies on how to change this seemingly immutable situation doesn't help either.

So what are your options if you are passionate about your subject and teaching, but you want more than being a glorified babysitter for willfully ignorant hooligans?
Basically it's wait for an opening at a better school, wait for an opening to teach AP courses (and as many of them as you can), or go to a private school. (Or quit!) Subpar schools have good teachers from three groups: martyrs (most school reform initiatives are predicated upon virtually all teachers behaving this way,incidentally), community-ties teachers, and good teachers waiting for positions elsewhere. Everyone else is usually incompetent and/or just collecting a paycheck. No 'regular' good teacher is willingly making a career there.

Chronically low-performing schools can throw money at the problem, although that really only makes them competitive amongst the martyr group; their gain of a few good martyr teachers is another district's loss. And the lowest performing schools will have few community-ties sorts as well, for the simple fact that the community is too dysfunctional to have ties to -anyone with sense left as soon as he or she could. And as far as attracting the other sort of good teacher- forget it. No low performing school district can offer salaries high enough to attract significant numbers of good teachers, and they'd lose in a bidding war with more affluent districts anyway. An extra $10,000 and the possibility of getting assaulted by a student? No thanks.

But it's not necessarily about money -Catholic schools usually do better and usually pay far less in salaries and benefits than public schools. All teachers, to some extent, possess that martyr instinct; the best of them usually could make a lot more money doing something else. But Catholic schools do have something else -discipline and parents who desire their children to learn. No government entity forces a child to attend a private school -someone else cares enough to send him there and see that he learns. Most people do not realize this distinction, but the reality of America is not that we have compulsory education; it's that we have compulsory attendance. No one can make you learn, no matter what edu-theorists say.

The bottom line is that policy makers don't get it because they can't get it. And even if they do get it, they can't say it. Good teachers are attracted to well-run schools that pay decently, enforce discipline, and where most of the students (or at least their parents) expect academics to be taken seriously.

My wish is that you too, can get a comment that length and same as important. I've learned a lesson this past weekend. Who will that anonymous?

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