Thursday, October 23, 2014
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

Lost & Found

If you are missing a pet in Floresville, be sure to check the Floresville holding facility. Animals are only kept for 3 days. Contact Las Lomas K-9 Rescue, 830-581-8041.
Lost: Diamond set in gold mounting prongs, fell off my wife's wedding ring, in Floresville, reward offered. 210-867-1319.
Lost: Small black female dog, no collar, her name is Shortcake, has long hair, Sutherland Springs area. Call 830-391-5099.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Pleasanton Title Company seeks experienced Closer/Escrow Officer, salary based on experience. Call 830-569-5169 (Dorothy) or email resume to Dorothy@reliabletitlecompany.com.
Water Clerk. The City of Elmendorf  has an opening for a fulltime Water Clerk. Preferred candidates should have good organizational skills and perform routine clerical duties, need to possess good communication skills in dealing with the general public. Duties include receptionist functions, water department billing, processing payments and reconciling daily receipts.  Starting pay is $13.50 per hour. High School diploma or equivalent and drug screening is required. Computer experience, cashier experience and bilingual ability is a plus. Applications can be picked up at the administrative offices located at 8304 FM 327 in Elmendorf. This institution is an equal opportunity provider, and employer. 210-278-3682.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›

Commentaries


Re-Thinking Texas Teaching, Encouraging and Rewarding Excellence




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story

Disclaimer:
The author of this entry is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
July 11, 2013 | 1581 views | Post a comment

By James Golsan

Recently, the National Council on Teacher Quality released a troubling report on teacher preparatory programs. The conclusion of the study—that many programs are not adequately preparing new educators to teach effectively—begs the question of whether the lengthy process prospective teachers go through in these colleges is always the best means to ensure that a teacher will be effective in the classroom.

The raw numbers of the NCTQ study are alarming. Only 4 of the 1,200 elementary and secondary education prep programs surveyed were given four out of four stars. In contrast, 163 of the programs were given no stars and a warning label for candidates to those schools, saying they were unlikely to get much return on their investment.

There are two sets of victims here. The first are would be educators who are investing in these inadequate programs and coming out ill-prepared to teach. The second are students who are not receiving the level of quality instruction needed to prepare them for college or the workforce.

What, then, are the options? To a certain extent, this problem must be addressed at the higher education level. Reforming the education colleges, and holding them accountable based on their outcomes, will be a strong step toward ensuring more of our teachers are well prepared when they enter the classroom for the first time.

A second option would be to go around the education colleges altogether. Thomas Fordham, in a report entitled “The Teachers We Need and How to Get More of Them: A Manifesto,” called for widening the entry paths into the teaching profession. He suggested that lengthy certification processes with an emphasis on pedagogy would only serve to block otherwise highly qualified individuals from getting in front of our classrooms.

According to Fordham, “[A] better solution to the teacher quality problem is to simplify the entry and hiring process. Get rid of most hoops and hurdles. Instead of requiring a long list of courses and degrees, test future teachers for their knowledge and skills. Allow principals to hire the teachers they need.”

In Texas, that means streamlining the certification process as much as possible and shortening the time it would take a qualified professional, say a former engineer interested in teaching calculus, in front of the classroom.

That said, getting high quality talent in front of the classroom is only the first step Texas should take toward strengthening our teaching pool. Encouraging excellence in the classroom is also important, as is rewarding it. Unfortunately, the manner in which we currently compensate our teachers—through a state mandated minimum salary schedule that rewards experience over excellence on an incremental, yearly basis—does neither of those things.

How can we expect school districts to reward their best teachers—potentially at the six figure level—if the existing system constrains them into paying all their employees more or less the same wage? Furthermore, what incentive do educators who have not yet honed their craft have to improve? Whether they perform well or poorly, the salary schedule system grants them a raise the following year.

We have many excellent teachers in Texas’ public schools. Unfortunately, the report by NCTQ highlights the fact that nationwide, not just in Texas, we have a serious problem with educator preparation.

Problems in educator preparation lead to problems in the classroom, which is unfair to both the teachers who were short-changed in their learning experience and, in turn, unfair to students who are being short-changed in the classroom. The education colleges need improving, there is no doubt. But there are ways Texas could improve entry paths into the teaching profession, as well as improve the incentives toward becoming a great teacher. There are a lot of great teachers in this state. There’s no reason we can’t have more.

James Golsan is policy analyst for the Center for Center for Education Policy with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin. He may be reached at jgolsan@texaspolicy.com.
 
« Previous Blog Entry (July 11, 2013)
 


Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!

You must be logged in to post comments:



Other Commentaries



Commentaries
Commentaries page govtrack.us
Commentaries who represents me?

Triple R DC ExpertsAllstate & McBride RealtyWilson's Auto ChooserBlue Moon Karaoke & DJDrama KidsSacred Heart SchoolVoncille Bielefeld homeHeavenly Touch homeChester Wilson
  Copyright © 2007-2014 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.