Tuesday, July 7, 2015
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Lost & Found


VideoLost: Help my Toy Aussie get home, Hwy. 181 and 1604 area. adult female, 13" and less than 20 pounds. Call if you see or find her, 210-328-5050.
Have you seen Bear? Reward! Black Manx cat (no tail), shy, short legs, 9 years old, needs shots, missing since October, Tower Lake area. 210-635-7560.
Lost: Calf, red and black tiger striped, white faced, Oak Hill Rd. off U.S. Hwy. 87, La Vernia. Call Carrol, 210-488-3071. 
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

SS Water Supply Corp. is accepting applications for a full-time Administrative Assistant. Minimum qualifications: Five years in an office environment, proven organization and computing skills and above average communication ability required. The ideal candidate will have some financial management experience, ability to understand and interpret legal documents, become a notary, acquire skills to support the water utility industry and work independently on occasion. Person selected will be in an environment dealing with a variety of situations while serving the public. Starting pay depends on experience. Great benefits! Applications and resumes will be taken until position is filled! Apply in person at 10393 U.S. Hwy. 87 W., La Vernia, Texas, 830-779-2837.
Your #1 Advertising Resource! Call 830-216-4519.
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 | 2,111 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
 

Your Opinions and Comments


Be the first to comment on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Commentaries Archives


Commentaries
Commentaries page govtrack.us
Commentaries who represents me?
Voncille Bielefeld homeAllstate & McBride Realtyauto chooserTriple R DC ExpertsDrama KidsHeavenly Touch home

  Copyright © 2007-2015 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.