Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Education Reform

Wanna know how to blog? Crawl all over the internet and find all of the things that really interest you. Then figure out what things you can handle writing about right then and there. Take the rest, throw them in a Bookmark folder and work on them when you think you can get your head around them.

Sometimes though, you're going to keep going back and keep going back and still not be sure what you want to say about this thing or that thing. Eventually, after analyzing it as deeply as you can, you realize that you have something profound to share with the world about it, namely: a significant and drawn out "hmmmmm".

So this is one of those things.

A commenter at Ta-Nahesi Coates' blog discusses a change in the way that teachers are paid. He proposes front loading entrance pay as opposed to the current system where all of the benefits are accrued near the end of employment in terms of pensions and retirement packages:

I'd like to see an entirely new arrangement. Get rid of pensions, retiree health plans, and other benefits that incentivize workers to stick it out. Use the savings to raise early-career salaries to more competitive levels, and to institute generous 401(k) matches. This would, in one fell swoop, make it easier to attract new talent, and easier for those dissatisfied in their schools, their districts, or their careers to seek greener pastures.

As I said, I feel like I'm terminally stuck in the "hmmmm" position on this one. I'd be interested in peoples thoughts.

Personally, I think that one of the central problems with education reform is a question of metrics. How are teachers measured? Relying only on tests seems to have failed. You end up with classrooms of children prepared to be examined and ready for very little else.

Anyways, still trying to think of where my thoughts are on this. Read the post and let me know what you think.

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