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Republican's attack on wilderness. Unconscionable!
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John Jensen
(JohnJ) - F

Locale: Orange County, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: on good teaching on 03/31/2011 11:03:56 MDT Print View

"It's not so easy to judge whether a teacher is good or bad."

I'm sure you can understand why this is frightening to the general public. IMO with good reason. They see "you can never know" as a bulk-work defending "seniority."

"some factor that's not relevant like a good teacher that dresses poorly."

In my mom's district they had to talk to some bad dressers. There is meta-level instruction going on, and kids learn about the workplace from the workers they see.

John Jensen
(JohnJ) - F

Locale: Orange County, CA
Re: trade schools on 03/31/2011 11:05:07 MDT Print View

"It was like advanced shop class! Can't understand why we'd want to do away with such programs."

I'm afraid "liability" is a factor, and of course "shop" is more expensive per student than "sit and stare."

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: on good teaching on 03/31/2011 11:23:55 MDT Print View

Basing salaries on seniority is good.

Objective.

Generally speaking, a teacher fresh out of school isn't as good as one with years of experience.

Same thing with private companies. You look at salary surveys and workers with more experience are paid more.

You could also base pay on the amount of education and, for example, you could pay a math teacher more than an English teacher if you wanted.

It's too bad to lay people off based on seniority, but then we shouldn't be laying off teachers, period.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: on good teaching on 03/31/2011 11:29:25 MDT Print View

"Basing salaries on seniority is good"

If this is true, then you only incentivize people to get older, not better.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Republicans attack on wilderness. Unconscionable. on 03/31/2011 11:37:59 MDT Print View

"They get jobs. In regular times the unemployed are not one unchanging group. People become unemployed and then find a new job. When you extend the benefits like we are doing, they lack incentive to gain employment. You can take a lesser job but why should you when you can take unemployment?"

In regular times, I'd agree, but these are not regular times, due to the recession, outsourcing, technology related decreases in the need for employees. But, in spirit, I agree with both you amd Brad. Now here's a proposal I'm going to float that I've held back on for a long, long time because I don't want to start another ugly flame war, but what the heck. How about making unemployment checks dependent on taking jobs in the field and orchards, low paying jobs in restaurants, etc, and really cracking fdown on illegal immigration? I can' think of a greater incentive to really look for a job than picking lettuce , fruit, etc? Flame away folks, but it's been on my mind for a long time. It's what we did when we were kids. Why not now?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: on good teaching on 03/31/2011 11:39:29 MDT Print View

"If this is true, then you only incentivize people to get older, not better."

You have the cart before the horse - generally speaking, more experienced teachers are better.

There are other ways to make teachers better.

Like, you could have administrators observe someone teach, then have a group session with administrators and teachers (more experienced and less) and talk about things they're doing right and wrong, problems they've encountered and how different teachers have resolved them,...

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Trade schools on 03/31/2011 11:45:40 MDT Print View

Katrina,

I am glad you brought up trade schools. One of the most common trade classes that is taught in the US, is automotive technology. This is my area of expertise. This trade, like many others, has changed over the years. In my opinion, it should not be taught in high school, it should be taught afterwards. And the niche is currently filled by private automotive tech schools, and is not cheap. Minimum course requirements are two years of full-time training for entry level knowledge, with ongoing training required yearly. Most ongoing training is provided by the vehicle manufacturers, and is brand specific. A Toyota technician often cannot work on a Land Rover without additional specialized training. Today, top automotive technicians can earn over $100,000 per year... if they are not in a union shop. Most technicians are paid on production, not hourly. In northern California, many shops are union and the average pay is far below those in southern California. This not meant to be an indictment against unions, but to let everyone know how much money can be made.

A good automotive technician must understand chemistry, electronic theory, hydraulics, and a myriad of other subjects. They must be able to read well, and daily must access technical service bulletins, wiring diagrams, diagnostic trees, and more. They must be able to use PCs, access technical websites, etc. It is not unusual to access shared hard drives for daily communication of vehicle status, needed work and more. Many inspection forms are interactive and reside on web-servers and are tied directly to the local computer system. They use specialized handheld computers to interface with cars and trucks. Some cars have up to 30 computers on-board. Advanced electronics in cars make the Apollo spacecraft look like tinker toys. Computers control brakes, engine management systems, additional emission controls, steering, transmissions, differentials, accessories like power windows, dash displays, heated seats, and it goes on and on. We are using infra-red technology as a kind of radar. They must be able to trouble shoot bluethooth technology and diagnose why your cell phone or iPod is not communicating with the vehicle. They need to diagnose why customer remote controls gadgets are not communicating with the vehicle. Some cars no longer have keys. Luxury vehicles use computers control individual preferences for each seat, to include separate heating and air conditioning preferences for each passenger. On board navigation and audio systems have hard disk drives in them. We are now dealing with audio visual equipment in vehicles and even remote back-up cameras. Technicians may also use Unix-based Dealership Management Systems for accounting, payroll, and billing information daily. They must be adept at the metric and English measurement systems, and have the ability to use very accurate measurement tools down to 1/1000th of an inch or its metric equivalent. Many cars now have electronic sensors in the wheels that use wireless technology to send pressure information to a computer. Technicians must be able to write well. On most repairs they must access a computer and document the complaint, cause and correction. If they cannot do this, the manufacturer will not pay the dealership for warranty repairs. In an audit, the warranty repair 'story' must communicate the problem, steps taken to diagnose it, and detail the repairs. Manufacturers will reject claims that are not well written. Technicians must be fluent in English.

A properly equipped training center costs over $1 million dollars, and class sizes often must be kept at 8-12 students. There are not enough qualified instructors in the industry to fill every classroom in every school.

The bottom line is that if a kid wants to be an automotive technician, the educational requirements are not much different than those for a kid who plans on going to college. And the kid who wants to be a master automotive technician will need to spend $20,000 - $50,000 on his personal tools and equipment. Fact is that if most kids do not have a top notch education, they will be left behind and the traditional trades will not be an option either.

John Jensen
(JohnJ) - F

Locale: Orange County, CA
Re: Re: Re: on good teaching on 03/31/2011 11:49:04 MDT Print View

'Basing salaries on seniority is good'

"If this is true, then you only incentivize people to get older, not better."

This really thumb-nails the gulf between people inside and outside the system.

FWIW, I think it could be even worse. It might incentivize people to "keep their head down, and get older."

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Republicans attack on wilderness. Unconscionable. on 03/31/2011 11:49:15 MDT Print View

Good idea Tom

I haven't seen any ugly flame wars here, maybe we can learn from each other

If you just give someone a check it does tend to make them lazy and loose self esteem.

In Germany they have a plan where employers put people on half time and pay them half, and unemployment makes up for some of the lost wages. They haven't experienced anywhere near as bad a recession as us

The way to end illegal immigration is to crack down on employers. And give them easy tools to verify whether someone is legal or not. Employers have a lot more to lose and they're easier to track down. Illegal immigrants will just come back over the border and get a job somewhere else.

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Northern Europe
Why do Finland's schools get the best results? on 03/31/2011 11:51:03 MDT Print View

Finns spend the least amount of time in the classroom, start school at 7, and yet still consistently top world education charts. Amazing. Just like BPL, less can be more?

Why do Finland's schools get the best results?

By Tom Burridge
BBC World News America, Helsinki

Last year more than 100 foreign delegations and governments visited Helsinki, hoping to learn the secret of their schools' success.

In 2006, Finland's pupils scored the highest average results in science and reading in the whole of the developed world. In the OECD's exams for 15 year-olds, known as PISA, they also came second in maths, beaten only by teenagers in South Korea.

This isn't a one-off: in previous PISA tests Finland also came out top.

The Finnish philosophy with education is that everyone has something to contribute and those who struggle in certain subjects should not be left behind.

A tactic used in virtually every lesson is the provision of an additional teacher who helps those who struggle in a particular subject. But the pupils are all kept in the same classroom, regardless of their ability in that particular subject.

Finland's Education Minister, Henna Virkkunen is proud of her country's record but her next goal is to target the brightest pupils.

''The Finnish system supports very much those pupils who have learning difficulties but we have to pay more attention also to those pupils who are very talented. Now we have started a pilot project about how to support those pupils who are very gifted in certain areas.''

According to the OECD, Finnish children spend the fewest number of hours in the classroom in the developed world.

This reflects another important theme of Finnish education.

Primary and secondary schooling is combined, so the pupils don't have to change schools at age 13. They avoid a potentially disruptive transition from one school to another.

Teacher Marjaana Arovaara-Heikkinen believes keeping the same pupils in her classroom for several years also makes her job a lot easier.

''I'm like growing up with my children, I see the problems they have when they are small. And now after five years, I still see and know what has happened in their youth, what are the best things they can do. I tell them I'm like their school mother.''

Children in Finland only start main school at age seven. The idea is that before then they learn best when they're playing and by the time they finally get to school they are keen to start learning.

Education in the United States "If education is expensive, try ignorance"

Finnish parents obviously claim some credit for the impressive school results. There is a culture of reading with the kids at home and families have regular contact with their children's teachers.

Teaching is a prestigious career in Finland. Teachers are highly valued and teaching standards are high.

The educational system's success in Finland seems to be part cultural. Pupils study in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

Finland also has low levels of immigration. So when pupils start school the majority have Finnish as their native language, eliminating an obstacle that other societies often face.

The system's success is built on the idea of less can be more. There is an emphasis on relaxed schools, free from political prescriptions. This combination, they believe, means that no child is left behind.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8601207.stm

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: on good teaching on 03/31/2011 12:18:32 MDT Print View

"I'm sure you can understand why this is frightening to the general public."

I think what is frightening many people is the fact that some high school graduates can barely read or perform simple arithmetic. The difficulty is determining causality. The root cause is not necessarily the educational 'system' it is kids and parents who are not taking advantage of the greatest educational opportunity in history.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Trade schools on 03/31/2011 12:19:45 MDT Print View

Mechanical work is actually a trade that is close to me. No expert, but I have worked closely with a heavy equipment mechanic for years. Have replaced tracks on an HD 11, replaced hoses, belts, reseated tires in a muddy field, using ether....
The list of expertise you write about would only apply to a master mechanic that can repair every engine made yesterday and today. Still have to meet one that does it all, and I have met many. True , it is a field that requires knowledge and common sense, but what you listed is not the only way to get there. Most good mechanics specialize in something, maybe as wide a field as Diesel engines. The person I worked with specialized in Diesel and heavy equipment, but could figure out just about everything. I also learned to cut with a torch and basic welding. I did not take a class, but studied a couple of books, to supplement practical experience.
Trades can be learned in a system that is not as expensive as that. I have seen it work. If employers benefit from taking an active part in this, costs are reduced. Maybe it would nit work in the US, but elsewhere it does.

Edited by Kat_P on 03/31/2011 13:46:09 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: on good teaching on 03/31/2011 12:22:46 MDT Print View

"Generally speaking, a teacher fresh out of school isn't as good as one with years of experience."

Maybe not. New graduates are up to date on technology and often can apply it easier than seasoned teachers. Maybe some younger teachers can better "connect" with kids. New teachers are full of optimism.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: on good teaching on 03/31/2011 12:26:13 MDT Print View

Same thing with private companies. You look at salary surveys and workers with more experience are paid more.

-----

Often not the case. Many high paid executives in their 30's have very high salaries, and their direct reports can be 20 years older and have 20 or more years with the company.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Republicans attack on wilderness. Unconscionable. on 03/31/2011 12:26:16 MDT Print View

Tom,

I have no problem with strings being attached to welfare, unemployment, food stamps, etc... I am for a drug testing in order to get said benefits even.

Only problem is that if unemployed guy has a job picking fruit, then he is less able to find a new job. But I like that line of thought.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Republicans attack on wilderness. Unconscionable. on 03/31/2011 12:28:41 MDT Print View

"In Germany they have a plan where employers put people on half time and pay them half, and unemployment makes up for some of the lost wages."

Jerry, I do not understand this. Instead of 1/2 time, why don't I give one person a full time job that two 1/2 time people would do?

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
re on 03/31/2011 12:34:33 MDT Print View

"Basing salaries on seniority is good"

If this is true, then you only incentivize people to get older, not better."


Yup.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Republicans attack on wilderness. Unconscionable. on 03/31/2011 13:15:17 MDT Print View

"But, in spirit, I agree with both you amd Brad."

Tom, you are really scaring me now :)

I do not want to force a person to take any kind of job. And I do not want to give a person money, if they can take a lower paying job than what they had. In many cases, a lower paying job pays more than unemployment. Herein lies the problem; too many people who are in financial trouble, remain selective in what they are willing to do. I do realize that some people just cannot find a job at all right now.

In California the maximum benefit is $450 per week, which is equivalent to $11.25 per hour. The average payout is $290 per week, which is equivalent to $7.25 per hour. I think the minimum wage is around $8 per hour. I never pay attention to minimum wage, because I have always paid more, calculated on what the pay should be based on my business plan, and I pay as much as possible to attract the best employees. Benefits are subject to Federal Income Tax, but not state. The Unemployment Insurance Trust fund balance went negative in 2009, and is now $10 billion dollars in the hole. In California, employers fund UI. However, since it is negative and we have received federal money, taxpayers are contributing directly and indirectly. In addition to the money we have taken out of the economy to fund people who are not producing, we need to siphon off another $10 billion to move the UI fund to zero. I am not criticizing workers; they did not cause all the problems (but many did by committing to debt they could not pay... consuming more than they produced).

Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
RE: RE: RE: "Republican's attack on wilderness. Unconscionable!" on 03/31/2011 13:20:30 MDT Print View

I have two professions. My secondary profession is substitute teaching. I choose to sub for reasons I'm not going to go into in this forum. However, I am not hired as a substitute. There are several schools who hire me as a long-term teacher. I move from one assignment to the next. I have been doing this for almost 6 years and my students get good test scores. That's 6 years of training on the job as well as 6 years of professional development training. Right now I teach English and Ancient History in a Los Angeles Middle School. I am going to tell you what they don't tell you on the news and what no one wants to acknowledge. People love to blame the teachers. Politicians love to blame teachers on one hand while taking money out of the school budgets with the other hand. Everyone needs someone to blame so it must be the teachers because the kids don't know any better. Well, it's true. The kids don't know any better.

But, from my experience a large part of the blame falls on bad parenting. If a teacher does not have students who understand basic manners and behavioral morals, then there is chaos in the classroom. If students don't do the work at home, they will not test well. If parents expect that teachers are going to raise their kids, THAT will certainly not happen. The bottom line is that education starts in the home. And, I can tell you on no uncertain terms that bad parenting is a big culprit in our educational system. The public will find that out after all the lay-offs and all the restructuring of schools doesn't work. One day someone will stand up and say, "Hey, we've done all this other stuff and nothing's changed. Gee! Maybe the problem's in the home."

John Jensen
(JohnJ) - F

Locale: Orange County, CA
Re: RE: RE: RE: "Republican's attack on wilderness. Unconscionable!" on 03/31/2011 13:38:50 MDT Print View

I agree totally Kendall that parental (and community) expectations are key. One emergent factor in "good schools" has to be the flocking together of concerned parents.

For me though that is a bit separable from "the proper way to run the business side of the house."