Soc/EDS 126 Part II: The School in Contemporary Perspective
Soc/EDS 126 Part II: The School in Contemporary Perspective Topic #5: Structural Reform RRRT: The purpose of education is to meet the needs of a 21st Century Nation competing in a global economy cf Jefferson! Structural Reform: Redesigning the Profession and Reorganizing Schools The Critique (A Nation at Risk--the defining text) Document written by budiness leaders, higher ed; no K-12 educators Assessment of US Education: Found wanting --ANAR adopts a Combative tone: "rising tide of mediocrity" "committing an act of unthinking educational disarmament" Schools blamed for US economic position vis a vis Japan, Germany [N.B.: schools blamed, little discussion of changing economic, demographic conditions] The ANAR Critique: Students Evidence:
(1) international comparisons of students performance on standardized tests Math & Science Achievement Netherlands 559 Sweden 555 Norway 536 Switzerland
531 Intl Avg 500 US 471 Lithuania 465 Cyprus 447 So. Africa 352 The ANAR Critique: Students (2) Students' lack of knowledge in geography, math etc. NB: No historical comparisons ANAR Critique: Teachers: Poor Quality, Poor Preparation (SAT Scores, grades) 1978 1979
1980 1981 National mean-- all High School Seniors Verbal Math 429 468 427 467 424 466 424 466 California mean--all High School Seniors
Verbal Math 427 466 428 473 424 472 426 475 California High School Seniors interested in Education Verbal Math 400 423
399 427 395 422 397 424 Ranking of Education scores among 30 subject groups Verbal Math 26 26 26 27 27 27
27 27 Source: College Entrance Examination Board, 1978-82. ANAR Critique: Teachers Teaching Profession Low Pay Average Annual Salaries, 81-82 (Ca. Statewide Survey) Engineers: $22,828 Analysts: $20,566 Programmers: $20,288 Social Workers: $19,809 Teachers: $16,671 ANAR Critique: Teachers Teaching Profession: Low Status
Rank Order of Occupational Prestige (US News & World Report, 9/81): Scientist Doctor Minister
15% 6% The ANAR Critique: Schools of Education Low admissions standards ("C" students) Too much pedagogy, not enough academics Proposed Solutions: Improve The Profession Raise pay (this has happened, but teacher pay is still lower than other professions) Raise standards-- entrance exams (CBEST); GPAs This has happened, BUT: hasnt really dealt with teachers' working conditions: teacher-student ratios
promotion requires leaving teaching for administration pay: based on seniority, not performance isolation not even a phone in the room! What about: sabbaticals? university connections? More Current Salary Information* Attorney Engineer System Analyst Accountant Teacher *American Federation of Teachers, May 99 $65,472 $61,613
$58,529 $41,444 $37,594 WANTED: College graduate with academic major (MA degree preferred). Excellent communication and leadership skills required. Challenging opportunity to serve 150 clients daily, developing up to 5 products each day to meet their needs. This diversified job allows employee to exercise typing, clerical, law enforcement, and social work skills between assignments and after hours. Adaptability helpful, since suppliers can not always deliver goods and support services on time. Typical work week: 47 hours. Special nature of work precludes fringe benefits and coffee breaks, but work has many intrinsic rewards. Starting salary $12,769 with a guarantee of $24,000 after only 14 years. Where Are We Today? Is Teaching a "profession?" a "vocation?" "factory work ? The economic language of ANAR deflects attention from the democratic project Next waves of reform:
(1) the debate over curriculum (2) the standards and accountability reform efforts Reasons Why People Choose A Teaching Career 1. Desire to work with young children 2. Interest in subject to be taught 3. Social value of education 4. Influence of other teachers 5. Long summer vacation 6. Family 7. Job security 8. Lifetime of self growth
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