Wednesday, March 16, 2011

TEACHERS - March 17, 2011

This year, in accord with the plans of GOP, 65K teachers will be laid off. This is in the face of a time when high school math teachers are enormously under-certified with only a few percent holding undergraduate degrees in the subject they are to teach and only a few of the elementary teachers having an understanding of how elementary arithmetic works as noted by professors of mathematics in reputable universities. And the decision of which of them are to be made jobless over money will be taken in a majority of cases by administrators who are themselves ignorant of the logical substructure underlying the subject, at least by the ordinary criteria of scholarly attainment. Indeed, many of those who are retained may have only fractional awareness of the underpinnings of the subject, and those will necessarily be working in classes that are increasingly overcrowded. As a matter of fact, many of those teaching high school math are e.g. athletic coaches. The best that can be said of many of those is that they are no more incompetent at math than at any other academic area. The conclusion is that any warm body capable of elementary arithmetic would be equally considered of capability for the task, if only able to persuade an administrator almost equally unfamiliar with the task. In addition, no resources are being made available to the schools to correct this deficiency. On the contrary, those like with new governor of Wisconsin will be cutting the funds that would be needed to make any inroad on the problem. At the same time, such State officials are acting as though any person with any teaching certificate can be assigned the task, up only to the day when the students or their parents wake up to his/her weakness in the face of the challenge. When these do come out of their denial, there will be no one to hire for the work, even worse than it was on that day in 1957 when we discovered the Sputnik beeping overhead.

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