Pennsylvania gets “D” for promoting teacher quality, the National Council on Teacher Quality announced Friday.
The Council advocates for tougher teacher evaluations and more rigorous teacher preparation.
Most states did as bad or worse.
The Council says Pennsylvania does not require teacher evaluations and tenure decisions to be based on student achievement; makes it too difficult to fire bad teachers; fails to oversee teacher preparation programs; elementary teachers are not well-prepared to teach math; and that the state sets low expectations for what special education teachers should know.
It also says Pennsylvania’s teacher pay and benefits are “inadequate incentives” to attract and retain good teachers.
I’m not sure about the last point but I’m not against a little more carrot for a lot more stick.
Consider this: Cut the school year from the existing 190 days or so to 120 days and make each child eligible for a $5,000 tax-funded voucher to whatever accredited education facility their parents want per 120-day term
You should not need to be a high school calculus teacher to understand that would make just about any competent educator very rich.
The teacher leaves the public system and starts his or her own office much as a lawyer or doctor might. The office would be a classroom and the clients or patients would be the students. The teacher would have a huge advantage over a doctor or lawyer, however, in that the teacher could see far more than one client at a time. A good one could handle over 30, in fact.
Consider 30 students per class x $5,000 per student = $150,000 per 120 day term = $300,000 per 240 day year minus $50,000 for building rental, insurance, supplies, bookkeeping etc. = $250,000 before taxes.
But the incompetent teachers are against it so don’t expect it soon.
For those of you concerned about cutting the amount of education per calendar year, don’t be. The plan actually expands it. Re-read what I wrote and do the math.
And the plan might save the Catholic parochial schools.