The following blog post is an analysis of the article Teaching Can Be a Profession.
1. The Cream of the Crop
2. Quality Over Seniority
3. Turning the System on its Head
1. I believe that Mr. Klein raises a true if not disturbing fact about the percentage of our future teachers. I myself can attest to the astounding lack of discipline that is practiced by some of my colleagues. In my opinion, Mr. Klein hit the nail on the head when he said that we should only accept applicants from the top third of graduates. Another example of this same practice lies in the age old profession of agriculture. After a harvest, a farmer will take the best of his crop and save the seed from that portion to use in his next harvest thereby improving his future products. This same principle I think should be applied to education. One should have their best and brightest teaching the next generation not those that scraped by on the skin on their teeth.
2. Mr. Klein makes the point that in the current system that the factor that determines the rank or merit of a teacher is not determined by the ability to teach but is instead determined by the amount of time served. I have personally seen this system in affect, and I can attest to its lack of efficiency. My personal experience involved two teachers that taught higher math subjects that were not state tested, and as a result their teaching prowess no matter how lacking was considered acceptable due to their seniority. This attitude led to many students leaving home high school with a less than standard understanding of both calculus and discreet math. I personally agree with Mr. Klein, and in my humble opinion I do believe that a promotion and retention program based on merit should be instituted; however, I cannot state a sure fire way with which to execute this system. It could be possible to enact some form of standardized subject based test that coincides with each individual teacher's lesson plans, but this logistics behind this seem astronomical.
3. The final major point that is raised by Mr. Klein in his article is that the system that is in place is no longer functioning efficiently and should be addressed. A solution that he offered in this portion was the creation of board of teachers that would self govern and address the implementation of the aforementioned systems. This council if you will would preside over the issues of teacher merit as well as the admission of new applicants. I once again agree with Mr. Klein in this assessment as well as his suggestion for a type of mandatory internship and an entrance exam that would be required for anyone attempting to enter the system of education as a teacher. I feel that this system of checks and balances would no doubt remove unwanted clutter and create an efficient educational program.
All in all, I believe that Mr. Klein has raised some very enlightening points that could only have been discovered after so many years of working within the system itself. I'm sure that the practice of increased accountability among those of the teaching practice would no doubt create a leaner and more efficient program as well as generate a new respect and higher quality occupation in general. I can only hope that someone in the position to make this occur will begin to make the necessary steps.
In closing I will leave you with a painting by H. Charles McBarron titled Bataille Yorktown in honor of the educational revolution that I believe should take place.