Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 28, 2009 / 10 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

Teacher (Mis)education

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of the brighter spots in the Obama administration is the country's new secretary of education, Arne Duncan, who may actually be interested in education — as opposed to educational administration, bureaucracy, grantsmanship and all the other substitutes that have taken the place of actual learning in American schools.

Whatever he may achieve, Mr. Duncan shows a talent for diagnosing the problem, whether he's putting in a good word for charter schools — even if his boss has just nixed a voucher program for those who most need it in the nation's capital — or stressing the need for better teachers.

This time he's put his finger on what may be the source of American education's mediocre or worse performance: Our schools and departments of "education." They're the source of so much of the educanto that has covered the whole subject of education in this country with a thick patina of pseudo-scientific malarkey and fad-a-day theories. No wonder an aging bomber but still ideologue like Bill Ayers has thrived in a college faculty of education up there in Chicago. The way mold does in rotten timbers.

Secretary Duncan says he's been talking to hundreds of bright young teachers, who are the nation's real hope in education, and what he's found is that "most of them say they did not get the hands-on teacher training about managing the classroom that they needed, especially for high-needs students."

To fill that need is going to take a lot more than an annual mickeymouse class at some department of education. Or even promising innovations like KIPP academies and Teach For America, hopeful and impressive as such innovations have been. Real, basic, meaningful reform is going to take a revolution in the way American schools train the teachers of the future.

Secretary Duncan talks a good game. For instance, he says the administration is using part of its stimulus package to reward states that connect data on student achievement to the schools of education their teachers attended. Interesting. At least to the kind of researchers who think improving education is just a matter of graphs and numbers.

But how is student achievement defined? Only by test scores or something less definite and therefore less easily determined? Is student achievement just one factor out of many in determining where all that stimulus money will go? Or is this just another example of pork barrel spending to no clear purpose? Is it even possible in many states to link the schools that teachers attend to how well their students are doing?

Wouldn't it be simpler to just lift the caps that too many states now place on the creation of charter schools, reward those whose students are making marked progress, and close down the others? Or would that be unspeakably sensible?

All these games with numbers may only obscure the basic change that needs to be made in the education of American teachers: If teaching is ever to become a real profession instead of just another union membership, those in it should be prepared the way other professionals are. They should receive a thorough education, the real kind, in the arts and sciences before getting specialized training in their field, the way our physicians, lawyers and MBAs do.

What we see in teaching today is what one would expect if our doctors only had to major in medicine, filling in the rest of their curriculum with electives, and then were allowed to hang up their shingles once they had their undergraduate degree. A frightening prospect. Americans wouldn't put up with that, or at least let's hope they wouldn't. Surely the medical profession wouldn't. It knows better.

Yet we're turning over our most valuable national treasure, our young, to "professionals" who may have only an undergraduate degree, and that in a less than demanding curriculum. One of the reasons special programs geared to make teachers out of older, experienced adults aren't always successful is that many of these older students, especially the more intelligent or energetic, just can't take all the make-work courses required to become a certified teacher.

Like other professionals, the real kind, our teachers should get a well-rounded liberal education before they enter professional schools of education, where they would proceed not just to study child development but serve as interns and residents before being let loose in a classroom.

Talk about a revolution, such an approach — already being pioneered by the best colleges — would remake attitudes and goals in American education. And raise the level of respect that Americans ought to have for it. Not to mention the salary structure of teachers.

This Rx for American education is scarcely new. The diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of the problem was thoroughly mapped out decades ago, about the time Americans began to notice that Johnny couldn't read. Especially if Johnny came from a poor and/or broken family, not to mention a poor and broken community. Recommended reading, if only you can find a copy still in print: "The Miseducation of American Teachers" by James D. Koerner, copyright 1963.

Arne Duncan has his work cut out for him. So have we all. The education of teachers is no simple or instant thing. Any more than education itself is. Revolutionizing the education of American teachers will be a long and daunting task — but it won't get any easier if we keep putting it off.

Paul Greenberg Archives

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles