“Teachers in Finland are practically rock stars,” exclaims Robert Rothman in the Alliance for Excellent Education’s blog, High School Soup. And if that sounds like a slight exaggeration — I can imagine a class of middle schooler holding their lighted Bics aloft after a particularly scintillating lecture — it still shows how far we in America need to go to advance the status of teacher
To be sure, Finland doesn’t pay them like rock stars, Rothman adds. “Teachers salaries are about average. Rather, the country has established its preparation programs and working conditions so that teaching is a highly respected profession.”
The blog is commenting on an article in American Educator that cities the singular importance of great teaching – and a school system that nurtures and supports great teaching – to school improvement.
Should there be more emphasis in high school on vocational training? That’s the question posed this week by the National Journal on its Education blog. Proponents point to successful apprenticeship programs in Europe and the many good technical jobs that require more than a high school diploma but not a four-year degree. Skeptics include Thomas Toch of Education Sector, who worries that a new generation of vo-tech could lead to “watered-down expectations for many students who are already getting short shrift in our educational system.”
Board members, are you sick of No Child Left Behind? Guess what, Arne Duncan is too. Read the Education Secretary’s thoughts on ESEA reauthorization in Politico.
Finally, the NAEP History scores are out and they’re not exactly historic – at least, not in a good way. See commentary and analysis by Joanne Jacobs and Jim Hull of NSBA’s Center for Public Education.
Lawrence Hardy, Senior Editor