Articles tagged with Associated Press

Public survey finds large support for overhauling teacher pay, tenure

public-domain-checklist-300x199A new survey shows a strong majority of the American public wants better systems to fire underperforming teachers, and principals, too. But those who are allowed to stay should earn a lot more.

The poll conducted by the Associated Press and Stanford University brought forth data to prove, again, that there is plenty of public support for overhauling teacher tenure and pay scales.

According to the AP, half of the respondents said teachers’ salaries should be based on their students’ performance on state assessments and evaluations from their administrators.

About 35 percent said that “a large number of bad teachers is a serious problem in America’s schools,” and only 45 percent blamed the problems on teachers’ unions. But while the poll did not specifically ask about local school boards, respondents were more critical of school administrators.

Fifty-three percent said local administrators deserved “a great deal” or “a lot” of the blame for the problems facing U.S. schools. (And 65 percent said state officials deserved a great deal or a lot of the blame, while 59 percent said the same for federal officials).

Stanford University’s Larry Cuban, a professor emeritus of education, told the AP that some of the public’s negative views come from frequent criticism from policymakers and from the media.

“It’s become a throwaway line: ‘Oh, sure U.S. schools are lousy,’” Cuban told the AP. “I think we have schizophrenia in the U.S. that we believe all U.S. schools are lousy except the schools we send our kids to.”

Joetta Sack-Min, Associate Editor

Naomi Dillon|December 20th, 2010|Categories: American School Board Journal, Governance|Tags: , |

Parents now feeling the heat

pointing-fingerA new poll conducted by the Associated Press and Stanford University finds nearly 70 percent of adults feel parents are largely responsible for what’s wrong with public education in America.

And so the Blame Game continues, though, there’s no denying that families play a huge role in student achievement, so much so, that it’s clear when they are not fulfilling that role.

That’s probably what spurred California lawmakers to adopt the Parent Accountability Act, the first state law granting judges the power to send parents of convicted gang members back to school.

Enacted in January, the statute has gotten off to a rocky start thanks to the state’s budget woes and, frankly, low attendance at the court-mandated classes which counsel parents on how to get more involved in their child’s life and how to spot signs of gang affiliation.

“The most difficult thing is to have control of the kids,” Socorro Gonzalez, a housekeeper and mom told the Huffington Post, after her son, a Los Angeles gang member, faced trouble with the law, forcing her to take classes. “When I come home, I don’t know what they have been up to.”

An honest and, no doubt, common problem among many parents. But here’s my question, if families have a hard time controlling their own kids, what makes people think that teachers can be any more successful?

Naomi Dillon, Senior Editor

Naomi Dillon|December 13th, 2010|Categories: American School Board Journal, Governance, Student Achievement|Tags: , , , , |
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