An Archival Tete-a-Tete

In the comments to the previous post, Tom W provides a link to his Narragansett Times debate with Bob Walsh, which is still available on RI Policy Analysis as a PDF.

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ken
ken
13 years ago

I believe those who write knowledgeable public documents about what is wrong with the Rhode Island public school system and educators should be able to back up their words and ideas by spending a week in various classrooms educating early childhood, primary and secondary students

Justin Katz
13 years ago

Yes, Ken, because analyzing public policy and instructing young children are practically the same skill…

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

>>I believe those who write knowledgeable public documents about what is wrong with the Rhode Island public school system and educators should be able to back up their words and ideas by spending a week in various classrooms educating early childhood, primary and secondary students
Yeah, and I believe that no teacher should be allowed to enter a classroom until they’ve worked, full time, at least ten consecutive years in private sector (12 month a year) jobs.

ken
ken
13 years ago

>Yeah, and I believe that no teacher should be allowed to enter a classroom until they’ve worked, >full time, at least ten consecutive years in private sector (12 month a year) jobs. >Posted by Tom W at August 13, 2007 10:06 AM Tom W, I not being an educator but having the good fortune to spend a great amount of volunteer time assisting educators in public school classrooms; there are the good, bad and ugly as in all of life. One test can not be applied to all just as you can not lump Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary educators together which most people do when they say “no teacher or all teachers”. So Tom W, everyone is complaining about how soft Rhode Island educators have it; not working a “real job” and how much it is costing Rhode Island to educate Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary students. Did you realize per State of Rhode Island Education Department and (UNFUNDED) “Federal legislation, the “No Child Left Behind” Act, mandates that all teachers of core academic subjects be “highly qualified” as defined by the law. To meet the federal definition of a “highly qualified” teacher you must: *Hold a Bachelor’s Degree *Hold full state certification *Demonstrate subject matter competency in the core academic subject (s) by having a major or its equivalent or by passing a rigorous content knowledge test. It is important to understand that by holding a Rhode Island teaching certificate does not necessarily mean that you have met the federal definition of a “highly qualified” teacher. This is especially true for educators securing certification by reciprocity. These educators may need to meet the Rhode Island testing requirement to meet the federal definition of a “highly qualified” teacher”. An educator must also pay out of pocket cost to obtain… Read more »

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

>>Tom W, I not being an educator but having the good fortune to spend a great amount of volunteer time assisting educators in public school classrooms; there are the good, bad and ugly as in all of life. One test can not be applied to all just as you can not lump Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary educators together which most people do when they say “no teacher or all teachers”. The teachers unions demand that we dump all educators together, and distinguish them only by seniority. I believe that they should be treated as professionals, which accordingly also means that each should be evaluated and compensated based upon their individual merits and performance. >>So Tom W, everyone is complaining about how soft Rhode Island educators have it; not working a “real job” and how much it is costing Rhode Island to educate Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary students. Did you realize per State of Rhode Island Education Department and (UNFUNDED) “Federal legislation, the “No Child Left Behind” Act, mandates that all teachers of core academic subjects be “highly qualified” as defined by the law. To meet the federal definition of a “highly qualified” teacher you must: *Hold a Bachelor’s Degree *Hold full state certification *Demonstrate subject matter competency in the core academic subject (s) by having a major or its equivalent or by passing a rigorous content knowledge test. It is important to understand that by holding a Rhode Island teaching certificate does not necessarily mean that you have met the federal definition of a “highly qualified” teacher. This is especially true for educators securing certification by reciprocity. These educators may need to meet the Rhode Island testing requirement to meet the federal definition of a “highly qualified” teacher”. So what? This is true of any number of professions:… Read more »

Ken
Ken
13 years ago

>I will not repeat the entirety of my prior responses over last few days to Mr. Walsh of NEARI that >address this-they’re right here on anchor rising and I suggest that you look at them. I don’t think >that we would have any trouble attracting highly qualified and motivated individuals via alternate >certification and a higher salary than present coupled with a 401(k) with a competitive match in >lieu of pension. As for Social Security I also addressed that; you are far better off without Social >Security. Tom W you have pointed to problems in your published dissertation with Mr. Walsh of NEARI involving the current education system in State of Rhode Island and the 38 entities that comprise the Rhode Island Department of Education and Board of Regents, individual education systems of Rhode Island cities, towns, districts, educators and unions. Tom W you also indicated additional requirements should be imposed on Rhode Island educators that “I believe that no teacher should be allowed to enter a classroom until they’ve worked, full time, at least ten consecutive years in private sector (12 month a year) jobs.” Recently the U.S. Federal Education Department initiated the “No Child Left Behind” law which added additional validation requirements, procedures, education requirements, testing, retesting, standardization, certification, minimum curriculum requirements, metrics and documentation to the current statewide standards for principles, educators, individual schools and school systems. As a taxpayer, if you have a better solution as you have indicated to the problem at hand, please enlighten me and the general public. Some questions that come to my mind are: What is your plan to implement change with alternate certification? Do you have a model on paper? What changes need to be made to state law and how long will it take? What changes need to be… Read more »

SusanD
SusanD
13 years ago

So basically, Ken, you don’t dispute that what TomW proposes would be effective and preferable to our current system. You’re just asking about cost and the logistics of implementation.

Tom W
Tom W
13 years ago

>>As a taxpayer, if you have a better solution as you have indicated to the problem at hand, please enlighten me and the general public. Some questions that come to my mind are: What is your plan to implement change with alternate certification? Identify high priority areas – e.g., science and math – and recruit those with masters and above in the relevant areas for those positions, allowing them into a classroom after a one-semester long series of course on the particularities of classroom instruction. Veterans would be given preference, particularly males, as some positive male role-modeling would go a long way in urban schools. As to other subject areas, same drill, but not as the first priority. >>Do you have a model on paper? No. What changes need to be made to state law and how long will it take? The General Assembly could enact necessary legislation at any time. I’d start with repealing the statute that permits teachers’ collective bargaining / unionization; repealing tenure; the aforementioned alternate certification legislation and universal vouchers (just as the competition from Honda and Toyota to Detroit’s prior hegemony has forced major improvements in auto quality across the board, so to would increased competition for parental education dollars). Freezing the state pension system and converting to a 401k type plan would also be on the menu (for reasons discussed in prior posts). >>What changes need to be made to federal law and how long will it take? As to federal law, I haven’t a clue. But I’m sure that if Senators Reed and Whitehouse et. als. really care about the children, they could obtain the necessary legislation or waivers from existing legislation. >>What affect will your changes have on Rhode Island property taxes? Over time, competition – Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” – has… Read more »

Frank
Frank
13 years ago

Despite mandating that RI teachers have to hold a bachelors degree, a “full” state certification, demonstrate subject matter competency, be “highly qualified”, possess advanced degrees, and be subject to testing every five years, student performance still hasn’t improved from where it was before these measures were taken. This suggests that all of this credentialing and extra preparation on behalf of the teachers has had a negligible effect on RI’s education performance and seems to have become nothing more than yet one more item that teacher advocates will use to justify the current level of teacher compensation.
The purpose of public education is to educate our children as well as we can, not to find multiple avenues for validating the adults involved in education.

ken
ken
13 years ago

>So basically, Ken, you don’t dispute that what TomW proposes would be effective and preferable >to our current system. You’re just asking about cost and the logistics of implementation. SusanD, I am neither confirming nor denying to be pro TomW or against TomW suggested changes that might; could; would, or might not; could not; would not be effective and or preferable to the current system. As I verbally lamented to AG Maggie Curran and staff during a meeting some years back, “You lawyers are wordsmiths!” As TomW is a lawyer, I feel I must read and re-read a number of times what he has written to understand his intent and what he is really trying to say before further comment to him also, if suggestions are could be assessed duplication of effort which would cost tax payers more money. I believe from what I currently understand of the proposals, some alternate vehicle programs to a Rhode Island teacher license and certificate for a private sector degreed persons already exist. A previously bachelor degreed person can become a teacher for two years leading to obtaining a full State of Rhode Island teaching license and certificate under the Rhode Island Non-Traditional Certification Program. However, the person must still fulfill the Rhode Island master degree and continued certificate training within 5 years; continued certificate training every 5 years and pass the fully qualified to teach core subject matter testing of the federal “No Child Left Behind” law. Even though you have acquired a bachelor, master, or PhD degree (s) and a state license and certificates to teach, federal “No Child Left Behind” law require a passing grade on their test to ascertain and verify if you have obtained enough knowledge in your core subject to educate children or you have to be fired..… Read more »

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