BRICKS WITHOUT STRAW
America's Brain Drain
in
Math and Science
-KATHRYN WALLACE
“The highest
predictor of student
performance boils down to
teacher knowledge."
- Gerald Wheeler
"How can you pass on a passion to your students if you don't know the subject?"
-Congressman Buck McKeon
Sanity Makes a Comeback!
A study group within the National Academy of Sciences, came up with a number of innovative proposals. Among them are:
Four-year scholarships for 10,000 college students who commit to being math or science teachers, and who agree to
teach in a public school for five years after graduation.
Many
experts are also urging that non-credentialed but knowledgeable people with industry experience be allowed to
teach.
Additional Recommendations
Require teachers to
demonstrate competence in their subject area
The Superintendent of Public
Instruction does not know how many of the math and science teachers in our
students’ classrooms are actually qualified to teach those subjects.
Nationally, 56 percent of high school science courses and 27 percent of math
courses are taught by “out-of-field” teachers.
Streamline the alternative
certification system
A more streamlined alternative certification
system would address teacher shortages in math and science by allowing
qualified individuals (those who have adequate knowledge of their subject and
the ability to communicate that knowledge to students) to teach without having
to complete numerous years of additional schooling. Under the current system,
Bill Gates would not be permitted to teach software engineering because he is
not a certified teacher.
Create incentives for
excellent and high-demand teachers
The shortage of qualified math and science
teachers could also be addressed by a flexible salary model that allows
demonstrably excellent teachers, and those who choose to teach high-demand
subjects, to earn differential pay.
"If ifs and buts were candy and nuts then we'd all have a Merry Christmas."
Don Meredith
.