today’s charlotte observer had an interesting opinion column written by kaye mcgarry, a school board member. her argument, in response to an earlier opinion by a former board member, essentially is that a “qualified” teacher is more important than the class size she/he has to deal with. that and if the teacher is/was involved with the teach for america program (apparently these members are more satisfied with their lives, participated in some sort of leadership effort, had a history of perseverance, and passion for long-term goals; but they do NOT have or NEED a master’s degree).

i’m trying to process this argument. the debate in charlotte now is to have more national board certified teachers and lose the graduate degrees; the superintendent certainly doesn’t want to pay for them anymore (as many school systems around my area). but how can someone who had his degrees paid for (he has a phd) say that i’m not qualified or, worse, less effective than someone down the hall with only a 4-year degree, but spent 3 years trying to pass national boards?

maybe i’m just jealous of the nb teachers–all those standards sound the same to me, and i didn’t have money to keep paying to take tests. but in 3 years, i managed to get certified at the graduate level as a reading specialist and get a masters in english–that’s on top of a bachelors in psychology and masters in special education.

so none of my education–paid for by myself–makes a difference? i didn’t learn how to make lessons more engaging? none of this matters? then why are we pushing kids to be “college ready”? it’s almost like the people in charge of a school system forget that teachers have to be relicensed every 5 years!!!!!! our job demands us to stay current in the field we teach.

i used to think that the more educated a person was, the better able he/she was to understand issues. apparently i was wrong–and i have the administration of charlotte-meck schools to thank for that (and i’m not even IN that district!!)

why does it bother me? well, because these are the people who have the ear of the governor. and they are repeating the obama administration’s education people who want to shut down schools and pay teachers for test scores.

if i have 35 students in my high school writing class, am i really going to be as effective with them as i could if i only had 25? seriously?  i wish that education matters could be ran by people who actually cared about educating children & young adults rather than pushing some sort of political agenda. this is seriously getting old.

(i had 2 cool story ideas for today, and got sidetracked by this nonsense!!)

links to the two opinion pieces:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/02/26/1272886/small-classes-attract-good-teachers.html

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/03/12/1306526/with-budgets-tight-put-emphasis.html

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