Thought of the Day: A Solution to the U.S. having a Shortage of Computer Scientists: Integrate Computer Science with Mathematics in School.

Mathematical/Programming symbols: columns represent concepts in math, cs, and programming; rows represent the progression of a concept from theory to implementation. Source: Jeremy Kun. Click to buy the T-Shirt from the original creator.It is clear that the U.S. still has a major unemployment problem, and yet there is a lack of computer programmers.  To solve this problem, many technologists are calling on schools to teach computer science within schools.  But, for all the talk about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in education, the reality is that thus far our schools continue to not truly teach the Technology portion of STEM.

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Thought of the Day: Why Career Technical Teachers can make Extraordinary Academic Teachers

link between education and the work worldFor the past several days I’ve been posting about the discrimination against Career Technical Education teachers in California, and some solutions to this problem, and yesterday explained how CTE teachers can be recognized as being Highly Qualified by the standards started with “No Child Left Behind”.

And while all of this clearly affects the teachers involved, I want to make clear that this discrimination dramatically affects our children’s future, and hence our nation’s future.

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Thought of the Day: CTE Teachers can be Highly Qualified in Core Academic Subjects

One other hurdle that CTE teachers have to teaching academic subjects, beyond the misunderstanding of what their credential allows, and also the bad policy of not allowing them to gain supplementary authorizations, is that many administrators and CTE teachers may not realize that California Designated Subjects credential holders can be recognized as “Highly Qualified” by federal/state standards, which originally came from No Child Left Behind.  (I should note my personal opinion that the Highly Qualified designation or lack thereof does not necessarily mean one truly is qualified or not, as it is clear that there are many Type I and Type II errors that can occur, but none the less, getting this designation is an important legality for schools to keep federal funding.)

UPDATE: Since writing this original post, I have discovered that in California CTE teachers who are teaching applied academics are automatically considered Highly Qualified, as I will be posting about soon.   But for anyone who is interested in knowing more about how to potentially get the Highly Qualified designation, I have kept this article online.

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Thought of the Day: Solving California CTE Teacher Discrimination

Yesterday, I posted about the clear discrimination that occurs with Career Technical Education (CTE) teachers in California.  Today, I want to talk a little more about solutions to the problem, as I’m not usually the type of person to just whine about something.  Further, I suspect that most administrators and academic teachers don’t even realize that they are discriminating.

There are two solutions that can help alleviate this problem.

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Thought of the Day: Discrimination against Career Technical Education Teachers

In California, and probably in most other states, there is a clear discrimination that occurs against Career Technical Education, where CTE instructors and students are looked at as second class citizens.  While I will share more in the future about this broader problem, today I am going to focus on how the California’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing and School Districts discriminate against Career Technical Education teachers, and how with the loss of ROP, this has meant a huge number of layoffs to these teachers, and could mean a lot more losing their jobs, if this illegal discrimination doesn’t stop.

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Those who can, Do. Those who can’t, Teach. Those who really suck, Rule the world.

I’ve always wondered about the adage “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” While any generality will be incorrect for certain people. (For example, I personally believe I’m one of those who can, given my background in private industry) But what about the majority of teachers? Is there any evidence to truly suggest that this concept that teachers are not as good as those who go into other industries or majors?

Unfortunately, I think I found some. I am going to enter a masters program this coming year, and so I have decided to take the GRE test (even though the masters programs I’m looking in to don’t require it, specifically I think it could boost my chances with Drexel. I’ll talk more soon about my speculation about why they don’t require it.)

The GRE is used for many schools to determine admission into various masters programs. And while there can be arguments made about how well (or how poorly) it measures ones potential of success, it still is a benchmark that is used, and I’m sure has some merit.

What I found interesting, is in the math (quantitative analysis) part of the test, about 2/3 of the general group that takes the test score better than Educational majors.

But, when it comes to managers, it is mostly worse. For those majoring in Management for private industry about 60% of others did better, for those majoring in School Administration, about 69% of others did better, and for public administration it sunk to having about 71% of others doing better… So maybe the Peter Principle has some merit also!!!

Although, to be fair teachers and administrators do fair better on the English (Verbal Reasoning) portion of the test. On this part only 55% of everyone else did better than Teachers. Although in this case about 60% did better than private industry managers, about 62% did better than school administrators, and only about 55% of others did better than our public administrators… So, I guess in this case, our public servants, like our former President Clinton, are cunning linguists. 🙂

Oh well. I hope that I score well on the test to show that not all teachers “can’t”, otherwise my next post will need to be refuting this post, and telling you why the GRE is not a good gauge of why someone can or can’t… 🙂

BTW, I’m interested in anyone’s feedback about other objective methods that either show our teachers and public servants are more or less capable.

P.S. – To be fair to the MBAs of the world, most of them don’t take the GRE, they take the GMAT, and you really can’t compare them together, so private industry managers may not be as bad as I list here.