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John Kerry's New Bargain for America's Children and Teachers

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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:35 AM
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John Kerry's New Bargain for America's Children and Teachers
http://www.johnkerry.com/pressroom/releases/pr_2004_050...

Kerry Offers a New Bargain for America's Children and Teachers
subhead, delete this if blank

May 06, 2004

For Immediate Release
Colton, CA

John Kerry's New Bargain for America's Children and Teachers

Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry Thursday announced his "New Bargain for America's Children and Teachers," which will strengthen education in America by retaining or recruiting 500,000 teachers over the next four years. The announcement came as Kerry closed a three-day campaign swing through New Mexico and California where he pledged to build a strong America as President by keeping his commitment to America's schools.

"Teaching is an amazing profession," Kerry said. "And it's time for us to restore it so that it is once again a profession we admire in words and deeds. If we say that there is no greater role in our country than educating our children, then it is time for all of us to treat our teachers with greater respect. That means honoring them and paying them like the professionals that they are."

Kerry said we should make teachers a priority in America. Recounting the story of his sister Diana who was laid off from her teaching job because of budget cuts at her school, Kerry said we do not do enough to retain the teachers we have today or to recruit and prepare good teachers for tomorrow.

"The kids here today - and all our public school students - deserve better," Kerry said. "They deserve a President that values their education as much as their teachers do. And that means making our teachers a priority. It's time for a new bargain with America's teachers and children: I will offer teachers more, and I will ask for more in return.

First, Kerry said he will offer increased pay of up to $5,000 to teachers in high-need areas or in shortage subjects like math or science. Second, Kerry said his plan will help retain good teachers by offering them the support they need through mentoring programs that link new teachers with someone who has overcome the same challenges. Third, Kerry said he will help parents become more involved in schools by using technology to setup teacher voicemail boxes and to post homework assignments on the Web.

In return for these measures, Kerry said he will ask schools to support success and require results in three ways.

First, Kerry said his plan will require rigorous testing for all new teachers.

Second, Kerry said he will require states to have or develop fast, fair procedures for improving or replacing teachers who do not perform on the job. "This is a matter of fairness to children and to all of the great teachers in our schools," Kerry said.

Third, Kerry said he will establish new systems that reward teachers for excellence in the classroom, including pay based on improvement in student achievement.

Finally, Kerry said that his plan will establish a "Great Strides" incentive fund that will support schools that are trying to turn around and reward them when they do.

"No more broken promises on funding. No more empty rhetoric on reform, Kerry said. We're going to get this done right because we know that empty rhetoric leads to empty dreams-and we won't let that happen in our America."

____________________________

Good for Kerry!
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:04 PM
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1. This should piss off the teachers' union.
Doesn't sound much different than NCLB, except he's actually throwning money at it.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. YOu keep repeating that without explaining
You have yet to explain how Kerry's proposal is similar to NCLB. NCLB is noted for linking passing tests with students graduating and providing funding for the schools. Kerry' plan inculdes neither of these, so why do you repeat that claim?
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yea, and you keep refusing to look into the programs
Edited on Thu May-06-04 02:49 PM by sybylla
NCLB - test kids to death, fail schools if kids don't perform

NBACT - test kids to death, fail teachers if kids don't perform

Read the text in the original post. It's there in black and white.

Kerry will test teachers, as if they don't already have enough to do with all the secondary education madates they have to go through. This amounts to re-certification. Fine, but how often? The teachers unions won't be happy about this little requirement either. Bush wants to let kids go to another school, public or private, if a school fails. Kerry's plan treats teachers the same way chimpy's plan treats schools, boots them out of the funding stream.

Kerry will judge teachers on the "achievement of students." Sounds like more testing for kids, just like in NCLB. Testing isn't a cure for bad schools. Testing isn't a cure for bad teachers. It dumbs everyone down to the lowest common denomonator as schools focus on getting everyone to that level and don't worry about going beyond. It's the republican way. It makes good little automatons out of employees.

Kerry will reward schools for progress. That's only a prettier way of saying that schools will marked as failing if they don't demonstrate progress, which is exactly what NCLB does. What if a school is already at the top, achieving above goals. Will they be rewarded even though they made no effort to get there? Will schools already at the bottom get huge rewards for only showing a modicum of improvement even though the kids are still not getting the education they need? This a ridiculous way to try to improve education. It's one-size-fits-all. It can't take into account the individual achievement of the school, the individual achievements of the teachers nor the individual achievements of the student. These are all problems with NCLB and NBACT doesn't appear to change the landscape any.

Same shit, different political party. NBACT will get us nowhere fast, just like NCLB is doing.

If that ain't clear, you're on your own.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. No, it's putting money in at the bottom
The problem with NCLB is that it's been implemented in a punitive fashion, testing with failing schools and removal of funds and kids transferring out. This "NBACT" is testing to find out what schools and teachers need help and then actually having programs in place and money for those programs so schools actually improve. If teachers come up with a better method of identifying underperforming teachers, then they should stand up and say so. But parents have probably gotten one two many notes home with mispelled words to allow the situation to continue as it is.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. You are wrong. As I explained in another thread
NBACT - test kids to death, fail teachers if kids don't perform

Kerry's proposal concerning the removal of poor-performing teachers has NOTHING to do with testing. Kerry's only proposal wrt to this issue is that he wants to require that the states DEVELOP STANDARDS on how a "poor-performing teacher" is defined. NCLB has nothing like that in it.

Kerry will test teachers, as if they don't already have enough to do with all the secondary education madates they have to go through.

Wrong again. Kerry will NOT test teachers. He will test people who want to become teachers, and those people are ALREADY being tested, so it's not an increase in testing. What Kerry has proposed is that we develop a national standard for teacher certification. Again, NCLB has nothing like this in it.

This amounts to re-certification. Fine, but how often?

Wrong again. It's not re-certification. He is talking about testing the ONCE, when they first become teachers, as they already are.

Kerry will judge teachers on the "achievement of students." Sounds like more testing for kids, just like in NCLB.

Wrong again. Kerry is only going to use the test results to provide BONUSES to those teachers who's students do well on the test. There is no punishment in Kerry's proposal for teachers of students who do poorly on the tests, and the proposal does not include creating any new tests.

Kerry will reward schools for progress. That's only a prettier way of saying that schools will marked as failing if they don't demonstrate progress, which is exactly what NCLB does

And that's only a unglier way of saying that you don't care what the proposals actually mean, you're going to say they're just like NCLB no matter what the truth is (You see, I can claim that words mean whatever *I* say they mean too. It's not a great way to have a discussion though)

What if a school is already at the top, achieving above goals.

Nothing.
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
6. some good, some eh.
I kinda like the incentive fund idea as well as increasing teacher pay for high-need areas, although $5k isn't much in many districts and increased pay should be across the board. Tying increased pay to student performance *improvement* is fine, as long as that means what it seems to mean.

"Rigorous testing for new teachers" - carrying coal to Newcastle. That's just politics.

Second, Kerry said he will require states to have or develop fast, fair procedures for improving or replacing teachers who do not perform on the job.

More politics. "I'll be a hardass."

I appreciate that this is political speech in an election year, but I hope, if Kerry wins, that this won't be the ultimate goal. There's a good bit further we need to go.
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