Many people, especially in Wilkes-Barre, are angered and sickened by the mismanagement/cronyism/nepotism of the school boards. The role of unions could also questioned by virtue of their seeming adherence to the status quo rather than a penchant for innovation.
As an experiment... close your eyes and envision the worst teacher you ever had. Next close your eyes and envision the best teacher you had. How much better was the best teacher when compared to your worst teacher? How much better was this person when compared to an average teacher?
Quite a "gap" isn't it? Well consider these "gaps" have been created over and over for years because the school boards have rarely chosen the most qualified applicants.What you have is a "watered down" teacher pool. The lack of core talent falls upon the children.
THERE IS HOPE Parents - listen up! Home-schoolers listen up! Did any of you catch 60 minutes on Sunday night (9/1/13)? A man (named Khan) has put on line 2,500 lessons for students. For free!! These lessons have hit the sweet spot of students as the academy has now spread globally.
Bill Gates' kids use these videos. Gates has invested in the business (actually a non profit).
Please use Khan academy to help your students in a particular area. Home schooled kids could use this academy as the basis of their study.
The kids love it. I was a top student everywhere I went... but I wonder if memorizing notes for tests and then forgetting it all later could be considered legitimate learning.
Here is the 60 Minutes piece:
It is time for a paradigm shift when it comes to education, Maybe this is it.