No Money Needed

I know how to improve the public education system. My plan would cost 0 dollars 0 cents, and it’s extremely easy to implement.

We need to change the way we license teachers. I spent years feeling deeply puzzled by the complete ignorance of high school graduates who come to college. And then I saw the curriculum used in our teacher education program, and immediately understood.

We need to reduce the number of pedagogy courses to two. And completely eliminate everything else that is not content courses from teacher education programs.

That’s it. No money needed. The teachers we license would be of significantly higher quality.

I’m a representative of the fifth generation of women teachers in my family. I was born into education and read pedagogy manuals for fun in childhood. I know a lot about education. I do not see how “more money” improves education outcomes.

We could also dramatically improve my university with zero money. I have a list of things that could be done tomorrow at no expense. We could actually save a packet if we adopted my ideas. But this is the kind of ideas that nobody dares to imagine, let alone voice.

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11 thoughts on “No Money Needed”

  1. At my institution I now need to be certified by someone trained in pedagogy to teach the online course I have been teaching for more than 5 years. Certification includes a 2 credit course, to be taken in my own time…so from now on I am going to focus on teaching on campus students.

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    1. This is so ridiculous. We don’t have this yet but we probably will at some point. And I’ll give up my online class because stuff them all with their idiocy.

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  2. I want to spend money. I want classrooms that are less unpleasant and better library holdings. I want tenure-track hires. What would you do to save your university money?

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    1. I’m too beat for a complete list but for my department specifically I’d get rid of all the stupid electronic workbooks, pre-canned tests, and all that crap the publishers charge us enormous amounts for. We have to ditch our textbooks every few years because the greedy publishers deny access to the stupid electronic version if you don’t buy a new edition. And it’s all just dumb busywork that students hate. For lab, I’d just give them real texts to read. I do it anyway but we still pay for the Quia or supersite or whatever.

      And for the university at large, I’d close down all of the diversity, institutional accountability, sustainability, assessment, etc offices. I’d ditch the idiotic superfish or whatever it’s called system. I’d ditch clickers because I was on the clicker committee and the price tag is insane.

      And I’d make it impossible for people to destroy programs and say calmly “apres moi, le deluge,” like people are doing.

      And this is just the beginning.

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  3. Since you don’t specify exactly WHAT those “ideas” of yours are, outside of that first one you mentioned for “improving the quality of elementary and high school teachers”, do you, perhaps, have a published (and patented) list of these cost-efficient “ideas” you’re so zealously espousing?

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      1. That’s ok, I was exhausted and very vague as a result. But it’s really a ridiculous situation where we keep whining about lack of funding and then go and buy a $50K per year clicker system that gets used maybe twice a year. I did all I could to prevent the purchase, went to meetings over the summer when I don’t get paid to work, argued, pleaded – but all in vain. And the clickers are just one little thing.

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        1. State-funded university system …
          … that’s where and how a lot of government money gets wasted—state and federal.
          I often wonder how much of the national (and states’) debt is due to such types of finagling.

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  4. Response to: No Money Needed

    It seems to me that most teachers are so underpaid in comparison to their contemporaries in other professions that if they were educated as you propose, very many of them would switch careers. I know a retired high school mathematics teacher who was forbidden to get an M S in mathematics because the schools were afraid of exactly that. (He was forbidden in the sense that the state would pay his tuition and fees to get a master’s degree in education, but he would have had to pay his own way if he wanted a math degree.)

    So, I think money is needed to make sure teachers are paid at a rate appropriate to their qualifications. But, I completely agree with your recipe.

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